THE children of a Dutch doomsday cult have told of the horrors they faced after being imprisoned by their sadistic father for almost a decade.
Twisted Gerrit-Jan van Dorsten held six of his nine children captive in a farmhouse in Ruinerwold, Netherlands, beating them to drive away “evil spirits.”
In a case that shocked the Netherlands, the twisted man is said to have held the children hostage in the apparent belief that he was their new messiah and prepared them for a new society called Eden.
Earlier this week, The Hidden Children of Ruinerwold Farm began airing on the BBC, where viewers hear the disgusting statements of van Dorsten’s four eldest children.
They decided to flee their father’s twisted influence, while the other five decided to remain loyal to him.
Son Shin, 31, told viewers in the third episode that the “worst experience was strangling.”
Shin, who left the family in 2009, said: “He strangled you until you thought you were dead and then he let go.”
“So you gasped, he did that regularly. And he went through phases. At some point he started hitting you on the head, always in the same place.”
He also recalled the worst incident when he came home from school and had sexual feelings for a girl.
“He noticed, and then I had to take a cold bath,” he said.
“I still hate cold water, maybe a lot of people do too. But it would take so long that I would come out of the bathtub half-crippled.”
Van Dorsten’s daughter Mar Jan, 30, also recalled how she was always afraid he would give her “a real beating.”
She fled from the evil father in 2008 and said: “He was always pacing around the room and could scream very loudly and look very angry. And sometimes he would scream in your face.”
One child also claimed to have spent an entire summer in a doghouse when he was just 13 years old after his father told him he was bad.
Van Dorsten is said to have sexually assaulted his now 28-year-old son Edino after telling him that the spirit of her dead mother had invaded him.
The children’s mother, Maria, had died before the family moved to Ruinerwold, and van Dorsten told her children that she was a vessel for the spirit of a dead Korean child – the daughter of the founder of South Korea’s controversial Moonie religion.
Followers of the sect, also known as the Unification Church, believe that Jesus appeared to Korean founder Moon Sun-myung and asked him to finish his work on earth.
TheThe documentary, filmed at the family farmhouse just five weeks after the raid, features old footage of van Dorsten’s chilling rants towards his children.
He had told them how he was trying to create a personal paradise for his children to live in.
This meant there could be little or no contact with the outside world, although his three eldest children were allowed to go to school.
But his decades of unthinkable abuse ended in October 2019 when his eldest child, Jan Zon van Dorsten, walked into a local bar in confusion and raised the alarm.
He told a local that he and his family had not left their home for nine years and were waiting for the end of the world.
Chris Westerbreek, the bar’s owner, previously commented on the bizarre experience to The Sun: “He looked strange in baggy clothes that had looked dated for years, but there was something sinister about him that worried me.”
“He was struggling to communicate but he looked so distressed I knew I had to help him. Now I thank God I did it.”
Van Dorsten was arrested on suspicion of holding his children against their will, but was declared unfit to stand trial in 2021 after suffering a serious stroke.
He was accused of depriving the children of their freedom and “hitting, kicking and denying them freedom” from 2007 to 2019” to the six adult children between the ages of 18 and 25.
His latest charge relates to the alleged sexual abuse of two of his older three children.
Prosecutors said the youngest six of the nine children “lived secluded lives from birth, kept indoors and required to be quiet so no one would know they existed.”
They were led to believe that they were the only people left on earth.
The family were said to be so isolated that they could no longer speak properly and were speaking a bizarre “fantasy language” when police arrived to rescue them.
According to local reports, officers had great difficulty understanding the “unintelligible” victims who were sleeping and eating on the floor of the windowless room.
In June last year, an Austrian craftsman was jailed for helping Van Dorsten hide his children from the world.
Josef Brunner, also known as Josef the Austrian, was described as a “disciple” of van Dorsten and played a “significant role” in the isolation of the children.
He reportedly bought food for the twisted van Dorsten and rented the farm in his name.
He had a “different role” to the father, but there was “sufficiently close and conscious cooperation” between them to show he was also guilty, a Dutch court ruled.
The craftsman Josef in question visited the farm every day tended the vegetable garden and looked after the goat and a few geese, as well as doing repairs.
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The six alleged victims of their father’s abuse were cared for at an unknown location after their release from van Dorsten.
Police said they found the family in a “small room in the house that could be locked” and it was unclear whether they were being held against their will.