1.1m readers

15 Horrifying True Facts About Warren Jeffs

Updated August 28, 2020 1.1m views15 items
Editor's Note: Voting and Reranking have been closed.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is an offshoot of the LDS church - commonly known as the Mormon church. Warren Jeffs is the infamous president and “Prophet” of the FLDS, notorious for its polygamy and child brides. In addition to the FLDS’s Texas compound - the Yearning for Zion ranch - sects were also based in Utah and Arizona.

In 2006, the FBI was suspicious of Prophet Jeffs, who they believed was arranging marriages involving underage girls. Authorities failed to convict him as an accessory to rape in 2007. In 2008, Texas authorities raided Jeffs’s compound. Investigators garnered enough evidence to convict Jeffs on aggravated and sexual assault charges, and in 2011, the courts sentenced the Prophet to life plus 20 years in prison. Subsequently, filmmakers released five documentaries about the FLDS and Jeffs’s misconduct as the organization’s leader.

  • The Prophet Preached Homophobia

    The Southern Poverty Law Center compiled an intelligence report on Jeffs in 2005, including audio recordings of him expounding on various topics. Jeff maintained a homosexual partnership “is the worst evil act you can do, next to murder.” He continues, further explaining these relationships as “like murder. Whenever people commit that sin, then the Lord destroys them."

    Jeffs’s sermons contained homophobic themes, and the Prophet instructed women on how to combat same-sex tendencies: “[B]uild up young men by being submissive.”

  • He Allegedly Sexually Assaulted His Young Nephew and Niece

    During his trial in 2011, Jeffs’s 28-year-old nephew, Brent Jeffs, told jurors his uncle sexually assaulted him in a restroom following a “family meeting” when he was 5 years old. Jeffs allegedly asked Brent to kneel “like he was praying” before warning Brent “this is between me and you and God.” 

    Jeffs’s adult niece also told jurors he made her sit on his lap when she was 7 and did "inappropriate things” to her. She recounted the event:

    He said, 'You're a special girl' and that he would help me to go heaven. And he had a certain way of making me feel like I was special and he told me I'll go to heaven if I, for sure, just don't tell anybody.

    She was reportedly sobbing so hard in the courtroom the prosecutor stopped questioning her.

  • The Prophet Endorsed Racism

    Another Southern Poverty Law Center recording revealed the Prophet’s tendency to preach racism: "The Black race is the people through which the devil has always been able to bring evil unto the earth." Jeffs, as a proponent of racial separation, also disapproved of interracial marriage: "If you marry a person who has connections with a Negro, you would become cursed."

    The YFZ ranch in Eldorado, Texas, was comprised of all white members.

  • He Is Allegedly Creating A Miniature 'Master Race'

    In 2016, former FLDS members told Rolling Stone magazine how Jeffs decreed only men of a so-called “royal bloodline” could reproduce in the community. These chosen men were limited to intercourse with women selected to be a part of the “United Order,” an elite group within the faith - many of which were already married. The 15 alleged “seed bearers” hid their identities using a hood and a sheet during the act. 

    The Prophet instructed the husbands to watch the “breeding session.” If the impregnated United Order woman followed the required “special detox diet” and successfully gave birth, members whisked the baby away. Reportedly, Jeffs intention was to create a “master race” loyal only to him.

    Former FLDS members also alleged Jeffs rewarded the United Order members - the elites - while those who weren’t suffered from lack of food and psychological punishments.