Ruinerwold children exonerate father: ‘we want him to live with us’

The church in Ruinerwold. Photo: Kiwi91 via Wikimedia Commons
The church in Ruinerwold. Photo: Kiwi91 via Wikimedia Commons

The five youngest children in the Ruinerwold farmhouse case have said in a statement published by the Telegraaf on Thursday that they do not blame their father Gerrit Jan van D for any wrongdoing and want him ‘to live with them to give him a happy final few years.’

In a lengthy statement on behalf of his four sisters, Van D’s youngest son said they supported their father and were going to pick him up from prison on Thursday.

Van D, accused of holding six of his children virtual prisoners in an isolated farmhouse, was found unfit to stand trial because of a stroke he suffered which left him unable to defend himself.

Defending his father to the hilt throughout the statement, the son said it had been his father’s decision to give his children an ‘all round education’ because he found the Dutch education system wanting.

He said that accusations of indoctrination were unfounded and that if that had been his father’s intention ‘he did not do a good job of it because he showed me too much of the world and did not check up on me enough’.

Gerrit Jan van D, a former member of the Unification Church better known as the Moonies, is also said to have set himself up as a cult figure but according to his son, ‘we don’t see him as a patriarch or a Messias’.


Distancing himself from the issue of the sexual abuse that allegedly took place, the son said two of the older children were chosen to be a ‘medium’ for their mother following her death.

‘This is where the sexual abuse claims originate but I am not going to get involved in the row about this. As younger children we thought what was happening was normal. I know my father never meant any harm to his children,’ he said.

The children claimed they did not feel they had been victims and that the experiencing they had following the police raid had been ‘more traumatising’ than living on the farm.

‘We want our father to live with us. He has given us a happy first part of our lives and now we want to give him a happy last part of his here on earth. We will not be going back to how it was. To raise your children the way you want and live legally obviously does not go together in the Netherlands,’ the statement concluded.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation