I was in Westcliffe, Colorado, where we had been invited to spend a day in a home the FLDS are using to care for a handful of revered grandmothers.
But the story was much bigger than that. The residents of Westcliffe, upon discovering who their new neighbors were, began to investigate the FLDS. And as anyone who has caught that bug and wanted to learn about polygamy and the FLDS knows, the first things you find to educate yourself with are often from the loudest voices. You end up reading a lot of outrageous stories that are very difficult to verify.
There are a lot of posts I could (and hopefully will) write about the Westcliffe story. We met a lot of fascinating people on all sides of the issue.
Probably the most bizarre thing I could tell you about photographing this story is that for the first time in history the FLDS were fine with pictures and the outsiders were not.
We were given nearly complete access by the FLDS. I had great access to the people, the house and the property. On the other hand, a majority of the “outsiders” we interviewed for the story refused to be photographed. What an alternate reality that is. (Thanks to those who did allow pictures and to the one who had good reason for remaining anonymous.)
To the concerned people of Westcliffe who took the time to tell us their concerns, as well as the FLDS who invited us into their home (you were obviously all exhausted by the time we left late that night), thank you.
More soon…Must catch breath…
“I’ll introduce you to some mothers who have absolutely no objection to you taking their picture.”
You have never seen an FLDS scarecrow, have you?