Canadian guru accused of sexually assaulting followers

Canadian guru accused of sexually assaulting followers

Canadian John de Ruiter, a self-proclaimed leader of a multi-million dollar Western spiritual community, has been charged with multiple sexual assaults on followers, police said.

The 63-year-old man was arrested on Saturday and charged with four assaults between 2017 and 2020, according to a police statement from the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, released this week.

“The defendant informed certain female members of the group that a spirit had ordered him to have sexual relations with them,” police said.

He would have explained to them that they could achieve “spiritual enlightenment” through sex with him, we can still read in the press release.

Police believe there may be other victims and encourage them to come and report them.

Contacted by AFP, John de Ruiter’s entourage did not immediately comment. But according to Zaba Walker, spokeswoman for John de Ruiter, quoted by the BBC, the latter “intends to vigorously challenge these allegations in court”.

Between 2007 and 2021 he led an organization called the College of Integrated Philosophy or Oasis Group. Since then, John de Ruiter, who became famous for his piercing stare that stares at his followers for minutes, has continued to offer meetings, including “spiritual retreats,” to believers in Edmonton.

Pinned back in 2017 by an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper for his numerous sexual relationships with believers, he stated on his website that he “does not use sex as a means of control or submission over anyone.”