ByMichelle Siouty, writer at

Rose McGowan is not only known for being a beautiful and sultry woman, but also for being an insanely talented actress as well. She made her acting debut in the dark comedy Encino Man featuring Pauly Shore and is probably most well known for her role as Paige Matthews in WB's Charmed.

Can we also mention how gorgeous she is? And I must say, she has aged gracefully.

She was beautiful then and now!
She was beautiful then and now!

What many people might not know though, is she actually grew up in the terrifying Children of God cult in Italy.

The Children of God, also known as The Family International, Family of Love, and The Family started in 1968 in Huntington Beach based off a hippie movement. The founder is David Berg, who is also known as "Moses David."

Spring 1974 -  near Florence, Italy
Spring 1974 - near Florence, Italy

Rose's father, Daniel McGowan, ran his own chapter for Children of God, and he and his wife Terri were members until 1978. As was normal in religious practice, Daniel married another woman named Rebecca, whom McGowan considered her step-mother.

Rose and Her Parents 1974 - Italy
Rose and Her Parents 1974 - Italy

The cult cultivates a highly sexualized environment among its member, encouraging husbands and wives to swap partners and has even been accused of acts of indecency against minors - something that must surely have preyed on the mind of McGowan's parents.

And those involved were not only encouraged to have sex with each other. A practice known as "flirty fishing" saw women members - called "Jesus' whores" - sent out to bars and clubs to seduce unsuspecting men to join the depraved cult.

Part of McGowan's father's job was to provide drawings for pamphlets promoting promiscuous sex, as instructed by Berg. But McGowan's father felt he had crossed the line when Berg asked him to draw images depicting pedophilia as something positive.

An example of one such drawing.
An example of one such drawing.

This all became too much to bear for McGowan's father, so in the middle of a stormy night, he, Rebecca, and the children escaped the sadistic clutches of Children of God.

Her family moved back to America when she was ten years old. At the age of fifteen, McGowan emancipated herself from her parents, enrolled herself through beauty school, and pursued her passion for acting all on her own.

McGowan is incredibly grateful for her father's ability to realize his hippie lifestyle was actually hurtful and for removing the family before anything truly harmful could've happened. This incredibly heartfelt actress spoke with People and looks at her childhood with a positive twist, claiming that

"There are people who will read this story and think I had a strange existence. I think they've had a strange existence!"


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