I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg

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Reply Sun 26 Dec, 2010 01:40 pm
I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
This is the first time in 42 years I have spoken publicly regarding the COG and the angry and sour old fool who had the entire Kingdom of God at his disposal; only to throw it all away for a piece of ****, a load of cash in his pocket, and a cheap bottle of wine.

I am opening my mouth now hopefully to make some sense out of what happened 42 years ago at the "Ranch" near Fort Worth. It seems that the majority of folks on this forum are looking for some deep spiritual explanation for what happened. And I'm speaking up now to assure everyone that what did actually happen was the commonplace tragedy of combining several everyday ordinary sins with alcohol. When you mix adultery, drunkenness, loose scheming women, and a mean streak together you create a very volatile �leaven bomb� and when the bomb exploded at the ranch it leavened the whole lump.

I was the 99th member to join the group before we became the Children Of God. I had just returned from 18 months in combat in Viet-nam and I had been introduced to Christ by the chaplains but I had not yet surrendered my life. I fell in with the group when they caravanned through Texas and on Christmas eve in 1969 I gave my life to Christ and officially became the 99th member of the COG. It was the intention of most of the members from the start to serve God and not man and when �Schmo� as I prefer to call him began to impose his wild imaginations about sex and booze upon us by pretending to be a great prophet, many of us at the time saw through this clever scheme to justify his own sins and we rejected it flat out. Because of our former military background several of us were chosen for camp security and guard duty and old Schmo would come down to the guardhouse at the front gate drunk on his ass and want to shoot the breeze. Many a night we witnessed that old fart boozing it up and fornicating with Maria and another chick named Rebecca in that old RV of his and it wasn�t long after that that their conspiracy to justify themselves began. We had been on the ranch for about a year when the first �Sex Party� Schmo letters hit the fan. And let�s not forget the crap about �Abrahim� the spirit guide otherwise known as the �God of Delusion and Lies.�

Most folks don't know that when we came off the road we were about 200 strong and when we landed at the ranch we were all together for the first time. And within 12 months because of the publicity we had gotten out on the road and because of the intense street witnessing and colonization led by Faithy, Big Josh, Miguel, myself and others, we were overwhelmed when we grew into a horde of 10,000 members with virtually no trained leadership. It was chaos but it was a lot of fun because Schmo�s sins hadn�t been revealed yet and the Holy Spirit was still at work among us. It still shocks me to remember how that first 200 were so pure and dedicated to Christ and the farthest thing from our minds was to become sex perverts for Jesus. We knew we were part a great evangelical movement until Schmo�s sick interpretation of the Bible destroyed our hopes and split the group in half. Thousands left but the sick core group has remained until this day and no matter how much lipstick you pit on a pig it�s still a pig.
Reply Sun 26 Dec, 2010 06:53 pm
Re: I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
So how long did you stay in?
Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 09:23 am
Re: I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
Paul �Aaron� Berg and I were best of friends and in one year I had become closer to him than to any other member of their family. There were about four or five of us who hung out with Aaron and he taught us how to play the guitar. He would write a new song and sing it to us first. I still know all of the songs he wrote. Eve, Aaron's mom, had been a great wife and mother to her kids and she treated me like one of her own children. Faithy didn�t like me much but Big Josh did, and Deborah was always sweet and friendly. I was a fly on the wall in their personal lives for almost two years and it�s one of the most heartbreaking tales I will ever tell. Before those two bitches got their hooks into Schmo they were pretty much a normal family with the exception of Jonathan �Hosea� Berg who was a snake in the grass from day one. - But that�s another story.

I remained active for 3 1/2 years and I left the Cog when my cult wife kidnapped my two children and disappeared into thin air. It was obvious that I wasn�t going along with the gag so I was forced out through treachery resulting in the theft of my children. I was out for about two or three years when I teamed up with my old friend Watchman in Mexico City and we brought Faithy down to do some television interviews. We set up a coffee house in the heart of the city where we performed every night. After that I totally disconnected as did Watchman a little later.
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 07:34 am
Do Tell
Before those two bitches got their hooks into Schmo they were pretty much a normal family...

