The Crimes Of Warren Jeffs: "President/Prophet" Of The Fundamentalist Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints

By | May 8, 2020

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(All That's Interesting)

In 2002, polygamous priest and former member of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List Warren Jeffs rose to top of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he used his power to warp his followers and treat them like his own personal cult. Viewed as a prophet by many of his followers, Jeffs had more than 70 wives, many of them underage, and traveled across North America in disguise to evade capture. Like many cult leaders, Jeffs is known to be an equally charismatic and horrifying figure. He remains in federal custody and will for the rest of his life. But how did he get there?

Born To Lead

Warren Jeffs was born to then-President of the FLDS Rulon Jeffs on December 3, 1955, one of at least 60 children born to Rulon's 70-plus wives. He grew up outside of Salt Lake City before becoming the principal of Alta Academy, an FLDS private school at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, for 20 years. Jeffs took on the role when he was only 21 years old, and aside from leading the school, he taught math, history, and church history. He was even in charge of daily devotionals. A former student told the Deseret News in 2006:

He always complimented us on our special programs and cooking. I remember he was very good at math, and you could phone him at night if you were having trouble understanding the math homework.

Even though Jeffs was the kind of principal you could call at all hours of the night for homework help, he was also known for his disciplinary habits, ordering girls to "stay sweet" by avoiding boys.

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Sexual Abuse Allegations

One of Jeffs's nephews, Brent Jeffs, has alleged that during this time, he was sexually assaulted by Jeffs and his brothers when he was just five years old. A lawsuit claimed that Jeffs removed the boy from classes to take him to a bathroom, where he was assaulted and told he would face "eternal damnation" if he ever spoke about the incidents. Brent has claimed that multiple children, including his brother, received the same treatment from "Uncle Warren."