Former members of an “extremist” Maltese religious group have opened up about the devastating effects it has had on them and their loved ones.
From families being told they’d be cursed if they brought any gay family members to the meeting, to women being told their partners who aren’t in the group would cheat on them, the Komunita’ Ġesu Salvatur has since been left out in the cold by the Maltese Curia after their methods were exposed.
One 19-year-old woman said she had suffered trauma since being involved in the “extremist” group.
“When I was six or seven years old, I joined the group with my parents because they began to know these people and they decided to join them,” Amy Attard told TVM. “I remained there till I was 18-years-old, a lot of my youth was spent with them, I was raised with them.”
Amy began to realise how toxic the group could be when she announced she had a boyfriend who was not part of the group. They tried to discourage her from meeting him by saying he would cheat on her.
“They told me my boyfriend was going to cheat on me, even though I had never seen any behaviour of the sort from him, and we were always open together,” Amy said.
It wasn’t only Amy – Melita Farrugia, whose daughter is gay, was approached by a family member of hers in the group that told her she couldn’t bring her daughter to meetings.
If she did, Melita was warned, she would bring a curse upon her household. The comments left her and her husband broken and confused.
“I invite people to go on their Facebook page and watch the videos there… they are frightening,” Melita said powerfully. “Imagine, you don’t enter into their box, and they treat you like this.”
The Archdiocese of Malta had issued a statement prior to the TVM report, disassociating itself from the group and prohibiting all priests and religious from attending or hosting the community’s meetings.
The community themselves have issued a statement saying they aren’t sure what led to the distancing.