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…..
August 26, 2016 Comments Off on Massive European Online Child Abuse Network Exposed, Bachelor star: ‘Kiwi dad was cult leader’
Massive European Online Child Abuse Network Exposed
25 August 2016
The investigation uncovered how well-known online apps such as Skype and chat and live stream sites allowed the selling of child pornography.
A major operation by the European Police Office into an online network sexually exploiting children has led to the arrests of 75 people and 207 criminal cases across Europe, Europol officials said Tuesday.
“Operation Daylight” was first launched in 2015 after Europol received “intelligence packages” from police in Switzerland about network of online child abuse images.
The investigation uncovered how well-known online apps such as Skype and chat and live stream sites allowed the selling of child pornography. Offenders often used sophisticated encryption methods to hide their activities on the so called “darknet,” a notorious online network where illegal activities commonly take place.
Online currencies such as BitCoin were often used as payment for activities related to online child sexual abuse….
Seventy-five arrests were made in 28 European countries with a number of the suspects already being prosecuted in ongoing investigations. Italian police also revealed that the investigation had led them to the arrests of five people and 16 people being reported to the magistrate….
Bachelor star: ‘Kiwi dad was cult leader’
Tuesday, 09 August 2016
Australian Bachelor star Keira Maguire has opened up about her upbringing in a polygamist cult, revealing her biological father, a former police officer from New Zealand, had nine wives and 64 children.
Self-styled spiritual guru Alistah Laishkochav, who told his followers he was Jesus Christ, was the head of a polygamous cult, dailymail.com reported.
Laishkochav, who was born in Auckland, changed his name from Ian Lowe when he moved to Australia from New Zealand in 1969.
At 25, he married his first wife in a Mormon Church, where he was introduced to the concept of polygamy.
The polygamist drew his beliefs from sections of the Jewish, Muslim and Mormon religions.
The former policeman exerted his strict control over the group – of which Keira was a member until the age of 5 – from his Bells Beach compound in Victoria, Australia.
In 2000 he was found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under 10 as well as three counts of attempted penetration of a child and 16 counts of indecent assault.
Laishkochav, who was described by his harem of wives as “the controller”, was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail. He reportedly died years later.
His offences involved four girls aged between seven and 11 and occurred between 1987 and 1991, according to reports.
Maguire would have only been 3 years old at the time.
During his trial, one of the victims told the court she was aged between 7 and 9 when Laishkochav molested her “every other day”.
She also revealed how Laishkochav would threaten her with violence to ensure she stayed silent about the sexual 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.
Articles and Research about Child and Ritual Abuse.
Mormon Church accused of turning blind eye to child abuse in foster care program, Ex-prosecutor slams critics of Child Victims Act, urges New York to stop protecting abusers
June 2, 2016 Comments Off on Mormon Church accused of turning blind eye to child abuse in foster care program, Ex-prosecutor slams critics of Child Victims Act, urges New York to stop protecting abusers
– Mormon Church accused of turning blind eye to child abuse in foster care program
– Another Navajo Member Sues LDS Church over Childhood Sexual Abuse
– Author, ex-prosecutor slams critics of Child Victims Act, urges New York to stop protecting abusers
Mormon Church accused of turning blind eye to child abuse in foster care program
The Mormon Church has been hit with another lawsuit saying that it did nothing to protect children in a church-run foster program from sexual abuse.
Two Navajo siblings sued The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Navajo Nation court earlier this year. A second lawsuit made public Tuesday outlines similar allegations.
A Navajo woman identified as B.N. says she was sexually molested and raped multiple times while in foster care and by health care providers in Utah, from 1965 to 1972. She was among thousands of American Indians who participated in the church’s Indian Student Placement Program.
Attorneys representing the three plaintiffs say church leaders did not report the abuse to law enforcement and failed to protect the children who, as adults, suffer from emotional and physical distress….
Another Navajo Member Sues LDS Church over Childhood Sexual Abuse By Andrea Smardon June 1, 2016
A Navajo woman is suing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, saying she was sexually assaulted while participating in the church’s Lamanite Indian Student Placement Program. This is now the third claim of sexual abuse that has been brought against the Mormon Church by members of the Navajo Nation since March.
The plaintiff identified as B.N. says she was sexually molested and raped between 1965 and 1972 while in church-run foster care in Utah. She decided to file suit after hearing of two Navajo siblings who sued the church earlier this year with similar allegations.
“I just said, you know what, I’ve shut my mouth long enough, and it was just time,” B.N. says. The complaint filed in Navajo Nation District Court outlines sexual abuse by a foster father, a foster brother, and a medical examiner in a church facility. B.N., a member of the LDS Church, says she has been afraid to come forward. That’s what she hopes to change with the lawsuit. “Being able to speak up and have people trust their leaders, that they’re able to come forth with atrocious situations without fear and without being black-balled in any way.”
