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Clergy Child-Abuse Experts to Talk FLDS in Scottsdale This Afternoon

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Clergy child-abuse expert Janet Heimlich will be in Scottsdale this afternoon to give a talk about abuse within the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect of Mormon polygamists once led by Warren Jeffs.

Heimlich is the author of Breaking Their Will, an expose on maltreatment of children in religious institutions.

The book "takes an in-depth look at the many forms of child maltreatment that manifest themselves in religious contexts, including biblically prescribed corporal punishment; beliefs about the necessity of 'breaking the wills' of children; terrorizing children with scary religious messages; sexual abuse perpetrated by religious authorities; and religiously motivated medical neglect."

Also speaking during the discussion will be Flora Jessop and TV newsman Mike Watkiss, who's covered FLDS abuse cases for 3TV.

Jessop was raised in a polygamist "cult" in Utah. She escaped, though, only to be sent back to the polygamists' compound by the government agency she turned to for help: the Utah Department of Child and Family Services.

After escaping a second time, Jessop moved to Phoenix, where she's mounted a campaign to help children escape the abuse that occurs in polygamist communities.

Read Jessop's bio here.

The conference starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Plotkin Judaic Museum at Temple Beth Israel near 56th Street and Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale.

Jessop, Heimlich, and Watkiss will be speaking at 3:30 p.m.

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