The Children of God
by Deborah (Linda Berg) Davis with Bill Davis, 1984
I was quite familiar with Fred Jordan's ranch in Texas, having lived
there several times as a child. I can still remember my first preview
of the Soul Clinic. Fred had designed the ranch to serve as boot camp
training for prospective missionaries enrolled in his Soul Clinic
program. He determined that if potential missionaries could make it at
the Texas Soul Clinic, they could no doubt survive quite well on a
When our family first moved there, I was only seven years old and
attending third grade. I went to a little red brick school building in
Strawn, a little town about fifteen miles away. To get to school, I
had to walk the three miles of dirt road that connected the ranch to
the main country road. There the school bus picked me up. I had been
instructed to walk carefully around the rattlesnakes that enjoyed
sunbathing in the middle of the road.
The property was originally owned by Jordan's mother. She willed the
ranch to Fred with the condition that it be used only for the Lord's
work. Apart from the brief stay of the COG, it has been used primarily
for training missionaries in Fred's Soul Clinic ministry. The four-hundred-acre ranch lies one hundred miles west of
Dallas. TSC has an extremely arid, desert like climate; the land is
hilly, rocky, and dusty, spotted with the ever-present mesquite tree.
It's a wonderful place to raise goats.
The ranch buildings had been constructed on the outside perimeter of a
large circular drive. Over the years, Fred had built three groups of
cabins for the missionaries to live in. My dad had helped build one of
the sections of cabins when he was enrolled in Fred's boot camp back
in the early fifties. They had also constructed a very large dining
hall that seated hundreds of people, a barn, and assorted small
shelters. It was an ideal setting for a hippie commune.
When the "Prophets of Doom," under the anointed leadership of David
Berg, limped into TSC in the late winter of 1970, the ranch was in
total disarray. It resembled a broken-down ghost town—a resort for
scorpions and tumbleweed. Nothing worked. There was no electricity or
water. The pipes in the dining hall had all burst. The walk-in freezer
was in disrepair. The roofs leaked. All the buildings lacked heating.
Yet, in spite of the primitive conditions, the road-weary band of
prophets delighted in a place to settle down and call their own. For
me it was like going home. I loved TSC the way a child loves her
one-armed, torn and tattered Raggedy Ann doll.
Making TSC livable was a monumental job. We procured thousands of
dollars' worth of supplies from sympathetic businesses, and the
disciples contributed many man hours of labor. Dad simply organized
the project into our communal lifestyle.
The early seventies was a time of communal living for the
counterculture. Both hippies and Jesus People wanted to get back to
the earth, back to nature, and develop a sense of camaraderie with
their brothers and sisters. The youth saw this as their chance to
build something, to make a home for themselves, and Dad was keenly
aware of this desire. He organized the disciples and turned them
loose. We loved it, and worked with all the energy our youthful minds
and bodies could produce. But my father had other ideas and other
goals; these were yet to be revealed.
Life at TSC for the regular, non leading disciples was highly
regimented. We didn't quite maintain the degree of discipline of a
military base, but we came close. TSC was a lot like summer youth
camp. Every person and every person's time were highly controlled; no
one "did their own thing." A typical day's schedule looked like this:
||7:00 - 7:30
||7:30 - 10:30
||Morning work period
||10:30 - 11:00
||11:00 - 11:30
||11:30 - 2:30
||2:30 - 4:30
||Snack and more Bible study classes or work period
||4:30 - 6:00
||6:00 - 7:00
||7:00 - 9:30
||Inspiration and fellowship, singing, dancing, testimonies
||9:30 - 10:30
The schedule allowed very little time for idleness: disciples were
either studying, working, teaching, or sleeping. Ninety percent of the
converts had come straight out of the dropout lifestyle, living lives
void of discipline and schedule. For many, our strict discipline was a
drastic and welcome change from their former state of lethargy. New
converts were expected to learn nearly three hundred Bible verses by
memory within the first three months; Mo considered Scripture
memorization to be an integral part of discipleship.
