#2: Warren Jeffs

This episode does contain some gross and disturbing shit. Listen at your own risk.

Warren Jeffs: Prophet and Polygamist Cult Leader, Now Felon

In 2011, Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison for assaulting two of his child brides.

Between 2003 and 2008, girls between the ages of 12 and 17 were forced into unlawful marriages to men that were sometimes 4 times their own ages. In 2008, a large FLDS compound in Eldorado, Texas, was raided by Texas Rangers and local authorities after a girl claiming to be “Sarah Jessop Barlow” called a local domestic violence hotline, alleging that she was being beaten, forced into marriage, and was living on the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado. She also claimed to be 16 and pregnant, in addition to already having had a child at some point previously. What followed was a controversial custody battle involving over 430 minors and their mothers.

Despite public scrutiny, authorities searched the compound, breaching the FLDS temple and finding countless documents and other creepy shit. Two beds were found in the temple, each were used to coach wives in submission and pleasing their husbands. (Yes, we know, it’s disgusting.) Warren Jeffs was obsessed with girls “keeping sweet” and submitting to their husbands, despite the FLDS “Priesthood” men being held to completely different standards.

Warren Jeffs was accused of facilitating underage marriages, “plural” marriage (basically men marrying a bunch of women/girls), and taking a man’s family away and assigning them to a different husband. 400 boys were kicked out of the FLDS, resulting in drug addiction, depression, and suicide. People did not know how to function outside of the FLDS society, leaving them lost in a culture that they had been taught was evil. The FLDS were constantly waiting for Armageddon and had a deep mistrust of the government and outside society.

Warren Jeffs was eventually imprisoned on related charges, which were dropped, until he was extradited to Texas to finally answer for his crimes.

Further reading:

Warren Jeffs Wiki

YFZ Ranch Wiki


Polygamist Diary Describes Secret Bed Used for Sex Assaults My San Antonio

With God on their Side Texas Monthly/Katy Vine, October 2009

The Witness Wore Red, Rebecca Musser