Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), is using his time in prison to terrorize his flock by demanding that they promulgate a bizarre series of doomsday prophecies and ordering them to cease having sex and to turn over all assets to the community or face instant excommunication.
According to Lindsay Whitehurst, who covers polygamy for the Salt Lake Tribune, two new Warren Jeffs prophecies were received by the Utah Attorney General’s office last week which are supposedly “a full warning from God, even from Jesus Christ, through my authority on earth, Warren.”
The document predicts a “whirlwind power, in famine, a desolating scourge, a sickness of no cure at first, earthquake, windstorms, pestilence, famine by mob rule” if Jeffs isn’t freed.
He is currently serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting both a 12 year-old and 15 year-0ld girl.
“Let United States of America leaders repent of their most wicked unholy ways, most of immoral personal way,” the letter states.
Another document is titled “Jesus Christ, God Over All, Sendeth a Final Warning to Peoples of Every Land on Earth, to be Heeded Now by All Peoples.” This prophecy also warns of judgment and specifically demands the release of Jeffs and “Merril Jessop,” a former FLDS bishop who was sentenced to 10 years and a $10,000 fine for performing an underage marriage.
The letter goes on to condemn an “apostate witness” who testified in trials against FLDS members, and contains general judgment for all the world, warning of famine and the need for nations to stock up on food.
“Now be of heralding my will — I shall be as a flaming fire to consume all wickedness of Zion’s land, even North and South America,” the letter states as an alleged quote from Jesus Christ.
Another prophecy directed at the United States also comes in the form of a warning from Jesus demanding the the U.S. not attack any country unless it has been attacked. It exhorts leaders not to draft any FLDS members and says they must release Jeffs in order “to have my preserving gift continue to remain with you.”
The same document denounces the military’s repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, calling it a law “of Sodom and immoral ways.”
At the same time that his followers are expected to promulgate these messages, Jeffs has been issuing ever more restrictive new rules upon the flock. As Whitehurst reports, former FLDS members say new rules bar men from having sex with their wives and command families to get rid of all children’s toys. Even more concerning is an edict that families must turn over all personal possessions to FLDS leadership, to be given back only what the leaders think they need.
“You forfeit control of your destiny and subject yourself to them. You have nothing that you control,” Willie Jessop, a former FLDS spokesman who is now a supporter of a rival sect, told Whitehurst.
After members sign over their assets, they are required to undergo extensive interviews to determine if they are worthy of FLDS membership. If they don’t meet the requirements, they’re excommunicated from the community and left with nothing except the clothes they’re wearing.
According to Jessop, between excommunications and people choosing to leave of their own accord, the community is losing 10 members a day, leaving behind only a small number of fanatical followers.