Parents Charge Children Victims of Racket Cult
Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas)/1971-10-16
DALLAS( AP) - A group of California parents who claim they have lost their children to what they call the "subversive" Jesus movement among youths, demanded federal action Friday against the Children of God, They paraded outside the Dallas Federal Courthouse with placards calling for U.S. Atty. Gen, John Mitchell to investigate the sect and reading "Save Our Children."
William Rambur, a retired lieutenant commander in the Navy from San Diego, Calif., headed the group which operates under the name of Parents Committee To Free Ours Sons and Daughters from the Children of God Organization. Children of God, sometimes called "Jesus freaks," form colonies, live cooperatively, and spend much of their time in singing and praying. The movement has spread over much of the nation.
Louis Ingersoll, known by the Biblical name of Abel, countered the pickets in a Dallas interview by claiming the parents' charges are slanderous. Ingersoll said the children of the parents who picketed the federal building will be flown to Dallas so they can give their version.
"Some parents have given us a lot of trouble," Ingersoll said. "They just don't understand what their child is doing. Young people want to live by the Bible and parents can't understand that."
Ingersoll claimed to have photographs showing parents "dragging their daughter to their car." He also accused one parent of "kidnapping and drugging" daughter to get her away from the Children of God.
Rambur said he lost his daughter, Kay, 22, to the Children of God last July. When he found where was, he went to the sect's ranch at Mingus, Tex., midway between Abilene and Forth worth and talked with her.
She agreed to return home, he said, but, when he drove his car to the gate, sect members locked it in his face and the girl started screaming; "If I go out that gate, I'll die." Rambur said his daughter stayed and, so far as he knows, is now in New York. "I don't know what hold they have on the kids," he said of the Children of God leaders. "I believe it's some kind of mass hypnosis or witchcraft"
A Dallas oil company executive, who asked not be identified said his 20-year-old daughter joined the sect in March. He was unable to find out where she is now. He charged that the Children of God use "Chinese brainwashing tactics and ... Mass hypnosis."
Rambur called the Children of God "a $1 million racket." He said his organization of parents had "exposed" it in California and intended to do the same in Texas. He alleged that disciples of the Children of God are "kidnapped, hypnotized, drugged and taught to overthrow the government and organized religion."
A press release signed by Mrs. Ida Mallak, chairman of !the committee, says the Children of God frequent beaches and college campuses in search of recruits, who are mostly from middle and upper class families. After some hymn singing io guitar accompaniment, there is what Mrs. Mallak calls "very unique eye usage."
"Some type of hypnotic state takes place and the youth automatically deserts all - home, family, car, friends, etc. - and is carried off in a bus or van to a place where they undergo extensive brainwashing sessions," the release states.
"The youth are taught to hate their parents, schools, churches and the government. "They are kept behind locked doors in a slave-like atmosphere and the place is guarded at all times. The youth are told if they leave the building they will die."
Parents who have located and visited their children say they have "a zombie-like appearance and talk as if reciting from memory some text learned," the release alleges.
Most of the Children of God remaining in Texas are believed now concentrated in Houston, although there is a community of about 150 persons in Dallas.
Until the beginning of this month a colony of 400 lives at the Texas Soul Clinic on a 400-acre ranch at Mingus near Thurber in West Texas. They were evicted on orders of the Rev. J. Fred Jordan, a Los Angeles television producer who owned the place and most went to San Diego or Seattle.