Thursday, January 19, 2012

In which Nathan's wife is stolen away by a cult

The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli, 1781
Newcomers to this page may wish to note my December 2019 update to this story. Scroll to the bottom.
     This story is the second of a three part series. You are encouraged to read the first part, also at this site.
      I am telling this story in the sincere belief that I am speaking for the voiceless. For all the victims of cult abuse. For the victims of when any religious belief, even an originally well-intentioned one, turns sinister.
      I am also writing in the conviction that if no one speaks out, other people will inevitably suffer at the hands of the same group. Where I make an assertion that is coupled with a quote written by the cult, I claim the defence of fact. All other statements in this article are presented as the honest opinion of the author, speaking out on a matter of public importance.
      I feel the need to impress on readers the ordinariness of our lives before this tragedy befell us; we were an average, happy family, with community interests and good jobs. This did not happen because we were into some "weird stuff" ourselves; quite the opposite. My skeptical streak is a mile wide and always has been (evident if you see the other articles on this website).
   Telling this story will not bring Kylie back. We are divorced and our son and I have moved on with our lives. We are fortunately, amazingly happily, but the pain of our loss will endure.
-------- ~~~ --------
      I have a sad story to tell. Friends and family have shared this journey with me for the last three years, but the time has come to speak publicly. The telling of this tale has put me  on TV twice over the last two months. It has also placed me at a lectern speaking to an international conference hosted at Parliament House in Canberra in front of a room full of MPs and dignitaries. My dual intents are to lay out a fuller version of this story, and to provide a warning. Perhaps telling my story will prevent another family from having to endure what mine has.

"If I run I die
If I talk I die
If I disobey I die"
      I lost my wife, Kylie, to a cult, based in the Blue Mountains, West of Sydney. I believe their influence ruined her health, her career, and robbed a 6 year old boy of his mother. That they unpicked the threads of her life and of her mind. That she cast aside her home, her wider family, even her name for the sake of a pseudo-Christian group that she had never met six months previously. She now goes by a name given to her by the cult, Hope,  after she was told that the person named Kylie had never existed. At a point where she was mentally unwell and exceptionally vulnerable, this cult misdirected her therapy, providing instead what a psychologist identified as a "treatment program" written by a group who believe Nazi-built, demonically piloted UFOs kidnap women and impregnate them to create a race of half-demon super soldiers. They took the most febrile delusions occasioned by her illness and convinced her they were real; that she was the victim of Satanic abuse; that she could speak to Jesus Christ and had a gift of prophecy; that her multiple personalities were evidence of demons that had to be exorcised; that she was involved in spiritual warfare against "astral travellers" from local covens who psychically bombarded her and the group; that her real family were evil. Crazy, evil stuff.

What Kylie wrote...

But, as this horror-story unfolded, I found people placed in my path through the most extraordinary coincidences imaginable. People who added pieces to the puzzle; people who were worried enough to implicate members of their own family if it meant a little light could be cast into some dark recesses. People who came forward, prepared to stand by me on TV, as it happened, to say "my family were damaged by the same group." Slowly, what the cult wrote, what they said, and what they believe was, amazingly, dropped into my lap. Often accompanied by a hand on my arm, an earnest look, and the charge; "Nathan, do something." I've been joined by eminent university lecturers, members of Parliament, cult experts, and support groups. I've joined a crusade to have laws against cults improved. I've made lifelong friends, and one or two enemies.

I name the people responsible.
         Oderint dum metuant, I say.
              This is our story. It's a corker.
-------- ~~~ --------

Here, I name the people in question. In my opinion, they are members of the cult operating in the Blue Mountains: 

Virginnia Donges (who now goes by the name "Gina Donges", or by her maiden name, "Gina Doran".)
Jenny Buckingham-Jones 
...and her husband David Buckingham
Annette Wotherspoon who runs Rose Lindsay cottage
Danny Wotherspoon, also known as Adrian Wotherspoon, of Abel Ecology
Liz Lees and Liz Lees, who may have parted company with the group.

    If any of the above have parted company with the group, they are welcome to reach out to me to set the record straight.

