crimes and consequences

EP42: The Rulo Cult Tortures

Sadistic Cult Leader Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan CultIn the early ’80s, Michael Ryan was the leader of a small group of followers who lived together on an 80-acre hog farm in Rulo, Nebraska. All of the group’s decisions were determined by what they referred to as “the arm test,” which was a means for God to speak to them. Michael, however, didn’t need to use the arm test, as he claimed God spoke directly to him in his mind. By 1985, some of the members began expressing their doubts in the arm test, which Michael said angered God. For the next few months, Michael came up with creative ways of brutalizing and torturing the doubters. This led to the cruel death of 5-year-old Luke Stice. Although Luke’s death was horrendous, it cannot compare to the systematic torture, degradation, and humiliation of James Thimm. Over a period of a few weeks, James was forced into bestiality, starved, and shot. But Michael decided that wasn’t punishment enough for James. So for three days Michael and his followers brutalized James in ways unimaginable. Death had to come as a relief for James because the cruelty this episode discusses is beyond comprehension. Warning: this episode is extremely graphic.