Irish News

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Woman who escaped Children of God cult credits Irishman with helping her get out

Published 15/07/2014|12:47

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Natacha Tormey

A woman born into a cult called the Children of God has revealed that an Irishman helped to get her out.

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Natacha Tormey (30)  was one of 12 children born into the notorious cult and spent her entire childhood believing that she was part of an elite children’s army who would one day save the world from the Anti-Christ.

Rose McGowan says she's much happier as a director than as an actress
Rose McGowan says she's much happier as a director than as an actress

The cult, which Hollywood star, Rose McGowan, also belonged to, was a very controlling organisation. 

Natacha was denied an education and had barely any knowledge of life outside the communes which she lived in. The followers of the cult were encouraged to believe in total sexual freedom and many members revealed that they suffered appalling sexual and physical abuse.

Author Natacha Tormey

Speaking on Ryan Tubridy on 2FM this morning, she revealed that after leaving the cult in 1999, she was in danger of getting sucked back in but she credits an Irishman with helping her escape.

“I was born into the cult a decade after it started. My parents met in the cult and got married. They had several children in the cult.

She said that the cult became more bizarre and they began operating in countries where their practices could avoid detection. Born in Asia of French parents, her parents had 12 children all of whom were in the cult.

Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer was a member of the cult, which was led by David Berg.

“As I was born into it, I knew very little else. I was brainwashed from birth.”

She said that the sexual abuse started from an early age.

“It started when I was four. When you are that young you don’t really realise what happened to you. In my case, it was one of the so-called uncles – the childcare staff – who abused me.

She said that the sexual abuse was also coupled with physical abuse.

“All of the parents thought whoever was looking after the children was doing a good job. There was definitely some cases when the adults knew what was going on and did nothing. My parents say that they didn’t know what was going on and they weren’t aware until I told at the age of 13.

“The environment was highly sexualised. The leader of the cult – David Berg – put out a letter saying that the children of the cult should explore their sexuality from an early age.

“As soon as a girl starts having her periods, she is basically an adult. There were no rules in place.”

Natacha said she started to believe that things were very wrong when she was a child. When she was a teenager she really started to question the doctrines of the cult.

“I always had a gut feeling something was very wrong and as I grew older, I realised that this wasn’t ‘normal’ no matter what I was being told on a When I was a teenager I really started to question the hold the cult had over my family and the rules that they made us live by. What we thought and how we acted.

“By the time, I was 16 or 17 years of age, I just had huge doubts.  The cult decided that the world would end on New Year’s Eve 1999 and when it didn’t, I realised that it was all a hoax.

“I had no idea how to get out. I met this guy who helped me get out. I had no clue what the world outside was like. After a couple of years together, I left him and moved to London.”

She revealed that she almost got sucked back into the cult but her relationship with an Irishman helped save her.

““I was finding it very difficult to adapt. I was feeling very suicidal. I was struggling to fit into regular society.

“I went back to where the cult was based on Reunion Island and over a period of time, I nearly got sucked back into things. The group had changed a lot by then. I needed to reconnect with my parents and talk to them about.”

However, she credits an Irishman with saving her.

“I was debating religion on a website and there was an Irish guy who I started speaking to. We fell in love over the course of a few months. Unfortunately it didn’t work out. We broke up.”

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