‘Cult-like’ Ashram Guru Sexually Abused Children, Australian cult – The Family, Web Pages on Child Abuse, Ritual Abuse and Mind Control
April 6, 2017 Comments Off on ‘Cult-like’ Ashram Guru Sexually Abused Children, Australian cult – The Family, Web Pages on Child Abuse, Ritual Abuse and Mind Control
‘My upbringing broke me’: Disturbing insider account reveals life growing up in ‘cult-like’ yoga ashram where a self-styled guru sexually abused and humiliated children
The woman, who did not give her real name, lived at the ashram from age four
She was isolated from her mother when she lived there in the 70s and 80s
And children were punished for the smallest infractions, she revealed
The woman said her childhood left her broken and unable to hold down a job
By Khaleda Rahman For Daily Mail Australia
4 April 2017
A woman who was raised inside a notorious ‘cult-like’ yoga ashram has revealed horrific details of her traumatic childhood.
The woman, identified only as Sandra although that is not her real name, opened up about how her upbringing inside the Satyananda Ashram – now known as Mangrove Yoga Ashram – left her broken in a heart-breaking piece published on news.com.au.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found children in the ashram – located in the foothills of Mangrove Mountain on the NSW central coast were raped, sexually assaulted and threatened with violence….
Sandra said she was forced to live in the ashram by her by her mother, who was attracted to the alternative lifestyle.
Once she got there though, she was isolated from her mother as renouncing family members and ‘worshipping’ the guru only was one of the ashram’s rules….
She says children were punished for the smallest things, like talking on the bus ride from school, had their heads flushed in the public toilets for not brushing their teeth, and were beaten in public is they said anything negative about the guru.
Sandra also revealed how at times, women and girls were forced to bathe in the creek where the water was below freezing, instead of taking hot showers like the men.
She said she didn’t cope with the tough conditions – and began taking drugs at 14 and was in a self-induced coma for three days when she was 16….
As an adult, she says she went from one abusive relationship to another – and ended up having a child with a physically abusive paedophile. Since discovering the latter fact, Sandra says she moved her two children away. She and her family have been in hiding ever since….
Last year, the royal commission found Satyananda Ashram was insensitive and defensive in its handling of abuse complaints from the 1970s and 1980s against its former spiritual leader Swami Akhandananda Saraswati.
The commission released its report into the ashram in September and revealed a culture of ‘violence and humiliation’ prevented victims from reporting the abuse – and some were even threatened with murder.
Ten women and one man gave evidence saying they had been sexually abused by him as children at the ashram.
Children as young as four were physically abused by Akhandananda or his former partner Shishy, former residents of the ashram reported.
The abuse ranged from slaps to repeated striking with heavy objects and forms of discipline included hard labour, starvation and humiliation through public nudity.
One victim said she was stripped, held down and had the skin between her breasts cut at the age of seven in an initiation ceremony – before Akhandananda raped her….
Troubling details of life inside notorious Australian cult The Family have been laid bare
April 3, 2017
….The notorious religious sect, whose leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne proclaimed she was the female reincarnation of Jesus Christ, preached a combination of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.
Under the influence of LSD, Hamilton-Byrne claimed she had a vision to collect children and raise them as her family to protect them from the coming global apocalypse.
The family, who represented a “master race”, would then educate the world after Armageddon.
Twenty eight children were allegedly taken and raised by the cult and dressed identically and had their hair bleached blond.
A number of professionals, including doctors and lawyers joined the cult under Hamilton-Byrne.
As the cult continued through the 1970s and 1980s, it was hit with allegations of child abuse.
Children who grew up in the cult were the subject of a documentary released last year which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Now a book, The Family, written by Rosie Jones and Chris Johnston exposes what life was like within the sect, The Mirror reports.
The book includes testimonies from ex-followers of the sect and police involved in investigating it….
An extract from the book reads:
“The monotony would suddenly be broken by wild outbursts of punishment and violent anger.
“The children never knew exactly how to escape punishment because the rules changed all the time….
“Compliance and silence became important to them, to save themselves.
“They learned to be helpless, while all the adults had absolute power.”
Allegations surrounding the cult include strict discipline that included beatings and a lack of food.
The children were reportedly denied access to the outside world and allegedly doped up with psychiatric drugs including LSD…..
Webpages on Child Abuse, Ritual Abuse and Mind Control
Exposing Doug Mesner/Lucien Greaves – co-founder of the Satanic Temple and Grey Faction presenter
The Urban Legends of Those Attacking Ritual Abuse Theories and the False Logic of False Memory Proponents and Their Occultist Supporters
The Urban Legends of Those Attacking Ritual Abuse Theories and the False Logic of False Memory Proponents and Their Occultist Supporters – Presentation at the 2016 Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference
Second half of the article discusses the Grey Faction, a part of the Satanic Temple and Lucien Greaves/Doug Mesner.
