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Encyclopedia > Children of God

The Children of God (COG), later known as the Family of Love, the Family, and now the Family International (TFI), is a new religious movement, widely referred to as a cult by the media and some government organizations, that started in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California, United States. It was an off shoot of the Jesus movement of the late 1960s, with many of its early converts drawn from the hippie movement. It was among the movements prompting the cult controversy of the 1970s and 1980s in the United States and Europe and triggered the first organized anticult group (FREECOG). A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original sense of religious practice; for that usage see Cult (religious practice). ... This list include groups that have been referred to as cults in official government reports. ... Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in southern California. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... For the first century movement surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, see Early Christianity The Jesus movement was the major Christian element within the hippie counterculture, or, conversely, the major hippie element within the Christian Church. ... Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religious identity, or a change from one religious identity to another. ... Singer at a modern Hippie movement in Russia Hippie (sometimes spelled hippy) refers to a member of a subgroup of the counterculture that began in the United States during the early 1960s, becoming an established social group by 1965, and expanding to other countries before declining in the mid-1970s. ... It has been suggested that Opposition to cults and new religious movements be merged into this article or section. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ...

Contents

Overview

As it grew and expanded around the world, so did its message—salvation, apocalypticism, spiritual "revolution" against the outside world that they called "the System"—and resultant controversy. In 1974, it began a method of evangelism called flirty fishing—using sex to show God's love and win converts. Thre cult was considered as stripping children of their innocence to forfill their sick sexual tendecies. It was also a means of raising financial support as many of the women worked as prostitutes. Flirty fishing has been compared to religious prostitution. The practice was discontinued in 1987. Their founder and prophetic leader, David Berg, communicated with his followers via Mo Letters—letters of instruction and counsel on a myriad of spiritual and practical subjects—until his death in late 1994.[1] After his death, his widow Karen Zerby became the leader of TFI. In theology, salvation can mean three related things: being saved from something, such as suffering or the punishment of sin - also called deliverance; being saved for something, such as an afterlife or participating in the Reign of God - also called redemption Salvation can also be understood in terms of social... Apocalypticism is a worldview based on the idea that important matters are esoteric in nature (hidden) and they will soon be revealed in a major confrontation of earth-shaking magnitude that will change the course of history. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Flirty Fishing (FFing) was a form of personal evangelism involving sexual attraction, practiced by the new religious movement, the Children of God/The Family, from 1974 until 1987 (abandoned because of the AIDS scare). ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... David Brandt Berg (18 February 1919 - October 1994), frequently known by the pseudonym Moses David, was the founder and leader of the religious movement formerly called Children of God, now called The Family International. He was what the French call an asshole. ... Karen Zerby (aka Maria, Mama Maria, Queen Maria) (born in Tucson, Arizona) is the current leader of the Children of God, a new religious movement. ...


The group’s liberal sexuality and its publication and distribution of writings, photographs and videos advocating and documenting adult-child sexual contact and the sexualization of children led to numerous reports of child sexual abuse, which contradicts the teachings of the church, making the whole thing a total crock. A number of judicial and academic investigations in the 1990s found TFI to be a safe environment for children, yet such investigations have also highlighted troubles in its past. TFI leadership, admitting only that some children were abused from 1978 until 1986, created policies prohibiting excessive discipline or any sexual contact between adults and minors. Those found to have abused children after December 1988 are excommunicated from TFI membership, however, no attempt has been made by TFI members to recognize or reconcile the abuse that took place during the previous twenty years. TFI requires individuals who report child abuse to a law enforcement agency or pursue legal action against an alleged abuser to leave the group's communal homes and move to a lower commitment membership status until the matter is resolved, after which they must reapply for their former membership status if they wish to return. Child sexual abuse is an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification. ... Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. ... A Commune is a kind of intentional community where most resources are shared and there is little or no personal property. ...


The January 2005 murder of a former member by the leader's son Ricky Rodriguez (who had also left the group several years earlier) and his subsequent suicide shocked, bit it shouldn't have, both members and former members, and led to considerable, renewed media attention. Ricky Rodriquez, aka Davidito (legal names: Richard Peter Rodriguez, Richard Peter Smith and David Moses Zerby) (January 25, 1975 - January 9, 2005) was a former member of the Children of God (COG), now known as The Family, when he committed a murder-suicide in 2005. ...


Beliefs

Theologians have placed TFI's basic theology within the historical Christian tradition, although they have numerous unorthodox beliefs. To some extent, they identify with and are seen as fundamentalist Christians, though some of their more radical beliefs and practices are regarded as non-traditional, even heretical, by many fundamentalist Christians. Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Fundamentalism is a movement to maintain strict adherence to founding principles. ...


TFI teaches that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and sacred revelation. Group founder David Berg is regarded as the most important prophet of the end times. He is regarded as a prophet in that he passed on the message of God, not because he could predict the future. Though he frequently attempted to predict future events, he was for the most part inaccurate. The group believes Berg's spiritual "mantle" passed to his wife, Karen Zerby, at his death. The officially published writings of both David Berg and Karen Zerby are regarded as part of the "Word of God." This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... David Brandt Berg (18 February 1919 - October 1994), frequently known by the pseudonym Moses David, was the founder and leader of the religious movement formerly called Children of God, now called The Family International. He was what the French call an asshole. ... In religion, a prophet (or prophetess) is a person who has directly encountered the numinous or the divine and serves as an intermediary with humanity. ... // In the three Abrahamic Religions (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), the End Times are depicted as a time of tribulation that precede the predicted coming of a Messiah figure. ... Karen Zerby (aka Maria, Mama Maria, Queen Maria) (born in Tucson, Arizona) is the current leader of the Children of God, a new religious movement. ...


They believe that the Great Commission of evangelizing the world is the duty of every Christian, and that their lives should be dedicated to the service of God and others. They have several levels of membership, and the most committed, called "Family Disciples," live communally. They also encourage having children. While birth control was initially highly discouraged, the choice is currently left to the individual and is not uncommon in practice, though it is still officially regarded as indicative of a lack of trust in God's plan. In Christian tradition, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples, that they spread the faith to all the world. ... A Commune is a kind of intentional community where most resources are shared and there is little or no personal property. ...


A central tenet to their theology is the "Law of Love," which stated simply claims that if a person's actions are motivated by unselfish, sacrificial love and are not intentionally hurtful to others, such actions are in accordance with Scripture and are, thus, lawful in the eyes of God. They believe that this tenet supersedes all other Biblical laws, except those forbidding male homosexuality, which they believe is sin. Female bisexuality is sanctioned, though female homosexuality at the complete exclusion of men is not permitted. They believe that God created human sexuality, that it is a natural, emotional, and physical need, and that heterosexual relations between consenting adults is a pure and natural wonder of God's creation,[2] and permissible according to Scripture. Teenagers from the age of 16 are allowed to have sex with other members under age 21. Since 1986,[3] sex between minors and adults is forbidden. Adult members may have sex with any other adult member of the opposite sex, and are encouraged to do so, regardless of marital status, as a way to foster unity and combat loneliness of those "in need". This is commonly called "sharing" or "sacrificial sex". While TFI policy states that members should not be pressured to have sex against their will, numerous former members have alleged being coerced to "share" and subsequently cast as selfish or unloving when they did not. testing For other uses, see Sin (disambiguation). ... This article is about human sexual perceptions. ... Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by esthetic attraction, romantic love or sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite sex or gender, contrasted with homosexuality and distinguished from bisexuality and asexuality. ...


