Dutch father accused of trying to start a ‘cult’ at isolated farmhouse – National

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A Dutch father who spent 9 years locked away at a farmhouse together with his grownup kids was attempting to begin a cult, in line with studies within the Netherlands.



The 67-year-old was a former follower of Rev. Solar Myung Moon’s Unification Church, typically described by critics because the “Moonies cult.” The church recognized the person as former member Gerrit-Jan van Dorsten in a information launch on Friday.

Willem Koestier, a spokesperson for the Church in Amsterdam, advised newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that he crossed paths with van Dorsten within the 1980s. He added that the person left the church and seemingly wished to begin his personal cult.

The daddy was arrested Thursday on expenses of illegal detention, a type of abuse and cash laundering, Dutch police mentioned. Authorities haven’t independently confirmed his identify, though it’s being broadly reported in Dutch media.

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Van Dorsten was present in medical misery on Monday after the eldest of his six kids, aged 18 to 25, ventured into the close by village of Ruinerwold and shared his household’s story of apocalyptic isolation. The person advised a bartender that his household had been locked away at a secluded farmhouse for the final 9 years whereas they waited for the “finish of days.” He mentioned he wished his remoted way of life to finish.


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Police later discovered Van Dorsten and his 5 different kids in a locked room on the farmhouse. In addition they discovered a considerable amount of money on the property, which apparently prompted the cash laundering cost.

Van Dorsten is the second suspect to be arrested within the case. A 58-year-old man who was arrested on Tuesday has been charged with illegal detention and harming others’ well being. Dutch media have recognized him as Josef Brunner, a handyman on the property who paid the hire and introduced in provides.

The Unification Church says Brunner was by no means amongst its members.

Authorities don’t launch the names of suspects in accordance with Dutch privateness legal guidelines.

A general view of a remote farm where a family spent years locked away in a cellar, according to Dutch broadcasters’ reports, in Ruinerwold, Netherlands October 16, 2019.

A common view of a distant farm the place a household spent years locked away in a cellar, in line with Dutch broadcasters’ studies, in Ruinerwold, Netherlands October 16, 2019.


REUTERS/Eva Plevier

The siblings’ names have additionally not been launched, partly as a result of authorities didn’t know they existed. The youngsters have been by no means registered at beginning and by no means attended faculty, in line with police chief Janny Knol.

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“Principally we all know nothing of them,” she mentioned in a Dutch TV interview. “That is a unprecedented state of affairs.”


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A number of present and former neighbours have come ahead to share particulars concerning the household and their peculiar behaviours.

Neighbours residing across the Ruinerwold farm mentioned they’ve seen the household strolling in circles collectively exterior, in line with native station RTV Drenthe.

Former neighbour Sandra Van de Kamp Soer advised De Telegraaf that she lived subsequent to them after they resided within the city of Hasselt, up till roughly 15 years in the past. She mentioned the mom, who spoke English, was nonetheless alive at the moment.

She described the daddy, van Dorsten, as having a “lengthy Jesus beard,” and mentioned the kids “additionally had lengthy hair … You possibly can barely see who the boys or ladies have been.” She added that the daddy “organized births himself.”

Van de Kamp Soer added that Brunner, the handyman who was arrested, additionally lived of their neighbourhood on the time.


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The newspaper de Volksrant additionally studies that Brunner and van Dorsten have been neighbours in Hasselt and that Brunner later turned Dorsen’s tenant on the farmhouse.

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Van Dorsten’s estranged household advised the publication that they misplaced contact with him within the 1980s. His brother continues to be a member of the Unification Church, the church mentioned.


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Police have enlisted a staff of psychologists to assist the remoted siblings and collect proof within the case.

“With a staff of psychologists we are attempting to grasp what we see,” Knol mentioned.

The liberated siblings have been moved to a vacation park in the intervening time.

With recordsdata from Reuters




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