Oprah Goes Inside the Yearning for Zion Polygamist Ranch
CHICAGO — On Monday, March 30, Oprah goes inside the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas. Oprah talks with children, teens and parents directly affected by last year's infamous raid.
During this special hour, viewers will get an unprecedented look at what life is like behind the gates of the YFZ Ranch, including extraordinary access to the inner workings of the ranch, which until now, has been completely off-limits to outsiders.
Oprah addresses the reports claiming investigators found beds inside the YFZ Ranch's giant limestone temple, suggesting they were used to consummate underage marriages. Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) spokespeople have always denied this. Oprah asks Willie Jessop, "So you're saying ... there were beds in the temple, but they were for the groundskeepers?" Jessop says they were either for that or for worship. "But there's no religious ceremony that involves sex in any temple that I'm aware of or affiliated with."
Betty Jessop was 14 when her mother, Carolyn, escaped from the sect with her eight children. When Betty turned 18, she left her mother and siblings behind and moved to the YFZ Ranch. Oprah asks Betty, one of the few people who has returned to the FLDS after living on the outside, "Does this feel like a cult to you?"
Members of the Yearning for Zion community share a homemade dinner with Oprah. In a candid conversation, ranch members speak openly about their polygamist lifestyle and their imprisoned prophet, Warren Jeffs.
Our cameras also provide an intimate look at ranch life following one family—Richard and the three mothers of his nine children—through its daily rituals. Plus, the women of the ranch participate in a hair-styling demonstration and explain the nuances and reasoning behind the hairstyles that have fascinated the outside world.
The Oprah Winfrey Show has remained the number one talk show for 22 consecutive seasons, winning every sweep since its debut in 1986.** It is produced in Chicago by Harpo Productions, Inc. and syndicated to 214 domestic stations by CBS Television Distribution Group and to 145 countries by CBS Paramount International Television.
**Nielsen Cassandra Ranking Report - Nov'86 to July '99 and Wrap Sweeps, Nov '99 to July '08. Primary Telecasts Only.