This cult was the outcome of intense craziness and paranoia, guided by evil and a literal translation of the Old Testament.
Almost 31 years ago, many of the suspicions became a horrible reality, after the battered, bruised and beaten body of 12 year old John Yarbrough showed up in the back of a pick up truck at the local hospital. He died shortly after arriving.
It was common for members to be beaten in public, and to be disfigured as punishment. This would be your fate if you went against Lewis' fury of insanity.
This camp was compared to that of Nazi concentration camps.
Public records state that 12 year old John Yarbrough was tortured for many days with burning coals and beaten with a wooden ax handle as punishment for watching TV, instead of doing chores.
Eventually, Lewis and his lieutenants were convicted of slavery. Yarbrough's mother, Ethel Yarbrough, was convicted of manslaughter in 1983.
In November, 2013, my husband, Todd and fellow investigator found the remains of what was the guard house, and possibly the punishment/isolation room, which was connected to the guard house.
There is a two track road that goes along the side of the guard house. This leads to the remains of the compound.
This was a very heavy & dark place. The surrounding area of the ruins is not a very welcoming area either, and I mean from the living.
We are, however planning on a Spring trip back to the site, and taking along investigating equipment.
Below are photographs I took in and around the remains of the guard house, and possible punishment/isolation room.
The last photograph is from the Kalamazoo Gazette archives.