Plundering the Faithful

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

Former FLDS members say they expect Warren Jeffs to continue extracting cash and other assets from his followers living in Colorado City and Hildale, as long as they can remain in their tax- and mortgage-free houses.

The UEP trust actually owns the property on which the residences sit, but the land will remain under FLDS control for several more years until the UEP fiduciary, Salt Lake City accountant Bruce Wisan, completes legal steps necessary to evict the non-taxpaying FLDS members.

Once the cost of remaining in Colorado City and Hildale becomes greater than the benefits, former FLDS members predict, the man church members consider their only earthly link to God will order church faithful to move from the towns.

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

"Warren Jeffs will abandon this place," predicts lifelong Colorado City resident Isaac Wyler, who was excommunicated from the FLDS in January 2004. "Warren could care less what happens to this place."

Meanwhile, Wyler says, Jeffs "can get the people to pay him the money they normally pay in property taxes, so he can make a few million more dollars. It's a good, long-term plan for Warren."

The possibility of the FLDS' abandoning the towns isn't just the talk of excommunicated church members. Even high-profile members in good standing, such as Hildale Mayor David Zitting, talk about a mass exodus.

Zitting tells New Times there are "parallels" between the situation in Colorado City and Hildale and what occurred 160 years ago. Early Mormon leaders abandoned their stronghold of Nauvoo, Illinois, 19 months after church founder Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob in nearby Carthage on June 27, 1844. The mass exodus from Nauvoo began in February 1846.

"There was a lot bigger community in Nauvoo [than there is in Colorado City and Hildale], and in the middle of the winter, the whole community upped and walked across the ice of the Mississippi River and into no man's land," Zitting says.

"I don't know what's going to happen," he says, but if FLDS leaders order people to move, "a high percentage" would.

Despite the prophet's legal troubles, the mayor says, "people still have a very high love and respect for [FLDS] leadership."


Last May, a Utah state court assigned Salt Lake City accountant Bruce R. Wisan the extremely difficult task of taking control of Warren Jeffs' most important asset, the United Effort Plan.

Wisan was immediately faced with a serious problem. He was charged with protecting UEP assets for the beneficiaries of the trust -- which includes current and former members of the FLDS. Naturally, both sides despise each other.

Nevertheless, Wisan had to communicate with both groups in an effort to create an inventory of UEP assets. He was roundly criticized by the opposing sides every time he held a meeting with the other group. Further complicating the issue was that Jeffs forbade FLDS members, save a few of his top aides, from communicating with Wisan.

This was just the beginning of Wisan's problems.

He soon discovered that for the previous 63 years of FLDS control, virtually no records were kept of non-real estate property and money given to the trust by FLDS members.

"The UEP didn't even have a checkbook," Wisan says.

The lack of financial documentation, Wisan says, makes it impossible to determine the value of contributions by FLDS members and former members to the trust. Without a record of contributions, it will be difficult to determine the value of any future distributions from the trust to current and former church members.

The only trust assets that could be clearly identified, Wisan says, are parcels of real estate owned by the UEP in Colorado City and Hildale, along with some property at an FLDS outpost near Creston, British Columbia.

Wisan determined that the UEP owns 2,600 acres and buildings in Colorado City worth $67 million, and 2,170 acres and buildings in Hildale worth $40 million. FLDS property in British Columbia includes 309 acres and buildings worth $4 million.

At the same time Wisan was attempting to complete a cursory inventory of UEP real estate, he was faced with a brazen attempt by FLDS leaders to move control of valuable property from the UEP's control to that of FLDS members loyal to Warren Jeffs.

In one high-profile case, Wisan finally reached a contentious settlement last September with FLDS officials involving the sale of 436 acres just outside Hildale. A few months before the FLDS was stripped of its control of the UEP and Wisan was appointed fiduciary, FLDS leaders -- still sitting as UEP trustees -- sold the land to FLDS insiders.

Wisan managed to regain control of the property, but through a complex set of legal entanglements, he decided to sell it back to the FLDS insiders in a court-approved transaction. The UEP ended up with $1.5 million from the deal, which Wisan is using to cover the costs of managing and inventorying the trust.

During settlement negotiations for the 436 acres, Wisan says he was assured by FLDS leaders that church members living in UEP-owned houses on UEP-owned land would pay property taxes.

But the FLDS reneged on its promise, failing to pay the property taxes in full.

"I was lied to," Wisan says. "I'm not happy."

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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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