The family of an arrested Dutch father revealed how his three older children fled the family shortly before moving to a remote farm where he held his two sons and four daughters hostage for almost ten years.
In a statement released on Thursday, Gerrit Jan van Dorsten's relatives – who were arrested for deprivation of liberty, harm the health of others, and money laundering – revealed their & # 39; dismay & # 39; at the events in Ruinerwold.
His family explained how Van Dorsten in the 1980s & # 39; all bands & # 39; with his & # 39; immediate family & # 39; had broken, but his three older children had only fled their father in Hasselt eight years ago.
Van Dorsten had lived in the Belgian city before he took over the farm in Ruinerwold, where six children spent nine years & # 39; in cells & # 39; were detained.
The family of an arrested Dutch father revealed how his three older children fled the family shortly before moving to a remote farm in Ruinerwold
A police officer carries equipment while he prepares for an investigation into the mysterious house
The statement added that Van Dorsten told his family & # 39; not to make any attempt to find his place of residence & # 39; when the family members broke up decades ago.
According to the NL Times, the family said: & # 39; The family has taken note of the events in Ruinerwold with horror. In the last few days a family member has informed us of the identity of the found family.
& # 39; Gerrit Jan van Dorsten broke all ties with his immediate family in the 1980s. He said we should not make any attempt to find his place of residence.
& # 39; Eight years ago, three children of Gerrit Jan van Dorsten fled the family in Hasselt and contacted their brother from a previous marriage, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins. The family has since not been aware of the existence of other children. & # 39;
It is assumed that the three older children will release their own statement at a later date.
Janny Knol, head of the Northern Netherlands police, revealed on Friday that the children were kept as a & # 39; enclosed space & # 39; inside the farm building that was divided into small compartments & # 39 ;.
Police vans outside the building bring equipment for their investigation
Six adult children – four women and two men, including Jan Zon van Dorsten (photo) – were held prisoner on a Dutch farm for nine years
Mrs. Knol said that the brothers and sisters – four women and two men – were largely kept in the room, but were occasionally allowed into the garden, although no further than the fence of the farm.
She said they seemed to be between 18 and 25 years old, although that is not certain because they were not registered with the authorities. They had not received formal training, but could read and write Dutch.
She spoke out after researchers announced that the father of the family – 67-year-old Van Dorsten – was arrested for deprivation of liberty, harming the health of others and laundering money.
Dutch media report that Van Dorsten was bedridden at the time of the stroke, but did not say how long he had been disabled.
His arrest comes after that of 58-year-old Josef Brunner, a gardener on the farm and the former neighbor of the family, on the same suspicions earlier this week.
Officers also said they were investigating & # 39; or a particular religion or philosophy & # 39; played a role in detention because it was confirmed that the father was a member of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification – known as the Moonies – in the 1980s.
However, the church said he suffered from psychological problems and left the movement in 1987.
Derk van Dorsten, Gerrit's brother, is still a member of the Church, but has denied any contact with his brother or sister since 1984.
A church spokesperson added that they have no data about Brunner being a member of the church after neighbors suggested that he met Gerrit through the movement.
Dutch media reported that the children & # 39; violent & # 39; reacted when their father was arrested on Thursday.
Asked if it is clear that the children wanted to leave the farm, Knol told the Dutch PAUW program that & # 39; is very difficult to assess & # 39 ;.
& # 39; You look from your own standards framework. Their way of doing things and living can be normal for them.
& # 39; That is why we have asked the help of psychologists for this, & # 39; she said.
The police initially said it was unclear whether the family had been detained against their will on the farm, but charges against Gerrit and Josef suggest that they had not decided that the detention was illegal.
Elsewhere, bartender Chris Westerbeek, who warned the police of the family after the eldest son Jan Zon van Dorsten walked into his bar, told of his relief when pronouncing Jan as & # 39; unearthly & # 39; descriptive and adding that he & # 39; was barely able to speak & # 39 ;.
Mr. Westerbeek said that after he had noticed Jan's confused appearance and odd manner, he was worried and talked to the 25-year-old.
The & # 39; space & # 39; had daylight and the children were allowed to go outside occasionally, but never further than the perimeter fence of the farm
The family was discovered after the eldest son, 25, walked to a nearby bar on Sunday, ordered five beers and asked for help
He said to The Sun: & There was something unearthly about him that worried me.
