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San Diego KFMB

from Cult Surfer - Friday, January 28, 2005
accessed 6266 times

San Diego

Religious Sect Has Ties To Two Local Charities
Last Updated:
01-27-05 at 11:03PM

A religious sect that some say promoted sexual contact with children is coming under intense scrutiny after a murder-suicide in the Arizona desert. Some members of that group – called “The Family” – are on the board of directors of two local charities.

Angela Smith was a longtime member of The Family who sat on the board of The Family Care Foundation in Dulzura. She was murdered three weeks ago by a former member of the religious sect who said he was sexually abused as a child.

A peaceful ranch nestled in the hills of Dulzura in the East County. It used to be a bed and breakfast called Brookside Farm. Now, it’s home to a Christian missionary group called The Family Care Foundation.

Dulzura neighbors say the people who live on the ranch are active in the community.

“They’ll donate their time playing music, volunteer work, playing Santa for the kids or whatever,” neighbor Yvonne Reese said.

Further north in Escondido are the offices of another local charity called Activated Ministries. They distribute Christian books and videos.

Both of these local nonprofits have close ties to a worldwide religious sect called The Family.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ricky Rodriguez grew up in The Family. His father founded the group in the late 1960s. Formerly known as the Children of God, leaders advocated communal living and open sexuality – even among children.

In a home video, Rodriguez lays out his plan to get revenge for years of sexual abuse he suffered as a child. On January 8, Rodriguez stabbed 51-year-old Angela Smith to death in his Tucson apartment, and later shot himself in the head.

Smith helped raise Ricky – in a sexually-charged environment. In 1997, she also served as a director at the Family Care Foundation in Dulzura. The group has ties not only to The Family, but Activated Ministries in Escondido, and a Web site called Donate A Car To The executive director of the Family Care Foundation is Larry Corley.

Corley declined to answer questions on camera about the Family Care Foundation, its possible financial connection to the family, or the murder of Angela Smith.

Another longtime Family member, Grant Montgomery, is listed as the president of the Dulzura charity.

“Grant Montgomery was known as Gary, and he was the prime minister of The Family,” said former Family member John La Mattery. “So, he was one of the top three in The Family, up until the day he started Family Care Foundation.”

La Mattery also grew up in The Family. He says he was sexually abused by a 26-year-old woman in Japan when he was nine years old.

“The reality is it did happen, and they done nothing to assist us to bring justice to the perpetrators that brought this on,” La Mattery said.

The Family has acknowledged that some child abuse took place years ago. The group banned all sexual contact with children in 1986, and issued an apology, but never named the abusers.

“Some cases did come to light where there was some sexual inappropriateness that young people were uncomfortable with,” said The Family spokeswoman Claire Borowik. “When these cases came to light, it became clear that there had to be some very stringent policies.”

Now, in the wake of the recent murder-suicide, former members want The Family to come clean.

“It’s unfortunate that it has come to this for The Family to hopefully change and reform their policies and practices,” La Mattery said.

Former members have called on The Family to turn over the names of all the people who were involved in sexual abuse of children.

So far, The Family has not made any names public.

Reader's comments on this article

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from Cult Surfer
Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - 14:51


CBS affiliate KMFB - local San Diego channel 8, will air 2 segments on the FCF and the Family starting tonight (9th ) at 11:00p and tomorrow (10th) at 11p. We will post the streamer after it airs.
(reply to this comment)

from Jim LaMattery
Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 07:36

For complete copies of the case file regarding Philip Slown aka 'Jay,' aka Philip Slown, aka Philip Salazar, please email me at Does anyone out there have a recent pic of Slown? If so, please email it immediately to me for use on an upcoming TV broadcast. Also, this man brutally raped and beat my young daughters and nieces. I believe that he may have hurt others. The FCF, and Family did nothing to break his cycle of abuse. They may have perpetuated it by coercing my niece not to turn the court's finding of sexual abuse committed by Slown to the FBI. On the FCF's 990's (Federal Tax Returns) payments to Philip Slown and his foundation "From The Heart" are substantial. More than $28,000 was paid to "From the Heart" in the very year of this adjudication-1998!
If anyone has been abused by this man, the time to come forward and substantiate your allegations is NOW. Ex-communication was merely dumping this sexual predator into our neighborhoods. It was grossly irresponsible of TF and FCF to not inform authorities of his behavior. Instead of informing the public, FCF chose to pay large sums of money to Slown and his charitable foundation called "From The Heart." I need information and help on this case as soon as possible. Slown was last in the San Francisco area and is not reachable by phone as it was recently disconnected.Thanks-Jim
(reply to this comment)
From Bella
Sunday, February 06, 2005, 08:00

