Katy Morgan-Davies, the daughter of a Maoist cult leader who held her captive and kept her as a slave for 30 years, revealed on Thursday (7), that she has forgiven her father despite enduring psychological and physical mistreatment.
Morgan-Davies spent years effectively imprisoned in the peculiar cult’s residence in Herne Hill, South London, unable to connect with her extended family or form friendships.
She is the secret child of leader Aravindan Balakrishnan and one of his followers, Sian Davies, who was a former student at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, The Daily Mail reported.
Balakrishnan, known as Comrade Bala, received a 23-year prison sentence in 2016 following the exposure of the Maoist cult. He was convicted of offenses such as child cruelty, false imprisonment, and assault.
His death occurred at HMP Dartmoor in April 2022.
In a new installment of MailOnline’s YouTube series ‘My Story’, Morgan-Davies shared her experiences, discussing her extraordinary life journey.
She expressed her forgiveness towards her father, stating she has forgiven him because holding onto anger and hatred is poisonous really as it only harms the person who does that.
“If we indulge hatred and anger and revenge, if I do that, I’m no better than my dad, because that’s what got him into that position in the first place.
“(He was) indulging his negative emotions rather than trying to rise above and deal with his situation with grace. We should implement mercy and grace in every situation that we find ourselves in,” she said.
Throughout her upbringing, Morgan-Davies was led to believe she was a ‘waif’ adopted by the Maoist cult.
Denied affection and freedom, she was strictly prohibited from venturing outside unaccompanied and routinely subjected to psychological and physical abuse.
Morgan-Davies said, “My earliest memories were of aggression and violence from my father and feeling scared of everyone around me because you never knew when someone was going to snitch on you.”
She added that even the simplest, most ordinary things, like glancing out the window – if reported, could result in various consequences.
According to Morgan-Davies, she often saw other people being slapped and punched. “There was no friendship or connection between any of the cult members. They were all vicious rivals. The only time when they connected was in order to find out how to punish a third person,” she said.
Loneliness even led Morgan-Davies to converse with the bathroom taps and seek companionship among the rats and mice in the kitchen, she revealed.
However, after three decades of being kept a slave, she made her escape in 2013 by memorising the hotline number of an anti-slavery charity she had seen on the news.
Speaking about her escape, Morgan-Davies said, “When I was 22, I ran away from the house because I just couldn’t stand living there anymore.
“I just kept hoping that things would change and nothing ever did. So, I thought, this time I need to just get out. I was like a caged bird with clipped wings.”
She also said she didn’t know how to do anything. “I didn’t know how to pay for things or cross a road or do anything. However, she started to realise her hunch that something was not right was correct,” she said.
Balakrishnan preyed on his female followers and brainwashed them, convincing them of his god-like abilities.
Additionally, at Southwark Crown Court during his trial, evidence revealed he had raped two of his followers.
Morgan-Davies described her father’s eccentric beliefs, claiming he thought himself to be the world’s rightful ruler, targeted by the ‘British fascist state.’
She noted his evolving beliefs from a self-proclaimed communist to a more quasi-religious ideology over time.
She said, “He used to say that he loved me, but it was very conditional. It was only if I did as he asked. He didn’t love me as a person. He only loved me for what I could do for him, and if you disagreed with him or sort of challenged him in any way, you never knew what was going to happen to you. So that was that was the essence of the cult that I grew up in.”
Balakrishnan claimed to have created an invisible weapon named Jackie, purportedly capable of causing earthquakes and even killing someone if he was opposed.
Recounting her early years, Morgan-Davies mentioned that while there were nine other individuals present during her infancy, she didn’t recall some of them.
She however remembered one person leaving when she was about six years old and another person killing themselves, later she learned that this individual was her mother, Sian Davies, who was a former student at Cheltenham Ladies’ College.
‘I was shown a piece of paper which had my birth details on it and this woman, Sian, who I thought was a terrible person, was listed as my mother on that.”
She said she was a very unpleasant woman and Morgan-Davies thought of her as “a really nasty bully because that is really what she was.”
“She was always the first to snitch on me and tell my dad that I had done something that he didn’t approve of. And [it] used to result in beatings or punishment of different sorts. My mum was not what you would expect a mum to be.”
Balakrishnan’s political involvement was reportedly influenced by the British colonial oppression he witnessed growing up in Singapore. He was born in a village in Kerala, India and moved to Singapore with his father, who worked as a clerk at the British Naval Base.
He pursued his education there, completing his undergraduate degree. In 1963, Comrade Bala travelled to Britain and applied for a degree programme at the London School of Economics (LSE), known for its active political environment.
During his trial, he mentioned coming from a state of emergency in post-World War II Singapore, emphasising the severe cruelty, especially towards those who had supported Britain against the Japanese.
He soon engaged in political activism, identifying as a ‘revolutionary socialist’ and engaging in public speaking.
He actively recruited fellow students, particularly Malaysian nurses, to join his cause.
By the early 1970s, Balakrishnan formally established the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, aiming to overthrow what he deemed ‘the fascist state’.
He insisted his followers refer to him as Comrade Bala.
A central belief within the group was that only he and the Chinese dictator Mao Zedong had the authority to guide the world towards revolution and establish an international dictatorship of the proletariat.
Balakrishnan was convicted in January 2016 of four counts of rape, six counts of indecent assault, two counts of actual body harm (ABH), cruelty to a child under 16, and false imprisonment.