Stunned! That is what I am – and have been the last few weeks as one of the most incredible human events in recent decades in the United States has occurred.
I refer to the discovery of a strange sect of human behavior in or around El Dorado, Texas. As you no doubt know, the law swooped down upon a group of people living in a huge multistory apartment house, standing virtually alone on the great Texas prairie and filled with mostly women and 400 of the women’s children.
The officers said they were at the place where polygamy was being practiced. After sniffing around a bit, the officers started “arresting” children of all ages, perhaps leaving a few babies who were still nursing their mothers’ breasts and then drove off, leaving the mothers weeping and wailing and wondering what happened.
In addition the male dude in the place has been arrested and is facing numerous charges, which will, of course, provide a curious nation more information. And presumably most will yawn and say, “What the heck. I’ve got to worry about where my next tank of gasoline is coming from.”
Not me. I am interested in the case from several angles. I think, what if that happened to my family or friends?
First, the legality of the raid of the so-called “compound” smelled to high heaven. That was taken care of as soon as the outraged parents hired attorneys and went to court. Even so, the child care workers fought the ruling, but finally lost and the children – most of them at least – are back in their huge home.
And given that large numbers of people and claims have been filed, the case could easily go on the rest of the year or longer.
At first it appeared the “law” was taking away the children as if the children had been naughty and needed punishing. They were punished all right, simply because the law had, in taking them from their parents and their world as they knew it, blamed them for being naughty. In other words, the law did not have its act together from Day One.
The one thing the law did right and well was to arrest the creepy man who appeared to be the head man. It may be some time before his case comes to court, but my guess is it will take a long time to piece together everything that has happened – including just how it was possible for a strange organization like this to get so big right under the nose and long arms of the Texas law. Maybe it is a good thing to fight for the Alamo, which happened long ago, when men were men who went around protecting women and children, and not terrifying them wholesale without even giving them warning, as the policemen did that April day.
The case attracted me for several reasons. One was that my earlier training in news reporting was as a police reporter. And more and more, as I think of the Texas case, something does not seem to fit. Just who were – who are – the women involved? And why are they into what apparently is a well-managed organization?
The longer this went on, the more I pondered this puzzle. And finally it dawned on me. The women involved could not help themselves. They are dependent to the man or other men who created this organization, who built the awesome central building and somehow led these women to rear children and their servants.
Or even more so, to become human “breeding stock” just a few steps away from the animal life.
And then the answer came to me.
Fiction and the long ago past.
I say women involved in this “breeding business” were “Sealed Wives.”
Oh, come on, Farmer. You are wasting our time. What the devil is a “Sealed Wife?”
Ok, here goes. All of my life, virtually, has revolved around books. I got the fever from my dad, Clifford, because he, too, was a writer, a newspaper editor, and an author of short stories and books.
When he passed on he left me hundreds of books, among them hardcover novels of Zane Grey, one of the most prolific writers in the USA.
Over time, I have read and read those books. And the one I enjoy the most is “Riders of the Purple Sage.”
The plot of the story is built around a gunslinger, Lassiter, in his quest to locate a Mormon who kidnapped Lassiter’s sister, Millie Erne. Lassiter arrives in a Mormon village, finds the man he wants, discovers the man is the bishop of the Mormon clan and was the cause of death of Lassiter's sister. The clan has two sets of wives – the first in the village, the others, called “Sealed Wives,” are hidden.
Suddenly the puzzlement to the Texas case came clear. The many women involved must be the modern counterpart of the “Sealed Wives,” of both fiction and the long ago past.
Investigation in the future may well determine the women in the Texas caper are not involved because they are today’s sealed wives. Did they volunteer to become involved on their own hook?
Stay tuned. The best is yet to come.
I hope those beautiful children can be freed from the bondage into which they have been reared. I hope those lovely, stalwart women can be lifted from the artificial bondage which they have been tied, can throw off the shackles of man – or men – with hideous minds.
This one is worth watching.


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