I spent last week on location in Colorado City filming more footage for the movie “The Rise and Fall of Zion”, a world-class documentary about Warren Jeffs and his impact on the FLDS. My co-producer, Amber Dawn Lee, has years of involvement with the film industry. Her own experience of growing up in several Fundamentalist Mormon based cults brings passion and personal expertise to the project. We are both determined to bring this story into the light and share with the world the truth.
This was our second time filming in Hilldale and Colorado City. Our first visit was fairly uneventful and very educational as we met many locals that are referred to as apostates and witnessed the FLDS and Warren Jeffs stronghold beginning to crumble. We got to know the community and began to really feel what the people in and out of the religion feel about their station in life.
Since our last filming expedition in October the FLDS has been making news again with Warren Jeffs threats to the American president, more ranting revelations about the end of the world, and even more strict dictates to his people as he attempts to maintain control from his prison cell. His latest edict to his people came in November when he told them that each family must come up with $5,000, be determined worthy of maintaining FLDS membership and be re-baptized by December 31st or feel the wrath of God. He also dictated that all forms of enjoyment had to be removed from every home and from the community. Toys, bikes, computers, cell phones and any form of entertainment were taken away from women and children. Sex was disallowed for men and is only to be performed as a duty to God in procreation and witnessed by those assigned by Warren. Taking away everything that is a distraction from the religion is Warren’s way of attaining absolute hold of the minds of the people.
As we arrived in the community we discovered that the abuses of the people extend far beyond the slavery that polygamy has become known for in the FLDS. As Warrens lust for more and more women extended to younger and younger girls his control over the men and women increased. The parents of those girls willingly gave their daughters over to the slaughter, as a manner of speaking, believing that in giving their daughters to the prophet and his most loyal men they ensured their daughters exaltation and they insured their own place within the religion. The giving away of daughters has now extended to the giving away of women and children. We discovered that children as young as 1 year old are disappearing and no one seems overly concerned as to their whereabouts. Fathers have been exiled from the religion and are no longer able to communicate with their wives and children. Out of boredom and anxiety many of the boys are contributing to the atrocities by torturing and murdering animals. We heard these stories numerous times from numerous people. Businesses were closed and there were stories of reckless vandalism. While the outside world looks on with the belief that polygamy should be normalized inside Colorado City all hell has broken loose.
Every day in Colorado City we were followed, harassed and bullied by the God Squad as it is un-affectionately known and by local law enforcement. Being pulled over and questioned by the Hilldale and Colorado City police was a daily occurrence. There was no legal reason for stopping and questioning us but it is part of their job as members of the FLDS. In Colorado City there is no separation of church and state.
On our final day of filming we were physically attacked by the God Squad. While Amber was on foot filming outside of the FLDS Meeting House she was approached by two vehicles from opposite directions who attempted to run her down. Five other cars blocked off the street and parking areas to keep Amber from getting out of harm’s way. As she filmed the oncoming cars I called 911 on my cell phone and connected with a State Emergency Operator, knowing full well that a call to Colorado City police would do no good. Eventually a Colorado City officer came and took a full report but in his report he failed to write down the license plate numbers of the vehicles or descriptions of the men who threatened Amber’s life. Although Amber was not knocked to the ground she did sustain injuries to her lower back when she tripped and stumbled as one of the cars bumped her.
Colorado City is a lawless town in every sense of the word. We had heard the stories of the God Squad and its brutality, and we had heard about the crooked cops, but we never expected to be victims of their activities personally. And we never expected to uncover the unfathomable level of atrocities being committed in what outwardly appears to be a quiet and peaceful community. All of these horrific practices justified in the name of God and religion.
9 thoughts on “Colorado City or Bust”
How many people reading this think (or do not think) that martial law should be ordered for the flds area all around CC/hildale? How many other places in the US would the things be tolerated that are mentioned in this article—without law officers from other precincts being called in to intervene?
Unfortunately this has been going on for years and nothing really gets done. If you read Sam Brower’s book you will get an idea of how difficult it is to bring any real justice into the area. The FLDS is very well funded. There are many of us who suspect this could easily turn into another Waco incident but officials from the outside seem unwilling to intervene at this point.
So what can be done? Is there any solution?
That is the reason we are making a documentary about what is really happening. If it were just about love and marriage there would be no reason for intervention as illegal as polygamy may be. But this involves children and animals – those who are unable to speak for themselves. Once it is brought out into the light on a massive scale then the powers that be must intervene.
Well, obviously Victoria, the part about the dogs scares me to death on the one paw and makes me want to bite on the other! But certainly the country is aware of these practices to some extent and Arizona and Utah most certainly are aware and they do nothing. If the feds arrived it would probably be the ATF again on firearms charges and that’s what tends to blast back on the government and cause endless investigations. It doesn’t sound like there is enough known about the suspected pockets of girls being held like sex trade objects for the government to break it. The deep pockets of the FLDS seems like the way to go if possible. If the church members “give” their money over to what is a corporation, well, it sounds like extortion to me, and if the profits of their multiple businesses are avoiding taxes in any way, go for it. I’d park the IRS full of mean atheist agents up their backsides, if you get my drift. If I get hounded to pay up the yang yang on my little income while my house falls around my head for lack of affording maintenance after taxes (current condition) then these people shouldn’t be getting tax exemptions all over the place.
I’m a good dog, :), and I know full well that animal abuse speaks to abuse of humans. The brainwashed humans can be considered to have been abused but it is their god given ability to be able to reason their way out of the mess, and use their free will. If they have chosen not to do so, and instead abuse their animals and children, then may the power of the state descend upon them prior to the power of the lord.
BTW, this applies to the women as well. At some point they used their free will to choose that it is easier to think, branch out, and use their free wills as well.
Make that last sentence read ” it is easier to not think, not branch out, and not use their free wills”
I completely agree on every aspect! It is simply, or obviously not so simply, a matter of digging and finding the truth. In my understanding there are ample supplies of military grade weapons, extortion runs amuck, and the accounting of money is very fuzzy. They are warlords of their own kind and yes, every adult in that community, regardless of how much fear or Godliness they feel, are always in free-will-choice.
Having cared for a lady from Colorado City and later fostered her five children, I cannot help but to be concerned with this subject. I lost her and the children when her guilt from her indoctrination at such a early age lured her back. For years we corresponded secretly and now nothing more is heard.
I am so sorry to hear that you lost touch with her. The indocrination of such fear based beliefs is difficult to recover from and unfortunately it is not uncommon for people to return after time away. It is that unfortunate fear of “what if they are right” that pulls them back in.