Jeffs' jail pleasures
Guard: Sex-starved sect leader indulged in self-play 15 times a day
By Sarah Ryley, Wednesday, August 10, 2011
2011 - EL DORADO, Texas -- Warren Jeffs has been keeping busy in jail. According to one of his former jailers, the convicted child rapist masturbated more or less continuously while in custody. Rick Bradley, a guard at the county jail where Jeffs was kept in the weeks prior to his trial, told The Daily that the 55-year-old seemed to be suffering from sexual withdrawal and pleasured himself "a lot." What does that mean, exactly -- five times a day? More, Bradley said. Fifteen times? "Sometimes more than that," he told The Daily. The guard said that the prisoner -- who was not permitted conjugal visits -- often played solo in full view of his guards. "We could see him," Bradley said.
When Jeffs' trial began last month, he was transferred to a facility in the nearby town of San Angelo.
The lurid details of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints leader’s predatory sexual practices were revealed in his trial, which ended in a conviction and a sentence of life plus 20 years. Jeffs had dozens of under-aged wives whom he trained to meet his sexual needs. He also raped a 5-year-old boy, according to court testimony.
But he preached a hard lineagainst masturbation.
One of Jeff's former students, Ezra Draper, testified that the cult leader told him that God was "offended" by masturbation.
Jeffs maintained his vigorous onanistic pace despite barely eating"enough to stay alive," said Bradley. The self-proclaimed messiah rejected the hail's standard meals, choosing too consume only small quantities of bread, water, and peanut butter crackers.
I read once that the wife of Albert DeSalvo, the man thought by many to be the Boston Strangler, claimed that he would demand sex with her up to twelve times a day. My initial reaction to that was, DeSalvo must have had an incredible sex drive. But DeSalvo was relatively young at the time, and looking at pictures of him, he looked as if he had a lot of testosterone, so it might have been just physical.
But Jeffs looks like a skinny geek, not someone with an excess of testosterone. And at 55, his energy levels just can't be that high. So why the constant masturbation? And why the -- presumably -- constant sex with all those wives before he was incarcerated?
Sociopaths tend to be much more promiscuous creatures. It's not necessarily a matter of excessive hormones; it can mean just a complete lack of inhibitions. Certainly masturbating in full view of the guards is indicative of a complete lack of shame and embarrassment. And a man who would inveigh against masturbation but then do it himself so openly shows a sociopathic level of hypocrisy.
But even most sociopaths would get sore, or bored after a while doing that. And even most sociopaths don't like to masturbate in front of others. There seems to be a much more compulsive element to Jeff's behavior.
I've heard that people who have autistic spectrum disorders will masturbate frequently just as a means of self stimulation, i.e., just so that they can feel something. It's not dissimilar in spirit to those who cut themselves in order to feel alive.
It's generally a safe assumption that most cult leaders are sociopaths. The ability to con and manipulate others into doing one's bidding is what sociopath are best at. Wanting complete control over others is sociopathic. And masquerading as a messiah is something that only a sociopath would feel comfortable with.
But upon closer examination Jeffs seems crazy as much as sociopathic.
Jeffs' father was the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints before him, and Warren Jeffs was one of the approximately 60 children his father had through 19 or 20 wives. (It's fairly safe to say that Jeffs wasn't suffocated by paternal attention.) Within a week of his father's death, Jeffs married all but two of his father's wives. (His mother was one of the two he didn't marry.)
Jeffs held the sole power within his church to perform marriages, and he also was the only one to assign wives to husbands. He also had the power to "reassign" a man's wives and children to another man.
All of this sounds like an ideal setup for a power-mad sociopath, which Jeffs almost undoubtedly was. But was he crazy as well? Was he just a cunning con man masquerading as a messiah, or did he actually think himself one? Mental wards are -- or at least used to be, before the advent of drugs for schizophrenia -- full of psychotics who thought themselves Napoleon, or Jesus Christ. And masturbating fifteen times a day in full view of the guards makes him sound crazy.
I'm having a hard time classifying him. He could be a sociopath, or psychotic, or both. Or maybe he's autistic, though it would be hard for an autistic to be as manipulative as he evidently was. All I know is that if someone shows up claiming to be The Messiah, in order to convince me of that he's going to have to do more than jerk off fifteen times a day.
As impressive as that is.