Man Previously Arrested in Cambodia for Child-Sex Related Offenses in Mendocino County, Taken Into Custody Again

A man who was captured in Cambodia after fleeing Mendocino County for child-sex related offenses in 2013 was arrested again last Thursday at his residence in Leggett. John Stahl was on Mendocino County’s most wanted list when he was picked up in Cambodia and returned to Mendocino.

Stahl is the author of several books and the founder of The Church of the Living Tree.

This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

StahlOn 01-21-2016 Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Detectives went to the residence of John Roland Stahl [age 68 of Leggett], to conduct a compliance check pursuant to the terms of his conditional release from the California Department of Corrections.

Stahl, a registered sex offender, has several specialized terms he must abide by pursuant to his release and supervision by the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation.

Upon arrival, a search was conducted pursuant to Stahl’s terms and was found to be in violation of many of the terms of his conditional release, in particular, terms pertaining to his computer and internet usage.

Stahl’s Parole Officer was contacted and advised of the violations and a parole hold was placed on Stahl.

Stahl was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for a parole violation and was to be held on a No Bail status.

Computer related items were seized for further examination to determine if any additional charges should be sought against Stahl.



  • People like this disgust me. [Edit]

  • sharpen your pencil

    What a pile of waste this scum is. Of course he is the founder of a church….. be weary of the most religious people, they are acting in extremes to repent for their nature….

    • The spiritual are the real pious folks. The current Pope, at least, is not such a straight and narrow dude. Religion can be a crutch for the weak minded or a spiritual experience for those willing to expand their minds. It’s a shame that religion has gotten usurped by the “tread on you and me crowd”.

  • Thank gawd this is in Mendocino. Humboldt would have him back on the street in no time.

  • I can’t get my head around the idea that Mendocino Sheriff had him brought back to the county only to release him. His choice was young boys. His church was for tax write offs. He made hemp paper and supposedly only grew hemp for the purpose.

  • Our HomeSchool kids went up there (with moms) to learn paper making, 25 years ago.
    Now my skin is crawling…. It’s one of two crimes I consider appropriate for the death penalty. af

    • I’m shocked I knew him personally meet this guy in Cambodia and found about how m fleeing law in United States he should be in jail for lifetime not for his accusations but for his fleeing sorry Roland if you read this but no one should flee the Judie system

  • They found him in Cambodia, He ran far away, but not far enough. Does this man have a conscience ? Harming children is a life long sentence for the child. “It would have been better to have a mill stone tied around his neck and be tossed into the sea than to hurt one of these little ones. Gospel of Matthew.

  • Why why why does our system lock up non-violent drug offenders for YEARS and YEARS yet scumbags who commit sexual abuse crimes against children are constantly released so they can just do it again??? It’s so screwed up. I just don’t understand.

  • He should be put in the custody of the victims and their family…

  • ERRRR~~ now i need a shower…why is he allowed a computer to continue his networking Mendocino?

  • I remember John Stahl. He had a place up near Leggett where he made his paper. I had a friend that worked there. He recycled old mattresses (for the cotton) and weed stalks to make his paper and pressed flowers into the fabric- sold that stuff for high dollar to artsy-fartsy stores in Bay Area (Marin). People thought he was super groovy. See- hippies are very easily fooled. Just mention how “sacred” marijuana is and they’ll never guess while you molest their children. [edit] No- I’m not a very good hippie.

    • “You can fool all the straight and uptight people some of the time, and some of the straight and uptight people all the time, but you cannot fool all the hippies all the time.”

      Abraham Lincoln

  • I just found 2 notebooks I bought from him many years ago… He was an incredibly skilled paper maker… Who woulda thought…

  • AF, I finally agree with you. I did some research. The sexual predators of little girls molest about 52 over their lifetime assuming they don’t molest their own family. If their prey of choice is boys, it’s 150 boys over their lifetime. Tugboat: many of them don’t have a conscience. They are sociopaths: they willingly ruin a child’s life for an ejaculation. There is no equivalence in that.

  • From the Anderson Valley Advertiser
    Sept 2, 2013


    IS JOHN STAHL the latest addition to Mendocino County’s roster of world class maniacs? Well, he’s not a killer, certainly not in the Jim Jones or even Charles Manson class, both of whom graduated from Mendocino County to grander things. He is, however, in the Mendo tradition of Tree Frog Johnson and Kenneth Parnell, both of whom took advantage of the County’s long history of Do Your Own Thing-ism. But even here where tolerance of aberrant behavior seems infinitely elastic, Stahl flourished much longer than he should have. And although Stahl isn’t accused of murdering anybody, you can make a strong case that child molestation is indeed a kind of murder, the spiritual murder suffered by its victims. By that standard Stahl has killed a lot more people than Manson has. Once again, evil gets over because people, for whatever reason, don’t go to the cops, forever the Blue Meanies in some neighborhoods. The following is a fuller account of Stahl’s stay in the North County than we’ve so far been able to muster. The writer is a resident of the infected area.

    Stahl“GRANTED MENDOCINO COUNTY provides a buffet of strange happenings on a daily basis, I’ve yet to hear anything of the county’s most wanted and now captured pedo-villain John Stahl of Leggett. I pray at night that your crack court reporter will be on the case. Tell me it is so. Not often one of our own go on the lam across international borders fleeing child molestation charges, never mind that that destination is the center of the pedophile’s universe.

    “JOHN STAHL graduated from ivy league (Brown), fancies himself a visionary of all matters of men (and boys) via his self-published meditations In contrast to the sinister liberties he’s taken with a number of children over the years, he’s a master craftsman and for years was the resident luminary among the Bell Spring’s hippy community. He’s a master craftsman of milled paper and early printing techniques and is widely recognized for securing one of the first permits to grow hemp from the DEA since prohibition (which was revoked shortly after).

