Amy Carlson May Have Been "Mother God", but She Was Also Mother to Two Kids — Where Are They Now?

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Nov. 29 2023, Published 12:34 p.m. ET

(l-r) Amy Carlson and Cole Carlson
Source: MAX/KDVR

The Gist:

  • Deceased cult leader Amy Carlson was the infamous organizer of the "Love Has Won" organization.
  • She was referred to as "Mother God" by her followers.
  • Amy had several actual children from three different fathers.
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If you want to be a cult leader (no, we do not actually endorse anyone becoming a cult leader), one of the most toxic traits you should have is an over-inflated ego and bloated sense of self-worth. Many known cult leaders do this by exuding more charisma and confidence than they actually have, while others are more manipulative in using the veil of mutual love and respect for their followers to earn their undying loyalty.

To that end, calling yourself the reincarnation of Jesus Christ is a good way to do that.

Amy Carlson had that technique mastered. She was the co-founder of Love Has Won (LHW), a religious movement that ran from 1971 and persisted until April 2021 when the group was dissolved following Amy's death.

During her time as a cult leader, Amy positioned herself as "Mother God" and convinced her followers that they were her children. However, she had three actual children in her lifetime as well. Here's what they're up to now.

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Deceased cult leader Amy Carlson's kids have tried to distance themselves from her legacy.

During her cult activity, many of Amy's followers referred to her as "Mother" or "Mom," indicating that she exerted a maternal presence and influence on them.

That said, it's tragically ironic that she had three actual kids of her own. According to several reports from sources like Business Insider, Amy had three children by three different fathers in three separate marriages by the time she was in her early 20s. According to her own mother, Linda Haythorne, she never held that maternal instinct for them.

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Her children came in the form of eldest son Cole Carlson, daughter Madi, and a third unnamed son. Only Cole has previously come forward about what it was like to have Amy as a mother, and their relationship was complicated, to say the least.

In an interview with BBC, Cole revealed that she had abandoned him when she was 12 in order to start up her cult activity. Despite this, he still loved his mother deeply.

"She wasn't the best mother even when she was around, but I loved her to death," he stated.

Other than that, he's led a relatively normal life. As of 2021, Cole is based in Portland, Ore., and studies biology.

Upon hearing news of his mother's death and subsequent mummification, he has been outspoken against the splintered cult's continued activity in her name.

"It makes me mad and I really don't want to see this work continued, especially with [my mother's] name attached or in her honor," he proclaimed in an interview with KDVR.

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As for Madi, The Cinemaholic reports that she has a Master's degree in social work and is currently based in Georgia. While she's been less vocal about her mother's cult status, she has tried to distance herself from her mother's reputation.

You can learn more about Amy Carlson in Love Has Won: The Cult of Mother God, a docuseries streaming on MAX.

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