“Children of God”: demonic cult disguised as Christianity

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David Berg, founder of the Children of God.

Talk about wolves in sheep’s clothing! David Berg, a malignant narcissist extraordinaire, who believed himself to be the Last Great Prophet of God and called himself “Moses David,” founded the hippie-like Jesus cult, the “Children of God” (a/k/a “The Family”) in 1968, as part of the well-known “Jesus movement” of the late 1960s. The Children of God (from here on, abbreviated CoG) believed in millennarianism, the “last days” and Biblical prophecy. Like almost all Christians, they worshipped Jesus Christ as their lord and personal savior. What’s so bad about that, you say? It’s just garden variety fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity, right?

Well, yes and no. Berg gradually began to incorporate very un-Christian, unbiblical principles into his cult and even re-wrote the Bible as he interpreted it. He believed sex was a God-given tool meant to be used by humans to get closer to Him.

Many religions accept sex as a good and beautiful expression of love within the confines of a marriage or a close and committed relationship, but in this cult, promiscuity and “free love” was okay, because it was a way to commune with the Divine. It was okay for a woman to masturbate and “come” for Jesus. They were encouraged to be “God’s Love Slaves.” Baby Boomers and younger members of the Silent Generation who had already become used to the idea of free love and sex with multiple partners were at first attracted to this “understanding” guru who loved Jesus but encouraged them to indulge in their carnal desires.

But it was their Generation X children who were about to really be exploited.

Illustrations in CoG literature and its Bible were cartoon-like (in the Jack Chick style of cartooning) and sexually explicit. Some involved children and S&M scenarios. Some of the illustrations are shown in this documentary series, so if you’re offended by sexually explicit drawings or pornography, you may want to be aware of this before you watch the videos.

Families were regimented, children were raised separately from their parents and raised by nannies (similar to the way the Hebrew kibbutz is run). Children were raised communally by nannies, while their parents spent their time focusing on their spiritual (sexual) relationships with one another and most of all, with Jesus.

But things got even worse. Eventually children themselves were drawn into the depraved sexual activities of this cult, and were encouraged by Berg to be used sexually by adults, even as young toddlers, to “connect” with one another and in the process become closer to God Himself.

Survivors and especially the adult Gen-X children who grew up in this destructive cult were badly damaged and suffer from PTSD and other serious mental conditions, and in some cases committed or attempted suicide.

Here is the video series–it’s in seven parts, but I have only posted the first installment. From there, you can click on the rest. This is very scary stuff.
The cult still exists today under their new name, “The Family International.”

Here’s another video that focuses more on Berg and the cult itself, rather than survivors who are trying to cope with the aftermath.

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Infected by evil: putting the pieces together

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This is one of the most difficult posts I have ever had to write, but I can’t rest until I do. Because everything is making sense to me now.

In having several long talks with Paul, Molly’s ex, I am ever more convinced than ever my ex-husband Michael was a monster, someone who wasn’t even human. He has told me some incredible things that happened during the short time he lived there in his house. He is convinced as I am that Michael is a monster.

And I am realizing that everything that’s happened lately was preparing me for a mindblowing and chilling realization, and now everything that’s happened is making a lot more sense. God really does work in strange and mysterious ways. I must have been ready for God to be revealing the truth to me the way he is now. Not so much before. I could not have emotionally handled knowing the truth.

In going back in my mind over my marriage and in particular what has happened to my daughter starting about ten years ago, when she was about 12, I realized the timing of things has been uncanny, with a lot of foreshadowing and signs that gave me bits of whatever truths I could handle at the time. Now all the truth is finally being revealed.

My ex is a monster, evil to the core. He is one of the most evil human beings I have ever met, and I hesitate to even call him human. It’s not hatred of him making me say these things; in fact I feel quite sorry for him. It’s just a truth: he is one of the most malignant narcissists and evil psychopaths I have ever known.

I mentioned in an early post how I saw the opaque, black alienlike eyes on him once when he was angry and drunk. What I failed to mention was that I saw those eyes while we were having sex. And they were accompanied by an expression I can only describe as hatred so profound it sent chills throughout my body. I felt violated and pushed him off me, and made some excuse. I was chilled to the bone.

I was never able to have sex with him again after seeing those eyes. I knew what I saw was real. I knew if I had ever sex with him again I could be infected with his evil.