Apparently you weren't privvy to all the family secrets, because you seem to be unaware that Berg molested both his daughters before the two "bitches" Maria and Rebecca came along. Maybe Faith & Deborah went along with things because they were glad to get Daddy off their backs? Even after Berg's incest with his daughters because widely known, Jane Berg continued to look the other way, thus paving the way for another generation of Berg girls (granddaughters Joyanne and Merry) to experience Dad's love. Now that I think about it, the Bergs are pretty much a "normal" family where the dynamics of intergenerational incest are concerned.
Reply Tue 28 Dec, 2010 10:19 am
Re: I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
Were you there? The skeptics have no idea what I'm privy to and I will never share all that I'm aware of in a public forum. No one will ever hear the half of what I've got to say. Eve, Faith, and Deborah will always be close to my heart and whatever transgressions they might be guilty of certainly didn't stop the Holy Spirit from using them to turn countless thousands of souls to Christ. I marched in sackcloth and sang in the streets with Faithy from California to New York and it amazes me how so few are still unaware of the pristine lifestyle we were living and what God was doing through us. During the first two years none of us even had time to think about sex because we were so busy reaping the harvest. While Schmo was living like a hermit and shacked up with his concubines the original evangelical team was completely detached from that mess and experiencing one of the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit ever known. We didn't even have Schmo letters back then. All we had were our bibles, our guitars, and a memory card with 100 verses to remember. If you weren't there or if you have never been on an evangelical team with a dozen members who average 100-200 converts a day then you may not be able to understand anything I have to say.

My goal here is not to try to convince the skeptics. I am coming forward to call out and call together those old school warriors of the cross who served so valiantly for the Lord with me back when being called the Children of God really meant something. I'm not going to say any more on this forum if the members here continue to be disrespectful but you guys know who you are, and you all know me, and I think it's time to regroup and take up the cross together again. So if you read this don't hesitate.
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 07:51 am
I was there in the very early days. I remember well what arrogant assholes we were back then, when "being in the COG meant something." We were the stormtroopers of the Jesus movement, more sold-out, on-fire, and committed to following Jesus than all those mamby-pamby systemite Christians, who, by the way, were such hopeless old bottles that they would have left the Revolution for Jesus in a friggin' heartbeat if they'd known the leadership were a bunch of fornicators, grifters and child-abuse enablers. But we didn't beat a hasty path out of there, did we? No, we were the elite, and we hung on to our delusion of superiority knowing full well that the man we followed as God's end-time prophet was an adulterer and necromancer. How did we rationalize that part? Oh, yeah...there's this river in Egypt we'd go sailing down every time the facts about who we really were inconveniently bumped up against the Lord's gentle teaching.

Old man, we each have to make peace with the past. I'm not one to resurrect the "glory days" as something they never were. So what if I preached the gospel to thousands and said the Jesus Prayer with hundreds of what I assumed were lost souls? Luke 17:7-10. I hit the road and was out of town as soon as the heat came down. Mark 15:42. I was a liar and a user/abuser under that veneer of self-justifying fanaticism. Matt. 23:27. I don't regret memorizing scripture, even if I was little more than a parrot. Matt. 13:13. I do regret not learning the meaning of all those Bible verses or how to live them, otherwise I wouldn't have gone around hitting people over the head with my ignorance and fear, which we mislabed as "Good News." Matt. 23:1-5. After 60 years of walking with the Lord, I'm not particularly proud of the easy believism I promoted in my youth. 1 Jn 1:5-7, 2:3-4. There was nothing valiant about that time in my life. I was a coward enslaved by self-centered fear.

I don't mean to be disrespectful. I'm just sharing my truth about a history we share. The gospel Berg and his family preached was false and rotten to the core from the very beginning. It was built on the distortions and illusions of magical thinking: Mr. Jesus was our step-and-fetchit--all we needed to do was pray and broken-down cars would run without gasoline! Berg's gospel of fear and ignorance fed on our shame, because we could admit we were sinners, but never admit that we were so full of ourselves it made us want to puke. Berg's gospel encouraged us to cover our shame through contempt of systemites, to degrade and debase our parents and exploit others without regard for their feelings. Berg preached a gospel for narcissists, and none of his family members but one (Linda/Deborah) have ever shown any sign of repudiating that gospel.
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 12:56 pm
Re: I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
Gee, thanks for not aiming your bitterness gun at me this time. With due respect brother; Schmo was a lot like that, only he was bitter against the established church and you seem to be bitter against his entire family right down to his grandchildren. - It was the root of bitterness that destroyed David Berg and his family. The sex, booze, greed, and lies which followed were only symptoms of the root cause - bitterness. - He was determined to get even with the established church that had proven him false and kicked him out. - His heart was darkened and many were defiled when he found a way to avenge himself even though it meant victimizing his own children. It was deep seated bitterness that drove him to madness and we all need to take care not to fall into the same pit.

