The Texas Polygamist Sect: Uncoupled and Unchartered

The raid on a polygamist sect in Texas has separated children from mothers and highlighted the tension between religion and the law

Tony Gutierrez/AP

A member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stands alone as others talk with members of the media, reflected in window, on the premises of the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas on April 14, 2008.

David Williams met the modern world in a little town square shaded by pecan and oak trees in remote West Texas, and it was hard to know which found the other more bewildering. The 32-year-old welder wore his hair slicked in a bygone style and sometimes stammered as he spoke in a flat monotone about prophets and the trials sent by God to test him. His cryptic words were directed to a group of people holding television cameras and microphones and tape recorders, people whose impressions of Williams then flashed by satellite and digital relays to households around the world.

Williams...

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