Sunday, May 31, 2009

FLDS People 101 - Dan Barlow: kicked out mayor

Dan Barlow was another one of the 21 who were “handled” in the January, 2004 meeting. He lost his family, home, and position as Mayor of Colorado City. Dan Barlow, Joe’s brother, was a very influential resident of Short Creek both in industry, local government, the school board, and UEP activities.

Dan was one of the heros during the 1953 raid. One observer wrote, “I witnessed the Fifty-three Raid. I watched in tearful reverence as Dan Barlow ran himself near to death to warn of the police cars he saw coming. Dan, age 21, was arrested and taken to jail in Kingman, Arizona, for a week.

In 1970 Dan was appointed manager of the new Barco sewing plant in Colorado City. This gave many women an opportunity to have some employment in the community.

During the early 1980s, with his brothers, Dan worked against the two priesthood council members who opposed the idea of the “one man rule.” Leroy Johnson, the senior member was incapacitated with illness and the Barlows gave him slanted reports regarding what the other priesthood council members were doing. On one occasion in 1983, Alma Timpson, one of those leaders, accused the Barlows in a public meeting with pestering Uncle Roy so much that it was destroying his health. He said, “Keep your ungodly presence from Uncle Roy’s midst. “ Dan Barlow stood up and said, “That’s a lie.” The defiance surprised Timpson. He stood speechless, staring at Dan. Soon others also stood up until almost everyone in the building was up. Timpson finally said, “If that’s the way you want it, then dismiss yourselves at home.” He then walked out of the building. By the end of the year, the Barlows were successful in breaking up the priesthood council causing the 1984 Priesthood split.

In 1985, Dan Barlow was appointed mayor of Colorado City when it was incorporated. As major he took his orders from the religious hierarchy. Fred Jessop called many of the shots in the community. Dan also filled the role as the unofficial spokeman for the FLDS and was effective with the media.

In January 1999, the LDS Church came to town and met with Dan to discuss constructing a branch of their Church in Colorado City. Dan’s answer was, “we want you to build your church house in Cane Beds; we don’t want it here. If you attempt to build here, we will condemn the property and build a road through it.” The LDS Church put an indefinite hold on any future church activity in Colorado City.

In 1999, when rumors were flying that the FLDS believed the end of the world was coming, Dan tried to dismiss these rumors. "The media and the apostates have made a big issue of that... and have tried to paint us as a cult or something like the Heaven's Gate or something like that. It's just not true."

In January 2000, Dan met former President Bill Clinton at a dedication ceremony for the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument. He had his picture taken with him.

In August 2000, Warren ordered that all school children be pulled from the public schools. Dan, started up a private school called Morningside with 280 students grades 1-10. He said, "We stick to the basics and to the things they need to know."

When Rulon Jeffs died, Dan was the FLDS spokesman for the media. 5,080 attended the funeral. Dan said, “This is by far the largest crowd we have ever had in this building. The size of this congregation is a testimony to the type of man that he was. Rulon Jeffs was a perfect example and a simple teacher. That's why the people loved him so much."

But Dan went too far in being friendly with the media. On July 26, 2003, the 50th anniversary of the 1953 Short Creek raid, a dedication ceremony was held for the unveiling of a monument on the grounds of the old schoolhouse. The event had been approved by Fred Jessop.

The event was sponsored by Dan and attended by 350 local residents. A museum was also opened funded with community donations and an Arizona State grant of $20,000. He had invited media to the event. At the ceremony, Dan narrated the account of the 1953 raid. Recorded music of "God Bless America" filled the air and those in attendance began singing. One or two of the older women stood up, a few men placed their hats over their hearts, and children were still.

This event really angered Warren Jeffs. He claimed to receive a “revelation” the next day which stated, “my people have sinned a very grievous sin before me in that they have raised up monuments to man and have not glorified me.” Well, probably the real problem was that they didn’t glorify Warren.

