A Texas family claims a religious cult have drugged their son and turned him against them.
Jordan Reichenberger, 27, had gone to preach Downtown Austin on Halloween night in 2016, when he disappeared.
His family were distraught, initially believing he may have been car jacked. But when they were eventually able to contact their son, he told them he’d left the city with some elder members of the controversial Church of Wells. He was currently at the church’s compound in East Texas.
Jordan Reichenberger, 27, (pictured) had gone to preach Downtown Austin on Halloween night in 2016, when he disappeared
When they reached him, however, he told them: ‘I don’t think it’s my time to leave yet.’
He also texted friends and family saying: ‘Do not fear for me my friend. I have decided to follow Jesus and forsake all; please forgive any pain or grief I have caused you.’
Reichenberger was at the compound for five days before his brother, father, and several friends drove out to the Wells compound to take him home, KVUE reports.
After hearing horror stories of other families struggling to get their children back, Jordan’s brother, Ian, said they approached the situation carefully.
‘When families show up angry like ‘hey give us our person back, give us our kid back’, the cult would be like ‘oh look how angry your family is.’ So, that’s why we went with friendship, love’ he said.
Eventually, after several hours of heated discussion with the church elders, Reichenberger was allowed to leave.
But when he returned home, his mother Kim says she noticed he wasn’t himself.
After hearing horror stories of other families struggling to get their children back, Jordan’s brother, Ian, (right) said they approached the situation carefully
Jordan sent a worrying text to family and friends after he was taken back to the church
‘At one point, his eyes rolled back in his head and we’re just like ‘what is going on here?’,’ she said.
Drug tests later revealed that he had sleeping pills and muscle relaxers in his system after returning from the compound.
Reichenberger admits that the felt ‘just kind of like a haze’ while he was at the church compound.
He explained that while he would never take drugs or tranquilizers voluntarily, all his food and drink during the five days at the compound were provided by the church.
‘Abhorrent. It’s a real shame that people can be doing that kind of stuff in the name of God,’ said Reichenberger.
He and his family have since contacted the police about the results of the drug test.
A stock image of the Church of Wells, which has been accused of taking people’s children and drugging them
Video footage showed one man in plaid, who appeared to be arguing with a man in a clown costume
While Reichenberger was allowed to leave the compound, to the surprise of many, another family are still waiting to be reunited with their daughter.
Andy and Patty Grove’s daughter, Catherine, joined Church of Wells nearly six years ago and the parents haven’t heard from her in over a year.
They are terrified about what might have happened to her.
‘We have information from law enforcement that she had made numerous escape attempts,’ Andy Grove said.
Her mother believes that Catherine was also drugged when she was first brought into the church.
‘I honestly believe that my daughter was drugged at the beginning and there’s some reason why she decided to escape four times and she’s asked to go to a women’s shelter twice,’ said Patty in tears as KVUE asked where things stand with Catherine.