Geraldo Rivera: Former cultists comment on requirements made of them by their leaders

From XFamily - Children of God

Editor's note: Some names have been partially redacted to protect individual privacy or for other reasons at the discretion of the editors of

Former cultists comment on requirements made of them by their leaders

Geraldo Rivera/1992-07-29


HOST: Geraldo Rivera


(The following is a filmed preview of upcoming GERALDO)

(Theme music)

GERALDO RIVERA: Are you telling us that you believe that God wanted you to be a hooker?

LYNN (Ex-Cult Member, Prostitute For God): I believed it because I was brainwashed.

RIVERA: Coming right up on GERALDO, victims of sexual cults.

(Theme music)

RIVERA: How old were you when they took the nude photos?

HEIDI (16-Year Old Ex-Cult Member): From two to four.

LYNN: That was the ul--the ultimate sacrifice that man could make to God--was to share his wife with another man.

Ms. CAROLYN WILLIAMS (Former Cult Member, Sterilized For God): I just woke up one day and said, "I'm tired of this. I'd rather go to hell."

LYNN: And I can't imagine that I had done something to that degree and did it all in God's name.

(End of filmed preview)

RIVERA: As you can see, today's program is about incredible sexual sacrifices, all made in the name of a cult.

Hello, everybody. Welcome to the program.

I'd like you to meet our guests. First, Lynn. Lynn and her 16-year-old daughter Heidi. Their cult leader told Lynn that prostitution was the greatest sacrifice she could make for God. So Lynn did it. She did it for her cult, and she did it for her five children. The brothers and sisters, plus Heidi.

Now, Lynn, they called it flirty fishing?

LYNN: Yes. That was their name for prostitution, and they used that as a means of converting people into that group.

RIVERA: So would you walk the streets to find potential customers for this cult?

LYNN: Well, sometimes we would go out and pass out literature. If we should encounter somebody that we felt was a potential convert, we would continue with that seduc--seduction. And if that involved going to bed with them, that's what we would use. Or we would go into nice bars or nightclubs, which was quite common.

RIVERA: So you did it basically to sign up recruits to the cult?

LYNN: Exactly.

RIVERA: But did you also--is it not a fact--occasionally charge the johns for your services?

LYNN: If they were to pay us for our services, we certainly didn't refuse it. We didn't ask them up front for money. That was not--it was not that form of prostitution. But should they give it to us, we certainly used it.

RIVERA: Do you have any idea, Lynn, how many men you slept with for your cult?

LYNN: No idea.

RIVERA: I mean, is it dozens, scores, hundreds?

LYNN: I would say--I would say over 100.

RIVERA: Looking back on the experience now, I mean, does it shame you? Or how do you feel about it?

LYNN: Well, I think the thing that shames me is that--how it has affected my children. I mean, my children would be with me when there was sexual encounters going on. Not necessarily with people that was outside the cult, but these practices also went on within the confines of the cult--people sharing each other's husbands and wives.

RIVERA: And the name of the cult, you...

LYNN: Children of God.

RIVERA: ...that you allege was responsible?

Now, HEIDI, you're barely 16--not even quite 16. Were you aware that your mom was involved in these activities?

HEIDI: Actually, not during the time. I walked on her a couple--a couple of times.

RIVERA: Like what? Describe one of the scenes that may have embarrassed you.

HEIDI: It didn't embarrass me at the time.

RIVERA: What was it?

HEIDI: Because it was natural. I was four, and we lived in Fresno in an apartment. And my youngest brother's father came over with his family, and I was in--we were all--all the kids slept in a room in sleeping bags--in different sleeping bags. My brother's father's son and I went out into the living, and my mother and his father were having sex. And it seemed natural at the time because we weren't taught any different.

RIVERA: So, Lynn, you have five children--four including Heidi?

LYNN: Yes, and there are three of them--there are three different fathers for the five children.

RIVERA: And the three fathers all members of the cult?

LYNN: Well, to this day, one is out of the cult, and to my knowledge, two are still currently involved.

RIVERA: So they're in the Children of God?

LYNN: To my knowledge, yes.

RIVERA: Now, five kids--obviously, you were pregnant quite a bit. What did that do to your flirty fishing--to your prostitution activities?

LYNN: Well, I still flirty fished even being pregnant.

RIVERA: Are you saying that you prostituted yourself even when--while pregnant?

LYNN: Yes. And, I mean, to men--a lot of men, sometimes they just wanted the companionship, and we were taught ways in order to make people feel loved, whether it was through sex or making them feel wanted. And sometimes the men just wanted the companionship, and whether I was pregnant or not, that didn't matter.

RIVERA: Were you a successful recruiter?

LYNN: I hope so. At that time I hoped I was. And, of course, afterwards I had realized the damage that I had done to these people.

RIVERA: I'm really curious, you know, in retrospect, how the experience sits with you?

LYNN: Well, in retrospect--I mean, I can't imagine that I had done something to that degree and that--and did it all in God's name. I mean, how could I have used God as--as a way of trying to win people into a group like that. It was very deceitful.

