Roch Theriault’s insides have been being consumed by illness, however it’s onerous to say if that’s what destroyed his soul.
Till he underwent ulcer surgical procedure in 1970, he was a married man with two kids and a job with the Montreal Hearth Division. He had dropped out of faculty early however was however often called a intelligent and humorous man with highly effective private magnetism.
The ulcer operation left Theriault, 23, with persistent ache and incurable digestive issues.
It additionally appeared to have unhinged his thoughts and contributed to turning him into the sadistic chief of a doomsday cult within the backwoods of jap Canada, wrote Paul Kaihla and Ross Laver of their 1993 e-book on the case, “Savage Messiah.”
After the surgical procedure, Theriault turned obsessive about drugs. He misplaced his job and turned to faith, becoming a member of the Seventh-Day Adventists in his hometown of Thetford Mines.
Ruggedly good-looking and charismatic, Theriault charmed the church leaders. He was quickly instructing courses in the way to stop smoking. However his ego and erratic conduct would quickly lead the church to sever ties with him.
He struck out on his personal, operating a “Wholesome Dwelling Clinic.” There, with the assistance of girls he mesmerized throughout his days lecturing for the church, he allotted different medical remedies — like grape juice as a treatment for leukemia — and constructed a popularity as a non secular healer.
By the summer time of 1978, he had change into a holy man, a minimum of in his thoughts.
God had spoken on to him and warned that the world would finish on Feb. 17, 1979, Theriault informed his little band of followers. Theriault promised to discover a place to defend his flock from the wrath of the Almighty.
They believed him.
A gaggle of 9 girls and 4 males and some kids scurried willingly in his footsteps to an remoted spot in Quebec, miles from civilization. He named it the Everlasting Mountain and insisted that everybody name him Moses.
Eight of the ladies turned his concubines.
When the doomsday date got here and went and the world didn’t finish, Theriault defined it by saying that God’s clock was set in another way than these of mortals.
His followers purchased it, however the dad and mom of 1 girl — Chantal Labrie — needed her to come back dwelling. Information of the mass cult suicide at Jonestown in November 1978 was contemporary in everybody’s thoughts, and the households of Theriault’s flock have been understandably nervous.
The Labries received a court docket order for a psychiatric examination for his or her daughter. Efforts to convey the woman dwelling led to a raid on the commune. Theriault was arrested for obstruction of justice and despatched for a month-long go to with psychiatrists.
Extremely, exams discovered that Theriault and Labrie have been in excellent psychological well being.
They returned to the mountain, and issues went again to the way in which they have been. However Theriault began ingesting extra and have become more and more violent, torturing cult members along with his weird model of people drugs.
An try to circumcise a 2-year-old utilizing a kitchen knife and pure ethanol as an anesthetic ended within the boy’s dying.
He castrated one among his acolytes, Man Veer, 23, saying that the surgical procedure would assist treatment complications. After the operation, Veer fled and informed police concerning the dying of the boy.
Theriault was convicted of legal negligence in September 1982 and spent two years in jail. One among his girls, Gabrielle Lavallée, a nurse who had began working for Theriault on the well being clinic, received 9 months.
His incarceration would have appeared a super time for the opposite cult members to come back to their senses and flee, however none did. As an alternative, they rented residences close to the jail and talked nonstop by telephone to their messiah.
After he served his time, they have been ready to observe their Moses into a brand new wilderness — a forest close to Burnt River, Ontario. His group consisted of 9 girls, two males, and greater than 20 kids, most fathered by Theriault.
To the surface world, they seemed like somewhat band of eccentric nature lovers, supporting themselves by promoting baked items and handicrafts.
However that picture was removed from the horrible actuality.
Theriault’s ingesting was uncontrolled, escalating his sadism and violence. He’d mete out punishments — burning with an acetylene torch, pulling enamel out with pliers, stabbing, beatings — on a daily schedule. Greater than as soon as, he pressured one among his followers to make use of a sledgehammer to interrupt the legs of one other.
His flock believed the struggling would purchase them a ticket to heaven.
As an alternative, it led to homicide. On Sept. 28, 1988, one of many girls, Solange Boilard, 32, complained of abdomen pains. Theriault gave her his particular model of medical remedy. After an olive oil and molasses enema, he sliced open Boilard’s stomach and, along with his naked arms, ripped out a bit of her intestines.
Her dying got here to mild a 12 months later, after one other horrific assault. In a drunken rage, Theriault hacked off Gabrielle Lavallée’s arm with a meat cleaver. She fled the commune and informed authorities about what was happening there.
Theriault pleaded responsible to murdering Boilard in 1993 and was sentenced to life. That didn’t cease a few of his cult wives from persevering with to worship him. He fathered extra kids throughout conjugal visits.
Theriault’s charisma failed him behind bars. On Feb. 26, 2011, a fellow prisoner ended one-time messiah’s life with a shank, casually confessing to guards that he had “sliced him up.”
Earlier than his dying, Theriault created a number of work, which can be found on web sites dedicated to the paintings of monsters.