Family Ties

Ex-members of a cult that once advocated sex between adults and children want the group's leaders exposed and punished

Just a reminder: Mene was 14 years old.


Berg: "Do you hear me?" (slaps Mene)

David Berg's sexual obsessions became Family 
David Berg's sexual obsessions became Family doctrine.
Berg's daughter, Faith Berg Fischer, was a longtime 
Family leader.
Berg's daughter, Faith Berg Fischer, was a longtime Family leader.

Mene: "Yes sir!"

Berg: "Do you hear me?"

Mene: "Yes sir!"

Berg: "Do you hear me?"

Mene: "Yes sir!"


Berg: "Tonight, you're going to go without your supper and you're going to fast and pray and pray with somebody every hour of the day and night until you get delivered and you don't let those goddamn dirty, slimy evil little things back into your mind! Is that clear? (face to face with Mene)

Mene: "Yes sir!"


Berg: "Has anyone ever punished you like that before?"

Mene: "Yes."

Berg: "Who?"

Mene: "Uncle Peter [Amsterdam]."

Peter: "I spanked her once real hard."

Berg: "Well, she undoubtedly needed it."

Zerby: "It wasn't anything like what you just gave her, though."


Berg: (to Zerby or Amsterdam) "I have a rod here. Will you please bring it to me? You see this? Pass it to her, let her feel it. I want you to feel how heavy this, how heavy it is…I am going to take this rod to you and I am going to beat you with it the next time any of this stuff comes up…Do you want me to help you know what you're going to get? Come here, I'll let you feel it just one time. Bend over. (spanks her) Did you feel that? Well, next time your buttocks are going to be bare and you're really going to feel it!…Your mother Shula's insane. Your father Aaron was insane! If it hadn't been for the Lord, he would have jumped off the cliff a long time before that…You think you're going to make it up there [in the System] somehow? The only way you could make it is to be a whore, that's all! You wouldn't even be an FFer [Flirty Fisher], you wouldn't even be doing it for God, you'd just be doing it for a living. You'd probably end up on drugs -- a demon-possessed, alcoholic diseased whore and soon dead!"


Berg: "If beating doesn't get the hell out of you, you're going to get the hell out of here. I want you to memorize that."

Mene: "If beating you doesn't get the hell out of you, you're going to get the hell out of here."

Andrew Stone's parents joined the Family in 1971, and he was born four years later in Nashville.

By the time he was 12, Zerby implemented the Discipleship Training Revolution, a system of "Teen Combos" and "Victor Camps" established to curb anti-Family sentiment among teens. That's when Stone began his career as a real pain in the Family's ass.

He smuggled secular books into the camps. If you needed a dictionary or any other book written by the devil, Stone was your guy.

Stone's job at the Teen Combo was to haul five-gallon buckets of raw sewage to a nearby river. After that, he was handed a pickax, sent out to the yard and told to dig until he hit rocks, then haul the rocks and make a pile. He says that, after a while, the repetitive, tedious tasks led to OCD-like symptoms. Stone says that a Teen Combo leader named Daniel Roselle Sr. figured that Stone must have been possessed. So, Stone claims, two adults pinned him to the ground while Roselle beat him with a stick.

(Roselle's 33-year-old son, Daniel Roselle Jr., also alleges that his father played a role in physically abusing children. The younger Roselle -- a former Family spokesman -- left the Family eight years ago and is now one of its most vocal critics. Daniel Roselle Sr. did not respond to numerous phone messages from the Press. People reported in July that Roselle Sr. denied his son's allegations online, describing the younger Roselle's childhood as "one of joy and happiness.")

Anthony (not his real name) is a current second-generation member in Houston. He says a small number of claims might be true, but that the abuse was not as widespread as alleged. Vicious ex-members are bent on destroying today's Family for a few controversial things Berg might have written decades ago, Anthony says.

"I'm sure [Berg] made mistakes…who gives a hoot?" he asks. "What is the purpose of this article? It's to destroy the Family now, it's to hurt the Family now, the good it's doing now. So in other words, obviously, if we're doing good for Jesus, if we're trying to prove the Kingdom of God, then who is the enemy of that? The devil is. And he's going to try to get anything out there that's going to try to stop the current Family as it is. Even if it means pulling up a bunch of garbage that happened 30, 25 years ago."

Stone might have endured worse had it not been for his prodigious gift of gab. Stone was a real moneymaker for the Family. He and other ex-members say the Family would attach itself to causes and send out an army of moppets to separate decent, unsuspecting folk from their money. In North America, the money went to the North American Central Reporting Office (NACRO), operating out of a Dallas home. A former NACRO manager told the Press that $20,000 to $30,000 in outside donations and Family tithes passed through the office each month. From there, it allegedly wound up in the pockets of Berg, Zerby and Amsterdam, according to the former manager.

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