Duggar family under investigation, refuses to let official check on child, Nova Scotia woman tortured for years by family, Central-Colombia shaman arrested for ‘drugging and raping at least 50 women’

June 11, 2015 Comments Off on Duggar family under investigation, refuses to let official check on child, Nova Scotia woman tortured for years by family, Central-Colombia shaman arrested for ‘drugging and raping at least 50 women’

– Duggar family under investigation, refuses to let official check on child: 911 call
– Duggars were investigated by DHS in May and 911 was called, new report claims
– Women’s issues, ‘Up For Debate’ campaign gets Nova Scotian support
– Nova Scotia woman ‘tortured’ for years by family speaks out
– Central-Colombia shaman arrested for ‘drugging and raping at least 50 women’

Duggar family under investigation, refuses to let official check on child: 911 call
BY Meg Wagner  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Arkansas’ Department of Human Services is investigating the Duggar family, according to a worker who called 911 when the family refused to let him check in on a child.

Arkansas officials are again investigating the Duggars — but the ultraconservative family isn’t cooperating.

A Department of Human Services worker called 911 last month after the Duggars — entangled in oldest son Josh’s molestation scandal — refused to let him check in on a child inside the house, according records newly obtained by In Touch Weekly.

The caller told the dispatcher he visited the home as part of a DHS investigation into the “19 Kids & Counting” family….
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/duggars-not-cooperating-new-investigation-official-article-1.2253195

Duggars were investigated by DHS in May and 911 was called, new report claims
Published June 10, 2015

A new report by In Touch claims the Duggar family was being investigated as recently as May 27, and a 911 call regarding the Duggars was placed on that date by a Washington County Department of Human Services (DHS) worker because the DHS was allegedly being denied access to a minor in the family.

The call was supposedly just days after a May 19 report by In Touch revealed Josh Duggar had sexually abused five females – including four sisters — when he was 14 or 15 back in 2002 and 2003. Josh Duggar, his parents, and two of his sisters—Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard—have since spoken openly about the abuse.

After the revelations about the Duggars hit the web, the Arkansas Department of Human Services reportedly launched a new investigation into the family made famous by the TV show “19 Kids and Counting.”

The latest issue of In Touch magazine contains a transcript of the 911 call that was allegedly made regarding the Duggar family. In supposed printed transcript of the call, the caller identifies the home they are calling about by saying “Address is the Duggar family home.”….
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/06/10/duggars-were-investigated-by-dhs-in-may-and-11-was-called-new-report-claims/

Women’s issues, ‘Up For Debate’ campaign gets Nova Scotian support
‘Up for Debate’ campaign wants federal party leaders to agree to a national debate on women’s issues
CBC News Posted: Jun 10, 2015

Two Nova Scotian women are getting behind a national push towards a federal election debate that focuses entirely on women’s issues.

Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson are vocal in their support of Up For Debate, an alliance of organizations united in raising awareness about women’s rights until the next election. They are calling for party leaders to be answer questions about the many national issues that concern the physical and mental health of women….

Both women are members of an organization called Persons Against Non-state Torture. Their mandate is to work with people who’ve experienced forms of domestic torture, including ritual abuse in private settings.

Their organization joins over 170 others in Canada in supporting the campaign….
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/women-s-issues-up-for-debate-campaign-gets-nova-scotian-support-1.3108546

Nova Scotia woman ‘tortured’ for years by family speaks out
WARNING: This story contains graphic details that may be disturbing to some readers

By Angela MacIvor, Susan Allen, CBC News Posted: May 28, 2014

Two Nova Scotia registered nurses who run a human rights advocacy group are speaking out about domestic “torture” cases with the help of a woman victim who first sparked the issue for them more than 20 years ago.

“We tried to find people to help her and no one really wanted to. About three sessions into her work, we realized she was a torture survivor because her story went way beyond abuse, so we stayed with her and we helped her heal,” said Linda MacDonald.

MacDonald and fellow registered nurse Jeanne Sarson are the founders of Persons Against NST (Non-State Torture).

They say their first foray into looking at domestic torture began in 1993 when Sarson took a call from a woman in her late 20s who goes by the name Sara….

Sara, who is now 50 years old and uses a pseudonym to protect her identity, alleges she was starved, drugged, confined, beaten and raped by her own parents from the time she was a young child….

Over the years, Sarson and MacDonald say they’ve helped more than 3,000 victims of NST around the globe, including about a dozen or so cases in Nova Scotia.

