When Warren Jeffs rose to Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, he took control of a religion with a history of polygamous and underage marriage. In a short time, ...
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When Warren Jeffs rose to Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, he took control of a religion with a history of polygamous and underage marriage. In a short time, Warren managed to expand these practices and the power of his position in unprecedented ways. He bridged the gap between sister wives and ecclesiastically rape, befuddling the moral compass of his entire congregation. The film examines Warren Jeffs' life and shows how he became a worshipped and adored Prophet. Warren has a devout following numbering in the tens of thousands - many of whom would give their life at any moment with just one word from the Prophet. Despite a trail of abuse and ruined lives, Warren has maintained his grip on power.
If you come to this film with a negative view of religion, Prophet's Prey will only reinforce those feelings. Personally, as a retired Catholic, I am mystified by theologies of every kind. Here we begin with a brief history of the mainstream Mormon church, as Joseph Smith discovers golden plates in upstate New York; close to my home turf, by the way, and Joey, with the help of a magical peep stone, translates an unknown ancient language into modern English. This work eventually becomes famous as the book of Mormon. Within a short time, one of Smith's visions has the lord requiring polygamy, specifically at least three wives to enter the celestial kingdom, or highest level of heaven. After Joseph's death, the church is taken over by Brigham Young who also has many wives(30 to 40). The U.S. government forces the church to renounce polygamy and this leads to a schism with the(FLDS) reformed church of latter day saints splitting from the LDS. And now to the present day and subject of the movie, Warren Jeffs. He is the son of Rulon Jeffs, the leader of the FLDS. Father and son both have many wives and children, including teenage girls. They dress in pioneer dresses and are sort of Amish looking. The men turn over most of their money to the church and the women are basically baby factories. Warren Jeffs finally is arrested and convicted of performing weddings of underage girls in Utah. After some legal wrangling, the state of Texas gets a hold of his sorry ass and convicts him of marrying a twelve year-old girl. The interviews are good and the shots of Jeffs in prison refusing to answer questions, are downright creepy. Tapes of his lectures to the flock are played throughout and he has the charisma of a tiny insect. Jon Krakauer is a co-writer and appears on camera trying to explain Jeff's power over so many people. He can't figure it out and neither can I. Prophet's Prey is worth your while.
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