A sex slavery cult based on a series of 1960s science fiction novels has been uncovered by police in Darlington.
Durham Police discovered the bizarre sect after raiding a home in the area, after receiving complaints that a woman was being held against her will.
But a spokesman said the Canadian was a willing participant and the other people involved were consenting adults.
The group, called Kaotians, follow the Chronicles of Gor novels which depict a society where women are dominated.
The 29-year-old woman is said to have voluntarily attended the sect after finding out about it over the internet.
She later contacted a friend in United States, who then contacted the police, saying she wanted to leave but couldn't as she had burnt her passport and return ticket.
But a police spokesman said upon arriving at the premises they did not find any evidence of "criminal offences".
Police also investigated claims by a father in Essex his 18-year-old son had joined the sect. However police also found the teenager was at the property voluntarily and they had no grounds to get involved.
Lee Thompson, 31, says he is the "master" who trains the slaves at the Darlington address.
He said the women who act as slaves "do so by their own choice".
"We're just a group of people that live a different lifestyle, I mean there's nothing wrong with that," he told BBC News.
"We don't hurt anyone, we don't damage anyone, everyone's consensual."
Members of the group based their lives on "a dominant submissive point of view", he said.
"It's one thing that everyone's missed out on so far is, even in our organisation, if that's what you want to call it, women can be free and they can be dominant, we don't stop that," he added.
"But the majority of women in our organisation are obviously slaves because women have a submissive streak in them."
Mr Thompson says up to 350 followers regularly meet in pubs and clubs around the North East, in an area from Berwick to York.
Kaotians are a splinter group of the Goreans, which base their beliefs on novels written by American university professor John Norman.
The books are set on the quasi-medieval planet of Gor, which has a caste system and uses women as slaves.
There are an estimated 25,000 Goreans worldwide.