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The Children of God/Family of Love/The Family/Family International Cult. (I have been reading a book about a woman who grew up in the cult and most of the information I have about this cult are from her experiences.)
Leader/s - David Berg (Deceased), Karen Zerby.
Cult - Family International (formerly known as The family of love, the family, and the children of god.)
Cult Status - Active
Beliefs - Fundamentalist Christianity.
Dates - 1968 - Present.
The Family International (as it is now called), formed as the Children of God, is a new religious movement (although many people have said it to be a cult, including the escapees of the cult) which started in Huntington Beach, California, USA in 1968. Many of its early converts were drawn from the Hippie Movement.
The group leader, David Berg kept himself shrouded in secrecy, no member of the cult knew where he was. He would only contact the communes by sending them MO letters (letters of instruction and counsel on a range of different subjects. David Berg addressed himself to the cult members as ‘King David’, he lived in seclusion with his common-law wife, Karen Zerby, whom he addressed as ‘Mama Maria’ to the cult members. He also believed he was a prophet of god.
Cult members lived in communes all around the world, the MO letters they received from David described how he was a prophet, and that god had personally given him a message which foretold the end of the world. The End Time Tribulation, as it was known, would be marked by a series of wars and natural disasters. David promised his followers that when the End Time came they would be god’s chosen warriors at the battle of Armageddon, and that they would fight the Antichrist and become the saviours of a new, peaceful world.
In 1978, The Children of God was renamed to The Family of Love. Before that in 1976, ‘Flirty Fishing’ was introduced to the members. Flirty Fishing (or FF’ing) was to encourage women to show ‘God’s Love’ through sexual activity with potential new cult members. Flirty Fishing was a result in the births of many children (as expected), including Karen Zerby’s (Mama Maria) son, Ricky Rodriguez. Children who were born as a result of Flirty Fishing were referred to as ‘Jesus Babies’. By the end of 1981, more than 300 ’Jesus Babies’ had been born into the cult. Homosexuality was strictly banned in the cult, yet leader David Berg said it was OK for women to have sex with other women in threesomes as long as they weren’t lesbians and still preferred men.
1982, the cult was again renamed, to ‘The Family.’ David told all his followers that they should move to the ‘fertile lands of the East.’ He explained that these countries were less corrupt and it was easier to find souls to save. When the cult was named ‘The Family’, the children were told they had to refer to all adults (except their parents) as aunties and uncles, these adults were allowed to discipline any child as they wished. David declared that 12 was the age that a child reached adult maturity, writing about the importance of teenage marriages in his MO letters. The adults in the cult would use plastic fly swatters to hit the misbehaving children.
Many members of the cult (including children) were abducted from their previous lives and taken to different communes where they became part of The Family. The amount of child molestation in the cult was shocking, Natacha Tormey (who’s book i have been reading) recalls being sexually abused by one of her teachers, ‘Uncle Clay.’ On January 8th 2008, Ricky Rodriguez (Karen Zerby’s son) murdered his former teacher, Angela Smith. Ricky murdered her due to her sexually abused him as a child in the cult. He then committed suicide afterwards. There have been many other deaths and suicides in the cult, probably due to the amount of abuse that went on there.
David Berg died in 1994 due to unknown reasons, and Karen Zerby (Mama Maria) took over the cult. In 2004, the group was named ‘The Family International.’ By that time, many of the former members had fled the cult. Karen Zerby continues to lead the cult/group (whatever you wanna call it) to this day.
http://xfamily.org - a website that details alot more about the cult.
http://thefamilyinternational.org - the groups actual website.
I HAZ INTERNETZ BACK!!!!!!!
Disappeared; 19th September 1934
Missing for; 2 Months & 7 days
Cause of death; Murdered
Murderer/ abductor; Unknown
19th September 1934, five year old Dorothy Distelhurst left her school to walk home, but never arrived. Authorities were notified and spent the next several days searching for the little girl, but found no trace.
Once the national media began focusing on Dorothy’s case, her family started receiving mysterious ransom letters. The authorities were unsure if the ransom letters were legitimate, or were inspired by the publicity.
The most extreme ransom letter stated that Dorothy would have her eyes burned out with acid if her family did not pay $175,000.
On November 13th, two employees of the Davidson County Tuberculosis Hospital were busy digging flower beds in a remote corner. Until they stumbled upon something truly horrifying, the mutilated body of five year old Dorothy Ann Distelhurst. Her skull had been crushed, and her personal belongings and some of her clothing were found a short distance away. Creepiest thing was, her face had been burned away with acid, just like the ransom letter had threatened.
