Everyone loves a good juicy true crime story, and thankfully, Netflix makes plenty of documentaries about them. One of the latest that the streaming service is releasing is Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey, which arrives today as a four part docu-series, and it sounds like it’s going to be another enthralling watch.
Keep Sweet focuses on the world of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints, an offshoot of the wider Mormon religion that practices more extreme beliefs. Designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre for its views on women, racial minorities and the LGBT community, the group is run buy Warren Jeffs, the FLDS’ cultish leader and self proclaimed prophet. During his time as leader, the group incured several criminal cases and charges, and became hugely controversial.
The radical sect, based in Hildale, Utah, believes in and approves of polygamous relationships, with Jeffs himself apparently having close to 80 wives, with a quarter of those under consensual age. While the docuseries examines and explores his rise to power and how he maintained it, it also strives to let Jeff’s victims tell their story and alert the world to similar abuses. Treated purely as wives and the mothers of Jeffs’ children, the women in the group had almost no education skills or support to navigate the world after managing to escape.
In the end, after being put on the FBI Most Wanted list, and all of his crimes and abuses of power, Jeffs was arrested and convicted on the charge of sexually assaulting two children under the age of consent, and was then sentenced 45 years in prison. The main Mormon church, the Church of Latter-day Saints, have also publicly denounced the group’s beliefs, in particular their claim that polygamous relationships are approved of rather than blasphemous.