RIVERA: Aside from the deceit, it was also kind of wild. I mean, weren't the sexual scenes at times more orgies than--than romance?

LYNN: Well, within the confines of the group, we did have our orgies per se. On the outside of the group, no, they weren't orgies.

RIVERA: Well, if you had an orgy with the members of the group, the Children of God, you say, I mean, what was the theological rationale for it? I mean...

LYNN: Because you...

RIVERA: did God benefit from your--your wild sex parties?

LYNN: Well, that was the ultimate sacrifice. If a husband could give their wife, that was the ult--ultimate sacrifice that man could make to God--was to share his wife with another man.

RIVERA: And, honey, before I move on to the other guests, I want to know your response to this now.


HEIDI: As to what?

RIVERA: You know, how do you feel about what your mom was into?

HEIDI: It's part of our life. We can't change it. It's--I couldn't have changed the circumstances at the time because I was so young.

RIVERA: I understand many children were also brought in on these sexual adventures?

HEIDI: I never had sex in the cult. I have been taken pictures of, nude, but I never had sex in the cult.

RIVERA: How old were you when they took the nude photos?

HEIDI: From two to four, six.

RIVERA: Sick. Very sick.

Jeanne was in a different cult. In her cult, the leader instructed the male followers that if their wives were to divorce them, then the men were justified in snatching and stealing those children. Two years after Jeanne left the cult and divorced her cult-member husband, her ex snatched her two kids.

(Photograph of Jeanne and her children)

RIVERA: (Voiceover) So when was the last time you saw your children?

Ms. JEANNE CVETKOVICH (Ex-Husband Kidnapped Kids): August 20, '91.

RIVERA: So it's been nine months?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: Mm-hmm. Nine months.

RIVERA: Any word at all on where the children are?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: We have it confirmed by the FBI, they were seen in Oregon in the month of April at a health food farm.

RIVERA: In what town?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: Dufur, Oregon.

RIVERA: All right. So any of our viewers around the Dufur, Oregon--I'm not familiar with Dufur. Where exactly is it in the state?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: Pretty close to Portland.

RIVERA: Is it? OK. So we have many viewers in the Portland area. Jim Bob, do we have a picture of the children?

(Photographs of Simon and Olivia Cvetkovich)

RIVERA: (Voiceover) There they are. And their names, Jeanne?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: (Voiceover) Simon and Olivia Cvetkovich.

RIVERA: OK. We have Jeanne, in her desperation, as you can imagine, this 33-year-old woman is--is beside herself with grief and concern over the whereabouts and well-being of her two missing children. When we called her, we found a message on her answering machine that--if it's all right with you, Jeanne--I would like to share with our audience. Because in its pathos and in its urgency, I think it's the most eloquent message that anyone can make to these kids if they happen to be watching this program, or to anyone who has seen these kids, snatched by her cult-member husband.

Why don't we play that right now, Jim Bob.

(Photographs of the Cvetkovich children)

Ms. CVETKOVICH (Voice On Tape From Answering Machine): If you need to leave me a message, please go ahead. And, Simon and Livie, if it's you calling, Mommy has not forgotten you. I'm still looking for you every single day. Where are you? Can you tell me anything on this message? Please, children, think of anything that would help me to find you; phone numbers, a city, a state, where does Dad work? What do you do? Who are you with? Daddy should not have taken you the way that he did. It's not been right. You've been kidnapped. Remember 911? Tell them you're missing. Tell them you're missing and talk about Mom, or dial 0 for the operator and then tell her. But you're going to have to talk, kids. You're going to have to talk to grown-ups. You're going to have to not be afraid and just remember how brave you are. And Mom will come and get you. And I'll never stop looking for you. So don't be afraid. Please help me on this message.

RIVERA: Our hearts go out to you, Jeanne. Obviously, that's--it's heart wrenching, really. It's--it's horrible. And the cult that you were involved in?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: We listened to the teachings of Roy Masters, and it just did all the things that cults do--isolated us from family.

RIVERA: What's the name of Roy Masters' organization?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: The Foundation Of Human Understanding. Many changes in our lifestyle--and I just got sick and tired of it. The role of women is to be very submissive, quiet, never questioning, not thinking, no decisions, I just...

RIVERA: And in your case, to sacrifice your children if you want to divorce your husband or leave the cult?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: Right. Women have no business having any control over children.

RIVERA: Well, you good Oregonians, if you see those kids, please, give us a call. Please call us. Our next...

Ms. CVETKOVICH: They can call the National Center.

RIVERA: The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children?


RIVERA: 1 (800) THE-LOST. OK. That's easy enough. 1 (800) THE-LOST.

Our next guest, Carolyn, wants to have children, but cannot have children. Carolyn was in a cult. Now listen to this. This cult urged the female members to either have their tubes tied or, if they got pregnant, to have an abortion, all in the name of God.

Carolyn, how in the world could you buy such a line of crap?

Ms. WILLIAMS: Well, I came to the group when I was in college. They were a very loving group and love balming, and they--I--I thought it was idealistic and what I was looking for.

