Twisted doomsday cult father Gerrit Jan van Dorsten kept his nine children isolated on a remote farm in the Netherlands for more than a decade to “stop evil spirits”.
A mad father at the center of a doomsday cult kept his children isolated for more than a decade and even one in a kennel, prosecutors claim.
The youths were beaten and denied food by the distorted father-of-9 when he tried to “stop evil spirits” believing them to be “unclean”.
It wasn’t until his eldest son walked into a local bar in a confused state that the alarm went off in the house of horrors and the police were able to step in and rescue the children.
Gerrit Jan van Dorsten was arrested in October 2019 at the age of 67 after years of being mistreated by the sick and accused of subjecting the children to “very severe corporal punishment” in a remote location in the Netherlands, the court heard.
His eldest child, Jan Zon van Dorsten, had gone to a local bar and said he and his family hadn’t left home in nine years, waiting for the end of the world.
It then emerged that van Dorsten had been holding his prisoners, aged 18 and 25 at the time of his arrest, in makeshift cells in a hidden dungeon.
Court hearings detail the horrific abuse van Dorsten inflicted on children, including a boy who was punished by having his hands and feet tied.
Another spent the summer trapped in a doghouse after being forced to live in a trailer separate from the rest of the family, prosecutors claimed.
A 61-year-old Austrian handyman, described as a “student” of van Dorsten, was jailed this week for helping isolate the children.
Dubbed Joseph B due to Dutch data protection regulations, he bought the family’s groceries and the court was told that without his contribution it would not have been possible to isolate the children from society for so long.
However, the Assen City Court acquitted Joseph B. of arresting three older children and abusing one of van Dorsten’s children.
Van Dorsten himself was considered too ill for a trial after suffering a stroke.
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However, the ailing father has been accused of depriving the children of their liberty from 2007 to 2019, as well as alleged sexual abuse of two of his older three children.
Prosecutors said the youngest six of the nine children “lived in seclusion from birth, were kept indoors and had to be quiet lest anyone realize they existed”.
The children, who had never attended school, were not registered with Dutch authorities and had been isolated for so long that they had lost the ability to speak properly, speaking bizarre “fantasy language” to shocked police officers, the lawyers said.