Search For Missing Cult Boy

Teenagers can be targeted by religious cults

BBC News, July 14, 2000
By Alex Hendry

A grandmother whose 16-year-old grandson abandoned his studies and disappeared with a religious cult has turned to the courts to try to find him.

Bobby Kelly met a member of The Jesus Christians handing out leaflets while shopping with his grandmother Ruth in Romford.

The teenager, who had been living in Essex with his grandmother Ruth, packed his belongings the same afternoon and told his grandmother he was "going with them".

Bobby has now been made a ward of court and the Official Solicitor, Laurence Oates, has issued a statement in an attempt to locate him.

He wanted to clear his room and give all his possessions away, but his grandmother would not let him," says the statement.

"Since then, he has been with members of the movement. He has telephoned his grandmother on several occasions and she describes him as sounding very strange and most unlike the Bobby she knows."

Bobby, who had intended to study business at college after completing his GCSEs, has told her that he must give everything up, including his family. Although he has since visited his grandmother, she could not speak to him alone as a member of the cult was always with him.

Hard to contact

"At present, the whereabouts of Bobby is unknown," the statement continues. "His grandmother is very worried about him and fears he may be taken abroad."

Bobby was last seen moving around with cult members in a white Leyland DAF van registration number K141 LHT.

The Jesus Christians were formed by an Australian, David McKay, but they do not make themselves available to be contacted.

Their literature calls on converts to forsake their jobs, boss, even their family and friends.

"God is now your Boss and he has a new job for you that will not wait," says the leaflet handed out by cult members.

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