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Is there a secret group inside the secretive FLDS Church?

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A court filing obtained by FOX 13 News reveals the U.S. Justice Department is investigating a "new, exclusive FLDS group" within the polygamous church.

The Justice Department made reference to the "FLDS Church's new 'United Order'" in a motion asking a federal judge to compel Hildale and Colorado City town employees to answer questions in depositions. The federal government is suing the Utah-Arizona border towns, accusing them of discriminating against people who are not members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church.

"Defendants' employees also refused to answer relevant questions regarding the FLDS Church’s new 'United Order.' Based on information and belief, the 'United Order' is a new exclusive FLDS group whose membership is determined by FLDS leadership," the filing states.

"FLDS members not approved into the United Order are asked to leave their families and repent in hope that FLDS leadership will eventually choose them for the United Order; United Order members are expected to consecrate all their property over to the FLDS Church. Membership status therefore is relevant to show, among other things, motives of government officials to appease FLDS leadership."

Read the Justice Department's filing here

The Justice Department's claims of a new "United Order" sound similar to what exists already under the FLDS Church's United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust. In 2005, the Utah Attorney General's Office petitioned the courts to take control of the trust and its $110 million in assets amid allegations that FLDS leader Warren Jeffs mismanaged it.

Jeffs is currently serving a life plus 20-year sentence in a Texas prison for sex crimes related to underage marriages.

Rebecca Musser and her husband, FLDS leader Rulon Jeffs, on their wedding day in 1995.

Rebecca Musser and her then-husband, FLDS leader Rulon Jeffs, on their wedding day in 1995. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Musser)

Claims of a secret society within the already secretive FLDS Church came as little surprise to Rebecca Musser, an ex-member who was the 19th wife of Warren Jeffs' father, Rulon.

"I think we can expect any kind of shift in property, any kind of new organization that's going to give them the ability to hide more from the law," she told FOX 13 News on Friday.

Musser said both Utah and Arizona authorities have not done enough to stop the bleeding of the trust, and the crackdown of crimes in the communities.

"I think the state of Utah has turned a blind eye for a long time to known crimes that are going on," she said. "They have let the FLDS people find those loopholes and exploit them."

In a statement to FOX 13 News, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes' office said it was looking into the claims of a new "united order" and whether any UEP assets were being siphoned away.

"The attorney general's office is in constant communication with the courts and Justice Department and is working towards solutions in the UEP Trust and additional issues," wrote Utah Attorney General's spokeswoman Missy Larsen.

Jeffrey L. Shields, an attorney for the court-appointed fiduciary of the UEP Trust, told FOX 13 News he had heard rumblings of a new united order, but the Justice Department filing was the first he had seen anything about it.

"We've heard of it, and we've heard there may be different united orders in different states," he said.

Shields noted that most of the UEP assets in Hildale and Colorado City are in real-estate, but did express concerns that other material property belonging to the trust could be spirited away.

"There's kind of an abandoning of the old trust and the starting of new ones in different states," Shields said.

Jeff Matura, an attorney representing Colorado City in the Justice Department's lawsuit, declined to comment. Blake Hamilton, an attorney for Hildale, did not return messages seeking comment.

In an order issued out of a Phoenix courtroom in March, U.S. District Court Judge Russel Holland ordered Colorado City Mayor Joseph Allred, Vice-Mayor Kimball Barlow, and Town Marshal Helaman Barlow to answer questions in their depositions with federal attorneys.

Read the judge's order here

Allred may also be asked about allegations he married an underage girl, according to the filing. The Justice Department has scheduled more depositions in St. George and Salt Lake City throughout the month.

Photos: Warren Jeffs and Wives

14 comments

  • Trish Ramirez

    So their members are kind of like the elite polygamists that Brigham Young and his cronies sent to Canada and Mexico to begin settlements THERE so that ‘the church’ could continue it’s ‘Principle of Plural Marriage’ practice and Deseret (I mean Utah) could still become a state?

    You mean that FLDS leaders (you know, the mormons who practice the actual weird FUNDAMENTALS of mormonism, the church the way good ol’ Joey Smith intended it to be) would actually dare to be covert and secretive and bizarre and have a sect within a sect in order to protect their perversions from being ferreted out by the government?

