Karen Robidoux was found not guilty of second-degree murder, in the 1999 death of her infant child this week, reported the Taunton Gazette.

The Massachusetts mother was accused of starving her baby son Samuel to death.

Robidoux’s husband Jacques was convicted for Samuel’s murder in 2002 and is now serving a life sentence.

But the mother’s attorney, Joseph Krowski, offered the defense that cult “brainwashing” coerced Karen Robidoux’s behavior

The attorney argued that his client was victimized, abused and ultimately controlled by an obscure religious sect led by her father-in-law Roland Robidoux called “The Body.”

“There were two victims here, Karen and Samuel,” Robidoux’s older sister told the press.

And after seven hours of deliberation the jury agreed with the defense and its witnesses, acquitting the “cult” mom of murder, but finding her guilty of misdemeanor assault and battery.

“Because a child died, it may be an unpopular verdict, but we felt Karen Robidoux’s intent was not to kill her baby,” the jury foreman told the Boston Herald.

He later added, “I do believe she was psychologically held prisoner,” and concluded “she has suffered enough” reported NBC News.

Private journals kept by a “cult” member were made public after the verdict and they offered further proof of Roland Robidoux’s total control over his followers reported the Boston Herald.

“Dad [Roland Robidoux] feels that the end is coming soon…Our prayers should not be for Samuel to be healed but for God’s purposes to be fulfilled…What can we do for Samuel? Nothing…God is the master. We are his servants,” wrote the “cult” member.

The mother of four was sentenced to time served and walked out of the Bristol courthouse a free woman reported the Boston Globe.

“I’m just glad the nightmare door is shut,” she told reporters on the courthouse steps.

“It was a trail-blazing case that will affect all cult cases nationally. It’s now been proven what can happen when someone is brainwashed,” said nationally known forensic pathologist Dr. Millard Bass.

In Virginia late last year another jury came to a similar conclusion regarding the sentencing of “D.C. sniper” Lee Malvo. His lawyers also claimed their client was “brainwashed.”

The teenager’s defense team contended that he was dominated and controlled by his mentor John Mohammed.

Mohammed was sentenced to death, but Malvo was sent to prison for life.

In a noteworthy child custody case in North Carolina this fall a judge ruled that the Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) exerted “complete control over the mind, body and spirit of its members, both adults and children.”

WOFF led by Jane Whaley has been called a “cult.”

The Carolina judge concluded, “The environment created at WOFF has an adverse effect on the health, safety and welfare of children,” and he subsequently ordered them to be removed from the group.

In a tacit acknowledgement of cult “brainwashing” another judge in California granted the release last year of a woman charged with the death of her small child to receive “deprogramming.”

Later that same judge sentenced the cult leader to 16 years in prison, while charges were dismissed against two of his followers.

The mother charged received an eleven-year sentence and told the court, “Mind control is a reality.”

CultNews reported that professional cult apologist Dick Anthony was involved in both the California and Carolina cases. Anthony is a psychologist and well paid for his work, but he failed his clients abysmally.

Judging from the prosecution’s arguments in the Robidoux case, they apparently were receiving input from someone like Anthony.

But the Robidoux verdict may be the most colossal setback for cults and their apologists to date. And will likely be cited in the future as proof of “brainwashing.”

Overall, 2003 was possibly the worst year ever for cults and their apologists.

They even attempted fruitlessly to dismiss the “brainwashing” of kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart.

But brainwashing has become understandable to the public after Jonestown, Waco and the “Heaven’s Gate” suicides. It is no longer the mystery it once was when Charles Manson and his followers entered the California judicial system.

Europeans likewise came to acutely understand the cult brainwashing phenomenon through the Solar Temple suicides in Switzerland. And the Japanese were forced to confront this reality by the cult Aum, when it attacked Tokyo’s subways.

Joseph Kibwetere sent shockwaves through Africa when he led hundreds of his followers to death in Uganda shortly after the Millenium, once again demonstrating the power of cult mind control.

And isn’t “brainwashing” something Osama bin Laden has used to transform his followers into tools of terror?

Cults and their apologists will have increasing difficulty convincing anyone that “brainwashing” is only a “theory.”

The Robidoux verdict is evidence of that.

Six more members of “God’s Creation Outreach Church” have been charged related to a child abuse investigation undertaken after the death of a nine-year-old boy, reports the Kansas City Star.

The boy’s parents and leaders of the church Neil and Christy Edgar, who gagged their son, which allegedly led to his death were previously charged.

Five other members of the Edgar church have now also been charged regarding the gross abuse of other children in the group, which is located in Kansas City, Kansas.

Horrific child abuse has often taken place within relatively obscure groups and churches. In such independently run and somtimes isolated organizations there is little if any meaningful accountability for the leaders and the minor children of members have no control over their lives.

Just last year alone groups such as the Nuwaubians, “The Body,” Four Winds Commune, House of Prayer, Order of Saint Charbel, Church of God Restoration, the Wright Family and New Life Tabernacle faced charges regarding the sexual and/or physical abuse of minor children.

