Details Emerge About The Hidden Family Found Waiting For The End Of The World
The father of a Dutch family found hiding in a farmhouse, waiting for the end of the world, has been arrested.
Police confirmed that the 67-year-old was one of the family members found boarded up at the remote property at Ruinerwold, north of Amsterdam on Monday.
While he was originally thought to be a victim, on Thursday he was detained, suspected of false imprisonment, abuse and money laundering.
He is the second to be arrested following the bizarre finding.
Josef Brunner, 58, the tenant of the farmhouse, is accused of detaining members of the family against their will and endangering their health.
He will remain in custody for at least two weeks.
“We are dealing with an exceptional situation in this case. These people may have lived with each other in the home since 2010, apart from society,” police said in a statement.
“We have reason to believe that the six people involved did not stay at the premises out of free will. We are investigating whether following a certain belief in life or faith has led to the living situation in which the people were found".
The case quickly began to unravel on Sunday night when a dishevelled and confused looking Jan Zon van Dorsten, 25, the oldest of the siblings, escaped from the basement, walked into a local bar and downed five beers before telling his story to the barman.
Officers arrived to find the man's four siblings and father in a hidden room behind the staircase. Brunner was also at the property and was arrested at the scene.
According to local media, the room had no windows, the family ate on the floor and when they communicated it was only in a bizarre "fantasy language".
The siblings were not registered with authorities and are believed to have never attended school.
It's understood they were "waiting for the end of time".
In a further twist, it's believed that the family was once involved with a powerful South Korean religious movement known as Unification Church or 'Moonies', which was known for its mass weddings.
A cousin of the family told De Telegraaf that the father was a member in the 1980s before breaking ties several years later.
"About thirty years ago anyway. There was a lot of disagreement between my parents and my uncle, and between my uncle and the church association. At a certain moment, he ran away angry. That was before I was born," the 32-year-old said.
The church was founded by Sun Myung Moon in 1954, who claims he was chosen by Jesus to continue his work bringing peace to the world and now has millions of followers around the world.
Brunner is believed to have never been a member.
His estranged brother told NL Times that he joined a separate cult after leaving the military and wasn't surprised that Brunner was arrested.
"He always wanted money and was always after his own advantage," Franz Brunner said adding that his sibling thought he was "better than Jesus"
"Josef has a very strong persuasiveness," he said.