RIVERA: But why? What was the rationale for it?

Ms. WILLIAMS: Well, it's not just the women to have sterilizations or abortions. They also ex--go out of their way to coerce the men to have vasectomies as well. The reasoning behind it is they believe that Armageddon's coming, the world is--is going to Hell, and everybody that's not a part of them is a part of the beast. And if you bring children into this world, you're going to lose your chance for eternal life. God doesn't want you to bring children into this world. And I was just vulnerable and just fell for it.

RIVERA: Let me ask you this, Carolyn. In your formative years, as you were growing up and up until college and during college before you got involved with this--with this organization--by the way, what's it called?

Ms. WILLIAMS: It's called--the church that I was affiliated with was called General Assembly Church of Berkeley & Vallejo. They're a part of the group called The Body of Christ Latter Reign movement. And most of them are under the title in each city Gospel Assembly or General Assembly.

RIVERA: And--and based around where?

Ms. WILLIAMS: Oh, they're all over the country. It's many of them. They--they're divided. One group is up under the Sotter's heading. Another is under the Jolly heading. But they're all over. And usually they go by the name of Gospel Assembly or General Assembly.

RIVERA: OK. Now, as I started to ask, prior to your getting involved in this cult, I'm curious, as many young men and women do, we think about--well, how many kids we want to have when we grow up. Did you have any dreams about that?

Ms. WILLIAMS: I came from a large family. I wanted to have at least four kids. I married someone that I knew very well. He had a son. As time went on, listening to the doctrine, we sort of fell for it and believed that our prosterity could go through our son. However, my husband woke up and saw the fallacy in the group and left, and I realized that my probability of having children naturally as most women do, was just shattered.

RIVERA: OK. I was going to ask you--you wanted four kids--can you? What exactly is your situation?

Ms. WILLIAMS: I could have my--I'm a good candidate for in-vitro fertilization.

RIVERA: OK. Well, I'm living testament to the fact that that works. I wish you good luck, really. But right now what exactly is your biological condition? Are your tubes tied?

Ms. WILLIAMS: My tubes are tied.

RIVERA: In the name of God?

Ms. WILLIAMS: In the name of God.

RIVERA: Beth and Tim want very much to have a child, but cannot because Tim, like many of the men--he's the flip-side of Carolyn's story--he had a vasectomy. Now, again, here he had a guru who preached that children were a burden and what else, Tim? What else did he tell you?

Mr. TIM MALLELEY (Had Vasectomy For God): They were a burden, nuisance, made a lot of noise, had to take them out to the bathroom, and if you took them out to the bathroom, it disturbed the services. They were expected to hold their bladders.

RIVERA: So they were annoying? So that was the reason they told you to have a vasectomy--because children are annoying?

Mrs. BETH MALLELEY (Ex-Cult Member): Also, because--like she said--they believed that we're in the last days and this is just not the time to have kids. And they were just a total, total nuisance.

RIVERA: So let's review this. I mean, from right to left. Here you have a woman who became a prostitute for God. Jeanne, who sacrificed her children because in her cult once the--the woman divorces the guy, the woman is nothing. The woman is subservient. The woman has no rights. She has two children out there, doesn't know where they are or how they are. Carolyn, who had her tubes tied, again, for God. Tim had a vasectomy for God.

We're talking about incredible SEXUAL SACRIFICES: MOMS, KIDS & KRAZY CULTS, the focus of this edition of GERALDO.

(Theme music and audience applause)


(Theme music and audience applause)

RIVERA: SEXUAL SACRIFICES. Things like prostitution and vasectomies and hysterectomies, all in the name of God. Thanks very much.

Unidentified Man #1: OK. This question is just to any of you on the panel. Did it ever occur to you when they were telling you these things to pick up the scriptures and read what it says about children, about sexuality and about your relationship with God and what he expects of you?

LYNN: That's exactly what we did. We picked up the scripture, we had another man interpret it for us, and then because of what he told us--I mean, it was--it was right from the Bible, and we believed what he said. But because...

HEIDI: Oftentimes, also--like where the commas are and where the periods are, they'll often skip those to make it so they're all just one.

RIVERA: In other words, they...

HEIDI: They make it some...

RIVERA: ...perverted the message in the Old and New Testament?

LYNN: And you're taught not to question, so if the man tells you something, that's what you're going to believe.

Unidentified Woman #1: I was just wondering--it's hard for me to believe that someone could actually make you do these things. Did they emotionally or physically threaten you in any way?

LYNN: No, I did it because I believed it. I mean, I really believed it.

RIVERA: All right. Now I'm going to stop you there because I understand her skepticism. Are you telling us that you believed that God wanted you to be a hooker?

LYNN: I believed it because I was brainwashed to that point. When they finally introduced that doctrine to me, that, yes, that's what God wanted me to do.

HEIDI: If your parent asked you to do something, don't you do it? Or didn't you? OK, when you were younger and you were more receptive...

RIVERA: I understand what HEIDI's saying.

HEIDI: ...or more naive.