All live in the Warrimoo / Springwood/ Faulconbridge area of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and their group have collectively gone by the name the "Springwood Faulconbridge Home Church" for over 15 years. If you or loved ones have had a harmful encounter with this group, please contact me or one of the anti-cult support groups mentioned in my other article about John Darnell and his wife Glenys Darnell of the Shepherds Heart Church in Canberra.

Let me take you back three years. Kylie, a beautiful, vivacious lady, was working odd shifts at the reception desk at the private school that I had worked at for ten years. She was doing that because our son had started Kindy at the same school, and after years of being a stay-at-home mum. She was grateful for the distraction while she waited to get back to her "dream job", which was working as an E.N in the emergency department of Nepean hospital. So, the three of us often travelled to school together as a family. It was awesome. I ticked all the boxes. Beautiful wife, great job, own home, station wagon, a raft of civic engagements. The good life.

  But there was a cloud on our horizon. Hear me: Statistics shows Mental illness affects half the population over a lifetime, and 20% of the population in any given year. This means mental illness will either affect you or someone you love. Yes, mental illness costs over $20 billion to the economy, but it's far more important to recognise: "It's not their fault".  Mental illness shouldn't be stigmatised. There is support out there (despite some bad apples). For us, it was just one of those challenges that lay on our journey. Kylie was occasionally unwell, but she was loved and always brought back to health with the support of her family. Every time she recovered, we were so proud of her, and we felt we had a stronger empathy for those in the same situation. People with mental illnesses deserve our love and support.

      Now this school we worked at, Wycliffe Christian School at Warrimoo west of Sydney, is a non-denominational Christian school. I loved working there, but you know how it is. There are always the crazies that take up the outer orbit in any community, especially in the Blue Mountains, where crazy seems to be in the water. Except these crazies weren't in the outer orbit. Two of them were on the school board, at different times. And a third worked at reception, alongside my wife. There were stories; they'd stick their head up and say something... heterodox, that would make those within earshot blush, or cringe. The board president and the Principal were cautioned about letting them have any influence. Shoulders were shrugged. We had to be "ecumenical".

      Soon, Kylie was being sucked in. It was "Hey, come to our Bible study group". I kick myself now, because that's when the trouble started. No one recruits you to a cult by saying "Hey, join our group and we'll ruin your life." But at the time... I just had no idea. So off she went on odd evenings to socialise with this group. I even felt pleased that she had made new friends.

      No sooner had Kylie struck up this friendship that I started to see her change. Some of these outings had her coming back later and later. Midnight would come and go. I had a sleeping child in his bed. Her phone was off. Was she dead on the side of the road? I could tell she was at the cusp of becoming unwell again. And unwell meant... vulnerable. What were these people doing to her? The explanations, when they were offered at all, was Kylie was going through some pretty heavy "counselling". But hey, these were respectable people, right? On the School board and all?

On the 4th of January 2009, she told our son and I that she was going to her Bible study, and she would be back for dinner. We waved her off.
She never came home.

Kylie, when she was descending into an episode of mental illness, had the misfortune to fall into this sinister and manipulative group at precisely the worst moment.

Virginnia had taken over Kylie.

  Now, I know better. Now, I know this group have form. That they have damaged other people, other families. Years ago, they prophesied their group's pre-eminent role in the return of Jesus Christ. They went through spiritual passions when a member of their group was seriously ill, engaging in a prayer life that crossed a line into the bizarre. Their spiritual warfare centred on a belief that organised Satanic covens were attacking them, spiritually, all the time. Others, like my wife, had been taken in and "counselled" that they had repressed the memories of Satanic abuse by “Dissociating" the memories. We’ll come back to that.