MacDonald says counselling can continue for two to three years. In some cases, they work with victims for over a decade….
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-woman-tortured-for-years-by-family-speaks-out-1.2655876

Central-Colombia shaman arrested for ‘drugging and raping at least 50 women’
Posted by Torkan Omari on Jun 5, 2015
A shaman from central Colombia was arrested on Thursday on charges he drugged and raped at least 50 women between 2008 and 2012.

Edgar Orlando Gaitan, known as “El Taita”, is accused of using his position as a shaman to sexually abuse women who came to him to perform spiritual rituals in which the native “Yage” or “Ayahuasca” drug was used.

During the ritual, the participants visiting him in La Vega, Cundinamarca drank the brew made out of various plants.

However, according to prosecutors, Gaitan mixed the traditional drug with a substance that made women fall asleep after which he sexually abused his victims….
The suspect has denied the charges.
http://colombiareports.com/central-colombia-shaman-arrested-for-drugging-and-raping-at-least-50-women/

Fran’s Day Care
State’s highest criminal court throws out 1992 convictions of sexual assault at Austin day care. Court declines, however, to find innocent in case involving claims of satanic abuse.
https://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/frans-day-care/

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Texas judge recommends against innocence finding for ex-day care operators in sex abuse case

December 6, 2014 Comments Off on Texas judge recommends against innocence finding for ex-day care operators in sex abuse case

Texas judge recommends against innocence finding for ex-day care operators in sex abuse case
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS   December 02, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas — A judge in Austin has recommended against a finding of innocence for two ex-day care owners who spent 21 years imprisoned on a child sex abuse conviction.

Dan and Fran Keller, who divorced in prison, seek exoneration in a case prosecutors say involved child abuse and satanic rituals. The Kellers were convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child involving a 3-year-old girl.

The Kellers were released on bond last year when the physical evidence was found to be a mistake by an examining physician.

Judge Wilford Flowers, who presided over the trial, on Monday ruled the Kellers again failed to provide proof of innocence. It’s the third such decision by Flowers. His recommendation goes to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

An attorney for the Kellers plans a rebuttal.
http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/d0ad50a4181c4ddea5fb1a130e9fe9d1/TX–Ritual-Abuse-Conviction-Challenged/

Information on the Keller/Fran’s Day Care Case  http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/frans-day-care/

Ritual Abuse Evidence – Statistics, Research, Legal Cases and Studies

November 5, 2014 Comments Off on Ritual Abuse Evidence – Statistics, Research, Legal Cases and Studies

Child Abuse Wiki – Ritual Abuse
http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse
Ritual abuse exists all over the world. There have been reports, journal articles, web pages and criminal convictions of crimes against children and adults.

Proof That Ritual Abuse Exists
http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/

Large List of Ritual Abuse and Satanic Ritual Abuse References
http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/studies/satanic-ritual-abuse-evidence-with-information-on-the-mcmartin-preschool-case/

Child Abuse Wiki – Recovered Memories
http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Recovered_Memories
There is very strong scientific evidence that recovered memories exist. This has been shown in many scientific studies. The content of recovered memories have fairly high corroboration rates.

The Dark Tunnels of McMartin – Dr. Roland C. Summit http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/the-dark-tunnels-of-mcmartin-dr-roland-c-summit-journal-of-psychohistory/

The McMartin Preschool Case – What Really Happened and the Cover-up
http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/mcmartin-preschool-case-what-really-happened-and-the-coverup/

Denying Ritual Abuse of Children – Catherine Gould The Journal of Psychohistory 22 (3) 1995 http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/denying-ritual-abuse-of-children-catherine-gould/

Believe the children (1997). “Conviction List: Ritual Child Abuse”. http://ra-info.org/faqs/ra-convictions/

2008 Publications on Ritual Abuse and Mind Control
http://endritualabuse.org/evidence/publications-on-ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-in-2008/

Lacter, E (2008-02-11). “Brief Synopsis of the Literature on the Existence of Ritualistic Abuse”. http://endritualabuse.org/evidence/brief-synopsis-of-the-literature-on-the-existence-of-ritualistic-abuse/

