No Hippies in Carleton Place! — The Children of God


There is an ad this week on an online local classified ad site that states:

Wanted: Hippie family in need of a new place to live

Looking for a cheap or free camper or house trailer some one is looking to get rid of. Will be willing to trade work or anything else your looking for if we have it. Let us know what you have and if we are interested we will be in contact- Carleton Place residents


If you were a hippie in Carleton Place in the 60’s and 70’s– chances are you were run out of town on a rail. I have found many numerous letters to the Carleton Place Canadian Editor complaining about the lifestyle. There are very few articles in the newspapers archives referring to hippies and Carleton Place in the same sentence. Just try and find out anything about tattoos in town. More on that next week.

The Children of God, now known as The Family International was one of the vilest of all cults and certainly the worst of the Christian cults. The Founder, David Berg, also known as “Moses David” or “Dad” and later “Grandpa”, combined hard core fundamentalist Christianity, with liberal sexual ethics along with his own, sick, sexual fantasies.

As Berg’s followers grew, Berg dubbed them the “Children of God” in 1968. The name was changed to “Family of Love” in 1978 and later to its present “Family International,” often called “The Family” or TF. It has adherents in many countries, often living in communes that were originally called “colonies” but are now called “homes.”

Berg taught that Christians must follow the Bible but asserted he was the Christian prophet for this era. His writings, called “Mo Letters,” informed his followers of new divine revelations. When he died in 1994, his widow, Karen Zerby, succeeded him as leader and remains so to this day.

In 1970 they showed up en masse on the steps of the Carleton Place High School. They were asked to leave many times and the police were quickly called. Before they left, they managed to hand out a number of pamphlets about the end of the world as we know it along with a request for financial support. The sect had received a lot of unsavoury publicity in Toronto– so Carleton Place was having none of it. The fact remains that if I am still typing this essay today the world did not end but —The Children of God never came back to Carleton Place.

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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