Woman Forced to Work for Cult Awarded $8 Million in Damages

A young woman who was forced to work for a Kansas cult called the United Nation of Islam Inc. was awarded “$8 million in damages and restitution” on Wednesday, according to The New York Times. The damages are thought to be the largest awarded to a single plaintiff in a “coerced labor” case. Starting at age 11, Kendra Ross was forced to “cook, clean and provide child care” for the cult and its leader, Royall Jenkins, according to court documents. She finally escaped the cult in 2012, when she was 21. Ross was shuttled back and forth from places like New Jersey, New York, Kansas, and Ohio, and was forced by a “psychic doctor” to marry a polygamist. Judge Daniel D. Crabtree wrote that Ross was yelled at, “generally humiliated, shamed and embarrassed...on a regular basis.” Ross, now 26, is currently studying at a community college and working at a restaurant. “I mean, they took my childhood, my life and, I mean, I can’t get that back. So I want them to pay for that,” she said. The cult, now called Value Creators, declined to comment on the case to the Times.