Breaking Polygamy: Confronting 'The God Squad'

Part 4: Allegations of police harassment of former FLDS led the Department of Justice to file a civil rights suit.
8:58 | 11/23/12

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Breaking Polygamy: Confronting 'The God Squad'
Reporter: After a year-long investigation of warren jeffs' destructive edicts from behind prison walls, we traveled with willie back to his hometown looking for answers about who really this town now that their god on earth is behind bars. This is part of the flds? Yes, it is. Reporter: He agreed to be our guide through this strange and clandestine world. Willie shows us the multimillion dollar house jeffs ordered his people to build for him while in prison. They said if we build it, then it would melt the bars or whatever in his jail. And he would be released. Reporter: Jeffs also forced the people to relinquish all their possessions to this distribution center. It's under the control of his bishop. Here, even the most basic needs like food, water even clothing are carefully rationed. Who decides what they can bring out and take home? The bishop and warren. Reporter: As we head towards the entrance, the massive doors begin to close. Is warren jeffs in charge? But when we asked people all over town, no one would answer questions about warren jeffs. Just a simple question about whether or not warren jeffs is still in charge of the town. I don't care to respond. You won't talk to us? No? Nothing? You won't even acknowledge I'm here. This woman shielded herself from the cameras with a pamphlet, articles of faith. Suddenly we realized we're not alon war enjeffs' secret police known as the god squad are on our tails. What are the god squad? They're following us? They know where we are. They already took pictures of our vehicle and everything. There they are again. So we decide to confront them. Hey, I'm just trying to find out what are you doing? Excuse me, excuse me. Hello. These tactics are menacing. But harassment by local police against former members of the flds is far worse. Aaagh! Reporter: This year the department of justice filed a lawsuit against town officials accusing them of acting as an arm of the flds. Mike watkiss reported about this conspiracy in his film, "colorado city and the underground railroad." You do not hold a position of authority in that community unless you are flds. How have they largely remained outside the law? 'Cause nobody gives a damn. Reporter: Because local police have been charged with abusing their powers, they are now being monitored by the county sheriff. Is it frustrating that a convicted child molester is still exacting so much control? Yeah, it's troubling. Reporter: Everywhere around us there was stoney silence and anger. Get that damn thing outta here. Why? You go jail! You go jail! Reporter: It was not the first time we'd witnessed the fury of the flds. This is what happened when abc news last reported on warren jeffs. The man who just knocked down that camera is willie jessop. Former bodyguard to warren jeffs and one of his most loyal followers. But last year after jeffs was convicted of rape, he decided he'd had enough and left the flds. So warren is still in charge of the flds? Oh, very much so. Why do people stay when what you love the most is ripped from you for no real reason? Warren controls people the same way that david koresh did. So there will be no excuses, jimmy jones did. Anybody who wants to get out of here, can get out of here. Reporter: He threatens banishment if his dictates are not obeyed. So a mother is now sayin', "well, in order for me to preserve my children, my god, i need to remove myself." Reporter: We tried to get into one of the most tightly secured buildings in the town. Behind that gate is the maternity clinic of the flds, the epicenter of their faith. Hello. This is amy robach with abc news. We're just -- we're standing outside the clinic and we just wanted to ask a couple of questions. Can we come inside? Hello. They just hung up on me. It's impenetrable. But three years ago, we were granted unprecedented access to this clinic. We met a young mother who sang us a lullaby by warren jeffs. ♪ Love warms and cheers us in winter's cold weather ♪ ♪ and with the summer's heat faith makes us strong ♪ Reporter: The spiritual mission of women in the flds is to bring more children into the world. We have five children. And I asked heavenly father for a little girl baby. And he gave me a girl baby. Reporter: This is the only time the flds has ever allowed video cameras behind these closed doors. You don't have leukocytes but you have ketones. Reporter: Shirley barlow is a certified midwife and has worked here for almost 40 years. I have 14 children. I'm 43. Reporter: Only midwives deliver the babies here. It's truly heavenly father. That's what brings us together. Reporter: This clinic birthed 400 babies a year. But that's over from now. From behind jail warren jeffs has banned all physical contact between married couples. As a result, the birthrate has now dropped precipitously. Every week we hear new reports of the insanity and the craziness that's going on. The mothers are losing their children, and they're being given to other familie 40 women were just kicked out. Families are just being torn in pieces. This is a severe human rights issue. The whole medical team was also ordered to leave the community including shirley barlow. Can you open your mouth for me real big? Reporter: And maryam holm, one of the few flds women with a master's degree was also told to leave town. So you don't have doctors, medical professionals? None. There's not one left in this community. There's no such thing as a doctor. There's no such thing as an active midwife. Reporter: No one knows how many families have been broken up by warren jeffs. But even his brother wallace was not spared from that brutal purge. Warren broke up your family? Yes. And I filed a lawsuit against him to bring my family out of hiding. Reporter: What does hiding mean? They have places in different locates around the country where nobody knows where they are so they can hide the wives and children from their husbands. I don't look at how I suffered. Really the victims is the children. Seeing their families being torn up. Not having fathers. The mothers being cast out. It's the children who really are the victims in all this. Reporter: For the steed family, that price is clear. All that 11 year-old ada has of her father is the photo that once hung on her wall. It make me feel like he's still there. Does it help you to see that every day? Does it really help you? Good. I am really glad that you have that. Reporter: She hasn't heard from her father in five months whose banishment prohibits him from having any contact with his family until the prophet brings him back. You can hold on to the good things. Reporter: Ada knows that if warren jeffs allows her father to return, he will make the family go back to the flds. I wouldn't go there with him. I don't want to go back into it. Even if it does cost losing dad, at least I have mom. What makes you certain? Because I want to have a life. The conflict between family and freedom is tearing her apart. We're not supposed to be mad at him, but why did he do all that? Why did who do what? Uncle warren. Reporter: She holds warren jeffs responsible for the breakup of her family. Ada, it's okay to be angry. Reporter: Her anger drives her to the ultimate taboo, defacing a photo of warren jeffs. Do you want to tell me what hurts? Everything. Just -- we didn't even have a

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":17797123,"title":"Breaking Polygamy: Confronting 'The God Squad'","duration":"8:58","description":"Part 4: Allegations of police harassment of former FLDS led the Department of Justice to file a civil rights suit.","section":"2020","mediaType":"Default"}