New Book!

 

 

Warren Jeffs 

          On June 10, 2005 Warren Jeffs, the Mohave County Attorney issued an arrest warrant after a grand jury indicted Jeffs on two felony counts of sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual assault with a minor.  On June 27, the FBI joined the hunt by adding a charge of unlawful flight against Jeffs.[1]  One month later, Utah and Arizona officials announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.[2]

          While on the lam, it appears that Warren did not suffer for the comforts of life.  “Wherever his is, he’s certainly not hurting financially,” asserted Ben Bistline, a Colorado City historian and former FLDS member.  “In addition to church members giving their normal 10 percent tithing, he put the call out for every elder (men over 18) to come up with an extra $1000 a month for him...  You can rest assured he has a nice vehicle, a nice place to stay and that he’s supporting all his wives.”[3]

          Adding important details of the support system surrounding Jeffs, Warren’s brother Seth Steed Jeffs was arrested October 28, 2005 in southern Colorado and cited for soliciting a prostitute after the driver of the vehicle he was riding in, Nathaniel Steed Allred, told police that Jeffs had paid him $5000 for “sexual services.”[4]  Inside the vehicle officers found $142,000 in cash, seven cell phones, thousands of dollars worth of prepaid credit cards and phone cards, and Warren Jeffs’ personal records.  Authorities also found hundreds of letters addressed to Warren.  In addition Seth Jeffs was carrying a cash-filled donation jar bearing his brother’s picture labelled: “Pennies for the Prophet.”  Ultimately, Seth Jeffs was charged for acting to “knowingly harbor and conceal Warren Steed Jeffs” and was freed on a $25,000 bond awaiting his January 2006 trial.[5]

         Jeffs racist comments have also hampered respect.  During the 2001-03 years Jeffs taught regarding the “Negro race”: 

        "So the Negro race has continued, and today is the day of the Negro as far as the world is concerned.”[6] 

        “You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, or rude and filthy, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits; wild and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is usually bestowed upon mankind.”[7] 

            “So I give you this lesson on the black race that you can understand its full effects as far as we are able to comprehend. And that we must beware – if we are for the prophet, the priesthood – we will come out of the world and leave off their dress, their music, their styles, their fashions; the way they think, what they do, because you can trace back and see a connection with immoral, filthy people.”[8]  

        “So when you enjoy the beats, the rock music – maybe even toned down with an orchestra – you are enjoying the spirit of the black race. And that's what I emphasize to the students. And it is to rock the soul and lead the person to immorality, corruption – to forget their prayers, to forget their God. And thus the world has partaken of the spirit of the Negro race, accepting their ways.”

          In December 2005 Peter Davis, a certified public accountant from Phoenix was hired to investigate and reform the school district.   He immediately went to work slimming the work force and hiring a new principle, Carol Timpson, a longtime educator in the area.  The district’s Cessna 210 airplane was scheduled to be auctioned as well as 10 of the district’s 18 vehicles.  In addition, only two of the fifty-two credit cards previously used by district employees were approved.  Cell phones issued for use by district personnel were slashed from thirty-five to seven.  As of mid-January 2006, the district was $1.3 million dollars in debt with few ways to repay since local residents, members of the United Effort Plan, were refusing to pay property taxes.  While these challenges were being addressed, 355 students continued attending local schools.

 

[1].  AP, Deseret Morning News, July 10, 2005, B6.

[2].  Geoffrey Fattah, “Bounty placed on fundamentalists,” Deseret Morning News, July 14, 2005, B1.

[3].  Mark Shaffer, “Life on lam likely lavish for leader of the FLDS,” Deseret Morning News, November 8, 2005, A1.

[4].  Keith Coffman, “Seth Jeffs will go on trial in January,” The Salt Lake Tribune, November 18, 2005 [I forgot to list the page number].

[5].Ibid.

[6].  During 2001-03, a member of the FLDS church hid a audio recorder in his boot and recorded dozens of sermons given by FLDS leaders.  Jeffs, as the presiding church officer, was one of those who spoke.  Digital copies in possession of the author.  See also transcripts at http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2005-07-29/pols_feature3.html.

[7].  Ibid.

[8].  Ibid.