Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Family believes cult lured daughter

Father says daughter joined The Brethren, then disappeared

February 8, 2006


Sam Hunsaker says his 20-year-old daughter, Lahla, has disappeared.

He thinks she joined a cult called The Brethren.

"Two or three weeks ago, she went to Centennial Park for a walk and to have a little picnic," said Hunsaker, who lives in west Lawrence. "While she was there, she met a man who was there reading the Bible."

The meeting, Hunsaker said, led to an invitation for his daughter, a former Lawrence High School student, to join a Bible study group at Kansas University.

Hunsaker didn't object to his daughter joining the group but became suspicious when he learned it consisted of three or four men, all of whom wore tuniclike jackets and had short hair and long, scraggly beards.

His daughter told him she was the only woman in the group. She called the group The Brethren.

"I asked if I could go and she said no," Hunsaker said.

Hunsaker said he last talked to his daughter Saturday.

"I was at Perkins (restaurant)," he said. "She wanted to know the words to 'I'll Fly Away,' which is a song I sing a lot at church. That was the last I heard from her."

She was 'ecstatic'

Around noon Sunday, Lahla Hunsaker showed up at her best friend's mother's house.

"She had a couple boxes of personal belongings she wanted to leave here so her parents could come pick them up later," said Pamela Krommendyk.

"I had a gut feeling that something was wrong because this weird-looking dude had backed his car into the driveway. Instead of helping her, he just sat there," she said. "I got the impression he didn't want anybody to see him."

Krommendyk said she asked Lahla Hunsaker if anything was wrong.

"She was just ecstatic," Krommendyk said. "I asked her if she was in love - because that's how she was acting - and she said 'Oh, yes, I am in love with Jesus. I'm in love with God.'

"I asked her about the man in the car, and she said 'Oh, he's just my ride,' and then she got kind of evasive."

Hunsaker said his daughter left her 10-month-old son with her fiance, who lives in Topeka.

"It's amazing to me that a group that claims to be religious would tell a mother to leave her child," he said.

Known for secrecy

According to several Web sites that monitor cults, The Brethren is a secretive, nomadic group formed by Jim Roberts, an ex-Marine, in the early 1970s. It's also known as The Roberts Group and The Garbage Eaters.

Members abstain from alcohol and drugs, avoid banks and prefer bicycles over cars. They are expected to give away their worldly possessions. Their lifestyles border on homelessness.

Donnell Turner, a longtime advocate for Lawrence's homeless, said a few men with long beards and tunics were outside Lawrence Community Shelter, 214 W. 10th St., late last month.

"It's been a week and a half since I've seen them," Turner said. "I knew by the way they dressed they were different."

At the Ecumenical Christian Ministries, campus minister Thad Holcombe said he hadn't heard that The Brethren members were in Lawrence.

"They were here four or five years ago," Holcombe said. "I remember they came to our Welcome Back Barbecue for (KU) students, but they sort of stayed on the periphery. After that, they faded pretty quickly. I didn't hear reports of cultish activity."

Holcombe said he would alert the university's religious advisers to The Brethren's apparent return.

KU religion professor Tim Miller, who studies cults, said The Brethren is known for its secrecy.

"They are very hard to penetrate," he said. "There's not much known about them."

KU spokeswoman Mary Jane Dunlap said the university was unaware of the group holding formal or informal meetings on campus.

Sam Hunsaker filed a missing-person report Monday with Lawrence Police.

"There is no indication of foul play. It appears she was operating on her own free will," police spokesman Sgt. Dan Ward said. "But we have entered her into the (national) computer as a 'missing person/check welfare,' which means if she's ever stopped, the officer will check on her and see if she's OK."

Added Hunsaker: "That's all they can do. She's an adult."


sweetpeagj 12 years, 3 months ago

let's see..they have the name of the cult..known as a cult throughout the years. Many cults move quick and usually can sense who makes the best target victim. She may have had issues with other areas of her life and was ready to get out. How is her screw loose by making sure the child is with someone who loves and takes care of it? You know, people have kids all the time and don't want them. They just abuse or neglect them instead of nice loving homes. Would you have rather she took the innocent baby with her? That would be stupid.

bankboy119 12 years, 3 months ago

Janie, you're right. She should have just abandoned all responsibility of the child. It's her life. She can do what she wants and no one can tell her what to do. Brilliant.

chzypoof1 12 years, 3 months ago

Each day I'm amazed by the insensitive, and insane comments made on this site. "Maybe she needed a change"???? Are you kidding? She left her CHILD. That's not a change, that's dodging responsibility, and neglect.

