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Belgium probes alleged killing in right-wing cult

Published on January 27, 2020

Belgian authorities have opened an investigation into the 2011 death of a member of a cult led by the manager of a girl band with links to the French far right.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the the state prosecutor in the southern Belgian city of Namur confirmed the investigation to AFP after it was revealed in the French news magazine L’Obs.

“A judicial investigation is indeed under way for the murder carried out by individual ‘X’ of a woman who was part of a sect,” Charlotte Fosseur said.

“No-one has been charged at this point,” she added, refusing to give any more information.

According to the report in L’Obs, “a member of Joel LaBruyere’s sect” who had been suffering from an inoperable cancer died in a remote cabin in Belgium’s southern forests in October 2011.

The magazine cites a former cult member as saying the victim had been suffocated by two female fellow acolytes to end her suffering.

Joel LaBruyere is a 71-year-old Frenchman who is known to the official French cult-monitoring agency Miviludes, which told AFP in 2018 that he wields “mental control” over his followers.

He is also known as the manager of girl band “Les Brigandes”, which has appeared in a music video with French far-right figurehead Jean-Marie Le Pen and recently released “One more time with Donnie” in praise of US President Donald Trump.

The Brigandes’ website describes them as “involved in the anti-globalist counterculture”

It says LaBruyere founded an association in 1996 to oppose France’s “witch hunt against everything unconventional in politics, religion and therapy.”