Even though he is not supposed to be doing so, polygamist Warren Jeffs appears to be issuing edicts to members of the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) church members. An investigation is underway after FLDS church members came forward saying Jeffs sent orders to his followers from behind bars. Jeffs is in prison in Texas, after being convicted of having sex with under-aged girls who he married. He was sentenced in August to life in prison plus 20 years for assault.
According to his followers in Utah, he recently banned bicycles, ATVs, trampolines and even children's toys.
In his latest move, Jeffs has voided all marriages in the sect. In his edict, he said that couples can live together but cannot have sex until he is released from prison.
A former sect member came forward after he was excommunicated from the 10,000-member church for having sex with his wife. Newsy reports that according to the Salt Lake Tribune, "…. dozens of men have been cast out of the polygamous sect this year by leaders loyal to Warren Jeffs … Jeffs gained perhaps his greatest ability to communicate in years when he was transferred to a Texas jail where he had access to a payphone. Former members and jail staff said he used the phone to preach to the FLDS congregation over a loudspeaker."
Prison rules are that an inmate can only call ten people on an approved visitation list. Jeffs could be violating the prison rules if his calls were put on a speakerphone, patched through to someone else, or even recorded. If authorities find out that Jeffs was violating prison rules, he could lose his phone privileges.
Some members have come out of the church and Jeffs' control, but others stay loyal, characterizing his sexual abuse charges and imprisonment as persecution.
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