Dr. César Mascareñas de los Santos
Dr. Jorge Mascareñas Ruiz

            ** This article has two parts.


Human brain is formed by thousands of millions cells distributed in more than 100 areas and 12 different lobes. A great deal of its function is still somewhat of a mystery, and yet almost anything that happens in human behavior, normal or abnormal, may be attributed to this organ together with the central nervous system.1

Medicine, psychiatry in particular, studies and analyzes man’s behavior and conduct from a scientific perspective. Knowing the mechanisms and functions of the brain are among the objectives to diagnose the mental pathology that dwells in humans and to formulate adequate medical therapy so as to treat disease both in individuals or group levels.2



In 1994, Dr. Steven Kent, investigator at Edmonton University in Alberta, Canada, published a psychohistoric study of the controversial leader of a religious group known as "The Family" (previously the "Children of God").3 This study examines in depth the characteristic traits of David Berg’s personality, their cause and its effect in social behavior of his followers. For this analysis, Dr. Kent used as sources autobiographical facts from letters written by Berg to his parishioners as well as interviews with former members and relatives (including one of his daughters) who knew him personally. This study has had wide acceptance in academia because of its impeccable ethic and scientific methodology.4

Erick Erickson also performed studies using the psychohistoric investigative method to examine the personality of religious figures such as Martin Luther5 and Mahatma Gandhi6 (his conclusions were published in 1958 and 1969, respectively). These studies together with Thompson’s in 1963 and Moore’s in 1974 add up to a complete work on the founder of Wesleyanism.7

The psychohistoric method is scientifically adequate to study and evaluate individuals’ causes of behavior and personality, whom, for reasons of time or space, are not available to make them a direct medical investigation. It is also efficient for studying the repercussions of such personalities upon their social environment and to make a presumptive diagnosis.

In our present analysis, we have selected this method to study the personality of Samuel Joaquín. Reasons are obvious. The maximum leader of "The Light of the World" has systematically refused to explain to Mexican society the actions for which he is accused.8 At the same time, it is far fetched to imagine the possibility of his acceptance to an invitation of some medical association to occupy a psychiatrist’s couch. This is evident by his refusals to our repeated invitations to establish a personal dialogue.9

Fortunately, science does not bind our hands in such cases. There is an adequate and effective method to support our diagnostic impressions and what may be obtained from them. The material reviewed to prepare this study comes mostly from primary sources of information whose contents, seen with external and internal objectivity, were found to be genuine and relevant. Some of the main sources for the investigation are specified below:

  1. Fieldwork performed about The Light of the World church by various investigators; (De la Torre, Becerra y Reyes and Bernal).
  2. Personal interviews with former members from the elite of the group known as the unconditional ones.
  3. Interviews with former pastors and leaders of The Light of the World church who have personally known Samuel Joaquín through many years.
  4. Video films of testimonials from former members of The Light of the World.
  5. Magazines and literature edited by The Light of the World.
  6. Letters signed by Samuel Joaquín Flores to his followers.
  7. Hymnbooks of The Light of the World.
  8. Newspaper files of public statements made by Samuel Joaquín Flores and various contingents of The Light of the World.
  9. Personal conversations with active members of the association.
  10. Sermons of militant ministers in audiocassettes.
  11. Rites and religious ceremonies in video films, inside the main temple in La Hermosa Provincia in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
  12. Historic literature and chronicles about the origins and development of the church The Light of the World, produced both by dissidents and active members.
  13. Public statements made by the organization about its main doctrinal postulates.
  14. A huge photographic file about the leader and his association.

The purpose of this edition make it impossible for us to make a more detailed description of such material, which is available to the academic community for any further research.



To get a better sight of what happens nowadays in The Light of the World, it is necessary to go back in time and get acquainted with its beginning.

The Light of the World, whose complete name is "Iglesia del Dios Vivo, Columna y Apoyo de la Verdad, La Luz del Mundo" (Church of the Living God, Column and Support of Truth, The Light of the World), was established in 1926 by Aarón Joaquín, father of the present day leader, Samuel Joaquín Flores. Aarón, mystic leader and unquestionable maximum authority in the organization, performed what were considered apostolic actions during almost 40 years. He was a charismatic leader who at that time was able to influence the behavior of many people. Soon he became venerated as a prophet and as God’s apostle in an exclusive and absolute sense.10  A halo of mystery was woven around the figure of Aarón Joaquín as a supernatural being which gave him a strange influence and control over his followers.11  Afterwards his figure was perceived by his followers as if he were the new Messiah.12  Samuel Joaquín Flores grew under the shadow of this peculiar paternal figure.