Information on Ellen Lacter and Her Research
Information on Valerie Sinason and Her Research
Information on Randy Noblitt and His Research
Information about Alison Miller and Her Research
Information on Neil Brick and his research
Information on Neil Brick
March 4, 2016 Comments Off on Child Abuse Allegations Plague the Hasidic Community
Child Abuse Allegations Plague the Hasidic Community
By Elijah Wolfson 3/3/16
….It’s widely accepted by child abuse experts and advocates that some kids are particularly vulnerable. Usually, they are disadvantaged in some way—family problems, rejection by their peer group—that perpetrators can exploit, particularly if they are teachers who also happen to be religious authorities.
….It was widely known that if you ratted out someone in the community for abuse, the community would turn its back on you. Gena Diacomanolis is the senior director of Safe Horizon’s Jane Barker Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center, where, over the past decade, she says, they have made tremendous strides in the Haredi communities. But the biggest barrier remains the pressure the community puts on individuals who want to come forward with stories of abuse.
“I can tell you tons of stories where they were so fearful of going forward,” she says. “I had one dad who said his son was sexually abused at school.” He decided not to press charges, Diacomanolis recalls. “He said, ‘I don’t want you to think I don’t love my child, but if I go forward, I won’t find a marriage for my daughter.’”
Diacomanolis also says families are often harassed when they come forward. One client who charged her husband with abusing their child “left her house, and the whole block was papered with things saying terrible things about her.”
One mother who found out her son had been sexually abused by a teacher at United Lubavitcher Yeshiva Ocean Parkway (another Hasidic school in Brooklyn) says when she complained to the yeshiva’s principal, she was shunned. “I got thrown out of the community,” she says. “You can’t imagine what was said to me. The phone calls I got. I was an outcast. I was threatened.”
….Protecting the Predators
Chabad has a global network of synagogues, schools and other facilities that is often used to shelter abusers on the run. When rumors of abuse begin to bubble up, teachers are shuttled from school to school, city to city—like Reizes, shipped from Brooklyn to Miami and then back. In March 2008, eight students accused Malka Leifer, principal of the Adass Israel school for girls in Elsternwick, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, of sexual abuse. Just days later, she hopped on a plane and fled to Israel. In September 2015, Australia’s Supreme Court awarded over $1 million in compensation to a 28-year-old abused by Leifer from 2003 to 2006.
According to court documents, it was discovered during the course of the trial that there was a concerted effort by the community to protect Leifer: The school’s president at the time, Yitzhok Benedikt, and board member Mark Ernst played key roles in arranging her escape to Israel. The two men are facing criminal charges; Leifer was arrested in Israel last year and is now fighting extradition to Australia.
In recent years, Australia has emerged as the country most willing to confront child abuse in the Hasidic world. In 2013, the government formed the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and in early 2015 it began a large investigation into the Hasidic community. Weeks of hearings led to a report detailing alleged abuses—and how yeshivas and rabbinical leadership cover up that abuse and systematically ostracize survivors and their families.
….In New York, survivors of most cases of child molestation have five years after they turn 18 to get the district attorney to prosecute. (In cases of sexual misconduct, legal proceedings must begin within two years after the offense was committed, regardless of the child’s age at the time of the alleged crime.) Many child abuse experts say that window is not nearly big enough for young men just starting to understand what happened to them. It’s no surprise that most of the abuse Newsweek uncovered happened long ago—no 10-year-old has the wherewithal to talk to the press about his abusive teacher. It takes a 25-year-old who has finally received a proper education to understand what was done to him 15 years ago.
For almost a decade, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, from Queens, has been trying to pass a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations on both criminal and civil cases of sex crimes against children. But she has faced fierce opposition from two political powerhouses: the New York State Catholic Conference and Agudath Israel of America.
The Hasidic world is starting to take allegations of abuse more seriously, and many of the individuals who talked on the record with Newsweek for this story say they finally feel comfortable speaking publicly about their personal histories with abuse because of the community support that has emerged in recent years.
‘Spotlight’ film Boston clergy abuse scandal, I was abused by clergy: Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson tells of abuse, Texas woman used in ‘ritual’ while being held captive
October 29, 2015 Comments Off on ‘Spotlight’ film Boston clergy abuse scandal, I was abused by clergy: Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson tells of abuse, Texas woman used in ‘ritual’ while being held captive
‘Spotlight’ film illuminates Boston clergy abuse scandal
Investigation led to Cardinal Law’s resignation Oct 27, 2015
BOSTON —It was a scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church to its core: Hundreds of priests molested children for decades and got away with it because church leaders covered it up.
