Student reveals how he fled from bizarre Danish sect

My escape from the clutches of a cult

Liverpool Daily Post/May 4, 2000
By Penny Fray

A student revealed yesterday how he escaped from the clutches of a bizarre cult based in Denmark.

Drew Gatlin, 37, who is studying at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, fell prey to an organization called Tvind after seeing an advertisement.

But his hopes of teaching and travelling the world with the organisation were cut short when he was left virtually destitute in Denmark.

Mr Gatlin claims the group tried to take away his successful window-cleaning business and is now warning others to steer away from Tvind and their promises. "They wanted to cut off our independence and make us financially dependant on them," says Mr Gatlin.

"The business had built a solid customer base and they wanted to take it over because it was making money."

The left-wing political sect putsitself forward as a legitimate Third World development project. But the Danish government is now investigating its finances, raised by using students to sell flowers on street corners.

Mr Gatlin escaped the rich and powerful cult by alerting both the police and press in Copenhagen.

He said: "I never suspected that anything bad would happen because all the organisation's brochures looked so genuine and professional.

"But when I returned to Britain I was so afraid of what would happen to me that I changed my name for a short while. I'm just lucky that nothing too horrendous happened to me as a result of going to Denmark."

Despite a number of approaches by the Daily Post, no one was available to speak on behalf of Tvind yesterday.

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