Blackmore and Oler Found Guilty of Polygamy – July 24, 2017

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?

August 11 New Date Set for Sentencing Bountiful Parents

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.

Sentencing of Parents Convicted of Cross-Border Transportation of Child for Sexual Puposes

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.

15-Year-Olds Married to Fundamental Mormon Polygamist in Bountiful, BC

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?

 

Friends of the White Rock Library “Read Local” Authors’ Open House Video on Youtube

On April 2, 2017 authors Robin Brunet (Red Robinson: The Last Deejay), Sheila Johnson (Buckskin and Broadcloth: A Celebration of E. Pauline Johnson), Patricia Sandberg (Sundogs and Yellow Cake: Gunnar Mines – A Canadian Story), Cristy Watson (On Cue), and I (In Polygamy’s Shadow: From a Mormon Childhood to a Life of Choice) participated in the annual Friends of the White Rock Library “Read Local” Authors’ Open House held at the library in White Rock.

A heartfelt thank you to Betty McDougall and all the Friends of the White Rock Library for organizing and providing an entertaining – and informative – afternoon. Thank you as well to Irene Plett of the White Rock and Surrey Writers for taping the event and posting it on youtube.

Click here to view my presentation of “In Polygamy’s Shadow.”

Behind the Scenes – Convictions in Bountiful, BC Child Trafficking Case

The foundation for the 2017 convictions in the Bountiful, BC Child Trafficking Case began in 1988 with Debbie Palmer’s escape from the community. Married at 15 as a plural wife to a 58-year-old man, she was handed around by the leaders of the polygamous Mormon sect to three different husbands.

In 2002 CBC’s The Fifth Estate aired the documentary about Debbie’s life, Leaving Bountiful. Further CBC documentaries and interviews exposed physical, sexual and emotional abuses in the community along with the cross-border transportation of adolescent girls – children – to the United States as plural wives to older men. Keep reading →

Severity of Harm to 13-Year-Old Girl Not Mentioned in Article

I just read the Salt Lake City Tribune’s report on Friday’s conviction of Bountiful, BC’s Emily and Brandon Blackmore. Reading it, I was keenly aware that The Tribune is owned by the Mormon Church. Kristyn Decker’s (50 Years in Polygamy, Sound Choices Coalition) comments about polygamist Winston Blackmore of Bountiful being treated like royalty by LDS deviants at the Mormon Sun Stone Symposium in Salt Lake City last summer also came to mind.

The lead sentence in the article may be a tear jerker for some – a son pleading for leniency for his father, convicted of trafficking his 13-year-old daughter to a pedophile – but not to me. I don’t find “my religion made me do it” any excuse for the nature and severity of this crime. Nowhere in the article was the severity of harm caused to his 13-year-old daughter, by his actions and by those of his wife’s, even mentioned.

If lasting change is to take place, and the children of our province are to be protected from harm, the perpetrators of unfathomably evil crimes such as these need to be held fully accountable.