exCOG, exFamilyThe Family International, The Children of God

Timothy A. Peters

Helping Hands Korea (& Asia Reach Ministries?)

What are his true affiliations?

Rev. Tim A. Peters

Tim Peters, the “American humanitarian aid worker” based in Seoul, South Korea, was in the news again, speaking to the House Committee on International Relations, giving interviews about his work to aid North Korean refugees, talking about the Korean Underground Railroad, and talking about human rights. Peters describes himself as a NGO worker associated with a variety of missions such as Helping Hands Korea and Asia Reach Ministries, and Peters is appealing for your donations.

Appearing as a soft-spoken evangelical Christian pastor from Benton Harbor, Michigan, he prefers to be known as “Rev. Timothy A. Peters.” Perhaps he is who he appears to be. But then again, perhaps not. The question remains: why does Peters adamantly refuse to denounce the controversial group he joined in the 70s, one which he proudly associated himself with in recent years?

Peters is heavily featured on the pages of the Family Care Foundation (FCF) — a front organization with inextricable ties to The Family International, and he is is on record proudly associating himself with very same group.[1]. Although the Family International prefers to present themselves as "an International Christian fellowship" and as a loose-knit fraternity of independent missionaries, a peek beneath the veneer will reveal that group—formerly known as The Children of God—is anything but. It is a high-control group typically referred to as a cult, a sex cult in fact, with a documented history of running prostitution rings and trafficking children.

In 2002, former members of the TFI who knew of Peters' activities in Korea contacted him, encouraging him to distance himself and his missionary work from an "abusive cult" with highly controversial doctrines and practices.[1] Peters countered by posting at an open public Internet forum, stating that he was proud to be a member of the group. To date, he has steadfastly refused to distance himself from them or make any statements renouncing or denouncing the cult's teachings and criminal activities.

In the face of mounting criticism and increased public awareness of his cult affiliations, Peters engaged in campaigns of censorship, deleting and altering information about himself on his Wikipedia page. His daughter participated in discussions at exFamily.org's genX forum claiming, that he was no longer a member. In response, exFamily.org posted an Open Letter to Tim Peters, requesting that he get in touch personally with an updated statement in regard to his current affiliation and loyatlies to the teachings and leaders of the cult.[2] Peters simply ignored the request—he continues to sing praises about the TFI's FCF operations to this day.[6]

Peters' belligerence has cost him the support of the the very people he claims to be advocating for. After consistently ignoring the queries of NorthKoreanChristians.com—a major donor for his supposed cause—regarding his true standing with TFI, they were left with no choice but to withdraw their support and sever all ties with him.


The message from Peters is clear: he answers to no one.

Tim Peters — poster boy for freedom?

Does Peters realize the incredible irony of running a "Freedom Railroad" while still tied to The Family International? After all, The Family International is a group which itself is responsible for human-rights violations, such as the breaking up the family unit and the withholding contact between parents and children. The Family International has also been documented in court[4] for running its own internal Gulags where teens were imprisoned for retraining, used for forced labor, beaten, confined, subjected to sleep and sensory-deprivation and denied food for days.

In touting himself as a proponent for social justice and nonviolent resistance, Peters is bringing awareness to political circles about the refugee problem—a good thing. But we are obliged to ask this: is Peters merely channeling resources and using already-existing South Korean government programs once the refugees have arrived, then taking credit as the Caucasian savior of Koreans who don't do much for themselves? One could get the latter impression from reading the FCF's pages.

According to a TIME magazine article, the operatives working inside China, South Korea and Laos are critical to the work on helping North Korean refugees escape to freedom. Apparently, the border between the Koreas is impossible to pass. The only smuggling of refugees that can take place is done by fishermen or other very clandestine operations. Could it be that the real heroes of the day are the South Korean relatives and indigenous Chinese Christians who do the real work, but for their own safety, must remain in the dark and away from publicity? What does Peters really do for them, and more importantly, what does he do with the money he raises for the cause?

While we believe in supporting bona fide charity organizations and do not want any genuine charity work to suffer, the public has a right to know the facts in order to make informed personal choices about where to place their hard-earned money.

Tim Peters — the facts:

  • Peters is/was a known and admitted long-time member of The Family International — a notorious cult that ran prostitution rings, promoted[3] and institutionalized child abuse,[4] and disseminated anti-Semitic hate literature.[7]
  • Peters solicits/solicited donations through the Family Care Foundation (FCF)—a front organization which was founded by members of the Family International to further their cause.[5]
  • the FCF proudly features Peters on their own web pages.
  • as recently as Sep. 2008 Peters was reported as speaking highly of the FCF despite their obvious links to The Family International cult.[6]
  • Peters' org, Helping Hands Korea, was one of many front organizations created by The Family International, under the secret directives calling for members to masquerade as NGOs and win converts.

As a donor you have a right to full disclosure regarding Peters' financial obligations: If he is a tithing member of The Family International, anywhere between 10% to 14% of his yearly income will go to The Family International's leadership. That money is then used for the promotion of controversial doctrines like Mastur**ting to Jesus and anti-semitism. That money will continue to support leaders who live in hiding to avoid criminal prosecution.

