At one moment in the four-part docuseries Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, one of the women who was part of the religious cult, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, says she had no idea of who the President was. The people of the FLDS were kept such in isolation they had no idea a world was happening amonst themselves. Even as a child, I knew who the President was.
Keep Sweet is one of many documentaries about the FLDS, which surprisingly still operates because the government is afraid of taking a risk. I remember when most of this all went down when Warren Jeffs, who looks like the dictionary picture of a child molestor, finally went to prison for raping an underage girl. The core of all cults is sex, and most importantly, sex with younger women. Money is also an issue. But usually the sex takes precedent over money. If you were to research David Koresh, you’d realize he was a child molestor too. Religion in general, even Christians and Mormons, have their sexual predators.
Youth ministers creep me out. There’s something wrong with a man, as it’s always men, who want to be around a bunch of tweens and teens. But Keep Sweet goes back to the beginning as showing that Warren was just continue what his father, Rulon, had started. If you don’t cringe when you hear how this man in his 80s wanted women as young as their late teens to be his wife and even engage in sexual acts, then you’re probably a child molestor too.
I know what you’re saying. How can people find themselves in these situations? I think it all comes down to the notion of Heaven and who will get to be allowed in and who won’t. Religion uses that as a carrot to keep us doing things we normally wouldn’t do. At one point, the men are told they will only get into Heaven is if they have at least three wives. But the questions is, what about the wives?
Of course, the real Mormon church and the state of Utah outlawd polygamy and the FDLS is the off-shoot that wanted to keep polygamy a thing. But hearing people talk about it, you can tell, especially the women, are uncomfortable with it. At one point, one of the interviewees said that was the goal. It was all geared to benefit the men while the women were used as “chattel.” It was all about making the men satisfied while the women had to give themselves to the men.
But then Rulon Jeffs became seriously ill and Warren took over. And he made some serious changes. Because that’s what leaders in cults do. Warren made sure women all dressed the same and he controlled what was in the schoolbooks, even to the point of just cutting pages out at length. As Rulon had told his followers he was the Prophet and was going to live forever, they believed that his soul had gone into Warren’s.
And as Warren continued to marry young women, he kicked out the men, even his own siblings who he saw as competition. As law enforcment closes in on him, we do hear some audio that may be uncomfortable. And worse is how the cult sheltered the women and children from the outside world that when they were taken into custody, it became a very traumatic experience. Rather than being safe, they felt more in danger.
In the end, even though he’s in prison, Warren is still in charge of the FDLS from prison and the government is still afraid to cross a line it needs to finally cross. This isn’t about the First Amendment. This is about women and children beind held against their will and the only reason they remain in the cult is they’ve been conditioned to accept it as normal.
I would advise anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault or had a bad experience with a church organization to watch this with caution. But nothing is going to be done until we go after the other Warren Jeffs out there. Yet, still seeing how toxic masculinity and some men still view women, especially teenage girls, as sexual conquests, we probably won’t have much hope. But ask yourself, would you let your daughter, sister or cousin be prey on by someone like this, all in the name of God?
What do you think? Please comment.