Cult child sex abuse case starts – Verdade Celestial, U.N. albinism expert aims to end ritual murders, Scandal Involving Shamanistic Cult Threatens S. Korean President
November 17, 2016 Comments Off on Cult child sex abuse case starts – Verdade Celestial, U.N. albinism expert aims to end ritual murders, Scandal Involving Shamanistic Cult Threatens S. Korean President
– Cult child sex abuse case starts (“Verdade Celestial”)
– After abuse as a girl, U.N. albinism expert aims to end ritual murders
– Swirling Scandal Involving Shamanistic Cult Threatens S. Korean President
Cult child sex abuse case starts
by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 15-11-2016
The trial of the leader of a fake religious sect called “Verdade Celestial” (Celestial Truth) and seven other defendants accused of sexually abusing children in a farm near Palmela, south of Lisbon, is to begin this Tuesday.
The main pedophile was arrested in June 2015 when he was pretending to be a psychologist and called himself the leader of the religious sect. He has been charged with dozens of crimes of rape, pimping, child pornography, some of which against his own son.
The accusation said the defendants “showed total disrespect for the children” who attended the farm for tutoring or to participate in activities organised by the religious leader who convinced them that the sexual abuse they were subjected to was “purifying acts”.
The cult leader is also suspected of charging other child molesters who wanted to abuse the children who went to the farm.
After abuse as a girl, U.N. albinism expert aims to end ritual murders
World News Wed Nov 16, 2016 By Katy Migiro
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Ikponwosa Ero was five years old, she couldn’t walk down the street in Nigeria without being abused for having albinism — a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes….
People with albinism are frequently shunned, attacked and even killed across Africa. In many countries, their body parts are believed to bring wealth and good luck and are prized in witchcraft for use in charms and magical potions.
Ero’s mother comforted her, telling her that God does not make mistakes, and fought for her to attend school, despite her poor eyesight, a common problem for people with the condition….
Ero’s priority is to end the brutal machete attacks on people with albinism by assailants seeking to use their body parts in witchcraft.
More than 600 attacks have taken place in 26 African countries since 2007, with almost two-thirds of the victims being children, she said.
“There is the witchcraft belief that if the attacks are happening to people while they are alive, then the potion is more powerful,” Ero said….
Ero was accompanied by Isaac Mwaura, Kenya’s first member of parliament with albinism, who organized in October a beauty pageant for people with albinism in Kenya to reduce stigma….
Swirling Scandal Involving Shamanistic Cult Threatens S. Korean President
October 29, 2016 Elise Hu
Tens of thousands demonstrated in cities across South Korea on Saturday, demanding President Park Geun-hye step down from office. Her approval rating has hit an unprecedented low of 14 percent and Park’s ordered all 10 of her senior aides to resign, following revelations an unelected, unappointed confidant was receiving advance copies and altering dozens of confidential policy speeches. They have led to charges that the friend is a secret “puppet master” and the real power behind “the throne.”
President Park apologized to the country in a rare nationally-televised address this week. She said she sought her old friend’s opinion only in the early part of her presidency, before her staff was in place.
It goes beyond tinkering with speeches, however. This scandal involves not only tens of millions of dollars and charges of influence-peddling, but of spiritual guides from a “Shamanistic prophet,” voices from the dead and — wait for it — dressage, the competitive form of horse-dancing….
The old friend of the president’s, Choi Soon-sil, also runs two non-profit foundations that prosecutors say boasted of its ties with the president to collect more than $70 million in donations from the country’s major conglomerates. Prosecutors opened up an investigation into the foundations in early October, and are seeking Choi, who is accused of siphoning some of those funds for personal use — including to cover equestrian training for her daughter, Chung Yoo-ra. (Choi emerged in Germany over the weekend and denies any wrongdoing.)….
Choi Soon-sil is the daughter of a man the president considered her mentor, Choi Tae-min. He claimed to be a pastor from a tiny pseudo-Christian sect, but a leaked diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy describes him as a ‘Rasputin’-like character and his “church” is described by Korean media as more of a “Shamanistic cult.” The New York Times explains further:
“Mr. Choi was the founder of an obscure sect called the Church of Eternal Life. He befriended Ms. Park, 40 years his junior, soon after her mother was assassinated in 1974. According to a report by the Korean intelligence agency from the 1970s that was published by a South Korean news magazine in 2007, Mr. Choi initially approached Ms. Park by telling her that her mother had appeared in his dreams, asking him to help her.
