TLC Focuses on AWOL Mormons for 2 New Reality Series

TLC Focuses on AWOL Mormons for 2 New Reality Series


“Breaking the Faith” and “Escaping the Prophet” delve behind the walls of the FLDS church

TLC is applying its “Breaking Amish” formula two new series focusing on the secretive world of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS).

The cable network has given six-episode series orders to two reality series, “Breaking the Faith” and “Escaping the Prophet,” that feature ex-FLDS church members. “Breaking the Faith,” which premieres Nov. 24, follows several young men and women who escape the community to start new lives. “Escaping the Prophet,” which is set for a December debut, focuses on former FLDS member Flora Jessup's activities to helps families flee the compound.

Also read: ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ Renewed by TLC

“TLC is opening the door on a historically secretive community, infamous for everything from their criminal leader to their distinctive prairie dresses and hairstyles,” said TLC's general manager, Nancy Daniels. “Through the brave actions of the participants across both series, we will witness the eye opening reality of what day to day life is like within these communities, and what it takes to break away from the compounds and try to establish a new future on the outside.”

A sneak peek preview of “Breaking the Faith” will air during Sunday's season finale of “Breaking Amish: LA.” at 9/8c.

See video: ‘Breaking Amish: L.A.’ Preview: Lizzie's Mysterious Beau Speaks (Exclusive Video)

The FLDS and its appointed prophet, Warren Jeffs, has been mired in controversy for years. In 2011, Jeffs was convicted on two felony counts of child sexual assault. There's an estimated 10,000 followers of the FLDS church.

  • Jeas

    Just so you are aware, this title is misleading – the FLDS are in no way associated with the LDS (commonly known as the Mormon) church. Any member of either organization will tell you this, and any member of either would be pretty unhappy to be confused with the other. The groups do not get along and do not share the same ideology. Not to mention that Warren Jeffs version of FLDS has little to do with religion and everything to do with him being a creepy, manipulative pervert. That all said, these shows look like a very interesting look into a dark and secretive world, and the participants must be very brave people.

    • Sandra Dee

      Jeas..YES these groups both have the very same idealogy.They both believe that Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism), was a prophet.They both believe in THE BOOK OF MORMON.The ONLY difference is the mainstream Mormons SAY..they don't practice polygamy. AND,,they are a cult. Look up cults in America.You will see Mormonism is named.

      • Cathy Cunningham

        You really have an axe to grind, don't you? Get over it. You aren't willing to listen to folks who are Mormons (as in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and know what they and their church believe. I am not a Mormon, but I know many Mormons, and work closely with some on my job. They are among the most law abiding citizens I know. They despise the splinter groups and their bizarre practices for many reasons, one of them being that people hear about them and throw all “Mormons” in the same group. While I don't personally agree with the Mormon religion, I believe they deserve the same respect as any other religion. The creeps like Jeffers are not mainstream Mormons (LDS). It's kind of like hating all Christians, and especially all Baptists, because of the filthy evil people who call themselves “Westboro Baptist Church”. I am a Baptist. There is NOTHING in their evil religion that qualifies them as Baptists, but that is the name they picked so they get to degrade all other Baptist faiths by association. It stinks.

        • Sandra Dee

          Cathy..if you call knowing ,in depth, everything about the LDS and what it teaches their members and EXPECT of their members having an axe to grind,,then I have an axe to grind.
          You say they are “law biding” and I agree.There are also many Muslims that are law biding you respect this cult also?Did your Mormon friends tell you that they are the ONLY ones going to ‘Heaven”.And that their “president” of the Mormon religion thinks he is the only person on earth that has a direct line to God? Just like the Muslim leader.
          I frankly don't care what you believe in..just don't try to convince me that Mormons aren't a cult just like the FLDS.

        • Linnea J. Capps

          First of all, Sandra Dee cannot be taken as the source of any good or bad information about the official Mormon Church. She doesn't read ANYTHING my so-called “cult” publishes, so the sources of her allegations about the Church are questionable.

          What I wanted to say to you was, “Thank you.” I very much appreciate that doctrinally, we believe many of the same things, even though we cannot agree on some of those “same” things. (i.e., the “real” Jesus Christ, the Godhead, etc.) But I will go to bat for your right to believe and worship the way you feel is most imporotant and meaningful to you. You, too, Sandra Dee.

          We need to stop all the name-calling and accusations and stand together under the protection of the First Amendent. Thank you, Cathy, for giving us respect. Know that respect is returned, and very much appreciated.

          • Cathy Cunningham

            You are most welcome Linnea. I cannot abide people bad mouthing a huge group over the actions of a few, and most especially when they don't even know what they are talking about. I have studied your religion, and I do respect your right to your beliefs, and I certainly respect the majority of fine people who are LDS.
            Sandra, I am not trying to convince you of anything. You are welcome to your beliefs, as are the LDS, and I. We all need to be able to discuss issues without rancor and hate. I do think comparing LDS and Muslims is abhorent. The two religions could not be much farther from each other! Islam is a religion of hate, and Mormonism is not. If you want to consider that all “Mormon” groups are the same, you certainly can do that. You can call a circle a rectangle if you want to. Doesn't make it so.

