Escaping Polygamist Cult – Inside the Dangerous World of the FLDS

Dec 09, 2023 3.9M Views 6K Comments

The FLDS is a fundamental sect of the Mormon church. In this video, we get in with a former member who shows us the complex world of multiple mothers, dozens of siblings, and harsh requirements under the heavy hand of Warren Jeffs.

❗If you know where Salome (the missing boy in the video) is, please reach out to Short Creek Dream Center: https://www.shortcreekdreamcenter.org/

► Check out Sam and Melissa’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@UCEawrksgFlimm0iR-aC7b0A
► Support Short Creek Dream Center: https://www.shortcreekdreamcenter.org/

► Video edited by: Natalia Santenello

MUSIC USED IN THE VIDEO 🎵
► Headlund – Heart’s Reprise

[Music]
you had your own country out here
basically yeah yeah Warren was the king
and everyone bowed to him that place has
mirrored windows it’s not surprising
people believe that you have to have
three wives to get into heaven this was
Warren Jeff’s room this was his actual
room I just like 19th child I was
pregnant with my fifth God told me that
this 14-year-old is meant to be your
fourth wife are you telling me you don’t
trust God they were the second or the
third or the 50th wife when I was in it
I felt like I was happy the very famous
pray and Obey sign if a man’s kicked out
of the community they could have a
multi-million dollar business that’s
gone their wives are gone their kids are
gone their house is gone everything
that’s one of the leaders living in that
beautiful home they can just take your
kids and your kids belong to God not to
you I look back now and think I can’t
believe I lived in
that good morning guys here in southern
Utah and today we’re going down to the
border of Arizona to meet up with a man
who left the f LDS church that’s the
Mormon fundamentalist church he grew up
under the reign of Warren Jeffs where
they practiced polygamy and were pretty
much separated from the outside world he
had multiple sister mothers dozens of
siblings and just a crazy story so we
have very privileged access to get in
with someone like this who can show us
what the town is like what that was like
growing up there and what’s currently
going on in the community
let’s do
[Music]
this it’s weird coming back it’s weird
coming back oh man just the memories
right there’s so many so right here in
this little lot where now there is a
house there was a double WI
trailer home that we lived in as kids
that’s where I was raised a lot of my
older siblings were raised here as well
even during that time in such a small
area there were I mean we had probably
about 15 16 kids living there at once
and how many mothers did you have so
originally when I was born there were
three three moms in the house my mom was
the second wife that’s a whole
interesting story about how you know the
wives got along and all of that but my
mom was the second and I am about the
middle child of hers she had 12 kids and
I have 36 siblings altogether wow so big
family a different family owned this
home but the the dad had passed away and
typical flds fashion they just juggled
everything around they moved the family
away said okay now you guys need to move
somewhere else and they moved us across
the street and we said okay and so we
just grabbed our things came across here
and this is uh this is this was my
childhood home right here okay so this
woman here flds or hard to tell do you
know my guess would be an xlds member
yeah xlds xlds or someone from over the
hill couple things give it away she’s
wearing red Red’s a big no no in the
flds community could not wear red not
even a not even a tie let alone a skirt
just because it gets attention yeah well
not it was religious so Warren Jeffs the
prophet of the flds told us that red was
not allowed
because it was a reserved color for the
return of Jesus Christ that he was going
to return in a red robe and it was
sacred no one could wear it so what
percentage is llds here now or
fundamentalists would you say okay so
fundamentalists there’s still quite a
few I would say I would say probably 80%
are still fundamentalists in town in
town but but a lot of them I would say
the majority maybe 90% of those people
no longer believe no longer believe in
Warren Jeffs okay so by being
fundamentalists they’re not part of the
LDS church part of the Mormon church as
The Outsiders would think yes they
practice polygamy if they were I guess
if you want to call lucky if they were
lucky enough to be given an extra wife
you know because that was marriages were
all arranged and completely dependent on
what Warren Jeff decided at the moment
if someone deserved another wife if they
were righteous enough you know it was up
to him okay so I would think there’s a
supply and demand issue yes there only
so many women to go around if a man is
taking three or four uh-huh other man’s
getting nothing right surprisingly
you’re not the only one with that
question okay and and so what how that
happened is well it became common for
war and Jeff to just kick people out of
the community claim that they did
something evil okay and say they’re not
worthy to be here anymore sure and he
would force them out of the community
and that would open up all of these this
room for women to be passed around to
other men okay
simple observation I’ve seen a lot of
pickup trucks in this town with limo ENT
yep and jacked up a bit uhhuh what
what’s going on with that so that became
a thing when I was out here where you
buy a truck and you would spend all your
money on it we weren’t allowed to spend
our money on anything else that was our
one chance to spend money that we wanted
to spend money on and so we would get
away with getting a truck doing all this
stuff to it to it and we thought it was
cool if no could see in our trucks you
know in case we had a girl in there or
something because that wasn’t allowed
dating was not allowed ever okay so tint
it out so you could have a girl in there
or and go up to the hills and do what
you need to do so what that was well it
became common to kind of hide but it was
also hiding from the outside world you
know like it was just became this very
secretive thing in the community that no
one wanted to be seen by the outside
world so it was us as teenagers getting
away with things inside of the community
but then the older people would do it as
well to hide from the outside
world that’s good to keep it moving and
you brought security correct I did I did
bring
security your wife Melissa yeah so I see
houses like this and we’ll see more that
are unfinished on the outside uhhuh why
is that so you know there’s a lot of
opinions about that the most popular one
is the fact that it was a tax break if
they don’t finish the outside of the
house they don’t have to pay certain
taxes on that property unfortunately the
flds church tried to find a lot of ways
to get around paying their taxes to the
point where warren j has just told
people don’t pay your taxes and you’ll
see on this building here on the side
there’s a UE symbol yeah what’s that so
that stands for United effort plan and
that was the organization put together
by the flds church trying to keep
everyone together and basically the
church owns everything now so we’ll make
sure that no one goes without but you
turn in a lot to the church so that they
have the means to then disperse it
throughout the community so a lot of
people they never owned or most everyone
actually never owned their homes out
here interesting it was all the church
yep it was all the church’s property
owned by the the United effort plan
you’d pay a tithe of 10% right to the
church here what’s different the
mainstream LDS Church to 10% in the flds
it was more of the leader would stand up
on the pulpit and say every man over the
age of 18 needs to give us several
thousand dollar for such and such thing
okay so there were tithing calls as they
would call them they would just get up
and say we need the money and everyone
would turn it in so the church owned
most of the town at one time the church
owned all of the town at one time wow
unless unless there was someone living
here that didn’t belong to the church
maybe that property didn’t belong to the
church okay but the church owned
everyone’s homes everyone was
completely they were under the direction
of Warren Jeffs and he had power over
them in every aspect of their life down
to their kids their wives their homes
everything they owned belonged to the
church this is a good example of Warren
in hiding so this home right here is now
turned into a hotel called The Most
Wanted Hotel okay you know because
Warren was Most Wanted by the FBI for a
while he built this as a second home for
himself we’ll see his first home as well
but during some some of the time when
the FBI was after him during that era he
was staying here in this home now it’s a
hotel anyone can stay there if they pay
the fee bit creepy to stay there perhaps
I have not been in that one and I don’t
plan on staying in it to be honest there
are certain things I’m not super sup
superstitious about a lot of things yeah
but there are certain things when it
brings up certain memories of your
childhood especially when I respected
someone like Warren Jeff so so much and
deeply and fully believed in him until
what age well honestly I left the church
at 18 but I didn’t leave because I
stopped believing in Warren I still
believe that he was the prophet believe
it or not and I thought you know maybe
down the road after I after I go out and
uh experience life a little bit and
realize that I’m wrong maybe I’ll come
back and join the church again because
that’s the only way to heaven that’s
still what I believed at age 18 when I
left and so I was it was after I had
left and had been out for about 6 months
that I realized and started hearing all
of the stuff that he had been doing and
realized that he was a false prophet and
doing a lot of awful things so growing
up that was normality to you to have
multiple mothers oh yes my father he was
the mayor of hildale when I was about um
9 years old my father married his fourth
wife that’s where he stopped that was
his he ended up with four wives and that
was it but yes it was very normal every
child knew exactly who their mother was
there was never a question of who do I
belong to are you my mother I never
asked that question but each mother
