Responses to article:
The Children of God - The Inside Story, by the Daughter of the Founder
by Deborah Davis
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I have to say I am disappointed in this particular tale. I realize Ms Berg has been through much in her life and has never been taught to think for herself but I really cannot see much difference between her reactions while in the COG to her new belief system and reaction to that once she left the COG. Instead of telling her story, she felt the need to interpret it for the reader, to explain it in absolutist terms, as one who now knows the truth and is here to impart that knowledge and belief system to the reader. Rather than interpret for the reader, we would have been better served had she simply told her own story, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and let us draw our own conclusions as to what Truth and God and Sin and Human Psychology all mean in the light of her story. I hate to say this but I felt insulted by her sermonizing throughout the telling of this, by her need to make sure the reader understands how she has now found Truth and how she is now here to let everyone know what the Truth is, and what we should think about all this. In that way she is no different from her father or those who remain in the Family, those who believe they have the key to God and Truth and are here to make sure everyone else knows it. A disappointment, it was - I really would like to know Deborah/Linda as a woman, as a mother, as a daughter, as a wife, without the layers of interpretation and sermonizing heaped on the story here. It would be interesting to know whether she would tell this differently now (it was written in 1984) and whether the intense sermonizing would give way to a more genuine street level telling of her admittedly extraordinary tale. I wish her the best, and hope her life has been a happy one since this was written.
CA United States - Apr 25, 2004
Can you tell me if David Berg was the original person who invented the concept of the 'antichrist systems' (religion/education/commerce/banking etc)? Or did he only GLEAN the idea of "antichrist systems" from some charismatic speaker of the 50s/60s and merely HARNESS hippy anti-establishment sentiment to mobilize his agenda? Where did this antichrist systemS concept originally surface in the modern church? Thanks.
Tom Anderson <Pranalite@aol.com>
- Apr 20, 2004
I have a copy of the original hardback book written by Deborah Davis. It was given to me by a fellow exit cult member of the Andrea Yates preacher Michael Woroniecki.
There seems to be an indirect connection between COG and Michael Woroniecki through another radical preacher who also preached at Huntington Beach in the 70s. His name is Bobby Engel AKA Bobby Bible and Bobby Biblestein. (You may have seen this character in the 80s and 90s).
He started a group called Christian Brothers out of Long Beach in 1970, a discipleship focusing on radical street preaching, name calling, judging carrying signs and crosses, a "no-holds-barred" approach to attracting attention. I was wondering if he may have gotten some of his inspiration from observing Berg's activities at Huntington Beach. Can you tell me what a witness from a "Teens in Christ" demonstration at the beach was like at its worst from 1968-70? Do you remember seeing a character like this at Huntington Beach in the early 70s before COG metastasized and evacuated the US mainland?
By the way, your book was a very powerful insite to the core nature of cults. Your brother Aaron demonstrated the exact same mechanism that drove some of Woroniecki's own disciples close to suicide. I remember a similar struggle in my own experience, but fortunately I bailed out before the stress became that unbearable.
Mrs. Davis, if you want to talk further on a more personal level over my own experience in this cult, please feel free to email me with the subject heading "COG-Woroniecki."
Tom Anderson <Pranalite@aol.com>
- Apr 17, 2004
How are you dealing with the newer version of the "family.org" as shown on the internet? I was in a cult and this website looks pretty smooth as compared to what its roots were........Ray
Ray Kent <email@example.com>
Clovis, Ca usa - Apr 10, 2004
what of the books about flirty fishies, what of the groups present standings, and finaly. how do you feel now?
kirk forbes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
federal way, wa america - Dec 14, 2003
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