Christine Marie Katas of our sister organization Voices for Dignity shared this sad, true story. It’s told by a former member of the FLDS, Brenda Nicholson who tells how cult hierarchy robbed children of their innocent joys.
“December 31, 2011 midnight was the cut off time. If you weren’t found worthy to be included in the United Order, and taken through the ordinances you would no longer be a member of the FLDS church and all former blessings, covenants, ordinances, etc. would become null and void. One of the rules the worthy were required to obey was that children could no longer have toys.
This had been something that we had heard rumors of, and many people around me were discarding their children’s toys. It started with dolls… I visited homes where little girls lived, and those little girls were being raised with an “eye single” to the idea that their worth, their greatest mission in life, and really their only goal being to become “mothers in Zion.” These little girls had a natural, inborn desire to nurture. They love playing with “babies” and practicing being mothers. They didn’t understand the new strict rules and they followed those mothering instincts with some very bizarre “babies.” I saw little girls with a log of firewood wrapped in an old towel as their baby. Or a brick, or a large can of soup, or just about anything else that was about the right size. I saw little girls who raided their mothers’ baby clothes drawers and took sleepers that they then stuffed with rags to make a “baby” to play with. It is somewhat disturbing to see a little girl with a stuffed sleeper slung over her arm that has no head but just some ragged pieces of cloth hanging out where the head should be. I never could understand what was evil about dolls. In my opinion girls, and boys, are better off being allowed to develop that caring, nurturing instinct. It makes sense to me that it would help them to be better parents when they’re grown up.
After the first of the year in 2012, I saw more and more garbage cans filled with toys around town. It gave me a melancholy feeling as I saw what I viewed as harmless (and likely beloved) playthings being discarded in wholesale lots. On the corner of Utah Avenue and the highway there was a little shop that sold things on consignment I believe. Suddenly there were dozens of children’s bicycles lined up out front.
But the most heart wrenching things I witnessed hit closer to home. I had a neighbor that lived right across the garden from me. I watched that man stand at the side of his garbage can, as he had his small children bring out their toys and he would then, one-by-one, break them and violently throw them into the can. I watched his little boy, about 2-years old, carrying out his favorite toy – a little ambulance with buttons that made real lights flash and sirens sound. He was crying as he handed it to his father. Then his father violently destroyed and discarded it. I couldn’t help but think how very cruel it was. .”