I find it typical that people that make these kind of comments on here, also seem to blame the city commission, the govt, and especially GW for everything, nothing is their fault.

This woman left her child, plain and simple. She's not just making a change, she's impacting that child's life forever.

craigers 12 years, 3 months ago

That's too bad that the parents haven't seen her and who knows if they will ever see her again. I guess her current situation wasn't quite doing it for her, but I don't think she should have just left the baby and ran. However, it was a very wise decision to leave the baby with a loving parent. If you are going to drop everything and leave then at least she did it in a better way than a lot of other people would have.

DaREEKKU 12 years, 3 months ago

chzypoof I agree (although there are a LOT of things that are GW's fault). But, frankly if she left the child that reflects how bad of a mother she is, and as painful as it is.....the child and her fiance would be better off with somebody who will love and care about them to complete their family. My thoughts go out to the family, I know they must be in a lot of pain right now.

badger 12 years, 3 months ago

'Too bad'?

Cults are pretty dangerous things, you know. People get killed sometimes when they get tangled up in them. None of you see anything out of the ordinary in that a woman has left her home and child, not to mention a fiance (whom she apparently had planned to marry) after spending a couple of weeks with members of a known cult, who seem to have told her not to tell her family where she was going, who (under the guise of love for Jesus) convinced her to abandon her duties as a mother?

I've heard bits and pieces about this cult, and they're seriously creepy. She may be an adult, but that doesn't mean she can't be duped, lied to, abused, drugged, or brainwashed.

I'm a lot less concerned about the child than I am about the mother. The child, right now, is a lot safer than the mother is likely to be, and honestly better off for having been left behind instead of taken into that lifestyle.

I sincerely hope Ms. Hunsaker is safe and well, and that she extricates herself from the Brethren - and soon.

Ragingbear 12 years, 3 months ago

60 minutes, or 20/20 did a thing on cults a number of years back. These guys were also known as the "garbage eaters". They typically choose to be homeless and live off of stuff that others threw away. Not suprised that there was some foundation for them here in Lawrence.

If only she joined a less cult-like religion. Like Voodoo, or the Triple-Spiral Nest....

Amandak 12 years, 3 months ago

These parents are by no means over-protective. If this is, in fact, a cult she has joined remember cult leadership is very authoritarian and coercive. They cultivate dependency upon the cult for survival. Bottom line, and for lack of a better word, it sounds like this young lady may have been "brainwashed". The very private and recluse nature of the cult cuts persons off from family, friends and "information", maiking the person more and more dependent on the leadership; leadership that uses this deprivation as a tool. I hope this young lady is located and reunited with her family.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Badger pretty much says it all...

It's amazing that just after a few weeks, this woman has totally upended her life. Either she was looking for an excuse out, or was completely duped by these people. Seems like a time for an intervention, if they can find her at all.

Just doesn't seem right at all...

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Badger pretty much says it all...

It's amazing that just after a few weeks, this woman has totally upended her life. Either she was looking for an excuse out, or was completely duped by these people. Seems like a time for an intervention, if they can find her at all.

Just doesn't seem right at all...

Tyler_Durden 12 years, 3 months ago

Someone explain to me what is so bad about these people? From what I have read, they seem like a peaceful group of people who choose to live simply and avoid publicity.

I do not agree with the mother's decision to leave her child, but that is a different issue. Has anyone talked to the fiance?

Kelly Powell 12 years, 3 months ago

Or it could be she is just another weak will who will fall for this kind of bullsh!t.....Seriously, if you fall into a cult you deserve the white nikes and the plastic head bag.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 3 months ago

Cults avoid publicity because they don't want anyone to know what really goes on behind closed doors...

chzypoof1 12 years, 3 months ago

Tyler, how is it a different issue? She left her child BECAUSE of the cult. And just because they avoid publicity, doesn't mean they're safe or nice people. It sounds like they took advantage of a very naive woman to me, and advised her to leave her child behind for a "simple" life...

