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Miriam Williams was an idealistic child of the sixties who, at seventeen, accepted an invitation from a "Jesus person" to visit a commune in upstate New York. She would soon be prostituting herself for a perverse cult that used sex to lure sinners to the Lord and this is her shocking, searingly honest account of a fifteen-year spiritual odyssey gone haywire.
The Children of God turned its female devotees into Heaven's Harlots, leading strangers to the love of God by enticing them with the pleasures of the flesh. At its height, the cult boasted 19,000 members around the world: In such places as France and Monte Carlo, young women, Miriam among them, mingled with the rich and famous to save their souls, and in this unsparing, unnerving autobiography, she'll identify some of her high-profile "clients." She left this bizarre world in an attempt to protect her son, born through an arranged marriage and kidnapped by his father.
Now, in a clear, compelling, cautionary tale, she shares both her extraordinary existence as a holy whore and the daunting experience of rebuilding a normal life an ordeal that led her to found a group dedicated to helping other cult survivors reclaim their souls as well.
|Product dimensions:||6.41(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.06(d)|
Read an Excerpt
I smiled at the uniformed man operating the hotel elevator. I usually smiled at everybody. It had become a habit. But this time, when he smiled back, I thought to myself, "He must know what I just did."
The elevator opened into one of the most elegant establishments in Monte Carlo, the distinguished Hotel de Paris. Walking through the plush lobby, I felt a little self-conscious in my worn jeans. I also wondered if the money that Salim had just stuffed in my back pocket could be seen. I crossed the marble floors and went through the revolving door. This was the first time I had received hard cash for giving God's love, and I felt sensations of shame, confusion, and anger.
Passing the limousines and Rolls-Royces unloading in front of the hotel, I did not pause in curiosity to identify any famous faces, but instead I walked with my face turned in the other direction. I intentionally avoided eye contact with anyone for fear they might recognize the turmoil in my soul. Walking quickly around the tree-lined island in the middle of the majestically landscaped cul-du-sac, I headed for the Cafe de Paris, a popular, upscale cafe-restaurant. There I could sit down with a cappuccino and try to make sense of what had happened. The cafe was crowded, and while I hesitated at the entrance, my thoughts reviewed the previous day's events.
I had met Salim the night before at Le Pirate, a well-known restaurant on the Cote d'Azur. One of the women I was living with, Sharon, had a date with an older German gentleman, and since she had met him only recently she asked me to come along. Normally, we never went alone on dates until at least one other member of our group had met the person we were goingout with.
Sharon and I were surprised to be taken to Le Pirate, which had a reputation for being patronized by millionaire swingers. We had both put on our nicest clothes, hand-sewn dresses made of a soft muslin material that we had bought at a discount store in Nice. The gentleman was older than I expected, surely past sixty, and I wondered if this bothered Sharon. Our policy was to show God's love to everyone rich or poor, handsome or ugly, young or old but I knew from experience that it was hard to physically practice such an abstract ideal.
Sharon was a talented and dynamic singer, but she was somewhat shy on dates. She had been raised in a very traditional Catholic family and had studied to become an opera singer before she joined our group. She was tall, blond, and constantly on a diet in order to control a voluptuous figure. Her large, expressive eyes often portrayed alarm or amazement, like a little girl who had seen the roaring ocean for the first time. Sharon had a husband and young child at home, and I felt she would rather be back with them. Our tentative plan was to have an early dinner, give him "the message," and be home on time for me to go out again. But as soon as we arrived at the celebrated restaurant, I sensed that it would be a long evening.
Copyright © 1998 by Miriam Williams
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A memoir of the author's fifteen years she spent in the Children of God cult. Cult stories make good reading, you know. I'm always curious as to why people give that much control over themselves to someone else. Seems that it's good to let someone else make the decisions and it's a longing for family. She had doubts at various times, but it was only when her children were threatened that she pulled out. In between she details the growth and development on the cult and the holy prostitute situation that arose within it.
This is an exciting and informative read. The author presents her story clearly and honestly. I learned a lot about the cult she was a part of and the methods used to procure members and influence women to use sex to recruit men. Very interesting philosophy!