Think about it! - Wasn't the first HUGE lie the "Revolution For Jesus" bullhockey? - Schmo's "primary" mission from the beginning was to destroy the credibility of the church that had disgraced him and this evil goal had nothing to do with sex. His hatred and his diabolical imagination knew no bounds when reinforced by a fortune in cash raised from new members, a factor which he had not anticipated but which filled him with a great sense of power, and when Zerby and his new spirit pal Abrahim together with the rest of the schemers in his entourage began turbo feeding Schmo's ego by "worshiping" him he was soon reinvented into a higher power greater than or equal to God. And what a cuddly and cute God he was! - He now had greater power than the religious system he hated, and by isolating him from his wife and family and by boozing and sexing him up, his loyal followers soon got their hands on all that cash and took over the worldwide operation of the COG. - The rest is history; - They continue to rake it in while gullible teenagers cough it up.

However to lump his entire family into the mix as conspirator's is a bit of a stretch. None of his kids or his wife saw it coming. I was there. How each of them responded to the news that their dad had suddenly become equal to Jesus was unique in each case. Eve was pushed aside and terribly injured and she never recovered, Deborah was angry, Faithy was naive and continued to be daddy's little girl, Paul was driven to suicide, and Jonathan joined the conspiracy and quietly became even more diabolical than his father. He implemented the sex camps where my 13 year old son was violated and raped by adults. If Schmo was Hitler, Hosea was the SS Commander.

Jesus Christ was not and is not a revolutionary. He is our Sovereign Lord and our Creator and he has never commanded anyone on earth to conduct a revolution in his name...Word! - His desire is not the sacrifice of revolt but that we obey him and that we do the work of evangelists. "Obedience is better than sacrifice."

I am working with a group of Spanish speaking indigenous Indian missionaries and I need help to train them! Can I see a show of hands?
Oliver 1
Reply Sun 2 Jan, 2011 06:43 am
Re: I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
Great post, Mr."Guest"! Could you please tell us your Bible name(s)? I wouldn't know you - I joined the year you left - but I'm interested. Your perspective is very helpful to me, and I am sure to many others.
Reply Mon 3 Jan, 2011 04:19 pm
Root of Bitterness
Seems to me that "root of bitterness" was a term Berg taught his followers to throw at people who had a negative appraisal of something he or someone else in leadership did. I can remember how it was used on me by a minor leader whose wife wasn't happy with how I was washing the poop out her baby's diapers. I was in charge of rinsing out all the diapers in freezing weather with cold water pumped from a well. My hands were cracked and blistered from the task, and I failed to rinse a diaper out to someone's satisfaction. So she rebuked me. It wasn't like she ever thanked me or recognized how difficult it was to rinse diapers in freezing water. I said nothing, but my natural feeling was one of anger. Later on, the leader gave me a little speech about how I shouldn't let a root of bitterness grow in my heart, because it would--as you've pointed out--lead me away from Christ.

Instead, I let my anger teach me something about the situation I was in. I agree that harboring resentment is deadly, but I also think it is natural to feel angry when I let someone take advantage of me. Turning the other cheek doesn't mean being a doormat. I was able to let go of my anger after I recognized what was in my own power to control.

Holding Jane, Faith & Hosea Berg accountable for their collusion in David Berg's fraud and abuse is not about harboring resentment. I have never met any of Berg's family and have nothing against any of them personally. I have a negative appraisal of most of them due to what's been documented on this website and several other places. Jane Berg was emotionally abused by Berg, of that I have no doubt. There's also evidence in the MLs that Berg would slap her around. However, the fact of Jane's abuse by her husband does not absolve her of responsibility for turning a blind eye to Berg's abuse of his granddaughters, Merry and Joyanne. When her daughter Linda published an account of her molestation by Berg in 1984, Jane Berg said and did nothing. When Faithy boasted in a Family publication that Daddy molested her as a child, Jane Berg said and did nothing. While I understand her behavior, I do not excuse it with the explanation that she's also a victim.

