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Casey Anthony`s New Legal Maze; Warren Jeffs Courtroom Drama
Aired August 5, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
Casey Anthony`s in a new legal maze. The judge calls it a mess. Is she finally getting what you want coming to her?
And get this -- Warren Jeffs has 79 wives. And who knows how many kids? Is he a husband, father, dictator, or the devil?
Let`s go figure it out.
So Warren Jeffs is guilty of raping two girls. Apparently, that`s nothing compared to what prosecutors are presenting in the penalty phase of his trial.
He allegedly performed many underage marriages, some of them forced. And Jeffs apparently ordered wives and children from one family to another, doing what`s called a reassignment, as he saw fit. Now, believe it or not, some of the victims -- yes, the victims -- did not have a clue that any of this was inappropriate or wrong. Imagine that.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELISSA WALL, FMR. FLDS MEMBER: I didn`t realize that I had been victimized. I didn`t realize that what had happened to me was wrong until I was told that by a police officer who looked me in the eye and said, "Do you realize what happened was wrong?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: They`re in a closed system where abuse and submitting to abuse is what gets you to heaven.
Then I had Mackenzie Phillips on that particular show and she really drove the point home. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACKENZIE PHILLIPS, ACTRESS: For me, Drew, coming out with my story and believing that I had consented -- and I was taught by you and by survivors, sexual abuse survivors all over the world, that I had been groomed. I had been looked upon as weak, and by someone who was very strong and very charismatic, and I was groomed to participate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So I want our viewers at home, ladies, women particularly, listen to this very carefully, that Mackenzie`s father, who was bigger- than-life figure, was the prophet in her family. But I know that millions of you have prophets in your own closed family system. That is to say, the average family has people who usurp the power and exploit others, and the victims feel responsible for it.
You must forgive yourself. You must ask for help. There`s lots of people either you know or you yourself that experienced this kind of thing.
And, of course, not uncommon among victims of abuse. They don`t think anything is wrong. In fact, they blame themselves. It`s not until you pierce that shell, and that is exactly what the jury did by finding Warren Jeffs guilty.
Now, we`re going to get into that in great detail later on in the show, but first we`re going to do a little Casey Anthony here.
Where is Casey Anthony? Not in Orlando. Will she have to serve a year of supervised probation? No answer to that question yet.
Yet -- and this, even after an emergency hearing on the matter today - - lawyers on both sides were fighting it out in court. Of course, Casey wasn`t there. But it was the usual suspects, all the guys we`re used to seeing in the court, even Judge Belvin Perry. And he says her latest legal drama is a mess.
Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We still don`t know if Casey Anthony will have to serve probation. It`s all stemming from Casey`s guilty plea to stealing checks from her friend Amy Huizenga.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During the time that Caylee was missing, she started writing out checks to Winn-Dixie, Target, and bought a lot of items.
CASEY ANTHONY, DEFENDANT: I`m sorry for what I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I sentence Ms. Anthony to time served, followed by one year of supervised probation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defense says, hey, she served behind bars, done deal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a vindictive sentence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Judge Belvin Perry, he said that Casey apparently served probation in jail, but that was a mistake.
JUDGE BELVIN PERRY, ORANGE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: If anything could go wrong, it went wrong here.
PINSKY: I should say so. It is a mess, all right. Not even Judge Perry knows if Casey should serve probation for stealing and writing Amy Huizenga.
And is Casey really in Ohio? Was she shopping, going to therapy? We heard that. The drama goes on.
Let m e get to my guests: Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of HLN`s "ISSUES"; senior producer from "In Session," Michael Christian; and consultant for the Casey Anthony defense team, Jennifer Barringer.
Let`s talk about what happened in court today, Jane. The judge, Judge Belvin Perry again, couldn`t sort it out. Can you?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST, "ISSUES": Well, it`s very interesting, Dr. Drew, the same cast of characters from the criminal case. And there`s something that just felt off about it, a little like sour grapes, a little like, oh, we totally overlooked this whole probation issue because we thought in our overconfident way that she was going to the slammer for life, or possibly even death. And this probation issue was moot because, well, she`s never going to see the light of day.
And guess what? She was found not guilty and she did see the light of day. And now it has come to bite them. And they`re in the very sort of embarrassing position of trying to get her to do probation, even though the defense says, and argues a very good point, she already served it in jail and got a letter to that effect.
PINSKY: Well, let`s take a look at how this whole mess got started. Take a look at this.
