An accused pedophile from San Antonio now serves as a spiritual advisor for a doomsday cult. News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Brian Collister traveled to Costa Rica to investigate and find if cult leader Juan Pablo Delgadois a visionary or a con artist.
His name is Juan Pablo Delgado and he says the Virgin Mary speaks to him. He claims he can see her while no one else can. Juan Pablo explains his visions, “She comes in human form. It’s important to remember in heaven she is in body and soul. She’s not transparent, she’s not a ghost. She can be seen. I’ve been able to touch her just like I can touch anyone else.”
Delgado leads what is described as a doomsday cult in Costa Rica. He has predicted the end of the world and that he will become Pope. His spiritual advisor is former San Antonio priest Father Alfredo Prado. Prado is accused of molesting young boys more than 30 years ago at St. Timothy’s on the Westside. Now similar concerns are arising about the cult leader.
“Parents are leaving their kids there, depositing their kids there, because supposedly the virgin has supposed told the supposed visionary that they should leave their young boys there. There are a lot of questions about him. Again allegations that this is just a big rip off.” That’s according to Bruce Harris of “Casa Alianza” a Costa Rican child welfare group.
The Trouble Shooters obtained pictures taken inside the sanctuary showing Delgado dressed like a priest. The pictures also show what Delgado supporters say is a true miracle. The cult leader’s hands and feet are stained with blood. Wounds he claims resemble those inflicted on Christ. Catholic Church officials in Costa Rica are outraged saying Delgado cuts himself to fool followers.
During an interview Father Baquero says, “Someone confessed to me, that he had done this to himself. That he had staged the incident. According to the source, everything is false, it’s a lie.”
Critics like Baquero and Harris say people are investing in a sham. But Delgado has believers here in San Antonio. “Specifically Texas and San Antonio, uh, there is apparently a group of people who believe in the virgin and are pumping significant amounts of money into this.” says Harris.
San Antonio residents Guadalupe Nypaver and her husband have been mentioned in articles about the cult and have visited the compound. She tells the Trouble Shooters she was misquoted and her comments were taken out of context.
Collister asks: “We want to ask you about Juan Pablo Delgado and why you….” Nypaver responds: “I don’t know him.” Collister: “You don’t know him?” Nypaver: “No I don’t.”
But Nypaver does say she’s been to the compound only once, and has seen Delgado. But told us she will never go back to the compound.
Nypaver: “And I’m not giving an interview.” Collister: “I’m sorry we just want to ask why you’re a supporter.” Nypaver: “I’m not a supporter.”
Neither is Costa Rican priest Father Glen Gomez. Gomez says he was attacked and beaten up by Delgado’s followers after warning people to stay away from the dooms day group. When the Trouble Shooters showed up at the Costa Rican compound cult members became violent and grabbed our camera. Moments later, from across the street, we spotted a shaggy haired young man. It was the cult leader himself Juan Pablo Delgado, looking dazed and being led by the hand by one of his supporters.
Collister yells: “Juan Pablo can we talk to you?” He would not talk to us. But another man, Alvaro Matamore, who is not a believer, has plenty to say about the cult and its’ leader. “No. No, I have never believed this. According to Juan Pablo, only he can see the virgin may and no one else. He’ll ask people to confide their problems in the Virgin Mary and according to him, only he will receive the solutions.”
Matamore thinks Delgado is a powder keg waiting to explode and he predicts more violence in the future. “He’s a very temperamental person. Sometimes he’s calm, normal than he’s aggressive, violent. For example, one time he broke an image of the Virgin Mary just because he didn’t like it. He demanded a new one. In my opinion, he’s crazy just like a lot people who are following him.” Matamore declares.
Alvaro’s opinions may be blunt but he has a personal loss to the cult. His own wife and daughter left him to join Delgado. While we were videotaping the compound from the surrounding lush green coffee bean fields, Alvaro noticed something in the distance. After looking closer he realized he was seeing his family, it was the first time in several months. Collister asks, “What do you think when you see them? Does it hurt?” Alvaro sadly answers “Yeah… Hurt for me.” An emotional moment for a man who lost everything he loved to Delgado and the dooms day cult.
Since our story aired we have heard from Bruce Harris with “Casa Alianza”. He now plans to show our story to Costa Rican officials and ask them to revoke Alfredo Prado’s tourist visa and have him thrown out of the country. We’ll keep you posted.