his sister, elaine, was just on in sessions. she said he's been doing this for
30 years. not 10 to 15. i'm not buying it was a big secret!! why didn't
anyone step in? other family members who weren't part of it but knew. members
of the lds church knew. law enforcement knew. but no one stopped him until now.
Old Warren shouldn't have gone to Texas. In Texas, God's apostles wear a Texas
Ranger badge and carry a Colt 45.Utah, take note. Texas got 'er
I was a little surprised to see read this entire story without crediting Jon
Krakauer who arguably brought this "open secret" into the national
debate with his 2003 best-selling book, Under the Banner of Heaven, which very
clearly and with exceptional detail framed the case against Mr. Jeffs and others
like him. Law enforcement had every opportunity previously to charge Mr. Jeffs,
but only mobilized against these practioners of child rape after public opinion
and outcry was mobilized. Mr. Krakauer deserves a great deal of credit and
thanks for his fine efforts.
Poetic justice for this tool! Utah may not have gotten the job done but Texas
sure in the heck did,way to go! I hope he is going to like the Huntsville
facility because they are definately going to like him if you know what I mean.
Anybody that thinks like this is not stable and shouldn't be allowed to roam
It's always tempting to focus purely on the dictator, whether Jeffs, Hitler,
etc. But without a multitude of "ordinary people" followers,
dictators can't commit the evil they do. In some cases, of course, terror is
used to instill obedience. But in many other cases, the masses willingly--and
happily--give their support.Now that Jeffs has been put away, we
need to turn our attention to the psychology of people (maybe even including
ourselves?) who can abandon all their former standards and unquestioningly
follow an evildoer. I can think of no better book which explains this
phenomenon than "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer. It's long been
considered a classic, and it's a slim and very "plain English" read.
Certainly, let's hunt down and deactivate the "front link"
in the chain of evil. But let's never shrug off the rest of the chain, and why
they behave the way they do. Because to not understand what makes these people
tick will only ensure such evil happening again and again and again.
The entire thing is sad. Feel terrible for the victims. Nothing breaks my
heart more than child abuse. Jeffs grew up in this culture so his
perception of normal and appropriate was certainly distorted, but he obviously
knew what he was doing was wrong. Certainly a case of polygamy being practiced
in the Bible could be made, but group sex with kids (and to do it in the name of
God no less). If the millstone would be preferable, it scares me to
think what awaits...
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
YES! TEXAS did git r done! I'll tell you one more thing if the person was of
color Utah would've moved like lightening with a life sentence!
John, great in depth article. Wonderfully written. Thank you.
Amazing how people use the comments on Warren Jeffs to rail comments toward the
LDS Church and try to paint Utah as racist. Stay focused people. This was a day of justice a long time in the making. It is unfortunate that
it took this long but I'm glad that the process worked. I'm satisfied that this
manipulative predator will not be able to exploit any more people who placed
their trust in him.
Why did he get away with it for so long?We need to explore that and
prevent this from continuing. Yes its still going on hither and
I have wondered on this board what Mormons would do if and when plural marriage
were reinstated? There is no question that enough has been said by past leaders
that it seems a strong possibility. And our temple sealing policies make it
clear the principles behind plural marriage survive.But I have to
think now that the publicity around this case combined with the huge push for
acceptance and downplaying of the the more difficult aspects of the Church means
that we probably don't have to worry about adding any additions on to our homes
anytime soon. Given that, I would love to see the Church stop
allowing men to be sealed to multiple women upon death or divorce of a previous
spouse. If we are going to shed the spector of polygamy let's not do it with one
foot in and one foot out. Oh, and removing those pesky parts in the D&C
about plural marriage would go a long way toward walking the talk too.
The claims of "one-man rule" do not hold up under scrutiny. The
system has continued without Jeffs present. Beyond this the article
under-emphasiszes the responsibility of parents in the sexual use of their
children. It is time for people to give up on the "blame one person"
plan and to start blaming each person involved for their own crimes. Jeffs is
not responsible for the actions of all these other people, they are accountable
for their own actions.
