The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS as it’s commonly known, is a sect that broke free of the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) because the latter outlawed the practice of polygamy in 1890 so that Utah could gain statehood. Members that continued the practice were excommunicated, and these people settled in Arizona in the 1930s so that they could be free to engage in polygamous relationships.
Warren Steed Jeffs, the infamous former leader of the FLDS, has been in prison for the past several years following a conviction for sexual battery with underage girls (12 and 15, the second of whom bore his child). It has been rumored that he still holds the reigns of power even from behind bars, where he has gone on hunger strikes, attempted suicide, and prayed so often that festering sores covered his knees, and jailers had to chain him upright to a wall for a time to prevent further wounds.
Warren was treated as special by his father, the former leader Rulon Jeffs, so when his father passed at age 92 (93 according to some accounts), Warren immediately assumed control and within a few shorts weeks, was marrying his dead parent’s wives, many of whom were extremely young – late teens to early 20s. Another way in which Warren wielded his power was by excommunicating men from the sect and reassigning their wives to other males. He also got rid of young boys the same way to cut down competition for wives (some of these youths eventually filed suit against the FLDS).
They are usually termed ‘the lost boys’ and because these kids are taught from an early age not to trust the outside world, when they are thrust out in it, they have no idea what to do, where to turn, or how to go about it. They truly are lost. In all honesty, one could state that the entire sect is lost. When Warren came to be the head, he outlawed the color red, televisions, computers, satellites, newspapers, books (other than the Book of Mormon), and toys, forced members to shoot their pet dogs as the dog is a direct descendant of the wolf, a hound from hell, and tattoos/piercings have always been a huge NO NO. I wonder why they allowed photos?
Women can’t cut their hair or wear anything but those awful ‘pioneer’ dresses in plain, solid colors, ankle length and long-sleeved. The men as well – no prints, just plain long-sleeved shirts and pants, never shorts. I guess the sight of a person’s knees is a sin. Makeup is also verboten, which makes me wonder about deodorant and perfume. And what about that strange piece of clothing known as the ‘special garment’? I have read that Mormons fear taking that thing entirely off of their bodies, and will slip it off one side, wash that part of the body, slip it back on and remove it from the other side and wash, rather than take it off totally. Sounds crazy, I know, but most religious people are wackos.
Members of the FLDS have been known to ‘bleed the beast’, the ‘beast’ being the US government and the ‘bleeding’ being Welfare and all the state aid that accompanies it. There is a high rate of birth defects from the inbreeding that occurs, with fumarase deficiency (a very rare genetic defect) being the world’s highest in the Colorado City/Hildale area. It is also known as ‘Polygamist’s Downs’.
The racism within the FLDS is also well known, possibly a carry over of the racism that is within the Mormon church itself. Warren Jeffs has said, “The black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth.” “He [Cain] was cursed with a black skin and he is the father of the Negro people. He is used by the devil, as a mortal man, to do great evils. If you, young people, were to marry a Negro, you could not be a priesthood person, even if you repented. You could not stay in this work.” — FLDS Priesthood History Class, 1995
In short, members of the FLDS are around 10,000 strong and extremely brainwashed. I believe that if the Prophet told them that God commanded them all to ‘drink the Kool Aid’, as the saying goes, they would obediently do so. It’s tragic that there are millions of people out there who would rater be told how to live their lives rather than to live their own lives the way they see fit. Keep sweet, girls!