In some groups children died due to medical neglect.

The treatment of children, within groups often called “cults,” is a scandal. Child protection services often respond too late or do too little to protect these innocents.

It should be understood that minor children are only in such groups because their parents have joined.

Children are often brought into “cults” like so much baggage and frequently endure a living hell. This may include brutal corporal punishment, substandard living conditions, malnutrition and/or medical neglect.

More official intervention is necessary if minor children, who are often little more than hostages in such groups, are to be protected. Religious and/or parental rights certainly do not include the doing anything without restriction in the “name of God.”

Karen Robidoux says she was “brainwashed” by her husband to cooperate in the starvation death of her one-year-old son Samuel.

Robidoux is charged with murder and was expected to stand trial early next month. But now that date has been bumped pending a psychological evaluation reports WMTW News in Massachusetts.

Robidoux’s husband Jacques has already been convicted of murder and is serving an automatic life sentence.

Karen Robidoux and her attorney have decided upon a risky high stakes courtroom strategy that is likely to fail. It is doubtful a jury will have much sympathy for the cult brainwashing defense.

No doubt Robidoux, like other members of the group known as “The Body,” experienced a mental transformation through coercive persuasion. But with the death of a baby as a consequence, whatever sympathy exists will be vested in the mother’s victim and not her mental suffering.

A better courtroom strategy would be to seek the best plea bargain possible and hope that the claim of cult brainwashing would somehow soften her sentence.

Maybe the prosecutor offered Robidoux and her lawyer nothing and she now has nothing to lose?

Winnfred Wright, the leader of what has been called a “family cult” cut a deal in his murder case, reports the Contra Costa Times.

The “cult” leader and two of his female followers have plea bargained their murder and manslaughter charges down to “child endangerment and neglect.”

A 19-month-old boy died within the group from starvation.

It was reported that they “could get prison time,” which means it might be possible for Wright to just walk away with probation after admitting responsibility in a child’s death.

There are still 13 children in what is called “The Family” led by Winnfred Wright. What will be their fate if the “cult” leader who caused one child’s death is allowed to return and run his group once again?

Plea-bargains for killing children are not so easy in Massachusetts.

Jacques Robidoux, member of the “cult” called “The Body” and the father of a child who died from starvation, was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his son. His wife is now awaiting her trial on murder charges, which begins next month.

Apparently, the California courts are more lenient with baby killers.

According to the Massachusetts Court of Appeals two parents were correctly designated “unfit” in a lower court ruling, which transferred custody of their child to state social services, reports the Associated Press.

The parents are members of a destructive “cult” called “The Body” led by Roland Robidoux. The group does not accept modern medicine and the couple’s child died due to medical neglect during a home birth.

Another child also died within the group due to starvation. A parent connected to that death is now serving a life sentence for murder.

“The Body” has proven repeatedly that it is a deeply destructive group with dire consequences for children. What can be seen from this group’s history is that adults under the influence of an extreme “cult” may become irrational and even criminal.

Children born or brought into such “cults” often cannot rely upon their parents to exercise good judgement and protect them. And frequently social services and the courts are their last hope for meaningful help.

Sadly, authorities were not able to help two children within “The Body.” Their lives were tragically cut short because of the mindset promoted by the group’s leader Roland Robidoux.

However, though parents have been charged and/or restricted by the courts, nothing has been done regarding Robidoux, who is clearly the root cause of these tragedies.

In the case of Charles Manson and his “Family,” the cult leader was criminally prosecuted and convicted for the influence he held over group members, which ultimately led them to murder.

Why hasn’t Roland Robidoux been charged? How many more innocents may suffer before a prosecutor takes action against this “cult” leader?

A mother in Vermont says her daughter was “brainwashed” by her Internet “boyfriend.” The girl initially met him through a chat room set up for teenagers, reports the Brattleboro Reformer.

However, the New England mother eventually found out that her daughter’s supposed teenage steady was actually a California man in his 30s serving parole for a sex crime.

But by the time this came out it was too late. Her child refused to listen. The parent said, “It’s very obvious that this guy has brainwashed her.”

When the girl turned 18 she abruptly left home to move in with the man and there is now nothing the family can do about it. They can only hope that some day she will become disenchanted and return.

This is neither a unique or new story. Sinister cults and pedophiles on the Internet have recruited many young people.

In Florida one man combined both cult control and sexual exploitation. Ricardo Romero also known as Jefferson deSouza, recruited teenage boys through sci-fi chat rooms into the “Order of Bios.” The FBI ultimately arrested him for kidnapping a minor he met on the Internet, reported the St. Petersburg Times.

Most “cults” in the United States maintain websites. Through such Internet sites they often recruit new members, sell literature and generally promote themselves.

Parents should carefully monitor the Internet time of their minor children. It is possible for a destructive cult or sexual predator to literally come into a family’s home through their on-line connection.