When Aarón Joaquín died in 1964 (circumstances of his death are unclear), the position of high leader of The Light of the World was empty. It seems the founder’s death was unexpected; otherwise, one could explain there was no public announcement of his successor. However, this place was taken by Samuel Joaquín one day after his father’s demise, when he was 27 years old.13 As soon as he took possession of his new position that included the prerogatives of King, High Priest and Prophet, the characteristic traits of Samuel Joaquín’s personality began to emerge, evolving in time to become the pathological features of his present character. During that initial period, Samuel Joaquín procured the group’s hegemony and vindicated his leadership after a span of internal struggles and doubts about its legitimacy.14 Since then, his figure inside the organization has been increasing with messianic and divine attributes.15

Upon becoming the high priest of his church and because the position entailed great political and messianic expectations, Samuel Joaquín developed a pathological psychiatric condition to enable him to carry the weight of his newly acquired position.16 This is obvious, among other things, because of his paranoid obsession in forming an internal elite that grants him absolute loyalty and unconditional obedience.17 This elite group would later be known as the unconditional ones.


Diagnostic Impressions on Samuel Joaquin´s Case

Up to this point evidence indicates that from his risen to power as maximum leader of the The Light of the World, Samuel Joaquín presented a psychiatric disorder known as Malignant Narcissism, or a type of psychosis called Paranoid Delirious Disorder. Both pathologies are similar in their external aspects but differ in their internal dynamics. Paranoid Delirious Disorder is characterized by feelings of omnipotence and persecution that cause the person to confuse reality and fantasy, insofar as his own identity is concerned.18   Malignant Narcissism, on the other hand, presents external aspects similar to psychosis, with the difference that in this case the patient unconsciously feels like a superior being.19 But when the narcissistic patient presents sociopathic traits, the fact of being a great personality is not unconscious, he consciously pretends to be one. That is, in psychosis true identity is unknown and delusion is real, while sometimes in narcissism pathological grandeur is simulated to obtain advantages and gratification by deceiving others.

Both diseases show delusions of grandeur and paranoid behavior added to a great lack of sensibility for other human beings as well as an excessive demand for personal attention.20



A delirious idea is defined, according to psychiatry, as a "false belief, which is not susceptible of being modified or corrected by logical persuasion or by exhibition of opposite evidence".21 Paranoid delirious ideas are those that are characterized by presenting persecution obsessions, of being followed, observed, of imaginary plots, etc.22 The person with delirious paranoia generates an environment of hostility and aggression in his midst. His condition also provokes a continuous state of anxiety.23

As mentioned above, from the onset of his leadership, Samuel Joaquín presented paranoid behavior, as exemplified by the formation of his famous group of "the unconditional ones", men and women who submitted to him absolutely for life. Thus, Samuel Joaquín wrote on one occasion to his immediate followers:

"While you work, I want you to study, in the dictionary, and in your own understanding the meaning of the word UNCONDITIONAL (sic) a) spiritually, b) morally and c) materially. God grant that there will always be in you the strength of spirit that you showed me at the beginning, so that you may work at my side with sincerity…" 24

Besides creating a special group of unconditional men and women in morality (with whatever that implies), Samuel Joaquín’s paranoid obsessions provoke an anxiety that impels him to hide behind an impressive group of personal security men to enable him to perform his pastoral duties at ease. Thus, he is surrounded at all times by an escort of bodyguards to protect him, his home and his assets.25 Why does a religious leader, with supposedly peaceful goals, require an army of bodyguards and creates special security forces to watch over the colony where he lives?26 Why does he need to implement a sophisticated information system about the movements of each one of his parishioners?27

What is the motivation behind the strict control on comings and goings in the Hermosa Provincia colony, site of The Light of the World and permanent place of residence of its leader?28  The paranoid delusions give us the explanation.



Retaking the Differential Diagnosis, it is important to note that in the case of Malignant Narcissism, when there are psychopathic traits, one tend to consciously cover up the paranoid state; there are times when the patient loses contact with reality and falls into psychotic delirium.29 That is, at times he really believes he is being persecuted and attacked, regardless of objective evidence. After this kind of episode, there is a state of sanity. In other words, the contact with reality of the malignant narcissist is variable, coming and going into a state of delirium. This is called loss of subjective experience of reality.

