Miss Indonesia's cult link

Straits Times, Singapore/December 14, 2009

Miss Indonesia 2009 Kerenina Sunny Halim has been linked to an alleged sex cult organisation.

The 23-year-old beauty has admitted that she is a member of The Family International, which is the modern day spawn of The Children of God, a sex cult group which has been mired in child and sexual abuse allegations by former members.

Halim told the Jakarta Globe that she is a member of the church, for which she did humanitarian work after the Asian tsunami in 2004, the Mail and Guardian said.

Founded in California in 1968 by David Brandt Berg, The Children of God was a counter-culture evangelical group with a foundation of biblical fundamentalism. Berg, who was also addressed as 'Moses', 'Chairman Mo' or 'Dad', preached free love to his followers, to the extent that women were encouraged to go into the world and engage in 'flirty-fishing' of men: essentially to use sex to proselytise, according to the Mail & Guardian Online.

Berg, now dead, has been described as 'a self-professed prophet who was an alcoholic, incestuous, paedophile' by Perry Bulwer, a Canadian lawyer and blogger who 'escaped' the cult in 1991.

Halim has also sparked controversy because of her poor ability to speak Indonesian although her fluent English has amazed many people. She was crowned Miss Indonesia on June 6 and was in South Africa for the Miss World finals which ended on Saturday.

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