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A plastic sheet, padded sides and mounted on wheels: The ‘rape bed’ pervert polygamist Warren Jeffs ordered to be made for his compound. Warren Jeffs gave specific instructions on his bed, saying that it should be padded and long enough to hold him and there should be a plastic cover on the mattress to ‘protect from what will happen.’

“Heavenly Sessions”

The largest polygamist community in America is run by a madman in jail 

Warren Jeffs” is the fundamentalist Mormon leader who spent more than a year on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted List” for unlawful flight on charges related to his alleged arrangement of illegal marriages involving underage girls. Jeffs, accused of being married to 78 women—24 of them under 17—is one of the most manipulative criminal masterminds of the decade.

Jeffs’ rise to power happened after the death of his father, Rulon Jeffs. Within days of his father’s passing, Warren married all of his father’s wives and dictatorial control over his polygamist followers ensued. He demanded women in the sect be completely subservient to men, banned laughing, and “reassigned” wives to other men at whim.

Jeffs was eventually charged as an accomplice to rape for arranging underage marriages but fled prosecution. After a year-long manhunt, he was finally apprehended in Texas and brought back to trial. The courtroom testimony of two brave young women who escaped his reign of terror ensured he would finally be convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Even to this day with their leader behind bars, members of his polygamist cult still believe that he is the prophet chosen by God himself.

A Polygamist Cult’s Last Stand: The Rise and Fall of Warren Jeffs. Illustration by Sean McCabe

Jeffs married his youngest wife, Merrianne Jessop, in 2006 when she was just 12 years old, later consummating the marriage by raping her on a temple bed. Jessop told caseworkers when she was 15 that the then-50-year-old “Prophet” couldn’t possibly be guilty of a crime because “Heavenly Father is the one that tells Warren when a girl is ready to get married.” Merrianne’s own father performed the ceremony. Jeffs, in an odd bit of symmetry, gave one of his own daughters away to an older man on the same day.

As if the rape of his 12-year-old child bride wasn’t horrific enough, Jeffs also made at least some of his other reported 70-plus wives watch as he did it—plus, he made an audio recording of it all. Jurors were asked to listen to the recording of the rape during the trial where Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault in 2011. The tape—seized following his arrest in 2006—also included recordings of Jeffs instructing other “child brides” to “assist” and “comfort” him physically (as well as shave their pubic hair). He called the rapes “heavenly sessions.”

As FLDS prophet, Jeffs has given himself the power to disrupt the lives of his followers as he sees fit. Wives may belong to their husband for all eternity, according to Jeffs’s doctrine, but the prophet may “reassign” wives and children to other men as punishment for misdeeds. Tragically, the wives rarely resist, because obedience to the prophet is paramount. However a family is broken up and put back together, the husband, ultimately, gets to choose whether or not to “invite” his wives into heaven—a rare decision the prophet can’t influence.

Recordings of a telephone conversation Jeffs had with various family members while in jail in 2007 revealed he thought he was a “wicked man” because of “immoral actions with a sister and a daughter” when he was 20 years old. Jeffs didn’t go into details.

When Jeffs’s father, Rulon, died, Warren took over the sect and began preaching he “was Jesus Christ incarnate,” according to a former member. He married several of Rulon’s wives, but not out of disrespect: he also preached that his father, pictured above, was God. Specifically, he explained Rulon-God wasn’t dead but had been “renewed” or “reincarnated” into the form of Warren-Jesus. This, he claimed, made it okay for him to marry his father’s wives.

One of the 21st century’s most infamous religious leaders, Warren Jeffs grew up within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) community. This religious sect is an offshoot from Mormonism, but it is not recognized by or affiliated with the mainstream Mormon Church. The FLDS carries on one tradition that the Mormons abandoned in the 1890s: polygamy or plural marriage.

The practice of polygamy goes back for generations in Jeffs’ family. His father, Rulon, had at least 50 wives and dozens of children during his lifetime. Warren was his 14th child. He was born more than two months prematurely, and his survival led him to be seen as a golden child. From the beginning, he had a special relationship with his father. He grew up outside Salt Lake City, UT, and for more than 20 years, Warren Jeffs served as the principal of Alta Academy, an FLDS private school in the area. He was known for being a stickler for the rules and for discipline.

