Sri Donato’s Marriages & Children

When we were in Morningland, we did not know Sri Donato’s past, or hardly anything personal about her. While Sirisa, former member compiled information about Daniel Sperato aka Master Donato (here), this article shines light on Sri’s past presenting information from documents on Ancestry.com, and published interviews.


Patricia’s (Sri Donato’s) daughter gave an interview for a book Escaping Utopia, featuring stories of individuals who grew up in cults. Hers was published in the section “Children of Cult Leaders”:

I was always being pushed onto other members of the church and being dissociated from my mother [Sri Patricia/Sri Donato]. It got to the point where she said, “I have no children.” Well, people knew that we were her children, but to us in private, she would let it be known:”You don’t call me mother. You call me Sri. You have to look to other people for mother figures.” That’s when I finally shut myself off, because then I knew – oh, God. At that point I was about 14, so I got myself a part-time job because no one was supporting me or giving me money anymore. . . . And when I was 15, she had me emancipated. And that was the last time I saw her. (Sri Donato’s daughter. Interview for the book Escaping Utopia)


PATRICIA’S AND DANIEL’S SON was interviewed by the Long Beach Press Telegram:

My dad actually started the church to help people,” (. . . ) “People were looking around to find something that felt good for them, find something different. … He was real good with people.”

But (name withheld) says he strongly believes his mother’s greed corrupted the church — and damaged him. He describes how, as a child, his mother made him spy on the other members of the church, and how she disowned him after he chose to leave, even though he was only 18.

My mom saw the power that was there,” he says, “and she took it to the extreme. Everything got twisted around, and everything went down real quick. … Dad wouldn’t have supported it” (Bones of Contention, PT article)


PATRICIA ANNE DIABLE – Based on records, actual documents available on Ancestry.com, Patricia’s parents divorced in 1940 when she was only 6 years old. Her mother appeared to have been unable to care for her and Patricia lived with her maternal grandparents and uncle. At 16 she appeared to have lived with another family where she was a babysitter. In 1952, as soon as she turned 18, Patricia got married to a man with a surname Wood (first name withheld) with whom she had a son. There is no record of her divorce from him prior to marrying Daniel.

She and Daniel M. Sperato (aka Master Donato) got married on July 15, 1964 in Los Angeles County and at that time, Patricia was 30, while Daniel was 41 (although on the marriage index he stated he was 39). Based on a verbal testimony by a former disciple, Patricia already had a daughter at that time who Daniel became a stepfather to (the daughter who gave an interview for the book mentioned above). It is not known who her father was. Patricia and Daniel had a son together. Based on the son’s interview (above) and former disciple’s verbal statement, Daniel was a good father to both of them while they did not have a lot of good things to say about their mother.

Interestingly, there are two documents in California Marriage Index dated on July 15 1964 with their (Patricia and Daniel’s) names and all identical info including the registrar numbers, except Patricia’s last name. In one she is listed as Patricia A Wood (married name) and in the other, Patricia A Diable (maiden name). It is possible that she initially used her name Wood, then changed her mind and wrote another document using her maiden name, and the clerk for some reason kept both documents. Either way, it is another data point supporting the assumption that she never divorced Mr Wood.

Screenshot from Ancestry.com below revealing Patricia’s first marriage and their son whose name is hidden. The relative who included them in the family tree misspelled Daniel’s middle name, which is Mario, not Marrelo (these errors are common though).

DANIEL MARIO SPERATO — Former disciple Sirisa compiled information presented by a hired detective who spoke with his second wife. Today, there are documents available on Ancestry.com, confirming that Daniel Sperato had the total of three marriages and one divorce. Not all of his children are listed on Ancestry, and one source misspelled his middle name. Daniel’s first marriage was to a woman named Genevieve (surname withheld) in New York in 1943, who he divorced in Florida in 1949 (possibly due to issues with the Catholic Church). He left Genevieve with two children, a boy and a girl. His second wife was Clara (m 1949) with whom he had a son who bore his name. While there is a record of their marriage, there is no known record of them ever divorcing. Based on the detective’s report, he abandoned them on Christmas eve to run away with Patricia to Los Angeles.

Screenshot from Ancestry.com below revealing Daniel’s first and third marriage, and his two children from the first marriage. His daughter who had 7 children (his grandchildren) is no longer alive today. Son’s name is hidden.


Based on all gathered information, Sri Donato’s attitude towards parenting or family life is reflected throughout Morningland’s culture. Several of Patricia’s disciples allegedly cut off relationships with family members who did not approve of Morningland, while some claimed it was their children who did not want contact. It is unclear who cut off who first, but it appears to have been the trend among several disciples who followed Sri Patricia / Sri Donato’s example or guidance.

Mantika, 2024