Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse, Going Clear Scientology documentary
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….
Mormon church denies lawsuit’s claims of sex abuse coverup
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.