Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

The Custer County sheriff says he has been cut off from communicating with the walled religious compound of the FLDS.
The Custer County sheriff says he has been cut off from communicating with the walled religious compound of the FLDS.
Aerial photo by Ray A. Jilek
June 8, 2016

Custer Prepares 'Underground Railroad' For FLDS Defectors

A network of safe houses, posters in local businesses and a billboard near a secretive religious compound are being planned to help people who want to leave the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints compound near Pringle, reports the Custer County Chronicle

A phone number and basic information promising help are needed on the billboard and posters, while the state Department of Social Services should be ready to step in with assistance, an expert in helping members of the sect told a group of locals who have been meeting regularly. Business owners and providers of safe houses will need training on how to communicate with defectors, who will be "terrified."

The mayor of Custer compared the efforts to the Underground Railroad that helped people escape slavery in the southern United States in the 1800s. The Utah non-profit group Holding Out HELP is assisting the efforts in Custer County. 

Wives of the imprisoned FLDS leader Warren Jeffs are being housed at the walled compound, in part to prevent them from testifying in court, the Custer group was told. 

The group of concerned citizens and local officials began meeting due to concerns that children born at the compound, probably to underage girls, were not getting birth certificates or being educated as required by law. 

Need more information? Read more about the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the compound in Pringle on the Black Hills Knowledge Network and visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network archive.

Read more about Public Safety on the Black Hills Knowledge Network. 

 

Related items

  • Pennington County Care Campus Adds 64 New Beds

    Sixty-four new treatment beds opened up at the Pennington County Care Campus today, as the final phase of work on the campus’ second floor was…
  • Bison Vehicle Fatalities Rise At Wind Cave National Park

    There have been six buffalo-vehicle collisions in Wind Cave National Park this year – three of which resulted in bison fatalities, reports the Rapid City…
  • Butte County Requests Federal Funding For Flood Recovery

    Following considerable rainfall and flooding in May, Butte County roads and bridges suffered extreme damage. This damage prompted county commissioners to declare an emergency in…

Get Involved!

  • Need more information? Rapid City Public Library associates are standing by to answer your questions! Ask away in the box below during business hours for live feedback.

    For more on this feature, click here.

  • bhkn donate

    Enjoy our work? Donate today to ensure that community members will have access to our wealth of news, history, and data for years to come.

  • 211 logoDid this post inspire you to get involved? Visit our partner 211's Volunteer Database to find volunteer opportunities in your community.

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]