Tyler_Durden 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm just saying that the fact that she left her child was a sidenote of the article and we don't have a lot of information about it. The LJW apparently did not contact the fiance who has the child - it seems like he would be the one to ask about this. Maybe he know when she is planning on coming back? The thing is from the article no one knows what the mother-father-child relationship was before she left and we don't have enough information to pass judgement.

The point I was trying to make is not really about this specific situation. Any time a group is labeled a "cult" they are immediatly thought of as an evil group and are chastised by the public without any knowledge of what the group actually does. That is because of the negative connotation of the word when in all reality, the definition of a cult is completely harmless:

1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP 2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents 3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents 4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator 5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

From the limited research I did on this group they seem harmless. However, if they did convince the mother to leave her child without the intention of coming back then maybe there is something wrong with them. The point is, though, that we don't know anything about her plans and are just speculating based on limited information.

Kathleen Christian 12 years, 3 months ago

Just saw a program on this similar thing but it was happening in Europe where girls are lured into prostitution and sold. I hope this does not happen to this gal. I know her parents and they are wonderful people.

Kelly Powell 12 years, 3 months ago

So are you saying they kept her locked in a room and kept her awake? More like they preyed on her low self esteem and told her she was a beautiful person who was meant for a more spiritual life......My condolences for her family, they may never see her again. What was the name of the quasi christiancult that parked their bus by the replay a few years back.....they seemed like a bunch of wingnuts....Or wolf rendic's little band of creepy crawlies?

Janet Lowther 12 years, 3 months ago

The fiancee should waste no time in obtaining 1) legal custody of the child, and 2) a child support order.

Life could get awfully complicated for him (and the child) if he doesn't.

chzypoof1 12 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for posting those Marion. After reading this article on one of those, I wouldn't want to be that girl's parents.

And anyone who says that what this girl did is ok, is koo koo for cocoa puffs.....

Poor kid....

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 3 months ago

You are just BEGGING for something like this to happen if you name your kid "Lahla"...or "Breeze", or "Mist", or "Apple", or "Rainbow", or...well, you get the idea.

Tyler_Durden 12 years, 3 months ago

Marion - thanks for the links. The main problem with these guys seems to be that they require isolation from family which is something I completely disagree with. But it did not seem like it was too hard for people to leave the group under their own free will. Maybe this is just a way out for some people. I am inclined to let people make their own choices until they become violent or break the law, which as far as I can tell these people have not done (yet).

chzypoof1 12 years, 3 months ago

Abandoning your child is against the law. It's called child endangerment. If he's her Fiance, he's not a legal guardian of the child.

lv2ride 12 years, 3 months ago


I often disagree with your opinion, however, You have managed to take the words right out of my mouth this time...and more than likely arranged them much better than I probably would have.

Very well said!

Tyler_Durden 12 years, 3 months ago

I said it did not seem very hard to leave because there were several former members being interviewed. I didn't see the word brainwash anywhere in the report. I am not familiar with the subject of brainwashing so I can not provide any intellegent comment on it. Can you share with us the brainwashing techniques used on these people so that we may be more informed on how to counter it should one of us be approached?

By the way, I am not trying to defend this group. I am just trying to be more informed and understand the situation as I have not dealt with anything like this firsthand. thanks

outoftowner 12 years, 3 months ago

chzypoof, how can you make assumptions that the fiance' is not a legal guardian? He is the father of the baby, he has rights too. The word abandon here doesn't mean she left the child endangered!

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 3 months ago

This is scary. I used to live in Garnett and there is a brethren church in Mont Ida which is like 7 miles away. I knew there was a big Amish presence near Garnett but I had no idea the weird Brethren folk were there too. I feel for the parents and the baby. They may never see their child or mother again. I did a huge study on cults that lasted several weeks and this one was one the scariest. I noticed these fellows in Lawrence the last couple of weeks. I just thought they were homeless people trying to look like Bin Laden

Charla Welch 12 years, 3 months ago

spacystaci8 here is a line from one of marion's links, "They have no connection to the much larger group, The Church of the Brethren, which first appeared in the U.S. in 1723 CE, and traces its roots back to the Anabaptist faith group in Europe." check into that church, could be unrelated. just wanted to ease your fears a bit.

