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Born into the Children of God

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  706 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Natacha Tormey was born into the infamous religious cult known as The Children of God. Abused, exploited, and brainwashed by ‘The Family’, Natacha’s childhood was stolen.

Born to French hippy parents attracted to the religious movement by the unusual mix of evangelical Christianity, free love and rejection of the mainstream, from an early age Natacha was brainwashed to beli
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 3rd 2014 by Harper Element (first published April 10th 2014)
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Julia Graf
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fascinating look inside a 2nd generation child born into the weird cult The Family. Scary, engrossing, shocking and even uplifting!
Janet Doolaege
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
As I read this book, I became more and more enraged. Natacha Tormey was not a naïve person who joined this pernicious cult, as were her parents. She was born into it. She had no choice in the matter. She relates how the so-called Children of God, nowadays sanitized (following scandal) and renamed The Family International, routinely separated children from their parents, abused them physically, cut them off from the outside world and filled their impressionable heads with dangerous and frightenin ...more
Nahchey Storer
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm giving this 3 stars because because the writing could have been better and more cohesive. But I finished it in one sitting so 4 stars based on the subject matter. I too was raised in this very same, vile, evil, religious cult so it was very interesting to me on a personal level. I was able to escape at age 17, in 1988 before a good portion of the events of this book took place. I will say it was even worse for me than the events described here as many of the doctrines that were supposed to b ...more
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Born into the Children of God by Natacha Tormey is a highly recommended account of growing up in a cult and, even more importantly, surviving her childhood.

While her parents were young hippies when they joined the cult in France, Natacha Tormey misfortune was that she had no choice or say. She was born into the Children of God cult, also known as The Family. During her childhood, she lived in a variety of communes across South East Asia, East Africa and Europe. All of the situations she found he
A horrible life experience from which Natacha and some of her family members had the courage to escape.

A life experience that sadly is repeated among many groups and cultures, not only the Children of God.

Whether it is a story of escape from a Mormon polygamist clan, an Old Order Mennonite community, a Moroccan harem, a Catholic misogynistic culture, psychologically ill parents, extreme homeschooling environments, drug addicted or alchoholic parents, witchcraft covens, Satanic Ritual Abusers or
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm glad I read this book but I'm not sure I'll be able to use the right words to express how it made me feel. It's difficult to think about how these atrocious acts were being committed against children on the other side of the world, but in the same world where I was growing up. I felt the author was able to clearly convey her and siblings'/friends' emotions, having to deal with selfish, perhaps brain-washed adults, and being totally at their mercy. She painted a real picture of what it was li ...more
Faith Spinks
Not an easy read at all. This book was a horriyfying account of life growing up inside the cult 'The Children of God', later called 'The Family'. It is truly unthinkable that one man could brainwash so many around the world with his sick and depraved ideas and yet he somehow did. Whilst this was not a comfortable read it is an important account to remind us that this is a danger which sadly stil remains possible.
Γιώργος Λιαδής
Συγκλονιστικό επειδή είναι αληθινή ιστορία. Δεν έχει καμιά λογοτεχνική αξία και ο μόνος λόγος για να το διαβάσει κάποιος είναι αν τον ενδιαφέρουν οι cults ή αν κάνει έρευνα για την ψυχολογία αυτών των ανθρώπων. Πρόκειται για ένα κοριτσάκι που βιάζεται στα 6 του, επομένως δεν θα το αντέξουν όλα τα στομάχια...
Sandy Conley
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an eye opening book for me as I don't recall the media attention that this cult received. It is not an easy read due to the phycological abuse the children were forced to grow up with. The adults seem to me as if they are still childish in their thinking. As I ended my childhood at 17 as a father husband and provider and not being a believer I had a low opinion of Natacha's parents. Since I was interested in the book to better understand the cult mindset I put aside my negative thinking ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full on! Definitely captivating in the most horrific way possible.

The writing style seemed to vary across the course of the book, but I suspect that is a consequence of the reflective nature of the re-telling.

Towards the end of the book, Tormey seemed to shy away from being too introspective, which is understandable, but I think a more personal insight into her state of mind at each stage would have helped engage the reader in the more dramatic events in the last chapters.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-life
a great read about a girl raised by parents who were members of children of God an extremist style religious following the girl hardly saw her parents being raised by members of the group they did not know half of the awful things she went through and not suprisingly as she got older she left the group and led her own life but it did not mean a happy ever ending a fascinating glimpse into another way of life
sally betz
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a good read