Bottoms, Shaver and Goodman in their 1993 study to evaluate ritual abuse claims found that in 2,292 alleged ritual abuse cases, 15% of the perpetrators in adult cases and 30% of the perpetrators in child cases confessed to the abuse. Data from Brown, Scheflin and Hammond (1998).”Memory, Trauma Treatment, And the Law” (W. W. Norton) ISBN 0-393-70254-5 (p.62) Bottoms, B. Shaver, P. & Goodman, G. (1993) Profile of ritual abuse and religion related abuse allegations in the United States. Updated findings provided via personal communication from B. Bottoms. Cited in K.C. Faller (1994), Ritual Abuse; A Review of the research. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Advisor , 7, 1, 19-27

On Page 170 (first edition), of Cult and Ritual Abuse – Noblitt and Perskin (Praeger, 1995) states “One of the best sources of evaluative research on ritual abuse is the article “Ritual Abuse: A Review of Research” by Kathleen Coulborn Faller (1994)….in a survey of 2,709 members of the American Psychological Association, it was found that 30 percent of these professionals had seen cases of ritual or religion-related abuse (Bottoms, Shaver & Goodman, 1991). Of those psychologists who have seen cases of ritual abuse, 93 percent believed that the reported harm took place and 93 percent believed that the alleged ritualism occurred. This is a remarkable finding. Mental health professionals are known to be divergent in their thinking and frequently do not agree with one another regarding questions of the diagnosis and etiology of psychiatric problems…this level of concurrence in a large national sample of psychologists…would be impressive….the similar research of Nancy Perry (1992) which further supports (the previous findings)…Perry also conducted a national survey of therapists who work with clients with dissociative disorders and she found that 88 percent of the 1,185 respondents indicated”belief in ritual abuse, involving mind control and programming” (p.3).”

Craighead, W. E.; Corsini, R.J.; Nemeroff, C. B. (2002) The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science Published by John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0471270830 – Sadistic Ritual Abuse (p.1435 – 1438) http://books.google.com/books?id=JQMRmyOfpJ8C&pg=PA1436&lpg=PA1436#v=onepage&q=sadistic%20ritual&f=false

Sexual Abuse in Day Care: A National Study – Executive Summary – March 1988 – Finklehor, Williams, Burns, Kalinowski “The study identified 270 “cases” of sexual abuse in day care meaning 270 facilities where substantiated abuse had occurred involving a total of 1639 victimized children….This yielded an estimate of 500 to 550 reported and substantiated cases and 2500 victims for the three-year period. Although this is a large number, it must be put in the context of 229,000 day care facilities nationwide service seven million children….allegations of ritual abuse (“the invocation of religious, magical or supernatural symbols of activities”) occurred in 13% of the cases.” The authors divided these cases into “true cult-based ritual,” pseudo-ritualism” with a primary goal of sexual gratification and ritual being used to intimidate the children from disclosing and “psychopathological ritualism” the activities being “primarily the expression of an individuals obsessional or delusional system.”  https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/113095NCJRS.pdf

Books on Ritual Abuse

Johnson Davis, Anne  “Hell Minus One: My Story of Deliverance From Satanic Ritual Abuse and My Journey to Freedom” Transcript Bulletin Publishing – ISBN 978-0-9788348-0-7 – 2008  “Anne’s parents confessed their atrocities—both in writing and verbally—to clergymen, and to detectives from the Utah Attorney General’s Office.  Anne’s suppressed memories, which erupted when she was in her mid-30s, were fully substantiated by her mother and stepfather….The book’s foreword was written by Lt. Detective Matt Jacobson, who was the lead investigator with the Utah Attorney General’s Office on Anne’s case in 1995.” http://www.HellMinusOne.com

Hell Minus One – signed verified confessions of satanic ritual abuse – Anne’s parents confessed their atrocities – both in writing and verbally.
http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/survivor-stories/hell-minus-one-signed-verified-confessions-of-satanic-ritual-abuse/

Epstein, O., Schwartz, J., Schwartz, R.  Ritual Abuse and Mind Control: The Manipulation of Attachment Needs 2011 Karnac Books. London ISBN 1-85575-839-3 http://www.karnacbooks.com/Product.asp?PID=29482  Google Books Version http://books.google.com/books?id=xU6GZ28gGy4C&dq=Ritual+Abuse+and+Mind+Control:+The+Manipulation+of+Attachment+Needs&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Noblitt, J.R.; Perskin, P. S. (eds) (2008). Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-first Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations. Bandor, OR: Robert Reed, 552. ISBN 1-934759-12-0.

