Robert Gentel was born into The Children of God/The Family and was excommunicated from the group as a teenager after which he briefly became homeless. While homeless Robert wrote letters and campaigned to change the rules in The Children of God/The Family that prevented ex-members from living in the same house as members, as this had resulted in several cases of suicide, homelessness and other destitute situations for young ex-members entering the outside world without any support. The Family leadership wrote back indicating that they had reflected on their policies and held weeks of discussion after which it had been decided that they would adopt sweeping changes to their rules and charter in addition to ceasing to vilify ex-members as "backsliders", enabling other second generation members to leave the group with greater familial support. Robert founded xFamily.org, a collaborative encyclopedia that documents the history of The Children of God/The Family that has become the de facto authority on the group's history.

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