Sunday, May 31, 2009

FLDS People 101 - Nephi Barlow

Nephi Barlow is the fourth Barlow brother who was tossed out of the FLDS by Warren Jeffs during the public meeting on January 10, 2004. Many people thought the Barlows would rally together to oppose Warren, but they didn’t. The Barlows had wielded so much influence in past years, but on that day they were stripped of everything. The Barlows could be classified as zealots. They believed in a cause and often used unscrupulous means to benefit what they considered a greater cause.

In the early 1980s, Nephi Barlow was a member of his brother Sam Barlow’s “goon squad.” Sam was the deputy sheriff in town. Uncle Roy became determined to start cleaning up the town. He used Sam and his squad to evict some of the undesirables. Sam would use harassment tactics to influence people to leave. One of the early and despicable cases is when he tried to evict a widow and her children. In October, 1982, When the widow was away in Salt Lake City, paying her tithing, Nephi Barlow and others moved her things out of her house, onto the curb, changed the door lock and moved in to guard the house. When the widow returned she refused to be intimidated, got in the house, and confronted Nephi and others. She was accused of not paying taxes, so she got help to pay them, but still harassed to leave and finally did.

Nephi and the others on the goon squad were especially despised by wayward boys. There were reports how the squad would even burst into a home uninvited and beat up a boy who was not obeying the rules. Nephi and the others were viewed by many as being self-righteous bullies.

Nephi worked with his brothers to convince people to accept Uncle Roy’s “one-man rule” which would enable him to eliminate the priesthood council model that had governed the group for decades. Nephi worked at the J&B service station and would spend hours of his work day over at Fred Jessop’s “Early Bird Cafeteria” sharing his views to any one who would listen. One of his favorite topics was, “The Gospel in a nutshell is Uncle Roy.” He explained that whatever Uncle Roy said could not be questioned.

As the 1984 Priesthood Split unfolded, Nephi even went so far to take down the license plate numbers of the cars of people who attended a meeting at the home of Uncle Roy’s detractor, Alma Timpson. As the split unfolded, the Second Ward group began holding their meetings in Timpson’s home. Nephi began making threats that they were not going to be allowed to hold religious meetings on UEP property. This led to great contention between the two groups over property use.

During 2001, Nephi Barlow poured the concrete for the huge floor of his industrial building in Colorado City. It was the biggest single concrete pour even performed until Wendell Nielson’s Western Precision moved there from West Jordan a few months later during the big “Olympics” move. (Rulon Jeffs had predicted the Games would bring cataclysmic destruction to the Salt Lake Valley. It didn’t happen, and must have just been a test.)

Nephi hoped to build a block factory that would make blocks of Styrofoam/cement to make houses. It seemed to be a good idea for desert homes. The people in the city office over-engineered the footings and it took more than three-times what was expected to get the floor and footing done. Nephi worked hard to get everything together, but the effort was sunk when Western Precisions came a few months later.

In 2003, Nephi was in charge of work projects. Nephi was criticized by some for exploiting his position as work leader to further his own interests, including building himself a big house. That duty all came to an end when Warren kicked him out of the church, took away his family, property, and career. Nephi didn’t fight back and claimed that he did not know what he did wrong. Warren’s bizarre treatment of booting people out without letting them know what they were charged with was totally contrary to the procedures outlined in his FLDS scriptures. But the “one man” rule seems to trump everything, including the scriptures. If the prophet says something, it is done and can’t be criticized.

Nephi had many ups and downs and took it very hard. He met with his brothers and others who were kicked out, trying to encourage each other. But this stirred up the wrath of Warren who believed that these men were conspiring against him.

In August 2005, Warren still was getting reports about Nephi. “I have been shown the falling away, the opposition of many peoples who have been handled, the people joining together against me. People like Nephi Barlow. . . . Would to God they would repent.”

In November 2007, five cranes and more than 100 men gathered at Nephi Barlow’s steel building in Colorado City. By nightfall the building was completely gone. Most likely it was shipped to Texas and reconstructed at YFZ.

In 2008 a former wife of Nephi’s ran into trouble with the CPS when she lied to authorities during questioning about her children. She had been reassigned to Merril Jessop in 2004, during a ceremony in a Cedar City, Utah motel room.
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