Ms. WILLIAMS: In my group...

RIVERA: Go ahead, Carolyn.

Ms. WILLIAMS: About seven--if you took all the single people or married people between the ages of 20 and 40 in the group, and there was hundreds of them, and you lined them up, seven out of 10 had some kind of sexual thing altered. They either had vasectomies, hysterectomies, abortions or tubal ligations. And a lot of those people I grew up with. I knew them from teen-agehood and it felt like a family, and you felt like, Oh, they do it.' You know, Oh, this must be right.' And positive things happen to them, and the minister, you know, he--he condones that they do and condemns the woman that decides to leave and have her baby or condemns the couple that says, No, we're not going to go with it,' you know?

RIVERA: It's brainwashing.


RIVERA: And you were brainwashed.


RIVERA: You're going to meet Rick Ross a bit later, a cult expert who's going to tell us how they do it and how these groups all have the same sinister qualities in common.

Yes, ma'am?

Unidentified Woman #2: I just wanted to know, like the Ten Commandments--right there, it--just sharing people's wives, you already--it would have just told you, you know? I mean, I don't understand. Even if you have a basic understanding of what the Bible says...

LYNN: I didn't. Prior to the group, I had had no religious background.

Woman #2: Did all these groups actually use the Bible? Or did--did it matter, or did you guys make up your own rules as you went along?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: I know we picked and choose--Roy picks and chooses kind of what he wants. He takes a little bit from the Bible and a little bit of his own and kind of mixes it all together and...

Unidentified Woman #3: I would like to know, were you drugged? How can you believe that you should have an abortion or maim your body in the name of God?

RIVERA: Tim, you want to try that?

Mr. MALLELEY: Repeat the question.

RIVERA: How did they get you? I mean, they didn't drug you. How did they convince you to do these things?

Mrs. MALLELEY: Geraldo, can I?

RIVERA: Go ahead, Beth. Sure.

Mrs. MALLELEY: We're married, you know? I'm the talker in the family. One thing I don't...

RIVERA: I can relate to that.

Mrs. MALLELEY: One...

RIVERA: I like talking the talk show, that's all. At home I'm very quiet.

Mrs. MALLELEY: Tim and I, we--I was 15 years old when I met these people, and I had no religious upbringing of any kind. So I didn't know anything that the Bible said. And the thing you need to remember is, they control every area of your life, so why not this one too? OK. They--they told you what kind--in our particular situation, they told us what kind of car we should buy. They told us where we should live. They told us what we should spend on our clothes. Down to how you cut your hair. And--and it's not one of those ones that say you can't cut your hair. This is where she tells you, you know, how to wear your hair. So it's--they control every area of your life.

RIVERA: Carolyn?

Ms. WILLIAMS: Hawkins did it a little differently--the leader that I was with was...

RIVERA: What's the name again?

Ms. WILLIAMS: ...Lacy Hawkins. He has two groups--two churches in the Bay Area. And what he did was just the op--was close to that, but in an opposite, roundabout way. What he would do is, he would say, You know, come to me for leadership. I'm your covering. If you want God to bless you, and you're--you--you're going to do something that you want God's blessing, come to me.' So if you want to get married, he would tell you up front, You're not marrying anybody unless they're in this group.' And if you marry somebody in that group, you had to get his approval. You know, if you wanted--if you wanted to purchase a home, change jobs or whatever, you have--you had to go and counsel with him. And if you were getting married, and you go--they had this time like right before the wedding, which wasn't really a wedding--you would come in for counseling. And what he would say--he wouldn't say, I want you to have your tubes tied, or if you come in pregnant'--he would tell you--if you came in pregnant and you were not married to the guy or he was not a part of the group, you're going to either abort or get out of the group. He'd tell you that right off.

RIVERA: Now I want the audience to pause right here. Stop. Chris, give me a pan from right to left. Take a look at these folks. Go ahead, pan. You're not looking at undereducated people here. You're not looking at naive people here. The reasons that cults scare me to my bones is that these are smart people, these are educated people, and look what they did to themselves and the people they love most, all because of this cult. OK.

HEIDI: I didn't do it to myself.

RIVERA: What, honey?

HEIDI: I said I didn't to it to myself.

RIVERA: No. Heidi is the innocent victim. But don't you worry--I'm going to get to your questions--don't you worry, Heidi, about those nude photos, that some day you're going to go get married and these things are going to surface in some porno shop or some...

HEIDI: No. It was--I was young. I had nothing to hide. People would let their kids run around all the time. I don't think that I should have been taken advantage of in that way, but...

RIVERA: Doesn't it make you furious?

HEIDI: No. Those people are brainwashed, and these people are the result of the brainwashing. I can't change what happened. Nobody can change what happened. I mean, people in the cult can change what they do...

RIVERA: Do you have a message to young people who may be in the same situation that you were in before your mom got out and you got out?

HEIDI: I think the children might have a little less questioning about the cult because they've been raised in it. And the parents, whereas they had a life before the cult, and they can have some doubts because they know what it's like. I'm glad I was young when I got out, and if you're young, it would be better if you get out as soon as possible. The older people I know have much more trouble after they get out.

