Christianity Today: Accused ‘Family’ Members Released

From XFamily - Children of God


Accused 'Family' Members Released

Christianity Today/1994-03-07

By Joe Maxwell

Twenty-one members of the Family, an aberrant sect formerly known as the Children of God, were released from custody in December after an Argentine Federal Court of Appeals ruled they had been wrongfully arrested. Sixteen men and five women had been seized along with more than 100 children in September raids ordered by federal Judge Robert Marquevich. But an appeals court said Marquevich had operated out of his jurisdiction. Similar raids on Family communes have occurred in France and Australia in the past two years.

Evangelical cult-watching groups say the Family's long-held policy of free sex among members has created potentially abusive situations for children (CT, Oct. 25, 1993, p. 93). The Family admits that in the early 1980s some communes experimented with sex between adults and children.

Marquevich asserted that the inspections of children taken in the seizure revealed that 9 of the 137 showed signs of being subjected to "cruel and atrocious mistreatment," including sex abuse. Bu Family spokesman Nigel Nelson says "appointed forensic experts examined the children and testified that they were absolutely free of any signs of abuse."