Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of secretive society, BBC missed opportunities to stop Jimmy Savile, Gadsden toddler ‘ritual’ killing trial, Paid Family Leave Reduced Number Of Child Abuse Cases In California

February 26, 2016 Comments Off on Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of secretive society, BBC missed opportunities to stop Jimmy Savile, Gadsden toddler ‘ritual’ killing trial, Paid Family Leave Reduced Number Of Child Abuse Cases In California

– Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of this secretive society of elite hunters
– BBC missed opportunities to stop sexual predator Jimmy Savile, inquiry finds
– BBC faulted for its handling of sexual predator Jimmy Savile
– Testimony begins in Gadsden toddler ‘ritual’ killing trial
– Stopping Child Abuse: Paid Family Leave Reduced The Number Of Child Abuse Cases In California

Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of this secretive society of elite hunters

By Amy Brittain and Sari Horwitz February 24
When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died 12 days ago at a West Texas ranch, he was among high-ranking members of an exclusive fraternity for hunters called the International Order of St. Hubertus, an Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s.

After Scalia’s death Feb. 13, the names of the 35 other guests at the remote resort, along with details about Scalia’s connection to the hunters, have remained largely unknown. A review of public records shows that some of the men who were with Scalia at the ranch are connected through the International Order of St. Hubertus, whose members gathered at least once before at the same ranch for a celebratory weekend.

Members of the worldwide, male-only society wear dark-green robes emblazoned with a large cross and the motto “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes,” which means “Honoring God by honoring His creatures,” according to the group’s website. Some hold titles, such as Grand Master, Prior and Knight Grand Officer. The Order’s name is in honor of Hubert, the patron saint of hunters and fishermen….

The society’s U.S. chapter launched in 1966 at the famous Bohemian Club in San Francisco, which is associated with the all-male Bohemian Grove — one of the most well-known secret societies in the country.

In 2010, Poindexter hosted a group of 53 members of the Houston chapter of the International Order of St. Hubertus at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, according to a Houston society publication. A number of members from Mexico were also part of the ranch festivities that included “three days of organized shoots and ‘gala’ lunches and dinners….

From Houston, Scalia and Foster chartered a plane without the marshals to the Cibolo Creek Ranch airstrip. In a statement after Scalia died, the U.S. Marshals Service said that Scalia had declined a security detail while at the ranch….

Law enforcement officials told The Post that they had no knowledge of the International Order of St. Hubertus or its connection to Poindexter and ranch guests. The officials said the FBI had declined to investigate Scalia’s death when they were told by the marshals that he died from natural causes. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-scalia-spent-his-last-hours-with-members-of-this-secretive-society-of-elite-hunters/2016/02/24/1d77af38-db20-11e5-891a-4ed04f4213e8_story.html

BBC missed opportunities to stop sexual predator Jimmy Savile, inquiry finds
Thursday February 25, 2016
An inquiry clears the BBC of wrongdoing but points out serious failings in its handling of Jimmy Savile, a celebrated TV presenter revealed to have been one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

An investigation into the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal cleared the BBC of wrongdoing Thursday, even as it painted a damning portrait of an institution where employees were afraid to raise even serious concerns about sexual misconduct for fear of upsetting celebrity talent or making the corporation look bad.

Savile, a BBC television presenter and popular charity figure who died in October 2011, is believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders, often targeting minors.

The review initiated by the BBC blamed the institution’s internal culture for being behind the failure to sound the alarm on Savile’s predatory activity. It was only after Savile’s death that the extent of his crimes became clear — touching off a national shock wave of rage and introspection about how best to deal with sexual abuse charges, particularly involving the famous.

“Celebrities were treated with kid gloves and were virtually untouchable,” said Janet Smith, a former Court of Appeal judge who conducted the inquiry, describing a BBC culture of not wanting to “rock the boat.”…

Smith’s review said the Savile abuse incidents dated all the way back to 1959. She identified 72 victims of Savile, both male and female — and one was only 8 years old.

But girls who raised concerns about Savile were treated as a “nuisance.” In one case in 1969, a girl who was molested on the “Top of the Pops” program while standing next to Savile on the podium was “ejected from the building.”

