Plundering the Faithful

Polygamists continue to pipe big money to their fugitive prophet as their towns face financial ruin

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs continued to elude a nationwide manhunt at the end of 2005 as the fundamentalist Mormon municipalities he controls along the Arizona-Utah border headed toward financial disaster.

Jeffs, 50, was named to the FBI's most wanted list last August after he fled the largest polygamist community in North America to avoid prosecution on seven felony counts brought by a grand jury in Mohave County, Arizona. The charges, filed last June, allege that Jeffs illegally performed the "spiritual" marriages of three underage girls to already-married men and ordered the men to consummate the unions.

Jeffs is the prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a breakaway sect of the Mormon Church that still practices polygamy. The mainstream Mormon Church gave up polygamy in 1890 as a condition of Utah's obtaining statehood.

Hildale Mayor David Zitting faces a financial crisis.
Mark Folkersen
Hildale Mayor David Zitting faces a financial crisis.

In the months since the indictments, evidence that the economy of the polygamist communities of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, is plunging toward collapse is obvious. Many businesses have closed or moved out, the Colorado City and Hildale governments are facing serious financial problems, the electric utility jointly owned by both towns is in default on $21 million in bonds and the Colorado City public school district has been forced into receivership.

Most telling is the fact that Jeffs has relinquished control over the $111 million United Effort Plan trust that owns nearly all the land and buildings in the twin towns that straddle the state line.

Jeffs walked away from the UEP trust when he failed to come out of hiding and defend himself in two lawsuits filed in 2004 by former FLDS members. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, with the support of Arizona AG Terry Goddard, convinced a Utah state court to place control of the UEP trust in the hands of a special fiduciary, whose job is to protect the trust's assets.

One of the suits alleges that Jeffs repeatedly raped a male nephew when the child was about 5 years old; the other alleges that he forced scores of young boys to leave town to reduce competition for wives with older men in high standing with the church.

Earlier this month, Jeffs was slapped with another lawsuit. In this one, an unnamed FLDS woman living near Cedar City, Utah, says Jeffs forced her as an underage girl into a polygamous marriage.

Gregory Hoole, a Salt Lake City attorney who represents the plaintiffs in all three cases, says Warren Jeffs' failure to defend himself in court and his subsequent forfeiting of control of the UEP are clear signals that the prophet has abandoned Colorado City and Hildale.

"He isn't going to spend one single red cent on protecting the towns or the trust!" Hoole declares. "He will let the towns disintegrate while he continues to fleece the people."

While Jeffs no longer has total economic control of the community, he still has immense influence over the lives of the thousands of FLDS members who remain in the towns north of the Grand Canyon, about 50 miles southeast of St. George, Utah.

About 10,000 FLDS members in Colorado City, Hildale and in other smaller polygamist communities in North America continue to worship Jeffs as an infallible god. The faithful continue to place an enormous amount of money in his control in the form of "tithes," as well as provide him safe havens from the police. He is believed to have floated among several polygamist communities from British Columbia to west Texas, where the church is building a lavish temple near the town of Eldorado.

Jeffs' influence is so strong, former church members say, that dozens of men he has excommunicated in the past two years -- an action that strips these men of their wives and children -- still contribute money to the church in the hope that he will reinstate them.

One reason FLDS members are able to provide substantial funds to Jeffs is that they live in houses on church-controlled land in Colorado City and Hildale and are free from paying mortgages.

And lately, FLDS residents of the homes have refused to pay property taxes. They are delinquent on $177,000 in 2005 property taxes owed to Washington County, Utah, and on $325,000 owed to Mohave County, Arizona.

Law enforcement authorities and sources in the community believe all this may be a reason Jeffs' followers do not seem to have a cash-flow problem, even as municipal financial troubles mount in Colorado City and Hildale.

On October 28, police intercepted an FLDS courier ferrying between $140,000 and $200,000 in cash and other valuables to Jeffs. Seth Jeffs, the prophet's younger brother, was arrested near Pueblo, Colorado, after sheriff's deputies discovered the cash, pre-paid credit cards and pre-paid cell phones in Seth Jeffs' vehicle.

The money police found was stashed in envelopes addressed to Warren Jeffs. Police also obtained a wealth of information concerning the financial operations of the FLDS, including hundreds of letters from FLDS members. Seth Jeffs has been charged with one federal felony count of harboring and concealing the polygamist leader from arrest. He is free on a $25,000 property bond. His trial is set for January 9 in U.S. District Court in Denver.

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1 comments
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos
Nikodisias Papalapsuslos

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

 
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