Audioburst Search

Cults Daily: The Children of God David Berg


Welcome to cult staley throughout the month of April where addressing manifestos and of some of history's most infamous cult leaders. Although it went through many name changes over the years one thing remained the same. For David Berg's apocalyptic Christian cult the children of God and times were inevitable episode. Remember to come back tomorrow for a brand new installment of cult. Staley that you want to hear our full length episodes on the children of God part one aired this feed on November twenty. First two thousand seventeen. Listen free on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. As the end of nineteen seventy three approached people around the world turned their eyes to the sky for months they'd been eagerly awaiting the comet of the century which was supposed to be bright enough to be seen even in full daylight becoming comic who TEK SPAWN NONSTOP. News coverage exclusive stargazing parties and merchandise. It seemed everyone was trying to capitalize on the once in a lifetime event for most the spectacle just amounted to fund novelty or a quick money making opportunity but for David Berg founder of the family international the comet heralded the end of days according to him. The astral anomaly was just one of the many signs that the rapture would soon come. He urged his followers to retreat to underground bunkers and prepare for an end. Which never came. Hi I'm Vanessa. Richardson and this is colts. A podcast original. This is the seventeenth episode in our Daily Series on the strange prophecies made by different cults and their leaders throughout this month. Were taking a daily look at the myriad of apocalyptic predictions to try to uncover. What makes these revelations so appealing? I'm here with my co host. Greg Paulson high today discussing David Berg and the family international over the years Burke predicted the end of the world would come on several occasions each time. He used his false prophecies to draw more people into his extremist organization which many alleged was abusive and manipulative. David Berg made his first apocalyptic prediction in one thousand. Nine hundred seventy three five years earlier. He'd founded his cult in California from the beginning. The group emphasized an Anti Authority counterculture philosophy and urged initiates distrust the system. And those who didn't belong to the organization to isolate his followers. Burg instructed them to establish commune's at encouraged them to seclude themselves from the outside world by nineteen seventy-three. It was claimed that there were over one hundred such communities spanning multiple countries. Berg didn't have much personal contact with followers reaching them instead via an endless series of newsletters that year he published a dramatic prophecy to coincide with the famed comet of the century. Initially scientists believe the comet co who would be spectacular. Astral event dazzling the skies for months beginning in late nineteen seventy-three. Bergh's seized on the hype claiming that the comet signaled an armageddon which would begin in January of nineteen seventy four. He claimed that the comet would bring famine plague earthquakes and more he wrote a war in nineteen seventy four involving. America will slaughter half the population of the Soviet Union which will then be occupied and reorganized by the Chinese until nineteen ninety two but as the end of nineteen seventy-three neared Burg and the rest of the world. Were largely disappointed. The Comet Co who tech appeared nearly one hundred times dimmer than the predictions likely because much of it melted as it neared the Sahn. Needless to say burks predictions about the apocalypse didn't age. Well either though. Some of his followers had gone to considerable expense to prepare for the calamity. He never offered to make it up to them instead. He continued writing letters and carrying out church business often. Without acknowledging his false prophecies the failure did seem to rein in his apocalyptic rhetoric for a short time however his cult still largely isolated from the rest of society discouraged criticism of the leader and Burgh managed to hold onto most of his members after nineteen seventy four. But it seemed bird. Couldn't help himself for long in nineteen eighty. He claimed that yet another apocalypse was on. Its way this time. He believed a nuclear Holocaust would annihilate the planet once again. He advised his acolytes to stock up on supplies and urge them not to stop tithing to his church. Even as the world ended he wrote if the bombs start falling. Stay inside until the fallout clears. It may take a week or two. So don't drink open water until it safe but if there is a break in transmission. Keep sending your gifts to keep us going if you can. This time. Bird covered his tracks by claiming that he couldn't be held accountable if his predictions failed according to him the claims he made were straight from God so if they didn't come to pass it was only because the human mind could not possibly comprehend the complexity of God's plan it was a jumbled justification that required his followers to perform considerable mental gymnastics but by then many had been part of the group for over a decade. They were so used to taking his word at face value that they were willing to explain away. Inconsistencies STILL BURG. Wasn't able to keep an iron grip on the family forever after the group was rocked by other controversies including multiple credible accusations of child and sexual abuse in the mid eighties. Membership gradually diminished when Burg died in nineteen ninety four the organization was a shadow of its former self though it still retained. Its most ardent followers today. The family is still active and is currently run by. Berg's second wife Karen Zerbi there. Haven't been any widely publicized apocalyptic predictions by the crew since Berg's death it seems that much like the comet. The family couldn't shine so brightly after being exposed to daylight. Thanks for listening. We'll be back tomorrow to examine the predictions of another Kalt. You can catch our other episodes of cults for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Coming up next