This Crime came to my attention earlier this year, but only in so far as the search and arrest of the woman named Anna, AKA Barbara Skrlova was concerned... I knew nothing of the background, until today... another 'dungeon' story, only with aspects of cannibalism & torture, not rape or confinement for breeding purposes... as has been noted in the Fritzl case, where were the neighbours before the video was discovered... was there nothing to tell that something was amiss in that house... what if the neighbours didn't have a baby monitor that would pick up the video signal... what would have been the fate of those boys... and seeing as there is one such weird breakaway cell of that Grail Cult, are there more which we don't know about... what are the authorities doing to find out... I think that this is making more questions than answers...
Cannibal Family Ate Boy's Flesh
Posted Jun 20, 08 11:35 AM CDT in World, Crime & Courts
(Newser) – A family of Czech cannibals is on trial for hacking off pieces of a 7-year-old boy who survived the ghoulish abuse, the Sun reports. The horror unraveled last year when a neighbor’s baby monitor picked up images of the chained-up boy meant to be seen by the boy's mother.
The partially skinned boy and his 9-year-old brother were also burned and whipped. Also involved in the abuse was a 34-year-old posing as an adopted 13-year-old sister. The imposter, the boys’ mother, and other relatives are members of the Grail Movement cult and claim its leader coordinated the abuse using text messages.
Chance discovery of abused child reveals bizarre Czech Grail Cult
By Daniel McLaughlin in Budapest
Saturday, 2 June 2007
A flickering image of a small naked boy, lying tied-up on the bare floor of a room, was the clue that drew the Czech Republic into a tale of child abuse, obscure sects and a mysterious vanishing girl that has shocked and baffled the nation.
The picture was spotted by a father keeping an eye on his baby, when his video monitor received a stray signal from a similar device being used in a neighbouring house in the quiet town of Kurim, close to the south-eastern city of Brno.
When police searched the area on 10 May, sisters Klara and Katerina Mauerova allegedly refused to open a locked door in their home. When firemen broke it down, they found Klara's eight-year-old son Ondrej inside, bound with duct tape, badly dehydrated and watched over by a video camera. Investigators believed Ondrej had been maltreated for six months, and he was taken into care with his brother Jakub and a girl called Anna, whom a court had allowed Klara Mauerova to adopt in March.
What was just a case of child abuse seized the nation's attention, however, when Anna disappeared from a children's home, sparking a search for her in nearby woods and villages.
Then came the bizarre revelation that "Anna" was not a 13-year-old girl, but a 34-year-old woman in disguise. Police believe "Anna" was actually Barbara Skrlova, a friend of the Mauerova sisters who, like them, belongs to a breakaway faction of an organisation called the Grail Movement.
The Grail Movement follows the teachings of Oskar Ernst Bernhardt, a German also known as Abd-ru-shin, who from 1923-38 wrote the Grail Message, which depicts man as a being whose spirit can return to its source in heaven by performing good deeds on Earth. It claims to have at least 10,000 followers worldwide, including several hundred in Britain.
"We broke with the people involved in this 11 years ago, after they added to the Grail Message with their own imaginings and fantasies," said Artur Zaplukal, spokesman of the Grail Movement in the Czech Republic, where it has about 1,500 followers. "I sent them a letter telling them they were no longer part of the Grail Movement."
Amid constant twists to a case that is being called one of the strangest in Czech criminal history, police now say they believe "Anna" never really existed.
Investigators think that when Klara Mauerova appealed to a court for custody of Anna, whom she said had been abandoned by her family, the daughter of a fellow cult member pretended to be the young girl.
They then gave the newly created identity of Anna to Ms Skrlova - so she could be groomed for a leading role in the sect.
"The community probably wanted to turn her into an idol for worship," one policeman told the national Czech newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes.
Social workers say Ondrej and Jakub now appear to be fine, and the search continues for "Anna", who becomes more mysterious by the day.
This week, President Vaclav Klaus received a nine-page letter defending Ondrej's mother, from someone claiming to be the missing Anna. "I have a feeling someone is playing a very strange game with us," said the bemused Mr Klaus.