The Family lists J. Gordon Melton as an academic who has given them a clean bill of health & insisted their past is behind them. Together with James R. Lewis, he was the editor to the pro-Family book 'Sex, Slander, and Salvation.'
Melton has taken a great fall from his once more honest views. Back in 1986 he published the 'Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America' -- ISBN 0-8240-9036-5. In it he writes quite critically about The Family for 5 pages on 154-158, then concludes his article on page 158 by saying,
'The sexual manipulation in the Children of God has been so thoroughly documented that it is doubtful whether the organization can ever, in spite of whatever future reforms it might initiate, regain any respectable place in the larger religious community.'