The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Imprisoned FLDS ‘Prophet’ Predicts the End of the World — Again

By Ryan Lenz on December 19, 2012 - 4:06 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, Extremist Crime, Extremist Propaganda

Last year at this time, self-described prophet Warren Jeffs was predicting the end of the world. According to eight revelations he issued from a jail cell at the beginning of December 2011, divine vengeance was slated to fall upon a nation “fully ripening in iniquity.” Earthquakes were to rock Arizona, and “melting fire” was supposed to roll out across Idaho.

This year? Jeffs is predicting the same demise, only this time compliments of the geysers at Yellowstone National Park. Once they blow their tops, it’s the end for all humankind.

“By December 23rd, [the world is] going to have ended,” former FLDS member Isaac Wyler, who has seen the revelation, told KUTV in Salt Lake City. Jeffs told his followers to prepare grey or blue backpacks, of a certain size, and pack them with essentials to be ready to go when God calls them, Wyler said.

Jeffs, 56, is the imprisoned head of a sizeable Mormon breakaway polygamous sect called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). He became a fugitive in 2005, after he was charged with conspiracy to commit rape for arranging a marriage between an unwilling 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old cousin, and then pressuring the girl to have sex with the young man. He was arrested more than a year later, and convicted of two rape conspiracy charges, drawing two terms of five years to life in prison.

Then, in a separate trial last year, he was convicted of raping his 12-year-old “spiritual bride,” as well as sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. Evidence of those attacks turned up in 2008, when Texas authorities raided an FLDS compound in the town of El Dorado, and included a document in which the supposed prophet of God wrote, “If the world knew what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree.” He was sentenced to two life terms in that case.

While his sentence means he will never be released from prison, Jeffs has not let his influence on his followers in Texas, nor in an area along Arizona’s border with Utah known as Short Creek, diminish. He has delivered countless disruptive prophecies and revelations. He has banished dance, play for children, even required every FLDS church member to take a full accounting of every item in their homes. The reasons why are unknown.

But all that aside, the end of the year still seems to bring surprises.

“December is a pretty big month for Warren. He routinely has some kind of end-of-the-world judgment type thing going on,” said Sam Brower, a private investigator whose research into Jeffs and the FLDS was detailed in the book Prophet’s Prey. “It’s his way of keeping his people stirred up and paranoid and scared, and that fear is how he maintains control of them.”

There is something peculiar about Jeffs’ end-of-the-world proclamation this year, though, especially when many professional doomsday watchers have been focused on the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012 — Friday — as the end of the world. Jeffs’ date this year is two days later. (Apparently Jeffs doesn’t disagree with the Mayans. They just got the date wrong.)

The prophecy this year also comes as the FLDS experiences continued legal problems. The Justice Department is suing the sister cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. –– the towns that make up Short Creek –– for discriminating against non-FLDS members, and a recent court ruling has cleared the way for Utah to determine the future of church’s immense property trust, known as the United Effort Plan.

Wyler, the former FLDS member, worries that with those events as a backdrop, Jeffs’ prophecy this year is particularly worrisome, especially if it passes and he blames his followers for a lack of faith.

“There’s always that fear that Warren would see how far he could take them,” Wyler said. He added ominously, “I’ve got a brother-in-law who once told my sister, ‘If the prophet told me to, I’d slit your throat without even thinking about it.’”

  • aadila

    James, I don’t think Peter was expressing bigotry.

    I can understand your sensitivity on the matter but having been carpet-bombed with Mormon propaganda over the recent political campaign myself, I think it is reasonable for people who do not accept your beliefs to speak up about it.

    You may not see it this way, but Internet ads about Mormonism popping up everywhere during the Romney campaign politicized your religion. So, there is a political rejection in response. It goes both ways.

  • concernedcitizen

    One head pedophile and the rest bestow power upon him because he was leading them into a make believe legal world of pedaphilia.

  • Randy Mankin

    The FLDS compound known as the YFZ Ranch is actually four miles north of Eldorado, Texas in rural Schleicher County. Also, Warren Jeffs received one life sentence for the sexual assault of the 12 year old girl. He was sentenced to 20 years for the 15 year old girl. The judge ordered the sentences to be served consecutively.
    His conviction in Utah was overturned when an appeals court found the judge did not properly instruct the jury.

