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Natacha Tormey




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Karen Zerby's Guilt

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 24 September, 2016 at 10:45



Karen Elva Zerby legally changed her name to Katherine Rianna Smith in 1997 and uses the following pseudonyms: Mama, Mama Maria, Queen Maria, Maria David, Maria Berg, Maria Fontaine.


She is the current leader of The Family International, formerly known as The Family of Love and The Children of God. She proclaims herself to be one of Jesus’s favourite lovers and a prophetess who will lead God’s true Christian...

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Writing about History: Truth or Dare

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 23 September, 2016 at 10:05

This article was fist published by Women Writers, Women Books at


I was recently confronted by a reader, who took it upon herself to inform me that the main character in chapter 1 of my book, 'Cults: A Bloodstained History', did not exist. 'Everyone knows that Joshua is a mythical character', she scoffed at me. As if that was not enough, she went on to verbally assassinate chapter 2. 'I may as well tell you that y...

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Why The Term Misery Memoir Offends Me

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 2 February, 2016 at 8:00 Comments comments (4)

This post was first published by Women Writers, Women Books at

I may as well start off bluntly.


I simply hate the words ‘misery memoir’.


I can recall the first time I heard it. I was speaking to a sales account manager at a well known publishing house in London and she used those words in reference to my book. They ...

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Apostle Paul & Female Oppression

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 26 January, 2016 at 12:35 Comments comments (1)

Have you ever wondered why nuns cover their hair?


With so much talk of the Muslim burqa, I was rather taken by surprise when someone asked me why nuns wear a headdress. Well, it’s not as common these days but there are still denominations that observe this tradition.


I decided to do some research and I was rather astounded by what I found.


I would like to take you through the first 9 verses of a chapter in the Bible (King James ...

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Living by Faith? No, thanks!

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 21 May, 2015 at 12:25 Comments comments (1)

Living by Faith was a term I heard constantly throughout my childhood. It represented the cult’s belief that true Christians should live as Jesus’s disciples did – by trusting God to supply their every need.


As much as the principal was commendable, the reality was far more depressing. We relied on donations of food, clothing and money to survive which meant that on one day we could have a full plate in front of us, and the next, we could be b...

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The Fast

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 10 March, 2015 at 20:55 Comments comments (15)

I was recently reminded of a very bizarre ritual that took place on an annual basis in the cult that I grew up in - The Children of God aka The Family International. It was an anticipated event that would take place in the days running up to the cult leader, David Berg’s, birthday in February.


They called it ‘The Fast’.


For three days each year, members were ordered to fast, pray, and read countless hours of Berg’s messages to his ...

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Poem to Marc from 2011

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 7 August, 2014 at 20:20 Comments comments (119)

You are Immortal...

Through my memories

Through each tear I’ve cried

Through each dark moment

When I felt as if I too, had died

You are Immortal...

Through each song you sang with gusto

Through your laugh that still rings in my ears

Through the depth of your words

And the compassion of your tears

It has been ten years...

Since you flew back to your real home

A splintered soul in a world o...

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Open Response to The Family International aka the Children of God

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 28 July, 2014 at 9:20 Comments comments (2709)

Thank you for using your ‘right of reply’ to issue a statement to ITV's 'This Morning' show, prior to my appearance on it.

"Regarding any allegations of institutionalised abuse, TFI h...

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All things change...except for cults!

Posted by Natacha Tormey on 26 July, 2014 at 12:15 Comments comments (140)

While writing my second book, ‘Cults – A Bloodstained History’ I was amazed by the similarities when it came to cult’s methods of recruitment and mind control. No matter what religion the cult was based on, they all used the same pattern of manipulation.

For one, there is almost always a ‘cover’... often a humanitarian organisation or a new age lifestyle group. Shoko Asahara, leader of the notorious Aum Shinrikyo, began his recruitment us...

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