Actress Rose McGowan and the Children of God

Actress Rose McGowan and the Children of God

Ellie Genowner writes an article about Rose McGowan’s admittance to belonging to the group called Children of God as a child ( The articles explain how she escaped the cult. She is one of the many examples that where brought into the cult at an early age due to parental influence. The article mentions that the first nine years of her life were spent dedicated to this cult.

It is very important first understand what this movement is. The Children of God, which has been renamed multiple times over the years to names such as Family of Lover, The Family and its current, name Family International. This is what is considered a new religious movement, which began in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California. This movement originally spread the message of salvation, and spiritual revolution against the world. As the article states this is ‘a group which blended free love attitudes with preparing for the second coming of Jesus.’ According to Olav Hammer and Mikeal Rothstein editors of The Cambridge companion to religious movements this is a controversial communal new religious movement. They explain that women would engage in ‘flirty fishing’ where they would engage in sex as a method to recruit new members. The justification for such act is to show God’s love. This movement has been involved in allegations of child sex abuse, and it is one of the many reasons the article about Rose McGowan received much attention.


Rose McGowan’s father ran and Italian chapter of the cult, she live with her parents along side a large commune. At a young age she thought the beliefs were bizarre, she did not by any means agree with the groups view towards women, the group believes that women are there to serve men sexually.


It is clear that McGowan did not agree with such strange and to my regard out-dated and twisted beliefs. The article states that Rose and her family left the cult after it began to advocate sex between children and adults. This is very impactful; they still had the same type of moral that says to a person that such act is not appropriate, and is rather controversial as is pointed out by Hammer and Rothstein. I believe this to also be an admirable trait; they were aware that child sex abuse was not correct. There are laws, which protect minors from sexual intercourse because they are not deemed to be at an appropriate age; whatever society believes that age to be.


I would not like to draw attention to the use of the word cult in the article by Ellie Genower. The author calls the Children of God, or The Family a cult. This new religious movement is often referred to as a cult by academics such as Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi in The illustrated Encyclopedia of Active New Religions, Sects and Cults. Nevertheless it is important to note that the history of The Children of God claims that new converts were to emulate the lives of early Christians while rejecting certain aspects. Like in one of the rituals of Christianity they were to adopt a new Bible name. So are we not justified by thinking that this religious movement is or rather should be considered a sect and not a cult? Since by the reasons mentioned it considered to be a branch if Christianity. According to the definition of sect the word comes from the Latin word secta, which means school of thought; which is a branch of a religion.




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