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Old 01-08-2014, 03:16 PM
 
204 posts, read 248,632 times
Reputation: 159

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Warren Jeffs' Yearning For Zion ranch where he sexually abused girls is seized by Texas state | Mail Online

Compound about to be seized. I believe this guy wins the craziest of the decade for the 2000s. The scary part is they say he still controls the church while in prison.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:20 PM
 
237 posts, read 151,991 times
Reputation: 95
Doesn't Texas have the death penalty?
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,235 posts, read 14,261,055 times
Reputation: 15730
After 5 years of imprisonment, Jeff's control of his church has slipped a lot.
Many of his followers left Texas and moved back to Utah shortly after his conviction, as the border city of Colorado City, Arizona/Hildale, Utah, where his cult began, was, for most, their lifelong home before he decamped to Texas. The towns were never abandoned, so many had family still living there. Only those who were his staunchest disciples remained in Texas.

Jeff's leadership was always contested inside the FLDS. The church presidency always revolved around a small group of top leaders, and the FLDS is about 60 years old now. At one time or other, others from other families have been the president, but Jeff's father was one of the more popular ones, and he ran things with a more lenient hand than his son.

Jeffs was a true dictator whose main interest was consolidating his power. Even the most powerful dictators have their limits, and he couldn't get rid of all of his strongest competition, as they are all related to each other through plural marriage.

The key to the entire FLDS operation was the UE, the 'United Effort'. It was the equivalent of a trust, and the UE officially owned everything except for the personal affects of the membership. The houses, vehicles, all the land, and even things like the furniture and the house paint was owned by the UE. And the president was the sole controller of the UE.

The reason they moved to Texas was because the state of Utah went after them for polygamy, and was able to break up the trust and seize control of it's money. Utah could have also taken all the properties, but didn't want to have a couple of thousand homeless indigent welfare cases on their hands. It looks like Texas has now done the same.

I expect the entire compound will be abandoned in Texas. There is a 3rd, much smaller colony than either Texas or Utah on the Idaho-Canadian border, and I suspect those still living in Texas will go there or back to Utah, where there is more tolerance. The ranch was never completed anyway, and has few good memories for many of the members.

Each place has it's own leader now. Some are jockeying for control of the entire church, some are not. Jeffs won't ever leave prison alive, and the fact is setting in to his followers if not himself. He will eventually lose all control, and will be considered a living martyr.
The arbitrary and capricious rulings and decisions Jeffs made as leader, such as suddenly removing a man from his family and giving the family to another man, or killing all dogs in town, have already slacked off. None of his commanders in place have enforced the worst ones after his conviction. All are much more interested now in keeping the church intact. During Jeffs' reign, they lost a lot of their kids and younger families, either through desertion or excommunication.

This has left behind a lot of middle-aged and elderly women who are completely dependent on the church for survival. These people know next to nothing of the world at large, and are both wary and fearful of all others. Their extreme isolation has created a completely different culture than the American mainstream. Even the Amish and other separatist beliefs know more about American society than the FLDS.
And Texas was far from the first time society has gotten after them. Both towns in Utah were raided in the 50's, and Utah went after them 2 years before Jeffs decided to get everyone down to Texas. So, in the member's minds, much of what Jeffs said was truth to them, even though he cranked the fear meter all the way up.

Why didn't he get the death penalty?
I think it was because the case was extremely convoluted and the state could not get much testimony out of the members. Very few testified, and most who did were hostile witnesses. Texas is experienced in dealing with cults, but they weren't prepared for the FLDS. Utah is the only state that really understands who the church works.

I believe the prosecutors never went for the death penalty because they realized they would never get a conviction if the death penalty was included. I think they were very happy to get the conviction they got, and may not have expected to get it. All the earlier attempts at convicting anyone failed completely.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:50 AM
 
774 posts, read 1,691,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JettNexus View Post
Doesn't Texas have the death penalty?
Yes it does, but the US Supreme Court has recently said that the death penalty can only be used for murder.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:23 AM
 
864 posts, read 898,628 times
Reputation: 1740
I had very little understanding of the FLDS until I read Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.
What an eye opener.
One little thing that stuck with me was what some FLDS call 'bleeding the beast'., taking money from the government. I never realized that with plural marriage, only the first marriage is recognized as legal. The remaining women are single mothers and thus qualify for welfare. I think welfare is the number one income for the compound. (I'm assuming they get fire, police and educational grants too.) So, the state is essentially supporting the FLDS.
The other problem is inbreeding. It's such a small gene pool they're dealing with they've actually got the highest concentration of fumarase deficiency children, it causes severe mental disability.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,235 posts, read 14,261,055 times
Reputation: 15730
One can see the effects of inbreeding in Jeff's face. The entire right side of his face is twisted toward the left from the eyebrow ridge down to the jaw.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:17 PM
 
Location: The Jar
20,070 posts, read 14,373,281 times
Reputation: 36806
Talk about the blind leading the blind! Ick!!
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:50 AM
 
Location: South Central Texas
114,159 posts, read 54,011,527 times
Reputation: 163212
Don't mess with Texas!
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