response to "My Life In and Out of the Children of God" by "Singing Sam" date: Jan 20, 2005 name: Allison (Windy) email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Mt Airy state: MD country: 21771 comments: Sam- It was so nice to see a familiar name on this site. You don't know me, but I was inspired by your music for many years. Me and my four kids left 16 years ago and i just got connected to this sight after reading about the death of Ricky. I feel kind of wierd- my past life and all the feelings and emotions are just coming to the surface. Unlike many excogers, i do not have a spiritual life or am involved in anything religious. Although I believe in Jesus, I am very wary of anything organized. On a happy note, we are all doing very well! Take care. response to "" by "Modemac" date: Jan 19, 2005 name (&amd; url): Ayebale Julius Ceasar email:email@example.com city: kampala country: Uganda comments: I would like to know where you are located. but please,let God bless you acording to his will. response to "My Life In and Out of the Children of God" by "Singing Sam" date: Jan 16, 2005 name (&amd; url): John (ex-Joseph) email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: bloomington state: il country: usa comments: Dear Sam, I was touched to read your story on this site and relieved that you are doing well by His Grace. The recent events regarding R R and S D have stirred up a lot of old memories, good, bad and then of course there are the nightmares. It is so disturbing to me to hear of those who leave TF and then suffer some tragic event. This is so disturbing. I think all who are doing well should get together somehow and be able to encourage each other to find the 'light' after the 'loss'. Sites via internet like this one are an opportunity to do this. I spoke to you by phone and met you briefly in Houston Tx around 1079-1980?, before your rejoining the family. As an inspirationalist in the family I have always been an admirer ofyou and follower of your career as a musician. I have a great Pic of you and the Houston family at a pic nic singing etc. I left the Family in 1986 after returning from SA, Chile and Colombia and spending a year or so in Miami. Usual story, too many doubts about the direction the leadership was taking regarding sex and teens etc., and really the only recourse was basically, leave. there waws no in between at that time. It was very hard and I went through 2 years of the darkest night of the soul including daily suicidal fantasies. I need to put it all down on paper sometime but find myself so busy with career that it is difficult. I will try to post it whem I have the time. Anyway I have often wondered where you might be and what you might be up to as I know you wanted to continue to do things with music. Some of the old family music, from SA etc is truely inspired and the songs still come spontaneously to mind as a backdrop to current life from time to time. Would love to hear some of your more recent work. Also the status of other Family musicians, music etc. Did you ever make it to Nashville?More to say at another time. Be well. In His Love, John response to "Back to the Future" by "Anovagrrl" date: Jan 11, 2005 name: el kyle email:email@example.com city: galveston state: tx country: us comments: beautiful point by point rendition. you may feel the anger, but the reader can feel the love, and the pain. response to "It's My Life - Mercy's Story" by "Mercy" date: Dec 26, 2004 name: Simon email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Sydney country: Australia comments: Thank you for sharing your story Mercy. I relate to much of what you went through & it's TF as I remember it too. I admire you for your strength & ability to write your experiences down which I'm sure has helped serve as a cleansing process for you. I hope you are better for it. God bless & may you have peace & happiness in your life. response to "Berg's Anti-Semitism" by "Researchers for exFamily.org" date: Nov 9, 2004 name: Danny C comments: This is among some of the best research I've ever seen! Hats off to you folks! response to "CRITICAL Commentary by Carol C. Buening, PhD, LISW, on 'Psychological Assessment of Children in The Family' written in 1996 by Lawrence Lilliston & Gary Shepherd
date: May 11, 2004 name: Oldtimer email:email@example.com city: Houston state: TX country: USA comments:Coordinator: Check your fire, "Oldtimer!" It seems you have misdirected your response to Carol C. Buening, who in essence is in agreement with everything you are also pointing out. She was writing a CRITICAL commentary of the 'Psychological Assessment of Children in The Family' as published in 1996 by Lawrence Lilliston & Gary Shepherd. -Buening's statement is that of a hired gun, the so-called &qout;Family&qout; has degenrated to the Scientologists pseudo-legal and the abuse of &qout;science falsely so called&qout;. Everything in her treatise is phony--the &qout;evaluation&qout; is supposed to be a next to last step in a multidisciplinary apparoach to evaluating effectiveness of a PS program, before accepting or discarding it. A REAL evaluation includes some of the following (please see, for instance, http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic369.htm. -Definition: the engaging of a child in sexual activities that the child cannot comprehend, for which the child is developmentally unprepared and cannot give informed consent, and violate the social taboos of society. -The most important determinant for abuse is the child's (or a witness') account of the incident. -Most of the morbidity associated with sexual abuse is a result of emotional and psychological trauma. Reactions to sexual abuse can include posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, anger, impaired sense of self, dissociative phenomena, suicidal behavior, sexually reactive behaviors that are beyond the scope of normative child sexual development, and