Aug 24, 2017

Life inside religious group: Former Sacramento member speaks out

Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps

4 members of Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps arrested in New Mexico
Tom Miller
August 23, 2017


Deputies in New Mexico arrested four members of a religious sect Sunday with ties to the Sacramento area.

The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps was founded in Sacramento in 1982.

This week, its co-founder Deborah Green was charged with multiple crimes including child abuse and sexual penetration of a minor. Her son-in-law, Peter Green, faces 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child. Joshua Green, Deborah Green's son, is charged with failure to report a birth. Court documents said Stacey Miller, a member of the sect, failed to get her son proper medical treatment when he became ill, ultimately leading to his death.

Before moving to New Mexico, the group was in Sacramento but left after losing a lawsuit to former member Maura Schmierer.

Schmierer sued the sect for mistreatment and forcing her to give up legal custody of three of her children. A judge in 1989 awarded her $1.08 million but the group fled California and later resurfaced near El Paso, Texas, and then in western New Mexico.

Schmierer said she's not surprised by the group's latest troubles. She said leaders of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps were very controlling during her time in the sect.

Schmierer talked with KCRA 3 Tuesday about being part of the religious group and the arrests.

Q: Why did you join this group to begin with?

Schmierer: At that time, I didn’t think it was a cult. No, nobody thinks of themselves as being in a cult. They refer to themselves as Christians, but they get their doctrine and their beliefs from (Deborah) Green because she claims to be a prophet. So she prophesied, she thinks God talks to her, God gives her directions.

Q: Why did you decide to leave five years later?

Schmierer: They wanted us to beat the children. They wanted me to whip my young child, who was under 2 years old with a belt because he didn’t use the toilet. They had no toys, they couldn’t play, they didn’t have normal lives as children. It was very disciplined, very regimented.

Q: You said you didn’t follow orders. What happened when you refused to discipline your children that way?

Schmierer: They changed my name to "Forsaken" and they put me out in a shed in the backyard. I was not locked in that shed. I could have left, but I was so brainwashed that I thought that if I left I would go to hell.

Q: Did you ever see any sexual abuse?

Schmierer: I didn’t witness any sexual abuse, but I did witness a lot of physical abuse and emotional and mental abuse.

Q: You were awarded more than $1 million in 1989 and the sect left their Sacramento compound. What went down?

Schmierer: They smashed the floorboards. They smashed all the windows, the walls -- everything was just destroyed. They didn’t want me to collect on the lawsuit. They did it out of spite, out of vengeance.

Q: What was your reaction after hearing about Sunday’s arrests?

Schmierer: I’m very happy that she is behind bars. I hope she stays behind bars. It’s time that their ministry is shut down.

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