Did Cult Abduct Two Children?
By Barbara Vobejda
Candy Pickus's story begins 10 years ago in Texas when she joined the "Children of God," a religious cult with a fervor for Jesus and the Bible.
For the next seven years she was caught up in that group, married a member of the group and had four children. They moved from the United States and travelled through three European countries distributing literature and collecting money for the group.
But the fervor evolved into a bizarre experience. Candy Pickus said the group began soliticiting donations donations and members through prostitution--"Happy Hookers for Jesus," as they are known. Moreover. children were often included in the group's sexual activities, she said. "I never could really force myself to believe that [prostitution] was necessary," Pickus said. Because she protested, she was sent away from her two older children, who stayed in Spain with her estranged husband, Brian Pickus. She took with her the youngest child and she was pregnant with a fourth child.
For the past three years, her story has been one of frustration--fighting to find her two children. Finally, she convinced her husband to come to visit Oahu, where she now lives. She borrowed the money to send them one-way plane tickets. In late August they arrived. She took the children home with her. Divorce papers were served on her husband at the airport.
On Sept. 1, Brian Pickus visited the children at Candy's house. After dinner, he visited his car briefly, returned, grabbed the oldest son and tried to leave. She pulled her son back and yelled for her boyfriend.
Four more men appeared at the door and in the struggle that followed her boyfriend was choked and suffered a concussion. He tried to follow but his car was blocked. He thought there were 10 men in 3 cardloads.
It is believed the other men were cult members as her husband had no connections or friends except for this group.
Family Court Judge Michael Town ordered a bench warrant for the arrest of Brian Pickus and also ordered that the children be turned over to Mrs. Pickus. Police Det. William Johnson said police have been unable to find Pickus.
The court order states that Brian Pickus took the children "with the assistance of at least 10 other men in willful violation" of an earlier court order.
The boys, Shaqued, 8, & Christopher, 6, --are both Caucasian, have brown hair and brown eyes. They speak English with a slight accent and usually converse with each other in Spanish.