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Cult leader’s dark secrets: Tragedy, deceit, and justice after decades

Ellen Craig news
Ellen Craig and Tillie (L), Alexander Wilon (R).

Ellen Craig’s life took a harrowing turn in 1987 when she beat her two-year-old daughter, Tillie, to death with a plastic pipe while part of the Ministry of God cult near Sydney.

Instead of seeking help, Craig and another woman, under the influence of cult leader Alexander Wilon, laid Tillie in a bathtub and waited for Wilon’s return. Upon his arrival, Wilon prayed over Tillie’s body, attempting to resurrect her before burning the remains in a metal drum and scattering the ashes.

The horrific event was kept secret for years as Wilon continued to control his followers through manipulation and abuse. It wasn’t until a tip-off in 2019 led to Craig and Wilon’s arrest in 2021 that the truth began to surface.

Craig, who had fled to New Zealand and changed her name, worked with domestic violence victims while hiding her dark past.

This week, she pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a deal with Australian prosecutors.

Meanwhile, Wilon, who was charged with multiple counts of sexual and physical assault, was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial due to ill health.

The summary of facts released by the Supreme Court of New South Wales to legacy media sheds light on the cult’s abusive practices, including forced discipline and sexual exploitation, revealing the extent of Wilon’s control and the suffering of his followers.

The Australian Government is now left to decide whether further proceedings will be pursued against Wilon.

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