There were two main reasons that Roch Thériault cited for the ruthless violence that he brought upon the commune.
Firstly, he believed himself to be a skilled surgeon, so much so that he performed everything from castrations to amputations without any anesthetics. More importantly to him, however, was the belief at the core of The Ant Hill Kids that stated that in order for a person to have a pain-free after-life, they must suffer greatly while alive.
In reality, he was a twisted sadist and the cult served no other purpose than to fulfill his darkest fantasies and desires.
More common cruelty came in the form of burning his followers’ skin until it bubbled, breaking limbs, chopping off fingers and toes, pulling teeth out with pliers, slashing skin with glass, and tying rubber bands around the men’s testicles until it left an infected wound. If someone complained of nausea, he would inject 90% ethyl alcohol directly into their stomach.
Roch claimed that these evils came from love. In fact, his sadistic tendencies were never murderous. Any accidental deaths within the cult were painful for the leader, as it meant that there was one less person to love him.
For all of the love that he supposed himself to have, Roch Thériault hated children. This was an issue for the sex cult, which produced nearly thirty children, most of which were his own. Kids were never spared from sexual abuse or torture–In fact, one of the most notable accidental deaths in the cult was that of his own child.
In a nonsense surgery, Thériault cut a child’s penis in half and then had a male member of his cult beat him. Naturally, the child later died of his injuries. Thériault punished the man who beat him per his own orders by castrating him.
Perhaps one of the most revolting deaths at Thériault’s hands was that of Solange Boislard. Solange had nothing more than a stomach ache. Roch’s words, “I’m going to treat you tonight,” were some of the last that she heard.
He gave Solange an enema of molasses and olive oil, cut open her stomach with a kitchen knife, ripped out part of her intestines, and then sewed her back up. She died in agony that night from the digestive fluids leaking into her body.
To make matters even more nauseating, Thériault claimed to have the ability of resurrection the next morning. To bring her back to life, he drilled a hole into her skull and forced male members of the commune to ejaculate into it.
Solange Boislard did not come back to life. Thériault began wearing one of her ribs in a leather case around his neck.