Netflix Docuseries Digs Into Warren Jeffs’ Infamous Polygamist Cult

Netflix will dig into West Texas’ notorious Yearning for Zion Ranch and polygamist cult leader Warren Jeffs in the approaching docuseries Hold Sweet: Pray and Obey.

In 2008, federal authorities raided the ranch, where by Jeffs — as head and self-proclaimed prophet of the secretive sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Working day Saints — amassed 78 wives, 24 of whom were being underage. Over 400 children ended up also taken into custody, with regulation enforcement agents acquiring proof of sexual, bodily, and psychological abuse.

The four-section docuseries was directed by Rachel Dretzin, who earlier helmed the documentary Who Killed Malcolm X, which resulted in two people remaining exonerated for that murder. In addition to hardly ever-ahead of-observed archival footage, Dretzin went to Utah, where numerous survivors of the cult have relocated, to convey to their story for Preserve Sweet: Pray and Obey.

“The first time I traveled to Shorter Creek, Utah, I experienced the identical 1st perception as most. With their pleated hair, prairie attire, and diffident, skittish manner, it was easy to see the young women and girls of the FLDS as odd, even alien creatures. It was pretty much unattainable to believe that that a modern society so repressive, isolated, and severe could exist in simple sight in 21st century America,” Dretzin reported in a assertion.

“And then I began interviewing survivors. The tales they explained to — of the system of systematic coercion and head regulate exercised by the man they believed of as a spiritual prophet, Warren Jeffs — were being far from alienating. After numerous months used reporting this story, it was distinct to me that these females could have been my daughter, my mom, or me. And it was also abundantly obvious that they confirmed amazing braveness and strength in leaving this faith-turned-legal cult.”

Jeffs is presently serving a lifestyle jail sentence on fees of sexual assault of a little one. He’s allegedly nonetheless managing his cult and acting as a prophet from powering bars, but numerous of his survivors have still left the cult and struggled to adapt to typical daily life.

“This was the tale I established out to notify,” Dretzin continued. “The girls in our movie managed to leave the FLDS with no serious instruction or abilities, no money, no assistance by any means. For their whole lives they experienced been valued only as plural wives and as breeders of kids. To depart meant expressing goodbye to every thing and all people they beloved to start out above in a culture they didn’t fully grasp. ‘Badass’ doesn’t start to explain how fierce they are. I am happy to be related to them and grateful to have experienced the prospect to tell their tale.”

Hold Sweet: Pray and Obey premieres on June 8 on Netflix.