People keep on calling Warren Jeffs a charismatic leader. From what I can see, though, there's very little charisma involved. He's not an especially charming or persuasive man by any accounts. It's the prophet position he inherited that gives him the power. It's hard for the media to grasp that. They expect him to be David Koresh. How else can a man get so many people to live completely under his control?
Looking at it from the Mormon perspective, however, where I believe that there is a prophet on the earth today who truly is the mouthpiece of God, it's easier to understand the power that someone who perverts that concept can gain. When a direction is seemingly coming from God, there's no denying it. It doesn't matter what hardships that means, because God gave us all and there's nothing that isn't worth sacrificing for Him.
I believe Warren Jeffs is an evil man, but I admire those followers of his that aren't corrupt and are simply trying to please God in their own way (which I expect are many, despite the many cases of rape and molestation and abuse). It's such a sacrifice to live a secluded life like that and deal with those huge families and have everything you own under the direct control of the church. And I'm easily annoyed by all the people in Colorado City and elsewhere that refuse to speak to reporters. But these people are just doing what their prophet has told them to do. It's impressive really that they're willing to go through that trouble.