Saturday, May 30, 2009

FLDS History 101 - Warren Jeffs waiting for his trial

In May 2007, Warren Jeffs was again in control over his followers. He stayed very busy as he waited for his trial and still had faith that he would be delivered miraculously from jail before the trial. He spent his hours in prison writing directives and revelations to his family and very dedicated followers.

Warren asked for lists of unmarried girls and women to be sent to him with their ages. He was ready to again start to make marriage assignments. However, it is likely that these marriages couldn’t be performed until he was freed from prison. He asked Naomie to inform on any slackers in his family, including those who “are being too social in the kitchen.”

Warren worked on an appeal document to the Utah Supreme Court asking them to disallow evidence seized by the FBI when he was arrested to be used in his trial. In it, he stated: “I am already guilty in the eyes of the people of the world, and they would ‘crucify’ me if they could.”

Warren’s next hearing was on May 25, 2007 to hear motions to let evidence be made public. Warren ordered that all the people on the lands of refuge and houses of hiding go on a three-day fast starting on May 23. Despite the fasting and prayer, the sealed items were released to the media.

Near end of May, Warren spent his time composing lessons, calling the YFZ Ranch, and issuing orders. He wrote letters to his wives living on the compounds at Mancos, Colorado and Pringle, South Dakota. They revealed a little of what life was like there. He told his family to make sure they stayed separate from the other families of chosen leaders living there. “Do not just carry on in socializing and light-minded talk. Be busy in caring for the house, sewing, gardening, and kitchen and other duties. . . . Keep to yourselves as a family, and do not start to gossip or mingle where you could compromise yourself around men or boys on the land. Keep focused on your Priesthood head (Warren in prison) as though he was right by you.” He told them to send to him letters of confession “concerning troubles in morals and other sins or weaknesses.” “In the garden, work as a family group. . . . Conserve on food. Do not demand expensive things. Do not live on tinctures and health food extremes requiring purchase of expensive supplements. Have what you need.” He tried to say “Howdy” and list all his family living there, but “If I missed any names, send me a letter.” He did really know all members of his huge family -- an obvious challenge when you have more than 60 wives.

Warren worked hard far away in prison to keep his wives in line. His directives frequently included motivations of fear. For example, writing to one of his very young wives, “Work on not talking so much. A woman who cannot keep the Lord’s confidence and the privacy of her husband secret and sacred will never be allowed in the temple. . . . Write a brief daily report to me, that you keep for now, listing the jobs done each day by you. Stay busy! Stay prayerful. Read a good book each day. Be on time to the trainings. You are no longer a little girl.” Sadly, she likely was still a little girl in her teens.

Writing to his wives living at YFZ, he instructed them to do something that seemed mentally cruel, to put in their minds a threat if they didn’t stay in line. “The Lord directs that all of you have your bags packed as you were instructed, along with the children’s, and stored in your closets without the children realizing what you are doing. . . . These packed bags will be a daily reminder to each of you what could happen if we do not do our part in qualifying for the promised blessings, even to be scattered among the Gentiles.” The threat put in their minds is if they didn’t stay totally loyal to Warren, they could be turned out into the wicked world which was about to be destroyed. Only on the lands of refuge could they be protected.

Warren wanted to keep his family away from any news reports about him with the approaching trial. “Our enemies think they have destroyed the 'One Man Rule' and thus the work of God by holding me prison and joining in their secret combinations to bring evidence against me to hold me in prison until they can do with me as they planned. Do not listen to the news reports or reports from apostates or the halfhearted, or government officials to learn what they say about me or what I have done. “

He let his wives know that he had gone through a great test in prison, but the truth behind this is explained in his recent “revelations.” “I verily believed I was unworthy of the key position I hold . . . I called in January, and many of you went through the test you know about; and thus far all of you passed the test of going to the Lord and confirming your testimony of where the keys of Priesthood are.” (Still with Warren). “This was the Lord’s test upon us.” He explained that the FLDS back at Short Creek still don’t know about the new revelations that declares he is still the prophet. The last thing they heard was his declarations that he wasn’t the prophet. Warren just didn’t seem to care that the thousands left at Short Creek even knew he was back in control. They were the “half-hearted” that he frequently condemned.

Warren wanted to do some doctrinal research. He instructed Rachael Nielsen (Warren's sister) to do research and send him quotes about such topics as Plurality of Gods, Baptism for the Dead, Temple ordinances, and eternal judgment. He wanted the research to be done in secret.

Warren was very concerned about a hearing to be held on June 13, 2007 in St. George to hear a motion to not allow the revelations and records seized during his arrest be used during his trial. “All my private doings, marriages, travels, and revelations will be accessible to the prosecution.”
Warren instructed that a special meetings be held during the week of June 10 on the lands of refuge. His counselor Wendell Nielson would travel to Mancos and Pringle to reveal the recent revelation that proclaimed that Warren was still the prophet, that he had only went through a test. There should also be another three-day fast June 11-13 to pray for success in the upcoming court hearing about the records. He didn’t let his people know about these records, he only told them that they should pray for deliverance “from the revelations of Satan that soon will be poured out upon this people by the world.” Interesting that he would refer to his own records as “revelations of Satan.” He appeared to be preparing their minds for the day when those records could be made public and he could deny them as evil lies written by his enemies.

