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How Many Children Does ‘Keep Sweet’ FLDS Leader Warren Jeffs Have?

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Warren Jeffs, the polygamist leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) is currently serving a lifetime prison sentence for child sexual assault. He’s the central character in Netflix’s new true crime documentary, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, which drops today.

The documentary details Jeffs’ disturbing rise to power in the FLDS church, where he convinced thousands of followers that he was “The Prophet” and instituted strange, strict rules for people to follow. A 2008 raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas, where Jeffs lived, led to his arrest and the imprisonment of several parishioners on child sexual assault and bigamy charges. He’s been behind bars since 2011.

But that’s not all. The documentary also addresses the fact that Jeffs had many, many wives and fathered a whole lot of children. As one FLDS wife explained in the documentary’s trailer: the group believes that “the more wives, the more children you have, the higher in heaven you’ll be.”

Well, Jeffs was no exception. Here’s what you need to know about his family — including how many children he has.

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How many kids did Warren Jeffs have?

It’s hard to get an exact count, but Jeffs has at least 60 kids, according to CNN. This includes three children who have publicly spoken out about their time in the church.

Warren’s father, former FLDS leader Rulon Jeffs, is believed to have had 65 children.

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How many wives did Jeffs have?

CNN puts this number at 78, including a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl who he said were his “spiritual wives.”

But a 2011 court case alleged that Jeffs fathered a child with the 15-year-old (with more than 99.9 percent genetic certainly), and also included photos of him snuggling and kissing the 12-year-old girl, according to archived reports from the Salt Lake Tribune.

Where are his children now?

Several of Jeff’s children have left FLDS and now live outside the church. That included his 23-year-old son, Roy Jeffs, who said his father isolated him from others. “In there, I wanted to be able to have a life and talk to family, and that just would never happen,” he told CNN back in 2015. “The harder I tried, the further away they pushed me out of contact with anyone. . ”

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Roy’s half-sister Becky Jeffs also shared this: “What I’ve seen of Roy is a boy that has tried with all his might to please his father, and could never be completely accepted by him. Father excluded him from the other boys and I didn’t ever know why. “

Roy said he was separated from his mom at 14, but many children were taken away sooner. “I worked with her every day, I spent every day, all day with her,” he said. “We did landscaping, we did gardening. A lot of children in our family didn’t get to spend that much time with their own mother. ” Roy died by suicide in 2019.

Warren’s daughter Rachel Jeffs wrote a book and started a blog where she talks about life in the FLDS. She told Megyn Kelly she was sexually assaulted by her father starting around the age of eight.

In the blog, Rachel also wrote about one of her “mothers,” Sheena, 16, who was refused medical care despite cancer symptoms. Eventually, Warren let her see a doctor, where she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

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“She was told that the cancer had crushed her backbone and that she would never walk again,” Rachel wrote. “Warren Jeffs then sent a message to all of his family, including myself, saying, ‘Sheena has breast cancer and the Lord has shown me that because of her immoral thoughts and desires she will soon suffer death.'”

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Sheena was sent to a small house to die, Rachel said, and she was forbidden to go outside her home. She died at the beginning of 2017 and was buried in an unmarked grave.

Does Warren still talk to his kids?

It appears that Jeffs does stay in touch with some of his children from prison … at least the ones who have not left the church.

He is also apparently still leading the FLDS church from behind bars, dictating who women will be married to. The Keep Sweet The trailer also shows him telling a group of people — including children — that he loves them and leading parishioners in a song.

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