Vancouver Sun - Canada February 25, 2011
Bountiful dads smuggled daughters, 12, into U.S. to 'marry' accused pedophile
By Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun
VANCOUVER — Two fathers from Bountiful, B.C., smuggled their 12-year-old daughters across the border to marry an accused pedophile and fugitive intent on increasing a harem that already included 57 wives.
MacRae and Spencer Blackmore were part of a 2005 scheme to sneak their daughters from Bountiful into the United States to marry Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, according to Jeffs' diaries.
His sordid musings reveal that MacRae and Spencer — father and son — along with Spencer's wife, took the two girls to a hiding place in the U.S. and used untraceable cellphones in a plot to deliver the girls to Jeffs, who was "yearning" and intent upon "sealing" the girls to him.
The incident happened just a few days after the prophet's 50th birthday at a time when RCMP were investigating Bountiful on allegations of child abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking of under-age girls and women for the purposes of religious marriages and illegal immigration and within days of the attorneys general of B.C. and Utah agreeing to share more information about the FLDS.
Yet details of how three Canadian parents delivered the two 12-year-olds — a niece and grand-niece of former bishop Winston Blackmore — into Jeffs' hands didn't come to the attention of RCMP or the B.C. Attorney-General's Ministry until earlier this month.
And since then, they've learned about more the trafficking of more girls, including a 13-year-old that the Ministry of Children and Family Development knew about in 2008, but apparently did nothing about. [see Related Articles below]
The information comes from Jeffs' detailed dictations that were seized during a 2008 raid on the FLDS's Texas compound called the Yearning for Zion ranch. And B.C. lawyers will be in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday morning to try to get it included as part of the evidence in the constitutional reference case to determine whether Canada's polygamy law is valid.
Jeffs' dictated diaries, which are posted on the Internet, provide details of how the parents brought the 12-year-olds to him.
It started at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25 when Jeffs phoned MacRae Blackmore, Winston's older brother, who decided to stick with the FLDS after Winston was excommunicated.
"He bore a strong testimony of me being the Prophet," Jeffs dictated. "And he wanted to stand with us. I then told him that he would be called to receive greater training and he must become a man who can keep the Lord's confidence and not always express his own opinions; and he needed to take on a heavenly hush and what I was about to say to him he had to keep quiet, even from his family.
"I told him his daughter . . . would be called to the redemption of Zion mission (the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas). I told him that part of her call to the redemption of Zion mission would be to get married, which he accepted.
"I asked the Lord silently if I should name to him who she will be married to, and I simply said . . . 'She will be sealed in the same place that your (other) daughter . . . is sealed, namely me,' and he thrilled at that."
Jeffs then called Mac's son, Spencer Blackmore. He also professed his faith in Jeffs, who then informed Spencer that he wanted his 12-year-old daughter as well.
"He supported it wholeheartedly. I told him that sometime with the next week or two I would send him to go get his daughter and perhaps others. Mack Blackmore told me his daughter is around 13 years old and . . . (Spencer's daughter) is 12 years old . . .
"I had been seeking for several days that the Lord would touch these men's hearts to receive this and to prepare the girls to receive this and have the gift and privilege to get close quickly."
The diaries said the girls met Jeffs the day of their marriage at about 5 p.m. to "get acquainted."
"I told them they would be sealed to me and to be ready by 8 p.m.," Jeffs wrote.
"They are very sweet young girls, he added. "I have several others."
BY LINDSAY WHITEHURST | The Salt Lake Tribune
More allegations of underage marriages within the polygamous sect led by Warren S. Jeffs have surfaced in a Canadian court.
Five Canadian girls aged 16 and 17 and a sixth who was 18 were allegedly taken over the U.S. border to be married to men in the sect in 2004 and 2006, according to an affidavit filed Thursday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. James Oler, the bishop of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints settlement in Canada, allegedly transported two of the girls.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating eight alleged underage-marriage cases, a spokeswoman confirmed. In addition to the court documents filed Thursday, police are also looking into evidence filed last week alleging three girls, ages 12 and 13, were taken south from the FLDS Bountiful compound in British Columbia to be married to Jeffs in 2004 and 2005.
The affidavits are part of a Canadian court proceeding weighing whether the country’s law banning polygamy is constitutional. The evidence comes from Texas, where authorities carried out a massive raid on the group’s Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado almost three years ago.
Thursday’s affidavit cites dictations given by Jeffs chronicling his daily activities. Texas officials passed the dictations along to lawyers in the British Columbia Attorney General’s Office, who quoted the documents in the briefing.
In a dictation from March 2, 2004, Jeffs talked about several marriages, including one of his own, the documents state. He noted that Oler brought two girls to Jeffs to be sealed in marriage to two different men. They are believed to have been 17 years old. Another girl, thought to be 16, was also married that day to a Bountiful man. Oler was also present for that wedding.
A second group marriage allegedly took place April 26, 2006, when two 17-year-old girls and an 18-year-old were wed. Prosecutors are still searching for records of whom they married.
