Cold-blooded cult: Journal shows sect let baby starve 'in God's hands'

Boston Herald/February 5, 2004
By Dave Wedge

A day after the murder acquittal of Karen Robidoux, the Herald has learned horrifying and cold-blooded details of how the brainwashing sect used religion to rationalize the slow starvation death of the Attleboro cult mom's toddler.

"Our prayers should not be for Samuel to be healed but for God's purposes to be fulfilled. This is all we can do for Samuel,'' cult member Rebecca Corneau wrote in a journal entry 12 days before 11-month-old Samuel Robidoux died.

The journal's shocking details were provided yesterday by Robert Pardon, a cult expert who has studied the group for years and has overseen Robidoux's deprogramming.

Robidoux, who argued the group forced her to stop feeding her son, was acquitted of second-degree murder Tuesday for Samuel's April 29, 1999, death but was convicted of assault and battery. She was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail but was credited with time served and released.

Samuel's 51-day demise was documented by Corneau in an April 17, 1999, teaching by cult leader Roland Robidoux titled "Trial to the End.'' Referred to as "dad,'' Roland Robidoux told his followers they had to comply with God's will, even though Samuel was wasting away before their eyes.

"Dad feels that the end is coming soon. He asks for mercy daily for Samuel because it is for us that he is going through this,'' Corneau wrote.

The boy's aunt, Michelle Mingo, allegedly prophesied that Robidoux's unborn child would die unless Samuel was switched from table food to a breast milk-only diet. Robidoux, who was pregnant, stopped producing milk, and Samuel died three days before his first birthday.

In an April 17, 1999, entry, Mingo wrote: "We put Samuel in God's hands and leave him there.''

"What can we do for Samuel? Nothing,'' she wrote. "God is the master. We are his servants.''

Robidoux's husband, Jacques, is serving a life sentence for the boy's killing. Mingo is awaiting trial on accessory charges. No one else in the sect was charged.

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