Rose McGowan: How she survived, escaped a cult
Rose McGowan grew up in the Italian countryside, where her parent were members of the local branch of the Children of God.
August 25th, 2011
07:53 PM ET

Rose McGowan: How she survived, escaped a cult

By Blaine Zuckerman, PEOPLE.com

(PEOPLE.com) - Rose McGowan's first nine years were anything but traditional. They were spent in the Children of God sect, a group that extolled the virtues of free love and prepared for the second coming of Jesus.

Although it proved a harrowing experience - she fled with her family, she says, once the cult began advocating child-adult sexual relations - as the setting at first "was really idyllic," remembers the actress, 38, who rose to fame on TV's Charmed and now stars in Conan the Barbarian 3D.

"I grew up in pastoral settings" - specifically, the Italian countryside, where her parent were members of the local branch of the Children of God. But McGowan, who was born in Florence, knew instinctively that she didn't belong in such a place.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Cults • Entertainment

soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Annabelj Eutslero

    Please upload new video tutorials related to cooking if you have, as I wish for to learn more and more concerning all recipes of cooking.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:20 am |
  2. Rick

    Gotta love religion.

    September 9, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  3. Rick

    Gotta love religion..=

    September 9, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  4. Danny Mark

    The definition of a destructive religious cult is like alcoholism-if booze controls you instead of the other way around you are an alcoholic.
    The Watchtower society Jehovah's Witnesses as an example is not benevolent and won't let you leave their organization in peace.
    If they try to ruin your reputation and break up your family for trying to get out then they are a cult!
    Whenever you surrender your logic and reason to anyone who asks you to trust them because they know better and to please donate generously, it's a cult. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck....

    Danny Haszard-

    September 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  5. SOFSoldier

    Religeon is used to brainwash and manipulate the uneducated and give comfort to weak, spineless people who need something to cling to.

    September 4, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • W247

      You have a small minded and stereotypical view of people who follow God. There are plenty of highly educated and intelligent Christians out there that could probably sit in a room with you and put you to shame for your small mindedness. However they would be to compassionate towards your bigotry to do that to you.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  6. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    Did I mention last week that she was HOT?

    August 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  7. rosa

    Guess you all have nothing to do, under the weather? For your information, Mary and the saints are intercessors, if you do not know what that means look it up. Hopefully, Ms.Mcgowan, found another place to worship, giving her peace, and spirituality,

    August 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • NDNWarlord

      There is but one mediator between God and ma.. . . . thats j
      Jesus. All else is idolitry and graven image worship. The Word says all sleep untill they are among the first to be called to heaven. Please try to read the Word, and not accept other theologians ideals.

      August 31, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  8. mountainebony

    I was involved with the Children of God in my late teens-in Texas--me and my ex was married and exploring a lot of religious groups–but I could see how wicked they were when they started separating the wives from their husbands and drinking and the leaders using drugs-so I left abruptly after 2 weeks-if I didn't know the WORD of GOD I would have been a fool of fools. You shall always know God's people by their fruits! Isaiah 45:5-6

    August 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  9. The Original

    Religion-less Americans are beasts. Their present secular lifestyle says it all. Oh, actually beasts are better than they.

    August 28, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • nunya

      "Religion-less" is not a word, your grammer is atrocious.

      August 28, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Jay

      @ nunya, Actually that construction is valid, it is a compound adjectival form. You should probably learn something about grammar before criticizing other.

      August 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Sterilize Stupid People


      September 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Sterilize Stupid People

      You also forgot a semicolon after valid. Maybe YOU should learn grammar before you criticize others.

      September 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • fred

      Stupid people
      My grammar died when I was young. May I still criticize others?

      September 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Carlos

      Magnificent goods from you, man. Organic Grown Shop Burpee.com for $5 off your order of $30 I have understand your stuff prvoeius to and you are just too excellent. I really like what you've acquired here, really like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a terrific Organic Grown site; Shop Burpee.com for $5 off your order of $30 information.