They believe that they are now living in the time period known in the Bible as the "Last Days" or the "Time of the End," which is the era immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ. Before that event, they believe that the world will be ruled for seven years by the Antichrist, who will create a one-world government. At the half-way point in his rule he will become completely possessed by Satan, precipitating a time of troubles known as the Great Tribulation which will bring intense persecution of Christians as well as stupendous natural and unnatural disasters. At the end of this period, faithful Christians will be taken to heaven in an event known as the Rapture that is shortly followed by a battle between Jesus and the Antichrist commonly known as the "Battle of Armageddon", in which the Antichrist is defeated. Jesus Christ reigns on Earth for 1000 years, a period they call the Millennium. For a more general eschatological view, see eschatology The Last Judgement - Tympanum sculpture at the Abbey Church of Ste-Foy, Conques-en-Rouergue, France The end times are, in one version of Christian eschatology, a time of tribulation that will precede the Second Coming of Jesus. ... Revelation 13:16-18 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast... Gustave Dorés depiction of Satan from John Miltons Paradise Lost Satan - from the Hebrew word for adversary - is a term that originates from the Abrahamic faiths, being traditionally applied to an angel. ... In Christian eschatology, the Tribulation is a period of immense suffering, greater than anything before in history, which some claim will occur before the end of the world. ... Look up Persecution in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In conservative Christian eschatology, rapture is... The evangelist John of Patmos writes the Book of Revelation. ... Millennialism (or chiliasm), from millennium, which literally means thousand years, is primarily a belief expressed in some Christian denominations, and literature, that there will be a Golden Age or Paradise on Earth where Christ will reign prior to the final judgment and future eternal state, primarily derived from the book...


TFI's official summary statement of their beliefs can be found on their website.


Recent teachings

TFI's recent teachings center around beliefs that they have termed the "new [spiritual] weapons." TFI members believe that they are soldiers in the spiritual war of good versus evil for the souls and hearts of men. Although some of the following beliefs are not new to TFI, they have assumed greater importance in recent years. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The conflict between good and evil is one of the most common conventional themes in literature, and is sometimes considered to be a universal part of the human condition. ...


Prophecy

In TFI jargon, the traditional definition of prophecy—a prediction of the future—has been expanded to refer to any message received from the "spirit world" from Jesus, deceased founder David Berg, or another "spirit helper" (see below). A great emphasis has been placed on each member regularly using prophecy to guide their daily lives. Although prophecy, also referred to as channeling, has been a part of the movement from the beginning, it has assumed greater significance under Karen Zerby's leadership.

This article or section seems to describe future events as if they have already occurred. ... Channeling can refer to Channeling (physics) Channeling (mediumistic), a term used in reference to the process of receiving messages or inspiration from invisible beings or spirits This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

Spirit Helpers

These include angels, departed humans, and even famous mythical characters, e.g. goddess Aphrodite, who are sent to give instruction and to fight in the spiritual warfare taking place in the spiritual dimension that TFI members believe is coexistent with the physical world that surrounds them. These helpers are believed to relay divine messages through prophecy and are also engaged in combat with Satan and his demons. TFI members believe that referring by name to spirit helpers when calling on their help, or demons when rebuking or cursing them, affords greater power to their prayers. As a result, TFI regularly publishes names of individual, as well groups or breeds of, spirit helpers and demons, linking them with their respective areas of power within the physical world.

The Archangel Michael by Guido Reni wears a late Roman military outfit in this 17th century depiction An angel is a supernatural being found in many religions. ... For other uses, see Aphrodite (disambiguation). ... Gustave Dorés depiction of Satan from John Miltons Paradise Lost Satan - from the Hebrew word for adversary - is a term that originates from the Abrahamic faiths, being traditionally applied to an angel. ...

The Keys of the Kingdom

TFI believes that the keys referred to in the Biblical passage "and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19), have assumed greater significance today. As such, TFI members call on the various Keys of the Kingdom for supposed extra effect during prayer. These spiritual keys are also believed to power various spiritual spacecraft (known as Key Craft), and can turn into spiritual swords for the purpose of fighting demons and other negative forces.

Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Space Shuttle Discovery as seen from the International Space Station. ...

Loving Jesus

This is a term that TFI members use to describe their intimate, sexual relationship with Jesus. TFI describes the "Loving Jesus" teachings as a radical form of bridal theology [1]. It is their understanding of the Bible that the followers of Christ are his bride, called to love and serve him with the fervor of a wife. They take bridal theology further than other Christians by encouraging members to imagine that Jesus is having sex with them during sexual intercourse and masturbation. Male members are told to visualize themselves as women, in order to avoid a homosexual relationship with Jesus. Additionally, TFI publications frequently liken prophecy from Jesus to receiving Jesus' semen, or "golden seeds," as a result of spiritual oral sex or vaginal intercourse.[4]

TFI continues to stress the imminent Second Coming of Christ, preceded by the rise of a worldwide government led by the "Antichrist." Doctrines regarding the "end times" influence virtually all long-term decision making. This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ... Woman masturbating, 1913 drawing by Gustav Klimt. ... Oral sex consists of all sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, which may include use of the tongue, teeth, and throat, to stimulate genitalia. ... The Second Coming refers to the Christian and Islamic belief in the return of Jesus Christ, an event that will fulfill aspects of Messianic prophecy such as the resurrection of the dead, last judgment and full establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (also called the Reign of God... Revelation 13:16-18 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast... // In the three Abrahamic Religions (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), the End Times are depicted as a time of tribulation that precede the predicted coming of a Messiah figure. ...


History

The Children of God (1968–1977)

The founder of the movement was a former Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor, David Brandt Berg (1919–1994), also known within the group as Moses David, Mo, Father David, and Dad to adult group members and eventually as Grandpa to the group's youngest members. The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) is an Evangelical Protestant denomination within Christianity. ... David Brandt Berg (18 February 1919 - October 1994), frequently known by the pseudonym Moses David, was the founder and leader of the religious movement formerly called Children of God, now called The Family International. He was what the French call an asshole. ...


Members of the Children of God founded communes, first called "colonies", but now referred to as "homes," in various cities around the world. They would proselytize in the streets and distribute literature. New converts who joined the movement memorized scripture, went through a course of Bible knowledge classes, and were expected to emulate the lives of early Christians while rejecting mainstream denominational Christianity. A Commune is a kind of intentional community where most resources are shared and there is little or no personal property. ... Proselytism is the practice of attempting to convert people to another opinion, usually another religion. ... Many religions and spiritual movements hold certain written texts (or series of spoken legends not traditionally written down) to be sacred. ...


In common with converts to some other religions, and in keeping with Biblical custom, most incoming members adopted a new "Bible" name.


