Lawsuit claims teachers indoctrinated teens into religious cult - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Lawsuit claims teachers indoctrinated teens into religious cult

Updated:
  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

    Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:44:03 GMT
    You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.More >>
    You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.More >>
  • Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Moms-to-be learn how to be Fit for Two

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:54:43 GMT
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
    Exercising during pregnancy may have more benefits than you realize. Research finds it can make labor and delivery easier on your body. There are also benefits for baby. As little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise, three times per week enhances the newborn child's brain development.  In this week's Fit City, find out how ETMC is trying to create strong moms and healthy babies with one of its programs. More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:45:11 GMT
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>

(CNN) -- A Connecticut family has filed a lawsuit claiming a public school district, a trio of high school teachers and others engaged in a "predatory religious indoctrination" that left their daughters speaking a "bizarre new language."

The 64-page federal lawsuit, which does not name the young women or their parents, claims three sisters attending Avon High School were targeted and indoctrinated without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

Two of the girls, now 22 and 19 years old, experienced sudden and severe personality changes, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

"They lost their humor and their empathy," the family claims in court documents. "They began speaking in a bizarre new language."

The alleged religious cult promoted martyrdom and celebrated death, causing the eldest sisters to "experience fantasies of suicidal ideation and martyrdom," according to the lawsuit.

The youngest daughter, who is 16, also was allegedly targeted by the cult but "eventually broke free."

The documents name three teachers and a guidance counselor as "predators" acting on behalf of the cult but also seeks to hold Avon Public Schools accountable for allegedly failing to properly supervise and control its employees.

One defendant declined comment while another did not return calls. Two others could not be reached.

Avon Public Schools said: "The district administration is in receipt of the complaint filed recently in federal court and is reviewing it at this time. No communications regarding that which is alleged in the complaint have been received in the past. We will continue to review the content of the complaint and have turned the matter over to our school district legal counsel."

Wellesley College is also named as a defendant for its alleged role in allowing the teachers and guidance counselor to maintain contact with the girls after high school. The college said it was preparing a statement.

The lawsuit claims the girls "would frequently go to Alumni Hall, where it was desolate and they would dance, sing and perform 'whirling dervishes' -- religious dances -- until the wee hours of the morning."

The eldest daughters have cut off communication with the rest of their family as well as their friends, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and changes in school policy.

Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.