On the other hand, the Psychotic with Paranoid Delirious Disorder tends to have a permanent loss of contact with reality, which includes "clear" ideas that one is constantly being persecuted.30   It is important to remark that the differential diagnosis between both medical entities may be established only through direct psychiatric examination.


Deliriums are distortions of perceptions of reality. The patient with delusions of grandeur has a mistaken interpretation of his identity. Reality is altered in such a way that he believes in his own fantasies and sees himself as an omnipotent, eminent and mystic being.31

There is enough medical data to diagnose the main leader of the Light of the World as presenting clinical evidence of delusions of grandeur. By the evidence, Samuel Joaquín enjoys having parts of the life of Alexander the Great read to him while he remains in bed surrounded by the so-called "Vestals".32  This is a group of women who have taken vows to be unconditional and whose tasks include attending to his sexual needs and, even to recruit young people and teenagers for this and other purposes. This behavior has been accompanied, according to interviews with people close to him, by violence that ends in rape, sexual abuse (including minors) and physical aggression of sadistic nature.

Other intimate scenes in Samuel Joaquín’s life with his female entourage help us to complete the picture. Investigations with sexual abuse victims often turn up facts like the following: Samuel Joaquín immersed in a luxurious bathtub, being soaped, perfumed and massaged by a retinue of naked servers, always including some young girls and teenagers. In this case, the argument offered by Samuel to justify his behavior is his anointment as King in the Biblical sense, identifying himself as King David or King Solomon.33 In the context of these scenes, reminiscent of the excesses of Roman emperors and the Borgia Popes, Samuel Joaquín has frequently requested young girls to offer (with religious connotation) their virginity to God’s male, because it is something unique and special to grant him.34  With this argument, several young women were persuaded to have sexual relations with Samuel Joaquín, and invariably those that had been raped were consoled by the thought of the sanctity of this action.35

The personality of the maximum leader of the Light of the World is certainly manifold. Besides the aforementioned, Samuel Joaquín has fixations with characters like Adolph Hitler. This is told by one of his former close associates. In 1986, during one of the annual August parades in the Hermosa Provincia colony (after having read a book about the Nazi dictator) Samuel observed the young cadres of The Light of the World parading in military formation, saluting, with hymns and flags: "I want you to go and have these young people give themselves entirely to me;  like the young Germans gave themselves to Hitler"36 exalted exclaimed Samuel Joaquín to the man who then was director of the magazine and secretary of the political branch of the association.37

His obsession with Adolph Hitler does not end there. It is reflected in the paramilitary structure of the corps of social protection of Hermosa Provincia, inspired in the Nazi ideology. This corps of young boys and girls uses badges, uniforms, police training and communication equipment.38

Thus, the maximum leader of The Light of the World occasionally behaves like a king or like a great conqueror and sometimes he manifests the personality of a statesman or an ancient pagan divinity that demands hymens for his veneration in sexual rites. It all depends on place and time.

To complete the delirious picture, Samuel Joaquín also believes he is the Messiah. In a letter to his followers signed by himself, he makes an analogy of himself with Christ and his parishioners with the body of Christ.39 In the Holy Supper celebrated in 1986 in the main temple in La Hermosa Provincia colony, he proclaimed himself as Christ.40

The magnificent winged thrones where he sits during various religious festivities and the figures of huge golden cherubs prostrated before him when he makes public speeches are another clinical evidence of his delusions of grandeur.

The hymnology of the Light of the World is surprising because of the great number of messianic allusions towards the figure of Samuel. The following sections of this hymn will illustrate it:

In the late rains God sent from the heavens a man with a great name,
Samuel, God called his name blessed name by all the souls.
And the most perfect task is the one whom we believe, Lord the one you have sent, to the world it is hard to believe and receive,
oh Lord, the one you have sent.
The world follows vanity stubbornly, ignoring the one sent by God with holy election, he who comes near him believing, will have life and a place of rest. 41


Besides the conceptions that the chief dignitary of the church The Light of the World has of himself, it is important to know how he is perceived and treated by his followers:

"You are the Angel, that God has sent to save us, so we honor and glorify our great savior" 42

"How I love you Samuel, you, I am happy Samuel for you, because you watch over my life, because you watch over my soul, because you keep my body from evil" 43

One minister of The Light of the World, referring to Samuel Joaquín stated that his maximum leader has: "Power to redeem, justify, sanctify, govern the Church, grant salvation and eternal life" 44