Berg communicated with his followers through his more than 3,000 published letters written over 24 years, referred to as "Mo Letters" by members of the group. By January 1972, Berg introduced through his letters that he was God's prophet for this time, further establishing his spiritual authority within the group. Nonetheless, Berg freely acknowledged his failings and weaknesses.[5]


At the end of 1972, COG members had distributed approximately 42 million Christian tracts, mostly on God's salvation and America's doom. Street distribution of Berg's Letters (called "litnessing") became the COG's predominant method of both outreach and support for the next five years.


The Children of God ended as an organizational entity in February 1978. Reports of serious misconduct, financial mismanagement, and abuse of their positions by a number of established leaders, including the opposition of some to flirty fishing, caused Berg to reorganize the movement. He dismissed over 300 of the movement's leaders and declared the general dissolution of the COG structure. This shift was known as the "Reorganization Nationalization Revolution" (RNR). A third of the total membership left the movement, and those who remained became part of the reorganized movement, dubbed the Family of Love, and later, simply the Family. Most of the group's beliefs, however, remained the same.[6] Flirty Fishing (FFing) was a form of personal evangelism involving sexual attraction, practiced by the new religious movement, the Children of God/The Family, from 1974 until 1987 (abandoned because of the AIDS scare). ...


The Family of Love and sexual molestation(1978–1981)

The Family of Love era was characterized by expansion into more countries. Regular prostelyzation methods included "door to door", distributing tracts and other gospel literature, and organized classes on various aspects of Christian life, with heavy use of TFI music.


In 1974, David Berg introduced a new prostelyzation method called Flirty Fishing (or FFing), which encouraged female members to show God's love by engaging in sexual activity with potential converts. Flirty Fishing was practiced by members of Berg's inner circle starting in 1973, and was later introduced to the general membership. By 1978, it was widely practiced by members of the group. In some areas, Flirty Fishers used escort agencies to meet people. According to TFI, as a result of Flirty Fishing, "over 100,000 received God's gift of salvation through Jesus, and some chose to live the life of a disciple and missionary."[6] According to data provided by TFI to researcher Bill Bainbridge, from 1974 until 1987 Family of Love members had sexual contact with 223,989 people while practicing Flirty Fishing.[7] Flirty Fishing also resulted in the birth of many children, including Karen Zerby's son, Davidito (aka Rick Rodriguez). Children born as result of Flirty Fishing were referred to as "Jesus Babies". By the end of 1981, over 300 "Jesus Babies" had been born. Flirty Fishing (FFing) was a form of personal evangelism involving sexual attraction, practiced by the new religious movement, the Children of God/The Family, from 1974 until 1987 (abandoned because of the AIDS scare). ... Two Mormon missionaries A missionary is traditionally defined as a propagator of religion who works to convert those outside that community; someone who proselytizes. ... Ricky Rodriquez, aka Davidito (legal names: Richard Peter Rodriguez, Richard Peter Smith and David Moses Zerby) (January 25, 1975 - January 9, 2005) was a former member of the Children of God (COG), now known as The Family International (TFI), when he committed a murder-suicide in 2005. ... Ricardo Rodriguez or Ricardo Rodríguez can refer to different people: Ricardo Rodríguez (Formula One), a Formula One driver Ricardo Rodriguez (baseball player) (b. ...


In an official statement on its origins, TFI partly describes the practice of Flirty Fishing as follows:

In part as a response to the sexual liberality of the early '70s, Father David presented a more intimate and personal, voluntary form of evangelism, which became known as "Flirty Fishing" or "FFing." ...Father David proposed that the boundaries of expressing God's love to others could at times go beyond just showing kindness and doing good deeds. He suggested that for those who were in dire need of physical love and affection, even sex could be used as evidence to them of the Lord's love. ...The motivation, guiding principle, and reasoning behind the FFing ministry was that through this sacrificial proof of love, some would better accept and understand God's great love for them. The goal was that they would come to believe in and receive God's own loving gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus, who gave His life for them. By this unorthodox method David felt many would find the Lord's love and salvation, who never would have otherwise. ...

Although we no longer practice FFing, we believe the scriptural principles behind the ministry remain sound.[6]

In his judgment of a child custody court case in England in 1994, after extensive research of COG publications and the testimony of numerous witnesses, Lord Justice Sir Alan Ward said the following about FFing: Sir Alan Hylton Ward (born 15 February 1938), styled The Rt Hon. ...

I am quite satisfied that most of the women who engaged in this activity and the subsequent refinement of ESing, (which was finding men through escort agencies), did so in the belief that they were spreading God's word. But I am also totally satisfied that that was not Berg's only purpose. He and his organization had another and more sordid reason. They were procuring women to become common prostitutes. They were knowingly living in part on the earnings of prostitution. That was criminal activity. Their attempts to deny this must be dismissed as cant and hypocrisy. To deny that the girls were acting as prostitutes because "we are not charging but we expect people to show their thanks and their appreciation and they ought to give more for love than if we charged them" is an unacceptable form of special pleading. The "FFers handbook" told the girls that fishing could be fun but fun did not pay the bills. "You've got to catch a few to make the fun pay for itself. So don't do it for nothing."[8]

A judge in Italy came to a different conclusion in 1991, deciding that flirty fishing was not prostitution (see Tribunale Penale di Roma (Criminal Court of Rome), November 15, 1991, re: Berg and others, and in the archives of the Criminal Court of Rome (RG 3841/84)). The judge concluded that it was only in "the last months of 1977 Berg started counseling the members that it was permissible for proselyting reasons to offer sexual contacts and services to perspective [sic] members, the more so when the latter were potentially good financial contributors to the cult." Among the Children of God, the judge argued, flirty fishing was not understood as prostitution but "as a personal contribution to the humanitarian aims that the sect always claimed to pursue."


Flirty Fishing was officially abandoned in 1987 in favor of other witnessing methods and also to avoid contracting AIDS. In 1987, new rules were introduced that banned, under penalty of excommunication, sexual contact with non-members. However, the new rules also stated that exceptions to the rule would be allowed in certain cases. For example, one publication stated: "All sex with outsiders is banned!--Unless they are already close and well-known friends!" [2] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). ... Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. ...


The Family (1982–1994)

By 1982, more TF members had moved to southern and eastern parts of the world. At the end of 1983, TF was reporting 10,000 fulltime members living in 1,642 TF homes. Additionally, TF's Music With Meaning radio club had by this time grown to almost 20,000 members. According to statistics by TF, at this time proselytization efforts were resulting in an average of 200,000 conversions to Christ and distribution of nearly 30 million pages of literature per month.


Berg's writings continued to contribute to suspicions about the movement's care of their children. Berg claimed to be challenging modern-day taboos about adult/child sexuality, and many believe that Berg ignored society's boundaries. At least six women, including both his daughters, his daughter-in-law and two of his granddaughters, have publicly alleged that Berg sexually abused them when they were children.


