9 Dec 2002

Group in Samoa accused of being a cult

11:22 am on 9 December 2002

An American man has claimed that a group leasing the Sinalei Resort in Samoa is not a group of artists as they claim, but a religious cult.

Duanne Reed has told the Samoa Observer newspaper that the group is a religious cult called the Maha Devi Ascension Movement.

Mr Reed says the leader of the group is a multi-millionaire named Gabrielle who regards herself as the highest source of God on Earth.

Mr Reed says he discovered the group on the internet and went to Samoa, but he says when he got there he was shocked by what he found.

He says he was kicked out of the group when he threatened to expose them as a religious cult.

Both the owner of Sinalei, Folasaitu Joe Annandale and a spokesman for the group have denied Mr Reed's claims.