A unique first-hand account of a life spent in the Children of God, a/k/a The Family, a millenarian doomsday sex cult under the sway of a charismatic leader, David Berg.
In 1972, Perry Bulwer, a naive 16-year-old growing up in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, dropped out of high school to run away with the Children of God, one of a number of millennial Christian cults that sprang up in the 1960s and 1970s. Soon, Perry was preaching the cult's doomsday message on the streets of some of the largest cities in the world.
Bulwer takes the reader on an extraordinary trip through the world of biblical literalism, fundamentalist endtime fantasies, paranormal spirituality, evangelical extremism, ritual abuse, and liberally interpreted Biblical teachings that were used to justify licentious sexual doctrines, evangelical prostitution, and child sexual abuse.
Along the way, we learn about the inner workings of the CoG, a/k/a The Family, and the machinations of David Berg, a self-declared endtime prophet who claimed to be personally mentioned in the Bible, and that God spoke through him. Berg predicted the imminent destruction of America, the appearance of the Antichrist in 1985, and the Second Coming of Jesus in 1993. Berg died in 1994, before various law enforcement agencies around the world caught up with him.
Perry Bulwer escaped The Family in 1991, managing to escape the cult's tight control while living in Asia. Returning to Canada, he tried to pick up his life where he had left it off two decades earlier. Through education Bulwer lost his religion, turning from religious extremist to secular humanist lawyer, fighting for the rights of sex workers and drug users living on the streets of Vancouver. Haunted by his own past, Bulwer became an advocate for thousands of second-generation survivors of the cult's child abuse and psychological trauma scattered around the world.
Literary Nonfiction. Religious Studies.
Born in Port Alberni, BC, in 1955, Perry Bulwer joined the Children of God after dropping out of high school at age 16, and spent the next two decades living in CoG communes in Canada, the United States, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Macau, Hong Kong, and, undercover, in Beijing. In 1991, aged 36, he was able to escape the cult -with no money or possessions, and little in the way of education or skills. He spent the next decade catching up on his studies, and in 2002, graduated from the University of British Columbia with a law degree. After a 2004 diagnosis of PTSD and fibromyalgia, Bulwer retired from the practice of law (though he remains registered with the Law Society of BC). Back home in Port Alberni, Perry Bulwer advocates for second-generation cult survivors, continuing to shed light on the Children of God, a/k/a The Family.