Prophet's Prey

Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower

Book: Prophet's Prey by Sam Brower Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sam Brower
Timpson did not exactly leave town. They just started their own rival fundamentalist sect only two miles away on the other side of Highway 59.
    To ease some of the confusion between the uneasy neighbors, Colorado City and Hildale became known within the FLDS faith as the First Ward, and the new group of Hammon-Timpson dissenters in “Centennial Park” would be the Second Ward. It was all still the Crick.
    Uncle Roy died two and a half years later, in November 1986. This time, there was no question of succession. Rulon Jeffs and Uncle Roy had laid down the law of one-man rule within the fundamentalist movement, and Rulon grabbed the golden ring, becoming the new “prophet, seer, and revelator.”
    Rulon’s most fervent supporter was his son Warren, who was by then in full manhood at the age of thirty-one. Warren had spent his entire career since graduating from high school—thirteen years—teaching and being the principal at the academy. He already had the addictive taste of power on his own lips.
    Alta Academy was not only a school for elementary school children, but also a learning institution where Warren would hone his skills as a predatory monster.
    Each day started with Warren’s flat, hypnotic monotone either being delivered in person in the gathering hall or being broadcast over speakers to classrooms. The children would be quizzed on what he said. The FLDS educational process was so totally skewed toward strict religious dogma that many kids graduated still unable to speak or write in whole sentences. For most, the ability to properly read a list of food ingredients or a tape measure at a construction site was deemed adequate. Many teachers were hired based on their loyalty to the extremist faith and obedience, rather than credentials of a college education. There was no need to be certified by the state in an FLDS private school. Some of the students would roll right into the position of teachers, perpetuating the low educational standards and toeing the religious line. The instructors taught that the outside world was devoid of honor and not to be trusted, and gentiles were, of course, excluded from the faculty. Gentiles were bad, but apostates were worse. Students must “keep sweet” no matter what they were required to endure, even physical abuse. It was not education, just a thorough theological brainwashing.
    The academy had several labor and delivery rooms on the second floor designated for the use of a midwife to attend the births of new babies, which reduced the need to expose fundamentalist wives to the prying eyes of gentile medical staff members in public hospitals, where family names and dates of birth were routinely sought. It was symbolic of how the breakaway fundamentalists withdrew from the scrutiny and norms of the world.
    A former student by the name of Mike recalled for me the day when he was eleven years old and Uncle Warren singled him out for punishment. The youngster was made to stand in front of the classroom and drop his trousers to his knees so Warren could savagely beat him with a yardstick. Other former students echoed Mike’s experience with their own stories of what happened in the downstairs room containing the baptismal font. If a yardstick broke, Warren would continue beating them with the remaining portion. He spouted religious diatribes about committing his young victims over to the judgment of God as he circled the boys, ogling and brushing up against them.
    My contacts among Jeffs’s former students would reveal that it wasn’t just the boys being subjected to his psychotic behavior. Warren was the self-appointed dress code enforcer and young females would recall standing numb and frightened beside the principal’s desk as he pretended to check their dress length to see if it fell to the appropriate height above the ankle. While doing so, Uncle Warren’s hands wandered over their bodies and beneath their clothing.

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