There was an eye opener on NPR this morning. I need to listen to it over again, and I do not see it yet on npr.org, but please allow me to summarize. Basically, the guy was saying that the FLDS church, the one involved in the recent mass arrest, has a problem with a recessive gene that cropped up a long time ago and has been passed around through intermarriage throughout the community. This troublesome gene influcences the ability of the carrier to digest food. When the gene is recessive, well no big problem. But when you end up inheriting the gene from both parents, you have a problem, because the gene is no longer hiding behind a dominant gene. The gene becomes fully expressed in the biochemistry of the individual, and health problems ensue. This in a nutshell is one of the major biological problems of inbreeding.
In the Bigger Picture, we are starting to hear of the defense lawyer surge in this case, and the enormous challenge that faces the state of Texas in dealing with the case. The genetic testing looks like a good idea, for several reasons. For one thing, they could warn the carriers of the defective gene. For another, they may be able to unravel the incredibly complex genetic relationships and also figure out who is the daddy of a given baby. Objective data is essential, because you are going to have a tremendous challenge in getting the brainwashed church adults to testify against the men who lead the church. Ffor that matter, you are probably not even going to get the pregnant 15 year old girls to testify about who the daddy is. These people have been brainwashed from birth.
The real problem with the FLDS is that it is a weird and alien thing in 21st century USA. You have seen the photos of the ladies in the prairie dresses, but it is worse than that. We are already getting "against the grain" articles that stand up for the morality of the group. Oh, they just think that television encourages sexuality and that's why they do not have any. Well, that would be okay if the 15 year olds were not pregnant, but hey, somebody IS enouraging sexuality. But how do you deal with this kind of a cult, when it continues to command the loyalty of almost all the members? We do not live in a police state in which we can just say hey we do not like what you are doing so we are going to separate your families and lock up anybody who argues with us. Do not get e wrong here- I am NOT arguing that the state of Texas did wrong to raid the Yearning for Zion ranch and take people away for questioning and genetic testing. Even if the original phone call did in fact NOT come from the sixteen year old girl, but actually from a non-FLDS member, so what. They did not make up the underage pregnancies, they had adequate cause to get involved.
The only realistic solution to the FLDS problem would be for them to reform themselves from within. End the polygamy, reject the arranged marriages and underage pregnancies, stop the mind control and boot licking of dirty old men. But they really have no interest in this idea, they are as happy as clams at high tide. Even the teen girls who are passed to someobody for baby making- they may FEEL violated, but their families are telling them constantly that they are carrying out God's will. What do you do with people this messed up?