Polygamist prophent Warren Jeffs controlling sect from behind bars

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Natalie Flanzer By Natalie Flanzer

Colorado City, Ariz -- It has been six months since polygamous prophet Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in a Texas prison for sexually assaulting underage girls. 

Now, six months down the road, it's clear Jeffs continues to pull the strings, call the shots and rule with an iron fist in the twin border towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz.

In recent weeks, Jeffs has issued, from behind bars, a series of harsh and punitive edicts aimed his faithful followers -- forbidding sex, forbidding most forms of children's play, demanding more money and demanding that each and every man, woman and child undergo bizarre "worthiness tests." 

Those who fail are being booted out of the community. 

According to unnamed sources, 1,000 to 2,000 people have been affected by this latest purge -- with the net effect being lives ruined and families torn apart.

As he has so often in the past, Jeffs is also predicting the end of the world. But this time he is laying out his "fire and brimstone" in mass-mailers being sent to leaders throughout the country. 

Jeffs' Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) church is also spending a lot of money these days on major newspaper ads predicting doom and destruction from New York to Vancouver.

With all that as the setting, 3TV recently returned to the Arizona Strip where we were promptly dragged into the town's new gladiator sport--young men and boys racing and circling outsiders in pick-up trucks.

Private investigator and author Sam Brower calls it "the most lawless town in America," and it is hard to disagree.