Bishop's records offer rare look inside polygamist families

By: AP
By: AP

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A bishop's records taken from a polygamist
sect in West Texas are helping untangle the spider-web network of
family relationships.
More than 460 children were removed last month from the Yearning
For Zion ranch near Eldorado amid questions whether the youngsters
were abused.
The children are now in foster care.
The Associated Press reports the bishop's records offer a peek
into an intricate culture in which men related to the sect's
prophet -- Warren Jeffs -- enjoyed favored-husband status.
An AP analysis shows that by the time a girl reached 16, she was
more likely to be married than to live as a child in her father's
household.
The bishop's records, released by court officials last week,
include 37 families totaling 507 individuals.
At the time the lists were written from March through August of
2007, most of the people were living at the YFZ Ranch, though
others were in homes along the Utah-Arizona line.
AP reports two-thirds of listed households were polygamous, with
the brothers of Jeffs and a senior elder claiming the most wives,
up to 21 in one case.
The husbands and wives were married in the sect. None is
believed to hold Texas marriage licenses.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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