New hope in cult victim campaign

Lawyer claims he can prove mother’s belief that man died fleeing an anti-Semitic group.

A top lawyer who represented a former East German Communist leader will try to prove that a Jewish student who died fleeing an anti-Semitic cult did not kill himself.

Nikolas Becker, who once worked for Erich Honecker, believes there is enough new evidence to overturn a German verdict that 22-year-old Jeremiah Duggan committed suicide.

Jeremiah, who lived in Golders Green, died when he ran into the path of oncoming traffic on an autobahn in Wiesbaden, Germany, in March last year.

He had fled from an apartment where he had been staying with other visitors to the Schiller Institute, part of the shadowy US right-wing organisation, the LaRouche Youth Movement.

Wiesbaden’s prosecutor concluded that Mr Duggan committed suicide but a British inquest held in November last year dismissed the verdict and ruled he died “in a state of terror”.

Berlin-based Mr Becker told the Ham&High: “The prosecutor closed the case very quickly and said it was a suicide and took this judgement because this young man ran into two or three cars.

“But we will try a motion in the next two or three weeks with the prosecutor to take up inquiries and reopen the case, because we think there is enough evidence to suggest it wasn’t a suicide. Running into cars is a rare and inefficient way of committing suicide.

“There is enough evidence he was probably in a hopeless psychotic situation and there is no evidence that there was any mental illness in his family.

“It is known these kind of organisations produce this kind of psychotic breakdown.”

If the German verdict is overturned, it will pave the way for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Jeremiah’s death.

Jeremiah’s mother, Erica, said: “It is important to have this investigation because we still don’t know what actually happened to my son.

“We need to understand more about this organisation and why my son died the way he did.”

Mrs Duggan is concerned her son could have been the victim of mind control techniques used by cults to snare their prey.

On Monday she met other parents whose children have joined cults to lobby MPs and the government to take action against such organisations operating in Britain.

She said: “There has been a total failure of the government to curb the activities of these criminal organisations.

“Somebody has to die for anyone to take note and even then they do very little. It shows what these people have had to put up with.”

Jackie Turner, the Duggan family’s solicitor, said that proceedings were at too critical a stage to reveal what the evidence was.

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Hampstead & Highgate Express, UK
Nov. 5, 2004
Andrew Brightwell
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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday November 6, 2004.
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