The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus
Christ of Later Day Saints (FLDS)
Events in the Canadian branch
from 2004-JUL to 2008-DEC
2004-JUL-29: Marlene Palmer, 45, a supporter of polygyny, said in an interview:
"We want to speak out about the (government) allegations here. We also want people to know we are
not forced into our relationships and the women here are not moronic or uneducated....Pre-arranged marriages don't happen.
Fifteen-year-olds don't have to be married to 75-year-old men....All religions have got their things, their rules.
If there is child molesting, if cases like that come up, we go to the RCMP."
As many as 80
women planned to hold a massive press conference to discuss their lives.
Staff Sgt. Jim Delnea was in charge of the Creston detachment until 2000. He
said: "During my tenure in Creston, there was nothing to indicate anything
like the recent charges was going on in Bountiful."
co-chairman of Altering Destiny Through Education, a group dedicated
to helping women escape Bountiful, said:
"Under that religion, the girls are taught to have babies as soon as they can. But the young girls are stuck
-- what do you do with no education and all these babies? You stay put."1
||2006-AUG-29: Warren Jeffs, the FLDS prophet/dictator,
was arrested after the car he was driving, a new Cadillac Escalade, was
stopped for a routine check in Los Vegas. He was later convicted for his role
in a forced marriage involving a young teenage girl. One effect of his arrest
may well be increased independence for the Canadian wing of the FLDS.
||2006-AUG-31: Debbie Palmer, a former member of the FLDS in Canada
expects that Winston Blackmore of Bountiful, BC will consider trying to take
over power from Jim Oler, the brother of the FLDS prophet, Warren Jeffs. She
"I know that Winston has been positioning himself to be a available
as a leader for any of the ones who have become disillusioned. ... The
lines are quite firmly drawn. The fact that Jim accepted the position
under Warren to be a bishop was quite a shock to all of us because Jim
and Winston had been quite close. The blood is just boiling over there.
There's some really bad feelings right now." 2
||2007-AUG-03: The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's
national newspapers, published an editorial titled "No to polygamy". They
wrote, in part:
"In no way has gay marriage lent legitimacy to polygamy. Gay marriage
was legalized by the courts in part because it so resembled heterosexual
marriage; for instance, it has two people. The courts endorsed gay
marriage only after a large cultural shift had occurred in the arts, in
the workplace and in neighborhoods… No such groundswell has occurred in
the case of polygamy... It would be very odd if the Charter were read to
require Canadians to give up their defense of core values; the document
is supposed to encapsulate the country’s core values."
2008-MAY-28: Wally Oppal, the province's Attorney
General, disagreed with two previous legal opinions that had concluded that any
court case would probably fail. He instructed Robert W.G. Gillen, the
assistant deputy attorney-general responsible for the Criminal Justice
Branch, to determine the viability of a prosecution.|
2008-JUN-03: For the third time in a year, the British Columbia
government has asked for outside expert legal opinion on whether the province
can successfully prosecute residents of Bountiful BC under Canada's bigamy
law. The first two opinions concluded that the anti-polygamy law was
unconstitutional and unenforceable. Terrence Robertson
has been appointed as a special prosecutor to look
into allegations of abuse, sexual misconduct and polygamy by FLDS members.
His mandate will include:|
||Conducting an independent charge assessment review based on the results
of the RCMP investigation, the materials assembled by the Criminal Justice
Branch and any other information that the investigating officers may provide
||Offering such legal advice as is necessary to the police in the event
that further investigation by them is required;
||Providing the assistant deputy attorney-general with a written report
setting out his charge assessment decision; and
||If in his view a charge is warranted, conducting the prosecution and any
subsequent appeal. 6
Attorney General Oppal said:
"This is a very complex issue. the issues are so complicated. Everyone seems to think there's something going on
that is improper, unlawful and immoral. ... I happen to think that the law regarding polygamy is a valid law and if
people are breaking the law, it's up to us to prosecute. I take the view that what's going on in Bountiful is something
that the criminal law should look at." 7
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Mike D'Amour, "Human smuggling denied. Critic charges girls trafficked as
breeding stock," Calgary Sun, 2004-AUG-02
Jeremy Hainsworth, "Polygamy: Polygamist leader's arrest sets stage for
cross-border FLDS power struggle," Canoe, 2006-AUG-30, at:
- "No to polygamy," Globe and Mail, 2007-AUG-03.
Margaret Somerville, "Canada ponders polygamy," MercatorNet, 2007-AUG-20,
Karen Dempsey, "Editorial from the National Council of Women of Canada
re Polygamy," National Council, 2007-AUG-16, at:
"Special prosecutor appointed in Bountiful case," The Vancouver Province,
- Petti Fong, "B.C. seeks legal opinion on polygamous sect. 'Very complex
issue,' attorney general says," The Toronto Star, 2007-JUN-03, Page A16.