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‘Self-styled spiritual leader’ charged with four counts of sexual assault by Edmonton police


Edmonton police have charged a self-appointed spiritual leader with four counts of sexual assault for alleged offences dating back to 2017.

Johannes (John) de Ruiter, 63, was arrested Saturday and charged with sexually assaulting four complainants in separate incidents between 2017 and 2020, police said.

Police said de Ruiter was the “self-styled spiritual leader” of a group known as the College of Integrated Philosophy or the Oasis Group and that he has been holding meetings at an office building in St. Albert, a suburb west of Edmonton.

They added de Ruiter also offers spiritual retreats out of a campground near Smith, Alta.

Police allege that de Ruiter informed certain female members of his group that he was “directed by a spirit to engage in sexual activity with them” and that by doing so he would help them achieve a “state of higher being or spiritual enlightenment.”

Police said there may be additional complainants and asked anyone with information to come forward.

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