Bishop’s daughter brought to Jeffs: diaries

New revelations follow nine cases cited in affidavit filed by Ministry of Attorney-General

By Daphne Bramham,

Vancouver Sun

March 1, 2011  

Three more underage girls

-including the 15-yearold daughter of Bountiful’s bishop -were transported in 2004 into the United States to become the brides of older men loyal to fundamentalist Mormon prophet Warren Jeffs, The Vancouver Sun learned Monday.

Last week, The Sun reported how nine girls -some as young as 12 and 13 -were secretly moved across the international border in 2004 and 2005 by their fathers and brothers to become “celestial wives” in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

The new information comes from Jeffs’ diaries, seized by a Texas law-enforcement officer in 2008 during a raid on the Yearning for Zion ranch and used in the convictions of six FLDS men on charges of child sexual abuse.

The voluminous diaries outline in detail how men such as James Oler, Bountiful’s bishop, were rewarded for handing over their daughters with underage brides in return.

“I called Jim Oler last night,” Jeffs writes in June 2004. “And [I] told him to bring his daughter … that Jim Oler would receive a wife, that Brandon Blackmore [of Bountiful] should come and receive training and that Brandon’s daughter should come and be married.”

The FLDS prophet instructed the fathers to drive their two girls to Cedar City, Utah, stay there and await his call.

On Friday, June 25, Jeffs performed 18 weddings. The first started at 11: 13 a.m., the last at 6 p.m.

At 1: 23 p.m. Oler was a witness as his daughter was “sealed for time and all eternity” as the second wife of James Leroy Johnson.

Eleven minutes later, the 40-year-old Oler took a 15-yearold American girl as his plural wife -his second marriage in six months.

And, at 1: 45 p.m., Blackmore witnessed his teenage daughter’s marriage to 67-year-old Merril Jessop.

These three marriages are in addition to the nine cases listed in an affidavit filed last week in B.C. Supreme Court by the provincial Ministry of Attorney-General.

Lawyers for the ministry also turned over to RCMP evidence supporting the affidavit, which includes Jeffs’ dictated diaries, church marriage certificates and birth records.

The attorney-general’s lawyers want the evidence filed in the constitutional reference case to determine the validity of Canada’s polygamy law.

On Friday, Chief Justice Robert Bauman agreed the information could be tendered and that Robert Wickett -the lawyer for the FLDS and Oler -could have time to determine whether his clients want to challenge its admissibility.

The attorney-general’s list includes: Oler’s two 17-yearold sisters, whom Oler took to the U.S. in March 2004; Brandon Blackmore’s 13-year-old daughter, who was married to Jeffs in March 2004; and two 12-year-olds who married Jeffs in December 2005.

Jeffs describes in his diary how MacRae and Spencer Blackmore -a father and son -used untraceable cellphones, stayed in secret hiding places and eventually acted as decoys to deliver their 12-year-old daughters safely to Jeffs.

The FLDS prophet awaits trial in Texas on two counts of sexual misconduct with underage girls. The charges are not related to the information filed in the B.C. Supreme Court.

Of the Canadians, only Oler has ever been charged.

In 2009, he was charged with one count of polygamy along with former FLDS bishop Winston Blackmore -younger brother of Brandon and MacRae.

Those charges were later stayed after a judge ruled that the special prosecutor who laid them had been improperly hired by then-attorney-general Wally Oppal.

But Jeffs’ diaries reveal that underage marriages were commonplace in 2004 and 2005, when RCMP were investigating allegations of child sexual abuse in Bountiful.


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