Children of God. Family of Love. The Family
Editor's note: Some names have been partially redacted to protect individual privacy or for other reasons at the discretion of the editors of xFamily.org.
- 1 INTRODUCTION.
- 2 THE EARLY DAYS.
- 3 KAREN ZERBY.
- 4 [David Berg]
- 4.1 BERG’S HAREM.
- 4.2 THE FIRST ORGY.
- 4.3 PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEOS MADE FOR BERG.
- 4.4 BERG A CHILD MOLESTER.
- 4.5 BERG A SELF CONFESSED ALCHOHILIC.
- 4.6 DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
- 4.7 JUDGE WARD’S OPINION OF BERG.
- 4.8 BERG A SELF DELUDED FALSE PROPHET.
- 4.9 THE MESSAGE OF JEREMIAH.
- 4.10 THE KOHOUTEK PROPHECY.
- 4.11 THE SOULWINNER-PIMP.
- 4.12 DOCTRINE OF CHRIST.
- 5 LOVING JESUS.
- 6 FLIRTY FISHING.
- 7 LONDON, ENGLAND.
- 8 TENERIFE.
- 9 VENEREAL DISEASES.
- 10 THE RNR PERIOD.
- 11 THE FAMILY WORSE THAN COG.
- 12 THE FIRING OF THE 300.
- 13 ESCORT SERVICES.
- 14 FFING STOPS BECAUSE OF AIDS.
- 15 COGS PROUD OF FFING.
- 16 THE CONDOM REVOLUTION.
- 17 IS FFING PROSTITUTION?
- 18 FREE SEX.
- 19 THE NAFM.
- 20 FREE SEX STILL GOING ON.
- 21 SEX SCHEDULES.
- 22 JESUS ON FREE SEX.
- 23 MARRIAGE IN THE COG.
- 24 CHILD-WITH-CHILD SEX.
- 25 STATISTICS.
- 26 "REVOLUTINARY SEX."
- 27 INCEST BETWEEN CHILDREN.
- 28 SEX SCHEDULES FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS.
- 29 THE FAMILY DENIES CHILD-WITH-CHILD SEX.
- 30 CHANGES IN TEEN SEX.
- 31 THE BOOK OF DAVIDITO.
- 32 THE FAMILY WORSE THAN THE COG.
- 33 THE FAMILY DENIES CHILD-ADULT SEX.
- 34 INCEST.
- 35 "THE DEVIL HATES SEX!"
- 36 JUDGE WARD’S FINDINGS.
- 37 CHILD ABUSE CASES IN THE "CHILDREN OF GOD" CULT.
- 38 SIX HUNDRED.
- 39 PORNOGRAPHIC CHILD VIDEOS.
- 40 CHANGES IN CHILD ADULT SEX POLICY.
- 41 APOLLOS LEAVES THE FAMILY.
- 42 THE COGS THROWN OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES.
- 43 THE 1987 MEMORANDUM.
- 44 AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF CHILDREN SEXUALLY ABUSED.
- 45 ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LEGAL WALL.
- 46 THE VICTOR PROGRAM.
- 47 FOCUS ON THE CHILDREN.
- 48 "UNPRESIDENTED PERSECUTION."
- 49 THE ENGLISH CHILD CUSTODY CASE.
- 49.1 FAMILY LIES.
- 49.2 BLACK OCTOBER.
- 49.3 PUBLIC RELATIONS.
- 49.4 COG’S LAWYER RESIGNS.
- 49.5 THE TRIAL.
- 49.6 THE EXPERTS.
- 49.7 THE JUDGE DECIDES AGAINST THE FAMILY.
- 49.8 THE CHARTER.
- 49.9 THE FINAL DECISION.
- 49.10 GRANDMOTHER PRAISED.
- 49.11 THE PRODIGAL SON.
- 49.12 JUDGE WARD WAS WRONG.
- 49.13 COG’S COSTLY VICTORY.
- 49.14 GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER.
- 50 MASTURBATING TO JESUS.
- 51 PETER’S PENIS.
- 52 WHY DON’T THEY JUST WALK AWAY.
- 53 ONGOING POLICY OF DECEPTION.
- 54 NO DESIRE TO CHANGE.
- 55 EXPOSING THE COG.
Newsletter #14 (CP120) Copyright © Jan. 1999 COUNTERCOG P.O. Box 40242, Pasadena, CA 91114 USA
TEL. (626) 794-9792 FAX (626) 794-1408 E-MAIL. CounterCOGI@compuserve.com
WEB PAGE. http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/countercogi
Warning: This newsletter contains sexually explicit language. Editorial rights reserved.
Permission granted to photocopy and distribute this pamphlet as is.
The following is an attempt to take a very long and complicated and confusing story and to filter it down to a simpler but detailed overview of some of the main points and events of the history, doctrine and controversies surrounding the Children of God cult aka The Family. This study is primarily intended for those who have little or no knowledge about this dangerous group and need to get to the main facts in a harry. It is also for those honest seekers who find themselves lost in the labyrinth of volumes upon volumes of endless COG writings, denials, lies, contradictions, deceptions, as well as never-ending organizational and doctrinal changes within the group. I want to hasten to point out that I am far from knowing everything there is to know about this secretive organization. In one sense it is easy to expose this group because of the extensive amount of writing they have done. Because however there is so much of it, it is hard to find the time to read it all. Furthermore a lot of what the group publishes is intended for group members only and it is not made available to the general public. Some of the more controversial of their literature they have burned and destroyed but copies have survived and are available and have been used in exposing them. I would be very grateful for any information from any source that would make this study more complete and more accurate.
THE EARLY DAYS.
I met the group in Berkley, California in 1969. One of my first experiences as a member was when a large number of us marched into a church and disturbed the service that was in progress. Many of us marched in holding long rods in our hands, dressed in red sackcloth robes, wearing yokes around our necks and ash smeared on our foreheads as a sign of mourning for the impending doom of the nation. Two members got around the back of the church platform and unfolded a big sign that said "Destruction Soon. - You can’t do you own thing." Another group member walked up to the preacher who was on the platform speaking and said something like: "Can I ask you a question? Why are you lying to these people?" Everybody was startled. In fact it was so shocking that a man in the congregation actually died! The police came and arrested some of us and few spent months in jail. For pictures of this event see "Book of Remembrance" II, (hereinafter BOR II), pp. 255, 245. We had the nerve to picket outside Sacramento City Hall to protest their arrest. The group had earlier staged similar events elsewhere in the US and also in Canada. In Montreal seven members were taken to jail for attempting to burn a coffin outside a Cathedral there. The people went berserk and started pushing and beating the intruders, who run to their trucks and drove their vehicles through the crowds like in a crazy movie. When they got out of town, thinking they are safe, they stopped to get a hamburger and as they were eating the police arrived and arrested them. They were put in jail for about a month and mistreated and their long hair was shaven. When group members prophesied destruction over Rex Humbard’s Cathedral of Tomorrow in Akron, Ohio, four or five people from the congregation grabbed a group member by the throat while he was still shouting, hitting and punching him and ripped his shirt and jacket off. One physically picked him up, carried him out and threw him into traffic on the highway and a semi track barely stopped, almost hitting the cult member. Again the police came and some of the group’s members were taken to jail. For a while they started wearing sackcloth at all times. Berg’s older son, Aaron, dressed in sackcloth, walked into a store and picked up some of the store’s merchandise and just walked out without paying! When questioned about it Aaron replied in old King James English, "The Lord hath need of it." Aaron also slept overnight inside a church in New York city. When he was discovered the next morning he asked in his typically obnoxious manner, "Is this God’s house?" and added, "I am one of His children." At Anaheim Christian Center in Orange County, California, David Berg, the group’s founder, interrupted the preaching, quoting a contradictory verse. They grabbed Berg and physically ushered him out. He said they strained and injured his ankle. They had similar problems when the group visited Shyuller’s Crystal cathedral. Shuller called Berg a publicity mad false prophet. I may not agree with everything Shuller says, but I totally agree with his above very accurate estimation of Berg. What got the Teens for Christ, as the group was called at the time, in trouble in Southern California, was picketing outside a junior high school. Some were arrested at a college as well. They consolidated the cases, were tried, were found guilty and were to appear in court for sentencing when they decided to leave the state in April 1969. One of the members had prophesied that earthquakes would destroy California. They had by now became notorious and the police was pulling their vans over and harassing those trouble making religious hippies. From California the group went to Tucson, Arizona but did not stay there very long. Some concerned people there gathered signatures making it difficult for the group to witness on a school campus. They then decided to divide into smaller teams that traveled across the US and as far as Canada and we already gave some of the accounts and highlights of some of what transpired during those travels. Few of them had remained in Tucson a little longer, but when gun shuts were fired at their window, they took that as a sign to leave. The groups reunited and started a large commune at a ranch in Texas in 1970 called TSC which stands for Texas Soul Clinic.
While Berg’s ex-hippies-turned-prophets were warning the country of impending doom and destruction, another saga was taking place within Berg’s trailer, called the Ark. He had gotten sexually involved with his then secretary and now leader of the cult, Karen Zerby. Berg’s wife Jane Miller aka Mother Eve, had gotten suspicious and had barged into the trailer twice and almost caught them in the act. They were finally caught and the showdown took place at a Sears parking lot where the ark was parked at the time. Jane Miller first confronted Karen Zerby who rather naively responded that Jane Miller should take up the subject with her husband Berg, because Zerby said, Berg is the boss, as if though Zerby had nothing to do with it and it was all up to him. Berg told his wife that they could become a threesome, something that became standard practice later on and it is still going on in the group today. Jane Miller went along with this arrangement for a short time but soon moved out of the trailer. She however remained with the group for sometime, later on even getting involved in flirty fishing which is the name the group has given to the practice of using sex with outsiders to bring them to Christ and into the cult. Berg’s affair with his secretary became public at a group meeting in Washington DC where Jane Miller was rebuked in front of everybody for failing Berg and the Lord! Miller crying fell in front of Berg begging him and saying: "Have mercy on me David." Both her sons, Aaron and Jonathan aka Hosea, prophesied against their own mother.
Zerby was just one of the many women in the group that Berg had sexual relations with. He could basically have sex with any female member and he did with many. Some of the prettiest female members of the cult, he kept on adding to his personal semi-permanent harem.
THE FIRST ORGY.
In 1971, unknown to the rank and file majority of the group, there took place a major orgy in a hotel in Dallas, Texas. During this event Berg took the wife of one of the participants, Rachel, and made her one of his own wives. The couple already had a son together. Berg fathered a son with another of his wives-mistresses, then 17 year old Martha. She later was passed on to another cult member. Berg has said he is not selfish with his wives and would happily give them to others. Not all were willing to submit to his sexual advances. A prior roommate of Zerby, before Zerby moved in with Berg, a then seventeen year old member was hanging some clothes on a clothesline when Berg came up to her and started touching her breasts. She was absolutely shocked and horrified as she has no idea that the godly man she thought she had been following was such a dirty old man. He was slapped in the face by one of his daughters-in-law for making a pass at her, and for this she was isolated and detained in a trailer box, until she escaped the camp with her baby.
PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEOS MADE FOR BERG.
Videos were made of cult women and children dancing naked for the sexual pleasure of David Berg. There were detailed instructions by him as to how those videos were to be made. Women would rub the area near their vagina as per what Berg said he liked to see them do. There is a video of a women masturbating to him. Berg had asked her to make love to him on the video and she did. Zerby would masturbate him while Berg was watching these adult cult women and little girls dancing for him. He complained once that the rhythm of the dancing on the videos was too slow and he couldn’t synchronize with it while masturbating. (The Judgment of Right Honorable Lord Justice Alan Ward, Family Division, High Court of Justice, London, England [Oct. 19, 1995], [hereinafter "Judgment"], p. 57). Berg evidently encouraged the cult women performing oral sex on him to swallow his semen. He wrote, "It’s only protein, vitamins and salt; it’s nourishing! It’s also a form of total union if you swallow the semen, which actually becomes part of your flesh, and that is almost the most marvelous feeling of all!" ("Sex Questions and Answers!" True Komix 816:2). A woman’s stomach is not the place for man’s semen and I don’t believe it was ever intended as nourishment or as a form of union. Just the thought of it makes me want to throw up. In another comic Zerby is shown performing oral sex on a man she was flirty fishing in England and she is telling him: "It’s only protein, vitamins and salt, Brian! It won’t hurt me a bit, it’s nourishing!" (CounterCOG General Package, exhibit #92).
BERG A CHILD MOLESTER.
There are quotes from publications that came out in the early eighties that clearly show Berg’s involvement in sexual activity with a little girl named Davida. He was involved in incestuous sexual activity with he granddaughter Joyanne, his daughter Deborah’s daughter and went as far as "marrying" another granddaughter of his, Merry Berg, his son Aaron’s daughter!
BERG A SELF CONFESSED ALCHOHILIC.
Berg was a self confessed alcoholic and he would often prophecy drunk while Zerby was tape-recording every word that came out of his mouth, Berg constantly asking for more wine. He said that alcoholism ran in his family. Merry Berg who admired her grandfather until she actually moved in with him and saw what Berg was really like, testifying during the English court case said: "I began to realize grandfather was a hypocrite....He would write one thing one day the opposite the next day....He was very contradictory. He was a chronic alcoholic. It was very confusing. When he was sick he would drink and call different women in for sexual relations or sexual comfort. It was very difficult to respect this man when he was so drunk. I now look back at his writings as the ravings of a drunk madman." (Judgment p. 131). In an earlier interview conducted by professor Steve Kent in 1992 Merry Berg had touched upon some of the same things. She became disillusioned and disappointed with Berg’s behavior and what he was really like, seeing her alcoholic grandfather "gussling down God knows how much sherry every night." She had serious doubts about his teachings as Berg was "contradicting himself and his letters all the time." ("Brainwashing and Re-indoctrination Programs in the Children of God/The Family" [hereinafter "Brainwashing"], Deana Hall and Stephen A. Kent [Jan. 5, 1998]). A short time before I left in 1979 everybody in the group was asked to pray and fast for three days for Berg because he almost died from excessive drinking. Berg said he had been drinking lots of sherry to kill an infection he had in his throat that he believed he got from performing oral sex on cult leader Timothy Concerned’s wife. Berg performed oral sex on Timothy Concerned as well. He claimed that spirits in female form would appear to him out of thin air and have sex with him.
DOCTRINE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
The group’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit is particularly heretical and downright blasphemous. Berg claims he had sexual intercourse with the Holy Spirit! Berg’s Holy Spirit is a big breasted sex queen, the wife of God the Father and the mother of Jesus Christ.
JUDGE WARD’S OPINION OF BERG.
Judge Ward had this to say about Berg: "I am completely satisfied that he was obsessed with sex and that he became a perverted man who recklessly corrupted his flock and did many of them serious damage." (Judgment p. 117).
BERG A SELF DELUDED FALSE PROPHET.
Both Berg’s parents were preachers and his grandfather from his mother’s side was a founding member of a Christian denomination. They would be horrified to see what Berg degenerated into. Berg on the other hand, believed that he was the greatest man that ever lived upon earth after only Jesus Christ. He appropriated to himself prophecies found in the Old Testament books of Hosea and Ezekiel. These prophecies talk about a David that was to come, and David Berg believed he was that David. His very deceived followers believe to this day that Berg’s words are more important than the Bible if they differ. His writings are full of heretical doctrines, false prophecies and one constant theme throughout it all is sex. To give a couple examples of the flavor of some of his writings, he wrote a pamphlet called "The Ready Folks" showing a bunch of man in their underwear with erect penises smiling invitingly at some horrified looking older women. A pamphlet on communion is titled "Come-Union" and there is a picture of an orgy in progress at the last page of the pamphlet.
THE MESSAGE OF JEREMIAH.
This perverted poedophile and drunk believed that God had, of all people, given him the message of Jeremiah for America today. Jeremiah is an Old Testament true prophet of God who predicted doom against Israel. As we said earlier, Berg’s followers, dressed in sackcloth like Jeremiah of old, were going to churches and other public places, warning of the impending destruction of America. Berg’s life, however, was so out of order, especially as far as what you would expect the conduct of a real godly man to be, that had Jeremiah returned back from the dead, Berg would most probably be the first to be denounced and rebuked for the horrible way he conducted his life, twisting scriptures and misleading and corrupting his followers.
THE KOHOUTEK PROPHECY.
