'I just felt like I belonged here': Kayla Reid on why she's leaving Costa Rica

Eligio Bishop says media tried to portray him as 'someone that had stolen their white daughter'

CBC News/March 21, 2017

By Stephanie Tobin

The Corner Brook woman who's been in Costa Rica with what her family calls a "cult" says she's coming back to Newfoundland to avoid anyone getting in trouble, and took to Facebook Live Tuesday with the man her family suspects of having too much control of her life. 

"I don't want anybody getting hurt because I'm here," Kayla Reid said during a live video broadcast from Costa Rica.

She added that she decided to come back to what she called "Babylon," referring to Canada, so that no one in Costa Rica got in trouble.

Reid, 21, was reported missing in February, although the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary closed the missing person file last week after making contact with her.

Reid was in Costa Rica with Eligio Bishop, 34, who calls himself Natureboy, and his group of followers.

On Tuesday, Bishop and Reid, who also goes by the name of Sun Ray, hosted a Facebook Live video that lasted about 50 minutes, talking about her decision to leave.

"I came here to be free ... I didn't want any contact with them anymore. They are still being possessive over me," Reid said.

Her family had been pleading for the woman's return, saying they believed she was being "brainwashed."

On Tuesday, her mother Tammy Reid told CBC News that "Natureboy worked with us to get her home. He will help Kayla get on the plane safely."

Late Tuesday afternoon, Bishop posted a photo on Facebook saying Reid had been dropped off at the San Jose Airport and that she was safe.

Her aunt, who is on vacation in Florida, confirmed flights were booked for Reid to meet her there and the two will travel back to Corner Brook together.

Reid herself said this trip to Costa Rica wasn't the first time she wanted to leave Canada and her family in Corner Brook.

"I just felt like I belonged here. That's why I came here. My heart just felt like this is my family so that's why I came here," she said.

"I had plans to leave [Canada] even before, and then they tried to be possessive over me so I got put on pills because I wanted to leave."

'We're not really a cult'

Bishop, meanwhile, said the media coverage has been an attack and harassment of him and his group, the Etherians.

"They're trying to depict me in the media as they always do when they're trying to kill someone, as someone that is dangerous, someone that had stolen their white daughter and controlling her mind," Bishop said in the video.

"If they can get people to believe that I'm holding Sun Ray against her will, and that I'm a cult member and I'm a dangerous black man, then they can come kill me and be the hero like they did all of these countries that they've invaded. That's what the media does."

He also said the group isn't a cult, just a way of seeing the world and getting in touch with nature.

"We're not really a cult. They just called us a cult and we took on it," he said in the video.

"They're trying to depict me to be a cult leader in a dangerous way so they can come kill me, come rescue their daughter."

No more new members welcome

Bishop said he wanted to take to Facebook on Tuesday to talk about portrayals of himself that he has seen in the media, which he alleges has unfairly represented him and what he stands for.

"The media will not make me an enemy and try to kill me," he said. "You will not kill the truth and now is the time for us to rise."

Because of the recent news coverage, Bishop added he's no longer welcoming new people to join him in Costa Rica.

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