Ex-FLDS member harassed?

The sound of gunfire startled Isaac Wyler.

Three blasts, and he turned and saw a truck speeding away. Wyler, an ex-member of the Fundamentalist LDS Church, reported it to police in the polygamous border town of Colorado City, Ariz., as a possible shooting.

Now, Wyler and police say that is not the case. But Wyler said it is yet another example of the harassment he faces for speaking out against the FLDS Church.

Wyler told the Deseret Morning News that Colorado City town marshals tracked down the owner of the truck, who admitted that he was near Wyler’s home when the vehicle backfired three times. He even demonstrated it for Wyler and the police.

“It was so loud it made our ears ring,” Wyler said Thursday. “He only had to do it twice, that was the sound I heard and it sounds like a shotgun.”

Wyler said the authorities gave the truck driver a warning and are considering dropping the case, but he considers it more harassment. Wyler was kicked out of the FLDS Church by sect leader Warren Jeffs, who was recently convicted of rape as an accomplice, accused of performing a child bride marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin.

“It’s because I didn’t leave here like I was told to,” Wyler said.

Wyler now works for the court-appointed special fiduciary of the United Effort Plan Trust, the real-estate holdings of the FLDS Church. The UEP Trust was taken over by the courts in 2005, amid allegations that Jeffs and other top FLDS leaders had been mismanaging it. The trust recently underwent reform efforts, paving the way for private-property ownership.

Wyler posts property tax notices for Bruce Wisan, the UEP’s court-appointed special fiduciary. Wisan said several ex-FLDS members employed by him have been subject to harassment from FLDS members.

“Ever since Isaac has been kicked out, he’s had incidents, and this is even before he’s working for me,” he said Wednesday.

Wisan has clashed with police in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., before. He has accused the town marshals of not investigating certain crimes within the community and noted that he is still awaiting a report about one of Wyler’s horses that was run down by a truck.

“It’s another example of the police not doing their job and being discriminatory towards the trust and the non-FLDS,” Wisan said.

Recently, town marshals in Hildale and Colorado City have been decertified for dereliction of duty over their loyalties to Jeffs. Wisan said he has notified the Arizona attorney general about the latest incident.

Wyler said he’s just glad to know that no one was shooting at him. He was back at work, posting property tax notices on Thursday.

“It makes me feel dang good they found out it wasn’t bullets,” he said. “Now to me, it opens up another aspect of it and a smaller issue we’re dealing with. But are (the police) going to deal with them? I don’t know.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday October 15, 2007.
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