A childcare manual published by the group in January of 1982 described the education, home life, and care of the son of Karen Zerby, known as Davidito or Ricky Rodriguez. The 762-page book, which was intended to be an example of child rearing, also included at least a dozen photographs depicting the child engaged in sexual play with his governesses, particularly Sara Kelley (also known as Sara Davidito or Prisca Kelley). The group later ordered this book to be heavily sanitized and, eventually, destroyed completely. In the late 1990s, it was reprinted in sanitized form. Some pages from the original edition have been posted online: Story Of Davidito. Karen Zerby (aka Maria, Mama Maria, Queen Maria) (born in Tucson, Arizona) is the current leader of the Children of God, a new religious movement. ... Ricky Rodriquez, aka Davidito (legal names: Richard Peter Rodriguez, Richard Peter Smith and David Moses Zerby) (January 25, 1975 - January 9, 2005) was a former member of the Children of God (COG), now known as The Family, when he committed a murder-suicide in 2005. ...


According to TFI's account, reports of sexual abuse began to filter to the top of the group's leadership in 1988 . This prompted Berg to renounce his ideas regarding adult/child sex, writing: "We do not approve of sex with minors, and hereby renounce any writings of anyone in our Family which may seem to do so! We absolutely forbid it! — Berg, 12/88"[9]


In March 1989, TF issued a statement which stated that, in "early 1985" an urgent memorandum was sent to all of its members "reminding them that any such activities [adult-child sexual contact] are strictly forbidden within our group."[9] (emphasis in original). In January 2005, Claire Borowik, spokesperson for TFI, issued a statement that said, "Due to the fact that our current zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual interaction between adults and underage minors was not clearly stated in our literature published before 1986, we came to the realization that during a transitional stage of our movement, from 1978 until 1986, there were cases when some minors were subject to sexually inappropriate advances... This was corrected officially in 1986, when any contact between an adult and minor (any person under 21 years of age) was declared an excommunicable offense.[3]"


In December 1988, TF implemented a policy that forbade adult-child sexual contact on penalty of excommunication (expulsion from the movement). This policy was not retroactive. Members who file charges or pursue other legal action against those excommunicated for child abuse are required to leave TF or move to a different membership status until the matter is resolved, explained in the June 2003 Charter amendments[10] in the Rights of Children (pg. 22) and the Right of Redress (pg. 51) sections.


In the 1990s, numerous allegations of child sexual abuse were brought against TF around the world, in locations including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, Norway, Peru, Spain, Sweden, the UK, the USA, and Venezuela. TFI leadership has maintained that they did not sanction or condone the sexual abuse of children, and that government-led investigations and court cases did not find evidence of abuse in the 750 children they examined.[citation needed] An outline of some court cases, selected excerpts of some court rulings, newspaper editorials and other material that supports the group's positions can be found at [4]. Some court documents can be found in the Court Cases section below. The Children of God (COG), later known as the Family of Love, the Family, and now the Family International (TFI), is a new religious movement, widely referred to as a cult by the media and some government organizations, that started in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California, United States. ...


Karen Zerby, writing in a 1995 internal publication titled "An Answer to Him That Asketh Us", stated: "Because of the insight Dad [Berg] gave into the Scriptures which granted us a great deal of sexual freedom, without clearly stated explicit restrictions that prohibited all sexual activity between adults and minors, it resulted in actions that caused harm to some children. He must therefore bear responsibility for the harm. ... As the author of the Letters, he accepts the blame, but this doesn't mean that everyone else is completely blameless. Anyone who attempted to use the Law of Love to justify any unloving, selfish or hurtful behavior is responsible before God for it."


According to Eileen Barker's book An Introduction to New Religious Movements, the group has been acquitted of all charges of sexual abuse of children. Other researchers have concurred that there is no evidence of greater sexual activity amongst teenagers in TF than in society at large.[11] Eileen Barker is a professor in sociology and is an emeritus member of the London School of Economics, and a consultant to that institutions Centre for the Study of Human Rights at. ...


Transformation in the 1990s

In the early 1990s, TF members took advantage of the newly opened Eastern Europe (following the fall of communism) and expanded their evangelisation campaigns eastward, alongside many other religious groups. The production and dissemination of millions of pieces of Christian literature earned them the colloquial name "the poster people."


The early 1990s also saw the launch of what TF terms their "Consider the Poor" (CTP) ministries. Expanding their outreach beyond proselytization, members began providing material aid to the poor and disadvantaged. TF members became active in disaster relief efforts, the provision and distribution of humanitarian aid, musical benefit programs for refugees, visitation to hospitals, and similar activities.


The Family (1995–2003)

After Berg's death in October 1994, Karen Zerby, known in the group as Mama Maria, Queen Maria, Maria David or Maria Fontaine, took over leadership of the group. She then married her longtime partner, Steven Douglas Kelly, an American known in the group as Peter Amsterdam or King Peter (legally changed his name to Christopher Smith). He became her traveling representative due to Zerby's reclusive separation from most of her followers. For the spider, see Brown Recluse. ...


In February 1995, the group introduced the Love Charter [5], which defined the rights and responsibilities of Charter members and Homes. The Charter also includes the "Fundamental Family Rules", a summary of rules and guidelines from past TF publications which were still in effect with the enactment of the Charter.


The Charter established a new way of living within the organization, allowing members greater freedom to choose and follow their pursuits. The rights referred to in the Charter were what a member could expect to receive from the group and how members were to be treated by leadership and fellow members. The responsibilities referred to were what members were expected to give to the group if they wished to remain full-time members, including tithing ten percent of their income to World Services, giving three percent to the "Family Aid Fund," set up to support needy field situations, and one percent to regional "common pots", which are used for local projects, activities, and fellowships. The Charter also states that it or any part of it can be revoked at any time by World Services. The Charter, presently in its second edition, has been subsequently amended over the years according to changes within the group. A tithe (from Old English teogoþa tenth) is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a (usually) voluntary contribution or as a tax or levy, usually to support a Jewish or Christian religious organization. ...


In a 1995 court case, the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Alan Ward decided that the group, including some of its top leadership, had engaged in abusive sexual practices involving minors and that they had also engaged in severe corporal punishment and sequestration of minors. However, he concluded that TF had abandoned these practices and that they were a safe environment for children. Nevertheless, he did require that the group cease all corporal punishment of children in the United Kingdom and denounce any of Berg's writings that were "responsible for children in TF having been subjected to sexually inappropriate behaviour." The Right Honourable (abbreviated Rt Hon, The Rt Hon, The Right Hon, Right Hon) is an honorific prefix that is traditionally applied to certain people in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Anglophone Caribbean and in other Commonwealth Realms, and elsewhere. ... Sir Alan Hylton Ward (born 15 February 1938), styled The Rt Hon. ... Corporal punishment is forced pain intended to change a persons behaviour or to punish them. ...


Also in 1995, Karen Zerby introduced a new doctrine teaching all members as young as 12, but more fully from the age of 14, that Jesus wished to engage in a sexual relationship with them. This doctrine is known as the "Loving Jesus revelation". TF publications describe practicing this doctrine as optional to retaining membership, but stress that greater blessings and spiritual rewards are reserved for those who perform it regularly.


The Family International (2004–present)

In 2004, the movement's name was changed to The Family International. However, TFI homes were told that they could retain their former names so long as they do not conceal their affiliation with TFI.


