FLDS people reportedly brace for apocalypse on Wednesday
(KUTV) Members of the FLDS polygamous community sect are reportedly bracing for the Apocalypse on Wednesday.
Elissa Wall, who escaped the FLDS years ago, told The Guardian that Warren Jeffs (the man they consider their prophet) told the FLDS people he will be freed from jail when an earthquake crumbles the walls of the prison.
At the same time, his brother Lyle Jeffs, who ran the FLDS community in his absence but was recently jailed on fraud charges, will break free from the Salt Lake federal court house when he appears for a hearing.
Tonia Tewell, Executive Director and Founder of Holding Out Help, a group that helps about 200 people escape polygamy every year, said she too has heard about the end-of-the-world prophesy and she feels confident Warren Jeffs sent that message to his followers from his Texas prison cell.
"I think it's very convenient that April 6 is the apocalypse," said Tewell.
She said her gut tells her that Warren Jeffs made the prophesy because he needs money for the legal defense of his brother Lyle and ten others who were also recently charged with committing food stamp fraud -- duping the government out of millions of dollars.
Tewell said in the past, when Jeffs predicted doom for his people, he also asked them for money. In the past, some FLDS people have reached out to her group desperate for loans to fulfill the requests of their leaders.
"You are loyal to the church and do exactly what Warren says because Warren hears directly from God and you want to please God," she said of the FLDS people's dilemma who live in fear of not going to heaven.
Tewell said she doesn't know for sure but she suspects that people in the FLDS community are already feeling paralyzed without their leaders running the community. With the apocalypse looming, they are waiting to see what happens.
"When the apocalypse doesn't happen Warren will usually say it's because people were not worthy enough" she said that Jeffs will likely then tell people they need to cleanse and repent.
For years, certainly since Warren Jeffs was convicted of child rape, the FLDS have been living under the most strict rules. No internet, no television, no movies. Children reportedly can't play or ride bikes.
"There's been no laughter at all," said Tewell who heard that since the recent arrests, children have been riding bikes again.
The FLDS community has been fractured with some people sent away to repent for not being loyal. Leaders have split up families and some have left on their own.
Tewell knows that after Wednesday, many FLDS will stay fiercely loyal to Warren Jeffs. She hopes others who may ask questions will be strong enough to walk away and find meaningful lives on the outside.
"I just hope they wake up and see Warren is not a true prophet," she said.
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