The daughter of a religious group leader has opened up after her father went on national television to defend the group’s actions.
“It’s horrible to see because he was such a good person and now he’s totally brainwashed,” Amy Attard told Lovin Malta. Her father, Clyde Attard, is the leader of Jesus the Saviour Community, a fundamental religious group that the Maltese Curia recently condemned.
He appeared alongside another group leader, Josette Bonello, during an episode of TVM’s show L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa, hosted by Mark Laurence Zammit.
Reacting to the emotional episode, which saw a gay cancer survivor confront Bonello over how her mother was “manipulated”, Attard said she was “happy” that everyone was able to see the group’s leaders for themselves.
“Everyone realised what kind of people they are and that they are capable of manipulation,” Attard said.
Watch part of the interview below.
Attard wanted people to understand how serious the situation was, beyond the heated discussion on the show.
With families allegedly being torn apart by a group that would exercise widespread control over their members, Attard wanted clarity over the group’s methods.
“This is something very serious and not just people gossiping about each other. People have suffered because of these people, especially because of Josette. There are other communities like this in Malta, and this is a wake-up call to anyone who is being controlled because this can have serious mental effects.”
However, she couldn’t hide the fact that it was painful to see her own flesh and blood on television spouting such incredulous thoughts.
“I am really sad as I did not want to get my own family in the middle of this. But making the right decision is always the hardest thing to do,” she ended.
Another community member wrote a poem about the community, which is being represented in full below.
Why by Claudia Grama
Because they prey on the weak
Because they feed on the suffering
Because they take away every ounce of dignity you would have left
And tell you that that is a safe place
A place of respite
A place of safety
Until they leave you stuttering
Mumbling and questioning
But can you even question
What is out of your possession?
Until you trust them
And give every ounce of sanity you have left
But in my opinion its just theft
A sick lie
Until you find out that it is nothing but a scam
Nothing but a sick cult
Nothing but a path to take you away from God
Nothing but a traffic jam
In your life
Which you can’t move away from
But by then
It will be too late
You’re in and the only way out
Is to lose everything you would have already given
Trying to escape an unknown prison