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The Family International (1968-) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: The Family International (1968-)
Variant Name: Children of God, The Family of Love


Historical Note: The Family International was founded in Huntington Beach, California in 1968 by David Berg. The group has gone by several names including Children of God, The Family of Love, and Teens for Christ. Berg was also know by several other names; Father David, Moses David, Mo, Grandfather, and King David. The group focused on spreading the Christian gospel through the counterculture of the 1960s and into the 1970s. Berg disagreed with mainstream Christianity and used his particular brand of Christianity to convert unchurched people, first in Southern California and eventually in many countries around the world. The first twenty or so years of the organization’s history was fraught with controversy including child sexual abuse, practices such as “flirty fishing” and “sharing,” as well as racism and anti-Semitism. After Berg’s death in 1994, his second wife Karen Zerby took over leadership of the Family. Many of those controversial positions have since been disavowed by the current church leadership. This collection includes correspondence with federal agencies, news articles, Anti-Cult documents, scholarly statements on The Family International, official statements and publications from the Family International, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, and photographs, as well as information on related religious groups from the organization’s early years.
Note Author: Stephanie Griswold





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