Convicted cult leader Winrod purchases Kulm school

ABC WDAY TV-6 News/August 16, 2017

By Angeline McCall

Kulm, North Dakota -- The granddaughter of a convicted cult leader is warning people in Kulm, North Dakota Gordon Winrod may be re-establishing a sect in their community.

The 90-year old Winrod was just released from prison after serving 10 years for abducting and brainwashing six of his grandchildren in the mid 90's.

This old building, dating back to 1924, has been vacant for about a year.

"I just wish it wouldn't have been here," said Wendell Carlson of Kulm.

That is until it was purchased in June by Gordon Winrod's daughter.

Winrod served 10 years in jail for kidnapping his grandchildren.

"I read bad stuff about him and what his words are about Jewish people. When I hear this it bothers me," said Carlson.

His granddaughter Shannon made a Facebook post as a warning to people in the area saying to 'Hide your kids. Hide your wives,' saying Winrod 'is a predator and his followers are dangerous.'

"He's here for a reason, and I don't think that reason is good," said Carlson.

WDAY reporter Angeline McCall spoke to Gordon outside of the school. He wouldn't go on camera but says he's currently using it to teach his beliefs. He self-proclaims that he is against Jews.

People in town say they saw 50 people lining up right out front. One woman said the people were dressed in what looked like prairie clothes and even some women were wearing bonnets.

And city council members say people are hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

"There are a lot of memories from several years ago when their family was involved in some unfortunate

circumstances. I think some people have some memories from that and are rightfully concerned," said Josh Gackle Kulm city council member.

For now, people say they'll keep an eye on this building.

"Our community, they will stand together. I just pray that everything is going to be okay," said Gackle.

And keep their fingers crossed that things will stay quiet in this small North Dakota town.

Council members say they weren't aware of the family connection to Gordon Winrod when the school was purchased.

They also say the family has not made it clear what the building will be used for.

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