Trigger Warning ⚠️ child abuse, underage marriage, control, etc.
This week, a new true crime has dropped on Netflix called Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey. It tells the harrowing true story of a polygamous cult, and viewers of the show are calling it the most traumatising thing they have ever watched.
This Netflix series explores the secretive and chilling polygamous cult of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS)
Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey focuses on a US polygamous cult led by Warren Jeffs, who to followers was the leader or “prophet” of the group.
The group saw hundreds of women and children abused on a daily basis. In 2011, Warren Jeffs was convicted in Texas of two counts of sexual assault of a child. He was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting a a 12-year-old girl, and 20 years for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl.
Warren Jeffs was previously convicted in Utah on two counts of being an accomplice to rape in 2007, but that conviction was overturned by the Utah Supreme Court in 2010.
According to a former US Attorney Special Prosecutor who participated in the Netflix documentary, evidence during the sentence phase of the trial reflected that Jeffs was “involved in conducting the marriages of 67 underage girls to FLDS men”, and that he “had himself 78 wives – 24 of those wives were underage.”
Jeffs is a monster who’s presently serving life in prison for the sexual assault of two young girls, ages 12 and 15, who at the time of his crimes were both his wives.
Dretzin’s four-part affair is a history lesson about the modern FLDS movement, which was spearheaded by Jeffs’ father, Rulon, the original prophet, who even in his eighties was continuing to marry as many young women as he could get his wrinkled hands on, including Rebecca Wall, who speaks in detail about the nightmare of having to share a house—and bed—with this elderly creep.
From there, it was only a short leap into systemic pedophilia. Let that sink in.
Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is a snapshot of the fear, intimidation, broken families, and sinister misconduct begat by this situation.
Thankfully, director Dretzin crafts her portrait with virtually no dramatic recreations, instead relying on a haunting collection of archival photos, home videos, courtroom footage, and recorded evidence to convey the unnerving strangeness of FLDS life, in which women dressed (as one speaker pointedly puts it) like Laura Ingalls, and men preached in holier-than-thou tones that belied their baser designs.
That material culminates with clandestine photographs and audio tapes made by Jeffs of his sexual encounters with his victims, which are so predictably disgusting that it’s no surprise they landed him behind bars, where he continues to create “revelations” that are disseminated to his followers.
This 4 part documentary is chilling, possibly triggering, shocking, disturbing, and a real eye opener to those who know little or nothing about the FLDS cult, an offshoot of Mormonism. Watch with care 🖤
To be clear, this isn’t about religion. It’s about cults, brainwashing, controlling people, underage brides, sexual abuse and r*pe of minors, forced marriage, etc.
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