In a most revealing scene during the maximum religious festivity of The Light of the World in 1986, at the moment when Samuel Joaquín entered the main temple, the master of ceremonies was heard to shout the following:

"Hallelujah, See him coming, he is the Glory of God. Glory be the Lord. How beautiful to see him…" 45

When talking about the Temple in relation to their leader, they say as well: "…that is where the rediborn (sic) verb of the true God inhabits physically, the favorite son of the Highest: Brother Samuel Joaquín Flores" 46

In the same vein, a fervent parishioner attributes omnipresent powers to his leader and it is published with obvious relish by the editors of the official magazine: "I would like to tell the world that there is a Man of God on earth, and the best thing is that He is everywhere, it is not necessary to be in Guadalajara to see him, I see him here in Ecuador, he is always at our side…" 47

The above perceptions of Samuel as Messiah are not only allowed by the leader, but even readily accepted and promoted in every possible way. We find another example in the himnology of the organization:

"Even by the faith I knew him and his great power I felt in me
I did not know there was a man of God who came from there to save me
I belong to Him now and He helps me with his great power
He leads me always to the truth. He is everything for me"

Hymns like this are sung, recited or presented daily in choral poetry by thousands of his initiated with the obvious approval of the man who has constituted himself into the living oracle of some 200,000 people in Mexico.49



The exaggerated importance attributed to Aarón Joaquín’s successor is particularly evident in his relations with the group of the unconditional ones. The scenario to study the delusions of grandeur is tailor made. Thus, it is not enough to give the vow of unconditional obedience to Samuel in writing but it is for life and irrevocable. Besides, patent proof of such unlimited loyalty is often requested. One of them, the basic one, concerns marriage. Samuel personally selects the mates of this elite when ready to marry, whether men or women. It is usual for a person to find out who will be his husband or wife just in the moment when the wedding is to be performed.50

Another rite which points out the delusions of grandeur of the dignitary of The Light of the World is the naming of the children of the unconditional ones. This attribute corresponds to Samuel, who besides claiming spiritual property of the elite group (because the unconditionals and all they own is his), selects the children’s names. Usually, the names begin with the letter S, Samuel’s initial. This constitutes a seal of belonging over them and serves to remind the unconditional ones their vow not to own anything on earth.

In this framework, his behavior is explained by the following concepts, cast in a special indoctrination meeting for the elite:

"For you who are married, I am your wife, for you who are single, I am your bride. For you who are married, I am your husband, for you who are single I am your groom" 51

Ignoring, as far as possible, the psychosexual implications, sentences like these are highly significant to evaluate the huge amount of personal attention centralized around Samuel Joaquín and his delusions of grandeur. Besides, it is very revealing to recognize the state of paranoid delirium and insecurity of the leader who continuously demands proof of loyalty as the above mentioned to keep the dignitary at ease.




The repercussions of Samuel Joaquín’s behavior show the inherent risks of psychotic and delirious mental pathology. By having distorted ideas about his identity and importance, Samuel Joaquín shows contempt towards his followers. This affects mostly those who have close contact with him.52   His scorn for the rights and feelings of other human beings often leads him to commit all kinds of abuses from physical and emotional to sexual. The rapes and sexual aggressions told by more than nine former members of The Light of the World, who have had medical treatment, are only an example of the dangers that lie in wait for the followers of religious leaders with this kind of psychopathology.

When Samuel Joaquín sexually abused a minor called Moisés Padilla, he alluded to his distorted identity by his delusions of grandeur, to justify the damage being done saying: "I am like the angels who are sexless, I can enjoy both men and women without sinning." 53

These delusions of grandeur, besides placing the dignitary, according his own view, above the law, generate arguments to try to minimize the value of the affected person when comparing it to himself, deliberately trying to have the abuse seen like a privilege rather than an affront. This is a characteristic trait of patients with delusions of grandeur.54

This is precisely the type of ideas that drives a delirious individual to commit any kinds of outrages and crimes against his fellowmen without (apparently) any pangs of conscience. He imagines, everything is allowed thanks to the new identity that he has manufactured in his own mind (in the case of malignant narcissism) or generated by causes inherent to the sickness itself (in the case of psychosis). Thus, Samuel Joaquín may ask the women of his organization to pose naked before the cameras to satisfy an insatiable voyeurism.55  Or else, young girls will amuse him on his birthday by dancing Hawaiian style without wearing bras, while being filmed by some of his personal assistants.56

Summing up, the reasons for Samuel Joaquín’s behavior are consistent with the clinical characteristics of the medical classification made of his personality.57

In this context, the religious leader shows no consideration whatsoever either for the reputation, honor, emotional state or physical health of the people who surround him. This indolence also affects his close circle of collaborators, the vestals and other types of leaders who operate actively to recruit young girls and teenagers to provide sexual company for Samuel. Lack of consideration is present even for these people. They have entered into a vicious circle of complicity from which they will find it difficult to extricate themselves. They have also become accessories in various crimes.