In 2004, there were major internal changes in the group. Internal publications spoke of arresting a general trend towards a less dedicated lifestyle, and the need for recommitment to the group's mission of fervent proselytization. In the second half of 2004, a six-month renewal period was held to help members refocus their priorities. Membership was reorganized and new levels of membership were introduced. Members now fall into the following categories: Family Disciples (FD), Missionary Members (MM), Fellow Members (FM), Active Members (AM), and General Members (GM).


The Love Charter governs FDs, while the Missionary Member Statutes and Fellow Member Statutes were written for the governance of TFI's Missionary member and Fellow Member circles, respectively. FD homes are reviewed every six months against an annunciated set of criteria.


According to TFI statistics, at the beginning of 2005 there were 1,238 TFI homes and 10,202 members worldwide. Of those, 266 Homes and 4884 members were FD, 255 Homes and 1,769 members were MM, and 717 Homes and 3,549 members were FM. Statistics on AM and GM categories are currently unavailable.


Issues

Child abduction

Since the late 1970s, there have been scattered reports of children of former members being abducted and moved to other countries to prevent their parents, law enforcement authorities and child welfare agencies from finding them. An investigation into the whereabouts of four missing children, whose mother, Ruth Frouman [6], was expelled from the group in July 1987, eight months after being diagnosed with breast cancer, and not allowed to leave with her children, resulted in police raids [7] on ten TF homes in Buenos Aires, Argentina in September 1993.[8] Two of her children were returned to their father in May 1993. The other two abducted children were not reunited with their father and their other relatives until mid-1997. Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... Since the late 1970s, there have been steadily increasing reports of children of former members of the Children of God (also known as The Family and The Family International) being abducted and moved to other countries to prevent their parents, law enforcement authorities and child welfare agencies from finding them. ... Since the late 1970s, there have been steadily increasing reports of children of former members of the Children of God (also known as The Family and The Family International) being abducted and moved to other countries to prevent their parents, law enforcement authorities and child welfare agencies from finding them. ...


Although official TFI spokespersons have rarely made any public statements about specific child abduction cases involving its members, members of TFI claim that there is some evidence that the TFI's policies and practices regarding child abduction and child custody began to change in the mid-1990s. In February 1995, several months after the death of its founder, TFI introduced to its members a rule book known as the Love Charter or the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities. Section 60, Permanent Marital Separation Rules, states that couples with children must come to a mutual written agreement regarding the separation and the custody of the children and that obtaining a legal divorce and child custody order is optional.[9] This policy stated that it only applied to marital separations after February 1995. The June 2003 amendments state that if the parties involved cannot reach a mutual agreement and "opt to use the court system to settle the matter," they must "relinquish Charter membership until the matter is settled."[10] Child abduction is the abduction or kidnapping of a child (or baby) by an older person. ...


At least one TFI member, Peter Bevan Riddell, is known to have been convicted of crimes relating to child abduction. In 1984, the Australian government canceled Riddell's passport and he was deported from Japan to Australia, where he was convicted of committing forgery and making false statements to facilitate unlawful abduction. He later returned to Japan, where he continued working on behalf of David Berg and Karen Zerby in World Services.[10] Another TFI member, Brian Edward Pickus, has been wanted for decades on an Interpol warrant issued by the United States and the state of Hawaii for kidnapping, burglary and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.[11]


The second generation

Second-generation adults, adults who were born and/or raised in TFI, are known in the group as "SGAs" and have assumed many if not the majority of leadership positions in the organization. This includes chairmanships of international, regional, and national boards.


However, as with other high-commitment religious groups, many second-generation members have left to pursue secular careers or higher education, and raise their children in a drastically different environment than the one they were raised in. There is a great deal of anti-TFI sentiment amongst some of those who have left, including threats to legally pursue alleged physical and sexual abusers, whom, some allege, have been shielded from prosecution by the group's leadership. TFI has claimed that anecdotal evidence suggests most former second-generation members have chosen to remain publicly silent about their experiences in the group, and that this public silence suggests they have cordial relations with those still in it. Anecdotal evidence is an informal account of evidence in the form of an anecdote, or hearsay. ...


Many of these former Missionary Kids have returned to the country of their citizenship and have, thus, become Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Many have also kept in communication with each other. A notable example of this is their use of the site MovingOn.org,[12] established by a former second-generation member in 2001. Missionary Kids (or MKs) are the children of Missionary parents, and thus were born and/or raised abroad (that is, on the mission-field). They are a subgroup of Third Culture Kids (TCKs). ... Third Culture Kids (abbreviated TCKs or 3CKs or Global Nomad) refers to someone who [as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third...


Many who have remained in the group have been vocal in their defense of TFI's lifestyle, for example at MyConclusion.com,[13] a site established by second-generation members of TFI shortly after the January 2005 murder-suicide of Rick Rodriguez and Angela Smith.


Members of TFI are encouraged to maintain friendly relations with relatives who have left. However, they are also discouraged from associating with relatives that are considered enemies of TFI, and have in the past frequently appeared on television programs around the world to denounce their children and siblings who spoke against the group.


There are many former second generation members that have reported crimes to law enforcement agencies, testified against the group in court cases involving its members, and publicly expressed negative opinions about the group's members and practices. TFI uses the sociological/religious term apostates to describe these former members and has argued that their testimony is unreliable and less credible than that of current members. TFI has also argued that second generation members who alleged they were abused in the group are mentally unstable, demonically possessed, or highly paid by the anti-cult movement to lie about TFI. Some second generation former members resent the apostate label, as most of them did not make the choice to join the group, and thus feel they cannot rightly be called apostates. Apostasy (Greek απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is the formal renunciation of ones religion. ... Demonic possession, in supernatural belief systems, is a form of spiritual possession whereby certain malevolent extra-dimensional entities, demons, gain control over a mortal persons body, which is then used for an evil or destructive purpose. ...


Secrecy

TFI members are expected to respect the legal and civil authorities of countries in which they live, and members have typically cooperated with appointed authorities, even during police and social service raids of their communities in the early 1990s.[14] However, a controversial belief that is still taught and practiced by members of the group maintains that it is right to lie to non-members (or "unbelievers") in order to protect God's work. This belief is commonly referred to as "deceivers yet true"[12].


A consistent trait throughout the history of TFI has been their aversion to government oversight and extreme secrecy surrounding leadership and finances. World Services (WS), the central administrative wing of TFI, continues to operate in seclusion, with very few members of TFI knowing their whereabouts.


It is not uncommon for senior leaders to legally change their names. There have been allegations that members of TFI, including senior leaders, have used forged or fraudulently obtained passports and other identity documents from Australia, Canada, the United States and other countries. Senior leadership typically still attempt to keep their legal names from common circulation, although this has became more difficult through the second half of the 1990s, due to legal action in many countries. In particular, a major court case in England brought to light many formerly guarded names of senior members.


In TFI's publications, printed photographs of WS members were typically censored by means of a rudimentary pencil drawing over the person's face. It was not uncommon in TFI-produced art for Berg's head to be replaced with that of a lion.


