There is a 95-year-old woman in a Melbourne nursing home who dotes on a plastic baby doll. You wouldn’t guess it to look at her, but this is a woman who amassed a multi-million dollar fortune, destroyed families, and affected the lives of numerous people giving them ongoing psychological issues, some of which ended in suicide.
Former police detective Lex de Man said of this women to 60 Minutes, “Of all the crimes that I investigated, she is the most evil person that I’ve ever met.”
Special guest: Ben Shenton.
CW: references to physical and emotional abuse, controlling behaviours, death by suicide, forced adoption, and psychological trauma associated with being in a cult. Please consider whether you would like to listen on this basis. Content is not suitable for children.
Full research sources listed on each episode page at www.ltaspod.com.
If you have been personally affected by involvement in a cult, or would like to support those who have been, you can find support or donate to Cult Information and Family Support if you’re in Australia (via www.cifs.org.au), and you can find resources outside of Australia with the International Cultic Studies Association (via www.icsahome.com).
If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support right now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia, or find your local crisis centre via the International Association for Suicide Prevention website at www.iasp.info.
- The Diaries of Raynor Johnson Part 1
- The Diaries of Raynor Johnson Part 2
- How to become a successful cult leader: offer love, and then withdraw it — by Mary Wakefield, The Spectator, December 2016
- Creating the family tree — Herald Sun, 16 August 2000
- Bizarrism – Strange Lives, Cults, Celebrated Lunacy — by Chris Mikul, 2002
- Growing up with The Family: inside Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s sinister cult — by Abigail Haworth, The Guardian, 20 November 2016
- Johnson, Raynor Carey (1901-1987) — by Owen Parnaby, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 2007, accessed online 19 December 2016
- ‘Evil, Wicked’: What it was like to grow up in one of Australia’s most notorious cults — by Ange McCormack, Triple J, 3 August 2016
- ‘The Family’ documentary Press Kit — accessed online December 2016
- The Family’s ‘living god’ fades to grey, estate remains — by Chris Johnston, The Age, 17 May 2014
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