Warren Jeffs is one of the most prominent examples of how power can corrupt. But maybe the leader of the famous FLDS church was always corrupt, even before he inherited the role of "prophet" from his father. After all, this was a man who had been abusing his own nephews and daughters from when he was as young as 20. But it was when he took the reins of the controversial church that he began to show his truly corrupt and evil nature. This was a man who married numerous young girls. One of his nephews committed suic*de as a result of the abuse he had suffered at the hands of Warren Jeffs.
His followers went hungry and starved while he and his elite circle of "chosen ones" ate lobster and shrimp, throwing away buckets of leftovers to the animals while the "lesser" followers ate yogurt and canned food past its sell-by date. His followers were forced to give up all their material possessions in order to finance Warren Jeff's huge mansion. In the end, even his arrest didn't shake the prophet's strange and twisted interpretation of God's word, and he believed that a massive earthquake sent by the Lord would smash open his prison and allow him to walk free. To this day, Warren Jeffs still rots behind bars.
15 He Stole Everything From His Followers
Another disgraceful thing that Warren Jeffs did was steal from his followers in the worst possible way. This is a clear case of a person in power abusing his position over other people, although this situation is probably even worse than the medieval times when wealthy lords and barons would rule over lowly peasants. Warren Jeffs managed to convince the majority of the FLDS church members that they needed to give all their material possessions to him, which he sold and used to finance things like a giant mansion in which he lived. These people were completely at the mercy of the church as a result.
He would organize young women to become pregnant, and later apply for welfare because these women were single mothers. That money was then taken and used for his own private gains. He also ran a massive food stamp scam where he would hoard food and then sell it for a profit, all while his followers were starving and fighting over the most basic food items.
14 FLDS Members Infiltrated The Government
The FLDS church's relationship with local authority figures is one of the most unsettling things about this whole situation. This is mostly shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, but there are some serious allegations over the local police and the Marshals that Warren Jeffs was in contact with. A sheriff that worked in the Mojave area has in the past accused the local police and the Marshals of being corrupt, and working with Warren Jeffs as his own personal bodyguards.
The allegations also state that the police and the marshals were actively preventing women from fleeing the church, returning escapees back to the church compound where they were would be severely punished. If true, these allegations speak to the immense power that Warren Jeffs was allowed to achieve, and the corruption of that whole area due to the money and the influence this man had.
13 They Engaged In Money Laundering And Food Stamp Fraud
We've already touched upon the food stamp fraud, but there was also insane amounts of money laundering going on. Many past FLDS members and observers have compared the church to a cartel, a criminal organization much like a crime family. And in reality, that really isn't far from the truth. The only difference is that this crime family seems to believe that what they're doing is in the name of God. They believed that stealing money from the government was righteous because they were evil, and they called this act "bleeding the beast." This was why they were so involved with food stamp fraud and welfare fraud. The food that was available to actual church members was only a few barren shelves with basic items, and families had to virtually fight over what was there. Meat was a rare treat.
There was also incredible money laundering schemes going on, where businesses were started that were actually making no money, and yet insane amounts of cash was being pumped through them. This was an obvious scam to turn things like welfare checks and food stamps into cold hard cash for Warren Jeffs to use.
12 He Married A Young Girl... And Consummated The Marriage
Probably the worst thing Warren Jeffs has ever done is marry a 12-year-old girl. This appalling information was revealed in the court hearing of Warren Jeffs, and when the public heard about it, they were beyond shocked. Some members of the FLDS Church were so disgusted that they left the church altogether. Many people had no idea that this was happening, even when they were living in close quarters with this man. But if you thought marrying a prepubescent girl was bad, it actually gets even worse. Not only did he marry this girl, but he consummated the marriage, which obviously amounts to child abuse, and s*xual assault.
When this evidence was displayed in court, it was certain that Warren Jeffs was going to go to jail for a long time. How can you possibly forgive a man for doing such a thing? Even if some claim that is was part of his religion, it's clear that deep down, somewhere inside of this man, he knew that was he was doing was extremely wrong.
11 He Predicted An Earthquake Sent From God Will Destroy The Courthouse And The Prison That Holds Him
Warren Jeffs might have been the mastermind of this whole operation, but he definitely had some very strange ideas. As deceptive as he was to his followers and his wives, he genuinely seems to have a deep belief in God, or at least the type of God that his church believes in. What kind of God would encourage marrying child brides and letting your followers starve? I guess those little details aren't such a big deal to Warren Jeffs, especially if you consider that this guy referred to himself as the son of God many times.
