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Friday, August 5, 2011


 (Sister Wives: Christine's Fabulous Food Pantry - TLC)

Why do people get upset about polygamists (The Browns and others) being on government assistance (welfare, food stamps, etc.)?

Some commenters on this and other blogs do not understand why many people are upset that the Brown family, and other polygamists, have received/ may now be receiving / may receive in the future government assistance in the form of welfare, food stamps, etc. 
Here are some reasons why this is distasteful to some people.

·         They may have been / may have to be untruthful to receive government assistance (also known as lying).  Lying can include obscuring, omitting and “interpreting” facts.   I know of no religious or moral code that condones lying and most people consider lying to be particularly squicky when practiced by folks who purport to have a religious or moral code.  This is what we are talking and commenting about when we discuss Christine being on food stamps as a single mom when (a) she doesn't consider herself single, and (b) her family was receiving income from TLC (documented via her bankruptcy papers).  It is also why commenters consider it "squicky to shuffle assets around among non-legally related adults, but among adults who consider themselves spiritually related, so that bankruptcies can be filed and legally acquired debts avoided (documented through an analysis of the Brown bankruptcy filings over time).  Most of us were raised to believe that we pay our own way if we can and we don't look around for ways to shuffle that responsibility off on others.

·         Most people believe that we would be embarrassed to require government assistance and would do all we could to limit the amount we would require and the duration we would require it, i.e. we get a job, or even 2, to pay our bills.  It upsets us to see such assistance treated as a source of long-term income, or worse, as a “right” when we could work, and work hard, to support ourselves, especially if we had the live-in babysitters and housekeepers that the Browns say are so great about the plural marriage lifestyle.  

·         Western society places great value in self-reliance, industriousness, perseverance, and self discipline.  It is believed that doing one’s best to earn a living, either as a sole provider, or as a “team” illustrates these values.  There is an association in most people’s minds between long-term use of government assistance and a lack of work ethic, unless there are special circumstances which people believe to be rare and deserving of a “break”.   It does not seem likely that the Browns would have special circumstances requiring assistance in the form of food stamps AND repeated debt relief through bankruptcy over the long term.  Ditto the majority of polygamist families, especially when there are so many hands to go out and earn a living and help the family.

·         People do believe in taking care of others when they fall on hard times and that is why government assistance and private charities exist.  They can also do math.  Government budgets  have a limit.  If “Tom” and “Dick” receive assistance that they do not need or truly qualify for, there may be insufficient funds left for “Harriet”.  This upsets people’s sense of fairness.  This is why many people get upset to hear phrases such as "Bleeding the Beast".  They know that it means some folks who are in genuine need will go without and they feel exploited and used as taxpayers and caretakers of their fellow man.

·         Many people believe that it is immoral to not use one’s talents, skills, and/or education in the pursuit of gaining funds to sustain a family because these things are seen as God-given and, therefore, required to be used to help one's self and others.  

·         Finally, it is a commonly-held belief that one must make responsible decisions.  To make irresponsible decisions that lead to consequences requiring government assistance are considered childish and immature.  
Written by a new editor, TERRASOLA!
I'm sure you've seen some of her fantastic posts. Give her a big welcome and thank you!! Now, let's discuss! Comments, Feelings, Thoughts?


  1. I have no problem with low income families receiving welfare. None.
    Reading those papers, I was IRKED. a $300,000 home, 6-8 cars, Lexus, Harley, and to read them, you'd think she had no NO other child support or income, and lived alone. That's not quite the truth. I was shocked.

    Heck, I'm poor right now, but what we do is sell anything worth of value, whether we want to or not -

    I was taught you do everything you can to stay off assistance, but at times, probably now more than ever, people do need some help. It's heartbreaking to see families 3-4 generation gov't assisted living, having babies every two years to stay on it. Our community, there were so many families like that, it was pathetic. Then when a friend had a brain hemorrhage during a pregnancy and it about killed them both-it was heartbreaking to see her get denied. There's no logic to it.

    And teaching to Bleed the Beast? Is that honest? Teaching to lie and to "steal" in a sense. It becomes a moral issue to teach such things. And many, that's all they know.

    Even odder, Janelle was a Social Worker.

  2. oh, and GREAT POST!!!!! THANK YOU FOR JOINING US!!!!!!!

  3. I've got to work and take a kiddo for a physical, my gals, "hold the fort down" while I'm gone!

  4. I know a family of 9; They certainly don't have a food pantry! Don't the Mormons also have free food banks? I heard they are great compared to the standard church give outs or Gov't giveaways. I guess if you were a Mormon and on food stamps you could it the jack pot!