      June 29, 2012 at 3:35 am |
  10. Exhausted

    @HappyMeal ~ I am happy that you find yourself 'free' from subjugation/slavery of men & are on the right track towards finding God. Today's "Christians" Jesus, a prophet, would Never Recognize. Find a true "Holy Bible" & compare to all the modern day, living bibles and such. Many, many chanes, especially referencing Jesus & the coming/True Christ as "Son of God" rather than "Son of Man". Paul was a liar & False Prophet. Closely study only what Jesus said & what the OT states. Jesus lead us back to worshipping GOD ALONE; this is why he states he will deny knowing so many. Todays 'Christians' worship the Father/Son/Holy Spirit & Catholics, Mary & soo many "saints". The 'We created..' in Genesis most do not understand Spiritual UNITY & ONE GOD being Master Creator. Read Jeremiah 2:26-27. Also, ONCE CHRIST COMES, there will be no more wars. Jesus Never Claimed to be Christ. THIS, my dear Friends, is the downfall of Christianity, the once great USA, & most men. God is the only one who forgives sin. Each of us has choice: either GOD or dEVIL resides within each of us. Jesus taught Love, Gods Commands, & showed/taught Gods Holy Spirit is available to those who truly serve God & others.
    "Religion" & it's various sects must be abolished! From several "athiests" posts I've read on various blogs, they are more "Christian" (loving, humane, tolerant, not biggoted & full of hatred) than most 'christians'. Yes, America has become an immoral nation, thus Gods wrath we're seeing all over. Slavery, sorry folks, but that is basically what majority of USA & World has been reduced to. lol, I laugh rather than cry, but "Roman Empire" is being revived & that's how majority will perish...nuclear war between them & radical Islamists. "Religion" is a very bad thing. Good or Evil ... Choice is Yours.

    August 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Exhausted.. you are almost there.. just a little more thought and you can see that the word makes sense if it does not contain a god. You see that non believers are as " good" as "Christians" . We are all the same. We need to see each other as human rather than just a value based on our belief or non belief in a god.. if god existed he would want us to co exist and not fight over him.. poor happymeal . also known as adelina and faith responds in the same manner and does not read nor consider the answers she gets.. such is the hatred that is inherent in some indoctrination. As an atheist we understand that this is common in religion.. we are trying to point this out but some Christians are better at it than we are, albeit accidentally.

      August 28, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • dixiejon

      how many years are you going to repeat the lie that catholics"worship" Mary. its a lie and you know it. get your double wonderful book and check the parts on lying.

      August 28, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Church of Suicidal

      You too can INCREASE the power of your arguments THROUGH random capitalization! Ask me HOW!

      September 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  11. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    Not sure if I mentioned this but Rose is HHHHHHHHHHotttttttttttttt

    August 26, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
    • Aibek

      A Sufi is A Sufi is A SufiSufism, Islamic mysticism is the path of love. A Sufi dcnaes his way to love. A Sufi sings his way to love. A Sufi lives his way as love. A Sufi is an invisible man. He does not really exist. He does not really have a particular motive or image. He has no specific point to make without making all points pointless. A Sufi moves as bliss, prays as love, and dcnaes as God. Anal Haq ~ A Sufi is A Sufi is A Sufi ~ all is love in the world of the Sufi.Today I was curious of Nik Richie's soul so I looked him up in the esoteric Akashic records to see his past lives. I was actually very very impressed.Nik Richi or rather, Hooman Karamian, was the renowned Sufi, Mansur Al-Hallaj who was indicted and killed on charges of heresy. Mansoor Al-Hallaj was condemned to hang by the neck for shouting in ecstasy Anal-Haq, Anal-Haq (I am the Truth, I am the Truth). The orthodoxy understood this to mean that he was claiming to be God himself, whereas he had proclaimed in his sublime spiritual ecstasy, simply a total annihilation of himself. Mansoor Al-Hallaj climbed the gallows with his head held high, not the least daunted by his imminent death. Nor could his shouts be drowned in the tumult of abuses which were hurled at him; they rose loud and clear and high ~ Anal-Haq, Anal-Haq ~ until his soul departed to the fountainhead of his life on high.Happy Birthday Nik Rickie~ God Dieux

      June 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  12. HappyMeal

    You ignorant atheists are going to burn in hell. You need the love of Jesus. You atheists make me vommit.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Civiloutside


      August 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • HappyMeal

      The above HappyMeal is a fake.

