Sinister Cult Chief Recruits in Scotland

Shoppers asked to join shamed charity

Sunday Mail - Glasgow/February 24, 2002

A SINISTER cult is recruiting in Scotland despite its leader going on the run accused of fraud and tax swindles.

Activists for the mysterious Humana group have been seen touting for members outside supermarkets.

Cult watchers have been alerted to a cell run by his organisation from Glasgow.

Humana is one of a string of charities linked to the Tvind organisation, accused of using brainwashing.

Police are trying to trace its leader Amdi Petersen. He fled his native Denmark and has not been seen in public for 22 years. Now his followers operate freely on the streets of Glasgow.

Glaswegian Brian Jennings, 38, bought a 16-page newspaper for pounds 2 in the city's Buchanan Street. It appeals for local volunteers and free accommodation in Scotland for activists.

Brian said: "I had heard of these people before because they were trying to attract volunteers from Glasgow University. We were warned not to get involved then, but I heard most of their operations had been shut down.

"How can they be operating in the city now?"

Humana runs the College for International Co-operation and Development, near Hull, and two commercial recycling companies.

Seven Humana shops and two schools in Hull and Norwich were closed by the Charities Commission in 1998. In 2000, Glasgow University took action against the organisation, said to be recruiting students for its Danish school.

Petersen's group also ran charities across the world, including the poorest areas of Africa. Volunteers were asked to pay cash up front to attend schools in Denmark, but many complained facilities were almost non-existent.

A spokesman for the Cult Information Centre said: "This group's activities are well-documented and they certainly have a presence in Britain. We have received information about them operating in Scotland."

Petersen was thought to have gone to Britain because fraud laws are less tough than in Denmark. Now police think he may have vanished to a pounds 4million luxury home on a tiny island near Florida.

They issued a warrant for his arrest after raids on his headquarters in Grinsted, Denmark. Petersen and four others are wanted after irregularities were found in the organisation's accounts.

In the UK, 'charities' linked to his organisation rake in up to pounds 2million a year.

Danish police have refused to reveal how their hunt for Petersen is progressing. No one from Humana's Hull HQ was available for comment.

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