ABC News and other outlets are reporting that convicted child rapist Warren Jeffs has been admitted to the East Texas Medical Facility in Tyler, Texas in "critical but stable" condition.
Some outlets have reported that Jeffs is comatose.
Reports of Jeffs' ill health began appearing on August 29th. There have been conflicting descriptions of Jeffs "fasting" or simply "not eating enough." Prison officials describe him as undereating and it appears Jeffs has been referring to his behavior as a fast.
The New York Post is reporting that the coma is medically induced. This is not the first time Jeffs has harmed himself with fasting, according to the Post story:
Jeffs -- the one-time leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which has about 10,000 members -- was convicted in 2007 of forcing a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old cousin, but the Utah Supreme Court overturned the conviction last year, citing faulty juror instructions.
While serving a prison sentence in Utah for the forced marriage, Jeffs was treated in the prison infirmary in February 2008 after engaging in a fast, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. He told prison staff at the time that he was fasting for "spiritual strength."
CBS News reports that Jeffs has a history of self-destructive, unbalanced behavior during incarceration:
Court documents show Jeffs tried to hang himself in January 2007 while awaiting trial on rape charges in Washington County, Utah. He also threw himself against the walls of his cell and banged his head, although he later told a mental health expert he really wasn't trying to kill himself.
During a visit with a brother that same month that was videotaped by jail officials, Jeffs said he'd been fasting for three days and remained awake during the night. Days later, he was taken to a hospital and given medication for depression. The court documents said he'd lost 30 pounds, was dehydrated and suffering from sleep deprivation.
Jeffs also had to be temporarily force-fed in 2009 while in the Kingman, Ariz., jail.
It was during this period, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, that Jeffs effectively renounced himself, declaring that he is a "wicked man," and stepping down as prophet:
"I am not the prophet. I never was the prophet, and I have been
deceived by the powers of evil." (YouTube video of this statement here.)
These previous incidents may have been alluded to in the "Warning to the Nation" "revelation" that Jeffs sent to President Obama in February 2011, demanding his release:
"Though he received testing, fearing for a time, yet I, the Lord, have raised him up and delivered him and am guiding him." (p. 5, v. 8)
Interestingly, the same "revelation" predicts both earthquakes and storms if Obama does not agree to Jeffs' release:
"Thus sayeth the Lord unto the nation of the United States of America: I, the Lord, am soon to send the shaking of the earth in a place in thy land not known as a usual place of violent shaking, unto the loss of many lives." (p. 1, v. 1)
"Though you listen not, in the trembling of the earth some shall begin to awake." (p. 6, v.45)
"And as the storms roll forth of more violent nature in thy land, some shall begin to awaken and wonder what is taking place;" (p. 6, v. 46)
Jeffs has been held in special protective custody within a Palestine, Texas prison, confined to a solitary cell for 22 hours each day and given permission to leave only for showering and recreation. He does not take part in any work programs and is isolated from all other prisoners.