'Deprogrammer' is charged with false imprisonment
LONG BEACH, N.J. (AP) - Ted Patrick, noted deprogrammer of young religious converts, has been charged by authorities here with false imprisonment.
Police in this seashore township said Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mezey of Elkins Park, Pa , had asked Patrick to convince two of their sons to break ties to the Divine Light Mission.
A spokesman for the mission, headed by the Guru Maharaj Ji, an 18-year-old native of India, said Sunday that Richard Mezey, 26, and his brother Alan, 23, had been the target of Patrick's attempt. The spokesman said the young men were returning to the mission's facility in Denver.
The parents had arranged for their sons to visit them at a home in Long Beach, but Patrick, four aides and a juvenile arrived Friday, shortly after the sons began their visit, police said.
Patrick, of San Diego, and his assistants allegedly nailed shut the doors and windows of the home to prevent an escape by the sons and talked to them throughout Friday night.
Saturday morning, Richard Mezey went to the bathroom, turned on the shower, used a nail clipper to pry the nails out of the window and escaped, police reports said.