His strange ideas and beliefs really started to show themselves after he was arrested. Apparently, he spent hours praying on the concrete floor, and did so in a strange way that resulted in his knees developing severe cuts that required him to be hospitalized. He also repeatedly went on hunger strikes, to the point where he had to be force fed with a stomach tube. So what was he praying for exactly? Apparently, this guy believed that God would cause a massive earthquake that would destroy both the courtroom that sentenced him and the prison that was holding him, allowing him to walk free into the sunset.
10 He Recorded Audio Of Himself Abusing Girls
When the court sessions starting going over the evidence against this man, a lot of strange things came to light. One of the things that really condemned him was the fact that he had made recordings of himself abusing girls and his wives, and these tapes were used as evidence in court. It's unclear why he made these tapes, as they were clearly one of the final nails in the coffin for his final sentence of life behind bars. If the jury wasn't convinced he was guilty before, they were convinced after they heard these disturbing tapes. Some of these involved him with girls who were extremely young, and it was clear from the tapes that the girls had not given their consent.
Allegedly these tapes were made so that Warren Jeffs could use the tapes as "educational tools" for his future wives. These were probably played for women, although it's not clear what purpose that would serve, other to cause fear and humiliation. The most logical and likely reason he taped these events is so that he could play them later for his own amusement.
9 He Banned Husbands And Wives From Being Intimate
But while Warren Jeffs was taking it upon himself to marry and impregnate as many women and young girls as possible, the same rights were not given to other members of the FLDS church members, particularly ones that were in low social standing. There was a complex hierarchy in this church, and there was a very clear distinction between the elite members of the church and those that were, for whatever reason, seen as "lesser" followers. And Warren Jeffs made sure to exercise his control over these people, involving himself in the most intimate parts of their lives.
For example, he would routinely ban husbands and wives from being intimate with each other, even if they had been together for years and were trying to have a child. These rights were taken away, and this really shows just how much control Warren Jeffs had over his followers, and how willing people had become to obey him. For many couples, Warren Jeffs decided when "the time was right" to have a child, and even then there was no guarantee of how that would occur.
8 He Engaged In Inappropriate Phone Activities With Groups Of His Wives
There was a lot of very strange evidence that was brought forward in Warren Jeff's trial, and some of it is even too strange to mention. But it had to be brought forward as evidence, because it was a chilling example of just how much control Warren Jeffs had over his disciples, especially his wives. After Warren Jeffs was arrested, he made several phone calls to his wives, and he would usually get them to perform strange acts over the phone with each other, all while Warren Jeffs was listening.
I'm not sure what Warren Jeffs was thinking when he did this, because obviously these conversations were being recorded by the prison, and they were later used in court. The girls and women were allegedly told to shower together before the phone call, and then they were forced to be intimate together while Warren Jeffs listened from prison. This was supposedly all part of a secret cult within the FLDS cult which secretly encouraged such intimacy between his wives, even with girls and women who were inexperienced.
7 He Forced Women To Cheat On Their Husbands And Become Pregnant By Other Men
We already mentioned the fact that if you lived under the rule of Warren Jeffs, you were not allowed to be intimate with your spouse until Warren Jeffs gave you permission. But perhaps something even more disturbing was what sometimes happened when Warren Jeffs sent word that "the time was right." Many FLDS church members have admitted that Warren Jeffs would send a group of three men to a man's house, and inform him that they were there to impregnate his wife. One man would "do the deed" while the other two were there to "assist" if necessary. The man was invited to watch, but this was optional.
Obviously this was one of the more disturbing pieces of information that came out of this whole scandal. This information was leaked because many spouses refused to go through with this strange act, and left the church as a result. Warren Jeffs reportedly assembled a whole group of men who he saw as "worthy," who would then be sent to impregnate various women from time to time.
6 He Separated Children From Their Families And Gave Them To Other People
If forcing wives to cheat on their husbands was bad, then wait until you hear what they did to their children. For whatever reason, some members of the church were seen as "unworthy," and they did something to offend Warren Jeffs or the church in some way. These people were often separated from the rest of the church, often in terrible living conditions. And their family members were separated from them as well, including their wives and their children. But losing your children was probably the worst thing to come out of this, and it was a real shocker when these details were exposed.
Sometimes, mothers and fathers would have no idea where their children were, or who was taking care of them. And when you consider the widespread cases of child abuse and child brides, you can see why some parents would be concerned when their children are taken and hidden from them. And sometimes, a family wouldn't even do anything "wrong" before their children were torn away from them.
