Date: January 13, 2011 07:01PM
A half-page above-the-fold picture of Carolyn Jessop accompanies today's newspaper article about "water torture of babies", described by Carolyn at the ongoing polygamy trial in Vancouver, B.C.
I know we've discussed this before (most notably when Carolyn Jessop was in the US news at the time Warren Jeffs was imprisoned). It's startling to see it in local news at a trial, yet welcome too, as the more the information gets out there the more things may change for the better.
From the article:
"Water torture of babies is one way some members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints instil fear of authority, a former member testified Wednesday.
"It's quite common," Carolyn Blackmore Jessop said. She was a witness for the B.C. government in the constitutional reference case to determine whether Canada's polygamy law is valid.
"They spank the baby and when it cries, they hold the baby face up under the tap with running water. When they stop crying, they spank it again and the cycle is repeated until they are exhausted."
"It's typically done by fathers and it's called "breaking in."
"Jessop talked about the practice during her testimony in B.C. Supreme Court.
"Her assertions about water torture were not challenged by FLDS lawyer Robert Wickett during cross-examination.
"Outside the courthouse, Jessop said water torture is common enough that there doesn't seem to be any shame attached to the practice.
"In court, Jessop said water torture was one of the reasons that she gave for gaining sole custody of her children after she left the [FLDS] group in 2003. She said her ex-husband, Merril Jessop, used it on "a lot" of his 54 children, including her own.
"Merril was very abusive," she said.
"Abuse is one reason Jessop left the FLDS... As long as she stayed, Jessop felt powerless to protect her children from physical abuse because of the over-arching requirement of unquestioning obedience.
"Polygamy is not pretty to look at. It is nice that it is tucked away in a dark corner where nobody has to see its realities because it's creepy," she told Chief Justice Robert Bauman, adding that her biggest concern is that polygamy and all of its consequent abuses are ignored by the courts and law enforcement.
"Jessop favours decriminalization, but only if it means that abuses will be investigated and prosecuted, including what she calls the "educational neglect" that results in most FLDS children -- at least in the United States -- growing up illiterate, unaware of their rights as citizens and unable to function in the outside world.
"Jessop is the granddaughter of Harold Blackmore, who founded the community of Bountiful, B.C. Her mother's family have been polygamists since Joseph Smith had his revelation about plural marriage."http://www.vancouversun.com/life/They+spank+baby+when+cries+they+hold+baby+face+under/4102032/story.html
Carolyn's statement that "polygamy and all of its consequent abuses are ignored by the courts and law enforcement" is the focus of my interest and involvement with the issue.
She favours decriminalization "but only if it means that abuses will be investigated and prosecuted, including what she calls the "educational neglect"..."
That is also my hope and goal, that abuse in these closed communities is acknowledged, investigated, prosecuted and prevented.
Carolyn is granddaughter to Harold Blackmore, who founded Bountiful, B.C., as the article states. Blackmore was "husband" to Debbie Palmer, the Canadian anti-polygamy activist I've mentioned here before. She "married" him when she was 15. He was 57 (iirc) at the time.
I love how this reporter often inserts the line "since Joseph Smith had his revelation about polygamy" in her articles. The media may be constrained by the Mormon Church's insistence that reporters include a proviso in every article or news piece to distance the mainstream Mormon Church from the FLDS ("there is no connection between them", etc) but some of them find a way to tie in Joseph Smith. The Mormon leaders can't deny a connection to Joseph Smith, you wouldn't think.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2011 08:23PM by Nightingale.