Ex-Jehovah’s Witness abuse survivor, Woman who escaped a polygamous cult – Warren Jeffs Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
October 17, 2018 Comments Off on Ex-Jehovah’s Witness abuse survivor, Woman who escaped a polygamous cult – Warren Jeffs Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
– Ex-Jehovah’s Witness, abuse survivor launches nonprofit
A woman who said she was repeatedly sexually assaulted throughout her childhood by a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Fortuna
– The woman who escaped a polygamous cult – and turned its HQ into a refuge
Briell Decker was 18 when she became the 65th wife of US cult leader Warren Jeffs.
Ex-Jehovah’s Witness, abuse survivor launches nonprofit
By Shomik Mukherjee October 11, 2018
A woman who said she was repeatedly sexually assaulted throughout her childhood by a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Fortuna, an experience she recounted in a televised documentary in May, has now launched a nonprofit organization to help fellow survivors of sexual abuse.
Romy Maple has registered SAFE 707 — which stands for Sexual Assault Fighters Elite — as an official nonprofit. She hopes to become a certified life coach in order to aid fellow survivors, especially those who have left behind religious organizations and are at risk, she said, of simply joining another one upon leaving.
“Once you leave a cult, you might walk away but you’re still not free,” she said. Leaving everything behind often leaves individuals without spiritual independence, she said, which further leads some to give into the same type of emotional blackmail elsewhere.
In May, Maple appeared prominently in an A&E documentary series, “Cults and Extreme Belief,” hosted by journalist Elizabeth Vargas.
A&E stated it contacted Jehovah’s Witnesses, which declined to comment on the allegations, but provided producers a copy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ position on child protection.
“Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes,” the policy states. “The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.”….
Shortly after the documentary episode focusing on Jehovah’s Witnesses aired on A&E, Maple shared her story with the Times-Standard.
She said she was drugged and raped for much of her childhood by an individual who, like her, was a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Fortuna. At the age of 11, she said, she tried alerting elders in the congregation to the repeated abuse, but all ignored her. For years afterward, she said, she struggled with suicidal thoughts and feelings of loneliness.
The alleged incidents happened far longer ago than the statute of limitations for rape. A few weeks ago, Maple said, she confronted her alleged abuser, offering him forgiveness and asking for an apology. She said she didn’t receive one.
Maple currently lives in Fortuna. The town still carries a culture of silence, she said. She often drives by the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, she said, and wonders if children in there are still being abused….
Maple will soon embark on a days-long retreat, which she hopes will further help in her healing. Her ultimate goal, she said, is to help those who are in danger of “cult-hopping.”
“If you don’t have the training or education, you’re going to fall back into the same type of vibration,” she said. “That’s what you’re primed for.”….
The woman who escaped a polygamous cult – and turned its HQ into a refuge
Briell Decker was 18 when she became the 65th wife of US cult leader Warren Jeffs. Can she help heal the town his FLDS sect ruled for generations?
Alex Hannaford Sat 13 Oct 2018
Briell Decker carefully removed the screws from the corners of the window and began pounding on the glass until it started to come loose. Hearing the noise, her sister-in-law, who had been in the lounge area of their trailer home, came in and took the screwdriver away. But it was too late: Decker had already unscrewed one side of the pane; as soon as she was alone again, she opened the window, climbed out into the street and ran away. She was escaping her brother, his wife, and the fundamentalist Mormon cult they all belonged to. Decker had been forced to marry its leader, Warren Jeffs, aged 18.
Six years later, Decker sits on the back porch of the $1.2m mansion where she once lived with Jeffs. “I knew I wasn’t going to give up, whether I made it out or not,” she says of her escape. “Nothing was going to stop me.”
Everything has changed since then. Jeffs is seven years into a life sentence for sexual assault. Decker has made a life for herself, and recently remarried. The town in which she lives has started to open itself up to people outside the cult for the first time in 90 years, and to welcome back excommunicated members.
For three generations, the twin cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona – collectively known as Short Creek – have been home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as FLDS, a religious sect that split from the Mormon church in 1930; its members wanted to continue to practise polygamy. The church teaches that having multiple wives (each of whom is assigned to a man) is ordained by God. Women wear long-sleeved prairie dresses that stretch down to the ankles, and pin their hair in a bun.
Now the walls around Short Creek’s houses, real and figurative, are coming down. Decker has turned the 44-room mansion where Jeffs and his wives lived into a refuge for other women fleeing the same church. “Even though it was his house, it feels good,” she says.
Jeffs, a tall, slim man with dark eyes, has been president and prophet of FLDS since 2002, continuing to run the cult from his prison cell. Soon after he assumed the leadership, he began splitting families apart, taking young girls as his own brides, and excommunicating members, mainly young men, from the church. He banned socialising, as well as contact with the outside world. In 2011, he began a life sentence for sexually assaulting two girls aged 12 and 14, whom he described as his “spiritual wives”. Jeffs, now 62, has wed around 80 women and children over the years, though the state doesn’t recognise these marriages. Decker was wife number 65.
It has taken a long time for change to come to Short Creek, as the community starts to reckon with its leader’s legacy. There are still about 10,000 active members of the church in the region, most of them in Short Creek. But there are signs that others have moved on: last November, Hildale elected its first ever female, non-FLDS, mayor. A few months ago, a new police chief – an outsider with no ties to the community – was sworn in after a jury ruled that the previous force, made up entirely of church members, was guilty of religious discrimination…..
Catholic child abuse: 187 allegations against 98 priests have led to zero convictions, Abuse survivor demands state inquiry, Restitution Returns to the United States Supreme Court (again) (child p_rn victims), Court hears details of satanic ritual, Girl’s satanic horror
April 25, 2013 Comments Off on Catholic child abuse: 187 allegations against 98 priests have led to zero convictions, Abuse survivor demands state inquiry, Restitution Returns to the United States Supreme Court (again) (child p_rn victims), Court hears details of satanic ritual, Girl’s satanic horror
Catholic child abuse: 187 allegations against 98 priests have led to zero convictions 4/24/13
“I am one of the fortunate survivors to have succeeded in securing a criminal conviction against one of two Spiritan priests who sexually abused me,” writes campaigner Mark Vincent Healy.
THE DIOCESES OF Clogher, Elphin, Killala and Waterford join the infamous group of seven Catholic Church authorities, including Derry, Dramore and Limerick, where not one priest has been convicted for having committed an offence or offences against a child or young person despite numerous allegations since 1 January 1975. From the 16 dioceses reviewed to date by the National Board for Safeguarding Children, there have been 187 allegations made in relation to 98 priests where there have been no convictions. This represents a third of the church authorities examined where not one priest was held to account….
To date there have been four reviews of missionary orders where a total of 113 priests have had 287 allegations raised against them but only seven priests have ever been convicted. The sad reality is that only 6.2 per cent of accused Irish missionaries are ever convicted. I am one of the fortunate survivors to have succeeded in securing a criminal conviction against one of two Spiritan priests who sexually abused me from the ages of nine to 12 and then tried to cover it all up. Forty-seven Spiritans had 142 allegations made against them in the second tranche of audits, and only three were convicted….
Fr Andrew Greely, a professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago believes there could be up to 50 victims per priest. Meanwhile, Richard Sipe a psychotherapist in Maryland, has said 250 victims may suffer over the lifetime of a paedophile. Shockingly, the 106 priests accused in the third tranche could possibly have abused between 5,300 to 26,500 potential victims. Just 271 came forward….
Abuse survivor demands state inquiry Sarah Stack and David Young – 24 April 2013
AN abuse survivor who alleges an uncle of the former Bishop of Clogher was one of his attackers has demanded a state inquiry into clerical sex crimes in Northern Ireland. The Stormont Executive has established a statutory probe into abuse committed in state and church-run institutions, but its remit does not cover criminal acts committed by priests outside of children’s residential facilities.
Michael Connolly claims he was victimised for five years of his childhood in Donagh, Co Fermanagh, by parish priest Peter Duffy, who was later promoted to canon. The deceased cleric was the uncle of the former Bishop of Clogher, Joseph Duffy, who was today heavily criticised for unsatisfactory responses to child abuse allegations and risky behaviour of priests in the diocese….http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/abuse-survivor-demands-state-inquiry-29220069.html
Restitution Returns to the United States Supreme Court (again)
By James R. Marsh on April 24, 2013
Today, James R. Marsh of the Marsh Law Firm and Paul G. Cassell of the University of Utah College of Law Appellate Legal Clinic, filed a brief in the United States Supreme Court in their latest effort to convince the Court to consider the critical issue of criminal restitution for victims of child pornography.
The case, Doyle Randall Paroline v. Amy Unknown, arises out of a long-fought extensively litigated restitution action which started almost four years ago before Judge Leonard Davis in the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division. In January, the defendant filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the Supreme Court seeking review of last year’s landmark Fifth Circuit en banc decision which significantly expanded the rights of child pornography victims to receive criminal restitution.
Court hears details of satanic ritual
April 24 2013 By Sandy Moeketsi
Johannesburg – Phrases were chanted before Kirsty Theologo and her friend were set alight, the High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday. Her alleged murderers stood at the points of a satanic star, where candles burnt. In the middle of the star was a burning Bible, where blood would be shed, Lester Moody told the court. Moody was testifying against four people accused of setting Theologo and her friend alight in an apparent satanic ritual on October 21, 2011….
Girl’s satanic horror April 24 2013 By SUSAN DU
Johannesburg – Kirsty Theologo thought that she was going to a party with friends she trusted on the night of October 21, 2011.
She brought another girl along.
She had a drink.
She trusted her friends when they told her they needed to stop by a petrol station to get sweets, then again when they said there had been a change of plans and that they would be going into the “mountains of Linmeyer” instead.
The “party” turned out to be a satanic ritual in which Kirsty was drugged, bound, drenched in petrol and burnt so severely that she died later in hospital. Her friend, now 16, survived. She can’t be named due to her age….
Kirsty and her friend – the only two people not dressed entirely in black – lost consciousness due to the brake fluid that had been secretly added to their drinks. The two victims were then bound and left to one side while the accused created a “satanic star” in the ground and lit candles at each of its five points, Moody testified….
May 5, 2012 Comments Off on Cardinal Brady should face criminal probe says Smyth child victim, Human Trafficking in Canada
– Church crisis: Cardinal Brady should face criminal probe says Smyth child victim
– Abuse survivor: Without courage or integrity Cardinal Brady failed and it is unforgivable
– In full: Cardinal Brady responds to allegations over role in abuse inquiry
– Professor Perrin Appointed Special Advisor to the Prime Minister (first book, Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking)
Church crisis: Cardinal Brady should face criminal probe says Smyth child victim
By Independent.ie reporters
Friday May 04 2012
A WOMAN, who was sexually abused as a child by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth, today called for a criminal investigation into the actions of Cardinal Sean Brady.
American lawyer Helen McGonigle, (50) who now campaigns for survivors of clerical sexual abuse, said the All Ireland Primate should resign for not alerting other families to Smyth’s horrific catalogue of abuse.
She was molested by Smyth in the late 1960s in Rhode Island, New York.
Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster today, Ms McGonigle said she was “outraged” by Cardinal Brady’s response to allegations in a BBC documentary broadcast this week.
She said Cardinal Sean Brady’s “duty as a human” was to protect children and his failure to act properly on Brendan Boland’s complaint – when he named other five other children being abused – was “unforgivable”.
The Cardinal had shown “arrogance and insensitivity”, Ms McGonigle said.
She was just six-years-old and preparing for the sacrament of penance when she was abused by Smyth, who led her from her classmates into the sacristy of the church where he molested her….
Smyth was already known to have sexually molested children when he was sent to the McGonigles’ parish in the summer of 1965. Using his usual modus operandi, he befriended the family and they bonded over a shared Irish ancestry.
Speaking to the Irish Independent two years ago, Ms McGonigle, who is an attorney living in Connecticut, said: “From 1967 until about 1970 he molested me. He was caught in my parish molesting children as early as 1968….
While any intervention by Cardinal Brady in 1975 would have been too late to save the children of East Greenwich, Ms McGonigle said many others could have been protected….
She said Cardinal Brady must resign and he should be charged with obstruction of justice.
“He sat on this knowledge for 35 years, from 1975 through to 2010, and Brendan Smith continued to abuse children. It is only because of the lawsuit one of his victims has brought that he has had to show his hand.”
Abuse survivor: Without courage or integrity Cardinal Brady failed and it is unforgivable 5/3/12
….Now an executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, O’Gorman was not satisfied with the similar but weak defence offered by Scicluna and Brady yesterday that back in 1975 Brady was only a ‘notary’ in the interviews.
“Authority is not needed to walk into a Garda station to report the abuse and rape of children. It takes courage and a sense of moral decency,” he said, adding that it was important to remember that Brady was a highly-educated and qualified Canon lawyer at the time. He was also 35-years-old.
Commenting on the atrocious acts of Smyth that spanned a forty-year period, O’Gorman recalls the level of terror still visible in Brendan Smyth’s victims years later as something “extraordinary”.
In full: Cardinal Brady responds to allegations over role in abuse inquiry 5/2/12 http://www.thejournal.ie/in-full-cardinal-brady-responds-to-allegations-over-role-in-abuse-inquiry-437208-May2012/
Professor Perrin Appointed Special Advisor to the Prime Minister
UBC Law Professor Benjamin Perrin has recently been appointed as Special Advisor, Legal Affairs & Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa….
In 2010, Professor Perrin published his first book, Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking (Penguin Canada, 2010). The book, an expose on the issue of human trafficking in Canada, was named one of the top books of the year by The Globe and Mail.
He has testified before a number of Parliamentary committees studying the issue of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. In 2010, Parliament adopted Bill C-268, a private members’ bill calling for mandatory minimum sentences for child traffickers. Professor Perrin proposed and helped draft the bill, which was first introduced to the House of Commons in January 2009 by Member of Parliament Joy Smith….
Professor Perrin…is co-editor of Human Trafficking: Exploring the International Nature, Concerns and Complexities (CRC Press, 2011), and editor of Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations and the Law (UBC Press, 2012). http://www.law.ubc.ca/news/2012/may/05_01_12_perrin.html