Weinstein gets 23 years in sentence hailed by accusers, Stop Misinformation Against Survivors of Trauma

March 13, 2020 Comments Off on Weinstein gets 23 years in sentence hailed by accusers, Stop Misinformation Against Survivors of Trauma

Weinstein gets 23 years in sentence hailed by accusers

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was sentenced Wednesday to 23 years in prison after breaking his courtroom silence with a rambling plea for mercy in which he professed to be “totally confused” by the #MeToo movement that spelled the Hollywood producer’s downfall.

His accusers — those who testified against him and many others who have spoken out elsewhere against the former Hollywood mogul — hailed the near-maximum punishment for his rape and criminal sex act convictions as long overdue.

The 67-year-old Weinstein, who arrived at the courthouse Wednesday in a wheelchair and was taken to a hospital after complaining of chest pains hours after the court hearing, could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

He was convicted last month of raping a once-aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on former TV and film production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006. He faced a minimum of five years and a maximum of 29 years in prison.

The conviction marked the first criminal fallout from a raft of allegations that the Oscar-winning movie producer used his clout to lure women, sexually assault or harass them and then silence them.
“Although this is a first conviction, this is not a first offense,” Judge James Burke said in imposing the sentence….

Both of the women Weinstein was convicted of assaulting told the court about the damage he did to them, and the empowerment they felt when testifying against him.

“Rape is not just one moment of penetration. It is forever,” said the 2013 rape accuser, who recalled a moment during the trial when she left the witness stand in tears and then could be heard screaming from an adjacent room.
It was, she said, “the day my voice came back to its full power,” she said.
Asked later about her reaction after the sentence, she wiped her eyes, raised her arm and nodded her head.
Haleyi broke down in tears as she told the court the 2006 attack scarred her deeply and “stripped me of my dignity as a woman.” The encounter made her rethink her career in the entertainment business and left her feeling afraid of retaliation, she said….

Years of whispers about Weinstein’s alleged behavior burst into public view in The New York Times and The New Yorker in 2017. In the aftermath, more than 90 women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and other actresses, publicly accused Weinstein of sexual assault and sexual harassment. The takedown energized the #MeToo movement for speaking up about sexual assault….

Weinstein was convicted on two counts: criminal sex act and rape in the third degree. He was acquitted of the more serious charges against him of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault.

Now that Weinstein has been sentenced, his lawyers can move forward with a promised appeal. He also faces rape and sexual assault charges in California, where Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey tweeted Wednesday that her office was working on extraditing him. No arraignment date has yet been set.

Petition: Stop Misinformation Against Survivors of Trauma and Their Helpers by The Satanic Temple’s Grey Faction

Wrestlers say Rep. Jim Jordan knew about abusive OSU doctor, Child sex abuse victim says Anglican Church offered payout in exchange for silence, Pastor jailed after he raped children in bogus religious ceremony over 20 years, Father Flanagan spoke out about Irish abuse of children, Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Mind Control announces the speakers at the May 2020 Conference

March 11, 2020 § Leave a comment

Six former wrestlers say Rep. Jim Jordan knew about abusive OSU doctor

Child sex abuse victim says Anglican Church fobbed her off, then offered payout in exchange for silence

Pastor and wife jailed after he raped children in bogus religious ceremony over 20 years

How Father Flanagan spoke out about Irish abuse of children in 1946

Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Mind Control announces the speakers at the May 2020 Conference

Six former wrestlers say Rep. Jim Jordan knew about abusive OSU doctor

By Curt Devine, Drew Griffin and Majlie de Puy Kamp, CNN Investigates Fri March 6, 2020

(CNN)Tito Vazquez says he still remembers the day three decades ago when, as a wrestler at Ohio State University, the doctor he’d gone to see about a bloody nose insisted on examining his genitals. He also recalls how one of his coaches dismissed his immediate complaint.

“‘I have nothing to do with this,'” Vazquez quoted the assistant coach saying, as he effectively ended the conversation and went on with wrestling practice.
That coach, Vazquez says, was Jim Jordan, now an Ohio congressman and an influential voice in Republican politics, perhaps best known for his pugnacious defense of President Donald Trump during the recent impeachment proceedings.

