February 25, 2005

The noose tightens

The Arizona Republic

Feb. 25, 2005 12:00 AM

Incrementally - and without any great demonstration of courage on the part of law enforcement - the noose is closing around the neck of Arizona's most notorious polygamist.

Of course, Warren Jeffs is likely hidden away in his cult's new digs in Texas. And the slight tug on the rope came from a court motion that's part of a lawsuit against Jeffs, not from a bold law enforcement effort.

Nevertheless, it is progress against the cult that likes to go by the respectable sounding name of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is not associated with mainstream Mormons, who reject polygamy.

With colonies in Colorado City, Ariz., Hildale, Utah, Bountiful, British Columbia and a 1,691-acre compound in western Texas, Jeffs' cult is under investigation for welfare fraud, financial irregularities and child and sexual abuse.

Two lawsuits against Jeffs give an indication of what life is like under his rule. One was filed by his nephew, who accuses Jeffs of sexually abusing him as a child and dubbing it "God's work."

Posted by kshaw at February 25, 2005 06:42 AM