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Cult Aussie Can't Post Bail


An Australian missionary working in Kenya for a Bible-based cult is languishing in a Nairobi prison after failing to post $6000 in bail.

Roland Gianstefani, who is battling ill health, is now expected to remain in jail until his hearing in September.

[We later learned that Roland had contracted tuberculosis while in the prison.]

Mr Gianstefani, 42, is facing charges of abducting a Nairobi woman and her seven-year-old son.

He was granted bail by a Nairobi court last week, but Jesus Christians cult members have been unable to raise the $6000 needed for his release.

One of the teachings of the Jesus Christians community is voluntary poverty.

NSW-based cult leader David McKay said yesterday Mr Gianstefani was finding prison life hard since his arrest 18 days ago over the disappearance of Betty Waitherero, 27, and her son Joshua.

Mr McKay said cult members had been forced to pay bribes to guards in order to visit Mr Gianstefani and provide him with warm clothing and food.

“Roland has a chest cold from the cold conditions. A $35 bribe passed on to the prison guards through one of our . . . members secured Roland a thin mattress to sleep on and we have managed to get a jacket through to him,” he said.

“We are not allowed to bring food for the prisoners as it seems that two small meals a day is their primary way of making life uncomfortable there.

“Once again, a $40 bribe bought Roland enough maize to fill himself up.”

Police arrested Mr Gianstefani after Ms Waitherero’s family raised concerns she had been drugged and was being held against her will by the Jesus Christians.

Ms Waitherero was on a two-week trial with the group before she vanished.

Mr McKay said Ms Waitherero and Joshua were in a hideout away from the group so the Jesus Christians could prove she was not being held against her will when police eventually found her.

Mr Gianstefani’s wife Susan is also hiding from police.

In July 2000, Mr and Mrs Gianstefani received suspended six-month jail sentences from a British court for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of a teenage boy.

Authorities believed Bobby Kelly, 16, had been kidnapped and brainwashed by the group.

[If authorities really believed that, then why were we not charged with kidnapping?  The authorities NEVER believed that Bobby Kelly had been kidnapped.  The police said as much to Roland and Susan when they arrested BOBBY at a holiday camp site.]

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