Vazquez is one of six former OSU wrestlers who told CNN in recent interviews that they were present when Jordan heard or responded to sexual misconduct complaints about team doctor Richard Strauss. Eight others say Strauss’ inappropriate behavior was an open secret in the athletic department and that Jordan, among others, must have known about it.

What Jordan and other coaches knew, and when they knew it, has been under scrutiny since 2018, when OSU announced an investigation into the allegations against Strauss. An independent report commissioned by the university concluded last year that Strauss “sexually abused at least 177 male student-patients” between 1979 and 1998. The doctor died by suicide in 2005.
A number of lawsuits have been filed against OSU over allegations related to Strauss. On Friday, OSU announced that it reached a monetary settlement with Strauss’ victims in 11 out of 18 pending cases.

Since the scandal emerged, Jordan has emphatically denied that he knew anything about Strauss’ abuse during his own years working at OSU, between 1987 and 1995. “Congressman Jordan never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State,” his congressional office said in 2018….

The OSU-commissioned report did not reach conclusions regarding each coach’s knowledge of Strauss’ abuse, but it did note that “numerous” student-athletes said they “talked about Strauss’ inappropriate genital exams and complained about Strauss’ locker room and shower room voyeurism, directly to—or in front of—OSU coaching staff.” The report stated that 22 coaches — unnamed in the report — said they were aware of rumors or complaints about Strauss….


Child sex abuse victim says Anglican Church fobbed her off, then offered payout in exchange for silence Exclusive by Josh Robertson 3/10/2020

Anglican Church officials wrongly told a woman who was sexually abused more than 60 years ago they had to hold off resolving her complaint, then offered a payout and an apology if she agreed to a gag clause.

Key points:

Beth Heinrich pressed the Anglican Church in Brisbane for redress after former archbishop Peter Hollingworth stood by the priest who sexually abused her
The diocese said it could not resolve her complaint because it would “prejudice” another church investigation of Dr Hollingworth

Church investigators denied this and the diocese then offered Ms Heinrich a payout and an apology if she kept it confidential

The church’s Brisbane diocese has admitted to again failing Beth Heinrich over her 1995 complaint, which culminated in then-governor-general Peter Hollingworth publicly blaming her for a priest sexually exploiting her as a 15-year-old.

Its apology for causing her “additional trauma and distress” through “unacceptable delays” came a day after the ABC questioned its latest missteps in the case, which led to Dr Hollingworth’s public downfall but still fuels calls for him to be stripped of millions of dollars of public benefits.

The diocese in January belatedly offered Ms Heinrich up to $30,000 for its mishandling of her complaint, which Dr Hollingworth dismissed repeatedly when he was archbishop of Brisbane.

The offer was a fraction of the $200,000 she sought — a figure she said was increased after independent legal advice and church officials in Melbourne advising that her original request for $50,000 was too little.

The Brisbane diocese also told her in January it was “happy to provide an apology” but this should be kept “confidential” until its Melbourne counterpart ended a separate investigation into whether Dr Hollingworth should be stripped of his Holy Orders.

Its request for secrecy contrasted with Dr Hollingworth’s widely publicised 2002 comments on ABC TV’s Australian Story program that it was “not sex abuse” by priest, and later bishop, Donald Shearman, but “rather the other way round”….

In 2001, Ms Heinrich saw Mr Shearman conducting Easter Mass on TV and asked Dr Hollingworth to strip Mr Shearman of his permission to officiate.

Dr Hollingworth refused, telling her Mr Shearman was “now well into his 70s [and] has sought to resolve the matter with you and exercised contrition in a Christian spirit”.

“I am sorry that you cannot accept the efforts that he and we have made which does allow for a new start with a penitent heart,” Dr Hollingworth said.

Ms Heinrich said after the failed mediation, Dr Hollingworth breached diocese protocol by refusing to give her a hearing before its sex abuse complaints committee.

She said a staffer for Dr Hollingworth gave repeated excuses for not providing a copy of the protocol, including that Brisbane weather made people “lethargic”.

A 2003 Anglican board of inquiry was split on Dr Hollingworth’s support of Mr Shearman.

The chairman found it “reasonable” and another member said he failed to show “proper moral leadership”.

But the inquiry found it was “inappropriate and unfair” of Dr Hollingworth to repeatedly suggest Ms Heinrich was “acting unreasonably in not treating the matter at an end”.

