Nevada State Journal: Teen flees cult, says mind was kidnapped

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Teen flees cult, says mind was kidnapped

Nevada State Journal/1975-08-11

PITTSBURGH (UPI) - Six months ago Julie Kimes, 19, forsook her family and friends, signed away all her "present and future" possessions, and became a member of the Children of God religious cult.

Today, after being kidnapped by her father from a street corner in suburban Boston and "deprogrammed" by two former Children of God, Julie has returned to her family. Julie, who says she was "psychologically kidnapped" by the Children of God through indoctrination techniques, says she is "happy to be out of the cult."

Her parents, Norman and Lois Kimes, are equally elated. "For a longtime we truly were afraid we'd never see Julie again," Kimes said. Since it started in 1969, the Children of God has attracted growing controversy mainly from parents charging their children were programmed or hypnotized into joining the cult.

Kimes and his wife first grew concerned about their daughter last November. "Gradually, her personality changed considerably," Kimes recalled. Her eyes, he said, turned noticeably "glassy" and her face "serenely plastic." In February, Julie dropped out of college and left her family to join a cult commune.

Months later, in a carefully planned maneuver, Kimes and a private investigator drove to a street corner in Norwell, a Boston suburb, where Julie and other cult members, were selling Children of God literature. Kimes leaped from the auto, tackled his daughter from behind and pushed her into the car. She was then driven to New York for "deprogramming."

"Mainly, they repeated passages from the Bible, taken out of context, to teach us to forsake our families and hate our parents, and to strictly obey leaders in the Children of God, which was our new family," Julie said. Cult members, Julie said, "become convinced they are living the life God has chosen for them, that any other life is wrong, and God will retaliate against anyone who leaves."