LYNN: There are teen-agers now in this particular cult that are beginning to come out of it, and not having known of any other lifestyle, they're--they have no morals. They don't know what right and wrong is.

RIVERA: Really? Again, in that case, the Children of God.

I want you to meet Ms. Glueck. Now Ms. Glueck is the daughter of the cult leader--the former cult leader of Beth and Tim. Now Ms. Glueck says that this woman, the leader, her mom, hates children. And she has other secrets also that the followers need to know, but basically she hates children personally.

Is that right?

Ms. GLUECK (Mother Founded Religious Sect): I don't know if she hates them. She--she has four children, and she's basically...

RIVERA: How does she have four children? She tells her followers to have vasectomies and hysterectomies.

Ms. GLUECK: This was before she was a cult leader. But she--she basically abandoned most of her kids, and she's just not very family-oriented.

RIVERA: To say the least. Do you love your mom?

Ms. GLUECK: I'm very angry at her. But there's a part of me that realizes that she's not well and...

RIVERA: Does she still have many followers like Tim and Beth were?

Ms. GLUECK: She does. Mm-hmm.

RIVERA: And your feelings about that?

Ms. GLUECK: I was never in--in the cult. I mean, I--when it started, I was 13 years old. And, you know, when I turned 18, I met somebody who helped me out of it, you know? My husband was Jewish, and he pointed out things to me that, you know, helped me realize that my mother was abusive and that my mother was doing things in the name of God that were not, you know...

RIVERA: When was the last time you spoke with mom?

Ms. GLUECK: A couple weeks ago.

RIVERA: Did you tell her you were coming on this program?


RIVERA: How do you think she'll react?

Ms. GLUECK: She's very unpredictable. I--I couldn't tell you.

RIVERA: Are you afraid of her?

Ms. GLUECK: A little bit. Mm-hmm.

RIVERA: I'll bet.

Incredible SEXUAL SACRIFICES all in the name of God or the cult, our focus. We'll be back in a couple of minutes. Stay tuned, please.

(Theme music and audience applause)


(Theme music and audience applause)

RIVERA: Incredible SEXUAL SACRIFICES all made in the name of God.


Unidentified Woman #4: I want to know what exactly it was that made them get drawn into this cult? I mean, it had to be something that had drawn you in like this.

RIVERA: Jeanne?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: For me, it was something that my husband had a history of and was interested in. And I kind of was open. I wasn't real clear about what my own beliefs were, and I was willing--thinking that it would bring us closer together--to kind of go for the ride on this thing.

RIVERA: Do you remember, as you were making the decision to leave your husband and the cult, if you knew in your heart that it would mean the loss of the kids?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: I lived with the fear of losing those children. It was bottom line. It was--it was always there. Being in the cult, knowing Roy, knowing the beliefs, the kids were on the line. And actually, it was when I realized that even though I was married to him, I might lose them anyway. That he could still take off and I had learned that I had better have some legal recourse. So it was when I got this sneaking suspicion that he maybe was going to take off, even though we were still married, that I served divorce papers.

RIVERA: Do you remember actually the day you lost the children?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: They were on visitation. I did have custody, but he had visitation. They just didn't come home. And I was always fearful at the time when they were to return, will they come home? So they didn't come home, and it was like, OK, today's the day. Let's do this--you know, call--let's do it.

RIVERA: Did you know immediately that they weren't coming back?

Ms. CVETKOVICH: An hour, you know, he's--he runs late, OK. Two hours, you know, this might be the day. Three hours, he's probably got them. Four hours, better call the police. He's gone. It's happening.

RIVERA: I can't imagine what that does to a mom.

Unidentified Man #2: How are you doing, Geraldo? I wanted--I wanted to ask, how did you find the strength to break free from--from these cults? Obviously, you're not in these cults anymore.

RIVERA: Tim and Beth?

Mrs. MALLELEY: One Sunday I got up and didn't go after 17 years, and...

(Audience applause)

RIVERA: Rich Jaffe in our front row is a reporter for our affiliate station WKRC in Cincinnati. He has followed the New Burlington Fellowship story for a year. That's the group that Beth and Tim were involved in.

Now, Rich, you know, in--in Cincinnati--is this a widespread thing, this phenomenon? How many members?

Mr. RICH JAFFE (Reporter, WKRC-TV): This particular group in Cincinnati only has about 150 members. But there are other groups in Cincinnati. There are other groups in every city around the country. And you hit on something that's really important here. These are not crazy people. These are sane, normal, middle-of-the-road, God-fearing, loving human beings. But the groups that we're talking about here and all the others that we're not mentioning, they have radar for people if they're a little emotionally wounded, if perhaps they're new in town. Every one of us wants a feeling of belonging. These people smell it, and they go after it, and they target it, and they wrap you around, and they appear to be the nicest, most loving groups of people you've ever wanted to--to imagine. And it's only after you get involved with them that people start feeling the fallout. And all of these guys, I'm sure, are still feeling that.

