Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey (2022) s01e04 Episode Script

Part Four

1 - Are you, uh, Warren Jeffs? - Yes.
All right, Mr.
Uh, you're being held as a fugitive and there are two fugitive holds for you, one from Utah, one from Arizona.
Uh, I'm gonna explain to you very quickly what your rights are I just remember they gathered us all together and told us that the Prophet had just been arrested, and to pray for our Prophet's deliverance.
To pray that the gentile's eyes would be closed.
That they would let him go.
But that's not at all what happened.
Polygamous leader Warren Steed Jeffs, extradited via helicopter from the state of Nevada today, touching down at Purgatory Jail.
Write this down.
The Lord dictates these words to my mind and heart.
Farewell forever you who are worthy for Zion for I will not be there.
Yes, you will.
I was born for the road ♪ Only after a storm ♪ Can you feel the sun ♪ Ooh, I wanna feel ♪ More ♪ Ecstasy In the shadow of ecstasy ♪ In the shadow of ecstasy ♪ Ooh, I wanna feel ♪ More ♪ Warren Jeffs has gone from commander of his own community to a life on the run and now a life behind bars.
But whether or not he stays behind bars could all depend on what happens in a Utah courtroom.
Warren Jeffs allegedly arranged for older men to marry underage girls.
One of those girls is reportedly gonna be the lead witness for the prosecution.
We can't show you her face or reveal her name.
She's referred to only as Jane Doe number four.
They filed everything under pseudonyms so that my identity could be protected.
As the trial drew closer and closer, I was completely overwhelmed.
For months, I had been practicing how to testify in court, and now we were at that moment where it becomes very real.
I remember driving to the courthouse with Elissa.
They had black stuff taped up in the windows so you couldn't see in.
And they drove all over St.
George to make sure nobody was following us.
And then when we got to the courthouse, there were all of these TV crews, cameras, and an entire SWAT team.
There were even snipers up on the rocks above.
There had been rumblings that there were people that knew who we were and they were willing to do whatever was necessary to protect the Prophet.
Count one is a charge of rape as an accomplice, a first-degree felony, and count two is a charge of rape as an accomplice, a first-degree felony.
When Warren walked in, I looked directly at him and he looked directly at me.
We just sat and stared at one another.
There was still a part of me that wanted to shrink under that stare, but I, you know, kept my shoulders back and kept my gaze dead-on with him and waited for him to break eye contact and not me.
He finally shook his head and dropped his gaze, and that was the moment when I realized this man no longer had power over me.
Does your client view this as a religious persecution? Absolutely.
His defense team was saying this was a religious persecution.
We're gonna confront the witnesses against us, and there will be spirited cross-examination.
I wanted to make sure we addressed it straight-on May it please the Court? and say, "Look, we're not going after Warren Jeffs because we disagree with his religious views.
" "We're going after Warren Jeffs because he facilitated the rape of a child.
" Your Honor, the State calls Elissa Wall.
Miss Wall, if you would come forward to the witness stand.
Please tell the jury what happened.
When I was 14, I told Warren, I said, "I know you have told me to get married.
" "My heart is telling me that this is not what's right for me right now.
" "It's telling me that it's wrong.
" And he came right out and said, "Well, your heart is in the wrong place.
" "This is your duty.
" It was hard to allow myself to just be open and fully honest with the details of it knowing that every word that I was saying was going to be scrutinized.
Allen stood up and he he started to undress me and he took off his underwear and I just said I said, "Please don't do this.
" "I don't know what you're doing.
" I was crying and he said, "This is what I'm supposed to do to you.
" "You are my wife and this is what has to be done.
" Sorry, this is very hard for me to relive.
Warren's defense team, their strategy, to me, felt as though it was to attack and discredit me.
There was no rape.
There absolutely was no rape.
Elissa's version is highly improbable.
It happened because Elissa wanted it to happen.
It happened because They tried to characterize her as being a wanton person who invited this kind of behavior.