Casey was caught on camera writing hot checks at Target. She used her best friend`s checkbook to buy lingerie, beer, clothing while her 2-year- old daughter Caylee was dead, we now know. The jury never heard about any of this, by the way, in her murder case.
Jennifer, what`s your take? Should she have to serve probation or is she done with all this?
JENNIFER BARRINGER, FMR. MEMBER, ANTHONY DEFENSE TEAM: You know, here`s the thing. Jane is spot on.
Here`s what happened. She did serve the probation. The judge signed an order that now he says was a little bit of a mistake, a boo-boo, if you will. And he signed it, and the Department of Probation went and saw Casey, and she served her one year of probation.
And it`s exactly what Jane said. They didn`t think that any of this would come up because she`d be in jail for the rest of her life. Now she`s not.
And the judge basically said, well, that`s not really what I wanted. I wanted something else.
But the problem here is he signed the order. He could have stopped it there. He gave an oral instruction. He could have made that more clear.
The Department of Probation said that they went and she served her time. And it`s done, as far as I`m concerned. It`s definitely a double jeopardy issue.
PINSKY: But, oops, the court didn`t think about that when they had the previous trial under way.
And again, more vortex from Casey. I suspect given -- even in her innocence -- even the fact of having been acquitted, still vortexes in her life. More to be revealed, I`m sure, with her.
Earlier in the week, TMZ reported that Casey Anthony wants to get therapy. Now, by the way, if that`s true, maybe less vortex. I don`t know if I believe it.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE WALTERS, TMZ: We are told she is going to go into a rehab facility to seek professional treatment not only for the fact that she was in a 4 x 9 cell for three years, 23 hours a day. That would screw with anybody`s head. But she also obviously acted very bizarrely when this whole thing was going on and her daughter was missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right, Michael. Where and when is she going to go to treatment of some kind?
MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, SR. PRODUCER, "IN SESSION": You know, we just don`t know that, Dr. Drew.
The stay-hold on this motion, this emergency motion on whether she has to report for probation or not, is still in effect. Because Judge Perry didn`t make a decision today doesn`t mean that she has to report for probation at this point. So the stay is still in effect.
At this point, we are expecting a decision from Judge Perry to come down no earlier than, let`s say, next Wednesday, possibly Thursday. Definitely not Monday, probably not Tuesday. So until that happens, we won`t know.
And here`s another option. Let`s say that Judge Perry decides that Judge Strickland was correct in his order and that she should go to probation. Well, the defense is almost certainly going to appeal that.
They can take it to the Fifth District Court in Daytona, Florida. And it`s possible that Judge Perry could continue the stay as this was being appealed up the food chain. So there`s no guarantee that she`s going to be coming to probation anytime soon, even if Judge Perry determines that ultimately she should.
PINSKY: Well, fantastic. More of our tax dollars being consumed -- or at least Florida tax dollars being consumed by Casey Anthony. That`s good news. Great. Fantastic.
PINSKY: Thank you to my panel.
Next, Warren Jeffs created another scene in court today. And he might be pulling the strings with his followers who are watching from afar, and that in a very dangerous way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: There will be new, additional, more overwhelming evidence about the act of Warren Jeffs, his past bad conduct, all the things that he did at the ranch that I think that the jurors will find very repulsive. And I think it will confirm in their minds why they convicted the man and why they want to put him behind bars for a long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Tonight, breaking news. The trial for polygamist leader Warren Jeffs enters the penalty phase.
Jeffs is facing 99 years in prison after being found guilty of raping two girls age 12 and 14. Jeffs` victims did not testify in the trial because they feared for their lives. They are no 16 and 21.
The prosecutor said today Jeffs has -- get this -- 79 wives -- busy boy -- 24 of them celestially married when they were just young teenagers.
Jeffs` bizarre courtroom behavior continued today. He no longer wants to be present in the courtroom, so after creating a big scene, he was removed and is now sitting in another room. And an attorney has taken over for him.
Straight to my guests. I have attorney Loni Coombs here in the studio with me tonight. As well, we`ve got Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Greg, thank you so much for joining us.
The guilty verdict is in, but we`re learning that -- I have a ton of questions for you. Let me ask you one question first. Were you a driving force behind getting this case going?
ABBOTT: Well, I was. What happened when we learned about what was going on at the YFZ ranch, I was able to organization a taskforce within our office that went out there.
