Members of Warren Jeffs' Church Are 'Secretly Holding Underage Girls for Sexual Purposes'

Daily Mail
January 5, 2012

Abstinence: Warren Jeffs' followers may still be holding young girls for sex

Leaving: Joni Holm, and anti-Jeffs activist, says followers are leaving the congregation in droves

Before: Since going inside Jeffs has shaved his head and gone on hunger strike

Wives: The picture shows dozens of Warren Jeffs's brides, lined up together as if they are posing for a school photograph


Spiritual home: The temple of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Eldorado, Texas

Underage girls are still secretly being held by the followers of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs for sexual purposes, it has been reported.

A number of allegations have surfaced against Jeffs since he was jailed for life plus twenty years for raping a 12 and 15-year-old girl.

These are the latest allegations to surface after it came out on Tuesday that he has banned all his members from having sex and has voided every marriage.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said on Wednesday he intends to look into the claim young girls are being held for sex.

He said: 'I believe there's still a half-dozen to a dozen places around the country where girls are still being held. And I'm very concerned about that.

'The worry is that there are still children being trafficked in potential sexual crimes or being held for the prophet for that purpose.

'We don't know exactly. But that is a concern and that is something I intend to look into.'

He told the Deseret News that though it is too early to launch an investigation, they will be looking into the claims.

Jeffs is said to have already kicked out one member who dared to sleep with his own wife after Jeffs declared that all marriages are void until he can return and 'seal' them.

'He has predicted that the walls in the prison where he's at will fall and crumble,' Joni Holm, who has many relatives in the polygamous sect, told the Desert News.

CNN reported that one member who admitted to violating the proclamation has been excommunicated -- the harshest punishment for a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

In an effort to maintain control of his congregation of 10,000, Jeffs has imposed other harsh rules, including banning children's toys, trampolines, bikes and ATVs.

The response from his congregation has been polarizing: For many, the ban on sex was the last straw. Families have begun fleeing the church.

'Right now, they have all been told that they are not to live as husband and wife,' Ms Holm told KSL-TV in Salt Lake City.

However, the followers who have stayed have become even more devoted -- meeting amongst themselves almost daily.

Members were reportedly forced to undergo meetings on new years eve and id they were not deemed righteous enough they were told they could not attend regular meetings.

One man in the blackballed group claims his wife and ten children were taken away from his home by FLDS leaders at 3am one morning.

He said the church had taken all his money and now his family.

The revelation comes with news that Texas prison officials are investigating whether Jeffs preached to his followers from behind bars on Christmas Day in violation of prison rules, officials said on Thursday.

Jeffs, 56, who is the self-proclaimed 'prophet' of a breakaway Mormon sect, is serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting two girls he wed as spiritual brides when they were 12 and 14 years old at his sect's Texas ranch.

He is being held at a unit in East Texas, about 140 miles north of Houston.

'We have confirmed that Jeffs made two 15-minute phone calls on Christmas Day to a relative,' Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division spokesman Jason Clark said.

'At this point, we're investigating whether he may have circumvented policy and may have spoken to his congregation,' he added.

Such a move, if confirmed by the investigation, would be the latest indication Jeffs was trying to maintain sway over his sect, which has been condemned by the mainstream Mormon Church and accused of promoting marriages between older men and girls.

Clark wouldn't say how officials were tipped off to the possible infraction, but said the department's Office of Inspector General was investigating and Jeffs could face internal punishment including losing his phone privileges.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which teaches that for a man to be among the select in heaven he must have at least three wives, is estimated to have 10,000 followers in North America.

Jeffs was hospitalized for nearly a month earlier this year for going on a fast that former sect members described as an attempt to communicate to followers across North America of their need to sacrifice on his behalf.

He is now back in the prison system, where he receives special protection as a high-profile offender.

Jeffs is in protective custody, among the most restrictive forms of imprisonment in Texas.

He's alone in his cell daily and isn't involved in any work programs.

Protective custody inmates, and there are only 85 of them in the 156,000-inmate Texas prison system, are isolated because of serious, direct or proven threats against them.


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