Netflix is known for shocking true crime, but it doesn’t get quite as shocking as the new docuseries Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey which exposes the FLDS leader.
The four-part series gives viewers an in-depth look into the secretive polygamous sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and the rise of self-professed prophet Warren Jeffs.
Only a day since it aired, the series has fans asking what happened to the sect and where is Warren Jeffs now?
What is the FLDS?
The FLDS, which is located at the Arizona-Utah border called ‘The Creek’, is an incredibly radical polygamist sect that broke off from the Mormon Church more than a century ago. Since the sect broke away from the Mormon church, it has been led by a succession of men the group regarded as prophets, who are believed to have been called by God to lead.
A man named John Y. Barlow was the first to lead the community of Short Creek until his death, when he was succeeded by Joseph White Musser, who was the church’s leader during a government crackdown on polygamy known as the Short Creek raid, in 1953, in which all the FLDS Church members of Short Creek were arrested.
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Things really shifted a gear for the church when Rulon Jeffs took over as the sect’s ‘prophet’ leader in 1986. Rulon truly believed in polygamy and it was reported at his death in 2002 that he had as many as 75 wives and fathered 65 children, including Warren Jeffs.
The series exposes the inner-goings-on of the FLDS under Warren when he took over from his father – including assuming some of his father’s wives of his own – and how he turned into the leader as survivors claim he cut his followers off from the outside world, assumed control over their finances and dictated their life choices.
It shows archival footage and harrowing personal stories from some of the courageous women and men who escaped – including several of his wives who were only children as young as 14-years-old when he allegedly married and them.
Stories told by people who knew him exposed the man who seized what power he could. Two women who tell their stories were key in bringing Warren down alongside the journalists, investigators and law enforcement specialists who worked relentlessly to stop him.
Where is Warren Jeffs now?
Even though Warren still sees himself as the head of the sect – yes, it’s still going today – in 2006 he was first arrested after he racked up at least two felony charges of sexual conduct with minors, then later it was added he would be charged with two counts of rape from the previous years. That year he was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years for sexually assaulting two girls.
He is currently incarcerated at the Louis C. Powledge Unit of the TDCJ near Palestine, Texas, but current FLDS members still see him as their leader and think he has been ‘wrongly convicted’.