keep sweet pray and obey true story

The harrowing true story behind Netflix’s Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

Victims of the cult are speaking out for the first time

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey dropped on Netflix yesterday (8th June), and the harrowing story of the FLDS cult was finally exposed to the world.

Warren Jeffs was the leader – or “prophet” – of the group, which saw hundreds of women and children abused on a daily basis. But the story of FLDS goes back decades, and Jeffs’ family were deeply involved.

So, what’s the true story of the cult? And is the FLDS still active today?

Warren Jeffs’ dad became the FLDS prophet in 1986

warren jeffs

Photo via Netflix

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is a branch of Mormonism – which is, to complicate things even more, a branch of Christianity.

They’re actually classified as a hate group in the US, mostly due to Jeffs’ extremist views on Black people, women and the LGTBQ+ community. It was founded by leaders of the Latter-Day Saints Church, who were expelled because they wanted the authority to marry loads of different women.

Rulon Jeffs became president of the FLDS in the mid-eighties. When he died a few years later, he was thought to have had around 20 wives and 60 children.

In a sick turn of events, Warren Jeffs inherited his dad’s wives

warren jeffs

Photo via Netflix

All-but-two of Rulon’s wives agreed to marry Jeffs when he took over in 2002. One fled the cult, while the other outright refused – leading her to be banned from ever marrying again.

Jeffs taught his followers the only way to get into heaven was for a man to have multiple wives (at least three, to be exact).

Women in the cult had no rights

keep sweet pray and obey true story

Photo via Netflix

Every female member of the FLDS had to dress a certain way: long, modest dresses covering every inch of their body, and their hair had to be tied up in a bun. They were told to “keep sweet, pray and obey” every hour, on the hour, and the affirmation was written on various buildings.

Any woman who refused marriage would be excommunicated from the cult without money, resources or moral support to get by – and no-one was ever allowed to know what was going on outside the walls of the infamous Texas ranch.

The sect was a smokescreen for devastating abuse on women and children

keep sweet

Photo via Netflix

All in all, Jeffs married 74 times. 24 of these “wives” were actually underage, the youngest being just 14 years old. This false prophet also organised other men to take advantage of the women and children.

The ranch was raided in 2008, and 12 men were charged with child abuse.

FLDS is still active today – led by Jeffs from his prison cell.

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is now available to stream on Netflix. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Featured image via Netflix.