Excellent! I just sent you an email U.Jim.(reply to this comment
from Jim LaMattery
Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 07:20

Thanks newsboy- I didn't know how to paste the article from Don on the site. Thank goodness for early birds!
(reply to this comment)
from newsboy
Sunday, February 06, 2005 - 00:00


New article in San Francisco Chronicle
IRS documents show ties between charity, sex cult
Tax-exempt foundation that raised money for projects around world denies links to sect

Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer
Sunday, February 6, 2005 now part of stylesheet -->

Dulzura, San Diego County -- Internal Revenue Service documents filed by the Family Care Foundation, a not-for-profit charity in Southern California, show deep, ongoing ties between the organization and the Family, the evangelical sex cult rocked by a recent murder-suicide.

But officials with the Family Care Foundation deny any connection to the controversial cult.

The religious sect, formerly known as the Children of God, was started in the late 1960s by Oakland native David "Moses" Berg, who attracted tens of thousands of devotees in the 1970s with his strange brew of evangelical Christianity and sexual license.

But J. Gordon Melton, an authority on new religions who has studied the Family for years, said the sect established the charitable foundation to help raise money for church projects.

"The Family Care Foundation is the Family," said Melton, who directs the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara.

According to federal tax documents and annual reports, from 1997 to 2003, the foundation raised more than $9.9 million in donations including cash and other types of gifts for projects around the world -- ranging from assisting orphans and street children to medical and education programs to disaster relief.

James Penn, who spent more than a decade in the inner circle of the globe-trotting cult, said the Family Care Foundation is a "public front" that enables the Family to attract tax-deductible donations and fund missionaries around the world who endorse the cult's "bizarre beliefs and practices."

"People wouldn't give to a charitable foundation if they knew that its leaders endorsed the sexual abuse of minors and religious prostitution," said Penn, who helped start the foundation before leaving the Family in 1998.

Larry Corley, executive director of the foundation, said his organization funds many "independent projects around the world."

"There is no relationship, period," he said. "It is not a front for the Family. It is not tied to the Family."

Former members say the vast majority of projects funded by the foundation are run by the Family. Two children's programs, including one which was based in San Francisco, were run by one-time cult members who had faced separate allegations of child sexual abuse.

All six officers listed on Internal Revenue Service documents filed by the foundation last year have ties to the cult, according to those who have left the sect.

One of them, Angela Smith, who is listed as a member of the foundation's board of directors, was killed on Jan. 8 in Tucson, apparently by Ricky "Davidito" Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the son of Karen "Maria" Zerby, who was married to Berg until he died in 1994 and is now the Family's chief prophetess and spiritual leader.

Rodriguez, who defected from the cult in 2000, was born into the sect in 1975 and raised to join his mother as one of the "two witnesses" to usher in the apocalyptic "end time" battles foretold in the Bible's Book of Revelation.

In a chilling videotape shot the night before Smith's murder, Rodriguez said he planned to torture Smith, his former nanny, to get information about the whereabouts of his mother and her current husband, Peter "King Peter" Amsterdam.

The whereabouts of Zerby, Amsterdam and other top cult leaders have been unknown for years. Rodriguez blamed them and other sect leaders for years of sexual and spiritual abuse he and other children suffered while they were growing up in the sect.

But after driving all night through the Arizona desert toward Southern California, Rodriguez stopped in the Riverside County town of Blythe, just across the California border, and shot himself in the head.

Just before leaving the cult, Rodriguez lived at the Family Care Foundation headquarters at Brookside Farm, a four-acre spread along Marron Valley Road in Dulzura, a small town east of San Diego.

"Ricky was never part of Family Care Foundation," Corley said. "He passed through briefly."

In addition to Smith and Corley, who is identified by Penn and other defectors as a longtime member of the Family, the four other officers listed on the foundation's IRS forms are:

-- Grant Montgomery, the program director and highest paid official with the Family Care Foundation. He is the former "prime minister" and third-ranking leader of the Family International, according to Penn and other former members.

-- Dr. Chris Mlot, the foundation treasurer and board member. She is a longtime member of the sect, and shown on property records as the owner of one of the Family's properties in Escondido.

-- Cheryl Brown, a member of the foundation board. Penn said Brown, whose birth name is Kathleen Fowler, is another longtime member of the cult and is a registered domain owner of the sect's Web site,

-- Kenneth L. Kelly, the brother of Amsterdam, whose birth name is Steven Douglas Kelly. Kelly co-owns Family property with Mlot, and according to Penn, is closely tied to the sect and has several children with Mlot.