  Bibliographic Footnotes

  1. Solomon P., Patch VE. Manual de Psiquiatría. 2nd Edition. Mexico: Manual Moderno, 1976: pg. 14
  2. Ibid., pgs. 2-3
  3. Kent SA. Lustful Prophet: A Psychosexual Historical Study of the Children of God’s Leader, David Berg. Cultic Studies Journal, 1994; 11(2):135-188
  4. Ibid., pg. 137
  5. Erickson E. Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History. New York; Norton, 1958
  6. Erickson E. Gandhi’s Truth. New York; Norton, 1969
  7. Op. Cit., Kent SA., pg. 139
  8. Since the past month of April, important national and international media representatives have publicly asked for a direct interview with Samuel Joaquín, but he has yet to grant one. Among the journalists who have insisted uselessly and have published the refusal of the maximum leader of "The Light of the World" are: Ricardo Rocha, director of the TV program "Detrás de la Noticia" (Program of August l7, 1997). Salvador Guerrero Chiprés, journalist for La Jornada and National Journalism Award Winner, (La Jornada, Monday, July 28, 1997, pg. 2) and Alberto Gómez Reynoso from El Financiero de Occidente (Wednesday, June 25, 1997, pg. 61). The weekly Proceso has likewise tried to get an interview for months, with no success. It is improbable that the leader will accept responding to public opinion sometime in the future (expressed through the media) on the various doubts that hover about his activities. The philosophy of no social accountability of the church dignitary was ratified the last time he celebrated the Holy Supper in Guadalajara. There, he stated before thousands of his faithful that: he would not give any account before the world, but only before God and before his faithful (Samuel Joaquín, video of the Holy Supper, August, 1997. Colonia Hermosa Provincia, Guadalajara, Jalisco.)
  9. To achieve this, we have sent certified letters, special messengers and faxes, both to his home and to the central offices of the Light of the World asking to establish a direct dialogue to include his points of view in this investigation. We have also tried to talk on the telephone with him. By the time this paper was published, we had received no answer from Samuel Joaquín.
  10. De la Torre R. La Luz del Mundo: Identidad de Identidades. Guadalajara, ITESO, 1993, pg. 10. This paper was presented as part of an investigation in the thesis for a M.A. in communication at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente.
  11. De la Torre R. Los Hijos de la Luz; Discurso, identidad y poder en la Luz del Mundo. Mexico: ITESO, 1995: pg. 65
  12. Paralelismos entre Aarón Joaquín y Jesucristo según la himnología de la Luz del Mundo. Comparative study performed by Ricardo Becerra and Luis Reyes of the Center for Religious Investigation, California. Used with permission.
  13. Valencia R. Enfoque: Pueblo y Gobierno Recuerdan al Maestro Aarón Joaquín. Remembranzas para Meditar. El Amanuense. 1994; (5):13
  14. Interview with Pastor Francisco Méndez on May 30, 1997. Méndez occupied important positions in the leadership of the Light of the World and became spiritual guide of Samuel Joaquín Flores before his father’s death. When Pastor Méndez was performing his work in Tampico, Aarón Joaquín entrusted him with his son, Samuel, to supervise him in his first experience heading a church. Méndez, himself, was one of the ministers who presented Samuel Joaquín to the parishioners as the new leader of the church the day after his father’s death.
  15. Parallelisms between Samuel Joaquín and Jesus Christ according to the himnology of the Light of the World. Comparative study performed by Ricardo Becerra and Luis Reyes of the Center for Religious Investigations in California. Used with permission.
  16. DSM IV. Manual diagnóstico y estadístico de los trastornos mentales. Barcelona: Masson, 1995.
  17. Concerning the formation of the unconditional ones, besides documentary proof, there are important facts supplied by people who witnessed the onset and evolution of this elite. Among the most important statements is, again, Francisco Méndez’, minister during more than 40 years of the Light of the World and right hand man of the founder, Aarón Joaquín. Méndez explains the formation of the unconditional ones as a group constituted mainly of young people who were blindly loyal to the man who had so recently become leader of the church (1964). Their aim was to serve as Samuel Joaquín’s shock troops to displace old and influential backers of the deceased founder. Some parts of the old leadership accepted Samuel Joaquín as their new leader but not with the mantle of apostle of his predecessor. This was the one position to which Samuel Joaquín aspired because otherwise he would be at a disadvantage to vie for his father’s image.