Noblitt, JR; Perskin PS (2000). Cult and ritual abuse: its history, anthropology, and recent discovery in contemporary America. New York:Praeger. ISBN 0-275-96665-8. http://books.google.ca/books?id=zJkTTpfyJ-8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0

Cult and Ritual Abuse – James Randall Noblitt – Chapter 6 – Empirical Evidence of Ritual Abuse http://books.google.com/books?id=zJkTTpfyJ-8C&printsec=frontcover#PPA55,M1

Rutz, Carol (2001). A Nation Betrayed. Grass Lake, MI: Fidelity Publishing. ISBN 0-9710102-0-X.
The Chilling True Story of Secret Cold War Experiments Performed on our Children and Other Innocent People by Carol Rutz http://www2.dmci.net/users/casey

Ryder, Daniel. (1992). Breaking the Circle of Satanic Ritual Abuse: Recognizing and Recovering – CompCare Pub.

Secret Weapons – Two Sisters’ Terrifying True Story of Sex, Spies and Sabotage by Cheryl and Lynn Hersha with Dale Griffis, Ph D. and Ted Schwartz. New Horizon Press, P O Box 669 Far Hills, NJ 07931 – ISBN0-88282-196-2 Is a well-documented, verifiable account of not one, but two childrens’ long untold stories of being CHILD subjects of Project MKUltra. Quotes from the book: “By the time Cheryl Hersha came to the facility, knowledge of multiple personality was so complete that doctors understood how the mind separated into distinct ego states,each unaware of the other. First, the person traumatized had to be both extremely intelligent and under the age of seven, two conditions not yet understood though remaining consistent as factors. The trauma was almost always of a sexual nature…” p. 52 “The government researchers,aware of the information in the professional journals, decided to reverse the process (of healing from hysteric dissociation). They decided to use selective trauma on healthy children to create personalities capable of committing acts desired for national security and defense.” p. 53 – 54 The book also contains a variety of documents on mk-ultra and different projects as well as reports to the Presidential Committee on Radiation and Mind Control, including information on the five Canadians’ lawsuit against the U.S. Government.

Sinason, V (1994). Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-10543-9. http://valeriesinason.co.uk/index.html

FBI: 168 kids rescued, 281 pimps nabbed in sex-trafficking crackdown, Deputies: Day care, mentoring program a front for Sanford child porn operation, Child abuse victims stung by Albany inaction (Child Victims Act)

June 26, 2014 Comments Off on FBI: 168 kids rescued, 281 pimps nabbed in sex-trafficking crackdown, Deputies: Day care, mentoring program a front for Sanford child porn operation, Child abuse victims stung by Albany inaction (Child Victims Act)

FBI: 168 kids rescued, 281 pimps nabbed in sex-trafficking crackdown
CBS/AP June 23, 2014

WASHINGTON — Nearly 170 victims of child sex trafficking, many of whom had never been reported missing, were rescued in the last week as part of an annual nationwide crackdown, the FBI said Monday.

Besides the 168 children rescued from the sex trade, 281 pimps were arrested during the same period on state and federal charges.

“These are not faraway kids in faraway lands,” FBI Director James Comey said in announcing the annual enforcement push known as Operation Cross Country. Instead, he added, “These are America’s children.”

This is the eighth such week long-operation, which this year unfolded in 106 cities. The FBI says nearly 3,600 children have so far been recovered from the streets….

He said one concerning trend is the increasing prevalence of children who are being prostituted online…. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-168-kids-rescued-281-pimps-nabbed-in-sex-trafficking-crackdown/

Deputies: Day care, mentoring program a front for Sanford child porn operation 6/25/14

Sanford, N.C. — A pseudo day care and mentoring program operating out of the Sanford home of a convicted sex offender was actually a front for a child porn production operation, Harnett County Sheriff’s Office detectives said.

Four people have been arrested in the case. Investigators are searching for Tommy Wall, a fifth person who may be in the Raleigh or Fayetteville areas….

Investigators say Bailey Joe Mills, 33, who was convicted three times on charges related to sexual contact with children, ran the operation out of his former Nicole Drive home. They believe Mills ran the day care and mentoring program to attract young girls to his residence and to create a relationship with their parents. Mills then offered the girls money to have sex with men he found through different social media sites, authorities said….

Mills has had multiple arrests and convictions over the years….