Criag Vernon is an attorney representing the three plaintiffs. He says church leaders did not report the abuse to law enforcement and failed to protect children in their care….
Author, ex-prosecutor slams critics of Child Victims Act, urges New York to stop protecting abusers
BY Linda Fairstein SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, June 1, 2016
There is no class of people more vulnerable to sexual predators than children. In the overwhelming number of cases, the perpetrators are people who have betrayed the trust of children in their care — relatives, foster families, educators, coaches, clergy and health care professionals — who are far more likely to commit the traumatizing acts than strangers our children are brought up to fear.
The greatest damage has been done to child victims whose voices have long been silenced — first, by their abusers, and then by the senseless laws that have placed arbitrary limits on the time they have to seek justice. We cannot save many who have come before this, but we can change the outlook, the possibility of justice — both in criminal and civil court — for the thousands more who have suffered at the hands of predators and those whom we know will come next. The time to pass the Child Victims Act is now.
There is no reasonable opposition to this argument. What is it opponents fear? Some have raised the concern of false reporting, but the statistics are abundantly clear that this problem represents a small fractional proportion — less than 2% of all claims. For example, California saw about five false claims out of 850 against the Catholic Church. False reporting occurs in every category of crime and it is certainly an issue in cases which fall within the statute of limitations. It is part of the job of every prosecutor to identify those complaints and get them out of the system. They are rare, and they should never be a barrier to the overwhelming number of valid complaints that deserve to be investigated….
Child Abuse Research https://ritualabuse.us
March 24, 2015 Comments Off on Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse, Going Clear Scientology documentary
LDS Church: No tolerance for sex abuse in scouting
By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN
Mon March 23, 2015
Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse
(CNN) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States, says the church has strong measures in place to prevent the sexual abuse of scouts, as claims have been made it hasn’t done enough.
In the first interview about allegations of abuse in Mormon church-sponsored scouting troops, Church Elder L. Whitney Clayton told CNN that the church is at the forefront for prevention of child abuse….
Over several months, CNN examined allegations of abuse that were detailed in at least five lawsuits filed against the church and the scouts.
But Clayton said the church today is proactive, even constructing its buildings “in such a way as to try to avoid any situation where child abuse could occur.”….
The scoutmaster, Vance Hein, had been forced in resign from scouting in the early 1990s after reports surfaced that he failed to report a fellow scoutmaster who was engaged in homosexual activities. That scoutmaster ended up going to prison for sexual assaults on minors.
Hein’s name was added to the Boy Scouts of America’s ineligible volunteer files, which are widely known as the “perversion files.” The documents, which were made public in 2012, are lists of scout leaders suspected of sexual abuse or homosexual activity.
However, three years after being kicked out of scouting, Hein was allowed to rejoin the scouts after getting letters of recommendation attesting to his character. One of those letters was from Hein’s influential Mormon Bishop Jack Moyer, who wrote that Hein was “highly respected and liked.”….
But in a deposition taken as part of the lawsuit last year, he acknowledged that he would not have written the letter knowing what he later found out about Hein.
The lawsuit charged that Hein “actively groomed young boys under his charge for later sexual molestation.” Hein eventually was convicted of molesting Novak. He is now in prison for violating probation in the Novak case….
Going Clear is a ‘must-see’ Scientology documentary
Owen Gleiberman 20 March 2015
….Working with rare footage, Gibney burrows into the enigma of Scientology’s founder, L Ron Hubbard, capturing glints of delusion and megalomania. Hubbard‘s rise began in the 1930s, and he quickly became an astoundingly prolific science-fiction writer. But then in 1950 he published Dianetics, the perpetual bestseller in which he helped invent the principles of the therapeutic ‘self-help’ books that grew hugely popular by the 1970s. In Scientology, he wrapped these ideas around a theological core of interplanetary gibberish that could have come straight out of one his pulp novels. Going Clear captures how Hubbard fused reality, fantasy and the pursuit of enlightenment in a way that, according to the film’s witnesses, expressed his own highly unstable and even violent nature – at one point Gibney shows how Hubbard even told his wife that one of their children had died, just to manipulate her. Hubbard wound up a sea-faring outlaw on the run from US tax officials, and in Going Clear he emerges as a broken dictator who founded a religion based on control because he was so desperate to control his own demons.
Hubbard constructed Scientology around a ritual known as the ‘audit’, which is like a conventional therapy session fused with a Catholic confession and a visit to Room 101 in Orwell’s 1984. A member sits down and digs into their secrets and private traumas, as the auditor asks questions and takes notes, recording the subject’s responses on an ‘E-meter’, a gadget invented by Hubbard. Haggis, a Scientologist for 35 years before his highly publicised break with the Church in 2009, tells us how incredibly good an audit session could make him feel, as if he’d purged himself of all his toxins. Gibney suggests Hubbard’s method of healing was really just a superficial take on Freudian therapy, a comparison that Hubbard scorned – though only after his techniques had been rejected as rubbish by legitimate psychiatrists. Going Clear, however, suggests a dramatic difference between auditing and traditional therapy: it claims that the Church of Scientology holds on to the notes from the sessions and uses them to blackmail its members into staying….
