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Shortly after the raid, Oprah Show correspondent Lisa Ling traveled to Central Texas. After two days of waiting and hours of tense cell phone discussions, Lisa and the producers are allowed access to the compound and brought to a house where three women wait to speak with her. Two attorneys stand nearby, monitoring Lisa's questions and the women's answers.

The women say Child Welfare Investigators and SWAT teams armed with full ammunition and tanks took their children by force. "They took them from us with guns," one woman says. Collectively, the three women have 14 children.

In talking to Lisa, the women hope to dispel some misperceptions about their community. When asked about teenage girls being forced to marry older men, the women say there's no reason for concern and that the girl could refuse if she didn't want to marry. "They are actually well taken care of. They're not abused, especially the young ones," one of the women says.

As far as the allegation that has sparked so much controversy and heartache, one of the women has strong words about the call that she says may not even be legitimate. "It's appalling to me that they would do this to a community from a phone call. … That they would disrupt so many lives and say that it was in the interest of the children. That is the biggest farce I have ever heard in my entire life."
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FROM: Forced to Marry at 14: Lisa Ling's Special Report on Polygamy Continues
Published on May 29, 2008

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