All new members were placed under the strict scrutiny of an older
disciple. This was the "buddy" system. At such a time that they proved
to be strong, mature disciples, they were no longer considered "babes"
and were free to be on their own. This period usually lasted about
three months. One girl told me in later years:
"Oh, I had the worst trial of my life at TSC; I was constantly with my
'buddy.' I couldn't do anything without her. I couldn't even go to the
bathroom alone. Beds were in short supply, and I even had to sleep in
the same bed with her!"
Ironically, without any prompting from the Chinese Communists, we
unconsciously incorporated many of the same conditions used by the
Chinese in their Thought Reform programs. Many of these mind-control
techniques seem to erupt "spontaneously" in cultic organizations. We
boasted that we were "heartwashing" new converts.
Everyone who came to TSC as a dropout or hippie or college student
left with a new identity. Everyone took a new name from the Bible—this was part of Forsaking All. God was making "new creatures" out of
us; all the old things were done away with. A new convert broke all
relations with the past, both family and friends. The break with one's
former life had to be complete, absolute, because that's what Jesus
This sudden loss of identity often brought deep conflicts for
disciples who suffered the after-pains of leaving their former life-
styles and families. This was why everyone had a buddy. When the older
disciple perceived that the younger one was wavering and suffering
doubt, he was right there to pick him up. Although it was never
revealed, the older disciple often harbored the same doubts. By
encouraging the younger convert, the older member strengthened
himself. It was a good system that accomplished its purpose well.
With each new convert who matured to the status of a disciple, the
"Family" became more and more complete. A total sense of comradeship
and unity synthesized this body of youth into a cohesive whole.
Despite the things that one forsook, the Family was there to fill the
void. TSC gave the youth a chance to realize the fulfillment of their
dream of "dropping out." The lifestyle developed at TSC established a
pattern of unity among the Children of God that has continued to this
We were, in reality, a New Nation. We were not merely dropouts, a band
of disorganized hippies; we were dropouts with a purpose: following
Jesus full-time. We had left the establishment and all of its
"damnable evils," as my father called them, and in so doing created a
nation within a nation.
On the ranch we talked much about being self-sufficient. We began
planting a farm, and the disciples were excited about the prospects of
producing our own food. Being self-sufficient was the goal of many
people in that era: "Who needs society? We can make it on our own."
But David Berg had something else in mind. He wanted to be
self-sufficient, but not physically. His desire was to be cut off
spiritually; to be isolated from the churches, parents, and
government—from all aspects of society. That was his real desire.
Thus, at TSC both the kids and Dad began to realize their dreams. We
had successfully dropped out of society and into the reality of the
Children of God. Our New Nation replaced what the members had left
behind when they forsook all. We had our own rules, our own social
standards, our own world. What more could we ask for?
Dad originally organized the movement into tribes, modeled after the
twelve tribes of Israel. Each tribe had a specific function: the tribe
of Benjamin was responsible for childcare and education; Gad was in
charge of printing and publishing; Simeon took care of food
preparation; and so on. Following the days of TSC, the tribe concept
slowly became obsolete and was no longer used.
My dad had learned the art of proselytizing from Fred Jordan. Before
long, we were sending witnessing teams into many of the campus towns
of Texas. The steel of each disciple's dedication was tested and
tempered on these weekend witnessing trips. We visited universities,
parks, and concerts, anywhere youth gathered. An older disciple
accompanied by a babe set out to find the lost and hungry sheep in
society. One of the Children would initiate a conversation and ask
leading questions to bring the conversation down to the heart of the
"What are you doing with your life? Are you going to heaven or
hell when you die? Do you know Jesus?"
This was witnessing. Children of God disciples witnessed for eight,
ten, and twelve hours a day. Depending on how receptive the lost soul
was, a conversation could go on for hours.
The instructions given to our disciples were:
"First get'm to ask Jesus into their heart. Then get'm filled with the
Holy Spirit. Then ask'm if they want to forsake all and follow Jesus."
