Ariel Ben Sherman the leader of a group called “New Life Tabernacle” now faces criminal charges due to medical neglect, allegedly caused through his influence. A 15-year-old girl with a tumor the size of a basketball did not receive proper medical attention, reported WBIR TV in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Additionally, according to an official report filed in court, children were physically abused within the sect’s compound. The group meted out extreme punishments such as hanging children bound with ropes from the ceiling for hours and dousing them with cold water in an empty pool for soiling themselves.

Again and again, cases have come to court in recent years involving the gross abuse of children in cults. But unlike their parents, children in cults never make a decision to join. Instead, they are brought in, often almost like so much baggage.

Though cult members may believe whatever they wish, they may not legally do whatever they want. And it seems this must especially apply to the protection of the most vulnerable members of any cult, which are its children. Religious freedom should not be invoked to offer child abusers immunity from prosecution.


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