Dateline   |  September 14, 2013

Unbreakable, Part 5

Rulon Jeffs dies and his son Warren officially becomes the prophet and clashes with Rebecca after she refuses to remarry.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it was huge, the funeral. like burying short creek's version of the pope, or more so. because the prophet rulon, dead at 92, was supposed to be immortal and welcome the second coming of christ.

>> the shock when he actually did die. i remember thinking, no, that can't be. that doesn't fit into what we've been told. and if we had enough faith, then he would live that long and he would be made young again. and so it was because of our lack of faith that this man that was in his 90s died. and that was when warren made his move.

>> he just stepped into the vacancy and said that's me now.

>> he did it suddenly but aggressively.

>> by the time uncle rulon died, his son warren jeffs was untouchable. in short was officially declared prophet of the flds.

>> he proceeded to kick any threats out of the church. he held a meeting and immediately kicked out 21 men who were threats to his authority.

>> the only men that become gods in the eternal world are those that live plural marriage properly.

>> reb andrew who said he suffered beatings at the hands of head master warren jeffs ? he knew several members of the church were getting the adult version.

>> in some cases a man would go to work in the morning and come back that be evening and all his personal stuff is put out on the front yard of the house, and his wife is remarried.

>> in one day.

>> in one day while he's gone to work. no trial. no explaining yourself. they made a decision.

>> rapidly short creek changed. paranoia wormed its way through the commune.

>> warren is not a stupid man. i think that's what is so dangerous about him. he made sure every single person had just enough dirt on them to keep them uncomfortable, and that is what allowed all that to flourish.

>> rebecca was 26 by then, a widow, and she believed vulnerable.

>> i no longer had a layer of protection from the prophet, and warren had absolute say. for me it was scary.

>> what were you afraid of?

>> my biggest fear was that he would force us to remarry to anybody. especially him.

>> sure enough warren spent little time arranging for weddings for dozens of the prophet's widows.

>> and when he did start to marry the wives off it was like a locomotive out of control. i would realize, yep, another one married him. it was very, very troubling. it felt just like being sent to auction.

>> rebecca , perhaps the prettiest of all the prophet's wives, but no friend of warren, feared she would be next.

>> i was very concerned about marrying warren. i had seen the way he had treated his wives and his family. and i knew that even the little freedoms that i had would be taken.

>> and then one day rebecca and a young man named ben, also a member of the flds were hiking in the hills of short creek. since rulon's death the two had grown close. the trouble was, someone saw them kissing and told warren jeffs , and once again, she said, she was called into his disapproving presence.

>> and then he said, i detect the seeds of apostsy in you. and that in the flds culture by far one of the worst acts. that's next to murder.

>> and then the new prophet issued the order, the one rebecca dreaded.

>> you will be married one week from now. and i begged him. i said, "please don't do this to me." and he said, "you know that's what god wants." and i said "no i don't." and he pointed his finger at me and said "i will break you".

>> and maybe only now in retrospect does the moment come into focus. the years of animosity, of building tension between rebecca and warren jeffs . had