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His story is told here through the eyes of Ricky "Davidito" Rodriquez, a child born into the inner sanction of the cult, which sent thousands of hippies, leftists and "Jesus freaks" on a long, strange trip into the messianic fantasy of its leader.
Ricky was christened to be one of the "two witnesses" destined to sacrifice themselves and bring on the apocalyptic battles foretold in the Book of Revelation. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but with a twist. Ricky would grow up, leave the fold and denounce his estranged mother and spiritual father, making his own date with destiny. Consumed with rage, he would become the reluctant martyr for an abused army of troubled souls---a lost generation that would return to haunt The Family International.
Number of Pages: 256
Publication Date: 2007
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Shopping for Faith: American Religion in the New MillenniumRichard Cimino, Don LattinJohn Wiley & Sons / Trade Paperback$19.76 Retail:
$21.95Save 10% ($2.19)Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW961043
The Liberation of the Worldwide Church of God: The Remarkable Story of a Cult's Journey from Deception to TruthJ. Michael FeazellZondervan / 2003 / Trade Paperback$9.99 Retail:3 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
$12.99Save 23% ($3.00)Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW250110
Correcting the Cults: Expert Responses to Their Scripture TwistingNorman L. Geisler, Ron RhodesBaker / 2005 / Trade Paperback$22.49 Retail:4 Stars Out Of 5 2 Reviews
$28.00Save 20% ($5.51)Availability: In StockCBD Stock No: WW6550X
In the tradition of Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, Don Lattin's Jesus Freaks is the story of a shocking pilgrimage of revenge that left two people dead and shed new light on The Family International, one of the most controversial religious movements to emerge from the spiritual turmoil of the sixties and seventies.
Some say The Family International—previously known as the Children of God—began with the best intentions. But their sexual and spiritual excesses soon forced them to go underground and follow a dark and dangerous path. Their charismatic leader, David "Moses" Berg, preached a radical critique of the piety and hypocrisy of mainstream Christianity. But Berg's message quickly devolved into its own web of lies. He lusted for power and unlimited access to female members of his flock—including young girls and teenagers—and became a drunken tyrant, setting up re-indoctrination camps around the world for rebellious teenagers under his control.
Thousands of children raised in The Family would defect and try to live normal lives, but the prophet's heir apparent, Ricky "Davidito" Rodriguez, was unable to either bear the excesses of the cult or fit into normal society. Sexually and emotionally abused as a child, Ricky left the fold and began a crusade to destroy the only family he ever knew, including a plot to kill his own mother.
Veteran journalist Don Lattin has written a powerful, engrossing book about this uniquely American tragedy. Jesus Freaks is a cautionary tale for those who fail to question the prophesies and proclamations of anyone who claims to speak for God.
Don Lattin is one of the nation's leading journalists covering alternative and mainstream religious movements and figures in America. His work has appeared in dozens of U.S. magazines and newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, where he covered the religion beat for nearly two decades. Lattin has also worked as a consultant and commentator for Dateline, Primetime, Good Morning America, Nightline, Anderson Cooper 360, and PBS's Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. He is the author of Jesus Freaks: A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge, and Following Our Bliss: How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape Our Lives Today, and is the coauthor of Shopping for Faith: American Religion in the New Millennium.
“Eminently readable. A treasure trove for those curious about aberrant cultic enterprises.”
“Don Lattin deserves enormous credit for resaerching the story of Berg and The Family.”
wanda17Age: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5A 'Heavy' ReadNovember 7, 2010wanda17Age: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Good book - but very graphic and tells it just like it is. It took me a long time to get through this book because of the intimate details of child abuse. I found this the hardest part to absorb - but it did give you a glimpse of the reality of what these children had to endure.
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