Fear is what motivates members of the Unification Church to keep donating, even if it leaves their own family in abject poverty, a former follower of the controversial religious group said Friday as she recounted the extreme hardship growing up as the daughter of devout followers.

Sayuri Ogawa, using a pseudonym, told reporters in Tokyo that she was raised by parents who each joined the group, formally known as Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, at around age 20 and were married through one of its mass arranged weddings.

Ogawa said that as a child she was forced to attend the church’s worship services and read its doctrine, and was banned from having romantic relationships. She was also taught that those who violated the doctrine would go to hell.