FLDS – breakaway cult of the Mormon religion to practice polygamy.
Cult Survivor: Brent Jeffs
Brent’s father had 3 wives and 20 children, including Brent. His grandfather, Rolon Jeffs, the prophet of the church, exercised total control over the cult. Rolon kept his followers isolated from the rest of the population. Fear was the tactic that kept the cult members in line; anyone opposed to the church’s teachings became an apostate, doomed to burn in hell. The cult took away free will from all of its members.
Warren Jeffs – (Brent’s Uncle Warren) Rolon’s eldest son took control of FLDS when Rolon’s health faded. During church services young children played in the basement of the church. As 5-year-old Brent played in the basement, Warren entered the room and brought him into a washroom where he sexually molested and raped his nephew. This became a regular occurrence. Warren had over 60 wives. He ordered wives that husbands had the right to commit infidelity and not to be questioned about it. He told the boys to avoid the girls and that boyfriends and girlfriends were a sin. The girls were dressed in modest, pilgrim-like dresses and were forbidden to wear makeup. In truth, the older church men wanted young girls for brides. They found wrong-doing in the boys and kicked them out of the church. Brent’s older brother Clayne refused to be controlled by the church. He rebelled at all of Wayne’s teachings and finally when he was 13, Clayne was kicked out of the cult.
10 years after Clayne was ejected from the cult, his infant daughter died of SIDS. Brent’s father held a funeral service at their house for the infant, even though Clayne had left the cult a decade earlier. As a result of the funeral, Brent’s father Ward is accused of harboring gentiles. Warren reassigned Ward’s family to another man. Ward left the church taking his family with him. However they remained within the compound walls. Members of the church welded the gate between the Jeffs’ house and the church shut. By then , Brent was 15 and scared that since they were banned from the church, he would burn in hell. Brent left his family. He moved into a FLDS’ friend’s house 400 miles away. He lived in Colorado City, to see if he could reconcile himself with the cult. It was a guarded town. A newcomer who drove in was tailed by a cult member. The city is so heavily guarded due to living the laws of polygamy, illegal in the state. After 9 months Brent was told to leave because of who his family was. Relieved, exhausted, Brent left never to return.
Brent returned to Salt Lake City, Utah, and moved in with his two brothers who had also been excommunicated. Clayne and Dave were addicted to drugs. Clayne was addicted to heroin. Clayne revealed to Brent that he too had been molested and raped by their uncle. One day, Clayne’s wife informed Brent that he had shot himself. Dave passed away from a drug overdose. Bravely, Brent filed a lawsuit against Warren for committing sodomy against him as a child. Warren refused to attend court and Brent won the case by default. Warren had raped 5 members of Brent’s family. Several more FLDS members filed lawsuits against Warren, who attempted to escape persecution by becoming a fugitive. He was put on one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List two years later, Warren was apprehended in a routine traffic stop (rather like Ted Bundy). Brent never felt more empowered than his opportunity to testify against his abusive uncle. Warren requested to stand outside the courtroom in a small room while Brent gave his testimony. Brent was asked i f he wanted to see his uncle. Guards brought Warren to Brent when the trial was over. Brent told his uncle he got what he deserved. Warren was sentenced to life imprisonment for sexual assault of two little girls. He is eligible for parole when he turns 100. Warren was powerless. Brent was free.
Free Love Ministries, Sacramento California
Cult Survivors: (Steve) and Maura and their daughter, Rebekah
Cult Leaders: Jim and Lila Murphy
The Murphys dressed in military gear and insisted that their followers move into one of three houses on the compound. Their members also dressed as soldiers. Lila and Jim’s fundamental beliefs involved spiritual warfare, against evil. The FLM was an army responding to God’s ordaining war. God assigned the FLM members ranks and supposedly made Jim a General. A mind control method called love bombing convinced new people to join the cult. Newcomers found a happy, approachable cult that eventually becomes more demanding. Maura was informed that any doubts she held about the cult came from the devil. Members were isolated from family and friends, were forbidden from watching television or listening to the radio. Maura’s husband Steve became completely ingratiated into the cult and became Jim and Lila’s “right-hand man.”
Over time FLM changed its name to Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps. Lila verbally abused the cult, informing them they were “dumb” and “stupid.” Rebekah was exorcised by Lila who placed a sweaty hand on her forehead and screamed for Rebekah’s demon to be cast out. People suffered sleep deprivation. Standing at attention at 5:00a.m. for prayer and getting up at midnight for guard duty were regular routines. Lila Green ordered parents to beat their children if they made a noise or disobeyed the rules. The more parents abused their children in front of the Greens, the better favor they were held in the Greens eyes. Steve, Rebekah’s stepfather abused Maura in front of their children. He finally advised Maura to whip their youngest son for making a noise. Maura complied and spanked the young boy with a belt for cooing during prayer service. Rebekah witnessed atrocious abuses against children by their mothers and fathers. One two-year-old was locked in a basement for days. He was beaten with a board that had nails in it, The Greens sought to break all bonds every family member had with one another.
At the age of 17, pretty Rebekah is ordered to marry cult member Mike. Lila continued abusing the members:” You think you’re pretty, you think you’re lovely, you think you’re beautiful, you think you’re powerful, you think you’re brave, wait until I get through with you.” Maura was accused of idealizing her children. She was banished to a shed in the backyard. where she lived for several months. She was called Forsaken, forced to paint walls and ate nothing but peanut butter sandwiches. Maura’s punishment occurred during Rebekah’s pregnancy with her first child. Maura wasn’t able to participate in Rebekah’s pregnancy. Finally, Steve told Maura to leave. Lila banished Maura from the compound and literally sent her out into the street alone. After the birth of Rebekah’s second son the Greens were irate with Rebekah, telling her she hadn’t chastened the infant enough. During her infant’s toilet training, Rebekah spanked her child with a belt because she was forced to. Rebekah informed her husband Mike that she wanted to leave the cult. In the middle of the night the family left the compound, caught a taxi and left. Rebekah believed she was going to hell but she couldn’t live beneath the Green’s tyranny any longer.
Maura sued the Greens for maltreatment. When the Greens fail to appear in court Maura is awarded $1.02 million dollars. The Greens have never paid Maura the settlement. Instead they destroyed the houses on their compound then denied they committed the vandalism. The Greens still lead the Aggressive Christianity Training Corps. After she escaped, Rebekah didn’t know how to dress, eat, or make any personal decisions. She now had to think for herself after 10 years of living as a robot.