The granddaughter of a cult leader who preached doomsday prophecies and allegedly practiced underage sex abuse, speaks out about how she finally escaped.

A statement from The Family International:

Founded in the late 1960s as a countercultural new religious movement, the Family International (formerly the Children of God) operated as an international missionary fellowship for over 40 years, sharing the Gospel with millions and assisting the needy in a multitude of volunteer and humanitarian efforts in over 100 countries. In 2010, the Family International disassembled its previous organizational structure, and currently functions as a small online network of approximately 1,400 people in 75 countries.

The Family International has had a zero-tolerance policy in place for over three decades for the protection of minors, and is diametrically opposed to the abuse of minors in any form, whether physical, sexual, educational, or emotional. (See The Family International’s Child Protection Policy.) Courts around the world that conducted exhaustive investigations of over 600 children in the early 1990s concluded that the children were not exposed to any kind of abuse or neglect and were satisfied with the quality of their upbringing and education. (For third party summaries of these court rulings, see

The Family International’s policy for the protection of minors was adopted in 1986. Regrettably prior to the adoption of this policy, cases occurred where minors were exposed to sexually inappropriate behavior. This was addressed in 1986 when any contact of a sexual nature between an adult and a minor (defined as any person under 18 years of age) was officially prohibited and subsequently in 1989 declared an excommunicable offense. The Family International has expressed its apologies on numerous occasions to any members or former members who feel that they were hurt in any way during their membership (see

Although the Family International has apologized on a number of occasions to former members for any hurt, real or perceived, that they may have experienced during their membership, we do not give credence to tales of institutionalized abuse, told by those who seek to promote their personal agendas, productions, causes, or for financial gain. There is no basis in fact for such allegations, as evidenced by the findings of the courts on three continents.

We continue to extend our sincere apologies to anyone who experienced anything negative or hurtful during their childhood or time as members of the Family International. Our sincere hope for anyone who was once part of the Family International is that they can lead fulfilling lives and we wish them well in every way.