indiscriminate sexual behavior. -Children suspected of being sexually abused require a behavioral, social, gynecologic, and general medical history. Sufficient information about the current incident of sexual abuse is needed to ensure that all needed evidence is properly collected. -The history also should include questions regarding possible behavioral indicators of abuse. Abrupt behavioral changes - Aggression, depression, suicidal behaviors, withdrawal, low self esteem, nightmares, phobias, regression, school problems Self-destructive behaviors - Substance abuse, sleep disorders, prostitution Sexualized behavior inappropriate for developmental level (eg, excessive masturbation, forcing sexual acts on other children) response to "Is Tithing Scriptual for New Testament Christians?" by "Ed Priebe" date: Apr 27, 2004 name: Roger Waters email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Marion state: In country: USA comments: Talk about starting an uproar, this is one subject that will do just that. After all, how will these pastors who have $100,000.00 saleries make it if no tithes come in. How can these muli-million dollar churches pay for their new 15 million dollar organ? It goes on and on. Yet, these same churches never seem to do anything for the family that just lost their dad. You are 100% correct. I have done a study on tithing as well. I started to ask questions about it. I was told that all I needed to know was that the church believes in tithing. I responded by asking, OK then lets see whay Jesus said about it. They asked me to leave. The church in America is cursed today because they have made church a money making profit saving business. But then what can you say about a church that willingly falls under the supervision of their state because of the 501C3 status? But that is another story huh? Good site, good information, and good job. Tell the truth, regardless of where it gets you. Roger Waters response to "The Children of God - The Inside Story, by the Daughter of the Founder" by "Deborah Davis" date: Apr 25, 2004 name: Sara state: CA country: United States comments: 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. response to "The Children of God - The Inside Story, by the Daughter of the Founder" by "Deborah Davis" date: Apr 20, 2004 name (&amd; url): Tom Anderson email:Pranalite@aol.com comments: 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 &qout;antichrist systems&qout; 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. response to "It's My Life - Mercy's Story" by "Mercy" date: Apr 19, 2004 name: Sara email:email@example.com city: LA state: CA country: USA comments: Your story hit so close to home, although my experiences differ, the motivations and spiritual abuses follow the same path and I thank you for letting us know of your struggles and your pain, as well as your recovery. I take strength from your story, to help me in my own recovery and victory over my past decisions and the havoc they have wreaked in my life, still do. I've been in the denial/numbness stage of the thing, and reading your words has broken through some, encouraging me to take those final steps and stand up and find myself again. Thank you. response to "The Children of God - The Inside Story, by the Daughter of the Founder" by "Deborah Davis" date: Apr 17, 2004 name (&amd; url): Tom Anderson email:Pranalite@aol.com comments: 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). Photo: http://www.time.com/time/reports/millennium/photo/9.html 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 &qout;no-holds-barred&qout; 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 &qout;Teens in Christ&qout; 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 &qout;COG-Woroniecki.&qout; response to "The Children of God - The Inside Story, by the Daughter of the Founder" by "Deborah Davis" date: Apr 10, 2004 name: Ray Kent email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Clovis state: Ca country: usa comments: How are you dealing with the newer version of the &qout;family.org&qout; as shown on the internet? I was in a cult and this website looks pretty smooth as compared to what its roots were........Ray response to "Berg's Anti-Semitism" by "Researchers for exFamily.org" date: Apr 1, 2004 name: Candy comments: Excellent research and from what I read you deserve Kudos for hard work and insightful presentation on the anti-semitism of the cult. I am always amazed by the stupidity I exhibited by joining and remaining in a screwed up and hateful organisation like this. But this is what a lack of real education will lead to -- slavery. Remember Berg also lamented about Lincoln putting a stop to the South's slavery of the Africans during the Civil War? What a real thinker and intellectual realises--as opposed to the sloppy slippery thoughts of Berg--is that slavery would have eventually enveloped not just all the blacks as industrialization grew, but also the poor whites of all ethnicities--especially the uneducated--who would have been drafted into the chains for the rich masters. Back to serfdom just like Russia had would have been America's plight, white slaves called serfs, -- if slavery had not been defeated. Come to think of it -- If the South had won, Berg would have been a real good manipulator and sneaky 'white boss' over the poor-white slave troops who couldn't think for themselves and get a life of liberty in their ignorance and poverty under white-Christian-masters. Ironic that Berg was just like that anyway, despite the fact that the South lost the civil war. A 'white boss' to the cultic-slave-troops. response to "Berg's Anti-Semitism" by "Researchers for exFamily.org" date: Mar 25, 2004 name: cboy comments: Berg is the ignorant fool of any one person that I have ever heard of. He should be burned alive because of his stupid conspiracies and anti-semitism. Oh, if anyone is wondering, I am not even a Jew, i'm from South