Jan 18, 2017

Woman describes being held captive by London cult for 30 years

Katy Morgan-Davies
Toby Meyjes
18 Jan 2017

As a child, Katy Morgan-Davies sought solace in her bathroom tap.

‘I used to tell the tap, “You are on my side,”‘ she says. ‘I’d kiss the tap. I’d hug the toilet when the flush worked.’

Her comments are a telling example of the brutal upbringing the now 33-year-old faced having being born into a Maoist cult that its leader intended to rule the world.

Katy would spend 30 years trapped in the commune in Brixton before she was finally able to escape in 2013.

Her captor Aravindan Balakrishnan, who she would discover after her escape was her father, was jailed last year for 23 years for rape and false imprisonment spanning several decades.

He ruled the the cult, mainly made up of women, through violence and threats, including of an all-knowing electronic satellite called Jackie.

The story of his brutal cult, that existed in an ordinary looking London flat, is being retold for the the BBC’s The Cult Next Door, seen by the Mail.

Its members were brainwashed to believe that their behaviour was responsible for disasters, such as the Challenger explosion or the Kobe earthquake.

Balakrishnan would administer beatings to his devotees and force them to carry out sexual acts – telling them lightning would strike them dead if they stepped outside.

Katy was conceived because Balakrishnan – Comrade Bala – wanted someone to run the world with him, according to his communist doctrine.

Her mother, was another member of The Collective, called Sian Davies. She died in 1996 after falling from a window, while, Katy believes, she was trying to escape.

Katy, however, had no idea that Sian was her parent, as the rules of the cult dictated that there were no ‘mothers’ or .’fathers’.

Perversely, she told the documentary that she actually felt a sense of relief at her death, because she was one of the ‘worst servants of Bala’.

The cult’s rules forbid contact between anyone except Bala. Another woman who escaped the cult, Aishah Wahab, now 72, told the programme that she had been punished after trying to comfort Katy after she wet herself.

Bala controlled every aspect of his followers lives – what they ate and what they wore, and also what they thought. He raped at least two of them.

Katy was brought up wearing gender-neutral clothes, without toys or contact with other children. She barely if ever went to the doctor or dentist, being taught NHS meant Never Help Self.

She was taught if she rebelled against Bala then everyday objects would rebel too, hence why she was amazed when light switches worked or toilets flushed.

She managed to escape in 2005, aged 22, but after approaching police officers at her local station, was persuaded to let them call Bala, who turned up and reassured them ‘all was well’.

Eventually, she would flee with other members of the commune in 2013, after smuggling in a mobile phone and calling a helpline.

But despite everything she’s been through, Katy is determined to live a normal life. She has enrolled at college and now lives in her own flat.

Incredibly, she she says she does not hate her captor.

‘I did used to hate him,’ she said. ‘I just felt completely powerless.

‘But life is also very short. There is no time to be spent on hatred and anger.’

‘I would like to reconcile with him in the future’ she added. ‘If he wants it’.

The Cult Next Door is on BBC2 on January 26 at 9pm.


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