The downfall of Warren Jeffs began long before Texas raid

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  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 11, 2011 9:28 a.m.


    It has a lot to do with LDS. Warren Jeffs is following the original LDS teachings. It's the 'fundamental' LDS. So it's very relevant. Today's church doesn't teach these things but in Joseph Smith's time, this is what he taught and his followers practiced. I'm not saying rape or anything, just marriage to multiple (and often very young) women.

  • RivertonCoug Herriman, UT
    Aug. 11, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    Glad to see Jeffs put away for life. My concern with the story is that some of it makes it sound like this is over. The 400 children returned to their parents face a dangerous future. Jeffs was not the only one marrying 12 year old girls. These children are in danger and I hope Texas can stop this abuse.

  • windsor City, Ut
    Aug. 10, 2011 6:00 p.m.

    I am puzzled at members of the LDS community, on one hand constantly reminding and affirming that Warren Jeffs and his group have nothing to do with the LDS Church -- and on the other, making Jeffs the top story every day, on every channel and every front page. If he has nothing to do with LDS, why the inordinate amount of attention??? It certainly isn't the top story outside of Utah

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    Two female FLDS missionaries knocked on my door before Jeffs era. They were bold, independent, had normal hair, and were thinking just as freely as many of today's misinformed college students.

    One said she chose not to be a polygamist but believed in it as a principle, the other said she WANTED to be a polygamist. I don't believe we have a right to arrest her for that, but I don't think we should show our support by legally condoning polygamy etc through marriage.

    The idea that all polygamist women were oppressed, blind fanatics is prejudice.

    Polygamist women were some of Americas first female Doctors, Lawyers, voters, etc.
    Things weren't always as they are.

    I support prop08 and other constitutions which discourage polygamy, child marriages (one WOMAN one man), and other harmful marriages.

    I wish we would pursue other sexual predators, pedophiles, and seducing pressuring deviants with such vigor.

    However, I feel it's wrong and bigoted to lump all polygamists into the same category and to use people like Jeffs to promote hatred toward mainstream LDS and religion in general.

  • guswetrust Cebterville, Utah
    Aug. 10, 2011 4:35 p.m.

    I'd love to know how many of the FLDS wives and children in Texas receive Medicaid. Someone said in yesterdays comments they get it from Utah. How can that be if they reside in Texas?

  • NewsJunkie Centerville, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    Don't just put the blame an law enforcement in UT and AZ for this to be going on for so long. In case you have forgotten, we have a constitution in this country that prevents law enforcement to come into peoples houses and start arresting them without probable cause. The problem with the FLDS people is that they avoid contact with the outside and therefore don't go to the police and report any abuse.
    The only reason why Texas was able to convict Jeff's is, that they went into the compound on the base of a hoax and then found all the evidence. There is still a lawsuite pending, which could overturn all this, if the evidence will be ruled unlawfull.
    These cases are very difficult to win. Utah convicted Jeff's on rape as an accomplice but the conviction was later overturned on a "stupid" technicality. The same could happen to this case.

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    Aug. 10, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    Ye shall know them by thier fruits.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    Aug. 10, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    "There is no question that enough has been said by past leaders that it seems a strong possibility."

    I don't see how it is a strong possibility based on statements by past leaders. The current leaders have not said or implied anything about polygamy coming back, and that's really all that matters.

    There would have to be a very good reason to reinstate polygamy. Personally, I don't see myself accepting the practice unless there was a very clear and practical reason to do so, like if there was such an extreme shortage of men in the world to necessitate men taking on additional wives in order to provide for a population of women who were somehow incapable of caring for themselves and/or masses of women unable to receive the blessings of temple marriage absent the practice of polygamy. Those conditions just don't exist today, and even if they did, I would want to avoid having to engage in polygamy if at all possible. It's hard to know for certain how I would feel about it in the absence of the necessary conditions. I'm glad it's not an issue for me in the here and now.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 10, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    My Great-Great Grandmother was a polygamous wife (2nd) to my G-G-Grandfather. She bore him 4 children, then fell in love with another man. They were granted a temple dissolution of sealing, and she married the other man, having other children. Her first 4 children remained with her 1st husband and his 1st wife, to be raised as theirs. In later years she lived the role of Grandmother to the children of those 4. Polygamy agreed upon by all parties - 1st wife, the 2nd wife and her parents, etc.

    If God were to tell the LDS Prophet today to reinstate polygamy, in today's society it could easily be done, with sealings in the Temple, but not legal (state) marriages, the law of the land notwithstanding. And assuming all parties were of age, the Law could really not do much about sex between consenting adults. Of course, it would lack the predatory nature of the FLDS plural marriage.

    I don't think it will happen, but it could. My wife has already told me she would not permit it, thank heaven, so I don't have to worry about it. What about the rest of you active LDS Priesthood holders? Thoughts?

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 10, 2011 10:05 a.m.

    I think that Warren Jeffs and his followers behaviors are very telling as to why the LDS church has scripture that God will never allow a Prophet to lead the members of the church astray. Without that promise from God I could see many many members following a prophet who may decide to take up residence with Satan. Not saying that LDS prophets have done this. Just saying that you will find mindless followers everywhere.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 8:49 a.m.

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

    Law Enforcement is a joke in Utah.

  • Old Scarecrow Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 10, 2011 7:02 a.m.

    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.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Aug. 9, 2011 10:56 p.m.

    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.

  • IDmom Murray, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    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.

    Aug. 9, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    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...

  • hairypatches Hurricane, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 8:59 p.m.

    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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 9, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    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.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Aug. 9, 2011 7:17 p.m.

    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.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Aug. 9, 2011 7:11 p.m.

    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.

  • Spot Light Beverly Hills, CA
    Aug. 9, 2011 6:16 p.m.

    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?

  • Making Sense Herriman, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 5:47 p.m.

    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.

  • jill17 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 5:18 p.m.

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

    Aug. 9, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    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!

  • Richie Saint George, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 3:06 p.m.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  • MR Draper, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:46 p.m.

    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...

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    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.

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    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,

    Aug. 9, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    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.

  • IHeartMusic Mendocino, CA
    Aug. 9, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    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!!!

  • IHeartMusic Mendocino, CA
    Aug. 9, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    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.