In The News

Warren Jeffs the polygamist leader and Prophet of the FLDS Church is on trial, Did you know?……
   Jeffs is the polygamist sect leader and “Prophet” of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS). As most of you know, I have read many books regarding the FLDS and their practices, their beliefs, and their story. I was intrigued back in April 2008 when I watched my TV in shock as the Yearning For Zion (YFZ) ranch compound in Schleicher County, Texas was raided by Police, Rangers, Child Protective Services and other state officials.
News casters were making statements about polygamy and the FLDS. My first thought was, why is everyone wasting their time and tax dollars, these women and children grew up believing this way of life and you are not going to be able to “save” them, this is a waste. These people believe this nonsense and they are going to continue to believe it regardless of what the “state” says or does. Then I sat back and started to think about it more. They can’t all believe it or choose it. There must be some outcasts or wild teens that act out or think screw you, I’m not doing that. So I took it upon myself to start reading. I wanted to know everything I could about FLDS and their polygamy practices. What I learned is shocking! First off lets get a few things out of the way. Not now nor do I ever wish to become Mormon or “practice” polygamy, sorry just not my thing, you can’t have sex with my Husband, that’s my job and my job alone! Secondly the Brown family that has the show “Sister Wives” on the TLC network is NOT part of the FLDS. Their beliefs are WAY different than the FLDS, having ONLY plural marriage in common, that’s it! So I started reading up on the subject. I was mortified by what I read. The FLDS and the senior members of their church are insane! I won’t go into the start and deep history of the religion and the sect. However, I will give you a little history. Warren Jeffs came into power, the head of the church, community and sect as his Father’s successor, in a clouded way. The usual practice and form of successors, the Prophet has a “vision” and communicates with God. God informs them AND the successor of God’s choice of the future plan, being God only communicates with the Prophet who then relays the word to the church and community. Warren Jeffs father, Rulon Jeffs was the leader of the FLDS church from 1986-2002, when Warren Jeffs “officially” took the position. Though it is well known that Rulon became ill and Warren had stepped in and was supposedly acting on his Father’s behalf, though most members knew this to be false. Warren started making decisions and changing the way the sect was run. He pulled all the children from public schools, forcing them to be “home schooled” using materials written or approved by him only, but keeping the public schools open and accepting funding for said charter schools. He banished and slaughtered all pets such as dogs and cats, as they were deemed forms of the devil, all TV, music and reading materials were confiscated and disposed of, All medical care was to be provided by fellow FLDS members, and only under permission from the head of the family, Girls were to be married off immediately after their first menstruation. Husbands to be revealed to Warren Jeffs  through “God” Girls as young as 11 years old were married off to men old enough to be their grandfathers. They were to be “sealed unto eternity” to “keep sweet”. Sexual practices became more like rape. Men were to decide when, where and how to have sex. A wife’s main purpose was to have as many children as possible, as early and as often as possible. Girls as young as 12 and 13 were having babies with men twice or more their age. A handful of men were considered elders of the church and received the “best” wives. Young men were banished and left in the desert as they were seen as competition to the elders. Everyone was a spy. a snitch, a potential end to your family. If someone felt the husband was not in control of their family or have deceived the church or prophet in some way, they would be paid and rewarded for bringing the information to Warren Jeffs who in turn would banish the husband, reassigning his wives and children to a different Husband. The banished boys and Men loose everything, their family, their wives, their children, their house, as it is property of the church, EVERYTHING. Men beat their wives and children. Men had ALL control. Celestial or Spiritual wives were to apply for food stamps and welfare to fund the family, as they were considered single mothers. A practice the FLDS calls “bleeding the beast” US government being the beast. Anyone that fought the system was beaten, tortured, raped, and worse. As I continued to read I found stories of Women who attempted escape and girls who begged and pleaded for their release of the religion, only to be ripped and trapped back in. One girl being held hostage in a closet for more than a year in an attempt to break her will and teach her to “keep sweet” I read things in these books that you can’t even imagine. Things happening in the United States, right under our noses and nothing was being done. These people were so indoctrinated and brain washed they had no idea who they were and who could help them. They honestly believe outsiders are a product of the devil only out to hurt them and bring them to hell. Girls or Women who want to escape are threatened by the people they love. If ever they do escape, they must go into hiding as search parties are sent out to retrieve the women and “dispose” of anyone who had helped them in their escape. Being there are only so many members in the FLDS, Men and Women who were related were being married and having children. Fumarase Deficiency also knows as Polygamist Downs. It is a VERY rare condition having been diagnosed only 13 times until about 1990, since then roughly 20 additional cases have been documented in the community of Short Creek, twin towns in Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah which was settled in the 1930’s by the FLDS church. Most children diagnosed  with this condition were born to parents who were first cousins or even closer. This story could go on and on and on.
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services released a report on December 22, 2008. Seven months prior the children removed from the YFZ compound were returned on orders from the Texas Supreme Court. Here are some of the results:
  •    12 Girls were victims of sexual abuse and neglect at the YFZ Ranch with the knowledge of their parents. The 12 girls were spiritually married at ages ranging from 12 to 15, and seven of those girls had one or more children. The 12 confirmed victims of sexual abuse were among 43 girls removed from the ranch from the ages of 12 to 17, which means that more than one out of every four pubescent girls on the ranch was in an underage marriage.
  •    262 other children (in addition to the 12 girls) were subjected to neglect under Texas law. In these instances, the parents failed to remove their children from a situation in which the child would be exposed to sexual abuse committed against another child within their families or households.
  •    124 designated perpetrators: Designated perpetrators included men who engaged in underage marriages; parents who failed to take reasonable steps to prevent an underage daughter from marrying an older adult male; and parents who placed their child in, or refused to remove their child from, a situation in which the child would be exposed to sexual abuse committed against another child.
   Of the 146 families investigated, 62 percent had a confirmed finding of abuse or neglect, including one or more children in the family. The final disposition of the 146 CPS cases involving families at the YFZ Ranch is listed below:
  •   91 families: Reason to believe CPS determined that it was reasonable to believe that one or both parents in The family sexually abused or neglected a child in the family by entering into an illegal underage marriage with a child; failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the illegal underage marriage of a child; or failing to remove one or more children in the family from a situation in which they would be exposed to an ongoing underage marriage in their family or household.
  •   12 families: Ruled out CPS determined that it was reasonable to conclude that no child in the family was abused or neglected.
  •    39 families: Unable to determine, There is not a preponderance of the available evidence to find that abuse or neglect did occur, or to rule it out.
  •    1 family: Unable to complete, CPS was unable to complete the investigation due to an inability to locate the subjects of the allegations.
  •   3 families: Administratively closed, After reviewing the information received, CPS determined that an investigation was no received.
   The state of Texas removed 439 children and found that only 12 families could those children be be considered completely safe from abuse or neglect.
The total cost of the raid and investigation, $12,436,310
Results: On November 5, 2009, a Schleicher County, Texas jury found Raymond Merril Jessop, 38, guilty of sexual assault of a child. According to evidence admitted at trial, Raymond Merril Jessop sexually assaulted a 16 year old girl to whom he had been “spiritually married” when the girl was 15 years old. he same jury sentenced Raymond Jessop to 10 years in prison and assessed a fine of $8,000. 
On December 18, 2009, a Schleicher County, Texas jury found Allan Keate guilty of sexual assault of a child. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison. Allan Keate fathered a child with a 15-year old girl. According to documents admitted at trial, Keate had also given three of his own daughters away in “spiritual” or “celestial” marriage, two of them at 15 and one at 14, to older men. The youngest of the three went to Warren Jeffs.
On January 22, 2010, Michael George Emack pled no contest to sexual assault charges and was sentenced to seven years in prison. He married a 16-year-old girl at YFZ Ranch on August 5, 2004. She gave birth to a son less than a year later.
On March 17, 2010, a Tom Green County, Texas jury found Merril Leroy Jessop guilty of sexual assault of a child after deliberating only one hour. Evidence admitted at the criminal trial proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Merril Leroy Jessop, 35, sexually assaulted a 15 year old girl while living at the FLDS Ranch in Schleicher County, Texas. The jury sentenced Jessop to 75 years in prison and assessed a $10,000.00 fine.
  And now the biggest douche bag, piece of shit, asshats of them all is on trial, again. Unfortunately cameras are not allowed in the court room. I wish they were as I would love to watch and hear what is said. CNN’s show In Session is covering as much of the details as possible and have updated their blog twice with trial information and happenings, you can read that here.. In Session Blog  I am hoping the jury comes back with a guilty verdict. When I hear anything, trust me, you will hear it next! While waiting for a verdict, if any of this is of interest to you, I recommend the following readings: (some are reviewed on my page)  

