Skeptic News: "End Times" warning from jailed cult leader

From: Desert News

There’s mystery, worry, and new indications of turmoil among followers of imprisoned polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.

At least three of his followers’ most prominent businesses were suddenly closed in the Fundamentalist LDS Church’s twin towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah. The closures involved the community’s only grocery store, the hardware store and a Radio Shack. “Warren would have told them to do that,” said former FLDS follower Isaac Wyler. “They wouldn’t do that on their own. They wouldn’t dare.”

It’s not known if the closures are related to a doomsday prophecy Jeffs reportedly issued last weekend.

“It’s scaring the hell out of people in the United Order,” said private investigator Sam Brower, referring to the most loyal members of Jeffs’ church. Brower said FLDS leaders read a statement to followers last Sunday that was purported to be Jeffs’ own words from a Texas prison where he’s serving a life sentence for rape of a child.

According to Brower, Jeffs’ statement said, “If you don’t all come clean and confess your sins and wrongs, the Lord will send a scourge of death among the people of the United Order.” Wyler said Jeffs apparently predicted an apocalypse. “From what I’ve heard,” Wyler said, “there was a prophecy that the ‘lifting up’ would occur before the end of the year.”

In FLDS theology, the “lifting up” is a literal, physical event. “All the righteous FLDS people would be lifted up, and everybody else would be destroyed,” Wyler said.

Jeffs gained international notoriety in May 2006 when he was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on Utah state charges related to his alleged arrangement of illegal marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls. He was arrested in August 2006 in Nevada, and agreed to be taken to Utah for trial. In May and July 2007 the State ofArizona charged him with eight additional counts, including sexual conduct with minors and incest, in two separate cases.

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