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Whenever one of them tried to say something, another would look at him and he would fall silent, terrified." One cult house functioned strictly as a punishment facility, imprisoning some 50 adolescents.Somos magazine reported on September 13, 1993 that the group's compound in Pilar is situated on "five kilometers of land hidden by high walls, constructed like a fortress off the Pan American highway." When Argentine authorities flew over the estate in a private plane, they discovered three observation posts on the roof." With binoculars, Police Commissioner Hugo Gabutti spotted three rondina units, or armed guards, on the roof.
The Children of God have gathered alms from powerful admirers.The Family, according to David Hubert, a former member, contends that sexual evangelizing was used to curry political favor."They would target special people," he told the Washington Post, "in the media, lawyers, in the government."The guiding inner-circle of the Family is known as the Royal Family, and blue-bloods have in fact been sought out by Berg."He was considered a very important person for public relations.His paternal grandfather, the criminal lawyer, Guillermo Puddle, was a close friend of Chile's military dictator Pinochet, and Juan Carlos, the king of Spain." Pinochet and Carlos became financial and political benefactors of the cult.Other former disciples have described Berg as "Satanic," a charge first made by former members in 1973.Devil worshiper or not, he has long been a pugnacious anarchist, declaring "war" in 1968 "on the hypocritical old bottles of the religious system who were lined up on the back seat, and I cast in my lot with outlaws, drug addicts, maniacs, and the younger generation."The allegations of former sect children were corroborated by the medical evidence - despite widespread and deceptive syndicated news stories like the one released by Reuter on September 5 claiming that "physical examinations carried out on the children turned up no signs of abuse." There followed a lull in the American press, a virtual news black-out.[...]The Family fought back with denials that children had been harmed, accusing police of "religious persecution," of "stealing" and "torturing our children with physical examinations," as the Paraguayan branch of the sect maintained his at a demonstration in Montevideo - itself under scrutiny for kidnapping and child abuse.Police confiscated videos and magazines of children engaged in sex acts with adults.Also seized was a book for children, The Life of Little David, a Bible parody and tale of sexual initiation as told by "Sister Sarah." In one home video, naked young girls danced with silk scarves.Around the world, angry Children held outraged signs aloft: "ARGENTINA ABUSES CHILDREN LIKE ME! " Gideon Scott, the "house shepherd" in Leicaster, England told reporters: "nothing could be further from the truth than the wild allegations that our members abused or neglected their children.We do not promote or encourage sexual activity between adults and minor."The group has long claimed to be the target of political oppression, especially when routed by police.