 * Update: I am re-publishing my reviews of the polygamy books I have read.
In The NewsIn The NewsIn The News
In The NewsIn The NewsIn The News
** Information and specific facts were gathered by reading, research and wikipedia. 
Books: All of the selections above, Detailed facts about YFZ raid were taken from Carolyn Jessops book Triumph (ex-wife & escapee of Merrill Jessop) 
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About Miranda Sherman

Miranda Sherman is a stay at home Mom of four & full time student majoring in Business Management & Marketing from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. She blogs about her crazy family of six & two dogs on her blog Minnesota Miranda, featuring book and product reviews, giveaways, news, parenting tips and advice, shopping, recipes, fashion, travel, deals and so much more.” Find me on Google+


  1. Oh wow! I’m not normally one to knock anyone’s chosen religion, but this sounds like an excuse to make rape, physical abuse and molestation “ok”. It hurt my heart to read all this.
    I have to admit, I don’t know much about the religion or this specific case, but I don’t see how anyone could convince themselves that this is ok.
    Criminal Minds aired an episode the other day about something like this, too.

  2. I agree…I don’t normally put-down another’s beliefs. However, so many of the things these leaders do are the exact same things that abusers do to “condition” their victims.

  3. Thanks so much for dropping by the Be-Bop-A Blog Hop! I’m a follower and I hope you’ll stop by again soon! Have a great day!

  4. I just vomited and got really really mad. WTF….disgusting. I am going tobe following the trial…thanks for sharing and I am going to do some reading!!!

  5. It’s so sad that “religion” is being used as an excuse to do these terrible things. I wish there were more the state could do to dissolve these groups or at least prevent this terrible treatment of other human beings. I’d love to have about a week in a room with these “men” and show them how abuse feels.

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