They were invited back to the Prophet Bus to meet the rest of the
Brothers and Sisters. While the salvation experience was fresh on their
mind, they were challenged to follow Jesus full-time. We quoted
Matthew 4:19 with universal implication:
"Brother, Jesus said, 'Follow me and I will make you fishers of men',
and the disciples straightway left their nets and followed him."
In reality, many of the lost and lonely kids were not so much looking
to follow Jesus, but for a place to belong. Our "Love Bombing" tactic
hit them right where they were most vulnerable. We accepted people
unconditionally and offered them something many had never known: a
home where they were loved and accepted. The following is an example
of a young girt named Huldah who left "all" to follow the Lord and
join the Family. Her testimony was written during the days of TSC:
I am eighteen years old and have lived in San Antonio all my life. I
lived on the cowboy side of town where I trained and exercised horses
for a hobby. I really dug on horses back then. In my senior year I
dropped out of school and went traveling all through Louisiana and
North Texas then back to San Antonio. I was always getting drawn back
into the trap of the city.
I started taking drugs when I was in the 10th grade, three and a half
years ago. I was selling large quantities of speed and weed for a long
I practiced "spiritualism" during this time, was a medium and had
dreams and visions of the future. I was quite lonely out in the world,
so I thought that if there were a lot of people around, everything
would be better, but that wasn't where it was at. It was too lonely.
Things started happening really fast. I was offered a job as a
secretary in Austin, by a man who picked me up hitch-hiking back to
San Antonio. He was building a big shopping mall in Austin and needed
a secretary to take care of his office and answer the phone.
I started making a lot of money, had a lot of dope, and a nice
apartment in a college town full of freaks, like me. I was making the
9 to 5 scene but wasn't liking it.
But, praise God, it was all a part of His plan to bring me to my
family in Jesus!
I met a friend of mine, and we both heard about the Texas Soul Clinic,
and hitch-hiked up there to see what was happening. What happened was
that Jesus met us at the gate and we went home "saved" and counting
We had had all the material possessions we had ever wanted, but saw
the smiling happy faces and decided we had to "forsake all" and follow
Jesus. All of our lives we were part of the problem. Now we are part
of the solution."
Huldah was still in the Family thirteen years later, in 1983.
Several months after arriving in TSC, my father turned another corner
in his spiritual evolution. He received the "gift of tongues."
The Book of Acts records the supernatural experience of the apostles
wherein they received the special ability to speak in the many
languages of the various groups of people gathered in Jerusalem for
the Feast of Pentecost. On that day "Jews from every nation under
heaven" were gathered, and the apostles began to speak the gospel to
the people, "each one hearing them in his own language" (Acts 2:6). In
1 Corinthians 12 Paul speaks of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, one of
them being the gift of "tongues," or the ability to speak in a
language unknown to the speaker by the power of the Holy Spirit.
My father had desired this gift all his life. He believed it was the
mark of true spirituality. Yet he was fifty years old and had never
received it. Then at long last, on April 29, 1970, he received the
gift of tongues.
At that time, he was living with my mother, Maria, and a girl named
Martha, whom he had taken as another wife. He was still living in his
motor home, which was parked in a secluded spot on the ranch so as to
keep his private life secret. In March 1978 he recalls this miraculous
experience in a Mo Letter entitled "Abrahim the Gypsy King":
I was lying there between Martha and Maria praying like a house afire,
and all of a sudden before I even knew what happened I was praying in
tongues . . . it was probably Abrahim. I was finally desperate enough to
really let the Lord take over and take control. Abrahim was praying
through me in the Spirit.
Three days I couldn't speak any English . . .
I went for years and years and years and years wanting the gift of
tongues, because that was such a marvelous manifestation to me, to
think you could speak another language you had never learned! That was
obviously a miracle, obviously a proof of the miraculous. But the Lord
never gave it to me for years.
I begged Him! I besought Him! I fell on my face before Him! I did
everything! . . .
He withheld from me the visible, the audible, the tangibly miraculous
for years. For fifty years He made me go strictly by faith.
I just simply wanted it for my own personal satisfaction as a kind of
final proof to me that I was spiritual . . .
