Polygamist Sect Launches Online PR Campaign

Features photos of tanks and 'pioneer girls'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2008 8:43 AM CDT
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prepare to meet with members of the press on the grounds of the Yearning For Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Members of the Texas polygamist community whose children were seized because of suspected abuse have taken their battle against authorities to the Internet, reports the Deseret News. The sect has launched two companion websites—one of them featuring photos and videos of crying children being led away, flanked by armed security forces. The goal is "to help the innocent children that were living at the ranch," says one of the sites, and to appeal for donations.

Sect attorneys are currently battling to stop the planned separation of moms from young children in the ongoing court case to determine the fate of 416 kids taken from the ranch. The investigation into suspected "spiritual marriages" of girls as young as 13 to older men has been complicated by the fact that underage girls are claiming to be adults, authorities said.