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Texas CPS Chief's "Case NOT about Polygamy" Reveals Dishonest Media

Date: Jun 04, 2008
Word Count: 750 words
Cross-Reference: FLDS raid, Texas Court, CPS return children

As Executive Commissioner Hawkins declared in USA Today that the FLDS raid on April 3rd was not about polygamy, the differentiated manufactured-news media were exposed for intentionally not reporting that fact which the national polygamy rights movement for consenting adults had already been repeatedly saying.

On   May   29,   2008,   the   Texas   Supreme   Court   affirmed   the   Appeals   Court's   May   22   Decision   -   which   overturned   the   District   Court's   April   17-18   Decision   -   declaring   that   the   468   children   of   the   Mormon-based   sect,   the   Fundamentalist   Church   of   Jesus   Christ   of   Latter   Day   Saints   (FLDS),   had   indeed   been   wrongly   taken   into   State   custody   by   Child   Protective   Services   (CPS)   following   the   April   3rd   raid   on   the   FLDS   Yearning   for   Zion   (YFZ)   ranch.     The   Court   ordered   CPS   to   return   custody   of   the   children   to   their   parents.      
In   Texas,   the   State's   CPS   department   is   identified   as   the   Texas   Department   of   Family   and   Protective   Services   (DFPS).     Management   oversight   of   that   subsidiary   agency   is   maintained   by   the   Texas   Health   and   Human   Services   Commission   (HHSC).     Appointed   in   2003,   Albert   Hawkins   is   the   HHSC's   Executive   Commissioner. 
On   June   3,   2008,   USA   Today   published   an   opinion   piece   by   Executive   Commissioner   Hawkins,   titled,   "Opposing   View:   We   had   good   reason   to   act."       The   Executive   Commissioner   therein   asserted   his   justifications   as   to   why   his   department   had   taken   their   actions   against   the   FLDS.     Although   still   maintaining   the   belief   that   the   CPS   workers   had   acted   appropriately,   he   conceded   a   respect   for   the   Texas   Supreme   Court's   Decision   that   the   children   be   returned. 
Notwithstanding   his   asserted   justifications   for   the   raid,   there   was   quite   more   to   that   which   the   Executive   Commissioner   wrote.     Among   his   many   statements,   it   was   the   very   first   paragraph   -   indeed,   the   very   first   sentence   in   that   first   paragraph   -   which   stood   out   most   prominently. 
Namely,   Executive   Commissioner   Hawkins   declared,   "In   the   eyes   of   Texas   Child   Protective   Services   workers,   the   Yearning   for   Zion   (YFZ)   case   is   not   about   religion   or   polygamy.   It's   about   sexual   abuse   of   girls   and   grooming   boys   to   become   perpetrators.   It's   about   parents   who   condoned   underage   'marriages'   and   adults   who   never   took   a   stand   against   the   abuse   taking   place   in   their   homes." 
Therewith,   the   final   "top   dog"   executive   of   the   entire   Texas   CPS   openly   declared   that   the   case   had   nothing   to   do   with   polygamy.       The   national   polygamy   rights   movement   for   consenting   adults   had   been   saying   exactly   those   points   from   the   start,   while   equally   decrying   against   the   underage   issues   with   the   FLDS   too. 
National   Polygamy   Advocate,   Mark   Henkel,   and   the   organization   he   founded,   spent   thousands   of   dollars,   financed   professionally-authored   press   release   and   op-ed   articles,   reached   out   to   numerous   media   contacts,   and   conducted   interviews   while   rejecting   numerous   salacious   or   falsely-framed   media   requests.        
Undoubtedly,   both   honest   and   dishonest   media   were   overwhelmingly   informed   of   the   real   facts.     The   FLDS   are   far   more   of   a   "Mormon   sect"   than   a   "polygamist   sect,"   and   that   rogue   sect   was   never   involved   in   the   national   polygamy   rights   movement   anyway.     Moreover,   the   national   polygamy   rights   movement   for   consenting   adults   had   always   disavowed   the   FLDS,   the   sect's   criminal   leader   Warren   Jeffs,   and   underage   marriage. 
With   all   that   great   expense   and   effort   by   the   established   national   pro-polygamy   advocacy,   the   resulting   media   coverage   exposed   which   media   outlets   are   based   on   actual,   honest   journalism   and   which   ones   are   dishonest   manufactured-news   media. 
In   contrast   to   honest   media,   the   manufactured-news   media   knowingly   committed   libel   by   omission.     Omitting   the   fact   that   the   FLDS   religion   is   actually   only   a   "Mormon   sect,"   reports   inaccurately   identified   them   as   a   "polygamist   sect"   instead.       Such   dishonest   media   also   omitted   the   known   facts   that,   nationally-speaking,   pro-polygamists   around   the   country   utterly   oppose   underage   marriage,   do   not   commonly   believe   in   Mormon   paradigms,   and   are   most   typically   apt   to   be   the   only   polygamists   in   each   family's   town,   city,   or   suburb. 
Such   dishonest   media   intentionally   omitted   the   most   relevant   facts   of   all.     Not   only   do   the   FLDS   not   represent   polygamy,   but   the   overall   national   polygamy   rights   movement   for   consenting   adults   has   always   disavowed   the   FLDS   and   underage   marriage.     And   ultimately,   the   FLDS   raid   was   never   about   polygamy   anyway. 
Failure   to   report   those   known   facts   typifies   a   false-journalism   that   would   otherwise   earn   an   "F"   in   journalism   colleges.     Instead   of   reporting   those   known   facts,   such   manufactured-news   media   sensationalized   unverified   speculations   -   such   as   a   would-be   "bed"   for   FLDS   men   to   allegedly   have   "temple   sex"   with   13   year   old   girls.     By   manufacturing   such   speculations   about   underage   copulation   possibilities   rather   than   actually   reporting   the   known   facts   of   non-Mormon   (and   even   some   Mormon)   consenting-adult   pro-polygamists   opposed   to   such   crimes,   such   libel   by   omission   reveals   each   manufactured-news   media's   dishonesty. 
With   the   Texas   Supreme   Court   ordering   CPS   to   return   the   FLDS   children   to   their   families,   honest   media   are   now   differentiated   from   dishonest   ones.     The   manufactured-news   media   are   now   clearly   outed   for   their   intentionally   dishonest   libels.       Absolutely,   Executive   Commissioner   Hawkins   proved   it,   declaring   what   consenting-adult   pro-polygamy   advocacy   has   repeatedly   declared.     The   case   had   nothing   to   do   with   polygamy. 


Bibliographic URLs:

Texas Supreme Court Decision, 5/29/2008 
Text of Texas Court of Appeals Decision, 5/22/2008 
Texas Health and Human Services 
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 
BIO of Executive Commissioner Hawkins 
Op-ed by Executive Commissioner Hawkins 6/3/2008 
Sample example of HONEST Media reporting on story 
The "bed" speculations,5143,695269096,00.html 
Texas Court: Polygamy does NOT put Children in Danger 
National Polygamy Rights Movement for Consenting Adults Disavows FLDS 
FLDS is far more "Mormon sect" than "Polygamist sect" 
FLDS was Always Opposed by National Polygamy Movement - Quotes 
Polygamy Movement Opposes Warren Jeffs 
Warren Jeffs was Always Opposed by National Polygamy Movement 
Pro-Polygamy Advocacy 
[Reviewed for publication - Review Board.]

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