Luke Andrew Hunter, 42, was convicted of murder in 1990 but escaped from prison in 1996. His new identity was uncovered recently. He’d changed his name Ashban Cadmiel and infiltrated the Jesus People, a cult of orthodox Aramaic speakers who hold very traditional (read: archaic) views of Christianity, including polygamy and approved abuse of women and children. Nobody in the cult is claiming to have known who Hunter was but police are investigating anyway, of course.
Like other cult members, Hunter took a biblical name and he worked as a groundskeeper at the Herberton hospital in far north Queensland from 1997 to this year. His arrest shed light on the reclusive group, with several former members coming forward to describe the culture of fear they say exists, , especially for women, who say they are “sub-citizens”.
Mr Landy-Ariel, 59, who admits taking two wives, has long shunned media attention. But in an affidavit, obtained exclusively by The Weekend Australian, the man known as “Reshan” (or “the head”) last year gave an official history of his sect, its practices, and defended himself against allegations levelled against him.
Comparing his cult to other cultures and abuse statistics around the world, he thinks his weird little group is “very good,” according to the same affidavit. Like that’s supposed to justify it? Sorry. He’s also of the mindset that he’s the only one who should have their money and all their possessions, insists on homeschooling and forbids contraceptives.
“Any number of people ejected from or rejecting the community could use us as their pincushion,” Mr Landy-Ariel said.
“Many who are asked to leave are bitter because they can’t return or because they realise that they know they may be committing some sin . . . (the) ratio of people who have left and those asked to leave is probably 50-50.”
And 100% of them should be better off without him and all his daft ideas.