Natacha Tormey is the bestselling author of ‘Born into the Children of God’ and ‘Cults: A Bloodstained History’. Natacha was born and raised within The Children of God - a religious cult that became infamous for its bizarre sexual practices and religious doctrines. After escaping the cult at the age of 18, she fought for a normal life in society and her struggle gave her the driving force to write her memoir, Born into the Children of God, which was published by Harper Collins. Her second book, Cults: A Bloodstained History, was published by Fonthill Media and describes the crimes and horrors that have been committed by cult leaders, dating back to 1200 BC.
Natacha regularly gives interviews and speaks at events to raise awareness of the ongoing danger that religious cults represent in modern society.
What do you do best?
I am able to help people understand the true nature of cults: how they work and how they recruit and manipulate those in their grasp. Many people still believe that cults are a thing of the past. They are not. There are more cults today than ever but they have changed the way they operate and constantly adapt to blend into the world around them. For example, in the sixties The Children of God recruited new members in a very public manner. They would distribute pamphlets in the street and organise demonstrations to gain attention and recruit followers. These days, however, they hide behind a vast number of false names which they use as a cover to run humanitarian groups, spiritual retreats and youth projects (to name a few). They are able to draw potential followers using these organisations and they are also active on social media.
What makes you the best?
I was born into a cult and that was the only life I knew until I was eighteen years of age, so I guess you could say that I am extremely knowledgeable when it comes to understanding cults, organised religion and the difficulties adapting to society after a cult experience. As an adult, I felt that it was my responsibility to share my experience and to expose religious fanaticism for what it is.
What are your aspirations?
I would love to publish more books but my greatest aspiration is to continue to live a happy life. I hope that one day I can help convince government bodies that there is a need for spiritual abuse to be recognised as a crime – the damage caused by brainwashing and conditioning is astounding, yet religious organisations are rarely brought to justice as they are very adept at twisting laws to suit their needs, and using religious freedom as a get-out-of-jail card.
My memoir hitting the New York Times Bestseller list in December 2015. As a cult-raised child who had little access to education, it was an emotional and deeply satisfying achievement. I will never forget the moment I was told; I think I went into shock for a few hours.
Most Challenging Moment?
Realising that once I published my memoir there was no turning back. I had to make the decision to do what I believed was right, even though I knew that I would lose friends in the process.
"Nothing baffles the schemes of evil people so much as the calm composure of great souls." - Comte de Mirabeau
Meryl Streep, David Suchet, Agatha Christie, Victor Hugo, my husband and my cats, Achilles and Athena...I consider them human.
France...all of it. But I’m French so I’m probably biased.
My juicer as it made juice suddenly interesting and I love trying new combinations. My laptop and iphone are indispensible items as well but my bed tops everything. I just love to sleep late on the weekends and tuck up in bed with a good book in the evenings.
Cooking, swimming, restoring antiques, reading and gardening.