You described that you had to "sugar up" the situation in order to get things that you wanted from Allen.
Based upon your actions, Allen would have thought you were just fine with sexual relations.
After 20 years of being a prosecutor, it is my opinion that attacking the victim backfires almost every time, and so I don't think that that was the right choice for them to make, but they did, and perhaps they did because they didn't have much else to work with and the story that Elissa gave was incredibly powerful.
Jeffs, would you please stand as the verdict is read? In the fifth judicial district in the State of Utah I remember sitting there and just trying to hold still.
jury verdict, case number 0615 Every part of me had been put into question.
Everything that'd happened in my life up to this moment was on the table.
We the jury find that the defendant, Warren Steed Jeffs, is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime of rape as an accomplice, dated this 25th day of September, 2007.
In that moment of a guilty verdict, I felt this intense release of emotion, and energy, and calm.
I had done the right thing for myself and I had done the very best that I could.
I have very tender feelings for the FLDS people.
There is so much good in them.
I pray they will find the strength to step back and re-examine what they have been told to believe.
It hit me, the realization of what this trial meant.
This trial has not been about religion or a vendetta It was about all of the girls where I came from and the men.
It was about our culture.
I hope that all FLDS girls and women will understand that no matter what anyone may say, you are created equal.
It was so much bigger than just Warren and just me.
The irony and the beauty of it is that women in a society like the FLDS are second-class citizens, and yet women are the ones that stood up to that man.
Warren Jeffs is now awaiting sentencing after being convicted Tuesday as an accomplice to rape.
Everybody was hoping that this is it.
They're gonna throw this guy away forever.
But, you know, the law doesn't work this way.
The charge was basically as a conspirator to this rape.
And so, the law tells you what you can sentence these guys to, so he was never up for anything more than about ten years.
That's better That's better than nothing.
For me, there was a relief.
The end had come finally.
And now we would help all of these people be free.
But we're talking about people that have dedicated their lives to one man, and one woman who had accusations against him wasn't going to change a lifetime of belief.
Wonderful to see you.
Warren Jeffs was convicted, but he was able to maintain communication and control.
How do I look? You look nice.
I do? His sermons got leaked from prison.
His instructions got leaked from prison.
I have another new phone - that has a speaker on it.
If I can - Okay, that's fine.
You can see Warren's visitors coming in, and the minute he comes out, there's women there that start taking notes, writing everything he says down from the moment he starts talking.
So, he has means of getting information out of the prison.
And we must look to the Heavenly Father So you had thousands of people that were still hanging on every single word.
In part, it was because of what I had done.
It was because I had stepped forward.
Warren used that as proof that, in the outside world, apostates are trying to take down the priesthood.
The only ones that become gods and goddesses in the celestial world are those that can be trusted.
Imprisonment had enshrined him as a martyr.
- We love you.
- I love all of you.
Sweet spirit of prayer ♪ Sweet spirit of prayer ♪ That calls me from ♪ A world of care ♪ Sweet spirit of prayer ♪ Sweet spirit of prayer ♪ That calls me from ♪ A world of care ♪ Even though Warren Jeffs was in prison, he was still the Prophet.
He ran everything.
Every week, he would make a phone call and then they'd just rush to the meeting house and put him on speaker, and everybody would gather from wherever they were to listen to him.
Remember the blessings of Zion are so far-reaching.
When we listened to the phone calls, it wasn't like listening to Warren Jeffs.
I think I associated his voice on the phone more as like the voice of God.
The FLDS compound outside of Eldorado, Texas had grown significantly.
There's women, young women, and a whole passel of kids living out there.
And it became more interesting and more of a concern for law enforcement.
Once Warren Jeffs was arrested, we wanted to watch the community.
You know, we're taking it very seriously.
We're looking into it, we're concerned.
If there is a law violated and it's brought to our attention, then most definitely, the sheriff's department will take appropriate action.