RIVERA: I'm sure they are. Is it tough--a tough story to report? They put a lot of pressure on you--the station?

Mr. JAFFE: It's a very tough story to report because, first and foremost, as you well know, you have to get these folks to trust you enough to bare their souls on a camera. And that's hard. But as I tell them, as I have told others before, if the story gets out and it hits home with one other person, one other family that's gone through it, and they go, I'm not crazy. It is happening to other people. It's not just me. And even maybe there's hope, then it's all worth it.

RIVERA: Good enough. OK. Let's take a break on that note. Incredible SEXUAL SACRIFICES made in the name of God? Please! Be right back.

(Theme music and audience applause)


(Theme music and audience applause)

RIVERA: We're talking about the incredible SEXUAL SACRIFICES that people have made in the name of God and in the name of their cult, their cult leader.

Yes, ma'am?

Unidentified Woman #5: Yes. I'd like--the one...

RIVERA: Tim and Beth?

Woman #5: Yes. I'd like to know, why did it take you 17 years to just decide to stop? Why? You know, what--why was it so long?

Mrs. MALLELEY: Well, when--when the ministry first started, it wasn't, of course, like it is today. The leader of the cult wasn't in charge of every area of your life. It's--it's evolved into--into this. My husband left there three years ago over an incident--can I share it?

Ms. GLUECK: Mm-hmm.

RIVERA: Ms. Glueck...

Mrs. MALLELEY: Let me just--let me just take a minute...

RIVERA: ...again, just to remind you, is the daughter of the cult leader in Cincinnati.

Mrs. MALLELEY: Janet, her mother, told us a tale about her brother being kidnapped and that he had been tortured and beaten beyond recognition. And we all believed it because nobody told us that it wasn't true. And these were the kind of things that have happened all along. And finally, three years ago, my husband confronted her brother, and he told us then that it was all--it was all a lie.

Mr. MALLELEY: And she told us--she told us that--this man has been killed, OK? That she was--you know, she got me and another guy in a jeep and told us this man had been beaten and murdered and killed. And it was like a--it was like a soap opera, you know?

RIVERA: And you were afraid?

Mr. MALLELEY: I was emotional--I couldn't believe it. I was close to this man, OK?

RIVERA: And you found out it was all a lie?


Mrs. MALLELEY: Right.

Mr. MALLELEY: And then it was all a lie.

RIVERA: Now, Beth, in the previous segment, you said that one Sunday you just got up and left. But isn't it a fact that you stayed in the cult for a full year after your husband left?

Mrs. MALLELEY: Mm-hmm. Because I was told my husband--I've got letters with me of the things that they've said. Whenever someone leaves, they say that you are--I'm sorry--demon possessed. And they called the whole church together. And this is nothing new. They've done this to everyone who's ever left. And that's what I want the people to know. They've treated everyone exactly the same way. They're all demon possessed. They said that we have lust spirits.

RIVERA: I want Rick Ross to look right into Fred's camera, into Camera Four, right above you there, Rick, and tell the people that that's just a bunch of bunk.

Mr. RICK ROSS (Cult Deprogrammer): What we're dealing with here, and I can sense it in the audience, is a wall of denial. A lot of us simply do not want to believe that this can happen to us or our families. And what we need to realize is that ever since the Korean Conflict when brainwashing was identified by Lifton in a book called, "Thought Reform," and "The Psychology of Totalism," in those POW camps, we found American officers, normal citizens who in a contained environment, under the kind of control that these people have been subjected to, they could be brainwashed and do things that we find hard to believe.

Do we really want to understand what thought reform and mind control is and how it has affected our society? These people represent hundreds of thousands of victims throughout the United States. Are we just going to blame them? Are we doing to say, It's your fault, you were crazy, what's wrong with you?' And also, we have to recognize that even in the Bible itself, in Galatians, in various parts of the New Testament, Jesus warned, Paul warned that there would be wolves who would come in sheep's clothing, that there would be people who would come from a scriptural perspective to take advantage of the flock. It's time to stop denying what's going on in the United States.

RIVERA: Wolves in sheep's clothing. Let me name the groups. In the case of Tim and Beth, the so-called New Burlington Fellowship--many chapters. The one we're speaking about specifically right now is the one in Cincinnati, Ohio. In Carolyn's case, a group called the General Assembly. In Jeanne's case, a group called The Foundation for Human Understanding. And in Lynn's case, a group called the Foundation--I'm sorry--a group called Children of God. Children of God and its flirty fishermen.

We'll be right back.

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RIVERA: I've been thinking of--about something, Beth. I've been thinking, when you got so emotional, answering the question and staying in the cult a year after Tim left, I mean, are you--are you real cured? Are you--is this thing--it still haunts you, doesn't it?

Mrs. MALLELEY: Mm-hmm.

RIVERA: I mean this whole business about demon possession. I mean, this really troubles you?

Mrs. MALLELEY: Well, I know I'm not that. But...

RIVERA: But what is it? What is it about this?