We cooperated with the Texas Rangers, as well as other investigative authorities, and uncovered all the evidence that led not only to the convictions that we obtained yesterday against Warren Jeffs, but also the convictions of seven other men who were operating at the FLDS YFZ compound just south of San Angelo. Also, as you probably know, we have even more men who are under indictment who are awaiting trial.
So, yes, our team has been the one that coordinated and prosecuted all of these cases. And I want to tip my hat to our team for doing such a great job in getting this conviction. But we still have a long way to go to ensure justice for all the victims out there at the YFZ compound.
LONI COOMBS, ATTORNEY: Mr. Abbott, we all tip our hats to you. We think you have done a great job.
Why do you think you were able to do this and the attorneys general in both Utah and Arizona have not been able to get anywhere near close to the success that you have been able to achieve?
ABBOTT: It could be because we had access to a lot more evidence. When the outcry came from within this compound that allowed the investigation to take place at the compound, we were able to uncover so much evidence.
I heard one report that there were literally a billion documents that we were able to uncover that provided details about the history not only of the crimes that were committed by Warren Jeffs, but of the other men in this compound. And then, on top of that, when Warren Jeffs was arrested, there was evidence that was uncovered in his Escalade that he was riding in at that time.
Being able to put all of that information together, which including the tape recordings of the rape of this 12-year-old girl, and the tape recordings that were played in the courtroom that the jury heard, all of this is new evidence that other prosecutors did not have access to previously. And I think all these pieces of evidence, for one, helped us put the case together, but another, helped us to convince the jury that Warrens Jeffs was guilty.
I might add one third piece, and that is that when we were able to go into the compound and deal with these children, as well as the adults, we were able to obtain DNA evidence that proved that Warren Jeffs was the father of the child born to the 15-year-old girl who was 14 when Warren Jeffs sexually assaulted her.
PINSKY: Right. I get it. Slam-dunk. It`s disgusting. It`s dramatic.
I have a question for you. Our public funds are supporting this organization. Is anything going to be done about that?
Apparently, a lot of these women, let me explain to the viewers, are sort of seen in the eyes of the state as single mothers because the celestial marriages aren`t acknowledged. And therefore, these husbands don`t have to deal with supporting their families.
What about our public funds? We`re supporting a disgusting operation. What`s that all about?
ABBOTT: Well, the approach, that actually comes from several different angles.
One is, that to the extent that any public funds are used to support these children and women, those would be -- I presume you`re talking about federal funds such as welfare, things like that. We would have to be looking in part to these fathers to pay for some of that. That`s one thing that we do through child support.
But another completely different angle that was under the works a couple of years ago and needs to be perpetuated is an investigation that was initiated by the United States Congress that looks into the FLDS. There are some reports showing that they have millions, maybe even approaching $100 million in resources that needs to be looked into.
PINSKY: Hey, Greg, I`m sorry to keep interrupting you, but I have a million questions for you and I have limited time. Is there a specific congressman we should go to? Because I`d like to interview that gentleman or lady, whoever it happens to be. Is there someone in particular we should talk to?
ABBOTT: Harry Reid was the person who I think initially --
PINSKY: Harry Reid. Fantastic.
Loni has a question for you.
COOMBS: Mr. Abbott, like you said, right now it`s very crucial what we do going forward.
A group just came out called the Principle Rights Coalition, which is essentially a number of polygamist groups who came out with this statement today and said what Warren Jeffs does is abhorrent, we`re so glad to see the conviction. And yet, there is still a lot of allegations that there are other polygamist groups that have the same type of child abuse going on.
How are you going to be able to go into these other groups and somehow make things more open and transparent so these prosecutions after the child abuse can continue on instead of just turning our backs and saying, oh, they`re just a polygamous group, they`re fine, we`re not going to worry about that? And how do you feel about decriminalizing polygamy as a possible way to really open up and break this secret wide open so that we can really make sure that there aren`t other people doing the same things as Warren Jeffs?
ABBOTT: I think with the convictions against Warren Jeffs and the other seven men who`ve been prosecuted, this has already been busted wide open. The curtain has been pulled down. Their activities have been unveiled. And I think that it`s a wide-open book for people across the country to explore.
There will be further investigations of prosecutions of similar activities across the country, some here in Texas, some in Colorado, some in Arizona, some in Utah, and other places across the United States. And I think that by these convictions, it is going to stimulate and activate other investigators and prosecutors across the country to make sure that if there are any other children victims out there, we need to follow all leads that we can have access to and prosecute all wrongdoers.
