Kansas City, Kan. (CN) – At the age of 11, Kendra Ross was separated from her family and forced to spend the next 10 years working as a slave for the United Nation of Islam, according to a federal lawsuit filed Friday in Kansas.
In the lawsuit, Ross calls the group a cult and claims its leader Royall Jenkins moved her across the eastern part of the United States to work in his different businesses while denying her education and basic medical needs.
Jenkins heads the organization, renamed The Value Creators, and claims he was visited by angels on a spaceship who told him he is Allah. Members of the organization are told to refer to him as “Allah in person” or “The Supreme Being.”
The teachings of the group emphasize that white people are inferior to black people and women are inferior to men.
According to the lawsuit, Jenkins uses his followers as unpaid laborers in several of his businesses across the nation. Ross claims the group forced women to submit to the men and even weigh in every Sunday before religious services to make sure that they weren’t getting fat. If a woman was above an “ideal weight,” she was forced to fast in order to slim down. As a child, Ross says she was forced to eat a strict diet of beans, rice, salad and fruit.
Men are allowed to bid on women in the group in a dating pool, according to Ross. Jenkins has final approval of the bids and there is no age requirement for women and girls the men can bid on. At age 20, Ross said she was forced into an illegal marriage as one of several wives of a member.
Ross, now 26, has been living in a safe house since April 2015 in order to avoid contact with the group that she says enslaved her for a decade. She left the group in 2012 while it underwent reorganization. In all, Ross claims to have worked more than 27,000 unpaid hours in her 10 years of enslavement. She seeks $2.2 million in damages from lost wages as well as punitive damages.
A call for comment to The Value Creators was made after business hours and not immediately returned.