The inquiry condemned Dr Hollingworth for allowing another confessed child sex predator to remain a priest and he quit as governor-general.

In 2004, Mr Shearman was defrocked.


Pastor and wife jailed after he raped children in bogus religious ceremony over 20 years
Will Taylor ·News Reporter March 6, 2020

A “feared” pastor who raped children in a bogus religious ceremony over a 20-year period has been jailed.

Self-styled prophet Michael Oluronbi was found guilty in January of offences against six women and a man. Five of those attended his church.

He carried out his attacks by convincing his victims to take part in a “spiritual bathing” ritual, which he told them would “cleanse” them of evil spirits.

Judge Sarah Buckingham, sentencing him to 34 years behind bars, said his case was “one of the worst cases of sexual abuse of multiple children to come before the courts” and described him as an “arrogant, selfish and vain man”.

She said the “spiritual baths” were actually designed to “fulfill (his) insatiable sexual appetite”….

Oluronbi, who had blamed the devil for his actions, was convicted of 15 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault, at Birmingham Crown Court.

Oluronbi’s wife Juliana was also convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape and helping arrange some of the abortions of his victims, with some becoming pregnant multiple times. She was jailed for 11 years.

As a pharmacist, he would take them to clinics to end the pregnancies.

During the trial, the jury was told how Oluronbi was linked to a Christian church in Birmingham, where he formed a splinter group for about 40 adults and children, separate to the church and in another location.

In that group, he had the victims take part in “spiritual bathing”….


How Father Flanagan spoke out about Irish abuse of children in 1946
Niall O’Dowd Feb 28, 2020

In his new book, A New Ireland, Niall O’Dowd traces the first-ever revelation about the savage treatment of children by church and state in Ireland during the 1940s.

How Boystown’s Father Flanagan Was First to Expose Ireland’s Dirty Secrets

“He talked about the Irish institutions as being like concentration camps for children.”

-Tom Lynch, Boys Town Archivist, on Father Flanagan’s view of Irish industrial schools and orphanages.

Those looking for the seeds of what later became the near destruction of the Irish church over child mistreatment and abuse would have found it in the clarion voice of Monsignor Edward Joseph Flanagan—the founder of Boys Town, made famous by the Spencer Tracy movie of the same name, visited Ireland on a specific mission in 1946.

The Irish-born Flanagan, though an international figure and beloved by all for his amazing work, found himself a forlorn voice when he traveled to Ireland to inspect their facilities for treating orphans and needy children.

Flanagan’s connection to Ireland was deep, and he knew what he spoke about. He was born on July 13, 1886, in the townland of Leabeg, County Roscommon, to John, a herdsman, and Honoria Flanagan. In 1904, he immigrated to the United States, entered the priesthood and, in 1917, created Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska….

But Flanagan was plunged into despair about what he found in Ireland, especially the Victorian orphanages and reform schools where young offenders were sent. He found them “a scandal, un-Christ-like, and wrong.”

He spoke to a large audience at a public lecture in Cork’s Savoy Cinema and said, “You are the people who permit your children and the children of your communities to go into these institutions of punishment. You can do something about it.”

He called Ireland’s penal institutions “a disgrace to the nation,” and later said, “I do not believe that a child can be reformed by lock and key and bars, or that fear can ever develop a child’s character.” He even attacked the Christian Brothers—the teaching order founded in Ireland to educate the masses and revered as an institution.

Tom Lynch, Boys Town archivist, told the late Mary Raftery, a journalist, who herself did incredible, groundbreaking work on church scandals:

“It was very well known that he was shocked by what he discovered in Ireland.

He talked about the Irish institutions as being like concentration camps for children.”

As Raftery subsequently wrote in the Irish Times in 2004, “[Flanagan] had a profound sense of outrage at how children were treated within these institutions.”

His own words, written in 1947, sum Flanagan’s thoughts on Ireland:

… [U]njust incarceration, unequal distribution of physical punishment both inside and outside the prisons and jails, and the institutionalization of little children, housed in great big factory-like places, where individuality has been and is being, snuffed out with no development of the personality of the individual, and where little children become a great army of child slavery in the workshops, making money for the institutions which give to them a little food, a little clothing, very little recreation, and a doubtful education.”….


Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Mind Control announces the speakers at the May 2020 Conference – Dr. Karol Darsa, Neil Brick, Cristina Mardirossian, LMFT and Dr. Randy Noblitt and Pamela Perskin Noblitt  – Special Prices Until March 20, 2020


The Clinician’s Conference is Friday May 15, 2020. The regular conference is Saturday and Sunday May 16 – 17, 2020 https://survivorship.org/ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-2020-conference/

The conference location is Reconnect Integrative Trauma Treatment Center in Pacific Palisades, California. This conference provides attendees opportunities to learn about severe abuse research and resources.

Conference Speakers will include:

Dr. Randy Noblitt and Pamela Perskin Noblitt will speak about Extreme Abuse Survivors, Social Security Benefits, and Ethical Practice – They will discuss how many trauma survivors have debilitating psychological and physical symptoms that prevent them from maintaining gainful employment. This workshop provides an introduction to SSA requirements for healthcare providers and survivors. Pamela Perskin Noblitt is a non-attorney claimants representative for individuals applying for SSDI and SSI benefits. Randy Noblitt is a clinical psychologist and professor of clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University, Los Angeles. https://ritualabuse.us/smart/randy-noblitt/

Cristina Mardirossian, LMFT will discuss Identifying the Personality Systems of Mind Control Survivors and Trauma Treatment – She will explain how therapists are increasingly starting to see that many of their clients have histories of complex and chronic abuse. Cristina Mardirossian is the owner and director of Pasadena Trauma Therapy, Inc. Cristina is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA.

Neil Brick will speak about Misinformation Campaigns Against Survivors. He will discuss how child and ritual abuse survivors and their advocates have been attacked by misinformation campaigns the last several years. Neil Brick is a survivor of ritual abuse and mind control. His child and ritual abuse newsletter S.M.A.R.T. https://ritualabuse.us  has been published for over 24 years. http://neilbrick.com

Dr. Karol Darsa will speak about the 5 Common Mistakes in Trauma Treatment – She will discuss how trauma treatment is becoming one of the top areas to specialize in and how it is important to have proper training to work with unprocessed trauma to achieve good outcomes for clients. Dr. Karol Darsa, licensed psychologist and founder and executive director of Reconnect Integrative Trauma Treatment Center. She has about 20 years of clinical and administrative experience in trauma and mental health disorders.

Research information:

Ritual Abuse Evidence https://survivorship.org/ritual-abuse-evidence/

Child Abuse Wiki – Ritual Abuse http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse

Child Abuse Wiki – Recovered Memory http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Recovered_Memories



THE ORGANISED AND RITUALISED ABUSE OF CHILDREN: THE CURRENT INTERNATIONAL SITUATION– February 26, 2020 at the West Park Conference Centre, Perth Road in Dundee, Scotland

Child and ritual abuse researchers from across the globe came to Dundee to discuss the impact and prevalence of ritual abuse and organized abuse on children. The conference examined the present situation in the world and UK to help workers and supporters in the field of organized and ritualized abuse.

Organized abuse can involve multiple adults who plan and sexually abuse children. It includes trafficking, child abuse, sexual exploitation and pedophilia rings.

Ritual abuse can be defined as organized sexual, physical and psychological abuse, which can be systematic and sustained over a long period of time using rituals.

This is the second conference organized by Eighteen And Under and Izzy’s Promise. Conference goals included increasing awareness of ritual abuse to everyone in the survivor sector.

Eighteen and Under provides confidential support and information to any child or young person who has experienced any form of abuse or violence. https://www.18u.org.uk/

Izzy’s Promise provides information, resources and training for agencies that support ritual abuse survivors. They have over 10 years of experience delivering ritual abuse support training, providing confidential, practical and emotional support to RA survivors as well as conducting research into causes and prevention of ritual and organized abuse.  https://rans.org.uk/izzys-promise/

Dr Laurie Matthew OBE, coordinator of charity Eighteen And Under, who presented at the conference stated: “This conference provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness and learn more about organized and ritual abuse from leading experts, academics and practitioners in the field.”

