The Family of "Love?"
Once known as "The Children of God," this insidious group dubbed "the sex cult of the 80's" by the media, currently thrives in over eighty countries.
They changed their name to "The Family of Love" in the mid-70's but because of an increase in exposá,ás regarding their aberrant sexual practices, have begun adopting many different names in an attempt to remain underground, i.e. "Independent Christian Missionaries." They are approximately 12,000 strong and about half are children.
David "Moses" Berg, founder and leader of "the Family" as they refer to themselves, is believed by followers to be God's Endtime Prophet for the world whose writings are synonymous with yet supersede the authority of scripture.
Under the pretext of freedom in Christ, they engage in all manner of sexual "liberties" including prostitution, fornication, adultery, incest, adult-child sex and child sex (More Precious Pearls, The All Things Tree, Mo Letters [ML] #302-A; Old Bottles, ML#242.)
From the time children are two to five years old they are encouraged to engage in sex play. When interested, they are allowed to freely indulge in sex until they reach puberty.
At this time, they are required to abstain from sexual relations until they are of legal age to marry to avoid the wrath of the authorities, although the group considers their children adults at the age of twelve (Revolutionary Sex, ML#259; and The Basic Training Handbook, pp. 25, 26, 28).
Berg, who is heavily involved in the occult (he has a strong belief in reincarnation, astrology and channeling), practices sexual relationships with spirit beings whom he calls "goddesses."
He teaches that Jesus had physical relations with Martha and Mary and that the Holy Spirit, feminine in nature, is a "Dream Queen" and "Holy Queen of Love" with whom Berg has the same type of relations," (The Goddesses, ML #224; Revolutionary Sex, ML#259; Dream Queen <197> The Holy Ghost!," ML#1304).
His doctrine of "Sharing" prevents disciples from withholding sex from a "family" member if they are asked in love to meet their sexual needs.
It is common to find threesomes and foursomes in a family unit, thus the children are thrown into a multiple parent situation and the orthodox marriage has been all but abolished (Honesty In Threesomes, Maria #2023; Love Relationships With The Lord And With Others, Maria #60).
Note: Maria has been Berg's mistress and queen since 1969. Berg's authoritarian rule is based on a hierarchal system and obedience to leadership must be without question or complaint.
Tithing is mandatory if his disciples are to have the privilege of his continued teaching in the form of "Mo Letters."
These missives number in the thousands and are rated in categories ranging from GP (General Public) to LO (Leaders Only).
Although the GP letters were once distributed as the primary source for donations, revenue for the Family of Love now lies with their distribution of posters, videos and cassettes.
These are often marketed under the name "Heaven's Magic" or "Music With Meaning." Their targets for distribution are schools and Christian bookstores, but they also sell door to door.
The subjects dealt with in these materials range from the End Time to themes for and about children.
There are about two thousand members of this cult presently in the U.S. and are most often found in larger cities where they can blend in easily.
They are taught to dress and behave in a manner that is not conspicuous, and to lie when necessary to prevent detection.
Many are being kicked out of foreign countries that have become intolerant of their presence.
They have just recently been sighted recruiting in England, the country Berg fled to initially in the early 70's, and then later abandoned for a more secretive and exotic base of operations <197> the Canary Islands <197> for a time.
Australia is beginning to see more of them arrive and recently requested information about the cult from Watchman Fellowship.
(Ruth Gordon was a member of the Children of God/Family of Love from 1972-1978, and is the author of her autobiography, Children of Darkness, Tyndale House Publishers, 1988.
She serves as an international resource for religious and secular cult research organizations and the media. She recently joined as part-time staff for Watchman Fellowship and will be assisting with research, writing and counseling.)