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Defenders of Christ

“Olivia” tells how she was “forced into extortion, mental torture, and sexual depravity … as one of thousands of Mexican victims of the international Defenders of Christ cult, led by Spaniard Ignacio Gozalez de Arriba, who claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. The sect attracts followers by offering classes in “bio-programming” and other pseudoscientific health care modes. The classes, suggested by Olivia’s husband, at first helped her deal with her depression; but when she was hired as an assistant following completion of the third level of the course, she says she began to suffer psychological violence when her pay was withheld for the slightest mistake. Soon, she had to tithe once a week, then every day, and “they made us believe Ignacio was the master, a great being of light. They wanted to establish the Defenders of Christ as a religion, but in Mexico it could not have been possible because Ignacio is a foreigner.” She said that Gonzalez de Arriba, who discoursed on polygamy, believed that women’s bisexuality was good, and that the apostles (followers) could each have seven women—but that he could have up to 10. He spoke of supernatural power and magic, “catalyzed by sex.” She recalled, “They told us that we should have sex with women.” When Gonzalez de Arriba said he had a heart condition and was losing his power, “I had to go out to the bars and clubs to find prostitutes, seduce them, and take them to Ignacio” for sex. “I lost my dignity and my family fell apart.” (Metró, 2/21/13) [IT 4.2 2013] 

Mexican authorities in January broke up the Defenders of Christ, a small cult near Nuevo Laredo led by Spaniard Ignacio Gonzalez de Arriba, who says he’s the reincarnation of Christ. The action followed allegations that children in the group, consisting of 14 foreigners and 20 Mexicans, were forced into sex. The possibility of human trafficking is also being investigated. The National Migration Institute said that all of the foreign members of the group were forced to work and tithe. The Support Network for Sect Victims identified Gonzalez’ deputy as Jose Arena Lozanger of Venezuela. The Network says Gonzalez forced women into prostitution, forbade followers to bathe, and made them eat raw animal parts such as heart, liver, and tripe. According to the Support Network, followers were indoctrinated through hours of viewing videos of Gonzalez’ teachings. Men were encouraged to take several wives, and women were forced to take part in orgies. Members who wanted to become “apostles,” with privileges, had to pay as much as $100,000. A former member said, “They broke you down, punished you by not letting you eat, and denigrated you.” (IOL News, 1/31/13) [IT 4.2 2013]

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