He finally started giving me those audibly manifested gifts when I
least expected it. I was lying naked between two naked women in the
same bed in the back end of our Camper when I first received the gift
Abrahim, according to Dad's own description, is a "spirit guide" whom
he acquired at the Gypsy camp several months before—the place I drove
him to while we were camping out in Houston. Mo and Maria explain in
detail the identity, function, and nature of Abrahim, Mo's personal
spirit guide, in a letter. For years they themselves were not sure
what was happening when this strange foreign voice would speak through
Through this and other experiences and revelations, we began to
understand who Abrahim really was, and the purpose of his
ministrations through David.
According to his [Abrahims] own account, he was living with a Gypsy
band we visited in Houston, Texas, in 1970, as the Gypsy king's
counselor or guiding spirit, when he first met us, and decided to
leave them and come with us for his own reasons. . . .
It was only later we began to realize it was not David who was Abrahim
or had been Abrahim or even with Abrahim in
some previous existence, as we thought at first. . . .
But Abrahim was a Gypsy king himself, a departed saint from hundreds
of years ago, who had come to live with us in spirit as our spirit
guide and counselor!
It was Abrahim himself, therefore, who was speaking through David. . . .
Throughout history, Gypsies have been known for their dealings with
fortune-telling, spiritism, and communication with the dead. Just what
went on when my father visited those gypsies in Houston, I do not
know. But the results of his contact came through in a frightening
demonstration of occultic powers on April 29, 1970.
I remember when it happened. All the family members were called to
Dad's motor home for a special meeting. We crowded in, and Dad was
crying. There was some kind of prayer meeting going on, and it was
explained that Dad was really "in the Spirit"—he had received the
gift of tongues and was unable to speak English for three days.
Everyone was rejoicing over Dad's receiving this marvelous gift. One
disturbing aspect of this for me, however, was that as Dad spoke in
his strange language, Maria would interpret what he was saying. Only
she could interpret. Why was this so? It troubled me.
Once my dad left the motor home and went walking about the camp
praying over different disciples in this new tongue. He would then
give the interpretation in English, often foretelling their future in
the Family. It was a rare occasion for Dad to walk about the camp in
broad daylight. For many people, this was the first time they had seen
him. I came out of my apartment and heard people saying, "Oh, Dad's
out! Dad's out! He's walking around talking to everybody!" Disciples
were running from everywhere to see him. Needless to say, the young
followers were awed by this miraculous moving of the "Holy Spirit." To
them, it was as if God Himself were walking around the camp.
Until I was conducting research for this book, I never questioned
Dad's experience of receiving the gift of tongues. Then I began to put
various pieces of this puzzle together. Until recently I held the
opinion that my father was deceived primarily by his lustful desires
and had been led astray through sexual sin. Indeed, that happened. But when I realized that his involvement with
spirits such as "Abrahim" is actually demonism, I began to see things
altogether differently. As I studied the Mo Letters that pertain to
spiritual events, a Pandora's box of occultic experiences opened
before my eyes.
I re-examined many of Dad's "spiritual" experiences in light of this
fact, and it became ever so clear that my father lives and functions
in the nether world of demonic influence.
His first strange experience occurred back in the early fifties when
he was working for Fred Jordan. In this experience, Dad explains that
he died and left his body, being visited by the departed spirit of an
old friend of his mother, a "Dr. Koger." During this encounter, Dad
had a telepathic conversaton with the doctor and decided to return to
his body. He wrote about this experience in March 1978:
"That was one of the most supernatural, miraculous, amazing, spiritual
experiences I ever had! I died!" 41
For many years I shrugged off tales like this as products of Dad's
But my father's involvement with spirits, mediums, and the occult has
deepened over the years. When Dad lived in London in the early
seventies, he wrote several Mo Letters concerning his visits to a Gypsy
medium and fortuneteller there; he referred to her as "Madame M.42
The Bible is clear in its warnings and judgments of the occult (see,
for example, Leviticus 19 and 20 and Deuteronomy 18), yet my father is
now actively promoting occultism under the guise of Christian
charismatic experiences. A disturbing fact to me as his daughter, is
that he has actually become a medium himself. A medium is a person
through whom messages from the spirits of the dead are supposedly sent
to the living. Abrahim, an alleged spirit of the dead, speaks directly
through Mo and gives him detailed advice and direction. Abrahim is not
the only spirit who speaks through my father; he was the first, but
now there are many more.
