Former members, victim to testify against matriarch of Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps
Julie Gudino will testify against Deborah Green, the leader of Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, along with fellow cult defector Maura Schmierer on September 17
On September 17, Julie Gudino will be on her road to a life that doesn't resemble a nightmare when Deborah Green, one of the leaders of the cult that Gudino left many years ago, will go on trial for charges including kidnapping and sexual penetration of a minor, child abuse and failure to report a birth.
The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, a religious sect based in New Mexico, wasounded in 1981 by Deborah and her husband James. Gudino has now come forward and said that the pair had practically controlled the lives of many of their followers and have even inflicted harsh punishments on those who "disappointed them". She said that they made sure that believers were distanced from their own families.
Nine alleged members from the cult, who called themselves "God's Army", had been arrested in an early-morning raid that took place in the cult's counpound in mid-August 2017, reported PEOPLE.
The cult was also the subject of a recent episode of 'People Magazine Investigates: Cults', which aired on July 3.
55-year-old Peter Green, the couple's son-in-law, faces 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child. Gudino told the publication: "It will be cathartic for me, because the Greens have convinced themselves that they are innocent and that they haven’t done anything wrong but the relationship I had with Deborah — she knows I know."
She will be heading to New Mexico from California on September 16 to testify. She said: "I know everything that she did."
She then continued to say that she cannot wait for "that feeling of being able to face her, so I can look her in the eyes from the stand and say, ‘I know what you’ve done.’ I’ll be closing the door on this part of my life. Testifying will help".
Among the allegations in Gudino's testimony is that Deborah had commanded her to kidnap a girl child from Mexico. She told the publication that she was given instructions to wait until it was dark and then to "grab" the girl. The cult leader had allegedly tried reasoning with Gudino that children "shouldn’t be on the street, so, if we were to take them, we would be giving them a better life". Gudino then admitted that she had almost grabbed the child but stopped herself.
Deborah, on the other hand, has still maintained her innocence. The rest of the cult members also say that they have not done anything wrong. They will all face trial later this year. James Green's trial is scheduled to start in November. He faces the charges of kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence. Gudino told PEOPLE: "I was nervous all week about the trial but now I’m actually getting excited. I don’t know what to expect, but I am ready to tell my side of the story."
Gudino will be traveling to New Mexico for the trial along with fellow cult defector Maura Schmierer who will also be testifying againt Deborah. Schmierer was able to sue and successfully win a lawsuit against the Greens many years ago after they forced her to live in a storage shed with no bed or bathroom for months as a punishment for putting her children before her committment to the cult. Even though she won $1million as her settlement, she has still not received the money.
The woman who the couple kidnapped as a child in the 1990s and forced into slave labor will also be testifying. She is now an adult and is the person that both Deborah and James have been accused of sexually abusing. Gudino told the publication that she is not afraid to be in the same room as the woman she had, at one point, called "General Deborah".
She said: "I am actually more worried about all the emotions that will surface from all the pain I have endured from them for all these years. It was a traumatizing experience and I have spent years suppressing those feelings and rebuilding my life. I am prepared for this experience to take me back to a really dark place, but I know will be able to handle it, even though it will be deeply painful."