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A Canadian 'spiritual leader' faces sexual assault accusations


John de Ruiter, 63 years old and founder of the College of Integrated Philosophy, was arrested after complaints from four alleged victims

The defendant, John de Ruiter. Press kit (

Police in Edmonton (capital of the Canadian province of Alberta) filed sexual assault charges against John de Ruiter, creator of a group called the College of Integrated Philosophy.

De Ruiter was arrested on Saturday and appeared briefly in court on Monday.

This Friday a hearing is scheduled where he could request his release on bail.

Police noted that the defendant "proclaims himself a spiritual leader."

Four women filed complaints for alleged attacks that occurred between 2017 and 2020.

"As reported, the defendant told certain women belonging to the group that he had been directed by a spirit to have sexual relations with them, and that this would provide them with the opportunity to achieve a higher state or spiritual enlightenment," police said in a statement. a statement.

Case inspectors urge other people to file complaints.

There were indications that de Ruiter had "inappropriate relationships" with several of his followers for years, but the accusations had never reached the competent authorities.

In a section of John de Ruiter's website, specifically focused on "extreme criticism" against him, the following is mentioned: "John did not use and does not use sex as a means of control or submission to anyone."

John de Ruiter, 63, grew up in a rural Alberta community.

He worked as a shoemaker.

He later served as assistant pastor at a Lutheran church.

De Ruiter recounted in another section of the website that he had experienced "a spiritual awakening", for which he decided to spread his beliefs on his own.

In 2006, he founded the College of Integrated Philosophy (also known as the Oasis Group) in Edmonton.

Said center has distinguished itself for its "spiritual" retreats which, according to former members, included hours of silence with the leader's gaze fixed on his face.

De Ruiter has also gained supporters through internet meetups.

The alleged teachings have resulted in a fair amount of money for John de Ruiter and his institution.

The construction of the building that the College of Integrated Philosophy occupied until 2021 had a cost of 1.7 million Canadian dollars (1.2 million from the neighboring country).

Since that year, most of the group's activities have been carried out in another venue located in St. Albert.

The Globe and Mail newspaper published that de Ruiter had declared in 2009 a fortune estimated at about nine million Canadian dollars.

The arrest of John de Ruiter and the manner in which he allegedly committed the crimes are reminiscent of Ivon Sheraring, leader of the Kabalarian Society cult.

Sheraring was convicted by a British Columbia court in 1997 of sexual assault and indecent assault, after several women alleged that he used his position as spiritual leader to perpetrate these crimes.

He also bears similarities to Keith Raniere, founder of the NXIVM sect and sentenced in New York in 2020 to 120 years in prison for sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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