'Cult' whose leader claims 'demons cause autism' spreads to Britain

A religious 'cult' which claims that autism can be cured by 'casting out demons' is manifesting roots across Europe, according to reports.

And it even claims to have hundreds of members in the UK as the group continues to spread its worrying message.

The Last Reformation is a Christian movement formed in Denmark in 2011 by leader Torben Søndergaard.

It is a branch of evangelical Christianity and appears to have its base in the Netherlands.

But the leader has made shocking claims that he can cure illnesses, diseases and conditions through prayer - and has even claimed to cure autism.

Søndergaard claims to regularly 'casts out demons' from those suffering from ill health, such as cancer patients.

He posted a video boasting of his success in 'healing' a little girl from autism, a condition that has no cure.

In one of his many videos posted to YouTube, he said: "We see so many people set free from demons and healed.

"One of them was a young girl, 9 years old, who had autism. When I prayed for her...that spirit just left her.

"And suddenly she smiled, that young girl, and said 'Hey mom, I'm happy.'"

The worrying movement is spreading across Europe, and is claiming to already have more than 100 members in the UK.

People are signed up through a process called 'kickstarting', where established members preach to strangers and encourage them to join.

They do this by demonstrating their 'healing powers'. The website reads: "It simply means a disciple of Jesus who helps another disciple to pray for the sick for the first time and to see people getting healed for the first time.

"Kickstarting is short for teaching people to heal the sick, preach the gospel, cast out demons, etc. by taking them out and showing them how to do it."

But the sensational claims that demons cause autism, homosexuality and life-threatening illnesses has sparked concern.

On the weekend of May 20, the group will hold a seminar in Dublin for established members and others to attend.

The meeting will be held in a secret location, reported Dublin Live , after concerns about the group's teachings.

One Dublin resident opposing the visit is Fiona O'Leary, an autistic mum who has two children with the same condition.

Ms O'Leary, who helps run an autism awareness group called Autism Rights Together, is outraged by Søndergaard's claims.

She said: "I'm autistic and two of my five children are too, and I can't imagine how awful it would be for them to hear themselves described as being possessed by demons.

"They are asking for 'gifts' and 'donations' and exploiting vulnerable people who have experienced tragedy in their lives or are mentally ill.

"They are highly organised, sophisticated and dangerous."

Speaking to The Local , Søndergaard said they did not claim to cure autism, but claimed she was freed from the 'demons' that caused it.

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He said: "It happened in Australia to a nine-year-girl who suffered autism. She was freed from demons and she was happy. It wasn’t something shocking like a big man holding her down.

"She was with her mother and we all prayed and the demon was cast out and she was happy and the mother was happy."

"It’s not that we tell people that we can cure autism, it’s not like that.

"Just as Jesus could cast our demons and cure people so can we all through prayer, we are just teaching people how to pray so that they too can help the sick."