Straits Times: Members of banned cult resurface

From XFamily - Children of God

Members of banned cult resurface

Children of God followers peddling kiddie video tapes to kindergartens

Straits Times/1989-08-04

A free-sex cult, banned in Singapore, has resurfaced in the guise of salesmen and women peddling children's video tapes to kindergartens.

At least five kindergartens have been approached by members of the Children of God, who proffer outwardly harmless tapes called Kiddie Viddies which feature songs for children.

The tapes, however, have titles like "Try it, You Might Like it!" and "Do it Right Now!".

The cult, which is condemned as blasphemous by mainstream Christian denominations, encourages women members to offer their bodies as an inducement for men to join the organisation and to obtain donations. It is also known to advocate free sex and incest among members.

In January this year, The Straits Times first broke the news that the Children of God - also known as the Family of Love - was among other banned groups actively recruiting members in Singapore.

In February, the group was found operating under the name of New World Vision from an office in Goldhill Centre. The group stopped operating from that office since the story broke and apparently lay low - until recently.

Now, it seems, the cult is using children's video tapes in its "revival".

The principals of two kindergartens told The Straits Times they were recentl y approached by a Caucasian couple and a "pretty blond child" about 12 years old.

The tapes were offered free to the kindergartens, but a donation was sought. An official of one of the kindergartens said she gave $100 each for two tapes.

The couple did not leave any address or telephone number but claimed to be from a children's video company in Thailand, where the cult is well established.

"They looked very normal - like missionaries - and said they were from a video company in Thailand," a kindergarten principal said.

The Straits Times tried telephoning the company, Kiddie Viddie, in Bangkok, but it was not listed.

Mr Adrian Van Leen, who heads an organisation in Perth that does research into cults, confirmed that the Children of God - which originated in the United States in the early 1970s - often sells cassette tapes and video tapes to raise funds.

Mr Van Leen warned that although the songs may sound harmless, they could be subtle messages of the group's free-love culture.

The cult expert explained: "They want people to get used to messages of love and so on. Then when people are more accepting, they slowly introduce the more controversial teachings."

Mr Van Leen warned Singaporeans to be vigilant of groups like the Children of God.

"This is just another ploy, and every time they are found out they will try another way to get to people," he noted.