Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Good riddance to Roch Thériault, Canada's most evil cult leader

His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate. Psalms 7:16

"Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent..." Sherlock Holmes to Doctor Watson in The Adventure of the Speckled Band by A. Conan Doyle, The Strand Magazine, February 1892

Roch Thériault, probably the most evil cult leader in Canadian history, died in his cell in New Brunswick's Dorchester prison on February 26, 2011 after being attacked "in the vicinity of his cell." He was 63. As reported in the Montreal Gazette on February 28, 2011:

Theriault, a self-styled prophet, was sentenced to life in prison in 1993 after he was found guilty of second-degree murder for killing his wife Solange Boislard.

Theriault killed Boislard while trying to disembowel her with a kitchen knife during a cult ritual.

Her body was found in 1989 at the cult’s camp near Coboconk, Ont., northeast of Toronto.

In the fall of 1978, persuaded that the world would end the following February, Theriault and a group of followers set up camp in a log cabin in the Gaspe bush about 15 kilometres from New Carlisle, Que. When the world failed to end, they stayed on at the Eternal Mountain retreat until 1981, when Theriault and three cult members were charged in the death of a two-year-old boy.

Evidence at the coroner’s inquest suggested that the child had been beaten for crying and that Theriault used scissors sterilized with alcohol to cut into a lump on the child’s penis.

When the boy died, his parents — also members of the cult — had the body burned.

In November 1988, Theriault used pliers to remove at least eight teeth of one of his concubines after she had complained of a toothache.

The next year, he used a knife to cut off an arm of the same woman.

Maclean's magazine published a cover story on Mr. Thériault's cult titled The Ant Hill Kids in its February 8, 1993 issue. Unfortunately, Maclean's' online archive goes back only to 2003, so the interested reader will have to go to a library to find the 1993 article. The Maclean's website has published an article on the death of Mr. Thériault.

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