Cult member who followed Chad Daybell said he made her feel ‘special’ and called her ‘Goddess of the Earth’

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A former friend of Lori Vallow’s and a member of her small, insular, religious group testified Tuesday morning about the radicalizing influence of their leader Chad Daybell, who later married Vallow and is also being charged for the killings of her children and his wife.

Zulema Pastenes, who had befriended apocalyptic author Daybell with Vallow, said he assured Pastenes that when the rapture came she would be one of the special 144,000 saved and brought to live safely in cities of white tents.

“I believed we were doing something good to help get rid of darkness and get evil spirits off of the earth,” Pastenes testified.

Pastenes described Daybell giving her multiple “blessings,” and calling her “Goddess of the Earth.” She read aloud text messages from Daybell including one in which he assured her: “You’re on the team!”

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