PINSKY: And I want so say to you very clearly that we got ahead of steam here about this topic and we`re asking tough questions. You are my here. You are my hero today.
ABBOTT: Well, thank you.
PINSKY: And I want to thank you for what you`ve done here. I mean, these questions are because we want to know, how do we go forward with this? How do we make sure we don`t divert our attention from this? And how do we continue to go after this?
COOMBS: And get other attorneys general to be just as aggressive as you have been.
I`ve got one of our guests who was a former polygamist sect member. She said something very troubling on the show. I think it was just yesterday. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURIE ALLEN, FMR. FLDS MEMBER: If a woman is being beaten, or her daughter`s being raped, if she calls the police in that town, the police is FLDS. And he follows the orders of the prophet, not of the state. So that woman is reported to her husband and her sister wives and is even more abused than she was abused before she made the call to the police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So, Mr. Abbott, this is just the last question to you, which is they`re such closed systems. And this is what prompted Loni`s question, too. Do you think it`s true that the actual law enforcement within these communities are also FLDS members? And do we need to infiltrate this in some way with law enforcement?
ABBOTT: Well, there`ve been allegations that have been raised across the country about an interconnection between the FLDS and local law enforcement officials, some of which are untrue, some which have a ring of truth to them.
When the FLDS came to Texas, they located in a sparsely-populated area. And we heard some allegations that the reason they did so is so their members could be able to take control of the country law enforcement operations, elect their own law enforcement officers out there.
We never saw that come to fruition, because the investigations occurred early on once they relocated here. But that is the important role that a statewide official can play so that the local law enforcement officials can`t taint the operation.
It`s important for both statewide and federal authorities to get involved in this so that we can root out any criminal operations, whether they be sexual assault, financial criminal operations, or any other criminal activity so that we can ensure that children are safe, families are safe, and no law breaking is taking place.
PINSKY: Well, Mr. Abbott, thank you again. Three huzzahs to you. Well done. Well done.
ABBOTT: Thank you very much.
PINSKY: Loni, thank you for coming in today.
So many of you have expressed concern for the thousands of FLDS women and children, and particularly those that are left behind. I will answer your questions after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABBOTT: We`re very pleased with the jury`s verdict. I think the jury`s verdict sends a clear message across the state of Texas and across the United States that if someone comes to this state and sexually assaults a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old, you`re going to be found guilty and you`re going to be put behind bars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And that is my hero, the Texas attorney general, with some very strong words for Warren Jeffs after he was found guilty of child rape. Huzzah!
But many of you are continuing to wonder about the women and children that are left behind. So let`s get to the phones.
This is Ame in Tennessee.
You`re up first, Ame. What`s going on?
AME, TENNESSEE: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Amy.
AME: I don`t understand how the mothers of these children, these little girls, are not in prison right next to Warren Jeffs. At what point doesn`t a mother`s instinct kick in? How does a mother who has these children raise these babies, allow that to happen to their little girls? As a mother, I cannot wrap my head around it. How do they do that?
PINSKY: You know, it is mind-bending to think about that. You are absolutely right.
And it really goes to two things, which is the degree to which these women are coerced and the degree to which the mind control they are subjected to overrules all of their instincts and judgments. But as you heard, the attorney general is looking into all of these issues, and he is not taking his eye off the ball, I hope.
Today he`s my hero. I hope he remains my hero for quite some time to come, because a lot of work to be done here.
And I think all of us, as you heard him say, need to contact the legislators in these vicinities because they might be able to do something. I know I`m planning to do that.
Let`s go to Facebook. Julie writes, "I hope the judge can mandate that Jeffs no longer has contact with FLDS people. In actuality, most of them are his victims."
That is so true. And that is one of my grave concerns.
We`re going to be talking later in the show about how he exerts his control, how he could exert control in a dangerous fashion to the entire community. We`re going to dedicate much of the show to follow about this issue and what can be done about it.
Back now to the phones, Elaine in North Carolina.
ELAINE, NORTH CAROLINA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Elaine.
ELAINE: First, I would like to say that I absolutely love your show.
PINSKY: Thank you.
ELAINE: I have a quick question.
ELAINE: What do you think we can do with citizens to stop these despicable crimes on our children? I am appalled that it has taken so long to bring down Jeffs.
PINSKY: You know, you make me sad just hearing your question. And let me just say I agree with you. I share that outrage.
We`re getting to it now. We`ve got our eye on the ball a bit. But something I said earlier in the show that I want to remind people about again is that abuse of children is, in my opinion, one of the big problems of our time.
