Catholic ‘cult’ in California: What do we know?

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Earlier this month, reports emerged in a California news outlet about alleged sexual abuse that purportedly took place at a commune run by a Catholic pro-life organization, Catholics United for Life.

The allegations come from three biological sisters who say they were abused at various points by men within the organization, which was founded as a Third Order Dominican Catholic community and eventually settled in rural California in the 1970s.

“I know what a cult is, and it was definitely a cult,” Margo, the oldest sister, told NBC Bay Area.

The sisters, who are identified only by their first names in media reports, said the commune where they grew up, which at least at one point housed “dozens,” was dedicated to families wishing to home-school their children and travel from city to city to engage in pro-life activism.

The commune was founded by what the sisters describe as a “group of hippies” in the small town of Coarsegold, California, about 40 minutes from the south entrance of Yosemite National Park.

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