Research review statistics – Dr. Laurie Matthew

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (for people who grew up in care) https://www.childabuseinquiry.scot

Research review statistics – In the UK:  1 in 6 children suffer child sexual abuse. 21% of children in local authority care are exposed to suspected or confirmed sexual exploitation every year.

Others presenters at the conference included:

Dr Michael Salter, a Scientia Fellow and associate professor of criminology at the University of New South Wales. His research focuses on organized forms of child sexual abuse. https://unsw.academia.edu/MichaelSalter

Dark Justice, an organization who catch potential sex offenders who try to groom and meet up with children presented via video.

Neil Brick (a ritual abuse survivor) and creator of the S.M.A.R.T. (Stop Mind control And Ritual Abuse Today) newsletter. http://neilbrick.com

Misinformation Campaigns Against Survivors – Neil Brick

Child and ritual abuse survivors and their advocates have been attacked by misinformation campaigns the last several years. These campaigns use various harassment and propaganda techniques to distort the research and silence the efforts of those who are working to help trauma survivors and rape victims. These techniques will be compared to past and present public campaigns that have distorted information and used unethical tactics to manipulate public opinion. Propaganda and suggestion techniques used will be discussed and analyzed. https://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/misinformation-campaigns-against-survivors-neil-brick/

Dr Sarah Nelson, Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee who has presented widely for decades on sexual abuse issues. https://edinburgh.academia.edu/SarahNelson/

In this presentation I want to make some reflections on belief and disbelief in ritual abuse, and on why backlash theories such as satanic panic and false memory syndrome were so readily believed and are still potent, despite their numerous flaws. But I also want to interconnect the disbelief by outsiders including professionals, many media and public with the disbelief and doubts of survivors themselves, and think about the interplay and mutual strengthening which has long taken place. I think that is perhaps a neglected aspect of the discourse of disbelief yet it is important and relevant. https://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/the-organised-ritual-abuse-of-children-dr-sarah-nelson/

Ritual Abuse Network Scotland (RANS) provides information and a safe place to talk for survivors of ritual abuse. https://rans.org.uk/

Copied with permission from https://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/the-organised-and-ritualised-abuse-of-children-the-current-international-situation/


Harvey Weinstein found guilty on 2 counts, not guilty on more serious charges

February 24, 2020 § Leave a comment

Harvey Weinstein found guilty on 2 counts, not guilty on more serious charges
Harvey Weinstein was on trial for rape in Manhattan.
By Chris Francescani and Alexandra Svokos February 24, 2020

The jury reached a verdict in the New York rape trial of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced former Hollywood mega-producer.

Weinstein, 67, was found guilty of criminal sexual assault and of rape in the third degree. He was found not guilty of the more serious charges of predatory sexual assault and of rape in the first degree….

The criminal sexual assault charge came from Miriam “Mimi” Haleyi, who was a production assistant and said that he assaulted her in 2006. That charge came with sentencing guidelines of five to 25 years.

The charge of rape in the third degree came from another, unnamed accuser, and came with sentencing guidelines of probation up to four years….

Weinstein was charged with raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman, who has since identified herself as Haleyi, in 2006. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and claims any sexual encounters were cosensual.

In addition to the two women behind those charges, four others testified in support of prosecutors’ efforts to demonstrate a pattern of sexual predation….


SMART Newsletter Celebrates Twenty-Five Years of Publishing – Neil Brick Editor

February 21, 2020 § Leave a comment

SMART Newsletter Celebrates Twenty-Five Years of Publishing – Neil Brick Editor

SMART Newsletter Celebrates Twenty-Five Years of Publishing – Neil Brick Editor

Feb 21, 2020

EASTHAMPTON, Mass., Feb. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In 1995, the SMART (Stop Mind control And Ritual abuse Today) newsletter started publishing a small newsletter in Northampton, Massachusetts (now in Easthampton, Mass). In 1996, SMART began publishing on the Internet for the first time. SMART developed a website for survivors of ritual abuse and their helpers. SMART was one of the early educational resources for survivors of severe trauma, rape and abuse. In 1998, SMART began having weekend conferences for survivors and their helpers in Connecticut.