One former member who escaped from the group with her children 12 years ago has been happy to speak out, and was interviewed for Channel Nine's A Current Affair. Here's what she said:
"We were attracted to them at first. But their beliefs changed. They became more extreme. Certain members of that group were prophesying about end times. They predicted the return of Christ, at a particular time, and ascribed certain roles for members of the group in relation to it. One of the group would lay on the ground and speak with what he said was the voice of God.
I became increasingly uncomfortable. We left because it became damaging to my family. I went to a friend I trusted, I went to a couple of Pastors I knew, and they all thought it was too strange, and dangerous, and that our family shouldn't be involved in it any more.
When I hear about the stuff this group are doing now, I'm very glad I'm no longer involved. It's contrary to my own experience of God, of prayer, and of reading the Bible. What it has to do with is peoples' egos; their unwillingness to stand back from their behaviour and examine it critically.
I think what they are doing now is dangerous, because they seem to have power in these relationships. Power that's quite negative. It brings discredit to God.
I don't know if these people are Christians, but I don't believe they are displaying Christian behaviour.
I hope they are called to account for their behaviour."

      Within a year, I found Kylie now went by the name the cult provided for her; "Hope Hopie” (and now legally changed to “Hope Doran-Jones” – a compound of her cult assigned name and two of the cult family surnames. Hope had a Facebook page. It's Kylie's face, but gaunt... haunted. She had lost maybe 25 kilos. As one of the cult members, Virginnia (Gina) Donges (Doran), explained to her own family, "There was no Kylie, ever." The smiling, vivacious, grounded women I courted, married, bought a house with... That person was gone. Erased. "Hope" was encouraged to refer to her own mother as "Filth", and to have nothing to do with her family. 

      She missed her sister's wedding. She missed the birth of three nieces and nephews. Contact with her family, including our son, progressively diminished.

"Hope Hopie"'s Facebook page (since deleted). A suffering woman, who bears my wife's face, stripped of her identity.
(click for larger)

The first Christmas she was gone, I called her.
"There's an empty chair here, and you're missed terribly. Where are you?"
"I'm with my real family now."

I was gutted.
What happened?
This is what happened:

"My family is the cult"... What Kylie was taught.
      Kylie's natural affections for her family, which were so loyal; her maternal bond with our son, which was so fierce, were pared away. She was persuaded that they were evil; that she had spent her childhood exposed to satanic torture (Necessary interjection: Kylie's family are good, kind, civically engaged people, and their support has been indispensable). Her illness, the presentation of alternate personalities, was perverted into some kind of spiritual attunement, a conduit to hear messages from Jesus springing from Kylie's lips; her altered states the channel to a prophetic gift, to foretell the future; to detect and oppose "astrals", which were satanists purportedly making psychic out-of-body attacks on the group. These ecstatic spiritual experiences often caused Kylie to lapse into a catatonic state. At the time, Kylie wrote:
"God just told me the next one will be different, it will be like the
other night when I couldn't fall unconscious or stare too long
'cause of the risk of catatonia. He said trap the astrals, get rid of them,
then keep me awake for half an hour. I'm sorry!"
      What the cult believe is that Kylie has a condition known as "Dissociative Identity Disorder", and that the person I knew as Kylie was merely a suffering community of "alters" who had "split" in order to protect her from the traumatic memories of Satanic abuse as a adolescent. This was controversial enough as a medical diagnosis; equally as many people in the psychiatric community believe DID simply does not exist. "Why," they legitimately ask, "did Holocaust survivors preserve relatively whole memories of their trauma, and yet you say that this abuse forces multiple amnesias and the fragmentation of a person's entire personality?"

      One personality she presented could supposedly speak directly to Jesus Christ, and that one must have been useful. However, Virginnia (Gina) Donges (Doran) gave an account of the terrible toll this "gift" was having on Kylie, saying 
"She has the gift of prophecy... But some (of these alters) wanted to hurt her, so they would go and drink bleach, they would eat firelighters, they would try and get her hand in the fire, they would run in front of trucks, all that sort of thing. So we kept the doors locked to keep her safe." 
Some alters were infantile and mute. They were put to bed with a sucked thumb and a teddy. And others... well, there's no polite way to put it. They were demons, and the only remedy for demonic possession is exorcism. Virginnia boasted the group cast out 88 of them in a single evening.

So Kylie was subjected to exorcism. In Australia, in the twenty first century.