  5. How does the state of UT, AZ, and Mt afford it? By the taxpayers that do work for a living? If they want to hide their polygamists, should WE have to pay for them?

  6. In the Bank. papers, the telling things are what she DOES list.
    Single, living alone, 6 kids, no support.
    All housing and utilities pd for by a Kody Brown, same address.
    Someone miss that?

  7. You have to look at the politicians in the states where these welfare frauds are allowed to run rampant. They obviously don't want to do anything about it. Maybe these people = votes? Corrupt politicians allowed Al Capone to flourish until the Feds got tired of him.

  8. I have NO problem with the poor getting help NONE.
    However, I do have a problem when they drive better cars than me, have a nicer home, their kids are wearing designer duds, THEN I have a problem. Having a Food Pantry and incomes not listed, that's a problem.

  9. Isn't it time the Federal Govt steps in and intervenes? These states and their leniency are to blame. Most are LDS at the very least, they know what these people think, and they ALLOW it to happen. Changes in the Gov't is the solution.
    Bring some folks from the east in to be the social workers.

  10. Bring folks in from the east? Maybe people are totally unaware of the corruption in the system?

    Sadly, it seems like there are more people abusing government assistance, than those that actually need it.

    I have no problem with the elderly, the ill, the poor (as a temporary situation that will help them get through to a better one) but frankly, other than that, I am tired of our tax dollars going for fraudulent agendas and people. From the bottom feeders, to the politicians.

    Did you miss the WIC, the Acorn expose? The Illegal Drug King, special interest groups that promote bleeding the government and its people - all living off of and abusing the system?

    Some kind of special evil to take from those that truly need, to have no remorse for stealing from society.

    The Brown's, the FLDS, the Polygamous, and any other group that sees "bleeding the beast" as their rite/right and as a way to "stick it to the man" and fund their agenda, is nothing less than an assault on the American society and a terror tactic by nature.

  11. Many people really need the system. Especially the poor and depressed.

  12. "I know that this is difficult for you to understand," she told Jeffs, "but you don't have control over these proceedings."

    Did you guys see the Jeff's trial updates this morning?

    He went into a religious spill and another subtle threat that North and South America would be his avenge from God etc. All of it messages God sent him, of course. I think he even said he was God at one point. Anyhow, the quote above is what Judge Barbara Walther's told Warren.

  13. "We are not a fly-by-night religious society," ... "We are a community of faith and principles, and those principles are so sacred. They belong to God, not to man and the governments of man."

    I think this quote from Jeff's wraps up the reasoning for taking government assistance, even when not actually necessary to their survival. They answer to a higher power , respect a higher power , so they say, therefore have no respect for the laws of man nor the governments formed by man.

  14. Yes, the poor and depressed (mental illness) should and are able to get assistance. Christine, on the other hand, in a reality show family making bank and owners of multiple homes and vehicles - are not and should not be eligible. Utah must be very lax due to their awareness of polygamy in general. Many children and women in polygamy probably do need the help financially. Also, almost all properties belong to their respective polygamous group i.e. AUB so their property cannot be counted against them in eligibility. And because their property belongs to their respective groups, they make payments to their respective groups. Several reports of the women getting their welfare checks and taking them straight over to the AUB or whatever group they follow, are part of. This is what they probably list as rental, property payments on their applications.

    There are several news articles, books et al that explain "bleeding of the beast".

  15. http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/polygamist-leaders-trial-continues-1077595.html

    Trial had to resume without Jeff's.

    "Jeffs asked Friday to be excused in protest."

  16. Bleeding the beast

    The following is an excerpt from a Larry King interview with Brent Jeffs, nephew to jailed FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, and former FLDS wives Carolyn Jessop and Pennie Petersen

    CALLER: Hi, Larry. I firmly believe you can worship what you want but it’s my understanding that the American taxpayers are paying for this lifestyle. My question is I’ve heard that polygamists encourage their wives to abuse the welfare system. I just want to know if this is true and if it’s not, how you support a 40 or 75 member family or how you generate income.

    KING: Carolyn, you want to take it first? -

    JESSOP: Yes. I would like to respond to that question. When I was a child growing up in the community, few people did welfare, we worked hard and took care of our families. From what I understand there are many polygamist families that do not use welfare and are not involved in welfare fraud. The welfare fraud came into place with FLDS community several years after Jeffs took the leadership role in the community and he began encouraging large families to get on the system. Before that we found ways to survive without it.

    KING: I’m sorry. Finish.