And it happens in seemingly normal families. It happens in communities that don`t look so normal to us. But it`s the same phenomenon, and it has got to be addressed. We cannot turn our head away.
And this notion that, oh, it`s always been going on like this, nonsense. We live in a time of epidemic of this stuff, and it has got to stop.
Jaylene on Facebook writes, "I live in Utah, and every time the FLDS women come into a store, they use food stamps, despite the fact they drive new trucks and have huge homes. What is going on here?"
That`s what I want to know. That`s what I asked the attorney general about. We`ve got to do something about that, and I plan to contact legislators about this, because that`s your federal tax dollars going to support child abuse. I`ve got to deal with it, and I`m going to call legislators about this particular issue.
And next -- excuse me. I get excited about this one. Are the FLDS women and children following the case of the leader from inside the compound? Do they even know about it? Do they care?
Shocking answers after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): Warren Jeffs guilty of child sexual assault.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He went from prophet to rapist in a matter of ten seconds.
PINSKY: But the most shocking revelations lie ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You ain`t seen nothing yet.
PINSKY: As Jeffs litany of abuse unravels what other horrors will surface. Will this crack in the dam become a tidal wave?
Plus, Jeffs` loyalist speak out. Conspiracy theories, talk on a second coming, streets pave with gold and more. Will the puppet master pull the strings from jail inciting fear and obedience? Most importantly, what`s next for the women and kids at the Yearning for Zion compound? Are they yearning for release?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): And tonight, we may see the Warren Jeffs guilty verdict as a victory, but what do his followers see? It doesn`t seem like they see it as a victory, certainly. According to a new shocking new report in the "Daily Beast," Jeffs has members of his church believing that it is their sins that put him behind bars. He`s reportedly banned everyone from watching the news or surfing the internet.
And one of Jeffs` brothers tells the "Daily Beast," people are trembling in fear because any member reading about, quote, "Uncle Warren" will be excommunicated. Jeffs is still, somehow, ruling these people from jail. Telling them to prepare, while he`s ruling them, he`s telling them this. Prepare for the, quote, "destruction when the earth will go up in flames." And of course, the judge has to get sick in there, too. He`s put a pox on her.
Now, will Jeffs continue to victimize women and children from behind bars? Straight to my guest, former FLDS member, Flora Jessop, joins us, also Laurie Allen who`s a former member of a different polygamous sect, and "Daily Beast" reporter, Carol McKinley. She is here. Carol, Warren Jeffs behind bars, is he still just as dangerous and powerful over these people?
CAROL MCKINLEY, REPORTER, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, there are folks who`ve been inside recently who tell me that he will become a martyr and that he`ll still hold power over them because he`ll be kind of more like an image just like gods in image. They won`t be able to touch or hear him, but now that he`s fallen on his sword for them, they believe in him even more, because he sacrificed. And so, there are folks who believe that he`ll still rule from jail, but yet, his younger brother, Lyle, will step in and be the face of the prophet for them from now on.
PINSKY: Now, who is the second in command at the FLDS? Who is bringing back the orders from jail? Listen to this bizarre phone call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN JEFFS, POLYGAMOUS SECT LEADER: Dear brothers and sisters, let there be dissension. I`m not the prophet. I never was the prophet. And I have been deceived by the powers of evil.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Flora, to you. Carol just said it was his brother acting as Jeffs` mouthpiece while he is locked up. Are you aware of that?
FLORA JESSOP, FMR. FLDS MEMBER: Oh, yes. We`ve been aware of that for some time now. One of the interesting things is that in order to transfer the power of prophecy on, there must be a laying on of hands. And so far, Warren Jeffs has not been able to make that happen with his brother, Lyle. So, we`re not sure how they`re going to account for that little misstep in doctrine, but it`s interesting.
PINSKY: I guess interesting is the kindest word you could say. Another FLDS man told the "Beast" that the audiotapes, you know, these audiotapes we`ve heard of Jeffs having sex with a 12-year-old girl, he told the "Beast" that those are, of course, a fake. The article quotes him as saying, quote, "People can make up anything. Remember the moon landing? We never landed on the moon. That was a government conspiracy."
Carol, of course, just like the moon landing, that was a fake, too. What else have you learned about what Jeffs` followers think about the trial?
MCKINLEY: Well, it`s kind of -- Flora probably already knows this. I mean, these people are raised in a bubble, and they don`t really know what`s going on outside. In fact, Warren Jeffs made it even worse. When he knew this trial was going to happen, he banned the internet and all reading of the news. I have a conversation with his brother every once in awhile.
And I`m not -- he has a bunch of brothers, but this one is a brother who he threw out awhile back and took his family away from him and reassigned his family to another woman, and his brother still in short creek this one, and he tells me that there is a security duty which is Jeffs` kind of god squad who drives around the town. There are 90 of them right now, and they are keeping the FLDS people from watching the news.
If they catch anyone on the internet, watching the news, reading a newspaper, they`re excommunicated. So, there`s a huge effort right now to keep the FLDS people in the dark, which they are anyway. I mean, they do think that these tapes are made up, and you can see that. I mean, if there`s heavy breathing on the tape, we`re not seeing who that is. We recognize the voice.
But you`re with the FLDS, you think how are you going to prove that`s our prophet? So, at this point, they`re trying to -- with all their hearts to think that their prophet didn`t do these deeds that are coming out right now. These horrible deeds that we`re hearing about.
PINSKY: And Carol, isn`t Jeffs sort of promising that the world is coming to an end and that they should follow the streets of gold to the second coming? And if that they -- he`s sort of threatening him with things, is he not?
MCKINLEY: He does that a lot. He plays with their heads. He keeps them in fear. He has the keys to heaven, and he keeps them in fear of not going to heaven, and one of the ways he does that is he prophecies destruction. I mean, he sent a 300-page manuscript to President Obama in February saying that he was going to have an earthquake destroy the Earth that started in Illinois, which is Obama`s home state.
Well, you know what, right after that, the earthquake in Japan hit. So, the people hear about these earthquakes and they say, see, might not have been Illinois, but there was an earthquake. Our prophet said it. So, he keeps them on edge all the time. They`re always afraid. And when he says the end of the world is coming, he always says soon. So, no one really knows when it`s going to happen, but he calls them the destructions.
And with the destructions, the FLDS people will be raised above the earth, all of us, the wicked underneath, will die. They`ll be set back down to make their walk to Jackson County, Missouri, which is Zion, which is where they`ll have the second coming of Christ. That`s the plan.
PINSKY: Wow. One thing I want my viewers have gotten to hear about this. We heard from one FLDS churches set up a replica -- listen to this - - of Jeffs` jail cell, complete with a commode, a toilet, and a cardboard cutout of Jeffs. Laurie, can you tell me what do you know about this shrine as they call it that they`re worshipping to?
LAURIE ALLEN, FMR. POLYGAMOUS SECT MEMBER: I haven`t heard about the shrine, not anything except what I`ve heard on TV. But, you know, one thing I`d like to say, Dr. Drew, is decriminalizing polygamy and thinking it`s going to protect the women and children and stop the corruption is like saying decriminalizing bank robbery is going to protect the money in the vault.
The only thing that`s going to stop this is accountability and legislatures and law enforcement doing something about it like their job. These women, for example, there`s no accountability with the welfare. They`re just given a blank check, basically. In most places, children have to be in public schools if they`re receiving benefits but not in Colorado City, not in the FLDS.
They just give them everything they want, and everybody sweeps them to the carpet, and everybody knows about the abuse, and nobody`s doing anything about it because it`s a big job, and everybody just wants to pretend like it`s not happening.
PINSKY: Well, I agree with you. I think we`ve got to go to the legal system and to our legislators. Now, -- and I want to say, now that the prophet is -- so-called prophet is fallen, there are thousands of women and children remaining on these FLDS compounds. Is this finally the beginning of change? Nex,t we`re going to talk to some who escaped, and they`re going to tell their stories.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The source tells me that you ain`t seen nothing yet if you think this trial was gut wrenching and bizarre because they have a lot greater flexibility to introduce a lot more evidence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, we speculated for years, you and I together (ph), how many wives Warren Jeffs has. We don`t know for sure. Well, today, in the beginning of sentencing phase, we finally found out the answer. Prosecutors revealed that they believe Warren Jeffs has 79 wives, one legal wife and then 78 celestial wives. In addition to that more importantly, the prosecutors said 24 of his 79 wives he married when they were under the age of 18.
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PINSKY: Disgusting. The verdict is finally in. The FLDS prophet is guilty, but thousands of women and children are still behind the walls of the FLDS compound where the abuse allegedly continues. We have three incredibly brave women who all escaped the iron fists of Warren Jeffs. What insight can they give us?
Elissa Wall was forced to marry her cousin when she was 14. She got out of the FLDS. Flora Jessop is the author of "Stolen Innocence" and escaped the FLDS as well. Kathy Jo Nicholson also fled the sect. Kathy Jo, I want to go to you. Is anything going on now inside to change the FLDS?
KATHY JO NICHOLSON, FMR FLDS MEMBER: That`s a very good question, Dr. Drew. Nobody seems to know what`s going on on the inside. I have been on the phone all day trying to get someone to go out and make sure that they`re still alive in there. I`m very concerned about the children, and nobody seems to be able to have any legal authority. I`ve tried to talk to the attorney general`s office, CPS, the local sheriff.
My concern is because of the threats that Warren has made and the bizarre behavior talking about your redeemer is coming soon and I`m -- just the whole bizarre behavior. From my previous experience, at the very least, I know that those folks in there are fasting. And I`m talking toddlers from the time you can eat solid food.
You are called to fast and pray when the priesthood is facing adversary. So, my concern is, are those children in there starving? That`s a very good question. I wish someone could answer it for me.
PINSKY: Kathy Jo, every time I talk to someone who`s actually lived inside, I get stunned by a new piece of information. That is just heartbreaking. Do you, yourself, have family members that are still inside that you`re especially concerned about?
NICHOLSON: I am especially concerned for all of the children inside, but yes, my family members are inside. And it is heartbreaking, and I am worried sick. I wish that someone -- I`d like to talk to the attorney general. I think he`s on your program.
NICHOLSON: And I watched him on the news today, and he said that it`s under control. That there is -- it is being -- they`re being surveilled, but I`d like to know now, today, has anyone seen anyone standing inside that community? I`d also very quickly before I forget, I`d like to mention two websites to the public.
The first one is, anybody, please that has information about the inside or wants to get out if you are on the inside or wants to donate to help fund these folks that need to get out of there, please go to this website, and it is defendersofchildren.org. The second one I`d like to mention is closely related to Warren Jeffs and my brother`s death inside the FLDS.
And that website is beyondthereach.com. Warren is a very manipulative person. He`s intelligent, and he dominates this group of people and twists and turns them like puppets, and they are --
PINSKY: Kathy Jo, before -- I understand that. Before I go to the other members of our panel here, I want to point out how profound the mind control is. Somebody actually told me that if you, yourself, had been asked to marry him back when you were inside, you would have enthusiastically done so.
NICHOLSON: I agree 100 percent. When I was there -- well, my own personal feelings about that would have been mixed, because but I don`t know what it was, the demon inside me or something that made me leave, anyway, obviously according to them. But, yes, your parents -- if you were called to marry Warren Jeffs or the prophet before him, it was a blessing and a privilege. Yes. Absolutely.
PINSKY: Wow. It`s just so hard. Imagine, you might have been like 12 or 14 years old when that calling came. It`s just disgusting. Now, we keep hearing breaking news where stories of abuse and sex with children are presented as if there was something new. Well, I have breaking news. Watch this.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jeffs is the leader of a polygamous sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or FLDS. More than 10,000 members live behind walls and gates near the Utah-Arizona border, the secret of community that`s been the subject of criminal investigations for years.
PINSKY: Now, somebody in the control room tell me when was that tape taken? I believe that`s from quite some time ago? Is that -- yes, 2005. 2005 that footage was first aired. And here we are in 2011, shaking our head. How could this happen? Elissa, before I go to you, I want to clarify that you are the author of "Stolen Innocence," not Flora as I`d said in the intro. I apologize for that.
But I want to ask you this, do you think the reason that no one has ever acted to save these women is a reflection of the fact that women are the primary victims in this and there`s no one to take the (INAUDIBLE) of women`s issue, and when you`re appealing to, say, Congressional leaders, they`re men.
ELISSA WALL, AUTHOR, "STOLEN INNOCENCE": I do believe it`s a hard subject. It`s a hard -- it`s hard to have an answer of what to do, really, what to do about the women within these communities, what to do about other victims, the men, the children. And I think Texas has really kind of been that warrior that has started that change for these people within this community.
I believe that it`s hard for anyone to stand up with confidence for justice in such a controversial topic such as the FLDS has been in the past. We`re seeing a lot more people willing to really look at the issues here and really bring light to what is going on within not just the FLDS but many closed communities such as this.