Following the death of David Berg in 1994, members of TF and the public were finally allowed to see up-to-date photographs of the organization's late founder. For many members, this was the first time they had seen a photograph of his face. In recent years, Steven Kelly has carried pictures of Karen Zerby with him on travels to show members, since most had never seen a picture of their spiritual leader prior to this. Although, by now, most of the group's members have seen photographs or video footage of Karen Zerby and Steven Kelly, their identities and location are still heavily guarded by members working closest to them. Recent photographs or video footage of Karen Zerby, Steven Kelly, and most WS members were not readily available even to full-time members of TFI until March 2005, when several recent photographs were leaked online.[15] This marked the first time that recent photographs of Karen Zerby were made available to the public in nearly 30 years.


Finances

TFI finances are based on a system of tithing. Ten percent of all members' income is required to be donated to World Services. A further three percent is donated to regional offices for locally administered projects and a community lending program, and an additional one percent is given for regional literature publishing. Supplementary giving to TFI offices and leadership, beyond the typical 14% of income, is encouraged, and fairly common in practice. A tithe (from Old English teogoþa tenth) is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a (usually) voluntary contribution or as a tax or levy, usually to support a Jewish or Christian religious organization. ...


A study of how TFI channels funds around the world is interesting from a sociological angle since it depends largely on trust of carefully placed, non-senior members who typically manage bank accounts that contain organization funds in their own names. Despite this, very little graft has been experienced, and notable cases have involved insubstantial amounts of money.


Organization literature includes many discussions of impending global financial doom. As a result, TFI has gone to considerable lengths to avoid investments and actions that it deems unstable in the event of a financial crash. Typically, reserves are stored in Japanese yen, Swiss francs, or gold. TFI has consistently avoided property investments and stocks or bonds, believing them to be contrary to the scriptural requirements for Christian discipleship and their end time beliefs. // In the three Abrahamic Religions (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), the End Times are depicted as a time of tribulation that precede the predicted coming of a Messiah figure. ...


Criticism

The Children of God People were clearly warped and a sick in the head

The group has regularly been heavily criticized by the press and the anti-cult movement. In 1971, an organization called FREECOG was founded by concerned family members of followers, including deprogrammer Ted Patrick, to "free" them from their involvement in the group. It has been suggested that Opposition to cults and new religious movements be merged into this article or section. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Ted Patrick was considered the father of deprogramming. Patrick helped found the Citizens Freedom Foundation, which evolved into the Cult Awareness Network. ...


Frequently, critics of the movement cite the writings of David Berg, as well as incidents of alleged criminal behavior by individuals. TFI members, meanwhile, argue that the entirety of Berg's writings do not reflect the organization's fundamental beliefs (contained in the "Statement of Faith") or policies (contained in the Love Charter, published in 1995). Likewise, they reject the concept of the entire group being blamed for the wrongdoing of individuals, even when involving members at the highest levels of leadership.


The controversy over the movement has generated strong feelings in both current and former members. An example of the contrasting interpretations of TFI life can be seen in the accounts of second generation members: former members at MovingOn.org and (mostly) current members at MyConclusion.com.[13]


Plagiarized art

A TFI member, named Jan McRae (known as "Tamar") was exposed in 2003 for plagiarizing artwork which was then printed in TFI publications. A Flash animation slideshow, available at Family Art Corner demonstrates the striking similarities between the work of many artists, and subsequent works by Tamar. (A Spanish version is available; Part 1, Part 2.) Artists compared include Boris Vallejo, Rowena Morrill, Clyde Caldwell, Keith Parkinson, A. Andrew Gonzalez, Julie Bell, Alphonse Mucha, Michael Whelan, Luis Royo, Larry Elmore, Chris Achilleos, and unidentified artists. In many cases, her drawings were near-exact copies of the original works. Tamar never credited any of the original artists. Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Flash animation or Flash cartoon is an animated film which is created using Adobe Flash animation software and often distributed in the . ... Slideshow is a modern concatenation of Slide Show. A slideshow is a display of a series of chosen images, which is done for artistic or instructional purposes. ... Boris Vallejo, April 2005 Boris Vallejo (born January 8, 1941 in Lima, Peru) is an American painter. ... Artwork by Rowena Morrill depicting Isaac Asimov enthroned with symbols of his lifes work Rowena A. Morrill (born 1945) is well known in the world of science-fiction and fantasy illustration. ... Clyde Caldwell is an American artist. ... Keith Parkinson, Fantasy Artist Keith Parkinson (22 October 1958 - 26 October 2005) was a fantasy artist and illustrator. ... A. Andrew Gonzalez (October 13, 1963) is an award-winning figurative artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide. ... Julie Bell (born 1958) is a painter. ... Alfons Mucha (July 24, 1860 - July 14, 1939) was a Czech painter and decorative artist. ... At the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, August 2005 Michael Whelan (born June 29, 1950) is a multiple award winning American artist specializing in science fiction and fantasy illustration. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Larry Elmore is a fantasy artist; he was hired by TSR to do much of its artwork during the 1980s. ... Chris Achilleos (born 1947) is a painter and illustrator . ...


The plagiarism is substantially relevant to the group's spiritual beliefs. Among members of the cult, various "spirit helpers" and demons are believed to be real, conscious entities. Tamar had claimed that "the Lord" and various benevolent spiritual beings had provided her with inspiration and "spiritual visions" to help her create accurate depictions of these entities. She also claimed that at times, Jesus had taken control of her hand in order to draw "for" her. These claims were particularly significant, given that Tamar's descriptions and depictions of the entities had been based on the plagiarized artwork, down to minute details. “Fiend” redirects here. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ...


After the slideshow was released, the leader of the Children of God, Karen Zerby, acknowledged that Tamar copied the previous work of others. Tamar acknowledged the same and admitted wrongdoing.[16] Karen Zerby (aka Maria, Mama Maria, Queen Maria) (born in Tucson, Arizona) is the current leader of the Children of God, a new religious movement. ...


Programs, projects, and productions

TFI has numerous programs, local foundations, and projects through which it operates around the world. The largest of these are the "Family Care Foundation" (FCF), "Aurora Production AG", and "Activated Ministries". The lattermost of these is a California-based nonprofit organization which conducts missionary work. Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... A non-profit organization (often called non-profit org or simply non-profit or not-for-profit) can be seen as an organization that doesnt have a goal to make a profit. ... Two Mormon missionaries A missionary is traditionally defined as a propagator of religion who works to convert those outside that community; someone who proselytizes. ...


Leadership and management

The leadership of TFI is headed by:

  • Karen Elva Zerby
    • Spiritual leader of TFI
    • American
    • Legally changed her name to Katherine Rianna Smith, 4-Nov-1997
    • Aliases: Mama Maria, Maria Fontaine, Maria David, Maria Berg, Queen Maria
  • Steven Douglas Kelly
    • Head leader of The Family International
    • American
    • Legally changed his name to Christopher Smith
    • Aliases: Peter Amsterdam, King Peter

Under them, management is divided into World Services, Creations, and Family Care Foundation. Each region is managed by a team of Continental Officers (COs), each team typically having five to seven members. The management structures beneath the CO team are more variable and their members are changed frequently. Karen Elva Zerby (born in Camden, New Jersey on 31 July 1946) is the current leader of the Children of God, a new religious movement. ...