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“The Nightmare” by Johann Heinrich, 1783

Around the same time (and I think I talked about this too once), my father talked to him on the phone, and told me later he swore he heard a gutteral, inhuman voice coming from my ex. It only lasted a second, but I totally believe it was not his imagination. There is nothing wrong with my father’s mind. What he heard was real, even though I never heard it myself. But I had seen those eyes. It was all coming from the same place–a core of pure evil and malevolence.

Shortly after this, in about 2005, we divorced. Lack of sexual relations was only one of the reasons. In fact, it wasn’t even the primary reason. I just knew this was someone who hated me and who could not be trusted and was dangerous to our children and to me.

I did not go No Contact with him. I had never heard of No Contact back then. I was very emotionally and mentally weak and beaten down, and only a step away from developing Stockholm Syndrome, which would have fully put me under his thrall and turned me evil too. I was afraid of him because he was so spiteful and I felt powerless against it.

My daughter Molly, just 12 at the time, did not want to live with me. She had always felt closer to her father, who used her as his sounding board and treated her more like a buddy than a parent. Up until this time, she was the perfect child–straight A’s, lots of friends, extracurricular activities, did her homework, helpful around the house, very empathic, loved animals, athletic. Her father always favored her over his son, who was treated as his scapegoat and was much closer to me. Molly was his golden child. I had no idea at the time of the extent of his evil and how it would infect his daughter. I didn’t want Molly to hate me so during the custody hearings, it was agreed Ethan would live with me and Molly would stay with her father, with unlimited visitation on both sides. Essentially we both had joint custody and decided to let the kids live with the parent they chose.

I know now I should have been stronger and fought for her to live with me, as much as she preferred her father. If I had, Molly may have not developed the very serious and dangerous problems she has now. She may not have developed NPD of the malignant variety or addiction to the worst drug on the planet today–methamphetamine. But I was so afraid of her hating me and at the time, I didn’t see the danger of her living with him. He had a new girlfriend who seemed stable and very friendly and seemed to like Molly very much. Oh, there was so much I didn’t know back then.

My son never liked going over to their place. He said the atmosphere there was creepy, the house was old and rundown (it was), and it smelled (they had 8 dogs), and the girlfriend (let’s call her Heather) was very much involved in the occult. He said she had weird symbols everywhere like pentagrams and gargoyle-like figurines. He was telling the truth. Once when I had to go there to pick the kids up, I noticed a wall hanging depicting two demon lovers hanging over their bed.

Around this time, my father sent me M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie,” with a note attached. In the note he explained he never had believed in evil or evil people before, but after having read the book, he recognized my ex, Michael, as a Person of the Lie. He told me to be very careful about allowing Ethan and Molly near him, and to watch out for myself as well.

I read the book with fascination, and definitely recognized Michael as evil, but was not yet ready to internalize these lessons, and was still in denial and very much under Michael’s thrall, so I did nothing about it at the time. I made excuses to myself that maybe he really wasn’t that evil, but in my heart I knew he was.

A seed had been planted though–A seed that would flower and bloom and grow into a mental clarity that has brought me courage–courage to kick him to the curb a year ago, courage to start this blog, courage to face the truth even at its most ugly and disgusting, and a willingness to fight against the scourge of malignant narcissism in my family and in general. I now know, through writing in this journal, exactly how the mechanics of evil have worked in my family. Had I been able to internalize what I had read in that book in 2005, I may have been able to keep Molly from experiencing what was about to happen to her. Make no mistake: codependence and fear are as deadly as narcissism itself.

Heather (my ex’s girlfriend) was addicted to pain pills and (I found out later after it was too late) often took my 12 year old daughter to parties where there were hard drugs and alcohol present. She allowed Molly to try pain pills. Ethan had stopped going there and Molly never told me about this so I had no idea what was really going on. I was probably also in denial. My ex was usually so drunk he couldn’t drive Molly to school. I remember Molly being upset by that–at the time she still loved school and learning. But there were no school buses out there where they lived in Leicester, NC, which is a remote and rural outpost of Asheville. So her attendance and grades suffered, through no fault of her own.

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My ex, through Heather, began to dabble heavily into the occult and bought himself sets of Tarot cards and taught himself to do readings. Sometimes they held seances in their home and sometimes Molly participated, though it didn’t really interest her much.

But when I saw Molly she was still the sweet, studious girl I always knew. She seemed a little resentful at being in my company though. There was also something far away about her look, like she was deep in thought about something. I chalked it up to preteen angst and moodiness and didn’t worry about it much.

