Most Infamous Cults
7 Infamous Cults That Are Creepy as F*ck
Children of God
The Children of God was founded in 1968 by David "Moses" Berg (yes, really), who dedicated his life to preaching against evolution, moral decay, and Western society — but you know what he preached for? Pedophilia! That's right: ol' Moses believed that sex with children was "a divine right," and young female Children of God members were used as bait to literally lure in new cult members. The tactic was known as "Flirty Fishing" and was derived from a Bible verse in which Jesus tells two fishermen that he would make them "fishers of men."
David Berg died in 1994, at which time a follower named Karen Zerby took over. The cult has had many new lives over the years, including changing their name from Children of God to The Family of Love, to The Family, and most recently, The Family International. Yes, they are still going strong, although they now happen to not promote sexual relationships between children and adults.
Very interesting fact: Joaquin Phoenix and his family were members from 1972 to 1978, as was actress Rose McGowan, who has spoken out about being raised in the cult until she was 9 years old. The Family International also count deceased celebrities as their "spirit helpers," including Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Richard Nixon. So, there's that.