Monday, March 6, 2017
Abuse Of Minors & Apocalypse Predictions: Words From A 'Children of God' Cult Survivor, ‘It’s like being in a cult for one’: 14 tactics used by coercive controllers - domestic abuse, Jane Fonda reveals rape and child abuse, abuse and cover up by Word of Faith Fellowship
- Abuse Of Minors & Apocalypse Predictions: Words From A 'Children of God' Cult Survivor
- ‘It’s like being in a cult for one’: Read 14 tactics used by coercive controllers - domestic abuse
- Jane Fonda reveals rape and child abuse
- AP Investigation into abuse and cover up by Word of Faith Fellowship
Abuse Of Minors & Apocalypse Predictions: Words From A 'Children of God' Cult Survivor
March 2, 2017 By Jancy Richardson
Cults & Conspiracies seeks to understand the evil that we do to each other and the psychological drives that inform those actions. Inspired by season 2 of Hulu's #ThePath, Cults & Conspiracies investigates how cults and radical ideologies work their dangerous magic on the unsuspecting.
MP Super News's dark-leaning, inquisitive show has looked at the Jonestown Massacre and de-programming techniques, but this episode we're talking to Flor Edwards, a survivor of the Children of God cult (a.k.a. The Family International).
The Children of God cult became famous for the bizarre teachings of leader David Berg, particularly those encouraging the sexual abuse of children and forced prostitution of young women (a technique to recruit new members known as 'Flirty Fishing'). Several celebrities escape the cult, including Joaquin Phoenix and Rose McGowan.
What Did the Children of God Believe?
Berg encouraged his followers to move away from "corrupted" Western society to South East Asia and South America. They were poor, idealistic, and convinced by their leader that the world would end in 1993.
When the foretold apocalypse didn't happen, Edwards says, Berg made a public apology to his flock, but said that God had granted them an extension for being good. Berg "believed that he was God's middle-man," which he used to promote his strange teachings:
He had these free sexual beliefs, people had to have a sexual revolution and it needed to happen very young, believed adulthood began from 12... He had absolute power.
Fortunately for Flor Edwards, the bad publicity from the cult's sexual abuse of minors meant that there were stricter rules in place when she was a child: she wasn't witness to sexual abuse but did see a lot of physical abuse: "they would punish us a lot."....
Cults & Conspiracies' guest for episode 5 is cult survivor Flor Edwards, who left the cult with her family at the age of 13.
‘It’s like being in a cult for one’: Read 14 tactics used by coercive controllers
06 March 2017 Gemma Mitchell
....Experts in the field of domestic abuse gathered in Suffolk today to explore the intricacies of a crime that is “invisible in plain sight”.
Keynote speaker was American university lecturer and author Lisa Aronson Fontes, who described a manipulative relationship as “like being in a cult of one”.
Dr Fontes said dangerous romances often started out happy, with abusers using methods that seem loving such as constant texting or only not wanting to be around anyone else.
She added: “It looks like the care that many women crave, then over time that warm beam gets narrower and narrower and she wants to get that back and she feels like it’s her fault she doesn’t have it....
According to Mr Stark, around 25% of women in abuse relationships are never assaulted, and in some cases it is “low level” harm which police may not take seriously, such as biting, pushing and shoving.
This is where the new law, which was passed in England and Wales in 2015, can come into play.
It carries a maximum prison term of five years for perpetrators who repeatedly subject spouses, partners and other family members to serious psychological, social, financial and emotional torment.
Mr Stark deems coercive control a “liberty crime” that turns victims into “slaves in their own homes”.....
Here are 14 ways coercive control can exist in an intimate relationship:
- Controlling access to a phone and social media
- Enforcing a certain diet
- Prohibiting or limiting contact with friends, family and health services
- Monitoring and controlling time and movement
- Regulating what clothes, make up, hairstyle is worn
- Continual belittlement, telling someone they are worthless
- Harming or threatening children
- Jealous accusations
- Constant phone calls, texting and emails
- Controlling access to money and transport
- Forcing sex
- Name calling
- Refusing contraception
- Preventing a person from working and sleeping
Jane Fonda reveals rape and child abuse
3 March 2017
Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda has revealed she is a rape survivor and suffered sexual abuse as a child.