would give a little bit more of
attention to their own children my
mother would pull us aside and make sure
that you know we were living a certain
way that she thought was the best for
her children okay but as far as tasks go
everyone just pitched in it was like one
big family we all lived in the same
house we all used the same kitchen ate
together I would sleep in the same room
with a lot of my brothers that were from
a different mother it was more about the
age I was probably closer to the to some
of my brothers from a different mother
because I was closer to them in age so
brother from another mother came from
flds exactly
exactly sorry sorry I had I had to drop
that in there there’s a lot there’s a
lot of the brother from another mother
kind of thing that’s for sure so was it
odd to you I guess not cuz that’s what
you knew but one night your dad would go
go with one of your mothers the next
night is that how it works you go with
one mother the next night another mother
the next night another mother yeah so
how that worked in our house and every
family probably did it differently but
father had his room and each mother had
their room and I honestly didn’t really
pay attention the the sexual stuff was
so taboo it was so Hush Hush they
wouldn’t even talk about anything even
people getting married never got any
kind of sex talk it was all just so hush
hush and so I never really paid close
attention to how things worked even
asking the question where do babies come
from that wasn’t really a question that
I ever asked I didn’t dare ask that to
my parents but I did notice that
sometimes one of the mothers would go
and be with father in his room and spend
a night with him so I think that that’s
how it always worked is the mothers
would go to him not him go to their
rooms okay because the mothers also had
young kids in their rooms the infants
would stay with the mother in their room
uh until they got a little bit older and
I’ve heard stories one of them being
that when the father married his third
wife which was so my mother was the
second so she came after my mother when
he married her my mother was very
jealous and had a very difficult time I
heard to the point that she actually
wanted to leave at one point so I know
that it can be very difficult and there
can be a lot of jealousy other things
that I would hear or that I saw
personally is one of the mothers getting
really upset because they hadn’t had a
child in a long time now that I’m older
I’m realizing she wants his she wants
her husband’s attention Okay because
really that’s the only way that they’re
getting his
attention as far as that goes because
they don’t have any kind of birth
control that was completely against the
rules no birth control whatsoever so if
a mother doesn’t have a child for a
really long time now looking back that
was because that he she wasn’t getting
as much attention as maybe she wanted
okay
so what’s your relationship like now
with your mother it’s not yeah so when I
made thank you when I made the decision
to move away because I had chosen to
live a different lifestyle I didn’t want
to live this way anymore some of the
rules I disagreed with one of those very
obvious rules were not allowed to date
not allowed to have any kind of
relationship before marriage because all
of the marriages were completely
arranged by the prophet so when I made
that decision I was also making the
decision which I knew unfortunately that
I was not welcome back I was not welcome
back to the community I was not welcome
back to my family or the home or
anything like that so that’s what that
meant and that’s where it is today it
hasn’t changed all these years later I
don’t have any kind of relationship with
my mother does your mother live here not
here anymore she lives in a nearby Town
most everyone that believes in Warren
Jeff’s have moved at this point he told
them to move because too many apostates
those that had left have left the church
were moving M into the town and so he
told everyone to leave a lot of people
live in Cedar City Utah canab Utah
nearby nearby Town you’re in a p state
in their eyes yes so a lot of your types
that grew up here moved away are coming
back because they have rights to some of
the land is that correct that is common
yes a lot of people are coming back and
reclaiming their homes whether it was
their childhood home or a home that they
built themselves they are coming back
and getting those homes back this big
building here this was waren home is now
the Dream Center what’s that the Dream
Center is a refuge place for people that
are leaving the church mostly women and
children will reside here some men uh do
but mostly women and children that need
the support and the help making that
transition and in some cases hiding from
flds Members still because they’ll come
and try to get those children back so
they need this place to hide in some
cases and also just to help get them on
their feet this big block wall here as a
young boy I helped build it do you
remember Warren Jeffs oh yes what was he
like he was uh very intimidating I
thought he talked with God I thought it
was a normal thing that he would
literally go and have conversations with
God that’s what we were told that he was
this perfect man that could do no wrong
but I met him multiple times in his in
his yard here so before we get into
Warren Jeff’s home here this has got to
be extremely brutal that your Mo your
mother doesn’t want to see you or it’s
just it’s just how the the cult works
like if someone goes against it even if
it’s a son family member they’re no
they’re no longer part of us that’s how
it works unfortunately and because I
grew up here I knew that’s what I was
getting into okay so it was it yeah it
was very hard though I it’s something
that as as I get older and have kids of
my own it becomes more difficult that
I’m not allowed to have that
relationship time doesn’t help at all
yeah no it does not what about your
father so he is uh a little bit more
open I think the church gives him a
little bit more leeway to have
conversation with his children as far as
like a close relationship where I can go
and show up to his house absolutely not
no way no way no he still belongs to the
church believes in the church and that
keeps him away from apostates for Mo for
most of the situations I guess what
about your brothers and sisters well I
have about uh half of them that have
left at this point okay so I have a good
relationship with them but for those
that still believe just it’s the same as
my mother no relationship at all not
allowed to so they’re just in a
completely different world oh yes
they’re told yeah they’re told that if
they have communication with the outside
world especially apostates like myself
that they could be damned to hell for
having that can we walk down here so do
they feel American or they don’t even
think about that it’s just the
relationship with God and that’s it
that’s that’s what it all comes down to
they don’t they believe believe that the
law of God is way way way above the law
of the land as far as the American laws
and things like that they are way below
the laws of God okay and that’s why if
Warren says hey don’t pay your taxes
they say Dill I’m not paying my taxes
because that’s what he’s telling us to
do and he’s still doing that from prison
right now oh yes life sentence correct
uhhuh life sentence he’s in there for
for Life two two life sentences how does
the message get out he writes he writes
uh letters also for a long time he was
given phone call privileges where he
would call to certain homes and everyone
would Gather in and he would actually
talk to them for hours okay from his
prison and given them what he would call
Revelations on how they should live how
many are still following him well at
this point there’s
about 5,000 that still that still
believe in the flds belief in church
okay and for those that 100% believe in
Warren Jeffs as this Godlike figure at
least 25 500 which is low compared to
what it used to be they’ll do anything
he says anything anything anything y wow
and I was I was with some
fundamentalists yesterday uhhuh and this
is where it gets confusing not to you
but for Outsiders yeah they they want to
have nothing to do with
flds right and they thought what
happened here is insane oh it it was and
they’re all about uh Mutual consent with
their marriages nothing below 18 I don’t
know inner workings of any group and you
know just by doing one video but they
seem to be in a good place like they’re
really cool and and almost light to hang
around yeah which was not what I’d
expect yeah so it’s people people all
have their opinions the flds think that
the mainstream Mormon church is the big
and bad church that went astray uh the
Mormon Church looks at the fds church is
the the wicked people that we we can’t
be associated with them because they’re
doing all of these awful things which
is true most of the awful things were
done by Warren Jeff though and the
followers were just trying to live good
lives this was a very interesting point
the guys with the yesterday brought up
he’s like so you casually dated before
you married I’m like yeah so you would
be with a woman and then and then leave
her and then be with another woman I’m
like yeah that’s sort of secular America
right yeah and he’s like where are the
values in that you didn’t support her
you didn’t help her out in her life in
the long run you were you were just you
were just there to leave what
that’s an interesting point and I’m like
interesting and then the relationships I
saw yesterday it was interesting there
was a young couple that they’re in a
monogamous relationship but it sounds
like perhaps down the road it might
become be interested in anotherus and I
can’t imagine that struggle in that but
do you think there are happy polygamous
relationships as in the guy having two
three four wives and it’s a good thing
and it functions well or do you think
it’s just pretty much impossible to make
that work you know I think that it is
possible I think there there is the
possibility of a good happy relationship
in polygamy now do I think that it’s the
common no I don’t I’ve seen and heard
too much about people the jealousy you
know the jealousy is the biggest but a
lot of cases even if the wife wants to
be a part of it there’s still the human
instinct and the jealousy behind it and
