The family of Diane McMillan say they are hopeful their daughter will return home soon – and confident that the American cult, Living Love Fellowship (LLF) will be exposed for what they really are.
The teenager’s father, Ian McMillan, has approached authorities and several organisations for help in getting his daughter back home, and the family, along with all the organisations concerned, plan to hold a meeting “soon” to establish the way forward.
SA Interpol, which is investigating the case, has received little or no assistance from either the US authorities or the American diplomatic missions in South Africa.
It is still unclear how Diane, an 18-year-old matriculant without a letter of permission from her parents, managed to get a US visa.
The Star newspaper reported this week on how an Alexandra grandmother was refused a visa after applying to enter the US to visit her former employees, who had emigrated there. The refusal came despite the fact that Fina Mabiza is 73 years old and had assured officials she would stay for no more than two weeks.
Meanwhile the McMillans tried in vain last week to prevent a tabloid magazine from printing what they described as “harsh and hurtful” statements, allegedly written by Diane about her father. The interview for the article, conducted via email, also quoted Diane’s husband, Amadon.
Diane’s sisters, Angela and Laurie, said they were “horrified” after reading what their sister allegedly wrote about their parents, Ian and Karene, saying they “did not believe she wrote any of it”.
Saturday Star is in possession of two cards Diane made and gave to her parents just months before she left South Africa and married into the LLF. The cards convey a different tone to the comments attributed to her in the magazine.
One reads: “Dear Mom and Dad. I’m so glad you are back [they had been on holiday], I’ve missed you terribly. Now the whole house is filled with joy because you are here. I love you. You are both wonderful. I am so grateful to have you, seriously. God Bless. Love Diane.”
Sisters Angela and Laurie also wrote a letter to the magazine begging them to not publish Diane’s and Amadon’s comments. The sisters wrote in that letter, which the magazine did not publish: “We are deeply concerned and saddened by the accusations that have been made against our dad.
The dark and contrived picture that is being painted by the LLF is inconsistent with the reality. We know our father to be an incredibly gentle soul, one who ceaselessly acts in kindness and one who is completely dedicated to his family.
“Our father is a pillar of strength who we greatly admire and we can only hope to uphold the strong principles and sense of honour and truth that he displays.
We have always known that our father and mother would do anything to enhance our wellbeing, and we have witnessed how Diane’s disappearance has haunted them.
“They have tirelessly done everything in their power to bring back our sister, whom they love unconditionally.
“Both our parents have always ensured that our home is a loving environment where all our needs are met. We are shocked by all these allegations she has made and find it hard to believe that our sister, who several weeks ago displayed much warmth and affection, could now come forward with such destructive untruths.
“We regard these accusations as a direct attack on our father, whom they are attempting to break, because he is determined to retrieve Diane from their clutches. It is still to be established whether it is truly Diane behind these letters or, in fact, Amadon.
“It is inexplicable how Diane could have manifested such damaging deceit. The person behind these letters is not the loving sister we know, and we propose that even if the letters are from Diane her judgment at this time appears to be clouded.
“We ask that no further suffering be brought upon our family by the publication of such degrading falsities. However, if you feel you must print these letters, please include our message so that a just story is told. We love our father: please don’t break our pillar of strength.”