Lethbridge Herald: Children of God drop $1.1 million slander suit

From XFamily - Children of God

Children of God drop $1.1 million slander suit

Lethbridge Herald/1973-08-04
New York Times News Service

DALLAS - The Dallas colony of the Children of God has dropped a $1.1 million libel and slander suit that was filed 22 months ago against a group of parents who had picketed in protest against the fundamentalist religious sect.

The request for dismissal of the lawsuit was made last Monday, four days after the court authorized an order by the parents to require the sect to produce all its financial and membership records for "discovery of evident" by the defendants. The lawsuit was filed in October, 1971, after demonstrations outside the Dallas federal building by members of the Parents Committee To Free Our Sons and Daughters.

In its lawsuit, the Children of God alleged that the parents had accused the sect of being a subversive group and charged that it had kidnapped young people and had drugged and hypnotized them, and that it had tried to extort money from converts.

Named as defendants were Mr. and Mrs. John Moody, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Cooke, William Rambur and Ted Patrick, all of San Diego.

In a news release, the sect said that the lawsuit was dismissed because of the plaintiffs' "firm belief that defendants' allegation has proven to be only a reproach upon themselves."

The suit was scheduled to be heard next month. But on July 19, Judge Dee Brown Walker of district court signed a "motion for discovery" order submitted by Bryan Maedgen, attorney for the defendants, demanding that the sect produce documents for inspection.

Included in the mandate were requests for names and addresses of all members of the sect, leadership charts, correspondence, tracts and periodicals issued by the sect, and a listing of all personal and real property and lists of donations and donors to the organization. The Children of God professes to be a fundamentalist movement that establishes commune-oriented sects whose members are said to follow the day-to-day principles of the early Christians.