Some time ago one of the news magazines featured a glimpse into the life of one woman as she left (and then returned!) a life of polygamy in Utah. It was at this time that I was first introduced to the name “Warren Jeffs”– the leader of a sect of fudamentalist Mormons that still believe in polygamy. The newsmagazine, as well as many law enforcement officials, have tried in the past to get in contact with this man. He has been instrumental with pairing up young girls with older men in arranged marriages. As you can imagine, he had tight security around him.
When Trooper Eddie Dutchover walked up to the vehicle, something seemed amiss. Jeffs said the group had stayed in Las Vegas for a night, but they had too much luggage, Dutchover told The Associated Press. Jeffs also offered a contact lens receipt from Florida with the name John Findley as identification, the trooper said.
“Something was obviously wrong,” Dutchover said. “I even told him, ‘You’re making me nervous. Is everything OK?'”
“Once the FBI got there … he gave his full name, Warren Jeffs, and kind of gave a sigh,” the trooper said.
No weapons were found in the vehicle, but authorities said they found three wigs, 15 cell phones, letters to “President Warren Jeffs,” $54,000 in cash and $10,000 in gift cards.
It was only by Providence that this man was caught in this fashion after all this time. At the same time many are saying that he will not lose his power over the thousands that look to him for leadership just because he’s in prision. And I don’t doubt it. He will certainly have a means for getting his dictates out, and if anything the police are making him stronger. He will now be able to claim that he is being persecuted like the early apostles. He may even start talking like he would welcome martyrdom. If something should happen that he would be released, his control will be secure.
Men like Jeffs have power over people that have been deceived. Their power exists in people that need something– physcial, emotional or mental– and they see what he offers as filling that gap. The sad part is that Christ wishes to fill this “God-sized” void, and that these men twist and manipulate people to the point that they are willing to die for a man that is simply using them. Look at Jim Jones– the guy was able to have all of his followers poison their children and themselves!
God never asks this of us– we follow a “Man”, but that Man is God!