it does cause problems this whole block
this whole city block is surrounded by
these walls and it was Warren it was
rulin his dad owns the house out in the
corner which we’ll take a look at oh
yeah way up there way up there yeah if
you got inside these walls You Were
Somehow special because it was so closed
off the gate that we saw open to the
garages where Warren Jeffs would pull in
with his car those were never open like
they are now okay they would open and
they would close they were video cameras
everywhere it was it was very intense I
look back now and think I can’t believe
I lived in that like you know it seems
so crazy that I was ever a part of it
but local law enforcement or members of
the church they also did what Warren
said so that makes things tricky right
so how you had your own country out here
basically yeah yeah Warren was the king
and everyone bowed to him basically
exactly and the crazy thing is it wasn’t
always like that before Warren Jeff’s
you know his his dad was also starting
to get things turned a little bit crazy
but before before the Jeffs took over it
seemed to be a pretty good Community the
only problems they ever had with the law
was the fact that uh polygamy was a
felony at the time but other than that
there wasn’t the tax fraud and the other
things that the flds church started
doing later on the financial burden for
the father had to be intense oh yes if
you have dozens of kids three four wives
how how would they support all of that
like what were what were their jobs
that’s a very common one as well my
father was the mayor of hildale so he
didn’t get paid that well right you know
for being a mayor it was it was okay but
we were all growing up he had he had
older children by the time he had so
many of us there were older children
that were helping support him
financially they would go out they would
work they would bring money back to the
family as well until they moved out of
the house later on so it bucked the
trend of how having more kids costing
you more money in the modern world it
was all your kids were making you money
exactly and we would start working in I
mean I was out on a job sit at 13
bringing in money to the family what
kind of work construction we would do
mostly construction most of my brothers
did the same so Melissa’s trying to get
us into this home right that’s the goal
let’s see what let see how she did
Melissa thumbs up or thumbs down double
thumbs up oh wow cool oh glattus is here
yay GL is here not only that but she
also called Luke for us and he said he’s
going to come give us a full tour for
you oh wow 10 minutes that was about 5
minutes ago amazing guys were around the
back so I was doing laps in the you’re a
hero we’re going to come in here this is
where a lot of families especially women
and children who are needing a place to
transition out of polygamy come here
they have I believe it’s 40 rooms there
are kids who don’t even have birth
certificates they don’t have social
security numbers they’ve got nothing
because of the timing of them being born
into the community it’s a really awesome
organization it’s like Poetic Justice a
little bit that it’s in when a war and
just old home cuz he reached that’s
interesting they decide to do it here
why is that do you think well Brielle
Decker she was a 65th wife of Warren
jffs and when she came back she was able
to reclaim this property because when
the uep was handing back out properties
after a whole property tax issue that
was going on they were giving them and
trying to let people reclaim their homes
that’s who we’re meeting we’re not
meeting Belle she’s not here today she’s
fabulous though we are meeting glattus
she works here and she works here and
she also I’ll let you see how much of
her story she wants to share but she’s
fantastic and former flds former flds
and Brielle Decker she donated this to
the Dream Center so that it could become
this so she found the Dream Center is an
organization that has different homes
all over the US and places to help
people and she was able to give them
this home to be able to help these
people okay
so okay so glattus where are we um this
is well what used to be Warren Jeff’s
house they reassigned the house several
times like they did to everybody in the
community and so the third person after
Warren that lived here he had I believe
eight wives my mom had been reassigned
to him and including my mom and her kids
he had 101 kids is the well what we’re
using now is a staff kitchen
the first time I came and visited here I
had walked over from Rand Jeff’s house
over there and walked here to Warren’s
house okay and I came into this kitchen
and they were serving dinner Warren was
sitting in the dining room there with
his family there was probably three moms
in the kitchen at the moment and several
teenage daughters helping prepare a meal
in this kitchen these Halls had carpet
up too about here it was like this green
floral carpet with a border thing on top
of it oh they’re hiding over there
what’s up what’s up it’s all right we
know you’re here this Warren Jeff’s room
this was his actual room Warren Jeff’s
room you feel yeah and so this was his
actual room and then this is the only
speaker that can go throughout the
entire house if that gives you this is a
very large house and he’s the only one
that can talk through the entire thing
this was his bedroom this was his
bedroom this is his bedroom which is
interesting cuz it’s one of the smallest
homes or rooms in the home and he would
actually brag about that see I’m humble
I have the small room yes he would I
remember saying that so did you have a
close relationship with him or how was
it oh in a way yes my dad’s first second
wife was his sister okay and so I knew
him from then on his his sister another
sister was my best friend so you were
saying carpeting can we go down here is
that okay yeah there was carpeting all
the way down the hall it helped with all
these little kids that were around that
had all these little hands and injuries
if they bumped their head on the wall or
whatever this carpet’s all soft and so
when did you leave flds uh about a year
ago oh wow yeah interesting how is it is
it is it is it a tough Journey or is it
been liberating or how is it it’s
liberating yes it’s liberating um it’s
just to the support system
outside I don’t feel like I always have
to I wonder if I’m going to if what I’m
doing is what’s right okay and so it’s
yeah when I was was in it I felt like I
was happy it was I was one of four wives
and I felt like that was the best thing
for my kids and this is great you know I
have living babysitters if I need to go
do something then I can just say here
sister wife you can watch my kids and
she’s like oh sure I’d be glad to and I
do the same for her I had so many kids
to love it’s it’s it was great I loved
it do you miss your Sister Wives at all
oh absolutely love them so you don’t
keep in touch with them or do you no
they’re still in the church they’re
still in the church okay refuse to talk
to them so they were away like your best
friends oh for sure isn’t it hard for
you to have been in this world left but
then now you’re you’re working in here I
miss it a lot you miss it a lot yes I
miss it what what exactly um the
Friendship the having people around all
the time having if you have a tough day
or need to talk about something you have
a sister a sister wife a friend you can
just go to and talk to and they
understand your situation and right have
shoulders to cry on or laugh with or you
know
people ask advice from hey this kid got
hurt this kid’s going through this and
we just always just like living best
friends so and the kids felt the same
way you think you made the right
decision then in by leaving I had to you
had to my kids out of both dangerous
situation okay okay so that’s when
motherly instincts just come right into
and you do what you got to do yeah up to
last year I had decided that I had to
stay in the church for my kids okay and
then last year after the started I was
AF afraid they were being trafficked so
I had to just pull them out okay so when
you were looking when you were in the
church and say you came into contact
with somebody like me a gentile what
were your thoughts did you look really
down you try to avoid the outside world
no you’re just a gentile so you’re fine
you don’t know better okay and so you’re
just fine we can talk to you we don’t go
into depth or try to become friends but
you’re fine because you’re just a
gentile you’re not an apostate you don’t
have a I’m not like Sam who left yeah
you don’t have a
alternate intention to pull me out of
the church okay oh so this was the
kitchen the maximum amount of people
you’d have in this home was how many the
maximum I saw was oh well over a 100 so
just kids running around everywhere
wives yeah yeah well each mom kept track
of her own kids I was mopping in this
kitchen one day when so when I stayed
here I was pregnant with one of my kids
and I was mopping the floor and and she
came in and she says you know when I was
pregnant with my 19th child I mopped the
floor and the next morning I had my
baby okay I just like 19th child I was
pregnant with my
fifth 19 that’s a full-time job uhhuh
yeah so we but the older ones help with
the younger ones and okay so if it
wasn’t for the trafficking issues and I
don’t want to get into that cuz I’m sure
it’s super sensitive right um would you
have stayed in mhm yeah and if that if
those issues never happened you think
that would be the better decision to
stay in um I liked the lifestyle I liked
having lots of kids and having lots of
friends around and stuff um now that I
look back on a lot of things I can see
that it was not the best decision to be
there but now I would have never made
that choice what about the polygamist
aspect was that a challenge your husband
having many to me Partners was it wasn’t
no okay walk through that that that
don’t understand that
World um you just don’t have jealousy
issues no I didn’t I mean a lot of
people did there was a lot of problem
with that okay but I it was
just all I’d ever known so it was just
like okay well I’m sharing my husband
and if I can help a sister sister wife
or whatever and I always just happy to
help her if she was having trouble
getting along with him or if I was or if
she’s having a hard day he could call me
and say hey has she talked to you about