Most people I am sure, thought of us sackcloth prophets as religious weirdoes, but Berg’s warnings were taken very seriously by us his followers. I can still remember vividly one publication with a drawing on the cover page depicting huge floods of water rushing down and drowned sheep floating on the surface of the water. The warning was clear. Escape before it is too late. In 1973 Berg predicted that America would be destroyed by Jan. 31, 1974. I was born and raised in Greece and there is a large Greek section in New York city called Astoria and I frantically tried to warn them to get out of America. It all seems so comical now. Of Berg’s many desperate predictions, not one came true. His major false prophecy was that he would die in 1989 and that Jesus Christ would return in 1993. Berg died in 1994.
Berg inherited from his parents a real dedication for witnessing and the COG’s always boast about their soul winning statistics. It is the group’s primary job for which they spend most of their time. There is enough truth preached in their street evangelism or enough Bible verses are shared or found in the flyers they distribute to the public, that if one hears the salvation message and understands it and opens his or her heart, could receive everlasting life through appropriating the death of Christ as payment for their sins, as taught in the Bible. Berg however has created an army of converts who after their salvation through Christ were immersed into a life of sin that many of them had not experienced even before their conversion to Christianity.
DOCTRINE OF CHRIST.
Berg’s Christology is extremely heretical. Berg’s and COG’s Jesus is a playboy who had sex with sisters Mary and Martha in the Gospels, according to a vision Berg claims he had! This cult’s Jesus gives the group’s 16 year old teens encouragement to get involved in free sex and practice oral sex.
According to a new doctrine that came out in 1995-6 called "Loving Jesus," the Family’s Jesus seeks to get involved sexually with the members of the group. He asks the boys starting at age 14 to masturbate to Him, and to imagine they have vaginas and to fantasize that Jesus is penetrating their imaginary vaginas with His penis. I don’t understand why all these thousands of teenagers have not already been rescued by the authorities and have not been taken away from this very insane cult.
Berg shocked everybody when his female followers started offering sex to outsiders to convert them to Christianity. Many of the group’s female members were even working as prostitutes in escort services. Sometime during their time together, they would ask these Johns to pray and ask Jesus in their heart. These people were asking forgiveness for their sins while committing one of the major sins they are supposed to be asking forgiveness for, namely adultery, or fornication or whoremongering. More than 100,000 people, according to the group’s statistics, have prayed the sinners prayer under such circumstances. Even the average non-Christian would absolutely laugh and ridicule even the thought that someone calling himself or herself a Christian missionary could possibly be doing such a thing. It’s all just so insane. It is hard to imagine how someone can become so perverted and deluded in his thinking to conclude that he can promote such a practice. I can’t find the words to express myself. The Bible is so very clear on the subject of moral purity and faithfulness to ones own husband and wife.
FFing which is short for flirty fishing, which means having sex with outsiders to make them converts, originated in London in 1973. Later on ffing became a means of making money as well. It was furthermore used as a way to win friends in high places for the purpose of protection against the authorities who have tried to expel them country after country. As I do in the rest of this study and to avoid using dirty language, I will initial some of the words in the following quotes from Berg to Karen Zerby during their days in London when they were working on seducing a man there. "F... the daylights out of him....I as good as told you to go over there and grab his d... out of his pants and massage him" ("The Hooker," Berg 505:16). "I told you to go over there and take his peter out of his pants and do it right there." (Berg 505:18). This should give everybody a very clear picture of the kind of man Berg was.
In 1974 Berg and Zerby went to Tenerife, Canary Islands. There Berg was sending Zerby to have sex with the waiters at the hotel where they were staying and this resulted in her getting pregnant. We read the following entry under the main events of 1974. "Mar. 13-Fly to Tenerife! Maria’s Hotel FFing booms!-137 times w/ 18 men!-Writes it! May-Maria is pregnant!" (BOR II, p. 385). The baby’s name that was born is Davidito. We will say more about Davidito later. In 1977 Berg had to come before a judge in Tenerife because of the scandal the group was causing, and soon thereafter he left the island. There is a famous 1977 picture of Berg surrounded by his harem of cult prostitutes in Tenerife.
To get an idea of the insanity of this couple, Berg was pressuring Zerby to have sex with her doctor even though she had gotten an infection. There has been an epidemic of venereal diseases and herpes in the group because of all the sex. When VD started becoming a bigger problem Berg still refused to stop the practice. In a letter called "Afflictions" in 1976 he said that getting VD was part of the price the cult women had to pay to save the souls of those they were having sex with. In this same publication Berg theorized that Jesus may had gotten VD from Mary Magdalene.
THE RNR PERIOD.
RNR stands for "Re-organization Nationalization Revolution!" which is the title of a publication that came out in Jan. 1978. The COGs lie that at this time the Children of God was dissolved and disbanded as a group and that a new group was formed called the Family of Love or the Family for short. Nothing of the sort happened and nothing could be further from the truth. Judge Ward very correctly observed: "There has been much semantic posturing, much muddying the waters, and much waste of time over the issue of whether or not the Children of God still exists. These diversionary tactics were deployed to obfuscate the real issue which is whether or not the current leadership are responsible for what happened during the period up to the RNR....I am totally satisfied that there was a continuous line of top leadership with David Berg and Maria [Zerby] at the helm regulating the affairs of the group which despite changes of name and shape, remained one and the same. The Mo letters relevant in the early days of the Children of God remained as relevant after the RNR and they continue to be relevant today. The name may have changed; various echelons of the leadership chain may have altered; but the command remained with Berg, Maria, and his inner cabinet. I find that it was a disingenuous attempt to distance them from their responsibility both for what is and for what was." (Judgment p. 14).
THE FAMILY WORSE THAN COG.
Berg was trying to get away from the Children of God name because of its bad reputation. The fact of the matter is that the Family stage of the cult’s history is much worse than the COG stage of the cult’s history. It was after the RNR that the group really got into ffing, as well as free sex. The RNR started in the early part of 1978. It was at the end of the same year of 1978, that ESing or escorting, which means working in escort services, started. It was during the Family period of the cult that adult-child sex and incest became commonplace. When I left the group in 1979 things were definitely getting worse and not better as new "freedoms" were surfacing. The truth is that during the Family years they did things that were much worse or were done on a much larger scale than during the COG period. During the Family stage of their history, they tried to blame the COG for things that the group was doing still and at a larger scale. It is hard to keep up with all the deception the COGs put out by the barrelfull, and one such attempt at deception is their claim that during the RNR the COG disbanded.
THE FIRING OF THE 300.
All that took place at the RNR is that 300 leaders were fired and a smaller number of new leaders eventually took their place. Judge Ward correctly identified the main reason for the firing of the 300, stating that the failure of the leadership to fully implement ffing led to the RNR. (Judgment p. 44). Berg fired the 300 simply because they were too slow in implementing cultwide prostitution.
In Nov. 19, 1978 the Johnstown tragedy took place. At this time the group was ordered by Berg to go underground and pretend and lie that they have disbanded. At this time also, female cult members were told by Berg to start working in escort services. The idea was that escort services provided more anonymity and a better and safer cover than other more open and more public places. The group owned its own escort service in Australia and probably elsewhere as well, and it was not unusual for cult women to be doing escort work to raise money to go to foreign fields as missionaries to preach the gospel. There were also ff homes, which meant that the main and predominant activity of that home was that the female members were ffing on a more or less full time basis.
FFING STOPS BECAUSE OF AIDS.
In 1987 ffing was stopped because a female Family member died of AIDs related pneumonia. This death of a member from AIDs scared Berg enough to stop prostitution. That a cult member got AIDS should come as no surprise at all, as by 1988 the group had committed close to a quarter of a million acts of prostitution, not even counting sex within the group itself! You can see these statistics in graphs and charts proudly displayed in the cult’s publications!
COGS PROUD OF FFING.
The COGs are extremely proud of the wholesale prostitution that they practiced in the past and they are even publishing testimonials of how great it all was. "Just because we stopped, it does not mean it was bad" they say. They have made it very clear that the reason they do not practice sex with outsiders is not because they don’t believe in ffing any more. Judge Ward concluded the women in the group would ff again, see nothing wrong or immoral with it and are offended when we call it prostitution. (Judgment p. 46). Likewise men are ready to "lay down their wives" for others. Judge Ward said that he finds the fervor of these fiercely proclaimed convictions disturbing. (Judgment p. 47).
THE CONDOM REVOLUTION.
In 1987 Berg instituted what is called the "Condom Revolution." Though wholesale prostitution was stopping, members were told they could and should still have sex with important outsider "friends," generals, lawyers and other protectors or rich financial supporters of the group. They had to use a condom however in such cases of sexual involvement with outsiders, thus the term "Condom Revolution!" A former member has written about the days before she left the group in the Philippines when it was her job to prepare the love rooms, make sure there was Kleenex paper, lubricants etc., and the rooms were cleaned up, in preparation for the regular visits from those "friends" the cult was still servicing sexually after 1987. Though the number of outsiders they were having sex with decreased dramatically, the practice of using sex with outsiders continued after 1987. COG apologist Milikan has made it known that the cult provided sexual services to one of their lawyers in Australia in the early nineties, so we know that this practice was still going on then. The power of sex exercised by pretty cult women over third world top man and leaders of nations provided the group with not only cash but much needed protection as country after country resented their presence and tried to get rid of them. If the truth was known, it is very possible that a big part of the reason the COGs have not ended up in prisons in large numbers is because of the protection they have received from influential men they were and may still be giving sex to.
IS FFING PROSTITUTION?
I said earlier that the COGs don’t like us to call ffing prostitution. They recently made the following statement: "Courts in various countries (Italy, England, Spain, Argentina and Peru) have...concluded that Flirty Fishing was not a form of prostitution, since its motivation was to lead others to the love of God. Court documents are available upon request." ("Response to CBS Public Eye," [hereinafter "Response to CBS"], [July 22, 1998], p. 1). I don’t know about the other countries as I have not seen these documents, but they mention England in the above quote. If they are referring to Judge Ward’s child custody case, I want to correct them that Judge Ward did define ffing as prostitution, since he reasoned they were using it as a means of financial support. (See Judgment p. 45). Berg pushed his prostitutes to get paid for sex. They worked in escort services and as we said, they even owned at least one escort service that I know of. Isn’t working for an escort service and even owning one, involvement in prostitution? I am not familiar as to the exact details of how escort services work, but isn’t getting a call from the escort service you are working for, being told there is a customer and giving you the customer’s phone number, and then talking to the customer on the phone, and maybe even discussing and agreeing on the price and then meeting at a hotel and having sex and then getting paid, prostitution? If that is not prostitution, I don’t know what is. A former-ffer was giving me some of the statistics of the kind of money that was coming into one of the ff homes in Spain and if you add up the number of ffers with the average of how much each women was bringing nightly, it added up to quite a large figure. The group made a lot of money during those days, living conformably in some of the expensive suburbs of various cities. We have seen documents showing COGs involved in seven or even eight figure stock transaction. If these documents are not fake, I can see no other way that they could amass such amounts except from prostitution. I have even heard that some COG members were sent to school to study the art of investing in high finance. Prostitution is a very lucrative business and the group was basically a big international brothel, no matter how much they try to spiritualize and Christianize it, and how hard they refuse to see it for what it was. The way the COGs themselves define ffing in their internal publications is as follows: They believe there is a "system" or worldly way of looking at prostitution, and there is their "revolutionary" way of looking at prostitution. In commenting, for example, about a story of a real prostitute, the COGs were trying to make a distinction between the system way this prostitute was looking at herself as a prostitute, as opposed to the group’s enlightened way of looking at prostitution. I think in God’s eyes what they do is worse than what other prostitutes do, since the COGs claim to know the Bible so well, and since they claim they are so close to God. This issue of whether or not ffing is prostitution ultimately goes back to Berg’s so-called "law of love." If you fornicate, or commit adultery, incest or in this case an act of prostitution and you supposedly do it in love, it is not a sin or adultery or fornication or prostitution according to Berg’s so called "law of love". The last time I read my Bible that is not what it says. Was ffing a terribly misguided evangelistic technique? Was ffing prostitution? I believe it was both of the above.
During the RNR at the beginning of 1978, Berg pushed his followers to start having free sex within the group on a much larger scale than it was practiced before. Free sex within the group had been going on amongst the leadership from almost the very beginning and more people got involved in free sex during 1974, but in 1978 it started happening on a wholesale basis. I was there and can speak from personal experience. Berg wrote in Feb. 1978: "No permission needed for sex!...No servants [leaders] need to be consulted. Fire away! Praise God! Pregnancies from sex or ffing need no longer be considered as obligations to marry as before. Some have not felt free to help each other [sexually] for fear it might require marriage if pregnancy occurs. That’s optional." (Berg 663:XI, pars 1, 2).
The early eighties is the period of time when a lots of sex was taking place within the group among its members, including large scale orgies, during big gatherings called NAFMs (National Area Fellowship Meetings). I wasn’t in the group at this time, but one ex-member told me that they would sometimes rent a big hall and it would be a big free for all. Some of these sex parties were videotaped to be sent to Berg and to the rest of the group and few of them have made their way out of the group and have been used to expose the cult.
FREE SEX STILL GOING ON.
They continue and are proud of free sex within the group. "Isn’t it better for the single members to get the sex they need from their own sisters in Christ rather than going out to prostitutes?" is a paraphrase of the way they argued in favor of free sex in the group in a newspaper article in the early nineties. They might as well had said, "We got prostitutes of our own to take care of them." When one of their apologists suggested that maybe they should stop practicing free sex, Berg became extremely upset and vehemently declared that he would rather die that deny the "law of love." Again the so-called "law of love" is the theological justification that Berg cooked up to legitimize his and his group’s sexual sins, which again, allows that you are free to do anything if it is supposedly motivated by love including having sex with somebody else’s wife or husband, as well as sex with children, including your own son or daughter. As pointed out before, all this sex within the group plus all the prostitution led to a lot of venereal diseases including herpes. In 1983 because of extensive problems with VD they restricted sex to only between members of the same commune. In 1995, which by the way, is a year during which the Family was trying hard to show itself as becoming more conservative in its sexual practices, the rule of no sex between members of different communes was done away with.
Sex schedules were organized by the group at times. Everybody turned in the names of those that he or she would like to have sex with and one of the names was usually chosen.
JESUS ON FREE SEX.
After Berg’s death in 1994, the group is practically lead by prophecies from "Jesus." This Jesus they think they are hearing from reinforced recently the practice of sex between singles. In one of these messages Jesus says: "Often I allow you singles to experience My love in the bed of love with another and I make it a glorious, wonderful, beautiful, exhilarating, thrilling experience! But that doesn’t mean that I intend for it to be a permanent relationship. (GN 3:181). In an April 1998 publication on marriage titled "The Beauties, Promises, and Rewards of Married Love!" the group’s Jesus is encouraging the single members to pray for the married couples so that the married couples will have the spiritual strength to have sex with the single members. "Jesus" says: "As their marriages are deepened, they will find more strength to reach out to others in love – to you, the single brothers or sisters in the Home, and to bring you into their family circle, into their friendships and even into their beds." (Zerby 3194:40). Again, Jesus says to newlyweds in the cult: "I want my young married couples to share." (GN 8:61). The word share here is cogese for sex. Jesus: "My desire is that you young couples live the Law of Love sexually as soon as you are able." (GN 8:22). Jesus: "I will lead couples to know when and with whom to share according to My will....This variety in fellowship with others will strengthen the marriage." (GN 8:39). This COG publication says that if they have sex with others their "marriage itself will be strengthened which is one of the wonderful fruits and purposes for sharing [having sex] in the first place." (GN 8:59). If they don’t share with others sexually their own marriage will be weakened as a result of their selfishness, jealousy, possessiveness, laziness and doubting. (GN 8:58). Jesus says that sexual sharing of married couples with others "can be the secret to reviving [their] marriage." (GN 799, Zerby 3194:91).
MARRIAGE IN THE COG.
This group is the greatest destroyer of the regular one-husband one-wife marriage institution. Many families in the so-called Family have been broken up, one of them often sent to some unknown secret location clear around the world never to be seen and with little or no contact for years. It is common for children not to have seen one or both of their parents for extended periods of time.