Warren was so worried about the recordings being made public by the courts that he even issued orders for those not on the lands of refuge, who lived in Short Creek and Bountiful, Canada to join in the three-day fast. The purpose for the fast wasn’t revealed, but it would be a test to see who was with the Lord.

He wrote to all his followers, “I have been imprisoned now for these nine months because of the acts and influence of traitors and apostates bringing the world upon us, which has brought a test upon all the Lord’s people. The Lord has had me answer them nothing.” “Answer them nothing” was Warren's mantra in relation to the government. He believed if any of his followers answered charges they would be traitors.

To start things over again, he instructed that everyone on the lands of refuge be baptized again by total immersion in water while wearing white clothing. They were then reconfirmed as members of “the Holy United Order.” This was a renewal of their covenants, “and to give them confidence that the Lord has forgiven them their sins, and to not look back, and to put everyone on equal standing before the Lord as cleaning up their lives and living clean and pure from this time forth.”

On June 6, 2007, Warren wrote a curious message to his counselors, “The Lord has shown me that there is a secret combination organized to take my life. The Lord directs that this be kept quiet, and that we now seek unto the Lord for Him to open the way of deliverance.” He asked them to keep this information secret.

Warren sent an amusing directive to YFZ. He banned cold cereal from the land. “It is usually white flour and sugar. Please have it removed.” Perhaps he had a bad experience with Captain Crunch while in prison.

With all his time in prison, he had plenty of time to write letters to micro-manage the building projects on YFZ. The most important project going was building a “Printing Establishment.” Workers weren’t allowed to eat their lunches on this sacred site, they had to eat them elsewhere. He ordered that a 10-foot high cement wall be built around the entire lot, with a two-foot-high railing on top. The inside needed 7 coats of white paint. The doors should be 9-feet high and thick. An incinerator would be needed to burn papers that could have sacred print on them. This may explain the mysterious furnace that people have wondered about.

Warren fully intended to personally use this printing building once he was freed from prison. “Have a large desk for me and a small desk for a helper, with a 7-foot couch, a recliner, and 12 arm chairs besides the desk chairs.” This appeared to be a setting for his future “heavenly sessions.” His office would be similar to another one already built in the temple annex. He even sent details about how the garbage cans should look and the need for white garbage bags

On July 1, 2007, the judge ruled against the FLDS motions. It was ruled that the Nevada traffic stop of the vehicle carrying Warren was legal and that evidence subsequently discovered by police can be used in his criminal trial. Defense attorneys had challenged the traffic stop, stating that Nevada's laws require license plates to be completely visible only if the plates are for Nevada vehicles. The license plate on the car in which Warren was traveling had a temporary Colorado registration tag that was partly covered by the license bracket.

The traffic officer (Dutchover) revealed some interesting facts about the traffic stop. The trooper noticed the driver's hands were shaking and inside there was a radar detector and global positioning device. Possessing such devices is legal in Nevada, but Dutchover knew from experience they often are used by people transporting illegal drugs. Dutchover became more suspicious when the driver, Isaac Jeffs, said he lived in Hildale, Utah, but the car was registered to a Colorado company and a John Wayment of West Des Moines, Iowa. The trooper also found it unusual that Isaac Jeffs was in front, Warren was seated behind him and in a row behind that sat another passenger, later identified as Naomi e. In addition, Isaac and Warren gave conflicting accounts of where they had been and were going. Dutchover also was suspicious of the fact that Warren would not make eye contact, was quickly eating a salad and his demeanor was so visibly nervous that the trooper said Warren was making him nervous. Warren at first refused to give his name and then denied he was Warren Jeffs, which alone subjects him to arrest in Nevada, the judge stated in an 11-page written ruling.

Warren was also very worried about another hearing to be held on July 18,20, Warren knew there would be a hearing for the judge to decide if his prison phone and video recordings could be made public at the trial. He was especially worried about the January recordings when he confessed his sins and proclaimed that he wasn’t the prophet and didn’t hold priesthood. He has for prayers. Finally he was very worried that Bruce Wisan (UEP fiduciary) would be allowed to look at his private records. “If he gets hold of them, they will trace the Church assets, tithing and consecration use, and all the other activities I was involved with.”

On July 13, 2007, an Arizona Grand Jury indicted Warren with 8 more counts of sex offences. On July 18, the Judge ruled that Warren’s jailhouse recordings would remain sealed (not available to new media) so allow for a fair trial. However, the prosecution still hoped to use the evidence in Warren’s upcoming trial. A week later the Judge ruled that these recordings would not be allowed as evidence for the trial. This was good news to Warren.

The court ordered Warren to provide information that would allow Wendell Musser to have continuing contact with his former wife and child. Warren refused to provide the information as ordered. Warren considered Musser to be an evil apostate and had no desire for him to have contact with the family that Warren had reassigned to another man. On July 27, 2007, Warren was questioned by attorneys about the matter, but Warren took the Fifth Amendment on all of their questions. The attorney commented, “I asked him if he would meet privately with Wendell if he came to the jail to see him, and he wouldn't answer the question. He seemed almost like a lost boy, looking to his lawyer for guidance. It's sad that he has to invoke the Fifth Amendment. I don't think it even applies; this is a civil matter."

Utah court documents show that Warren lost 30 pounds fasting while in jail awaiting trial, and that he was hospitalized for treatment of fasting, dehydration and sleep deprivation.

On Septembere 7, 2007, Jury selection started on Warren's trial.
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