Love Has Won: Son of cult leader found mummified in glitter says group must be brought to an end

The son of a religious cult leader whose body was found decorated with Christmas lights and glitter as part of a “shrine” inside a Colorado house, has called for her movement to be brought to an end.

Cole Carlson told a Denver broadcaster, KDVR-TV, on Tuesday that his mother, Amy Carlson – whose adherents called her “Mother God” – left him when he was 10 years old to start her cult, “Love Has Won.”

“I’m Amy’s oldest child, she’s my estranged mother,” Mr Carlson said. “Everything in my life is very average except my mom is a cult leader, or was a cult leader, I should say.”

Ms Carlson’s was found on 28 April after another member, Miguel Lamboy, saw the body and tried to leave the compound. Another member allegedly grabbed Mr Lamboy’s young son, and refused to let the boy leave.

Mr Lamboy reported the situation to the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office, who immediately conducted a raid at the residence, where they found Ms Carlson’s body set up as a sort of “shrine.” An affidavit from the raid suggested Ms Carlson had been dead for weeks or more, and that her corpse was decorated with Christmas lights and that glitter was surrounding her eye sockets.

The discovery of his mother’s corpse and its condition shocked Mr Carlson.

“Some of the details that have slowly continued to come out have been rather shocking to me, honestly, but they are also a cult. You kind of expect weird things to come out, and I had been expecting for her not to be around much longer,” Mr Carlson said. “Mummified and eye makeup but no eyes, very disturbing. That’s the best word I can think. The whole thing is so disturbing.”

Deputies arrested seven members of the cult who had been living in the home with the corpse. The members arrested were Juan Castillo, Ryan Kramer, John Robertson, Karin Raymond, Christopher Royer, Sara Rudolph and Ma obdulia Franco Gonzalez.

The seven were given an assortment of charges, including abuse of a corpse and child abuse.

None of the individuals arrested have been charged with a crime connected to Ms Carlson’s death.

Ms Carlson’s health was failing in recent months. Last year, the cult moved to Kauai, Hawaii, to help the cult leader deal with her medical ailments. Ms Carlson apparently had cancer and was paralysed from the waist down when they moved.

The cult was driven out of Hawaii by protesters and returned to Colorado. A photo taken three weeks before it is believed Ms Carlson died showed that she was emaciated, losing hair, and had discoloured skin.

Ms Carlson was known to ingest large quantities of colloidal silver, which is believed by some to be an effective dietary supplement. However, health experts have found no evidence that ingesting colloidal silver has any positive health effects and that the silver can build up in the human body. Over enough time, the silver can cause skin discolouration and organ failure, leading to death.

Saguache County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Steve Hansen told broadcaster KUSA that he had never seen anything like what he witnessed at the residence.

“I’m not sure what to think about this whole thing. I’ve never seen a group of people be so nonchalant about a dead person in their back room,” he said.

As with other cults, the members are not the only victims of Love Has Won’s ideology. Family members of the members also suffered, a reality that Mr Carlson hopes to address now that his mother has died.

“Mother God’s” son said he plans to explore legal options for helping the families and former cult members who paid large sums of money to the organisation.

The group has been accused of brainwashing and Ms Carlson has been accused of abusing her members.

“It makes me mad, and I really don’t want to see this work continued, especially with her name attached or in her honour,” Mr Carlson said.

Following the raid at the residence, seven of the cult members were arrested and given charges including child abuse and tampering with a corpse.

Members of the cult have continued their “Daily Energy Update” livestreams since Ms Carlson died, though the duty has fallen largely to the group’s international members.

The cult’s spokeswoman did not acknowledge Ms Carlson’s death, claiming that she “ascended”. The group also disputes the time of Ms Carlson’s death, claiming she died shortly before deputies found her corpse at the residence. That contradicts the deputies’ estimate that she had been dead for weeks and Mr Lamboy’s claims.


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