horselover 12 years, 3 months ago

Just wanted to clear up some confusion. "The Brethren" and the "Church of the Brethren" are not the same. holygrailale posted a link to the "Church of the Brethren" website. There are two Church of the Brethren churches here in Douglas County in the Lone Star Lake area. The congregations have been there since the late 1800's. There are many Church of the Brethrens in Kansas but most are in the East (Ohio, Indiana, etc.) FYI.

enochville 12 years, 3 months ago

Let's try to clarify the difference between: persuasion, manipulation, black mail, playing to people's insecurities, and brainwashing.

enochville 12 years, 3 months ago

AKA, the difference between being duped and brainwashed.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for clearing it up guys. I didn't recall seeing any of the "Brethren" around Garnett but I knew there were a darn lot of AMish there, which would be CHurch of the Brethren. IT all makes sense now!!!!

ks_hoosier 12 years, 3 months ago

Well, that was surprising to click on an article link and see that a former classmate was in a cult! I'm having a hard time fitting in cults and babies with my mental image of Lahla from Junior High... I hope she's alright!

14Lawrence 12 years, 3 months ago

Homeless friendly Lawrence, where you get hounded for money every time your downtown and people get brainwashed or kidnapped by the cults in the parks. I've lived all over the US and never have I seen a town so friendly to homeless, jobless, worthless people. They live in big cities dowtowns areas where generally no one frequents at night. I'm tired of going downtown with my wife and kids to be worried some drifter will be pressing me for money or insulting me when I don't give him any, or explaining to my kids why some drunk sob is sleeping on the bench we were going to be eating ice cream on.

This town is inviting groups like this.

How many homeless and nomadic cults do you see in Overland Park? If everyone took a little more hard line approach and didn't welcome/help them, maybe they would find somewhere else.

Jamesaust 12 years, 3 months ago

Hmm....I think there are lessons larger than just for "cults" -- reading the Bible is not a guarantee that the reader is "good." Christian theology always has (to my knowledge) acknowleged that evil can speak via (selective, out-of-context) God's word.

Who would not have reached that conclusion already after reading the LJW every day? About groups far less obscure than The Brethren?

Applied_Logic 12 years, 3 months ago

Ouch, a little viciousness roaming the blogs yesterday and today

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

14Lawrence says: "I've lived all over the US and never have I seen a town so friendly to homeless, jobless, worthless people."

I think you need to read this article:

Someone is a bit off in this and I am going to have to go with you.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

Although, you know, I frequent downtown a lot and don't believe I have ever been asked for money. I have been asked to honk for hemp though!

Applied_Logic 12 years, 3 months ago

I'm with the 'what's the fiance got to say' crowd.

If he knows where she is, what she's doing then they dropped the part about the kid in to make the article more 'sinister' sounding.

She's 20! I've left for a few days without a word to anyone because I needed a 'break'. That doesn't make me crazy and yes I left my child with her dad. Not abandonment.

Does the article clearly state how long she's been 'missing'? I must have missed it.

I'm not saying she is or isn't in danger only that the article is to vague to make any real assumptions and leaving her child doesn't make her irresponsible or crazy if she planned on being gone a week or two. Most of us call that a vacation.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

You're right, they probably have no idea what is going on...

adopted 12 years, 3 months ago

I am so sorry for the parents of Lahla, please, please, please forgive all these hateful people and their negative comments. Until people walk in your shoes they haven't got a clue! Don't judge Jesus and the Bible by this action, that's what the enemy wants you to do and stay away from the Bible because then we stay vunerable! people perish for lack of knowledge... Jn 10:10 tells use 'the devil roams about seeking WHOM he may devour...' he can only devour weak,helpless, vunerable people! If you don't stand for will fall for anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Word of God ( the Bible) is sharper than any double edged sword!!!!!!!!!!!!! To the parents...may God keep you and bless you during your time of trials...cling to Him, He will get you through this!

Linda Endicott 12 years, 3 months ago

The article doesn't say whether the fiance is the baby's father or not.