America. Down here, we don't hesitiate to kick the shit out of bitches like that. If I ever saw his punk ass, I'd ram my fist down his stomach and send him to these Turkish gays I know of, who would tear a hole the size of the ozone layer in his candy ass. What mutherfucking son of a bitch! response to "‘Children's Rights Conference’ - A Government Funded Sham" by "Eva St.John" date: Feb 26, 2004 name: tore email:email@example.com city: wollongong state: NSW country: Australia comments: Good on ya Eva, it's great to see that you are up and at'em. I tried to comment on your article before but for some reason the machine wouldn't let me. Look forward to catching up sometime response to "Life with Grandpa - the Mene Story" by "" date: Feb 13, 2004 name: Tom Buckley email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Seattle state: WA country: USA comments: Dear Ricky, Misty, M and Angie, Whew, pretty heavy stuff Ricky! God bless you for writing your story! Its a very small world. I live in Seattle's Chinatown and had just returned from working in Alaska on the Bering Sea for 6 months. My main goal in life is to find my 2 missing daughters who I haven't seen in 10 years and see the cult exposed, disbanded, brought down compeletely and the principals, i.e Karen Zerby, Steve Kelly and their cohorts prosecuted. So while unknown to me while as I always walk along the Seattle waterfront drinking a few beers and praying for strength, grace, wisdom and victory, you were there writing your story! Hah! God is funny! Give me a call if you're still in town and we'll go have some beer and swap war stories! God bless. (206) 679 1318 Tom Buckley response to "Life in Dad's House" by "A. Nonimus" date: Dec 31, 2003 name: Michael Edwards email:email@example.com city: Tokyo state: Tokyo country: Japan comments: Boy, what are you guys doing writing sucj sickening perverted stuff? Trying to join the porn writing best sellers list? You cannot be Christians that is for sure to write such ugly discriptions from your vivid imaginations. So you were once in the Family? What are you doing for lost souls now? Not a thing I gather from this sick article of yours. It is really sick response to "The Children of God - The Inside Story, by the Daughter of the Founder" by "Deborah Davis" date: Dec 14, 2003 name: kirk forbes email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: federal way state: wa country: america comments: what of the books about flirty fishies, what of the groups present standings, and finaly. how do you feel now? response to "My Life In and Out of the Children of God" by "Singing Sam" date: Dec 1, 2003 name (&amd; url): Erika Helmke email:E.Helmke@gmx.net city: Haigerloch country: Germany comments: Hello Sam, I´m so relieved to hear you also &qout;are out out of it&qout; I was always an admirer of your singing.My mom always said: if you have a gift it´s meant for a purpose. Like yours.I also left quite late, but I did it. Now me and my eight kids live like adults and respected people in society. Something we never eypierenced while still in it. I wish you and your family the BEST and take care. Greetings Erika (formerly Becky/Praise, german)response to "Jesus Christians - Offshoot of the COG?" by "WC" date: Nov 29, 2003 name (&amd; url): Dave McKay email:email@example.com city: Newcastle state: NSW country: Australia comments: I just stumbled back onto this website, and I was surprised to notice that I did NOT acknowledge that we had a member who had previously belonged to the ICOC,when I posted in January. She had only joined last year, but she is still with us, and I must apologise for overlooking it. And yes, I am the member who was once associated with the Family. My wife was never a member, and I spent only a couple of weeks away from her and living with the Family more than a quarter of a century ago, before I decided to take advantage of a rule that said one could become a &qout;shepherd&qout; by setting off on their own and getting another disciple or two. I returned to my family, enlisted my children as members, and then proceeded to receive postings from the Family (COGs then) as a shepherd. It always frustrated the Family that they did not have me conveniently under their thumb, and eventually Cherry agreed to leave the church scene if I would leave the Family, and the two of us set off on our own, along with our own children. Thus the Jesus Christians were born. The similarities between us and the Family are many; but almost none of them relate to sexual matters. We appreciate the idea of more open and frank discussion of issues which deeply concern young people, but our community on the whole tends to be regarded as opposite to the extreme, because we do not believe in divorce, remarriage, homosexuality, adultery, or even kissing and cuddling between engaged couples.response to "My Life In and Out of the Children of God" by "Singing Sam" date: Nov 24, 2003 name: Randy email:Tessafreeman@sbcglobal.net city: Dayton state: OH country: USA comments: Sam,This is Randy,But you knew me as Bezaleel(Bez Gypsy). You were a major influence on me starting back at the L.A. colony in 1971. You really changed my life in 72 at New York. I was about to leave for London,when you recruited me to come with you to San Juan.We drove a car down to Miami and flew over to P.R.Then in 74,you called me to come down to Brazil to play drums in your band. It was an amazing several years,in the spotlight, doing TV and Radio shows. You had to have been there to believe it,all the attention! I'll never forget what a gentle, loving leader you were. You were completely without guile,and genuinely cared for us all. You were never a phony,as some who came later were,(no names,but you know)It was great working with you in Rio,even though we all slept on the floor there at Santa Teresa,we were never happier! Suzy and I left in 1980,and often wondered about you and how you were doing. It was so good to read your story! Love to hear from you,and send you pix!