The inquiry also concluded that another BBC star, sports presenter Stuart Hall, 86, also used his celebrity to shield his activities, often plying his victims with alcohol.

The Hall investigation was carried out by another former Court of Appeal judge, Linda Dobbs, because Smith had a conflict of interest. Dobbs found 21 victims of Hall, who was jailed in 2013 after pleading guilty to multiple charges of indecent assault…. http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-britain-bbc-jimmy-savile-20160225-story.html

BBC faulted for its handling of sexual predator Jimmy Savile
Thursday February 25, 2016
An inquiry clears the BBC of wrongdoing but points out serious failings in its handling of Jimmy Savile, a celebrated TV presenter revealed to have been one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders. http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-bbc-jimmy-savile-video-20160225-embeddedvideo.html

Testimony begins in Gadsden toddler ‘ritual’ killing trial
William Thornton February 25, 2016
Etowah County prosecutors today told jurors that the body of a 20-month-old girl, hacked to death, was found in 2013 in a duffel bag cast among trash in a field next to a dead dog.

Today saw the beginning of testimony in the trial of Stephon Lindsay, 38, accused of killing his daughter, Maliyah Tashay Lindsay, almost three years ago in what some family members termed a “ritual” killing.

Gadsden police discovered the body of Maliyah Lindsay in a wooded area at the dead end of Plainview Street in Gadsden on March 12, 2013 after Stephon Lindsay was arrested in connection with the child’s disappearance.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Marcus Reid said testimony would show Stephon killed Maliyah in accordance with his religious beliefs, using a long knife while the child’s mother was sick following giving birth a few weeks before….

Stephon would occasionally read and write in a dark green binder that he called his Bible, she said. He had a passion for horror, zombie and martial arts movies, she said, and would occasionally run outside into the rain to “do the stuff they do in the movies.” He collected knives and swords, she said, but also had a sense of humor and helped cook and clean and care for Maliyah…. http://www.al.com/news/anniston-gadsden/index.ssf/2016/02/testimony_begins_in_gadsden_to.html 

Stopping Child Abuse: Paid Family Leave Reduced The Number Of Child Abuse Cases In California
Feb 25, 2016 By Justin Caba
In 2004, California introduced its Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which allows for up to six weeks of paid leave for the birth of a newborn or to take care of a sick family member in a 12-month period. Despite there being proven benefits to having paid family leave, a number of other states have not followed suit. A recent study published in the journal Injury Prevention aimed to compare to the impact of the PFL program in California to states that have not enacted any parental leave laws.

Researchers from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gathered data on the number of children hospitalized from deliberately inflicted head injuries between 1995 and 2011 in California. They compared this data to that from seven other states without any paid leave policies: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin.

Admission rates for abusive head injuries dropped significantly among children under the age of 2 following the PFL enactment. When researchers incorporated influential factors, like unemployment rates and low education levels, the PFL program led to a drop of 5.1 admissions per 100,000 children under the age of 1. The policy also led to a 2.8 per 100,000 drop in admissions among children under 2…. http://www.medicaldaily.com/paid-family-leave-stopping-child-abuse-375161

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Deepcut soldier ‘ordered to have sex with another squaddie before she died’ inquest hears, Rotherham child abuse trial: four men and two women found guilty, Former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns apologises for his handling of abuse allegations

February 25, 2016 Comments Off on Deepcut soldier ‘ordered to have sex with another squaddie before she died’ inquest hears, Rotherham child abuse trial: four men and two women found guilty, Former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns apologises for his handling of abuse allegations

– Deepcut soldier ‘ordered to have sex with another squaddie before she died’ inquest hears
– Was girl soldier’s death covered up because she was raped on orders of Army top brass?
– Rotherham child abuse trial: four men and two women found guilty
– Child abuse royal commission: Former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns apologises for his handling of abuse allegations

Deepcut soldier ‘ordered to have sex with another squaddie before she died’ inquest hears

A TEENAGED female soldier was ordered to have sex with another squaddie the night before she died, an inquest heard.
By Peter Henn Wed, Feb 24, 2016
Private Cheryl James, 18, was found with a fatal bullet wound in Deepcut barracks, Surrey, in November 1995.

She was one of four recruits to die at the army training camp over the space of seven years.

