It is with a heavy heart that we grieve the death of Roy Jeffs, son and victim of the infamous leader of the FLDS cult, Warren Jeffs.
Roy’s first memory was of being sexually abused by his own father and then punished by his father for the sins of his father for the rest of his life. Last Wednesday, the pain became too great and Roy allegedly took his own life. He was just twenty-five years old and only five years free of the cult.
Roy was one of the first members of the Jeffs family to openly speak out about the abuses by his father who, many suspect, sexually abused more of his children than just Roy, Rachel, Becky and at least two other nieces and nephews.
It happened to Roy once but that one time, followed by consistent abuse for being the victim, was enough. Warren Jeffs was a master at twisting minds. He knew exactly how to convince an innocent, impressionable, desperate tiny child that they had, in fact, molested him because they sinfully desired to do so and not the other way round.
‘You should never do this’ Warren told three-year-old Roy.
Then he did what should never be done.
That ‘mind fuck’ haunted Roy the rest of his short life. Warren’s emotional and spiritual torture of his son/victim was active, aggressive and on-going.
Like so many others in the FLDS, Warren punished Roy by separating him from his birth mother, his other mothers (Warren’s sister wives) and his many sisters and brothers. He was ‘the bad boy’ always on the outside.
For Roy, this began years of being hidden away, shuttled between FLDS strongholds in Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas. This technique of isolating his victims from each other and the FLDS flock, ostensibly for periods of punishment and repentance for sins (exaggerated or imagined), was one Warren Jeffs perpetrated more and more from gaol after his 2011 conviction.
Employed in FLDS-owned construction businesses, men like Roy found themselves working twenty-two hour days against impossible deadlines. When the deadlines were unmet, and they were unmet by being humanly impossible, these hard-working men were banished from the cult, their wives and their children by The Prophet. Permanently.
Roy is only the latest victim. Those who seek to leave sometimes find a knotted rope left in their home by the FLDS leadership, a silent encouragement towards suicide because escaping the cult is nigh on impossible.
Warren Jeffs is the kind of murderer who never lifts a finger. Never wields a gun or a knife. Never scrubs blood from beneath his fingernails. Yet he kills.
Roy was murdered by Warren Jeffs as surely as if his father, his own father, had wrung the life from his body with his own two hands. It was the slow kill. The molestation happened once but, in a way, it was repeated daily. By blaming the victim, the wound was kept fresh and open, salt rubbed in daily.
Even the joys of the outside world couldn’t compete with the cult abuse so ingrained in Roy’s brain that even when he was enjoying the forbidden pleasure of his favourite movie, Fast and Furious 6, the pain was still there. Temporarily drowned out but still roaring in the background.
Rest in Peace, Roy Jeffs. You were a good man. A fine man. You had nothing to be ashamed of. Your life was a kind of living horror. You deserved so much better. Nothing was your fault.
Rest now, in your Heavenly Father’s loving arms and discover the warm, tender, caring, compassionate God your earthly sperm donor denied you from knowing. He claimed to be The Prophet of God when he was evil and wicked to the core.
Rest, Roy, free from all suffering, all pain, with every tear wiped from your eyes.