Documentaries, if documented right, give you the deepest insights into the documented person or a situation. Having said that, Netflix has one more heart-wrenching story of exposing the truths of polygamy. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is the docuseries that uncovers the reality of Warren Jeffs and the FLDS sect.
Streaming on Netflix now, the docuseries explores the Texas-based polygamous Mormon sect. It was led by Jeffs, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The show uses unseen archive footage from within the group to portray how it worked.
Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey and the horrors of Warren Jeffs
“Warren Jeffs was our president. He was the Prophet. And how could you place a human over God?” says a woman. In this four-part docuseries, director Rachel Dretzin exposes the cult and Jeffs in a surprising way. The portrayal is largely from the perspective of those women, who successfully escaped and bravely document the cult’s abuses.
Utah attorney Roger Hoole says that it was hard to prove. The law enforcement and politicians were not interested in disrupting families. He says most people in Utah, the mainstream Mormons, people like him, see polygamy as an embarrassment. But that’s not the problem apparently. It is the secondary crimes that happen within these societies that cause real problems.
“That’s when all sorts of mischief can take place and that’s what happened with the FLDS,” added Hoole.
What is the FLDS?
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is an offshoot of mainstream Mormonism. It began when the church outlawed polygamy.
“The more the wives, the more children you have, the higher in heaven you’ll be,” is the fundamental thinking of FLDS.
Wallace Jeffs describes in the show that the members of the FLDS are taught that to get to the “highest degree of the celestial kingdom,” a man has to have at least 3 wives when on Earth. If you reach the highest degree, they believe that you can create worlds, galaxies, and the universe, “basically become a God.”
Now, who is Warren Jeffs?
Warren Jeffs was one of the many members of FLDS. The members were in consensus activities, but things got much worse when Jeff took over and established himself as the leader. He took over when Rulon died in 2002, even though the FLDS teachings claimed that he would never die.
“He manipulated their beliefs and turned it into money and power and sex. And they ended up following him right off the cliff,” said Utah attorney Roger Hoole in Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey.
Jeff married 78 times and 24 out of them were with children. Women in the cult were literally children. They were abused, raped, and married to/by older men. In 2006, he faced charges with two counts of accomplice to rape, arrested in L.A.
Jeff is serving a life sentence after a 2011 conviction.
The maker of the show, when she went for research, looked at them and heard their stories. She only had one thought in her mind, “These women could have been my daughter, my mother, or me.”
Obviously exposing a story like this would take so much courage and Rachel Dretzin has done an incredibly brave job.
“I wasn’t scared of death, I was scared of disobeying the profit… I would have rather died than disobey,” this statement by Erna Black really exposes the horrifying level of control Jeffs has had over there.
So, there goes another must-watch documentary from Netflix: Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey. Will you stream this one?