Fellow soldier Mark Beards told Woking Coroner’s Court that she had confided in him about the order and he had been “destroyed” by “carrying the guilt” of her death for 20 years.

But under cross-examination he was accused of being “a liar and a fantasist”.

He was also accused of assuming that Pte James was referring to sex the night before her death when she never used the word.

He told the inquest he bumped into Pte James at around 11.10pm and she told him she had been ordered by Sergeant Andrew Gavaghan to go into a room with Pte Ian Atkinson – known as Aki – to have sex.

He said: “I asked her what she was doing there and she said she had to meet Aki. I asked her why she had to meet Aki and she explained to me she had to go into the room with him.

“I asked her, ‘What do you mean?’. She said ‘I’ve got to do it’….
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/647229/Deepcut-soldier-Cheryl-James-inquest-ordered-to-have-sex

Was girl soldier’s death covered up because she was raped on orders of Army top brass?
THE death of a teenage soldier at a notorious army barracks where three other youngsters also died may have been covered up by the establishment because she was raped on the orders of her officers, it was claimed today.
By Nick Gutteridge  Mon, Jan 25, 2016

Police and army officials have conspired to keep the truth about the supposed suicide of 18-year-old Cheryl James from ever coming to light according to her family, who have fought a 20-year battle for justice.

But new evidence has now emerged suggesting that the young Private may have been ordered to sleep with a male colleague in the hours before her death by bullying officers who were “pimping out” female recruits at the infamous Deepcut barracks in Surrey.

The latest claims will rock the military and police establishment, both of whom have repeatedly insisted that her death was a suicide, even suggesting she may have killed herself because of complications with her love life….

But serious questions began to be asked several years later when it emerged that four young recruits had all died at the same barracks within a short space of time.

Detectives came under serious pressure to reopen their investigation after 17-year-old James Collinson was also found at the Deepcut base with a fatal gunshot wound in March 2002.

The calls became a clamour when it then emerged that there had been two more deaths at the notorious barracks – home to the Royal Logistics Corps – in the space of just seven years.

Private Sean Benton, 20, died a few months before Pte James, while 17-year-old Geoff Gray died in September 2001.

Surrey Police, which has been savagely criticised over its bungled investigations of the deaths, was then forced to admit that it had received almost 60 allegations of bullying and sexual assaults at the base in 1995 alone.

Her family are hoping that the truth will finally come out after a High Court judge quashed the verdict of her original inquest, with a fresh inquiry set to get under way next week.

And in a bombshell development a pre-inquest hearing held earlier this month was told how the young recruit, from Llangollen on the Welsh borders, had been subjected to “vile treatment”, sexual exploitation by senior ranks and may have been “sexually coerced or raped” the night before she was found dead….
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/637700/Deepcut-deaths-Private-Cheryl-James-inquest-claims-rape-army-officers

Rotherham child abuse trial: four men and two women found guilty
Gang including three brothers, led by Arshid Hussain, targeted 15 girls, one as young as 11
Lisa O’Carroll and Josh Halliday Wednesday 24 February 2016

Six men and women were found guilty of offences relating to the sexual exploitation of teenage girls in Rotherham, as it emerged that the conduct of more than 50 officers from South Yorkshire who had dealt with the victims is now under investigation.

A gang of three brothers, their uncle and two women were found guilty of 55 serious offences, some of which lay undetected for almost 20 years. They targeted 15 vulnerable girls, one as young as 11, and subjected them to brutal and degrading acts between 1987 and 2003 including rape, forced prostitution, indecent assault and false imprisonment.

Allegations by victims that those found guilty – Arshid, Basharat and Bannaras Hussain, their uncle Qurban Ali and their associates Karen MacGregor and Shelley Davies – were able to commit crimes for so long with apparent impunity are now the focus of two separate investigations into the police.

It can now be reported that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched 55 separate investigations into how South Yorkshire police dealt with victims, in one of the biggest inquiries into potential neglect of duty and corruption in recent policing history.

