Friday, 29 January 2016

Katy Morgan-Davies, who spent decades as Aravindan Balakrishnan's captive, has described him as a narcissist who loves violence.
17:37, UK, Friday 29 January 2016

Katy Morgan-Davies Talks To Sky News
The daughter of the cult leader who kept women captive for decades using violence, cruelty and sexual abuse has described him as a "narcissistic psychopath ... obsessed with controlling people".
Waiving her anonymity for the first time to speak to Sky News, Katy Morgan-Davies explained how Aravindan Balakrishnan cruelly deprived her of any contact with the outside world for three decades, and of even knowing which of the cult's members was her own mother.
Balakrishnan, who has now been sentenced to 23 years in prison for two counts of cruelty and false imprisonment for his treatment of Ms Morgan-Davies, and for the indecent assault, rape and assault of other women in the cult, kept her a virtual prisoner in the various homes the group occupied around south London.
Aravindan Balakrishnan leaves Southwark Crown Court in London
"My earliest memories are of him being violent towards me and other people in the cult," Ms Morgan-Davies said of Balakrishnan, whom she knew only as "Bala".
"He loved violence, and those totalitarian dictatorships. He wanted to be like that - one of those dictators like Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot.
"(He wanted) everyone to listen to him - if they don't, he can kill them with impunity."
Now aged 32, Ms Morgan-Davies finally escaped from the cult in 2013 after she and two other members were rescued by the police and charities they had contacted after memorising a helpline number they had seen on TV.
Others, who had joined the cult in the 1970s when it was known as "The Workers Institute", had escaped years before - including two who gave evidence against Balakrishnan at his trial.
Two of the women died while living there, including Ms Morgan-Davies' mother Sian Davies, who died after falling from an open window in 1997.
Ms Morgan-Davies, who only discovered her mother's true identity after her death, said one of the saddest parts of her life was the cruelty she experienced at her hands.
Her mother, like the other women in the commune, was encouraged to spy on Ms Morgan-Davies and report to Balakrishnan, often resulting in violent punishment.
"There was no concept of father and mother. (Everyone in the commune) were just all comrades," Ms Morgan-Davies explained.
Katy: My Life in Captivity
"Whilst my mother was alive, there was no affection between us. It was not like I missed her when she passed away. In a way when she fell through the window, things got better.
"Because she was one of the worst bullies, when she was not there things got better. There was less reporting, and so there was less violence."
Ms Morgan-Davies explained how her mother's family had described her as a "very nice person" - and she said Balakrishnan robbed them of any connection by turning Ms Davies into a "shadow of her former self".
One of the ways Balakrishnan controlled the members of the cult was through the invention of an omnipotent mind-control machine, which they knew as "Jackie".
She explained: "He said if I did something wrong, others and me, we would be killed by Jackie. If he intervened by slapping us and beating us, then Jackie would think that enough had been done and not kill us. So we should be thankful that he is hurting us... because we would be saved from Jackie."
Ms Morgan-Davies said that as she grew older and developed an interest in men, she was forced to report her thoughts and fantasies to Balakrishnan, prompting further threats of retaliation from Jackie.
Despite the threats, Ms Morgan-Davies attempted to escape almost a decade before her eventual rescue, running to a police station in 2005. However, the police sent her back to the commune.
"The police persuaded me to call (Balakrishnan) and to go back," Ms Morgan-Davies said. "I had no choice."
Asked why her complaint was not taken more seriously, Ms Morgan-Davies shrugged. "Why did they send me back? It was a bank holiday."
She described how other opportunities to help those in the sect had been missed, adding: "The cult was very clever at hiding what they did not want other people to know."
Ms Morgan-Davies - wearing her hair in blonde curls and dressed in a bright blue jumper with a jewelled broach - said she is now learning the basics of ordinary life for the first time.
"Just being able to walk out the door on my own, walk down the street, make friends with people, talk to people without permission, say what I want without fear of being killed or cursed, wear what I want to wear, pierce my ears, dye my hair. Just small little things - it's so amazing.
:: You can watch a special report, Katy: My Life In Captivity, on Sky News at 6.30pm.