'Keep Sweet' documentary looks at the past and future of FLDS community Short Creek

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 2:41pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 10:22am

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A girl holding a cat
44 Blue Productions via discovery+
A girl from Short Creek holding a cat in the documentary “Keep Sweet.”

Colorado City, Arizona, and Hilldale, Utah, are two towns that border each other in the high deserts of northern Arizona and southern Utah. The area, known as Short Creek, was settled by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — a breakaway sect of the broader LDS Church that continued to practice polygamy after the church banned it.

The community was rife with underaged girls being married to older men. Young men, dubbed the “lost boys," were kicked from their homes and shunned from the community so church leaders wouldn’t have to compete for young brides. And their leader, Warren Jeffs, created a local government where the church ran the schools, the police and even the banks.

In 2006, Jeffs was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for his role in sexually abusing young girls he claimed were his wives. Since then, the community has become divided between those who remain loyal to Jeffs and those who have not.

Producer Glenn Meehan began visiting the community of Short Creek a decade ago, initially with the aim of making a documentary about the lost boys. But, that changed as he and director Don Argott watched the community change.

The result is the new documentary, “Keep Sweet,” which is streaming now on Discovery+. The Show spoke with Meehan to learn about the film and where the title “Keep Sweet” came from.

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