Raymond Jessop: Rehabilitation?

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This is an interesting video from Mike Watkiss of 3TV in  Phoenix. Notice when Watkiss asks Raymond if he is being persecuted for his religious beliefs, he turns to Deputy Sherriff George Arispe and says, “What do I say George?”    To further questioning, Raymond says “No comment.”

Compare Raymond’s hesitation and humility to comments from duly authorized representative and blowhard, Willie Jessop, who stated that this verdict was an example of  a “religious war they have chosen to take out on the FLDS.”  By comparison, Raymond seemed contrite — maybe I’m being too optimistic, but perhaps Ray is questioning his religion and the error of following One Man into criminal activity with very serious and lengthy consequences.    I do hope that Raymond uses his time in prison to come to some new conclusions about the harm caused by a patriarchal cult and a leader who deprives his followers of choice, freedom and independence.   I wish Ray well, and I hope for the best for his families that he will be separated from.

As an aside — at one point in Attorney Brandon Hudson’s argument, he referred to the world outside the FLDS as “the free world.” That appears to be an acknowledgement of the lack of choice and freedom within the cult and the stark difference between freedom and bondage.

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~ by FLDS TEXAS on November 11, 2009.

58 Responses to “Raymond Jessop: Rehabilitation?”

  1. When will modern technology allow reporters to not be so obnoxious? All their equipment in ones face seems like it should be obsolete technology.

  2. Cement, I’ve come to respect Mike Watkiss’ persistence, even though it isn’t my personal style. The same personality that made him bird-dog Raymond Jessop out of the courtroom has kept him focused on the FLDS story. If more Arizona and Utah journalists did that, the polygamy problem never would have festered as it has.

    I did wonder if he or the cameraman would walk into a tree, though.

    I wish the best for Jessop, too, and I think prison might be the making of him. The Fat Brat and other opportunists will follow the cameras and perhaps Jessop will be allowed peace to think, pray, read and reflect.

    We all want Jessop to serve his sentence. But once a person has paid the debt demanded by society, I have no further quarrel with him, if he sins no more. I pray that God can touch Raymond Jessop and use his life for good.

  3. Ill tell you who I feel for, and thats the children who didn’t belong to Raymond Jessop, the children whose father was excommunicated without reason or cause, whose wives and children were taken from them and remarried to other men,, like a sentence for doing something wrong, when they didn’t have a clue what they did wrong.

  4. As far as Im concerned Warren Jeffs and Rulon Jeffs casts many stones and were guilty of the same offenses.

  5. I’m not sure Ray was really contrite. I viewed asking the sheriff as more of a question about how to handle the press scrum.

    But I certainly do hope that he comes to realize that what he’s done is wrong, and that the whole system that perpetuates it is wrong. I agree w/ GFNY that there is always the possibility of redemption. Think of what a powerful spokesperson Ray could be if he serves his sentence and then renounces the FLDS. (Well, I can hope and pray.)

  6. i really wish him well too. time away from wee willie might just do him good. hopefully wee willie won’t be on his visitor list.

  7. When LeRoy was in prison, his brother Ward went to see him, and ask him to cooperate with the LE about the accounting, so he could be free.. But LeRoy wouldn’t do it.

  8. I hope he does to, but LeRoy didn’t change once he was in prison, so don’t count on raymond changing either.

  9. I know it’s a long shot, DD1, because the mind-control element is so deeply ingrained in the Warrenites. But there’s always the possibility.

  10. I like Mike Watkiss, he has been doing stories for years on Flds and runaways.

  11. Oh I know TexaConnie, I don’t wish him any harm either, he is young enough there is always a possibity,, But willie’s comment in the San Angelo news made me very angry…

    “I’d rather have Raymond in jail than hundreds of little children locked in a coliseum or at Fort Concho,” Willie Jessop said.

    Raymond Jessop’s conviction finally gives the church a long-awaited opportunity, Willie Jessop said.
    ****************
    That’s easy for Willie to say, HE isn’t the one going to prison!!

  12. Most nearly everything Willie says makes me mad. He should be locked up just for being an idiot. 🙂

  13. HAHAHAHA true!!!! 🙂

  14. you know, leroy needs to thank his lucky stars he got exed when he did or he could be in allan keate’s shoes right now, fixing to go on trial for 1st degree sexual assault of a child.

  15. Actually–I don’t see the boy changing. He’s got lots to think about, but I see him ending up like Warren–being force fed. But, we can always hope.

  16. the kids say raymond is much cuter than warren as far as keate goes, the answer was yuck and ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  17. I hope Raymond finds the real Jesus these next five years.

  18. […] This is an interesting video from Mike Watkiss of 3TV in  Phoenix. Notice when Watkiss asks Raymond if he is being persecuted for his religious beliefs, he turns to Deputy Sherriff George Arispe and says, “What do I say George?”    To further questioning, Raymond says “No comment.” […]

  19. Well, I gotta give a hand to which ever editor at the SL Trib that wrote the following Editorial Opinion:

    http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_13765390

    Just desserts
    Preying on the young

    Tribune Editorial
    Updated: 11/11/2009 09:17:36 PM MST

    A Texas jury gave Raymond Merril Jessop his just deserts. After finding the polygamist guilty of sexual assault of a child for bedding a “spiritual wife” when he was 33 and she was 16, the jurors sentenced him to 10 years in prison and an $8,000 fine.

    Apparently, Texas juries have considerable latitude when they determine sentences, and we can’t say where this particular penalty fits in relation to those handed out by other juries for similar sexual assaults in the Lone Star State. What we can say is that in our rough measure of justice, the magnitude of the sentence fits the crime. Jessop will be eligible for parole after serving five years of the sentence.

    The defense argued during the sentencing phase of the trial that the prosecution had not provided any evidence that the crime included sexual violence or that it was not consensual. That skirts the whole point of this prosecution. When a sexual union involves a very young woman — the victim was 15 when she was “married” to Jessop — and a much older man in a theocratic system that emphasizes patriarchal power and unquestioning obedience to male authority, it is doubtful that the term consent has much meaning for a young woman.

    Under the teachings of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the sect of which both Jessop and his young plural wife are members, a woman who is given to a man in marriage by her spiritual leader and who questions either his authority or the priesthood authority of her spouse puts her immortal soul in jeopardy. This system can reduce women to sexual chattel.

    That said, we continue to have reservations about the raid on the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas in April 2008 that gave rise to this and other prosecutions. The appeal of the Jessop conviction may bring rulings by higher courts in Texas on whether the evidence from that raid, which was based on a bogus phone tip about a young woman in distress, was tainted by the false foundation for the state’s searches and the breadth of the resulting seizures.

    Procedural questions aside, however, we believe that justice was served by this prosecution, the conviction and the sentence.

    The whole notion of pressing young women into polygamous sexual unions with much older men is abhorrent, and any state which respects the rights of the young, the vulnerable and the brainwashed should prosecute it.

    In our view, there is no question that this is a crime of sexual violence which cannot be justified or explained away by reliance on the constitutional rights of religious freedom.

  20. Kudos to the SLT editorial page.

  21. Yeah, that said it pretty darn well.

  22. woo hoo. way to go SLT editorial!!

  23. “The whole notion of pressing young women into polygamous sexual unions with much older men is abhorrent, and any state which respects the rights of the young, the vulnerable and the brainwashed should prosecute it.”

    The SL Tribune needs to lead the charge to eliminate polygamy once and for all in Utah. It was started as an anti-Mormon, liberal newspaper with a particular antipathy to Brigham Young. Being courageous on this issue would bring it full circle back to its roots.

    Not that I’m terribly optimistic in this age of corporate journalism, of course.

  24. Mike Watkiss was doing his best to solicit comments from Raymond who has been unspoken to date about his views and oral defense. His attorney Mark Stevens called no witnesses on his trial and his subsequent conviction has to put this strategy into doubt. For someone whom is now convicted of a felony, sentenced to 10 years in prison, facing an additional charge of bigamy and labeled a sex offender he is amazingly silent on his opinions or views. Willie R. Jessop can not speak for Raymond without appearing to be a part of the ‘One Man Rule’ appararchik. I hope this strategy of ‘Answer Them Nothing’ is sustained for Keate’s and Emack’s trials then the whole nation will begin to view this organized racketeering group for who and what they really are about.

  25. cajIM, I wonder if Raymond *has* any opinions of his own. Seems to me he has never done anything but be obedient to the opinions of Warren Jeffs. After so many years, he may have lost the ability to think on his own. Perhaps prison will allow him to reclaim that.

