Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 5th 2013 Contents A39
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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC---Police stormed the com-
pound with guns drawn, killing a man and declar-
ing they had uncovered a heavily armed European
cult suspected of plotting against the government
and trafficking in human organs.
They found no sign of any organ trafficking, but
officials say something unusual was going on behind
the walls of the Academy for Future Health, where
several dozen mostly German expatriates had set
up a secretive spiritual group whose Web site warns
In this August
26 photo, Klaus
member of the
Health, tries to
push open a
gate in the
Police raid of 'sect'
compound under scrutiny
of UFOs, the evils of the US government and looming
global turmoil. More disturbingly, officers seized
an arsenal that included military-grade assault
weapons, other firearms, body armor, targets and
On Tuesday, a judge ruled there was enough evi-
dence to try 62-year-old sect leader Peter Brunck
and his son, Daniel Roland, on weapons violations
and a charge of "rebellion." They face up to ten
years in prison, and prosecutors said further counts
But nearly a year after the October raid, the police
involved in the operation are also in prosecutors
Authorities are looking into charges that officers
beat Brunck and his son while they were handcuffed,
shot at an unarmed gardener and stole some of the
$1.5 million in cash and personal property confiscated
in the operation.
"This was a looting," says Jose Carlos Gonzalez,
a lawyer for Brunck.
Ulrich Muhl, a spokesman for the group, dismissed
allegations that anything sinister was going on at
the compound. "The basic idea is to give people a
place to live ... a tranquil, spiritual life, to search
for the truth," he said, adding that members of the
group were armed because they feared crime.
"We are not criminals," Muhl said. "None of the
things they said about us have been confirmed, nor
can they be, because it s all a big lie."
Still, the group s mix of firearms and apocalyptic
musings has many concerned, including some who
have seen Brunck s teachings first hand.
The Academy for Future Health s German-lan-
guage Web site says the planet is "cleansing itself
of the debris that lives on its surface," and goes on
to mention aspects of the global financial crisis,
extraterrestrials and the looming fall of the "inhu-
man" US government.
Klaus Muller, a disaffected former member who
lives near the compound, said Brunck had predicted
the world would come to a catastrophic end in
August 2012 and had stockpiled food, weapons and
equipment, including an ambulance at the compound
in Sosua, about 140 miles north of Santo Domin-
go.Everyone in the compound, no matter what age,
were required to learn how to shoot, he said.
"These people don t live in reality," Muller said
of the two-dozen or so families on the 50-acre site.
Surveillance videos of the raid provided by the
group show police in body armor descending on
the gated entry of the compound of red-tiled Span-
ish-style homes. Several officers are seen kicking
and hitting Brunck as he argues with them in his
German-accented Spanish. Shots rang out shortly
after officers went in. Police shot and killed group
member Peter Dittrich, and arrested his wife for
allegedly shooting back at them.
Dominican Attorney General Dominguez Brito
acknowledged that some of the $1.5 million in elec-
tronic devices, jewelry, vehicles, cash and other
property that police seized had gone missing, and
vowed to punish any officers involved. (AP)
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