Merry, Joyanne and Linda Berg have all spoken out and told what they know. Speaking out about David Berg has cost each of these women a great deal. Jane, Faith & Jonathan have never spoken out. Their silence has been bought with a WS-TFI stipend.
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2011 01:07 pm
Reply Tue 11 Jan, 2011 08:46 pm
Re: I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
I was around, and a teen, during early family days and I am pretty sure I know who you are. Not looking to out anyone here for their name as I believe people have the right to confidentiality and anonymity here. That being said, I knew a very different Mother Eve. My ex was someone who was very close to her and so was I at times, by proxy. She had a number of young men attending to her by that time and then Steven became her main squeeze. I remember early family as very confusing. One side was the comraderie of group of young people with an innocuous cause of reaching the world thru Christ and gaining disciples. It was the endtime way back then. Early family taught that the last seven years could begin at any minute. Watts riots were one of the signs of the endtime, not to mention the predictions about catastrophic earthquakes. Were there "loose women"? Well, society was pretty loose in the late sixties and early seventies. Berg reached out as a lecherous old man and took advantage of some of those "loose women" including ones that were not even legally adult at the time. Lower rank and file COG did not know about Berg's penchant for reaching out and touching young women and preferably , children. But there weren't any children that were his favorite age to perve on at that time. I'm guessing that would be around 11?
Eve/Jane did turn a blind eye to the molestation of at least one daughter and followed family doctrine when Berg continued the incest with daughters in early COG years but this was unknown to most. I did not realize it until Deb's book came out with her description of what happened in pre-COG days in her own family, but there were those selah undertones about something.. So the core was rotten from the beginning. What is harder to understand is how she wrote positively in "My Conclusions" or "My Delusions" or whatever it was called, after the death of Rick. I also don't understand her presenting Berg as a wonderful Christian father! How wonderful to screw around with your own daughter? I'm guessing the reluctance is because of the things she engaged in that would feel like the walls were coming down and destroying her because if she spoke up about what was wrong in his life, she'd have to face hers. I wish she would. I think she would find far more acceptance and the freedom of carrying that weight of denial on her shoulders for all those years. Yes, she was victimized in some ways and then as with anyone that is old enough to be legally accountable, you look at your own life and it is not easy to face what you were a part of. Also, I have to add, that I've been creeped out seeing the children of S and A "singing" on that Christian Cable channel with the "No bible no breakfast" approach. I think that is abuse, not gospel. That said, I am just voicing my view and I'm glad you have spoken up, but I was there too, and had a very different experience from yours.
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 07:41 am
Re: I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
Guest's post was very interesting filling in few holes of the 'great cult' history. He was also very upfront about his intentions,
'It amazes me how so few are still unaware of the pristine lifestyle we were living and what God was doing through us. During the first two years none of us even had time to think about sex because we were so busy reaping the harvest. While Schmo was living like a hermit and shacked up with his concubines the original evangelical team was completely detached from that mess and experiencing one of the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit ever known'.

Well if this post helps you to forget then great, you have your opinion and good for you for sharing it. However perhaps you can look over your post again and see that you voluntarily posted this and actually this is not your dime. It is the host's dime and this is your 2 cents. You make a comment and then when people make theirs you say others are ignorant (in caps) and hostile and full of hate. Do they have to 'BE THERE' to be hurt or have an opinion about Eve? Some clearly were there and because their opinion is different to yours you start shouting! Did you even stop to consider their viewpoint? Sorry Guest, I'm sure you have many fine qualities but this post is really quite sad.

You start with 'This is the first time in 42 years I have spoken publicly regarding the COG '
and finish with If after 42 years you can be so 'vocal', I am inclined to think that you haven't forgotten the wrongs you have witnessed. Now try putting yourself in the place of a young child who has no other point of reference to know right from wrong and imagine Uncle Ben, thrashing you with his belt because you said he was a devil and then saying thank you for it? Or the same Uncle Ben coming in that night to the OC dorm to say goodnight to your 11year old sister and taking an hour to do it? How about being separated from your parents and corralled with a bunch of other kids barely any food being told to not talk for a week with even the slightest wrong severely punished? Did you understand anything that was posted here? We are interacting with people who have grown up and overcome hardships you brush off as hostile that took an immense amount of courage to overcome. Lets walk in their shoes for a second. Perhaps it will generate some respect for those who have endured hardships you and I can't even imagine.
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2011 10:31 am
Re: I Was An Eye Witness To The Downfall Of David Berg
When we reached the Kentucky farm, Caleb and I immediately began digging an outhouse. Eve was still grieving in the RV and Jonathan showed up and started prancing around and giving everybody orders. After about three days I was tagged as bodyguard to drive Jonathan and Eve to her family home and we took off to Louisville. Jonathan's grandmother lived in a large colonial home with a wrap around veranda and tall columns. It was located in an old and very prominent neighborhood and for the first time Eve began to smile when she saw her mother and sisters again. She introduced me to the ladies and they sat in the living room for hours drinking tea and discussing mostly the circumstances in Eve's life and how to remedy the problem. These were aristocratic ladies and they were giving her good advice and for a moment I saw who she really was. The peace in that old house and the joy of being reunited with her family had chased away the sorrows and the feelings of guilt from Eve's heart and she was a little girl again. When suddenly and without warning Jonathan exploded and began to throw a maniacal fit. He was storming around the living room proclaiming what a great prophet his dad was and how blasphemous it was to defy him. He was a complete asshole and I started to throw the wimp off the porch but I could see that the little old ladies had suffered enough.........Anyway; The lines were drawn - Hosea joined the conspiracy and became worse than his father, Eve's suffering multiplied because she had lost her husband, her oldest son had been driven to suicide, her youngest son had betrayed her, and her daughters were traumatized and embarrassed.

