Waco PD says ‘God the Mother’ sex trafficking rumors are false

By Matt Kyle | Staff Writer, Video by Danika Young | Broadcast Reporter

After days of rumors spreading online about a possible sex trafficking scheme, Waco Police Department spokesperson Cierra Shipley said these rumors are false. She said the individuals are not believed to be associated with any sex trafficking schemes.

Waco PD was called to URSA apartments Sunday after receiving reports of suspicious individuals going door-to-door talking to residents about “God the Mother” and inviting them to a Bible study. The group was peacefully escorted off the premises but not arrested, as police said no crime was committed.

“Although we don’t believe that what happened at that complex was a sex trafficking scheme, this is a great time to just remind our community members that it’s important to just be vigilant, be aware, and we appreciate that it was brought to our attention,” Shipley said. “Please report anything suspicious to us. Anytime we have any sort of inkling of sex trafficking, we’re going to investigate that and bring that to an end in any way.”

The initial Facebook post was made on Sunday by the mother of an URSA resident whose door was knocked on. The resident, who asked to remain anonymous for safety concerns, said she googled “God the Mother” after interacting with the individuals and found posts saying that it was associated with sex trafficking.

“It came up on Google that it was a scheme for sex trafficking,” the resident said. “I didn’t actually read the posts fully. And that didn’t process because I was still very thrown off by it.”

The post claimed that officers told the URSA resident that “God the Mother” was “100%” a sex trafficking scheme. However, Shipley said officers never told this to the resident, and the resident themself said officers initially told them at the scene it “may be” a scheme but later called after investigating to say it was not.

After Waco PD made a Facebook post saying the rumors were false, the original Facebook post was deleted.

This isn’t the first time “God the Mother” has been brought up online in connection with sex trafficking. “God the Mother” is an informal name of the World Mission Society Church of God, a nondenominational Christian church that began in South Korea.

Rumors that the church is engaged in sex trafficking have been circulating online for years, stemming from social media posts where users claim to have been approached by people asking to speak with them about “God the Mother.” Many of these instances of church recruiters approaching people have been reported on college campuses across the country.

The rumors have been repeatedly debunked by police departments that investigated the claims of human trafficking, but the rumors have continued to spread online.

Dakotah Hintz, a member of the World Mission Society Church of God in Dallas, also denied the rumors. She said via email that the church engages in many different philanthropic activities and has received awards for these activities.

“We believe in the existence of God the Father as well as God the Mother. As we have our Father and Mother who give us life, we believe that we have a spiritual Father and spiritual Mother who gives us eternal life,” Hintz said. “Our purpose and mission is to spread the love of God to all people. In spreading God’s love, we have done numerous volunteer activities and have received various awards for our activities. Such include the President’s Call to Service Award from Barack Obama and Donald Trump, the Queen’s award in England, the Korean President’s award, as well as many awards throughout the world for our good deeds.”

Joe Scaramucci, detective of human trafficking at the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, said the rumors are not something to be worried about.

“It’s completely false,” Scaramucci said. “It’s a hoax that has made the rounds for the last several years and has been proven time and time again to be a hoax. There has never been anything to substantiate it.”

Scaramucci said it is more likely someone would be trafficked by someone they know rather than by a sex trafficking ring. He said that these rumors spread due to their sensational nature and that it is important to ensure information is reliable before sharing on social media. Scaramucci said if a scheme like this were in fact occurring, police would be informing people about it.

“This is not how trafficking occurs; it’s sensational,” Scaramucci said. “If people had googled the name of the church, and even where it said trafficking or sex trafficking, they would have found where other news stories have previously said, ‘This is not true. It’s debunked.’ So I would just say that one of the biggest things is make sure you know who your friends are, who you’re talking to and who you’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis because those are the people that are more likely to traffic you than somebody knocking on the door wanting to talk about God.”