Growing up in his family’s well-appointed compound in suburban Salt Lake City, 400 miles north of Short Creek, he eventually became the principal of Alta Academy, the church’s private school for the 90 or so families who lived in the city and secretly practiced polygamy, like the family in HBO’s series Big Love. Tall with a pale complexion, Jeffs wore thick Coke-bottle glasses and spoke in a flat nasal monotone that rarely moved an octave.

Former students have described Jeffs as an exacting taskmaster who had little tolerance for those who broke his rules. “Perfect obedience requires perfect faith,” he taught. Jeffs would sneak up behind students in class, grabbing them by the neck and whispering things like, “Are you keeping sweet or do you need to be punished?” But there was nothing more terrifying than walking up the stairs to Jeffs’ office. For some students, the punishment that awaited was a beating with a yardstick, and for some, the horrors were far worse. One of Jeffs’ nephews would later sue his uncle for raping him repeatedly when he was between five and seven years old.

In the late Nineties, Jeffs started spending more time in Short Creek. His father had become the prophet in 1986, but a series of strokes had left him mentally incapacitated, and over time, Jeffs became his father’s most trusted counsellor, and eventually his mouthpiece. At a meeting shortly after his father’s death, Jeffs sat near the podium in the FLDS Chapel, peering down at the congregation with a large portrait of his father propped up on a chair beside him. He explained that Rulon wasn’t dead at all – he’d been “renewed,” or reincarnated, and was standing before them. In other words, Jeffs was Rulon, which is why it was perfectly acceptable for him to marry his dad’s wives. Jessop, by then the prophet’s head bodyguard, fell in line.

In 2002, Jeffs took the reins of the FLDS after the death of his father. He became the group’s new prophet, which gave him control over its property holdings as well as its followers. Early on in his tenure, Jeffs decided to marry some of his father’s wives.

Jeffs told the high-ranking FLDS officials, “I won’t say much, but I will say this—hands off my father’s wives.” When addressing his father’s widows he said, “You women will live as if Father is still alive and in the next room.” Within a week, Jeffs had married all but two of his father’s wives; one, Rebecca Wall, fled the compound, the other refused to marry Jeffs and was subsequently prohibited from ever marrying again. Wall, the older sister of Elissa Wall who was instrumental in Warren’s incarceration, later married Jeffs’ nephew. Naomi Jessop was one of the first of Rulon’s former wives to marry Warren, subsequently becoming his favourite wife and confidant. Jessop was with Jeffs at the time of his arrest

As the sole individual in the church with the authority to perform marriages, Jeffs was responsible for assigning wives to husbands. He also had the authority to discipline male church members by “reassigning their wives, children and homes to another man.

He also sought out a place for a new FLDS community in West Texas. There, Jeffs established the Yearning for Zion, or YFZ, Ranch. He showed himself to be ruthless and controlling, excommunicating 21 men in 2004 for disobedience. Even for the faithful, Jeffs ruled over nearly every aspect of their lives, from the clothes they wore to whom they could marry to what toys children could play with. He insisted on no television and no Internet.

Jeffs soon found himself in legal hot water, however. The male followers he excommunicated in 2004 filed a civil suit against him later that year, and his nephew Brent Jeffs also brought him to court. Brent Jeffs claimed that his uncle had sexually assaulted him as a child. As criminal charges started to mount against Jeffs, he dropped out of sight.

In 2005, Arizona authorities indicted Jeffs on conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, and sexual conduct with a minor. He then faced two counts of rape as an accomplice in 2006 in Utah for his role in arranging a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her19-year-old cousin. Law enforcement didn’t know exactly where Jeffs was during this time, but many assumed he was hiding out at various FLDS compounds to avoid prosecution. He was even added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list in 2006. When he was captured north of Las Vegas that August, Jeffs had several cell phones, more than $50,000 in cash, and a stash of wigs and sunglasses in his vehicle.

Seizure: Law enforcement officials and their vehicles are seen parked around the perimeter of the temple on the Yearning for Zion Ranch, home of the FLDS, near Eldorado, Texas.

Until courts in Utah intervened, Jeffs controlled almost all of the land in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, which was part of a church trust, the United Effort Plan (UEP). The land has been estimated to be worth over $100 million. Currently, all UEP assets are in the custody of the Utah court system pending further litigation. As the result of a November 2012 court decision, much of the UEP land is to be sold to those who live on it.

Jeffs expelled a group of 20 men from Colorado City, including the mayor, and reassigned their wives and children to other men in the community. Jeffs, like his predecessors, continued the standard FLDS and Mormon fundamentalist tenet that faithful men must follow what is known as the doctrine of plural marriage in order to attain exaltation in the afterlife. Jeffs specifically taught that a devoted church member is expected to have at least three wives in order to get into heaven, and the more wives a man has, the closer he is to heaven.

