Inside The Mysterious Polygamous Sect

Until the raid, of the polygamous sect, most Americans had never heard of FLDS, the mysterious sect at the center of this case. There are so many questions about how this society operates, and CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace went in search of some answers.



It's a secretive world of harsh rules, unsettling relationships and allegations of abuse.

How do women get involved in the sect?

"Most of them are born into it," said Flora Jessup, who escaped from the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. "[They] don't just join, get born into it. I was born into it."

Jessup escaped 22 years ago. She says outsiders aren't recruited due to fears they aren't pure.

What's the typical marrying age?

"The majority of marriages that we're aware of happen between 14 and 16," Jessup said. "However, we do know of marriages that have occurred to as young as two 8-year-old or 9-year-old children."

The men don't select their wives. Marriages are arranged by their leader, whom they call a prophet.

"All the girls' names are added into this book called The Joy Book and the prophet goes through and gets revelation from God," Jessop said.

Why do women go along with these teachings?

"Men teach us to follow their direction, best way of life, they are clean and pure," said an FLDS member named Janet.

Women like Janet are taught to submit fully or risk damnation.

"You can, as a female, can live your life and be one of most amazing paragons of virtue, but you still don't get into heaven unless husband invites you in," Jessop said.

And what about those clothes and that hair?

"The women are taught they are jewels in husband's crown, that their husband will be a king and a god in heaven, and they are jewels in his crown so they're all dressed in jewel colors,"

And women aren't allowed to cut their hair.

"They believe that in order to get into heaven, you must wash your husband's feet with your hair," Jessop said.

Their essential mantra comes down to two words: Keep Sweet.

"It means submit in all things, including being punished, you must smile and accept your punishment cause that's how God accepts you," Jessop said.

But crying and laughing are forbidden.

"They actually teach that God finds crying babies offensive and loud laughter offensive too," Jessop said.

Now this secretive group awaits judgment from the outside worls it tried so hard to shut out.
  • Kelly Wallace

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