Applied_Logic 12 years, 3 months ago

Ok, re-read the article and the extras. She's been gone for 4 days! I didn't say I wasn't sorry for the family only that the article didn't give enough information for the assumptions it put forth. Where does it say she didn't make preperations? She took things to a friends, made arrangements for the son.... MY POINT was this is pointless w/o more facts!

sharktale 12 years, 3 months ago


I totally agree with you, I hate going downtown now it makes me feel uneasy when some homeless bum yells at me or my husband I have 2 kids and it is my job to protect them from people like that.

If Lawrence is considered the meanest city when it comes to homeless people then I would hate to see the nicest city to homeless probably a town full of quack. Do you think they would run the town every wednesday bring your beer to work or ride in groccery carts to work on Fridays. I think Lawrence is too nice to homeless people and making it not safe for families or anybody who wants to have a nice afternoon or weekend out.

Valentine 12 years, 3 months ago

I know Lahla. Not all that well (mostly through mutual friends), but well enough to know that even though she hasn't always made good decisions, she's still a person. A friendly, respectful, all around kind person. Her heart is certainly in the right place. And even though she's barely more than an acquaintance to me, it kinda pisses me off to see how insensitive some of you people are. If I were to choose one of your words to describe Lahla, The_Original_Bill, it would be naive. As I said, she is not a drooling idiot, but definitely susceptible to being duped by some nutso cult. I don't really know how to react to this. I hope you are OK Lahla, but you need to get the hell out of there.

Valentine 12 years, 3 months ago

"As I said, she is not a drooling idiot..." Woops, I actually DIDN'T say that beforehand. But it still stands.

On a side note...Yes, the fiance is the father.

Valentine 12 years, 3 months ago

Pardon my numerous errors Ron. Bob and Bill are awfully similar when only taking a quick glance at the name.

hotmama1 12 years, 3 months ago

Lahla is a very bright girl who is an awesome friend. I know her very well I went to school with her and worked with her at Hy-Vee ANd Hampton Inn. and just talked to her 2 weeks ago. Her son is in good hands and atleast she didnt take him. I dont believe she just left. Lahla loved her son and i beleive she was brainwashed. To lahlas family hang in there your in my prayers and shell come home safe

BabyJay13 12 years, 3 months ago

I have lived around Lawrence all my life and until here recently, I have never been asked for money when I was downtown. But a couple weeks ago I had a man ask me and my husband for money and he was dressed nice and very clean. If that is the case then he has enough money to buy decent clothes. I feel for the parents since they do not know where their daughter is,that has to be hard....And these people prey on others that they see as insecure or vulnerable. They are brainwashed, just like the people were in Waco and Jonestown. As far as the girl leaving her child with the fiance, she is abandoning her child. My question is why didn't she leave her daughter with her parents?

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

I think I met you! Did you have on the big top hat and the glittery suspenders?

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

On the topic, this is so incredibly sad, and scary. From the Diane Sawyer report, it doesn't sound good either. May she come to and get out of there. I sure hope she does.

Applied_Logic 12 years, 3 months ago

Gootsie, Did the Sawyer report give more details? Like why they are convinced something has happened to her? The LJWorld article sure didn't.

Applied_Logic 12 years, 3 months ago

yes, they do, regularly People drop out or leave for all kinds of reasons! The article says her dad 'thinks' she joined the cult. It says she left her son with it's father! She sold and stored her stuff prior to leaving! Doesn't sound like a kidnapping, sounds like she 'decided' to go and made plenty of preperations for it. The only thing she didn't do, according to the article, was tell her parents where she was going. People, especially adults, do that regularly too. I was asking Gootsie if the Sawyer report gave more details, like I don't know, a statement from the Fiance about the last time he talked to her?

Applied_Logic 12 years, 3 months ago

Me thinks Kansas has a verbal death wish today lol

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

AL, the Sawyer report is one of the links Marion provided. It is the transcript from a show that Diane Sawyer did on The Brethern and followed three of four sets of parents who were looking for their sons in the cult. None of them wanted to leave.

Ceallach 12 years, 3 months ago

It's obvious that those of you who think the parents are being over protective because the young woman is 20 years old -- have never had a 20 year old adult child. Why wouldn't they be concerned and seek help in their attempt to find out what happened to their daughter? Whether or not the group is a cult is secondary to the startling fact that their daughter was last known to be "studying" with 3 or 4 men and now she vanished and has left her child and family without an explanation.

