A small, remote town in the Oklahoma panhandle seems to be experiencing a social upheaval reminiscent of past witch hunts and race relations issues.
July 1, residents of Boise City held a public meeting to discuss a group of religious fundamentalists who have settled there. Those hosting the meeting even felt it necessary to post warning signs about remaining civil on the doors. While some believe the newcomers have good intentions, others are worried about job security and the safety of their children.
The new residents are previous members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) — they were excommunicated for undisclosed reasons. For the most part, they are skilled blue-collar laborers — “electricians, drywallers, carpenters” reported NewsOK.com — who say they are just looking for work and have no plans to take over the town or establish an FLDS compound.
Seriously. They don’t want to. They promise.
However, George Barlow, one of the newcomers, is the former mayor of Colorado City, Arizona, a town founded by FLDS members that has seen its share of public scandal related to the practice of polygamy, which was publicly rejected by the LDS church in 1890. It was also home to infamous church leader Warren Jeffs, who is now serving a prison sentence for two counts of sexual assault on a child.