The police watchdog said that 46 misconduct notices had already been served on 26 officers, and warned the figure could increase. It is understood that more than 50 officers are being investigated. Complaints cover “a range of allegations from a failure to act on reported child sexual exploitation to corruption by police officers,” it said….
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/24/child-sex-abuse-rotherham-guilty-gang-hussain

Child abuse royal commission: Former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns apologises for his handling of abuse allegations
By Margaret Paul and staff  2/25/16

Former Catholic bishop Ronald Mulkearns has told a royal commission he is not sure if he knew child abuse was a crime during his time in charge of the Ballarat diocese, but he knew it was wrong.

The former bishop made his much-anticipated appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse via videolink from the nursing home in which he now lives.

Until now Bishop Mulkearns had been excused from giving evidence because he was too sick.

Asked if he referred paedophile Gerald Ridsdale for help because he knew he was abusing children, he said yes.

Bishop Mulkearns told the hearing he never asked priests directly if they were abusers but instead got reports from psychologists.

He conceded the only reason he sent priests off for treatment was because he believed they had been offending.

“I didn’t really know what to do or how to do it,” he said.

He apologised on Thursday for the way he handled complaints of abuse in his diocese….
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-25/royal-commission-former-ballarat-bishop-ronald-mulkearns-appears/7198260

Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation, ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies

February 24, 2016 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation, ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies

– Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation
– Cardinal George Pell won’t be asked about Victoria Police inquiry
– ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies

Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation
2/19/2016
Cardinal George Pell has vehemently denied allegations of abuse, in a statement issued in the wake of media reports that he is being investigated by Victoria Police.

In response to a Herald Sun report that a Victoria Police taskforce was investigating abuse allegations against him, Australia’s most high-profile Catholic said the allegations were “undetailed” and had not been raised with him.

A statement from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney also said allegations of abuse that were raised 15 years ago were “without foundation and utterly false”….
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-19/cardinal-george-pell-denies-allegations-vic-police-investigation/7185830

Cardinal George Pell won’t be asked about Victoria Police inquiry
The Australian February 24, 2016
Cardinal George Pell is not ­expected to be questioned by a royal commission over allegations being investigated by police that he was involved in the sexual abuse of boys over several decades.

The publication of the allegations on Friday night provoked a storm of reaction. The cardinal, who vehemently denies the claims, called for a public inquiry into the “maliciously timed” leak, allegedly by Victoria Police.

Cardinal Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and who now manages the Vatican’s finances, is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week. But several legal and church sources said they did not expect him to be questioned ­directly by the commission’s lawyers over the alleged abuse.

The commission’s Letters Patent, signed by the Governor-General and which establish the confines of its work, say it “is not required … to inquire … into a particular matter” that is subject to another criminal investigation….
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/royal-commission/cardinal-george-pell-wont-be-asked-about-victoria-police-inquiry/news-story/201368aa6690692ec55f026091072948

describes violence

‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies where his ‘dominating’ partner would slice his forehead as 16th century church choir music played

A slave who stabbed his master to death says he acted in self defence
Henry Rose, 59, pleaded not guilty to murdering his partner Drew Dax, 44
Mr Dax was stabbed multiple times in their Caulfield North home in 2011
He had a knife in his hands but police allege Mr Rose planted it there
Police documents reveal the two had been involved in a violent relationship
Mr Dax was charged with assault after slicing Mr Rose in devil worship ritual

By Belinda Grant Geary For Daily Mail Australia  23 February 2016

A ‘slave’ who claims he killed his ‘master’ in self-defence was stabbed and sliced by his dominating partner during a ritualistic devil worshipping ceremony.

Henry Rose, 59, pleaded not guilty to murdering his controlling partner Drew Dax, formerly known as Andrew Barratt, during an appearance at the Melbourne Supreme Court on Monday.

Mr Dax, 44, was found with a knife in his hand after being stabbed multiple times with two different blades in the couple’s Caulfield North home on January 11, 2015.

The court has heard that the two had been involved in a string of violent confrontations during their 28 year relationship – one so serious that the 44-year-old master had been charged with assault, the Age reported….

Police were called to the couple’s apartment in Elwood, south of Melbourne’s CBD, in 1989 after Mr Dax entered a trance-like state and demanded Mr Rose kneel before him.

According to reports, Mr Dax, who was playing the role of Satan, used a kitchen knife to slice his slave’s forehead and stab him in the hand as dramatic 16th century church music played.

