In January 2005 Rick Rodriguez stabbed Angela Smith to death in his apartment in Tuscon, Arizona. He then drove to Blythe, California where he committed suicide. Rick was the son of of Karen Zerby, who Smith was a former associate of, and the adopted son of David Berg, leader and founder of the Children of God, or simply The Family. The family preached a New Age version of Christianity which specifically focused on sex. To recruit new members Berg instituted a practice he called Flirty Fishing (pamphlets detailing their work appeared on T.o.M.) by female members he dubbed “God’s Whores”. These women would make themselves sexually available to men with the purpose of indoctrinating them into the group.
As the heir apparent to Berg, Rick, along with his “sister” Davida Kelley were used as propaganda for the darker purpose of encouraging pedophilia amongst the group. Rick and Davida were sexually abused by Berg on a regular basis and Rick was, allegedly, made to have sex with his own mother while Davida masturbated Berg next to them. A childhood of sexual abuse led, unsurprisingly, to a life of shame, depression, and rage, which Rick detailed in the video that was to be his suicide note.
The Family, now known as The Family International, insists that pedophilia was institutionalized and steadfastly denies the group’s responsibility for the actions of individuals, regardless of the fact that one of those individuals was their founder. This documentary is from the U.K.’s Channel 4 and was aired in August, 2006. It details the history of the cult, Rick’s murder suicide, and the events leading up to it. It’s a brutal tale of what can only be described as a very painful life. Profanity and nudity here, so wait until you’re home.