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A messianic leader who has led the College of Integrated Philosophy in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for decades says he fight multiple charges of sexual assault and accusations that he is running a cult, media outlets have reported.
John de Ruiter, 63, was arrested by Edmonton police last week. Police describe de Ruiter as a "self-appointed spiritual leader" and charged him with sexually assaulting four women in different incidents between 2012 and 2020.
Police say that de Ruiter told certain female members of his group that he was "directed by a spirit to engage in sexual activity with them, and that engaging in sexual activity with him would provide an opportunity to achieve a state of higher being or spiritual enlightenment."
The Bible says this, in 2 Corinthians 11:13, about deception: "For such are false apostles and deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ."
In Ephesians 5:6, it reads, "For such are false apostles and deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ."
And Psalms 5:6 reads, "You will destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man."
The BBC reported that police believe there may be more of de Ruiter's victims and have asked them to come forward.
Zaba Walker, spokeswoman for de Ruiter said in an email to the BBC that deRuiter would be represented by legal counsel and "intends to vigorously contest these charges in a court of law.
The BBC also reported that de Ruiter has described himself as the "living embodiment of truth" and "urges the thousands of his devoted followers to understand life's meaning through 'core-splitting honesty,'" although de Ruiter is not trained or certified as a psychologist or therapist.
According to the BBC, his precise number of followers—some of whom have moved internationally to join his community—is unclear and that de Ruiter became known for his weekly meetings in which he would "stare silently" at his followers for a long period of time.
Theglobeandmail.com investigated de Ruiter back in 2017, which included interviews with several of de Ruiter's followers who questioned his sexual relationship with his female followers. The Globe revealed that de Ruiter's son, Nicolas, posted online about his father's sexual relationships with married women in his community."
The spirit of deception indeed can be a strong one, and the enemy is crafty. Prophet James Goll, founder of God Encounters Today ministry, a best-selling author and a weekly columnist for Charisma online, explains how the spirit of deception works and how you can discern how to defeat it in this article, "3 Errors the Spirit of Deception Uses to Seduce You."
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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.
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