Lost childhood: hunger, bullying and drugs inside the "Family" sectBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/lost-childhood-hunger-bullying-and-drugs-inside-the-family-sect
The golden time of childhood is not always happy. This story is about guys whose childhood years have become a real nightmare. Cruelty and indifference — that's what they faced while in the infamous Australian sect "Family". One of the surviving members of the devil sect revealed secrets about life in hell.
Read the details of the terrible story of a ruined childhood in our material.
A man who survived in the infamous sect has told about the brutal beatings and hunger strike that he experienced as a child after his mother sent him to the ill-fated Messiah school.
Ben Shenton (Ben Shenton) was one of 28 children who were given drugs and severely abused by older members of the "Family".
The sect was headed by a charismatic yoga teacher Anne Hamilton-Byrne, who took children from parents who had previously been brainwashed well.
Educated doctors and lawyers believed that this woman was the incarnation of Christ and helped her forge documents so that the children of their mentally ill patients would be considered Ann's own children. According to the papers, she was recognized as the mother of all the children seized from their parents.The teacher dressed the children in the same uniform and gave all the boys the same bob haircuts.
The guys were given drugs, tranquilizers and LSD if they deviated from the rules. They were whipped and not fed until they reached complete exhaustion.
The scandalous story became known after the police raided a children's camp in the suburbs of Melbourne in 1987.
Ben Shenton was 15 at the time. He and the other children were rescued. Until that day, the guys lived in isolation from society and had no contact with other people. Ben later found out that his mother was also among the deceived "aunts" who threw their babies into the clutches of the brutal Hamilton-Byrne regime.
The children were brutally bullied: beaten with belts and whips, watered with cold water, were not allowed to eat, held their fingers over the fire and subjected to other tortures.
Ben says that he tried to defend himself, while the other guys dutifully endured bullying. He denounced the "brothers and sisters" to ease his fate. Because of this, his comrades disliked him and considered him a "snitch".Other guys who were part of the clan told that they had to eat grass and leftover dog food to survive. They drew knowledge about the outside world only from books, but over time they began to understand that the process of their upbringing was different from the generally accepted one.
Ann Hamilton-Byrne founded the sect in 1963 and made a fortune from her wealthy followers, and after a raid in 1987, she fled with her husband to the United States. Later, she returned to Australia, but it was not possible to bring the woman to justice — members of the sect refused to give evidence against her, and experts recognized the children as too traumatized to be interrogated.
One of the detectives investigating the case said:
Psychological traumas inflicted in childhood affect people in adulthood. What can we say about the kids, whose childhood turned into a continuous nightmare. The pain and suffering they went through changed them forever. Their tormentor was not punished by the law, but if there is a higher court, then she cannot escape punishment.