May 13, 2008
MSNBC reports Texas officials may raid the House of Yahweh, a “compound” in a rural area between Clyde and Eula, Texas, about 170 miles west of Dallas. The House of Yahweh “is not the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ ranch, which authorities raided last month in Eldorado after receiving reports that underage girls were being forced to marry much older men…. Although members deny they practice polygamy, former members say Yisrayl Hawkins has at least two dozen wives — and state records show he fathered two babies last year with women ages 19 and 22.”
If this case unfolds the same way the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints case did in Eldorado, heavily armed cops with military equipment will descend on the “compound” and kidnap all the children and feed them into Texas’ CPS system, not only traumatizing them for life but also subjecting them to physical and sexual abuse.
In order to fan the flames of hysteria, the corporate media portrays Yisrayl Hawkins as an apocalyptic nut job and compare him to David Koresh. “Some authorities fear Hawkins will lead his group to a tragic end like David Koresh, who the government said urged his Branch Davidian followers to set their compound on fire and kill themselves in 1993, when federal authorities tried to end a 51-day siege. Survivors blame the deaths on federal agents.”
Nothing like brazen lies to get your point across. As the FBI admitted, they incinerated the Davidians with pyrotechnic CS gas canisters — specifically, Flite-Rite CS gas grenades — and in all 76 people, including 21 children, were burned to death.
“Waco still matters,” writes Anthony Gregory. “Not just because it has become the paradigmatic symbol for federal police power gone out of control. Not just because it starkly demonstrates the American government’s militarism unleashed against its own people. Not just because it showcases the propensity of politicians and law enforcers to deceitfully cover and obscure their wrongful actions. No, Waco’s still important mostly because it shows exactly what happens when people resist the unjust incursions of their own government, including under democracy.”
Consider, in contrast, what has happened quite recently in Texas. This time, state and local officials seized 416 children from the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints (FLDS) Church. The supposed justification was the abuse of minors, but there is in any event no reason to assume these children would be less abused in the custody of the Texas government, whose foster system has been rife with child rape, poisonings and murder.
This mass seizure of children featured officials “wearing body armor and carrying automatic weapons, backed by an armored personnel carrier.” The militarization of domestic police has infected every level of American government, down to the local. The Texas police were ready to conduct a warlike raid of the Fundamentalist Mormon home, and the particular justification for it has shifted from a specific report of abuse (still unconfirmed, and possibly a prank) to a more general one, just as the rationale behind Waco shifted (from a methamphetamine lab, to illegal guns, to child abuse).
It appears the government is once again using the corporate media to whip up hysteria in the case of the House of Yahweh. Increasingly, the state feels compelled to send militarized police to deal with domestic and social problems. But then that’s how things work in a police state.
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