anything you know it was just more of a
big group of everybody working together
okay so some wives would have problems
jealousy issues and others wouldn’t
well or do they do think underne had
sometimes I never did I mean underneath
no really yeah it’s just I never it
never was a problem to me I guess I
never fell in love maybe I don’t know
okay maybe if you’re in but I love the
kids I love the situation I love my
Sister Wives okay and so I that’s
interesting I never thought of it that
way so if you were in deep true love
maybe it would be more of a challenge
maybe or else well we were told a saying
that was quite popular among the church
by Ruland was if you love me you love
those who I love okay and so that’s how
I thought of it it’s well I love him so
I love all of his family if I look back
at what I know now then I probably would
have looked for an opportunity to leave
the religion seeing that you know my
kids are going to be trafficked I don’t
want them lost I don’t want to never see
them again what does it mean traf
somebody takes them to another location
them yeah and you don’t have any idea
where they went that’s how it worked
right in
flds they can just take your kids and
your kids belong to God not to you oh
wow and in the Bible there’s a story a
story of Hannah and Samuel okay and
that’s how it was she dedicated her kids
to God after the child was old enough
she literally took him to the temple and
said here I take my child and that’s how
we lived and when you were in it that
all seemed normal that until it didn’t
yes the part that I have to give up my
kids all of a sudden I’m like Okay no
Okay but up to everything else if I felt
like that my kids were happy and safe
and yes so how many other women in flds
were okay with the kids get taken away
versus not okay with it I don’t I can’t
say what a woman thinks because a lot
you don’t dare say what you think when
it comes to resisting Authority sure um
but no Mom is going to willingly give up
her kids for you is it a challenge every
day now or is it it is yes okay my all
six of my daughters are still very
faithful to affas so you don’t talk with
them I don’t talk to the three older
ones okay yesterday was actually
my third daughter’s birthday it’s been
exactly one year yesterday since she
turned 18 and went back to l f LS she
was out of it and then went back she was
actually here with me oh and did did she
go back because she missed the community
she felt went back because that’s what
her salvation
requires wow so you’re in a tough
position yeah you you have such a good
spirit about you though that’s that’s
amazing the only way to go about it
is you can’t beat somebody or conquer an
emotional problem with hate have to
conquer through love I like the positive
light but at the same time there is moms
with their kids missing there’s my kids
were missing for almost 5
years
and so that’s a very important negative
aspect but I don’t like to focus on the
negative except for
that moms need to have and live with
their
kids name and title
sir bad uh Luke Meredith I’m the
co-executive director of the short C Dre
Center along with my wife okay so we get
to be here and constant and I have been
involved in you know Dream Center
Network um worldwide for some time and
that’s just our our passion Briel the
young lady who obtained the house um she
said she wanted to turn it into
something like this and she’s one woman
with the big dream and she ends up
getting a hold of the Dream Center we’re
like well that’s that’s what we do we
hadn’t thought of Colorado City but um
that’s the kind of thing that we do we
got 300 plus World worldwide so we came
up we took a look at the building and we
said look at all these rooms this would
make a very good Dream Center so if
there’s a need in the community that we
can help with let’s do it we asked you
guys to excuse this mess
fin we’re throwing up Christmas this is
usually our theater room but we’re
preparing we adop every year for
Christmas wow the fact that the fact
that I’m seeing uh Christmas decorations
in this house makes me very
happy Feld yes doesn’t celebrate
Christmas no Christmas was not allowed
ever it was considered a pagan worldly
evil holiday that we weren’t supposed to
partake of and that is why Sam loves it
so much like we go we go big well he Mar
into my family we already Lov Christmas
Santa Claus oh my gosh all of it all of
it yeah so Halloween wasn’t a big deal I
gather that would be as Pagan As It Gets
What any holidays or were there any
celebrations December 6th December 3rd
and April
6th yep what were those days Ruland and
Warren’s birthdays and the savior’s
birthday okay days of fasting and prayer
for those new New
Years some families did New Years but
yeah mostly if you celebrated anything
it was in fasting and prayer how long
would you fast for usually just for that
day okay well for Warren is December 3rd
and rulin was December 3rd so we’d fast
through all all those days there were
several moments when I was younger that
we were required to fast for 4 days we
could drink water but we could not eat
food for 4 days and we would still go
out and work I was working full-time out
doing construction on job sites with no
food as a teenager it was it was brutal
I definitely cheated sometimes and ate
some food and uh was expecting lightning
to come down and strike me but uh
thankfully that never
[Laughter]
happened so the sign the very famous
pray and Obey sign there on the chimney
that was Warren’s direction to get that
on the chimney he wanted to remind
everyone to pray and Obey him he was
speaking for God therefore everyone
needed to obey him the rumor is they’re
taking this down soon so this will be
one of the last shots you’ll get of this
chimney with with the actual words on it
this was all part of the compound here
yes okay so all of this was a part of
the grounds uh the houses continue on
back you’ll see through here the house
with all the brick on it okay that was
ruland’s House Warren Warren’s Dad yes
and I’ve actually been in there multiple
times because my sister one of my
sisters married into Ruland Jeff’s house
she I believe was his 60th wife and she
married him as a teenager so you know it
was it’s crazy to think about now but at
that time it was such an honor to marry
into the prophet’s family even though he
was 80 years old was such an honor for
her to be able to do
that this is my son salom he’s been
missing since March of 2021 they said
that he ran away from his father’s house
what are your thoughts on it honestly
they’re really good at hiding people of
any age
I personally feel like he’s out on a
work crew somewhere cuz he’s he’s a big
kid he’s at this time he was 5’9 so he
wouldn’t think of him as a 13-year-old
here so he’s still in flds you believe I
I believe so would you want him to reach
out to you I would really love it if he
would reach out to me and uh he has my
number memorized and I haven’t changed
it for that reason okay so maybe he sees
this I hope so or someone knows him yeah
thank you no thanks for sharing this and
I understand you don’t want to be on
camera totally understandable I wouldn’t
either to be honest not today okay thank
you the other three are with me and
we’re living over at the house that the
Dream Center has been kind enough to
dedicate um in his name the day that I
left I had the three with me and then
the next day I drove up to S County
where where his father lives mhm to pick
him up uh thinking that he would let me
take him because you know I tried to
explain to him that I um I was ready to
make a different choice in life and I I
felt a peace about it and I was hoping
that you know maybe he’d understand that
you know for for my piece I don’t I
don’t know why I thought that why I
thought that um you know cuz it’s always
important to find your peace but it’s
more important to not be an
apostate so in becoming an apostate then
um they believed that I was giving up
the right to be his mother okay so
aposte is the bottom of the bottom yeah
nothing worse nope nothing really worse
than
apostate when she said that apostates
are just the worst of the worst I wish
that people could understand what that
actually entailed because it’s not just
that okay now they are these bad people
we’re taught at a young age that if we
ever leave the church and become a
States and for those that have they are
immediately on Satan’s ground and he has
complete control over their lives so for
the kids in the flds that their mothers
have left and the church is telling them
hey your mother’s an apostate now that
scares the child the child no longer
wants to be with their with their
parents if they left the church because
the church is telling them that now
these they’re these awful people and
everything they tell you is a lie so
it’s a very touchy tricky situation the
mothers are in really big fear for their
children right now there’s a huge issue
with the um the running away of children
so a lot of women are in custody battles
just like the woman we were just talking
to and where when they’re in the custody
of their father that is in the flds he
can basically get brownie points from
waren by bringing the children to
compounds bringing them and then they
just say oh they ran away while they
were in my custody and the police can’t
do anything because with runaways if
they go beyond state lines it’s really
hard to find runaways so they’re really
sending them off to work camps they’re
sending them off to compounds and Warren
Jeff’s recently has revealed in certain
Revelations that he’s like Gathering
especially girls we have a very good
close source to Warren jff who recently
told us that it’s mostly girls in some
of these compounds that are getting
ready for marriages obviously they don’t
care if it’s an underage marriage and
they’re getting them ready for that to
happen again and start having children
again so all these mothers are living in
fear that anytime they go with their
father there’s a possibility that they
might not ever come home and that
they’ll run away and be married off
under Warren Jeff’s control so when
they’re on a
compound law enforcement needs a warrant
warrant to get in there right well yeah
and they have to have some kind of proof
if it’s a runaway it’s hard to prove
that they’re going to be with somebody
who has no relation to them because in
their minds women and children are
property of the priesthood okay so