    “AS THE ESTEEMED wise man of the Bell Springs royalty he had free access to their young flock of boys. When it was discovered what John was doing to their kids many years after the fact, he was exiled from the group and I hear the worse cases were never brought to the attention of law enforcement. To the hippy royalty on the hill, exile from their clan was punishment enough, I guess. I’m not sure of the case he caught charges for, but there was a silent murmur of satisfaction at his capture which rippled through the Leggett and Bell Springs area. John defended himself to these people by preaching the historical provenance of man-boy love, which by his hand was a harmless exploration; a mutually beneficial experience of man’s loving nature. After his exile he holed up in the hollow of his Leggett house, which was always open to a steady stream of very young runaway drifters that nobody in Leggett ever knew. They were only ever seen riding shotgun on his daily trip to the post office. I believe it is from these homeless youths that the current charges he faces arise.

    “AS REPORTED, STAHL FLED to Sihanoukville, Cambodia. In the years since his hurried departure he seems to have built a good life for himself there. He opened a cafe/youth hostel in the seedy beachside provincial capital called Cafe Noir. The place was really popular and widely rated as ‘excellent’ on the Trip Advisor website as having the best coffee in Cambodia and being a wonderful place to stay. He was well-liked by the Sihanoukville community as the local expat happenings website noted.

    “AS YOU KNOW, it all ended when a very influential area NGO (dedicated to helping the children of Cambodia’s rampant child sex industry) got wind of his wanted status and persuaded the US embassy in Phnom Penh to petition for the arrest of John for extradition. The Cambodian government is all too happy to make public examples of foreigners like John, people of whom there are far to many making Cambodia a new home. Oddly, it does not seem that he kept at molesting children while in Cambodia, but I think most people who know John have their doubts about that. Perhaps more victims will come forward. At one time he had volunteered for an orphan’s art program there, but I heard he was fired for being incredibly flaky, but my details on that are shaky. He had another project at some point teaching paper-making to orphan children that made their livings digging rubbish from a dump. I almost smashed my computer when I found the webpage where he touts that project. What are the odds that parentless children, children whose survival depends on rummaging through trash heaps, file an abuse report with local authorities?

    “ANYHOW, it’s a fascinating story and as vile as a character John presents by the fact of his crimes, he’s an incredibly charismatic charlatan of sorts. Another homegrown wierdo for the county record I guess. I think the case will make interesting fodder.

    “I ORIGINALLY thought I had tracked him down singlehandedly, but I learned from a contact in Shihanoukville that the word had already gotten out to the local police. These are the links I found when I was originally hunting his web trail if you are interested:

    “I FOUND that rat bastard! I check John Stahl’s church of the tree website a couple times a year to see if I can figure out where he is since he continually updates his news. For eight years I’ve been waiting for some hint to find out where he’s hiding at. In this latest update he finally said he was working on a pulp mill somewhere in southeast Asia. The thought of this pissed me off imagining all the kids he’s molesting. It took me a couple hours but I found his address, name of his business in Cambodia, phone/fax/cell number, multiple fictitious business names, data in TradeKey he’s been soliciting for imports on and he’s employing poor children and working with a poor kid’s art foundation — classic chronic child molester profile. He’s calling himself Roland Stahl these days, operating a coffee shop/organic bakery/holistic health/ arcane knowledge school in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. I’ve been there and remember billboards warning foreigners to stay away from kids. Anyhow, I let the Mendo County sex crimes detective know I had this information. Maybe they can send his file to the Sihanoukville police who can make sure they keep an eye on him since I doubt they can muster the brainpower or funds to extradite him. I’ll bet Cambodia would arrest him and send him home for free if they asked! I have no doubt he’s serially molesting poor children over there, no doubt whatsoever.”

  • Sorry about the comment insinuating violence. Will try and avoid making one like that, again.

      • Yeah, heh-heh, I actually stayed up there for a month, back in ’03. It’s a long story, but I vacated the place (actually under duress from a couple of Stahl’s hippie scumbag minions). I’d quit my job of three years in a used bookstore in Long Beach after happening upon his website, and threw my lot in with him. I thought I really was getting involved with a tree-worshipping outfit. The good that came out of the experience was that it spelled the end of my drinking and using career. I came back to L.A., found myself in a situation in which my only viable alternative to abject homelessness was to get admitted to a V.A. rehab program. Yee-yee-yee…!

  • Megaforcemedia

    Stahl lived in Montreal in the late 1960s as a draft dodger and might be involved in an affair that I am urgently researching.

    If anybody here has some insight into his activities during this time period or whether he was involved with the Process Church back then, please write me at Thanks!

  • I met John Roland Stahl twice in Montreal in the summer of 1969 or 1970 on a downtown street where he sometimes stood in a black cape selling copies of the Process Church magazine containing an article on Charles Manson. Both times I saw him I stopped to talk to him. I was 18 or 19, he was 22 or 23 — flamboyant, androgynous, charming, handsome, articulate — as he explained Process Church beliefs e.g. the unity of God and the Devil. I had the sense he was actively recruiting young people. His style was bright and Luciferian and though I found him fascinating, I knew to stay away from such people. I always wondered what became of him and who he really was. Now I know. The hippie movement had plenty of charlatans and he certainly looked like one. It’s also fascinating that his activities remained consistent as he moved from place to place: running cafes, spreading his ‘gospel’, recruiting young people to his lifestyle. I think this is the modus operandi of a certain class of operative, often connected to intelligence cults, and enjoying considerable protection from higher up – which seems to be the case with Stahl. I find it more than a little eerie that he has turned up again almost by chance, as he made an indelible impression that has remained with me all these years. He stood out, back then, like a street corner mime, or front man for something sinister that keeps expanding.

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