SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The father of six young adults apparently held against their will on a remote farmhouse in Drenthe was remanded in custody for a further 14 days on Monday.
Gerrit Jan van Dorsten was arrested on Thursday night and is suspected of depriving the others of their liberty, possibly endangering their health and money laundering.
The money laundering charge stems from the large quantity of cash found on the farm, even though he had no job and no social security benefits.
Despite being described as a recluse, over the weekend it emerged that Van Dorsten was a prolific user of social media and had placed hundreds of articles, videos and photos on internet under the name John Eagles – many of which were in English.
As well as Facebook, which he used to promote his daily exercise routine, he also developed his own website Eagle Rock Wiki in which he set out his own approach to religion and ‘creating a better world for everyone’, the Volkskrant reported.
‘Working on the website is a way to build up a sustainable connection to God,’ he wrote in the page introduction. Some articles focused on spiritual and religious principles. Others focused on setting up a vegetable garden and making sure to use the right compost.
The Eagles Nest Wiki entries stopped in 2016, the time at which Van Dorsten is thought to have had a stroke, leaving him bed-ridden, the Volkskrant said. The Telegraaf has obtained a video reportedly showing Van Dorsten in which he spoke of a ‘war between the spirits’.
The video was recorded in 2006 at the time the family are thought to have lived in Zwartsluis.