What Happened to FLDS Followers and the Yearning for Zion Ranch?

Season 5 Episode 416
Aired on 03/22/2015 | CC
When The Oprah Winfrey Show was granted unprecedented access to the Yearning for Zion (YFZ) Ranch, home to the most devout members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), in 2009, Oprah met Richard, his three wives and their nine children. She also sat down with a group of second-graders, teenage girls and women in the community.

Six years later, Willie Jessop, a former FLDS spokesman who publicly denounced the church in 2011, reveals what happened to the YFZ Ranch after FLDS leader Warren Jeffs was convicted of the sexual assault of two young girls. "The government went in and basically declared that it was being used for criminal enterprise and, therefore, they have seized it," Willie says. "There's no FLDS living there at all."

Richard, his wives and children have been separated, Willie says, and Richard was excommunicated by Jeffs. Willie says he's also faced tremendous retaliation from FLDS leaders. "They tried taking my family away from me. They expelled all my children out of the schools," he says.

Watch as Willie shares how he lost his mother, father, brothers and sisters after speaking out against Jeffs.

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