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An estimated 1500 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints gather at the Matheson Courthouse and the City and County Building to oppose the proposed sale of Berry Knoll Farm and the dismantling of the United Effort Plan Trust, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 29, 2009. Third District Judge Denise Lindberg did not make a final decision, but said the best solution to the dispute over the farm may be to accept sealed bids. Known for their practice of polygamy, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FLDS, is United States' largest practitioner of plural marriage. The FLDS church emerged in the early 1900s when its founding members left mainstream Mormon church, largely due to the issue of plural marriage. They gained international notoriety with the arrest of their leader Warren S. Jeffs, who in May 2006 was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on Utah state charges related to his alleged arrangement of unlawful marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls. In April 2008, Texas Rangers raided their ranch in Eldorado, Texas after receiving over what was later determined to be a hoax call, although authorities eventually removed 440 children from the ranch, which they said had been sexually, physically and emotionally abused. The children are now back at home.
- © Stephanie Sinclair
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