By Kent Larsen
Mother's Complaints Lead to Canadian Investigation of FLDS Church
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- Lenore Holm objected when her Fundamentalist
Latter-day Saints Church leaders determined that her 16-year-old daughter
should marry a 39-year-old Utah polygamist. But her daughter was then taken
to British Columbia to an FLDS commune there without Holm's permission.
Holm, who has been excommunicated by the FLDS Church, is now fighting back,
filing complaints with Canada's Royal Canadian Mounted Police and with
Utah's special investigator of "closed societies," Ron Barton.
Holm believes her daughter was taken to Canada illegally and has probably
wed illegally also. "I am concerned my daughter may have been married in
secret and I want to know how she got across the border without parental
consent," she said Wednesday.
A report by child advocate Jay Beswick, of the advocacy group For Kids Sake,
claims that as many as 30 underaged girls have been married to polygamists
in British Columbia, Utah and Arizona. He is compiling a more complete list
of these cases with the help of the Salt Lake City-based anti-polygamy group
Tapestry of Polygamy. Beswick says that in some cases the marriages have
happened with the consent of parents, "In these cases we are seeking
investigations and charges for parental endangerment," he said.
Police in both Utah and British Columbia seem ready to cooperate, and say
they have opened investigations. "I definitely plan to investigate this
issue," said Utah investigator Barton. RCMP Cpl. Doug Barron says "a file
has been opened and we will start an investigation." He confirms that his
office in Creston, British Columbia has received Holm's complaint.
The Canadian complaint centers around the FLDS Church's Bountiful commune
located in Liston, British Columbia. The main body of the FLDS Church is
headquarted in Colorado City, Arizona and Hillsdale, Utah. It is not related
to the larger and better-known LDS Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City.
How did U.S. teen end up in polygamists' commune, mom asks
Edmonton Alberta Canada Journal 2Nov00 N5
By Fabian Dawson: Southam Newspapers; Vancouver Province