Mexican immigration authorities said Tuesday that a strange cult which "allegedly ran a sex-slavery ring among its followers on the U.S. border" has been broken up by Mexican officials, reports The Denver Post.
Members of the cult, including children, were found in what was described as "filthy" living conditions "near Nuevo Laredo across the border from Laredo, Texas" when a house was raided by federal police, agents of Mexico's National Immigration Institute, and prosecutors earlier this week.
Prosecutors are still trying to determine which of the detainees, which included 14 foreigners from Spain and South America and 10 Mexicans, would be considered victims and which would be the abusers in this cult, in which members have remained loyal to one another for the past three years.
Calling themselves "Defensores de Cristo" or "Defenders of Christ" this bizarre group "allegedly recruited women to have sex with a Spanish man who claimed he was the reincarnation of Christ."
Prostitution was listed, along with other sexual services and forced labor, in a complaint against the cult filed by the National Immigration Institute over a year ago.
Offensive to almost anyone, cults that use the name of Jesus Christ are especially appalling to Christians, particularly when the actions of the organizations go so deeply against the teachings of Christ.
There is some confusion as to who is the head of the cult. The institute points to a Venezuelan citizen Jose Arenas Losanger Segovia. However, the cult's website says its leader is a Spaniard named Ignacio Gonzalez de Arriba who, according to Daily Mail, offered courses on a practice called "bio-programming," which claims to reprogram the brain to eliminate pain, suffering, and anxiety.
Defenders of Christ had reportedly neglected to register as a religious group, which is required by Mexican law.
If the allegations brought against Defenders of Christ are true, it's fortunate that the cult has been smashed up before it did any more damage. Many cults thrive for decades. It is disturbing enough to think of what might have happened to the adults involved, but one doesn't even want to think of what the children may have been exposed to.