There are many chilling stories about people who went missing, never to be found again. When a cult leader and his family mysteriously disappeared from Australia in 2007, investigators were left baffled. The disappearance of cult members is usually never a good thing. In cults, there often seems to be a high level of control, and when a person is discovered missing, it tends to be because they are in hiding, fearing their own life, or sadly, sometimes they end up dead by their own hands, or someone else's.
The unexplained disappearance of Simon Kadwell and his family continues to worry family members and mystify police. By all accounts, Simon Kadwill was a narcissist who demanded attention. Perhaps Kadwill knew that he would receive much more publicity in the aftermath of his disappearance than he ever would while gathering a few dozen cult members online. Continue reading to learn more about the eccentric cult leader and his family who vanished ten years ago, never to be heard from again.
Kadwill Started A Doomsday Cult OnlineVideo: YouTube
In the early 2000s, Kadwill had a strong online presence. He created a website called The Truth Fellowship, which was pretty much a doomsday cult. Kadwill believed he was of a higher power than the average human. The group had around 50 members who referred to themselves as "The Forecourt." Kadwill had a chat forum the group would use that was called "The Gateway" where he would go by the name Si. Members would follow a book written by Kadwill titled Servers of the Divine Plan. While Kadwill would preach to his group about the birth of a new world of higher consciousness and predicting the end of the world, he was also conning the group out of all of their money.
The Family And Roommate DisappearedPhoto: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
In July of 2007, Kadwell's girlfriend Chantelle McDougall called her parents to let them know Kadwill had gone to Brazil, and that she and their six-year-old daughter Leela would be leaving soon to join him. Later that day, McDougall sold her car and her dogs. McDougall's parents did not hear from her again, and after a few months, they began to worry and contacted the police to report their daughter and granddaughter missing. The police were never able to verify that Kadwill, McDougall, their child, or their 42-year-old roommate Tony Popic ever left the country, let alone went to Brazil, but none of them were ever heard from or seen again.
Investigators looked into the location in Brazil where McDougall and Kadwill had talked about visiting. Rio Branco is located in Brazil and is a well-known hot spot for religious cults. Investigators looked into this area and contacted others who lived there, but none of them have heard of or seen Kadwill or his group.
They Left A Note Behind But Where They Went No One Knew
The condition the family left the home in is quite puzzling. It appeared they left in a hurry, as the refrigerator was full and and there were dirty dishes left out. They left their wallets, and credit cards. A note was left pinned to the door though, which simply read, "Gone to Brazil." McDougall had previously penned a letter to her parents stating they had plans to vacation in Brazil, but investigators could not find any record or evidence showing the group ever leaving Australia.
Kadwill Began Dating McDougall When She Was Just 17-Years-Old
McDougall was living with her grandfather when she met 32-year-old Kadwill at a religious retreat. Kadwill had a girlfriend and a young son and offered McDougall a job babysitting his child. Eventually, Kadwill and McDougall began dating. McDougall introduced her new boyfriend to her parents, and they were not very pleased with the relationship, especially after hearing of Kadwill's aspirations of being a cult leader. Despite her parent's reservations, McDougall was happy with Kadwill, and it wasn't long before she was pregnant with his child.