      Within months, Kylie wrote a suicide note, addressed to our son. I can't repeat that. But these notes made about Kylie's ongoing treatment at around that time are disturbing:
"The only way out is death"
"Watching death makes me stronger"
"I will obey at all costs"

My blood ran cold.
Local ministers, former colleagues, people of better sense, did what they could to intervene. They were told to "butt out".
My wife... my boy's mummy, was gone.

Fade to black.

-------- ~~~ --------

      A year later, I sit with Wayne Donges, Virginnia's husband, his face creased with worry. Now he has lost his wife to the same cult. We're at his kitchen table in Faulconbridge.

      He pushes a binder of papers three inches thick across the table at me.
"These were laying about the house, before my wife left. I collected them. They were..." (he searches for a word) "treating Kylie. I can't believe it, but they kept notes on everything. Go on, look."

What I read shocks me to the core.

      And it's what you have been reading, scattered through this article. Just a small sample from these documents. It represents a rare insight into the inner workings of a religious group, turned toxic. I am not aware of many people fighting cults who have had such incriminating material dropped in their lap. I've thought long and hard about what to do with it, and my decision to publish has not come easily.

Most assuredly, this group are... unhappy that I have this material.
Actually, that's something of an understatement.

For example, witness this death decree against myself, written by Virginnia (Gina) Donges (Doran) on behalf of the group:

The Death Decree written by the cult against myself. Similar threats of
calamity were made against Kylie's mother.

      "They are going to hang themselves". That this was not meant to be taken figuratively was underlined by Virginnia (Gina) on one occasion she spoke to me. It meant just that, and they were praying for it to happen.

"Pray that the wombs are closed of all women.
Pray that the leaders come down first - taken out.
Pray them out - Death or Conversion."
      I'm pretty sure they didn't want me to have that.
Or that it would be published.
Or that I gave it to Channel Nine.
Or that I presented it at Parliament House to a conference where our Federal member of Parliament took time out of her schedule to be in the audience as a support to me (which was greatly appreciated).

      The man gestures. He points to some smudges above his doors and windows.
 "Do you see those greasy marks,  Nathan? They met here. That's where they made little crucifix marks with holy oil. To keep the demons out. They thought that there were coven people hiding in the bushes outside this house, every night. They thought they saw objects moving by themselves in the house. My wife said I brought demons in to the house, on my back."

"Jesus revealed 1 person in back of yard in bush every night 4
last 2 weeks keeping surveillance of coming and going and
keeping notes on lights off. He said pray, link angels around
boundary every night. Man ran away"

      I leaf through hundreds of pages of handwritten and typed documents, some in Kylie's writing, and some in the hand of various cult members. Pronouncements, curses, abjurations. Notes made by cult members as they guided my wife's "therapy", encouraging her to verbalise ever more lurid accounts of satanic murder and torture, with no evidence that they ever stopped to ask if it was true, but instead ecstatically wishing it to be true. Insisting, surely it must be still worse, and pray, go further? Crudely drawn pictures of stick figures having indignities performed on them with bombs, torture devices, even a helicopter suspending victims over a mine field. Kindergarten scrawls of obscenities, ostensibly written by Kylie as she "regressed" to infantile alters to re-live her traumas. Crayon daubings of rainbows, roughly done.
Immediately, my thoughts turned to Kylie, working in the emergency ward of Nepean hospital; competent and vibrant. A loving mother. A homemaker. My best friend.
I feel sick.

      I see Kylie, systematically persuaded that her youthful life was in thrall to a Satanic coven, and that only now can she be free, with the cult, her new family.

This is where it gets confusing:
Where the material I am showing you uses the word "cult", it is the Springwood Faulconbridge Home Church referring to basically the whole world. Everyone is compromised. In their mind, you might be a Satanist. The minister of your "mainstream” church might lead a coven on odd numbered Wednesdays. 
(Virginnia (Gina) Donges speaking: "The higher up they are in the coven, the higher up they are placed in the Church"

They are referring to Kylie's supposed abuse at the hands of a Satanic cult in her youth, and of Satanic cult activity they believe is presently rife in the Blue Mountains community.
When I use the word cult, I am referring to the group Kylie is with now.
Yes, you're allowed to be confused.
I do not believe Kylie was either subjected to, nor witnessed, any of the indignities described.
Ten years of marriage to her, and all the testimony of her friends and family who knew her long before I did, convinces me that Kylie has been schooled into this bizarre, sinister vein of end-times spiritual warfare at a point where she was seriously mentally ill, and uniquely vulnerable to their depredations.
Keep this question in mind; what catastrophic harm befalls a seriously mentally ill person when they are encouraged to believe such things, in lieu of proper psychiatric care?

