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'Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey' -- What Happened to Warren Jeffs and the FLDS?

What happened to everyone involved in Netflix's shocking documentary?

A framed photograph of Warren Jeffs with a group of his wives looking at it.
Warren Jeffs had 78 wives at the time of his arrest.
Netflix

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is a brutal, often disturbing Netflix documentary about the effects of absolute power when placed in the hands of horrific men drunk on the worst aspects of fundamentalist religion. If you've just watched the documentary and have some questions, we've got answers.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual abuse, assault or family violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit www.thehotline.org. You can also text HOME to 741741 connect with a Crisis Counselor. In an emergency, call 911.

Where is Warren Jeffs now?

Warren Jeffs was convicted of two counts of child sexual assault in 2011. At that time Jeffs was already behind bars for being an accomplice to rape, a crime he was convicted of in 2007 after spending a year on the FBI's most wanted list.

Jeffs is serving time at Louis C. Powledge Unit, a prison in Palestine, Texas. He was given a life sentence plus 20 years back in 2011. He won't be eligible for parole until July 2038. 

In 2007, while in prison, Jeffs tried to hang himself. He's also taken part in lengthy hunger strikes. In 2009 a judge ordered he be force fed as a result. In 2011 he was put into an induced coma after excessive fasting. In 2019 his own lawyers said Jeffs had "suffered a mental breakdown" and was not fit to provide admissible testimony in an additional deposition for the alleged abuse of an underage child.

What happened to the FLDS?

The FLDS is still up and running and, according to one documentary released in 2018, Warren Jeffs is allowed visits from family in prison and still runs the sect to this day.

Current members still treat Warren Jeffs as their prophet and believe he was wrongly convicted. As per reports, church membership oscillates between 6000 and 10,000. 

According to some members of the group, members have to take time to pray for Jeffs' release.

What happened to 'Zion'?

The Yearning for Zion Ranch, AKA the YFZ Ranch was seized by the State of Texas in 2014. It was a 1,700-acre ranch and home to over 700 members of the FLDS. After multiple raids on the ranch, Texas finally took physical possession of the ranch on April 17, 2014.

Where is the FLDS based now?

If you watched the show you'll know FLDS headquarters were initially in Short Creek in Arizona. Since the takeover of the YFZ Ranch, newer church settlements have been built in Pringle, South Dakota, Mancos, Colorado, Minot, North Dakota and Grand Marais, Minnesota.

What has the Mormon Church said about Warren Jeffs and the FLDS?

In 2006 the Mormon Church sent out a statement saying it was "misleading and inaccurate" to call Warren Jeffs a Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discontinued the practice of polygamy in 1890 via a 'Manifesto'. In 1904 a second 'Manifesto' established excommunication as a punishment for those who refused to stop the practice of polygamy.