Mrs. MALLELEY: ...they hold eternity over your head.

RIVERA: So are you frightened right now? You can tell us. You can be scared. Listen...

Mrs. MALLELEY: His whole family has left, and we're all kind of going through this together. And the only way I can explain it is, my sister-in-law said when she's walking through the grocery store, she'll just have this overwhelming fear of going to Hell. And that's just how it is.

Mr. ROSS: Geraldo, this...

RIVERA: As if this woman in this group controlled Hell or Heaven for these people.

Mr. ROSS: Geraldo, this has been called phobic indoctrination where the group literally indoctrinates the person to believe...

RIVERA: She's scared to death. Forget about the Greek. She's scared to her bones.

Mr. ROSS: Well, we're--what we need to try to come to grips with is what happened to her in that group to make her feel that way.

RIVERA: Can you imagine what must have happened? Can you imagine what must have happened to put that kind of fear in that woman that sits in front of you right now?

Mrs. MALLELEY: Geraldo, may I read one thing, please? This is a letter I received from a man who's second-in-command, sort of, because women run the ministry, but next to Janet Combs. And I'd just like to read the kind of thing that we've heard for 17 years. It says--and it's speaking to Vi Malleley, Tom Malleley--that's my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law--Timmy and Beth Malleley. That you have all passed the point of no return. I can say with all the sadness of a Godly heart that he is through with you. You're all reprobate--reprobates.' And it says--it says here, it says we can't hide from God. It says he's through with us. We've got stacks of letters just like this from these people, and those were people who I loved.

Ms. WILLIAMS: Lacy Hawkins is the exact same way. You leave, he tells you you're--you're damned. I began to question him, and he damned me just for questioning him. I questioned--there were child--there was child molestations going on there. I questioned about that. Children were getting whipped because of their grades. I questioned him on that. He would raise millions of dollars saying he's going to build a church, two years passed by, no building. I questioned him on that. He told me that if I kept questioning him, that I was going to be damned and that I would lose my soul. And I just woke up one day and said, I'm tired of this. I'd rather go to Hell. I'd rather go to Hell than to sit under this man.'

(Audience applause)

Ms. WILLIAMS: This God--God didn't want to control my life...

Unidentified Woman #5: Hi.

Ms. WILLIAMS: God doesn't--God loves me, but he doesn't come down and control my life, tell me who I should marry, tell me I shouldn't have children. He had a son.

RIVERA: Don't confuse that cult leader for God.

Ms. WILLIAMS: Why can't I have a kid?

RIVERA: Don't confuse them for God. I mean, that's what they would like you to do.

Mr. ROSS: Geraldo, what goes on in these groups--and I was involved in an intervention for a family where their daughter was deprogrammed out of the group that Carolyn is talking about--General Assembly--before she could be sterilized. And what is the problem is that there is an inability, through the brainwashing, in the individual members' minds to separate Moses David Berg and the Children of God, Lacy Hawkins and the General Assembly, or this woman Janet from God. In the mind of the follower, God and the leader are synonymous. And in the process of deprogramming, we begin to look at how--how God is God and Christ is Christ and that these individuals are to be considered separately and objectively. And once you can bring someone out of this isolation, this controlled environment, and allow them to think critically for the first time in what may be many years, they can then see that God didn't hurt them, that individual leader did. And they can leave the group.

RIVERA: Just remember Jimmy Swaggart. If you think they're God--remember Jimmy Swaggart and--and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and...

Mr. ROSS: And, Geraldo...

RIVERA: ...the list of charlatans that goes on and on and on forever.

Mr. ROSS: And there are people still sending money to Jim and Tammy Faye, and there are people still sending money to Jimmy Swaggart, who are watching this show right now. And they are not thinking critically. They have not had an opportunity to think critically.


Woman #5: Hi. I would like to know if any of you on the panel took any measures to prevent others from joining this group?

RIVERA: They're taking a great measure and have the courage to come forward right now. Lynn, I--just a--just a P.S. I'm just curious. I said before, I was joking as we went to commercial. One of my typical bad jokes, I talked about the flirty fishermen. I actually should have said fisher women. But I wonder, are men also used in the same way, as sexual lures?

LYNN: Certainly. Yes. I mean, it goes for both sexes. If--it's just a little more--women just have a little more appeal, I think.

RIVERA: The market is broader.

LYNN: Yeah. Yeah.

RIVERA: The ocean to fish in.

LYNN: Right.

Mr. ROSS: And the money goes to Moses David Berg or...

LYNN: All the money.

Mr. ROSS: ...the organization, the Children...

RIVERA: His name is Moses David Berg?

Mr. ROSS: And we do not...

LYNN: Right. His...

Mr. ROSS: ...know if he's living or dead now.

LYNN: No, he's living. He's still alive, yes.

Mr. ROSS: Is he living now? And, Geraldo...

RIVERA: Moses David Berg.

Mr. ROSS: And, Geraldo, River Phoenix, it was revealed in an article in The Rolling Stone was...

RIVERA: The actor River Phoenix?