Every page I turn to reveals a new horror. The cult believe they were engaged in invisible war with satanists operating up and down the Blue Mountains. That my family were Satanists as well:
The cult believe they are involved in spiritual warfare against
covens in the Sydney area, whom they identify "in the spirit" by
name, age, vocation, location, seniority, and the nature
of the attack these "astral travellers" visit upon the group.

Psychically identifying cult members: "10:45pm   Blackheath:
Jason  27  car salesman (level 2)
Brad   24   labourer (level 1 - highest)

Psychically identifying cult members:
"Katoomba youth coven - higher rank than shane
Chad - Uni   22,   Jake - unemployed   19."
Psychically identifying cult members: "Seth - 24  Lithgow, stray astral
hit later and set off catatonic", to which is added the strange
warning "From Joy: Kylie is so close they are pulling
out all stops". (Strange, because "Joy" may be an one of the alternate
personality of Kylie's)

"For those who hurt big Kylie, Prayer: Dear Jesus in your authority of your mighty name we decree that Matt and Jan that just astralled in and brought pain to Kylie we decree in Jesus' name that pain be thrown back on to you and that you will be subjected to it three times worse. (?) power until judgement day."
As I read, I see evidence of Kylie being encouraged to believe that she witnessed and participated in shocking acts. Torture and mass murder:
"I am invincible because I defeat death...
In a hole, tarp over, dirt over"

"If I disobey, I die.
Lite stick, pushed down throat. Eyes burned with flaming stick"
"If I talk, I die. Man chair/ tongue cut
out, stapled. (head cut off)"
"I will kill for the cult... baby out of mother"
"small baby- head cut off, put in hole"
"I am invincible because I beat death.
Heated faeces up on fire in large
barrel and tried to drown in hole."
"If I talk I die
Very angry - cut tongue out stapled mouth shut and died."
"Young guy - stick on fire down throat and then put in fire.
Acids put in throat and other places"
My womb belongs to the cult - Anything from it is theirs
Watched baby being extracted (woman died)
Kill or be killed - thought she killed a girl - but already dead
"(explosives on women)"
"I will obey at all costs. Cut throat - layed all night in body bag."
"body - intestine"
"I'm nothing but a burden. Dead body overnight"
"Pig - explosives - sex X2"
"9 year old murder"
"body bag. Cult killed with bats and spike straps,
made to orgasm before death - seed gives power"
"My only way out is death
Witness murder - she held head of man, chopped off, stick."
"Purification ritual - bleach and paintstripper"
"Man dragged out, hit with bats till dead & broken,
then hit with metal ball with spikes. Covered K with bits of flesh"
"cut out tongue - stapled lips & nose - hung him from a tree"
"I will kill for the cult when instructed...
made to kill 20+ old then lay in body bag all night"
"Man made to put hand x2 in large blender
powered by generator. Then poured over Kylie all night"
One obvious question is; if these people believed that any of this was true, why did they not go to the police? Surely this represents first hand testimony of a survivor who has witnessed torture and mass murder on an unprecedented scale! Why, it's because the police were infiltrated by satanists as well!

Psychically identifying cult members:
"Justin - Policeman   32,  Phillip - Uni student   28."

I begin to understand why Kylie is not getting better. Why she has cast aside her family. Her head was being filled with bile:
"I'm nothing but shit"
"My life belongs to Satan... body chainsaw / put in bag with parts (blood oath)"
"I am a bad girl and I deserve this"
"I'm fat I'm fat I'm fat - dog pooh eat"
"Blood makes me stronger. Put in a hole - buckets
of body parts and blood tipped over her"
"I'm ugly, I am nothing. I only matter to the cult"
"I decree all humanity of Kylie will leave"
"I will kill when instructed. I am Satan's little whore"
"I am a bad girl and I deserve this"
"hang from tree (dog). Dead over top all night"
"I will kill for the cult"
"I am a bad girl and I have a bad heart"
"Seeing death makes me stronger"
"I can trust no one but the cult" (Family) Code word
The cult are my family. (people not in the cult are called non family).
Pray a covering every time he speaks to her"
(this may be in relation to my efforts to speak
to Kylie to express my concern).


