Mother Accuses Cult Members

Honolulu Star Bulletin/October 6, 1980

Police are trying to unravel a bizarre sequence of incidents involving an international religious cult, a Waipahu family, a child custody dispute in which two children were abducted and a midnight beach fight in Nanakuli during which a man was seriously injured. It isn't your run-of-the-mill detective case.

On September 1, Brian Pickus, estranged husband of Hawaii resident Candy Ann Pickus, violated a court and took their two children by force from her home. He has not been seen since and police have a warrant for his arrest.

Members of the Family of Love, a religious sect which began in the 1960s and now has colonies all over the world, were camping at Nanakuli Beach Park the night the children were taken. One of their members was beaten a few hours later and has since undergone an operation for fractured bones in his face.

Candy and Brian Pickus were married in Texas in 1971 where both were members of the Children of God, a religious cult founded by David Berg, who claims to be god's prophet.

In 1974, the sect began new and shocking methods of bring people into the fold, according to documents submitted to the court by Candy Pinkus' attorney.

According to instructions by "Mo Letters" the followers used sex to entice new members "Hookers for Jesus" was they method of saving souls.

More distressing is recent literature that reports the group's sexual practices includes children.

The Children of God movement came under fire by other religious groups for being nothing more than a prostitution ring and in 1974 became the target of an investigation by the NY attorney general for contributing in the delinquency of minors and other offenses, according to court documents.

Father David directed his followers out of the US and separated members into small communal colonies around the world. The colonies supported themselves through prostitution and donations received for literature distributed by members, according to the documents. The colonies received messages from Moses David.

Candy Pickus left the group in 1978. She was granted a divorce and custody of the children and finally convinced her husband to bring the boys to Hawaii for a visit.

One of her problems was trying to convince the court that this was not just another domestic case against a normal man, it was her against thousands of members of a group. Nevertheless, the court told Candy she would have to let her husband see the children. On September 1, Brian took the children in a violent and well planned abduction, helped by some 10 men in three cars.

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