The regular twosome marriages sometimes transfers into a threesome of usually one husband and two wives or in some cases of one wife and two husbands. Married members who provide sex to singles are usually called givers and a single member having sex with a married person is usually called a receiver. If strong emotional relationships develop out of these adulterous relationships between these so-called givers and receivers, the receiver may become part of their marriage. It is not always recommended that the giver encourages the "in love" feelings of the receiver and thus get into a more permanent arrangement with the receiver. The reason given is that "oftentimes the Lord is trying to use the tests of loneliness or desire that the receiver feels to bring him or her into a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Lord as their Husband and Lover." (GN 3:186). I must explain that this is talking about sexual relationship with Jesus Christ. Marriage arrangements are rather temporary and fluid and soon one of the givers may leave the threesome and join up with another receiver or start another threesome by attaching himself or herself to a twosome. We can see in the Old Testament cases of men having more than one wife but a husband to leave any one of his wives was something the Bible clearly states that God hated.
Once when Berg was asked, he said that he not only likes threesomes but he also likes foursome and fivesomes. What Berg really believed and wanted the Family to ultimately move into, was a situation where everybody is married to everybody, which in reality means no one is married to anybody. The COG has been moving since its beginning towards the direction of total elimination and a complete doing away of the marriage union as we know it and its replacement by an arrangement where everybody is committing fornication and adultery on an ongoing basis, very serious sins according to the Bible, no matter what their "other Jesus" is telling them.
Because it is not easy to follow all the many confusing developments and changes in the COG, and to help make it simpler for the reader who is unfamiliar with the group’s history, I decided to write about sex in the group as it relates to adults with adults first. We will now turn our attention to child and teen sex in the Family.
I think it would be good to first present some interesting statistics about the number of children and teenagers in the group. Many children were born as a result of the free sex and orgy days as well as from prostitution. These then children make up today the majority of the membership of the cult. In 1992 2/3 of the group were children. In 1993 fifty present of the group members were under 15 years old. In or around 1993 out of 10.000 members six to seven thousand were under 18. Since the time they can remember these children have been encouraged to be free to explore each other’s bodies and think of sex as just another function or routine of daily living not unlike sleeping or walking or having a meal.
This is the title of a pamphlet Berg published as far back as 1973 where we read: "I believe that sexual interplay particularly amongst small children should not be discouraged." (Berg 258:40). "They should also not be prohibited from mutual self-examination, experimentation or interplay when playing or sleeping together where legally possible." (Berg 258:59). "But it must be made very clear to your children that such sexual freedom must never be indulged in or practiced openly in the presence of visitors, strangers or uninitiated relatives." (Berg 258:60). One such incident did actually take place. Writing about a young former-member who testified at the trial Judge Ward said: "At the age of 4 or 5, she visited her grandparents who are not members of The Family. She recalled her grandmother crying because she had seen KJ and her brother under the table engaged in...childish explorations and fumbling. (Judgment p. 75). Berg has also made the following comment about the kids growing up in the group: "They’ve been experimenting with sex ever since they were born. (Berg #1398 [Daily Bread 1], p. 593). Also: "Sex is something they’ve known and enjoyed all their lives....ever since they can remember." (Berg #1682, [Daily Bread 2], p. 174). KJ mentioned above "had her first full sexual intercourse at the age of about 7 with a boy of about 12....She subsequently had full sexual intercourse with a number of boys and engaged in ‘foreplay or masturbation’ with many others." (Judgment p. 75). The Book of Davidito, (hereinafter "BOD") about which we will talk a lot more later, contains pictures of little Davidito involved in sexual activity with one or more little girls about his age. (BOD, pp. 447, 459). Also see drawing on page 753. On page 457 we read that Sara "spotted [3 years and 2 months old Davidito and younger Davida, Sara’s daughter]....banging away on each other!" Berg wanted his granddaughter MB to become pregnant by Davidito three years younger than her. Davidito at the time was less than 12 years old. MB had her first full sexual intercourse with Davidito. MB and Davidito were having regular sex dates. (Judgment p. 74). MB said: "Davidito was quite experienced in sexual matters." (Judgment p. 73). Judge Ward mentions "the sexual activity of Reuben aged 6 and another child Jonas both having their little lovers among other little sisters." (Judgment p. 89).
INCEST BETWEEN CHILDREN.
The following quote introduces us to incest among children. Seek and Secundus, COG leaders in Mexico, in "The Blessings of Older Children" reported that their son J., 9 years of age, and their daughters S1 8 and S2 6, have "quite a little love triangle going....One night I knew S1 was looking forward to being with J., but he was with S2. I asked S1 about it and she said that S2 was a little discouraged and J. was trying to cheer her up before he came to bed with her. (, as quoted in Judgment p. 66). Another such example of incestuous sexual activity between brother and sister in the group can be found in Sylvia Padilla’s manuscript of her life in the COG where she tells us of this little girl who was angry at her brother and because of that was refusing to perform oral sex on her own brother.
SEX SCHEDULES FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS.
Just like there were sex schedules for adults, there were sex schedules for children and teenagers. The children and teens would make a list of who they wanted to have sexual activity with and one of the names would usually be chosen. In "Heavenly City School Training Seminar Notes" we read the following: "We have a sharing plan....We patterned it after the adult sharing plan....Some of the older girls took two boys!...A girl asked if you could get pregnant from sucking and swallowing it or pregnant without the man coming in." (As quoted in "Judgment," pp. 69, 70).
THE FAMILY DENIES CHILD-WITH-CHILD SEX.
During the English court case and in response to the allegation that the group had encouraged sexual activity between children, the Family denied that they had done so. The following sworn statement by a COG leader on the subject of child-with-child sexual activity is a typical example of the way the COGs lie on these matters. "Each home had to be judged according to its own circumstances at that time and hence any such activity which might have occurred in isolated circumstances were local incidents which reflected neither the official policy not the general practice of The Family with regard to sexuality." (Judgment p. 62). Child-with-child and teenage sexual activity was widespread in the group according to Judge Ward. (Judgment p. 73). He said: "I am satisfied than many children and teenagers engaged in sexual activity with other children and teenagers." (Judgment p. 282).
CHANGES IN TEEN SEX.
In 1985 a major change took place regarding sex between teenagers 14 and under. The new rule was that there would be no penetration, meaning no full sex, for semenating or menstruating teens under 15. In "When Are Teens ‘Adults’?" written in 9/85 and under "Dad’s Teen Rules!" Sara Davidito writes that Berg had a meeting with everybody in his home and "he laid down the strict rule that there would be no serious business whatsoever until they were at least fifteen." Berg said, "Don’t even get it close, boys - we don’t wanna chance it!...Although it is fine with younger boys their own age who don’t have semen." They were told "they shouldn’t go too far too soon and blow the whole works and bring on a possible serious security problem that could affect virtually the whole work in a city or country!" ("Basic Training Handbook" [hereinafter BTH], p. 28). In the same month of 9/85 "Teen Sex!" was published containing more rules for sex regarding young people 14 and under. They are shocking. The issue of security is repeated about half a dozen times here again as well as clear encouragement to have all the sex they want. Berg says, "I think as children, before the girls start menstruating and the boys start semenating, that’s their opportunity to have all the sex they want with no problems – as long as the System doesn’t know it." (Berg 2061:33). When the boys under 15 start having semen and the girls under 15 start menstruating, they can still have all the sex they want with each other just like anybody under 15, including masturbating each other and having oral sex, but they can’t have full sex, meaning no penetration to avoid pregnancy. Another important publication on the subject came out titled "Questions You Always Wanted to Ask!" (BTH, pp. 293-300). There is no date as to when it was written but it is explained in the beginning that it is made of excerpts from questions and answers from a recent TTC, the Mexico TTC in 1986. Some of the answers are direct quotes from "Teen Sex" of 1985. Things are spelled out clearer here. Part of the answer to question 1 is: "Boys, once you start having semen, you should not f.... any girls who have started their periods and are under the age of 15 years old. Once a teen girl starts her period she must refrain from actual f...... with any boys who have semen." Question 2 is, "Once girls have started their periods, can they still have dates with teen boys with semen and masturbate each other, even though they can’t f...?" Part of the answer is: "As long as they are obedient to the Family rule that Grandpa [Berg] and Maria [Zerby] set down, and don’t f..., yes, it would be fine to love and satisfy each other with kissing, masturbating, etc."
One of the worse aspects of teen sex was that of teen prostitution. The following question was asked by a group teen: "When can girls start FFing?" Answer: "Grandpa did say, ‘There’s no minimum age for ffers, as long as there’s no sex involved!’" (Berg 1829:80). In other words, they can use sexy looks and body language and smiles and flirt when out witnessing regardless of their age. For sex however they have to be of legal age. But elsewhere Berg also suggested that 13-14 year olds maybe can become ffers for the group as well. Berg’s own granddaughter Joyanne was an ffer at that age. She would go out to hotels with her mother and her mother Deborah Davis would find men for Joyanne to have sex with. South American member Juan was ffed into the group by Joyanne. Later Joyanne’s aunt, Faithy, joined Juan and Juan’s wife and they became a threesome for a while. I don’t believe that teen ffing became widespread. I only know of one other case of a minor involved in sex with an outsider. It was a young American girl in Pakistan who was pressured to give sex to a man who was providing the group with shoes. She was crying and didn’t want to do it, but had to do it never-the-less.
Important in the context of teen prostitution is the publication of the story of "Heaven's Girl." In this COG book a character was created of a teen girl ready and willing to give sex to anybody at any time and in any place.
THE 1988 CHNAGES REGARDING TEEN SEX.
Teenage sex was widespread until 1988 when it was suddenly stopped. Berg came out with a letter called "Make it Work" in June 1988, in which he protested that he never promoted promiscuity among the teenagers in the group. He was basically saying, "Who me? I never promoted all this sex freedom for young people." That was just another of Berg’s lies of course, because that is all Berg did, that is, promote promiscuity and free sex. Judge Ward rejected all these protestations of Berg and wrote: "I find without hesitation that his self righteous delusion that he has been misrepresented is pure humbug." (Judgment p. 72). At any rate, free sex became restricted to those 18 and over. The teens were confused by these changes and some of them, accustomed to having so much sex, continued to indulge in it for a while longer.
THE 1991 RULES.
According to a document published in August 1991, eleven to fifteen year olds were not allowed to have sex. (Judgment p. 73). Sixteen and seventeen year olds can’t have free sex. The 1991 rules provided that "young adults, aged 18, 19 and 20 are allowed to make sexual contact with each other without being married." It also said that no adult members over the age of 21 can engage in any sexual activity with those under 21. This document is silent on the issue of sex of ten year olds and younger. I do not know if any of these rules were a direct or even indirect result of the first major raids which took place in Spain in the summer of 1990.
NEW TEEN SEX RULES.
New literature keeps on coming out all the time, introducing more and more changes. Some of these changes are not the kind of changes that one would expect from a group that is supposedly trying to become more conservative, which is what the COG has been claiming. As we said earlier, there was considerable amount of free sex among teenagers until 1988. Free sex at that time became restricted to those 18 years of age and older only. It has now been lowered to sixteen. 18 to 20 year olds can have free sex "with persons up to 7 years their elder." 16 and 17 year olds can have sex with 18, 19 and 20 year olds.
Here in California sex with minors under 18 is considered statutory rape. But as we said, sex of 16 and 17 year olds in the COG with 19 and 20 year olds is allowed. Some of the 18 or 19 or 20 year olds are married already and may even have children. If a 16 or 17 year old teenager gets a married woman pregnant, the child that is born belongs not to him, but to the husband of the married woman he had sex with. If a 16 or 17 year old single girl has sex with several sexual partners and gets pregnant by one of them, even if it is known who the father is, she does not have to be mated to her baby’s father.
"GO FOR THE GOLD."
If an 18 year old or older member has full intercourse and pulls out at the last moment, it is considered an act of birth control displeasing to God. However a special dispensation of grace in the form of an exception to this rule has been worked out for 16 and 17 year olds. Zerby made it allowable for 16 and 17 year olds to pull out before ejaculation to avoid pregnancy. Now this is an exemption to the rule and in order not to be displeasing to the Lord, it has to be done with a certain type of attitude. If the couple involved in the sex act has agreed in advance that he will pull out at the last minute, this is considered as being within God’s highest and best and is equated to winning the gold medal in the Olympic games, as opposed to one winning only the silver medal, or even worse the bronze medal. However all 16 and 17 year olds regardless of the attitude in which they pull out their penises out of the women’s vagina, are still considered winners since they are part of God’s end time elite army, The Family. This is all explained in great and minute detail in a publication titled "Go For The Gold." It contains several prophecies from Jesus explaining all these rules and then Zerby explains what Jesus has just explained, and there is no way of missing the point.
If they pull out before ejaculation but they had not discussed and agreed to do so prior to having sex, then this is considered winning a silver medal only.
The worse scenario is getting the bronze medal. To qualify for the bronze medal you are supposed to not only pull out without having previously agreed to do so, but you must also not be concerned over the failure to have discussed and decided about it prior to the sex act. So if you didn’t discuss it prior to the sex act and on top of that you were not really concerned for failing to discuss it prior to the sex act, then what you get is just a bronze medal. As I said Jesus Christ explains all this and other related topics to them in long, details prophecies. Jesus Christ also encourages these 16 and 17 year olds to have oral sex. I am not making all this up. It’s in their publications available for anybody to read.
THE BOOK OF DAVIDITO.
The most controversial material on child/adult sex published by the COG, the "Book of Davidito," clearly describes sexual activity between Zerby’s son Davidito with his nanny Sara Davidito. Individual chapters of the "Book of Davidito" were published from about 1975 when Davidito was born and up to 1981. These chapters were reprinted in book form in Jan. 1982. Father David [Berg] and Maria [Zerby] are listed in the credits as "Shepherds and Loving Parents." I have about 150 of the over 700 pages of the "Book of Davidito," though I have access to the rest of the book if need be. The group has tried to destroy all copies of this book but some copies have survived the purge. The reason for the purge is obvious. A quick look at some of the many pictures in the Book of Davidito will convince you that this little boy was involved in adult-child sexual activity with older woman. The following quotes from the book will create a clear picture in your mind of the kind of sexual child abuse we are talking about. "[Davidito at 20 months old] gets quite excited when I wash his bottom and his penie gets real big and hard. I kiss it all over...he gets so excited he...spreads his legs open for more....When playing on the floor he’ll oftentimes spread his legs open for me to kiss his penis. He got to where he liked it so much he’d pull people by the hand down onto the floor and would spread his legs apart for ‘the treatment’." (BOD pp. 334, 335). When Davidito was 2 years and 3 months old, Sara writes that bar-girl and stripper Claire "set [them] down and gave a special little show for Davidito, with all her gyrations and heavy breathing, running her hands over her body, really turning everybody on!" (BOD p. 389). When Davidito was almost two and a half years old, Sara addressing the adults in this sex cult wrote: "Now if I share with you some of Davidito’s sexy experiences, will you try...to benefit from the lessons learned...in possibly sharing the same kind of gentle love and fun, [with] our little sheep?" - meaning of course sexual activity of adults with little children in the group. Then Sara describing a sexual episode she had with Davidito says: "He pulled me down to kiss him, then pushed my head down to kiss some more!" (BOD 392, 393). Referring to the above, Judge Ward wrote. "That letter cannot be interpreted otherwise than Sara kissing the boys penis." (Judgment p. 84). Page 393 contain a pictures of Davidito in bed with an adult women who is shown topless. The topless picture was used again in the infamous chapter "My Little Fish" of which we will speak later. At the bottom of page 393 there is a confirming encouragement from Berg showing that he was fully aware of the content of the book and what was been written in it. I mention this because the group has tried to put all the blame on Sara for writing the book. (BOD pp. 392, 393). Davidito at 2 ½ often asked Sara to dance for him. "I dance topless or nude most of the time," Sara wrote. (BOD p. 407). Most of the quotes are self explanatory. "Davidito acts very anxious to take his nap nowadays. He’ll eagerly get in bed and lie quietly under his sheet and play with his penis. I think lately he prefers that more than to have me do it for him!...On two different occasions I’ve discovered him under the livingroom table on his back with his pants down around his knees, busy again.-Whatever turns him on!!" (BOD p. 410). "Yesterday Dito [Davidito] and I ‘loved up’ together after our bath!" Bellow this quote is a picture of Davidito and an adult women in bed, both totally naked. It is hard to identify the women as the faces of all the adult women involved sexually with Davidito are drawn over. Judge Ward wrote concerning this picture. "The photograph below that passage showed the two of them naked on the bed with Sara fondling the boys penis." (Judgment p. 84). The woman’s hand in the picture is indeed placed around the area of the boys genitals. This picture was also used in "My Little Fish" and you can find it on page 447 of the book. (BOD p. 413). "He’ll sometimes just jump on top of me real quick, hunch away and then jump off again and say, ‘Do you like that, Sara?’ But his usual, more gentle and preferred approach is, ‘Let’s go wash penie’, and then I know what he really wants! Daddy [Berg] told me he wants Davidito to have all the love that he [Berg] ever needed and wanted and didn’t get." (BOD p. 426). This page contains a picture of Davidito kissing or sucking the breast of an adult women in bed.
