What have the FLDS people learned? Only time will tell. We can assume a few things: Some have undoubtedly noted that those doomsayers who predicted that the government would interfere with their life at the first provocation were, in fact, right. Some will use these events to feed martyr and persecution complexes far into the future. Certainly some have been gathering evidence that government workers and others in the 'wicked world' are minions of the devil. The FLDS people are probably more knowledgeable and therefore craftier about playing the system-and they already knew how to exploit religious exemptions, welfare, and public education assistance.
But public sympathies favored the mothers bereft of their children, the children torn from their mothers. People have showered them with gifts of money and other kindnesses, offering shelter and goods and emotional support. People have prayed and fasted and wept for them. They have written letters to editors and senators and governors and even the president. Even those who cheered the state's action have done so in the name of the children's safety and well-being. No longer can the FLDS people pretend that all the people of the world outside their community are wicked.