Despite those deep connections, Family spokesman Claire Borowik said the sect "has no say or vote on the activities of the Family Care Foundation board."

"There is no legal relationship between the Family and the Family Care Foundation," Borowik said.

Borowik conceded, however, that the foundation "has under its umbrella many projects run by Family members."

Jonathan Thompson, a former Family member who said he worked as an accountant for Family Care Foundation, said the San Diego-based charity "refuses to say they have any link to the Family."

At the same time, Thompson said the foundation does get legitimate donations from outside sources for rank-and-file members doing good work.

"They are people who are just part of a messed-up system," Thompson said. "They've helped a lot of people."

Leaders of the Family International acknowledge that sexual activity between adults and children was condoned in the group during the 1970s and 1980s, and that it was encouraged by the writings and prophecies of the sect's founder, including one famous tract titled "The Devil Hates Sex."

Berg said the "law of love" encouraged sexual "sharing" among group members and sanctioned "flirty fishing" by female devotees who would attract male recruits with sexual favors.

Family International spokeswoman Borowik said the Family "enacted stringent policies to ensure the safety and protection of our children" in 1986. Other members insist the cult has long abandoned past practices and has since enacted new policies.

Yet at least two members of the Family accused of sexual molestation in child custody cases in England and California in the 1990s went on to start charities funded by the Family Care Foundation.

One of those cases is described in sealed court documents filed in San Diego in connection with a 1998 custody case and obtained last week by The Chronicle.

They tell the story of a girl born into the Family International in 1981 and sexually abused from ages 5 to 16.

Her alleged abusers included a stepfather, Phillip Slown, who she says repeatedly molested her in Thailand, where her mother was serving as a missionary for the Family International.

According to an investigative report by the San Diego County Department of Social Services, the girl "experienced multiple incidents of sexual abuse with numerous men."

"This group has advocated sexual activity with minors as a pathway to God," the report found. "Her mother continues to interact with this religious group and she encouraged sexual behavior between her daughter and three men as recently as March 1997."

After investigating the case, county welfare workers removed the teenager from her parents' custody and made her a ward of the court.

Slown went on to start a charity called From the Heart to help "at-risk youth." It was based in San Francisco's Mission District between 1997 and 1999 -- during which time the organization received more than $70,000 in donations collected by the Family Care Foundation.

"They did a really good job with drug addicts and street kids, but I haven't heard from them in a long time," Corley said.

Slown could not be reached for comment, and his San Francisco phone number had been recently disconnected.

The two others cases are mentioned in a lengthy child custody decision rendered in England in 1995 by Lord Justice Alan Ward.

The decision names "Paul P. -- Josiah" as a member of the sect's Music with Meaning team in Europe.

"He corrupted and abused the young girls who were part of the singing and dancing troupe," Ward writes.

Penn and other former members say that is a reference to Family member Paul Pelequin, known in the cult as "Josiah."

Pelequin was later funded by the Family Care Foundation for a project in Africa called "Focus on Kidz." He could not be reached for comment.

Corley said he was not aware of the abuse allegations against Slown and Pelequin.

As for the Family ties of the other Family Care Foundation leaders, Corley said, "I know nothing about their personal lives."

Penn and other former members say Corley himself has been a leading member of the Family International for about two decades.

Asked about that, he replied, "It's irrelevant."

(reply to this comment)

Sunday, February 06, 2005, 00:44


It's on the front page of Chronicle to this comment

From Shaka
Sunday, February 06, 2005, 00:18

YES!!! They nailed it!(reply to this comment
From Big Sister
Sunday, February 06, 2005, 11:34

Directly below this article on the S.F. Chronicle front page is another article, headlined: Christian crusaders go to battle over spanking Tools of discipline horrify some of faithful, in link at:

This article discusses child rearing methods espoused by many Christian fundamentalists and evangelicals and describes 9 inch long spanking paddles of blue polyurethane and "the Rod", a 22 inch white nylon whipping stick used to provide a "faith based way to discipline children and train them as Christians," according to its designer.

