Children of God victims signed up for sex rota from age of 10, survivors say

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Verity Carter, now 41, was one of thousands raised in the notorious Children of Godcult where kids were sexually assaulted, beaten and put on a 'sharing schedule' forsexat the age of 10.

Glasgow-born Verity has shared her story along with fellow survivors Hope Bastine and Celeste Jones in the new Discovery series, Children of the Cult.

The series shows disturbing footage from inside the communes and reveals the horror of life in the cult.

The survivors' long fight for justice is documented in the five-part series as they share their ordeal.

The first UK convictions of the cult’s abusers were only secured in 2018 and 2020.

The evil sect was founded in 1968 by David Brandt Berg and grew to 130 communities around the world which housed 13,000 members.

Numerous communes based in the UK were used by Berg to convince followers that the world was ending and that sex was the way to find God.

Berg made his followers believe that "death was the ultimate orgasm."

Members were inundated with images of naked women and children as well as X-rated videos and a rota was made for women and girls as young as 10 to make themselves available for sex to any man in the commune.

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Berg endorsed a book about the sexual abuse of his own infant son, a horrific act which he encouraged his followers to do too.

Celeste said that the image of the Children on God as a sex cult is wrong, it's more than that, it was a method of control.

She said: "David Berg said we needed to share sexually with other members in the commune. You were told who you had to have sex with."

Verity's mum joined the cult in Renfrewshire, Scotland, after Berg opened up the communes in the 1970s and began a lengthy recruitment process for members.

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Verity said: "Children of God offered her something she needed and she felt she was part of something for the first time in her life".

'She threw herself feet first into the cult.'

At the age of four Verity was being repeatedly sexually abused by her father, Alexander Watt, and had been told it was her duty to have sex with the men of the commune known as 'uncles'.

"It was my earliest memory of sexual abuse but unfortunately it wasn't my worst, she said."

"The cult letters and books advised me that there was no such thing as rape as I should give myself willingly, no matter what or who and be happy for the opportunity," she said.

Berg, using his adopted name Moses David, circulated 'Mo Letters' around the globe.

Many were in the forms of erotic cartoons to get the sexual messages to younger members.

Berg's wife's son Ricky Rodriguez became a 'guinea pig' for sexual experimentation and was surrounded by nannies from birth who were instructed to have sex with him.

In 1982 his upbringing was penned into an illustrated book distributed to communes over the world.

The book was called The Story of Davidito, which included pictures of his sexual abuse.

Hope, now 42, was also a victim of the physical abuse in the cult and she experienced suicidal thoughts at the age of eight.

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"There was an incident which resulted in me trying to speak out but I got severely punished for it and locked in a room for several days while the adult men took it in turns to give me corporal punishment, "she said.

Celeste's mum was recruited at her Kent school, after Children of God followers were invited to a Christian Union meeting.

She joined a Kent commune on her 16th birthday, to the horror of her loving parents and sister.

Berg became known as Grandpa and his partner, Karen Zerby, was called Mamma.

Like the other girls, Celeste was schooled in sex from a young age by sick commune leaders.

"Every aspect of our lives, every video we watched, every piece of literature we read was riddled with this concept," she says. "It was rife in our lives."

She said: "We were groomed. There were weekly orgies we were exposed to.

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"Sex wasn't supposed to be hidden. Adults would say, 'Come join us, come look'".

The long road to justice began for the three survivors when they finally escaped the cult.

Hope went to the police about her ordeal seven years after she left the cult at the age of 25.

"It was a long hard slog and the forensic interviewing was excruciating," she says.

Verity's father, Alexander Watt, was convicted of sexual abuse offences against her and another child, but walked free from jail.

She still hopes to find and capture the others who abused her.

Verity said: "I'm hoping to reach out to other survivors, not just from our cult, but anyone who's been abused, to let them know there's a point in talking and justice is possible if you report it.

"There are people that will believe you and even if you don't get justice, if nothing else, just telling your story will empower you and give you some level of closure."

Today the cult still exists, but it is now called The Family International, and is run by Berg's partner Karen Zerby.

Children of the Cult is available to watch on Discovery from today.

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