Saturday, May 30, 2009

FLDS History 101 - After the trial

On September 26, 2007, Warren Jeffs was found guilty of being an accomplice to rape. He showed no expression with his hands folded as the verdict was read.

Warren left the courthouse under heavy security. A helicopter ferried him from the Courthouse back to the Purgatory Jail where he remained in isolation. Deputies checked in on him frequently to make sure he was OK.

On November 1, Warren’s January jail recordings were unsealed and the world learned about his confession and that he renounced being a prophet. What people didn’t know yet was that he back-tracked on all this in April. It was all a test.

On November 9, Warren was again again kicking men out of the FLDS and taking their families away, even men at YFZ. “There is a conspiracy on the land R17 (YFZ).” He sent orders that one man had to leave YFZ and go to live in Oregon, “to have no contact whatsoever with his former family, with apostates, with his relatives, or with any Priesthood people.” If that wasn’t enough he sent orders that the man should keep the YFZ mission secret. So, he loses his home, wives, children, career, and friends. Then he is thrust out to Oregon, at state that Warren cursed to be destroyed. And finally he orders the man not to tell anyone about their secrets at YFZ.

Warren still needed to see money flow from the “half-hearted” people in Short Creek who weren’t yet prepared to have a place on a land a refuge. He ordered that his henchman, Big Willie Jessop, go around Short Creek and get people to write the judge involved in the UEP case demanding that their home rights be protected. Notice how Warren was still behind all policy decisions involving the government. If he would not have issued this order, Short Creek residences would have done nothing. But he was careful, he didn’t want to expose any of the Church leaders to have to testify in these cases, that way they could follow “the Lord’s will” in “answering them nothing.”

Warren had received another one of his revelations on October 4. He had Nephi Jeffs travel to Mancos Colorado and Pringle, South Dakota to read the revelation to them.

Warren was still involved in every detail even when to seek medical help. The FLDS needed his permission to send their sick children to the hospital for treatments. Warren was sent a question, “The hospital is pressing for his son to have immunization because of his Leukemia condition. What is your directive on this?” The answer, “Do what is needed.” (November 9, 2007)

On November 20, Warren was sentenced to two consecutive terms of five years to life in prison. That evening, he was taken by plane to his new home, the Utah State Prison at the Point of the mountain. The Sheriff said, “We were able to get him changed out of his suit into prison clothes, moved him up to the airport, put him on a fixed-wing aircraft and flew him out.” From Salt Lake airport he was drive to the Utah State Prison. Authorities described his mood as “down.” His communications both by phone and letter would be monitored. His first parole hearing would not be until November, 2010.

On December 4, Warren’s attorneys filed an appeal for a new trial, arguing that “error and improprieties occurred during the trail. They also objected to some of the jury instructions given.
On December 5, a statement was issued by Warren attorney. "Mr. Jeffs has asked that the following statement be released to the media and to members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints," according to the complete statement. "Mr. Jeffs resigned as President of the Corporation of the President of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Inc., on November 20, 2007."

It is believed that this resignation was just a legal maneuver to detach Warren from the business arm of the FLDS. Warren’s picture remained prominently hung in FLDS homes. He also continued to issue teachings from prison as if he were the prophet.

On Feburary 22, 2008, Warren was sent to Arizona and booked into Mohave County Jail in Kingman. He was given his own cell and would be in it for 23 hours a day. He would be allowed outside for one hour of exercise and fresh air. He was given access to meet with his attorney and visitors. On February 26th he was brought to court charged with counts of sexual conduct with a minor, incest, and conspiracy to commit sexual misconduct with a minor. Warren pleaded not guilty to the charges. He wore a standard orange jumpsuit.

On March 23 Warren was visited in jail by family and friends. He preached to them the usual things, preparing for the redemption of Zion. He didn’t talk about somehow being freed from prison by miracle. Instead, he seemed to be consigned to the fact that he was in there to stay for a very long time. He said he prayed to allow his dead father and other prophets to come among them since he couldn’t. His family replied, “We need you, we cannot go on without you.” He even talked to them about their future opportunity to help the returning Ten Tribes. But he made no mention that he would be there with them. It had the tone of a farewell message. He said that he didn’t want to be a burden.

He mentioned that he had been through a lot but recently has been singing songs that they had been sending him on cards. “I have been praying fervently for deliverance. . . . we will see what the Lord does with me.”

They asked him about his meals. Breakfast: oatmeal or cornflakes with bread. (Oops, he had banned cold cereal from XYZ earlier). That morning he had potatoes and eggs. Lunch is bologna sandwiches. Dinner is either noodles or beans. Once a week he had chicken or hamburgers. He didn't get bottled water but he is given a cup. He weighed 150 pounds, up from 143.

His cell was 7 feet by 12 feet. His bed was soft enough and he used pillows to kneel on when he prayed. His knees were bandaged because of the sores from kneeling so long. He was allowed to walk outside in a yard about 40 feet by 40 feet. The sun shined on part of it. He was allowed to shave every other day. A camera was videoing him all the time in his cell.

Apparently his phone calls and visits were much less frequent than it was the previous year in the Washington County jail. He was only allowed to have soft-bound books and only a few of them.

He told them, “Oh if only I could tell you what I have been through.” He kept talking about his dead father Rulon as if he communicates with him. “I yearn to be among you, to teach and train, as the Lord allows.

Three days later he gave another lesson to family and friends visiting him who he spoke to through a glass barrier. When he said hello, he showed them his mug shot attached to his wrist. During this visit he gave counsel to his children, telling them to behave. To his daughters he asked them to pray for the privilege of being a plural wife someday. He then gave the usual preaching about preparing for the end of the world. “Great blessing await the faithful; thus great tests and trials and great experience is coming upon the people. . . . Pray night and day for deliverance, asking the Lord to open the way that we can be together again in the Lord’s time and way. . . . I love you all and ask the Lord to bless you. Be encouraged. Keep sweeter and sweeter. I say this with a smile. Smile father's (Rulon's) smile. Live in the law of sacrifice."

It is clear that Warren had now delegated things to “presiding brethren” because his communications to them was probably less frequent. He mentioned several times that they should get their instructions from the Presiding Elder.

He was able to read the newspaper at times and was convinced that times would get very tough, “your conveniences may not be around soon." He had wanted to sing a song to them, but the guards had not let him bring a card to the visiting area. A guard came in to take him away. He smiled and winked at his family members.

Just three days later, on March 29, 2008, “Sarah” made the phone call which provoked the YFZ raid on April 3, 2008. The FLDS were paraded before the world as they experienced their greatest “test” in history. They believed their children had been taken into homes of wicked gentiles who would poison their minds with worldly evil. Most likely when Warren heard about this he believed it was the Lord pouring his wrath upon the FLDS for their unworthiness.
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