The Family A.K.A. The Children Of God

James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
7,713
Reaction score
6,342
Points
309
This thread has morphed into The Children of God but here's an article concerning the original post re a cult called The Family, located near Melbourne, in operation 60s to 80s.
Yes, to be clear, there are/were two notorious cults known as 'The Family'. David Berg's international yet US-founded organisation involved a lot of sexual abuse of children. They're still going but grew less extreme since Berg's passing. Anne Hamilton-Byrne's Australian organisation involved traumatising children through enforced LSD trips and other abuse.
 
Last edited:

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,796
Reaction score
8,247
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
'Raised in a doomsday cult, I entered the real world at 15'

Article about one of the boys raised in the Family until the police raided the place in 1987.

Ben and the other children were told that Anne was their mother. She taught them to avoid outsiders and if any approached them - on the shore of the lake perhaps - to follow the mantra Unseen, Unheard, Unknown. "It was very much a thing of: you do not tell any outside person who is not a sect member anything," Ben says. "If I had any interaction with them, I would check through what I said to make sure that I hadn't revealed anything."

Members of Anne's inner circle, known as "aunties", helped looked after Ben and the other children. They woke at 5am in dormitory-style rooms and followed an unchanging routine: yoga, meditation, lessons, yoga, meditation, homework, bed. Though there were only a handful of children when the police arrived in 1987, there had once been 28 of them.

They ate meagre vegetarian meals and were frequently punished. "Aunties" held children's heads under water and hands above candles to the point of burning, while Anne, when she wasn't away travelling, sometimes beat them with her stiletto heels.

Children were kept on a steady stream of sedatives such as Mogadon and Valium. Adults and older teenagers were obliged to take LSD at regular ceremonies called "clearings"; Anne thought that by this means she could strengthen her followers' devotion to her.
Ben learned that his mother was not Anne, but an "auntie" he disliked named Joy. She told him
"Don't ever bother turning up at my doorstep, I'll slam the door in your face."
He meets her later in 2006 & there's a slight reconciliation.
"She had given Anne her word not to connect with me," he says. "That didn't mean there was no concern, desire to have a relationship or love."

All of the children of The Family suffered various degrees of damage, Ben says. With his steady job, wife and two children, he considers himself lucky.

He has started a website, Rescue the Family, to educate people on cults, totalitarian organisations and the freedom of the will. He is also writing a book, Life Behind the Wire, which recounts lessons he learned from his childhood about the dangers of cult thinking.

"You try to unpack what happened and why, and make sense of it all," he says.

"I've calibrated my life to reality."
There's a radio version here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07gmrwb
 

AlchoPwn

Public Service is my Motto.
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
2,568
Reaction score
4,061
Points
154
Article about one of the boys raised in the Family until the police raided the place in 1987.
Julian Assange was raised in this cult in case anybody wasn't aware. LINK
 

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,796
Reaction score
8,247
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
Julian Assange was raised in this cult in case anybody wasn't aware. LINK
Not so - according to your link:

A few years ago speculation emerged that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had grown up in The Family. His hair colour didn’t help nor, possibly, his personality. Assange admitted that a man who was his mother’s boyfriend in the late 1970s had been a member of the cult. The man had been “a sinister presence” who sought to have “a certain psychological power” over his family, Assange said, and they eventually went on the run from him. But he said he never met Hamilton-Byrne or had any direct contact with the group as a whole.
 

AlchoPwn

Public Service is my Motto.
Joined
Nov 2, 2017
Messages
2,568
Reaction score
4,061
Points
154
Not so - according to your link:
Not quite. The man in question, Lief Meynell, was in the Hamilton Byrne Cult LINK . Look, I met Assange at a nightclub in Melbourne Australia in the 90s and as I had heard about that part of his life from a foaf rumor, so I asked him about it, and he told me a bit about that part of his life. Of course at the time I had no idea that little goth hacker dude was going to become world news.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
43,453
Reaction score
34,726
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Not quite. The man in question, Lief Meynell, was in the Hamilton Byrne Cult LINK . Look, I met Assange at a nightclub in Melbourne Australia in the 90s and as I had heard about that part of his life from a foaf rumor, so I asked him about it, and he told me a bit about that part of his life. Of course at the time I had no idea that little goth hacker dude was going to become world news.
Wow! You met him!
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
51,686
Reaction score
26,510
Points
309
Location
Eblana
Personal stories of life in The Family.

Jonathan Watt and Verity Carter's father was the first man to be convicted of sexual abuse linked to the Children of God cult in Scotland.

The cult started in the US in the 1960s but Jonathan and Verity were brought up under its strict teachings in "communes" around Scotland in the 80s and early 90s. The religious sect, which was also known as The Family, has faced allegations of widespread sexual and physical abuse of children, including sexual violence, incest, and brainwashing.

Last year, Verity and Jonathan's father Alexander Watt was convicted of four charges of sexually abusing his daughter and another child in Renfrewshire and on the east coast of Scotland when they were part of the cult.
Following his conviction, Verity, who is now 39, began to speak out about her ordeal but her younger brother has never publicly discussed his upbringing before.

Jonathan told BBC Scotland's The Nine he was not sexually abused but was the subject of "daily beatings" while growing up in the cult.
He says: "The only way you can sustain a cult is you've got to have total control. You're living in a world inside a world. You've got no contact with the outside world.

"The only way to stop contact is to kill curiosity, and the only way to do that is basically to drill into you from when you were born that you're useless, you're worthless, you're ugly. Unfortunately with a cult like that, where you are outside of the law, it's a safe haven for some abusive, violent adults."

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-49813941
 

Megadeth1977

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,979
Reaction score
1,613
Points
159
Location
London bow
joaquin phoenix was in this cult with his family and his also the brother of the late river phoenix.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
51,686
Reaction score
26,510
Points
309
Location
Eblana
Another conviction in Scotland.

A member of the Children of God cult has been jailed in Scotland for 11 years and six months after pleading guilty to the historic rape and sexual assaults of two young girls.

Derek Lincoln abused the children at addresses in Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire from the ages of nine and 11 between 1989 and 1996.

The now 74-year-old, who is also known as John Green, was a member of the religious group along with the girls.

During his previous court appearance it was said that Lincoln abused the younger child until she was 13.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40029119.html
 

Lord Lucan

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
8,919
Points
204
Louis Theroux recently did a series of pocasts called 'Grounded' recorded while he was in lock down. Episode 5 is with actor Rose McGowan (yes, she who pointed the finger at Harvey Weinstein) who grew up in the 'Çhildren of God'.
While the podcast is not specifically about her upbringing, a large part of the discussion is about it, other celebs who were involved, flirty fishing etc.
Listen to it or download it here (or your favourite place to listen to podcasts):

Louis Theroux's 'Grounded' - Episode 5, Rose McGowan
 
Top