-Love, Randyresponse to "My Life In and Out of the Children of God" by "Singing Sam" date: Nov 24, 2003 name: Xeena email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Bloomington state: MN country: USA comments: My name is Sarah, my parents are Zeb Geppetto & Robyn. I knew you Sam for awhile, it's great to hear your story. I've been out for 6 yrs now along with 4 of my sisters & one of my step sisters. I'm glad things are going well for you now. I believe you wrote to my sister Adria when you left, I know that was one of the things that helped her in her dicision to leave.response to "My Life In and Out of the Children of God" by "Singing Sam" date: Nov 24, 2003 name: Randy email:Tessafreeman@sbcglobal.net city: dayton state: OH country: USA comments: It was great to hear from you,you were always the brother I loved and respected the most.response to "My Life In and Out of the Children of God" by "Singing Sam" date: Nov 22, 2003 name (&amd; url): lolo email:email@example.com comments: I am so touched by your testimony Sam. It comes at a right time! I rarely come here, I have not in months and I read your story last night and this morning before everyone gets up. I cried at some passages, and I am so happy and thankful for your testimony. All I can say is that you give us all hope and testimonies are the most important thing in the world to make us understand why we go through so much on this earth. Thank you, thank you!response to "Want Higher Education?" by "Jonathan" date: Nov 21, 2003 name: Misty email:firstname.lastname@example.org comments: I forgot to include me email address.response to "Want Higher Education?" by "Jonathan" date: Nov 21, 2003 name: Misty email:siriuscapella city: Dallas state: OR country: USA comments: I just read your article &qout;Want Higher Education&qout; I left the Family two years ago. You sound like someone I knew while I was in the group. Do you remember Rufus and Dulce? I'm their daughter, Misty. If this is the same Jonathan, the last time I saw you was at Mike and Marians wedding. If this rings a bell, email me. response to "Life with Grandpa - the Mene Story" by "" date: Nov 20, 2003 name: Misty email:email@example.com city: Dallas state: OR country: USA comments: Hi, my name is Misty. I was born and raised in the family. I left almost two years ago. I found this website through a search engine. I was looking for information that Maria and Peter have kept from us. I am not surprised about the things that have happened and still happen to children in the family. I have questions...email me if you like.response to "Amazing Thoughts Since I Left the Family" by "Freeatlast" date: Nov 17, 2003 name: DarkAngel comments: cont.4 Why sink in a puddle when there are oceans to swim ,Yes ,why stay in the Fam ? why not try freedom, try out ,follow the HOLY spirit and not those Fam. dark familiar spirits ,why not try to break those chains and cross the Red Sea,see if Jesus will not care for you ,the bible is the true word of God ,nothing to do with the Fam. and His promises are true in or out of the Fam. On God list you’re no Backslider you’re just one of his children looking for sincere truth Forget man’s condemnation we all know it’s from berg and the devil. why not try Him do it today!!! Tomorrow maybe to late !!! HA!!I must be drunk on the spirit it seems I've heard this expression somewhere! Well it's never too late for Him he'll take us where we are and carry us trough to the next step. One more thought the Fam was a place to learn the word and other Christian principles ,but the sad thing is that we also need to brainwash ourselves out off the mud *weird doctrines ,sex, condemnation ect.. I also believe that the fam has lost it's usefulness of course in my life as well as in the life of all those that left the Fam. and the ones that are still in need more desperate times and breakings maybe until they can't bare the darkness anymore and run for the light. I'll pray for that one too! Much love to all that want to follow In the truth and stay free...The truth shall make you free not the Mo letters ,forget Mo and his piss that is just piss like he said. Beware of false prophets and wolves that comes to you in sheep clothing and false doctrines why don't you study the word without berg and maria’s interpretations for awhile, there are numerous good christian sites and you know why you can trust them because it's FREE their only concern is too preach the word not to rip you off. try this one www.bbnradio.org some of those skits and preachers are quite fun for kids and adults and it's in a few languages. Must go .... response to "Amazing Thoughts Since I Left the Family" by "Freeatlast" date: Nov 17, 2003 name: DarkAngel comments: Cont. 3 Jesus and his message have been used to satisfy their greed and selfishness. I thought dying on the cross was enough; The fam. doctrines are blasphemy and mockery of Christ no wonder those leaders are going to pay the price. I recently started to pray for the Lord to have all the rotten top characters go to jail for some time a bit like that TV evangelist ,when he came out of the slammer after being fucked and disciplined he was quite broken and I had some respect for him ,when I saw him last on Larry King ,and I believe that he was a saint compared with Berg and Co. his testimony was somewhat of a warning for religious leaders but I thing peter ,maria and crew are so high in their arrogance and pride and also dumb that they can't see the signs .Anyway if you feel lead to pray the similar prayer let's get it going and let ride the wave as some prophet used to say, he also used to say &qout;give the Devil enough rope and he will hang himself...