More than 1000 FLDS members barred from church

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Lindsay Whitehurst
The Salt Lake Tribune

Observers say an unprecedented number — up to 1,500 members — of the polygamous sect led by Warren Jeffs were barred from the group’s church after being told over the weekend they were “unworthy” to attend.

Most don’t appear to have been instructed to leave their families and their homes, as is common when people are excommunicated from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but instead forbidden to enter the LSJ Meetinghouse in Colorado City, Ariz., said former FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop, now opposed to Jeffs.

“They were offered the opportunity to continue their repentance at another location, not at the main church with everyone else,” he said. The people were reportedly estranged for expressing doubt of Jeffs, breaking one of his new, extreme rules or failing to pay increasingly high tithing totaling thousands of dollars.

“They may have kissed their wives, or forgot to sell their ATVs,” Jessop said.

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