    JESSOP: I was going to say, when Warren took over, the welfare fraud became extreme.

    KING: Brent, do you agree?

    JEFFS: I agree with what she said to a degree. When Warren took over, he tried in every way to bleed the system.

    KING: John, you agree with that, too?

    QUINONES: Yes. It’s called bleeding the beast. The American federal system. When we were there, we found many folks who were on not only welfare and food stamps but also property taxes not being paid and lawsuits filed on that. They’re finally cracking down, the authorities, because dozens and dozens of folks who live in that community aren’t paying property taxes.

  17. I read this, and completely don't understand, HELP!
    This was 2009, but they are saying no one on the FLDS ranch, Utah, etc., abuse welfare, and the statistics show it. They say the ranch had NO welfare takers! Somethings amiss with the system....BAD.

    Current data does not support ‘bleeding the beast’ claim

    Allegations that members of a southern Utah polygamous sect are guilty of widespread welfare fraud were raised repeatedly this summer during a U.S. Senate judiciary committee hearing.

    They surfaced frequently, too, in messages sent to Texas Gov. Rick Perry after an April raid on the Eldorado ranch occupied by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    “Please pull the plug on the freebies for the cult. Why are the taxpayers of your state paying for this illegal group?” wrote a Michigan couple on April 17.
    But welfare data from Utah, Arizona and Texas do not support the claims.

    None of the 600 or so residents of the Yearning For Zion Ranch received any form of welfare, according to state officials. Cash assistance is almost nonexistent in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.

    While many families living in the sect’s traditional home base receive food and medical help, virtually all those families qualify under program guidelines, authorities say. There has been a single fraud case prosecuted in the past decade.

    Yet six speakers at a July 24 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing — from Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid to former plural wife Carolyn Jessop — said fraud and misuse of welfare funds is a primary reason the federal government should be more involved in investigating the sect.

    Reid said the FLDS have a “sophisticated, wealthy and vast criminal organization” that includes “welfare fraud.”

    Jessop told the committee the FLDS engage in a “religious doctrine” known as ‘bleeding the beast,’ ” which she explained included applying for “every possible type of government of assistance that is available.” Author Stephen Singular, who has written a book about the FLDS, told the committee that Colorado City residents received “eight times the welfare assistance of comparably sized towns in the area.”

    But data from Utah and Arizona officials contradict that claim. A majority of residents of the adjoining towns, which have a combined population of 6,789, belong to the sect; of the towns’ 800 households, about 120 are occupied by former or nonmembers of the sect, according to Hildale Mayor David Zitting.

    State data do not identify whether assistance recipients are FLDS, and information provided by Arizona uses a zip code that also includes the nearby polygamous community of Centennial Park, which is not affiliated with the FLDS.

  18. PART 2.................
    Curt Stewart, spokesman for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said public perception is that welfare fraud is rampant in the polygamous community. But, he added, “We are not finding that.”

    Ezra Draper, a former FLDS member who lives in the community, called the claim the sect has a doctrine requiring use of government aid “comical.”

    “‘Bleeding the beast’ came from outside [the sect],” he said. “It’s not their phraseology.”

    FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop said the term has only been used by “anti-FLDS crusaders.”

    “It has always been a fundamental teaching that people should be as self-sufficient as they can in providing for themselves with their own resources,” Jessop said. “Outside that, it is an individual choice based on individual circumstances.”

    But Paul Murphy, spokesman for Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, said that while there may not be “outright fraud” by the polygamous community, there is “a resentment that taxpayers are being used to support this lifestyle.

    “If you are going to have three wives and 15 children, you need to figure out a way to support three wives and 15 children,” he said.

    - Source: Facts don’t fit claims of FLDS welfare fraud, Brooke Adams, The Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 4, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

    WHAT??????? Someone's lying....

  19. What is with special interest groups doing this bleeding the beast thing?

    They sure don't mind using the medical and police emergency services when needed though! They like the government during those times but not any other. Sick.

  20. Why would the above post say that the Data said there was no abuse of the system, yet we hear there is?


  22. Hmmm, it could have been that funds were being taken to the Texas compound so that there would have been no excuse for authorities to visit. If I remember correctly, the Texas compound was one of the places that Jeffs hid out when he was on the run.

  23. **Why would the above post say that the Data said there was no abuse of the system, yet we hear there is?**

    Because the more people say something, the more true it becomes. Truthiness is always more satisfying than the provable truth.

  24. We can rest assure that if Willard 'Mitt' Romney is elected President he will be instructing the government to turn a blind eye to his fellow Mormon brothers and sister receiving welfare assistance.