&qout; By the way I also meet other Christians and have found out that some of them are much more open and free than the Fam. once again proving the point that berg and maria just wand control over men's souls , Off course none are perfect and so is the Fam. also not perfect or should I say the opposite; perfectly evil. 2bcont.response to "Amazing Thoughts Since I Left the Family" by "Freeatlast" date: Nov 17, 2003 name: DarkAngel comments: Continued 1 When you'll leave the Fam. no one will thank you for the 25 years of services for Jesus no one will pray for you to have a fruitful ministry serving Him ...Do you know why? Because the top &qout;Fam. Sheperds&qout; have nothing in common with the ones you've heard about that gives their lives for the sheep they are the one in it for the money and for themselves and their depraved ideas of righteousness Do you remember how Berg tried to blame the Dito book on Sarah a good sample on how the prophet makes others give their lives for him . By the way I think the judge in the BI case was really God's mercy on the group in trying to give those leaders some more chance to make things right ,too sad that they did not keep much of those promises to make the fam. a safe environment. I think time is about up now for God to strike second round .Do you think the fam is going to make it this time around??? I wouldn't bet on it as the word teaches even when God shows mercy to the wicked some of them do not repent so God has not other choice but to use the two by four approach... Why being so unloving to someone that would like to leave the Fam. isn't the goal to reach the world for Him? So what if we don't believe a word from some of berg and maria's prophecies ...the Fam is really a cult of personality; worship peter and maria group. to be continued... response to "Amazing Thoughts Since I Left the Family" by "Freeatlast" date: Nov 17, 2003 name: DarkAngel comments: Freeatlast tanks for taking the time to write all this .I realy understand you and totallly agree with you cause I also did the same thing as you did and went trough the same trials as you did ,and now that I'm out I'm also adjusting but find the Lord's love and mercies daily ,my kids are happy although they had to forsake their so called friends as you know there are no real friends in the Fam. I found out the hard way that when we left we never got any concerned messages from the VS OR CRO ...The only messages we got was about money to make sure that we would return the gold that we raised to established what the Fam call HER.funds for the home... After all it's not the Fam.responsibility to help a departing family even though we have given our trust our hearts and everything else for 20 some years... So if I had some doubts in my minds they were quickly dissipated after receiving such concerned messages from the Fam. highest authority Doesn't this clearly make the case??? One of my friends told me the best thing to do is to take off with all that gold and use it for a good cause ,a real Robin Hood type of counsel and I can see a good point in this why giving some money earned by oneself to some abusive cult when you can do something good with it .In a way giving this gold back to fam. leaders is a bit like keeping a dead body on life support ,why not accept the fact of death and let God take care of his busisness Ha!!! A bit like using mafia's money back to help the poor Do we realise how crooked and false is the Fam. Were is the love of Christ ??? to be continued..response to "Murder Most Foul" by "Jerome Doolittle" date: Nov 11, 2003 name: Sam Hill email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Bangkok comments: A former neighbour worked at the Bangkok World when this murder took place and knew the victim quite well. He told me he ran into some of the Children of God in India, after they had been expelled from Thailand. They started their usual friendly routine with him, but he said in reply, &qout;I know who you are. You killed my friend in Bangkok.&qout; Immediately, the C of G turned hostile, shouting &qout;You are satan!&qout; over and over. They began to mob him and he said he didn't know what might have happened if Indian police hadn't intervened. Does make one wonder. response to "Jesus Christians - Offshoot of the COG?" by "WC" date: Nov 8, 2003 name: hannah comments: One of your members is an ex member of the church of Christ, according to your web site. i doubt anyone is suggesting that you are a breakaway group from ICC. However your literature and teachings suggest you are still heavily influenced by early Berg teachings. What was your name in the children of God?response to "Is Tithing Scriptual for New Testament Christians?" by "Ed Priebe" date: Sep 22, 2003 name: Alberto Castrillon email:email@example.com comments: Hi, I read your article with much interest, but I had a question about something you mentioned. You say that in Halley's handbook he mentions that tithing was reinstituted in the 300's AD. I checked by handbook but it doesn't mention this last part at all. I have a revised version. Is yours the same? Please respond. Thank you.
In-house Editor's reply:
Thank you for bringing that to our attention.
The quote from Halley's should have been in the sentence preceding the one you
mentioned. Due to an editing over-sight, we placed the quote marks in the wrong
places. That section has now been corrected to read:
Halley's Bible Handbook, page 769, in the section, The Five Patriarchs, says:
“By the end of the 4th century the Churches and Bishops of Christendom had come
to be largely dominated from five great centers, Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem
and Alexandria, who Bishops had come to be called Patriarchs."
It was during the patristic (Patriarchal) times, beginning in the 300's AD, that tithing was reinstituted. Three centuries of Imperial persecutions
had ended with the conversion of Constantine in 312 AD. The church was suddenly catapulted into a position of power. The building of
churches, which had been only occasional before now, happened on a large scale.
