April 22, 2008
Nearly three weeks ago police conducted a stunning raid which resulted in hundreds of women and children being removed from a polygamist compound in Eldorado, Texas. On this 1,700-acre ranch, formerly led by Warren Jeffs of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), children were allegedly sexually abused by older men, and girls as young as 14 allegedly had babies.
The story in Eldorado, Texas unfolded when a 16-year-old girl called the authorities complaining of abuse. The teen claimed she was being raped and choked at the hands of her almost 50-year-old husband. Texas police then raided the FLDS compound and removed hundreds of women and children. This group split from the Mormon Church over differences about polygamy. Their recent leader, Warren Jeffs, is now jailed on charges that he was an accomplice to rape by marrying a 14-year-old girl to her older cousin.
Dr. Phil goes on location in Colorado City, where he first covered this sect three years ago and where some members of the religious group still live. Then, Eldorado townspeople weigh in on the drama in their midst. Helen, a volunteer, says she was shocked to see such young girls pregnant and married, and she shows the Dr. Phil cameras what life was like for these kids immediately after they were removed from the compound. Plus, Warren Jeffs’ niece, Naomi, escaped from the sect at age 13. The Dr. Phil cameras stay with her every step of the way as she tries to get past police check points, desperate to find the sisters she left behind 16 years ago. And, Naomi meets Carolyn Jessop, another woman who was married to the second-in-command at Warren Jeffs’ organization but escaped the FLDS religious group. Will Naomi’s search finally reunite her with the loved ones she left behind?
By Carolyn Jessop
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