Portrait of Warren Jeffs surrounded by some of his wives. (Photo courtesy of Showtime.)
A compelling portrait of megalomania and abuse, the documentary Prophet's Prey is also a kind of tribute to dogged journalism—the type that is increasingly hard to find as newspapers crumble and much of the media puts opining ahead of hard facts.
Were it not for private investigator and author Sam Brower, acclaimed non-fiction writer Jon Krakauer, and even the contributions of a small town Texas newspaper editor, the loathsome crimes of Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs might have gone unpunished.
Victims did come forward, and their bravery should not be undervalued. But without the detailed record of hard facts that filled in the illegality of Jeffs' reign, he might never have ended up on the FBI's Most Wanted list, where his name was right up there with Osama bin Laden and Boston gangster Whitey Bulger. He belonged in that company.
Prophet's Prey, based on Brower's book of the same name, details how Jeffs acted virtually unchallenged by local government and law enforcement officials in Utah, Arizona and Texas as he led the FLDS (which split off from the main Church of Latter-Day Saints when that group officially renounced polygamy). His twisted leadership didn't merely continue the sect's nasty tradition of polygamy and underage marriages, but extended to serial rape of minors and acts of personal tyranny and financial exploitation of his followers.
Warren Jeffs (Photo courtesy of Showtime.)
The literary rock star here is Krakauer, the former mountaineer who recounted his tragic 1996 Mt. Everest expedition in Into Thin Air (he has harshly criticized the current movie Everest, based on the same expedition) and also wrote Into the Wild. His book Under the Banner of Heaven also delved into the dark side of Mormon extremism, but he's quick to tip his hat to Brower's tenacity in daring to keep looking for the truth amid a community closed off from the rest of society.
That FLDS is as much cult as religion is not surprising, but as the movie makes clear, the accepted abuse is steeped in the group's spiritual history. This was not a case of brainwashing, but of generations raised in a community where absolute submission to church leaders is a way of life.
Proof of that is in Jeffs' utter lack of charisma—at least as he comes across in recorded sermons. Monotone and tired-sounding, he doesn't show any magnetism at all. He didn't need it. FLDS traditions allowed him to take over 60 wives, and perhaps as many as 90. Very, very young wives, with no say in the matter.How to make file size smaller? How to learn jump rope tricks Tips on how to make perfect steaks on the grill what does quagmire mean what does indictment mean in court what are sponges made of what does screening calls mean what are the factors of 33 What are the best tips for getting pregnant How to teach your guinea pig tricks How to vote for minecraft mobs what are people from afghanistan called How to unzip files Tips when searching for an apartment what does entropy mean How to lose a guy in 10 days streaming? Tips on how to complete level 374 on candy crush saga How to reduce blood sugar level what does dynamics mean How to convert a decimal to a fraction what does bhm youtube what does orphan mean How to stretch quads? Why does the tips of sphagnum moss turn brown How to prune roses? How many solar panels to power a house How to remove acrylic nails without acetone? what do moles mean How many votes left to count in georgia Sales tips what to do when client asks for cost breakdown Tips when taking shrooms what are root canals what does reverence mean what does rebellious mean Tips on how to organize yourself what does umh mean in texting How to say what's up in spanish what does prevalence mean what does ojos mean in spanish How to cook strip steak Tips how to beat the division incursion How to get rid of rats How to game share xbox? what kind of cancer does dustin diamond have How to get slime out of carpet? what does a modem do How to laminate at home what are the names of the planets How many credits do you need to graduate high school How to withdraw money from crypto.com? How to get rid of yellow jackets How to magic tricks at home what are lines in a poem How to check pregnancy at home naturally? what does did stand for What is the minimum amount of tips you have to claim Tips on how to not hate everyone ar school How to make a narcissist miserable? what does gross pay mean what does rdw mean in a blood test what does implied consent mean what does renig mean How to find a movie that i can't remember How do i report tips 2 tricks on how to make a girl orgasim How to draw an octopus what percentage of mistrials are retried How to get expo marker out of clothes? How long does it take for caffeine to wear off How to find cumulative frequency? How to turn tricks for just a little bit How long to pan fry steak tips What is the average daily tips for a blackjack dealer.in az How to clear Where do i put my tips for my surface pen? what does r&d mean World of warships how to get battleships tips what does hms mean How long to broil steak tips medium How to add a widget How long does it take to tan? Why is my cat obsessed with q tips How to give hickey? How to grill filet mignon? Tips on how to start your own fundraiser How to update apps on samsung smart tv? How to treat high blood pressure? How long to walk a mile what time are the playoff games today what does blowjob mean what does access mean what does google stand for Photo editing when to use filters tips How to cancel spotify subscription what does haze mean How to teach your hamster tricks what are the 5 early warning signs of prostate cancer? Tips how to make microsoft office 2000 install on windows 8.1 what are the psalms Bikers who do tricks on.highways