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Sat Feb 24, 2018, 10:57 AM

Two A&E Documentaries Should Terrify Saints and Sinners Alike



Two A&E Documentaries Should Terrify Saints and Sinners Alike
February 23, 2018 by Hemant Mehta

This is a guest post by Rick Snedeker. He writes at the Godzooks blog.

Everyone, but most especially true believers, should watch two deeply disturbing documentaries that aired recently on A&E. Both films terrifyingly illustrate the inherent danger in religious ideology and faith: how unquestioned spiritual fealty can imperceptibly lead from piety to depravity — and even death.

The docs are Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil, about the atrocities committed by the now-convicted, statutory-rapist leader of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a polygamous Mormon fringe group in Utah; and Waco: Madman or Messiah, about the doomed apocalyptic Christian cult led by megalomaniacal Texas preacher David Koresh, who fancied himself a reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

If that’s not enough to unsettle your unflinching faith in devout humankind, you might also read the transcript of a May 10, 2006 CNN documentary about the Jeffs-led cult, Hiding in Plain Sight: Polygamy, hosted by Anderson Cooper. In the CNN piece, Brent Jeffs calls out the lie on his uncle:

He puts on a front like he’s a very nice man, a very giving man, very happy. But underneath all that, he’s very dark and very evil.


In Prophet of Evil, a parade of women from the cult recount their experiences of being sexually molested by Jeffs when they were innocent girls, one as young as 5, even one of the so-called prophet’s own daughters. Ultimately, Jeffs reportedly had as many as 78 wives — including 12- and 15-year-olds — and fathered more than 50 children. That’s all in addition to controlling millions of dollars in church funds and holding absolute authority over the entire FLDS flock. One disciple said any of his followers would “kill in an instant” if ordered by Jeffs.

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