August 31, 2006
CNS News Reports:
"Fugitive's Arrest Good for 'Normal Polygamists,' Activist Says"
On August 29, 2006, Warren Jeffs was captured. (Jeffs was the leader of the Mormon Polygamy sect, "FLDS," and who was on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List.) That same day, the TruthBearer.org organization issued a press release with Founder Mark Henkel's official statement, distributed to the media through Pro-Polygamy.com, Pro-Polygamists Glad that Fugitive Warren Jeffs was Caught. Less than 48 hours later, CNS News issued the
The article is archived here, followed by a Final Comment section afterward.
Fugitive's Arrest Good for 'Normal Polygamists,' Activist Says
By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Staff Writer/Editor
August 31, 2006
© 2006 CNSNews.com (article here)
"Normal polygamists" are "very glad" that sect leader Warren Jeffs was arrested in Las Vegas Monday night, because they were being "libelously smeared" during the hunt for the fugitive, the founder of a national "Christian polygamy" organization said.
"Most pro-polygamists around the country are very glad that fugitive Warren Jeffs has been apprehended," Mark Henkel, founder of the national "Christian polygamy" organization TruthBearer.org, said in a news release.
"Pro-woman 'Christian polygamists,' along with other pro-polygamists, have been wanting Jeffs to be apprehended ever since his alleged crimes were first reported," Henkel said.
"Now that he has been caught, Jeffs will rightly face trial" in court "for the factual crimes for which he had been placed on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List" last May, Henkel added.
While noting that Jeffs "happened to be the leader of a lone sect that was a rogue variant of Mormon polygamy" called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Henkel added that the former fugitive "will not be facing any charge of polygamy, as that was never the crime anyway."
"Expressly, Jeffs was only wanted by the FBI for one count of sexual assault of a minor, for one count of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor in Arizona, and for another count for rape as an accomplice in Utah," Henkel said. "Such charges are crimes on their own; they are not about 'normal polygamy' at all."
Henkel noted that "most non-Mormon polygamists have openly opposed Jeffs' alleged crimes - and all of the underage issues - as much as any non-polygamist," and "many Mormon polygamists have opposed his alleged crimes, too."
Jeffs was arrested by Nevada Highway Patrolman Eddie Dutchover in Las Vegas on Aug. 28. He is being held without bail in the nearby Clark County Detention Center, and a hearing to review extradition requests from Utah and Arizona is scheduled for Thursday morning.
As a result of the sect leader's arrest, "'normal' pro-polygamists should no longer be libelously smeared by any implied association with Jeffs and his abhorrent variant of Mormon polygamy," Henkel argued.
[ END OF ARTICLE ]
The report was excellently written. On a mildly humorous semantic note, however, the title of the report also reveals how one single word in an official statement can cause a subtle - but slightly misundertood - different interpretation. Namely, use of the word, "should," in the very last sentence (of the report) was originally stated by Mr. Henkel with a different meaning than that which had been interpreted by the CNS News reporter. Whereas the original statement was an injunction and admonition (i.e., an insistent "recommendation") that normal pro-polygamists should not be so libelously smeared by anyone anymore, the report instead perceived that the "should" reference was stating a hopefulness that no one would ever do it again because of the capture. The latter misunderstood interpretation explains the reasoning for the report's somewhat mistaken title, suggesting that pro-polygamists view the capture as somehow "good" for pro-polygamists. Being wrongly associated with Jeffs (and his arrest) is not "good" for pro-polygamists - which is precisely why pro-polygamists are glad he was caught. But this semantic misinterpretation is understandble how it could happen. As such, the reporter cannot be blamed for the simple human misperception of use of the one word, "should." If anything, the TruthBearer.org organization and its Founder have learned from this somewhat humorous experience and shall attempt to be even more precise in future released statements. Ultimately, the text of the report was excellent and accurate. So for that, normal pro-polygamists everywhere are grateful indeed.