Day Two of Closing

Frustration became my middle name this morning as I tried and tried to connect to the live streaming on my computer here at home in Alberta, just one province and the Great Canadian Rockies between away from Vancouver.

When I finally connected, Craig Jones was at end of his rebuttal of the Amicus‘ criticism of Dr. Joseph Henrich. I was very sorry I missed that!

“The Amicus seeks to discredit Dr. Henrich’s evidence on evolutionary psychology by saying that cross-cultural studies are unreliable. . .Dr. Henrich’s research has blunted the Amicus’ argument.  The Amicus has nothing to teach Dr. Henrich about cross-cultural/cross-societal data because Dr. Henrich is the Chair of Culture Cognition and Inter-Evolutionary Psychology.  His focus, field, and writings are on social evolution.

Joseph Henrich’s Research Paper

Affidavit #2 Joseph Henrich swn November 15 2010 

“The Amicus did not cross examine Dr. Henrich when he was on the witness stand, rather he found some articles after the fact and placed them in his Brandies Brie not allowing Dr. Henrich to respond”

Back to the question Mr. Jones theorectically wants the court to consider–what if Harold Blackmore, the founder of Bountiful, could have seen the outcome in the future.  That the polygamy commune doubles every eight years. 

Jones discussed the plight of children in the polygamous culture and whether or not they have the choice to opt into a career.  He discussed the great inequality for women in polygamy.

The evidence regarding the thirty-one girls who have been trafficked to the States for polygamous marriage was not introduced today.

Leah Greathead, Attorney for the AGBC, as well, introduced the Affidavit of Nick Hanna, Texas Ranger, who swore an affidavit on his findings in the records from the raid on the YFZ Ranch.  It details a number of the girls (referred to by letter only) who were trafficked to the States from Bountiful, their ages, and to whom they were married:

Nick Hanna Aff #1 Text only sworn March 22011

Ms. Greathead presented to His Lordship Chief Justice Bauman certified copies of the birth records cross referenced with marriage dates in Mr. Hanna’s affidavit.  The copies were not redacted so the Judge ordered them to be sealed.  (In Canada, the names of children under the age of 18 who have been involved in criminal activity are not permitted in public record.)    

Leah Greathead then presented a mini-brief to the court to show the conversion of the evidence from personal experiences to expert witnesses and how each piece correlates with all the other evidence.  “Each person has their own powerful story.”  She gave an alphabetical listing with a precise from each story showing how they all fit into the whole picture of the harm of polygamy on individuals and society:

Susie Barlow–affidavit only, not video evidence, 2010-07-xx AGBC Aff, BARLOW-Susie, describing experiences in FLDS
Paula Barrett, Lorna Blackmore (affidavit only, no video), Jorjina Broadbent, Don Fischer (lost boy), Sara Hammon, Brent Jeffs (video, lost boy), Brenda Jensen, Carolyn Jessop (author of “Escape” and “Triumph”), Ruth Lane (ex-wife of Winston Blackmore), Howard Mackert, Kathleen Mackert, Mary Mackert, Rena Mackert, Truman Oler (court testimony), Teressa Wall (sent to slave labour camp in Sundre, Alberta), witness # 2, witness #3, witness #8.

Ms. Greathead discussed briefly the evidence submitted to The Reference by Eric Nichols, Prosecutor in the FLDS trials in Texas:

Affidavit1, Eric NICHOLS, swn Jul7, 2010 with exhibits (colour scan), S097767 (AGBC)

Becky Musser testimony RMJ trial-1

Rebecca Musser testimony MLJ trial

Greathead spoke of Rowena Erickson who left the Kingston Group of polygamists.  That the Kingston group believes in incestual marriages.  Chief Justice Bauman wanted to know if this is the group known for genetic disorders.  The answer to this question was negative.

Ms. Greathead brought up Andrea Moore Emmett’s affidavit, how Andrea was never a polygamous woman but did research on several types of polygamy groups and wrote “God’s Brothel


Mr. Craig Jones then made a mini-presentation citing page 11 of his reply statement.  He debated the fact that the Amicus attacked Drs. Pinker and Wright (paragraph 646, Amicus Closing) again bringing up evolutionary psychology.  He said that Dr. Todd Schackleford, witness for the Amicus, is qualified in evolutionary psychology but the Amicus never asked Schackleford about those qualifications or what they meant.

Mr. Craig Jones will complete his Closing Arguments tomorrow. 

Nancy Mereska, President
Stop Polygamy in Canada

Note:  Some affidavits are just too large to upload.  As are the videos.  There is an organization in the States, though, that has the capacity to upload the videos.  When this happens, I’ll announce it.

1 Comment
  1. Nancy, do you know if there will be a transcript of the AGBC’s closing oral argument? I’ve read his written closing, but I haven’t been able to watch his presentation. I’m interested in a specific argument on children’s religious freedom that I don’t think any party has yet made. Craig’s written submission refers generally to it, and I would like to check his oral submission to see if he elaborates on it. I’m working on a blog article about children’s religious rights, and how the BCCLA has ignored that issue in this case in favour of the parent’s religious rights. It will be great if you can post the videos or links to them, and even greater if you find and post links to transcripts if there are any. I can get the information I’m looking for from the closing arguments by watching the videos once they are available, but that is more time consuming than searching through a transcript. Thanks for keep track of all this.

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