This was a good read, it truly opens your eyes to what inicent children suffer through when thier parents are apart of such groups. My heart goes out to all these children in this book, the abuse they suffered was just horrible.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had to keep reminding myself that this was a true story and it is from recent times.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
How terrible. I can't believe this group is still active today.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This was really a sad read. I don't understand how people can be so brainwashed to the level of losing individuality and perspective. Or maybe I do !!
Gayle Leith
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
another fanstatic read, couldn't put it down
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Traurig, aber sehr spannend und informativ.
Micah Horton hallett
Trauma in book form. If you are a victim of childhood abuse and/or have lived through an apocalyptic sect this will resonate.
Pat Mckay
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It's disturbing to realize how some people will sacrifice their children to their ideology.
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fascinating cult book
Sandy Conley
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book in 3 parts and each part would not let me go I was very happy to get the third book. This is stated to be a true story which I verified on Google. The life the followers led was dictated by the groups leaders. the whole cult was based on Jesus and love being the same so having sex was like praying for Jesus. This was not limited to the adult members as the leaders felt that the children should also participate despite their lack of understanding or comprehension. Natacha was pro ...more
Peter Orvetti
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a compelling first-person account of one girl's life inside the Children of God, later The Family [International], originally a "Jesus Freak" communal hippie Christian movement that turned into a cult of coerced and sometimes forced sex with both adults and minors, and a place of extreme physical and psychological abuse. It is a hard read, but Tormey tells it well and bravely.
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the harrowing, true life tale of Natacha Tormey, who was born into The Children of God, later known as The Family. A quick Google Search revealed that the religious sex cult is still alive and active, more recently re-branded as The Family International. What a nice glossy website depicting a loving organization...

The book starts off with how her dad joined the cult and her parents’ arranged marriage. They were young hippies who both joined while in France, but moved with their string of
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-14, edelweiss
I've read quite a few books about growing up in a religious cult. I remember being very (very very) young and reading a book about a girl who grew up in a Satanic cult. Being a good and proper Catholic school girl, I was horrified. (Leading one to wonder, how did I get my hands on that book in the first place?)

There is nothing like reading books about extremist cults to make me rethink my unhappiness about growing up brainwashed by Catholicism. Let's face it, I had it REALLY EASY.

Natacha's story
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Haunting book about the cult; it's incredibly well written and disturbing. Natacha and her siblings go through a kind of hell that only other ex-Family members understand. Because of her excellent writing, I was captivated with knowing more about her, her family, and her experiences, and unable to put her book down.

This book is not only a look into a second generation ex-member's life, escape, struggle, and thankfully eventual happiness, but it's a look into the strict communes The Family event
helen francis
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Children of God

How absurd. Any real God would never treat children this way. This was a cult for the benefit of men to promote sex. I found it amazing that so many adults could believe that the world was coming to an end and they needed to prepare for the Armageddon. Their leader prophesied this for several different years and still the end did not come. How could they keep believing in this prophet and his sick rules on how they were to live. The sad thing is that this was their choice. The man
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es ist immer schwierig, Lebenserinnerungen zu bewerten und zu rezensieren. Ich tue es, aber ich bewerte dabei nur den Schreibstil bzw. wie leicht und angenehm das jeweilige Buch lesbar ist. Alles andere wäre einfach nur anmaßend.
Ich fand es interessant, Einblick in die Sekte "Children of God" zu bekommen. Immer wieder schockiert es mich, wie diese Sektenführer es schaffen, so vielen Menschen das Gehirn zu waschen und dabei Anhänger zu finden, die ihre meist kranke Lebensweise nicht nur unterstüt
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
The author was born into a cult that grew out of the Jesus movement of the late 60's where hippies suddenly discovered the power of Jesus rather than drugs. Unfortunately, a charismatic leader got many to sacrifice all (a good thing) commit themselves to ministry and service (another good thing) to living in communes and increasing commit to shared sex and even using sex to get new converts. The author knew nothing else including abuse as a child.

It is so sad to hear of the distortion of Christ
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Schilderungen der Autorin waren einfach nur erschütternd. Die Frage, die sich mir die ganze Zeit stellte, war: "Wie kann man seinen eigenen Kindern so etwas antun?"
Gewiss behaupten ihre Eltern, dass sie die Misshandlungen der Sekte nicht mitbekommen hätten, aber das fällt einem etwas schwer zu glauben.
Schlimm ist es auch, dass es diese Sekte immer noch gibt, obwohl eben diese Skandale publik wurden.
Trotz allem bewundere ich die Autorin dafür, dass sie den Ausstieg geschafft hat und den Mut
Elke Vekeman
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Heb dit boek gelezen omdat ik al enkele verhalen gelezen had van mensen die uit een sekte weggaan. Van deze sekte had ik nog nooit gehoord, zodoende.
Ik ben van de ene verbazing blijven vallen en was steeds meer verbolgen over wat er in de communes van die sekte allemaal aan nonsens verteld werd, hoe mensen gebrainwasht werden en hoe hun kinderen er het slachtoffer van werden, op zoveel manieren.
Echt onbegrijpelijk hoe mensen voor zo'n boodschap kunnen vallen en zo'n doctrine kunnen blijven vol
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Natacha Tormey was born and raised within The Children of God, a religious cult that became infamous for its bizarre sexual practices and religious doctrines. After escaping the cult at the age of 18, she fought for a normal life in society and her struggle gave her the driving force to publish her memoir.

Natacha is a HR Consultant and Writer who strives to raise awareness of the damage that cult
“Breaking free is only the beginning. Then begins the painful process of reversing the indoctrination. The longer someone stays in a cult the harder it is for them to remember who they were before the cult took control of their mind. Or in the case of someone like me, a cult-born child, my entire personality was made and created by them. When I left I had no idea who I was. My whole existence, everything I thought I knew, had been a lie.

But it is the psychological aftermath of life in a cult that is all too often the silent killer.”
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