Italian police have busted a sect that practiced sex abuse and torture of young women, including minors, Italy's La Stampa newspaper reported. According to the newspaper, the cult was led by a 77-year-old man, whose identity was not disclosed. Members of the sect addressed him as "the Doctor" or plainly called the man "Him". The leader was revered as some kind of deity. The cult’s followers lured their victims by promising to show them a "fantastic and secret world" as well as the light of "the inner fire".
In reality, however, the promises of a fantastic world turned into extreme and painful sexual practices. Police say the victims were forced to cut ties with their family, friends, and other acquaintances, becoming dependent on the cult and its leader.
At the same time, members of the sect were required to donate large sums of money to the cult. To make the organisation more profitable, the sect tried to recruit people from wealthy families.
Police said that the cult had been operating since the 1980s and was virtually impossible to infiltrate, as followers were very loyal and many of them suffered from psychological damage, making it hard to speak with them. In addition to contributions from members, the sect also had several shops, a psychology centre, and even a publishing house, which allowed it to remain undetected for decades.
Law enforcement was able to arrest them only after one victim managed to overcome their dependence on the cult and went to the police.