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Rose McGowan returns to cult compound she fled as a child

On the season finale of Citizen Rose, Rose McGowan visited the former cult compound where she lived as a child in Genoa, Italy. Her father was one of the heads of that sect of Children of God, a cult in which men were allowed to have multiple wives, which obviously had an impact on McGowan as a child.

“You know, the things that I remember about being little and Children of God, a lot of the women were just called “Nannies,” and they collectively took care of children,” McGowan said. “The Duke (The Duke of Zoagli, owner of the property and member of Children of God) remembers it very fondly, and they did, they had a lot of love. I think for adults, it was playtime and they had a lot of fun. It wasn’t, I think, so great for children to have many mothers and not one mother.”

The number of women raising her wasn’t the only thing that made McGowan’s childhood different than most. “I don’t remember any mirrors. I never remember seeing myself and I don’t think it was encouraged. And there were a lot of colored mats on the floor. That's where we'd take naps and sleep. I slept with the other children,” McGowan said.

Along with two half-siblings, her father, and one of his wives, McGowan fled Children of God when the group began encouraging sexual relationships between adults and children. Despite that and the other bad memories, going to the compound was a positive experience for McGowan. When asked if she could feel her late father there, she replied, “Yeah, I know he was here. He’d be very happy right now. He’d be laughing. He’d be proud of this whole situation.”