This article continues further inside the newspaper, positioned directly next to the continuation of the cult story. I think it is no accident that the Chronicle chose to keep these 2 stories situated side-by-side. Good for them!
(reply to this comment
from joeyramone
Sunday, January 30, 2005 - 12:32


Definitely a Grand Jury should be convened in any County where there are enough survivors to give testimony. The use of false names and aliases must be addressed, and COG records seized to identify through passports and checking accounts, etcetera, who these people are. Then, like Catholic perverts whose day if justice has at last come around, these people should be prosecuted. This is essential to at last give allow survivors to breathe the pure air of social recognition that they have been wronged. This is the first step to healing for survivors, who cannot rest as Ricky could not, as long as the abusers still enjoy:

  1. Their money

  2. Their power

  3. Their status and prestige

  4. Their insulation behind the lies of the Borowick Bitch

  5. Their stupid, hypocritical, self-righteous "faith"

It is very unfortunate that Ricky killed his nanny and himselves, both victims of the insane doctrine that Mo inflicted on foolish, vulnerable hippies like me. However, the deaths need not be wasted if the garbage gets exposed to view and everybody gets to smell the stink.

We definitely need much more outing of all the organizations that hide their COG connection, which needs to be cut off and cauterized. The old guard must pay, and the new guard should be freed from serving a bunch of allegedly retired perverts.

Cheers from Oregon
(reply to this comment)

from challenger
Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 00:26

finnally a good artical. I liked it. It could have been more spcific about certin quotes that are used by zerby to condone certin freedoms.
(reply to this comment)
from melzar
Friday, January 28, 2005 - 05:35

(reply to this comment)
from LTN
Friday, January 28, 2005 - 05:13

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
You're attacking them where it's going to start making a difference-- the pocket book -- a most sensitive nerve to say the least. Keep up the good work.
(reply to this comment)
From FGA with sis still in the group
Friday, January 28, 2005, 05:59

I totally agree...keep at it!! (reply to this comment
From Cult Surfer
Friday, January 28, 2005, 12:13

Got to
For streaming video
(reply to this comment
Saturday, January 29, 2005, 07:12


Why not go after some of these...taken from website:

It would seem from this list, that Family members freely use a variety of names rather than their official name(s), often making them up as they go. As ex-members will readily testify, the main purpose for using pseudonyms is to avoid being recognized as The Family and linked to their notorious past as the Children of God and Family of Love.

Another major purpose appears to be bookkeeping. Documents, testimonies of ex-members and recent eye-witness accounts indicate that The Family uses a network of non-profit organizations to legally redistribute funds internally - they write them off as expenses or gifts to each other's charities and projects - in order to benefit from subsidies and tax exemptions designed for bona fide charity work. Sources [1] also indicate that The Family has been able to infiltrate countries closed to The Family's proselytization activities, as registered NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations).

Although these names were collected through primary sources, it is difficult if not impossible, to stay completely up to date - members uproot frequently and adopt new names to avoid detection. They do however, use recognizable common themes in their literature, activities, style and presentation. An informative brochure, "More Than Meets The Eye" about The Family's fund-raising fronts, core beliefs and practices can be found at

DISCLAMER: understands the information on this page to be correct and factual and provides this list in good conscience for information purposes only . We urge you to make your own judgement as to whether each individual organization carries out bona fide charity work according to their claims, and if they do in fact tell the whole story about their affiliation with the Family. If you believe has made erroneous claims regarding The Family's suspected front organizations and/or their pseudonyms, or published inaccurate information of any kind on this page, we welcome your suggestions/corrections. We will compare them with our own evidence and make any necessary adjustments. Please write to us

Official Names, Documented names, Associated Names and Suspected Pseudonyms currently used in The Family's "non-profit organization" mode

Name / Pseudonym
Domain and Era

The Children of God
60s to late 70s

Les Enfants de Dieu

The Family of Love
late 70s to late 80s

The Family
since the 90s

La Famille

Heaven's Magic
late 80s to 90s

World Services
70s to current day

Aurora Productions

MWM - Music With Meaning
English radio program

Musica Con Vida

Spanish radio program

CWM - Chinese Wonderful Music
radio show fashioned after MWM

WM - Wonderful Music
Chinese radio show, see CWM

New Teens for Christ, The
current day

Mountain Streams
Postfach 241,
8021 Zurich, Switzerland

A Helping Hand - Mexico

Asia Quest
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Bangkok , Thailand
Internet website
Internet website

Brighter Horizons Foundation
Portland, Oregon - member of the National Heritage Foundation