"MY LITTLE FISH!"
In August 1979 "My Little Fish!" the most controversial of all the chapters of the book, was published. In the book "My Little Fish!" makes up pages 443 to 448. Three of the pictures in the original chapter were replaced by other pictures less revealing. The most incriminating of these three pictures taken out of the original is of an adult women performing oral sex on Davidito. Under the picture there is a quote from Berg’s letter titled "Revolutionary Lovemaking" that says: "It’s a wonderful relaxation, a satisfaction created by the Lord!" (Berg 259:127). A picture taken out of page 2 of the original "My Little Fish!" chapter corresponding to page 445 in the book, shows Davidito at 2 years and 3 months old, in bed on his back with his body lifted and an adult women fondling his erect penis. Underneath the picture it says, "Now let’s get something straight between us!" The third picture taken out of "My Little Fish!" shows Davidito at 3 years and 5 months old naked on a couch and his penis been lubricated. Davidito had a problem with his foreskin not going all the way back and lubrication and massaging was used to cure the problem and there is nothing wrong with that, unless of course you happen to live in pervert Berg’s house who offers the following suggestion: "The mucus of your mouth is a good lubricant too! And he’ll love it!" (As quoted in Judgment p. 82). Above the topless women in bed with Davidito on page 445, which as mentioned earlier, can be found also on page 393, there is a quote from the Berg letter "Revolutionary Lovemaking" which reads as follows: "When you have time to enjoy it and time to relax a bit and rest afterwards in that time of really beautiful loving, which shows that you really love her, and that you really love him, as you lie there together in each other's arms and show real love towards each other, genuine spiritual love afterwards. It’s a wonderful time to show how much you really love each other." (Berg 259:128). Page 446 contains three pictures of Davidito in bed, each of the pictures showing him with a women and involved is some form of sexual activity. One of the pictures is of Davidito and a women in bed hugging each other. You can find the same picture on page 464. Page 448 contains another picture of a naked women and Davidito in bed hugging each other. During a "come-union" or orgy, Davidito "wanted hid turn." Sara writes: "As soon as I got into bed he jumped on me and said, ‘Sara, love me!’....Mommy [Karen Zerby was] outside the door listening to him. ‘Sara, now kiss it!’" (BOD p. 457). Here is clear evidence that Zerby knew what was going on between Sara and her son Davidito. On page 458 there is a picture of a woman and Davidito on a bed and underneath the picture it says, "Oh! C’mon in! We’re just goin’ to bed!" On the same page there is a picture of Davidito and adult member Sue and under the picture it says "Undressing.........for Sue!" On page 464 we read the following: "We had a nice picnic lunch...right by the riverside near our house. David [Davidito] wanted to bring a blanket and a scented candle so that we could make love, but there were too many people around so we didn’t quite get to the climax." Describing a different occasion on the same page, 464, Sara writes: "We began to love up....We got undressed and he got real affectionate....He usually wants love sometime every day, whether it be cuddles and kisses, nippies and bottoms, or just bouncing together in bed." After citing the above quote Judge Ward comments: "What can this be other than that this 3 year old boy was participating in sexual shenanigans with his nanny?" Overstating the obvious Judge Ward concludes, "The leadership must have known and intended that this book be acted upon by The Family." (Judgment p. 86). Sara continues: "Sometimes he’ll run into the bedroom, lie on the bed and begin calling all the girl’s names: ‘Sue! Path! Sara!’ Mommy [Zerby] one time popped her head in the door and said, ‘Don’t you want me?’ He said ‘Yes!’ but cried out again , ‘Path!!’" (BOD p. 532). Here is another clear evidence that Davidito’s mother, Mama Maria aka Karen Zerby knew what was going on with her son. She should have been arrested long time ago and the least of the changes should had been that Karen Zerby was an unfit mother. On page 426 we read that Sara heard Davidito talking to his stuffed animals and saying to them "You go f... Pat, and you go f... the big girl in the kitchen! Oh, you don’t want to? OK, I’ll f... Pat!" On page 532 there is a picture of Path on a bed with Davidito next to her who is sleeping with his underwear pulled down. There is a picture on the same page, page 532, of a naked women in bed with Davidito. On page 559 we read that Path was substituting in Sara’s absence "taking care" of Davidito, doing a sexy dance for him and "loving him up." Finally on page 551 we read: "While on the airplane David [Davidito] said, ‘Hey! Let’s love-up!’ I said, ‘David, we can’t do that here!’ and he said ‘Oh, I know why! Because we’d probably break the chair!’" I will conclude this section by repeating that this abuse took place in Berg’s household, Davidito was Berg’s stepson and Zerby’s son and both Berg and Zerby knew very well what was going on. The Judge said that Davidito was a disturbed child who at age 12 or 13 on several occasions thought of suicide!
BERG PROMOTED THE BOOK OF DAVIDITO.
This book was used as standard reading on childcare in the cult. In "The Advantages of Having Children" of May 1978 Berg said, "We’re writing a whole new childcare series called The Davidito Series....Davidito was to become an example to the world and inspire lots of childcare material! (As quoted in Judgment p. 82). Judge Ward adds: "The book ended with a cartoon of Berg holding Davidito and saying, ‘Davidito do you know what you’re doing? You’re teaching the whole world how to take care of babies!’" He concluded: "Berg was, in my judgment, quite clear giving his approval to whatever was being written and he was assuming responsibility for it. It is naive of The Family to seek to distance the leadership from this book and cast the sole blame upon Sara. In their original answers filed in this case, that is exactly what they sought to do." (Judgment p. 82).
The Judge rejecting the attempt by the cult to put the blame on Sara alone also said: "I have already sufficiently demonstrated that this attempt to lay all the blame on Sara and none on the leadership is dishonest." (Judgment p. 98). The COGs claimed that "The Family had never encouraged sexual activity between adults and children; that the sentiments expressed in ‘My Little Fish’, though unacceptable, were written by Sara before the establishment of The Family and that it did not represent Family policy." (Judgment p. 78). It is plain to see that the sentiments expressed in "My Little Fish!" did represent Family policy. As we explained earlier on, what they were trying to do was to distance themselves from the Children of God name and were trying to deceive the Judge that the COG had disbanded and that when Sara wrote the book, she did it as a member of the Children of God. While they were becoming even worse after the RNR, they were trying to distance themselves from the bad name the COG had before the RNR. Talking about trying to have their cake and eating it too! The Judge clearly stated that the COG and the Family is one and the same, Berg being the leader at all times.
"MY LITTLE FISH!" PUBLISHED AFTER THE RNR.
Even if the COGs disbanded during the RNR in the beginning of 1978, the most controversial chapter of the "Book of Davidito," "My Little Fish!" was published in August 1979, or over a year after the RNR, and the supposed end of the COG. Furthermore, the major publication that came out encouraging child adult sex and even incest, "The Devil Hates Sex!" came out in 1980. And finally the various chapters that Sara wrote were, as stated earlier, compiled into a book in 1982, "The Book of Davidito."
THE FAMILY WORSE THAN THE COG.
I am repeating some of the same points to make sure the reader understands. The worse time as far as sexual abuse of children by adults took place after the RNR. I was in the group in 1979, which is later than when the COG supposedly disbanded, and I didn’t know anything about child adult sex when I left. For the most part it all happened during the Family stage of the cult’s history. The Family’s trying to disassociate itself from the COG, is just one more attempt at deception. It is a fact that someone in the COG before 1978 can defend himself by saying that he did not get involved in child adult sex since he was not part of the group after the RNR.
THE FAMILY DENIES CHILD-ADULT SEX.
The Family admitted that "there were some instances of children having sexually inappropriate contact with adults and being exposed to inappropriate adult sexuality" but denied among other things that it was a Family policy, widespread and encouraged. (Judgment p. 79). The COGs are open and honest and upfront and even boastful when they talk about ffing and free sex. When it comes to child-adult sex and incest in the group they are as deceptive as they can possibly be. They try to imply that Berg and Zerby were surprised to hear there had been some isolated cases of child-adult sex and immediately did all they could to stop and eradicate such practices from ever happening again. Saying that there were some, meaning few, instances of children exposed to sexually inappropriate contact with adults is a big lie. It is also a lie to say it was not Family policy or that it was not widespread or that it was not encouraged. The Family calls these "absolutely false charges." The fact is that these were absolutely true changes, child-adult sex was Family policy, the Family did encourage it and it was widespread.
Berg was such a pervert that he said he regretted he did not have sex with his own mother. In 1984 Deborah Davis, David Berg’s older daughter, wrote a book where it was made public for the first time that Berg had sexually abused his younger daughter Faithy, when Faithy was a little girl. Faithy has written a poem, printed in a COG publication, about her father front-rubbing her when she was 3 or 4 and she encouraged parents in the cult to try the same practice of masturbating their own children. Faithy and her father have had an ongoing incestuous relationship throughout the years, even though Faithy to this day is denying everything. One of the two sisters is obviously a big liar and I don’t believe Deborah is the one. Deborah also revealed that her father had continually made advances at her as well, and that he had raped Deborah on several occasions. As mentioned in the beginning of this study, Berg also had incest with his granddaughter Joyanne, Deborah’s daughter. It is hard to believe that Deborah would join her father’s cult knowing that her father was a poedophile and thus putting her then young daughter Joyanne at risk. Things would had been much different for many thousands of lives, had Deborah exposed her father when the cult first started. In the ten years I was in the group I didn’t even suspect anything about incest. The first time I heard about incest was when I read Deborah’s book several years after I left the group for the second time.
"THE DEVIL HATES SEX!"
In 1980 a Berg letter came out titled "The Devil Hates Sex!" clearly encouraging the people in the cult to get involved with incest. Many parents in the cult were masturbating their babies or performing oral sex on their babies and it was a widespread practice. Judge Ward mentions the case of "3 year old Emanuel who ‘loves Mommy up.’" (Judgment p. 89). And it was not just with babies. Mothers would allow their little boys or teenagers to touch them and get involved in sexually activity with them. One mother told me that her teenage son was coming to her for sex. I heard of another mother in the group who was having sex with her son. I know of another mother who had sex with both of her sons. I know of two mothers who were having sex with their own daughters. One such parent is serving a twenty year jail sentence in France for sexually molesting his daughters for years.
JUDGE WARD’S FINDINGS.
After studying the cult for over three years Judge Ward made the following declarations: "I am totally satisfied that there was widespread sexual abuse of young children and teenagers by adult members of The Family." (Judgment p. 111). "There is overwhelming evidence that the high leadership within the Family has been guilty of child sexual abuse." (Judgment p. 120). "Berg bears responsibility for propagating the doctrine which so grievously misled his flock and injured the children within it." (Judgment p. 112). "I am furthermore satisfied that a significant number of children,...had masturbation and even sexual intercourse forced upon them by adults." (Judgment p. 282). There you have it, straight from a Judge of the High Court in London, England. And they can’t possibly call Judge Ward a liar, or say he is exaggerating or unfair or accuse him of any of the things they say when ex-members try to expose the group’s evil deeds by saying the exact same things. Judge Ward went out of his way to be fair with them but the COGs were not able to deceive him as they very clearly tried to do.
CHILD ABUSE CASES IN THE "CHILDREN OF GOD" CULT.
Zerby’s son Davidito is one of possibly thousands of children sexually abused in the cult. Former COG member Rick Dupui admitted on the American Larry King TV talk show, that he had sex with Peter Amsterdam’s then 10 or 11 years old daughter. The child worker couple in charge of the girl approached and asked Rick Dupui to do so. Judge Ward writes: "The little girl presented herself in a sarong with no panties. She masturbated him." (Judgment p. 93). A number of young people have written about their sexual abuse in the COG as children, and/or spoken about it on TV and/or have published the story of their abuse on the Internet and/or testified during the English court case and their stories can be read in Judge Ward’s over 300 pages long Judgment. The following are some of those cases.
In one of no less than ten investigations in Argentina she was questioned by the authorities and lied that she had never been sexually abused as a child in the COG. She wrote the following in a COG publication while she was still a member: "(The doctor) was supposed to check me for signs of sexual abuse, but since I looked so healthy and normal he decided just to take my word for it. He asked me if I had ever had sex and I answered no." The group published her story of how she had fooled her examiners as an example of what all COG children should do under such circumstances. Later when she left the group, Abigail revealed on a major American TV documentary that she had been sexually abused at the age of seven by a man in his thirties. At 12 she had gotten so used to it, that she though nothing of men masturbating her. At 13 she had full intercourse with a men in his 40ies. She was asked to have sex with him by the man’s wife. (Judgment p. 91).
THE G BROTHERS.
JG "began a full sexual life at an early age and was having his first full sexual intercourse at the age of 10." (Judgment p. 74). A childcare worker in her 20ies performed oral sex on JG when he was 6 and they masturbated each other on a number of occasions. Talking of the same childcare worker, his brother EG at about 10 years of age would go into her room. "I would take my clothes off and show her my penis. I would say if I play with it it feels nice. She would play with it. We were kissing and fondling each other." (Judgment p. 92). KJ. She testified that she vividly recalled the first time her step-father molested her when she was only three years old. "I remember him licking me out, fingers inside me." (Judgment p. 94). Judge Ward writes: "He would grab her head and force fellatio on her. He tried to penetrate her when she was only 7 or 8 and it hurt. He was a crude men who would boast openly about his daughter being ‘a good f....’" (Judgment p. 94). When KJ at age 9 or 10 reported about been raped by another adult who made her bleed, she was considered the one that was wrong for not showing her rapist enough love. She was given a reading assignment. KJ also spoke of Jeduthan: He "was fat, old, bold and with glasses, with a fake laugh and ‘Jesus talk’ such as ‘You’re doing good work for the Lord, honey, Jesus loves you’ but who would then ‘wank himself off through my legs and make me lick the sperm off his penis." (Judgment p. 95). She also spoke about 30 year old Paulo who put his hand "on [her] cr.... and put [her] hand on his h...-on" and ejaculating on her. (Judgment pp. 95, 96). Judge Ward writes: "Time and time again I was impressed with the wealth of detail which came pouring out in a way which did not suggest either invention or the recounting of the experiences of others. There were too many occasions when she was given the opportunity to embellish facts to the disadvantage of The Family and refrained from doing so. She gave credit where credit was due....At one point she broke down and denounced Berg in tones of such obvious deep personal anguish that I caused the tape recording of that part of her evidence to be made available and I played it back at one point during the hearing. It was not suggested that her distress was a theatrical display skillfully presented to deceive me." (Judgment pp. 74, 75). KJ’s outburst is recorded on pages 117 and 118 of the Judgment.
Marisha, Jeremy Spencer’s daughter, at age six was masturbating Timothy an ex-Vietnam veteran member of the Family. Marisha and her father were masturbating each other when she was 6. At age 7 she was masturbating her step-father. A member by the name Solomon Touchstone was having sex with her sister and also with her mother. Her 12 year old brother was having sex with older women. (Judgment pp. 96-97).
She was born in 1972 and is the daughter of Berg’s older son, Aaron. "Her first encounter was with her step-father in Paris when she was 7. He made her masturbate him. She was sent to Greece to join ‘Music With Meaning’ and from then on it was constant sexual activity. She said, ‘Paul [top leader in the group] immediately started sexual interaction with us doing everything except penetration. I began to realize I was expected to be ‘revolutionary’, that is to say sexually to service the different men aged 25 to 30 plus.’" (Judgment p. 91). She had sex with Jeremy Spencer and probably with most, if not all members of "Music with Meaning." In 1983 eleven year old Merry, moved in with her grandfather Berg and ended up becoming one of his wives! She was with him from 1983 to 1987. "Berg and Maria came down to her bedroom and whilst Maria and Sarah were talking, Berg got into her bed in their presence and fondled her. This happened on a number of occasions....He did rupture her hymen with his finger. They had oral sex." (Judgment 116). MB spoke of [Peter] Amsterdam being in bed with Maria while she was in bed with Grandpa [Berg]." (Judgment p. 119). The Judge said that "there is evidence that [Peter] Amsterdam ‘shared’ with MB." (Judgment p. 119).
Judge Ward also mentions "TV Eye," a program in which in April 1983 it was revealed that a 3 year old had oral sex with her step father and a COG member was having sex with his nine year old daughter. (Judgment p. 90).
