Hero brother saved family from 9-year doomsday cult hell ‘locked in basement by mystery carpenter Josef the Austrian’.

AN alleged "doomsday cult" leader who rented an isolated farmhouse where a family were waiting for the "end of the world" has been arrested over claims he imprisoned them in a "secret room".

Dutch cops revealed some of the victims can no longer speak properly after their nine-year ordeal and believed there were the only people left on Earth.

 Officers found four brothers and sisters along with their father in a room hidden behind a staircase

Officers found four brothers and sisters along with their father in a room hidden behind a staircaseCredit: Rex Features

The family of six were discovered after the eldest son escaped and raised the alarm in nearby Ruinerwold - about 60 miles north of Amsterdam.

Jan Zon van Dorsten, 25, walked into a cafe-bar where he downed five beers before telling the owner his siblings needed help.

Officers then found his four brothers and sisters, all now aged 18 and over, and their bedridden father in the farmhouse's hidden basement.

A seventh person - an Austrian carpenter identified as Josef B, 58 - was held for questioning.

The handyman - known by neighbours as "Josef the Austrian" - is due in court today behind closed doors, suspected of "deprivation of liberty".

Following the raid it was discovered the family can barely talk and speak in a bizarre "fantasy language" after their many years in isolation, reports the Mail Online.

Cops had great difficulty understanding the "incomprehensible" victims who slept and ate on the floor of the windowless room, according to local reports.

 Jan Zon van Dorsten has been named as the brother who raised the alarm

Jan Zon van Dorsten has been named as the brother who raised the alarm

 He was one of six family members said to have been locked away for nine years waiting for doomsday

He was one of six family members said to have been locked away for nine years waiting for doomsday

 Police found them in secret rooms at this isolated farmhouse in Holland

Police found them in secret rooms at this isolated farmhouse in HollandCredit: Reuters

 Josef B and the family are said to have been neighbours for a short time in the town of Hasslet

Josef B and the family are said to have been neighbours for a short time in the town of HassletCredit: Google

Officers admit they are becoming increasingly baffled by the case and are not sure if the family were held against their will.

It as also been revealed the arrested man and the family used to live next door to one another for a short while in the town of Hasslet.

Josef is thought to have come into contact with a cult during his national military service.

Former neighbour Sandra Soer told the Mail: "The majority of children were born in this house. There was no midwife involved. They all did that themselves.

"A daughter had a birthday on the same day as my daughter. They often played together. But only in their back garden. The children never went out on the street or came to our house. You'd often see them climbing in the trees."

According to the Ms Soer, Josef B only lived on the ground floor of the property in Hasslet.

She said he was never friendly and never said hello to anyone, describing him as "mysterious".

The Austrian's arrest has shocked locals near Ruinerwold who believed he lived at the farmhouse alone.

One told Bild newspaper: "The man has renovated all this alone, came with his trailer and building materials. I've always wondered 'how can he do it all on his own?'

"He must have had help, it can not be done on his own."

Residents also claimed Josef B had surveillance cameras around the property and would chase people away if they strayed too close.

One told Dutch TV: ""You only had to get close to the yard and he sent you away. He was watching everything with binoculars."

Josef B's own brother Franz distanced himself from the alleged cult leader, telling an Austrian newspaper he hadn't been in contact with Josef for a decade.

He told the Kronen Zeitung: "He was with a sect, he felt himself better than the Jesus. For ten years, we have had no contact."

A former neighbour of Josef's when he lived in Pabneukirchen, Austria, said he was "always friendly" and admitted he "had great powers of persuasion".

 It is 200 yards back from the nearest road and surrounded by high fences and CCTV cameras

It is 200 yards back from the nearest road and surrounded by high fences and CCTV camerasCredit: AFP

 Jan started using social media in June, posting this selfie on Instagram

Jan started using social media in June, posting this selfie on Instagram

The "imprisoned" family, who survived on vegetables grown on a small patch of land, were rescued after shaggy-haired Jan walked into the bar on Sunday evening.

It was apparently his third visit in recent days - but he did not have the courage to speak to anyone on his first two trips.

Owner Chris Westerbeek said: "I had a chat with him and he revealed he had run away and needed help... then we called the police.

"He had long hair, a dirty beard, wore old clothes and looked confused. He said he'd never been to school and hadn't been to the barber for nine years.

"He said he had brothers and sisters who lived at the farm. He said he was the oldest and wanted to end the way they were living."

Their mother is believed to have died before they moved there in 2010, said local mayor Roger de Groot - and none of them were registered with authorities.

Some of the younger family members were convinced they were the only humans on earth, according to local reports.

 Jan said on Facebook he had a job at a timber firm linked to Josef B, who also paid rent on the farm

Jan said on Facebook he had a job at a timber firm linked to Josef B, who also paid rent on the farm

 The man in custody - not Jan's father - warned neighbours to keep away and was nicknamed Josef the Austrian, reports claim

The man in custody - not Jan's father - warned neighbours to keep away and was nicknamed Josef the Austrian, reports claim

But Jan appears to have had contact with the outside world for several months.

He stopped posting on Facebook in 2010, but started using it again in June when he said he had a new job at a timber company four miles away.

He also posted a selfie on Instagram, showing him sitting among grass and trees with the caption "In Nature". Other pictures show him with earphones and a laptop.

Police said they found the family in a "small space in the house which could be locked" and that it was unclear whether they were being held against their will.

They lived in a "makeshift living quarters" underground, accessed by a flight of stairs hidden behind a cupboard in the sitting room.

Officials have not commented on reports that the family may have held "end of days" apocalyptic beliefs.

Drenthe police spokeswoman Grietje Hartstra said: "There is a lot of speculation in the media about what happened, but as police we deal with facts.

"We still have a lot of unanswered questions."

 The isolated farm where the family had been living

The isolated farm where the family had been livingCredit: AFP

 The family has been living in a secret rooms underground

The family has been living in a secret rooms undergroundCredit: PA:Press Association

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