By Anton Antonowicz
May 29 2008
A SECT leader kept five women as slaves for 20 years and left them looking like concentration camp victims. One was worked to death and sickened detectives say the starved survivors are like Auschwitz inmates.
Police are understood to be questioning the women about any sexual abuse by the cult leader, who called himself "God". And while the brutalised victims slaved for him, Jiri Adam, 74, forced them to sign over all their homes, property and cash to him. As they grew older, Adam even plundered their pensions. The selfstyled commandant is now facing 12 years in jail on slavery charges.
The secret camp was only discovered when one of the women escaped and tried to get medical treatment. Shocked medics in the Czech city of Brno called in the cops.
Police spokesman Oldrich Kriz said of the women: "I would compare their state to that of concentration camp victims in World War II."
Religious fanatic Adam was a member of the sinister Grail Movement and described himself as his victims' God. When one neighbour tried to persuade the women to rest, furious Adam raged at him: "We don't need God here. I'm God."
Adam recruited the women to his mind-bending cult before making them his personal slaves.
They lived in a ramshackle shed on Adam's land with no lighting, heat or water. They slaved from dawn to dusk building Adam and his wife a luxury home and another house where he had his cult chapel. Any spare time was spent doing back-breaking work on Adam's vineyard. He gave them only bread and water to live on with just a spoonful of honey for supper.
Disobedience was snuffed out by withdrawing food altogether.
Doctors say the women may never recover from the musclewasting caused by starvation.
The secretive Grail Movement are recognised as an official religion in the Czech Republic despite a sinister reputation.
Last year, they were involved in a child abuse scandal when a follower was arrested for keeping her eight-year-old son chained in a dungeon.