Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Kimberly Houk ReportingSix young men who are being called the "lost boys", filed a lawsuit against the Fundamentalist LDS church, a southern Utah based polygamist religion. They want money for the damage they say was inflicted on them when they were ex-communicated from the church.
The boys say they were unlawfully kicked out of the FLDS religion and cut off from their families for minor offenses like drinking, swearing, or smoking. But the "Lost Boys" say the real reason they were thrown out is there's not enough women to go around to keep all the men in polygamous relationships.
Last month nearly 100 "Lost Boys" filled the steps of the state capitol. It was the first time any of them wanted to tell their story.
Dan Fischer: “It had to stop and we needed to bring it into daylight.”
Dan Fischer is a former polygamist who broke away from the FLDS church a decade ago. He's seen firsthand what has happened to these boys and he stands behind them in filing a lawsuit against the FLDS church, their president Warren Jeffs, and various other church members.
Dan Fischer: “These boys have been damaged. They've been kept from schooling that they should have had in the young teenage years. They need a second chance. They need an opportunity to get education to continue on in life, to support their families."
And they're hoping this lawsuit will provide them with the funds to do that. Fischer says nearly 400 young boys are wandering around southern Utah and Nevada with no money, very little education, and no idea how the outside world works. He says it's happening to keep them from competing for the polygamous community's young brides.
Dan Fischer: “They have nowhere else to turn. There’s nobody they can go to. This has been going on for year.”
Fischer's the driving force behind bringing the "Lost Boys" together. He's helping to find them mentors and father figures, but he's also coming under some heat for his efforts. Recent news reports indicate Fischer offered the boys money, food, even alcohol to participate in his news conference.
Dan Fischer: We have not lured these boys. We have not lured them with alcohol. We have not lured them with other enticements. This is totally ludicrous."
The Lost Boys are seeking an unspecified amount from their former church leaders, saying they ruined their lives both economically and psychologically. An attorney for the FLDS church told the Salt Lake Tribune that this lawsuit is completely without merit, the courts have no oversight over ex-communications.