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Children of God

Children of God or The Family. A cult founded in California in 1968 by David Berg (1919–94), who assumed the name David, and became known to his followers as Mo. The movement established a number of communes in the USA before moving to London in 1971. According to The Family, humanity is now living in the last days and the signs of the Second Coming of Jesus are evident: the destruction of the materialistic culture of capitalism will follow that of communism (predicted by Mo), to be replaced with a ‘godly socialism’, with an emphasis (borrowed from Acts) on sharing. This extends to the sharing of sexual partners, which includes the use of sex to attract new members (known as ‘flirty fishing’). Reports of this led to strong opposition to The Family, which was accused also of encouraging and practising the abuse of children. However, no successful prosecutions were sustained (although children were taken into care in several countries, including Australia and France).

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