Apocalypse Child

A Life in End Times

Non-Fiction - Memoir
224 Pages
Reviewed on 02/11/2018
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Author Biography

Flor Edwards is an author and lives in Los Angeles, California. By age twelve, Flor had lived in 24 different locations across three continents. Always on the move to escape the Antichrist and in preparation for the Apocalypse in 1993, her nomadic childhood prompted her to pen her forthcoming memoir Apocalypse Child. In her debut memoir, Flor movingly describes her early life growing up with her family and 11 siblings as a member of The Children of God, a controversial religious movement that many describe as an apocalyptic cult.
My memoir Apocalypse Child is about a girl (me) who grows up in an apocalyptic cult in Southeast Asia. She lives under the control of a dictator-like leader who controls his twelve thousand followers from his top-secret hiding place. Flor never sees the leader and grows up never knowing she will live to see adulthood. Instead, her future is painted with the promise of a lush heaven precluded by a torturous death because she is one of God’s chosen children who will save the world before the Great Apocalypse when she will be twelve years old. Despite the terror Flor faces, she manages to see beauty around her. But her life is once again jolted when the leader dies and Flor is thrust into the throes of mainstream society and left to make sense of it all.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Apocalypse Child: A Life in End Times is written by Flor Edwards. Now this is a riveting read…if you’re at all curious about what it’s like to be raised in a cult when you don’t even know you’re a member of one! Flor Edwards is the Apocalypse Child and she and eleven siblings and her parents were members of the Children of God cult. “Father David” was their glorious leader, but in all the years Flor was a member, none of her family members ever met him face to face or even saw a photograph of him. David Berg instructed and issued his commandments to his massive, worldwide flock via written newsletters, and the flock followed his missives religiously.

From the time Flor was born, till after David Berg’s death, when bit by bit, the Children of God cult began disintegrating, Flor’s family moved so many times she lost count. From the US to Thailand, with their meager belongings, the family learned to live with several other families in one walled compound after another. Their time was spent collecting donations after spreading the love of Jesus to all who would listen. These were good people on a worthwhile mission: to bring people to Jesus. But it’s what went on behind the walls of the compound that makes readers shake their heads. The children were beaten for ridiculously small infractions; adults were encouraged to have sex and it was okay for the children to witness their activity. If letting a child sit on a sailor’s lap brought another soul to Jesus, along with a donation, that was perfectly acceptable. And yet, Father David saw the US as a “whore” and brainwashed his brethren to believe the world outside his compounds and teachings were evil. Really?

Surprisingly, the children were happy as long as they were with their parents. Flor often wished they didn’t have to live with so many other adults and children, but as children do, she made the best of her situation. But it wasn’t until Flor’s family finally moved back to the US, when she was a teen, that Flor began to really question, as did her siblings, the world in which she’d grown up. The realization that her family were members of a cult hit her hard. She and her twin sister broke away from the cult, began drinking, taking drugs and showing their rebellion against a life in which they’d had no say in every way they could. Fortunately, they both survived finding the ugly truth: many of their young peers did not. Suicide was rampant amongst former young members of the Children of God.

Flor Edwards isn’t the first to tell the truth about the Children of God, known today as The Family International. Sadly it is still alive and well. A movie is available on Netflix. The cult is infamous for advocating incest with minors, a fact which makes this reviewer’s skin crawl for personal reasons. But subjectivity aside, if you want to know more, pick up Apocalypse Child: it’s very well written and easy to read. Thanks, Flor Edwards, for having the courage to speak up about what goes on behind the compound walls of cults like this one.