Former Jeffs family caretaker Roy Allred told the FBI that Jeffs’s 70+ wives, for a time, engaged in “nightly group sex rituals” with an incarcerated Jeffs listening in—and participating—over the phone. These so-called “heavenly comfort sessions” allegedly began when Jeffs was on the lam and would call in from the road. Allred, listening in on secure phone lines he set up for Jeffs, says at least one wife was “underage and inexperienced in the ways of sex.” Here’s CNN’s description of a typical “session”:

Allred said he could hear heavy breathing and some of the wives whispered they wished Jeffs were with them. The prophet encouraged them, exhorting, “Go after it” and “Go all the way.” The women responded, saying, “Yes, we are doing this for you.” And “This is heavenly. This is so special.”

Handpicked fathers: FLDS children bath in a river in their clothes for modesty in the cult where 15 men have been handpicked by Jeffs to father all the children. Married couples are banned from having sex.

Former FLDS member Carolyn Jessop says before Jeffs took over, there were plenty of books available in the community, including her personal collection of more than 300. That all changed when Jeffs decreed that “all worldly material” be banned. All literature was burned—even magazines such as Motor Trend—including kids’ books. The children were also taught “dinosaurs had never existed and that men had never set foot on the moon.”

While hundreds, maybe thousands, of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints members have left the faith in the last decade, one subgroup remains rather elusive: the wives of Warren Jeffs. Texas records indicated that Jeffs, the church president who is serving a prison sentence in that state, married 81 times to women and girls. One of the few to speak is Brielle Decker. Decker grew up in Sandy and attended the FLDS’ Alta Academy, where Jeffs was headmaster. She moved to Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., as a teenager. Her sister was married to Jeffs’ father, Rulon Jeffs, then she married Warren Jeffs after his father died. At age 18, her father “turned her in.” He wrote a letter to church leaders, recommending her for marriage. The father received a phone call in reply the same day. It wasn’t a happy occasion. Decker’s mother screamed “no” when she heard. Siblings told her that marrying into the Jeffs family was like going to a funeral. Decker never had sex education and worried about her lack of knowledge when she was on her way to marry Warren Jeffs. Eventually, she wound up in a “House of Hiding,” where the FLDS stash people they don’t want law enforcement to find. She quit going to some of the spiritual training Warren Jeffs would lead over the telephone. To move her among the houses of hiding, Decker said, her caretakers gave her a pill that made her sleepy. One caretaker threatened to kill her.

Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint women are not allowed to cut their hair because it is believed that they will need it to wash men’s feet in heaven.

Rachel Jeffs didn’t even know where she was living. Somewhere in Idaho is all she knew. She never learned the address. She didn’t have a reason to learn it. She and the other women there were not allowed to leave, Jeffs said, or even to go outside during daylight.

“We could go outside at night on the deck and stuff, but not during the day,” Jeffs said. “And we were supposed to sew — everybody — and stay in the house and clean and make meals.”

Jeffs was living in what the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints calls a “house of hiding.” Her caretaker there, she said was her uncle — Lyle Jeffs. Former FLDS followers suspect he is now living in such a house — somewhere.

Interviews and court documents describe the Houses of hiding as being what the name implies, though law enforcement has located some of them over the years. Court papers mention investigators finding such houses in Las Vegas, San Angelo, Texas, and one described as a “remote timbered wilderness area… 25 mountain miles from the nearest small settlement.”

Court documents also have described what appears to be a House of hiding near Custer, S.D., not far from where the FLDS has a compound. The rental home outside of Pocatello, Idaho, where authorities found nine FLDS boys living in 2014 under the supervision of a caretaker later convicted of misdemeanour counts of child abuse, also has been described by former followers as a house of hiding.

Lyle’s older brother, FLDS President Warren Jeffs, created the House of hiding network about 2004, according to interviews, when he was running from civil lawsuits and investigators. That’s about the time the FLDS was purchasing ranches in Eldorado, Texas, and Pringle, S.D, and a small compound in Mancos, Colo.

Those properties were called “lands of refuge.” The most devout and worthy members of the faith were moved there. The Houses of hiding were meant for a slightly lesser group for whom there was not yet enough lodging to move to the ranches or who needed to improve their standing first. The Texas, South Dakota and Colorado properties soon were discovered by law enforcement and journalists. The houses of hiding remained secret. They were either rented or purchased by men or businesses loyal to Warren in places that were rural or at least had high fences.

