Steven Douglas Kelly

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Steven Kelly (late 90s)

Steven D. Kelly
Aliases Christopher Smith,
Peter Amsterdam, King Peter
Born 22 April 1951, New York, USA
Rank second-in-command
Present location unknown
Spouse(s) Karen Zerby, Gayle Kelly
Children 3

Steven Douglas Kelly is currently second in command to and common-law spouse of Karen Zerby. He was born April 22, 1951 in New York, USA, and raised in the San Francisco area. In recent years he legally changed his name to Christopher Smith, and pseudonyms used include Peter Amsterdam and King Peter.

Kelly was raised Catholic[1] and joined the Children of God in the early 1970s in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (thus the "Amsterdam" appellation). From the beginning he was involved in low-level administration of the group, and quickly became involved with publications (see World Services). In the late 1970s, he ran the WS finance home in Geneva and Winterthur, Switzerland, collecting all tithe money from Family members.

After Michael Sweeney (father of Christina "Techi" Zerby) left David Berg and Karen Zerby, they were looking for a replacement. Kelly was on the short list along with Justus Ashtree, and eventually won out, being the "most loyal". He joined Berg's home around 1978.

Shortly after Berg's death in 1994, it was explained to group members that Berg had instructed through prophecy from beyond the grave that Kelly should marry Zerby and become "King Peter".

His whereabouts since the early 1970s have always been a closely guarded secret. Most members of The Family International until around 2005 never even knew what he looked like or ever saw pictures of him. Since the "Reboot", he has become a bit more public. His last known location was in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico in around 2010.

Kelly was formerly married to Gayle Kelly and they had three children together (Bethany, Sharon, and Christian).

Alleged child abuse

In The Last State (ML 2306), an internal publication by The Family, Kelly is recorded as boasting that he beat Merry Berg "real hard."

48. [David Berg:] Has anybody ever punished you like that before? (MB: Yes) Who? (MB: "Uncle Peter".) (Peter Amsterdam: I spanked her once real hard.)

According to eyewitnesses, Kelly told the then 14-year-old teenager to lift her garment, after which he spanked her nearly bare buttocks with his belt in front of about 25 Family leaders and World Services staff members. She received severe abuse from other members of the Berg and Zerby entourage, who tied her to her bed at night and dealt beatings which caused her to vomit and faint. This was ordered by David Berg, and carried out under the direct supervision of Zerby and Kelly. Additional excerpts from The Last State follow:

114. The Lord took hold of her head and yanked it around and back and forth and side ways to side ways by my hands until I was afraid I was going to yank her head off or break her neck! God was so angry… And then I hauled off and slapped her I don't know how many times tonight, hard, right? (MB: Yes sir!) And hit you…

145. If you go back into that foolishness again, these folks have got my permission to slap you around and knock you around, if they have to knock you out to get rid of that! Because you have got to want to get rid of it, and if it takes a good beating up to make you want to get rid of it, then we're going to beat you up!…

189. I suggest you tie her to the bed.

190. Make sure she goes to the toilet the very last thing. I don't care if you wet the bed, dear, your hands are going to be tied to the sides of that bed at night when the others are trying to sleep. …

215. If you don't get rid of those demons … you may have to get whipped in bed caned in bed.

Reference to abuse by Steven Kelly in court documents

The following is excerpted from the Judgment of Lord Justice Ward, delivered in 1995 as the result of a three-year child-custody trial involving The Family in the UK.

In my judgment what MB went through was a form of torture … Maria [Karen Zerby] and Peter [Steven Kelly] stood by and watched it happen and approved of what was happening. They showed little more sensitivity and insight than their at times demented leader. … They [The Family] must acknowledge that what David Berg did to his granddaughter was wrong, not just a mistake, but inexcusably wrong. [The Family] must atone for their treatment of her which I find to have been barbaric and cruel.


4. Peter Amsterdam [Steven Kelly]

I find he was corrupted by the sexual freedoms his revered leader offered him. … There is evidence that Amsterdam "shared" with MB and A1.




  1. Why Be a TFI Member Today by Steven Kelly in February 2013 on YouTube.
Family Leadership Structure
Zerby/Kelly | World Services (WS) | Continental Officers (COs) | Visiting Servants (VSs) | Board Members | Home Teamwork

Superseded titles: Continental Reporting Officer (CRO)

Superseded positions: King and Queen Counselor (KQC) / King and Queen Servant (KQS) | Prime Minister