This girl was born into evil sex cult and taught to say 'Yes' to any man who wanted her
Press » News of the World » 1999-06-13
By Neil Roberts
WARPED BRAINWASHING SECT THAT HAS INFILTRATED BRITAIN
DEVASTATED Victoria Padilla was reared from birth to be a child sex toy for a warped brigade of religious maniacs.
As she languished within their camp, set in the idyllic Oxfordshire countryside, she watched a living hell of pornography, orgies and bizarre scripture-ranting unfold around her.
Victoria was born into the warped Children Of God cult after her parents were sucked into its insidious grip. She was 16 before she could escape. And her story is a harrowing account of the nightmare world that exists on our doorsteps.
"What they do is turn you into little sluts," she shuddered. "A picture tells a thousand words and I first had to read pornographic books when I was about seven. I knew a girl of nine who wasn't a virgin, and others around 10 who'd already had sex. I remember being aware of all the wife-swapping from a very early age.
"This 19-year-old got pregnant by my father, so I actually have a half-sister somewhere. And I remember having arguments with other children about who my future brothers and sisters would look like.
"Then there were events that the elders called 'come unions' when everyone would have sex in front of everyone. I've only come to realise recently that it was like witchcraft."
The Children Of God gather their new members in the most insidious ways. Members go 'flirty fishing' for recruits. Basically that means the women, mostly, wander prime areas- usually university campuses-offering sex in a bid to draw in weak-minded souls. Once in the cult they either stay because they are simply seduced by the life of depravity or because they become brainwashed by the Bible-bashing elders. Last estimates, in 1995, claimed 1,000 British children were ensnared in the communities of the Children Of God. For perverts, they are a valuable commodity
Victoria, now 24, remembers being taken away from her parents for two weeks to make a Christmas carols video. It would have been a heart-tugging moneyspinner.
But away from the camera, the five 10-year-old girls on the video would take it in turns sharing a bed with a 13-year-old boy. "I was so terrified that I started crying and I managed not to have to take my turn," said Victoria.
SHE added: "I remember being put in rooms expected to 'share' with someone and my only defence would just be to be horrible. I'd be horrid and shake them off.
"Then I'd be punished mentally and emotionally for not doing it. And without me realising it, the pressure put on me to share my body with other people has affected me deeply as an adult.
"I always managed to say no when I was growing up in the cult. But my life was almost destroyed. It's given me a history of terrible relationships.
"I also find it difficult to say no when people make advances to me. I'm not promiscuous. It's just that I'm too open to people."
Victoria's British mum Sylvia had met her dad Arnoldo on a trip to Miami. He was a living in Costa Rica, Central America.
Sylvia little realised that he had already been sucked into the cult. By the time she did find out it was too late, she was in love-and she followed him into the Children Of God
VICTORIA was born into the cult in Costa Rica, but with her parents was dragged to Children Of God centres throughout the world.
She remembers a number of them in Britain. There was the one in Wantage, Oxfordshire, and others around London - especially in Bromley and Hampstead Heath. The UK is one of the cult's core centres of activity.
The commune homes Victoria remembers were basic and cramped. Three or four families would live together in terraced houses.
The communal sex would take place in the biggest rooms-with as little furniture as possible to get in the way. Often there would be only a TV in the corner playing pornographic videos.
"Some of the children would stay and watch, thinking the orgies in front of them were simply a part of normal life," said Victoria.
"Others would mingle in the background almost as if nothing was happening. But other children who realised it was wrong tried to disappear or go outside to play."
She was not alone in her nightmare. Five brothers and sisters were also born into the Children Of God. Like the rest of the girls, Victoria was taught to say 'yes' when any man wanted her.
It was only her strength of will, and the protection of her parents who still had vestiges of decency, that kept a procession of sex monsters at bay.
"Children were brainwashed into believing sex with strangers was normal," she said. "Instead of reading children's books we'd read about sex. Instead of kids' TV, we'd sit through pornographic videos, complete with Biblical messages in the background." Her mother was forced into surrendering herself to any man who wanted her - told it was her duty as a Christian, according to original scripture.
Victoria may have managed to say no to sex, but she still had to watch the 'come union' orgies. She still had to parade naked on video and in strip shows for the cult leaders. She added: "I remember being in a cult teen home in Wantage and they made me write down what was in my heart and my head-for a report for the leaders. It was totally sick."
These 'teen homes' packed teenagers together, away from their families who might just want to protect them, to 'prepare' them for a life in the cult.
The youngsters would be encouraged to 'share' together-a coy word for having sex with all and sundry-and even told not to wear underwear.
AMAZINGLY, Victoria does not blame her parents for the torment she endured before having the strength to pull free.
Their marriage is now dissolved and her mother has come to her senses and severed all connections with the cult. Like Victoria, she lives in south London. Her father is back in Costa Rica. He still has friends in the cult and Victoria fears he may still be involved.
"But they were brainwashed too," she says. "In fact, it's really because of my direct family that I managed to get away from it at all. My dad's dad was a major social reformer in Costa Rica and he was known as one of the kings of the cult. He'd donate money to them, often in return for sex, and turn a blind eye to everything. That's how I was allowed to go to a normal Catholic school. And that's how I began to realise that my childhood wasn't the same as everybody else's."
Bringing friends home meant huge embarrassment. Books about sex would be lying around all over the place. Victoria would tell her pals about the pornographic lifestyle she was witness to and they would listen open-mouthed in horror.
IT was only the family's move to Britain, when Victoria was 14, which spelled the beginning of the end to her nightmare.
She was fast becoming an adult and could act for herself.
Victoria approached her parents. Their beliefs had already begun to waver-and, vitally, they lived away from other cult members. And they stood firm when cult leaders tried to persuade them to force her back.
The 'prophets' only climbed down when they feared that the police would be called.
"I know my spirit has never been broken though I've been through all this," says Victoria.
She has now been offered a lifeline of help by cult-buster Bonnie Woods. Bonnie, 50, was celebrating this week after winning a libel case against the Church of Scientology. She was award Pounds 55,000 in damages after the church dropped protest leaflets around her hometown of East Grinstead, West Sussex, complaining about her campaigning work.
Bonnie told the News of the World: "There is a network of counsellors who help people who want to save themselves from cults. I can help Victoria but better still, I can put her in touch with people who are experts at handling the legacy of the Children Of God."