March 17, 2012

“Kibwetere is Uganda’s most wanted man”

The New Vision newspaper of Kampala has published an article commemorating the 12th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds by the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God. Its unnamed reporter reviews many of the known facts about the cult and includes a helpful list of factors that enabled its leaders to ensnare and control their followers, including:

• They separated families, including children, and took them to different camps in a new environment where they would not socialise easily.

• They erected fences around their camps that were opaque enough to prevent those outside from seeing what was happening inside.

• Producing children and having sex among followers—even between spouses—were strictly forbidden.
• They relied on deception through selective readings of the Bible. The Bible was usually read out of context.

• Apart from the leaders, other members of the cult were not allowed to talk. They used signs to communicate among themselves and to their cult leaders.

• They had a tight day's schedule that kept the followers extremely busy so that there was virtually no time to discuss, not even in signs.

• They tried to keep within the law and be close, very friendly and generous to the authorities, which helped them to avoid any suspicions from the state.

• They usually travelled at night so they could not easily be noticed even by neighbours.

• They did not own their own transport/vehicles. They usually hired vehicles to travel, they were therefore not easy to identify.

• They used to command all followers to sell all their property and bring all the proceeds to the cult leaders, sometimes burning it under the pretext that the Virgin Mary was annoyed with the owners.

• They created a property-less and helpless society of followers who became totally dependent on the cult and had nothing to fall back on.

Other news reports marking the anniversary:

• “Kanungu massacre: 12 years on, memories still fresh” (New Vision)

• “No arrests yet since Kanungu massacre (New Vision)