The bizarre social media profile of a Dutch father who allegedly kept his family locked away inside a rural farmhouse has surfaced a week after he was arrested.
Gerrit-Jan van Dorsten, operating under the pseudonym “John Eagles” on Facebook, is charged with deprivation of liberty by Dutch authorities.
It’s believed the 67-year-old, along with another 58-year-old man who rented the Dutch farm, were complicit in holding a group of up to six people against their will for as long as nine years.
“The rowing machine is finished. It works very well and gives a good workout for many parts of the body. This is now part of my daily exercise routine,” John Eagles posted online alongside a video displaying how it worked.
“The white cylinders are concrete weights, each about 10 kg. A total of 10 of these can be put into the machine, but the actual weight that must be pulled is about 1/3 of that.”
In another post, van Dorsten is performing tai chi as part of his daily rituals.
“Pardon my not looking so clean,” the post reads.
“The sandy knees are from work in the garden and I have three dogs that like to jump on me with their dirty feet.”
Many of the man’s posts revolve around his landscape drawings, tending to the gardens or performing physical work. There is no mention of children online.
It contains hundreds of entries dedicated to “building a better world”, including praying, writing poetry, gardening, making cabinets and a list of Korean sacred sites.
Authorities were first alerted to the rural farmhouse last week, after 25-year-old Jan Zon van Dorsten left the property and went to a nearby bar, where he told drinkers his family had been living in isolation for years on the remote property, about 140 kilometres north-east of Amsterdam.
A search was commenced and five siblings, estimated to be between 18 and 25 years old, and a man they identified as their ailing father were found near Ruinerwold, a village in the northern province of Drenthe.
Police said they found the family in a “small space in the house which could be locked” and it was unclear whether they were being held against their will as they waited for “the end of time”.
Dutch police have said they understand there are still “many questions” and have begun a thorough investigation.
“This is an investigation into an exceptional case. We understand that there are still many questions. We do careful research to be able to answer as many of these questions as we have,” police said in a statement.
“At the moment a lot of new information comes to us every day. It is our job to investigate this information for accuracy and relevance to the investigation.
“The circumstances in which the suspects and those involved demand extra care in the investigation.”