  26. I recall seeing a news clip where one of the young women (not sure if she was a wife or not) answered a reporter’s question about the prophet. She replied something like: “I think everything about him is just perfect” It was astonishing to hear. Do these people not know or have they not been told of the dishonest things that have been uncovered? Is it possible they really do not know that it is not all about them being victims of religious discrimination? I wonder if the prophet of the group is still commanding them to not read or listen to any news and if he is well enough in prison to be running things. Cant imagine that Raymonds father has not had just about enough by now. Or Warren Jeffs brothers! If only they would wake up and quit believing the “new revelations” of Warren Jeffs. Seems like they are smart enough and religious enough to admit, repent, and go forward.

  27. caj: For someone whom is now convicted of a felony, sentenced to 10 years in prison, facing an additional charge of bigamy and labeled a sex offender he is amazingly silent on his opinions or views.

    ……………………..

    These people have almost no education, they have no idea what’s going on in the world, and they are DISCOURAGED from thinking for themselves – Raymond probably has little to say because, sadly, he’s ignorant and possibly not very intelligent.

    Watching several of the FLDS women get interviewed on TV was like listening to the Stepford Wives, why would the subordinate men be much different.

  28. The “What do I say George” line shows some pretty tragic circumstances. As Stamp says this is a sheeple. This guy was born and bred a sheeple.

    When he’s cut off from authority telling him what to do, he turns to the sole authority figure around him for guidance.

    Maybe the Sheriff can get him to stop being a sheeple, turn state’s evidence, and blow the lid off this wacky cult.

  29. Ron that is an excellent point. I hadn’t given much thought to the “What do I say George” line before.

  30. Ron,
    It would be fantastic to see a cult deprogrammer have contact with Raymond while he was in prison. He certainly needs it.

  31. Raymond has education and a business called Tonto Supply using his wives as fronts. He was purchasing money orders everywhere to pay bills, so the government could not trace it.
    Tonto Supply is a money making front for the FLDS in the Southwest.

    He is an arrogant SOB and astute liar.

    I believe it is call “lying for the Lord”.

    He might be a sheeple, but he is a smart sheeple.

    State’s evidence……what does he have to loose beside his salvation in the eyes of the cult and maybe freedom from 5-10 in a Texas prison.

    Great job Ron!

  32. He is an arrogant SOB and astute liar.

    I believe it is call “lying for the Lord”.

    He might be a sheeple, but he is a smart sheeple.

    In some ways, I question if you’re giving him too much credit. They do the same things over and over again, I think, because the leadership has found that they worked in the past.

    My assessment of Raymond is a not too terribly bright sheeple who doesn’t wipe his hind end until Warren tells him.

  33. Raymond has education and a business called Tonto Supply using his wives as fronts. He was purchasing money orders everywhere to pay bills, so the government could not trace it.

    ……………………….

    Are there any plans for the Gov’t to go after them for tax evasion?

  34. Anon — don’t know about tax evasion but I would think that money laundering charges are a possibility. And of course they are still battling the tax exemption status for the YFZ property; the state has disallowed it.

  35. Raymond has education and a business called Tonto Supply using his wives as fronts. He was purchasing money orders everywhere to pay bills, so the government could not trace it.

    This business is run at he behest of his prophet. Not by Raymond’s own brain. He has never done anything in business without the detailed directions of Warren Jeffs. I wonder if he has ever been “authorized” to use his own brain. Not likely. Raymond, and all FLDS common folk are definately sheeples, forever doing as they are told and forever seeking what to do, or say next. I am damn sorry for these sheeples, male or female.
    anon

  36. Anonymous 11:51,

    Do you know if Fred Jessop’s wife Jozette Barlow is still actively involved in Tonto?

    For that matter, is she still his wife?

    Fred was “handled” at one point, but I don’t know if he was kicked out to the point that his wives were reassigned.

    Since he is incarcerated, I think Raymond Jessop will no longer be able to hold the contractor’s license for Tonto according to policy at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice that is posted at Brooke Adams’ blog.

  37. Raymond Jessop will have plenty of time to think for himself for at least the next five years as communications with others will be severely limited.

    What he does with his time and thoughts is up to him.

  38. Is Jeffs with it enough to still be running things while in jail?

  39. BARLOW, LINDA RAE
    Birth Date: 03/31/54
    Address : 265 N RICHARD RD, Colorado City, AZ
    Arrest Time/Date Arrested By Agency
    07:00:00 11/12/09 Thayer Steven WCJL

    Statute Offense Class Court Required Bond Amt.Paid
    COMMITMENT COMMITMENT-COURT ORDE NA MOJP 0.00 [No Payments Made]
    TexasTwist is she in any of your records?

  40. Regarding Raymond and his level of sheeple-ness:

    Raymond is an intelligent man. He is well spoken and thoughtful about what he says, as compared to Willie who says whatever pops into his brain regardless of how imbecilic it is. Raymond is educated and has experience outside the cult. He is not so obedient or loyal as many are assuming. He was kicked out in 2006 and sent away from the Ranch until the time of the raid. While he was away, he ran his company and lived among Gentiles and experienced a world apart from the FLDS. I believe he was sent away for exoresssing his displeasure with the way his father Merril was treating his mother, Ruth. The fact that he spoke up and contrary to the Bishop Merril indicates that he does have the capacity for independent thought as well as some amount if compassion or empathy.

  41. IF true Anonymous, then why is he allowing FLDS to use him as their sacrifical lamb?

  42. Court-ordered commitment? Poor thing.

  43. anonymous – “I think everything about him is just perfect” I believe this was said by Dan’s wife when she was testifying in the 14 day hearing of her newborn son.

  44. Josette is still Fred’s wife and she is still President of Tonto although not involved in running it or in any way participating in it’s operations. The company is in a bit of trouble in Arizona because Raymond is the only licensed and qualified operator, and operations require that a qualified operator be present on site. Since Raymond’s bond conditions prohibited his leaving the state if Texas, the company was not able to meet compliance in Arizona. Since Raymond is now a convicted felon, that appears to be a problem for the next 5-10 years.

  45. Fred is not licensed and qualified to be the on site supervisor by the way.

  46. Very interesting, Anon. Is it easy to license as a construction site operator?

  47. Anon 6:21 — thanks for the update on Raymond’s experience outside the cult. Perhaps they are all too willing to have him be the sacrificial lamb because he did speak out against Merril. And good for him for standing up for his mother, Ruth. She has been horribly abused by Merril and Barbara.

  48. DD — why do you think he is the sacrificial lamb? He committed crimes. His defense attorneys did the best they could, and Ray got 10 years instead of 20. Who do you think payed for his defense? Did you notice that his legal strategy was not always in lock step with Willie’s party line?

  49. Geez, Methinks these guys are a little naive for prison life nowadays.

    Look how well Warren has done. Perhaps they will get a revelation, and start following the law, rustle up some common law divorces going on the back of their recipe card marriage certs!

  50. Stamp,

    LMAO! “recipe card marriage certs!”

    Thank you, I needed that one.

  51. Is Ernest (Ernie) Jessop back in the good graces of Warren and back at the ranch so to speak?

  52. Tonto has not appointed Richard Jessop to be its qualified agent. Does anyone know information about him; is he under indictment? was he the same person arrested on Berry Knoll incident? What is the company even doing anyway?

  53. Richard Jessop is most probably the Richard Samuel Jessop who went on Oprah and told the world he had 3 wives. He’s head of Texan Supply & Service.

  54. In the Arizona case between the owners of a gravel pit and Tonto Supply, Inc. last week, the judge in Lake Havasu entered an order dismissing Tonto’s case and ordfering Tonto and their attorney to pay attorney’s fees for their failure to disclose key facts to the Court. The Court sanctioned Tonto and its attorney under Rule 11 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Until last year, convicted felon Raymond Merril Jessop was the “qualified agent” for Tonto. Now it is Richard Jessop. More legal proceedings will ensue surely.

  55. Rich as he is known is Raymond’s BBAM.

  56. What is a BBAM?

  57. Brother By Another Mother. I discovered it when Sally Jeffs testified during Leroy’s Motion for a New Trial hearing. She was talking about one of LeAnn’s brothers and Eric Nichols referred to him a a BBAM.

  58. in arizona fred jessop portrayed himself as a qualified party
    to the ADOT,SURVEYOR,S,ADOT INSPECTOR,S LAKE HAVASU PUBLIC WORKS
    AND FLEECED $700.000.00 IN PUBLIC WORKS FUNDS FROM THE CITY OF LAKE HAVASU,The city ,state and F.B.I. have done nothing to fustrate matters futher.as fred jessop told alvin harker outside of the courtroom this judge isnt going to let us get away with what we ussually do,so you better clean the place up ,and keep the kids away,but don”t worry he doesn”t have the stones to take me on?

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