5 He Has A History Of Abusing His Own Family Members
If abusing other people's children wasn't bad enough, Warren Jeffs also has a history of abusing children within his own family. When he was just 20 years old Warren Jeffs admitted to abusing a girl who he referred to as a "daughter and a sister."
One of his daughters admitted she never told anyone about her abuse at the hands of Warren Jeffs because "father knows best. I kept telling myself it was an accident. I just thought that was a mistake. I didn’t allow myself to dwell on it.”
Another daughter admitted, "Very shockingly, father started abusing me s*xually [...] It was so against his teachings, so against what he had taught us that I didn't even know what to think, and I just felt terrible. I didn't know why he was doing it."
Many of Warren Jeffs' nephews have made similar abuse allegations against him. One of his nephews committed suic*de after accusing Warren Jeffs of abuse.
4 He Tried To Create A Master Race
Did Warren Jeffs really have a "master plan?" What was the end goal for him? Well, according to his beliefs, the purpose of the FLDS church was to prepare for a coming Judgement Day that was pretty much the end of the world. His belief was that God would come and destroy much of the planet and civilization, and he wanted his followers to be prepared for this coming destruction. Part of the plan was to create a master race that was "worthy" of God's salvation when he arrived and destroyed all the sinners.
This creation of a master race was a big part of why he encouraged certain "worthy" men to impregnate other men's wives. This was all in order to create a new race of children who would be genetically and spiritually superior according to his vision. Obviously this bears similarities to Hitler's Nazi ideals about creating an "ubermensch" or "superman," and interestingly enough, Warren Jeffs made several disparaging comments about black people and can be seen as a white supremacist in many regards.
3 His Trial Was Extremely Strange
A huge sigh of relief came when Warren Jeffs was finally arrested and made to stand trial. Before this, he had been on the run for several years as a fugitive, and was being hidden and aided by various FLDS church members who were still fiercely loyal to his cause. He was found with several wigs, four computers, and a large amount of cash. His trial was when it really started to get weird, though. For a while, he was defended by a team of lawyers who were experienced with defending criminals like Warren Jeffs. But as the trial went on and the evidence began to mount, Warren Jeffs decided to cast his team of lawyers aside and defend himself in court.
His idea of defending himself in court was to give several long sermons to the jury, who grew more and more tired of his ramblings as the court session went on. He spent half an hour explaining the details of his religion to the jury, as if that would save him from life behind bars. He also continuously interrupted the judge in order to "relay messages from God," something that annoyed pretty much everyone in the court room.
2 Prison Life Is Not Going Well For Him
Eventually, Warren Jeffs was indeed put behind bars, but the weirdness didn't end there. After being incarcerated, he continued to pray in a manner which actually injured him. He would kneel on the concrete floor for hours, shifting his weight and moving so that large cuts started to form. These cuts became infected, and he later had to be hospitalized as a result. No doubt this was because he believed that praying would cause the earthquake he predicted, allowing him to walk free. This still hasn't happened, but Warren Jeffs reportedly continues to pray.
He's also been hospitalized for going on hunger strikes, and fasting. It got to the point where he had to be forced to consume nutrients through a stomach feeding tube. Obviously this isn't a pleasant thought, but he really brought it upon himself and the authorities were forced to take action in order to keep him from dying. This man is going to spend the rest of his life behind bars, whether he likes it or not. Could this be an attempt at suicide? One thing's for sure, Warren Jeffs is not having a great time in prison, and things will probably get worse for him as he slowly begins to realize that God is NOT coming to his rescue, and that he's going to rot in jail for the rest of his days...
1 He Got A Young Girl Pregnant
One of the youngest girls Warren Jeffs ever married was only 15 years old. Although she wasn't the youngest he ever married, she was the youngest that ever got pregnant. This obviously amounts to some of the worst ever child abuse, and it was clear that she did not consent to this horrible life. No girl should be getting pregnant at that age, but Warren Jeffs did have very strange ideas about these types of things.
As it turns out, this 15-year-old girl was impregnated several times by Warren Jeffs, and each time she repeatedly miscarried. This caused untold psychological and physical damage to her, and she eventually just ran away. This is a big reason why girls her age shouldn't be getting pregnant – their bodies are unsuited to handle the stresses of pregnancy at that age. It's hard to explain why Warren Jeffs kept trying to get her pregnant even after she had miscarried multiple times. It really is sadistic.
Sources: nypost.com, ktla.com