The Community Improvement Commission ordered a Shoreview resident Wednesday to remove cryptic messages written on her home or face as much as $5,000 in fines.
Estrella Benevides, 46, has until Feb. 14 to erase the painted script from her home in the 1800 block of Cottage Grove Avenue, which has been covered with an inscrutable text containing biblical references, conspiracy theories and glimpses into a painful personal history.
Benevides vowed not to remove the messages, which she believes come from God, and to fight the commission's decision, citing her First Amendment rights to free speech.
Benevides' home is almost completely blanketed in words, which combine to warn in part of a worldwide conspiracy that employs mind-control to oppress the poor. Benevides began painting the messages on her sometime in 2005.
In a letter she submitted to the commission, Benevides wrote that the government is persecuting her because she "discovered that they are using witchcraft and technology against the people who are not aware of and who are not part of this mafia group."
Benevides told the commission that she writes the messages on her home as a plea for help in her attempt to regain custody of her 4-year-old son, who lives in Hayward with his father. Benevides lost custody of the child after she began acting erratically in 2005, according to court documents.
Woman ordered to remove words from home
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