Thursday, May 08, 2014

Not Without My Sister by Celeste Jones, Juliana Buhring and Kristina Jones

Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed by Those They Trusted. Celeste Jones, Juliana Buhring and Kristina Jones. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012. e-book, 342 pps.

     I knew a couple of teens who had gotten involved with the Children of God, now known as The Family of Love or The Family International. One committed suicide. The other eventually went to Puerto Rico as a C.O.G. "missionary." I heard she got out. I hope that is true.

     Rebekah [not the Rebekah in the book] took me along to visit the commune in a rundown section of New York City. I've forgotten now what borough it was in. The adults who lived there-- I didn't see any children or teens-- appeared to be happy. While we were there, someone arrived with some food "donations" for the day. There was bits of singing and speaking in tongues. I remember that distinctly. The commune itself was located in a rundown dark warehouse, not anyplace that I would want to live. 

     I knew about Flirty Fishing from Rebekah but I was not interested in being involved with anything that promoted "winning souls" through sex. Rebekah claimed that sex with prospective converts never resulted in pregnancy because god made sure of that. I didn't think that could possibly be true. [It wasn't]. I'd seen a few of the Mo letters too. The ones that I saw must have been rather tame. I don't recall anything striking about them other than lots of Bible verses. I did not see the comic books or any films.

     High school life went on and I lost track of Rebekah sometime after her enforced transfer out. I'd forgotten about her until I ran across the ex-COG websites. I'm glad that I didn't get involved with the C.O.G. Reading Not Without My Sister made me even more happy. What held me back was my dad. I could not and would not leave him behind.

     Not Without My Sister describes the horrific abuse of teens, children, toddlers, and babies under the guise of "love." The C.O.G. had evolved into the Family of Love. Under Mo's dictatorship-- and later his second wife's-- disciples were ordered to "date" each other on a rotating basis. This included children with adults as well as children with children.

sapphoq reviews says: The three siblings who authored Not Without My Sister did an excellent job of exposing the sexual and other abuse as practiced by the C.O.G./ The Family of Love/ The Family International. The book also exposed bits of the practices of the higher-ups which co-incidentally included developing dossiers on people who are brave enough to leave the cult, a practice borrowed directly from Scientology.
     This book is not for the faint-hearted or the easily triggered. For other adults, highly recommended.

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