The 'Conan the Barbarian' actress reveals that she was a part of the Children of God sect in the first nine years of her life, before she and her family ran away in fear she would be abused sexually.
Rose McGowan has tasted a life with a cult. The actress who stars opposite Jason Momoa in "Conan the Barbarian" recently opened up to PEOPLE about spending the first nine years of her life being a part of the Children of God sect before she and her family ran away.
"I grew up in pastoral settings," the 37-year-old beauty recalled. While the setting "was really idyllic", she pointed out, "You weren't allowed to have imperfections. I had a little wart on my thumb, and I remember walking down this hallway - a door opened and some adult grabbed me and just cut it off with a razor blade and stuck me back out in the hallway with it still bleeding."
Although she did believe in God, the former "Charmed" star admitted she knew she didn't belong in the group. "I came out of the womb waving red lipstick," she joked. On a more serious note, she said, "I did not want to be like those women. There were basically there to serve the men sexually."
The "Grindhouse" actress went on to share that it was when the cult began advocating child-adult sexual relations that her father took her and her family out of the group and returned to the United States out of fear that she would be molested. "My dad was strong enough to realize that this hippie love had gone south," she noted.
Leaving the cult wasn't easy though. The actress remembered when she and her family hid in a stone house, a man was "trying to break in with a hammer." Still, adjusting to the mainstream way of life proved to be a challenge as well, saying "My brothers and sisters, we thought everyone was boring."
While she's pleased she and her family left the cult, Rose did credit the experience for making her who she is. "There are people who will read this story and think I had a strange existence," she said in the interview. "I think they've had a strange existence!"
Children of God has since changed its name to The Family International (TFI), and released a statement in response to Rose's story. To On the Red Carpet, the group said, "Rose McGowan's stories are suspect at best and at times absurd, seemingly based on wild speculations and imperfect childhood memories, crafted for the sake of sensational publicity."
In the statement issued on Thursday, August 25, TFI also pointed out there are conflicting reports about the timeline of her childhood and arrival in the States. The group further added, "The usage of the label 'cult' in reference to the Family International (TFI) by the media is pejorative and discriminatory."