COVER STORY SNEAK PEEK: Inside the Texas Cult
Two weeks after authorities staged a massive raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch that netted 416 children and 138 women, a far more disturbing image of what cult members don’t reveal is coming into view, PEOPLE reveals in its latest cover story, on newsstands Friday.
Combing through vaults, safes and computers at the Eldorado, Texas, compound, a headquarters of the Mormon-offshoot Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, investigators apparently found evidence of abuse, including young teenage girls who had been sexually abused and were pregnant or had given birth.
According to one report, authorities discovered a bed in the limestone temple of the cult-like organization where underage brides are believed to have been forced to consummate their marriages.
So compelling is the evidence that state officials have said they will recommend to a judge scheduled to preside over a hearing April 17 that all 416 children be put into foster care to “prevent further abuse.”
For the complete story, including photos from life inside the compound and what the mothers and the children have to say, pick up this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday