Beta Dominion Xenophilia
Beta Dominion Xenophilia (BDX)
A reputed leader of a space alien cult in the suburbs of Carroll County was charged yesterday along with three associates in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme.
State police allege that Scott Caruthers, 56, plotted last month with his wife, Dashielle Lashra, 42, live-in companion Dulsa Naedek, 42, and friend David S. Pearl, 46, to hire a man to kill former business associate David Gable and three other men in exchange for an estimated $110,000 worth of stock.
Not until 1984, when he came up with an idea for a no-grip exercise weight known as Strongput, did Caruthers begin attracting investors. It was while promoting this venture that he met his co-defendants. His stories of his "secret life" took a further turn toward the bizarre, including revelations that he was a space alien working for the government who would someday save his followers from cataclysmic ''Earth changes.''
In a 1999 interview with The Sun, Strongput marketing director Bob Bonnell described how Caruthers and Lashra (Irmina Dzambo before she met Caruthers) took him aside to tell him of a ''mother ship'' that they communicated with through their cats.
Bonnell recalled that Caruthers said his role was ''to prepare the world, because everyone allied with him would be rescued before any calamity hit. ... All of that precipitated my saying, 'Well, you know, Scott, some people believe Jesus Christ is going to return to the world and save people.' And he said, 'Who do you think I am?'''
[A]ll of them began writing journals of their daily thoughts, which they would fax to Caruthers, often expressing their intense devotion to him and a space-based organization called BDX (Beta Dominion Xenophilia). A private detective hired by Naedek's ex-husband, as part of a child custody case, later unearthed many of the faxes in a search of Caruthers' garbage.
Caruthers has always denied that he leads a cult. He said the journal writings were attempts to help him write science fiction.
''To my understanding, cults are usually well-financed,'' he said in a 1999 interview. ''They usually deal with problems, situations or issues - whatever you want to call them - in a different manner than we deal with things. ... We certainly don't have the power to do anything to anyone, nor do I desire to. And the reason for that is, there is no cult. There never was.''
'Space cult' members charged in death plot, The Baltimore Sun, Oct. 4, 2001
Scott Caruthers not only writes science fiction, allege former acquaintances—he lives it. He started by reinventing his name: Scott Caruthers was actually born Arthur Brook Crothers, in 1945. His father worked for the B&O Railroad. His mother stayed home and tended to lots and lots of cats.
In the past year, first the Baltimore Jewish Times and then the Baltimore Sun published lengthy exposés on Caruthers. Both newspapers depicted him as a charismatic con artist who seems to possess an extraordinary talent for romancing women, business partners, and investors. He also has quite a healthy imagination, reporters Dan Fesperman and Ann LoLordo wrote in their two-part Sun series: ''Since age 17, Caruthers has fashioned a far more exotic version of himself. According to dozens of people who've met him over the years, he has posed as an astronaut, a war hero, an Air Force test pilot, a CIA agent, a clairvoyant and a space alien.''
You Don't Know Jack, Washington City Paper, Mar. 2-8, 2001
In addition to acknowledging Caruthers and Lashra as their ''Commander'' and ''Queen,'' the cult members including the Defendant worship cats, believe in spaceships, believe that Caruthers and Lashra are able to transport themselves back and forth between Earth and spaceships and other bizarre beliefs for which there is no scientific foundation.
Custody petition, Timothy Hackerman. Quoted in You Don't Know Jack, Washington City Paper, Mar. 2-8, 2001
» See also the articles in our news articles database
You Don't Know Jack This item about investigative journalist Jack Anderson includes information about BDX. Washington City Paper, Mar. 2-8, 2001.
» Database of archived news items
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)
Items added after August, 2002:
» Religion News Blog News Collection, various sources
About this page: