The family with five children who were locked up for nine years in a farm in Ruinerwold, Drenthe, appear to have been members of the Unification Church sect. Also known as the ‘Moon Sect’, they are named after the South Korean pastor, Sun Myong Moon, who proclaimed himself as a messiah in the fifties, as reported by RTV Drenthe, the regional broadcaster for Drenthe, on Thursday.
The man who held the family and was the tenant of the farm, Josef B, is from Austria and was also a member of the cult which is how the family know him, according to the sources of RTV Drenthe. The family used to live in Hasselt and belonged to the ‘Society church,’ which is how the religious movement is known internationally, as RTV Drenthe reports.
The leader was South Korean pastor Sun Myung Moon, who declared himself to be a messiah in the 1950’s. The movement was brought to the Netherlands in 1965. Members of the Association Church are very focused on their families, and follow teachings laid out in Moon’s book Divine Principle. The cult leader was very wealthy, with business interests across Korea, and died in 2012.
‘Moonies’, which is a somewhat pejorative term for members of the sect, are spread across the world and followers live off of donations, hence, the family who lived in isolation for nine years in the remote farm in Ruinerwold, would have also received money this way.
Walking in circles
The rituals associated with this cult include that followers must move in a circle every half hour. After the family were moved to a bungalow park in the municipality of De Wolden, they encountered issues after being spotted by other guests of the bungalow park.