Jon Krakauer is a liar. His book is a useless screed against the LDS Church.
Beyond this his book is about the Lefferty's who were prosecuted for their
crimes back in the 1980s. He deserves no credit for creating any pressure on
Jeffs.His book is full of lies and false insinuations. His claims
about the racial poliices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
were false in 2003 and are even more false today.
The legal focus needs to change to the mothers and fathers that gave those
children to Jeffs and others. There is a host of perpetrators in addition to
Warren Jeffs. Utah and Arizona needs to review the plethora of evidence in
Texas and track down and prosecute everyone one of them. It's all
there folks! The AG's better hadn't be satisfied with just a few
men. Now is the time to act and they need to act now before the trail gets cold
and public support wains. Please send the message that this behavior is a crime
so heinous that we will never tolerate it in any arena.My feeling is
that when children are affected for life like this, it ought to be a capital
offense. Change the law so there can be an appropriate punishment for those that
destroy children's lives.
Yeah, John...actually, it turns out that Krackaur was not only not a liar, but
at least two juries have rendered concurring opinions..Krackaur was clear to
separate the Greater LDS church and population of believers from those who
committed brutal crimes "under the banner of Heaven", the so-called
"fundamentalist" off-shoots like the Jeffs (Father and Son), the
Lafferty brothers, and other closely-held "fundamentalist" communities
in the US. Except some historical background, he had very little to about the
LDS church itself. But, as to your concerns about parental responsibility, I
imagine that there is no shortage of blame to go around here, and now that the
ice is broken,you should expect the number of prosecutions for this kind of
criminal and despicable enterprise. In other words, the party is most likely
over for the religious pedophiles, and Krackauer, once again, deserves a seat on
the podium for bring the stories of the victims to an audience outside of the
realm of this "open secret", for ripping the cloak of religious
sanctimony from the actual activities at hand, serial child rape. Kudos, Jon...
Utahns are not racists. Individuals might be. I know plenty of other racist
people outside of Utah. And the LDS church had nothing to with him. He gives the
Mormons a real bad name. He is a part of the FLDS church which does not follow
the true doctrine of the LDS church.
My question is when will the states of Utah and Arizona finnaly put an end to
this situation. These are kids that are being subjected to this type of abuse.
As many have pointed out, not only is Jeffs to blame, but there is an entire
society here that needs help and correction. This is not freedom of religion
when individual rights are being abused. How Utah and other states let this
continue is beyond my understanding.
Everyone is quick to be critical of the inaction of Utah and Arizona
authorities. Other states including Nevada, Idaho, and Montana have the problem,
as well, and they have not taken much action. There are reasons for this besides
the generally false claim that law enforcement and the attorneys general don't
care about the problem.I have a great concern that if Jeffs is
assigned quality attorneys for his appeals, his convictions may be in jeopardy,
as the first warrants in Texas had a shaky origin. So, yes, let's put the heat
on Hillsdale and Colorado City and the other communities now while the publicity
is hot, and the opportunity and evidence is clear, but law enforcement must make
sure that the ACLU and the Supreme Court don't have any reasons to undo what is
Speeding?, Illegal Immigration??, Polygamy???Law Enforcement is a
joke in Utah.
I think that Warren Jeffs and his followers behaviors are very telling as to why
the LDS church has scripture that God will never allow a Prophet to lead the
members of the church astray. Without that promise from God I could see many
many members following a prophet who may decide to take up residence with Satan.
Not saying that LDS prophets have done this. Just saying that you will find
mindless followers everywhere.
My Great-Great Grandmother was a polygamous wife (2nd) to my G-G-Grandfather.
