A girl sexually abused by an Australian Outback cult leader has revealed what life was like under his tyrannical rule.
The woman, now 28, was a member of James Salerno & # 39; s Ideal Human Environment Group to which her parents committed when she was young.
Salerno, a self-proclaimed & # 39; lucky guru & # 39 ;, invented the cult as an experiment to try to find the best way people are supposed to live.
He led a hierarchical structure in which members were ranked by their so-called emotional intelligence, with women expected to care for men.
James Gino & # 39; Taipan & # 39; Salerno (photo) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for unlawful sexual intercourse
Members were given daily tasks from morning exercises to manual work, with physical punishment if they did not.
When members joined, they were asked to give their income and all personal assets to the cult to pay for & # 39; research projects & # 39; and expenses.
From 2001 to 2008, Salerno and his 30 cult members lived in the Arbury Park mansion in the Adelaide Hills, the home of the former liberal leader Alexander Downer.
It was at that time that Salerno, who asked followers to name him Taipan after the snake species, repeatedly sexually abused a girl – crimes for which he was imprisoned for ten years in July.
Now the girl with the Australian Magazine Weekend to reveal what her life looked like in the twisted cult.
She said she was treated as Salerno & # 39; s personal slave from the age of 13.
I had the feeling that I was brainwashed, belittled and isolated
The girl had to serve him perfectly ripe fruit, bring his bath to a precise temperature, prepare his food, open doors for him and do his laundry.
She should also brush his hair and give him so-called & # 39; healing & # 39; give massages.
& # 39; I felt that I was just a piece of meat for Taipan to use whenever and wherever he wanted, & # 39; the anonymous woman told the magazine.
The sexual abuse began in 2004 when Helen was 13 and Salerno told her that it was his duty to make her a lady.
The girl had no idea that the abuse of Salerno was out of step because he convinced his followers that his intentions were good and they had to try to copy him.
South Australian District Court Judge Paul Slattery told the court in his conviction that he was abusing his power.
& # 39; He told her not to tell anyone about his suggestion that he could teach her how to become a lady.
& # 39; She didn't understand what he meant, but she didn't ask questions, & # 39; Judge Slattery said.
& # 39; This was consistent with her understanding that Taipan's thoughts were pure and good, and if Taipan said he would help her become a lady, that's what should happen. & # 39;
The mansion of Arbury Park in Aldgate (photo) where the woman was abused in 2004 as a 13 year old
Speaking of the abuse with the Weekend Australian, the woman said: & I was really upset and very emotional and you were never allowed to cry.
& # 39; If you cried, it showed weakness. I was constantly told that I had shown my weakness. & # 39;
& # 39; I knew it was wrong, but I couldn't go anywhere. I was so scared. And now that I look back, I really wish I had the courage to get out and fight him. & # 39;
The woman was sexually abused by the 72-year-old for a period of two and a half years before escaping the cult in 2009.
She told the police about the abuse in 2012 after she met her husband and became pregnant with a baby.
In July, Salerno was imprisoned for ten years after being found guilty of eight counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.
Salerno & # 39; s trial was told that he had been the leader of a 30-member cult that had been established in the Adelaide Hills for some time.
It later moved to Beaudesert in southeastern Queensland and is now based in Kununurra in northwestern Western Australia.
Judge Paul Slattery said he was guilty in May and said that women in the cult were at Salerno & # 39; calling and calling all day and night & # 39 ;.
"These women gave accused massages, manicures, pedicures, took a bath, washed his clothes, selected, prepared, cooked and served his food and generally took care of all his needs," he said.
The judge said Salerno was the concept of the & # 39; ideal human environment & # 39; came up with a ranking of individuals based on their EQ or emotional quotient.
He said all volunteers were expected to be involved in the investigation of their purpose, but no one could say what the investigation was about.
Taipan (photo) convinced his followers that all his thoughts and ideas were good, pure and right
The judge said the daily routine for children in the group included exercises and chores and that penalties were handed out if they were not completed.
At the conviction, he said that Salerno had taken care of his victim and sexually abused him.
He also ruled that the 72-year-old was a serious repeat offender, despite maintaining his innocence.
& # 39; You used your primate position within the group not only to care for and to sexually abuse the complainant, but also to make sure she was afraid to speak out, & # 39; said the judge.
He said that Salerno had brought to her mind that no one would believe her, even if she would speak out.
Judge Slattery has imprisoned Salerno for ten years with a non-conditional release of eight years.
Outside the court, the victim said that it cannot be mentioned that she was pleased that justice had been done.
& # 39; The girls can now sleep peacefully, those who are still there, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; That was all I wanted from the start to help the other girls. & # 39;
Salerno has appealed his conviction.
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