PINSKY: And Elissa, I want to point out -- I talked to you yesterday about something that I really wanted to, again, emphasize, which is that, if you take the word of a victim in a closed system, you`re taking the word of someone who has a distorted view of the world and when they step outside of it will feel quite differently. Can you address that? You mentioned it yesterday.
I brought it up at the beginning of the show. Tell us again about that. If you go to some of these women and say, how are things going? It`s great. I`m married to the prophet. I`m going to heaven. How do we deal with that incongruity as people who are outside?
WALL: That is very true, because a lot of us who do come out of a situation like this, the indoctrination has been from generation to generation. So, it`s very hard for us to really ever get a real perspective of what reality is really like. And, for us, as members within this community, abuse was really not a part of the topic.
It was very much that whatever happened, whether it was abuse or whether it was just a part of daily life, it was at the hands of God, especially if you were to be called to marriage. No matter it was to the prophet or someone he deemed worthy, it was still -- it was a glory from God. It was -- because you are righteous. And that it never enters their minds that it`s possible that it could be wrong.
PINSKY: Wow. it`s So wild to hear you use that language of being called to marriage because it`s a glory from God. It`s just stunning, again. Every time I talk to somebody that`s been inside, it`s just stunning. Now, authorities have known about the abuse of these women and children for decades. We just showed you some footage from 2005. Why has the world taken so little action? I want you to think about it, and we`ll continue this conversation when we get back.
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GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: What was on trial here in San Angelo wasn`t anyone`s faith, wasn`t a church, wasn`t a compound. There was only one thing on trial here in San Angelo, and that was Warren Jeffs and his actions to sexually assault two young girls. Our responsibility is to investigate and prosecute crimes like that and not engage in any kind of religious persecution.
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PINSKY: We are continuing to try to understand what will happen to the thousands of women and children who remain behind at the FLDS. Will the verdict bring change for them? Three women who escaped the FLDS are still with us. Elissa Wall who was forced to marry her cousin when she was just 14. she later escaped. Flora Jessop is the author of "Church of Lies." She got out. And Kathy Jo Nicholson also fled to FLDS.
Flora, for you first, what is the timeframe -- what is the sort of timeframe we have here now in order to effective rescue for these kids? I mean, is there just a window of opportunity now that`s likely to close?
JESSOP: You know, I don`t believe that there`s a limit on the time that we have. I`ve already been getting e-mails and calls from women that have left the polygamous communities across the United States that had their children taken back into the cult and are now begging for help to try and get their children back.
I`m also getting word from the inside that because of this threat that Warren Jeffs put down to Judge Walther about the wasting disease that many, many of the ex-FLDS young ladies that have left that have children are now fearing desperately for the lives of their children because they believe Warren Jeffs has put a curse upon their children, and they`re going to die. So, we`ve just got a lot on our plates right now in trying to calm the fears of those who have left, because putting the prophet in prison is a big deal to these people.
They believe that, you know, it`s one thing to leave, but to put the prophet in jail is devastating to these people, because they believe he is the greatest man on earth. So, we`ve got a lot we`re dealing with right now. And I, like Kathy Jo, am very seriously worried about the health and safety of the children on the inside, because the families will take it out on their children.
These children are being starved in their fasting and praying. And, so, we`ve got some checking we need to do in the next few days to make sure that we have some measures in place to keep these children safe.
PINSKY: Yes. Again, these are always stunning, stunning to talk to you guys. Kathy Jo, I see the emotion on your face. Are you OK?
NICHOLSON: I`m OK. I just -- I want to say that it`s a little -- I appreciate Texas so very much for what they`ve done. And I just want that out there, but I`m trying to -- a good analogy might be that it`s like Warren being put in prison is like the feeling that you might have when you`re nauseated, and then, you throw up, and you feel better for a little while, but then, it comes back.
This is how I feel. I`m very happy and grateful and relieved that he will go to prison, but the nausea will come back. It`s still going on inside. And we need to keep reaching out to these folks. It`s not --
PINSKY: Kathy Jo, I think what you`re describing, Kathy Jo, is how traumatic this whole experience has been for you, and the trauma is still very vivid and very revivifying --
NICHOLSON: Not just --
PINSKY: I know. I know. I get it. It`s for so many women. I understand, and that`s the issue. And you guys need help and support with that. And, maybe, I`m going to talk to you after the program a little bit. We can certainly arrange that for you, and you need lots and lots of support, all you guys.
Thank you so much for being with us. Thank you so much for being willing to reach out and offer support to those left behind. Thanks to all of you at home for watching. We will see you next time.