HILDALE – A former member of the FLDS Church with strong ties to the communities of Hildale and Colorado City, Ariz., told St. George News that Warren Jeffs has “cleaned house” as reported in the media.
“Warren is apparently cleaning house. He closed the Dairy – all that wonderful cheese and ice cream is now gone,” the source said. St. George News has elected to not name the source for fear of retribution against his family.
The source said Jeffs asked Terril Johnson, who has run the Meadowayne Dairy for years and who is also the mayor of Colorado City, to step down, as well as David Zitting, the long standing mayor of Hildale.
Zitting had worked as the town’s mayor for 25 years. When asked why Jeffs allegedly demanded Zitting step down, the source said Jeffs’ response was: “You are an enterprising man.”
“Warren considered Zitting to be out for power, a man of enterprise, a mover and a shaker and, therefore, competition,” the source said.
A call to the Dairy by St. George News has not been returned.
“We do know they both have resigned their positions as mayor,” the source said.
The source was told that Johnson was told to shut down the dairy, and that yesterday it was moved to a private building “where only the worthy can partake.”
The source said next on the chopping block could be the general store, Cooperative Mercantile Corporation, and to make it “only accessible to the faithful.”
“Jeffs is doing his best to control their food source,” he said. “It seems that Jeffs’ issue is that the Dairy and other commercial enterprises offer the fruits of the labor of the faithful to those outside the community, the gentiles [the term given by the FLDS for non-FLDS persons] and also to the unworthy of the FLDS (not to mention those apostates, those who have left Warren’s fold).”
The Dairy was a favorite of many Utahns who went there to purchase raw, organic cheese and milk. Our source bemoans that “closing the Dairy has really hit some people’s heartstrings. The squeaky cheese it produces kind of started a phenomenon. Several have tried to reproduce it but have not succeeded. It was their flagship product that got people hooked.”
As for the vacancies in the Mayoral positions, the source said that until now, Jeffs has not impacted his family much.
“But if he starts screwing with political leaders, that has a huge impact on the community,” he said. “Is Warren going to tell his people to show up and vote for a new mayor? Probably – because it gives him absolute power. If they don’t show, we might be able to put someone in power that is out of his power. But (pause) he wouldn’t let that fall to a non-believer.”
Jeffs has been serving time after being found guilty as an accomplice to rape, however his conviction was overturned by the Utah Supreme Court. He has since been extradited to Texas to face charges there.
The Deseret News reported on Feb. 24 that Wendell Nielsen resigned as president of the FLDS church and that a woman who answered the phone at the Hildale City offices confirmed Zitting had resigned.
Our source opines that these recent moves, removing people from governing positions and restricting commercial endeavors of the community, indicate that Jeffs now, more than ever, has absolute power over the twin cities of Hildale and Colorado City.