My heart goes out to the family and her child and fiance. Some of YDP need to get a heart! This isn't a mythical problem -- a real woman is missing and a real family is suffering.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

Son's early return a surprise for Mom

(story about the Hunsaker son returning from war)

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

There are lots of articles about the Hunsuckers in the past LJWs.

Sandra Willis 12 years, 3 months ago

sharktale wrote: "I think Lawrence is too nice to homeless people and making it not safe for families or anybody who wants to have a nice afternoon or weekend out."

I totally agree with you there, sharktale.


RonBurgandy 12 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Applied_Logic 12 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

hotmama1 12 years, 3 months ago

Everyone is being so immature about this, who cares how many times this familys been in the paper, people are so insensitive.

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

hotmama, that was not meant to be insensitive nor immature. Just more history on the family and all the stuff they've gone through. And it wasn't everyone that pointed it out - it was just me.


hotmama1 12 years, 3 months ago

My bad gootsie you did point that out but everybody else is trying to make lahla seem like a bad person shes not, she is the most caring friend ive ever had, she always has a smile on her face and she would do anything for anybody. i just think its unfortunate that people cant have some sensitivity to what the family must be going thru

Linda Aikins 12 years, 3 months ago

And to that I sincerely agree. But you'll learn on these boards, people say what they think (which is the idea) and hopefully the family does not come here for solace. It's a rough crowd.

Sorry about your friend. I hope she comes back.

hotmama1 12 years, 3 months ago

Thank you gootsie and i know people can say what they want on these boards. THats the point and i understand that. The family is smarter than the people on this page theyd look at it and laugh which is what i should do but i just get mad when people talk about my friends sorry

wonderhorse 12 years, 3 months ago

Actually, I don't read that they are trying to make her seem a bad person. I read two points of view. She is either the victim of a cult (that doesn't make her bad, just a victim),or else, she planned on leaving, and made arrangements to do so.

hotmama1 12 years, 3 months ago

"She left her child""The daughter obviously had a screw loose" "abandoned all responsibility of the child" "She left her CHILD". "That's not a change, that's dodging responsibility, and neglect." "frankly if she left the child that reflects how bad of a mother she is" These are some of the quotes from the above postings you can not say that this dosnt make her look like a bad person especially when they are not true and no one even knows her

space_rabbit_kerosene 12 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if members of this brethren group go to rainbow gatherings. Very well may be a good place to look if she isn't back by next summer. I know several other groups I would consider cults go to recruit. Not that all cults are such a bad thing. Heck... I've toyed with the idea of forming one based upon caffeine worship.

space rabbit

Caller Hunsaker 12 years, 3 months ago

Well all of can now hear it from the horses mouth so to speak. Let me introduce myself - I am Lahla's Father. She was simply named after a 3rd grade student I taught back in Texas. Her Mother and I really liked the name and the student was a perfect young lady in class. We were told it meant flower but we never confirmed this. Anyway - the Bretheren will give her a new Hebrew name from the old testament of their choosing. Lahla was a very caring person to everyone she met. She met this man and offered him part of her lunch - she approached him not the other way around. Lahla had moved to Lawrence after failed attempts to get a good job in Northern Topeka (With no vehicle) she intended to work hard, and get a 2 bedroom apartment for her and her son Andrew. But alas the Brethren (Not the Church of the Brethren as some of you think) have convinced her that The only way to salvation and eternal life is to leave behind her family including children. They use a passage from Matthew 19:28-30 (read this for yourselves) but they take it out of context. Jesus was speaking to his 12 and did not mean that this was his plan of salvation for all people or else he would have said the same words to the multitudes. They claim to be the ONLY TRUE CHURCH in the world and all others are hypochrasy (sp) - sorry it is late and I type fast. We are not over protective - in fact she was not living with us - on a positive note as I have told all reporters - Lahla stopped smoking, started dressing more like a lady, and after renouncing Christ and God as fairytales 2 years ago, she actually started reading her Bible again. But - if their group offers the truth then all of society should quit their jobs, give away all they own, leave their families and find a new group of people to live with scavaging for food. I can tell you, if you can imagine KU's move out day times ten thousand when we all got rid of everything - and where would all of this junk be put? Then we all quit our jobs and trave around scavaging for food. The food would run out as the stores were no longer open so nothing would be thrown away. Not very practicle. In their eyes we are all evil but they do not try to reach out to us in multitudes as Jesus and his diciple's did. I can go on and on to point out why they are called a cult but I won't. I would be glad to speak more if anyone wants but not on the blogs. Thank you for eveyone who has shown support for us. Yes our family has been in the paper a few times. I guess the JW finds us newsworthy. We are a respectful family of everyone and the Journal world articles have always been respectfully written. (Thanks JW) It has only been my wife's misfortune to have married me because she is shy and does not like attention drawn to herself. If anyone wants to speak in person I can usually be found at the Juice Stop on Mass street Mon-Fri