And then there's a phone call, comes out of the blue, and it's the voice of a sounds like a young woman.
I received a call from Child Protective Services, and they had received a call from the crisis center about a girl living out at the YFZ Ranch.
She said she was 16 years old, that she was a mother at that point, and was pregnant again with another child, and she was being abused.
So, that's when we went ahead to do a welfare check on this girl.
We actually went out to the ranch, and Child Protective Services tried to ascertain if the girl's actually on the property.
But they were basically, through the night, just holding us off.
They would just bring them one person and then it'd be a long time before they'd bring another person.
While they were conducting interviews, they noticed journals written by teenage girls.
These girls were obviously in school still, obviously young, and they were talking about being pregnant.
So that's when things started turning.
One of the strange things about this story is that the Texas Rangers eventually traced the phone call and figured out it was a lady in Colorado who was making a hoax call, but at that point, it didn't matter.
CPS investigators had found evidence of underage girls who were pregnant.
Under Texas law, that is evidence of a crime in plain sight.
It started becoming more of a crisis situation.
We felt like the children out there on the property were in danger, and that's when it became a very large operation.
Police, open up.
Police, open up.
I was just standing there when we got a knock.
I think I was five at this time.
I didn't know what was going on.
I didn't know those people really existed.
I didn't see gentiles.
I mean, they were wearing black, so I thought maybe they were devils.
I was scared of them.
I was ten years old and I saw police trucks and just a lot of strange people everywhere.
We were surrounded.
The ranch was surrounded by police officers and SWAT team.
My dad, he bursts through the door out of breath, and he's like, "Everybody gather in the living room right now.
We need to kneel and pray.
" So It's kind of emotional for me.
One of the moms spotted out the window that some buses were pulling up, so we knew that they wanted to take us somewhere.
The sheriff came and started trying to coax everybody to get into the buses, and no one wanted to go.
The judge has ordered us to be here, and so we're compelled to do it.
- I still don't consent to it.
- I understand.
So we're just trying to determine if there's any kids that are in any kind of danger, harm, or anything like that.
- What's your concern? - There's a lot of concerns, but that's what we need to talk to the children about first.
Can't you see they're happy, and if you take them, they'll be unhappy? I know it seems drastic, but our job is to protect children and we just have to be sure.
- Are you taking babies? - Yes.
When the judge ordered those kids to be taken off the ranch, no one knew there were that many of them.
There were three, four, five hundred kids out there, and suddenly, Texas had a tiger by the tail.
Next thing I remember is being carried to a big bus.
It's this side.
Is this bus full? Is it too full? We need another bus? On the bus, I remember little kids throwing up, wetting their pants, and just a lot of crying.
I was scared out of my mind.
I didn't understand what was going on.
When I realized I wasn't gonna get to see my mom, that's when it hit me and that's when I started crying.
They took us to this huge metal building.
They pulled right up to the door so you couldn't see outside.
And then they just kind of funneled us in.
An officer at every door.
And if anybody tried to go out, they would yell, and you know, just like, "Step back.
" That was kind of intense, but These fairgrounds where the 416 children are being kept are a long way from their home.
We were given rare access to that home in a very remote place called Eldorado, Texas.
We met the mothers, women who are extremely upset.
I just want my children back.
From the beginning, the FLDS launched a public relations campaign like no other.
The story that they were putting out was that the State was ripping apart families.
That will strike a chord with any parent.
My two-year-old son was screaming, "Mother, don't let them take me.
" Up to this point, Warren had never utilized the media, and he very strategically hand-picked a few individuals to kind of head that up.
The emotion that you watch them experience was very real Thank you for joining us.
but Warren used the mothers - You been able to see them? - I have not seen my sons.
to garner a lot of sympathy from the media.
So no communication, not even able to speak to them by phone to know they're okay? Nothing? Nothing.
They may wear prairie dresses, but there's nothing backward about the FLDS.
They had a plan in place.
What do you want people to understand about your world? - The truth.
