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.
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.
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.