Cult leader 'allowed daughter to read Harry Potter books he identified with'


A woman allegedly held prisoner by her communist cult leader father for 30 years was allowed to read the Harry Potter books because he thought he was like the boy wizard hero, a court has heard.

Maoist Aravindan Balakrishnan, 75, allowed his daughter to read JK Rowling's novels and JRR Tolkein's epic Lord Of The Rings books because he identified with Potter and Middle Earth hero Aragorn, she told his trial.

But as she read the books as a teenager, she came to realise that he and his followers were like Voldemort and the Death Eaters from the Harry Potter stories, or Sauron and his Black Riders from Tolkein's epic fantasy trilogy, the jury at London's Southwark Crown Court heard.

This, she said, inspired her to fight back against his control.

Giving evidence via video-link, she said: "He thought Harry Potter is like him, Harry is like Ara. It's magic and things. Harry Potter was a way to introduce his ideas to the children."

Talking about the Lord Of The Rings she added: "He said it was like himself. He said (third book) Return Of The King, that when he takes over the world it will be like Aragorn in Lord Of The Rings coming to Middle Earth, destroying Sauron.

"I suppose in his mind Sauron was like America and the West. He would get rid of them, there would be a war and he would destroy them.

"I actually began to see he is like Voldemort and Sauron. He wanted us to be like the Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Black Riders in Lord Of The Rings.

"In the books I found I was like Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins - a little person without any power, fighting against this Dark Lord, this invincible Dark Lord who has over-reaching powers and you can in no way fight against him.

"Yet these tiny little people with their strength get to challenge that and destroy that. I felt so inspired by these books."