    You don’t say.

    • Mickey Bitsko

      Cue the hate!

      Check your history, numbskull. They were already IN Mexico when they arrived here. Young didn’t “send” anyone to Mexico. The current border was drawn later.

      Why are you so consumed with hatred? You’ve never explained your own back story. There must be a reason for it.

      • Trish Ramirez

        Pointing out the truth isn’t hatred.

        I’m sure you get your church history from one of their many indoctrination seminars, or missionaries programmed to indoctrinate the unsuspecting and trusting, or perhaps from a church endorsed periodical or LDS.org or maybe even a book off of the shelves of Seagull Book.

        Please.

        My back story is that I grew up in this state, with people trying to convert me from the time I was 7. I spent a lot of time inside this cult, with people who have been in it since birth, from generations and generations of mormons. I know people who have stayed in the church, people who have left. People who let it run their life and people whose lives it’s ruined.

        I have seen this monster from all angles, and I know it for the lie it is.

        They almost got me when I was a youth and to young, naive and gullible to question their ridiculous claims and stories, but luckily I was able to see past the lies and recognize the organization for the money making swindle that it’s creator intended it to be.

        (P.S. If I want to buy a product and I want to do some research on it, I may look at the company website, but I know for a fact I will get more truth from reading consumer reviews. The same holds true for religion.)

    • Bob

      Trish Ramirez would probably adapt well as a third wife. The first two could help her work out her obedience issues

    • fincenmib

      I lived 26 miles away from Colorado City, in Hurricane Utah. In 2000 I started doing rescues. At some point I realized there were victims within the FLDS, by the FLDS. Until 2003 we only saw women as victims, after the Ross Chatwin Press Conference, men and entire families got added. Because there are FLDS victims, this is not about gentiles vs saints. As I had over 500 of Warren Jeffs audio cassettes, the man is delusional, with a god like complex.

  • Jay Beswick

    They are on the right track going to FLDS lawyers. They need to court order Rhodney Parker, Scott Berry, Max Wheeler, Ron Thompson, David Nuffer and Steven Snow as well. These lawyers have set up the network of corporations, which explain in detail who represents the FLDS interest. Steven Snow is General Authority in the LDS Church, David Nuffer was made a judge first by former governor Mike Leavitt, then a Federal Judge by President Obama. Ron Thompson the Hildale Special council was the Washington County elected DA in 1973-1978, along with being 5th District Bar Association President. Parker a lawyer under the Bush Administration. Follow the lawyers and the money! Even Orrin Hatch was friends with Rulon Jeffs, Warren’s father. Dixie Leavitt the governors father was friends with Fred Jessop, Jessop once bought Insurance with Leavitt Group Insurance, where the two lunched together. Utah might find blockage if they dig to deep. TO LUCK to the feds!

  • PoorUtah

    It is just mr devil going harder after a true religion, the true religion of pure motives.
    The FBI and the media and so many that read this are sad tools of the devil to persecute the pure religion to death.
    But it will be different this time. All the other times the saints where persecuted to death , but this time God has spoken and drawn the lines and He will protect His Saints from the poor devils and the terrible destruction bound for this nation and the world as they cross the lines He in His mercy, justice, and wisdom has set from their previous actions to be gaged and judged by in their future actions.
    Beware of your choices, for you get rewarded and suffer for your own choices, whether is choose to act or choose to stand by and do nothing.
    The weight of the judgments of God is so heavy to bear in regret and sorry for opportunities gone.

    • Mickey Bitsko

      If the True Religion has no problem with perverted old men raping little girls then you can have your “god.” I’ll take my chances with “mr. devil” and leave the kid’s pants on.

      • Shirl Ziting

        The repentance and judgments began with the Prophet and House of God, which you consider pervert, which cannot be with repentance, and from there it goes to the world.

  • Drew Armstrong

    Joseph Smith the third… always swore that his father never was a polygamist. I am a member of the church but I about believe him and accept that this practice was instituted by Brigham Young and others. There are NO genetic ties to Joseph from ANY of his supposed wives aside from Emma.

Comments are closed.