The jury of four women and eight men heard how Balakrishnan’s ethos inside the secretive commune combined communism, the supernatural and routine violence.
When the massacre of pro-democracy protesters happened at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, he told the commune he “wished it had been 3,000,000” killed. He would curse those who paid tribute on TV to people who died in events such as the 7/7 London bombings, Cottage said. He would rail against “ugly dirty whites” who he considered fascist agents.
He beat his daughter from the age of four, which he said he was obliged to do, the court heard, otherwise “Jackie”, an invisible force with magical powers and a mind control machine, would kill or torture her. Jackie stood for Jehovah, Allah, Christ, Krishna and Immortal Easwaran and would cause earthquakes, fires and tornadoes if anyone went against Balakrishnan, he is alleged to have claimed.
Even by the standards of the genre Comrade Bala does seem to have been taking it a little far.