The COGs tried to challenge MB’s story but the Judge said her account was "restrained and understated rather than exaggerated." The Judge stated, "I became more and more convinced by her evidence the longer she gave it. She did not seem to me to paint the picture blacker than it was....There were several instances where it would have been perfectly possible for her to gild the lily had that been her purpose....MB [was] moderate in her complaint of the indignities heaped upon her." (Judgment p. 115). The COGs tried to say that Merry was saying outrageous and untrue things because she was trying to become some kind of talk show celebrity to which Judge Ward responded, "I totally reject that criticism of her." (Judgment p. 116).
KJ’s and Merry Berg’s testimonies are two of the most important and most damning of the COG. The Judge found that both recounted their stories in an objective manner. The Family nevertheless has tried to discredit the testimonies of these and others who as children had been abused in the group and later after leaving the group made the abuses known. These young people however, as the group knows very well, are not lying. Zerby, responding to the testimonies given during the English court case, said these stories of child abuse were highly exaggerated at best, if not outright fabrications. In response to a 1998 American TV documentary in which young ex-members spoke of their abuse in the Family, again the group responded to these stories by saying that they "believe them to be highly exaggerated at best, if not outright fabrications." ("Response to CBS," p. 2). They attribute these accounts to "hostile apostates, whose stories are questionable at best."
During the early nineties many children were taken into protective custody by the authorities after the raids and many of these children were examined by court appointed examiners. The group says that these 600 or 700 children were all given a clean bill of health. "Since 1990, over 600 of our children have been examined around the world by a wide range of court-appointed medical, psychological, educational and legal professionals and not a single child has ever been found to show any evidence of any kind of abuse. (Documentation available upon request). We believe these findings make it clear that The Family has taken great pains to provide a safe, protected environment for our children." (" Response to CBS," p. 2). Again, "The Family’s success in protecting our children and insuring their well being has been documented by court-appointed and independent investigations of almost 700 children living in Family communities. After extensive physical, psychological and educational testing, all of the children were found to be healthy with no sign of abuse of any kind in a single case. This total absence of abuse speaks for the efforts made to safeguard children in Family communities....After exhaustive investigations of our communities, lifestyle and the upbringing of our children, the courts have deemed Family environments as safe ones....The Family was entirely vindicated in every case." ("Letter to the Editor of the Atlanta Journal," [hereinafter "Letter to Editor"], posted on Excognet by COG member Claire Borowick, [August 19, 1998], p. 1). The above are strongly worded statements put right on the ex-COG web board, as if we don’t know, when there are stories on this same web page of ex-members who have posted their experiences of horrible abuse for everybody to read. It is high time for someone to compile several hundred testimonies of child abuse into a book form, a big thick book and wave it at them next time they come up with their story of the 600 children who got a clean bill of health. Maybe we should call it "700 Child Abuse Cases in the ‘Children of God’ Cult." We can find at least that many cases. I am very certain they are out there. In fact I believe there are a lot more than 700 such stories waiting to be written. Let’s outflood their flood of lies and deceptions and denials with the truth.
THE COURT REPORTS.
Such strong and forceful statements expressed with such bold language, almost make us truth tellers look bad and could make normal everyday people out there listening to both us and them wonder and reason that the COGs couldn’t possibly be lying especially since there are court reports to back up what they say. I have not seen these court reports and I am not doubting that it is possible that these kids were examined in some way and that no problem was found. Lets examine the facts a little closer and deeper however.
LYING FOR THE LORD.
First of all it should not be assumed that Abigail B. was some kind of an exception when she lied to the authorities. Everybody is supposed to do that, that is to say, everybody in the cult knows that they are expected to lie to the authorities and be as deceitful as they possibly can. Anybody who knows the COGs well will tell you that members are supposed to be extremely honest with their own leaders, or to say it better, they are supposed to be honest to the extreme. But when they deal with outsiders they know that it is expected of them to lie, and they do lie big time. A court appointed professional who examined 75 of the children in France said he had never met anybody with such an ability to lie in all of his career. They lie that such things never happened in order to protect what they consider to be God’s work, meaning Berg’s ridiculous cult. These innocent looking kids will put a big smile on their face, look you straight in the eyes and will simply deny everything and lie about everything, as they have been instructed to do by the leaders of the group. It is as simple as that. Even if they had bruises on their bodies from beatings in victor camps they would just lie to the authorities and say they fell down while playing, or some other untruth like that.
DID THEY KNOW THE FACTS?
Another important point to consider is that some of the authorities may not had known that child adult sex had stopped before the raids of the nineties. I am afraid they may have thought that there was child adult sex and incest with children going on at the time of the raids. We saw some of these kids of about 10 years old on television during the raids in Argentina in 1993. These ten year old kids were only two years of age when child-adult sex was stopped in 1985. If they were asked about child-adult sex, they may had not known anything about it. They wouldn’t even had to lie, if they were asked from the police if they had been involved in sex with adults or if they had been victims of incest. On the other hand, I don’t know what kinds of signs of sexual abuse they were looking for. If loss of virginity was one of the signs, Merry Berg had sex with her step-father and probably every male member of "Music With Meaning" and never lost her virginity until she moved in with Berg and her perverted grandfather penetrated her with his finger, breaking her hymen. A lot of the child/adult sex involved masturbation and oral sex and not full penetration.
As far as emotional or psychological signs resulting from sexual abuse, the children in the COC don’t have much of a sense of shame or emotional trauma or psychological confusion relating to child adult sex and incest, because they have been taught all their lives that there is absolutely nothing wrong with such practices. In a lot of cases it is not until they leave the group and then find out how wrong it was, that the guilt and shame and stigma of it all hits them.
MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE FINDINGS.
Anybody that reads Judge Ward’s Judgment can see that he established beyond peradventure of a doubt that not only there had been child sexual abuse in the group, but that it was extensive. Judge Ward’s findings and the findings of the examiners of the 700 that the COGs are referring to are mutually exclusive. They can’t both be right. I would be very interested in looking at these reports if the COGs are willing to provide me with copies.
PORNOGRAPHIC CHILD VIDEOS.
Cult videos of little girls as well as of adult female members doing striptease dances for Berg have made their way out of the group. Prior to the videos been presented as evidence by the plaintiff, the COGs had denied the allegations that they encouraged female members to appear in videos naked. Later in a sworn affidavit on Dec. 22, 1992 the COGs stated that the dancing in the videos was by adults, meaning that there were no young children dancing. The Judge writes that those videos exploded the group’s denials. He mentions the tape titled "Glorify God in the Dance" which "has six clips of children aged between four and twelve dancing naked or semi-naked." (Judgment p. 54). "Video number 5 is the ‘Love Video.’ It shows young children dancing, two girls together, scenes of masturbation and sexual intercourse or simulated sexual intercourse, a testimony from a girl called Joan admitting that she masturbated. In another clip a man Appeles says they had the Love Video from World Services, that it was so inspiring that it was a chance to share his wife with another but, more disturbing, his son J1 who seems to be about ten years old had a chance to ‘share’ with adult Sally." (Judgment p. 55). Sally is the stepmother of J1 with whom he had sex. The Judge also wrote: "I saw Fiona Spencer [wife of Jeremy Spencer] dancing and I saw her 12 year old daughter H2 copy her and I saw, shamefully, her four year old daughter MS following suit." (Judgment p. 58). "MB gave evidence, which I accept of her being taken into the woods with another lady and copying her dance. She spoke of being encouraged by the adults to engage in mutual masturbation with her 9 year old friend A1, who is also shown on the video I have seen....The films were made for Berg." (Judgment p. 59). Judge Ward wrote again of MB "being required to stroke and fondle her friend A1 as they danced for the sexual pleasure of the men at MWM." (Judgment p. 73). "Zack, the camera man, filmed his own four year old daughter. MS can recall the men making lewd comments which she told me, ‘made me feel funny’. She saw women masturbating and she saw sexual intercourse on films." (Judgment p. 59). The COGs were thus forced to admit in "Experimenting with Dance and Love Videos in 1980" that Berg had encouraged the group to make these love videos during which "a few of the under aged girls, admittedly unwisely, performed dances bare breasted." (Judgment p. 55). In one of these videos a 10 or 11 year old boy is singing next to four adult women dancing totally naked. The following quote from Berg cited on page 56 of the Judgment gives us in a nutshell, exactly how Berg felt about the issue in question. "You could hardly touch a more sensitive nerve in most of the systemites [people outside the group] to enrage them and have them want to lynch you on the spot than to bring up child abuse, and child sex, and child pornography, and all that kind of rot." These video though shocking to watch are mild if compared with the child-adult sex acts that were taking place in the cult.
CHANGES IN CHILD ADULT SEX POLICY.
I present the following on the subject of child adult sex policy changes that took place during 1985, 1986 and 1987 and the years following, with caution, as I may not have all the facts. I was in the group only until 1979 and therefore am not as familiar as those who remained longer and who have an insider’s view of how things developed. Neither have I had the time to read all the relevant literature the COG has put out since then. Furthermore they have destroyed some of the specific documentation relating to this topic for fear it may fall into the wrong hands. I would welcome any additional information and guidance on this topic.
THE 1985 DIRECTIVE.
Sex of adults with children and teens was still rampant in 1984. The following is an example indicative of the fact that child adult sex was becoming more of a public and acceptable cultwide practice. Around this time a COG leader in the Indian subcontinent had sex with a ten year old girl. His wife talked publicly in a GAS (Greater Area Shepherd) meeting of her jealousy problem over her husband’s relationship with the ten year old girl and confessed that she was wrong to be having such "trials" and encouraged those attending the meeting to go with the flow on these matters and follow the cult’s teachings and practices along those lines. During 1984 a 14 year old female teen got pregnant in Portugal and this evidently shocked the doctors there. This pregnancy of a 14 year old may be part of the reason for a directive in 1985 forbidding sex between adults and minors under 15. A former COG member said to me that this 1985 directive was read to the members of his home and then it was burned and it was not around to re-read. He does not remember the title of the directive. A group member testified that "in 1985 a directive was sent out to all the homes world-wide reminding everybody that sex between adults and children was strictly forbidden and that this included sex between teenagers and adults." (Judgment p. 97). This cult member testifying does not volunteer the important fact that this directive was addressing the children plus only the teens who were 14 and under and that this new rule did not apply to teens 15 and older. If it is true that the statement was "reminding everybody that sex between adults and children was strictly forbidden," then in this publication the group was using the indirect technique of "reminding" as a method of announcing a change and a new rule. This type of talking on two levels is not uncommon in the COG. The official Solicitor asked for a copy of this directive but did not receive one from the group. Since we do not have a copy of this directive we are not in a position to know what exactly it said or study the wording for any abuse or twistings of meanings or definitions. I wonder if anybody has a copy of this and the other documents we are going to talk about hidden in their garage somewhere. It goes without saying that we can’t take at face value what the COGs told the Judge about this document. The truth of the matter is that sex between adults and children and teens was not forbidden prior to this directive, but rather as we have clearly shown earlier in this study, it was very much part of everyday life in the group.
The group also presented to the court a COG publication titled "Child Abuse?!" I have written an entire booklet in response to this lying publication, similarly titled "Child Abuse?" Within this publication they quote Berg, in December of 1988 lying that they never have advocated nor practiced sex between adults and minors "and certainly not between adults and young children." To give you an idea of the enormity of the kind of lying Berg was dishing out, I want to remind the reader that up to the year prior to making this statement his granddaughter Merry was still living with Berg as one of his wives. Also there are cult publications clearly showing Berg’s sexual involvement with little Davida, Sara’s daughter, in the early eighties. Returning to the 1985 changes, in "Child Abuse?!" the group says: "In early 1985 when it was called to our attention that some questions had arisen concerning sex between adults and minors, we issued an urgent directive to all of our communities world wide. In this missive, all of our members were strongly reminded that any such activities are strictly forbidden within our group. The following excerpts are taken verbatim from this directive:- ‘For the record we want to say that we do not agree with adults having sex with children. The Family should just not do it. And even though teen sex with adults may be tolerated in some countries, we are against it....Adults must refrain from practicing in with minors! The best thing we can do is just not do it at all. Adults should refrain from any sexual involvement with under-aged minors!" At the same time "Teen Sex" came out telling those 14 and under to have all the sex they want with others of that age group, but not to have full sex, meaning penetration if the girls are menstruating or the boys are semenating. We covered this topic in more detail earlier in the teen sex section.
"OUR REPLIES TO ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE."
In 1992 the COGs published a large number of statements that were sent to the media and others, mostly lies and denials. The COGs were pretending that these statements represented what the group believes, but in their hearts the members knew it was not so. What they really believed was what was in "the letters" meaning Berg’s writings. Still talking about 1985, in one of these Statements dated April 1992 and titled "Our replies to Allegations of Child Abuse" they write: "When rumors began to surface that some members were possibly having sexual contact with adolescents, action was taken to clearly explain to all members that not only was such conduct not condoned but strictly forbidden." (Judgment pp. 98-99). The following is an additional part of the 1985 memorandum included in "Our Replies to Allegations of Child Abuse." "Although [Berg] has written about teens, and even younger children’s sexual interests, these interests can be satisfied by a natural and open attitude with others of their own age....Let’s set the record straight here and now that youth with youth and teen with teen is the normal, natural type of loving affection that we and even society would expect." (As quoted in Judgment p. 99). It should be pointed out that we can’t be sure that these portions are quoted verbatim or accurately. A former member writes, "I’ve seen other places where they say they ‘quote verbatim’ from their past writings, and deliberately change key words to hide the awful truth." Judge Ward also gives an example of such change of the wording. Although I can’t be sure, what the above quote may be saying is that fourteen year olds and under should have sex with that age group only and not with older teenagers and adults. We recognize the 1985 rule as a major change in the COG, and that many children fourteen and under as a result of it were spared from child/adult sexual activity. However let me assure the reader that it was not a matter of "rumors" that reached a surprised Berg who was shocked to find out that there had been some child-adult and teen-adult sex cases in the group. Berg was doing it himself and promoting it in a very clear manner in his literature and child-adult sex was widespread. A former member said that despite this new rule of no sex between adults and minors under 15, "many exceptions continued." He adds: "When I was at Mo’s [Berg’s] home in 1987, Peter Amsterdam’s 14-year old daughter, Bethany, was still having at least masturbation-sex with adult men, and 11-year old Heidi (Sara Davidito’s daughter) was having masturbation dates with a man named Jerry. But as Mo [Berg] put it bluntly, the men were to ‘keep their penises a safe distance from teen girl’s vaginas." Also "a male leader in his 30’s, Lonnie Davis (COG name Mark) was one of four top leaders of the COG home in Manila. He had been having sex with a 14-year old girl [Kristie] in 1986, at which time she got pregnant. She had her baby in 1987 when she was 15, and continued to have sex with Davis afterwards, in 1988." He said that even more blatant cases continued to happen even as late as 1987 in the Jumbo and concludes: "It looks like the 1985 memo only stopped the run-of-the-mill disciples, but it took a couple years for things to really wind down, while top leaders still got to sleep with the pretty young teens." We can see that even after these restrictions sex between adults and minors under 15 was still going on. This is very typical as in every COG policy or rule there is always room for exceptions to be made. Another former member provided the following: "In the Jumbo [in the Philippines] in July, 1987, a Swiss disciple Victoria (Vicky), a woman in her early 30’s confided to [my informant] that Vicky was having sex [full intercourse] with one of the sons of Apollos (top cult editor, Michael Gilligan), and the son was 12 at the time. This sexual relation continued till Apollos’ sons left the Philippines in Sept. or Oct. of 1987. Leadership approved of this relationship."
THE 1986 CHANGES.