In an interview with fellow Oscar winner Brie Larson for The Edit, the 79-year-old also said she had once lost a job because she refused her boss's sexual advances.
The star added she thought being a young actress now was "terrifying" because of female sexualisation.
"You have to get naked so much. There is even more emphasis on how you look."
Fonda said she "felt diminished" growing up because the men in her life were "victims of a [patriarchal] belief system".
She also said she had been "brought up with the disease to please".
'We were violated'
"To show you the extent to which a patriarchy takes a toll on females - I've been raped, I've been sexually abused as a child and I've been fired because I wouldn't sleep with my boss and I always thought it was my fault; that I didn't do or say the right thing.
"I know young girls who've been raped and didn't even know it was rape. They think, 'It must have been because I said no the wrong way'.
"One of the great things the women's movement has done is to make us realise that [rape and abuse is] not our fault. We were violated and it's not right."....
Part 2: AP Investigation into abuse and cover up by Word of Faith Fellowship
by MITCH WEISS Associated Press; Karen Zatkulak
Monday, March 6th 2017
SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — At least a half-dozen times over two decades, authorities investigated reports that members of a secretive evangelical church were being beaten. And every time, according to former congregants, the orders came down from church leaders: They must lie to protect the sect.
Among the members of the Word of Faith Fellowship who coached congregants and their children on what to say to investigators were two assistant district attorneys and a veteran social worker, the ex-followers told The Associated Press.
Frank Webster and Chris Back -- church ministers who handle criminal cases as assistant DAs for three nearby counties -- provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member, according to former congregants interviewed as part of an AP investigation of Word of Faith.
Back and Webster, who is sect leader Jane Whaley's son-in-law, also helped derail a social services investigation into child abuse in 2015 and attended meetings where Whaley warned congregants to lie to investigators about abuse incidents, according to nine former members.
Under North Carolina law, prosecutors cannot provide legal advice or be involved in outside cases in any manner. Violation of those rules can lead to ethics charges, dismissal or disbarment. Offering legal advice in an ongoing investigation to help a person avoid prosecution could lead to criminal charges.
The receptionist for Back and Webster at the Burke County Courthouse said the two men were "too busy" to talk to AP reporters. They also did not respond to a note seeking comment about their roles in the church.....
Last week, the AP revealed decades of physical and emotional abuse inside Word of Faith, which has 750 members in Spindale, North Carolina, and nearly 2,000 members in churches based in Brazil and Ghana. Former members described being punched, choked and thrown through walls as part of a violent form of deliverance meant to purify sinners....
Cooper said social services personnel were investigating complaints that students were beating classmates at the church-run K-12 school to cast out devils, and that teachers, including Whaley, encouraged the violence....
Former congregant Jamey Anderson said parents and children were ordered to lie to social workers.....
Former member of Word of Faith Fellowship calls for authorities to investigate church
by Justin Hinton Monday, March 6th 2017
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) — Allegations of abuse and a cover-up plague a controversial mountain church after the second part of the Associated Press investigation into Word of Faith Fellowship is released.
"We didn't think we were part of a cult," said John Huddle, a former member of the church.
He held a news conference Monday afternoon calling for an investigation by local, state and federal authorities.
"From what I read this morning, it's highly likely that an investigation could be beneficial," Huddle said.
In that AP article, former members said they were beaten, choked and thrown through walls. Then when it came time to investigate, they say they were told to lie.
"It makes me feel sad that it has gone on for so long," Huddle said.
After part one of the AP's investigation, the church released a lengthy statement saying in part, "We do not condone or allow abuse - in any form - at our church. Period."....