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Pray and obey’ • Salt Lake Magazine

Latest FX Series Under the Banner of Heaven went live, and if you want to learn more about the world of fundamentalist Mormonism, Netflix has released a new documentary series. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey.

A new Netflix docu-series about the fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) starts with people already fed up. They were members of the FLDS in the Short Creek area (an FLDS settlement on the Utah-Arizona border, covering the cities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona), and now tell stories of one atrocity-too-far, which, finally, prompted them to leave the faith and the community they had known all their lives. For some, that catalyst was that FLDS leader Warren Jeffs forced young girls into underage marriage or his severe restrictions on daily activities, appearance and even gun ownership. For many, they saw giving up their faith as a choice between personal integrity or their eternal salvation…and they chose integrity.

“They make you live in fear all the time.”

Ruby Jessop, who escaped from the FLDS

This is an unsolvable dilemma, illustrated by the last lines of Jon Krakauer. Under the Banner of Heaven (the book on which the TV show is based), spoken by DeLoy Bateman, who decided to leave the FLDS after he lost his faith: “If you want to know the truth, I think the people in religion are the people who live here in Colorado City, probably generally happier than the people outside. But there are things in life more important than happiness. Like being free to think for yourself.”

The Netflix documentary series takes a multi-pronged approach, telling the broad story of Jeff’s impact, speaking both to former FLDS members who lived through his reign as a prophet to provide insight and emotion, and to law enforcement, journalists and other outsiders to provide a point view, context and details of their investigations into the Jeffs crimes. Sam Brower, who wrote one of the final works on Warren Jeffs, Prophet’s lootgives an interview for Keep Sweet: Pray and Obeystating that at one time, “Without a doubt, Short Creek was the most lawless city in America.”

The four-episode series serves as a timeline of Jeffs’ increasingly nefarious activities as he plots to seize more and more control of the community, as well as his eventual criminal charges, arrest evasion and criminal trial, interspersed with the devastating pictures described by those subjects. to Jeffs’ cruelty.

Ruby Jessop and Elissa Wall, aged 14 at the time, huddled together in a motel room in Caliente, Nevada, where they were waiting to marry older men. The two girls thought about running away, but in the end, they submitted to the will of their prophet.

“They make you live in fear all the time,” Ruby explains.

“It wasn’t just me. Not only my salvation hung in the balance. It was also because of my mother,” says Elissa about why she went through it. Ruby later fled the FLDS, sparking a criminal investigation against Jeffs, and Elissa was instrumental in Jeff’s eventual conviction.

The series of papers concludes with a polished, well-written introduction and overview of events and life in the FLDS under Warren Jeffs, but even those familiar with the story can find edification in the stories of personal, survival stories. and how to learn to live again after trauma and tragedy. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey it is also an opportunity to meet and learn more about some of the figures in Krakauer’s novel. Under the Banner of Heavenlike Ruby Jessop.

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey has since reached top ten tv shows on Netflix and all four parts are currently available for streaming.


Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is a four-episode true crime docu-series currently streaming on Netflix.
Keep Sweet Pray and Obey is a four-episode true crime documentary series currently streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

In 2008, the dramatic raid on the Longing for Zion Ranch in West Texas garnered worldwide attention as law enforcement uncovered overwhelming evidence of sexual, physical and psychological abuse and took more than 400 children into custody. Keep Sweet: Pray and ObeyDirected by Emmy and Peabody award-winning director Rachel Dretzin, the film gives viewers a comprehensive look at the secret polygamous sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) and the rise of self-proclaimed prophet Warren Jeffs. . The four-part documentary series features never-before-seen archival footage and heartbreaking personal stories of some of the brave women and men who managed to escape. From forced underage marriage and pregnancy to the full exposure of a repressive crime cult under the rule of Warren Jeffs, the story reveals extraordinary courage in the fight against tyrannical control in modern America.

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is a member of Ark Media Production; Directed by Rachel Dretzin (Who Killed Malcolm X, Far from the Tree). Executive producers include Jeff Skoll, Diane Weiermann, Miura Kite, Zachary Herrmann, Rachel Dretzin and Alison Dammann. Grace McNally serves as co-director and producer.


Salt Lake magazine also reviewed Under the Banner of Heaven and FLDS documentaries preaching evil on Paramount and Keep Sweet on Discovery Plus.

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