Template:Primarysources FREECOG, or Free the Children of God, originally named The Parents' Committee to Free Our Children from the Children of God was founded in 1971. Scholars consider it the first Anti-cult movement group. FREECOG eventually merged with the Cult Awareness Network, which is now owned by the Church of Scientology.
FREECOG was the first organized "anti-cult" group, formed in large part in response to the total commitment required by the Children of God. One of the founders of FREECOG is Ted Patrick, widely considered the "Father of Deprogramming".
FREECOG accused the Children of God of brainwashing and used various methods including conservatorship and deprogramming to counter the group. By the mid 1970s, as the Children of God and other new religious movements grew and expanded around the world, a wider anti-cult movement developed in North America, Western Europe, and elsewhere. In the early 1980s many of the parent groups merged into what became known as the Cult Awareness Network, which is now owned by the Church of Scientology.
In response to FREECOG, a smaller group called ThankCOG (Thankful Parents & Friends of the Children of God) emerged, founded by parents of Children of God members who were pleased that their children had found religion and were free from drugs.