SMART has become one of the largest information and scientific resources on ritual abuse, cults, mind control, repressed memory, dissociation and dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder) on the Internet.https://ritualabuse.us/

SMART’s newsletter has provided informational resources about many child abuse cases over the years. Their newsletter has covered major events about ritual abuse and mind control. Articles have included information on Claudia Mullen, Valerie Wolf, the Extreme Abuse Surveys, MK-ULTRA, Satanic Ritual Abuse, clergy abuse including the Catholic Church sexual abuse crisis, day care cases, propaganda, sex trafficking, high profile serial child abuse and rape cases, including those of Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Jimmy Savile.

Speakers at SMART’s conferences have included Lynne Moss-Sharman, Hal Pepinsky, Neil Brick, Adah Sachs, Alison Miller, Randy Noblitt, Wendy Hoffman, Carol Rutz, Wanda Karriker, Thorsten Becker, deJoly LaBrier, Laurie Matthews and many others. https://ritualabuse.us/smart-conference/

SMART has worked with other organizations including Survivorship to help educate the general public about ritual abuse and mind control crimes.https://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/

SMART continues to have yearly conferences in Connecticut. The newsletter recently published its 150th edition online at https://ritualabuse.us/newsletter/

 Neil Brick continues to publish research and research articles on child abuse, ritual abuse, mind control and dissociation. He continues to speak at conferences about ritual abuse and mind control. http://neilbrick.com

SMART’s goal is to continue publishing educational resources to help survivors of child abuse, ritual abuse, their helpers and the general public learn more about the prevalence of ritual abuse and mind control in the United States and around the world. SMART hopes that child and ritual abuse will someday be eliminated in the world and children will be safe.

Word of Faith Fellowship – Church cult controlled sex lives, Former La Luz Del Mundo Member Alleges The Church Ran Child Sex Slavery Ring

February 18, 2020 § Leave a comment

Church cult controlled sex lives … even on wedding nights
By Ben Steelman Feb 15, 2020

New book documents story of Word of Faith Fellowship, a bizarre Pentecostal spinoff in N.C. foothills

…. Word of Faith believers saw this as a demon-haunted world, with even the most faithful prone to demonic possession. To exorcise these demons, believers practiced a ritual known as “blasting,” in which the supposedly possessed were surrounded, shouted at, shaken and sometimes pummeled to drive out the evil spirits. Some exorcees were thrown brutally against walls.

Now, Associated Press reporters Mitch Weiss and Holbrook Mohr tie up their years of research into a straightforward, coherent account of the controversies surrounding Word of Faith. The two interviewed 100 former members of the fellowship, building a harrowing picture of faith gone horribly astray.

….Word of Faith was and is a world unto itself. Members attend three or more services per week on the fellowship’s large campus. Their children almost always attend the fellowship’s private school. Members did not watch television (particularly after a series of “Inside Edition” exposes on the congregation in the 1990s), did not read newspapers or books other than the Bible or Fellowship literature, and did not eat in restaurants that served alcohol.

Believers were encouraged to move to Spindale, where they frequently wound up living communally. Homeowners would be “encouraged” to take in other Word of Faith families or children in trouble. If you wanted to buy a house or car, you needed church permission.

Youngsters were pressured to “help out” at businesses owned by Word of Faith members, often with little or no pay. Adults were expected to report each other for breaking any of the many church rules. To prevent masturbation, for instance, men were forbidden to put their hands in their pockets.

….Word of Faith had been founded by Sam Whaley, a former used car salesman, but the real boss and preacher was his wife, Jane Whaley, a former math teacher. Although women in the fellowship were forbidden to wear makeup, Jane Whaley dressed in expensive outfits (generally obtained on long shopping trips to second-hand stores) and wore a lot of jewelry. She was known to have a temper, especially when people crossed her, and she had to face assault charges in state courts.

These cases went nowhere, though, and neither did multiple accusations of abuse by former members. Both the Rutherford County sheriff and the local district attorney were elected with the help of Word of Faith votes, and neither pursued charges against the fellowship with much energy. Word of Faith members took key jobs in the county courthouse and sheriff’s office to keep tabs with what was going on….


Former La Luz Del Mundo Member Alleges The Church Ran Child Sex Slavery Ring
by Aaron Schrank in News on February 13, 2020

A new civil lawsuit filed Thursday against religious leader and self-proclaimed “Apostle” of La Luz Del Mundo, Naason Joaquin Garcia, contains shocking allegations of abuse.