    Another doubt that arose in the high circles concerned the legitimacy and reach of Samuel Joaquín’s leadership because of the way in which he obtained the position since he did not receive it directly from his predecessor who did not leave anything in writing about the succession. There wasn’t even a gathering in articulum mortis with his close associates to design an heir to what even then constituted an important political-religious-economical estate.
    His sister, Ana Joaquín Flores, was in charge of designating Samuel Joaquín to substitute his late father. This occurred amid the panic and confusion about the uncertainty of what would happen to the church after Aarón’s death. The story went like this: "Sister Ana Joaquín Flores took the microphone, she took a ring that had belonged to brother Aarón from her clothes, she put it in brother Samuel’s finger and said that the Lamp of Israel was not extinguished but would now shine the brighter…" (Article by Carlos Manjarez Arce, then subdirector of the magazine the "Light of the World". 1989. Special Edition of the 25th Anniversary of Samuel Joaquín’s apostleship, pg. 8). It is important to note that once all 5000 copies of this edition were printed, Samuel impugned its contents and allusions about the form in which he had risen to his leadership position and he tried to conceal them; he ordered all copies to be burned and substituted for another that would omit this information. Thus, there are two editions with an identical cover to commemorate the 25th anniversary. There are a few surviving copies of the original of which we managed to get one and we compared it to the one that circulated freely. This is a contrast to the way in which the founder of the Light of the World received his calling. Aarón Joaquín, as the official narrative tells it, received his calling from God, without any human council or intermediary. On the contrary, Samuel Joaquín received it from a relative at a time of crisis and dilemma when a leader had to be manufactured in a hurry. Aarón, his faithful believe, had no need of consensus, backing or confirmation from others. But Samuel required that important personalities like Francisco Méndez back him publicly to validate his designation (Op. Cit. "Light of the World" magazine, 1989. Special 25th Anniversary Edition). Thus, it is easy to understand the doubts and comparisons that would naturally be made between the two heads and the pressures to which Samuel Joaquín was subjected at the beginning of his leadership. The rupture mechanism that would later generate the paranoid delirium also partly explains the delusions of grandeur, the eagerness to self-exalt himself and to try to reach the mythical figure of a charismatic and messianic ancestor like Aarón Joaquín.
  18. Op. Cit.., DSM IV
  19. Kernberg O. Condiciones Borderline y Narcisismo Patológico. Nueva York: Jason Anonson, 1976
  20. Op. Cit., DSM IV
  21. Brownsberger CN, et al. Síntomas psiquiátricos comunes. In: Manual de Psiquiatría. 2nd Edition. Mexico: Manual Moderno, 1976: pg. 44.
  22. Idem.
  23. Klein M. Notes on some schizoid mechanisms. Int. J. Phychoanalysis, 1946: 27-99.
  24. Letter signed by Samuel Joaquín Flores for his close associates. Dated September 19, 1972 in Guadalajara Jalisco.
  25. 25According to Fernando Flores González, coadjutant minister of the Education and Culture of the Light of the World, in an interview on May 18, 1997; Joaquín’s personal guard is composed of some 60 armed men who take turns to protect their leader day and night. There is also a corps of social protection in the colony Hermosa Provincia to watch the area. The former group has been trained as a paramilitary troop that bears arms; although it is not registered before state authorities, one of its functions is to monitor unknown people who enter the colony.
  26. Ibid
  27. Op. Cit., De la Torre R., pg. 174
  28. Idem
  29. Op. Cit., Kernberg O.
  30. Op. Cit.., DSM IV
  31. Op. Cit.., Kernberg O.
  32. Op. Cit.. Flores F. and interview with Karem León, former member of that group, May 18, 1997, who described that while Samuel Joaquín lay in bed being massaged, a woman read out loud passages of the life of Alexander the Great, to engage afterwards in orgies that included sadism.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Interview with Amparo Aguilar, May 18, 1997. When she was 13 years old, one of the main assistants of the leader asked what was the most valuable thing she had to offer Samuel Joaquín. She answered she had a desk that her father had given her. The woman told Amparo she had something more valuable she could offer: her purity, her virginity. Later, Amparo would be raped by the religious leader, with the help of the vestals.
