Sunday, January 1, 2012

Warren Jeffs Voids All FLDS Marriages; Demands Followers Remain Celibate Until Apocalypse Day

You probably remember Warren Jeffs.  He led a separatist polygamous sect called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS).  The FLDS Church is scattered throughout Utah, Arizona, Texas, South Dakota, Colorado, and parts of Canada.  They split from the mainstream Mormon Church due to their practice of polygamy.  Jeffs pretty much controls the actions of all his people.  He excommunicates people whenever he wants.  He assigns multiple spouses to loyal church members.  He tells them what they can do and how they can do it.  Anyway, he was convicted to 20 years in prison in September 2007 for aggravated sexual assault and related sexual assault charges.  Despite living in a Texas prison, he still remains in charge of the FLDS.

Earlier today, I learned that Jeffs may have finally figured out a way to inadvertently undermine his leadership: enforced celibacy.  I guess Jeffs isn't very happy in prison and he's taking it out on his people.  FLDS followers are no longer able to ride bikes or ATVs.  They cannot use trampolines.  Their children aren't even allowed to play with toys! (Did he not learn anything from Santa Claus is Comin' to Town!?)  People grumbled when he banned all these things, but Jeffs really stepped in it when he voided all existing FLDS marriages and demanded that his remain celibate until he returns home from prison and/or the apocalypse destroys mankind (whichever comes first):
Joni Holm, who has many FLDS relatives, said Jeffs has voided all existing FLDS marriages. "Right now they have all been told that they are not to live as husband and wife. They can live in the same house but they are not to have sexual relationships until Warren comes out and reseals them," said Holm.

Since Jeffs is in a Texas prison, his brother, Lyle, broke the news to residents of Colorado City and Hildale. It was the last straw for Holm's brother-in-law. He left the FLDS three weeks ago after 39 years, his entire life.

"They're leaving. Groups of them are coming out. We're getting families that are coming out now. It's only going to get worse," said Holm. She says her brother-in-law confirmed that faithful members are meeting almost daily and being re-baptized. They won't be considered married until Jeffs gets out of prison to personally reseal them.

"Until then they are not have any sexual relationships. It is now considered adultery," said Holm. If they have sex on the sly, any resulting children will be considered "sons of perdition. The parents will also be excommunicated," said Holm.

The curse would be broken only if Jeffs' latest prophecy comes true: an apocalypse that will bring down the prison walls and broil the human race. "They believe that they'll still roam on the earth but the rest of us will be burned," said Holm.
It's amazing that people don't like it when someone tells them that their marriages no longer exist, that their families are invalid, and that they need to remain celibate potentially forever.  Personally, I think Jeffs has been taking his cues from Rick Santorum.  Both men seem to be preaching the same message, albeit to different audiences.

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