Children of God

The Children of God (COG) is a controversial Christian new religious movement founded in 1968 by David Berg. The group has been criticized for its authoritarian leadership, its practice of child sexual abuse, and its use of deceptive recruiting tactics.

Berg was born in 1919 in Appleton, Wisconsin. He was the son of a Methodist minister and a homemaker. Berg attended Bible school and seminary, but he never graduated from either institution. In the early 1960s, Berg began preaching to hippies in Southern California. He soon attracted a following of young people who were drawn to his message of love and acceptance.

In 1968, Berg founded the Children of God. The group initially consisted of a small group of Berg’s followers who lived in communes in Southern California. The group quickly grew, and by the early 1970s, it had members all over the world.

The Children of God was known for its unconventional lifestyle. Members lived in communes, and they often traveled from place to place to spread their message. The group also engaged in street evangelism, and they often handed out literature and sang songs on street corners.

The Children of God was also known for its controversial practices. Berg taught that sex was a gift from God, and he encouraged members to engage in sexual activity with multiple partners. He also taught that children were born without sin, and he encouraged members to have sex with children. These practices led to widespread allegations of child sexual abuse within the group.

In the 1980s, the Children of God began to face increasing scrutiny from law enforcement and the media. The group was investigated for its practice of child sexual abuse, and Berg was accused of being a cult leader. In response to the negative publicity, Berg renamed the group the Family of Love.

In the 1990s, the Family of Love began to make efforts to reform its image. The group stopped practicing child sexual abuse, and it began to educate its members about the dangers of abuse. The group also began to cooperate with law enforcement investigations into abuse allegations.

In the 2000s, the Family of Love changed its name again to The Family International. The group continues to operate today, and it has approximately 10,000 members worldwide.

The Children of God has been the subject of much controversy. The group has been criticized for its authoritarian leadership, its practice of child sexual abuse, and its use of deceptive recruiting tactics. However, the group has also made efforts to reform its image, and it continues to operate today.


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