As for me, I just kept my hands on the plow! I was in it for Jesus Christ from the git-go and I have never looked back. - For nearly forty years I have remained faithful to the great commission. I am still "teaching others to teach others" and the laborers are few. My youngest daughter, her husband, and I are currently ministering to the thousands of homeless children whose parents have been killed in the drug wars in Mexico.

I also have an active ministry to homeless and wounded soldiers. I can't explain why Eve, Faithy, or Deb chose to react the way they did in the aftermath of the devastation of their lives any more than I can explain why only a few days ago one of my soldiers who was recovering well from gunshot wounds stripped down naked on the beach in Pensacola and walked straight out into the ocean and drowned himself. It's better to pass over a transgression that to dwell in the past. If the footmen have disturbed you what will you do when the horsemen come. To me the "footmen" were the bad experiences with the COG, but the horsemen of the Antichrist; the Islamic devils who think that killing Christians is doing God service are even now tracking us down wherever they have gained a foothold.
Reply Mon 31 Jan, 2011 10:17 am
For what it's worth
I have two thoughts regarding recent posts. First: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. It really doesn't matter what you think motivates your actions. The heart of man is exceedingly wicked, who can know it? Our capacity for self-deception is a bottomless pit. You have to evaluate the outcome of your actions by some objective measure. Which is why we have the law, both divine and human, because no matter how much liberty we enjoy in Christ, we are still sinful humans (Rom. 7:14-25). If our actions do not advance the Kingdom of God here on earth, what does it matter that our intentions were good?

Second: Being a victim does not excuse us of responsibility for our choices or our bad behavior. (By responsibility, I don't mean "blame"--I mean take action by making amends.) Very often, the victim becomes the victimizer. It could easily be argued that Berg was victimized by his overbearing, castrating mother. Threatening to cut off the penis of a child for masterbating is serious psychological abuse. Nevertheless, Berg made destructive choices that other, even more seriously abused people, have not made. The point is, each of us operates with a certain amount of self-centered fear, and like it or not, we are responsible for how much we let that self-centered fear dictate our choices and behavior. No one controls me, and I am acting like a child if I blame Satan or my parents or David Berg or anyone else for choices that arise from my self-centered fear. It is the fallen state of the world (self-centered fear) that causes human suffering, and I can choose to participate blindly and ignorantly in that fallen state of affairs, or I can choose--by the grace of God--to live in the Kingdom that Is and Will Come. As a Christian, I am simulataneously doing both things--living and dying.

No matter how good I may be at following Christ's example, that personal witness of faith does not remove my social responsibility for acknowledging and taking responsibility for my failures. If I accidently hit someone with my car and break their legs, my insurance may pay the hospital bills, but my victim must live with the fact that I have caused him or her a lasting injury. My victim may grant me her forgiveness, but that does not change the fact that I've been a negligent, careless driver. I can make an amends by improving my driving or giving up driving altogether or opening doors for people on crutches and in wheelchairs. Making an amends is taking action to advance the Kingdom of God as a specific response to one's failure.

Guest-Who-Knew-Berg-When may understand and forgive Jane Berg for her failures, but that does not change the fact that she was negligent about protecting the children in her family, or that she has consistently chosen to cover up the truth about what kind of person David Berg was. God may have forgiven Jane for her failings, but that does not mean she need not make amends for choices she made through her participation in a fallen state. People were hurt and Christ's purpose was scandalized because of Jane's choices. I would be a lot less inclined to make such a point of Jane's part in the COG/TFI nightmare if she made a public amends to those who were hurt by her choices. Last word I heard from her, she was touting David Berg as a good, Christian father. Oh yeah--and warning TFI membership not to discern what part Karen Zerby might have had in her son's murder/suicide.
Reply Thu 7 Mar, 2013 02:08 pm
Yes, I was privy to mighty hand of the Lord working with so many souls and Bible study too in the early days '69-71 on the road, the ranch and LA and pioneering in Spain
Reply Wed 24 Jul, 2013 06:48 am
i do agree with this not everyone had the same experiences and times change i knew about deb's book but didnt want to read it thinking it would be a lie yes decieved we were but Jesus was and is far more important .

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