This week’s episode of Escaping Polygamy was one of the most intense to date. The show, which focuses on three sisters who help people escape polygamist organizations, delved into the mysterious world of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (otherwise known as the “FLDS” or the Warren Jeffs organization).
The episode featured two of Warren Jeffs’ many sons, Raymond and Isaac. Raymond had already left the FLDS and was asking for the girls’ help with getting his brother Isaac out.
During their interviews for the episode, Raymond and Isaac revealed plenty of weird and interesting facts about Warren Jeffs and the secret organization he runs.
Here are a few “fun facts” that we learned from watching this episode.
Warren has over 80 wives and hundreds of children. He married some of his wives when they were as young as 12 years old. He’s currently serving two life sentences in prison for the rapes of a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl.
Even though Warren is in prison, he is still leading his church. His followers get their orders from him via recordings he makes in his prison cell.
Members of the FLDS are not allowed to have any type of romantic contact, even if they are married. Members can not date, and FLDS members who are married are not allowed to have sex anymore. (This means that FLDS men may have dozens of wives, but he can’t have sex with any of them.) FLDS women are impregnated by “seed bearers,” which are basically men who are chosen by the organization’s leaders. These men are the only ones who can have sex with women. The woman being impregnated will have her husband there with her while she has sex with the seed bearer.
Warren ruled that children in the group are no longer allowed to have toys. Parents were ordered to take toys away from their kids and to give children as young as five years old part-time jobs. Television, camping and most forms of entertainment were also banned.
Caffeine is not banned in the FLDS. Members throw back coffee and even alcohol even though regular LDS Mormons do not.
Warren has ordered blood atonement for sinners. That means you can spill the blood of others who have committed serious crimes against the church (like leaving). Many of the escapees fear for their lives as they prepare to leave. Warren also preached you can go straight to heaven by killing a sinner.
They don’t vote in elections. FLDS members don’t believe in electing a president because they believe Warren is the President of the United States. Warren, who they call “The Prophet” or “Father,” is the boss of everything in their minds and can do no wrong.
Over 70 percent of the FLDS population is under 18 years old. This is due, in large part, to Warren kicking people out. He often kicks out young men so they don’t pose a threat to the old men who are trying collect their multiple wives. He also kicks out anyone who disagrees with anything he says.
They do adhere to “plain dress”….but they didn’t always. They started dressing in their pastel prairie dresses in the 1950s after a raid on their compound in Texas. The plain dresses are supposed to keep the women from being jealous of each other and to keep the men from lusting after them.
The women never cut their hair. The idea is that they need to grow their hair long so they can use it to wash Jesus’ feet when he returns to earth.
FLDS Women are forbidden from wearing the color red. They can wear all the pastels they want but red is a no-go. This is because they believe Jesus will be wearing red when he comes back, and a woman can’t be caught wearing the same outfit as Jesus. That would be embarrassing.
Watch the following ‘Escaping Polygamy’ clips to see Isaac and Raymond describe what life in the FLDS is like.