they’re raised their whole lives and
Warren had used his control so many
times to separate families and tell
children well now this is your mom and
dad because your mom and dad aren’t
worthy of you so kids are used to being
displaced that’s not weird for them so
when that happens again and they said oh
now you’re going to this priesthood head
he’s your new priesthood head this is
your new family the kids aren’t putting
up a fight they’re like okay I need to
be with the priesthood holder I don’t
want to live with my apostate parents
and so if a parent sends them somewhere
like that there’s no way for the police
to know because they’re not blood
related in any way it’s a church group
not a family member okay and then was
state line here it’s pretty easy y we’re
right on the border yeah and there’s a
lot going like into um it was North
Dakota there we know that there’s a
compound there there had been groups
previously in Texas where war and Jeffs
built the temple children were being
stolen in the middle of the night from
their mothers and being told your child
went to Zion 5-year-old kids literally
the mom would wake up where’s my child
he’s off in Zion in Texas and they had
no idea no way to contact them nothing
and the mothers could do nothing about
it because once again like Melissa said
they are property of the priesthood the
the the church in other words property
of the church the church owns them they
are completely owned by them because the
prophet gave the man the wife and
therefore any children any children
within that family are also part of the
church because it was all given to them
by the church it’s awful to think about
it that way but ultimately that’s kind
of the idea behind
it so it’s it’s a lot we know it’s a lot
lot but it’s it’s a big issue right now
and there’s a lot of organizations
trying to it’s a big issue right now
it’s not going away even though Warren
Jeffs has been in prison for many years
yeah it became more of an issue this
idea of running away basically the
church got smarter because as women had
places like the Dream Center to go to
and they realized that they could leave
and take their children there started to
be these custody battles and the state
of Utah in particular they’re they’re no
stranger to the situation they know
what’s going on they know that the moms
are trying to get away from this high
demand religion and so they were going
through custody battles and trying to go
through it the right way and they were
going with SWAT teams to literally
forcibly remove children from other
homes and give them back to the mothers
and it was a huge Ruckus every time they
were going out and because the people
wouldn’t just hand them over you know a
mom would come with custody papers and
be like here you go I need my children
back and they’d be like no way we’re not
giving them back so they had to start
using law enforcement and the fils
realized or the flds leaders realized we
don’t want to deal with that mess we
don’t want sheriffs we don’t want people
coming and forcibly removing kids but
what happens if they just run away if
it’s a runaway we don’t have to deal
with law enforcement coming and trying
to get them from
us what glattus said was very
interesting she really liked it in many
ways only when her children were taken
away did the alarm Bells go off and she
got out but in a way which which was
interesting is she sort of misses the
whole commity of it right cuz you can
see how lonely it would
be right once you leave that was that
was that the same for you yes well when
you leave I mean I imagine let’s go get
a snack I imagine it’s similar with any
religion okay leaving a community a
religion is so tough because of the
community aspect of it it’s just so hard
to leave all of your friends and family
behind especially in a place like this
where you know it’s so easy to lose all
of them if they know that you’re no
longer a part of that religion hello
ma’am everyone when they’re raised that
way of course they’re going to think
it’s great because this is the only way
to live according to the to their
knowledge they don’t know anything
different so that’s why you here and she
so recently left she doesn’t really know
what it’s like to date anyone that’s not
a part or marry anyone anyone that’s not
a part of the flds she hasn’t
experienced that she knows very few
people outside of flds right exactly
she’s still very much involved still
lives in the same town still in talks to
people that were a part of it their
whole lives I guess it’s healing for her
to be in that house mhm serving a
purpose right but you’d also have to
think that’s got to be brutal it’s like
all the memories there never get away
from it completely right never get away
right I mean you left town I did I was
gone yeah which outside out of mind
helps a little bit in a way was like
ripping off a Band-Aid and it was better
but at the same time I drove back to
town multiple times just to drive into
town and then leave again I couldn’t go
visit my family I but but I missed it I
missed the community I that’s brutal it
was it was difficult to go to sleep
sometimes because you literally leave
your past your family and everything is
is gone immediately so I your parents
are gone yeah so I can understand why
glattus in some ways is okay sticking
around in the
community just to have the memories of
that time when it was a
community if I’m doing what God tells me
to do there’s certain comfort in that
and so even if you’re being abused or
most of the time you don’t realize
you’re being abused if you’re raised in
it right you don’t realize there are
things that seems like oh I want to
consider that abuse and other people are
like uh kind of you know might have been
mental or emotional abuse you just live
with with what you are raised in and
that’s it but there’s comfort in that
right there’s comfort in the rules
there’s comfort in feeling like God’s
happy with me and that can be enough and
I’ve been raised to be told my whole
life that that’s enough and as long as I
have the next life then what does this
life matter all that much like I’m going
to have eternity to be happy in every
other way so if I can endure this at
least I have the comfort of that I
remember coming to this store as a kid
and always wanting to be old enough to
buy a lighter and they would keep
telling me no can’t buy the lighter
you’re not old enough so it was dreams
dreams to be able to buy a lighter yeah
I have only been up here a little bit
from Vegas oh you we had to i e everyone
that’s where we live now my wife and I
live in Vegas
now well I grew up here than did you
okay awesome nice in in Colorado City
okay part of the whole United order okay
you’re not in it any longer she would
not be dressed like that if she was in
it okay are you still with your family
now yeah I live with my mom my grand are
still part of it okay yes abolutely I
still get to them good they still see
you yeah they’re cool with it yeah
that’s nice I’m like you’re stuck with
me cuz some families once you leave
you’re You’re gone
yeah they came around that’s good well
it’s nice to meet you see you guys have
a good day so it just totally depends on
the family then it does I’ve heard that
there’s a lot of families that are still
in contact with their
flds uh flds family but it’s most
families that strongly believe in Warren
Jeffs still don’t have that relationship
with their kids because Warren doesn’t
allow them to the United order is is
something completely different the
United order Elite group The United
order is a group that Warren Jeffs put
together re-baptized and then
re-baptized again into the church to be
a part of the elite group it’s the Navy
Seals basics of flds yeah so she was
part of that she was a part of that I
left before all that happened okay so I
was this this is an overall video but
really to get into it yeah we’re talking
years of story it be it’ be a long time
which you guys do have on your channel
these guys have an awesome YouTube
channel that’s how I found them oh thank
you growing up in polygamy yes and so if
you want the deeper Dives audience you
want this is just sort of a teaser
actually just sort of an overview but to
get into the nuance and the deeper story
you got to check out their Channel I’m
going to leave that link down below you
guys rock you you know you know why I
liked you guys
why I wanted to do this video with you
guys because you’ve left mhm and you
don’t come across with a bunch of rage
right and I didn’t want to make a rage
bait video I wanted sort of more of a
level you know even killed sort of you
you you’re not hating on everyone I
don’t feel that Vibe no and some people
that left which are totally
understandable I can’t speak for anyone
I if I left a bad situation i’ probably
be more unhinged than you so that’s a
lot of respect to you it’s a lot of
maturity um but the point is guys their
Channel goes into this stuff in a very
balanced interesting
way this hill that we see ahead of us
when anyone refers to over the hill this
is the hill they’re talking about
because you’re leaving Colorado City and
you’re going up over the the hill into
saniel park and saniel park is a group
of people that left the flds church when
the prophet Roy Johnson we called him
Uncle Roy when the prophet Roy Johnson
died and the first Jeffs took power
which was ruling Jeffs a lot of people
split off from the flds church and went
over the hill and built their Roots into
a place called saniel Park so we’ll go
up over the hill and just give you a
glimpse of what that kind of looks like
and that’s fundamentalist also oh yep
they practice polygamy to this day
multiple wives it’s still going on to
this day yes is it as Extreme as flds in
some ways yes in other ways no I would
say it’s just as extreme before Warren
came around uh one of the things that
they take pride in or say that they
never do is underage marriages they say
that they always let the woman be a at
least 18 years old or the girl and then
they can decide if they’re ready or not
what’s F ls’s age do they have an age
there was no age uh I had I had uh
people that I knew very well that got
married as young as 14 13 years old and
they were in some cases not only asked
to but forced to get
married and in a lot of cases they were
not the first wife they were the second
or the third or the 50th wife and so you
