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frugaldreams

Anne Hamilton-Byrne and The Family, Australian Cult

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frugaldreams

48 Hours has an interesting new episode about an Australian cult run by a women who said she was Christ reincarnated. They were very child centered and she even stole other people's children. Very interesting commentary by a cult expert about how photographs show how children's personalities are being suppressed. 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/inside-the-family-cult-australia-anne-hamilton-byrne/

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Howl

It was shocking the extent to which these people were damaged as children.  It was very, very sad.  Even more shocking is that she never spent time in prison. 

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Cleopatra7

How are groups like this allowed to operate? I know in the US the First Amendment will let you get away with anything, as long as it's under the guise of a "religion," but I would have thought Australia would have more oversight on these groups.

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Waffle Time
mango_fandango

That picture of the kids with the short blonde hair... Village of the Damned. *wibble*

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December

How incredibly creepy and terrible! The "Aunties" bit sounds right out of some horror movie. Those poor children.  

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Tired
Palimpsest
On 5/4/2017 at 11:28 AM, Cleopatra7 said:

How are groups like this allowed to operate? I know in the US the First Amendment will let you get away with anything, as long as it's under the guise of a "religion," but I would have thought Australia would have more oversight on these groups.

Well not quite everything but too damn much.  In my opinion, naturally.

Small cults like this tend to operate and flourish in seclusion and I think this is how Hamilton-Byrne managed it in Australia and the UK and US.  

It is also quite a long time ago and legislation in the area has improved since the 1960s, 70s and 80s when she was operating.  This was baby stealing and child abuse but if no one outside the cult witnesses it then there is no one to report it.  

Adoption legislation has come a long way too since then  Perhaps one of our Australian members knows more.

I'm disgusted that she and the "Aunties" never did prison time though.  You would think Australia could have got them on something.

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frugaldreams

I am wondering why the survivors haven't started a civil suit. Anne's estate is substantial. If she isn't going to jail I think I would have little hesitation about taking her to civil court where the burden of proof is not as high as civil court.

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Tired
Palimpsest

I think a few of them have sued.  I'd have to look it up.  As for the rest - cults are so damaging perhaps they aren't psychologically able so far or the SOL has run out.  It is truly sad.

Edited by Palimpsest

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Ozlsn

There's a new documentary out on the iView site for ABC. Some information also about where the children are now on Mammamia and I think a link to the documentary. I kind of knew the basics - there was a cult, there were raids, there were stolen children - but I had no idea just how bad the abuse was. 

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miffy

My great uncle was in The Family. I don't know very much about it because my grandmother stopped speaking to him at some point in the late 60s or early 70s until not long before she died. What I do know is that there was a major family tragedy before he and his wife joined the cult. Anne knew that and used their grief to manipulate them. At the same time he was the son of a truly outstanding man who did enormous amounts of good and several people have written their thesis about him. I won't name either of them for privacy reasons.

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