She bore him 4 children, then fell in love with another man. They were granted
a temple dissolution of sealing, and she married the other man, having other
children. Her first 4 children remained with her 1st husband and his 1st wife,
to be raised as theirs. In later years she lived the role of Grandmother to the
children of those 4. Polygamy agreed upon by all parties - 1st wife, the 2nd
wife and her parents, etc.If God were to tell the LDS Prophet today
to reinstate polygamy, in today's society it could easily be done, with sealings
in the Temple, but not legal (state) marriages, the law of the land
notwithstanding. And assuming all parties were of age, the Law could really not
do much about sex between consenting adults. Of course, it would lack the
predatory nature of the FLDS plural marriage.I don't think it will
happen, but it could. My wife has already told me she would not permit it,
thank heaven, so I don't have to worry about it. What about the rest of you
active LDS Priesthood holders? Thoughts?
"There is no question that enough has been said by past leaders that it
seems a strong possibility."I don't see how it is a strong
possibility based on statements by past leaders. The current leaders have not
said or implied anything about polygamy coming back, and that's really all that
matters.There would have to be a very good reason to reinstate
polygamy. Personally, I don't see myself accepting the practice unless there was
a very clear and practical reason to do so, like if there was such an extreme
shortage of men in the world to necessitate men taking on additional wives in
order to provide for a population of women who were somehow incapable of caring
for themselves and/or masses of women unable to receive the blessings of temple
marriage absent the practice of polygamy. Those conditions just don't exist
today, and even if they did, I would want to avoid having to engage in polygamy
if at all possible. It's hard to know for certain how I would feel about it in
the absence of the necessary conditions. I'm glad it's not an issue for me in
the here and now.
Ye shall know them by thier fruits.
Don't just put the blame an law enforcement in UT and AZ for this to be going on
for so long. In case you have forgotten, we have a constitution in this country
that prevents law enforcement to come into peoples houses and start arresting
them without probable cause. The problem with the FLDS people is that they avoid
contact with the outside and therefore don't go to the police and report any
abuse. The only reason why Texas was able to convict Jeff's is, that they
went into the compound on the base of a hoax and then found all the evidence.
There is still a lawsuite pending, which could overturn all this, if the
evidence will be ruled unlawfull. These cases are very difficult to win.
Utah convicted Jeff's on rape as an accomplice but the conviction was later
overturned on a "stupid" technicality. The same could happen to this
I'd love to know how many of the FLDS wives and children in Texas receive
Medicaid. Someone said in yesterdays comments they get it from Utah. How can
that be if they reside in Texas?
Two female FLDS missionaries knocked on my door before Jeffs era. They were
bold, independent, had normal hair, and were thinking just as freely as many of
today's misinformed college students. One said she chose not to be a
polygamist but believed in it as a principle, the other said she WANTED to be a
polygamist. I don't believe we have a right to arrest her for that, but I don't
think we should show our support by legally condoning polygamy etc through
marriage. The idea that all polygamist women were oppressed, blind
fanatics is prejudice. Polygamist women were some of Americas first
female Doctors, Lawyers, voters, etc. Things weren't always as they are.
I support prop08 and other constitutions which discourage polygamy,
child marriages (one WOMAN one man), and other harmful marriages. I
wish we would pursue other sexual predators, pedophiles, and seducing pressuring
deviants with such vigor. However, I feel it's wrong and bigoted to
lump all polygamists into the same category and to use people like Jeffs to
promote hatred toward mainstream LDS and religion in general.
I am puzzled at members of the LDS community, on one hand constantly reminding
and affirming that Warren Jeffs and his group have nothing to do with the LDS
Church -- and on the other, making Jeffs the top story every day, on every
channel and every front page. If he has nothing to do with LDS, why the
inordinate amount of attention??? It certainly isn't the top story outside of
Glad to see Jeffs put away for life. My concern with the story is that some of
it makes it sound like this is over. The 400 children returned to their parents
face a dangerous future. Jeffs was not the only one marrying 12 year old girls.
These children are in danger and I hope Texas can stop this abuse.
@windsorIt has a lot to do with LDS. Warren Jeffs is following the
original LDS teachings. It's the 'fundamental' LDS. So it's very relevant.
Today's church doesn't teach these things but in Joseph Smith's time, this is
what he taught and his followers practiced. I'm not saying rape or anything,
just marriage to multiple (and often very young) women.