The "Repressed Memory Therapy" which Kylie was buckling under was taking a terrible toll. A Psychologist named Sue Bartho who was being duped into approving this therapy provided the confirmation:

See the first part of this story for more commentary on this point.      

      While her contact with us, her real family, tapered off, I noted with concern on rare occasions we saw her, how thin she looked, and that she always had a thousand-yard stare. Meanwhile, Virginnia (Gina) Donges was boasting to her own children:

      "Absolutely. We have written a new textbook about psychology, and that's what we are in the process of doing. To deal with this particular type of D.I.D that no one knows about, how to deal with it... We have rewritten it, and we've been told that we've rewritten it, and it will change mental health care, when the time comes"

This was what that therapy was producing:
"threted (sp) to give me a needle/ Hurt me in my special place.
Held my nose and made me swallow. If I didn't the needle would kill me."

"Kill coz I told u"

"Killed dog... Can't move or cry or will push button, blow up"


One note suggests. "Kylie has chosen this road". 
Like fuck she has.
And on, and on, in notebook after notebook. 

Lastly, I read: "If I talk, I die."

At that moment, I decide to speak for the speechless.

      Kylie had been brainwashed, poisoned against her own family, persuaded at a point of utter vulnerability (and certainly at a point where she needed professional psychiatric care), that members of her own family were Satanists, and that she lived a tortured life of oppression and terror. When they changed her name, Virginnia Donges came to a decision with Jenny Buckingham-Jones:
"The name Kylie became sickening to us. She was cursed with that name, it wasn't a name that was an honouring name to her. It had the word 'Lie' in it, and right from the time she was born, everyone was told that she was a liar, and she was herself told 'no one will believe you'.  This little one that came…  I really believe that it had to be Hope, so I called her Hope. Hope then became Hopey. Because “little Hope” didn't sound very good. So the one that I live with today, with no other parts, her name is Hope. She has the emotional level of a five year old."

       And at the time this happened, Virginnia (Gina) Donges, was working at Wycliffe Christian School, where I worked. Where my son was enrolled. Jenny Buckingham-Jones was on the board of the school. Her husband David Buckingham-Jones was a former board member. It was absolutely intolerable. And at the point I needed the support of that community more than ever; after I had given a decade of my working life to that community, it failed me. I took the material I am presenting here to the Board and leadership of this school. The board flatly refused to repudiate these practices, or to apologise for the treatment Kylie and I had experienced, even though the wider school community was now well aware of what had happened and expressed their support for me along with their disappointment with the spinelessness of the board.

-------- ~~~ --------

      Throughout the notes I had been provided, there was the repeated reference to two names: "John and Glenys Darnell" and "The Shepherd's Heart Church", based in Canberra. Who were they?

      I have covered the beliefs and practices of the Darnells in the first part of my story, however, all I need to note here is that the Blue Mountains cult had consulted John Darnell on at least one previous occasion when they were helping another woman named Elizabeth, and then quote Virginnia's words concerning the Darnell's role in Kylie's "treatment program":

"So I started to talk to John, I started to read his material, I started to see what caused D.I.D...  John came from Canberra to give us the techniques... One of the first 'parts', the first time out of all of them (there had been hundreds and hundreds up until then, which came out), and he recognised that one and said 'I think you're going to be asked to stay, and not to not be taken out'. And as it turned out, it did, but this one was our first one and she was 10. And he said to me, 'Gin, can you name her?' So I called her 'Hope'."

