Corner Brook woman in Costa Rican 'cult', says family pleading for her return
Kayla Jean Reid went missing in February and is in Costa Rica, according to family
A Corner Brook mother is pleading for the return of her 21-year-old daughter, who she says has left Newfoundland and Labrador for a "cult" in Costa Rica.
Kayla Jean Reid, who went missing in February, has been seen in that country in a video posted by Eligio Bishop, also known as Natureboy, according to her family.
He has her brainwashed- Tammy Reid
Tammy Reid said she's worried for the safety of her daughter, and believes she is being "brainwashed" by the man — who, through Facebook and YouTube, preaches that the sun manifested itself on earth to create black women, tells his followers not to trust their senses, and suggests that all people share one consciousness and identity.
"I think he lured her to come down," Reid told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show on Friday. "I more or less think he has her brainwashed."
Tammy Reid said her daughter left her home for St. John's around Feb. 23 on the pretense of going to a church retreat. Reid said she was told by one of her daughter's friends that she actually left to go to the St. John's airport early on Feb. 26.
A few days later, Reid said she realized that Kayla was not coming home and she contacted police.
"Kayla was talking before about going down to another country with a group," she said. "I tried to talk to her about it but she didn't want to hear it ... she had to be talking to this Natureboy."
The family spotted Kayla Reid in a video posted by Bishop/Natureboy and his followers on March 3, where he speaks directly about the girl who then called herself Sun Ray.
After talking about how the sun manifested itself into human form to create black women, which he called the "archetype," Bishop said others were made after people strayed from their original path.
He said Kayla Reid is an example of someone who has a "mutation" in her "hardware."
"This hardware that you are now looking at, this hardware is a mutation hardware from the archetype," Bishop said. "Hardware that are lower self, with the consciousness, the software of the higher self."
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said on Thursday it has been in contact with Kayla Reid, and it is "no longer investigating this missing persons file."
According to the family, police contacted Bishop through email and had a phone conversation with Kayla Jean Reid.
Afterwards, Kayla called both her mother and her aunt, Glenda Buckle. Both women say the conversations were far from normal.
"I was has happy to hear that she was OK," said Tammy Reid. "But in the background you could hear Natureboy more or less telling her what to say."
"The conversation was very disturbing, she said … he was saying that 'they were her family' … and it was a very disturbing conversation."
Tammy Reid said Kayla told her she wasn't coming home.
"Kayla is not thinking clearly right now, I think he has her brainwashed and she is more or less doing whatever he says to do," Tammy Reid said.
Buckle added that the conversation was "very rehearsed." She's concerned, because she said Kayla has a history of mental illness which makes her vulnerable.
"She's been manipulated into leaving everything. She has no record of a return ticket back," said Buckle.
I think the longer she stays down there, the more brainwashed she will be.- Tammy Reid
Now that Newfoundland police say their missing persons investigation is over, the family says it is considering filing an international missing persons report.
Tammy Reid said they are keeping track of the group through watching the Facebook and YouTube videos — calling what she sees "not normal" — and said Eligio Bishop has not answered her messages.
CBC News also tried to contact the man and one of his followers, and has not received a response.
"We would like to [have] Kayla brought home." said Reid. "[Whether] Natureboy is going to do that or we're going to go to Costa Rica and bring her back home — But Kayla will be brought home."
In the same video where he speaks directly about Kayla Reid, Bishop addresses accusations that he is a cult leader.
"I am the cult leader to them. To whoever watches that doesn't know who they are or what they are or what one is, for I am them," he said.
"They are not conscious. One is not conscious of the fact that I am them. So in their unconsciousness, they see Natureboy and separate me from them .... and this is how you know these are demons. Or one's lower self. Because I am the only thing in existence."
Bishop uses Kayla Reid's presence to rebut the accusation he is racist or prejudiced.
"I know that Kayla's not thinking clearly," said Tammy Reid. "I think the longer she stays down there, the more brainwashed she will be. And the more corrupted she will be."
With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show