More than a decade later, the story of how The Boston Globe exposed the church’s secret is being told in “Spotlight,” a movie starring Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo, set for release Nov. 6.
In Boston, where the scandal led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law and settlements with hundreds of victims, key figures featured in the film say it captures the shock of the scandal as it unfolded, the pain suffered by the victims and the work done by journalists to bring it to light.
“We obviously stumbled upon something far more extensive and horrifying than we had any right to expect to find,” recalled Walter Robinson – played by Michael Keaton – who led the Globe’s Spotlight Team, the investigative unit that broke open the scandal with a series of stories in 2002.
The stories detailed how church higher-ups – including Law – knew priests were abusing children but moved them from parish to parish instead of removing them. The series won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2003….
For the reporters, the film is a realistic depiction of both the failings and triumphs of journalism. Before the 2002 series, the Globe had written numerous stories about abusive priests but had not delved deeper to report on who within the archdiocese knew what was going on.
Shortly before Marty Baron took the helm as editor in 2001, he saw a reference in a Globe column about sealed court files in the case of John Geoghan, a priest accused of abusing more than 100 children.
His first day on the job, Baron asked Globe staffers if they had tried to get the files unsealed….
The Spotlight Team went to work while the Globe’s lawyers went to court. A judge eventually unsealed church documents, including priest personnel files containing extensive details on when the archdiocese received sexual abuse allegations against priests and who in the church hierarchy knew. The Globe’s explosive series sparked an upheaval in the Boston archdiocese that snowballed as similar revelations came to light about abusive priests around the world….
I was abused by clergy: Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson tells of abuse as 19-year-old
October 26, 2015 Joanne McCarthy
Anglican bishop Greg Thompson has spoken about being groomed by an Anglican bishop and senior clergyman in the 1970s and later sexually abused, after an historic diocese apology on Sunday for the “shameful” treatment of abuse survivors in the past.
The Newcastle bishop said he was an impressionable 19-year-old when the two men singled him out, made him feel special and used his strong faith and their shared religion as the cover to sexually abuse him.
His allegations against the two men, now dead, were revealed to NSW Police and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse earlier this year.
Bishop Thompson said he did not reveal the information before the diocese synod at the weekend because he wanted the vote on an historic apology to be a genuine response from clergy and senior diocese parishioners, and not a response to him personally.
“I couldn’t have spoken about the need for an apology if they’d known I was a survivor,” Bishop Thompson said.
“I wouldn’t have known if the response was for me or survivors. I didn’t want it to be just about me or any one particular survivor.”
He felt stronger after the synod supported an apology, without dissent, in which the diocese apologised “for the shameful way we actively worked against and discouraged those who came to us and reported abuse”.
“We are ashamed to acknowledge that we only took notice when the survivors of abuse became a threat to us.”….
Texas woman used in ‘blood ritual’ while being held captive
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
DALLAS (AP) — Four people kidnapped a woman and held her captive for three days in a San Antonio-area home, forcing her to ingest drugs and at one point conducting a “blood ritual,” a sheriff’s spokesman said Wednesday.
Authorities believe Mercedes Salazar, 32, was the ringleader who orchestrated the woman’s captivity, according to James Keith, spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office. Salazar is being held on charges that include aggravated kidnapping, he said.
Keith said Salazar believed the 25-year-old woman played a role in the August killing of her brother. Authorities say there’s no indication the victim played any role in the death.
The woman was abducted last month and spent most of her time in captivity tied to a chair. She told investigators she was forced to take drugs, including what she believed was heroin. Her captors also held a ceremony that Keith described as a blood ritual.
“It was a form of witchcraft where they cut her hair and drew blood from her,” he said….
Child sex abuse ring which passed children round “like toys,” Australia’s child sex abuse, Confirmed 12,000 allegations of abuse relating to 3,500 religious and state institutions, Three Universities Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees
September 29, 2015 Comments Off on Child sex abuse ring which passed children round “like toys,” Australia’s child sex abuse, Confirmed 12,000 allegations of abuse relating to 3,500 religious and state institutions, Three Universities Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees
– Marie Black gets life term for child abuse
“A woman at the centre of a “gruesome” child sex abuse ring which passed children round “like toys” has been given a life sentence.”
– Lifting the lid on Australia’s child sex abuse
Commission’s work so far – Confirmed 12,000 allegations of abuse relating to 3,500 religious and state institutions
– Three Universities Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees
Marie Black gets life term for child abuse
28 September 2015 Norfolk
Marie Black, Michael Rogers and Jason Adams preyed on children aged under 13
A woman at the centre of a “gruesome” child sex abuse ring which passed children round “like toys” has been given a life sentence. Marie Black, 34, of Norwich, was convicted at Norwich Crown Court of 23 charges, including rape and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Victims were abused at parties and may have been offered in raffles….
