Parents of college-age girls in Michigan are accusing a chiropractor of doubling as a cult leader who they say has manipulated and brainwashed their daughters, convincing them to live in communes while working at his massage parlor.
Dr. Craig Stasio, owner of Agape Massage Therapy & Chiropractic in Clinton Township, Mich., was the subject of a WJBK-TV news report this week during which numerous parents said their daughters had abandoned college, career aspirations and even their families to follow Stasio.
In addition to working for the chiropractor, the women also live with one another in a commune-like environment, the parents claim. It is unclear if they live with the doctor.
Dr. Craig Stasio declined to answer questions about his massage business (Image source: WJBK-TV)
Far more than a mere employer, they say, their daughters refer to Stasio as "the prophet" and that he has formed a cult of sorts.
One father said he fears losing his daughter forever. A mother shared how her daughter called to say that she would be cutting off ties with the family after becoming involved with Stasio.
And then there's Rich Fisher, a former TV anchor in Detroit, who spoke about his own daughter's involvement with Stasio.
"My big concern came when all of the sudden my daughter dropped out of Wayne State University," Fisher said. "She's giving -- like most of the other people -- massages, because that apparently is what he teaches."
A woman named Natasha was said to be observed in a "trance-like state." (Image source: WJBK-TV)
One woman named Natasha, whose parents weren't featured in the investigative piece, was described as being in "an almost trance-like state of religious fervor" when reporter Rob Wolchek observed her behavior outside the massage parlor.
Footage shows Natasha purportedly singing to Jesus, while raising her hands to the skies.
A description on Stasio's Agape Massage Therapy & Chiropractic Facebook page reads: "We are a Christian faith-based company offering both massage therapy and chiropractic services. Glory be to our Lord Jesus Christ!"
Watch the news report featuring these families' stories below:
According to WJBK-TV, Michigan's Department of Community Health found Stasio in violation of code back in 2008, though it is unclear what ramifications he was met with, if any.
The chiropractor reportedly admitted to engaging "in a sexually explicit conversation and sexual activity with [a masseuse]."
The graphic details are described in the screen show below:
When confronted by Wolchek about the purported cult activity and the state violation, Stasio referred the journalist to his attorney. Wolchek has yet to receive a response from the lawyer despite repeated attempts reach out.
A call to Agape Massage Therapy & Chiropractic was not returned to TheBlaze.
Featured image via WJBK-TV