Fisher revival

Eric Nielsen ericbarnak at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 11 19:44:21 UTC 2012

My favorite "fishers" of recent times were the "flirty fishers" of the
Children of God cult of the '70s:

In 1976, Berg encouraged the women members of the group to engage in
"flirty fishing". The term was based on Jesus' injunction "Follow Me, and I
will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Women members were urged to
go into bars and befriend men. They were expected to seduce potential male
converts if necessary to in order to encourage them towards a religious
conversion and membership in the organization. The media had a feeding
frenzy with this innovative form of evangelism, portraying the COG women as
"Hookers for Jesus." In his 1979 annual report, Berg stated that his
"FFers" (Flirty Fishers) had "witnessed to over a quarter of a million
souls, loved over 25,000 of them and won about 19,000 to the Lord."


On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Fisher revival
> At 1/11/2012 06:03 AM, Damien Hall wrote:
>>In Scottish fishing communities, anyway, _fisherfolk_ seems to be
>>used as a gender-neutral word for 'people who fish (or are to do
>>with the fishing community)'. It does seem as if it has an in-group
>>connotation, though: you seem to have to be in some way involved
>>with these communities, or at least researching them, in order to
>>use the word legitimately.
> My feeling (I'm in the Boston area) is that I've heard "fisher" used
> by U.S. in-groups (that is, by or about fishermen and fisherwomen)
> too, when it wasn't common years ago.  But I have no recorded evidence.
> Joel
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