"The 1985 directive had pretty much spelled the end of sex with girls under 15. What it did not put an end to, however, was father-daughter sex (incest) if the girl was 15 or over. Incest was still going strong in the Family, and didn’t get reigned in till 1986-87." (Former member). "The original teen training camps as well as the teen programs required all attendees to fill out personal questionnaires. In these were a lot of detailed questions regarding our sexual experiences and it became apparent that the majority of young girls had experienced traumatic sexual encounters with adult men." (Former member). A memo titled "Liberty or Stumbling Block" "was the first step in questioning" these kinds of practices which were rampant within the cult according to this same ex-member. In "The History of the Sexual Policies of the Family" written in Nov. 1993 the group refer to a questionnaire that those attending the 1986 Mexico Teen Camp filled out. Top leader Grant Montgomery aka Hosanna aka Gary and Berg’s daughter Faithy conducted the questionnaire and the results were sent to Berg and Zerby. "Of the approximately 110 teens in attendance, 10 of them wrote they had experienced some form of sexual contact with adults. Of these 10 three girls aged 15 and 16 had experienced sexual intercourse. In all three cases their mothers had separated from the girls fathers had remarried and the sexual relationship occurred with their stepfathers." (Judgment p. 100). A former member adds: "Some ‘Ambassadors’ had been sent out from Mo’s [Berg’s] house to check out the COG homes back in Europe, and they sent reports back. I remember reading a report pinned to the wall that a couple of the Ambassadors ‘questioned certain father-daughter relationship’ which they found out about in Europe." As a response to the report from Hosanna and Faithy, Sara Davidito, the same Sara Davidito that wrote the Book of Davidito and had sex with little Davidito, wrote the internal memorandum to the entire Family titled "Liberty or Stumbling Block" that the group said clearly defined the policy regarding sex between adult and minors. The Judge asked for a copy of this document but the COGs did not supply him with one. During the English case the Family used both 1985 and 1986 as the year when child adult sex was stopped in the group. In a recent reference to this subject, only 1986 was used: "The Family recognizes that during the 1978 era through the early ‘80s, stricter guidelines should have been in place to avoid any possibility of sexual contact between adults and minors. This was corrected officially in 1986, when any contact between an adult and minor (any person under 21 years of age) was rendered an excommunicable offense." ("Response to CBS," p. 2). The COGs lie that prior to this memorandum of 1986 the need for such a policy had not been realized as it was not known that such a problem existed! Again we are to believe that when these reports reached Berg and Zerby with the unexpected news informing them that sexual relationships between adults and minors had taken place, that Berg surprised and shocked immediately assigned Sara to write the memorandum "Liberty of Stumbling Block." It is just one more of the COGs very blatant attempt at deception. It is nothing but a bold faced lie. Judge Ward said the same thing: "There is abundant evidence from The Family’s own records to satisfy me that the leadership were aware of the problem well before the disclosure was made to the Teen Training Camp in Mexico in 1986. To assert that that was the first knowledge that came to the attention of the senior leadership and that the senior leadership ‘took immediate action to prevent any further abuse’ is disingenuous." (Judgment p. 90). To this day the COGs, though they are confronted with ever-growing mountains of evidence to the contrary, are still denying there was sex of adults with minors in the group and that it was widespread and rampant. All they will admit to is that there were some isolated cases that were taken care of as soon as they were discovered by the leadership of the group. Berg himself initiated the whole think and kept it going and through extensive reporting was very much aware of the fact that it was going strong all over the world. I don’t quite understand the changes in 1986. They sound more like a strange and unattainable compromise between Berg’s "law of love" on the one hand, and on the other, the group’s half-baked effort to protect 15, 16 and 17 years old young girls from experiencing the emotional pain from having free sex with older men including their own stepfathers. The 1986 memo could have been more like a general admonition rather than a substantial change in a form of a major new rule. For all I know it may had just been a lot of empty talk about using more love and more consideration for the feelings and the wishes of these minors they maybe were still free to have incest with. Maybe someone out there reading this can inform me as to if the 1986 changes actually decreased or stopped this kind of teenage sexual abuse. - Or were things more or less the same? I really wander if there was any real and fundamental change due to the 1986 memo! As more than one former member have said, the 1986 memo was the first step in questioning the poedophilia in the group, and maybe it was nothing more than that. Questioning something does not necessarily mean changing it. Let us not forget that Merry Berg who moved in with her grandfather at age 11 in 1983, was only 13 during the 1985 changes forbidding adults to have sex with teens 14 and under and was 14 when incest with 15, 16 and 17 year olds was questioned. What kind of real change can be possibly taking place through questioning those practices when at the very same time Berg was still having an ongoing and frequent sexual relationship with his own granddaughter?
THE 1987 CHANGE.
A major change took place in 1987. A burn-after-reading memo was sent out in that year forbidding sex of adults with minors under 18. From what I remember from reading the Judgment, the COGs didn’t even mention and the Judge maybe did not even know anything about what was probably the biggest and most important and real change as far as sex between adults and teenagers under 18. In 1987 in the Philippines the COGs were accused of promoting incest and in April 1 of that year the group did a press conference, in which Faithy also participated, where as usual they lied, denying the charges that they advocate incest. An interesting and very telling detail is that prior to the conference Zerby argued that there is nothing wrong with incest and was in favor of telling the press about it. Due to the persuasion by a cult member closer to reality and the real world, Apollos, the decision was made to lie and deny everything. We know the details of these innerworkings because of information from a former member who was co-writer with Apollos of "Child Abuse?!" This is what they said, among other things, in that press conference. "The accusation that we advocate incest is an absolute lie, cooked up by our enemies to try to besmirch and discredit our work for the Lord! We have never taught or practiced incest and there is not one shred of evidence or piece of our literature to substantiate this fiendishly false charge! It’s an outright lie!--And these religious liars know it!" ("Children of God Press Release!--In Defense of Heaven’s Magic!--In Answer to Our Vicious Religious Critics!" [1 April 1987], Lifeline 17, p. 403). Heaven’s Magic is another name under which the COG has operated. Listen to this friends. They almost admitted to the media that they believe there is nothing wrong with incest, but are now accusing the truth-tellers of knowingly cooking up outright lies in order to besmirch and discredit the cult. It just shows you how far they are willing to go with their lying. I wish someone there had produced a copy of "The Devil Hates Sex!" since the group claimed that there is not one shred of evidence or piece of literature to substantiate the fiendishly false charge that they have promoted incest! A lot of the troubles the COGs experienced in that country were spearheaded by the Catholic Cardinal of the Philippines whom Berg cursed up and down in his writings, calling him a pig. The references to religious liars and vicious religious critics are most likely directed to this concerned Cardinal and his associates. The truth is that the only religious liars in this case are the COGs who knew very well that what they were saying at their press conference was nothing but absolute lies! Some people may find my complete and total distrust of COG excessive but this type of extreme lying is the reason for it.
APOLLOS LEAVES THE FAMILY.
I am happy to report that Apollos recently exited the group. He was the principle writer of "Child Abuse!?" His is in a position to expose the COG in a way that very few can. It is my hope that he will do some more writing now that he is out and set the record straight.
THE COGS THROWN OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES.
Despite their denials and lies all foreign members were ordered to leave the country. The COGs approached the authorities and asked not to be officially deported, promising that they would leave on their own. Some but not all foreign members left on April 13, 1987 and it was shown of Philippine TV. In videos made by the COG, you can see their large Philippine commune called the Jambo, full of non Filipino members, after the date of their promised departure. Lonnie Davis, one of the leaders of the Jumbo, brags during a large meeting in one of the videos, that they were suppose to have left but they are still there anyway.
THE 1987 MEMORANDUM.
The urgent internal secret read-and-burn memorandum came out soon after the press conference. "Around May, 1987, a Family publication came out banning sexual intercourse with teens under legal age, meaning under 18. Incest was banned and ‘petting dates’ with underaged girls began coming to a halt as well." (Former member). "Within a year (by 1988) the policy of no sex with teens under 18 became even stricter and more clearly defined, and incest brought to a halt." (Former member). According to one ex-member things got so strict for a while that members had to be told a non-sexual hug between a teenage girl and an adult man was OK. The changes in the sex policies between adults and minors did not mean Berg was changing his beliefs or practices also. At least as late as Nov. or Dec. 1988 Berg was encouraging group members to send him nudie-cutties of under age girls. (Judgment p. 58).
AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF CHILDREN SEXUALLY ABUSED.
We are not denying that child-adult sex, teen-adult sex and incest was greatly restricted, and may have completely stopped. What we are saying however is that the group is lying when they refuse to accept that for years child/adult and teen/adult sex as well as incest was perpetrated on a large scale upon an entire generation of children trapped in the cult. It is the absolute truth that the children in this cult were having sex with adults until it was stopped around the mid eighties. These kids were raised not knowing there is anything wrong with sex with their own parents, or their own flesh-brothers and their own flesh-sisters. It is high time that the legal system in every country gets activated and mobilized concerning this massive abuse of innocent children and that all those that are found guilty of such crimes are punished to the fullest extend of the law.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LEGAL WALL.
As I close this portion dealing with adult/child and adult/teen sexual abuse, I would like to make the following point. As these children turn to teens and eventually to young adults they join the general VD infested free sex pool and may even become sexually involved again with their prior molesters. A seven year old girl sexually molested in 1985 by an adult, is a 21 years old adult herself in 1999. Now that they are both on the other side of the legal wall they can continue where they had left off. These young adults are just as convinced and just as indoctrinated and just as brainwashed as the older adults are, that what people outside the cult consider sexual abuse is in fact a God given liberty and part of the freedoms of the Law of Love. As we shall see in the rest of this study, sexual abuse was replaced by physical abuse and at the present, physical abuse has been replaced by a practice that is, in one sense, worse than both the sexual abuse of the eighties or the physical abuse of the end of the eighties and the beginning on the nineties. As we said before, kids and adults starting at age 14 are taught to masturbate to Jesus and get sexual with Him. This is by far the most shocking thing that has even happened in this cult, particularly for those of us who see things from a conservative Christian perspective. In time the second generation adults will start teaching their own children the joys of masturbating to Jesus and getting sexual and talking dirty to Him. My point in saying all this is that if we don’t rescue the children today, there won’t be much we can do to help them once they are on the other side of the legal wall and they are considered adults. We got to reach the third generation now, before it is too late and they are fully indoctrinated, like the two generations before them. Once they are adults it will be much harder to reach them legally. If we don’t rescue the third generation, the children growing up in the cult today, someday 20 years down the line we may have to arrest them for abusing the fourth generation. How much better to rescue them now, than to go after them legally later for abusing their own children, not yet born.
THE VICTOR PROGRAM.
I don’t know what was worse in the COG, the sex abuse or the physical abuse. A most horrible, systematic program of indoctrination came into being around the end of the eighties and lasted until the early nineties, but might still be going on today to some extend, which had as its purpose to break the spirits of both the kids and the adults and to make them conform and obey. Minors as well as adults were severely disciplined until they "got the victory," hence the names "victor camps" and "victor programs." Many came out of these programs submissive and obedient always smiling and cheerful, but wounded on the inside. If the torture described in the next paragraphs is not child abuse severely punishable by law, I don’t know what is. The truth about the horrors children experienced in these camps must see the light of day. We need to shout from the housetops and publicize and expose far and wide the inhumane way these young people were treated, all in an attempt to break their spirits and make them conform.
THE MACAO DETENTION CENTER.
It appears that the Macao Detention Center was a prototype of centers around the world that came to be known as Victor Camps. The Macao Detention Center was not very different from the hard labor camps of Communist China we see in movies. The teens at Macao were made to work as much as seven days a week, breaking up cement or old sidewalks or doing other menial work including lots and lots of paining. They were not allowed to talk or to use the cult term, they were on silence restriction. They were required to write long confessions of their doubts or criticisms of leadership and report on all their thoughts of disloyalty. They were subjected to very severe beatings. Judge Ward said about the Macao camp that he "recoil[s] with horror at the indignities there heaped upon the children." (Judgment p. 284). The COGs tried to present the Macao camp as a voluntary program on a farm in rural surroundings for individualized guidance and encouragement of teens in a small personal family atmosphere, with lots of love and prayer "and a consistent daily schedule of typical boarding school-type discipline, administered with patience, prayer, reasoning and understanding." (Judgment p. 158). The Judge responded by calling the above statement propaganda and answered in part with the following. "Having heard from and seen a number of the teenagers who were at Macao, I am in no doubt at all that it was a travesty of the truth thus to describe that programme. The truth is that the children were subjected to a regime of physical and psychological brutality. Paddlings were a regular feature of life in the camp. The children were systematically beaten in it." (Judgment p. 158). Elsewhere he talks of the "barbaric and cruel" manner, as he puts it, in which these children were treated. He mentions a case of a girl running around the room to avoid being beaten. (Judgment p. 158). The Judge believes this was the same girl who according to another person who testified, collapsed half way through her paddling. They held her up to hit her more and finally dragged her half conscious to her room. (Judgment pp. 158-159).
The Victor Camps were only a shade less severe. The following is the way the group described one of these camps. "The Shepherds wanted to help a number of teens who had serious problems and were greatly in need of very close oversight, discipline and intense retraining and rewiring in the Word. To give this small group of problem teens the care and attention needed, the ‘Teen Victor Program’ was begun. These problem teens, now called the Teen Victors, were moved to a retraining center where their Shepherds were able to zero in on their needs." ("Brainwashing," Kent). This of course is the same type of propaganda that Judge Ward was talking about earlier in reference to the Macao detention center. It would be helpful to take a look at the different aspects of life in the victor camps.
Children and teens were taken and confined to special cult homes where they were maltreated during extended periods of isolation. According to Steve Kent hundreds of young people were confined, some for years. They were incarcerated and isolated in locked small upper attics for days as punishment.
Their mouths were taped over and they were made to carry a sign around their necks saying, "Don’t talk to me. I am on silence restriction" or something to that effect.
They were slapped for critical thoughts. Pants down extensive and frequent physical beatings in front of everyone with a big thick piece of wood about four feet long or with a wooden paddle were part of life for these kids. Beatings with a belt were frequent. Sometimes they were made to do duck walks as a form of humiliation and punishment. A young ex-member recently told me about what he termed a smile machines. They would place paper clips on both sides of the mouth and would connect them around the back of the neck with an elastic rubber, thus forcing the kids to smile!
They were given extremely hard, demoralizing and degrading physical labor, getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning and working seven days a week, while on silence restriction.
They underwent what amounts to psychological torture. They were yelled at by rooms full of leaders, and were forced to write pages upon pages of confessions.
He is a classic example of what we are talking about. At age 13 he was put on solitary confinement for months and was frequently spanked and beaten with a belt. He was brought in front of a large number of teens, maybe as many as 100. He was wearing a cloth mask over his mouth. Sam was ordered by Mark (Lonnie Davis) to turn around, to pull down his pants and to bend over. Sam was hit so hard with a bread board by Mark that he was knocked forward. Sam remembers being hit over 20-25 times. He broke down and started crying and begging Lonnie Davis for mercy, pleading "Please, don’t hit me again. No, please stop." Sam said he was so bruised after the beating he could barely move one of his legs, couldn’t sit because it hurt so much and he had to sleep on his stomach. After the beating he was taken back to solitary confinement. ("Brainwashing," Kent). Ex-group member Amy Priebe who was present at this beating informs us that "these kind of beatings were common." ("Brainwashing," Kent). Lonnie Davis is an important member of the cult, frequently attending meetings of religious scholars and provides information on freedom of religion issues to the Untied States Congress. I think he should be arrested for what he did to Sam and probably other young people as well, and charged with child abuse. Judge Ward pointed out that unlike the sexual abuse of children which had already stopped by then, the victor camps were still in operation and said that he was very concerned about it.
FOCUS ON THE CHILDREN.
Circumstances behind their control have placed unbearable burdens on these kids. Imagine what it must be like growing up in an environment like this cult. I was raised in a normal, stable family but I remember when I was 12 it was hard to be a kid, and I am talking about regular growing pains. In addition to all the sexual abuse, many of the young people in the group were subjected to the psychological and physical abuse of the victor camps. Furthermore as we will see next, these kids were pressured to lie to the authorities and to the media and to deny all the abuses they had experienced in the group. They have been taught since they can remember to be extremely security minded and protective of the group and have grown up with a fear of outsiders and the bad world out there. These fears were reinforced by raids by scary looking policemen. Their faces were shown on TV and they suffered the indignities of been locked up in detentions centers for extended periods of time.