Gibney interviews a handful of high-level Scientology officers who left the Church and are now willing to denounce it. Marty Rathbun, who spent years as Miscavige’s right-hand man, was at the very centre of the citadel, and his testimony has an unsettling authority. He alleges that Miscavige, in actions worthy of the Khmer Rouge, subjected his loyal officials to rituals of abuse, making them ‘confess’ to imagined crimes and assaulting them if they didn’t comply. The astounding thing is that when the victims were given the chance to exit this torture program, none of them did. They thought they deserved to be punished….
January 24, 2014 Comments Off on Lawsuit: Mormon church covered up sexual abuse at Hawaii camps
Lawsuit: Mormon church covered up sexual abuse at Hawaii camps
Courts Two Utah men claim they were sexually molested decades ago as boys.
By Janelle Stecklein
The Salt Lake Tribune Jan 23 2014
Two Utah men are suing the Mormon church claiming that decades ago they were sexually molested as boys after the church recruited them to pick pineapples in Hawaii.
A lawsuit filed Wednesday in the 2nd Circuit Court in Hawaii, alleges that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Maui Land and Pineapple Company Inc. and Youth Developmental Enterprises, recruited youths from Mormon communities in Utah and southern Idaho to go to camps in Maui to pick pineapples in the 1970s and 1980s, which led to them being sexually molested.
The camps were closed in the ‘90s, the lawsuit claims.
The men, now 41 and 42, now live in the Salt Lake City area.
The lawsuit claims that Mormon men in their 20s, who qualified for supervisory positions after completing their two-year missions, ran the camps, which recruited minors from church wards and scouting organizations.
The lawsuit claims that one man, who was appointed camp coordinator, branch president and stake high counselor for one of the camps, molested the two boys from 1986 until 1989.
The lawsuit also claims that the defendants knew of the camp coordinator’s “pedophilic sexual violence.”
Cody Craynor, a spokesman for the LDS church, said, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and works actively to prevent abuse. This case was filed yesterday, and many details in the legal complaint are unclear. The church will examine the allegations and respond appropriately.”
Lawsuit: Mormon Boys Molested At Maui Pineapple Farms, Church Knew 01/23/2014
Two Utah men are suing the Mormon church, alleging that, decades ago, they were sexually molested by a church camp coordinator when they worked on a Maui pineapple farm.
The lawsuit was filed in the 2nd Circuit Court in Hawaii on Wednesday. It claims that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and Maui Land & Pineapple Company recruited boys in the 1970s and 80s from Mormon communities to work in the camps, where the plaintiffs, now in their 40s, were molested.
The Maui camps paid boys to pick and grow pineapples and were supervised by LDS men in their twenties who had completed their two-year missions and could help train the boys for missionary life. The defendant, an Idaho man, was a camp coordinator and, in addition to being the boys’ boss, served as their spiritual leader.
The lawsuit claims that the defendant molested the two boys from 1986 until 1988, and that the church knew of the camp coordinator’s “pedophilic sexual violence.”….
A church spokesman said in a statement Thursday that “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind and works actively to prevent abuse. This case was filed yesterday, and many details in the legal complaint are unclear. The church will examine the allegations and respond appropriately.”
November 17, 2013 Comments Off on Mormon church denies lawsuit’s claims of sex abuse coverup
Mormon church denies lawsuit’s claims of sex abuse coverup
Fri Nov 1, 2013 by Matthew Umstead
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a statement released Wednesday adamantly denied claims made in a lawsuit that it covered up sexual abuse of 12 children in Berkeley County by a member who has since been excommunicated and imprisoned.
The lawsuit filed Sept. 16 names Mormon church officials and excommunicated member Christopher Michael Jensen and his parents as defendants. It was filed in Berkeley County Circuit Court on behalf of five families and 12 children among them.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind,” the church said in its statement, which was released by Martinsburg attorney William J. Powell, who is representing the church in this case….
The lawsuit alleges the church was repeatedly put on notice and/or had knowledge of Jensen’s “predatory acts,” but actively covered up the abuse and assisted him “in committing further unspeakable acts, by enabling (Jensen) to babysit for and live with other church families with young children.”….
“The church, in short, thwarted the protections that would have been triggered by reporting the abuses and provided (Jensen) the opportunity to abuse more and more children, which he did. This pattern continued for over five years, until (Jensen) was finally indicted in 2012,” the lawsuit said.