Sam Hunsaker

anggrn99 12 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Hunsaker,

From the bottom of my heart, I hope that Lahla comes home to you and your family safe and sound. Your family, and Lahla will be in my hearts and in my prayers.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

Ceallach, at 3;42, said all I would say.

God care for you and return your daughter safely.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 3 months ago

My daughter is almost 30, and if she suddenly started giving her things away, leaving a child with someone else, and vanishing into thin air, with no announcement of her plans or anything else, especially when she usually contacts me every day, I would be extremely worried and think that she was in danger...

You don't stop being a parent and caring about your children just because they happen to grow up and become adults.

Especially when they are MISSING...

theifoncross 12 years, 3 months ago

is there any chance her fiance got upset with her new choice of religion and lifestyle, and took it into his own hands to save the child from a cult........ pretty conveinant on his part. I mean how would u take it if the mother of ur child started spouting crazy talk claiming she wanted to feed the baby out of the trash.... in his eyes he might have been protecting the child by "sending" her away. WHO KNOWS?

I pray that Gods' Will: can guide us all into finding love and forgiveness for all those who we perceive to tresspass upon us, and the same to those who we may tresspass upon with actions or words or thoughts. (like my postings)

I hope we can all find a crack of light in this dark hour, to help us learn to love one another a little more, so those who maybe searching for truths or meaning to the electro chemical firings of the mind and conscience, can feel like we belong to ONE big Family of love: where we are right now.

Gods' speed for her safe return. and peace in the hearts of her loved one.

May we love each other now as we will when we all make it to the promissed land. Left right red blue omish quaker followers of the cult of christiananity strong weak parent child outcast downtrodden leader follower lovers haters vegans mcdonald eatin' cats dogs spellers feelers

All the freaky people do make the beauty in the world. Stay Humyn

theifoncross 12 years, 3 months ago

YOU can say what you want on Propaganda telvision: but all violence in terrorism

theifoncross 12 years, 3 months ago

or what's it goin' to take to make u realize? ur fooling yourself i see it in your eyes.. wake up

hockmano 12 years, 3 months ago

I don't think this is the place to debate our religious beliefs. The girl is young. Who hasn't made mistakes when they were young. Hopefully she will come to her senses and return to her family. This is a public forum but you should not make comments that would hurt someone's family. What if this was your daughter?

bearded_gnome 12 years, 3 months ago

OTTR, he has posted here because these comments appear with the very article about his daughter!
because he obviously loves his daughter deeply, he doesn't wish to see misstatements go unchallenged, at least, if I were in his shoes I would! and, perhaps she will look at this article via the web?
or, some one with some useful info might respond to the electronic medium?
you owe him a big apology.

hotmama1 12 years, 3 months ago

good job people are finally starting to realize that this could be more than her just leaving The real lahla would never in HER RIGHT MIND just get up and leave everyone she loves. her son was her world. i hope she will come home safe because if something unfortunate does happen most of the people in this forum are going to feel like Jack @#%^$

formermember 12 years, 3 months ago

Hello all, I am a former member of the brethren, I spent 4 years with them and have been "out" for about 4 1/2 years now. I could help answer any questions maybe if you have some you would like to ask... I think it's rough that Lahla left her child but life is a process, some have done much worse than that, some much less. We are all (hopefully :) trying our best to grow and learn from life to become good people, in our own eyes firstly, or in god's eyes if you believe in god, then to the eyes of the world (our family, friends, strangers.) Looking back I very much appreciate my time spent with the brothers and sisters, with god, with myself, and with countless people, places, and experiences my 4 years gave me.