The charges related to five young children over a 10-year period. Michael Rogers, 46, from Romford, north east London, was found guilty of 14 counts, including cruelty, rape and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Jason Adams, 44, from Norwich, was convicted of 13 similar counts. Both were sentenced to 24 years.
The severity of the sentence means Marie Black has become one of the UK’s most notorious paedophiles.
Yet still she cries her innocence. She sobbed quietly and occasionally shook her head as her sentence was read out. Judge Nicholas Coleman said he had “had enough” of legal argument from her barrister and went at it both barrels….
All three had denied the charges against them, with Black accused of 26 counts and found guilty of 23.
“The offences included adults conspiring to rape children at so-called sex parties….
Lifting the lid on Australia’s child sex abuse
By Marie McInerney Melbourne, Victoria
27 September 2015 Australia
For decades, Peter Blenkiron remained silent about the abuse he had suffered at age 11 at the hands of his Catholic Christian Brother teacher.
Earlier this year, Mr Blenkiron relived the horror of his school days, telling an inquiry into child abuse about how he would be pressed against the wall at the back of the classroom while his teacher physically and sexually abused him, with the other students ordered to look away.
“If there was no sexual abuse after the belting, then you knew you’d had a good day,” the 53-year-old told a hearing of Australia’s landmark Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse….
Over the past two and a half years, six commissioners have held 32 public and 4,000 private hearings at sites across the country, from an outback orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy to one of Australia’s most prestigious schools, Geelong Grammar, once attended by Prince Charles.
It has documented abuse by teachers, priests, nuns, foster carers and fellow students, and this year, extended its investigations into sporting bodies and the entertainment industry.
It will make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions.
Commission’s work so far
Confirmed 12,000 allegations of abuse relating to 3,500 religious and state institutions
Referred 727 matters to police….
It is too early to judge whether or not the Royal Commission will meet survivors’ expectations, Ms Courtin says.
Her research shows survivors want to tell their stories and have them publicly acknowledged, to hear the truth from institutions about what happened, to be compensated for the long-term impact on their lives, and for those in senior positions who concealed abuse to be held accountable.
“They want the bishops and others who have covered up crimes to be criminally accountable,” she says. “That’s high up on the list.”….
Three Universities Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees
September 28, 2015 by CNN Wire
Bill Cosby’s stunning fall from grace appears far from over.
In the latest setback over his sex assault allegations, three colleges in recent days have rescinded honorary degrees awarded to him years ago.
Fordham University in New York and Marquette University in Wisconsin announced last Thursday they had pulled the degrees given to the comedian to honor him. Then, on Monday, Brown University in Rhode Island said that it will do the same….
The fallout from the controversy over the sex assault allegations has been swift. Reruns of “The Cosby Show,” his landmark 1980s sitcom, have been pulled from the airwaves, and other projects and tour dates have been scrapped.
June 3, 2015 Comments Off on Vatican defends Cardinal George Pell in child sex abuse scandal
Vatican defends Cardinal George Pell in child sex abuse scandal
June 02, 2015
THE Vatican has defended its finance chief, Australian Cardinal George Pell, after he was accused by one of Pope Francis’ commissioners for child protection of being almost sociopathic.
Spokesman Federico Lombardi says Peter Saunders, who called for Pell to be dismissed over allegations he covered up abuse and denigrated victims, was expressing his personal views and not speaking on behalf of the commission.
Lombardi told journalists Pell, formerly the top Catholic cleric in Australia, has replied to all questions posed by the authorities and his defence must be considered reliable and worthy of attention and respect.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday requested Pell give evidence when the inquiry next meets at a date to be determined.
Pell says he will be present at the hearing.
Mr Saunders, an abuse survivor, made headlines earlier this week when he called on the Pope to sack Cardinal Pell as the Vatican’s financial chief over allegations he helped cover up paedophile activity in Australia.
Now Mr Saunders has revealed the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors may not be able to do its job properly due to a lack of resources.
“George Pell is in the Pope’s cabinet, the inner sanctum, and is in charge of Vatican finances,” he said….
Cardinal Pell, who denies the cover-up allegations, said he was consulting his legal advisers after Mr Saunders said the Australian’s lack of care for victims was “almost sociopathic”.
Mr Saunders responded by stating the threat of legal action wasn’t surprising and he wouldn’t shut up for anyone.
Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage, Cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House
April 16, 2015 Comments Off on Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage, Cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House
– Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, witness says
– Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage
– Childhood abuse drove me to prostitution
Carrickfergus man tells of the cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House which drove him to become a rent boy in London.
Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, witness says
By William Rollo and Marlina Whop Apirl 14, 2015
A witness at a child sex abuse inquiry says she was raped “well over 100 times” by a priest at St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage Rockhampton in central Queensland.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard the treatment of children at the orphanage was “vicious and sadistic”, while an earlier inquiry found hundreds of children were sexually abused, beaten and forced into hard labour there.
