10/24/2014

FLDS Church Leader Running the Show even in prison

Warren Jeffs is a former president of the polygamist cult, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). In 2011, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting underage girls. Even so, he hasn’t lost the trust of many loyal FLDS members who still take orders from him.


Non-FLDS members who have taken residence in the two FLDS strongholds, Colorado City, AZ; and Hildale, Utah, have accused these towns’ officials of discrimination, and of being taken over by the FLDS. One couple who claimed to have been a victim of such act of discrimination recently won their court case over the Colorado City town officials, whom they accused of withholding basic utilities to drive them away.

Complicating the entire situation is the FLDS’s property trust, known as the United Effort Plan (UEP). The UEP was set up to allow sharing of properties among FLDS followers under the principle of “communal living”. In 2005, Utah courts seized control of the trust after state allegations that Jeffs and other FLDS leaders had mismanaged its assets.


After the courts had taken control of the trust, UEP property residents were required to pay a monthly occupancy fee of $100 to the trust. Those who refused to pay had been evicted out of their homes. Some of the evictees have set up tents on other FLDS members’ properties, raising fears of the possible emergence of a tent city in Hildale.

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