We urge you to find the answers for yourselves. If you are new to looking into this topic, we urge you to carefully scrutinize the answers you may get from "Rev." Peters. The Family International believes in using deception as a matter of policy, and its members have been found guilty of deliberate lying in court while under oath. For their own legal protection, the financial paper trail between The Family International and the Family Care Foundation is convoluted and well hidden, but the connection is undeniably there if you look.

Donating to Tim Peters, Helping Hands Korea or FCF? It is worth finding out:

  • Is Helping Hands Korea a pseudonym and front organization of The Family International?
  • Will you be supporting an abusive cult by giving to Peters?
  • Is Peters' humanitarian/charity work tainted—is his prime motivation recruitment for The Family International (TFI)?
  • Has Peters misrepresented himself in order to defraud the public?
  • Does Peters tithe to The Family International (via the FCF or otherwise)?
  • Can the FCF assure you that no portion of your donation to Peters' ministry will end up in the hands of members of The Family International?
  • Can Peters provide yearly income and expenditure reports that show how your donations are disbursed? (all legitimate NGOs will provide this)
  • Why does Peters steadfastly refuse to give any accounting whatsoever for how donations are spent or disbursed?
  • Is Peters really a proponent for social justice and nonviolent resistance? Or does he give stock PR answers to avoid culpability for funding/supporting The Family International's harmful practices, past and present?

NorthKoreanChristians.com, formerly a supporter of Peters' work, has tried to contact him, asking him to clarify his relationship with the FCF and The Family International. After not having heard back from him for some time, they were reluctantly forced to present a similar information page as this on their web site, asking some of the same open questions we've been asking for years:

Peters, just where do you stand exactly in regard to The Family International, its teachings and the FCF?

Tim Peters in the News:

LATEST: Daughter(?) tries to censor record of Peters' involvement with The Family International.

Peters still playing the name game: Same old same old denial, nothing new

More about the controversial group Peters is connected to, known as The Family International:

  • The Family International is the subject of liability suits
    Many second-generation members currently seek justice, compensation and specific acknowledgment/apologies for crimes perpetrated by members of The Family International. Yet The Family International continues to avoid responsibility for reparations to its own offspring, while touting its good works to solicit your donations. (See www.movingon.org for more information)
  • Documentation for crimes by The Family International:
    Criminal child abuse, child neglect, kidnapping, plagiarism, charity fraud, document fraud, etc., can be found at xfamily.org. (Use the search terms: Child Abduction, Plagiarism, Abuse, Discipline, Pseudonyms, Secrecy, Loris May Yamaguchi)
  • The Family International's leadership live in hiding
    Their sustained ability to get away with crime does not establish their innocence. Karen Zerby, Peter Kelly, and Sam Perfilio live in hiding under assumed names. Pseudonyms and secrecy have allowed The Family International's leadership to avoid arrest and escape prosecution.
  • The Family International has NOT been cleared of all charges in courts of law
    Contrary to their PR statements, very few (if any) of the child abuse cases that were prosecuted against The Family International adults resulted in an acquittal or complete exoneration of the defendants. Most cases of child abuse were dismissed on legal technicalities or tried in absentia; several cases were settled out of court; there was never a full hearing of the evidence by an impartial jury. Although The Family International claim they have never lost a court case, this is not true. The group, once known as the Children of God changed it's name after $1 million in damages granted to a plaintiff (to date still unpaid); members were found guilty for contributing to the delinquency of a minor (or minors); in just one court case alone,[4] the judge investigated The Family International and found them to be overtly responsible for promoting child-adult sex and lying in court.
  • Major reforms were forced on the entire movement in order to ensure the safety and basic human rights of its adherents and especially those born into the group. Initially, leaders of the group reluctantly complied with court-issued demands. However current Leader Zerby told members that they were playing alone, because sex with children was not inherently wrong. The group further reneged on agreements by giving childcare responsibilities to known child abusers (such as Malaysian Mary) who were ordered by the court never to work with children again.

Discussions by people who know Peters personally:

Peters plays the name game:


  1. Peters is/was an admitted member of The Family International, which uses many pseudonyms such as the "Family Missionary Fellowship."See "For The Record"
  2. Peters is aware of this page about him. His daughter had been online discussing the issue of his membership, but Peters refused to retract his earlier statements that he was proud to be a member of this cultic group. For more information, see discussion on GenX board, our Open Letter to Tim Peters.
  3. See the Davidito Book
  4. See the Judgment of Justice Ward
  5. see The FCF and the Family International — Exploring the Connections
  6. "Despite [the criticism], [Peters] had nothing but good things to say about the [Family Care Foundation], describing their work with him as 'highly exemplary.'"
    Dedicated to Helping Defectors | stars and stripes—September 2008
  7. See The Family International's Message of Anti-Semitism and Hate—Doctrines taught by self-proclaimed prophets of love

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