Not only has Moses David become possessed by evil spirits, but he
relates that he has sexual experiences with spirits and goddesses. In
a Mo Letter he entitles "The Goddesses" he relates the significance of
. . . I've not understood until now, like all those other goddesses
I've made love to in the Spirit. I've even been a little shocked by
some of these strange experiences because I didn't understand them. . . .
In each case, the one I was making love to would suddenly turn into
one of these strange and beautiful goddesses, and I would immediately
explode in an orgasm of tremendous spiritual power while at the same
time prophesying violently in some foreign language.
Each is the spirit of her country, like the spirit of their religion.
It's a sort of symbolism: Aphrodite of Cyprus; the Cat Goddess of
Egypt; the Black Girl of the African Nightmare; the bird-like Sun
Goddess of the Nile; multi-armed Goddess of Egypt . . .43
In another letter Dad says:
"I was getting ready to make love early in the morning when suddenly
this huge, beautiful naked black goddess descended on top of me . . . Big
beautiful black goddess, Mocumba! I called for Mocumba and she came!"
When I began piecing these experiences together, from start to finish,
it emerged as a nightmare of occultic perversion. Illicit sex and the
occult have always been closely related. Satan's desire is to lead his
captives into the bondage of spiritual perversion and sin. My father's
degeneration along this path parallels exactly the pattern found in
occultic practices throughout the ages. Author Dave Hunt explains in
his book, The Cult Explosion,
"Free sex and sex perversion nearly always surface, sooner or later, in
any extended involvement with the occult. Demons are intrinsically
evil, and cannot hide this fact for long in any contact they have with
Mo's use of spiritism, like sex, is slowly digging its way deeper and
deeper into the daily life and doctrine of COG disciples. They are
learning things that are totally contrary to biblical teachings, yet
they believe Moses David's teachings are inspired by God. In a Mo
Letter entitled "More Holy Ghosts", Dad claims that God uses the
departed dead to minister to Christians still alive on the earth. He
explains that the dead are like angels in their ministering services.
This doctrine, of course, is diametrically opposed to everything found in Scripture. The ultimate biblical injunction is recorded in
"Let no one be found among you who . . . is a medium or spiritist or
who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to
Under Mosaic law, violations were punishable by death. But Mo writes,
The Protestants have almost totally skipped over or de-emphasized the
agents that God uses. . . . Most of them give absolutely no credit to
the good spirits of the departed "dead.". . .
How does God give a gift of tongues? . . . interpretation? Why can't
these gifts come through separate spirits?
I believe by my own personal experience, that that is how I received
the gift of tongues . . .
Even though I didn't yet know it, I had received him [Abrahim] weeks
before in Houston, Texas, when he jumped off that Gypsy king onto
me. . .! *
See, I don't know any of this, it's one of these spirits who are
putting these things in my mouth. . . ."
|*It was reported in Time magazine that this Gypsy king died less than
a year after he was visited by my father."
Dave Hunt further explains:
"A major purpose of 'spirit communications' is to refute what the Bible
says about death, judgment, sin, hell, and resurrection."
What little I have quoted from the Mo Letters clearly indicates that
this is precisely what my father is doing to his followers and to others
affected by COG disciples.
The extent of my father's spiritual deception, considered in light of
his Christian background, is mind-bending. The tragedy is that his
disciples, when reading the Mo Letters, cannot see what is really
behind them. Over the years Dad has led them from one subtle lie to
the next, interweaving these lies with Scripture and distorted
biblical truths. Like mixing sugar and salt, they cannot tell the
difference. For example, he writes concerning the ministration of angels and
This makes it very simple how God operates and how He gives all these
gifts and different languages to millions of people throughout the
world: It's through the angels and the departed spirits of the
departed saints! Its just as simple as that!
