'Sons of Perdition': real story of FLDS exile
 
Sons of Perdition

CAST ASIDE: Sam was thrown out of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints compound when he was 14.

"Sons of Perdition" Tonight at 9 on OWN

Thrown into the desert to live alone with out identification at 14 if you're a boy. Married off at 13 to an old man if you're a girl. Denied education beyond religion and math no matter what your gender.

Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan? A rerun of "Big Love"?

No -- these are the possible fates of the children in Colorado City, Utah, home of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints compound.

And it's all fearlessly detailed in "Sons of Perdition," the excellent, must-see second documentary to air on "Oprah's OWN Documentary Club" tonight.

The film follows three of the more than 1,000 "Lost Boys" who have either been kicked out or escaped from Warren Jeffs' monstrous FLDS compound, despite believing that being exiled means being forever condemned to hell. And while "Perdition" plays like an episode of "Big Love" or "Sister Wives" minus the good times, it's all real right now.

The kids documented -- Sam, Bruce and Joe -- try to make it in the big, scary, real world without money, ID, family, home or any possessions. They are among the bravest children you will ever see.

How did they end up like this? Fifteen-year-old Bruce, for example, tells how Jeffs assigned his father's wives, kids and home to another man. The man then married the wives and the daughters!

You will watch with a broken heart as the boys try to survive, and to cope by seeking refuge in different houses, while trying to adjust to a world they never even knew existed outside the compound.

Hard as it is to believe, these kids have never heard of a comic book, World War II or Mother's Day. They even believe that Bill Clinton was "the [German] guy who burned all the children."

Why are boys like them exiled? They explain that they either had to escape or live with the fear of being thrown out for an infraction such as listening to music when they reached 14 or so. Clearly, Jeffs wasn't looking for handsome, young competition.

You will follow these kids as they try to make it despite not even being able to attend high school because they have no IDs and no way to get their hands on them.

For now, at least, Jeffs is in jail for sexually abusing his underage "wives." But like a Mafia don, he is running his morally corrupt empire from behind bars.

And you thought the writers of "Big Love" were so clever to make up such outlandish stories.
 
NYPost.com
Originally published June 1, 2011
 
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