In July 2008, Terry Goddard appeared before a judiciary committee on Capitol Hill. He is the Attorney General of Arizona, a former Naval commander, Mayor of Phoenix, and a Harvard graduate. His testimony included the following statements: “It’s about protecting women and children from crime, domestic abuse, sexual violence, combating fraud and public corruption, and enforcing civil right laws. The FLDS community has operated outside the rule of law for the past century.”
Mr. Goddard speaks of some kind of federal receivership. I was reminded that when someone in power takes on the issue, it would be handled. There was a time when the teamsters union was so corrupt and breaking so many laws that the FBI took over all day-to-day operations of certain local unions. The FBI answered the phone and administered the business with no corruption. There isn’t an FBI man out there that would not defend a 14 or 15-year old girl from rape by a 60-year old man.
So why hasn’t the FBI taken over administering the business of an organization more corrupt than the Mafia? The FBI took over the administration of a corrupt teamsters union, why not this? These are basic human-rights violations. The FLDS is organized crime. This is doable. Save these children, they need help. Who is going to step up and take them on so we can put an end to it once and for all? I have to ask again who permits this? This obviously crosses party lines; it has been permitted for a hundred years. I think it takes some level of power, money, and high-reaching influence, but who’s influence?
Link to Terry Goddard’s Testimony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqpjfFNTh6I
” …. This story might seem like just a fictional drama, except for the fact that these events are happening in real life…. this is a beautifully portrayed, important film for our time.”
To read the full review, go to http://independentfilms.suite101.com/article.cfm/follow-the-prophet–movie-review-about-a-polygamist-group
By Nick Nicholson*
Everything is bigger in Texas, right? More people, more space, more news – even bad news. It’s a law of averages, really. Every state produces it’s fair share of nut jobs, however our state of Texas, because of its size, seems to produce more than most. You may recall back in April of2008, a raid took place on the polygamist community at Yearning for Zion Ranch, Texas. Seems there were a number of unethical things taking place (big surprise) and many of them had to do with the mistreatment of children (even bigger surprise). Hopefully you see the sarcasm here.
Numerous films have been made about the polygamist society and the things that often happen behind closed doors. I have never been a proponent of having multiple wives simply because it took me so damn long to find the one wife I have right now. That being said, we all have a responsibility to keep our minds open to what happens in our communities and our state so that we can correct the wrongs and bolster the rights. What we have here is new movie titled Follow the Prophet that is hitting theaters this week in Houston. In light of what hit the news back in 2008, this film couldn’t come at a more sensitive time for both Texans and the folks all across the country.
Follow the Prophet gives us a look into the lives of young females that are forced into arranged marriages with the leaders of the cult. These kids suffer emotional damage due to the sexual molestation they experience – some even from their own fathers. This film introduces us to Avery, a young 15 year old girl who musters the courage to flee the cult in an effort to obtain her freedom. She meets Colonel Jude Marks, a military man who lost his own daughter recently. He is very sympathetic to Avery’s situation and can’t help but see his own late daughter in the young woman he is now assisting. They work together in an effort to expose the truth about what is happening in the commune and to save the lives, futures and freedoms of the other kids.
There are numerous aspects of this picture that I like. The selection of Robert Chimento as Colonel Marks and Diane Venora as the sheriff were commendable. Their chemistry is obvious and there timing is well done. However, the choice of Annie Burgstede as Avery is the glue that holds the picture together. She was outstandingly believable, particularly in the more uncomfortable aspects of the film. Director Drew Ann Rosenberg is to be congratulated keeping
the pacing of the film moving forward consistently. When films like this tend to drag, they develop an uncomfortable ‘Lifetime Movie’ type of feel. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen here. The climax of the film with the Prophet (Tom Noonan) makes you want to jump up and scream for joy.
Follow the Prophet isn’t going to be for everyone. Some folks prefer to go through life with a blindfold on. You know, the proverbial “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Sorry, but the out of sight out of mind excuse isn’t going to cut it. Should you choose to watch the film, before dismissing the film as cliche, I encourage you to think of the hundreds of thousands of under age kids living in environments such as this. Once you make that comparison, I dare you to even suggest it isn’t a big deal.
*Nick Nicholson is the Film and Entertainment Critic for the Fort Bend Star. In addition, his reviews can be seen and heard in numerous other print/media outlets in Texas and Oklahoma as well as on the radio and television here in Houston. Mr. Nicholson is in great demand as a speaker to both public and civic organizations on the subject of film and the entertainment industry. He is the co-founder of the Houston Film Critics Society and is currently the President of the organization.
Just as the AP announcement for “Follow the Prophet” movie went onto the wires the “Yearning for Zion” raid took place in El Dorado, Texas, bringing to light the brainwashing, child sexual assault and ritualistic marriages in the cult. As a result, the “Follow the Prophet” movie poster wound up on the New York Times Square electronic billboard for days.
From the YFZ raid, Texas authorities indicted 11 men on felony counts, including child sexual assault. The trials of the defendants began in October 2009 with Raymond Jessop, who was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. His child bride was previously married to his brother and then reassigned to Raymond when she was 15 years old.
How to fraud the welfare system in 7 easy steps.
1) Add six wives.
They started the crazy business.
When I look at the cover of National Geographic and read the article I am somewhat disturbed by the matter of fact response to the cult. I wonder, while reading, if that was what the reporter was required to do in order to gain exclusive access? Or did they all put on their “happy” face for the outside world?
My first response to the cover was that they looked pretty happy. And yet the husband of all those wives looks like he’s about 75-80 years old. Most of the women I’ve talked to have escaped and each has their own horror story of sexual assault, mind control and male dominance.
I gave a copy to a friend of mine and her eight year old son asked “Who are those people, mommy, and who what is a Polygamist?” When she told him: his response was “Yuck”.
What do you think?
You have seen this before, but no not like this before.