Roch Thériault was a Canadian cult leader who displayed horrific abuses of his power. While originally his teachings stemmed from the Seventh Day Adventist church he would eventually forbid his followers from contact with the church and with their own family. He would call his followers the ‘Ant Hill Kids’, describing the work they did for him as similar to that of ants in an ant hill. At his height he had 12 adults and 22 children following him, fathering the majority of the children himself.
His abuse of his followers was particularly sadistic. While he isolated his followers from the outside world and any social supports - as is typical of cult behaviour - he became more creative with his abuses. He would beat those who wanted to leave the commune, using belts and hammers, as well as hanging his victims from the ceiling and plucking off body hairs one by one. His punishments continuously escalated, to having his followers break their own legs with sledgehammers, sitting on hot stoves, consuming dead rodents and fecal matter, to instructing followers to cut off each others toes in a show of loyalty. His many children were not protected from his abuses, their were held over fires, nailed to trees while other children threw stones at them and were repeatedly sexually abused.
He also claimed to be able to heal his followers through surgeries. When one of his female followers, Solange Boilard, complained of abdominal pain he took it upon himself to surgically treat the problem. Thériault inserted a plastic tube into her anus to give her an enema consisting of molasses and olive oil, before proceeding to slice open her abdomen and rip a portion of her intestines out with his bare hands. He had another follower stitch Boilard closed and she died the next day. The abuse of Boilard did not stop there, however, as he also claimed to have the power of resurrection. He bore a hole into the dead woman’s skull and ejaculated into it, instructing his male followers to do the same.
Another woman, named Gabrielle Lavallée, survive the horrific abuse that she was subjected to. Having fled the commune and returned she had not only a finger amputated, but her entire arm. Thériault later smashed her in the head with an axe and cut off portions of her breast. She once again fled, and Thériault was apprehended and sentenced to life imprisonment for his many horrific crimes.