Where is Warren Jeffs now? An update on the FLDS 'one true prophet'

The Netflix docu-series, 'Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey' is a harrowing look inside the polygamous cult Warren ran

keep sweet pray and obey docuseries on netflix, FLDS rulon and warren jeffs
(Image credit: Netflix)

Where is Warren Jeffs now?

A new Netflix docu-series, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, is a deep dive into the appalling  inner workings of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its self-proclaimed prophet.

Warren assumed the presidency of the polygamous sect in 2002 after his father, Rulon, passed away. Now, the four-part project from filmmaker Rachel Dretzin spotlights the cult's survivors and what they did to escape the horrific life under Warren. 

"You don't fight the priesthood, you don't fight the prophet," one survivor said in the documentary trailer. "But it was so much bigger than just Warren and me."

With such exposure, you'd assume FLDS would cease to exist, but even from behind bars, its president and prophet continue to make an impact.

Where is Warren Jeffs now?

The 66-year-old is imprisoned at the Louise C. Powledge Unit in Palestine, Texas, where he is serving a life sentence plus 20 years. 

He was convicted in 2011 of two felony counts of child sexual assault and fined $10,000. But Warren caught authorities' attention well before then. In 2006, he landed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List after fleeing Utah on felony charges of accomplice rape for arranging a marriage between then 14-year-old Elissa Wall and her 19-year-old cousin, according to Newsweek

A year later he was charged with another eight counts, two of which included incest and sexual conduct with minors. He was expected to receive 10 years to life in prison, but the Utah Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2010 because of flawed jury instructions, Newsweek further reports. 

Upon release, he was extradited to Texas. When FLDS' Yearning for Zion Ranch in West Texas was raided in 2008, over 400 children were taken into custody and authorities uncovered evidence of sexual, physical and psychological abuse, according to Netflix. After this notorious event, Warren was found guilty of sexual assault of a child and aggravated sexual assault against a child.

keep sweet pray and obey docuseries on netflix, FLDS members

(Image credit: Netflix)

Warren—who at the time of his arrest had over 70 wives, and 20+ were under the age of 17—has written a book about his "prophecy" and his desire to be released from prison. He has since suffered a mental breakdown in 2019. 

Reports from  Esquire suggest that FDLS can have anywhere between 6,000 to 10,000 current members, and they still worship Warren as a prophet.

keep sweet pray and obey docuseries on netflix, FLDS members

(Image credit: Netflix)

Now, women who suffered from this terrible lifestyle are speaking out. One of Warren's many wives even created a refuge for women and children escaping the FLDS, as well as other victims of sex trafficking. 

"The women in our film managed to leave the FLDS with no real education or skills, no money, no support whatsoever,” the film's director told Rolling Stone. “For their whole lives they had been valued solely as plural wives and as breeders of children. To leave meant saying goodbye to everything and everyone they loved to start over in a society they didn’t understand. ‘Badass’ doesn’t begin to describe how fierce they are."

Though the material is certainly heavy, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is the latest documentary to join the canon of best true crime on Netflix.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.