Mr. ROSS: ...was raised in the Children of God. And he...

RIVERA: Is he all--is he deprogrammed now?

Mr. ROSS: No. And many--and the people on this panel have...

RIVERA: All right. He's not here to give his side of the story. Let me say that before the lawyers go crazy.

LYNN: Yeah, he's not here. I know them, and he's not hear to give his side of the story. And he does have his side. So we have to respect that.

Mr. ROSS: And I would think that it was a very tough life that he grew up in. Third World countries where many of the Children of God have been isolated or out of touch...

RIVERA: One of the great names in Hollywood, though, Rick. River Phoenix. OK. Take a break.

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RIVERA: I guess it's natural, Ms. Glueck, you've been a bit reticent to really condemn your mom. But I have heard--and you tell us if it's true or not--that as a child, you were emotionally and physically abused in your family.

Ms. GLUECK: That's true. Yes.

RIVERA: Did your mom do that as a means of keeping control over you?

Ms. GLUECK: She was always--wanted to be in control. I mean, my father was never in control. She was always the dominant person.

RIVERA: I mean, did she hit you?

Ms. GLUECK: Yes.

RIVERA: I mean, did she use instruments on you? I mean, how badly beaten were you?

Ms. GLUECK: She would pick up anything and hit you with it. She had beaten me with a sweeper cord. She was very abusive. I think the emotional part was probably worse than the physical.

Mr. JAFFE: Geraldo, if you want to talk about control...

RIVERA: Go ahead, Rich.

Mr. JAFFE: When Tim and I were flying up here today, we were talking about something that gives you an example on a very fine note of exactly how all-encompassing the control of Janet Combs and these other leaders can be. One of the things that's interesting about Janet Combs' services: in church--they may last for four, five, six hours. And in the course of that, no one's allowed to leave. You can't get up. Children, even small toddlers, aren't allowed to make any noise, aren't allowed to go to the bathroom. And Timmy and I were talking, and he now plays in a gospel band, and I said, And I'll bet you you can go to the bathroom anytime you want.' And that, in and of itself--the simple fact that he's allowed to get up and go to the john whenever he wants to--is something phenomenal just in his experience because he hasn't been allowed to do it.

RIVERA: You know, I heard that these leaders live pretty high on the hog. Is it true in this case?

Mr. JAFFE: Janet's a little--little hard to say. She doesn't live poorly. Her actual residence is in Phoenix, although her ministry, per se, is in Cincinnati in a very tiny, quaint church. They rent it. They have minimal overhead. But on a regular basis, throughout the course of the year, Janet will take a handful of hand-picked members and they'll go to the Philippines for months on end, allegedly, to minister over there. Tim and Beth were both over there any number of times.

Mr. ROSS: Geraldo, in the case of Lacy Hawkins, the group that Carolyn was in?


Mr. ROSS: Lacy lives very high on the hog. I've heard that he drives a nice new red Jaguar, that his wife drives a Cadillac Seville.

Ms. WILLIAMS: Right. Right. And, right again.

Mr. ROSS: And he's a regular at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. One frantic family...

RIVERA: Reminds me of Reverend Ike. Remember Reverend Ike?

Mr. ROSS: Geraldo, one frantic family called me and they said, Help us. We need to do it right now before he may go to Guyana like Jim Jones.' And I said, Don't worry, Brother Lacy won't go there. There's no Neiman Marcus.'

Ms. WILLIAMS: And he--he swears he doesn't collect an offering. He swears they don't pay him. And he claims he lives off his pension. But I want to know...

RIVERA: That's a hell of a pension.

Ms. WILLIAMS: Oh, definitely.

Unidentified Woman #5: OK. I would like to know, how does the young girl--she looks like he has a little hate--Heidi--she looks like she has a little hate inside of her--feel about her mother, knowing her past.

RIVERA: Do you love your mom? Do you blame your mom?

HEIDI: No. I love my mom. I don't blame her. There are instances in her life that made her subjectable to a cult. And I don't think it's fair for anybody to judge why a person goes into a cult or their reasons for it. Cults are wrong--definitely wrong. But I think people have their reasons. I'm glad in a way my mom went into the cult because she learned how to love. Before she didn't have any love inside of her. And so cults aren't all a bad experience. I mean, I would never join one, but I was brought up a little while in the cult, and I met...

RIVERA: The music means I've got to take a break.


RIVERA: I'll come back to you.

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RIVERA: We're almost out of time, but one point has to be made. One of the insidious things these cults do is to separate families. In Ms. Glueck's case, she hasn't been able to see her own grandma because her mother is keeping her from you, is that true?

(Credits given during final comments)

Ms. GLUECK: That's true.

RIVERA: So, quickly, say hello to Grammy. She's watching.

Ms. GLUECK: Hi, Mamu. She--you want me to say hi to my grandmother? She's probably not watching this, but she thinks that we're all the devil and that we don't love her. And I just wanted her to know that I love her.

RIVERA: Of course you do. I want to thank all our guests for having the courage to come here. And thanks, you folks, for watching. See you next time.

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