The community was in big trouble. Warren said a “scourge” would be sent on the people to “purge the ungodly” from among them. This monument event was the catalyst Warren used to start justifying the purging of men out of the FLDS. Short Creek would be cursed and Warren would look elsewhere, to Texas for a new land of refuge. Warren ordered that the monument be destroyed. It must be broken into many pieces and scattered among the hills where no one could find it and restore it. He condemned the wickedness of those (Dan Barlow) who sponsored the monument. The city government had done with without his permission and this was unacceptable. Warren was now in charge and must be obeyed in all things.

Dan had to explain to the media why the monument disappeared. He put a spin on the story. "It's gone. We just talked it over and came to the conclusion that we should back off, let things settle down. There's just too much publicity right now. We closed the museum and gave those things back to the people. Someday they'll be on display again. We'll use that building for something else."

Warren probably never forgave Dan for not respecting his authority. He read off his name during the January, 2004 meeting. Dan would be cast out with the other 20 men. A few days later someone wrote an anonymous letter that included some praise for Dan. “I beheld, in particular, Dan Barlow apply himself to the building up of this kingdom onto God. And I saw that he was given great wisdom to understand the workings of government and man and that he did use his understanding to bring peace to this community, that he cultivated many important relationships of respect with the world.” Warren had no interest in such relationships anymore. The rest of the world was wicked and he wanted nothing to do with it.

As with his brother Joe, Warren expressed no compassion for the state of Dan after he was sent away. Warren mocked the letters his brothers sent pleading to be let back into the FLDS. But he was angry that Dan had stopped writing him. “Dan Barlow has cut off all communication with me. The Lord showed me that man was the most indifferent of these men toward me. . . the Lord has already shown me Dan Barlow's heart many times. He is darkened and indifferent. His letters are very empty."

In July, Warren told his counselors that “Dan Barlow is bitter and is turning his brothers against me, that the Lord has shown me this.” He became convinced that one of the Barlow brothers would step forward and claim to be the prophet.

Alvin Barlow said this of his brother, Dan: "All is well. His love of the gospel guides him. He said this experience has only strengthened and verified that love."

In 2005, Dan was still in St. George working as a welder with Don Holm.

During the 2008 YFZ Raid, Dan, now age 76, while enjoyed a two-week tour of Jerusalem, read in the newspaper about the raid. He was contacted by several of his sons who lived in Texas and asked if they could list him as an appropriate relative to take their children. He quickly agreed and made his way to Texas. He said all of the emotions of the 1953 raid came back to him. He did not have to worry about Warren’s long arm from prison stopping him, so he went to see if he could gain custody of his children in Texas. He finally visited four children, who ranged in age from 4 to 13, after being unable to contact them in over four years. He still said he still didn’t know the reasons why. The oldest child recognized him. The younger three only knew him from pictures. "They kind of grew up," he said, sounding neither sad nor angry despite having every right to be. "The little ones didn't even know me. When you get older, things are all supposed to smooth out, but sometimes when you get older, your greatest tests are still ahead."

Dan was very outspoken in Texas opposing the YFZ raid. "Even though I am no longer a member, I still believe in America. There must be due process for these families. This is so much like an ethnic cleansing, to persecute these people. I can't sit quiet, I don't know of any time or place where government has so abused the rights of people."

Dan didn’t end up taking custody of his children. Since then, he said he has not had a lot of contact with his family. “I let them do the things they think they need to do,” he said.

Dan was back in the public eye when he testified in 2009 against the sale of Berry Knoll. He had originally bought the land years ago and donated it to the UEP. He testified against the sale. Some claimed that the plot of land was sacred to the FLDS and that a temple would someday be built there. That was all a pack of lies because Warren had several years ago cursed Short Creek. Warren didn’t believe any temple would be ever built there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good story, thank you!

I feel sorry for Dan, while at the same time see that he is still the same guy he was.

I bet he along with so many others are disheartened with what Warren has done to this people.