What is it about Mormons and sexual abuse? Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was caught by his wife having sex in a barn with a fourteen-year-old serving girl in his care when he was a middle-aged man. He coerced girls and women of all ages (some married to other men) who believed he spoke for God, into sexual liaisons with him by using the threat of eternal damnation if they didn’t submit. If that threat didn’t work he slandered them in the local paper. Keep reading →
On August 11 the Bountiful, BC parents who trafficked their 13-year-old daughter across the border for sex with the 49-year-old leader of their Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sect, Warren Jeffs— under the guise of becoming one of his 80+ wives—were sentenced.
The child’s mother was sentenced to seven months in jail and 18 months’ probation and the child’s father, was sentenced to 12 months in jail and 18 months’ probation. Both much provide DNA samples, will be placed on the sex offender registry for 10 years and must comply with a long list of conditions.
I attended the August, 13 meeting of the BC Humanist Association and listened to a moving speech by Daphne Bramham of the Vancouver Sun, who was present in the Cranbrook Courtroom for the sentencing. Click on this link to listen to her speech.
My Letter to the Editor, Published in Vancouver Sun Letters to the Editor, August 7, 2017
Re: Polygamists Relish Role as Martyrs, Daphne Bramham column, July 31
I appreciate The Vancouver Sun, and writer Daphne Bramham, continuing to give coverage to a practice that has existed in the community of Bountiful for decades: the rape of underage girls, with those committing these sexual crimes against children never facing prosecution.
The young girls of Bountiful — Canadian citizens entitled to protection under our laws that govern abuse of children — are being handed over by their parents to be raped and impregnated while their rapists claim freedom from prosecution for their atrocities, proudly declaring that they are being true to their religious beliefs. And that they have the right to rape under our country’s laws. What about the rights of the children they are sexually exploiting?
Polygamy in Bountiful is not about educated, independent adults, able to mutually give informed consent, choosing who they share their life with and how. A previous writer mentioned the affidavit filed in B.C. Supreme Court on June 30, 2009, by Const. Shelley Livingstone stating the RCMP had DNA and birth certificate proof that Winston Blackmore had impregnated nine (since raised to 10) underage girls, and recommended charges be laid. None were.
Does this make you proud to be Canadian?
Did You Know? Canada has a Right to Rape Law that the polygamists of Bountiful, BC have sheltered under for decades. Its known to those outside the FLDS community as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This Right to Rape Law has allowed polygamist Winston Blackmore to rape and impregnate ten underage girls—children—with no criminal charges laid against him despite irrefutable DNA and birth certificate evidence as set out in the Affidavit RCMP Constable Shelly Livingstone filed in 2009 in BC Supreme Court.
Blackmore is only one of the men in the FLDS community of Bountiful enjoying the benefit of this Right to Rape Law. Our tax payer dollars support this Law which, so far, has trumped all Canadian child protection laws in place to protect the vulnerable victims whose rights are not recognized under this Law.
The BC Government—who act on our behalf—have contributed to the sexual exploitation of underage girls in the FLDS community of Bountiful, BC for decades. The government funds independent private schools in that community which do little except prepare the girls for underage sex with aging polygamists—in plural marriages—and the surplus boys for stoop labour.
Audrey Vance, of Altering Destiny Through Education, a group in Creston, in an interview on CBC radio with Gloria Macarenko this past Wednesday morning, reiterated that she ignored the abuses of polygamy she and everyone else in the Creston area were aware of, for years. Her group has had success offering outside education to Bountiful children, giving them the knowledge and confidence they need to leave the community and create an independent future.
Vance’s main message was that it’s too late for the adults of Bountiful, but if a full education is offered to the children, there is hope for change. Education is the key.
With the guilty verdict in Cranbrook Court this past week, numerous electronic and print media have finally stepped up to give limited coverage to the situation that has existed in the FLDS community of Bountiful, BC for decades: the rape of underage girls—under the guise of the religious freedom of their rapists—with those committing these sexual crimes against children never before facing prosecution.
The vulnerable children of Bountiful—Canadian citizens entitled to protection under many of our laws—are being handed over by their parents to be raped and impregnated while their rapists claim freedom from prosecution for their atrocities, proudly declaring they are being true to their religious beliefs by doing it. And that they have a right to do it. What about the rights of the children?
This is not a situation of educated, independent adults, able to give informed consent, choosing who they share their life with and how.
In 2009 Constable Shelley Livingstone filed an Affidavit in BC Supreme Court stating the RCMP had DNA and birth certificate proof that Blackmore had impregnated nine (since raised to ten) underage girls, and recommended charges be laid. Despite such irrefutable proof of his guilt, no charges were laid.
Does this make you proud to be Canadian?
I was disappointed to learn the Judge only listened to sentencing arguments last Friday rather than passing sentence. I had hoped for much stronger sentencing recommendations from Peter Wilson. At the same time, I trust what he’s done so far in getting a precedent-setting conviction. What is he privy to that the general public isn’t?
Media attention/coverage for this case has not been deemed newsworthy enough to make headlines, if it is covered by any media at all.
Daphne Bramham, however, has come through as always. Thank you Daphne Bramham for setting out so clearly exactly what is at stake in sententences in this case. I highly recommend reading her latest article by clicking on her link above.
I was relieved to read Daphne Bramham’s article in the on-line Vancouver Sun today.
She correctly identifies the offence that parents in our province have been convicted of.
Parents in Bountiful, BC will be sentenced on Friday for trafficking their 13-year-old daughter (Canadian) across the border to a sexual predator to be raped.
The Bountiful, BC parents who delivered their 13-year-old daughter to a sexual predator in his fifties, in the United States will be sentenced on Friday according to the Cranbrook Townsman.
The caption of the article in the Townsman describes the parents’ act as “child removal.”
I was unable to stop myself from commenting: A 13-year-old Canadian girl was taken to the United States by her parents and delivered to a man in his fifties, knowing that this sexual predator would rape her – which he did. He also recorded and taped the rape. I’m shaking my head over words like “child removal” and “marriage” being used to describe unspeakable acts of betrayal and sexual abuse of one of our precious children.
The trial for Bountiful polygamists Winston Blackmore and James Oler began in Creston, BC this week. Each has been charged with one count of polygamy. (Oler has yet to be sentenced for his conviction of cross-border transportation of his 13-year-old daughter for sex.)
Records show Blackmore, now in his sixties, married 24 wives (other sources list more), half of them 17 years old or younger, with some as young as 15. Records show Oler married four women, and possibly a fifth.
In reading the scant media information available on the trial so far, my thoughts turned to a quote from Blackmore to his new wives, the day he married two young teenage sisters he’d just met, “Which one of you wants to go first? We’re in the business of making babies.”
Would you want this for your 15-year-old sister, daughter, niece, or neighbour? The prosecution is arguing for the conviction of Blackmore and Oler to protect all girls and women in Bountiful from this fate. The defence is arguing that its a-okay, all in the name of religion. The defence’s argument reminds me of the girls and women sacrificed on stone alters in ancient rituals. What century are we in again?