Some of the people on the ranches were moved to houses of hiding by 2006, Rachel said when the search for Warren, who is her father, intensified and he needed to hide people who could testify against him. That included, Rachel said, the sons and daughters he molested. “Really, they are the evidence against him,” Rachel said, “and that’s why he so carefully keeps us afraid of the law.”

Jeffs Says Homosexuality Is ‘Like Murder’. The Southern Poverty Law Center compiled an intelligence report on Jeffs in 2005, including audio recordings of him expounding on various topics. Regarding homosexuality, Jeffs minces words a little, but his feelings are clear. “It is like murder,” he says, but not before first declaring it “the worst evil act you can do, next to murder.” Jeffs thinks a vengeful God doesn’t tolerate homosexuals: “Whenever people commit that sin, then the Lord destroys them.”

A Southern Poverty Law Center recording revealed Jeffs thinks black people are how the devil “has always been able to bring evil unto the earth.” He also thinks even having “connections” to a black person will cause someone to become “cursed.”

Jeffs tries to back these claims up with the Bible, claiming Cain “was cursed with a black skin and he is the father of the Negro people.” Cain also still manifests himself, apparently, “as a mortal man” that are “used by the devil.” Jeffs thinks he “has great power,” including the ability to “appear and disappear.”

Children in the local schoolhouse are also taught that Jeffs was the president of the United States and that God led Neil Armstrong away from the moon during the Apollo 11. When questioned by an ABC reporter about their general level of knowledge, a trio of girls who escaped the cult with their mother said that they had never heard of Ronald Reagan, Santa Claus or AIDS.

The women are always covered from neck to ankle because they believe their bodies are sacred.  Town dressmaker Lizzie Jeffs said: ‘We believe in being modest. ‘The Lord teaches us that if we can dress properly, it is easier to see each other as a whole person inside and out.’ Women must never cut their hair because it is believed that they will need it to wash men’s feet in heaven.

They all live in polygamous marriages where each man has at least three sister wives. The FLDS organization is protected by Utah’s homeschooling law, which means that state officials have no say about the content of the curriculum taught on the grounds of the secured compound.

Totalitarian leader: Jeffs was convicted of molesting two teenage girls and sentenced to life in prison, but he continues to have control over his sect.

In 2007, Jeffs was tried and convicted in Utah on charges of being an accessory to rape. That conviction was later overturned, but he faced, even more, charges in Texas that came as a result of a raid on the YFZ Ranch in 2008. The raid yielded a treasure trove of evidence against Jeffs and several other members of the FLDS in connection to their marriages to underage girls. Jeffs went on trial in 2011 for two of his “celestial marriages”—one with a 12-year-old girl and another with a 15-year-old girl who later had his child. Both of these so-called unions violated Texas law.

Some of the most damning evidence came from Jeffs’ own records. He had the habit of having his wives write down all of his activities. He kept journals and made audiotapes, as well.

Jeffs, 55, had perverted his position as the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to “satisfy his own personal appetites and desires,” prosecutor Eric Nichols said.

Jeffs talks about those desires on audiotapes that authorities seized from his car and the church’s Yearning For Zion Ranch compound in Eldorado, Texas.

The tapes contained evidence of Jeffs instructing underage girls to have sex with him. At one point, Jeffs is heard saying God instructs “for quorums of wives to be with me, to assist me. To be a comfort. Yes, even physically.”

Several times, Jeffs refers to having sexual relations with him as “heavenly sessions,” and he instructed the young ladies that they also “must assist each other” during these sessions.

“You have to know how to be excited sexually,” Jeffs said. “The Lord has intended that my ladies, all of my ladies be trained.”

During Jeffs’ trial, an FBI agent read from a journal that Jeffs kept in which prosecutors say prove he knew his behaviour would be frowned upon.

Jeffs allegedly wrote: “Things are happening so quickly. There is an even younger girl that the Lord wants me to take. She is 13. For some reason, the Lord is sending me these girls that can be worked with.”

During his trial, Jeffs’s 28-year-old nephew Brent Jeffs told jurors his uncle raped him in a restroom following a “family meeting” when he was five. He allegedly asked Brent to kneel “like he was praying” before warning Brent “this is between me and you and God.” Jeffs’s adult niece also told jurors he made her sit on his lap when she was 7 and did undisclosed “inappropriate things” to her. She was reportedly sobbing so hard in the courtroom the prosecutor stopped questioning her and didn’t ask for details.