hotmama1 12 years, 3 months ago


So will she come back? How'd you get "out"? Whats your story on the brethran? Was it your choose to go? Did you have a child? Did you have "problems" before you left?

formermember 12 years, 3 months ago

I believe she will come back when and if she wants to, just as she left when and because she wanted to because she felt the need to do so. I "got out" by deciding that it was time for me to move on, I wasn't feeling the same passion to continue as I once had and I had plenty of time on my own to think about it and decided to leave, I told people within the group I was going to leave, then waited a short while and left. My story on the brothers and sisters is fairly good. Like I said I got a chance to let go of every thing else in the world for 4 years and focus on god and aligning myself to god and seeking to grow and know myself and to try to be a help to others. Yes it was my choice to go. No I did not have a child I was and still am in a very free place, single with no children. I had and have as many problems as anyone has, maybe less than some, maybe more but I doubt it. I am human. I go through the same stuff everyone goes through, but I have had the chance to address my problems a bit and try to find the roots of my thinking and patterns that cause problems in my life. I think some people never really get the reflection time or put in the reflection time, to find out who they are and what is going on with themselves. Also I think few get the opportunity to really explore the idea of God. And to really pursue a relationship with God where God is a or the top priority in their life. We did all come from somewhere / something and I think we mostly kindof write that off and just try to deal with life. Some write our existance off through accident / randomness and then try to make sense of life. Others believe in god. So of the ones who believe in god / a creator / a purpose to life, how many take that belief to a level of "real" belief? Enough to want to connect with god / the creator / their purpose so much as to let everything else go to pursue it? I know some people may get hurt or be disturbed by this behavior, but again I believe life is a process for us all and we all have similarities but also different things we need to do / deal with. Not everyone joins the brs. not everyone, goes into politics, not everyone is on t.v., not everyone has children, etc. etc. We all do what we feel we need to do in this life... Joining the brs. is not the worst thing that could happen to someone nor would it happen (I believe) if that person was not already headed toward that path in life. Life in the group of the brs. is pretty good, not all good, as any group or system seems to have it's problems. But there is no sexual abuse, no physical abuse, as much mental / emotion / "brainwashing" as one might receive in any other grouping of people (highshcool, office space, college, social groups). I don't know, it has been a few years since I've been with them but things were pretty good when I was with them.

formermember 12 years, 3 months ago

I felt people generally cared about me, and I to them, always a place to stay, food to eat... (which is more than many people in the world have) a lot of reflection time, no drugs, no alcohol, not much materialism, spiritual time, prayer time, free time in general. The biggest problems with the brs and sisters I think mainly are with authority or subtle control factors that happen, but I didn't feel it was too bad most of the time...everyone has to judge that for one is forcing you to stay, but maybe the hard part about leaving would be that you made this committment and burned bridges with friends and family and then knowing you have to come back and face back up to your family and hope they will receive you again, which hopefully a family will and does in most cases. I guess i've said a whole lot i'll try to just answer more questions without going off on so many tangents.


parpy53 11 years, 6 months ago

My daughter exscaped from the Brethern "Garbage Eaters" why should a person feel afraid and have to hide from them?

parpy53 11 years, 6 months ago

Is it only the vulnerable and lost souls looking for peace that they recruit? Sounds like mind control to me, Jesus said "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". He didn't have His own private group that was shut off from the world. They went to the world and their own familys and shared the good news.

parpy53 11 years, 6 months ago

Dear Mr Hunsaker My daughter was also in the cult. She recentley came home after 8 years. She was a rainbow prior to her involvement with the brethern. We hadn't heard from her until about 2 months ago. She is very commited to God and has a desire to serve him but she is not going to be able to survive in this world alone. My other siblings are supporting her and want her to be left alone to go on this simple quest to only God knows where. I am really afraid for her. Do you have any suggestions as to where I could get some support and insight? My time is critical she is leaving saturday with my oldest daughter who only plans on letting her stay at her house a mere two weeks and then letting he go on and do her own thing. I am afraid for her. Thank you and I truely understand your situation.

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