know those those are the horrific things
that you hear about that happened to my
knowledge only in the flds church if
ever they came over to our side of the
town to the parks or the stores we would
pick them out because they dressed
differently they didn’t really wear the
the Prairie dresses and sometimes they
would let their hair hang down and so we
would pick them out and we were not very
welcoming to them at all and so I
imagine they felt you know know that it
was difficult to ever go into the town
of Colorado City in hildale we had come
out with a girl recently and she was
sharing with us a little bit about the
community in general and she said that
they all have a lot of big businesses
and they sell um mortgages like they’re
mortgage it started with like a big
mortgage company and now they’re huge
and she said an interesting fact here
cuz I know we had talked about tithing
in the different groups but she said in
Centennial Park the norm for the church
members is 10% but there is an elite
group of priesthood holders that if you
pay an extra 10% you get to be part of
this Elite group so you’re paying 20%
tithing but she said basically it’s like
a big Club of successful businessmen and
basically they group together and they
help like if a guy is a younger guy and
he’s like I want to start a business
I’ll give 20% tithing to be a part of
this group and these really successful
businessmen help them be also become
successful so almost everybody or all of
the higher ups in the church here have
beautiful homes finished homes a lot of
property all that the homes are just so
big and beautiful so they’re having a
lot of kids they are having a lot of
kids yes and I know that they’re having
multiple wives especially the leaders of
the church so it’s not a requirement you
have to have multiple wives right it
depends on who you ask to be honest some
people believe that you have to have
three wives to get into heaven that’s a
common saying for whatever reason I
never was taught that as a young boy
growing up but a lot of polygamous
groups for whatever reason maybe it was
one of the early day uh Mormon leaders
must have said something because a lot
of them believe that you have to have
the Celestial Kingdom right the
Celestial Kingdom yep the highest degree
of Glory in order to reach that and
actually in to their belief system
become a god they believe that you can
actually become a God and have multiple
wives and have your own children in the
next
life it looks a lot better off over here
yeah yes you know it’s funny my father
wanted to build a beautiful big house
and finish it and make it this amazing
place the problem with anyone finishing
and making a house beautiful is Warren
could take it away the next day they
didn’t actually own it so who’s their
Prophet they don’t really have prophets
they have a Brotherhood multiple men
that come together as the leaders of the
church there is one that’s kind of the
the head of the Brotherhood but yeah
they don’t believe in one profit over
here they kind of changed all of that
when they moved this
way you would think you might see that
like in San Diego or something that
doesn’t really fit in around here and so
what percentage do you think are
polygamists and following the church so
that are following the saniel Park
church I would say probably 90% there
there are some people that live here
that have broken off from the sentenal
park there’s always these breakoff one
of the leaders says something someone
disagrees and they start their own
belief system so there are some out here
that no longer believe and follow the
sentennial park group but out here it’s
a higher percentage I would say probably
90% that place has mirrored windows it’s
not surprising most of these smaller
communities are fairly shut off if they
don’t know the person they don’t really
welcome you in with open windows and
open doors just when I think I start to
understand America just a little bit
doing this work traveling all over
speaking with so many different types of
people the layers of the onion peel back
more and more and more and I didn’t even
know of this group okay so that right
there that you’re seeing is actually a
house it’s not a fire department the
person the person that built that he
actually used to build Walmarts for a
living and so he made it like a big
almost Warehouse looking building but
that’s his house you can pack up the
tractor trailer truck exactly so this
religion out here is
it is actually yes this one is not like
the flds where it’s kind of falling
apart it is growing not at a rapid rate
but there are some people that are
actually converting not just being born
in it but are actually converting there
are some men that kind of talk about
their belief to other people outside of
the community and some of the people
think it’s a a good idea I don’t know if
it’s just for multiple wives or if they
actually believe in the doctrine I don’t
know but so we’re pretty far out in the
desert where is this supply of Wives
coming from like they’re moving in like
how does that work most of them are
being born into it when each family has
so many kids they multiply very quickly
that’s one of the leaders I don’t know
or remember his name but that’s one of
the leaders living in that beautiful
home how does it feel Sam driving around
these streets for you it’s mixed
feelings because I look down on this
community growing up in the flds I look
down on them as apostates so we didn’t
really come over here I did drive around
with my brothers on these streets on
occasion more than anything to be
rebellious and feel like we were doing
something exciting in our lives you know
since we couldn’t watch movies or listen
to the music we wanted to listen to or
play video games or really we couldn’t
do anything I believe another leader
lives
here so we would try to find anything to
have an adventure feel like we were
doing something exciting and and one of
those things was to drive on apostate
streets so if I wanted to move into this
community as a gentile uhhuh could I you
could now yes even in Colorado City and
Hell Utah you could move there now
because of the way things have turned
out now now it’s more welcoming now
Warren’s not around and a lot of the
people that believe in Warren are no
longer around so now you could yes I
don’t know how welcome you would be in
St aniel park because their belief
system is still very much together you
know so it might be a little different
out here so driving around here you feel
totally fine with yeah for the most part
it’s it’s surreal you know it’s we it’s
a weird feeling and every time I see the
most random things like certain trees or
certain fences when I see them it
definitely is just a flood of memories
that I wish I could talk about but you
know I’d be on here for 24 hours talking
about all these little things Channel
and exactly but believe it or not this
place has an airport I don’t know if it
is much of an airport anymore when I
lived here Ruland Jeffs which is just
funny because Ruland Jeffs was the
prophet he had an air an airplane a
private airplane that he would drive
around or fly from either here to Salt
Lake or here to Canada and he had a
private pilot and our entire lives we
were told that the devil controlled the
air and the water therefore we were not
allowed to fly and we were not allowed
to go on boats and our Prophet was
flying because apparently he had power
over the devil I don’t know but it was
it was confusing and there the airport
up here is where he would fly in and out
of and sometimes we would hear that he
was coming into town and we would
actually join together as a group to
watch him fly into town in his
jet we uh people from town would just
come out here to watch it happen yeah we
were we were very in awe of our leaders
we thought for sure they were talking
with God they could do no wrong we were
just in awe of them we thought I don’t
it’s just hard to explain but I would
have given my life for them in at that
time so how did you pop out of it it
seems like you were so intertwined and
that was your world and uhhuh how did
you make the shift it really just came
down to getting out I didn’t agree with
some of the rules and I was a teenager
and I wanted to experience life a little
bit different and then once I was on the
outside looking in started to realize
how crazy things really were and I
started getting more information when I
was in it we weren’t getting information
from outside sources they didn’t let us
watch TV they didn’t let us read a lot
of the books that were being published
so we had no idea what Warren was
actually doing because they wouldn’t let
us they wouldn’t let us I mean it was
similar to the what you think about
North Korea where they don’t let
information come in and everyone’s in
their own little compound that’s uh kind
of the way it
was Arizona airport of the Year sorry it
won the airport of the year look at that
I wonder what that
means how you doing sir good airport of
the Year correct yeah we saw that what
does that mean uh I’m not
sure you work down here I’m actually
just about to head out you’re flying out
plan yeah oh you’re a pilot yeah wow did
you learn my dad runs it he oh your dad
own both we’re both going oh wow are you
from here yeah I haven’t been here for
like 10 years oh wow very often okay so
I just come in to have my plane worked
on and stuff but I actually don’t live
here now I was just telling him the
stories of back when we were kids we’d
come out and watch Ruland Jeffs flying
in his jet yeah those are pretty good
days good times right do you remember
that oh yeah I was a little kid did you
grow up in Colorado City Hillsdale or
out here Colorado City okay you you guys
didn’t know each other I’m sure we saw
each other around I recognize him okay
but we didn’t do much like maybe work
crew or something right something most
likely we helped build the fans together
around Warren’s house or something like
that but what age were you when you left
well I got asked out okay Ty deal but I
was like 22 that was 10 plus years ago
okay so you were around longer than I
was my dad still is as far as I know
your dad still is yeah oh he’s okay
you’re not apostate in his eyes or any
of that stuff that’s I don’t even know
what he really thinks you know he’s he’s
chill okay he’s not like the rest of fls
oh good so yeah he kind of has to get