The "Westminster Dictionary of Church History" agrees that the patristic era was when the tithe was reinstated. It says in the section on Tithes,
"From patristic [Patriarchal] times churchmen stressed that ... all Christians were morally obliged to tithe their entire income." response to "The Love Nuts - Screwloose Prophets and Friends" by "Si Bloom" date: Sep 9, 2003 name: Dean email:firstname.lastname@example.org comments: Jesse James Strang lived on Beaver Island, there is no Big Bear Island in Lake Michigan.response to "The Alcoholic Prophet" by "Ed Priebe" date: Aug 13, 2003 name: carol email:email@example.com city: columbus state: oh country: usa comments: Since you are interested in the impact of alcoholism on Berg’s teachings, I urge you to consider another—and perhaps more devastating--aspect of Berg’s alcoholism, and that is its effect on the family who followed him. Alcoholic families are chaotic, inconsistent, unpredictable, arbitrary, have unclear roles, changing limits, frequent arguments, repetitious and illogical thinking, and can be violent and incestuous. The family is dominated by the presence and the denial of alcoholism, a major family secret. The secret is maintained by three rules: Don’t speak; don’t think; don’t feel. This secret becomes a governing principle around which the family organizes its adaptations, its coping strategies, and its shared beliefs, to maintain its structure and hold the family together. As you pointed out, the denial of Berg’s alcoholism continued with the claim that he got a victory over “excessive” use before he died. He might have been abstinent, but he wasn’t in recovery. The same stinkin’ thinkin’ that ruled his active drinking continued on in what AA calls a dry drunk. He may have died, but the alcoholic family rules remained the same.response to "The Alcoholic Prophet" by "Ed Priebe" date: Aug 13, 2003 name: carol email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: columbus state: oh country: usa comments: Since you are interested in the impact of alcoholism on Berg’s teachings, I urge you to consider another—and perhaps more devastating--aspect of Berg’s alcoholism, and that is its effect on the family who followed him. Alcoholic families are chaotic, inconsistent, unpredictable, arbitrary, have unclear roles, changing limits, frequent arguments, repetitious and illogical thinking, and can be violent and incestuous. The family is dominated by the presence and the denial of alcoholism, a major family secret. The “secret” is maintained by three rules: Don’t speak; don’t think; don’t feel. This secret becomes a governing principle around which the family organizes its adaptations, its coping strategies, and its shared beliefs, to maintain its structure and hold the family together. As you pointed out, the denial of Berg’s alcoholism continued with the claim that he got a victory over “excessive” use before he died. He might have been abstinent, but he wasn’t in recovery. The same stinkin’ thinkin’ that ruled his active drinking continued on in what AA calls a “dry drunk.” He may have died, but the alcoholic family rules remained the same.response to "Life with Grandpa - the Mene Story" by "" date: Aug 2, 2003 name: M email:needU23@libero.it state: VA country: USA comments: I'm just looking for someone to talk to and to ask questions to, if you can I'd apretiate it. U can always write at this adress...Mresponse to "Jesus Christians - Offshoot of the COG?" by "WC" date: Jul 28, 2003 name: Abel Mechanic comments: Dave,,,I have met you and you told me then that you had been a member of the CoG! While it may be true that only one of your members has been involved it's pretty significant don't you think that that member just happens to be the leader of the group. As an offshoot group maybe not but your thinking and operations is definitely influenced by the COGresponse to "There is Life After the Family" by "Kathy Johnson (Formerly Lily of the Valley)" date: Jul 11, 2003 name: Debbie Butler email:email@example.com city: Grapevine state: TX country: USA comments: Dear Kathy, Yours is an incredibly wonderful story. God is so good! I have a brother-in-law who has been with the COG since the 70s and his 3 children have all been raised in it, as are their children now. We pray for them to leave and don't really know how to help them. Until a few years ago we had no contact with them, but now we see our brother-in-law at least once a year. He comes here to the states to raise funds. If you would like to reply, I would love to hear any advice you could offer. Thank you!response to "Merry Berg's Story" by "Merry Berg" date: Jun 1, 2003 name: Gloria Jones (Ready Fleebag) email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: kalgoorlie state: wa country: australia comments: Meme mene tekulupharsin, that means america will be destroyed, is how you introduced yourself to me in Malta. I was at the school with you and Ziba, your brother Adonis, who was always so tired, your mother Shulamite, and her partner at the time, the father of your brother. I kept your picture in my wallet for years. Wondered how you were and how it would be for you as you got older. I send you my love and tears for a shared experience. Shed all that pain and enjoy your life. Take no crap and don't fear anything. I have found joy and strength. There are lots of great things out there to read, embrace whatever you desire. I remember you Mene. It brought me to tears to see your face. You will feel the love that comes attatched to this, it is so strong. LOTS OF LOVE Gloriaresponse to "Merry Berg's Story" by "Merry Berg" date: May 16, 2003 name: Newman email:email@example.com country: japan comments: I read your testimony and wanted to tell you that I 'm inspired by your forgiveness and positif outlook on this sad chapter of your life.I was also a cog memberand felt sorry for you when we had to read all this sordid events about you . I'm happy to hear that you're free and that Jesus turned this situation for the best. One day we'll all rejoice together and see the good fruit from all our trials and tribulations in the Familly much love Newmanresponse to "Merry Berg's Story" by "Merry Berg" date: May 15, 2003 name: BD Pennie email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Vancouver state: BC country: Canada comments: Dear Merry Berg; I have read your story here and elsewhere and I decided to attempt to try to help you locate your mother. I is not possible for me to do everything as this is business of a personal nature but I do have listings for two J. H. [full name removed by webmaster - please see our policy on naming names] and it would be best for you to make the calls. This is not a commmon name and either could be her. Truly BD Pennieresponse to "The Emotional Pain of Leaving a Cult" by "" date: Apr 5, 2003 name: Peace Piper city: Indianapolis state: IN country: USA comments: I find it terribly sad that after 25 years I can read that affirmation and still the pain of leaving the Children of God. While I know on a very intellectual level I did the right thing in leaving, there are still horrible emottional scars from 'backsliding'. Strange how powerful those few years were. How they still to this day creep into my thoughts and haunt me. When I typed my name in the box above I had a chill creep across my shoulders. No one knows me as Peace Piper, I haven't gone by that name for years..... and yet I felt ghosts hovering over my shoulder and I was once again a lost and lonely child looking for acceptance and understanding. I was once again shamed and cast out and lost in the desert without a guide. I appreciate that someone else could put my feelings into words. Each word cuts like a knife, yet I know that the cut drains the poisons that fester deep under the skin. It is so very sad to be a middle aged women and still habor the lost soul of Peace Piper.response to "I Almost Didn't Make It" by "Sam Ajemian" date: Mar 7, 2003 name: jesse owen lee email:email@example.com city: whitney point state: ny country: usa comments: praise the lord,sam! in preparing a sermon, I wanted to reference cults and looked up the cog. i found your name and was so pleased that you're still hot for Jesus. i'd like to hear from you and catch up. would you? love in Christ, jesseresponse to "My experience with the Children of God / The Family" by "anonymous" date: Mar 6, 2003 name (&amd; url): Angela Curl email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Cleveland state: OH country: USA comments: I read your whole story in one sitting, and found it troubling. I am sorry for all the pain and difficulties that you experienced. I was wondering when you will post the remaining segments of your story?response to "Maria Refuses" by "Anonymous: Letters to Maria" date: Mar 1, 2003 name: I love you email:sambody@hotmail country: World comments: I do`nt know Maria and other like Her, how I see you still want to know the answer. For God sake we have still the Gospel, and Jesus reaction to the question of the schribe and farise, and you can read that till His dead, did`nt gave them any answer. Please for God sake go back to the simplicity of the Fondation, to Jesus who Loves you. From somebody in the world that loves you, because I love Jesus. response to "Zerby on Education" by "WC" date: Feb 26, 2003 name: MG (reposted) comments: When I was still in TF, my daughter got herself into university on student loans. She had to do tons of extra studying to barely get up to a minimum level in math. It was not her fault or ours, as Maria claims in her video. (see Mark's post below) She had no help from anyone until we finally left TF and have since been able to help her somewhat with some of the many expenses. And thank God for her grandmother who started helping too. The good new is: (Trumpets, drum roll) only 3 years since she started university, she's soon to graduate, but not only that, she has just been offered a graduate student fellowship in one of the nation's top schools of public affairs!!! We're so happy for her and proud of her. But it's only due to her own perseverence and hard work inspite of the extreme frustrations she's had to overcome because of the failings in her education that being brought up in TF resulted in. When she turned 13, the shepherds in our home said now she can move to the Teen Home, like all the 13 years did, so what did we her parents have to do with her education after that? She was on her way to the teen Combo as prescribed and ordained by Berg, Maria and Co. No one was about to object to that, in fact that was where it was at. But from that time on she was considered herself to be a teacher, and her own schooling was pretty much over. Maria is really coming up with lame sick stuff to say that it was the parents and the teens fault if they lack something in their education. The fact that I didn't leave TF was my fault, to get her into a place where she could have a chance to really learn what she wanted and needed to learn. She says the only positive thing from her Family educational experience is that she's had to take studying a lot more seriously than many of her fellow students. response to "Jesus Christians - Offshoot of the COG?" by "WC" date: Jan 31, 2003 name (&amd; url): Dave McKay email:email@example.com city: Sydney state: NSW country: Australia comments: There really is a lot of false information in these reports. If you want reliable information from someone who does not agree with us (i.e. does not agree with the Jesus Christians), we recommend you go to http://www.spotlightministries.org.uk It beats us what a lot of information about the International Church of Christ and the Children of God has to do with a supposed expose on the Jesus Christians, but what can you expect from someone who has never met us? To set the record straight, none of us has ever been connected with the Church of Christ, and only one of our members has ever been a member of the Children of God, so we can hardly be called a &qout;breakaway&qout; group from either of those organisations. The founders of the Jesus Christians (Cherry and I) have been active members of the Quakers for the past four years. Cherry and I were teenage sweethearts, and have been married for 38 years now (39 in July). Neither of us has ever been unfaithful during that time. We have consistently opposed the sexual teachings of the Children of God. Those are just a few of the facts that have been overlooked or contradicted in your article. Like I said, check out the spotlight website for some real information.response to "My Life Growing UP in the Family" by "John Paul" date: Dec 23, 2002 name (&amd; url): carol comments: &qout;Resilience&qout; is a concept that is used to describe kids who overcome abuse and other forms of disadvantage (e.g., poverty, physical disabilities, etc.). John Paul's story is a good example of a resilience--one of the key factors being the child's ability to identify and connect with at least one nurturing adult in the midst of adverse developmental conditions. response to "There is Life After the Family" by "Kathy Johnson (Formerly Lily of the Valley)" date: Dec 17, 2002 name: Zeke comments: Thank you so much for taking the time to write such an inspiring article. You make a lot of spiritual sense, after the barren landscape the COG left us with. response to "Jesus Freaks? No . . . Children of God" by "" date: Dec 10, 2002 name: Bryon McMillan email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: Pembroke state: Ont. country: Canada comments: Website address for Light of Life Ministries is http://crossspot.net/ldprophet/response to "Jesus Freaks? No . . . Children of God" by "" date: Dec 9, 2002 name: Bryon