Despite an extensive search, Dorothy Ann Distelhurst’s killer was never caught, her case remains unsolved.
Disappeared; 1st January 2008 from Malaga, Spain, aged 15.
Missing for; 6 Years and 7 Months
Status; Still Missing, whereabouts unknown
Irish born Amy Fitzpatrick, 15, was babysitting with her friend, Ashley Rose on the 1st of January 2008 at Ashley’s home in Mijas Costa in Malaga, Spain. At 10pm that night, Amy said goodbye to Ashley and headed for her home on the urbanisation Riviera del Sol in Mijas Costa, near Fuengirola. She should have arrived home at around 10:10pm, as her house was only a short walk, however Amy Fitzpatrick never returned home.
In August 2008, Amy’s mother’s partner, David Mahon, and her lawyer had their home in Riviera del Sol broken into. A laptop that was used in the search for Amy had been stolen, along with Amy’s mobile phone. The 32 year old lawyer, Juan Jose de la Fuente Teixido said the burglars got into his property by forcing a locked gate, he also stated he believed the robbery was related to Amy’s disappearance because the files about Amy were financially worthless yet the burglars left all the expensive valuables such as TV’s, music equipment and computers.
In June 2009, a year and a half after Amy’s disappearance, Amy’s mother, Audrey Fitzpatrick, received a phone call from a man claiming to know the location Amy was. Audrey described the unknown caller as having an African accent asking her if she was Amy’s mother. He went on saying he knew where she was. He said she had been kidnapped and was in Madrid, and that the police were not to be involved. Audrey complied with his request and he said he would call back with a name and address in two hours. Five hours later and she received a text saying “can you pay us 500,000 euro. Yes or no send your answer now and will send you all the info you need.” Audrey Fitzpatrick gave the numbers of the mysterious African caller and the number the text was sent from, to investigators who then followed them up. Unfortunately, the two phone numbers were pre-pay and had never been registered.
In May 2012, it was beleived that Amy was murdered by infamous Irish gangland killer, Eric “Lucky” Wilson. Amy’s parents beleive this to be a credible piece of information, however, no body has been found as of yet.
In 2013, in Coolock, Dublin, Amy’s brother was stabbed to death in an incident involving Audrey’s partner, Dave Mahon. This is currently being investigated.
Despite everything strange that has happened since Amy Fitzpatrick disappeared, nobody has ever heard of or seen her since that fateful new years night in 2008, and she still remains missing. Audrey is still holding out hope that her daughter is still alive.
Cameron Macauley was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Since the age of two years old, he began telling his mother he was from Barra, a small Scottish island off the west coast of Scotland.
Cameron told her about a white house on the island and about a beach on which planes landed. He said he had owned a black and white dog, and that his father was called Shane Robertson; who had died after being hit by a car.
Cameron began drawing pictures of the white house by the beach and complained of missing his other mother. After Cameron had become more upset about missing Barra, his mother decided to take him to visit Barra, which was an hour long plane journey. Upon arriving in Barra, the plane landed on the beach.
The Macaulays found a white house, owned by the Robertsons. Cameron knew his way around the house, and could point out all its peculiarities. The black and white dog Cameron remembered was in a family photograph, along with a car he also remembered. But the Robertsons never recalled Shane.
Cameron has since lost his memories of his possible past life as he’s grown older, but he is convinced death is not the end. He stated that he ended up in in his mothers tummy after falling through a hole.
This supposed reincarnation is one of the most documented stories after Cameron’s case was picked up by British television.
Disappeared; 2nd January 2000, from Asheville, North Carolina, aged 18.
Missing for; 14 Years
Status; Still missing, endangered, whereabouts unknown.
Zebb Wayne Quinn disappeared at 18 years old from Asheville, North Carolina. He is considered ‘endangered missing.’
Zebb and his friend, Robert Owens, were going to look at a car Zebb wanted to buy after Zebb finished his shift at Walmart at 9pm. As they drove in separate cars, Zebb flashed his headlights signalling Robert to pull over. Zebb told Robert he had received a page and needed to return the call. After Zebb came off the payphone, Robert described him as ‘frantic.’ Zebb told him he needed to cancel their plans to go look at the car he was going to buy. He then jumped in his car and drove away, never to be seen again.
Two weeks after Zebb Quinn had gone missing, his car was found parked near the hospital his mother worked at. A pair of lips were drawn on the back windscreen and there was a live mixed Labrador puppy inside the vehicle! More strange things were found inside the vehicle, including a hotel key card police couldn’t trace, and drink bottles and a jacket that did not belong to Zebb Quinn. Police collected forensic evidence from the car, but have uncovered no new leads.
