Cult leader Rocco Leo told disabled woman that cash would save her
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday June 3, 2010
A “profoundly vulnerable” wheelchair-bound disabled woman was told she would die a horrible death unless she handed her life savings to doomsday cult leader Rocco Leo.
And in exchange, he would bring her to a mystery island and miraculously help her walk again.
The startling claims have surfaced during civil action launched by Silvia Melchiorre, 37, against Leo and senior members of Agape Ministries, Joe and Marie Antoinette Veneziano.
Ms Melchiorre is suing the trio for $500,000, including the $420,000 she handed over after selling her house, lost rental income, costs and damages.
They have not been seen since police raided 13 properties associated with the cult last month, uncovering a cache of weapons and ammunition.
The District Civil Court was told her case would be the first of many involving followers of the Agape Ministries cult.
The court was told that between 2008 and 2009, Leo and his fellow church leaders convinced her that the entire population of the world was about to be fitted with tiny microchips which the government would use to control people.
“The government intended to begin rounding people up commencing in or about June 2010 and that unless the plaintiff escaped from Australia in May or June 2010, she would not be able to escape and ultimately would be killed in concentration camps either by gassing or being beheaded.”
It was alleged Leo said her other option was to accompany members of the Agape Ministries to their South Pacific island, where she would be healed.
“The healing waters of The Island would cure the plaintiff and would be able to walk again,” the statement of claim says.
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