Polygamist says leader ordered him from home

The excommunicated member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who spoke out against the polygamist sect’s leader has been told to leave his home, he said Wednesday.

Ross Chatwin, 35, was given notice Tuesday to vacate his residence in Colorado City, Ariz., by a trustee of the FLDS’ United Effort Plan, which owns most of the homes in town, he said. Chatwin, who is married with six children, has five days to give up the home before eviction proceedings begin, according to the notice.

“I’m not going to leave,” Chatwin said. “Otherwise I’ll undo all the good I did in the first place.”

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Another ousted church member, Richard Holm, is trying to restore his legal right to the home he says he built in the community. Holm, the brother of Rodney Holm, who was convicted last year for bigamy and unlawful sex with a minor, was told to leave last November. His two wives and seven children were then reassigned to his younger brother, Edson.

Holm, 51, has retained attorney David Leavitt, who successfully prosecuted convicted polygamist Tom Green in 2001.

The moves by Holm and Chatwin are among the most brazen yet against sect leader Warren Jeffs, who recently tried to solidify his power in the twin polygamy towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City by kicking more than 20 men out of the church.

A message left with Jeffs’ lawyer, R. Scott Berry, was not returned.

In a rare show of defiance last week, Chatwin held a news conference in which he compared Jeffs to Adolf Hitler and urged those being kicked out by Jeffs to stand their ground.

FLDS attorney Rod Parker has said Chatwin was excommunicated for soliciting brides without the consent of Jeffs.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
The Associated Press, USA
Jan. 29, 2004

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