- We're happy.
Just the truth.
We are free, and we need our children returned.
Our children are in great danger.
Oh, that princess production voice.
Oh, my gosh.
It was this prim and proper, very high pitch, sweet, silky voice that said, "Yes, whatever you say.
" "Just keep sweet.
" It was fake.
So, you've never, to your knowledge, seen a younger girl marry an older person? Not to our knowledge.
I will never forget seeing Larry King, and there were FLDS women that were being featured on the show.
One of those women had been the midwife to one of the underage brides that the State went on to prosecute a man for.
To see her on Larry King and know of no underage brides It was absolutely infuriating.
Marilyn, were you surprised at the raid? Yes One thing that really frustrated me, we're seeing all this disinformation going on, but there was no discussion about how Warren Jeffs, how he had been ripping children from from their parents and giving them to other parents.
We had had years of watching families be shredded and taken away, children being taken away from their mothers, women being taken away from the husbands, and so it wasn't something that was new within the FLDS.
Ever since my girls had been taken from me and sent to the ranch, I just felt like giving up.
I just missed them intensely, and I would go lay by my daughter's crib on the floor just crying my eyes out.
And then one day, my husband Seth said, "The world, the gentiles, have raided the ranch, and the children were taken, and I need you to come right away.
" The church needed the natural mother there to claim their own children.
He just said, "Come down and get these kids.
" "Come claim them.
" And I honestly, I was really grateful that perhaps I could see my children again.
I hadn't seen them for almost a year.
So I didn't see the raid as a bad thing.
We drove all through the night.
I had no idea where we were going.
And the sun came up the next morning.
And I started looking at signs and I realized we were in Texas.
We went right to a lawyer's office.
They hired really high high paying, uppity-up lawyers, the Jeffs' men did.
They made it very clear to me that I was supposed to lie.
They were telling me what answers to give and to never betray the Prophet, but I didn't know what I was supposed to say because my girls had been taken to the ranch without my consent.
So I was asking Seth, "How am I supposed to answer them?" He says, "Well, just just tell the story that you were mental and incapacitated and you let your children go to another state.
" And it wasn't true at all.
I never gave permission.
And I lied.
Nearly 400 attorneys have joined in a tedious child custody hearing.
It's one of the first steps in determining whether the 416 children of the sect will be put in foster homes or allowed to return to their families.
We got granted an hour per week with each child.
I walked in to see Ruleecia first.
She looked up at me and she was like, "Who are you?" And I walked in, and I went to hug her, and she was really scared of me.
She looked tired the first time I saw her.
She was really tired.
She looked heartbroken that I didn't remember her.
She was kind.
She was so kind.
But I remember just being scared of her because I didn't know her.
She would just talk to us and hug us and stuff.
It was weird for me 'cause I didn't know who my mom was.
She kept coming back.
I kept seeing her, and, every time, I was told to call her "Mother.
" Not "Mother Alicia," but "Mother.
" And I was like, "Why?" We had lots of moms.
I didn't know really what to think, and that scared me.
In the execution of this sort of over-the-top, very aggressive police action, you know, suddenly it pits heavily armed SWAT-dressed officers against prairie-dressed moms and their little kids.
The optics are not good.
You had people like Oprah Winfrey and major networks talking about it.
Have Texas state authorities engaged in a massive act of kidnapping? And Texas higher-ups were definitely sensitive to that kind of pressure, didn't want to have to deal with it, and so it all sort of fell apart.
A decision has been made in the custody dispute involving hundreds of children taken from a polygamist compound.
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that all the children should be returned to their parents.
Texas CPS folded its tent.
They couldn't handle the political heat from grabbing that many kids, and CPS just wiped their hands of it.
The decision to return the children, it was crushing because, at that point, we had started to learn things in our investigation.
We knew that there was more going on, and that was very hard to take for all of us.
The custody battle for the children, that was one thing.
But I was focused on the evidence that might be out there on the YFZ Ranch because Warren Jeffs was known to have you know, secret hiding places and that kind of stuff.
And the Texas authorities were just as interested as I was.
Sheriff David Doran confirmed today he's been working with an informant, gathering information about the inner workings of the FLDS church.
I have a person that I have been communicating with and I'm not going to go any further than that.
The informant is a former member of the church.
Sheriff Doran wouldn't say if the informant Sheriff Doran contacted me and he said, "We are in way over our head.
" "Is there any way that you can come down here and help us?" He wanted to know anything special he should be looking for.
And I said, "Somewhere in this ranch, there is going to be a treasure trove of records.
" And I knew that because, in my life as Rulon Jeffs' wife, there was a secret room where all of these church records were kept.
Rebecca had called me and and asked if I would be willing to go down with her.
And so, we were flown down there by the sheriff's office.
When we got into Texas, they took us directly to the ranch and it was surreal seeing the temple under this light, so bright and glimmering.
We had been taught that the temple was the most holy place on this Earth that there could possibly be.
There was a lot of mystery around it.
What had actually happened in that temple was always kept secret.
And so I was quite curious when we were given the opportunity to go in with some of the law enforcement.
Our first priority was to search the temple complex.
We did recognize that this was sacred property to them, and we did not know what lengths they would go to to defend that property or keep us from entering it.
There were a lot of FLDS men surrounding the temple and they were watching us.
They did not want us to go in.
And so it was a tense moment.
When we moved in, I noticed a guy fell to his knees and he just started crying.
From what I was told, he was praying for our destruction, that lightning would strike us when we went in.
But we were able to make entry.
We found some winding stairs.
And as you go up to the fourth floor everything from the carpet, to the drapes, to the walls, was just bright white.
I mean, it was just almost glowing white.
Working our way towards the back, there was an area that was an arched entry and it had real pretty curtains over it.
As you go through there, there is another inner room and we discovered a, uh, a bed in there.
It was a tall bed.
It was actually like an altar where you'd carry a person and put them onto that bed, and it was about waist or above high, and it was very white.
Just seeing that room, I realized something wasn't right with it.
The way that it was laid out, you just You could feel it.
We went down to the basement, and towards the back of the basement area was a big vault.
They could not crack that vault.
So then, you hear all this jackhammering, just loud echoing through the building for hours.
And then, finally, was just deathly quiet.
They had broken through.
That's where they found all of the records.
There were computers, hard drives, flash drives.
Terabyte after terabyte of information.
Literally all of Warren's secrets were there.
Every kind of documentation you could think of.
And pictures.
Pictures of girls.
His so-called wives.
Now the world could finally see how sick and devious this guy was.
That Warren Jeffs is a monster.
It was shocking on every level.
And then they found the recordings I am Father to you.
Yes, you are.
of heavenly sessions with Warren and some of his wives.
So listen carefully.
Warren, very casual, saying, "Take off your robes.
" Leaving your robes where they are, come join hands.
You don't smile? Means you don't wanna be here.
You cool? And describing how they were supposed to touch each other.
You have to know how to be excited sexually.
And you have to be able to assist each other.
No one just stands around.
Everyone assists.
Then there was a recording Sister of this 12-year-old girl, and I knew who she was.
She's just like this little sparrow of a girl.
With the authority of the Holy Priesthood, and by the keys and powers thereof, in oneness with the priesthood and the heavens, placing your hands upon your head.
"Temple bed instructions from Warren S.
" "The bed will be a size big enough for me to lay on.
" "It will be covered with a sheet, but it will have a plastic cover to protect the mattress from what will happen on it.
" Thinking of the Lord.
I will never forget sitting there hearing Warren say this prayer.
You will now learn the greater degrees of the spirit of God.
And I heard the voices of some of my sister wives there in that room In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
while Warren raped this little girl.
Authorities say they have evidence from the ranch that Warren Jeffs not only presided over marriages of girls under 18, but actually had sexual relations with girls himself.
Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs facing a new trial on sex crime charges.
Warren Jeffs extradited from Utah to Texas to face a felony child sexual assault charge.
Jeffs, do you think you can get a fair trial here in Texas? Warren had been given ten years in Utah.
But in Texas, they had the smoking gun that could put him away for life.
They played that tape in front of those jurors and there were, uh there were ten women on that jury and there were two men, and I've always maintained it was a good thing for Warren Jeffs there were a bunch of Texas Rangers in that courtroom, because after those ten women heard the audiotape, they would've jumped over the railings and killed Warren with their bare hands.
And that was that tape.
Jeffs was found guilty on both counts, raping a 15-year-old girl and then the rape of the 12-year-old.
And how many of these so-called "sacred sessions" did you have before you were arrested in 2006? No answer.
At the punishment phase of the trial, we were able to put in other evidence, and some of the evidence that was put in at that point was that Warren was involved in conducting the marriages of 67 underage girls to FLDS men.
And Warren had himself 78 wives.
Twenty-four of those wives were underage.
They threw the book at him, gave him a hundred-plus years, and twenty-plus to that.
They stacked as many as they could on top of Warren's head.
- Hello.
- Hi.
I'm gonna have a blackberry-boysenberry smoothie.
- You want whip cream? - Sure.
- You can keep the rest.
- Thank you.
The last time I had intel on Warren, um which has been probably over a year ago, he was still he was still running the church, and the people that believed in Warren still listened to him.
They were cultivated from birth to believe what they believe, and by far, the vast majority of the FLDS people had no idea what was going on.
Warren, he's been releasing revelations.
There's I've got two books that are that thick, probably a thousand pages each, of revelations Warren's received in prison and filtered out.
There are still thousands and thousands of FLDS members.
Every single family within the FLDS, they all have family members that they haven't seen for years.
My mother, she's still in the FLDS, and she's still very much subscribes to Warren as the Prophet, and I don't know if that will ever change in this life for her.
I mean, at this point, I have no idea where my mother is.
They've taken her and they don't want anybody, any of her children that have left the church, to know where she's at.
How many of your kids are still in it? Eight.
I know it's a lot.
Three of us are out, just me, Arta, and Edward.
And the rest of everybody's still in.
I I could just drive to their house and talk to them, but they won't talk to me, you know? Those of us that are coming from the fallout of the FLDS, at some point, we have to move forward.
The next generation depends upon it.
But it's very complicated.
So many of us are still functioning under the shadow of the past.
I thought I was further along than I was and you have moments where you're like, "I know nothing.
I know nothing.
" It is a big part of why I moved back to the crick.
- Heard you got a tattoo.
- I did.
- Can I see it? - Absolutely.
I knew that it was time for confronting my own demons, and I realized that we were bigger than Warren.
Do you know how many times you and I snuck out into these hills? Remember when we'd go into the granaries and get stained in them? - Yes.
- You remember that day? Cheers to that.
- Absolutely.
- old grandma sometimes.
I'm like, "Those darn motor bikers.
" - Look, I got you guys some pizza.
- Thank you.
And it's all vegan, gluten-free, on cauliflower crust.
What else could I eat? After I found out the truth about Warren, I realized that my whole life was a lie.
Everything I was told to believe or thought.
I felt so betrayed and so angry because I loved God, I loved this Prophet, so much, and I said in my mind, "I am never going back.
" That was the turning point.
Once I said that in my brain, I never questioned it again.
And by damn, I was not letting my children go back to that.
So the next day, my mother and my brother came and got us and brought this big trailer, packed it all up and left.
And we were going along the mountains and I was following behind my brother, and all of a sudden, the trailer doors just open wide up and all my stuff just tumbling out.
My dresses, all Warren's teachings, the long underwear.
My whole life just was being ran over by semi-trucks.
And I sat there and watched them and I thought, "I have to start all over.
Brand new.
Brand-spanking new.
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