The operation, which involves about 10 male and female victims ranging from ages 1 to 14, dates back to 2013, but it wasn’t discovered until Mills’ arrest in January. Investigators said they realized they had a much bigger case after going through Mills’ computer and cell phones…. http://www.wral.com/deputies-day-care-and-mentoring-program-a-front-for-child-porn-operation/13758447/


Child abuse victims stung by Albany inaction

By Shant Shahrigian 6/25/14

Horace Mann School graduate Joseph Cumming says it took him 34 years to fully realize his treatment at the hands of his music teacher Johannes Somary was sexual abuse. But by then, even if he had wanted to, it was far too late for him to take legal action. New York’s criminal and civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse of minors is five years after the victim turns 18.

After revelations of decades of abuse involving more than 30 victims at Horace Mann emerged in June 2012, the Bronx District Attorney’s office said the limitations prevented it from prosecuting any of the perpetrators.

The state legislature’s recent failure to take up the Child Victims Act — which would eliminate the criminal and civil statues of limitations for child sexual abuse and create a one-year window for past victims to seek justice — infuriated Mr. Cumming and other survivors….

“The main reason [the Child Victims Act] has not passed is that there is a caucus of centrist Democrats in the senate who have blocked it again and again,”….

A man who says he suffered sexual abuse at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., which earlier this year acknowledged abuse of students in the 1960s, echoed Mr. Cumming’ point of view.

“These politicians end up protecting very bad people,” said the surivor, who did not want his name published.

The New York State Catholic Conference is strongly opposed to the act, saying it would unfairly subject the church — which has seen widespread allegations of child abuse by priests in recent years — to costly litigation. http://riverdalepress.com/stories/Child-abuse-victims-stung-by-Albany-inaction,54539

Accused molester seeks deal for reduced sentence

November 22, 2013 Comments Off on Accused molester seeks deal for reduced sentence

Accused molester seeks deal for reduced sentence
By Peter Schworm   Globe Staff   November 20, 2013

WOBURN — A lawyer for accused serial child molester John Burbine proposed in court Wednesday that his client be castrated in exchange for a sharply reduced prison sentence, but said prosecutors rejected the idea and were preparing for trial.

William Barabino, who represents Burbine, said he was seeking a plea agreement that would limit Burbine’s sentence to a maximum of 15 years if he agreed to undergo the procedure. But prosecutors, who are seeking a life sentence for Burbine, said they were not open to a plea, Barabino said….

Burbine is accused of raping and sexually abusing 13 children that he gained access to through his wife’s unlicensed day care business between 2010 and 2012. The youngest victim was eight days old. Authorities say most of the assaults took place in the victims’ homes….

John Burbine is also facing charges that he raped a boy in Saugus on several occasions from 1990 to 1994. He was convicted and received a six-month suspended sentence for sexually molesting three young brothers in the late 1980s.

Barabino said he was seeking to negotiate a plea because he is “realistic about the charges” and said Burbine has never disputed them….
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/11/20/mass-child-molester-seeks-castration-exchange-for-reduced-sentence/98wIV7eGgjlQOFoinorHyO/story.html

Heather Koon Raped Babies At Ohio Daycare, Filmed At Least One Incident, Childhood Maltreatment: Altered Network Centrality

October 10, 2013 Comments Off on Heather Koon Raped Babies At Ohio Daycare, Filmed At Least One Incident, Childhood Maltreatment: Altered Network Centrality

– Childhood Maltreatment: Altered Network Centrality of Cingulate, Precuneus, Temporal Pole and Insula
– Heather Koon Raped Babies At Ohio Daycare, Filmed At Least One Incident: Police
– Elyria child daycare worker charged with rape

Childhood Maltreatment: Altered Network Centrality of Cingulate, Precuneus, Temporal Pole and Insula
Martin H. Teichera, Carl M. Andersona, Kyoko Ohashia, Ann Polcaria
Biological Psychiatry 2 October 2013

Abstract

Background
Childhood abuse is a major risk factor for psychopathology. Previous studies have identified brain differences in maltreated individuals but have not focused on potential differences in network architecture….

