Prayer, Politics and Power: ‘The Family’ Reveals Our Insidious American Theocracy

September 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

Prayer, Politics and Power: ‘The Family’ Reveals Our Insidious American Theocracy                                                         
Based on author Jeff Sharlet’s book of the same name, the Netflix docuseries highlights a secret (homoerotic) Christian cabal that you’ve never heard of – E J Dickson August 9, 2019

….the wide-ranging network of politicians, world leaders, and men of faith that make up the Fellowship isn’t mere conspiracy theory: it’s 100 percent true. What’s more, some of its members are speaking on the record about it for the first time in the new five-part Netflix series The Family, directed by documentarian Jesse Moss.

The Fellowship, also known as the Family, is a highly secretive group of evangelical Christian men who meet for Bible study and prayer meetings; it’s best known for serving as the organizer of the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual gathering of diplomats and world leaders in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1935 by a man named Abraham Veride, the Fellowship initially arose from Vereide trying to arrange a meeting of business owners to crush laborers’ attempts at organizing. Over the course of the past 75 years, it has evolved into what some have referred to as a secret theocracy, or an underground movement of prominent Christian men who exert their influence not just in the United States, but abroad as well….

Fellowship members operate under a veil of secrecy, which is by design; Fellowship head Douglas Coe, who died in 2017, believed that the group could best exert its influence that way. Its members include senators, diplomats, and religious leaders around the world: Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Jim Inhofe, and Rep. Bart Stupak have been linked to the group, while Vice President Mike Pence and attorney general Jeff Sessions have also been referred to as “friends of the Family.” And it’s a testament to the persistence of the production team that a handful of Fellowship members, including former Congressman Zach Wamp, speak on the record for the first time about the organization in the series. Moss attributes their willingness to talk in part to the organization’s attempts to “adapt to the 21st century with a greater degree of transparency, though only time will tell if that’s true.” Sharlet, however, has a slightly different take: “They’re not opening the doors. They’re not becoming transparent. That simply hasn’t happened. But they do want to have their say.”

The primary way the Fellowship maintains influence, the series argues, is through the National Prayer Breakfast, which every president since Eisenhower has attended over the past 50 years. Though many consider the Prayer Breakfast something of a “banal event,” according to Moss, he says, “It’s really quite an impressive demonstration of influence and power.”….

Members of the Family have also aligned themselves with global leaders who had committed atrocities in their home countries, including Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, who once prayed with Coe. “In the face of all these dictators, they don’t say anything at all,” says Sharlet. “They don’t ask any accountability.”

Sharlet has been reporting on the Family since 2003, when he published an article in Harper’s Bazaar about his time as an intern at Ivanwald, a Fellowship house in D.C. His work has been instrumental in lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding the organization, much to the chagrin of members of the Family: even though the group has ties to “all these dictators and war criminals, [I’m] the only person they’ve ever described as evil,” Sharlet says….

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/netflix-the-family-jesse-moss-secret-christian-cult-washington-dc-869396/

The Family 2019 TV-14 1 Season Political Documentaries
An enigmatic conservative Christian group known as the Family wields enormous influence in Washington, D.C., in pursuit of its global ambitions. Watch Season 1 Now on Netflix This documentary is inspired by Jeff Sharlet’s book “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.” https://www.netflix.com/title/80063867

Jesse Moss and Jeff Sharlet on “The Family”
A new series called “The Family” sheds light on the deep ties between religion and politics through an intensely secretive and influential organization. The show’s director, Jesse Moss and the author who wrote the book that first exposed the group, Jeff Sharlet, join the program to discuss. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/amanpour-and-company/video/jesse-moss-and-jeff-sharlet-family-yngksh/

Victim of The Family taking leader to court, Verification of accuracy of book “Michelle Remembers,” Ritual Abuse Evidence

September 6, 2017 Comments Off on Victim of The Family taking leader to court, Verification of accuracy of book “Michelle Remembers,” Ritual Abuse Evidence

– Victim of notorious cult The Family is taking the infamous group’s elderly leader to court
– Verification of the accuracy of the book “Michelle Remembers“
– Ritual abuse exists all over the world. There have been reports, journal articles, web pages and criminal convictions of crimes against children and adults.

