Calvin Priest was a charismatic leader of a Pentecostal church in the US, who allegedly led people to suicide and other extreme activities, US investigators have said.
In a statement, the FBI said it had received a tip that Priest had been leading people to self-harm and suicide in recent years.
It is alleged Priest used his church to organise extreme acts of violence, including abductions, rapes, threats and murder.
“As part of his extreme leadership style, Priest has also claimed to have taken part in acts of child sacrifice and ritual abuse,” the FBI added.
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Priest’s daughter, Lauren Priest, said he had been the leader of the Pentecult church for a number of years.
“I have no idea what happened to him,” she told the network.
“It’s been 10 years since he was last seen alive and he’s not even alive.”
According to the FBI, Priest’s church has grown from 10 members to 40,000 members in the last decade, and is currently being investigated by the FBI and other agencies.
It added that it was a cult with a “cult-like” structure, but no leader.
“Members are expected to worship as one, believe they are god and follow the teachings of their leader, who is a charismatic figure who has an extensive background in Pentecontact and the Pentacle movement,” the statement said.
“Priest is believed to have led a group of members to commit acts of suicide, murder, kidnapping, assault, kidnapping-for-hire, kidnapping for ransom, drug trafficking, and kidnapping for financial gain.”
According the FBI’s investigation, Priest was involved in several “cult activities” that involved kidnapping, sexual abuse, kidnapping and sexual exploitation of children.
It said the Church of the Latter Day Saints has been active in the United States for decades, with over 3,000 active members and over 50,000 followers in the state of Idaho.