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Born into the Children of God

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  986 ratings  ·  75 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 HarperElement (first published April 10th 2014)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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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
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. ...more
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
Ashley Dotson
I don't know. I just... wasn't very impressed by the writing or descriptions. After reading Not Without My Sister I found the depiction of the Children of God/The Family a bit lacking. It's not bad, it's just not as good as I wanted it to be. ...more
Susan Bazzett-Griffith
Really good cult memoir about a second generation member of The Family International/ The Children of God cult, this one told from the perspective of a girl who spent the majority of her childhood in Thailand and France, one of 9 (I think?) children by the end of the book, her parents remained true believers long past when it made sense to do so, and as most of the kids born into this cult were, she spent her childhood being physically, verbally, and sexually abused by any normal person's standa ...more
Alice Florence
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
A high 2 but not a 3. It's the life story of a girl born into a cult. Her mum and dad are hippies that joined a Christan cult that's all about sex really. And they're dirt poor. And strict. The kids all live in dorms and have very regimented lives, studying, sleeping, eating shit food, praying etc. The girl is sexually abused by a teacher when she's about 4 but there's lots of other dubious goings on. She has a million siblings and they all grow up and one by one leave the cult. She leaves and h ...more
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
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Natacha Tormey was born and raised in the Children of God cult. She recounts the physical, psychological, spiritual, and sexual abuse she endured and how she extracted herself from this cult's control. It wasn't easy leaving a life where everything was decided for her and stepping into freedom and all the responsibilities that come with it. Natacha Tormey does it anyways, despite fear and anxiety and her parents' disapproval.

Let's talk about her parents for a moment. I don't understand how they
Libby Andrews
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A moving account of what it was like to grow up in the religious cult known as The Family. Natacha’s parents were first generation Family members. They were hippies living in a Parisian commune belonging to The Family. They were deeply in love and were easily brainwashed into the extraordinary doctrine of the cult. They were sent from France to communes in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Réunion to preach the distorted doctrine of Christ. Natacha and her many siblings were subjected to sexual, ...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
Kelci Hopcraft
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is such a heartbreaking story about the lives of second generation cult members of the Children of God. The mental, physical, and sexual abuse these children were faced with is sickening. How could their parents be so naive and blind to the torture their own children were enduring?

It's an easy read but the content is very heavy.
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.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This is not the usual kind of book I would read, but I picked it up and got hooked into it, reading it in one sitting. I do have a huge amount of respect for the author, writing about her horrific experiences as a child brought up in a notorious cult.
Jeff Brodsky
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you for sharing this...

As a former member of the Unification Church, the Moonies, this story really spoke to me. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Be Well, Be Blessed.

Jeff & Amber Brodsky
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

I like that it is written from the perspective of a child who has no concept of time or place. This is truly the work of an individual of intelligence who has been severely abused. Thank you or your truth. Thank you for your story.
Paige Golden
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written, raw, and beautiful story of a survivor

Loved Natacha’s candid and vulnerable account of her experience through a dark childhood and discovering her place in the world as a survivor.
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 !! ...more
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. ...more
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fascinating cult book
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. ...more
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good true crime read. Absolutely horrifying and my heart goes out to the author.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book, well worth reading.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A truly intriguing story into a world that seems impossible! So fascinating
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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

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98 likes · 16 comments
“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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