I just finished reading a book called "Not Without My Sisters". The story is written by three sisters, about themselves and their lives growing up in The Family International.
The Family International, also known as the Children Of God is a religious movement (cult) started in the 60's in California by a preacher named David Berg.
One of the most shocking teachings, for me, was their idea of "Free Love".
They believe that sex in all forms (except for homosexuality - bi-sexuality among women was OK!) was a natural and acceptable form of worship...this included child molestation, prostitution, incest, rape, and child pornography. You would be discusted by how deep this goes. I think they were even encouraged to masterbate while praying and called Jesus a "sexy lord". Ugh.
River Phoenix and his family were members of The Family. In interviews with River before his death, he admitted to losing his virginity at the age of 4.
I just came across a "prophecy interview" with River Phoenix from beyond the grave. This interview came from an internal Family magazine for Family teens! I couldn't believe it. This is just discusting.
[Q:] You know how everyone was suspecting you and Keanu of being gay. Was it true?
Keanu and I were like close brothers. We did love each other, but not in that way. We both wanted to buck the System. We wanted to get away from the "image" that they tried to give us, the "labels" that they tried to hang on us. We made the mistake of making that movie, My Own Private Idaho. It was very degrading, degenerate. That was the movie I'm the most sorry for, because of the effect it had—not only on my life, as that movie was my downfall—but it also affected others' lives, as we were telling them that it's okay to be gay.
Well, it's not okay!—It's filthy! And that movie was my biggest mistake, for which I'm very sorry! Keanu and I made a decision that we wouldn't speak up against gays, which in itself is saying that it's okay. And I'm sorry for that. But, no, we are not [gays]. We were just very close friends, and I love him very much.
[Q:] I was wondering if you ever thought back to when you were younger, and in the Family. Did you believe anything that people told you about your past?
I was very young when my parents left the Family. It was very confusing for me because they had taught me to love the Lord, and to love Grandpa [David Berg], Papa Lion.—And I did. I loved him very much, and everything the Family stood for. My sister and I would perform on the streets, singing and playing guitar, and we really enjoyed it. We were very happy. It was beautiful. People loved us and we were very fulfilled.
Then suddenly they uprooted us and went back to the System, back to the "Whore," back to America. They started teaching us new things, different things, things that were contrary to what we had learned in the Family. And slowly, slowly we drifted away. Our beliefs changed, our faith changed, and as I got older I started to hear negative things about the Family.
[Q:] If you had a chance to redo it all, would you choose to stay in the Family? [...]
If I had a chance to go back and do it all over, I would stay in the Family, because there is no greater calling on this Earth than to serve the Lord. And there's no greater place to serve the Lord on this Earth than in the Family. So that would be my greatest desire.
The article goes on to say basically that it was because of River's unmoral movie roles that God was angry with him and insinuates that this is why River started taking drugs and died. They also blame his parents for his death for "stealing" him away from them.
Can you imagine what River and his family must have gone through in their childhoods? It breaks my heart.
If you're interested in learning more about this gross and totally fucked up cult, I suggest you read the book: Not Without My Sisters. Also, here are some video's about the movement: