The day after I sent my last update, a friend wrote:
"I can't not respond to this. I grew up in this. I was this child. Complete with the hitting and the cult-like religious involvement. And yes, it is a cult. Report it. Next time, please report it. It damages. For life.
"Even if they ultimately get off because it's legal, there will be a CPS investigation in their file. Even if that means nothing, you have not stood by. We have to stop standing by.