The filing, made in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, came as the religious group is holding its “Holy Supper” event at the Pomona Fairplex, attended by thousands.

It also comes more than eight months since Garcia, the Mexico-based megachurch’s religious leader, was arrested in Los Angeles on dozens of felony child rape and human trafficking charges. He has been held without bail in downtown L.A.’s Men’s Central Jail since then, after the court refused to grant bail citing him as a high-flight risk.

The lawsuit filed by Sochil Martin, a former Luz Del Mundo member, marks the first time a former La Luz Del Mundo church member has spoken openly about abuse allegations. Martin’s lawyers held a news conference Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles to detail her claims against the religious organization, Garcia and other top leaders of the organization.

The 34-year-old woman says she grew up deep in La Luz Del Mundo, primarily attending the flagship temple in East L.A.

Martin says she was groomed as a child, beaten, forced to work for no pay for the church’s communications department, and raped hundreds of times over two decades by Apostle Naason Joaquin Garcia and his father, Samuel Joaquin Flores.

Martin’s complaint alleges a ring of child sexual slavery and financial manipulation within the church and points fingers at Naason Joaquin Garcia’s family members and La Luz Del Mundo bishops, many of whom are based in Southern California.

“For nearly 22 years, I was made to work for, travel for, lie for and give my body to an organization who saw me as nothing more than a source of profit and sexual pleasure,” Martin told reporters gathered at the offices of Greenberg Gross in downtown Los Angeles Thursday. “Hundreds, if not thousands of other children before me and after me suffered the same fate.”

Church officials rejected Martin’s account Thursday morning.

….The Light of The World reports 1,500 temples in 58 countries and between 1 and 5 million members worldwide.

It has a big presence in California, with more than 50 temples, including churches in East L.A. and Pasadena.

Joaquin Garcia’s father, Samuel Joaquin Flores, led the church from 1964 until 2014.He was the subject of sexual abuse allegations in 1997, but never faced criminal charges.

….Sochil Martin is stepping forward and alleging years of abuse and manipulation growing up deep inside the religious group’s flagship church in East L.A,, where the jailed church leader and self-proclaimed “Apostle” of the religious movement was once a pastor.

In her civil complaint, Martin says she was trafficked throughout the U.S. and Mexico, beaten and raped dozens of times and even forced to have sex with children — all to satisfy the desires of “the two Apostles,” Naason Joaquin Garcia, and his father Samuel Joaquin Flores.

Martin also claims that since age 16, La Luz Del Mundo’s senior leaders forced her to do more than 30,000 hours of unpaid work for the church’s communications arm, International Berea USA. which is run out of East L.A. and was established by Naason Joaquin Garcia in 2009.

Martin alleges church leaders used their positions of power to benefit from her trafficking and unpaid labor. She named 12 additional people in the lawsuit, including several bishops in La Luz Del Mundo, some of Martin’s former bosses at the Church’s communications department and Naason Joaquin Garcia’s family members.

She alleges a widespread culture of coercion and control inside the organization. Martin says countless members have been forced to work for LDM. The complaint claims most of the employees at Berea International were unpaid.

“For far too many La Luz Del Mundo members, everything they have is taken by LLDM. Every dollar they make goes to La Luz Del Mundo because they truly believe their money will be used to do the work of God on Earth,” Martin said. “But all the hard-earned money goes to making Naason and his enablers rich.”

….Naason Joaquin Garcia and several co-conspirators were arrested last June and charged with dozens of felonies in a case filed by California Department of Justice. Garcia was first held on record high bail in L.A. county, and now without bail on charges involve three girls and one young woman in L.A. county in recent years. Garcia had denied the charges.

The case has been dragging in the pre-trial phase since Naason Joaquin Garcia’s dramatic arrest at LAX, at least in part because the child victims in the case were guaranteed anonymity when they reported alleged abuse to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office.

But the criminal case filed today is the first where a former member of the church is publicly accusing La Luz Del Mundo and its leadership of manipulation and sex abuse. Sochil’s attorneys, from Greenberg Gross and Jeff Anderson & Associates, said they hoped more victims will come forward.

Church officials and active members maintain the innocence and righteousness of their leader and Apostle….