Saturday, April 19, 2008

Obama delegate in cult hoax?

UPDATE 4/20: Welcome Jawa readers. Check out the "Oprah" factor in this case.
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If this pans out, it's going to be huge:
Texas Rangers participated in the arrest of a Colorado woman who allegedly pretended to be a girl locked in a basement. The Rangers were in the state as part of their investigation into the Texas polygamy custody battle, local police told ABC News.
It was unclear if the arrest was related to the phone call from a woman who claimed to be a 16-year-old girl, a phone call that sparked what has become one of the largest child custody cases in U.S. history.
Officials in Texas raided a polygamist compound and took 416 children into custody after an abuse hotline received a series of phone calls from the purported teen who said she was being held at the compound. The girl, who called herself Sarah, said she was being physically and sexually abused by her adult husband, court documents say. . . .
ABC News has learned that Texas Rangers flew to Colorado Springs, Colo., and participated in the arrest of a 33-year-old woman who was charged with filing a false report.
The FBI also told ABC News it is assisting local police in the investigation. Colorado Springs police said in a statement that "The Texas Rangers were in Colorado Springs Wednesday as part of their investigation involving the compound in Texas." . . .
Colorado Springs police said they arrested Rozita Swinton last night on local charges of pretending to be a girl locked in a basement, claiming abuse and calling authorities for help.
So if this Swinton woman does indeed turn out to have faked the "Sarah" call, it's national news because (a) this Texas polygamy cult story has been all over cable TV news, and (b) well . . . Rusty Shackleford:
Rozita Swinton, the woman arrested today for falsely tipping off the police that she was an abused child bride at the FLDS polygamy cult in Texas is a PLEDGED BARACK OBAMA STATE DELEGATE!!
Rusty links to Patterico, who discovered the Obama angle. Rusty's finely tuned B.S. detector led him to suspect something fishy about this teen-bride story from the get-go. If it is indeed true that Swinton faked the raped-and-abused-virgin-cult-teen call -- man!

A freaking Obama delegate! Does it get any weirder than that? I'm just wondering what her motive could have been.

UPDATE: Houston Chronicle:
It sounded so genuine: a terrified voice of a young girl expressing fear that if rescued from a religious cult, blacks might harm her.
The calls to the Child Protection Project, run by a former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, were recorded at the request of the Texas Rangers. . . .
The calls to the former sect member, meanwhile, led the Rangers to Colorado Springs, Colo., where police Wednesday arrested Rozita Swinton, a 33-year-old black woman. . . .
Child Protection Project founder Linda Walker and the Phoenix-based group's executive director, Flora Jessop, said Friday they were stunned when they learned the woman's identity.
"In her little baby voice, she said, 'If you rescue me, and I get out of here, do you think the black people will hurt me?' "
Walker said. "She had done her homework. She knew it was a racist cult. We know that these kids are very frightened of black people.
"The Texas Rangers told us she was obsessed with the FLDS. They confiscated tons of material on the FLDS (in the search of Swinton's home). She even gave real addresses and real names of FLDS people."
Walker and Jessop hesitated to say that Swinton was the person who called the Texas hot line to describe sexual and physical abuse by a 50-year-old husband at the ranch outside Eldorado, but they endorsed the resulting actions of Texas authorities.
"Regardless of who made these calls, the system worked exactly as it was supposed to work," said Jessop, a former FLDS member whose cousin, Merrill Jessop, runs the ranch.
Oh, man! How totally off-the-wall can a news story get? So even though it appears that a hoax call led to the raid, this lady says "the system worked exactly as it was supposed to work"?

Note the bizarre circularity of this thing:
  • Critics of FLDS publish material detailing bizarre cult practices and beliefs, including racism.
  • Black woman becomes obsessed with FLDS, collects material from critics.
  • Officials get call from black woman, pretending to be cult victim, expressing racist fears.
  • Based on hoax call, officials raid compound, seize 416 children.
  • Call is exposed as hoax, black woman arrested.
And she's an Obama delegate! I'm sure the Clinton campaign brain trust is huddled up trying to figure out some way to exploit this for the Pennsylvania primary. Maybe George Stephanopoulos can ask a question about it on "This Week" . . .

UPDATE II: Linked by Dad29, who says, "One is reminded of the phone call which engendered the Lawrence case." Indeed -- also a Texas case.



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  2. So Jessup is saying the call was"fake but accurate"?

    Dan Rather needs to be SO all over this case.

  3. Swinton is NOT an Obama delegate. Colorado hasn’t even selected their delegates, and won’t until May 17. See