The Darkness Within La Luz Del Mundo is yet another Netflix documentary that makes us privy to the life of a godman who played with the trust of the people, sexually abused the women around him, but still was able to fool people and not only win their trust but also amass huge wealth at their expense. We don’t understand why people fall for such a conman when so many precedents have been there in the past, and all these godmen and apostles follow the same trajectory, be it in any part of the world. With money comes influence, and they use it to hide their crimes from the public and shape the narrative in their favor so that the general population is not able to see the truth. So, let’s find out what happens in the documentary and if the court of law is able to send the predator in this particular case behind bars.
Did Samuel Flores also victimize the girls?
The title of Apostle of the La Luz Del Mundo Church was passed to Samuel Joaquin Flores from his father, Aaron, and during his reign, more and more people started resonating with the theology that he was propagating. Aaron and Samuel both sexually abused girls, but for years, no such case came out in the open. Firstly, they did it with a lot of secrecy, making sure that the information didn’t get out of their private group, and at that time, society also wasn’t so progressive that it could make its women feel so comfortable that they could be able to talk about what was happening with them freely.
A woman’s view was often considered inferior in authority as compared to that of a man, and so the victims had to endure the tribulations of being a woman in a patriarchal society. Women would have also felt afraid speaking against the man in whom people had blind faith. The tragedy was that a few victims who tried speaking to their families were shunned, as speaking against the apostle was considered to be a blasphemy. They were scared that the church would label them as apostates and that the community would not accept them. Probably, the lack of technological advancement could also be one of the major reasons why both Aaron and Samuel were never caught. They didn’t use laptops and mobiles at that time, and Samuel would have come to know about such electronic devices at a very later stage of his tenure. But just because no evidence was present and nobody was willing to speak against them, it didn’t mean that Samuel and Aaron hadn’t been sexually abusing hundreds of girls for years. They called themselves apostles of God and lived a life of opulence and privilege.
The victims, in their testimonies, told how Samuel was served a lavish five-course meal where the onus was on the chefs to be innovative with their dishes and put in their best efforts to keep their fraud godman happy. Nobody could even lift a finger without the permission of the apostle. Everybody had to give 10 percent of their earnings to the apostle, and he was allowed to spend it the way he wanted it to, and no one could hold him accountable for it. He was a man who was considered just next to God, so people didn’t have any doubts about his intentions, and they never questioned him as to where he was spending those millions of dollars. There were times, when people who had unconditionally surrendered their freedom for the service of God were told that they were getting married just two or three days before the ceremony. Neither the groom nor the bride had any say in the matter of their own matrimonial alliance, and they had to accept whatever the apostle decided for them. Samuel Joaquin Flores passed away in 2014, and till that time, no charges were filed against him, and then the mantel was passed to his son, Naason Joaquin Garcia, who, if it was even possible, was even worse than his father.
How did Naason’s crime come to light?
Naason had big dreams, and he wanted to have his own political party as he knew that he enjoyed the support of a huge community. Although there were a few people who raised doubts about the number of followers he had, the apostle was still making strides in every possible manner, and he was proud of the fact that the religion had spread to almost 58 countries. Naason had also set up his own media outlet because he wanted to expand his reach so that when the time came, he could enter politics and then ultimately run the government. There were three women who worked directly under Naason: Alondra Ocampo, Susana Medina Oaxaca, and Azalea Rangel, who were given the responsibility of grooming young girls and bringing them to the apostle so that he could do as he wished with them.
To put it subtly, Naason was a leecher, and he not only abused them and subjected them to great trauma, but his actions affected them psychologically, and even after years of therapy, they weren’t able to heal properly. But with time, the victims had reached a stage where they were ready to put their lives at stake, but they were not ready to let this sexual offender pretend that he was a nobleman whose only aim in life was to make people connect to the almighty and pray for them. A lot of women, referred to as “Jane Doe” in The Darkness within La Luz Del Mundo, started speaking up against him, and that’s when the international media got a whiff of what was happening in Mexico. Naason enjoyed immunity in Mexico as he had the bureaucrats and politicians in his pocket but not in the United States, where the authorities were ready to put him behind bars for life. Nasson was taken into custody in Los Angeles, and a formal inquiry began against him, where the prosecutors sought to find evidence of all the offenses he was being accused of.
What happened during the trial of Naason Garcia?
It sent shivers down our spines when we heard those helpless souls talking about what the predator had done to them. The “jane does” kept crying and telling the court what had happened with them back in the day. Now Naason knew that he was not in his country, and his lawyers also told him that there was a high possibility that the court could sentence him for life. Also, the intention of the court had become pretty much evident when they had set $90 million as the bail amount, one of the highest in the history of the country.
Naason pleaded guilty before the trial to a couple of cases of child abuse, and his lawyers were efficient enough to strike a deal with the court where he had to spend approximately 16 years in prison. It was a huge victory, as the kind of offenses he had committed were not pardonable, but taking the guilty plea gave him an advantage, which he latched onto with both hands. The victims knew that he should have been given a life sentence, but they were still happy about the fact that someone heard them out; someone didn’t tell them that it was their fault, and at the end of the trial, they did feel a bit relieved, a bit light from within, though they also knew that the wounds were not going to heal so easily. Imagine the plight of a soul who, for the longest time, didn’t realize that they were being abused. It was only after a couple of people started speaking, and the victims started taking therapy that they came to understand that their apostle had sexually abused them.
Where are Naason and Alondra now?
Nasoon Garcia would stay in prison till around 2038, but we are well aware of the loopholes in our justice system, and we know that influential and corrupt people like him always find a way to play around with the laws and turn them in their favor. We won’t be surprised if he gets approval from the court on some fraudulent basis and goes back to his church to be among his ardent devotees.
Alondra Ocampo, who was sentenced to four years in prison, was released on probation in December 2022. She was also one of the victims, and later, she became a sort of “groomer”. When she was told in court that the apostle had abused her too and that she, too, was a victim, the poor girl broke down. She felt sorry for the part she had to play in subjecting those young girls to trauma, but she was so brainwashed at that time that she didn’t feel that she was doing anything wrong. There are hundreds of people who still have faith in Naason Garcia and believe him to be the chosen one who will help them attain salvation. We urge them to open their eyes and look at the situation rationally. We plead with them not to belittle the women around them and disrespect them by not taking their plight into consideration. We hope that people see the real face of the predator that Naason Garica is and oust him from the community when he returns after serving his sentence.