For forty years, Edgard Doulière attracted hundreds of women to his sect and got most of them pregnant. The guru then let the babies disappear into an obscure adoption circuit. Edgard Doulière was a “spiritual criminal”, who also had the death of writer Georges Simenon’s daughter on his conscience. “Women could no longer know who the father of their child was.”
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Edgard Doulière was not a typical guru. He didn’t have the Hollywood allure of Peoples Temple’s Jim Jones, the penetrating gaze of Bhagwan (Osho) or the fire of Charles Manson. Doulière was a bald, unattractive man with an unkempt mustache and a paralyzed left arm. But when he spoke, the women of his sect looked at him like a rockstar. Thanks to his charisma, they did everything for him.
“When the moon was full, I was called to his house,” says Linda de Maaseik. “For a mystical encounter, I had to put on a large robe, then I was led into the room with a candle in my hands. Edgard Doulière was lying naked on a mattress on the floor. He didn’t do anything, he didn’t say anything, he just lay there. The mystical encounter turned out to be an arranged sex date. I was picked up and put on Edgard, and I had to do my thing. There was no arguing, no kissing – it didn’t take long. When he was done, I got my candle back, and I was able to leave.
In the 1980s, Linda was one of hundreds of disciples of Doulière, a self-proclaimed goat herder and psychotherapist from Uccle, who led a cult between 1960 and 2006 – first in France, then in Belgium. What happened in this sect has remained a closely guarded secret for over forty years. Till today. Television producer Eric Goens spoke to relatives and followers of the Belgian guru. The documentary he made for Streamz – “De 42 kinderen van de goeroe” – shows how the hippie spiritual movement was actually a cover for a dark child trafficking ring.
Under cover of mysticism and spirituality, the leader of the Belgian sect has presented himself as a kind of guru of sex. “He devised the most hideous rituals in which the position of the moon and stars determined what was the fate of the woman that night,” Goens explains. “She then had to have sex with him, in an almost absurd way. Because unlike other cult leaders, Doulière did not organize wild sex parties that lasted for hours. He couldn’t do that, because of his paralysis, he was anything but a sex beast. So it all happened as Linda describes it: the women had to do the work, and Doulière ‘gave’ – as often as necessary, until they were all pregnant. In his mind, it was the perfect way to create an übermensch (superman, editor’s note).”
Edgard Doulière wanted to create a new superior human race with his “superior” genes. The babies were then taken from their mothers. Some were “given” to other cult members, but most disappeared into an underground adoption network.
This was the guru’s stated goal: to create a new superior race of people with his “superior” genes. But the children he fathered with his followers were taken from their mothers. Some newborns were then “given away” to other members of the cult, but most vanished into an underground adoption network. Doulière declared to his disciples that he sent these children into the world as a sort of Adam and Eve of the new “superior race”.
At the same time, illegal adoption networks were active in South America and Asia, paying between 7,000 and 15,000 euros for babies stolen from their mothers after birth. Only, nothing proves that Doulière received money for the children he “distributed”. What is certain is that he charged many followers high sums for the so-called therapeutic sessions he gave. A former member of the sect, on condition of anonymity, tells in the documentary that he had to pay him 9,000 euros, which at the time represented an annual salary.
Edgard Doulière, the brain and guru of the sect, was born in 1931 in Uccle. He was the son of wealthy glassmakers who raised him in a strict Catholic tradition. As a teenager, he was struck down by polio and rolled out of bed one day with a paralyzed arm. It’s a handicap that will affect him all his life, but he doesn’t feel inferior, on the contrary. Firmly convinced of his superiority over “ordinary mortals”, Doulière compensates for his physical defects with superior intelligence and oversized charm. This is how he also conquered Micheline, his first wife, who gave him three children. With them, Doulière moved to France in 1960 – he was then 29 – where he became a pastor in a small village in the Ardèche. This is where his macabre plan took shape.
Hundreds of people were charmed by the “spiritual gospel” preached by Edgard Doulière. It was a mixture of truths and absurdities that the Brussels resident had borrowed from various wisdoms and from which he had made his own cocktail.