McMillan email: email@example.com city: Pembroke state: Ont country: CANADA comments: Greetings in Jesus Name. As an ex-COG conducting research I came across this newspaper article and realized that I had just joined the COG group in Ottawa at approximately that time. I was in the COG for about a year and left when things started getting spooky. I was known as Cephas and spent time in Ottawa, Montreal, Laurentide and Newfoundland)(Was at the mansion when Mo visited.)I am investigating ties between the Freemasonic movement and the COG leadership. (IE. Was David Berg the target of a mind control program (shades of MK-ULTRA) or did he have connections to an occult secret society. Check out my website and leave a note. Light of Life Ministriesresponse to "Zerby on Education" by "WC" date: Dec 4, 2002 name: Tomorrow's Shaker email: firstname.lastname@example.org city: Vista state: CA country: USA comments: It appears that there are more reasons to not sending family members to college than to keep them as full-time missionaries. College is the key to any serious skill, there are of course the few talented who get by, like spielberg. But even he has just recently returned to college to be an example to his grandchildren of what's righ to be done. Life is short and one can learn more in 4 years through the accumulated experience of millions through the college experience than the average family member can learn in a lifetime. It's just a cheap shot at behavioural control and shunning free thinking. Keep those teens fearful of the unknown and dependant on communal lifestyles and ties and maybe someday you'll all be illiterate and hang yourself with your own string! I'm not wasting my precious time with your games. response to "My experience with the Children of God / The Family" by "anonymous" date: Nov 13, 2002 name: mixza comments: hi, i grew up in the family and i found your story facinating...i am 20 yrs old and my parents left the family when i was 15. i never had any really traumatic experences but i suppose my parents did i good job of looking after me....however i have recently begun to research the group within which i spent my childhood and i must say that i am appaled by what i am finding.....have you visited the site `movingon` my email is email@example.com if you ever feel like talking.response to "Not For A Million Dollars - Book Review" by "Acheick" date: Nov 9, 2002 name: Liz email: fellowSGA@growamind.ht comments: I think that being a 15 year old this girl should have enough sense (after all, it was her mother that raised her, and should be the one to blame for not educating her daugher well enough, so that she would have enough sense in her brain to decide what's ethically correct in the sight of God or not?!! No??!!So, I'd said, &qout;silly mother&qout;, she was the one that should pay the bill. Maybe this girls mother should sue her instead?!!!!response to "It's My Life - Mercy's Story" by "Mercy" date: Nov 8, 2002 name: Joanna Steiner email:firstname.lastname@example.org city: London country: England comments: I must know you Rose, my parents were Asaph and Charity. They were in Thailand for quite awhile. I think one of my brothers is even in yr pics. I'm shocked at the stuff you had to go thru. I'm no longer in the Family and neither are my 2 eldest brothers. My parents and the rest of my family are still in the Fam. and I'm thoroughly distressed for them after reading a couple articles on this site. I'd love to hear back from you.response to "The Children of God - facts!" by "David Millikan" date: Sep 26, 2002 name: UD email: email@example.com city: Karlsruhe country: Germany comments: As trying to start a missionary home with good support at the time the 'loving Jesus rev' came out, I was so shocked at the subject matter! All I ever wanted to do was witness and help others but this had nothing to do with my life on the difficult mission field of India, where we struggled to pay our bills on top of trying to help others! It was the 'beginning of the end' for me. Who wants to read about Steve Kelly's and Karen Zerby's love life when you are a struggling missionary and your tithe gets used to print stuff like that? Way off, baby, as a new home after the Charter we needed practical advice. We then left the field in 1998 and later the Family all together. It just made no sense to me! Anyway, I am grateful for all the websites I find to help confirm our decision. I met David M. in India on his 'PR-Trip' briefly and lots was done there to 'cover up' to give him a good impression of the group. I am glad that he did not fall for it in the end. I love the Family members that I worked with for years and I pray that they too will find their way out! Love, Ulrikeresponse to "Why I didn't join the COG" by "No Longer Children (Apr '92)" date: Jun 27, 2002 name: Cathy email: firstname.lastname@example.org comments: We were the members of the COG that were jailed and deported there in Egypt along with this group.A sad, harrowing experience but we certainly brought it upon ourselves. I think at that time we were more than 100 strong and struggling to follow the latest 'quotas' and 'directives' as unapplicable as they were for this country. Really a crying shame. I have one funny testimony though. While my husband was in jail along with several other COG members and 6 men from this other group, it was prayer and humor that kept them (the circumstances and conditions were incredibly and extremely poor) At one point, in the cell, I believe the men from the other group just realised that the other folks were COG. There were bemoaning about the terrible physical conditions (understandably) and mumbled out a comment to the effect of &qout;Oh Lord, rats, cocroaches, mosquitoes, maggots and Children of God-what next) We still laugh about that. Thank God for a sense of humor and his gracious deliverence from our own ignorance. If any member of that other group is reading this, please accept my sincere apologies for our unwise methods and stupidity in those days. If it helps you to know, we did and still do have a heart for the peoples of the ME (I being of ME descendent) and our intentions were to be fruitful to His calling. We just got caught up in a cult and, unfortunately at that time, didn't realise it. We do now, and I hope you can accept this apology. God bless you.response to "My Life Growing UP in the Family" by "John Paul" date: Apr 27, 2002 name: Porceleindoll comments: If you have the time to read John Paul's story in the articles section of this board, you will see how the Family for the most part created their own victors. I mean, my kids now are pretty good, way below perfect, but better than average, and I'm sure they would have started an early victor program for their childish naughtiness. The thought scares me.
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