Mr. Choi was a former police officer who had also been a Buddhist monk and a convert to Roman Catholicism. (He also used seven different names and was married six times by the time he died in 1994 at the age of 82.) He became a mentor to Ms. Park, helping her run a pro-government volunteer group called Movement for a New Mind.”….
July 19, 2016 Comments Off on Tales of a child bride: ‘My father sold me,’ Ex-members of Twelve Tribes
Tales of a child bride: ‘My father sold me for 12 cows’
When she was 12, Grace was abducted and then raped and beaten every day for 11 months.
Features Human Rights 12 July 2016 By Marc Ellison
So common are the practices of abduction, rape and forced marriage of girls in northern Tanzania that a single word is used to encapsulate them all: kupura. It is a word used by people from the Sukuma tribe to describe the snatching of girls in broad daylight as they walk to school; a three-syllabled euphemism that downplays their long-term physical and sexual abuse.
And yet here in the region of Shinyanga, the practice of kupura is validated by the oft-recited motto of Sukuma men: alcohol, meat and vagina.
“This slogan is in their blood and a way of life,” says Revocatus Itendelebanya. “These are the three things they feel entitled to as men.”
Itendelebanya, the legal and gender officer for the local NGO, Agape, says this sense of entitlement, in what is a perennially patriarchal society, also explains why passers-by don’t intervene when they witness an abduction.
“When a Sukuma man is attracted to a girl he will start asking people where she lives, and what her routine is,” explains Itendelebanya.
“Once he finds out these details he might wait for her near the borehole – or whatever he thinks is the best place to get that girl – and then grab her.”
Kupura is so prevalent in the region that when a girl disappears, her parents will suspect what has happened. But rather than calling the police, they will seek the man out not to rescue their child, but to negotiate the dowry – or bride price – in cattle.
For daughters are sadly seen as a short-term investment for poor, rural households – cash cows that can boost a family’s financial position at the expense of a girl’s schooling and wellbeing….
When it comes to child marriage, Tanzania was until very recently a country of contradictions.
The 1971 Marriage Act set the minimum age of marriage for girls at 15 with parental consent – but a girl of 14 could wed where judicial approval was given.
And while the 2009 Child Act did not expressly outlaw child marriage, it did define a child as a person under the age of 18, stating that a parent should “protect the child from neglect, discrimination, violence, abuse, exposure to physical and moral hazards and oppression”.
This contradictory legal Venn diagram was further obfuscated by the Local Customary Law of 1963, which allowed Tanzania’s many ethnic groups to adhere to their customs and traditions.
The Tanzanian government had long made noises about a constitutional review process to address these conflicting laws, but last year’s presidential election campaign, in addition to a lack of consensus in community surveys, had served to stall any political momentum on the issue.
Only in July 2016 did the government finally ban child marriage outright – but will it actually make a difference?
Female genital mutilation was outlawed in Tanzania in 1998, and yet a 2010 government survey found that in remote parts of the Mara region, more than 40 percent of girls and women had been cut…. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/07/tales-child-bride-father-sold-12-cows-160711100933281.html
Twelve Tribes: The Church Preached Child Abuse & Slavery
According to ex-members of Twelve Tribes who spoke to The Daily Beast, children are regularly beaten and leaders preached “slavery is necessary.” Now, an escapee has taken over the Facebook page of the Plymouth bakery run by the commune so he can broadcast its ills.
Luke O’Neil 7.17.16
….It’s been almost eight years since Mathias, now 22, left the Twelve Tribes, the controversial commune and religious sect he was born into, but the memories, and the anger at the way he and his family were allegedly treated is still fresh. He says he—and other members of the sect—were regularly beaten by adults in the commune as a form of discipline.
….The half-dozen former members who spoke to The Daily Beast also allege a culture of systematic child abuse, subjugation of women, and psychological torment.