Mr Dax was charged with assault and placed on an 18 month community based order, despite Mr Rose insisting that he wanted to withdraw his complaint….
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3460138/Slave-facing-Melbourne-Supreme-court-murder-master-took-devil-worshipping-ceremonies-dominating-partner-slice-forehead-16th-century-church-choir-music-played.html

Bill Cosby’s wife deposed in defamation lawsuit, Christian leader Bill Gothard sexual assault accusations, Mexican warlord El Chayo turned a cartel into cult

February 23, 2016 Comments Off on Bill Cosby’s wife deposed in defamation lawsuit, Christian leader Bill Gothard sexual assault accusations, Mexican warlord El Chayo turned a cartel into cult

– Bill Cosby’s Wife, Camille, Deposed In Defamation Lawsuit
– Two women share accounts of forced labor and sexual abuse by prominent Christian leader Bill Gothard
– Bill Gothard, Christian counseling ministry leader with ties to TLC’s Duggar family, target of sexual assault lawsuit by 10 women
– The Narco Who Died Twice How a Mexican gangster turned a cartel into a cult – Nazario Moreno Gonzalez—also known as El Chayo

Bill Cosby’s Wife, Camille, Deposed In Defamation Lawsuit
February 22, 2016  Merrit Kennedy
Camille Cosby, the wife of comedian Bill Cosby, has been deposed at a Springfield, Mass., hotel.

Seven women brought a defamation lawsuit against her husband, to whom she’s been married for more than 50 years.

NPR’s Arun Rath reports that Monday’s deposition, which happened under tight security, comes after a legal fight:

“Bill Cosby’s legal team filed a series of motions to prevent his wife, Camille, from being called to testify, but late Sunday the federal court in Springfield, Mass., rejected the last, emergency appeal.

“The plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit claim they were defamed by statements issued by Bill Cosby’s representatives, with his approval.

“Those statements denied Cosby had sexually assaulted the women, and called their reliability into question.

“Cosby is also facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania for an alleged sexual assault there in 2004. Last month, his lawyers filed a motion to dismiss those charges.

“More than 50 women have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault.”

No details have emerged about what Camille Cosby said during her deposition….
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/22/467706193/bill-cosbys-wife-camille-deposed-in-defamation-lawsuit

EXCLUSIVE: Two women share shocking accounts of forced labor and sexual abuse by prominent Christian leader Bill Gothard
BY Laura Bult NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Friday, February 19, 2016

Two women who are accusing an influential Christian preacher with ties to the Duggar family of sexual assault spoke out for the first time Thursday about their hellish years of forced labor and abuse in the cult-like organization.

Joy Simmons and Jennifer Spurlock are two of the many men and women who have made the horrifying accusations against Bill Gothard, who ran Institute in Basic Life Principles, saying they were deprived of an education, forced to work and were groped by the Christian leader.

“To have your education ripped from you and to have your childhood ripped from you, it’s extremely difficult. It’s just evil,” Spurlock, who spent three years as a minor at one of Gothard’s training centers, told the Daily News.

Gothard retired in 2014 as president from the IBLP after running the organization for 40 years when the sexual assault allegations first came to light….

The women’s shocking allegations describe a disturbing culture within the organization in which Gothard would take troubled young men and women under his wing at the IBLP and then target them as victims of sexual abuse, rape and free labor for the bizarre organization.

IBLP board members are also listed as defendants in the lawsuit because of their role in covering the abuse, the more than 200-page complaint reads….

Another of the new plaintiffs, a man named Daniel Dorsett, said he witnessed Gothard sexually abuse more than 150 girls between 1994 and 1996 when he worked as a personal driver for him….

Gothard has denied all of the allegations against him through his attorney, who called the women’s stories “defamatory.”….

The lawsuit seeks to get compensation of $50,000 for each plaintiff from IBLP and Gothard for unpaid labor, as well as to pay for counseling for the victims.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/women-detail-sex-abuse-allegations-bill-gothard-article-1.2536758

Bill Gothard, Christian counseling ministry leader with ties to TLC’s Duggar family, target of sexual assault lawsuit by 10 women BY Laura Bult NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bill Gothard is the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles who stepped down last year amid sexual harassment allegations.