 

‘I want to dethrone her, and take away her money’: Victim of notorious cult The Family is taking the infamous group’s elderly leader to court

Leanne Creese spent 16 years trapped in the Melbourne-based cult
She hopes to remove leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s legal guardians
The Family’s assets are said to be worth upwards of $10 million
The action will be heard before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

By Matilda Rudd For Daily Mail Australia
4 September 2017

….The children, who had their hair bleached blonde and shaped into the same bob, were allegedly beaten, starved and injected with LSD by Hamilton-Byrne (pictured right) and other cult leaders

In total the cult’s assets are said to be worth up to $10 million, with properties in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne and the United States.

Ms Creese, who has previously shined light on the abuse and use of drugs inside the cult, told The Age: ‘I want to dethrone her, and take away her money.’….

Hamilton-Byrne (pictured), one of very few female cult leaders, was under the influence of LSD when she began collecting children in Lake Eildon in central Victoria in the 1970s and 1980s in preparation for what she believed was an apocalyptic war….

Police dramatically rescued the traumatised children from the sect property in 1987 after three young women managed to escape and alert police, survivor Ben Shenton previously told The Today Show.

‘What Anne indoctrinated people with, she took them as vulnerable people and came up with a system which was very abusive. If they disagree they were bullied, intimidated, people were separated from their families,’ Mr Shenton said….
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4849392/Leanne-Creese-takes-Melbourne-cult-Family-court.html
Verification of the accuracy of the book “Michelle Remembers
by Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder, MD from the book “A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER” pages xi – xiii”


“Dr. Pazder’s credentials are impressive. He obtained his M.D. from the University of Alberta in 1961; his diploma in tropical medicine from the University Liverpool in 1962; and in 1968, his specialist certificate in psychiatry and his diploma in psychological medicine from McGill University. In 1971, he was made a fellow of Canada’s Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is a member of three Canadian professional associations and of the American Psychiatric Association as well. He practiced medicine in West Africa and has participated in medical task forces and health organizations. He has been chairman of the Mental Health Committee of the Health Planning Council for British Columbia. A member of the staff of two hospitals in Victoria, British Columbia -the Royal Jubilee and the Victoria General-he is in private practice with a group of five psychiatrists. His professional papers include a study of the long-term effects of stress upon concentration-camp victims.

Two experienced interviewers journeyed to Victoria and talked to Dr. Pazder’s colleagues, to the priests and the bishop who became involved in the case, to doctors who treated Michelle Smith when she was a child, to relatives and friends. From local newspaper, clergy, and police sources they learned that reports of Satanism in Victoria are not infrequent and that Satanism has apparently existed there for many years. Satanism in Western Canada flourished in many areas with activities far more ominous than some of the innocuous groups now found in parts of the United States who claim some connection with Satanism.

The source material was scrutinized. The many thousands of pages of transcript of the tape recordings that Dr. Pazder and Michelle Smith made of their psychiatric sessions were read and digested; they became the basis of this book. The tapes themselves were listened to in good measure, and the videotapes made of some of his sessions were viewed. Both the audio and video are powerfully convincing. It is nearly unthinkable that the protracted agony they record could have been fabricated.”

Thomas B. Congdon, Jr New York April 22, 1980
https://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/day-care-and-child-abuse-cases/

Copied with permission from ChildAbuseWiki.org

Ritual abuse exists all over the world. There have been reports, journal articles, web pages and criminal convictions of crimes against children and adults.

