3. Christopher Owens
Christopher Owens, front man of the influential band Girls, is another celebrity raised in the Children of God cult. He has some hard words to say about it: “Imagine being raised in the Taliban,” he says. “Being told everybody else in the world is bad, rejecting technology, rejecting medical research, being devoted to God and believing America was evil and the end of the world was coming: all the same principles.” When his older sister and her boyfriend got out, they were decried as “backsliders”, classic accusatory epithets of a tenuous and insecure group. Eventually, Owens followed his sister’s footsteps, moving to Amarillo, Texas, where he was completely clueless, but preferring total freedom over total oppression.