During the late eighties the group started returning to America, which was still not destroyed by God as false prophet Berg had predicted. Up to this time the COGs would just run from persecution, their fleebags always ready to grab and run away. At this time a change of policy took place. They would stand up and fight. The cult calls the period that followed a time of unprecedented persecution. They wrote recently referring to this time in their history: "Hundreds of children in The Family...have been brutalized and terrorized by paramilitary style raids, trouncing on their dignity and human rights as if they were of no value because of their adherence to a minority religion." ("Letter to the Editor," Borowick). I met Claire Borowick sometime ago and she tried to present herself and her cult as victims of aggression by the authorities, telling me how horrible her time in jail was. She also said that the group has changed a lot since I left in 1979. I replied that they are 100% responsible for whatever has happened to them. It is very easy to see why of all western Christian youth organizations doing missionary work around the world, none of the other groups has suffered even a fraction of the things that have happened to the COG. Now, I really do not know for sure in what way these raids were conducted, neither do I want to take the side of the authorities or try to defend them if they indeed were wrong in the way the raids were done. Maybe there really were some irregularities that transpired and things were done that were not supposed to be done. I don’t know enough about them to have an educated opinion on the subject. I simply do not know how true it is that excessive force was used and that the COGs were maltreated. It may be true that a women was pulled by the hair and dragged on the pavement during the raids in France and I don’t remember if she was also pregnant. TS member Barny told me that when they were interrogating him in an earlier case in Brazil they injected a toothpick under his fingernail as deep as his fingernail. Even if all these things are true, the COGs are totally responsible for the situation they have created for themselves. In fact they should feel very fortunate that they are still free to walk the streets. There are thousands upon thousands of child molesters rotting in jails worldwide, for doing much less than the COGs have done. On the other hand I can’t help but wonder that maybe some of the very kids taken away during the raids were just before the raids subjected to all the inhuman indignities of the victor camps. I know one thing. - No police anywhere during the time these kids were imprisoned had their mouths taped nor were they subjected to beatings and beltings and the rest of the tortures they experienced in COG’s prisons. Whatever wrong things may have being done by the authorities pale by comparison to the Gestapo like treatment of these kids by the cult. It is important in this context to point out that Claire Borowick is the present wife of Lonnie Davis, the same Lonnie Davis who beat Sam in the Philippines. Borowick and the cult in general should be careful with their use of terms like brutality, terrorism and trouncing upon the dignity and human rights of young people. It is almost unbelievable the extremely negative wording the COGs use when they talk about their treatment by others and the totally opposite type of euphemistic terminology they use when it comes to their wrongdoings. The COGs will jump at the slightest little thing, making a mountain out of the smallest molehill when it comes to something they can accuse others of, and will make a molehill out of the hugest mountains when it comes to defending and excusing and rationalizing their own sins and horrible crimes. Even if the raids were conducted in an excessive manner, which is possible, I personally can’t trust what the COGs are saying about them, even if they are telling the truth, since they lie so very much.
In July 8, 1990 the police raided several homes in Barcelona, Spain. Many of the cult’s children were kept in institutions for 11 months. In the trial that followed the persecution was asking for a total of 102 years for the 5 national member and 23 years for a foreign member. In the end the COGs were found not guilty of the charges. I have been told that someone in Spain has said that the Judge was bought off. I can’t confirm that this is so. I am just reporting what I have been told and I have no evidence whatsoever to prove that this is true.
In May 15, 1992 six communities in Sidney and Melbourne, Australia were raided and about 150 children were removed. In Oct. 1992 the case in Sidney was mediated out of court. The Child Services department in Melbourne wanted to take the case to court. To get a flavor of the kind of lying the COGs do, a PR video was made for the Australian court case in which children in Denmark were asked if they had heard of silence restrictions. Playing the part the children knew they were suppose to play nobody raised their hands, including someone who Judge Ward said knew that had been placed on silence restriction. The Child Services in Melbourne had gathered a great amount of information and were confident of victory. They were looking forward to fight it out in court when they got an order from a member of the Cabinet forcing them to mediate. The Child Services people were very disappointed as well as those of us who were helping them with material and information. Now the COGs have opened a court case against the Australian government accusing them of legal violations in the way the raids were conducted. I am asking those of you who may have something to offer in this case to contact either me or the lawyers preparing the defense against the COG. It is just too much for this cult to get away with murder, as they have around the world, and now on top of that to have the nerve and the audacity to go after the Australian government for money. The COGs should have been already in Australian prisons for years by now, rather than being out and coming against the government there.
When the Argentine raids took place in Sept. 1993 there was so much publicity here in the US you would had thought the raids had happened in America. As I said earlier, the COGs since 1987 have undergone 10 separate investigations in that country. Like in Australia the case never went to trial. I don’t know all that happened but somehow the issue of whether the State or the Federal government of Argentina had jurisdiction over the case overshadowed everything else. It is my hope that those much more familiar with the court cases will write and try to explain all that transpired and possibly give us the story behind the story as well. Before I move on to the most important court case, the English child custody case, it would be an omission not to mention that there was extensive media coverage and expose of the COG during the early nineties in Japan and the controversy surrounding the COG in the Philippines reached that county’s Senate. As mentioned before raids were conducted against the cult in France as well.
THE ENGLISH CHILD CUSTODY CASE.
The English case started in Feb. 1992 and lasted till Oct. 1995, over three and a half years. It was a major court battle and everybody’s attention turned to it.
Earlier in this paper we already presented a lot of the major points of what transpired during the English court case and therefore will repeat them here only briefly. The Family started with some of their usual lies and denials and misleading half truths. They said that child adult sex was not encouraged by the Family. They said that there had been some instances of child/adult sex but it was not Family policy and that it was not widespread. They said that when they heard of rumors back in 1985 of such activity, the group took action to stop it. As for the cases of incest that they were accused of, they blamed it on members that were defecting who, away from the group’s strong Christian atmosphere, were influenced by the world to commit incest. As stated earlier, The Book of Davidito is so clear in its promoting child adult sex that the cult resorted to trying to say that its author Sara wrote it during the Children of God days and therefore before the Family was formed. They said that Sara’s writings reflect her own opinions only and not the whole group’s. Judge Ward was able to see through all of this, realizing how dishonest the group was. Probably because they started realizing that all the lying they were doing was backfiring, at some point the kids were told not to lie in a court of law no matter how much they may think what they will say could hurt the group. It’s not that they were feeling bad about lying. It was just that it looked like lying would hurt them a lot more than telling the truth.
The 75 day long preliminary hearings started in Oct. 93. The COGs call it Black October. Ex-members testified of their experiences in the cult and recounted tales of sexual molestation they suffered as children in the group. Incriminating cult publications were presented to the court letter by letter, paragraph by paragraph. Videos made by the cult for internal consumption only, were shown where little girls as young as 4, as well as adult women, were dancing provocatively for the sexual pleasure of Berg. The cult publications, the personal stories and the videos destroyed completely the case that the cult was trying to build. The Judge was shocked. As the cult members put it, all this information blew the Judge away and freaked him out. Up to this time the Judge wanted the parties to settle out of court and had been trying to have them come to some kind of an agreement. But after all this very incriminating evidence against the cult the Judge was not interested any more in mediation. He now wanted to go on with the trial. In fact he asked the Child Services department to investigate the local cult commune. The COGs were in deep water.
What happened next is something that I have encountered in working with reporters. The Child Services people that went to investigate came back with glowing reports of how good the group was. This has happened to me when I have told reporters the truth concerning the group. They then have gone to visit the COG and later have asked me, "The group looks so good, what is going on?" Well, let me try to explain. The COGs are convinced of the righteousness of their cause. They are also convinced that the world is out to get them. It is a "them against us" mentality that everybody from the oldest to the very youngest have bought into. So in a situation when outsiders come to check on them, the kids put on the greatest show on earth, and I am not just talking of the singing or dancing or the skits they do. Meeting and talking with their well behaved kids is an experience. Even the youngest kids are so well trained, it is almost like a group of actors performing. Lying or telling half-truths or withholding part of the truth is a very clearly defined part of the script they play. The motivation for this kind of behavior is multifaceted. For one thing they really believe that they are doing it all for the Lord. Some of it also comes from their desire to please their leaders and parents. They also fear punishment. Worse than that they may get expelled from the group or get punished by God. In many cases the fear of getting expelled from God’s elite army of end-time soldiers for Christ is the greatest fear of all.
COG’S LAWYER RESIGNS.
Even with this successful PR the evidence was just too overwhelming against the COG. Their QC (Queen’s Counselor, the senior lawyer that actually would represent the Family in court) resigned, fearing this strange trial might ruin her reputation. The group’s other lawyer said the case was doomed. I don’t know if it was the same lawyer who told the mother in the custody case to leave the Family. In the group’s own words it was catastrophic. It seemed that this slippery cult had finally gotten cornered and caught.
The actual trial started in Jan. 1994 and lasted all the way to July, seven months. After the end of the trial it took ten months for the Judge to finish writing his 295 page long Judgment, or from July 1994 to May 1995. Berg died in 1994, or so the cult claims, proving one more time what a false prophet he was. He had predicted he would die in 1989 and that his death would usher in the last three and a half year period of Great Tribulation before the return of Jesus Christ in 1993. There were also false prophecies just before his death by cult members predicting that Berg would not die but live. Zerby later tried to explain away all these false prophecies concerning Berg getting well. The public opinion was aroused so much from all the constant anti-COG publicity that by January 1995 Zerby started seriously considering evacuating Western Europe. In a cult publication she talked about how difficult things were becoming for the COG in those areas. One of the stories she gave was when the COGs went to offer help and volunteer for some good cause, like they do all over the world, and when the people found out who they were, they asked the COGs to leave or they would call the police. I think that is a great idea for anybody approached by the COG. Call the police immediately or you may loose a lot more than the COGs can possibly offer you, including your own children or children in your congregation.
The overwhelming evidence of the truth of what had transpired in the cult during all the years of its existence was neutralized by some so-called experts who in fact where nothing more than apologists for the cult. When faced with all the persecution of the early nineties the COGs looked everywhere desperately for help. Among those that they found were willing to defend the cult were some academics who for one reason or another decided to help this group. Unable to deny that abuses had taken place, their aim during the trial was not so much to deny that these things had happened. They concentrated their efforts in showing and succeeded in convincing the Judge in the end, that the COGs had changed and that they were in the process of changing even more. One of them, Millikan, though he admitted to child abuse in the group, said there were irreversible changes that had taken place. (Judgment p. 259). Melton, the ringleader among them, likewise said there had been child abuse in the group but that they were changing. (Judgment p. 258). Richardson said the group has "gone good." (Judgment. p. 250). These academics evidently are not able to see that there had only been some chameleon like cosmetic adjustments to extreme external circumstances and pressures against the group and nothing more. I couldn’t disagree more with their opinion that there are fundamental changes in the COG.
THE JUDGE DECIDES AGAINST THE FAMILY.
Judge Ward made his decision known on May 26, 1995 and it was a condemnation of the group. We have already quoted from the Judge who concluded that there was widespread child-adult sex in the group, that leadership was involved and that Berg was personally responsible. Judge Ward wrote that "Berg bears responsibility for propagating the doctrine which so grievously misled his flock and injured the children within it." (Judgment p. 112). Referring to the very bad publicity the COGs received that whole period of time he said: "They have been rightly vilified by the media and pilloried by the press." (Judgment p. 112). As we also mentioned earlier, the Judge was very concerned about the victor programs, which were still in existence during the court proceedings. The Judge’s decision was to give the child to the grandmother and take him away from his mother who still chose to remain a member of the group. At this point of the announcement of the Judge’s decision, the mother who was present, run out the room. In a surprise move the Judge imposed a stay upon his order and put some conditions to the cult and placed some demands upon them, the idea being that he might reconsider his decision if the group responded positively to his demands. One of these conditions was that they had to denounce Berg as personally responsible for child sexual abuse in the group. The COGs had to admit that Berg himself was wrong. Berg had recently died in 1994 as we said, and the group supposedly started receiving messages from him from the dead! According to some of the messages conveniently received from Berg and also Jesus Christ, they were told it was OK for the group to blame Berg for some things as long as they did not deny Berg and his Law of Love. The Law of Love, again, is the doctrinal justification for all their sexual beliefs and practices. The group, by the way, claims they are receiving messages from many other dead people as well, including Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. In her messages, Marilyn Monroe is promising people sex when they get to heaven. Supposedly having Berg’s permission from the other side, the cult went through the motions of writing a very carefully worded statement by Peter Amsterdam, saying as little as they possibly could, while complying or giving the appearance of satisfying the Judge’s demand of admitting that Berg had been responsible for the sexual abuse of children in the cult. I am sure that Peter Amsterdam or whoever wrote that statement did not really mean a single word of what was said. The mother of the child made a statement to that effect, as well, saying that Berg was responsible. It appears that the Judge was impressed by the Family’s admission of Berg’s guilt.
The persecution of the first half of the nineties and particularly the English court case caused a feverish period of activities that produced a plethora of paperwork supposedly evidencing true and fundamental changes. The COGs compiled and packaged many of these into a thick document called the Charter, which they submitted to the Judge at a time when there seemed to be little hope for the group. The truth is that these changes are utterly superficial and for the most part meaningless in the sense that fundamentally the group had not changed one iota. On Sept. 1995, or the month before the final decision came out, the COGs wrote the Judge: "We sincerely believe that the Family today is a safe place, and we have established safeguards to make sure it will remain so." (GN 653, p. 14).
THE FINAL DECISION.
Five months went by until the final judgment was given on Oct. 19, 1995. The Judge shocked and angered many by reversing his decision thus throwing the little boy, Sam, back to the wolves. Judge Ward came to the very wrong conclusion that the group had changed and was therefore presenting no threat to Sam. (Judgment p. 294). Little Sam was to remain a ward of the court and some other conditions were put to the cult, but nothing that the COGs can’t handle. They are such experts at creating the appearance of complying to conditions imposed.
The Judge gave credit to the grandmother for her efforts to expose the COG’s pernicious practices of the past. He said that she has done a public service. Since then the grandmother has decided that even if the child was returned to her, she wouldn’t want to take the responsibility of raising him up.
THE PRODIGAL SON.
The Judge said that the group still has some mud from the past on their coat but they can wash it off if they chose. He goes on to suggest that society should accept back this prodigal son and that we must all be ready to welcome their return. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but why would he want to inflict this cancer upon society, as if they have not destroyed enough lives and families already.
JUDGE WARD WAS WRONG.
In my humble opinion, it was totally wrong to give the child back to the cult. Here in America there are poedophiles who have spend 10 or 20 or more years in jail for even a single act of child sexual molestation, for committing just one act of such child abuse. They have already been in prison and paid the price for the crime. Yet after serving many years in jail, when they come out of prison, their problems are not necessarily over when they are released back into the community. Many concerned mothers want these perverts removed from their area. They do public demonstrations and participate in other such activities because they are afraid their children may be victimized by that particular poedophile who now lives in their neighborhood. Recently one such child molester after his release from jail had to face dozens of concerned mothers demonstrating outside his motel room. They were not demonstrating because he had tried to molest somebody’s child. It was just that the mothers were very concerned that this convicted child molester might do it again. He was forced to move out of his motel. I think the point is clear. How much more we should be concerned about a whole cult full of thousands of poedophiles! The COGs have not even been punished yet for their crimes. Neither have they repented. Even if they had truly repented, which they haven’t, how can the Judge be sure that they truly have? And of course, how does he know they are not still doing it as we speak, though in a much smaller scale? Even if they have completely stopped, and completely repented, who is to say that some of them may not get tempted to do it again when the opportunity arises? It seems to me that since the Judge was evidently having a hard time deciding on this matter, he should had rather erred on the side of what is safer for that little boy. Even if they had changed, which they hadn’t, little Sam should had never been returned to that filthy and crazy cult. Judge Ward and those so-called experts are partly responsible for the corruption this child is now exposed to and undergoing. A judge who is soft on evildoers is not a just and good judge. Just think of the horrible indoctrination that he is going to be getting as he is growing up. The indoctrination these children receive is very strong. To give an example, about 20 young ex-member girls have worked or are working as strippers or prostitutes. Heaving read this paper and having become aware of the overly sexualized atmosphere in which the children in the cult were born and raised, it should not be too difficult to understand why young girls out of the group would end up doing that kind of work. Even after they leave the cult, a lot of the propaganda and teaching remains with them. It is very unfortunate that Judge Ward believed they have changed and are changing. I am very sorry he did not see that the admissions of Berg’s guilt were done out of expediency and that it was nothing but a joke and a farce. I know for a fact that the COGs to this day don’t believe there is anything wrong with child adult sex and incest, though they deny this is the case. Let me repeat, they still believe that there is nothing wrong with child/adult sex, even though they pretend and lie they don’t.
COG’S COSTLY VICTORY.
The Judge said that he wanted the only winner in this case to be little Sam, but this boy ultimately ended up being the biggest loser. The Judge tried to throw some bones to everybody. The cult got to keep Sam and they were happy for their legal successes. Yet, they has to pay a great price. For one thing they had to admit that Berg was personally responsible for the child abuse.
