Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed by Those They Trusted Paperback – Jan 7 2008
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‘A chilling account of life in the grip of a sinister madness' Daily Mail
About the Author
Kristina, Celeste and Julianna were all born into the cult The Children of God to the same father, David Jones, who remains a member of the organisation. Kristina and Celeste share the same mother. The three girls were separated from each other and their mothers at an early age and lived in various missions throughout the world under the ‘care’ of various foster parents.
Both Kristina and Celeste were eventually able to escape the cult and study psychology at university. Julianna remained in the cult until well into her twenties, when falling pregnant provided the catalyst to make her escape. Julianna now works in Uganda, where she remains in contact with her remaining siblings in the cult.
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Their stories of abuse are all the more chilling because they are told so matter-of-factly. Example:
"Everything was rigidly scheduled -- from school hours to one hour of exercise time in the garden. We even had scheduled 'date' times, where we each picked the partner we were to have sex with, held out our hands for a glob of pink baby lotion and proceeded to our various beds. The adults used KY jelly, but for some reason baby lotion was the lubricant of choice for us little ones. [She was five years old at the time.] We knew what to do, as we had seen our teachers at it often enough, though we were a little lacking in the actual mechanics. Generally, the boy got on top of the girl, and a lot of sounds followed in the general rhythm of 'Ooh -- Aah, Ooh -- Aah, Ooh -- Aah'."
Or this, when one of the sisters was about ten:
"Often, the shepherds would take me into a private room for correction -- for the usual sins: rebellion, worldliness and lack of hunger for the Word of God. It seemed to me that they just had it in for me. The Home shepherd, an Indian man named Matthew, scared me. He would shout at me until he got me to cry, and the he would smile. 'Now tell me you love me. Do you love me?'
'No.' I looked at him hatefully.
His eyes grew fiery and he grabbed my head with his two hands and held my face an inch from his own. 'Tell me you love me, or you can't leave this room.'
He played this little power struggle game until he had wrested the words out of me. Then he would kiss me all over my face and hug me for what seemed like hours before finally allowing me to leave."
And that's one of the milder incidents.
The most sickening part is at the end, when Juliana confronts her father with his abuse and neglect, and tolerance for the abuse she suffered at the hands of others. He will not accept that anything happened, even though he knows that it did. He falls back on cliches and slogans from the now-dead Moses David, and reiterates that the end times are going to be soon, and then she and her sisters will "come crawling back to the Family."Jesus Freaks: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical EdgeHeaven's Harlots: My Fifteen Years in a Sex Cult
In July of this year I had a nephew who grew up in the COG committ suicide. Another nephew who grew up in the organization had the phrase "Never Ending Struggle" on a tee shirt for his band after leaving The Family. Google Mick Bysshe Strange Fire to read one chapter of my account of living in The Family, as they often called themselves.
This book is a painful telling. I would suggest that you write down notes and keep track of the authors as you do so so that the thread of the tale remains coherent.
Many of those who have been first generation life long converts are pretty naive hippies from the 1970s and 1960s with not a clue as to what is right and wrong. The father of these three girls comes across as a total jerk, typical of lifelong first generation members I would imagine.
It is also important to note that David Berg was not the first nor will he be the last to engage in physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of minors. Those responsible must be brought to justice in a court of law, or failing that in the court of public opinion.
My prayers go out to those affected by all of the abuse.
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