Inside Julian Assange’s wild, weird childhood tied to ‘blonde hair’ cult The Family

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Julian Assange and his family had a weird brush with the sinister Australian doomsday cult “The Family” in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The group’s leader took members’ children (above) as her own. The Cult of the Family

When FBI Special Agent Hilda Kogut pulled up at an isolated farmhouse deep in the Catskills in June 1993, she was there to arrest the delusional but charismatic leader of a sinister doomsday cult called “The Family” based in Australia.

She had no way of knowing that same cult was the reason why Julian Assange’s family had to go on the run for years.

But Kogut told The Post that what really struck her when arresting Anne Hamilton-Byrne — a once-glamorous yoga teacher who had convinced her New Age disciples that she was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ — and her husband, William Hamilton, in Hurleyville, NY, were her many plastic surgeries.

“This was a vain woman,”said Kogut, who was working under the guidance of Australian detectives in a joint operation. “She’d clearly had so many facelifts that her hairline was pushed way back on her head.”

But Hamilton-Byrne’s vanity was nothing compared to the years of abuse she perpetrated on more than two dozen helpless and vulnerable babies and young children she illegally adopted between 1968 and 1975 in the Melbourne, Australia, area.

Police and the survivors of the cult said she told the kids she was both their mother as well as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ — and that, when the world ended, they would be responsible for re-educating the survivors.

Byrne-Hamilton counted more than 500 well-educated doctors, nurses, lawyers, psychiatrists and other professionals as members of The Family, who went along with her deluded and cruel teachings, experts on the cult told The Post.

When Assange, the notorious founder of WikiLeaks whose 12-year incarceration ended last week when he pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act, was about 10, his mother, Christine Assange, became romantically involved with a Family cult member and amateur musician named Leif Meynell Hamilton.

(Christine and Assange’s birth father, John Shipton, split up when he was a baby and he didn’t see his dad again until he was 25. Christine then married theater actor Brett Assange; Julian took his name and considered him his father, though Christine and Brett divorced when Julian was about 9.)

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