Children of God

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pseudonyms: The Family, The Family International (TFI), Teens for Christ (originated as a kids pop band?), The Children of God (COG), The Family of Love, etc (list of other pseudonyms:[2] )

founded 1968

practices: 'Selah' & disguise of names (evasion of lawsuits), 'law of love' & flirty-fishing or 'FFing' (taught to be whores for Jesus in order to win converts and favors), detention centers called Victor Camps, classified 'RAB' or read and burn,

Aurora Productions and Activated Ministries

River Pheonix (add to List of mysterious deaths ?)

- connection to Johnny Depp, Viper Room (Anthony Vivien Fox - possible - List of mysterious deaths)
- 25Nov2012 [3] - Interview With Peter Bogdanovich About River Phoenix - "... I think indecent play was at work his last day. Someone slipped him uncut cocaine or heroin. Something lethal. They decided not to pursue it. He didn’t make that many films and so he didn’t have a chance to live out his potential. Tony Curtis said, “It’s impossible to calculate the level of envy in Hollywood.” I think envy killed him..."

Julian Assange [4] [5] []



  • 1968 - began in Huntington Beach, California - David Berg was its founder
- David Berg is considered God's end time prophet according to Berg's own conclusion. They draw from the Bible to try to prove that the Old Testament speaks of David Berg as the end time prophet. It's interesting to note that David Koresh (of Waco, Texas) also said he was the David mentioned in Old Testament prophecy, and also claimed to be David, God's end-time prophet.
  • 1971 - the group began to leave the United States. David Berg taught that God was going to judge the United States, and instructed the Children of God to flee. By the mid 1970s they had spread to every continent.
  • 1973 - David Berg began to de-emphasize witnessing (proselytizing) from the Bible, and insisted that his disciples push his 'Mo Letters' on the public. His followers considered him the end-time prophet, and his rambling Mo Letters were 'New Wine' - considered the very words of God. The term Mo Letter comes from David Berg's pseudonym, Moses David.
  • 1973 - John, Arlyn and River Phoenix left Texas for South America in order to do missionary work for Berg's Children of God.
  • 1976 - David Berg ordered female members to become 'fishers of men.' This practice became known as FFing, or Flirty Fishing. Basically, FFing was when female (seldom male) disciples would 'lure in a fish' through flirting or sex. Flirting and sex were considered ways of showing the love of God to the lost and lonely. Women were told to sacrifice themselves as 'bait' for the fish. Men were told that they should lay down their lives AND their wives for the sake of the gospel. Not surprisingly, Flirty Fishing quickly became outright prostitution, and was used as a way to raise money for the cult.
  • 1978 - Jonestown massacre on the People's Temple cult
  • 1979 - In the Court of Commom Pleas in Ohio - David Berg and the Children of God were found liable for damages of $1,000,000. To date, our information is this sum has not been paid.
  • March1980 - Gent Magazine article [7]
  • Jan1982 [8] - The group published a childcare manual called 'The Story of Davidito' (Ricky Rodriguez) in January 1982, which described the education, home life, and care of Rodriguez. The 762-page book also included at least a dozen photographs depicting the child engaged in sexual activity with his governesses, particularly Sara Kelley (also known as Sara Davidito or Prisca Kelley). The COG later ordered this book to be heavily sanitized and, eventually, destroyed completely. In the late 1990s, it was reprinted in heavily sanitized form.
  • mid 80s - due to public pressure and high profiled court investigations, the Family began to proclaim that it did not endorse child/adult sex.
  • late 80s - FFing was supposedly terminated because of the AIDS crisis. The Family attempted to 'rid' itself of its most controversial sexual practices, in the hopes of appearing mainstream. However, the doctrine of 'One Wife' is still actively practiced. 'One Wife' teaches that all adult members are married. Since Jesus is portrayed as a Bridegroom in the bible with the Church as His One Bride, all female members of the Family are taught that they are also 'One Bride' of all its male members. Sexual sharing is still widespread among the adult members of the Family and is not considered adultery. The Family considers it polygamy which they try to justify from the Bible, although what the Family practices resembles swinging more than polygamy.
  • Nov1991 - River Pheonix interview with Joe Dulce of Details magazine
  • 1993 - Halloween 1993 River Phoenix dropped dead on the sidewalk of a popular Los Angeles nightclub
  • 25Nov1994 - the Family publicly announced that David Berg had died "a few days ago." No exact time or place of death was given. Karen Zerby (Mama Maria) is now considered the end-time prophet.
  • 1992-1995 - well publicized court case in the UK [9]
  • 1994 - interview with David Millikan regarding the incidents recorded in the "Story of Davidito"
  • Feb1995 - the Family announced the adoption of a governing 'charter of responsibilities and rights.' This charter was adopted to solidify the Family's beliefs and practices based upon the writings of David Berg and Karen Zerby. The secondary responsibility of a Family member is to believe that David Berg and Karen Zerby are God's end time prophets.
  • 1995 - Karen Zerby revealed the 'New Wine' of Loving Jesus. This doctrine teaches that Jesus desires to literally have sex with us (both males and females). Members are encouraged to imagine that Jesus is 'f---ing' them while they masturbate. Males are told this is not a homosexual act, since they are spiritually female and not male.
  • 12April2000 - letter, sent from former member and anti-cult activist Samuel Ajemian to then President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton, informed the Clintons that The Family Singers were representatives of The Family International, and described past and current Family doctrine in graphic detail. At the time this letter was written, The Family Singers had performed at The White House every Christimas or Easter for several years [10]
  • 16May2001 [11] - Member of The Family condemned in French court

See Also