  35. Ibid.
  36. Op. Cit. Interview with Fernando Flores, May 18, 1997
  37. It refers to the National Federation of Settlers in the Province, organization affiliated to the CNOP of the PRI
  38. Op. Cit., interview with Fernando Flores
  39. Letter from Samuel Joaquín to his church. February 27, 1997. Guadalajara, Jal.
  40. Video film of the Ceremony of the Holy Supper, in the Hermosa Provincia colony of Guadalajara, Jalisco, on August 14, 1986.
  41. Hymnbook La Luz del Mundo Seventh Edition. 1994. "El Pueblo muy Amado" pg. 186. Remark that the first paragraph affirms that God sent a man from the heavens to Earth, the text does not indicate that he is sent by Heaven, but arises from there. This is an example of the divine character attributed to Samuel Joaquín, while, on the other hand, he is only the Apostle. That is, Samuel Joaquín is the God-Man that corresponds to the Messianic figure of the lay Judeo-Christian concept.
  42. Alfaro MS. Himnos Especiales de Honra y Elección. 1995. "Apóstol de Dios, Hermano Samuel", pg. 3
  43. Ibid., "Como te amo, Señor", pg. 10
  44. Audiocassette recording of the minister who led the service speaking at 5 P.M., August 12, 1995 in the main temple of the Light of the World in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
  45. Video film of the Holy Supper, performed in the main temple of the colony Hermosa Provincia in Guadalajara, Jalisco, on August 14, 1986.
  46. Article published in the local newspaper of the Light of the World in the Temple of Tepic, Nayarit (1989). Written by brother Emiliano. This article would later provoke a protest from part of the parishioners that would end in the publication of an ad in the newspaper "La Opinión" of Los Angeles, California (April 2, 1992, pg. 3C) rejecting deification of the leader.
  47. Ochoa AV. Un botín mas preciado que el oro. Magazine the Light of the World, 1995; (3): 11
  48. Notebook of Special Songs. Hermosa Provincia. Hymn 183. "En el Firmamento"
  49. This figure was calculated according to the most recent study about the number of the faithful of the organization by Prof. Elio Masferrer, investigator of the National School of Anthropology and History and president of the Latin American Association for the Study of Religions. In his study, based on official documents from the Ministry of the Interior (Gobernación) up to July, 1997, Masferrer concluded that the Light of the World has no more than 250,000 followers in Mexico. This figure is lower than that frequently published, without any basis, by the officials of the organization (Source: Elio Masferrer, E.N.A.H. Not yet published).
  50. Interview with Fernando Flores González and his wife Carmen Peña. May 18, 1997. Both belonged to the group of the unconditional ones and were married by Samuel Joaquín, together with two other couples in similar circumstances.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Op. Cit. Kernberg O.
  53. Interviews with Moisés Padilla, member of the organization since childhood. Moisés’ father, Primitivo Padilla Haro, was director of the Civil Registry Office in the Hermosa Provincia colony and abandoned the church when he found out that Moisés and two of daughters had been sexually abused still as minors. (Interview of May 22, 1997 in Guadalajara, when telling of his harassment and abuse when he was l6)
  54. Op. Cit., Klein M
  55. Interview with Carmen Peña, May 18, 1997. She tells of having been pressured by the group of women in charge of the youngsters to pose in the nude in a private beach of the State of Jalisco so as to be photographed together with other young women. The outing on the beach was a spiritual retirement as part of the activities of the Light of the World. Later, once the photographs were developed they were placed in an envelope and Carmen was asked to deliver them personally to Samuel Joaquín.
  56. Interview with Karem León, May 18, 1997. She reported having participated in this type of dance together with other girls, rehearsing for weeks before the event. They were never informed previously that they would be asked to undress or that they would be filmed. Pressure and phychoreligious manipulation was only applied at the moment of being in the presence of somebody considered divine by the social group.
  57. Op. Cit., Klein M.


    This article is part of the contents published in the
    "Revista Académica para el Estudio de las Religiones"
    Volume I, with the title "La Luz del Mundo"