Court documents from his trial revealed Jeffs demanded a special temple bed be constructed at his “Yearning for Zion” ranch temple in Eldorado, TX, just for consummating marriages.

Disturbing details of the bed Warren Jeffs ordered to be specially made for the purpose of sexually assaulting hundreds of young girls were outlined in pages of a diary he referred to as ‘priesthood records’.

He told his followers the bed must be made of hardwood, sturdy so it wouldn’t rattle, long enough to hold his frame and covered with a plastic sheet to ‘protect the mattress from what will happen on it’.

Jeffs reportedly wanted the bed to be sturdy “so it wouldn’t rattle,” and to have padded sides that could hold him in place as “the Lord does His work with [him].” Jeffs also wanted “a plastic cover to protect the mattress from what will happen on it.” The world got to see the bed when the temple was seized in 2014.

Among the thousands of pages of journal entries, Jeffs gave detailed instructions to his followers on how they were to relocate and build a secret compound in West Texas, where he said God had led him to.

Initial descriptions of the bed Jeffs ordered to be made were first heard shortly after the raid on the 1,600-acre compound. Investigators found the altar-like bed on the top all-white floor of the towering limestone temple.

More details were available in the journals, in which he said the bed should have padding on either side to hold him in place as ‘the Lord does His work with me’ but can easily be disguised as a table.

‘It should be made so the table top can come off. It will be on wheels. When the mattress is in place, this bench will be to the right side the bed. This will be made so that it can be taken apart and stored in a closet where no one can see it.

‘When I need it, I will pull it out and set it up. The bed will be a size big enough for me to lay on. … It will be covered with a sheet, but it will have a plastic cover to protect the mattress from what will happen on it.’

Jurors at his trial were moved to tears when hearing how the children were restrained to his bed while he sexually assaulted them.
The diary offers a narrative of daily events from 2002 to 2006, where he meticulously documented the events as his followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were being driven from their home base in Utah.

A 12-year-old girl named Merrianne Jessop had told investigators that during her marriage ceremony in the YFZ temple, Jeffs had laid her down on a ceremonial bed and had intercourse with her while some of his other wives watched. The state also had an audio tape of the encounter.The tape of the assault on the 12-year-old girl was played during the trial, and excerpts from his records were read aloud. “If the world knew what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree,” read one journal entry.

Serving as his own attorney, Jeffs mounted a weak defence. He rambled on in court, reading at length from the Book of Mormon, and he used most of the half hour allotted for his closing argument to stand before the jury in silence. It was revealed during the proceedings that he had more than 70 illegal marriages, as many as a third of which were with underage girls. In the end, Jeffs wasn’t able to sway the jury to his side. He was found guilty on both counts and quickly sentenced to life in prison. On the day of the verdict—guilty—Jeffs displayed no reaction. During the sentencing portion of the trial, the prosecution introduced even more damning evidence: He’d arranged 67 marriages between men and underage girls and facilitated 500 bigamous marriages, in addition to running for years from the law.

Jeffs is currently serving his sentence at Powledge prison near Palestine, Texas. Far from the model prisoner, he has gone on hunger strikes and attempted suicide. Despite these self-destructive activities, Jeffs still controls the FLDS and its members from behind bars.

Eleven other FLDS men were charged with crimes including sexual assault and bigamy. So far, all seven, who have been prosecuted, have been convicted – receiving prison sentences of between six and 75 years.

Innocent victims: Children living in Warren Jeffs’ compound are taught that the self-proclaimed prophet convicted of child sex abuse is the U.S. president. Children of cult members receive little more than a grade school education where science and history are ignored in favour of religious studies with an emphasis on Jeffs’ proverbs, and where every school book must be personally approved by the leader.

In His Own Words
FLDS ‘prophet’ Warren Jeffs offers up some harsh opinions on blacks, women, gays, violence and the end of the world

On Blacks

“The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth.”

“[Cain was] cursed with a black skin and he is the father of the Negro people. He has great power, can appear and disappear. He is used by the devil, as a mortal man, to do great evils.”

“Today you can see a black man with a white woman, et cetera. A great evil has happened on this land because the devil knows that if all the people have Negro blood, there will be nobody worthy to have the priesthood.”

“If you marry a person who has connections with a Negro, you would become cursed.”

