Feb 2, 2016

South Dakota pondering what to do about polygamous sect

Nate Carlisle
Salt Lake Tribune
February 3, 2016

Seth Jeffs
Seth Jeffs
It's a bad sign when a meeting is being held for people "interested in doing something about" you. It's a worse sign when the meeting is organized by the local newspaper.

That is the scenario facing the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints compound outside of Pringle, S.D. The local weekly newspaper, the "Custer County Chronicle," is apparently organizing the described meeting for 7 p.m. local time Thursday at the courthouse annex in the town of Custer.

The newspaper in September published an editorial in opposition to the FLDS' application for more water at the Pringle compound. But the newspaper wasn't the only one.

A state board heard opposition from neighbors and average citizens who don't like the FLDS for all the obvious reasons — underage marriages, child labor, a church president in prison, etcetera. The state board was reluctant, too, but said the FLDS met the legal requirements for the permit and granted it.

The Pringle compound appears to be the largest FLDS enclave outside of its traditional home on the Utah-Arizona line, and increasing the amount of water it can pump would seem to indicate the compound is preparing for more residents. But other than Seth Jeffs, a brother of the imprisoned FLDS president, it's not even clear who is at the compound, much less that anything illegal is happening there.

But locals are thinking of ways to examine both those things.


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