Sinister groups that take over the lives of their disciples
Daily Express (UK), July 14 2000
The Jesus Christians are an Australian-based cult. Their leader is David McKay, who is thought to have been a member of the notorious Children of God sect before setting up the group.
The number of members in this country or worldwide is not known because members are secretive and reluctant to talk about their activities.
But one of its basic rules is that members have to break contact with their families and friends. They are also expected to hand over all their worldly goods.
It was significant that within hours of involving teenager Bobby Kelly, from Romford, the group had taken his TV and video and then wanted to strip his room of his other belongings.
In that they are similar to the Children of God, now called The Family. The late David Berg, an American who founded the Children of God in 1968, preached free sex to his followers. He also preached child abuse.
A British woman, Sylvia Padilla, has described how she and her family were members of the Children of God for 18 years before they escaped.
She said she decided to get out when she discovered her children – five daughters and two sons – had been the victims of sex abuse by members. One of her daughters, Victoria, told how she was brainwashed from the age of seven to believe that sex with adults was normal. Her mother described how she was required to trawl bars and restaurants offering sex to try to win recruits.
Graham Baldwin, who monitors the activities of cult groups, reckons there have been at least 1,000 set up in this country in the last 50 years. Some are quite small with only a handful of followers. Others have members around the world.
One that has been known to leave some adherents with serious psychiatric problems is the International Church of Christ.
It has branches around the country and its members believe they are the only true Christians. Every member has a discipler, another member who is consulted about every decision.
Graham Baldwin said: “The effect is that everyone is controlled by the cult and everyone is expected to hand over ten per cent of their income.”
He added:”There has been an explosion of pseudo Christian cults. They use mind-control tactics.”I was involved in one case where a young Australian had abandoned his fiancee in this country with no money and no friends. We rescued him and helped him recover and he could not believe he had done those things. He had been taken over.”
See also: Cults must be outlawed to protect young.