This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Carole Mikita reporting Women who live on the secluded FLDS ranch have stepped in front of cameras recently. They appear to have a uniform style in their clothing and hair. A former member explained their dress to us.
Photographs of polygamist wives taken in 1953 show women in skirts and blouses, with summery prints, and their hair braided or partially pulled back. Decades later, the FLDS women in Texas appear to be carbon copies of those earlier members. The uniform is a directive from successive prophets, most recently, Warren Jeffs.
Carl Holm left the FLDS faith 27 years ago. Together with is wife, Joni, they raised three young people who escaped FLDS polygamy. The couple cannot visit Carl's family. Joni said, "They were told and counseled by Warren not to associate with any of us."
According to Carl, Jeffs "told [the foster children], ‘Every bit of your body is to be covered.'"
The different pastel-colored dresses identify wives of the same husband. The long sleeves and skirts cover white religious garments. "Actually long-sleeved, it goes all the way down to their ankles, so they're to cover their garment," Carl said.
They are forbidden to wear red or black. "Jesus is to wear that. He'll come, he'll return in a red-colored robe, so that's off limits. And black, and the dark is also off limits because that is the sign of Satan," Joni explained.
The women's hair swept up over their foreheads relates to their spirituality. "It looks like a goose thing on top of their heads, the higher they can get that, the more righteous they are, so that's a trademark for them. They really are proud of that," Joni said.
The Holms say they hope the children will be free from abuse; they also hope their mothers will have freedom from a different kind of control.