Wheaton defends cult position

Boston Herald/March 28, 2004
By Dave Wedge

Officials at an Illinois Christian college are firing back amid swirling criticism that they allowed a controversial cult leader to recruit students on campus, including three Bay Staters who say they were later tortured.

Reacting to a Herald report on the alleged atrocities of Baruch Ha Shem leader Feroze Golwalla, Wheaton College officials claim they were unaware of any abuse.

"The allegations of abuse that surfaced later appear to relate to events that took place after Mr. Golwalla was no longer enrolled at Wheaton College,'' officials said in a statement posted on the school's Web site Friday.

Administrators also said they refused to sponsor a 2001 trip to Pakistan by Golwalla's Parsee Ministry Team.

Ex-members Carrie Andreson of Concord and Harvard University grad Andrew Wolfe, both of whom were recruited by Golwalla at Wheaton, told the Herald last week that former members warned officials about Golwalla as early as 2000, yet he remained on campus.

The pair, who are considering suing the school, say Golwalla brutally beat his followers after the Pakistan trip while the sect was living in Maryland. Golwalla, 40, is wanted on assault charges in Maryland.

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