So Kylie didn't change her name. She had it changed for her. Kylie had "never existed", and yet was apparently sufficiently competent to sign  a power of enduring guardianship over her medical care to members of the cult.
I did some digging. John Darnell believes demons walk the earth in human guise, called "Nephilim". They breed with women, creating half demon-half human hybrids. They fly around in Nazi-built, demonically piloted UFOs. They kidnap women and take them to a secret underground base where the half demon embryos are removed. Oh, and the British Royal Family may be reptilians. All of this wackiness is recorded in the church's own materials, or in a series of radio interviews John Darnell gave to some fringe U.S based Christian radio stations over the last 2 years. In one interview, John Darnell talks specifically about the "help" he gave Kylie and the fact it came under official investigation by the Health Services Commissioner. His response?
"Well, so what? I'm prepared to go to gaol, I'm prepared to die, to help these people who don't have a voice." (Radio interview, 17-10-2010)
Yeah, thanks so much for all your help, John.
"11/5/09 - Monday of John's visit... Will bring out the big ones tonight. A "system". How big Kylie's system is and how complicated it is. Tell us about codes. Be really careful because what you see in there is hidden setups. Go really slowly." (See my other article for Darnell's beliefs on "systems")
I suspect this template, used in the example above, was provided by
John Darnell as part of Kylie's "treatment plan"
Examples of the strange abjurations Kylie and the group participated in.

-------- ~~~ --------

      January 2012 Update: Three remarkable years of trying to understand what went wrong. Kylie has divorced me, but a magistrate granted me sole custody of our son, not seeking even to impose any schedule for contact between our boy and his mother. I've joined several organisations to try to do what I can to help others who are going through similar situations. One is the Australian False Memory Association (AFMA). The other is the Cult Information and Family Support Network (CIFS). I am now aware that there are others out there who are doing the same thing, who believe in Ritual Satanic Abuse and Repressed Memory Therapy, and the shattered victims and their families need help. People like me, who have had the fortune to arrive at compelling proofs of the phenomenon, must speak out, or others will suffer. As I said, I've been on TV and I've spoken at Parliament House to tell a part of this story. I've met with the NSW Attorney General, and various other MPs to try and push for stronger laws against this kind of psychological abuse, but this will be the subject of the third part of this series of articles.

      Now, I'm back at Uni completing my Masters in teaching with a near High Distinction average. My boy is thriving. I'm actively engaged in various civic pursuits.  I would like to think that I inspire both the esteem of my colleagues and friends, and perhaps a modicum of dread among my enemies.

      I freely admit that telling this story, and especially in naming those whom I believe are responsible, carries some risk. But there's no malice in me telling you this tale. I'm no Ahab, nor is this blog my Pequod. You see, someone will die if these kinds of therapies are allowed to persist without censure or restraint. I'm doing what I feel I must to raise the profile of this issue, in which, I assure you, I had neither knowledge nor interest before it fell like a flaming airliner on my house.

      Lastly, a legitimate question is "What of Kylie?" It is enough to say that she is a victim, who has not been able to speak this truth for herself. She is loved still, and missed always. When she escapes (not if, when) then she is entitled to a narrative which will grant her back some modicum of dignity, and which will let her hold her head back up. She is more sinned against, than sinning.

      Your feedback regarding this story, especially if you or a loved one have endured something similar, is welcomed.

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      December 2019 Update: These events have caused trauma that will never entirely heal. In one sense there will never be a 'happy ending' because what has been lost can never be returned. At least, not to Kylie.

     But for what it's worth, you should know that my son and I are flourishing. He was six when his mother left, never to return. And I have raised him nearly to manhood, now over a decade has elapsed. At time of writing, he's in his last year of high school. I couldn't be prouder of him.
The events in this piece I wrote eight years ago feel like a geological age ago. They only ache on anniversaries, like Frodo's wound from the Witch-King in Lord of the Rings.

     As for me? I completed my Masters and was pursuing a teaching career until politics called me. I have been an elected city Councillor for three years, and presently sit as the Chair of another County Council -- a civic vocation I find tremendously satisfying. I've directed and acted on the stage. I've travelled internationally. I look back on the imprecations spoken against me with a overwhelming sense of vindication. They said I would founder. Instead, for the last decade, I have prospered: I am involved in my community. I am surrounded by family. I feel like I'm living the advice in Raymond Carver’s poem, Late Fragment:

“And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.”