The inquiry has begun hearings into how the Sisters of Mercy, the Rockhampton diocese and the state government responded to complaints made by former residents of St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage.
The orphanage has already been the subject of several police and government investigations, and a 1999 inquiry led by former Queensland governor Leneen Forde.
After the so-called Forde Inquiry, the Queensland government at the time offered ex gratia payments of up to $40,000 to people as long as they dropped other legal action against the state.
Over the next two weeks, the royal commission will hear evidence from 18 witnesses, with 13 being former residents of the orphanage, who say they were abused by priests, workers, and nuns there from 1940 to 1975…. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-14/child-sex-abuse-inquiry-neerkol-orphanage-rockhampton/6391002
Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage
Michael Madigan, AAP The Courier-Mail April 15, 2015
….A FORMER resident of an infamous central Queensland orphanage says she tried to blow the whistle on sexual abuse she suffered while in care but was ignored by authorities.
A royal commission sitting in Rockhampton has heard that sadistic punishments and sexual abuse were rife at St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage, which was run by the Sisters of Mercy from 1885 and 1978.
Former resident Diane Carpenter, 62, told the second day of a public hearing that while at Neerkol in Rockhampton she was sexually abused by a priest called Father Michael Hayes and by a member of a foster family who took her in during holidays….
A CATHOLIC priest is alleged to have hypnotised a 12-year-girl with a silver fob watch before raping her, while another forced his victim to “confess her sin of impurity” after each attack.
In some of the more sinister evidence to come before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, two women yesterday told of a widespread climate of paedophilia mixed with religious piety in the Rockhampton Catholic community in the 1960s and ’70s.
Public floggings with a horse whip of runaway boys and ritual humiliation of bed-wetters, forced to stand in the communal dining room with their wet sheets on their heads, were alleged to be part of an often-sadistic climate at the Neerkol Orphanage, presided over by the Sisters of Mercy.
A 67-year-old woman told of being raped and attacked up to 100 times by local priest Father Reg Durham, the attacks continuing even as she trained to be a nun…. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/victims-give-evidence-at-royal-commission-into-abuse-at-queensland-orphanage/story-fnihsrf2-1227304003352
Childhood abuse drove me to prostitution
Carrickfergus man tells of the cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House which drove him to become a rent boy in London.
By Lisa Smyth – 15 April 2015
A local man has told how he turned to booze and became a rent boy as a result of the horrendous abuse he suffered as a child. Carrickfergus man Chris Donnelly is a former resident of one of the facilities currently being examined by the Historical Abuse Inquiry….
“Lissue House was a hospital for children with mental problems but my only problem was that I had been bullied.”
Mr Donnelly said official records of his time at the hospital show he was living in constant fear of beatings by staff and other residents.
“I was constantly looking over my shoulder and the records prove that,” he said.
“There are so many examples of beatings, getting kicked or slapped just became a normal way of life…. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/childhood-abuse-drove-me-to-prostitution-31144906.html
Investigation Claims Jehovah Witnesses’ Watchtower Is Hiding Child Sexual Abuse Claims, Yeshivah abuse victim says scholarship was removed after he reported rape, Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, Rabbi pleads guilty to taping nude women at ritual bath
February 20, 2015 Comments Off on Investigation Claims Jehovah Witnesses’ Watchtower Is Hiding Child Sexual Abuse Claims, Yeshivah abuse victim says scholarship was removed after he reported rape, Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, Rabbi pleads guilty to taping nude women at ritual bath
Investigation Claims Jehovah Witnesses’ Watchtower Is Hiding Child Sexual Abuse Claims
The Huffington Post By Kira Brekke 02/18/2015
Evelyn Selimaj, 30, left, of East Haven and her sister Sybelle Almodovar, 35, of North Guilford hold a photograph of themselves together with their brother Ferdinand Almodovar that was taken about the time that the three siblings say they began to be sexually abused by a ministerial servant who acted as a church leader in their congregation. They were child members of the New Haven East Spanish Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation. In October 2014 in New Haven, Connecticut, their attorneys filed ch
A new report out of the Center for Investigative Reporting claims that the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ parent organization in the United States has systematically hidden child sexual abuse cases for more than 25 years.
Trey Bundy, the Reveal journalist behind the report, explained to HuffPost Live on Tuesday that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York has issued detailed memos since 1989 mandating spiritual leaders to immediately report any allegations of child abuse to the Watchtower’s legal department before the police.
“Essentially what they say is, ‘You don’t need to call police unless state law requires you to, and we’ll determine if that’s the case.’ They say not to warn other members of the congregation if you have a child abuser in your congregation, that’s confidential information,” Bundy told host Alyona Minkovski. “And they also … lay out a very sort of convoluted process for determining whether or not you’re even going to take child abuse seriously.”