along with everybody out here yeah it’s
tough man and a lot of these fathers and
mothers are in this tough spot where
they’re not really sure what they
believe because Warren is saying these
crazy things and they’re not sure if
it’s coming from him or someone else and
then they’ve got all their children that
have left that they’re just like wanting
a relationship but it’s just so tough
it’s tough to know it’s a lot crazier
than that nowadays though it’s crazier
than that now yeah really I mean I could
I could go into it but I’m flying back
to Tennessee today good getting out of
here get well appreciate it
[Music]
man so this building right here to our
right was a multi-purpose building first
of all it was owned by uh some of my
cousins and they built toothpicks in
there the flavored toothpicks I don’t
know if anyone would know what those are
they’re toothpicks that come in in a
small container and they have different
flavors like peppermint and different
flavors like that that people would buy
and they would stick them in their mouth
and suck on them or chew on them and and
pick stuff out of their teeth when
needed so that’s was one of the purposes
another reason is we actually had
homeschool in there so all of the
schooling that I ever experienced was
completely homeschooled so it was taught
by either one of the mothers or one of
the older siblings and a couple of the
years we held it in this building right
here was there any state or federal
overs
when you do homeschooling like that you
can teach whatever you want yep and a
lot of it was church stuff A lot of it
was okay teaching about the church
history and why it’s important to live
certain ways and what God says about
this and
that this is still a post office it
seems so surreal out here and then you
see these markers like the US Postal
Service uhhuh right but everything else
out here seems quite foreign almost
other than the gas station
and things used to things used to be so
much more normal before war in I mean
you look over here to the right and you
see the the grocery store that grocery
store has been there for as long long
before I was born and we would go in
there and it was like a regular grocery
store I mean everyone was wearing
Prairie dresses but other than that now
it’s a hardware store oh now it’s a
hardware store but you’d go to the back
of the store and there’ be someone
taking professional photos and you could
go with your family and get your picture
taken and there was a barber shop right
there in that small little what about
these new buildings who’s moving into
these so that’s a big development being
done by
apostates okay and so some people are
happy some people are not happy about
new big apartment buildings going up in
this town so the apostates have land
here mhm and are making money with it
obviously yes they bought up a lot
definitely they bought up a lot of land
so there must be friction in the town
there are there are some people that are
apostates as well that don’t agree with
someone coming in and taking over to
this land and building big commercial
commercialized buildings on who do they
think’s going to move in here though
exactly and that’s a lot of hous that’s
what people are afraid of is that a lot
more Outsiders will what about a house
like this what’s going on there my guess
there is someone started building their
dream home got that far and wore and
kicked them out of the community or told
them to go move into a different house
and they just put an end to it
unfortunately like I said people didn’t
own their homes the church owned it so
they could start their dream home they
could even completely finish their dream
home with their money with their money
and then Warren could take it away so
this is the famous meeting
house this is where we held all of our
meetings before Warren Jeff’s was put
into prison we had Sunday meetings here
and we had Saturday morning meetings
here and it’s weird to see it now all
boarded up up and kind of gringy looking
this was an an icon of the city I mean
we would fill up the entire parking lot
surrounding this we had fill up overflow
parking lots I mean this place was just
covered with cars thousands of people
walking in at the same time into these
doors here to go to church and we were
told that the moment we walked into
these doors for church it was a safe
space that the outside influences that
Satan and his demons and Angels were not
allowed in because it was dedicated by
the prophet but they would tell us if
you could see if you could actually see
all of Satan’s Angels if you had the
eyes to see their Spirits when you walk
out the doors trying to tempt you and
cause you to do evil you would never
dare walk out these doors they would say
things like that to keep that fear of
making us do what’s right throughout the
rest of the week so fear was the
ultimate mechanism with this group oh
100% 100% okay so I just noticed this
for the first time no temples no temples
not this was your temple basically well
not necessarily this was just considered
a meeting house where we’d hold our
services but your churches there were no
temples in Colorado City hildale they
did build one in Texas why didn’t they
have a temple here it seems like there’s
enough money coming through you know
what’s funny I think the reason for it
well it was Warren’s doing after the
fact after his dad had passed away I
think the reason that they didn’t do it
here is because Warren wanted it to seem
like only the elite only the most
righteous could live where the temple
was and so he would take people that he
thought was the most righteous or the
most the most obedient to him from this
place and they would just disappear
overnight and they’d be gone and they
would go to Zion Texas Texas and that’s
where they’re building the Temple
exactly on a plane or buses or cars
mostly uh passenger vans or trucks
whatever they could do to fit people
cram people in in and get them over
there no offense to any Texans out there
but I would never think of Texas as
being Zion well of all places I mean
only that’s got something to really fire
me up right that that’s got some like
Texas doesn’t have the mountains I mean
it does but not like that I mean Big
Bend but still this is Utah is a little
more impressive i’ say so one of the
main reasons is Warren he actually
traveled Warren Jeff traveled the
country looking for the place right and
they tell the story that when he got to
Texas and pulled in he said this is the
place you know what I’m thinking I’m
thinking he’s like this is where I can
hide this is the place I remember as a
young teenager sitting in this meeting
house where on just the other side of
this building the FBI rushed the doors
to try to get Warren Jeffs at the Time
Warren Jeffs was not here he was on the
Run elsewhere and they were trying to
find him so we were sitting there I was
sitting in a chair facing this way just
like this
and we were saying the the opening or
closing prayer one of the prayers we all
had our head heads bowed and all of a
sudden we heard this commotion shouting
man shouting in the door and people
rattling the door trying to get in
because we had bodyguards by the doors
to keep people they didn’t want in out
and we all kind of looked up and by the
time we looked up all of the important
leaders of the church were gone we
looked up at the stand they were gone so
it was the the first impr
all the leaders were gone and we’re all
like what is going on here the rumor is
they ran out these back doors here
jumped on four-wheelers four-wheelers
and headed down into the creek the creek
and and just took off and went went and
hid
somewhere okay so the FBI didn’t catch
him but oh they didn’t catch any they
did not catch him no they got away at
that time yep so later on obviously War
Jeffs is caught in Vegas but at the time
they were still looking for him and uh
didn’t get
him believe it or not the mountain you
see right behind the water tanks here
which another thing about this town is
the water tanks are just iconic everyone
knows that they’re here when they look
up and see the two different water tanks
but the mountain behind it we were told
we could never hike it and I was afraid
to ever get near that mountain because
we were told that gadian and
robbers those are people from were evil
people from The Book of Mormon
okay talks about them we were told that
their Spirits were still dwelling in
this mountain and then if we ever hike
that mountain they would capture us and
we would just disappear to who knows
where we’d be we’d be gone and there
were a couple stories of people that
hiked the mountain and we never heard of
him again I know
why Warren Jeff’s had his gold up there
didn’t want anyone that’s probably
exactly right so after I left 18 years
old I leave the church I actually came
back after after I’d been out for a
while and no longer believed that Warren
was a prophet I came back and was like
I’m going to hike this mountain so I
hiked up the mountain just to prove that
it wasn’t possessed by
Spirits so but most people never dared
hike that mountain it still to this day
you think those that believe in the
church don’t dare yeah so in a way for
you it was an overcoming oh yeah
definitely to prove that you know what
if I can do this and nothing happens to
me it’s proof that it’s a lot of what
the church said has to be
false like many other places this also
used to have a fan surround it this is
Cottonwood Park they took the fans down
to try to make it seem more open and
welcoming for Outsiders but they’re used
to be a fence around it with Gates that
they would close if the community wasn’t
using the park in a way to keep
Outsiders from getting in and using the
park but now it’s open anyone can come
in and use it we even welcome saniel
Park people come on over
over did Outsiders try to come to this
park when you were growing up oh yes
really just out of curiosity yes in fact
Melissa when she was young came out okay
so I grew up most of my life in St
George but I also spent a few years
living in Lin so there’s hurcan then
there’s Lin which is the gateway to Zion
right but you can also come up this way
and when I lived out there my mom had
heard that there were some amazing Parks
out here and so we came out here as a
young kid to check out the parks and my
first time ever on a teeter totter was
with a little polygamous kid that didn’t
