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A woman has recalled the horrific abuse she suffered growing up as a member of a cult, where the leader forced members into performing his doctrines, which often included bizarre sex rituals.
Hope Bastine was brought up in The Children of God cult, which began in the US in the 1960s.
The cult’s following spread, and Hope grew up in a commune in Scotland after her parents joined in the late 1970s.
Hope recalled how the cult’s leader David Brandt Berg developed practices born out of the idea of “free love”, where sexual promiscuity was encouraged.
Speaking to LadBibleTV, Hope explained how Berg exercised control over the cult’s members, even ordering them to engage in strange sexual activities.
“They believed Berg to be the prophet, the last prophet. So he would re-interpret or expand on things,” she remembered.
Hope recalled how this meant that on his birthday, a celebration would be held and Berg would re-write new rules for the cult’s members to follow.
She continued: “They came up with this doctrine, which was basically; while everybody was having their orgies – free love, sex – they would no longer be permitted to enjoy sex for each other.
“They had to fantasise that they were actually having sex with Jesus, men included.
“Berg would get drunk and claim that he was prophesying. It was his way of connecting with God, but he was actually just a drunk.”
Bravely, Hope also explored how these sexual practices would veer into her suffering sexual abuse from older male cult members.
She claimed: “The person who was abusing me and several other girls… One night I became aware that he was molesting my sister, and I distracted him, so that he would stop molesting her, and molest me instead.”
Hope remembered how, when she was 12 years old, she realised that she was disillusioned with the cult’s practices, and decided to leave.
The survivor had to wait until she was 18, however, to finally make the difficult decision to leave the rest of her family, saving enough money for a bus ticket to London and being taken in by her Grandmother.
Hope eventually managed to get justice for the abuse she suffered, informing the police of what had happened after David Berg died in his sleep in 1994 at the age of 75.
Her abuser Derek Lincoln was sentenced to prison for 11-and-a-half years in 2020 after pleading guilty to rape and sexual assault.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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