& # 39; We live in a village where everyone knows everyone and he was a total stranger when he came in that evening and drank those beers.
& # 39; But then I decided to find out what was wrong and will never forget that night. He struggled to communicate, but he looked so desperate that I knew I had to help him. Now I thank God that I did it. & # 39;
The police now believe that the six people living on the farm were being held against their will after they were initially unsure whether they were going there voluntarily.
Brunner would be the retired father through the Unification Church – whose members & # 39; Moonies & # 39; were called – having met after leaving the army, his family
According to locals at a holiday park where the Van Dorsten family was admitted after their liberation, they moved together in a circle every 30 minutes in a ritual that was thought to be related to the Moonie cult, RTV Drenthe reported.
The Unification Church was founded by South Korean pastor Sun Myung Moon, who declared himself Messiah in the 1950s, it was brought to the Netherlands in 1965.
A large sum of money was found in the Ruinerwold farm where the van Dorstens lived. It is believed that this money came from donations from the Moonies.
Police bring equipment to the farm in Ruinerwold, 60 miles north of Amsterdam, where carpenter Josef Brunner, nicknamed Josef the Austrian, has been arrested for alleged imprisonment of his friend and his five children
The old parental home of Josef Brunner, his brother Franz said that Josef had become delusions and no longer talked to his family
Jan Zon van Dorsten, 25, is the son who drew the attention of the Dutch police to the fate of his four brothers and sisters and their father, who lived in a remote house while they apparently waited & # 39; before the end of time & # 39;
Mr. Westerbeek said the man whose beard & # 39; dirty & # 39; and unkempt hair said he had been in for nine years and wanted to end the way his family lived.
& # 39; He said he had never been to school and seemed very confused. He spoke in a childish way, & said Mr. Westerbeek. He told him that his brothers and sisters were between 16 and 25 years old.
Jan Zon van Dorsten had visited Chris Westerbeek's bar in Ruinerwold, 60 miles northeast of Amsterdam
His confused appearance and strange manner worried the bar owner, who introduced him to a conversation
The man told Mr. Westerbeek that he needed & # 39; help and wanted to put an end to the situation he was in & # 39 ;, said Dagblad van het Noorden.
Mr. Westerbeek contacted the police who searched the farm and discovered the family.
A former neighbor has revealed how Josef Brunner briefly joined the family & # 39; off-grid & # 39; lived in Hasslet, the Netherlands
Today, a court has extended Brunner's custody for another two weeks. He is accused of illegal custody and harm to the health of others, and will remain in custody for at least two more weeks.
Geert Zon van Dorsten's cousin said he had broken off contact with his family decades ago.
It was about thirty years ago. There were many disagreements between my parents and Geert, & said the cousin of van Dorsten.
Franz Brunner said earlier that his brother was married to a Japanese woman and had become disillusioned with his family after joining the cult.
& # 39; My brother was always only for his own benefit, & # 39; he said. & # 39; He was with a cult and believed he was better than the Jesus. & # 39;
& # 39; When my father handed me the farm, the problems started. When Josef heard that I was in charge of the farm, he immediately demanded that I pay him for his services.
& # 39; I have not been in contact with him for ten years. The last time I saw him, I said to him: & # 39; You don't have to come back. I don't want anything to do with people like you. & # 39; & # 39;
For those who knew him during the 16 years that he lived in the Netherlands, he was a mysterious, quiet loner who rarely made friends and found it difficult to get socially involved.
His brother Franz said that the kidnaps suspect had abandoned his twin daughters when they were young children and ignored them when they tried to contact him as adults in 2017.
When Brunner's father died in 2015, he did not go to the funeral and when his mother died 18 months ago, he failed to send calls back to his family in Austria.
Franz said that Brunner was born on March 3, 1961 in Waldhausen, Austria and was one of the five farm children.
He completed a carpentry course with distinction, but while enrolled in the army in Linz, he joined a cult.
The brothers argued about their parents' farm and fell out when Brunner left.
Josef camped for a while in a nearby house and eventually moved in with an old aunt who lived in a 300-year-old house with lots of land in Pabneukirchen, Austria, and appointed him as her heir.
He lived there from 1998 to about 2008, his brother says. He is then supposed to have moved to Hasselt, where he lived next to the family he is accused of being imprisoned.
A former neighbor told MailOnline that Josef lived briefly next to the Dorsten family, but had left by the time Geert & # 39; s wife died of colon cancer.
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