Canadian spiritual leader John de Ruiter has been released on bail in a sexual assault case

Canadian spiritual leader John de Ruiter was reportedly released on bail in a case in which he was accused of sexually assaulting four women.

De Ruiter, 63, leader of an Edmonton-based spiritual group College of Integrated Philosophy — or Oasis Group — was arrested Jan. 21 for alleged sexual acts with four female group members between 2017 and 2020, according to Canadian broadcaster CBC.

“It has been reported that the defendant informed certain female group members that he was being directed by a spirit to engage in sexual activity with them and that sexual activity with him offers them the opportunity to attain a state of higher being or spiritual enlightenment reach,” Edmonton Police said in a statement Monday.

On Friday, Edmonton Provincial Judge Randal Brandt granted de Ruiter $30,000 cash bail on the condition that he not contact the alleged victims and their families — and stay away from their schools, workplaces and places of worship.

He can’t leave Alberta either, and he can’t be alone with any woman unsupervised except his wife and daughters.

Pictured is Canadian spiritual leader John de Ruiter
Cops say de Ruiter claimed he had sex with women for spiritual reasons.

Attorney Dino Bottos said the charges would be “challenged fiercely” by de Ruiter and the case would be limited to whether the encounters were consensual and whether the women expected spiritual improvement as a result.

De Ruiter is the self-proclaimed leader of the nearly 20-year-old group of over 300 members.

A former shoemaker and Christian preacher, de Ruiter began holding meetings at his home and established his philosophy in 2006. He holds regular spiritual retreats and regular meetings where he has been known to stare at his followers for hours.

The defendant, who is married, admits on his website to “having consensual sexual relationships with women that go beyond the traditional framework of marriage”. Canadian spiritual leader John de Ruiter has been released on bail in a sexual assault case


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