DeWayne Wickham: Leader of Mormon faction a threat to U.S.

The Californian

Written by
DeWayne Wickham

The terrorist who worries me most in this New Year is not an avowed enemy being stalked by American forces abroad. It is Warren Jeffs, the homegrown cult leader and imprisoned pedophile.

From his Texas prison cell, Jeffs — who is serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and a consecutive 20-year sentence for raping a 15-year-old girl — is demanding even sheep-like behavior from members of his 10,000-member fundamentalist church.

And he is, apparently, getting it.

Jeffs has banned his followers from having sex until he is released, Joni Holm, who has relatives in the cult, told the Salt Lake City Deseret News. That’s not likely to happen anytime soon since Jeffs, 56, must serve at least 45 years before he can be paroled. Still, Jeffs has ordered his followers to reaffirm their faith (and loyalty to him) by handing over control of most of their worldly possessions to his lieutenants.

Children must give up their toys, girls under 18 aren’t allowed to work or have a cellphone, and access to media outlets and the Internet is banned, the Deseret News also reported.

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