      August 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • fries and shake

      im an athiest and if there is a hell ill see you there....meanwhile rose is gorgeous and i want to lick her elbows

      August 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • dixiejon

      now that you have judged us SO WHAT?

      September 17, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  13. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    Did I mention how hot she is?

    August 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Wait, Anti, do you think she's hot? 🙂

      August 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Dude she is HOOOOTTTTTTT

      August 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      A girl like her could make a man sell his soul to the devil for one night with her.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Laughing

      Is that how Marylin Manson got her?

      August 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics


      Is that how Marylin Manson got her?

      I do question her choice in men though....w t f????

      August 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  14. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    She is so hot

    August 26, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  15. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    Whether Adelina likes it or not, her "cult" was christian.

    August 26, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  16. HappyMeal

    Ms. Rose McGowan needs Jesus for salvation. Hollywood's worship of self and filthy sensuality does not differ from any sick cults. Child-abuse in Hollywood must be cleared as well.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Draeggo

      And how do you know she doesn't have Jesus and salvation? Sounds like you need to expend more effort in the whole "judge not" concept or maybe just get facts before you open your self righteous mouth? People like you make all Christians look bad so why not practice what you preach and help to spread the word instead of working against it?

      August 26, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Adelina/Naomie/HapyMeal sound slike you need to get laid

      August 26, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Free

      She probably questions everybody's relationship with Jesus except her own, and since she knows that McGowan isn't her...

      August 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  17. derp

    I'd hit that like a pair of two's

    August 26, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  18. citizenUSA

    Amazing how much crap comes up in the name of religion. How can you be a "child of god" and profess "free love" when adultery is forbidden according to god? If Jesus does come back and they've been preparing for it, I can imagine Jesus saying, "oh yeah, you're the adulterers" ZAP! And everyone should be sacred and free from harm until the age of 18.

    August 26, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • Jim

      A hundred years ago there really was no such thing as a 'teenager', you know? Puberty hit, and the girls were married off and the boys were put to work. My two great grand uncles left home at 12 and 13 to build their lives. Funny that this isn't something that 'conservatives' argue for, eh?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • HappyMeal

      Jim, that's true in most human societies everywhere for the most part of history. The American Christian missionaries brought education to all to the world we non-Western women knew we no longer need to be slaves to men ot to anyone. We learned that God created us and loved us equally from American Christians.

      August 27, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Jim

      But was it always true? If so, all of our grandparents and beyond were actually not living scripturally, including those Founding Fathers you seem to believe were such upright Christians. Most of them also owned slaves too. So, which is it? Were the Founding Fathers proper Christians and modern 'liberal' Christians who do not own slaves or marry 14 year old girls are not, or the other way around in which case America could have been founded upon heretical, flawed Christian beliefs? You can't have it both ways. Either we are allowed to move on from old, outdated beliefs, or we are not.

      August 27, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • AGuest9

      BTW, not all of the Founding Fathers were christian.

      August 27, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • The Original

      Jim, owning slaves in strict sense is like having employees. There are always smarter humans who put lazier or less-smart humans under them. It's abuse of power that's sin. Older teenagers married if they got the most possible education available and if the marriage was not forced or coerced. It's the Western Christians who made sane laws for the world. I have no idea what trouble you have with them. All American Founding Fathers were saturated with Christian doctrines. They were all nothing pagan or atheists but only Christianly.

      August 28, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • Jim

      The Original
      So, you're arguing that African-Americans were made slaves because they were stupider than the whites? You don't happen to dress up like a ghost and visit black folks in the middle of the night just to give them flaming, religious lawn ornaments, do you?

      BTW, 'employees' could quit at anytime, whereas slaves ...

      August 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.