Jeffs increases demands on followers
Warren Jeffs is tightening his grip on the polygamist group he leads as “prophet” while he is in prison, demanding people abandon amenities such as toys, pets and recreational vehicles to give more money to their church, possibly to support the sect’s massive ranch in Texas, a sect member said.
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the twin border cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., are being threatened with excommunication, potentially losing their family and property, if they do not follow through.
“Because of the lack of resources in Texas, he is trying to mandate other communities turn in their resources,” said Willie Jessop, an FLDS member who is not loyal to Jeffs.
Jeffs is in a Texas prison serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting two girls ages 12 and 15.
That fact isn’t known to the vast majority of Jeffs’ followers, Jessop said.
“The greatest part of the cover-up is no access to any outside communication to expose their minds to what they’re sustaining,” Jessop said. “Ninety-eight percent don’t know what he was actually sentenced to prison for doing.”