A couple of years ago, a German documentary uncovered video of children in a local branch being beaten so terribly that the government led a raid and took the children away. In the video, Wolfram Kuhnigk, an RTL journalist, filmed 50 instances of beatings on camera, as the Independent reported. One former member who appears in the film recounts being regularly beaten for such trivial offenses as pretending to be an airplane. According to the group’s teachings, children are not permitted to engage in any type of playing or fantasy.
It’s a pattern of controversial behavior that has persisted in stories about the group for decades. “There are so many teachings that keep you from being who you are. They keep you from being human,” a former member named Joellen Griffin told the Boston Herald in 2001. “You get so absorbed in the teachings that you lose your emotions and your ability to respond to situations. They seem like a tight-knit family, but you just don’t know all the misery behind those eyeballs.”
In 1984, authorities in Vermont undertook a similar raid, liberating over 100 children from a Twelve Tribes compound, according to The New York Times. A judge determined that the raid was unconstitutional and the children were returned. Interestingly, as the San Diego Reader reported, the public defender at the time, Jean Swantko, joined the group soon after.
An investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2013 told similar stories of members who had escaped the group, as did an investigation last year by Pacific Standard, which reported that children were allegedly beaten multiple times per day. In 2001 the New York Post launched an investigation that resulted in some of the group’s New York businesses being cited for violating child labor laws….
September 20, 2010 Comments Off on Ex-child prostitute sues Village Voice over sex ads, Palmdale group update
Ex-child prostitute sues Village Voice over sex ads
By Jacqui Cheng 9/19/10
A teenage child trafficking victim has filed a lawsuit against Village Voice Media, for knowingly allowing her pimp to post ads for her “services” on the popular backpage.com. The pimp, Latasha Jewell McFarland, has already pleaded guilty to prostitution charges, but the victim (going by M.A. in the complaint, as she is still a minor) says that Village Voice knew that the photos being posted of her were illegal but “failed to investigate for fear of what it would learn.”
M.A. says she was 14 when she was found as a runaway by McFarland, who began pimping out M.A. for $100 per sex act (McFarland took half the earnings). In order to advertise M.A.’s services, McFarland took pornographic photos of M.A. and posted them on backpage.com in the personals section for those seeking sex. McFarland pleaded guilty earlier this month to photographing M.A. in pornographic poses, posting child porn on backpage, paying the site for the postings, transporting M.A. for the purpose of pimping her out for sex, and collecting money for M.A.’s sexual services.
In the complaint, however, M.A. accuses Village Voice of having knowledge that the explicit photos were 1) of a minor, and 2) for prostitution services. No evidence is outlined in the complaint that explicitly points to Village Voice having this knowledge, but M.A. says the company aided and abetted her pimp in facilitating prostitution and child pornography. She also argues that Village Voice should not be granted immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—a law that has historically protected websites from being held liable for the content posted by users.
“Defendant had a strong suspicion that the aforementioned crimes were being committed,” reads the complaint. “Defendant had a desire that these posters accomplished their nefarious illegal prostitution activities so that the posters would return to the website and pay for more posting.”
Leader of religious sect held for evaluation
Group found safe hours after going missing in Southern California Missing sect members found, but questions remain
By JACOB ADELMAN 9/19/2010 PALMDALE, Calif. — The leader of a breakaway religious sect was hospitalized Sunday for a mental evaluation, after members of her group went missing and left behind evidence that they were awaiting the rapture or some catastrophic event. Reyna Marisol Chicas was placed under a 72-hour mandatory hold after it was determined she was not able to care for herself or others, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Kim. Chicas gave investigators a false name and was rambling during questioning, Kim said. She told deputies she had no children, even though her two kids were with her.
Ending a frantic search, deputies found Chicas and 12 others just before noon at Jackie Robinson Park near Palmdale after getting a tip from a local resident, said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore. He said all members are safe.
….The men told investigators they believe group members had been “brainwashed” by Chicas, and one expressed worries that they might harm themselves, Parker said. One of the children is 3, and the others range from 12 to 17. When deputies arrived at the park they found the children playing on swings and the adults on a blanket praying out loud in Spanish.