Ten women filed a bombshell lawsuit Wednesday alleging decades of sexual assault and rape by the longtime leader of Christian homeschooling ministry, Bill Gothard, who preaches modesty among women and has ties to Republican politicians and the reality TV Duggar family.

The lawsuit is the latest development after numerous women who sought counseling at Gothard’s Institute of Basic Life Principles, a prominent religious homeschooling ministry, came forward accusing the magnetic leader of sexual abuse, some of whom were minors at the time

The 81-year-old unmarried former president of the IBLP resigned from the ministry in 2014 after more than 30 women said they had been molested by him, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the story.

The lawsuit filed in an Illinois circuit court includes allegations that range from sexual harassment,  inappropriate touching and hand-holding, molestation and rape, according to the complaint provided to the Daily News by the lawyers representing the women at the Texas Gibbs Law Firm.

The accounts, some of which were posted on a blog called Recovering Grace, come from the types of vulnerable women who would come to IBLP’s training centers seeking bible study and counseling, many of them victims of incest by their fathers or older family members, or who had been sold into human trafficking….
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/twn-women-filed-sexual-assault-lawsuit-bill-gothard-article-1.2488543

The Narco Who Died Twice
How a Mexican gangster turned a cartel into a cult    Ioan Grillo Feb 4, 2016
Nazario Moreno Gonzalez—also known as El Chayo, or El Mas Loco, the Maddest One—first died in December 2010. Mexican federal police claimed they killed Nazario, one of Mexico’s most brutal criminal warlords, during a ferocious battle involving 2,000 federal officers and about 500 gangsters. But his henchmen carried his corpse away.

A grave appeared with his name on it. (Apparently, police didn’t want to dig it up and check.) The president at the time, Felipe Calderon, trumpeted the crime lord’s demise as a grand victory in his war on the drug cartels. But after Nazario’s supposed death, his followers began venerating him like a saint, and statuettes and shrines appeared. Even more bizarrely, people reported seeing his ghost wandering around his home state of Michoacan dressed all in white. Under the leadership of this phantom saint, Nazario’s criminal organization, which took the name Knights Templar after the legendary warrior monks of the Middle Ages, became more powerful than ever….

The story of Nazario’s rise from impoverished child laborer to gangster saint, and his ultimate downfall, is a story about the shifting dynamics of Mexico’s drug war. Nazario cultivated a narco holy image, a mix of Latin America’s popular Catholicism with the bling of the drug trade. He hailed from a tight-knit community in a valley blighted by poverty, criminality, and beliefs in the supernatural. These features all helped mold the narco saint and his legend; in the end, his rule was so brutal it ultimately unleashed Mexico’s largest vigilante movement to take him down….

The memoir also details the influence the Mexican cult comic El Kaliman had on him. The adventures of the superhero Kaliman, he writes, provided him with a refuge from his violent reality; in the comic, Kaliman is a mysterious crusader who dresses all in white and whose special powers include levitation and telepathy. Nazario also believed that he had psychic powers. Later, he would claim to control people’s minds….

The government lost the ability to be the arbitrator that could control organized crime. Instead, gangsters disputed power themselves under strength of arms. Amid this bloodshed, the mobsters turned from traffickers into warlords. And rather than the police ordering gangsters about, gangsters fought over who could control police forces.

This fighting caused homicides to shoot up at some of the most alarming rates in the Americas. The number of killings by cartels or the security forces assigned to fight them would surge from about 1,500 in 2004 to 6,800 in 2008 to almost 17,000 in 2011. The ensuing conflict became known in Spanish as la narcoguerra, and in English as Mexico’s drug war….

Nazario’s tract Pensamientos, or “Thoughts,” which he distributed to his followers from late 2006 after gaining control of the Hot Land, reflects the quasi-religious character of his rule. Some phrases sound like the evangelical preachers he followed. “I ask God for strength and he gives me challenges that make me strong; I ask him for wisdom and he gives me problems to resolve,” reads one entry. Nazario also spread his message in evangelical temples and drug rehab centers he funded….

The first action the ghostly Nazario took was to rename his mob the Knights Templar after the Jerusalem-based crusaders who fought for Christendom between 1119 and 1312. The gunslingers became Templars, sacred soldiers. The red Templar cross became an identifiable graphic in safe houses and on guns, a brand symbol. The Maddest One even made up a coat of arms and introduced a pocket-sized book of codes, listing 53 commandments the Knights had to obey.