Doulière convinced his family to live as prescribed by the Bible: stripped of all material possessions and surrounded by nature. In an abandoned farmhouse, he gathered around him a herd of goats and a group of followers. He seduces them during conferences on courtly love, which he gives in France and in Flanders. Hundreds of people fell for it and were charmed by the “spiritual gospel” preached by Doulière. A mixture of well-founded but above all unfounded remarks, which the Brussels resident had borrowed from various wisdoms and which he had made his own cocktail. He called himself “professor” and claimed to be a psychotherapist, although he never obtained a diploma.
“The power of this man must have been enormous,” says Eric Goens. “He not only succeeded in convincing hundreds of people to come to his sect, he also got many women to have their first child with him, and give him this first born. The question is whether he was really convinced that he was creating a superior race, or whether he was simply – like many gurus – driven by money and greed. I’m afraid it was a combination of the two, and he also enjoyed the power he had. I can’t imagine that in a normal life, Doulière could walk into a bar in Brussels and seduce a 20-year-old girl. But when that same girl entered his sect, he knew, ‘Despite my misshapen appearance, she will soon be mine’.”
Doulière had imagined a kind of gangbang in which a woman had to be impregnated by twelve masked men at the same time, and he was the twelfth and last in line. This way, women had no way of knowing who the father of their child was.
Doulière’s sexual games caused his wife Micheline to leave him in 1968, devastated. His departure only pushed Doulière to go further. He remarried Anne-Marie and crowned her as the sect’s new queen. Doulière himself becomes the king: he calls himself the Melek, king in Hebrew. The nerve center of his sect moves to a castle near Montpellier, where hundreds of new followers join over the years and where he develops a new method to impregnate the women of his sect: orgies.
“He had imagined a kind of gangbang in which a woman had to be impregnated by twelve masked men at the same time, and Doulière was the twelfth and last in line”, says Eric Goens. “That way the women had no way of knowing who the father of their child was. Doulière had also created a whole ritual around these orgies and claimed to be based on texts from the Old Testament – when many of these texts do not exist. By creating a mystical atmosphere, it all sounded very good to its followers – people in search of meaning – and everyone went along with it.”
Among the followers of Doulière, there are both vulnerable souls who see a savior in the “psychotherapeutic” guru, as well as educated people of the nobility. One of them was Denyse Simenon, wife of Georges Simenon, author of detective novels about Commissioner Maigret and the most popular Belgian author of all time. After their divorce, his wife took refuge in the sect of Doulière. In exchange for her “psychological help”, the guru confiscated the alimony she received from her ex-husband. “It was an astronomical amount for the time,” says Eric Goens. “Without realizing it, Denyse Simenon has become one of the main financial supporters of the sect”.
Thanks to this new vein of gold, his sect was able to seek more luxurious places. Doulière leaves his dilapidated castle of Saint-Martin-de-Londres to settle in the prestigious priory of Saint-Michel de Grandmont. But that still wasn’t enough. He convinced Denyse Simenon to write a book about her marriage to Georges Simenon, whose adulteries were notorious. He convinced her that it was an “important step in her psychological recovery”, but he knew very well that it would benefit her. “A bird for the cat” appeared in 1978. In this book, Denyse Simenon, on the advice of the guru, describes Georges Simenon as a monster who abused her physically and mentally for years. “Shortly after the book was published, his 25-year-old daughter Marie-Jo committed suicide,” says Eric Goens. “Near his body was his mother’s book, which Doulière had written. The reason for his suicide could not be clearer. I do not think it is exaggerating to say that Edgard Doulière had the death of this girl on his conscience.
Shortly after the suicide of the daughter of Georges Simenon, the magic of Edgard Doulière seems to have dissipated. His followers have become older and, in the eyes of the guru, less attractive. He no longer invited all the women to his sex parties, which caused arguments between them. Slowly but surely, the priory in the south of France is emptying. When even his staunchest supporters turned their backs on him, Doulière himself packed his bags. “With the help of a Flemish lawyer who had remained in the sect with his family for years, he sought and found a new home in our country”, explains Eric Goens. “He moved to Lier in the early 90s and started from scratch. In an isolated estate on the banks of the Nete, he founded a new sect, according to his own absurd rule: everyone was welcome, provided that every woman who joined had her first child conceived by him.
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