Woman Escapes Terrifying, Abusive Religious Cult, Now Helping Other Victims Come Forward

A girl named Dawn Watson grew up in Brazil in an outpost of The Children of God sect, but always dreamed of escaping from the abuse she was suffering while there. As a young female member of the cult, Dawn was taught how to have sex at a young age, forced to perform sex acts on “uncles” regularly and constantly shown images of naked women on crucifixes.

Dawn also highlights that teen girls and women were forced to engage in 'flirty fishing', that is, being sent outside of the community to sell their bodies to raise funds for the commune. Hollywood actors Rose McGowan and Joaquin Phoenix were once members of the cult.

Dawn eventually managed to escape from the Children of God (known today as Family International) when she turned 13. However, her journey to recovery has been a long one, marked with many painful memories.

Dawn just turned 29, and spoke with the media: “As you learned to brush your teeth as children, we learned to have sex: 'This is what you have to do this is how it happens.' We learnt God is love and the way to express love is through sex.”

She continued: “My alone time was something I cherished a lot. I think that was my escape. I used to have a dog called Midnight and he was the cutest thing and he had a big doghouse and I would sit down in that doghouse for hours and hours and just look at him."

"And he seemed to understand everything that was going on and it was a therapy for me, because I could talk to him about anything and I knew he wasn't going to judge me. He wasn't going to punish me.”

Of note, The Children of God was founded in 1968 by David Brandt Berg in Huntington California. By 1972, there were 130 communities with full-time members throughout the world, including Brazil.

Although he claimed to be a man of God who wanted to start up a network of communities of likeminded individuals all over the world, Berg was actually a very disturbed person.

Dawn noted in the interview: “David Brandt Berg had a lot of darkness inside him. Before he even began this community he had problems with his own children."

"He used to abuse his own children. He was kicked out of the church before starting this community because he wanted to have many wives, he didn't know how to have one woman.”

Berg was only a shadowy figure known to members through his teachings and status as 'Father David' by the time Dawn was there.

The culture of abuse and hypersexuality was still the norm. Dawn specifically remembers “Hookers for Jesus” posters produced by the Children of God.

Dawn claims women and children were encouraged to be alone with their “uncles” and the cult brainwashed its members into believing that being part of sex acts at any age was all part of God's expression of love. However, as Dawn couldn't stop feeling that these so-called expressions of love were wrong, she decided to leave a few months after she turned 13.

She described her motivations: “I finally got to a point in my life where I needed a way out."

"I desperately said: "You know what? If the outside world is a terrible place, if God is going to judge me and kill me and I am going to hell, I really don't care".

Dawn bounced around Brazil for years staying with ex-members, and eventually her mom. She says she was also raped once.

Then, in 2014, Dawn sold most of her possessions to pay for a ticket to Date with Destiny, a self-help event led by life coach Tony Robbins, and she publicly shared her story for the first time at that event.

Dawn said: “At that moment for me it was, 'I've been through so much pain, I've so much baggage' I just need to liberate that within me. It was a very scary moment of my life but I started to receive e-mails and messages from men and women saying: 'Your story helped me deal with a pain that I was going through.’”

In 2016, she started Dawn Watson's Institute, a non-profit organization.

She commented: “I take people that have gone through extreme amounts of pain and I help them go through the process that I've gone through in my life of forgiveness of emptying, of owning what they have. Helping people start to break the silence within themselves, what they went through, and then they can begin the process of healing.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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