After spending three and a half years imprisoned by their church leaders, authorities have rescued 18 church members at a camp run by the Maranatha Adventist Church in Ghana. This was a breakaway Seventh Day Adventist cult, led by Mary Aku Ahiatsi, who brainwashed members into thinking that society was too corrupt to be a part of and therefore, they had to live in the remote jungles in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. Ahiatsi and another church elder, Innocent Anamu, alias Isaac Christ, were arrested in the raid. Anamu is accused of having impregnated a 13 year old girl. In fact, the whole group seems positively screwed up. The church membership were found to be engaging in incestuous sex and the leadership is said to have married young girls. The majority of the members were ill and badly malnourished when they were finally rescued by the Police Anti Human Trafficking Unit
Now you might think this is an isolated incident, one where a few deluded theists volunteered to ruin their own lives and sadly, the lives of their children, but come on, we all know that’s just not the case. In fact, these situations are extremely common, there are all kinds of cases, from the Jim Jones/People’s Temple cult in Guyana to yet another recent example coming out of Cameroon.
Police, just last Saturday in fact, have recused 30 children from a cult’s holding cell, while holding off the gathering mob of locals who wanted to burn the compound to the ground. Following a tip, police raided the Salam Church of Christ and discovered 30 children who had been held under tight security. The cult, consisting of 8 men who followed a self-declared evangelical leader, married and shared at least 8 women and collectively fathered 30 children between 2 weeks and 9 years old. No one on the outside knew these children existed, they had never attended school and had never stepped foot outside of the compound, even for medical attention. Some of the female children were considered co-wives with their mothers.
This church, like many thousands of others in Cameroon, operates illegally and refuse contact with the outside world. These children were lucky, they were happened upon when police came to investigate the mysterious death of 38-year-old Ngong Harrison, whom the church tried to bury without consulting family members or the authorities. The church, like so many other cults, does not believe in medical attention. The children suffered from varying degrees of malnutrition and were turned over to the ministry of Social Affairs while the women will be cared for by the ministry of Women’s Empowerment.
The men, of course, said there was nothing wrong with what they were doing and the state had no business sticking it’s nose into their religious affairs.
And people dare to say that religion causes no harm?