Karen Robidoux 27 is charged with the murder of her one-year-old son Samuel. The child was starved to death, supposedly due to a “prophetic vision,” which allegedly led the baby’s parents to withhold solid food for 51 days.

Robidoux’s husband Jacques was also charged and found guilty in a previous trial. He is now serving an automatic life sentence in prison.

Karen Robidoux’s lawyer says that cult “brainwashing” rendered his client “powerless” to stop the starvation of her son and that she felt compelled to follow the group’s beliefs.

Robidoux plead not guilty and now claims she is no longer a member of the cult called “The Body,” which is led by her father-in-law Roland Robidoux, reports NBC News of Providence.

However, the prosecutor scoffs at the brainwashing defense and says cult members still visit her weekly.

There is no doubt that what motivated Karen Robidoux to starve her child was religious devotion. She had no other reason to kill her baby and the prosecution hasn’t offered another motive.

But the jury in Jacques Robidoux’s trial rejected any religious defense and instead convicted the father regardless of his faith.

Will a second jury now find Karen Robidoux innocent due to sympathy for a mother driven by “prophecy” and peer pressure to neglect her child to death? It seems doubtful that the jury will place its sympathy with anyone other than the baby Samuel.

Historically, there has been little sympathy in court for cult members when their actions cause deaths.

This has been proven repeatedly through the Manson Family trials and the death sentences handed out to members of Aum in Japan. Nine Aum members have been sentenced to death thus far for their roles in the 1995 gas attack of Tokyo’s subway system that killed 19 and injured thousands.

Former Manson family followers such as Leslie Van Houten have found little sympathy even after thirty years in prison. Van Houten has been denied parole over and over again.

Charles Manson was not present for the grizzly Tate-La Bianca murders, but he was charged and convicted for his role anyway, as a cult leader who controlled his followers like puppets.

However, Roland Robidoux the leader of “The Body,” has yet to be charged with any crime.

This summer there were negotiations between the prosecutor and Karen Robidoux’s lawyer for a plea agreement. There was some speculation that she might plea guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

If history remains consistent a plea agreement is probably the best outcome she can expect.

Like other cult members who have caused deaths in the past, Karen Robidoux will likely have many years in prison to reflect upon her actions and the group that led her to tragedy.

Karen Robidoux, a member of the cult called “The Body,” is charged with the starvation murder of her year-old son. Jacques her husband has already been tried and convicted of first-degree murder for his role in the baby’s death. He testified that the group’s teachings and “visions” caused him to withhold solid food from his son.

Now Mrs. Robidoux’s attorney Joseph F. Krowski says he will use a cult version of the “battered woman’s syndrome defense” to explain his clients behavior, reports the Boston Globe. Krowski said that the 26-year-old mother was essentially bullied and brainwashed by cult members to cooperate.

Historically the “cult brainwashing” defense has not always fared well in court. Patty Hearst attempted to explain her behavior this way and was convicted anyway. Leslie Van Houten, of the infamous Charles Manson “Family” has been denied parole repeatedly, despite such an explanation regarding her crimes. But with Jacques Robidoux already serving an automatic life sentence in prison, perhaps the court will be more willing to consider such a defense for the young mother.

The jury in Karen Robidoux’s coming trial will be faced with a tough decision. When they deliberate they will likely discuss the apparent cult vicitimization of the defendant, but jurors will certainly be confronted by the facts concerning that cult’s ultimate victim, a defenseless year-old child.

Jacques Robidoux, the 29-year-old son of cult leader Roland Robidoux, was convicted of first degree murder June 14th. Later, the man who starved his own infant son to death attempted to reduce that conviction to manslaughter through an appeal. His appeal was denied reports the Boston Globe. Robidoiux has begun serving his automatic life sentence.

Robidoux acted upon supposed “visions” received by the infant’s aunt, which instructed that the baby be denied food. Many say that undue influence led to this tragedy.

The child’s mother and aunt are now apparently hoping to make deals through plea bargains with prosecutors to avoid trial.

Roland Robidoux, the founder and undisputed leader of the cult remains uncharged.

Little consideration has been given to the undue influence of destructive cults historically when members commit violent crimes and especially homicides. Jacques Robidoux will likely live the remainder of his life in prison.

And when it comes to murder, cult members have often been given long sentences or condemned to death.

Larry Layton, convicted for his role in the murder of California Congressman Leo J. Ryan at Jonestown (1978), is still in prison.

Likewise, the followers of Charles Manson (1969 Manson murders) were sentenced to death, but those sentences were later commuted to life in prison when the death penalty was dropped in California.

However, former Manson family members have routinely been denied parole due to the horrific nature of their crimes. Manson follower Leslie Van Houten who has served 30 years, was denied parole for the 14th time this month.

In one historic case a cult member did receive some consideration. Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped (1974), raped and allegedly “brainwashed” by the SLA, was never the less sentenced to a prison term for crimes while inside the cult. President Jimmy Carter later commuted that sentence and Hearst was subsequently pardoned by Bill Clinton as he left office.