Netflix is about to deliver a story surrounding one of the world’s most dangerous, yet under-talked-about cult leaders, Warren Jeffs. Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey will pull the curtain back on the man who picked up the torch from his father, Rulon Jeffs, and continued a horrifying offshoot of the Mormon religion. Hearing firsthand from the people it affected the most, including members of the cult and women who were forced to marry during their teenage years, a trailer for the upcoming documentary series promises to tell Jeffs’ story as it’s never been told before.
Pulling the basis for his religion from Mormon beliefs, Rulon Jeffs aka Uncle Rulon, began his own Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1986. During his time as the church’s president, Jeffs would bring back the rules of polygamy that so many Mormons pushed aside years ago. One of his marriages would give him his son, Warren, who would take over the church after Rulon passed in 2002. Upon Warren’s takeover, he preached the same messages as his father, continuing the tradition of marrying countless women and fathering an unimaginable amount of children.
Known by his followers as the one true prophet, the trailer for Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey reveals Jeffs’ rise to the top as he follows in his father’s footsteps for total power and domination. Taking audiences step by step through what they were raised to believe, those interviewed in the documentary will leave no stone unturned as they describe the world they grew up in. Using cult-like mentalities such as panic and scapegoating to keep his followers close to him, the documentary will follow the unfolding madness and chaos that led to Jeffs’ ultimate arrest. The absolutely bonkers part is that Jeffs still has a slew of followers who have bound themselves to him, continuing to praise him while he’s confined behind prison bars.
The series is helmed by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, Rachel Dretzin (Who Killed Malcolm X, Hope & Fury: MLK, the Movement and the Media) with Grace McNally co-directing and producing. Executive producers include Dretzin, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Miura Kite, Zachary Herrmann, and Alison Dammann.
As someone who’s obsessed with true-crime and cult-centered books, podcasts, and documentaries, Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey looks like it will totally deliver and then some. Giving the voices back to the victims and allowing them to tell their stories paired with an unbelievable tale about one man’s insane ego that led to life-destroying consequences is the makings of a well-informed and heartfelt production. Check out the full trailer below and mark June 8 on your calendar to log into Netflix and watch Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey.