November 29, 2018 § Leave a comment
How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
BY Julie K. Brown Nov. 28, 2018
On a muggy October morning in 2007, Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, had a breakfast appointment with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz.
It was an unusual meeting for the then-38-year-old prosecutor, a rising Republican star who had served in several White House posts before being named U.S. attorney in Miami by President George W. Bush.
Instead of meeting at the prosecutor’s Miami headquarters, the two men — both with professional roots in the prestigious Washington law firm of Kirkland & Ellis — convened at the Marriott in West Palm Beach, about 70 miles away. For Lefkowitz, 44, a U.S. special envoy to North Korea and corporate lawyer, the meeting was critical.
His client, Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 54, was accused of assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day, the Town of Palm Beach police found.
The eccentric hedge fund manager, whose friends included former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, was also suspected of trafficking minor girls, often from overseas, for sex parties at his other homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the Caribbean, FBI and court records show.
Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life.
But on the morning of the breakfast meeting, a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved.
Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes, according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents and FBI records.
The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement, leaving it open to interpretation whether it possibly referred to other influential people who were having sex with underage girls at Epstein’s various homes or on his plane.
As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it….
Now President Trump’s secretary of labor, Acosta, 49, oversees a massive federal agency that provides oversight of the country’s labor laws, including human trafficking. He also has been on a list of possible replacements for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who resigned under pressure earlier this month….
But court records reveal details of the negotiations and the role that Acosta would play in arranging the deal, which scuttled the federal probe into a possible international sex trafficking operation. Among other things, Acosta allowed Epstein’s lawyers unusual freedoms in dictating the terms of the non-prosecution agreement.
“The damage that happened in this case is unconscionable,” said Bradley Edwards, a former state prosecutor who represents some of Epstein’s victims. “How in the world, do you, the U.S. attorney, engage in a negotiation with a criminal defendant, basically allowing that criminal defendant to write up the agreement?”….
The Herald also identified about 80 women who say they were molested or otherwise sexually abused by Epstein from 2001 to 2006….
Now, more than a decade later, two unrelated civil lawsuits — one set for trial on Dec. 4 — could reveal more about Epstein’s crimes. The Dec. 4 case, in Palm Beach County state court, involves Epstein and Edwards, whom Epstein had accused of legal misdeeds in representing several victims. The case is noteworthy because it will mark the first time that Epstein’s victims will have their day in court, and several of them are scheduled to testify.
A second lawsuit, known as the federal Crime Victims’ Rights suit, is still pending in South Florida after a decade of legal jousting. It seeks to invalidate the non-prosecution agreement in hopes of sending Epstein to federal prison. Wild, who has never spoken publicly until now, is Jane Doe No. 1 in “Jane Doe No. 1 and Jane Doe No. 2 vs. the United States of America,” a federal lawsuit that alleges Epstein’s federal non-prosecution agreement was illegal.
Federal prosecutors, including Acosta, not only broke the law, the women contend in court documents, but they conspired with Epstein and his lawyers to circumvent public scrutiny and deceive his victims in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. The law assigns victims a series of rights, including the right of notice of any court proceedings and the opportunity to appear at sentencing….
Acosta has never fully explained why he felt it was in the best interests of the underage girls — and their parents — for him to keep the agreement sealed. Or why the FBI investigation was closed even as, recently released documents show, the case was yielding more victims and evidence of a possible sex-trafficking conspiracy beyond Palm Beach.
Upon his nomination by Trump as labor secretary in 2017, Acosta was questioned about the Epstein case during a Senate confirmation hearing.
“At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor’s office decided that a plea that guarantees someone goes to jail, that guarantees he register [as a sex offender] generally and guarantees other outcomes, is a good thing,’’ Acosta said of his decision to not prosecute Epstein federally….
November 21, 2018 § Leave a comment
40 years later, Rep. Speier looks back on surviving Jonestown
Nov 19, 2018
This weekend marked the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, in which more than 900 followers of Jim Jones were victims of a cult mass murder-suicide in Guyana. Among the survivors was Jackie Speier, now a Democratic congresswoman from California. She joins Judy Woodruff to discuss her new book, “Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back” and current politics.
Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, the mass murder-suicide that left more than 900 followers of cult leader Jim Jones dead in the South American country of Guyana.
Congressman Leo Ryan was in Jonestown with a small team investigating the cult’s activities, and was shot and killed by Jones’ followers.
But one of his aides on that trip, Jackie Speier, now herself a Democratic congresswoman from California, survived, and I spoke with her recently about her harrowing experience.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.:
Congresswoman Ryan was the congressman that I worked for at the time. He made that trip to Jonestown because many of his constituents had young adults who had gotten involved in this church in San Francisco called The Peoples Temple, and was led by a man by the name of Jim Jones.
As more and more criticism started to come out about sexual abuse and physical abuse and money laundering, he then took about 900 of his members to Jonestown, where he had been building a commune for about two years.
And concerned relatives came to Congressman Ryan. There were defectors who also came and told him of really untoward things happening at that compound. And the congressman wanted to find out what was really going on.
The State Department was basically telling us there really wasn’t a story there, there really wasn’t anything to talk about. And, unfortunately, we found out something very different.
You went there. You sensed in a very short period of time that something was terribly wrong.
And then, as you were leaving with some people who were ready to defect, some of the followers of Jim Jones came and shot to death five people. And you were badly wounded, shot five times.
‘Rot in hell’: Cult victim tortured, forced to commit bestiality, brutally murdered
21 Nov, 2018
WARNING – DISTURBING CONTENT
The ex-partner of a father-of-two who was tortured to death by a sadistic cult ….
Vulnerable Jimmy Prout suffered months of abuse at the hands of a group led by wheelchair bound Zahid Zaman, before his body was discovered in wasteland just yards from his home in North Shields, North Tyneside….
Chilling CCTV footage shows Mr Prout in the days before he was murdered, looking gaunt and frail as he is dragged along a street by his killers.
Now his ex partner of 14 years has spoken of the horrors that Mr Prout was subjected to during his final few months alive, and how she hopes his killers will die in jail.
Ms Carter is interviewed for Cults, Taboos and Twisted Faith UK on Crime and Investigation tonight, telling of her disbelief at why Mr Prout was never able to escape the clutches of the group before he was killed.
Ms Carter, who split with Mr Prout before he was brainwashed, said she regrets ever leaving him….
Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse, Spain police bust ‘Black magic’ prostitution ring, North Korea: Sexual abuse of women ‘common
November 1, 2018 § Leave a comment
– Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-Sectional Findings from Individuals Who Report Being Victimized
– Spain police bust ‘black magic’ prostitution ring in Murcia
– North Korea: Sexual abuse of women ‘common’, report claims
Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-Sectional Findings from Individuals Who Report Being Victimized
Johanna Schröder, Susanne Nick, Hertha Richter-Appelt and Peer Briken
Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2417; doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112417
Abstract: Organized and ritual child sexual abuse (ORA) is often rooted in the child’s own family. Empirical evidence on possible associations between ORA and trauma-related symptoms in those who report this kind of extreme and prolonged violence is rare. The aim of our study was to explore socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the individuals reporting ORA experiences, and to investigate protective as well as promotive factors in the link between ORA and trauma-related symptom severity. Within the framework of a project of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Germany, we recruited 165 adults who identified themselves as ORA victims via abuse- and trauma-specific networks and mailing lists, and they completed an anonymous online survey. We used variance analyses to examine correlations between several variables in the ORA context and PTSD symptoms (PCL-5) as well as somatoform dissociation (SDQ-5). Results revealed a high psychic strain combined with an adverse health care situation in individuals who report experiences with ORA. Ideological strategies used by perpetrators as well as Dissociative Identity Disorders experienced by those affected are associated with more severe symptoms (η2p = 0.11; η2p = 0.15), while an exit out of the ORA structures is associated with milder symptoms (η2p = 0.11). Efforts are needed to improve health care services for individuals who experience severe and complex psychiatric disorders due to ORA in their childhood.
Child sexual abuse (CSA), once thought to be rare, is nowadays accepted as a frequent reality that occurs across a range of cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds worldwide and encompasses many types of sexually abusive acts towards children, including sexual assault, incest, the production and use of child pornography, as well as commercial sexual exploitation . Sexual child abuse involving a network of perpetrators acting repeatedly and jointly on multiple victims is defined as ‘organized abuse’ . Organized abuse that follows a (pseudo-) ideological strategy (e.g., symbols or group activities with religious, magical, or supernatural connotations) in order to frighten and intimidate the children or to force the victims to participate whilst simultaneously accomplishing the perpetrators’ exculpation is referred to as ‘ritual abuse’ [3,4]. Salter further describes ritual abuse as ideological framing in organized CSA contexts, functioning as strategical practices through which abusive groups indoctrinate the victims into a violently misogynistic worldview in order to control them . In other words, ritual abuse occurs when a religious, political, or spiritual authority uses its position of power and the sovereignty to interpret the respective belief system to manipulate and dominate its followers. Since the 1980s, evidence of organized and ritual abuse (ORA) has been consolidated due to studies documenting psychological harm amongst children and adults disclosing such experiences ….
ORA, defined as organized child sexual abuse where a (pseudo-)ideological (i.e., ritual) content serves as legitimization for violence, is a complex and polarizing issue in mental health care contexts as well as in research. At present, the uncovering and reprocessing of ORA is a problem that remains to be solved in Germany, as well as internationally. Given the paucity of research in this field, we believe that this study contributes to closing this evidence gap, as it presents empirical data on reported practices of ORA and its impact on trauma-related symptom severity in self-identified victims, in which reported ideological/ritual strategies by the perpetrators and an exit out of the ORA structures play a major role. A key policy priority should therefore be to intensify efforts on the understanding of ORA-related structures, as well as the complex clinical presentation of those affected. Services like information websites and exit programs should be developed by experts in the field in order to contribute to generating appropriate treatment services for this group of clients. Mental health professionals and centers specialized in the treatment of severely traumatized clients with CPTSD and dissociative disorders would contribute to a better support of clients who report such trauma histories. The therapeutic process of detachment from perpetrator networks is intense, and supporters of individuals who experience ORA face special difficulties, like, for example, dissociative personality states. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that constant professional supervision is provided to them by professionals who understand the spectrum of possibilities and pitfalls in the treatment….
Spain police bust ‘black magic’ prostitution ring in Murcia
Spanish police say they have rescued 15 transgender Brazilians from forced prostitution in the city of Murcia.
The victims were beaten, forced to use and sell drugs, and often kept locked inside a flat, officials say.
They are also said to have been threatened with the use of black magic if they did not comply.
Objects related to the ritual-filled Santería religion were found in the flat. Thirteen suspects were detained for allegedly running the ring.
The authorities say the ring was headed by Brazilian who worked with associates to recruit vulnerable young people in Brazil….
North Korea: Sexual abuse of women ‘common’, report claims
North Korean officials commit sexual abuse against women with near total impunity, a report has claimed.
Human Rights Watch added that it is so common it has become part of ordinary life.
The report is based on interviews with 62 North Koreans who fled the country. They gave detailed accounts of rape and sexual abuse.
HRW said it revealed a culture of open, unaddressed abuse, particularly from men in positions of power.
Oh Jung-hee, a former trader in her 40s told Human Rights Watch (HRW): “They consider us [sex] toys. We are at the mercy of men.”
“Sometimes, out of nowhere, you cry at night and don’t know why.”
Gathering information from inside the secretive state is extremely difficult and reports like this are rare.
‘My life was in his hands’
According to HRW some women expressed that sexual abuse had become so normalised that they did not think it was “unusual” – with some saying it had become accepted as part of everyday life….
The perpetrators include high-ranking party officials, prison facility guards, police and soldiers.
Interviewees told HRW that when an official “picked” a woman, she would have little choice but to comply….
It added that forced abortion, rape and sexual violence had been carried out in prisons or in detention….
Rotherham child sexual abuse: Gang of seven guilty, Church defectors reveal video of ritualistic violence
October 30, 2018 § Leave a comment
– Rotherham child sexual abuse: Gang of seven guilty
Rotherham child sexual abuse: Gang of seven guilty
29 October 2018
Seven men have been found guilty of grooming and exploiting young girls, including one who was sexually abused by “at least 100 Asian men” before the age of 16.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how the men targeted and exploited the teenagers before subjecting them to acts of a “degrading and violent nature”.
They abused five young girls over a seven year period in Rotherham.
The gang were convicted of offences including rape and indecent assault.
One girl described being bitten and raped by two of the men in Sherwood Forest while “high as a kite” on drugs….
The convictions are the latest to come out of Operation Stovewood, the National Crime Agency’s (NCA) investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, which has identified more than 1,500 victims….
During a trial lasting more than eight weeks the jury heard the men, who are all of British Pakistani heritage, preyed on the girls’ vulnerability before they were sexually assaulted and passed on to other men.
Prosecutor Michelle Colborne QC said the girls had been “lured by the excitement of friendship with older Asian youths” but were then “targeted, sexualised and in some instances subjected to acts of a degrading and violent nature”.
She said: “None of them had the maturity to understand that they were being groomed and exploited, often believing that sex of some kind was a necessary price for friendship.”….
Operation Stovewood is the largest law enforcement investigation into non-familial child sexual exploitation in the UK.
It began in 2014 after a report found at least 1,400 children in Rotherham were the victims of abuse between 1997 and 2013.
It is run by the NCA, which is working with 296 alleged victims, has identified 151 suspects and is running 22 ongoing investigations.
More than 150 officers work on the operation and there are plans to recruit another 100….
It has led to 14 convictions so far, and 24 more people have been charged with offences.
The court head the men used alcohol, drugs, threats and violence to control the girls….
Defectors say former church pastor is a ‘cult leader,’ but her son fights back
By Joshua Berlinger and Yoonjung Seo, CNN Mon October 29, 2018
Church defectors reveal video of ritualistic violence
Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Standing in front of her parish in a bright yellow jacket, Shin Ok-joo holds back tears. Her voice takes on a tone of both anger and sadness.
“How could you behave like this?” she asks her congregation in a video purportedly filmed in South Korea in April last year at the Grace Road Church, where Shin serves as pastor. Soft weeping from people seated in pews intensifies into a chorus of sobs. “Am I your toy? Did I tell you I was your toy? You crazy one!”
Shin leaves her pulpit but remains on the raised platform above her congregation as she approaches a group of people with their heads bowed. With her left hand, she grabs a worshiper in a brown coat by her hair and, with her free hand, slaps the person across the face. The slaps continue, and the crying from the audience grows louder. Shin’s emotion is apparent on her face.
After four slaps, the congregant falls to the floor. Shin picks up the woman by the hair and shakes her head violently. By this point, the audience’s screams are loud, raw and visceral. Shin yells at her, but what she says is inaudible due to the sobbing.
According to Grace Road, this is an example of what the church calls “threshing,” a ritual involving church members being slapped and hit as a form of repentance in accordance with Shin’s interpretation of the Bible. It symbolizes separating sin from the human body in the same way that grains are removed from crops by threshing.
The woman at the receiving end of Shin’s blows had just returned from Fiji, where about 400 members of the church have moved to set up shop. Shin preaches that Fiji is the land chosen by God to be the center of the world and the ideal place to survive an impending great famine, and the church has made significant investments in the country.
Video of this incident was supplied to CNN by Daniel Kim, Shin’s son, in an attempt to counter allegations from former congregants of violence against its members.
The footage from Kim was sent a day after three former members of the church revealed 20 minutes worth of footage of particularly violent threshing incidents at a news conference in Seoul Wednesday.
“Shin is a cult leader and the Grace Road Church is a cult,” Lee Soon-deok, one of the former members, told the media Wednesday.
“She tells people that she is the only one to rely on, that people can only be saved by her. Shin is an evil woman.”
Former church members contend that the threshing ritual is assault — and South Korean prosecutors have moved to punish Shin for it. She was arrested in July and remains behind bars awaiting trial, charged with forced confinement and physical assault. At the time of Shin’s arrest, South Korean authorities said many of congregants in Fiji appeared to have been stripped of their passports upon arrival by senior members of the church….
Two Satan worshiping middle school girls plotted to kill fellow students, Dozens of clergy sex abuse victims waiting on answers about compensation
October 25, 2018 § Leave a comment
– Two Satan worshiping middle school girls plotted to kill fellow students and drink their blood
– Dozens of clergy sex abuse victims waiting on answers about compensation
Two Satan worshiping middle school girls plotted to kill fellow students and drink their blood
New York Daily News Brian Niemietz Oct 24th 2018
Two satanic knife-wielding school girls were arrested in central Florida, where cops say they were hiding in a bathroom waiting for smaller students to walk in so they could kill them and “leave body parts at the entrance” before taking their own lives. The goal was to murder 15 classmates.
Bartow Police Department thwarted the bizarre plot after a middle school resource office caught wind of the girls’ intentions, according to CBS.
A teachers at Bartow Middle School reportedly heard on Monday that one of the girls, an 11-year-old, had warned another student to avoid a certain area of the campus when she came to class Tuesday….
According to police, that’s when the girls confessed to the plan. Both were said to have been armed with cutlery including a butcher’s knife and a pizza cutter. They “were planning in attacking and killing as many students as possible.”
Hall said the girls wanted to kill “at least” 15 people.
“Both students stated they are practicing satanists,” Hall said. He added, “They made comments they were willing to drink blood and possibly eat flesh.”….
The girls’ cell phones corroborated the plan.
“Today is health lessons. Thank Satan we are doing this in a bit,” one girl texted the other.
The girls are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, weapon possession and disruption of a school function….
Dozens of clergy sex abuse victims waiting on answers about compensation
Jenn Schanz Oct 24, 2018
News 4 has learned that at least 54 local clergy sex abuse victims are still waiting on a substantive response from the Buffalo Diocese regarding their claims for compensation through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, or IRCP.
The program was announced several months ago, after the Buffalo Diocese released the names of 42 priests accused of child sexual abuse.
The list was published after a South Buffalo man, Michael Whalen, went public with his story of alleged abuse as a child at the hands of Fr. Norbert F. Orsolits.
Since then, several other victims have come forward and News 4 has reported on at least a dozen additional priests being put on administrative leave following accusations of abuse.
The Diocese has said a new, updated list will be released in the near future, but has not said when exactly it will be released, or how many names will be on it….
We were referred back to the Diocese’s website on the program. We asked the Diocese how many victims they have responded to; we are still waiting on a response.
“They have in all likelihood, hundreds of survivors who are waiting and have been waiting for months and months since the deadline to even know if they’re eligible for the program. And that’s something that’s really hard when this is an institution that already failed them,” Reck told News 4….
Lawyers release the names of 212 alleged priest sex offenders in Bay Area, Kenyan widows are fighting against sexual ‘cleansing’, Memoir ‘The Burn Zone’ former cult member tells all
October 24, 2018 § Leave a comment
– Lawyers release the names of 212 alleged priest sex offenders in Bay Area
– These Kenyan widows are fighting against sexual ‘cleansing’
– In memoir ‘The Burn Zone,’ former cult member tells all
Lawyers release the names of 212 alleged priest sex offenders in Bay Area
By: Lisa Fernandez , Cristina Rendon Oct 23 2018
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) – As dioceses around the country are disclosing names of priests accused of misconduct, a law firm on Tuesday released a report containing the names of 212 Catholic Clergy members accused of sexual misconduct in the Bay Area.
The report, compiled by lawyers from Jeff Anderson and Associates based in St. Paul, Minn., accuses 135 offenders from the Archdiocese of San Francisco, 95 from the Diocese of Oakland and 33 from the Diocese of San Jose. A total of 130 of these priests are dead….
Anderson and his team are seeking to compel Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in San Francisco, Bishop Patrick McGrath in San Jose and Bishop Michael Barber in Oakland to release the names of all clergy accused of sexual misconduct in all three dioceses and request the federal court to release files that show the participation and complicity of top church officials in the handling of clergy sexual abuse cases. There are at least 133 priests who are alive, but whose whereabouts are not immediately known to the public, the lawyers said.
KTVU reached out to all the dioceses on Tuesday. Oakland Diocese spokeswoman Helen Osman said in an email that Barber announced earlier this month that he would release a full list of credibly accused clergy within 45 days. “We have nothing to hide,” Barber said at the time….
Dioceses across California and the U.S. have been disclosing names as part of an effort by church leaders to reassure parishioners following a stunning August report by Pennsylvania authorities.
The report detailed extensive efforts to cover up decades of abuse involving clergy and children.
These Kenyan widows are fighting against sexual ‘cleansing’
Across Women’s Lives GlobalPost October 23, 2018 By Louise Donovan
and Hannah O’Neill
When Esther Atema’s husband died, she was treated like dirt. People suddenly looked at her funny — villagers shouted, “Witch!” as she walked past. The local boys in Siaya County, southwest Kenya, would get drunk and chase her down the road. If they caught her, they’d beat her to a pulp.
At 35 years old, she had become a widow. And, in some rural parts of Kenya, widowhood means you’re of little value. Culturally, widows are considered impure, and tradition dictates that they must be cleaned — or “cleansed” — of their partners’ death. The aim is to chase away the demons; the ritual requires women to have sex — either with a relative or stranger.
Sure enough, one year after his death, Atema’s late husband’s family forced her to go through the cleansing process….
The order can vary slightly but the ceremony typically goes like this: You begin by having sex on the floor. In the morning, you burn your clothes and the sack you slept on, and the man shaves the widow’s hair. Sometimes, it happens outside, in front of the house — where the whole neighborhood can see. Together, you slaughter a chicken (a staple in the diet here), which you cook and eat. The ceremony lasts three days but can be drawn out for up to seven.
“I felt humiliated,” said Atema. “But I was told my children would die if I didn’t go through with it.”
If you refuse to be cleansed, you’re shunned from society. Women, like Atema, believe their children will be harmed, and that going uncleansed will block any chance of future marriage. But in a society rife with HIV and AIDS, despite improvements, accepting means you run the risk of disease — using a condom doesn’t complete the ritual properly so people go without.
After the cleansing, the widow is traditionally inherited, whereby she marries another man (usually a brother-in-law). Yet, she still has no rights — and millions of widows across Africa are kicked out of their homes by their in-laws, robbed of their property and made vulnerable to rape.
“Why don’t women have a choice?” said Atema, now 40. “You don’t know who this person is; they could hurt or kill you. No one checks if they’re HIV-free.”….
Ritual cleansing has been reported in 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The stigma stems, says Karen Brewer of Widows Rights International, from the notion that men are stronger than women.
“If a man dies, it can’t just be because he’s old,” she said. “The woman must have done witchcraft against him. It’s superstition but people who are educated in these communities realize things can be done differently.”
One of those people is Roseline Orwa. She’s among a growing number of widows’ rights activists in Kenya pushing for change. In the fishing village where she grew up, on the windy shores of Lake Victoria, she heads up a women’s group that is fighting the practice.
By 32, Orwa had been divorced and widowed. Educated in Nairobi and economically independent with her own textiles business, she refused to be cleansed or inherited and escaped the usual stigma that stalks widows’ lives….
In 2015, she helped outlaw widow cleansing in the country under a domestic offenses bill, though few in rural areas know it exists (or they do and adhere to the tradition anyway, out of fear of being ostracized). So, today, the practice still persists in rural Kenya. Having firsthand experience of widowhood puts Orwa in a unique position — she’s able to understand the challenges that many women around her face. At the same time, she’s powerful enough to do something about it.
“I will not allow you to come into my house at night and rape me in the name of cleansing,” she said. “Why do we tell women: Don’t do anything, sit pretty and wait until we molest you, until we make you lose your dignity and value?”…..
In memoir ‘The Burn Zone,’ former cult member tells all
Andrew Travers October 8, 2018
Snowmass Village resident Renee Linnell’s new memoir “The Burn Zone” recounts her experience being brainwashed and joining a cult.
Late in her new memoir, “The Burn Zone,” Renee Linnell recounts a night out where she dances on a bar, meets a guy and tells him immediately that she had been in a cult for the past seven years.
He responds, “You are the most interesting person I’ve ever met!”….
But after attending what she thought was a meditation seminar in 2006 in California, led by a charismatic guru in a business suit, Linnell was slowly brainwashed and sucked into a Tantric Buddhist cult. Seven years later — suffering under the emotional, financial and sexual abuse of the University of Mysticism cult’s two leaders — she’d lost her money, burned everything she owned, cut herself off from her family and friends and found herself in a form of domestic slavery in New York.