The “Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps,” a religious group based out of New Mexico, has come under fire before for its treatment of children.
Now, four members are behind bars for sexual abuse and the death of a child. Two members have been charged with sexual abuse involving minors, and the other two face charges resulting from the death of a child, according to Tucson News Now.Screenshot/KCRA3
Deborah Green, pictured above, faces multiple charges that include sexual penetration of a minor. Her son-in-law, Peter Green, below, was charged with over 100 counts of sexual penetration of a minor.Screenshot/KCRA3
Her son, Joshua Green, was charged with failure to report a birth.Screenshot/KCRA3
Another member, Stacey Miller, was placed in jail for refusing to get her son medical treatment before he died.
The religious sect began in the early 1980s in Sacramento, California, but picked up and moved to New Mexico when they lost a lawsuit filed by a former member, Maura Schmierer, who claimed that the “Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps” made her give her three children away.
Schmierer was the third member of the religious group, along with her husband, who was the fourth. The group expanded in size with around 30 members living in the compound together.
She knew exactly what the children were being put through while the group lived in isolation. She told KCRA3:
“They wanted us to beat the children. They wanted me to whip my young child, who was under 2 years old with a belt because he didn’t use the toilet. They had no toys, they couldn’t play, they didn’t have normal lives as children. It was very disciplined, very regimented.”
Schmierer was punished when she refused to hurt her child:
“They changed my name to ‘Forsaken’ and they put me out in a shed in the backyard. I was not locked in that shed. I could have left, but I was so brainwashed that I thought that if I left I would go to hell.”
Even though she saw the abuse that was happening, and even though she lost her children, it still wasn’t an easy decision for Schmierer to make an escape.Screenshot/KCRA3
“I was afraid. I was under their influence. I believed that if I left I would lose out on eternal salvation.”
The mother admitted that she didn’t think she was a part of a cult at the time:
“At that time, I didn’t think it was a cult. Nobody in there thinks of themselves as being in a cult.”
She explained that they call themselves Christians, but their beliefs and doctrine come from Deborah who “claims to be a prophet”:
“So she prophesied, she thinks God talks to her, God gives her directions.”
Decades later, Schmierer still feels the same emotions she experienced years ago looking at Deborah, the co-founder of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, telling Tucson News Now.:
“The same feelings come up. I get a knot in my stomach.”
Schmierer, who won more than $1 million from her lawsuit — money that she has still not received — hopes these arrests put an end to the religious group.Screenshot/KCRA3
Meanwhile, the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps released a statement calling the charges against the four members “totally false,” according to Tucson News Now.