But in the “many times” Jehovah’s Witnesses have been sued in civil court by alleged victims of abuse, Bundy explained, the freedom of religion has been invoked to protect them….
In a statement to Bundy in his article, Watchtower representatives defended the organization’s practices regarding abuse.
Watchtower officials say they instruct their members to obey state laws. Their policy memos direct elders who hear of alleged child abuse to “contact the Society’s Legal Department immediately” to learn whether the laws in their states require them to notify police….
Yeshivah abuse victim says scholarship was removed after he reported rape
Victim of jailed abuser David Cyprys says principal Rabbi Abraham Glick cancelled the award after telling him of incidents, royal commission hears
Rabbi Pinchus Feldman did not alert police when the alleged abuser said he might leave the country.
Melissa Davey Monday 9 February 2015
A child sex abuse victim who was repeatedly raped by a staff member of an Orthodox Jewish school said he was stripped of his scholarship when he told the principal what happened.
The victim, identified only as AVR, said a security guard at the Yeshivah centre and college in Melbourne, David Cyprys, raped him multiple times.
Cyprys was convicted of those offences in 2013, and is in jail….
His mother immediately flew to Melbourne see him, and together they reported the abuse to the principal of the school, Rabbi Abraham Glick, and the director, Rabbi David Groner, who is now dead.
“Rabbi Glick said my scholarship had been cancelled from that time,” AVR said. “I feel Rabbi Glick and Yeshivah did not want me there any more. They did not offer help or counselling. No one at Yeshivah would speak to us or help us. Even our own family members would not help us, and we had a lot of trouble getting back to the airport.”….
Cyprys was “a serial abuser of children”, the commission heard last Monday. AVR said his mother had stopped treatment for her cancer when she came to Melbourne to rescue him from Cyprys, and that she passed away a few years later, in 1995….
Last week, other victims told the commission how they were ignored by senior religious leaders within the orthodox Yeshivah community after reporting their abuse, and of being verbally abused and ostracised….
Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
Latest news on Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
Rabbi pleads guilty to taping nude women at ritual bath
February 19, 2015 By JESSICA GRESKO
WASHINGTON (AP) — A prominent Orthodox rabbi acknowledged Thursday that for years he videotaped women in a changing room of a Jewish ritual bath, ultimately recording approximately 150 nude women.
Barry Freundel pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism during a hearing at D.C. Superior Court. Each count is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Freundel’s attorney, Jeffrey Harris, acknowledged after the hearing that it was unlikely that his client would get a 52-year sentence but declined to say what sentence he would seek at a hearing set for May 15. Harris said his client was taking responsibility for his actions and was looking to move on with his life….
Freundel, 63, was a rabbi at the Kesher Israel synagogue in Washington for more than 25 years before his arrest in October on voyeurism charges. As part of the plea agreement Freundel entered into Thursday, he acknowledged that starting in 2009 he set up hidden recording devices in a changing and showering area of The National Capital Mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath affiliated with Kesher Israel. He acknowledged he secretly videotaped women who were partially or totally undressed before or after they showered.
Rabbis’ absolute power: how sex abuse tore apart Australia’s Orthodox Jewish community, Brutal slaying leads to protests over violence against women in Turkey
February 19, 2015 Comments Off on Rabbis’ absolute power: how sex abuse tore apart Australia’s Orthodox Jewish community, Brutal slaying leads to protests over violence against women in Turkey
Rabbis’ absolute power: how sex abuse tore apart Australia’s Orthodox Jewish community
Yeshivah leaders in Sydney and Melbourne chose to preserve the prestige of their faith over the safety of children. A national inquiry that reverberated around the world painted a devastating picture of how individuals were abandoned and ostracised as they fought to end the code of silence
David Marr Wednesday 18 February 2015
Orthodox Judaism has never been exposed to such scrutiny. From a Melbourne courtroom, the torment of the Chabad rabbis was streamed live to the world as the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse probed the city’s secretive and powerful Yeshivah community.
Sharp divisions in the Jewish world have been exposed. Two rabbis, including one of the nation’s most prominent, have been forced from their posts. Whistleblowers, humiliated and ostracised for years by Yeshivah, have been dramatically vindicated. More victims have come forward. More criminal charges may follow. Yeshivah schools face a nightmare of civil litigation.
The cast is Jewish, yet the bones of this story are familiar to anyone who has followed the scandal of child abuse in Christian schools and parishes. Rabbis and bishops have shown over the years much the same failings when faced with a choice between guarding the prestige of their faiths and the safety of children. This story is about the dangers in any cult of blind obedience to holy men….
