Sect leader: We were creating a joint work

The Prague Daily Monitor/June 6, 2008

Nearly unbelievable things were happening in at least the last 10 years in Brno and Mikulov, southern Moravia. Jirí Adam, 77, felt he was "the one" and surrounded himself with women he then allegedly tortured in the interest of higher spiritual values. The online weekly Tý has obtained documents in which Adam explains his actions.

It wasn't only the three women who submitted to the sect leader Jirí Adam: More people were enslaved on his land and houses, starving. But only Jarmila H., Jarmila M. and Eva Š. put up some resistance and confessed their suffering to police. Jirí Adam explained the beating, humiliation and starvation to the police by saying they were "creating a joint work" together. And that Václav Klaus inspired him to gather the people around him.

"At the beginning of the 1990s, I heard then-Prime Minister Václav Klaus calling on people to establish shared homes. I understood that people should get together to reduce living costs," says Adam. In another place in the documents, he repeats his testimony, but moves to another period. "It was [Gustáv] Husák [Czechoslovak president from 1975-1989] who said it. I mean the one who's president now," says Adam. He also deprived his victims of their property: He forced two women to give him their houses.

Helping, actually

"The house was endangered, because they couldn't take care of it," he told the police in explaining that he had actually helped the elderly women, in line with the ideas of The Grail Message. He managed the "family coffers", to which the women contributed their pensions, either old-age or disability - two of them suffered from a mental disorder. "We had CZK 25,000 a month in the coffers to pay for food and costs of the shared household," said Adam.

"I can't agree with people on anything at all, they impose their views on me. I do belong in this world, they don't," says the pensioner, citing God. But he is not very enthusiastic about Church. "The pope is a murderer who kills human souls. I have a book that says it." And he vigorously denies forcing the women, who, according to doctors, were miserable and in pain after years in the sect. "To force somebody to do something, that's out of the question. The Grail Message says everything must be done voluntarily. When I assigned work, they thought they had to obey. But it was not routine obedience, it was freedom. It was free obedience," Adam says.

Lazy naggers

He also explains the names he called the women - such as "ludra", which, he says, is nothing bad. "In German this means 'out of spite' - it was a description of a character quality," Adam said. And why did they have to kneel down and starve to beg forgiveness for every trifle? "I wanted the women to repent, because it's the most beautiful thing people can experience." Besides, Jirí Adam says, the pensioners he tied to himself had reasons for penitence. "The women were dark, lazy, nagging and stubborn. They sapped the strength out of me."

The state attorney decided his behaviour towards the pensioners was a crime and charged him with trafficking. If Jirí Adam gets better, he will be put on trial. The man is facing up to 12 years in prison, but he has been in a Breclav hospital for three weeks after suffering a stroke. Pavel Göth, a judge at the Regional Court in Brno, asked the hospital for information about Adam's condition this week to decide whether to order a hearing and when.

Jirí Adam will go to court although he has suffered from a mental disorder in the past: In the 1970s, he was treated for paranoid schizophrenia. But the illness started to recede in the 1980s, and experts say he is mentally healthy. They only diagnosed a personality defect, which does not free him of responsibility for torturing the women.

Originally published in Czech by Tý and translated into English by Monitor CE.

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