I was reading about cults again today when I found this story.
It's pretty sad and involves the death of a child, so if that's not something you want to read about feel free to select another post from the navigation bar at the top of the page.
In late 2006/early 2007, then 19 year old Ria Ramkissoon starved her 16 month old son, Javon Thompson, to death under the orders of Toni Sloan, aka “Queen Antoinette”, who was the leader of the “1 Mind Ministries” cult.
A new mother with a troubled home life and an incarcerated partner (attempted murder charge); she originally joined the cult as a disappointed reaction to the places of worship in the Baltimore area.
At a loss for what to do with her life, and unsure of what direction to go in, she decided to move into the “1 Mind Ministries” house after being recruited by existing members who actively pursued her.
She disappeared from her normal life with nothing but the clothes on her back and her child in her arms. From then on, as with the protocol of any cult, she would be live by rules which become more and more restrictive over time, forbidden to make contact with anyone from her old life and the outside world, not allowed to go anywhere without another member, forced to give up all forms of identification and threatened with an afterlife of eternal divine punishment for any type of deviation.
The members were clad head to toe in white, and were no permitted to seek medical assistance when in need.
Ramikssoon’s son was starved as a punishment for the crime of neglecting to say “Amen” before a meal-a word he may not have even had the ability to say. In Sloan’s eyes this was evidence that the boy was possessed by an evil presence, the presence of the spirit of rebellion, and that demon had to be weakened through forced fasting.
Although the child’s mother claimed that she did want to help her son, she said she simply couldn’t, as it would an action against God, who was using Queen Antoinette as a mouthpiece for his word. She believed that defying the directions of the leader was exactly the same as rejecting the ideas of the bible, which Sloan would recite regularly to back up her ideas.
Following the death of the child, Sloan then ordered Ramikssoon to attempt to bring him back from the dead. Needless to say, the group praying and other attempts at resurrection were obviously unsuccessful. Javon’s body was forced into a suitcase along with a bag of mothballs, sprayed heavily with air freshener to mask the scent of decomposition and left in a shed.
Ria Ramikssoon claimed that she sang to and danced with the boy, and believed that one day he truly would come back to life, so much so, that when she was facing sentencing in court, she requested that she would walk free if her deceased son was to resurrect.
After evaluation it was concluded that Ramkissoon was not legally insane, however her family and attorney protested that she was brainwashed. She received treatment and showed signs of progress.
Sloan was sentenced to 60 years.