Statistics

According to the Children of God, there were 130 communes or "colonies" in 15 countries in 1972. In 1993, 7,000 of the 10,000 members were under 18 years of age. Recent statistics by TFI puts full-time and fellow members at just over 11,200 in over 100 countries (around 4,000 adult full-time members and 4,000 children). Some estimates have placed the total number of people that have passed through the group at 35,000. An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to promote a much higher degree of social interaction than other communities. ...


Notable members (past and present)

Professor Lee Cox is a writer and famous political figure in Australia. ... Jeremy Spencer (born 4 July 1948, in Hartlepool, County Durham, England), is a musician, best known as one of Fleetwood Macs first guitarists, joining the band in July 1967. ... Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. ... Example of a bottleneck, with fingerpicks and resonator guitar. ... This article is about the band. ...

Raised in the group as children

Christy Gibson (or Kitty) is a Dutch singer of mor lam and luk tung prayuk. ... A khene player in Isan Mor lam (Thai/Isan: หมอลำ) is an ancient Lao form of song in Laos and Isan (Northeastern Thailand). ... Luk thung (Thai ลูกทุ่ง), literally child of the fields, is the most popular form of Thai country music. ...

Raised in COG as children, left as teens or adults

Susan Cagle (born 1981 in Aruba) is a singer-songwriter, known best for her self-recorded album, The Subway Recordings. ... Columbia Records is the oldest brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888, and was the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. ... JYNXT are an alternative rock band from London, England. ... Rose Arianna McGowan (born September 5, 1973[1]) is an American actress best known for her role as Paige Matthews in The WB television series Charmed and the cult-classic The Doom Generation. ... This article is a biography of Howard Stern as an individual; for information regarding his radio show see The Howard Stern Show. ... Interview is a magazine founded by artist Andy Warhol and Gerard Malanga in 1969. ... River Jude Phoenix (August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993) was an Academy Award and Golden Globe- nominated American film actor. ... Joaquín Rafael Phoenix (pronounced IPA: ) (born October 28, 1974), formerly credited as Leaf Phoenix, is a two-time Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning Puerto Rican-born American actor. ... Summer Joy Phoenix (born 10 December 1978 in Winter Park, Florida) is an American actress and model. ... Rain Joan of Arc Phoenix, a. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Cover of an issue of Details magazine Details is an American monthly mens magazine published by Condé Nast Publications. ... Look up November in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... Ricky Rodriquez, aka Davidito (legal names: Richard Peter Rodriguez, Richard Peter Smith and David Moses Zerby) (January 25, 1975 - January 9, 2005) was a former member of the Children of God (COG), now known as The Family, when he committed a murder-suicide in 2005. ... A murder suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more other persons immediately before, or while killing himself. ... Heathcliff Andrew Ledger (born April 4, 1979) is an Academy Award-nominated Australian actor. ...

Media featuring the group

The 2007 Slamdance Film Festival took place in Park City, Utah from January 18 to January 27, 2007. ...

See also

This list include groups that have been referred to as cults in official government reports. ... Opposition to cults and new religious movements (NRMs) comes from several sources with diverse concerns. ... Panton Hill is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Love bombing is the deliberate show of affection or friendship by an individual or a group of people toward another individual. ... Third Culture Kids (abbreviated TCKs or 3CKs or Global Nomad) refers to someone who [as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third... Missionary Kids (or MKs) are the children of Missionary parents, and thus were born and/or raised abroad (that is, on the mission-field). They are a subgroup of Third Culture Kids (TCKs). ... Comet by naked-eye Orbits of Comet Kohoutek and Earth Comet Kohoutek, formally designated C/1973 E1, 1973 XII, and 1973f, was first sighted on March 7, 1973 by Czech astronomer Luboš Kohoutek. ... This page attempts to list time-specific historical predictions (or prophecy) by claimed prophets or leaders within various churches whose predictions failed to happen. ... Jeremy Spencer and the Children is an album by British blues rock musician Jeremy Spencer, who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1967-71. ... Flee is an album by British blues rock musician Jeremy Spencer, who was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1967-71, and The Jeremy Spencer Band (comprised of members of the Children of God new religious movement), with particularly strong input from Michael Fogarty. ... One of the leaders in the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, pastor an evangelist, James Michael Jim Palosaari, a second generation Finn, was born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and grew up on a goat farm near Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. ... This article is about the UK non-profit organization. ... A non-profit organization (abbreviated NPO, or non-profit or not-for-profit) is an organization whose primary objective is to support an issue or matter of private interest or public concern for non-commercial purposes, without concern for monetary profit. ...

References

  1. ^ xFamily.org Publications Database — contains the entire text of "Mo Letters"
  2. ^ The Devil Hates Sex! But God Loves It!, by David Berg, May, 1980
  3. ^ Liberty or Stumblingblock?, by Sara Kelley, November, 1986
  4. ^ Seeds
  5. ^ Chancellor, James (2000). "Life in The Family: An Oral History of the Children of God". University of Syracuse Press, Syracuse, NY. pp. 64–67
  6. ^ a b c The Origins of a Movement: From "The Children of God" to "The Family International", found on the official website
  7. ^ Bainbridge, William Sims (1996). "The Sociology of Religious Movements". Routledge. ISBN 0-415-91202-4. pg 223
  8. ^ Judgment of the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Ward - 1995 judgment resulting from major UK custody case involving TF
  9. ^ a b Child Abuse?! (March 1989) (Hosted by xfamily.org)
  10. ^ a b Charter Amendments, June 2003 (pdf) (Hosted by xfamily.org)
  11. ^ Vogt, Nancy R. "Correlates of Adolescent Sexual Activity in the Family", Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary.
  12. ^ MovingOn.org - Community site for former second generation members of TFI
  13. ^ a b MyConclusion.com - Opinions and responses by current second-generation members with positive viewpoints about TFI
  14. ^ Bainbridge, William Sims (2002). "The Endtime Family: Children of God". State University of New York Press, Albany, NY.
  15. ^ Photos of TFI leaders
  16. ^ Which Comes First: The Revelation or the Artwork?, xFamily.org
  17. ^ Howard Stern radio broadcast. Transcript
  18. ^ Interview with Interview magazine. Rose McGowan
  19. ^ Details magazine, November, 1991

Interview is a magazine founded by artist Andy Warhol and Gerard Malanga in 1969. ... Cover of an issue of Details magazine Details is an American monthly mens magazine published by Condé Nast Publications. ...