So whaddya think? Lips drawn on the windscreen and a live puppy inside the car, could these be potential repetitive patterns a serial killer would use? Either way, Zebb Quinn remains missing. Robert Owens is apparently a person of interest in the case, although there is no solid evidence to tie him to Zebb’s dissappearance.
Can only do text posts on my phone (I’ll add photos when I get to a computer), so im gonna post some creepy disappearances and real life encounters to get under the skin ;p
Disappeared; 24th March 1998, aged 23, from cruise ship enroute to Curacao.
Missing for; 16 Years and 4 Months.
Status; Whereabouts unknown, possibly still alive, possibly sold into sex slavery.
Abductors; Possibly 3 unidentified men.
Mysterious disappearances fascinate me, but this one is the one that really got under my skin! (long but worth it!!)
Amy Bradley was vacationing with her parents and brother on the cruise ship, ‘Rhapsody of the Seas’ in March 1998.
At around 5:30am on March 24th 1998, Amy’s brother left her sitting on the outdoor balcony when he returned to his cabin. She was seen a short time later riding in an elevator by another passenger, she was seen with a member of the ship’s band ‘Blue Orchid.’ He was simply known as ‘Yellow.’
The ship was en route to Curacao, Antilles at the time she was last seen. Shortly before the cruise ship docked in Curacao, it was discovered that Amy Bradley was missing.
As investigation of her disappearance began, things were strange. The cruise ships photo service that sold photos of the passengers, mysteriously ‘lost’ every single photo of Amy Bradley from their database 9 to 10 hours after Amy disappeared. Out of thousands of passengers aboard the ship, photos of Amy were the only ones that had vanished.
The first sighting of Amy Bradley took place in Curacao sometime in August 1998, 5 months after she disappeared. 2 Canadian tourists reported seeing a woman walking along the beach with two other men flanking her. When the woman heard the tourist speaking English she ran towards him, but before she even spoke, she was grabbed by two men and lead into a cafe. As the mysterious woman was lead away, she pointed out her tattoos to the tourist, her tattoos matched those of Amy Bradley’s.
Now things get weirder. Later, in 1999, an American sailor reported visiting a brothel in Curacao and was approached by a young woman. She told him her name was Amy Bradley and that she needed help. Before the sailor had time to react, two men came and escorted the woman upstairs. By the time the sailor had reported this to the police, a few months later, the brothel had mysteriously burned down.
The last potential (in person) sighting of Amy Bradley was in 2005 in Bridgetown, Barbados. A woman named Judy Mawer was in a shopping mall restroom when she heard two men burst in shouting things like “a deal is coming through, you need to obey to not mess it up!” When the men had left, Judy came out of her cubical and found a woman, who the men had been threatening. Judy comforted the woman, who appeared to be in her early thirties, and was extremely distraught. The woman then told Judy her name was Amy, and that she was from Virginia. Suddenly the men burst back into the restroom, dragging the woman away as Judy ran. Judy described the woman and her two captors to the FBI, who compiled sketches of the three. This was the last time anyone came in contact with Amy.
Pictures were discovered in 2004-2005 on a website advertising prostitutes in the Carribbean, of a woman named only as ‘Jas.’ ‘Jas’ bared a strong resemblance to Amy Bradley, which strongly suggests she could have been sold into sexual slavery. You can find the comparison between Amy and ‘Jas’ here; http://i.imgur.com/BX4PchS.jpg (photo is not mine.)
Sketch of Amy’s potential captors, as described by Judy Mawer; http://i.imgur.com/M8XcVZZ.jpg (again not my photo)
Despite 3 possible encounters with Amy Bradley, sketches of her captors, and very convincing photos that she may be in the sex trade, Amy Bradley has never been seen since, the same is to be said for her captors.
Disappeared; June 9th 1995, aged 6, from Alma, Arkansas.
Missing for; 19 Years
Status; Still Missing.
6 year old Morgan Nick & her mother, Colleen Nick, went to a Little League baseball game in their hometown of Alma, Arkansas on June 9th 1995. At around 10:30pm Morgan asked her mum if she could go and catch lightning bugs with a few of her friends. Colleen was reluctant, but chose to let her go.
Morgan’s friends last saw Morgan at 10:45pm, emptying sand from her shoes beside her mothers car. They also claimed to see a “creepy man” talking to Morgan around the time she was last seen.
Morgan’s friends returned to Colleen and told her Morgan was still at the car, but when she got to her car, Morgan was gone.
Morgan Nick has not been seen or heard from since, and the “creepy man” remains unidentified.