Miriam Williams Boeri

From XFamily - Children of God
Miriam Williams Boeri at the Cannes Film Festival, 2001
Miriam Williams, late 1970s

Miriam Williams Boeri, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Kennesaw State University in the state of Georgia. She is a former first-generation member of The Family International (where she was known as Jeshanah), and is married to Michael D. Brooks, a Health Physicist with the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Boeri left The Family in 1988, and in 1998 published a book about her experiences, titled Heaven’s Harlots: My Fifteen Years As a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God. In the same year she established ExCOGnet, a popular Web site for former members of the cult until the domain was purchased by another party in 2001.

Boeri earned a bachelor's in communications from Kennesaw State University (1996), and her master's (1998) and doctorate (2002) in sociology from Georgia State University. She has been an Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University since 2003, and has had Research Associate, Visiting Lecturer, Instructor, and Adjunct positions at Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Perimeter College, and Reinhardt College. Included in her publications are several articles and book chapters in such areas as drug issues, gender, aging, and the sociology of religion. Research and academic conferences she has participated in have often covered topics related to new religious movements and cults, including The Family. [1]

Publications regarding The Family



  • Boeri, Miriam Williams. 2005. “The Children of God/The Family Chapter” Pp 160-180 in Sex and Religion edited by C. Manning and P. Zuckerman. Belmont, CA: Thomson-Wadsworth.

Refereed Articles

  • Boeri, Miriam Williams. 2002. “Women After the Utopia: The Gendered Lives of Former Cult Members.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 31(3): 323-360.



External links

Current research

  • Miriam Williams Boeri is currently looking for participants for a study on former member women of the Children of God/The Family who participated in “Flirty Fishing” or “sharing” practices. Information about this research project and its objectives can be found on the xFamily Forum: Miriam: Research Participants Needed