Manny Waks: I’m the ‘troublemaker’ who blew the whistle on Jewish abuse scandal
Manny Waks is still living with the impact of years of abuse inside Australia’s Yeshivah centres. Before he can reclaim his life, he says, more people must resign in the wake of the child sex abuse royal commission
Melissa Davey Sunday 15 February 2015
When he was 18 years old, Manny Waks turned his back on life within the Orthodox sect of Judaism known as Chabad. But the effects on his life remain profound.
Now 38, Waks is still unable to read a novel, so dictated was his childhood by religious texts. Until the age of about 29, he believed rubbing his eyes with his fingers after waking up in the morning would cause him to go blind unless he carried out a religious washing ceremony first.
But the most damage has been caused by the repeated sexual abuse he suffered within the umbrella organisation for the movement in Australia, known as Yeshivah….
Since Waks first spoke publicly in 2011 about the abuse he suffered, he has helped to expose the centres, and the schools, synagogues and activities attached to them, as communities within which child sex abuse was covered-up, denied or ignored.
The rabbinic law of mesirah – the prohibition of a Jew informing on a fellow Jew to secular authorities – was used by leaders to keep victims silent, the commission heard. When victims did go to police, they were labelled mosers, or “informers”, a charge so serious they were threatened with exclusion so severe it was akin to being excommunication, which would mean being ripped away from a culture, identity, religion and community. It meant everything from marriage prospects to opportunities for religious honours would be forever taken away….
It does not matter that peak Jewish bodies have publicly said the concept of mesirah does not, and should never, apply to cases of child sexual abuse. Even today, Waks says, victims remain fearful of being shunned.
“The fact that to this day I am the only victim who has been willing to be named should say plenty,” Waks says.
“It is easier for me than for other victims, because I am no longer in that world. Most child sex abuse victims prefer anonymity because of a range of taboos and stigmas attached to them. It’s very sensitive.
“But within the Yeshivah community, those issues and barriers are multiplied tenfold, and by speaking out against them, your life will potentially be over. You will feel the consequences, you will be damaged goods.”
In 1988, when he was 11 years old, Waks was abused by a member of the Yeshivah centre known only to the commission as AVP because he left the country before he could be charged.
The man abused Waks multiple times….
Waks confided in a classmate at the Yeshivah college, who told other children. Soon, Waks felt like everyone knew about what was happening to him, and he faced daily taunts and bullying – including being called “gay” because he had been abused by a man….
Waks says Chabad has “all the hallmarks” of a cult – “every waking moment was dictated for us”, he said. He still has difficulty reading books or watching movies for pleasure, so heavily was his studying of religious texts and documentaries. He did not know what his secular birthday was until he was 15. His relationship with his father, who used a disciplinary approach to ensure his children adhered to Yeshivah values, is fractured….
Manny Waks believes the past two weeks of evidence means resignations now need to happen. Some of the rabbis were involved in malicious attacks against him and his family, it was revealed. They were so brutal that Waks relocated his wife and three children to Europe.
“Where was anyone at the time we were being abused, when we were going to the police?” he asks. Waks is now establishing a global organisation to investigate child sex abuse within the Jewish community.
“These leaders, these people, are the ones who are the biggest miscarriages of justice. They will do anything to protect themselves, their reputation and their institution, and that’s what’s so astounding and so offensive to the core….
Brutal slaying leads to protests over violence against women in Turkey
By Glen Johnson February 14, 2015 Reporting from Ankara, Turkey
The slaying of a young Turkish woman during an alleged attempted rape has prompted angry street protests across Turkey and demands that the government do more to combat violence against women.
Police on Friday discovered the charred corpse of Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old psychology student, in a riverbed in southern Mersin province. She was killed while fighting back a sexual assault by the driver of a minibus she took to go home, authorities say.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the slaying, including the driver, authorities told local media. Protesters took to streets of major cities in Turkey on Saturday, as the victim was buried in her hometown.
Women’s rights activists argue that the Islamist ruling party, the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is not doing enough to halt such violence—or to ensure those guilty of crimes against women receive adequate punishment. Many argue that Turkey’s judicial system is sympathetic to perpetrators of such crimes.
The number of gender-related homicides of Turkish women has soared in recent years. Authorities reported fewer than 100 in 2002, compared to almost 300 in 2014….
Westminster child abuse inquiry to hear Margaret Thatcher was presented ‘allegations of unnatural sexual proclivities’, Prince Andrew denies sex abuse claims, NSW may extend time limit on child sex abuse claims
January 23, 2015 Comments Off on Westminster child abuse inquiry to hear Margaret Thatcher was presented ‘allegations of unnatural sexual proclivities’, Prince Andrew denies sex abuse claims, NSW may extend time limit on child sex abuse claims
Westminster child abuse inquiry to hear Margaret Thatcher was presented ‘allegations of unnatural sexual proclivities’
Secret document suggests claims against ‘public figures’ were taken to the PM at height of alleged paedophile scandal Adam Withnal Wednesday 21 January 2015
A UK academic has uncovered a file which he claims could contain allegations of “unnatural” sexual activities against public figures at the height of the Westminster child abuse scandal.
