In today's Vancouver Sun, Daphne Bramham tells of the discovery of child bride trafficking between the polygamous communities of Bountiful and Colorado City/Hildale in the United States.
In 2005, two fathers from the fundamentalist Mormon community of Bountiful, B.C. drove their 12-year-old daughters across the U.S. Border. They went separately and, in one case, the girl’s mother went along.The purpose of the trips? Marriage, according to documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court Friday. The girls were “sealed for time and eternity” in religious ceremonies to Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jeffs was 49 at the time.
The ceremonies took place in the FLDS-controlled twin towns of Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah. In one case, both the girl’s mother and father participated in the ceremony. Both girls were subsequently driven by an FLDS official to Texas where the church have a compound called Yearning for Zion ranch.
A year earlier, the documents say that a 13-year-old Bountiful girl was also taken by her father and mother to Colorado City where she was “celestially married” to Jeffs at a ceremony in James Allred’s home.
No one is certain how many wives Jeffs has, although it’s commonly estimated to be more than 80.