Results
Marked differences in centrality (connectedness, ‘importance’) were observed in a handful of cortical regions. Left anterior cingulate had the second highest number of connections (degree centrality) and was a component of the ‘rich club’ in the control network but ranked low in connectedness (106th of 112 nodes) in the network derived from maltreated-subjects (p<0.01). Conversely, right precuneus and right anterior insula ranked first and 15th in degree centrality in the maltreated network versus 90th (p=0.01) and 105th (p<0.03) in the control network.
Conclusions

Maltreatment was associated with decreased centrality in regions involved in emotional regulation and ability to accurately attribute thoughts or intentions to others and with enhanced centrality in regions involved in internal emotional perception, self-referential thinking and self-awareness. This may provide a potential mechanism for how maltreatment increases risk for psychopathology.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006322313008573

Heather Koon Raped Babies At Ohio Daycare, Filmed At Least One Incident: Police (UPDATED)  10/07/2013

She was trusted to take care of defenseless children, but now one Ohio daycare worker is accused of doing the unthinkable — and filming it.

Heather Koon, 25, faces two counts of rape after police say they found video on her laptop of her “engaging in sexual conduct with an unknown infant.” An investigation also revealed an additional victim, according to WOIO.

Police allegedly found the video on Koon’s laptop at the apartment where her boyfriend, James Osborne, lives. Osborne is a registered sex offender. Both Koon and Osborne were arrested Oct. 4 within hours of each other, and were held at Lorain County Jail….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/07/heather-koon-raped-baby-daycare_n_4057371.html

Elyria child daycare worker charged with rape
Jason Nguyen  Oct 7, 2013

LORAIN — Deputies say they have proof one woman raped two toddlers at a daycare center.

The Lorain County Sheriff’s Department has arrested 25-year-old Heather Koon for having sex with two infants at ABC KIDZ daycare in Elyria….

Deputies found a video of Koon raping the babies on a laptop after they checked up on her boyfriend, James Osborne.  Osborne is a sexual offender and was listed under another address.

Deputies arrested Osborne and then took the laptop.

Koon is charged with two counts of rape….
http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/316958/45/Elyria-child-daycare-worker-charged-with-rape

Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood, Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal

December 20, 2012 Comments Off on Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood, Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal

Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood

Dec. 18, 2012 — A recent study by a researcher at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) at the Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine and professor at the Université de Montréal suggests that bullying by peers changes the structure surrounding a gene involved in regulating mood, making victims more vulnerable to mental health problems as they age.

The study published in the journal Psychological Medicine seeks to better understand the mechanisms that explain how difficult experiences disrupt our response to stressful situations. “Many people think that our genes are immutable; however this study suggests that environment, even the social environment, can affect their functioning. This is particularly the case for victimization experiences in childhood, which change not only our stress response but also the functioning of genes involved in mood regulation,” says Isabelle Ouellet-Morin, lead author of the study.

A previous study by Ouellet-Morin, conducted at the Institute of Psychiatry in London (UK), showed that bullied children secrete less cortisol — the stress hormone — but had more problems with social interaction and aggressive behaviour. The present study indicates that the reduction of cortisol, which occurs around the age of 12, is preceded two years earlier by a change in the structure surrounding a gene (SERT) that regulates serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation and depression….
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218081615.htm

Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins. Ouellet-Morin, C. C. Y. Wong, A. Danese, C. M. Pariante, A. S. Papadopoulos, J. Mill, L. Arseneault.  Psychological Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1017/S0033291712002784

Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins

Background
Childhood adverse experiences are known to induce persistent changes in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to stress. However, the mechanisms by which these experiences shape the neuroendocrine response to stress remain unclear.

Method
We tested whether bullying victimization influenced serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation using a discordant monozygotic (MZ) twin design. A subsample of 28 MZ twin pairs discordant for bullying victimization, with data on cortisol and DNA methylation, were identified in the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative 1994–1995 cohort of families with twins….

Conclusions
Our study extends findings drawn from animal models, supports the hypothesis that early-life stress modifies DNA methylation at a specific cytosine–phosphate–guanine (CpG) site in the SERT promoter and HPA functioning and suggests that these two systems may be functionally associated.
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8777435

Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal     
By LOLITA C. BALDOR | Associated Press  12/19/12

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 31 people were fired from two Army day care centers at Fort Myer, Va., last week after officials scrutinized their backgrounds and found criminal convictions ranging from fourth-degree sexual assault and drug use to other assaults, a defense official said Wednesday….

According to officials, one person was charged with four counts of assault on children and the other was charged with five counts of assault. The alleged actions included hitting, grabbing or pushing the children. In the days after the arrests, the two administrators were dismissed, others were brought in and town hall meetings took place with parents.
http://news.yahoo.com/officials-31-people-fired-army-daycare-scandal-012217735–politics.html

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