Well, if the Devil's evil spirits possess people and give them evil
powers and evil tongues and evil wickedness, evil strength and evil
wisdom, how much more should the good spirits of God give His good
people, His children, these godly gifts and godly powers when
possessed of the spirit of God."
And of course, his followers believe that the Mo Letters are the
inspired word of God and therefore they accept whatever Dad says as
truth. A disciple is also conditioned never to doubt anything Dad
writes. As to the divine authority of the Mo Letters, my father
"I will take those inspired and supernatural and divinely
inspired Letters and put them on the same level as the rest of the
Word of God [the Bible]!"
He believes that drunkenness helps him yield to the Spirit of God with
"When I get drunk, I yield to God's Spirit, and then I am happy about
it! Well, I guess that's the truth! That's something, if you have the Spirit
of God, if you get intoxicated, why, it just makes you even more free in
the spirit—at least it does with me!"
When the practice of spiritism, necromancy, and other communication
with the "world of the dead" begins to take hold among the disciples
as did the sex doctrines, we will see far more demonic activities in
the COG than previously dreamed possible. I believe this demonic
influence will be most active among the children born into the
On April 29, 1970, my father most certainly did not receive the gift
of tongues in the true biblical sense—as did the apostles at the
Feast of Pentecost. Galatians 5:20 states:
"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity
and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; drunkenness, orgies and the
like. . . . Those who live like this shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
Moses David has blatantly committed all of these sins.
My dad opened the final door of demonic influence among his followers
through his interpretation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He
The so-called baptism of the Spirit is therefore not only the baptism
of the Holy Spirit but a sudden yielding and surrender to one of the
holy spirits of God. Along with the Spirit of God we receive specific
spirits who have these specific gifts. How about that? I mean that
makes it very understandable. This explains then why things happened
to us the way they did in the beginning with Abrahim, right?
This all just hit me all of a sudden when I started working on Abrahim
[Letters pertaining to Abrahim], God bless him!"
Consequently, the eager, dedicated disciples of Moses David have been
looking expectantly for help from their own spirit guides and helpers,
ever since this Letter was published in 1977. I have read several
accounts in the COG monthly magazine, "Family News", about young
children who have seen and communicated with their "personal spirit
guides." This indicates that the satanic influence has filtered down
to the youngest cult members.
Moses David's most outrageous blasphemy occurred when he declared that
"he is greater than Solomon." He writes,
"It's a funny thing, the Lord gave us that Scripture the other night,
"Behold, a greater than Solomon is here!" That was a verse about
Jesus, but that night the Lord was not applying it to Jesus.
I don't see how I could be greater than Solomon. It's so simple. I
mean, before I even got the words out of my mouth, Abrahim flashed
across with: "Because of the gifts that God has given you!"
I have the wisdom of all the ages. . . ."
For those unfamiliar with the language of the occult, "the wisdom of
the ages" is a euphemism referring to the elemental powers of the
earth, the knowledge one receives as a result of being in service to
the powers of darkness. It is the great desire of all those involved
in witchcraft to tap into the "wisdom of the ages."
Mo's Letters further explain the function of the spirit world and how
God communicates to him through all the "sages and all the prophets
and all the kings and all the great men of the past."
Moses David advises his followers that to receive the gift of tongues,
one must be willing to "yield."
"You may have to sort of do like the yogi mentalists do; make your mind
a blank, and just yield your members, yield your tongue, and just let
go of it so that the spirits can get ahold of your tongue and mind."
Christians involved in charismatic circles should take a long look at
the early stages of the Jesus People movement and specifically the
Children of God, which began as a charismatic, Bible-believing
organization. Satanic influence is subtle; many Christians who claim
to have discernment have been duped by men such as my father boasting
the "gifts" of the Holy Spirit. Today, I wonder how many Christians
are being deceived by people imitating the gifts of the Spirit, or by
people actually under the influence of demonic spirits."Wherefore by
their fruits shall ye know them"—not by their gifts.