  • Cami Cox Jim

    Yes, don't call them “AWOL Mormons.” Members of the FLDS faith are NOT Mormons. The Mormon Church does not practice polygamy and has nothing to do with this group. Poorly researched stuff like this is what perpetuates the many misunderstandings torpedoing around out there about the Mormon Church. I live 10 minutes from the main FLDS town in Arizona where they filmed part of this series, so I know a thing or two about the FLDS members. I am also a Mormon, and we do NOT practice polygamy, we are law-abiding citizens, we are not a cult. Please more carefully research your facts.

    • Sandra Dee

      The mainstream Mormons are just better at hiding their practice of polygamy.
      You are uninformed if you think that mainstreams don't practice polygamy.
      As a Mormon, you should know that the only reason the church stopped it was because they wanted to be recognized as a state(Utah).They never gave it up though.YOU need to do YOUR research.And if you keep your eyes oped..reaalllyyy good you will see what I am saying.

      • Cami Cox Jim

        Sorry to disagree with you Sandra Dee, but as a person who has been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints FOR MY ENTIRE LIFE, I can assure you that ‘mainstream Mormons,’ as you call them, do NOT practice polygamy. If they did they would be excommunicated from the church. Period. You are quite possibly confusing us with the very few very small offshoot groups (like the ones on “Sister Wives”) who are NOT members of the LDS church but call themselves Fundamentalist Mormons and a few other derivations. But these, again, are NOT members of the 14-million-plus member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (
        Our faith practiced polygamy OVER 100 YEARS AGO, and there were many reasons for it, not the least of which was that hundreds of women with small children lost their husbands while crossing the plains. Allowing CERTAIN CHURCH MEMBERS (it wasn't everybody) to take more than one wife was a means of providing for these widows who were alone and had no means of supporting themselves. You might consider doing YOUR research before telling a lifelong member of the church what my religion's beliefs and practices are and what they are not.
        If you read the LDS Church's “Proclamation on the Family,” which was commissioned by Pres. Clinton back in the 1990s, you'll see what we believe about family and marriage. Our church has not practiced polygamy in over 100 years, since the pioneer days. And you're quite right, when the government ruled polygamy illegal our church promptly ended the practice, under the prayerful direction of our prophet, because among our many values and beliefs we are law-abiding citizens.

      • Cami Cox Jim

        The Proclamation on the Family, if you'd like to read it:

      • ex mo

        So true, Polygamy does still go on, but behind closed doors. UT does not pursue it, as it would cost the state way too much money to prosecute it. This is why there is abundant welfare fraud among the FLDS. It is called ‘Bleeding the Beast’ with ‘The Beast’ being the US gov't to get back at them for the raids against the FLDS on Short Creek many years ago for polygamy. Here's how it works. A man marries one woman legally, then does a ‘spiritual’ wedding with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th wife and so on. Then, the 2nd 3rd and 4th wife are told to ‘register; with the state as single mothers and they say they don't know where the baby's fathers are. Then they get food stamps, and WIC, and monies from the gov't for being unmarried with kids. That money that they are paid then goes to the “FLDS church/God Squad” and it is spent as the God Squad feels appropriate. A person I worked with in UT many years ago, his wife was working for the Census, and the polygamists would cross out the word “wife” on the form and put “wives” instead. Also, any children born to the 2nd, 3rd wife and so on are not recognized on that babys birth certificate. A child born to the 2nd wife and so on are ‘registered’ to the 1st wife and the 1st wife is listed as the real mother of said child, so that way if one of the wives tries to take off with her own biological children then they have NO legal claim to that child. Yep, the FLDS got it all figured out. Shocking yes, but it is still going on.

    • Verne Bartsch

      Well i just read D&C 132 and it seams that plural marriage is still a commandment from Joseph Smith, how do you explain that?

  • Sandra Dee

    Cami..sooo these men took these widows as a wife so they could “take care” of them and their children?
    Why would a married man need to take a widow as a wife just take care of them and their children? why not be a “friend” and do that.Theirs more to that.They ,first of all were not REALLY ,legally married.These men were just using the guise as a means of getting these women in their bed.
    Mormonism is a sick cult and I know it.I found out many years ago and that's why I left it.
    YOU might consider that you are just a brainwashed sheep.

    • Lynette

      Sandra, we are not polygamists. Unless there are multiple wives hidden in our closets, and the closets of all of our friends. I am LDS and you're telling me that my husband has wives that I don't know about? No. Sorry, that's just conspiracy theory.