Further reading

Academic

  • Chancellor, James (2000). "Life in The Family: An Oral History of the Children of God". University of Syracuse Press, Syracuse, NY.
  • Bainbridge, William Sims (2002). "The Endtime Family: Children of God". State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-5264-6.
  • Bainbridge, William Sims (1996). "The Sociology of Religious Movements". Routledge. ISBN 0-415-91202-4.
  • Barker, Eileen. (1989). "New Religious Movements, A Practical Introduction". Her Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-340927-3.
  • Barrett, DV (1996). "Sects, Cults and Alternative Religions". Blandford A. Cassell. ISBN 0-7137-2567-2.
  • Boeri, Miriam Williams (2002). "Women After the Utopia: The Gendered Lives of Former Cult Members". Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 31(3), 323–360.
  • Kent, Stephen A. (1994). "Lustful prophet: A psychosexual historical study of the children of god's leader, David Berg." Cultic Studies Journal 11 (2), 135–188.
  • Kent, Stephen A. (1994). "Misattribution and social control in the Children of God." Journal of Religion and Health 33 (1), 29–43.
  • Kent, Stephen A. (2000). "Brainwashing and re-indoctrination programs in the Children of God/The Family." Cultic Studies Journal 17, 56–78.
  • Lewis, James R, and Melton, J. Gordon (eds). (1994). Sex, Slander, and Salvation: Investigating The Family/Children of God. Center for Academic Press, Stanford, CA.
  • Lynch, Dalva, and Paul Carden (1990). "Inside the 'Heavenly Elite': The Children of God Today.". Christian Research Journal, pp 16.
  • McFarland, Robert (1994). "The Children of God." The Journal of Psychohistory 4(21).
  • Melton, J. Gordon (2004). The Children of God, "The Family" (Studies in Contemporary Religion vol. 7). Signature Books. ISBN 1-56085-180-5.
  • Melton, J. Gordon and Robert L. Moore (1982). "The Cult Experience: Responding to the New Religious Pluralism". The Pilgrim Press, New York, USA.
  • Palmer, Susan J. (1994). "Heaven's Children: The Children of God's Second Generation" in Sex, Slander, and Salvation, op. cit.
  • Palmer, Susan J., and Charlotte Hardman eds. (1999). Children in New Religions (3rd ed.). Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2620-5.
  • Shepherd, Gary, and Lawrence Lilliston (1994). "Field Observations of Young People's Experience and Role in The Family" in Sex, Slander, and Salvation, op. cit.
  • Shepherd, Gary, and Shepherd, Gordon (August 2005). "Accommodation and Reformation in The Family/Children of God", Nova Religio (Journal of the University of California)
  • Shepherd, Gary and Shepherd, Gordon (Spring 2000)."The Moral Career of a New Religious Movement" The Oakland Journal.
  • Wilson, Bryan and Jamie Cresswell, eds. (1999). "New Religious Movements: Challenge and Response". Routledge, London, UK.
  • Wright, Stuart (1987). "Leaving Cults: The Dynamics of Defection". Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Washington, D.C., USA. ISBN 0-932566-06-5 (Contains interviews with ex-members of three groups, among others the Children of God)
  • Van Zandt, David (1991). "Living in the Children of God". Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Journalistic and popular

  • Category:Press - An archive of press coverage (hosted by xfamily.org)
  • Television Coverage - An archive of television coverage (hosted by xfamily.org)
  • Davis, Deborah (1984). "The Children of God: The Inside Story". Zondervan. ISBN 0-310-27840-6. (Davis is one of David Berg's daughters)
  • Rivenburg, Roy (1993), "A True Conversion?" Los Angeles Times, March 21, 1993, p. E-1
  • McManus, Una (1980). "Not for a Million Dollars". Impact Books. ISBN 0-914850-54-7.
  • Williams, Miriam (1999). "Heaven's Harlots: My Fifteen Years As a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God Cult". Quill. ISBN 0-688-17012-9.
  • "30 Members of Children of God arrested" (September 2, 1993). Washington Post, pp. A05
  • "The Family" and Final Harvest" (June 2, 1993). Washington Post, pp. A01
  • Goodstein, Laurie (2005), Murder and Suicide Reviving Claims of Child Abuse in Cult, New York Times, January 15 2005, pg. A-1
  • Ajemian, Sam (2005). "The Children of God Cult, aka The Family". ISBN 0-9774519-0-9.

September 2 is the 245th day of the year (246th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Court cases

  • Final Report on the Activities of the Children of God to Hon. Louis J. Lefkowitz, Attorney General of the State of New York — 1974-09-30
  • A review of judicial findings on TFI by TFI.
  • Krounapple v. Children of God, David Brandt Berg, et. al. 77CV-11-4706. Court of Common Pleas, Franklin County, Ohio, USA. 21 June, 1979
  • Judgment of the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Ward - 1995 judgment resulting from major custody case in the UK involving TFI.
  • Cult Justice - France
  • Brian Edward Pickus - Argentina Extradition Case — Court records and other information about the legal proceedings for the extadition of TFI member Brian Pickus from Argentina to the United States for the crimes of kidapping, burglary and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
  • Case 81/89 Cavazza, Juan C. and others, on Inf. Art.125, 139, 140, 142, Par.l, 142 bis, 210, 293 of the Code of Proceedings and art.3 of Law 23,592. Federal Court of San Isidro, 1 Sec.2 Office II, Reg. 443. Buenos Aires, Argentina — Court documents and other information related to legal proceedings in Argentina against 21 TFI members.
  • Tribunal de Menores de Merecdes - Causa 32.202 - Court documents and other information relating to a complaint filed in Argentina on behalf of two U.S. citizens seeking the return of their four abducted children.
  • Antecedentes de la Causa NDD en Argentina- Causa 32.202- menores Frouman E. y otros s/ Inf. Art. 10- Ley 10.067 by Hugo Gabutti. — review of the Frouman case and related legal action against the Children of God in Argentina by a former police detective assigned to investigate the organization and find abducted children. In Spanish.
  • Richard Peyer vs Family of Love et. al. 1CC00-0-063603 — Records of a civil suit against the Family of Love and other parties by a mother whose children were abducted in September 1980 and a man who was assaulted during the abduction. – Circuit Court (O`AHU - First Judicial Circuit), Honolulu, Hawaii. — 1980-11-26
  • Candy Ann Pickus et. al. vs Phyllis Gotwalt et. al. - 1CC00-0-072110 — Records of a civil suit against Phyllis Gotwalt, Brian Pickus and others allegedly responsible for the abduction of the Pickus children. – Circuit Court (O`AHU - First Judicial Circuit), Honolulu, Hawaii. — 1980-11-26
  • The Children of God/The Family Court Cases in Argentina, 1987–1995: A Documentary History
  • The Children of God/The Family Court Cases in France, 1991–2000

External links

  • The Family International official site.
  • xFamily - Wiki detailing TFI; includes large collections of multimedia, press coverage, and internal TFI publications.

Sites by current members

  • Deep Truths - Site about David Berg's writings, by a current member of TFI.
  • My Conclusion - In defense of TFI, by current second-generation members.

Sites by former members

  • ExFamily.org - Includes documentation, message boards, and an archive of over 4000 internal Family publications.
  • MovingOn - Community site for people who were born into the group, who left as teens or adults.
  • Make Straight Paths - Site by former TFI members, comparing TFI doctrine with the Bible
  • New Day News - Site for former TFI members, with message boards and photo collections.

Navigation


  Results from FactBites:
 
THE COVENANT OF GOD anc Children of Believers (7178 words)
God does not merely put the children of believers in a more advantageous position, so as to make it likelier that they will be saved; but He establishes His covenant with them, so as to be their God.
The history of the conversion of the penitent thief and of Saul is not the norm for elect children born and reared in the covenant.
God is the trust of the covenant child, as the rule, from his or her youth (v.5), for God has taught him or her from youth (v.
Children of God (2557 words)
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” We are naturally children of flesh, not children of God.
We have to be born of God to be children of God.
The inheritance that we have as children of God is the kingdom of God.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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