The Templar concept also allowed the Maddest One to expand his religious-warrior fantasy. He introduced ceremonies with the crusader theme, in which gangsters dressed up like knights to initiate new members or promote operatives….
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/02/nazario-moreno-knights-templar/459756/

Paedophiles use secret Facebook groups to swap images, King child abuse probe

February 19, 2016 Comments Off on Paedophiles use secret Facebook groups to swap images, King child abuse probe

Paedophiles use secret Facebook groups to swap images
By Angus Crawford BBC News 12 February 2016

Paedophiles are using secret groups on Facebook to post and swap obscene images of children, the BBC has found.

Settings on the social network mean the groups are invisible to most users and only members can see the content.

Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said Facebook was not doing enough to police the groups and protect children.

Facebook’s head of public policy told the BBC he was committed to removing “content that shouldn’t be there”.

A BBC investigation found a number of secret groups, created by and run for men with a sexual interest in children, including one being administered by a convicted paedophile who was still on the sex offenders’ register.

The groups have names that give a clear indication of their content and contain pornographic and highly suggestive images, many purporting to be of children. They also have sexually explicit comments posted by users….

The Internet Watch Foundation creates a list of web pages with child sexual abuse content and any found to be on Facebook groups are taken down automatically, Facebook says.

Any other material reported to the social network as inappropriate goes through an internal review procedure to check if it is in breach of its community standards.

Facebook says it removes content that includes “solicitation of sexual material, any sexual content involving minors, threats to share intimate images and offers of sexual services”….

She said: “I was horrified. Thinking that these innocent snapshots of my (then) 11-year-old daughter had become the subject of vile comments and disgusting exchanges between members of these groups was really upsetting.

“But equally upsetting is the fact that Facebook allows these secret groups to exist, unmonitored and unchecked, making them rife for abuse by paedophiles.

“There must be a duty of care to users to make sure that paedophiles can’t hide on these secret groups, stealing and sharing images of children they find online.”

Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said: “I’m shocked those don’t breach community standards, any parent or indeed child looking at those would know that they were not acceptable.”

She said she did not believe Facebook was doing enough to protect children…. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35521068 

Fourth man arrested in Jonathan King child abuse probe
By Ben Mitchell  18/02/2016
A fourth man has been arrested as part of an investigation into allegations of historical child sex offences involving former music mogul Jonathan King.

The 74-year-old was held by Surrey Police, which is looking into claims linked to the Walton Hop Disco in Walton-on-Thames.

King and two other men were arrested in September concerning the allegations of offences committed against boys under the age of 16.

The investigation, called Operation Ravine, was launched in late 2014 to look into child sex crimes linked to the Walton Hop Disco, following a review by Merseyside Police into a previous Surrey Police investigation that was entitled Operation Arundel and which was launched in 2000.

King, a former chart-topping star and TV producer, worked on BBC shows including No Limits and The Great British Song Contest. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/fourth-man-arrested-in-jonathan-king-child-abuse-probe-34463498.html 

Inside the Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse at Sovereign Grace Ministries

February 18, 2016 Comments Off on Inside the Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse at Sovereign Grace Ministries

Inside the Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse at Sovereign Grace Ministries 
Elizabeth Dias  Feb. 16, 2016

How one reporter investigated child sex abuse at a major evangelical church

The February issue of Washingtonian Magazine featured an exposé of long-buried sexual abuse of children in a prominent evangelical church network, Sovereign Grace Ministries. Freelance journalist Tiffany Stanley, a 2015 National Magazine Award finalist, spent 10 months uncovering reports of child rape and molestation in Sovereign Grace churches over the last three decades, particularly at the then-flagship Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Her investigation, “The Sex Scandal that Devastated a Suburban Megachurch,” chronicles the inside story of crimes against children in D.C.-area Sovereign Grace churches, explores how church leaders including founder C.J. Mahaney did and did not respond, and recounts how victims’ mothers joined forces to seek justice.

Unlike the hierarchical Catholic Church, evangelical churches often function independently. But their influence is widespread—as Stanley points out, Wayne Grudem, an evangelical theologian at Phoenix Seminary, once described Sovereign Grace Ministries “as an example of the way churches ought to work….