  • Sandra Dee

    AWOL MORMONS..there are many currently trapped in this cult.They ALL believe that the founder,Joseph Smith was a prophet who by the way was a pervert ,con artist murderer,adulterer and involved in many other criminal acts.This is the same man that ALL Mormons believe in whether they call themselves FLDS or LDS.They believe that ol’ Joe was also a prophet that spoke to and received direction directly from God.These are ALL the same people that believe that “their” current president of their church is a prophet and that God tells him directly in visions how to run their church.These are all the same people that profess that they are the only ones that will .. when they die have their own worlds.
    I am interested in this because I am currently “ON Record” with this cult even though I no longer attend their services and do not practice their beliefs.I was one of the fortunate ones that wasn't easily brainwashed.I realized after only a few months that ALL forms of Mormonism are cults.

    • Linnea J. Capps

      Whatever. You can rail and cry against the Church all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that, in all your association with the Church, you never took the time to learn whether or not what you heard from disaffected or unhappy members, or read in online anti-Mormon websites, was true or right or actually correct from official Church sources.

      You can name-call and spread untruths all you want, but that doesn't change yhe fact that your outrageous statements about the beliefs of the Church of which you say you are no longer a participating member are just plain and simply not true.

      WHO in the Church is practicing polygamy. Name names, identify these people instead of hiding behind a statement you clearly cannot prove. Turn these people in to the authorities, hold them accountable under the law. But spare us the repeated allegations you fail to back up with FACTS – NAMES, LOCATIONS. Do your duty as a good citizen. Because unless you can personally point to the active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are living in the sin of polyfamy, you are slandering the Church. Slander.

      Find, in the OFFICIAL literature of the Church, where we state we are the only ones gokng to heaven. WHERE did you READ it, what official publication contained that information? Stop parroting what you read in anti-Mormon websites or hear from uninformed, poorly studied “member” told you what they thought they knew. Because they didn't know our DOCTRINE. Because they didn't, you don't.

      The great thing about uninformed, confused, and mislead people like you saying the kind of outrageous things you have, is that you have planted questions in the minds of the honest of heart. Studies have shown you do us a favor. There will be an increase in people making inquires of the Church, wanting to know if the unbelievable things you have said here are right or not.

      Yhe great yhing about

      • Sandra Dee

        The great thing about having had an association,albeit brief, with the LDS cult,is that I was not young enough or foolish enough to have been “completely” brainwashed by them. Unfortunately only one of my five children that were indoctrinated into this cult is still in it.She has nothing to do with any of her family that has left it.Why/ because she is told to do that by her cult leader. You, nor any other Mormon will ever convince me otherwise. LDS is a cult. Mormonism has damaged more than one family with their disgusting and abnormal practices.
        I am sooo happy that this new show about the LDS,FLDS cult is going to be shown nationwide so the many unsuspecting will have a better clue as to what they may be getting into. MORMONISM of any kind is a dangerous cult.

      • Susie Q

        Great book I read “Under The Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer gives a pretty good view into LDS continuance of polygamy – it's unfortunate that there is so much denial…..

  • Sandra Dee

    Cami,,do you actually think I would read and believe anything that this cult writes? I don't think so..

  • momof 3

    I don't know where you are getting your information from..mainstream LDS are not polygamist. If any LDS practice they our excomunicated and we do not believe we our the only one's going to heaven, I am pretty sure Mother Theresa is there, among others that don't follow the LDS faith…it is not for us to determine who goes to heaven that is for Judgement day. I could go on and on with each statement you make….you really need to get your facts straight

  • ex mo can help you or anyone seeking the truth and help in leaving or questioning the so called church ‘TSCC'. also known as ‘Recovery from Mormonism'. They helped me and they can help you too.

  • Sandra Dee

    This is for all you LDS cult members.
    I find it strange that, when I was a young child and of the Baptist faith , I never had to defend my faith, Everyone knew what God I believed in.

    • Britt

      I feel so sad that you believe the LDS church pulls apart families. It breaks my heart to hear stories of people who have so much anger and hatred no matter what religion or group of people it is directed at. We all need to live and love. Respect each other's differences and beliefs. Hopefully this show is not confused about the differences of FLDS and LDS. It is very frustrating to see the title “AWOL Mormons!” I have never thought if any other group as Mormons except members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Dat Saints.

  • Sarah

    I'm an Atheist and frankly, in my point of view, FLDS, LDS, Christianism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Zoroastrism or whatever religion (or cult) that supposedly help me live a better life and tell me what to do, can “go to hell” (notice the irony).
    So I watch this show, b/c I found interesting that in every religion, some ask questions and realize that there is something fundamentally wrong about their religion.

  • carisa

    I live in Utah I'm not a Mormon and watching this is stuff I've never heard of its actually crazy that stuff goes on out here like this.

  • Verne Bartsch

    The Prophet Joseph Smith raped girls as young as 14 when he was in his 30's the same crime that FLDS prophet Warren Jeffs is in prison for today. The lds still claim Smith as a prophet of God even though he was a perverted slime-ball!!!!!!