Dr Chris Murphy, a security and intelligence lecturer at the University of Salford, found the classified document while searching the National Archives in Kew.
While its contents have not been made public, Dr Murphy said he was immediately alerted by the title showing it had been taken to the then-Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
The title read: “PREM19/588 – SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 – 1981 Mar 20.”
According to Sky News, the Cabinet Office has been made aware of the file and it will be made available to the ongoing panel inquiry into the alleged existence of a paedophile ring involving senior Westminster figures….
‘Unnatural Sex’ File Given To Abuse Inquiry The secret document was not handed over to a review into child abuse, the chief executive of the NSPCC tells Sky News. UK, Wednesday 21 January 2015
By Tom Parmenter, Sky News Correspondent
A secret file on “unnatural” sexual behaviour was not handed over to a Government backed review that looked for official documents linked to child abuse.
The file prepared for then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s was found recently at the National Archives in Kew and is entitled: “PREM19/588 – SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 – 1981 Mar 20”.
The Cabinet Office still holds the file. Thirty-five years after it was prepared it remains closed on grounds of national security….
It is highly likely Margaret Thatcher saw the documents, and was briefed on the security implications, but the identities of those within them remain secret.
Dr Murphy added: “The fact that this file is concerning the Prime Minister and these allegations are being taken to the Prime Minister I think would strike anybody of being potentially of some interest.”….
Mrs Thatcher’s former press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham, told Sky News he could not recall the file.
He did, though, confirm that both he and Mrs Thatcher were aware of allegations against a Government minister in the early 1980s.
Sir Bernard would not name the individual, but said: “I asked him about it and he denied it, so no, I didn’t do anything else. What was the alternative?”….
Officials at the Cabinet Office have previously attempted to block requests for information relating to Cyril Smith, the late Liberal politician who is now known to have abused youngsters….
NSW may extend time limit on child sex abuse claims
Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has shown survivors do not disclose or act on their experience until decades after abuse
Attorney general Brad Hazzard: under the NSW Statute of Limitations people abused as children generally have three to 12 years from the time of the offence to launch a civil claim.
Australian Associated Press Thursday 22 January 2015
The NSW government is considering lifting the time limit in which survivors of child sexual abuse can sue for damages.
The NSW attorney general Brad Hazzard said the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse had uncovered widespread claims about abuse and the legal barriers survivors face in pursuing justice many years after the crime.
“It is well documented that many survivors of child sexual abuse do not disclose their experiences or act on them until decades after the abuse, well after the time period has ended,” Hazzard said on Friday.
The government has released a discussion paper on whether to amend the Limitation Act 1969 and wants to hear from the public.
Under the NSW Statute of Limitations people abused as children generally have between three and 12 years from the time of the offence to launch a civil claim.
“People who have suffered at the hands of others sometimes take 20, 30 years just to build up the courage to be able to say anything … it’s a bit strange that there’s a limitation in the law that says you can’t bring proceedings,” Hazzard told ABC radio on Friday….
Prince Andrew denies sex abuse claims
By Laura Smith-Spark and Lindsay Isaac, CNN January 22, 2015
(CNN)In his first public remarks since being accused of having sex with an underage American woman, Britain Prince Andrews briefly addressed the allegation before a crowd in Davos, Switzerland.
“Firstly, I think I must, want, for the record to refer to the events that have taken place in the last three weeks. And I just wish to reiterate and to reaffirm the statements which have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace,” he said Thursday at the World Economic Forum.
Earlier this month, Buckingham Palace issued a statement which said, “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York [Andrew] had any form of sexual contact or relationship” with the woman. “Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
Andrew is a son of Queen Elizabeth II and a brother of Prince Charles, the next in line for the British throne….
The woman, identified by Buckingham Palace as Virginia Roberts, first named the prince in a civil motion filed December 30 in the U.S. District Court in southern Florida in which she claims she was forced to have sex with several men. She is referred to as Jane Doe No. 3 in the legal filings.
In the letter the woman’s lawyers sent to Buckingham Palace, attorneys Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards asked to interview Prince Andrew “under oath regarding interactions that you had with Jane Doe No. 3 beginning in approximately early 2001. Jane Doe No. 3 was then 17 years old.”
The letter includes a picture of the woman and Andrew which was taken around that time, they say. The lawyers also want to discuss subsequent interactions with their client in New York City later that year, the letter says….