Tests disprove sect's family ties
The Toronto Star/1993-09-21, Sec. D, p. A1.
by Dale Brazao
Blood tests have disproved claims by some members of a religious sect that they are the natural parents of children in the group, sources say.
Former members of the cult have claimed the group removes children from their natural parents so they can be raised by step parents.
Some say they were moved from home to home to foster the notion that the cult is one big family.
In one case, American Robert Robb claims he is the father of eight of the detained children. But tests show just four are his, sources say.
But a spokesperson for The Family in Argentina says Robb, 43, split up with his wife.
During their lengthy separation the woman had four more children with another sect member. They later got back together and he adopted the kids as his own, he said.
Identifying the children has proven to be a major problem because most have two or three different names and numerous passports.
Judge Roberto Marquevich in Buenos Aires has been refusing to give fathers access to their children unless they can prove direct lineage through DNA testing.
Some 134 children are being held in protective custody while Argentine authorities try to sort out who belongs to whom in the aftermath of the Sept. 1 police crackdown on the sect.
Eighteen members of The Family, including Canadians Susan Claire Borowick, 33, of Burlington and Jesse Jude Mara, 21, of British Columbia, are in prison on charges of corruption and concealment of children, illegal servitude, deprivation of liberty for religious purposes and racial and religious discrimination.
Forensic and medical examinations revealed nine of the 134 children had been sexually abused, Marquevich said.