During the first year at TSC, Dad spent a lot of time teaching classes
to a select group of disciples he designated to be leaders or
leadership trainees. It was important that he train a core of lead-
ership rooted and grounded in his doctrines who could carry on in his
absence. He invested much time with about sixty to seventy-five
trainees; occasionally he would give a session in the dining hall to
the general body, but this was exceptional.
The classes taught to his select group of leaders were tape-recorded,
and subsequently emerged as Mo Letters. However, the concept of the
"Mo Letters" did not originate until Dad left TSC in September 1970 to
travel in Europe and Israel. It was then that he began to send home
letters to members of the Royal Family with specific instructions on
how to run the Revolution for Jesus. Little by little he stipulated
that certain letters be read to all the leaders. Then he indicated
that certain letters be read to "all the disciples." This practice
grew and grew until everyone was anxiously awaiting the next letter
from Mo. Hence, "Mo Letters" became the guiding light of the Children
It was also during his days at TSC, and his subsequent trip to Israel,
that Dad began to foster his image as the "Prophet on the Mountain."
His trip to Europe and the Middle East forced him to run his
organization from a distance. He began to see in this arrangement a
unique style of leadership. He wrote a letter entitled "I Gotta Split"
in which he explained that in order to really hear from God, in order
to see the "whole" picture, it was imperative that he go away—away in
the sense that he separate himself physically from the feverish
activities of life at TSC.54
He considered himself to be a "prophet on the mountain" whose only job
was to stay in tune with the Almighty, so that he might faithfully
direct the activities of God's Children. This, of course, gave much
greater importance to his letters of communication. If he was hearing
directly from God and writing these directions in letters, then the
letters were like hearing from God Himself.
Another key development in the spiritual direction of the Children of
God occurred during Dad's trip to Israel. He had gone there with the
express purpose of buying land and emigrating his followers to Israel.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, he returned to the U.S. imbued
with anti-Semitic fervor. It was rather shocking to his immediate
family. Dad had always had a special fascination for the people of
Israel; he always seemed quite proud of the Jewish blood in our family
heritage. When he was involved with the Christian and Missionary
Alliance, he applied to the mission board requesting that he be sent
to Israel. But they rejected him, saying that he was too old and had
too many children. (This is the story I was told all my life, and I
accepted it as true.) Dad carried great bitterness for years over this
rejection; he never overcame it. When I was growing up, Dad taught us
about Jewish traditions and customs, the significance of the Jews in
biblical history, and the importance of Israel in the end time. We
frequently visited the local Jewish temple during Yom Kippur and often
celebrated the Passover with Jewish friends.
Given the demonic nature of Abrahim, Dad's violent turn against Israel
and the Jews is not surprising. It is one further evidence of the evil
influence that had begun to take over and rule his mind. God has said
concerning the Jews, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse
them that curse thee" (Genesis 12:3). To be
possessed with a livid hatred against the Jews is not at all in accord
with the Scriptures. On the contrary, it rings of demonic obsession.
These contradicting experiences never made sense to me until I became
aware of Dad's deep entrenchment in the occult.
While Mo was traveling overseas, the Children of God and the Christian
commune in Thurber, Texas, began to attract national attention in the
U.S. NBC brought their camera crews to TSC and recorded an extensive
documentary on our unusual lifestyle. Jethro and I were left in charge
of the ranch while Dad was traveling; we reported to him all the
exciting goings-on, and he gave us instructions on how to handle the
press. He was just thrilled over the sudden wave of popularity.
The program was telecast nationally and provided a tremendous boost to
our credibility with the American public. Youth from all over the U.S.
drove to TSC to join the Children of God after seeing this program.
Fred Jordan continued to help the movement during the early days of
TSC. He owned a large five-story building in downtown Los Angeles that
he turned over to the Family. Faithy and Joshua helped to pioneer this
colony, and soon the streets of L.A. were producing disciple after
disciple—youth eager for the op-portunity to "forsake all for Jesus."