On the Role of Women
“You can’t go to heaven and be a god unless you have more than one wife.”

“Don’t go that sad road, young ladies. Don’t be wooed and tricked by the cute and cool and cunning boys or men that try to get you to like them.”

“I have been instructed that any young man who will not leave our girls alone is to be sent away and not allowed to be among us, even before they destroy the girl.”

On Homosexuality
“The people grew so evil, the men started to marry the men and the women married the women. This is the worst evil act you can do, next to murder. It is like murder. Whenever people commit that sin, then the Lord destroys them.”

On Violence
“I want to remind you what the prophets have taught us, that whenever a man of God is commanded to kill another man, he is never bloodthirsty.”

The End of the World
“For our, God has a controversy with the nations, and He is about to stretch forth His hand and sweep the wicked off this land.”

“Today the Lord rules over this people through President Jeffs, yet we’re under the bondage of the gentiles here in America. Soon the Lord will overthrow our nation and the priesthood people will rule over this land because the priesthood people will be the only ones left.”

“Your only survival will be to be lifted up. It will be the greatest earthquake ever to come on the earth. The great war before the earthquake will kill 2 billion and the earthquake will kill quite a bit of those that are left — besides diseases and other things.”

“When we finally go to Zion, then another planet is going to crash into this earth.”

The prophet — and there is little doubt Warren Jeffs is still the FLDS prophet — chooses who will be included in the United Order. His brothers, Lyle and Seth, serve as “bishops” and carry out the prophet’s wishes at FLDS compounds along the Utah-Arizona border and in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The cook, Allene Jeffs Steed, told the FBI last year that while she prepared feasts of lobster and shrimp for the bishop, her own children “lived off toast.” She used duct tape to hold her kids’ shoes together. And hers wasn’t the only FLDS family to go without.

“We were literally starving,” Sheryl Barlow told the FBI. She lived in a house with 40 people and said they subsisted on noodles, brown rice, tomato juice and, when they were lucky, bread or a few containers of yoghurt.

Federal prosecutors allege that food for the families of church leaders was ordered separately from stores such as Costco, while other members were left to shop at a warehouse of pooled resources called “the bishop’s storehouse.” Often, there wasn’t enough in the storehouse for everyone, and those at the bottom of the FLDS pecking order had to settle for whatever was left. “We had little children that were starving, big people that were starving,” Barlow said. “It wasn’t enough to sustain.”

Fear and small numbers have long silenced the “apostates,” as the FLDS calls its turncoats. They’d be cut off from their families, shunned and harassed. Now, there are just too many of them. In some cases, entire families are leaving the fold.

The witnesses lent their voices to two court actions likely to mark a major turning point for the FLDS. In one, federal authorities took aim at the church leadership, trying to loosen its grip on two small towns along the Utah-Arizona border known as Short Creek, where some 7,500 FLDS members live. The other, filed in February, targets the way the FLDS allegedly uses women and children as welfare cash cows.

While families entitled to the food stamps went hungry, federal prosecutors allege, church leaders funnelled food purchased with federal assistance into their own pantries or illegally exchanged food stamps for cash to plough into church projects — including publication of the prophet’s 854-page book of prison revelations, titled “Jesus Christ, Message to All Nations.” One witness who worked in the front office estimated the printing costs at $250,000.

Former FLDS members tell Rolling Stone that Jeffs, in February 2016, has decreed only men of a so-called “royal bloodline” can reproduce in the community. These 15 men are also limited to sex with women selected to be a part of the “United Order,” an elite group within the faith—many of which are already married. The 15 “seed bearers” hide their identities using a hood and a sheet during sex. The cuckolded husbands are forced to watch the “breeding session” for some twisted reason. If the impregnated United Order woman follows the required “special detox diet” and successfully gives birth, the baby is whisked away and put into hiding, thus creating the start of a “master race” loyal only to Jeffs.

Jeffs has been serving a life sentence in a Texas prison since 2011, but it doesn’t appear to have softened his faith any. He reportedly prayed so much at one point “open wounds began to fester on his knees.”

Jeffs never interacts with other inmates, choosing instead to sit alone and read letters from his followers. To keep him from doing too much harm to himself during his intense prayer sessions, officials have at least once had to chain him to a wall.

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13 Horrifying True Facts About Church Leader Warren Jeffs – Ranker

Warren Jeffs News, Articles & Images | National Post

Warren S. Jeffs – The New York Times

Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs | Lifetime

Warren Jeffs | New York Post

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