  • James


    My initial reason for posting in response to you above was not to defend my religion. Although I can see how you might have misunderstood me. I’ve found that arguing online about religion is a proven waste of time, and I have absolutely no interest in doing so.

    I instead was attempting to ask you to drastically tone down the bigoted methodology you use to spread your opinion. Whether you or I are “right” about this particular subject of the LDS church is not important right now. What *IS* important is the bigotry you are displaying that is highly inappropriate and (especially within the SPLC website) hypocritical.

    The SPLC is an amazing organization that does it’s best to combat hate. Anyone who actually believes that they are doing good in the world should try to emulate the SPLC’s ideas. Since you are posting here I’m assuming you agree? This applies to both right-wing hatred that is displayed in this “Hatewatch” blog, as well as radical left-wing bigotry against religion that I continually read on the Internet. Of which you quite definitely are exhibiting.

    So please, may I ask that you take a good look at HOW you are expressing your views. I personally very much agree that in many cases your WHY is quite valid – many vile and hate-filled things have been said over a pulpit for example. And I will definitely stand next to you and strongly denounce their hate for what it is.

    However, I would ask that you please don’t construe your justifiable passion against their bigotry and hatred as an excuse for your own personal brand of bigotry and hatred. There are unfortunately a lot of excuses you can use to hate organized religion, I agree. But there are also far too many people who use very similar excuses to hate Jews, blacks, gays and women.

    Please don’t be one of them.

  • aadila

    You’re right, Mitch.

    It must be the work of the little man who shuts the light off in the refrigerator after you close the door.

  • Mitch Beales

    The world has ended each and every time it has been predicted and an omnipotent god has created a new world identical in every detail at precisely the moment that the world ended. Prove I’m wrong.

  • peter

    lets deal with the facts
    * december 23rd is smiths birthday – check
    * Smith created mormonism – check
    * all three cults, FLDS, LDS and RLDS trace their roots back to Smith – check
    [incidentally, RLDS are not ‘hate filled’…. they dropped polygamy as soon as they broke away from the LDS, and are generally a gentler, nicer version of mormonism]
    * smith made many erroneous and wild prohecies …. check [check D&C 111 for just one of many, MANY failed prophecies]
    * Smith married child brides – Helen Marr Kimball was 14, Fanny Alger was 16, Nancy Winchester was 15
    * I admit I speculated about the reason behind Jeffs making this prophecy at this time….. but I dont see how that affects you, since you are LDS Mormon, rather than FLDS Mormon

    please point out where I made any vile comments since all the above comments can be easily upheld, aside from the speculation about jeffs motives

  • James

    Ok, Peter, I want to make sure I get this straight:

    On a web site dedicated to removing hatred from the public sphere; and on a blog called “Hatewatch” which tries to point out the extremism, hatred and bigotry of those who follow these vile practices, you angrily call out the main LDS church as a cult and vilify it as “mormon nuttery” by tying it to the obviously hate filled breakaway sects with absolutely no proof for your statement, other than their names are similar.

    As a member of the main LDS church, may I respectfully suggest that you please read a bit more on what the rest of the SPLC site says about bigotry. You might learn not to react so quickly to unproven biases, but to think things through and do a bit of research before bringing your vile comments to a public area and causing pain to others who have done nothing to you.

    Merry Christmas.

  • Peter

    Dec 23 is the birthday of Jeffs spiritual predecessor, Joseph Smith Junior… the founder of the three Mormon cults (LDS, FLDS and RLDS)

    Like Jeffs, Smith was prone to making wild prophecies, and also taking child brides.

    I expect it’s the coincidence of Smithmas (Smith’s birthday) and the Mayan nonsense that has led to this latest piece of mormon nuttery

  • Luke Thomas

    What is so sad isn’t so much as this fruit cake-we expect dangerous people in any society–but the hoards of followers who gave him this kind of power. America is screwed up beyond comprehension.

  • Reynardine

    That throat-slitting business is no joke. It’s exactly what the Lafferty brothers did to their sister-in-law and their tiny niece.