Opening arguments begin today in the trial of everyone’s favorite polygamist child abuser, Warren Jeffs. You remember Jeffs — he’s the nutball who was on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted early last year, and who was apprehended just about a year ago. Jeffs has probably done a lot of really awful things in his life, but the real tragedy is that this particular case is going to have to center around a 14-year old girl, who Jeffs (allegedly!) forced to marry and have sex with another man.
Just take a moment to imagine the kind of inner strength you’d have to summon up — as a teenager no less — to fight a man who you were brought up to believe is nearly a god, going against the wishes of some of your closest family members. That’s gotta be one awesome chick.
In a previous entry I mention Godâ€™s Brothel as a great read on the FLDS cult. Since then, I’ve also read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, the guy who wrote Into Thin Air. Under the Banner of Heaven deals with a history of fundamentalist Mormons from Joseph Smith up to the a young Mormon wife and her baby who were butchered by fundamentalist family members in 1984. As an in-depth examination of how easily people can move from faith to murder, it was impossible to put down and gave me actual nightmares.
This ABC News article has more info on the Jeffs trial.