We are getting a unique view inside the F.L.D.S., the secretive polygamist sect led by Warren Jeffs. It's coming from a group of young women who decided to leave that life behind. Their journey was documented in the TLC show "Breaking the Faith." Anderson discussed it with the show’s producer, Troy Williams, and former F.L.D.S member Rebecca Musser.
Followers of the FLDS polygamist sect consider Warren Jeffs to be a prophet of God. To authorities in Texas, he is an inmate serving a life sentence for having sex with underage girls. But there are now serious questions about whether Jeffs is still leading the group from behind bars and whether his followers remain devoted. Gary Tuchman investigates and goes inside a mansion some followers built for Jeffs and his wives.
A federal judge in Utah struck down part of the state's law banning polygamy. The family featured on the reality show "Sister Wives" filed the case, arguing that Utah's ban on cohabitation violated their rights to privacy and religious freedom. Utah was home to Warren Jeffs, who leads the FLDS, another polygamist sect. He was convicted of having sex with underage girls and is now serving a life sentence. Rebecca Musser was a witness in the case against Jeffs and talks to Anderson about what today's decision means.
The Sheriff of Mohave County, Arizona vows to help members who want to leave Warren Jeffs' polygamist sect known as the FLDS. Sheriff Tom Sheahan says their department is "helping those that want to get out of that community."
The Sheriff tells Anderson the 'city police department' is nothing but an 'extension of a security service for the church.' He explains, "when people want to leave that church and get away from that type of living, they try to stop them, they hide them out, and they conspire with the elders in that church to keep this from happening." FULL POST
Ruby Jessop recently escaped from a breakaway Mormon sect known as the FLDS. The group openly practices polygamy, and are controlled and ruled by their imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs.
Jessop was forced to marry a cousin when she was fourteen years old. She was able to escape along with her six children. Gary Tuchman tells her story.
We have been coming to the twin towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona for many years covering stories about the thousands of devoted followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who live, govern and police the towns. Also known as the FLDS, members of the breakaway Mormon sect openly practice polygamy.
Each time we come here, we are noticed the minute we drive into either town. These are not the kind of towns where outsiders would have a reason or need to stop. There aren't any shops, restaurants or businesses that cater to the outside world. So the minute an outsider does arrive, they are noticed and met with skepticism. Children ride horses and are dressed like everyone else, in traditional FLDS clothing. They are controlled and ruled by their imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs. You don’t see children playing with toys or riding bikes. They are usually found working on homes or in fields with their parents. FULL POST
Authorities are concerned polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs believes the world will end before 2013. The jailed FLDS prophet controls his followers from behind bars, and could be delivering a dangerous doomsday message. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
Read more about what law enforcement is monitoring in the FLDS communities.
A doomsday prophesy from jailed polygamist prophet Warren Jeffs has the attention of law enforcement officials.
“The consensus seems to be that (he’s) indicating that by the end of the year, the end of the world will be here,” said Sam Brower, a private investigator who has represented more than 100 former member of Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church.
Law enforcement is on alert and monitoring the border towns of Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, where Jeffs’ followers live.
Gary Tuchman reports on a tip about convicted polygamist Warren Jeffs's sect having FLDS children harvest pecans instead of attending school.
For years, we've reported on the mysterious enclave of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints near the Utah-Arizona border. We thought we've seen it all. But tonight Gary Tuchman reports on a development that raises new questions about the Church run by jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.
Gary received a tip that Jeffs, from his prison cell, ordered all schools closed this week so the children could harvest pecans. Gary went to the ranch in question and found hundreds of children in the fields. As soon as he got out of his car, the children all started scattering away from him, and eventually running in the opposite direction.
Gary talked to the owner of a neighboring hog farm, who told him the child labor has gone on for a week or two over a period of years.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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