A few months after Molly turned 12 (I can’t remember the date, but it was sometime in the late summer), something happened that changed Molly’s entire personality. She crossed a line over into evil. I have written articles before about how a good person can become evil: they can be found here and here. Though normally a choice is made where the person crosses a line into evil, sometimes the transformation is not through a conscious choice, as in the example of some war veterans forced to commit atrocities against their will. They return from war having lost their ability to feel empathy and love. In Molly’s case, it was also not a conscious choice, but something done to her by her own father, a dangerous malignant narcissist and psychopath.

All children becoming adolescents go through a rebellious phase, which is a normal part of growing up and separating from one’s parents, but it’s nearly always a gradual process and eventually abates as the child finally becomes independent or moves out of the home. But for Molly it was different. She literally turned into a different person overnight, like Jekyll and Hyde.

On that fateful night in late July or August 2005, Molly was raped by her father. She thinks it may have happened twice that night but she is not sure. She may have blocked out most of it, was drugged beforehand, or she has so much shame that she cannot talk about it.

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I never knew about this until this past Christmas night. All I had heard before was that Heather had kicked Michael out of the house that night, because she found Molly and Michael sleeping in the same bed. As bad as Heather was, at least she had the decency to get rid of him.

Molly had to come home with me, but her personality had changed drastically. From that time on, she was in constant trouble at school, did drugs, and was sexually promiscuous. Her grades went from As to Fs. Her behavior got increasingly worse over the years and didn’t improve as she reached her 20s. Today she is a hardcore drug addict and a malignant narcissist herself.

An investigation had been done by social services but was inconclusive because Molly couldn’t remember what had happened or if anything had happened at all. There was no indication of sperm present but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t raped or molested.

The truth came out on Christmas night after she had a few drinks and sometimes that can act as a truth serum.
Molly had begun to cry, sobbing, “I’m a terrible person. I make everyone so unhappy. I cause you and Mommy and my friends so much misery and pain. But I keep doing it. I don’t know how to stop!” Tears flooded her face. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was facing her lost self and emptiness without the masks on. As Sam Vaknin explains, a narcissist without their masks or has lost their narcissistic supply falls to pieces.
Paul and I went over and held her and told her she was not a bad person, just a person with a lot of problems and a bad drug addiction. We told her we loved her and everything would be okay. She kept crying, and then blurted out, “My father made me like this. He made me bad.” She sounded like a tiny girl. She sounded like her lost true self.
“What do you mean?” I asked, terrified to hear the answer.
She wiped her eyes angrily and said, “the night he raped me.”
“He raped you?”
“Remember when Heather found him in bed with me? He wasn’t sleeping. He raped me. I saw his eyes. They were black. He looked like the devil. I couldn’t look away. I was scared but I couldn’t look away. I felt like I was under some kind of spell.”
I stared at her, dumbfounded, my heart pounding like a hammer in my chest. I couldn’t form words. I could barely breathe. Paul told me I looked like I saw a ghost.
Molly continued, “That’s when I went bad. Something happened to me. I don’t want to be like this. I hurt everyone. I lie to everybody. But I can’t change.”
This didn’t last long. Soon she was asleep and the next day, the drama started where she and Paul fought and she went off in a van with her methhead friends.

Last I heard she’s living in a meth cooker’s house. I have no idea where it is. I don’t have a way to contact her. I have had to let her go. I have to, for my own sanity. She can’t live with me anymore. I can’t help her anymore. I am praying constantly for her salvation from the disease of malignant narcissism her own father infected her with when he raped her nearly ten years ago.

And yet, I have faith somehow everything will work out. I think…THINK…I have the courage now to face anything that happens.

I don’t think Molly is 100% evil like her father because she had that moment of clarity on Christmas (I have never seen Michael be anything but evil or under the guise of a mask). She’s had other moments that give me glimpses of the brilliant, empathic, sensitive girl she used to be. I know deep in her soul she is screaming for help. I hope she gets it. I hope she’s one of the very few narcissists who can get better. The fact she’s still young is to her benefit. Getting off drugs will make it easier for her.

She may not have hit her bottom yet. Once she gets as low as she can go (with God’s grace avoiding death), she may be ready to rid herself of the chemicals that obscure what she has become from herself. It’s going to be a hard road for her to face, a hard road for everyone. But I can’t give up hope yet. She is my daughter.