Jeffs was arrested in August 2006, about a year after he was charged with arranging an underage marriage in Arizona. Jeffs’ Arizona defense attorney Michael Piccarreta again expressed skepticism about the evidence. Because the raid was triggered by a hoax call from a woman pretending to be a 16-year-old girl, he said the evidence was “illegally seized.”
“I’m always skeptical of anything that goes through the filter of Texas because they have shown such religious intolerance and harshness to the FLDS people,” Piccarreta said.
Lawyers for the sect are in the process of appealing the search warrant in a Texas court, but the evidence seized in the raid has been used to convict seven men on bigamy and sexual assault charges. Five others, including Jeffs, 55, are awaiting trial.
‘There is no such thing as an underage priesthood marriage. When the Lord commands, He knows best and we obey,’ Warren Jeffs wrote
By Daphne Bramham | Vancouver Sun columnist
The ugly, depraved face of polygamy that some academics and civil libertarians refuse to acknowledge is laid bare in the detailed diaries of North America’s most notorious polygamist.
The dictated ramblings of Warren Jeffs, prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, coldly describe how he demanded Canadian fathers and brothers bring him their daughters and sisters as young as 12 to be married, and how they conspired to get the girls to him undetected by law enforcement officers.
It’s proof that B.C. government lawyers are anxious to get into evidence as part of the constitutional reference case to determine the validity of Canada’s polygamy law.
In March 2004, Jeffs described how Brandon James Blackmore brought his 13-year-old daughter from Bountiful to marry him in Arizona. Twenty minutes after he married the Blackmore girl, Jeffs — 49 at the time — married a 14-year-old American girl.
Earlier that same day, Bountiful’s bishop James Oler had delivered his two 17-year-old sisters to be married to two other FLDS men. Oler had also witnessed the marriage of a 16-year-old American to Brandon Seth Blackmore. While she was still a teen, the American girl gave birth to a child in Canada.
This information comes from Jeffs’ dictations, which came to the attention of B.C. government lawyers only a few weeks ago when Texas authorities asked for the birth dates of the two 12-year-old daughters of MacRae Blackmore and Spencer Blackmore, who were Jeffs’ brides in 2005.
B.C. lawyers have combed the diaries and found details of eight Canadian child brides and one American one. It’s evidence they wanted considered in the constitutional reference case to determine whether Canada’s polygamy law is valid.
Aside from the ages of the girls and the parents’ complicity in their exploitation, what’s startling about Jeffs’ dictations is the banality with which he talks about these girls and young women.
Mixed amid his recollection of marrying the 13- and 14-year-olds, Jeffs recounts a conversation he had with Oler where they talked about log and metal lathes and whether they could be sent across the border without taxes or duty on them.
He then muses, “These young girls have been given to me to be taught and trained how to come into the presence of God and help redeem Zion from their youngest years before they go through teenage doubting and fears and boy troubles. I will just be their boy trouble ...
“Now, I have a quorum of seven young girls.”
That night, Jeffs, his new brides and his favourite wife, Naomie, swayed in a motor home over the switchback roads near Colorado City, Ariz. There was “some throwing up among the ladies.” But that didn’t stop Jeffs from continuing his instructions on how to be a good wife to the 13- and 14-year-old brides as they drove.
In his recordings, Jeffs muses whether Blackmore’s 13-year-old daughter received the message of his marital training.
Naomie, who typed the dictations later, added in italics, “She did, but I could tell she could not comprehend. She just looked at me like, ‘What?’”
Later, Jeffs gathered all his young wives and reminded them that, “According to the laws of the land, guided and controlled by the devil himself, you girls married to me make me a criminal ...
“There is no such thing as an underage priesthood marriage. When the Lord commands, He knows best and we obey.”
On Friday, Craig Jones, B.C.’s lead lawyer in the constitutional case, asked Chief Justice Robert Bauman to admit the diaries and other church documents, even though the evidentiary phase ended last month.
Jones noted that it is the first evidence of the extremity of the early sexualization of girls in Bountiful. Former residents testified that the youngest girls they knew of were in their mid-teens. Jones argued that it shows the “commodification and trafficking in girls,” which was predicted by ethnographer Joseph Henrich, economist Shoshana Grossbard and others.
He described the new information as essential to refute McGill law professor Angela Campbell and University of Ottawa classics professor Lori Beaman, who testified that child brides are historical anomalies and that allegations of abuse within the Bountiful community are unfounded.
But more than that, Jones said information such as what is in Jeffs’ diary entry quoted above refutes the notion promoted by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and law professor Martha Bailey that it’s okay to decriminalize polygamy because other laws deal with harms such as child brides and human trafficking.
Chief Justice Bauman gave a tentative “yes,” agreeing that B.C. can tender the information. He also agreed that FLDS lawyer Robert Wickett will have seven days after receiving it to challenge its admissibility.
But now that at least some of the information is out, the more pressing question is: When will B.C. file criminal charges?
After all, even Jeffs knew that he and other FLDS men had broken the law.
This article was found at:
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