8 Apr, 2022 @ 19:30
4 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: Olive Press investigates sex cult leader Tio Toni following arrest in Spain’s Valencia region

Vistabella cult
Image from: Google Maps

HE grew his hair long like Jesus and was looked up to ‘like a god’.

A so-called ‘healer’ (or curandero) he had a herbal medicine practice on the costas and a series of intelligent graduate friends.

But sex cult leader Tio Toni, 64, was allegedly an evil child abuser, who brainwashed dozens of people into effectively living in slavery.

Now, after police arrested Tio Toni – real name Antonio G.L. – along with eight other followers, five of them female, he is set to face 80 years in prison.

In a shocking investigation, the Olive Press can reveal how ANTONIO G.L. allegedly hypnotised his followers to believe he was a spiritual healer over a staggering 30-year period.

Victims and psychologists told us how the alternative medicine practitioner conned his respectable middle class patients into giving him money and sometimes even their homes.

Vistabella Sect 1
Cult in Vistabella. Image from Google Maps.

He even managed to enlist them into ritual sex sessions, some of them filmed on camera.

In some of his most depraved acts, he allegedly took the virginity of teenagers, in front of his followers, also on camera.

He managed to first snare his victims through an alternative health practice in the coastal city of Castellon.

At the clinic, which doubled as a health shop, he snared his victims into believing their health – and lives – would improve by joining his cult, called Vistabella.

As well as saying he had been chosen ‘as an envoy from God’ and he was ‘cleaning up society’ he told them he was able to cure their ailments, including cancer.

But once they had moved to live on his vast inland estate in the rural Maestrazgo region of Valencia, they effectively became his slaves.

Working around the clock on a schedule their leader dictated, they had no idea, at least initially, that behind the scenes he was allegedly abusing their children and often their wives and partners.

When police finally raided his huge finca, Mas de la Chaparra, a bright pink building, near the village of Vistabella del Maestrat, on March 15, they were astonished by what they found.

Aside from €15,000 in cash they discovered over 100 valuable watches, but the most unusual collection of keepsakes and mementos.

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Luxurious watches of Tio Toni. Image from Policia Nacional

These included drawers full of bizarre hair cuttings and dozens of religious calling cards.

There were numerous storage devices and computers and ‘a bunker full of security and surveillance equipment’ revealed the local mayor.

There were also allegedly videos of some of this sexual orgies in which ritual practices regularly took place.

Meanwhile, they seized training manuals for members, including one, ‘A course of Miracles’ which gave them a series of exercises and orders to follow.

This week, a long-time neighbour of his home in Castellon, told the Olive Press Tio Toni would initially not charge for the ‘health’ services he provided.

The woman, a fortune teller, visited his practice in Castellon on many occasions and ‘nearly got sucked in’.

She said: “I spent months going to his consultation because he said he was a healer. He put his hands on me, claiming it would cure me. 

“But it soon became clear he was trying to manipulate me, especially when after a few sessions he asked me to go to a private back room with him. 

“That was the moment when I felt something strange was going on”.

Asking to remain anonymous, she continued: “He was over-friendly with me, and told me he was sent from God and that’s why he grew his hair out like Jesus”. 

“He was certainly very persuasive and I saw a lot of people become totally obsessed with him,” she continued. “He made them feel they were totally loved.”

Over the course of ‘a few years’ she lost an alarming four friends to the sect, as well as a female member of her own family.

“I was so worried for them I ended up organising a meeting with them to try and tell them that this guy was manipulating us, but they just refused to believe me,” she continued.

She revealed how Toni continually managed to expand and add to his inland estate in order to house his growing number of ‘believers’.

When she tried more recently to get her friends out, she revealed how Toni had sent some of them to her home threatening to expose her as a witch.

“They accused me of having done witchcraft on a child in the sect who had got really ill or died,” she explained. “It was very intimidating.”

A psychologist, who called in police after he began working with a number of victims last year, said the abuse on the group and, in particular, children was ‘truly shocking’.

Miguel Perlado told the Olive Press that the victims had first come to him ‘very confused’ about what was going on inside. 

Psychologist Miguel Perlado 3
Miguel Perlado, psychologist who treated the victims of Vistabella cult.Photo: The Olive Press

“They could barely even describe the place where they had lived for so long,” he revealed, adding that they were threatened about speaking out ‘or they would get bad energy’.

He said they ended up becoming very isolated from their family and friends and Tio Toni even made them become isolated from each other and ‘encouraged conflict between them’. 

They were burdened with many chores and the house was continually upgraded and maintained, so they ‘could not think for themselves’.

He added that many of the minors didn’t attend school and also created ‘alternative identities’ because they didn’t have the capacity to explain what was going on. 

He added that it was possible the place was visited by foreigners and other expats, but the main sect was Spanish.

A total of 12 victims were ‘liberated’ when police raided the farm, including two children, aged 13 and 8, who have been taken in by Valencia social services.

This week, six of nine adult members were given bail by Castellon’s Court Number 6, while three, including bearded Toni remain in custody.


Jorge Hinojosa

Jorge Hinojosa Mena was born and bred in Madrid before moving to the UK to study. After an undergraduate degree in Manchester, he completed an MA in International Journalism at City. He has worked in radio and for Spain’s Efe news agency before joining the Olive Press in March 2022. Contact: [email protected]

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