In response to the Washingtonian investigation, executive director of Sovereign Grace Churches Mark Prater pointed TIME to a lengthy statement he made in 2014 denying that Sovereign Grace leaders “conspired to cover up” sexual abuse. “Yes, we have been the target of misinformed critique in both the secular and Christian media, and more will likely come,” he stated. “I pray that God gives us all grace to respond wisely and biblically. But regardless of the public discourse, we are strongly committed to ensuring a safe environment for the children in our churches….

(Tiffany Stanley) The Catholic Church has been taken to task over abuse for decades now. Evangelical ministries are now facing their own abuse crises. In the media, we’re hearing more about these stories. Some of these allegations confront abuse that is decades old. From just the past year, I’m thinking of reports about Josh Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting and Bill Gothard, a Christian homeschooling advocate. I’m also thinking about Buzzfeed’s recent story on Jesus People USA and Kiera Feldman’s 2012 investigation of abuse in a Tulsa megachurch. (Of course, other religions are not immune from sexual abuse scandals either.)

The sad reality is that sexual abuse is widespread everywhere, not just in religious communities. The statistics I saw were one-in-four girls and one-in-six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. The experts I spoke to didn’t say these statistics are worse in evangelical churches, but they did say that abusers could prey on trusting religious communities, which give them access to children. That’s why churches need policies in place to protect children and handle abuse when it happens. That means reporting suspected abuse to authorities immediately, instead of handling it internally. Abuse is a sin, but it’s also a serious crime….
http://time.com/4226444/child-sex-abuse-evangelical-church/

Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel, Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims

February 17, 2016 Comments Off on Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel, Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims

Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel
Will Carless, GlobalPost  February 15, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A member of a commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on child abuse says the group is a “token body” exercising in “smoke and mirrors” that won’t help children stay safe from abusive priests.

Peter Saunders, the commission member, is now on a leave of absence as he considers whether to continue with an effort he says he has lost faith in.

Meanwhile, new Catholic bishops are still being taught they’re not obliged to report cases of child abuse by priests to the police.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which Francis set up with much fanfare in 2014, was supposed to issue guidelines for the Vatican on how to deal with child abuse. But the body was never consulted about the training for new bishops on exactly that topic.

These are just some of the signs that Francis’ reform efforts, and his pledge to clean up the Catholic Church’s most damaging crisis, seem to be unraveling before they’ve even really gotten started.

The problems come as Pope Francis pays a visit to Latin America, a region where, as GlobalPost has reported, the church is accused of reassigning and protecting many alleged predator priests. Among the latest scandals in the region, Chileans are outraged that the pope appointed a bishop accused of shielding the country’s most despised pedophile priest from investigation….
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/02/15/popes-efforts-stop-church-child-abuse-appear-unravel/80394122/

Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims
Rift comes amid signs that special commission created by Pope Francis to handle issue is being sidelined by senior church officials in Rome
Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome Tuesday 16 February 2016

A battle is being waged within the Vatican over how senior clergy ought to handle accusations of sexual abuse amid signs that a special commission created by Pope Francis to handle the issue is being sidelined by senior church officials in Rome.

The rift was exposed after a report in the Guardian about a training course that was offered to new bishops last year in which a controversial French monsignor instructed them that it was “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of abuse to law enforcement authorities if local laws did not require it.

That stance was rejected this week by Pope Francis’s point man on abuse issues, Boston cardinal Seán O’Malley, who heads a special pontifical commission to protect minors.

“We, the president and the members of the commission, wish to affirm that our obligations under civil law must certainly be followed, but even beyond these civil requirements, we all have a moral and ethical responsibility to report suspected abuse to the civil authorities who are charged with protecting our society,” he said in a statement on Monday.

O’Malley also said that the special commission was committed to “extensive education efforts” within local churches since its founding two years ago, and that its members had reiterated their “willingness to provide this material at courses offered in Rome”, including at the training courses for new bishops and the offices of the Roman Curia, or bureaucracy.

But it is clear that these offers have not been accepted….
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/16/vatican-riven-by-internal-battle-over-handling-of-child-abuse-claims

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