I saw this story in the news recently and after reading a lot of articles on it decided I'd put together my own post with links to interviews and sources.
Although I do not go into descriptive deal, I do have to warn you that this post does contain mentions of subjects that some people may find difficult to read about, so please skip over this post to avoid mentions of rape and abuse. I've put some helplines and contacts at the end of the post (usa/uk/worldwide)
73 year old Aravindan Balakrishnan and his 67 year old wife, Chanda Pattni, were arrested on the 21st of November 2013 in London, under the suspicion of slavery and domestic servitude. They held 3 women captive, who had been brainwashed, abused both emotionally and physically, and shackled by invisible cuffs that prevented them from escaping the house they were held trapped in for almost 30 years.
Balakrishnan was said to have used rape and violence as well as mental abuse to control his female victims. By the time he was finished with them, they believed that he was a God.
He claimed that he could control the powers of nature and the elements, that he could cause natural disasters and dissemble governments. “I am nature and nature is me” he told his followers.
He began to “purify” the women, to “Clean” them of their previous lives and strip them of their identity and dignity, along with the help of his mind reading mystical assistant who he referred to as “Jackie”. Balakrishnan had invoked Jackie, who was an unseen force, to keep the women in line and in fear when he wasn’t around to do so himself. If they had disobedient actions or thoughts, Jackie would know. Jackie could torture and kill, he assured them.
By having his victims cut off contact with their families, he managed to keep three of them for over 3 decades. Without family, without identity, without choice, they lost their dignity and freedom to Aravindan Balakrishnan. Any followers who had jobs outside of the cult would donate their entire salaries per week. They could not go out alone and would constantly have to be with another member when outside of the commune.
Their leader and captor, Balakrishnan was the son of a soldier. He was politically active as a student and thought of himself something of a revolutionary. He immigrated to the UK following his studies in Singapore, and continued to be politically active while in England; always at demonstrations, and protests, with one hand in a raised fist and the other waving a chairman Mao banner.
He was a member of the British communist party until he was forced to leave and went on to make his own group. He badmouthed his old party in a newsletter he produced on a second hand printer at his HQ, and gained some followers. Over time most would leave, but a dozen dedicated female followers stayed, some of which continue to support him even today.
Balakrishnan now had his own group, a cult, and they were “Theworkers institute of Marxist-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought” and based themselves in Brixton, South London. They held their meetings at 140 acre lane, which today serves as a restaurant.
Over the many years his female victims were under his control he subjected them to horrific abuse and conditioning, fueled by his own delusions of God-like power.
He would rape and beat them in front of each other, and when he wasn’t making displays of his brutality he would call his followers to his office and force them to perform sex acts on him and ingest his “Elixir of life”. One member, Sian Davies, even bore his child. The child grew up in the commune, only leaving one a year on her birthday as she got older. For some time, she was not even aware that she was Balakrishnan’s daughter. He told his followers that she had been born of some electronic satellite.
When on trial, Balakrishnan dismissed the rape charges and the charges of domestic servitude, claiming to the court that his followers wanted to serve him domestically and that they wanted to have sex with him, in fact, he said, they competed for his sexual attention. “They were very pushy”, he stated. They were simply providing him a service, he claimed, so that he could immerse himself in his political work.
In fact, so much was Balakrishnan’s delusion that he even laughed at the rape allegations in court; He referred to himself as “The natural center of all things”. To the few that he broke down and brainwashed, he was.
There were deaths in the cult between ’86 and ’92. Davies, the mother of his child, fell from a window in what was thought to be an attempted escape. One follower died as a result of a head injury from a fall in the Peckford Place apartment where they stayed.
Three of the captive women were recused in October 2013 after one of them, a 57 year old Irish woman named Josephine Herivel, contacted a charity called “The freedom charity” after watching an ITV documentary about forced marriage. The charity then contacted the local police and the woman was rescued along with 30 year old British Rosie Davies and 69 year old Malaysian Aishah Wahab.
The now 33 year old daughter of Davies and Balakrishnan, known by her alias as “Fran”, revealed that it was her secret reading sessions that opened her eyes to the truth about her father. Fictional villains such as J. K. Rowling’s Lord Voldemort and Tolkien’s Sauron made her realize that her father was a bad man.
She revealed in an interview with aBritish day time T.V show that she forgave Balakrishnan and that “hate didn’t help anyone”, going on to quote a Nelson Mandela speech “… I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.”
Fran is working towards getting her independence and is progressing well.
Other RLIH posts that you may find interesting:
Terri Hoffman and the cult murders - "Self-made spiritual guru, Terri Hoffman, attracted all kinds of people, from all kinds of different backgrounds, with her own brand of new age spirituality. She ran a free meditation class out of Southern Methodist University, where she gained followers and taught subjects familiar to most spiritual classes, such as astral travel, reincarnation, the theory of karma and meditation." (To continue the article, click here << )
The enslaved hitchhiker - "It was the 19th of May, 1977. Twenty year old Colleen Stan was hitchhiking to a friend’s surprise birthday party. Many people used to hitchhike in the seventies, and it was nothing new to Colleen, who was a semi pro at this point. She let a few cars pass her by as she scouted the perfect ride, and eventually settled on a couple who had a baby with them. Climbing into their blue van, she could never have imagined the horrific seven year ordeal ahead of her..." (To continue the article click here << )