A supposed guru named Thierry Tilly shook France and the rest of Europe more than a decade ago with a scheme that makes what the Kim family did to the Park family in the movie “Parasite” a child’s play.
In this article, we’ll discuss who is Thierry Tilly, what Thierry Tilly did, and everything else you need to know about this criminal mastermind.
Who is Thierry Tilly?
The background of this bespectacled criminal is unexpectedly ordinary.
Born in 1964 in Bois-Colombes, Thierry Tilly is the son of a retired army driver and licensed midwife, a law school dropout, and a failed businessman.
His wife is named Jessica Diener, who was apparently a model, or at least worked in the advertising or cosmetics industry.
Thierry Tilly isn’t completely innocent when it comes to shady dealings. For instance, two associates of his in the past said that he tricked them.
What Did Thierry Tilly Do?
In the beginning, Tilly was only involved in dubious business ventures, one of which led to Thierry Tilly’s acquaintance with the aristocrats.
Tilly had hired lawyer Vincent David for legal work in real estate development. Here, he promised David part-ownership in compensation for the attorney’s fees.
Tilly never made good on the offer. To be able to pay off the debt, David introduced him to Ghislaine, daughter of the de Védrineses, to work in her secretariat school.
Through Ghislaine’s introduction to the family, Tilly successfully became the guru that psychologically manipulated a French aristocratic family of their more than $6 million fortune, including their ancestral Château Martel.
How Did Thierry Tilly Brainwash an Entire Family?
Thierry Tilly persuaded the 11 members of the de Védrines family spanning three generations to turn over their lives and wealth to him.
This was done through a Dan Brown-esque plot of Freemasonic threat, a connection to the humanitarian organization called Blue Light Foundation, and a network of foreign nobility and politicians. His scheme spanned almost an entire decade.
Introduced to the family by Ghislaine de Védrines, Tilly began his plan by banking on the family’s pride of their history of nobility. He fed the family stories of his connections to the wealthy and influential. He also scared them by claiming that the Freemasons had interest in the family’s properties.
In Oxford, the de Védrineses were outwardly common folk, working odd jobs. Inwardly, they believe in their noble significance and that they come from L’Équilibre du Monde. Guillaume, Charles-Henri’s eldest son, was the only one with a university degree. He also became Tilly’s right-hand man.
Ghislaine’s husband, Jean Marchand, was the first person the family cut off. Marchand alone had been skeptical of Tilly’s influence.
One afternoon, Ghislaine abruptly came to their summerhouse and threw flowers and a glove to his face after his brothers-in-law marched him out of the property, banishing him from the family, and emptying out their shared assets, all due to an email instruction from Tilly.
What Happened to the de Védrines Family?
Of the family’s fortune, the first to go was Ghislaine’s La Femme Secrétaire, which at the time was Paris’ top secretariat school. The school started losing large amounts of money until it stopped paying bills and eventually, its staff members.
The family’s isolation was triggered when Philippe and his partner Brigitte Martin moved in with Ghislaine. They stayed on the top floor of the school’s building after it closed down.
Philippe’s estranged wife was concerned about how Tilly’s association with his husband will affect her, especially after the move-in. She initiated divorce proceedings that unraveled the family’s financial circumstances.
Believing the divorce and its consequences to be the influence of Freemasons at Tilly’s bidding, the family severed connections without warning. They gave to Tilly all the money from the properties they sold to. They even stopped paying their taxes. This led to the chateau’s furnishings being seized.
With the chateau emptied, most of the family moved into a house Philippe owned in Lassou. But the French court barred Thierry Tilly from managing a company for 10 years. This forced him to slowly shift himself and the de Védrineses to Oxford, England.
By this time, the power dynamics were already starting to change. Christine, Charles-Henri’s 58-year-old wife, had already been held hostage inside her own residence twice and tortured by her own family members.
The family was so sunk in debts that they considered selling the chateau. Philippe, who had become richer than Charles-Henri, wanted more independence. At this point, the latter had already given so much of what he had to Tilly. Meanwhile, Philippe was saved because he couldn’t give his riches due to divorce restrictions.
Guillaume had also started showing ambitions over Tilly. He even served as an intermediary for both the buyer and seller when the family decided to sell the ancestral property.
What Happened to Thierry Tilly?
Christine, the tortured family member, was pushed by a coworker to share her story. He persuaded her to seek help. Daniel Picotin, a lawyer that had been working on exposing Thierry Tilly after meeting Marchand, helped her press charges.
While the cases went cold due to lawsuits within the family against each other, Thierry Tilly made the mistake of traveling to Zurich and getting himself arrested.
Where is Thierry Tilly Now?
Thierry Tilly was found guilty by the Bordeaux court and is currently serving his sentence, hardly receiving visitors. Due to his reputation, the prison doesn’t let him stay with the same cellmates for long in case he tries to brainwash them, as well.
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