It seems that the tab on raiding the YFZ compound has run over $14 million dollars, billable to the state of Texas. Costs range from about $4.5 million in legal fees (with the state paying for both sides of the docket) another $2 million in state employee wages, and $2.5 million for housing and travel costs for the children. Politicians have grandstanded, insisting that the FLDS foot the bill. Not much chance of that happening when the whole thing was initiated by some inflammatory talk and a bogus phone call.

What is different on the YFZ compound, besides the astronomical bills? Not much, I'd bet. Except that some FLDS members may have had their paranoia validated, deciding that their "prophet" and "priesthood leaders" are justified in their apocalyptic warnings about invasions from the "wicked world." When Arizona stormed the FLDS community of Short Creek, Arizona, the same thing happened: huge disruption of families, huge outlay of funds, huge damage done to political careers. Then the people went underground and quietly continued to live their religion, regardless of the state's opinion about the perversity of plural marriage. While underground, the ages of the brides got younger, it seems.

When will we learn that persuasion and education work better than force and resistance? When we lend our resistance to something, we give it power. Just as book burners benefit pornographers by giving them free marketing, I fear that the do-gooders in Texas have played right into Warren Jeffs hands and enhanced his power over people. What do you think?

What Do You Think?