The true story of a Fundamentalist Mormon leader who spent more than a year on the FBI's "10 Most Wanted List" for unlawful flight on charges related to his alleged arrangement of illegal marriages involving underage girls.
Aged Rulon Jeffs is the leader - the prophet - of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) centered in Colorado City, Arizona. His followers believe the prophet is the voice of God. The church espouses polygamy - most specifically men married to several women - as a means of eternal salvation of the highest order. The prophet places the females into marriages, often as soon as they are of child bearing age, which in the eyes of the law is considered child abuse if the female is a minor. Following Rulon's death, his son Warren Jeffs assumes the FLDS leadership as prophet, somewhat against the wants of FLDS council who believed they should vote on who should become leader. Regardless, many of the congregation do follow his word as gospel as their new prophet. But Warren is more reckless in his decisions than his father, with some, including some of the young minor women, questioning his unbending decisions, excommunication often the price for crossing those ... Written by
I've heard from Mormon people, both apostate and in good standing that polygamy itself was to be a temporary condition in order to grow the newly found church. Still a lot of people found that quite distasteful and Utah was not admitted as a state until 1897 when the church formally abolished it. Still there are some old believers out there and Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs is the story of one of them.
Tony Goldwyn plays Warren Jeffs who upon the death of his father became the high potentate of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a breakaway group that still practices polygamy. The father Rulon Jeffs played by Martin Landau was as megalomaniacal, but had a certain sense of discretion that the son never inherited.
Being the prophet has its perks including choosing some nice young wives for yourself and selected cronies. As he started reserving jail bait for himself and friends it got to the attention of law enforcement. After that he and his sect became fugitives with Warren Jeffs on the FBI's most wanted list.
Goldwyn and Landau and the rest of the cast turn in good performances, but I found the film to be sensational and exploitive given its subject matter which was treated quite superficially.
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