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George Feigley

George Feigley

George Feigley (June 23, 1940 – April 13, 2009) was an American church leader. He has been described as a sex cult leader.[1][2][3] Feigley served over 32 years in prison for sex crimes against children, from 1975 to 2008.[1]

In 1971, Feigley founded an organization he called the Neo American Church (not be confused with the more notable and unrelated Neo-American Church, a psychedelian religion founded by Arthur Kleps in the mid 1960s) and the associated Neo American School. The church and school were located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Church doctrine emphasized the transcendent or mystical power of orgasm.[1][4] According to police reports, it also advocated the use of children for sexual gratification.[1] While leading the cult, Feigley authored several publications under the pseudonym G.G. Stoctay.[5] These included a book entitled The Sale of Lillian, which described the sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl, and contained graphic illustrations of such abuse.[6]

The charismatic[1][7] Feigley, who called himself "The Light of the World",[2][7][8] gathered a small group of followers, mostly women, into his church.[4][8] As of 1983, the group, which at one point had numbered over twenty persons,[8] included about ten adults, one or two of whom were men (five children of group members were then living in foster homes where they had been placed by the state).[4]

Imprisonment

Feigley led the church in freedom for only about five years, as he was arrested in 1975 on multiple counts of statutory rape, indecent assault, and corrupting the morals of minors. He was found guilty of statutory rape of two teen-age girls and was sentenced to 10 years to 20 years in prison.[4] His wife was found guilty of corrupting the morals of minors.

Notwithstanding his imprisonment, some of Feigley's followers remained loyal, roaming to follow him as he was moved from prison to prison or when he was a fugitive.[4]

In 1976, Feigley scaled a prison wall at SCI- Rockview and fled to West Virginia.[9] While he was on the lam he hid at a farm near Thornton, West Virginia, which he and his followers referred to as the "Aaron Farm".[10][11] He was apprehended in 1978, but escaped from the Taylor County Jail in Grafton less than a month later while awaiting extradition back to Pennsylvania.[12] He was assisted in this escape by fellow prisoner James Lee Gilbert, who joined the cult after engineering the escape.[6] After his second escape he was free for two months before he was recaptured, hiding on another farm near Sneedville, Tennessee.[1][13]

In 1981, plans for Feigley to escape from SCI- Graterford by helicopter were uncovered. In response Feigley was transferred to Western Penitentiary.[6]

His women followers visited him regularly at the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.[4] The organization continued to operate; a 1983 raid on Feigley's home found young children playing with sex toys and boxes of child pornography. Feigley's wife and others pleaded guilty to corruption of minors and were sentenced to prison.[1]

In 1983, James Lee Gilbert and another of Feigley's followers, Laura Seligman, died in circumstances that led authorities to believe they were intending to break Feigley out of prison.[6] (They drowned in a sewer line close to Western Penitentiary where Feigley was then held.)[1]

In 1994, while still in prison, Feigley was convicted of instructing his wife and another man over a prison phone to have sex with a 14-year-old girl. Feigley was found guilty of conspiracy to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sentenced. Because of problems with the search warrants, Feigley's wife and the girl's mother were able to plead guilty and receive probation.[1]

Prisoner activism

In 1996, while imprisoned, Feigley co-founded the prisoners' advocacy website and non-profit corporation www.prisoners.com, along with his wife Sandra.[11] He contributed to the website to the extent possible while he was in prison. Www.prisoners.com purported to be "The Voice of the Imprisoned" and criticized the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for alleged abuses. It also provided information useful to prisoners and their loved ones.

The website also featured biographies of and works of art by prisoners, and health essays by Feigley under the pseudonym "Professor Stoctay".[14] However in addition to this advocacy for prisoners, Prisoners.com also published some of Feigley's rationalizations for his crimes.[15] As of April 2019, the website is defunct.

Release

Feigley became eligible for parole in 1990, but parole was denied then and at each subsequent annual review.[8] Having served the full time for all his convictions, Feigley was released from prison on August 15, 2008, to some consternation.[1][2][16] His convictions were not covered under Pennsylvania's Megan's Laws (his 1976 conviction preceded Megan's Law, and conspiracy to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse — his 1994 charge — isn't covered under the law), so he was not required to register as a sex offender,[1] nor was he on parole as he had served his sentences in full.

His return home was met with a crowd of protestors.[17] A neighbor circulated a petition to prevent Feigley's return to his home.[18]

Death

Feigley, who left prison in poor health,[8] died on April 13, 2009.[19]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Goldwerd, Lindsay; Whitcraft, Teri (August 14, 2008). "Child Sex 'Cult' Leader Freed from Prison". ABC News. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Terms of Sex Cult Leader's Release Anger Community". CNN. August 15, 2008. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Harki, Gary (August 22, 2008). "Sex Cult Leader Lived in West Virginia". Charleston Gazette. West Virginia.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Associated Press (December 4, 1983). "Inmate Said to Lead Cult Mixing Sex and Religion". New York Times. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "THE ZODIACAL CALENDAR GG Stoctay NEO-AMERICAN CHURCH, SEX CULT, SIGNED & #ED | eBay". eBay. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  6. ^ a b c d "Cast of figures in sewer escape cult". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 8/6/1983. Retrieved 5/2/2019. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  7. ^ a b Cassidy, Carrie (August 10, 2008). "For Feigley, Prison Was New Beginning". Harrisburg [Pennsylvania] Patriot-News.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Harrisburg Rapist to Be Released from Prison". Penn Live. August 9, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  9. ^ "Leader Of Cult Is Arrested". Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.: The Daily News. 19 Feb 1979. Retrieved 14 Apr 2019.
  10. ^ Flaherty, Mary Pat (7 August 1983). "Farm In W. Va. Once Used As Hideaway". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Views of the Prisons /81215/". 2010-05-18. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  12. ^ "Search for rapist". Evening Herald of Shenandoah-Ashland-Mahanoy City. 18 October 1978. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Sneedville Cult Leader Charged In Prison Escape". The Tennesseean. 22 February 1979. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Prisoner Authors /81209/". web.archive.org. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  15. ^ News, A. B. C. (2008-08-14). "Child Sex 'Cult' Leader Set to Go Free". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  16. ^ Turley, Jonathan (August 16, 2008). "Community Outraged by Unrestricted Release of Religious Pedaphilic Leader". Jonathan Turley. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  17. ^ Fernandez, Michael (August 15, 2008). "A Small Crowd Protests as Convicted Rapist George Feigley Arrives at His House". Penn Live. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  18. ^ "Single Mom Fights Sex-Cult Leader's Return to Neighborhood". Penn Live. August 12, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  19. ^ "George E. Feigley". Tributes.com. Retrieved June 17, 2016.

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