'Cult-like' charity for disabled to close after critical inspections

The Sunday Times, UK/March 15, 2015

By Colin Coyle

THE Pilgrim House Community, a religious charity that has been described as “cult-like”, is to close after inspections by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) criticised its standards.

The centre, which cares for intellectually disabled people, has told the HSE, which has given it more than €1m since 2010, that it is closing down because the “regulatory framework is no longer compatible with our voluntary ethos”.

The registered charity has come to public attention over the past 15 years, including an incident when members were prevented from entering Israel at the turn of the millennium after being mistaken by officials for a doomsday cult.

In 2004 some members were interviewed by gardai after distributing leaflets outside a church warning about incest and sexual abuse. Members deny that the organisation is a cult.

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