Ex-Morninglanders

Sri Donato’s Children

Patricia (Sri Donato or Sri Patricia) and Daniel Sperato (Master Donato) had two children together. In the paragraph below, their daughter gave an interview for a book Escaping Utopia, featuring stories of individuals who grew up in cults. Hers was published in a section called 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)

Screenshot:

Patricia and Daniel’s son was interviewed by the Long Beach Press Telegram:

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

But Marcus 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)

PREVIOUS MARRIAGES & CHILDREN

Based on detective’s report, Daniel Sperato had three marriages. His first one was to a woman named Genevieve in New York, who he divorced in Florida (possibly due to issues with the Catholic Church). He left Genevieve with two children, a boy and a girl. His second wife was Clara with whom he had a son who bore his name. He abandoned them on Christmas eve to run away with Patricia to Los Angeles. There is suspicion that Patricia had two daughters prior to marrying Daniel who she also abandoned before marrying him.

ABANDONMENT AS A “SPIRITUAL” PRACTICE?

Several of Patricia’s disciples allegedly cut off relationships with family members who did not approve of Patricia, 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 and guidance.