Police insisted last night they are powerless to act against a bizarre sex slavery sect operating in the NorthEast.
An investigation by The Northern Echo has uncovered evidence that more than 350 people in the region may be engaged in consensual slavery rituals based on a series of science fiction novels dating from the 1960s.
But last night, police said they had discontinued their investigation despite uncovering a house in Darlington that belongs to a member of the Kaotians sect.
The Northern Echo understands officers raided the property in Forster Street last month after receiving a call from the US, saying a Canadian woman was trapped.
Police helped the woman return home but discontinued their inquiry, saying there had been no criminal activity because all the sect’s members were consenting adults.
However, The Northern Echo can reveal that Durham Constabulary has also been contacted by a father concerned about his 18-year-old son, who has joined the group.
But the force says no crime has been committed because the youth is staying at the house – where he is training to be master to his own sex slaves – of his own free will.
The Kaotians are a splinter group of the Goreans and there are believed to be as many as 25,000 members in the UK.
Both groups base their beliefs on a series of science fiction novels written by US professor John Norman and first published in the 1960s.
The novels describe a society called the land of Gor, which is divided into castes and where women are kept as slaves.
Although many Goreans and Kaotians live out their fantasies in Internet chatrooms, others have brought the beliefs into the real world.
In Darlington, 31-year-old Lee Thompson describes himself as a master who trains slaves.
He admits to keeping women as “slaves”, but says they all come to him voluntarily and are free to leave whenever they want.
Anyone enrolling as a slave must work for their masters, cooking and cleaning. There is also an element of sexual domination.
The girls wear leather straps, chains and leashes. Mr Thompson said he had been banned from his favourite butcher’s for leading a girl to the shop on a leash.
Last night, he said: “I have been called sick, but I don’t think what I do is bad, I don’t hurt anyone or cause any damage. I’m a very spiritual person, I think if you do good, you get good.
“There’s no reason for people to be afraid of me. I’d die before I see anyone get hurt.
“Lots of girls want to come and try and find out about it. They think it’s exciting, but it’s hard work for everyone. Girls leave when they’ve had enough.”
Police said they were alerted last month after they were contacted by a Texan friend of the Canadian woman. The 29-year-old had emailed her friend to say she wanted to leave the house but was unable to.
She had burnt her passport and was unable to fly home.
A spokesman for Durham Police said: “Police attended this property after a call from a concerned member of the public. An investigation by our officers did not disclose any criminal offences.”
Mr Thompson lives with 18-year-old [name removed — RNB], who joined him after quitting his job and leaving his family in Essex.
A friend of Mr Nicodemous’s family said: “He was just a normal teenager who kept himself to himself. He had a good job and a placement with a computer company, and was doing very well.
“He had really good prospects until this happened. He’s been manipulated with all this deviance going on. It sounds funny until you realise it’s a son that’s been lost.”
But when The Northern Echo spoke to Mr Nicodemous, he insisted he was at the house voluntarily and was extremely happy.
He said: “All my life I have had a feeling that there was something missing. Then I met him (Mr Thompson) on the Internet and he told me about the Kaotians. It’s the thing I’ve been looking for, ” he said.
Last night, people living nearby were shocked to learn about the existence of the Kaotian group.
One neighbour said: “This is a Christian country and you don’t really need that sort of thing here.
This country’s going down the pan.”
A shopkeeper added: “I saw them in the town centre with the man leading her by the chain, I couldn’t believe it.”