I’m somewhat surprised at myself for having not gone on a series of rant-rampages about this nutjob sect. But here I am–it’s 3 AM, and now I’m ready to spew.
When Texas child welfare authorities released statistics showing nearly 60 percent of the teen girls taken from a polygamist sect’s ranch were pregnant or had children, they seemed to prove what was alleged all along: The sect commonly pushed girls into marriage and sex. “
But in the past week, the state has twice been forced to admit “girls” who gave birth while in state custody are actually adults. One was 22 and said she showed state officials a Utah birth certificate shortly after she and more than 400 minors were seized from the West Texas ranch in an April raid.
The state has in custody two dozen other young mothers and others whose ages are in dispute. If most of them also turn out to be adults, it would be a severe blow to the state’s claim of widespread sexual abuse. “
So the claim is that one of these females turned out to be legit, and now the reporter (or some other asshole) is trying to claim that the Texas authorities may be on a statistical slippery slope?
It seems that the author has made a mistake here. Even if it turns out to be the case that the state was wrong about its claim about the “60 percent,” it wouldn’t follow that the abuse was not widespread. Because (1) the number the author is pushing reflects only the supposed victims and not the number of abusers (I’ll return to this in a second) and (2) “Widespread” is sufficiently vague and could tolerate a connotation of even less than half.
But point 2 is sketchy. I’ll stay with 1. If it was common knowledge in the sect that underage girls were being abused by being forced to marry, etc., then the abuse was widespread. In other words, you had accomplices and accessories in a system of wrongdoing towards these girls. (I’m not exactly making a legal case, but a moral one. The legal definition of “accessory” may differ from the one I’m pushing.) In other words, the supposed new lower-than-expected number of abused girls is irrelevant, because the community of adults shared in the responsibility in the crimes that were committed.
Man, I miss the Heaven’s Gate crew….
-MC Spanky McGee