Inside the horror crimes of polygamous Mormon cult FLDS & its 'prophet' leader Warren Jeffs who 'had 24 wives under 17'

THE crimes and secrets of polygamous Mormon cult FLDS have been investigated for years.

Now, the crimes of the cult and its "prophet" leader, Warren Jeffs, are being fully unearthed in a new Netflix documentary.




The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS)is actually a branch off from the Mormon church.

When mainstream Mormonism stopped practicing polygamy in the 1890s – reportedly as part of a deal to help make Utah a recognized state – one group refused to comply.

That's when the FLDS branched off and became the cult-like group it's now known as.

Its leader, Jeffs, succeeded his father, Rulon T. Jeffs, who ran the cult for about 15 years prior to his 2002 death.

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'EMOTIONAL' AND 'MANIPULATIVE'

In an interview with the New York Post, Jeffs' son, Wendell Jeffson, referred to his father as “emotional” and “manipulative."

“Warren Jeffs controlled everything from the things you eat, to the things you wear and — if he could — even the things you think,” Jeffson told the outlet.

Jeffson told Insider that his father wouldn't allow music, internet, movies, candy, and more.

“He just created an environment where we were only exposed to things that he wanted us to be exposed to," Jeffson told Insider.

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“He had control over the way that we saw the outside world in every aspect.”

Jeffson also claimed that when he was 14, his father accused him and other FLDS boys of wanting to have sex with some of his wives – many of whom were similar in age to Jeffson at the time.

“I grew up having moms that were 15 years old,” Jeffson told Insider.

“It’s not right, but he was marrying 12-year-olds and I was told that they were my mom, and they weren’t even that much older than me.”

Not long after that, Jeffson was cast out of FLDS, along with his sister, Sarah, and mother, Vicki.

CHILD LABOR

Accusations have flown against FLDS for a variety of possible crimes.

Jeffson recently spoke out about these accusations, claiming he and others worked long days at construction sites operating heavy machinery for little or no money.

He told Insider that FLDS children were often woken up at around 5am to help cook breakfast and clean before being sent to work.

"I was kind of freaked out when I was 14 and they told me, 'go jump in this big piece of heavy equipment,'" Jeffson told Insider.

"I was pretty scared and I remember I didn't want to, but at that point, I was like 'I got to learn sometime' so I just did it and overcame the fear."

Jeffson said he and the other FLDS kids worked at a number of hotel chains. Many FLDS families in Utah own and operate construction companies, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The young man also told Insider that he "wasn't allowed to tell anybody I was under 18."

"In fact, I was told to tell people I was 19 as an electrician," he said.

"I had one person ask me for my ID. I kind of just wiggled out of the situation. I was too young to have a driver's license."

The Department of Labor ordered FLDS to pay close to $1 million for violating child labor laws in 2021, CNN reports.

HOMOPHOBIA AND RACISM

Jeffs has also been accused of homophobia and racism teachings within FLDS.

"Race was huge in the FLDS," Jeffson told Fox News.

"We were taught very strongly that Black people were very evil.

"I remember, at a young age, I had to go off the compound and go to the hospital, which most people didn’t have an opportunity to do.

"And we were treated extremely well by different people, including some Black people. I began to wonder at that point, ‘Why were they so bad?’"

In a 2001 sermon, Jeffs allegedly said: "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."

Jeffs also allegedly said in a sermon: "The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth."

ACCOMPLICE FOR ABUSE

Jeffs allegedly married couples of various ages – including minors – in a FLDS community located on the Utah-Arizona border in the Colorado City area, according to court documents.

When police became aware of the situation and investigated the rape of a minor within the FLDS community, Jeffs' name was involved and he was wanted as an accomplice for the abuse, court documents show.

But Jeffs, hellbent on avoiding cops, built a FLDS compound in Texas.

Known as the "Yearning for Zion Ranch," that's where Jeffs took on more wives.

The self-proclaimed president and prophet of FLDS reportedly had 78 wives – only 54 of whom were over the age of 17, according to multiple media reports.

In fact, a member of FLDS, Fredrick Merril Jessop, was later sentenced to 10 years in prison for holding a marriage ceremony between a 12-year-old girl and Jeffs, then 50.

Jeffs was even placed on the FBI's Most Wanted list prior to his arrest.

He was arrested in 2006, when Jeffson was just seven years old, after being on the run for about a year.

Jeffs was wanted for the alleged sexual assault of a minor in 2002, according to the FBI. He also was wanted for one count of conspiracy to commit sexual assault with a minor, also in 2002, near the Colorado City area. He was wanted as an accomplice to rape in Utah.

He is serving a life sentence for child sexual assault.

But as Jeffson claims, Jeffs continues to run the FLDS from jail.

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Jeffson, on the other hand, is engaged and lives in Guatemala working in the insurance field.

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey premieres on Netflix on June 8.

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