Our L.A. witnessing teams attacked the streets of Hollywood in force
everyday, bringing home the lost and drug-ridden youth of the
metropolis. New converts "forsook all" at the L.A. colony, stayed
there for a two-week trial period to test their sincerity, and were
then bused to the TSC ranch in a large bus purchased for us by Fred
Jordan. TSC was our version of Bible college.
While L.A. flourished, things in Texas steadily picked up momentum.
Regular witnessing trips to Austin, Dallas, Houston, and other college
towns were reaping many new converts. Teams were summarily sent out to
pioneer new fields in other cities of the United States such as
Detroit, New York, San Diego, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Denver.
The COG soon became known as the most tightly organized of the Jesus
People groups and the most fervently loyal. This, of course, was due
to the abilities of my father, and the loyalty of his personally
trained core of leaders. Their zeal and dedication were passed on by
spiritual osmosis to all new converts. Having a Prophet to follow, a
charismatic leader, a personality who heard directly from God, gave
tremendous security and stability to the disciples, both individually
Individually, each disciple could rest confident that our ship was
being steered on the right course, because God's specially anointed
leader was at the helm. Even though he, the disciple, couldn't really
see the overall direction of things, he could rest assured that God
would work through Mo to guide us to the Promised Land. Collectively,
we believed our movement was much better than any of the rest, because
God had seen fit to exercise His sovereignty and choose the Children
of God as His special Jesus People group.
Questions of doctrine and theology did not have to be wrestled with by
the disciples of the COG—these complicated issues that tended to
trouble the mind could be left to Mo to decide. The only personal
struggle that arose was a decision to throw oneself wholeheartedly
into the main thrust of the movement. Since vigorous, full-time
dedication was admired and rewarded by the group, a disciple could
direct all energies into enthusiastically living COG doctrine and
lifestyle to the utmost of his or her ability. God was leading the
body of the COG in a unique and perfect path, just as He did ancient
Israel; consequently, one need only stay close to the Family, and the
end of one's efforts could only result in the rewards of life in a
spiritual Promised Land.
Blind faith, naive obedience, irresponsible dedication, fanatical
loyalty—these were the volatile chemicals of human devotion that
ignited the zeal of the COG into a white-hot blaze of emotion. I
believe that a vast number of youths who joined our ranks did not join
primarily out of a desire to live the purity of the Christian faith,
but were attracted and caught up by our absolute commitment to a
cause. They themselves, without purpose or direction in life, were
like pieces of dry wood placed next to a raging bonfire,
and they were set ablaze and consumed by the fire of our devotion. We
were a gigantic sales force, and contemporary social conditions made
our marketing potential unlimited. The effects of the counterculture
had graciously prepared a vast host of customers eager for our
product: a reason for living, purpose and direction, freedom from
financial anxiety, separation from the evil system, rebellion against
established authority, a need for love—all in the name of Jesus.
These youth joining the Children of God were committing themselves to
more than faith in Jesus Christ. They were in fact submitting mind,
body, and soul to the personal lifestyle of David Berg. There were
those who did this unknowingly at first, but as their time in and
knowledge of the Family increased, each came to a knowledgeable
decision that they were following Moses David.
Until the summer of 1971, the moral lifestyle of the COG was strict
and puritanical. Dating was forbidden, as were kissing and holding
hands. Sex was absolutely taboo outside of marriage. The only
exception to this was, of course, Mo. But his situation was specially
ordained and known only to the leadership. However, this condition of
moral piety among the body of the Children of God was not to remain
When we arrived at TSC in February 1970, we numbered only 150. In
September 197l, just a year and a half later, when we were thrown off
Jordan's property, there was considerable change. The Children of God
would number over 2,000 full-time members, with colonies throughout
the United States and other parts of the world. The period of growth
at the TSC ranch was a turning point in the success of the cult of
David Berg. We would no longer be a fledgling band of nomadic
prophets—we were a New Nation. Following the days at the Texas Soul
Clinic, there would be no stopping the Children of God.
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Last response dated:
Dec 3, 2004
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