Comments about ‘The downfall of Warren Jeffs began long before Texas raid’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 9 2011 12:00 p.m. MDT

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Mendocino, CA

his sister, elaine, was just on in sessions. she said he's been doing this for 30 years. not 10 to 15. i'm not buying it was a big secret!! why didn't anyone step in? other family members who weren't part of it but knew. members of the lds church knew. law enforcement knew. but no one stopped him until now. pitiful.

Mendocino, CA

Old Warren shouldn't have gone to Texas. In Texas, God's apostles wear a Texas Ranger badge and carry a Colt 45.

Utah, take note. Texas got 'er done!!!


I was a little surprised to see read this entire story without crediting Jon Krakauer who arguably brought this "open secret" into the national debate with his 2003 best-selling book, Under the Banner of Heaven, which very clearly and with exceptional detail framed the case against Mr. Jeffs and others like him. Law enforcement had every opportunity previously to charge Mr. Jeffs, but only mobilized against these practioners of child rape after public opinion and outcry was mobilized. Mr. Krakauer deserves a great deal of credit and thanks for his fine efforts.

David B.
Cedar City, UT

Poetic justice for this tool! Utah may not have gotten the job done but Texas sure in the heck did,way to go! I hope he is going to like the Huntsville facility because they are definately going to like him if you know what I mean. Anybody that thinks like this is not stable and shouldn't be allowed to roam free,

Free Agency
Salt Lake City, UT

It's always tempting to focus purely on the dictator, whether Jeffs, Hitler, etc. But without a multitude of "ordinary people" followers, dictators can't commit the evil they do. In some cases, of course, terror is used to instill obedience. But in many other cases, the masses willingly--and happily--give their support.

Now that Jeffs has been put away, we need to turn our attention to the psychology of people (maybe even including ourselves?) who can abandon all their former standards and unquestioningly follow an evildoer. I can think of no better book which explains this phenomenon than "The True Believer" by Eric Hoffer. It's long been considered a classic, and it's a slim and very "plain English" read.

Certainly, let's hunt down and deactivate the "front link" in the chain of evil. But let's never shrug off the rest of the chain, and why they behave the way they do. Because to not understand what makes these people tick will only ensure such evil happening again and again and again.

Draper, UT

The entire thing is sad. Feel terrible for the victims. Nothing breaks my heart more than child abuse.

Jeffs grew up in this culture so his perception of normal and appropriate was certainly distorted, but he obviously knew what he was doing was wrong. Certainly a case of polygamy being practiced in the Bible could be made, but group sex with kids (and to do it in the name of God no less).

If the millstone would be preferable, it scares me to think what awaits...

Saint George, UT

Good riddance to bad rubbish.


YES! TEXAS did git r done! I'll tell you one more thing if the person was of color Utah would've moved like lightening with a life sentence!

Salt Lake City, UT

John, great in depth article. Wonderfully written. Thank you.

Making Sense
Herriman, UT

Amazing how people use the comments on Warren Jeffs to rail comments toward the LDS Church and try to paint Utah as racist. Stay focused people.

This was a day of justice a long time in the making. It is unfortunate that it took this long but I'm glad that the process worked. I'm satisfied that this manipulative predator will not be able to exploit any more people who placed their trust in him.

Spot Light
Beverly Hills, CA

Why did he get away with it for so long?

We need to explore that and prevent this from continuing.

Yes its still going on hither and tither, no?

Idaho Coug
Meridian, Idaho

I have wondered on this board what Mormons would do if and when plural marriage were reinstated? There is no question that enough has been said by past leaders that it seems a strong possibility. And our temple sealing policies make it clear the principles behind plural marriage survive.

But I have to think now that the publicity around this case combined with the huge push for acceptance and downplaying of the the more difficult aspects of the Church means that we probably don't have to worry about adding any additions on to our homes anytime soon.

Given that, I would love to see the Church stop allowing men to be sealed to multiple women upon death or divorce of a previous spouse. If we are going to shed the spector of polygamy let's not do it with one foot in and one foot out. Oh, and removing those pesky parts in the D&C about plural marriage would go a long way toward walking the talk too.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The claims of "one-man rule" do not hold up under scrutiny. The system has continued without Jeffs present. Beyond this the article under-emphasiszes the responsibility of parents in the sexual use of their children. It is time for people to give up on the "blame one person" plan and to start blaming each person involved for their own crimes. Jeffs is not responsible for the actions of all these other people, they are accountable for their own actions.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Jon Krakauer is a liar. His book is a useless screed against the LDS Church. Beyond this his book is about the Lefferty's who were prosecuted for their crimes back in the 1980s. He deserves no credit for creating any pressure on Jeffs.

His book is full of lies and false insinuations. His claims about the racial poliices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were false in 2003 and are even more false today.

Hurricane, UT

The legal focus needs to change to the mothers and fathers that gave those children to Jeffs and others. There is a host of perpetrators in addition to Warren Jeffs. Utah and Arizona needs to review the plethora of evidence in Texas and track down and prosecute everyone one of them.

It's all there folks!

The AG's better hadn't be satisfied with just a few men. Now is the time to act and they need to act now before the trail gets cold and public support wains. Please send the message that this behavior is a crime so heinous that we will never tolerate it in any arena.

My feeling is that when children are affected for life like this, it ought to be a capital offense. Change the law so there can be an appropriate punishment for those that destroy children's lives.


Yeah, John...actually, it turns out that Krackaur was not only not a liar, but at least two juries have rendered concurring opinions..Krackaur was clear to separate the Greater LDS church and population of believers from those who committed brutal crimes "under the banner of Heaven", the so-called "fundamentalist" off-shoots like the Jeffs (Father and Son), the Lafferty brothers, and other closely-held "fundamentalist" communities in the US. Except some historical background, he had very little to about the LDS church itself. But, as to your concerns about parental responsibility, I imagine that there is no shortage of blame to go around here, and now that the ice is broken,you should expect the number of prosecutions for this kind of criminal and despicable enterprise. In other words, the party is most likely over for the religious pedophiles, and Krackauer, once again, deserves a seat on the podium for bring the stories of the victims to an audience outside of the realm of this "open secret", for ripping the cloak of religious sanctimony from the actual activities at hand, serial child rape. Kudos, Jon...

Murray, UT

Utahns are not racists. Individuals might be. I know plenty of other racist people outside of Utah. And the LDS church had nothing to with him. He gives the Mormons a real bad name. He is a part of the FLDS church which does not follow the true doctrine of the LDS church.

The Deuce
Livermore, CA

My question is when will the states of Utah and Arizona finnaly put an end to this situation. These are kids that are being subjected to this type of abuse. As many have pointed out, not only is Jeffs to blame, but there is an entire society here that needs help and correction. This is not freedom of religion when individual rights are being abused. How Utah and other states let this continue is beyond my understanding.

Old Scarecrow
Brigham City, UT

Everyone is quick to be critical of the inaction of Utah and Arizona authorities. Other states including Nevada, Idaho, and Montana have the problem, as well, and they have not taken much action. There are reasons for this besides the generally false claim that law enforcement and the attorneys general don't care about the problem.

I have a great concern that if Jeffs is assigned quality attorneys for his appeals, his convictions may be in jeopardy, as the first warrants in Texas had a shaky origin. So, yes, let's put the heat on Hillsdale and Colorado City and the other communities now while the publicity is hot, and the opportunity and evidence is clear, but law enforcement must make sure that the ACLU and the Supreme Court don't have any reasons to undo what is being done.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Speeding?, Illegal Immigration??, Polygamy???

Law Enforcement is a joke in Utah.

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