FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DALLAS (July 8, 2011) – This Tuesday, “HDNet World Report,” the network’s Emmy Award-winning news program, presents an intimate look at life inside the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints , and talks exclusively with one member who was kicked out of the church in one of the largest purges in the history of FLDS.
Former FLDS member Arnold Richter says that before the purge this winter, church edicts were becoming increasingly erratic and intrusive. “They’re trying to look into the aspect of the way you live, how you live, your very thoughts and every one of your actions,” Richter tells “World Report.”
Fifty men were forced out, some of them close confidantes of church leader and self-proclaimed prophet Warren Jeffs. Richter explains that exiles are typically ordered to leave families and their communities, and most never return.
“Most of the men that I know, when they’re given that ultimatum ‘leave your family,’ they leave,” said Richter. “Over all, most of the men [were] pushed out, to refine and consolidate the power of the leadership,” says Richter. “If you were viewed as a threat, as not 100% obedient, you were exiled from the community and sent away from your family.”
When Richter was told to leave, he did what few other FLDS men have dared to do. He went directly against his prophet’s wishes and refused to abandon his wife and children -a bold move which sealed his status in the eyes of the church as one of the Devil’s own.
Warren Jeffs faces trial this month for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Investigators believe in his seven to eight years as a so-called profit Jeffs turned the FLDS into a pedophile playground. They say of his 87 wives, at least nineteen of them were underage…one of them as young as twelve years old.
View a clip from the program:
To learn more about the history of FLDS and their community, tune into “HDNet World Report,” Tuesday, July 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET with an encore at 12:00 a.m. ET.
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