independent

Monday 21 April 2014

The end of the world...again? Authorities on alert after New Year's Eve apocalypse warning

FOLLOWERS of cult leader Warren Jeffs are preparing for the end of the world after the jailed paedophile warned of a New Year’s Eve apocalypse.

Experts are monitoring the movements of the sect closely after investigators told CNN that Jeffs’ warning could send a “dangerous signal” to its 10,000 members worldwide.

Private investigator Sam Brower, who represents over 100 former members of the cult, said law enforcement officers will monitor the situation in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints closely.

“The consensus seems to be that Warren is indicating that by the end of the year, the end of the world will be here”, he said before adding: ” Jim Jones, Koresh - history has showed us these things happen when religious zealots take charge of a group of people.”

One former cult member Willie Jessops said he was concerned about the future of Jeffs’ followers - particularly after the predictions of Armageddon.

“There’s always that fear that Warren would see how far he could take them,' Wyler told Utah’s KUTVer.

He added: “I’ve got a brother-in-law who once told my sister ‘if the prophet told me to I’d slit your throat without even thinking about it'.”

Warren Jeffs is considered a prophet by members of his Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints despite currently serving a life sentence for sexually abusing children.

He is claimed to have over 70 ‘brides’ in the community and even from his prison cell reportedly controls exactly where his 10,000 followers live, whom they marry, how they dress, how they are educated and what they eat.

Last year jurors wept as they heard a graphic tape of the sexual instructions Jeffs gave his brides - some of whom were just children.

He warned God would reject them if they did not to submit to his instructions and DNA evidence presented during the trial proved he had fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl.

'If the world knew what I was doing, they would hang me from the highest tree,' Jeffs wrote in a diary entry from 2005 - one of thousands of pages of notes seized by authorities.

He was given life behind bars for one count of aggravated sexual assault and an extra 20 years, to be served consecutively, for the second count of sexual assault - the maximum allowed for each count.

Tonight’s prediction isn’t the first time Jeffs has predicted the end of the world. In November he warned a “disastrous cleansing” would occur on December 23 and allegedly blamed his followers’ “lack of faith” when it did not happen.

Ex-cult members say Jeffs whips his followers into an apocalypse-obsessed frenzy for his own financial gain, claiming he insists they purchase 'survival' backpacks and pack them with essentials.

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