Secondly, there is now a document over 300 pages long written by a very fair Judge exposing the COG/Family like no other document had exposed them before. It is by far the most revealing work presently available on the COG. It is definitely a document worth reading. They tried to talk the Judge out of making the Judgment public, but he did make it public and most of it is already available on the Internet. Everything those of us trying to expose the COG all these years have been saying is now established in a major, respectable court of law. It proves that what we have been saying was the truth after all. I am very certain as well that the cult is not very happy over all the horrible publicity they received in the media as a result of this court case.
GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER.
One the other side of the coin however, they have been able to get away with murder in every one of the court cases including the English court case. It was admittedly frustrating for those of us who have been fighting this monstrous cult tooth and nail, that when finally all this got exposed and documented in a major court of law, and we thought that justice was finally going to be served, for Judge Ward to decide that the cult had changed and that the COG is now a safe environment for a child to grow up in.
For one thing this court decision gives the very wrong signal that it is possible as a group or a church or an organization to molest children even by the thousands and then when you get caught say you have changed and get away with it. It is high time that these child molester get punished for the crimes they have committed.
A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH.
While confessing of wrongdoing from one side of their mouth by admitting that Berg was personally responsible, immediately after the final decision was reached and the trial was over, the COGs tried to downplay and/or deny the existence of child abuse by reminding everybody during a newspaper interview that six hundred of their children were given a clean bill of health during the earlier court cases and the raids and that no evidence was found of any kind of abuse.
MASTURBATING TO JESUS.
With all the protestations and pretension by the cult that they are changing, and the Judge agreeing that they are changing and the experts testifying of such changes, and now Berg dead, Zerby apologizing every chance she got and claiming they have changed, and Peter Amsterdam admitting that Berg was responsible, I came to the point that I began wondering if in fact there was some such change beginning to happen. Deep in my hart I did not even consider the possibility that there really was a fundamental and real change, but I have to confess that the thought ran through me mind. But then the "Loving Jesus" revelation came out. I had to see it with my own eyes in print before I believed it was true. Sprinkled here and there in the Family’s internal publications throughout 1995 you read hints about a new more intimate way of loving Jesus, a new way of showing adoration and affection to Jesus Christ. Zerby has explained that during most of 1995 they had been experimenting with and practicing what some will undoubtedly consider the most blasphemous and insane sacrilege in the history of this cult. There was not enough information given in these new publications as to what Zerby was trying to put across in these hints she was throwing out during 1995. I am sure people had no idea what it all meant, until it was finally spelled out in black and white in the Loving Jesus series as to where this new thing was going. A very similar thing happened before prostitution was introduced years earlier. There were publications preparing the group and then suddenly the whole shocking truth was manifested. I have written two newsletters about the Loving Jesus Revelation, newsletters #10 and #11 and they are both available on the CounterCog web page. In short, boys and girls starting at age 14 are encouraged to masturbate to Jesus Christ. The boys are to imagine that they have vaginas and are to fantasize that Jesus Christ is having sex with them. While having sex with another, 16 year olds and older fantasize that Jesus is participating in the sex act with them. They are encouraged to use sexual language and talk dirty to Jesus. A slightly edited but pretty close version of the Loving Jesus publications has been presented to 12 year olds, and the sexual nature of this revelation explained to them. The Family has stated that they don’t expect the church or other Christians to understand this revelation but they "see nothing sinful or blasphemous about including the creator of sex as a participant during their times of sexual loving and enjoyment." ("Response to Journal," Borowick). I for one believe that the Loving Jesus revelation is probably the most sacrilegious and blasphemous heresy in all the two thousand years of church history. Some left the group as a result of this new doctrine and others who remained worried about more persecution on top of all the persecution they had received in recent years and which had only recently stopped, but the majority of the cult went along and embraced the new program and are practicing regularly getting sexual with Jesus Christ.
THEY HAVE NOT CHANGED.
This new sacrilege was published in seven sections or parts. Let me remind the reader that Judge Ward’s two decisions were given, the first in May and the final one in October, both in 1995. Parts 1 and 2 of the "Loving Jesus" series were written in July 1995 or two months before the final decision of Oct. 95. They were published in Dec. 95 in GN 659. The rest of the Loving Jesus series, numbers 3 to 7 were all written in Dec. 95 and all of them published in Jan. 96 in GNS 662, 663, 664 and 665. Along the same lines "Teen Sex Policies" lowering the age for free sex from 18 to 16 was written in April 1995 or a month before the Judge’s first decision to give the child to the Grandmother on May 1995. It was published in GN 649 in Sept. 1995 or the month before the final decision of Oct. 1995. One of the craziest publication on teen sex, "Go for the Gold" was written in Sept. 1995 or the month before the final decision of Oct. 1995. It was published in GN 657 in Nov. 1995 or the month following the final decision. What better proof can there be that the group was not changing when they were publishing such literature even before and just after the trial was over? The Judge, I suppose, did not know about Loving Jesus, as the cult tried to keep it a guarded secret for as long as they possibly could, lying about it and denying that such new revelation existed even when asked point blank about it. But even if the cult never got into Loving Jesus they should had never returned Sam to the cult. On the other hand I wonder if anything even like Loving Jesus would change the minds of some of the very liberal minded pro-COG apologists.
RECENT LOVING JESUS QUOTES.
The following are milder Loving Jesus quotes published more recently and therefore are not included in newsletters #10 and #11. In a publication that came out as recently as April 1998 we read Jesus saying the main and number one requirement and quality needed for a good and stable marriage is putting Him first. Jesus explains that this is done by "acknowledging [Him] and allowing [Him] to be with [them] during [the married couple’s] private times together." This is Cogese for getting sexual with Jesus, while they are having sex as a married couple. (GN 799, Zerby 3194:62-63, [4/98]). Jesus also says, "As we lie together in the bed of love...we will reach heights unknown!" (GN 799, Zerby 3194:40, [4/98]). We read again that Jesus wants the young couples to include Him in their marriage (GN 8:20) and love him intimately (GN 8:22).
We have heard that Peter Amsterdam has been visiting cult homes to promote and encourage this new practice of Loving Jesus. We have also heard that he calls and considers himself Jesus’ vagina, actually calling himself Jesus’ p....! We have also heard that there have been repeated prayer requests for the healing of Peter’s penis. This is the number two man in the group after Karen Zerby.
WHY DON’T THEY JUST WALK AWAY.
We have talked already about some of these things, but it might be important to explain a little more what is keeping all these thousands of people in this strange cult. Berg has convinced his followers that they are God’s special elite army of the end time, God’s elect and chosen few, the very apple of God’s eye, who unlike the hypocritical churches have given all to God and have a special and unique closeness to Him. This is the spiritual DNA of the group in the sense that this is how they see themselves. They have not changed and are very much the same in this respect, since I left the group 20 years ago. They feel they are so close to God and so special to Him that they honestly believe, for example, the reason for England’s recent "mad cow" disease was that it was a judgment from God for the persecution that the group suffered there. Can you imagine? They believe they are the special top leaders in the coming glorious kingdom of God. They have been convinced that Berg is the great prophet of God for the end times. Once you can convince a few thousand people that you are the greatest man of God that ever lived after only Jesus, the rest of it is downhill, as far as exercising inordinate influence and control over people. For a cult member to leave the group is to leave God, to fail God! Outsiders must understand that the greatest fear and the greatest motivation of the members is that they don’t want to fail God, they don’t want to disappoint God, they don’t want to get out of God’s will. It is truly a pathetic situation in which these sincerely deceived people have cornered themselves. Despite all the many false prophecies many are still following Berg, having been caught in the fantasy world that Berg has created for them. There are legitimate promises in the Bible that are ours to believe in and to claim and to be sure that we will partake of as part of our godly heritage as Christians. To these however Berg has added a whole bunch of other things, a lot of it the result of his wet dreams and sexual fantasies.
I remember hearing a former top leader of the COG saying that people around him would tremble from fear. Group members are also fearful that God will strike them dead if they leave or punish them in some horrible way. No fear tactic has been spared to keep the members, both adults and minors, submissive to leadership or to keep them from leaving the group. I remember trying to scare and prevent someone that wanted to leave the group, warning him that God was going to punish and judge him. I remember a teacher way back at TSC warning those who might want to leave and saying: "God will do you hurt." Many have been scared into staying by stories of horrible judgments supposedly inflicted by God upon some that left the group. "IRFer’s Beware" is a publication written by Berg about the story of an ex-member who had left the group and was later murdered. Some people were absolutely scared that God was going to strike them dead if they left.
ONGOING POLICY OF DECEPTION.
Group members are pressured to be very honest with their own leaders but it is a very different story when they deal with outsiders. Group members don’t really feel that there has to be any true integrity from their part in their dealings with all outsider "systemites" they interact with, be it the media, the legal system, academics, lawyers or anybody else. A term used by the cult which is indicative of their attitude towards outsiders is "spoiling Egypt" and is applied specifically to those that help the group financially and with goods, supplies and services. In addition to explaining and exposing some of COG’s false doctrines and unbiblical practices, one of the aims of this paper is to establish to what degree the Family still to this day practices a policy of bold and ongoing deception. We have already explained that both adults and children in the Family have been indoctrinated into lying to the authorities. Literature was created explaining to little children why it was important to lie and be deceitful in some circumstances. Judge Ward wrote about the COG’s "ingrained habit of lying if they have to and of telling half the truth if they can get away with it." (Judgment p. 35). He also said that the Family "regard themselves free to deceive the authorities." (Judgment p. 282). Judge Ward talked of the pervasive tendency on the part of the Family to be economical with the truth.
CHEATING THE PHONE COMPANY.
The following is an example of a blatantly deceptive practice in which I myself have participated. I was instructed to deceive the phone company in order to save money for the group. The deception worked as follows: Let’s suppose my overseer Adam was coming from New York to visit me in Baltimore, Maryland, where I was the leader of a COG commune. I would get a person-to-person collect call from Adam to an imaginary Mr. Cummings, which would mean that Adam was coming. To find out when Adam would be arriving, I would reply that Mr. Cummings was not in at the moment and I would ask the operator if Mr Adam could call later. The operator who is not aware of the exchange of information that is been transacted through her communicating all these messages back and forth between Adam and myself, might next be asked by Mr Adam to tell me that he can’t call back until the following evening. The operator would communicate that to me, I would thank her and that would be the end of the conversation. Without costing Adam a penny for this long distance call, he had notified me that he would be arriving at my home the following evening and to prepare for his visit. This was common practice. I remember hearing with my own ears an even higher leader, Grant Montgomery suggesting to someone to smuggle things out of Turkey and into Greece. Grant Montgomery is the president of the cult’s California based non-profit organization and the number three man in the group.
A lot of the deception the group practices is much less obvious. Much of it consists in been evasive, changing the subject and trying to avoid the specific issues they are been confronted about. When dealing with accusations Berg would answer by saying he didn’t want to soil his hands by involving himself in giving direct answers to all these "lies," which were not lies at all, and he would instead share with the critics our soulwinning statistics, or how many missionaries we had in how many countries and other such diversionary facts and figures. The group members, both young and old, were instructed in minute detail as to how to answer each and every question they may be asked by the media.
Some of the group’s public homes are not much different in some respects from a Hollywood studio. When one of their homes in Southern California was discovered by the media, it was changed into what the group itself calls a TV home. Some of the best mannered and best looking young members were residing in this TV home, people who were carefully selected and that were trusted to act and sing and say things in a certain way and do good PR for the group and lie if need be. The COGs prefer to use the truth or a half-truth if it will do, but will not hesitate to use outright lies if it is necessary.
POURING THEIR OWN DEFINITIONS INTO WORDS.
A form of half truth is the pouring of their own definitions into words. When for example you ask them if there ever was child-abuse in the group, they think they are not totally lying if they say that there was no child abuse going on in the group. The reason is that according to the COGs, child-adult sex is not a form of child abuse if it is done in love. They know very well that the person asking the question considers child-adult sex child abuse. To be totally honest the COGs would have to answer that question by saying, "We practice child adult sex but we do not consider it child abuse, so therefore my answer to your question is that no, we do not practice child abuse." They of course do not explain all that and in their heart they are very aware that what they are doing is deception. They may claim that the group has not produced pornographic videos. They will argue that they are not lying if they say that they don’t produce pornographic videos, simply because the striptease dances of adults or chidden or even the sex acts in their videos, including masturbation is not pornography in their opinion. If you ask them point black if there are little girls doing striptease dances naked, then they will have to decide if they are going to use an outright lie and they do use outright lies all the time and with no hesitation whatsoever.
You have to constantly be watching them and paying attention to what new thing they are saying, what new twisting of the facts, to see what new lie they are trying to throw at you. For example, at this point, the official "truth," or rather the official "lie" is that child-adult sex is not part of the "Law of Love."
It is not easy to explain the two-dimensional "truth" under which the cult members operate. Ultimately the group believes in "the letters" meaning Berg’s writings. But then under certain circumstances the need arises to "believe" something that is not in agreement with "the letters." When this other truth is presented, what is subtly but clearly implied and communicated to all, though not always explained in the greatest detail, is that at that particular stage of difficulty, this is what they must be believing. A former member was told point blank when still in the group in reference to the PR statements the COGs published in the early nineties: "This is what we believe now." All this, of course, is deception, pure and simple as this temporary "new truth" is nothing but a form of lying and deceiving those outside the cult.
NO CHOICE BUT LIE.
It is important to understand that even if the COGs now wanted to admit the whole truth, they couldn’t. When one ex-member admitted to the authorities of having had incest with her children, all her kids were taken from her and sent to foster homes. We mentioned that another ex-member is serving a long jail sentence for sexually molesting his underage daughters. We realize that they feel they have no choice but to lie, since confessing the truth could land them in jail for the rest of their lives. They have orders to lie and deny everything and they will keep on lying and denying everything no matter how much evidence to the contrary they are confronted with. They continue to lie with such shocking audacity and their statements are so forceful and sharp that people could wonder if the COGs may in fact be telling the truth. We know what the truth is concerning all these matters and we are writing it all down and explaining everything in great detail, so that you, the reader, know and are informed. Very important in this context is reading and re-reading Judge Ward’s "Judgment." He proved like none else before him has, that the group was indeed guilty of the criminal practices they have been accused of.
NO DESIRE TO CHANGE.
There is not the slightest willingness on the part of the group to even consider that they could possibly be wrong. If they condescend to reading this newsletter they will consider the things I say as bitter criticisms coming from a backsliden old-bottle. Old bottles are those who are not spiritual enough to receive the group’s new wine, the new bottle-breaking revelations from God. It is so sad and pathetic reading the literature their very gone leader Zerby is putting out. I feel sorry for these otherwise well meaning very deceived people in her cult. They and their leader are oblivious to what they are doing.
EXPOSING THE COG.
We must explain and expose the heretical doctrines and practices of this group. The Church throughout its history always had its polemicists, now called apologists, whose job it was to study and expose heresy and there never was a time in history when good apologists were needed more than today. Very important and needed in the overall context of exposing the Family are books, including and especially those written by ex-members recounting their experiences in the COG. Newspaper articles, TV documentaries and other such materials are playing a very vital and necessary role in fighting this group.
THE LEGAL SYSTEM.
A less popular aspect of fighting the COG is the use of the legal system. The truth is that the reason the COGs stopped a lot of their abuses of all kinds against the children in the group was because of what they call persecution. The only thing that has made a dent is legal action, including deportation, raids by the authorities, imprisonment of members, the detention of many of the children and the court cases. Looking at the big picture it is easy to see that the rod of the legal system has done much more good and prevented much more harm to the children than all the years of apologetics and documentaries and exposure in the media. The legal system is an institution created to guide and control human behavior, to punish the guilty and to protect and rescue the innocent. It seems to be the only authority structure strong enough to deal with this immense problem. The legal system is in a position to reach the kids still ensnared in the cult much more effectively than any other way or method available to us. A constant theme of my newsletters has been encouraging people to use the legal system and I believe it would be a grave mistake to give up on it and the courts just because they have failed us until now. We must make the legal system do its job. I remember seeing a documentary recently of a Catholic priest in the Philippines who dedicated his life to rescuing little children from poedophiles. He was instrumental in activating the existing laws against the peodophiles some of whom ended up in jail. Whether or not the COG will continue as an organization and how long we allow the abuses to continue, to a large extend depends on what you and I decide to do or not to do. The teens who were horribly abused both sexually and in the infamous victor camps have every right to take this cult to court and to make them pay for the abuses inflicted upon them. We should do everything in our power to help, guide and encourage these younger ex-members in their legal fight against the Family. It is the least we can do.