know how to like say no thank you and we
were just like on the teeter totter and
I had it just wasn’t even a big deal to
us but I think now looking back I’m like
they were probably freaking out a little
bit at the fact that I was an outsider
but you were from the LDS church yeah I
was raised LDS you weren’t raised flds
no so no they were like our I considered
them like our cousins so growing up in
St George you know hildale is about 45
minutes outside of it so we’re very
aware of the the community but we just
thought they’re religious cousins and
everyone should just leave them alone
because they’re just trying to practice
polygamy but religiously you know
they’re good people just trying to do
what they think is right and that’s
really all we really knew about the
community yeah I’m glad you’re here now
to kind of go throughout the community
and talk to different people because if
you had been here 15 years ago you would
not have been welcome big trucks would
have been following you around people
would have been scaring you out of this
community before you ever showed up so
it was a lot different now a lot of
Outsiders are moving in and are feeling
more welcome but back then when I was
living here no I was one of those kids
that would get in the truck and scare an
outsider out of the community I didn’t
want them here they’re evil people get
out of our community and I assumed they
were here like you filming people and
causing all of these problems causing
problems so so what would you do with
your big truck you just tailgate me or
what yes so really what it came down to
is these truck trucks once again as
you’ve seen have tint limbo uh limo tint
on them so no one can see inside you
don’t know if I’m holding six guns at
you or what is happening all you know is
that this truck that’s 20 ft tall is
following 3T behind your bumper until
you get out of the community and they’ll
just follow you and it scared a lot of
people trust me yeah or like
motorcyclist when Sam was little a
motorcyclist came through now riding
motorcycles is big no no big evil and so
the little kids would go out and they
would literally throw rocks in stones at
the motorcyclist till they’d get out of
town like kids on the street motorcycles
were bad why I you know maybe I don’t
know why for whatever reason they were
just bad just like dogs we weren’t
allowed to have dogs they were bad
motorcycles were bad weren’t allowed to
have them we were okay having
four-wheelers and things like that but
not not for whatever re Reason Not
motorcycles and not dogs and not dogs
you were saying something so interesting
that was fascinating I was talking about
this guy we saw today MH and I was I was
saying basically do you think he had
younger
wives and then You Dropped a Bomb on Me
That was very interesting well it’s just
a good reminder that the people they get
assigned their wives so the average guy
yeah the leaders could be corrupt
possibly asking for underage wives most
of the men in the community they’re
assigned their wives and if the prophet
says here’s your new wife she’s 14 are
you going to look him in the eye and say
well I don’t want a 14-year-old and he’s
going to look at you and say so your
question in what God wants for you God
told me that this 14-year-old is meant
to be your fourth wife are you telling
me you don’t trust God and that’s what
these men are dealing with and so who’s
going to question that
Authority in that sense like it’s not
the men and if you question it it’s like
bye-bye house bye-bye other wives what
if I have three other wives and 20 other
children and now I have to leave the
community and leave all of my wives and
all of my children because I wasn’t
willing to take on another wife or
whoever you told me or if it’s I never
thought about it that way the men could
feel really trapped in this 100% the
women can have situations where they are
oppressed or in circumstances that
there’s abuse or these other things that
can happen but the men also can be
victims as well and I think we Overlook
that a lot we don’t think about the
pressure that this man has to live
perfectly and if his family’s not
perfect and if his wives aren’t perfect
and if his children aren’t perfect if
anything in his life and household isn’t
perfect he can lose everything
he can lose his business um I know that
you talked to Sam before about the fact
that everything is church owned right
it’s called The Law of consecration it’s
a fundamental Mormonism belief that the
church should own everything and the
early latterday Saints actually tried it
and failed at it and couldn’t do it and
so the flds tried to do it but when we
say everything like their businesses
were signed over so if a man’s kicked
out of the community they could have a
multi-million dollar business that’s
gone waren just takes it and all the
profits their wives are gone their kids
are gone their house is gone
everything so when the prophet says
you’re marrying a 14-year-old fourth
wife you say okay well I mean tell me if
I’m wrong I don’t know no you’re you’re
correct and it’s not it’s not that
Warren was was just telling them this
could happen to you if you disobey me
I’ll take away your stuff no he was
doing it time and time again so the men
were living in fear all the time that if
I don’t obey perfectly this will happen
to me and I’m gone they know it will
happen they knew it would they saw it
all the time he used people as examples
one of his very first big purges he
literally stood up at the pulpit one
Sunday I was sitting there in that
meeting and he literally on over the
pulpit whole community in the audience
and he called out several men and told
him you’re out because you disobeyed or
you did something that God didn’t want
you to do and you’re no longer welcome
here and they literally had to stand up
right then walk out no goodbyes to their
family you’re out of here wives and
children he made he made an example of a
lot of people to put fear into the other
members of the
church this thing’s pretty cool yeah
this is brand new a lot of the play
stuff you see here is new since I left a
lot of the really dangerous things are
gone the fun stuff the fun stuff fun
stuff can you guys walk up next to this
Cottonwood here just to show the scale
I’ve never seen a cottonwood even half
this
size this is R
huge Sam how tall are you I’m
6’4 check this out see the speakers up
there yep so a lot of the trees have
these speakers and back when I was young
this was the park where we held all of
the community events when I was young
living out here was kind of fun we had
the Harvest Festival we had different
events that we would hold in the this
park here where the whole Community
would come together and it was just a
blast we got to see friends we got to
see other people in the community and
just had a great time but someone could
get on the speaker and say something and
the entire park would hear it like hey
everybody it’s time for someone so to
sing aart over here and and we go watch
somebody perform on the stage and there
was a lot of you know skits and
performances that the community would
put together and we would get to go
watch that as a community so You’ have
fun we had a lot of fun when I was a kid
it was a good time it really was so this
bridge obviously you can probably see
underneath it there are it’s very steep
there are train tracks that run around
this park there is a small train in that
tunnel over there to the right okay on
unfortunately that tunnel or that train
is brand new you know when I lived here
there was a train that looked like it
came from before trains were invented
and we would always wonder how it worked
but it did and that was kind of the
charm is it was this old train but now
they built some bullet train it’s
probably a lot of fun but this train
track goes around the entire park
another thing that this bridge leads to
is the Infamous famous big slide big
Cottonwood slide look that this is the
bad boy right here you know it may just
look like oh wow that’s a big slide but
when I was four years old I mean you may
as well have me jump off the Empire
State Building at this point Sam do you
still have it in you you know what at
this point my might the bottom before I
get
started even this ladder I walk up this
ladder like no big deal right now
let me say when you’re a little kid the
fear of falling through that ladder how
many times have you done this oh I have
no idea hundreds thousands this is what
it’s all
[Music]
[Laughter]
about like a pro good times man this
little Shack over here that’s all
boarded up the windows you can see were
propped open I remember as a young boy
walking through there and they would
have chili they would be giving out
chili and we over here they’d be cutting
watermelons and giving slices of
watermelon and and breakfast and lunch
and you didn’t pay for this you walked
into the park and you it was a
free-for-all it was a community event
you walked in you just enjoyed
everything I stuffed myself full of
cared apples and everything I can
possibly think of so you’re glad you
grew up like this honestly I wouldn’t
change it I think it really I think it
really has defined who I am today yep I
will say I wouldn’t want my children
to live and grow up the way I did just
because I feel like the way that we have
decided to raise our children is better
yeah but I learned a lot I take the good
things that I that I learned here and I
apply that to our family now I really do
feel like I learned a lot of good values
growing up in the small community and
you don’t look down on the flds now I
don’t look down on the flds people no no
I don’t I look down on what Warren Jeffs
and some of the other leaders and maybe
even prophets before Warren Jeff je did
some things that I highly disagree with
okay but as far as the people what they
were trying to do what they were trying
to stand for I don’t look down on that
at all no okay you guys are awesome
thank you appreciate it awesome
appreciate you okay guys and one last
note here Sam and Melissa have an
awesome channel YouTube channel that’s
how I found them growing up in polygamy
that link is down below here without
people like Sam and Melissa there’s no
way we would have a chance of getting
into this world today so thank you guys
thank you all thank you appreciate it
until the next
[Music]
one

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