Calico Charities, USA
Oxnard, California, USA

Caring Hearts, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary

Casa Cumbre Presentations
Lima, Peru

Casa de Corazones-Guatemala
Guatemala, C. America

Cheer Up Missions, USA

China Bridge Ministries
San Diego, USA

China TIPS
Pahrump, Nevada, USA

Chinese Christian Literature Prod. Center

Taichung, Taiwan

Coloring the World with Love

Cornerstone Project

Creative Care Services
McAllen, Texas, USA

CVR Ministries
Glendale, Arizona, USA

East Taiwan Family Mission

Eastern US Family Outreach
Norcross, Georgia, USA

EECCC - Eastern European Christian Correspondance Center
Budapest, Hungary

Family Care Indonesia

Family Christian Outreach
Arlington, Texas, USA

Family Educational Services, Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey

Family Intl. Vol. Serv. Croatia
Brezovica, Zagreb, Croatia

Family Mission/Corazones Unidos
Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Family Outreach Program, The
Romeoville, Illinois, USA

Family Project Hope
Miami, Florida, USA

Family Intl. Community Services
Amman, Jordan

Family Missions

Family Missions KC
Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Family Missions Milk for Many
Silver Spring, MD, USA

Family Missions Services, Mexico

Family Outreach Ministries, Inc

Eaos, Tenessee, USA

Family Outreach Program, The
Romeoville, Illinois, USA

Family Project Hope
Miami, Florida, USA

Family Services, Bangalore
Bangalore, India

Family Volunteer Services
Kathmandu, Nepal

FCF - Family Care Foundation

Lagos, Nigeria

Fellowship of Independent Christian Churches

Friend-Ship Missions
Carthage, North Carolina, USA

Friends in Deed
Mumbai, India

>From the Heart
San Francisco, California, USA

"Frown-Busters" Outreach
Indiana, USA

Hands At Work
Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Hands On Saigon
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Hands That Help:Project India
Ontario, Canada

Hands to Hands, Hawaii

Healing Columbia
SantaFe de Bogota, Columbia

Healing Hearts Bosnia

Healing Hearts, USA
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Heart to Heart Connections-USA
San Jose California, USA

Helping Hand, South Africa
Durbanville, South Africa

Home Services

HopeReach Missions
Orange, California, USA

Independent Christian Churches

India Reach
New Delhi, India

Island to Island

Lifeline Ministries
Texas, USA

Lion, the Dragon & the Beast, the

Family Band

Love in Action
Dallas, Texas, USA

Love in Action, Guad
Jalisco, Mexico

Love in Action, Pakistan
Karachi Pakistan


Matumaini - Hope for Tanzania
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Meet the Need
Hacienda Heights, California, USA

Mile for Smiles, Italy
Bergamo, Italy

Mission Assist
Fairmount, Minnesota, USA

Mission Care Taiwan

Mission Support & Humanitarian Services Program (MSHSP).

Native American Outreach
Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

New Horizons, Mexico

New Horizons Project-USA/India
Santa Ana, California, USA

New Improved Truth, The

New Start-Etchnic Ministries
Alaska, USA

N.Thailand Outreach Mission
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Overseas Mission
Santiago, Chile

Pacific Family Mission
Portland, Oregon, USA

PEARL (Africa)
Ulm, Germany

Philippine/China Mission
Muntinlupa City, Philippines

Portico Foundation
Bangalore, India

Portland Family Mission
Oregon, USA
- discontinued name in 2002, changed to "Brighter Horizons Foundation"

Project Queretaro
Duluth, Georgia, USA

Vancouver, Washington, USA

Reaching Out, Colorado
Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Reaching Out, Peru
Lima, Peru

Refugio De Paz
Carmel, Indiana, USA

Salem Family USA/Africa, The
Lancaster, California, USA

Bangalore, Karnataka

Sharing and Caring
Middlesex, North Carolina, USA

Side by Side Intl
Tokyo, Japan

Silver Lining, Hope 4 Tomorrow
Coahuilla, Mexico

Stand Up For Jesus

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Step Towards Home, A

Sunny-Side Up Entertainment

California, USA

South Reach
Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico

Taiwan Volunteer Services
Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Tampa Family Missions
Tampa, Florida, USA

Teens for Christ
late 60s, California


Texas Soul Clinic
Texas, pre-COG era, in the 60s

Voice for the Deaf-Hyderabad
Hyderabad, India

Youth Mission Network
Nairobi, Kenya (reply to this comment

From ErikMagnusLehnsher
Saturday, January 29, 2005, 07:23

If a couple families and their kids go to New Dehli or Darfur and start "side by side missions" or "Don't-Associate-us-with-COG ministries" and they're still in group, I don't think too many of us really care. If an individual abuser is identified then the abused individual can go after them if they want to. (reply to this comment

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