The brainwashing as seen in the instances of cults and sects are yet to be understood by the majority, but still exists nonetheless. Despite a parent’s instinct to naturally defend their children, on sect leader successfully persuaded the parents of 10 young females to allow him to have sex with them.
The shocking news comes as police have launched a full-on manhunt for Victor A. Barnard who is being sought for at least 59 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Former leader of the River Road Fellowship, Bernard was said to have handpicked 10 females from his congregation, many of whom were underage, and adopted them as, what he called, “maidens.”
According to Barnard, becoming a “maiden” was thought of to be a holy request set down by none other than god himself. In a startling discovery, the parents of all 10 children all willingly gave their blessings for the 42-year old man, at the time, to have sex with their daughters.
The girls selected by the cult leader ranged from 12 to 24 and were forced to have sex with Barnard “between once and five times a month” over the next decade. He was only discovered after one of his “maidens,” Lindsey Tornambe, was able to escape the complex and alert the authorities.
Apparently Barnard explained the situation by suggesting that as Jesus and King Solomon had their own followers, he was entitled to his own, as stated in the Bible. Perverting the words of the holy book, he adamantly declared that he was granted by god himself to have sex with whichever followers he saw fit.
Another woman, Jess Schweiss was also able to get away and shared her story with the local Fox news affiliate. She shared that, “I still had a conscience, I knew it was wrong,” and decided to mark every occurrence down in her journal with a little “x.”
Unbeknownst to her, her diligent and accurate record on the matter allowed for prosecutors to issue a warrant for Barnards arrest for 59 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Authorities are also hopeful that other women will soon come forward with the truth allowing for the cult leader to be charged for all of his misdeeds.
Since that point in time, Schweiss has left that life behind, including her parents. Relaying just that to reporters, she explained, “I don’t look at them as my parents anymore. They weren’t the parents I wanted or needed. My parents, the people I grew up with as a child, don’t exist anymore.”
Rembering back to the moment she was selected, she recalls her parents excitement with Barnard’s choice and even went so far as to refer to her selection as a, “position of honor.” From there, Schweiss was abandoned by her parents as she was left to the horrific sexual assaults of the older man.
She also conveys that her parents rarely came to visit her despite living a mere five miles away from the compound. Schweiss went on to say that she tried escaping the entire situation on several accounts but was forced by each time by her parents or Barnard himself.
At one point, after moving back in with her parents, she states that after telling her mother of the traumatizing sexual abuse, her mother claimed that she, “did not want to hear it.” The other escapee shares similar stories and relayed the need to put Barnard in jail.
According to Tornambe, “I feel bad in one sense that I am taking Victor’s life away from him by putting him behind bars, but then again, he took my life away from me, which I should have had. So, I feel that – for lack of better words – I think I’m even.”
She then added, “I definitely don’t want Victor hurting anyone else.”
Barnard is expected to be living in Washington state under the protection of his once 140 strong congregation. Although many of his supporters remain adamant that they haven’t seen him, police are hopeful that the 59 counts of sexual abuse will persuade at least one member to let them in on his whereabouts.
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