     Sometimes, I still wonder if these people ever ask themselves if they were wrong. To use the way they would frame it: Whom has God favoured? They prayed I would die. Instead, it is they who now have ruined reputations and shrunken lives, with their children and siblings rejecting them, and caught in a slow downward spiral of mental illness and co-dependence.

     For several years, I have received reports that Kylie continues to be increasingly unwell. In 2015, bizarrely, I saw a photo of her submitted to a photographic competition at our local fair. She looked sick. Haunted. Utterly joyless.
     Although it made me sad, it didn't have the kick it might have had in earlier years, when I still had a heart to fight for her. Now I realise, in a sense, Kylie died when the cult captured her and hollowed her out. I'm reconciled to that now. She no longer even sends cards or gifts to our son on birthdays or Christmases.

     The cult group, I hear, has splintered, as I knew it would. Some have abandoned Virginnia/Gina Donges/Doran (or whatever alias she's using these days to cover up her past). Some people close to what happened have sought contact with me to say they now see things differently. I still get unsolicited emails from people who knew the Darnells, usually along the lines of "I was damaged by them too", or "we always knew they were crazy!"  I take comfort from that. 

     Virginnia's online presence these days is full of anti-vaccination BS, or other tinfoil-hat conspiracy-theory woo, such as advocating that the Port Arthur massacre was a false-flag operation -- confirming my long-held theory that the constellation of credulity, stupidity and a lack of critical thinking faculties are the things that all pseudoscience and cultery have in common. If you believe Satanic covens have infiltrated mainstream churches and fly around in UFO's, then of course you're also going to believe every other quack theory that lands in your inbox. Our friends Dunning and Kruger are at work here.

What has not changed is my conviction that someone will die some day as a result of these practices or these beliefs. I gave a warning, many years ago, to that group. Kylie was their burden now, and she is a ticking bomb. One that will inevitably go off. And I'll be waiting.

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I'll include here the videos of the two TV pieces and my Parliament House speech that went to air in early November 2011 where I begin to tell my story.

Video of second "A Current Affair" piece:

Video of Parliament House speech:

Video of first "A Current Affair" piece:




Carl said...

I really don't know where to start. I wish I had been up to seeing your article before. I have been fighting the same sort of battle from Western Australia. See ABC Corners 5/4/2010. I am the mother who lost her daughter to this monster. She is no longer in his clutches but I don't have my daughter back. I have been lobbying both State and Federal Governments since I knew she was involved in a cult. It has taken a toll on my health and for about 6 months I have not been actively campaigning. I know I must get back to it and would like to see where you have managed to break thru if at all. Please contact me as I believe if we can all join together in this fight it will surely make people listen. I also belong to both CIFS & AFMA. Carl

Anonymous said...

Im not sure you will post this comment...but im guessing it will get to you Nathan.

I'm sorry for your loss. The whole situation is heart breaking...but this just isn't the right way to go about it. I hope one day you will forgive....and be truly free...for your sake.

I hope and pray that one day the burden will be lifted...that you can hope again for your future...that the pain of the loss will ease.

I pray that your son will one day build a relationship with his mother and that God will guide you in wisdom as you raise him.

A Blue Mountains Local.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I have just recently taken an interest in recearching Australian cults, their beliefs and the methods of manipulation they use to draw people in. I came across your story and firstly would like to say how sorry I am to hear of your situation, secondly that you are a more controlled man than I would have been in your shoes, I would have done some nasty things to these people to ensure they couldn't do it to another family ever again! I admire your strength And ability to move forward and try to carry on a normal life for your son. Good luck mate all the best on your future crusade for justice.

Kay said...

Hello Nathan. I'm shocked and saddened to hear what has happened to your family. I'm a counsellor and dissociative identity disorder is a serious mental health issue that needs psychological care. If your wife had this she needed to be under the care of someone who understands trauma.
This group sounds like they have an agenda and take advantage of those who have issues. It is horrendous and gives christians a bad name.
I hope someone listens to you and you are able to resolve some of the trauma.