Friday, July 8, 2011

Heaven's Harlots

Heaven’s Harlots: My Fifteen Years as a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God Cult
By Miriam Williams
Weight: 1. 5 lbs
Method of Disposal: Giving to my friend, Jasmin

My brother was once invited to join a cult, also called the Children of God cult, though I suppose it could have been mimicry of the one in this book. By being “invited,” I do not mean that he was handed a flier on the street, but rather invited to the house of a peer and things unraveled from there.

I think everyone in that little house we lived in read Heaven’s Harlots after that, for better or for worse. It was a horrific memoir about a young girl that gets involved in a cult. This cult eventually sends her out to have sex for God, amongst other deplorable things. Cults swept through the media and the minds of many people causing fear, confusion, and paranoia. I really do not seem to hear about them as much now as I did when I was a kid, but they are still out there. And, I imagine, most of them are not so bad, though there are ones like this that can ruin many lives. As with all things, there will be good and there will be bad, and fear will blur the lines between the two. The Children of God cult still exists as The Family, though they state that they no longer do “flirty fishing” or “sacred prostitution.”

Miriam Williams spent 12 years in and out of the Children of God Cult, and had a difficult time transitioning back into life outside of the cult. She joined in 1971 and finally left, for good, in 1988. She then published this book, exposing the Cult and hopefully helping others. She is an Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. She teaches sociology. The Family International now has members in 90 countries and does missionary work. They state on their webpage that they have gone through many changes in the 42 years they have existed.

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