Definition

Ritual abuse has been defined as:

a brutal form of abuse of children, adolescents, and adults, consisting of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, and involving the use of rituals. Ritual does not necessarily mean satanic. However, most survivors state that they were ritually abused as part of satanic worship for the purpose of indoctrinating them into satanic beliefs and practices. Ritual abuse rarely consists of a single episode. It usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time. The physical abuse is severe, sometimes including torture and killing. The sexual abuse is usually painful, sadistic, and humiliating, intended as means of gaining dominance over the victim. The psychological abuse is devastating and involves the use of ritual/indoctrination, which includes mind control techniques and mind altering drugs, and ritual/intimidation which conveys to the victim a profound terror of the cult members and of the evil spirits they believe cult members can command. Both during and after the abuse, most victims are in a state of terror, mind control, and dissociation in which disclosure is exceedingly difficult.

and as

WHAT IS RITUAL ABUSE? (BROAD DEFINITION) Ritual abuse is the abuse of a child, weaker adult, or animal in a ritual setting or manner. In a broad sense, many of our overtly or covertly socially sanctioned actions can be seen as ritual abuse, such as military basic training, hazing, racism, spanking children, and partner-battering. Some abuse is private…some public. Public ritual abuse may be either open or secret. WHAT IS RITUAL ABUSE? (NARROW DEFINITION) The term ritual abuse is generally used to mean prolonged, extreme, sadistic abuse, especially of children, within a group setting. The group’s ideology is used to justify the abuse, and abuse is used to teach the group’s ideology. The activities are kept secret from society at large, as they violate norms and laws.

Origins of the term

Pazder introduced the term “ritualized abuse” in 1980, describing the experiences of an adult survivor that was disclosing satanic abuse memories. He defined the phenomenon as “repeated physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual assaults combined with a systematic use of symbols, ceremonies, and machinations designed and orchestrated to attain malevolent effects.” Later definitions came mostly from professionals addressing ritual abuse in child care settings. Finkelhor, Williams, Burns, and Kalinowski elaborated on Pazder’s definition, defining ritual abuse as “abuse that occurs in a context linked to some symbols or group activity that have a religious, magical or supernatural connotation, and where the invocation of these symbols or activities are repeated over time and used to frighten and intimidate the children.” Kelley referred to ritual abuse as the “repetitive and systematic sexual, physical, and psychological abuse of children by adults as part of cult or satanic worship”.
Evidence

There is a great deal of evidence supporting the existence of ritual abuse crimes as a worldwide phenomenon. Bottoms, Shaver and Goodman found in their 1993 study evaluating ritual abuse claims that in 2,292 alleged ritual abuse cases, 15% of the perpetrators in adult cases and 30% of the perpetrators in child cases confessed to the abuse. “In a survey of 2,709 members of the American Psychological Association, it was found that 30 percent of these professionals had seen cases of ritual or religion-related abuse (Bottoms, Shaver & Goodman, 1991). Of those psychologists who have seen cases of ritual abuse, 93 percent believed that the reported harm took place and 93 percent believed that the alleged ritualism occurred….The similar research of Nancy Perry (1992) which further supports (the previous findings)…Perry also conducted a national survey of therapists who work with clients with dissociative disorders and she found that 88 percent of the 1,185 respondents indicated ”belief in ritual abuse, involving mind control and programming.”

An online survey of over one thousand people answered questions about ritual abuse and extreme abuse crimes. In a summary of the survey, it was found that ritual abuse/mind control is a global phenomenon. Fifty-five percent stated they were abuse in a Satanic cult. Seventy-seven percent of the adult survivors that responded “had been threatened with death if they ever talked about the abuse.” Also, “257 respondents reported that secret mind control experiments were used on them as children.” Eighty-two percent reported being sexually abused by multiple perpetrators.

Anne Johnson Davis in her book Hell Minus One reported that her parents confessed to her abuse in writing and verbally to clergymen, and to the detectives from the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Her suppressed memories started when she was in her mid-30s, which were fully substantiated by her mother and stepfather….

A study which identified 270 cases of sexual abuse in day care settings found that allegations of ritual abuse occurred in thirteen percent of the cases. Additional evidence of ritual abuse in day care and child abuse cases has been found in news reports, journal articles and legal transcripts.

Ritual abuse occurrences have also been found in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A ritual abuse case in the United States in 2006 had a confession and convictions. The case included up to 25 children.
http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse

Scottish child abuse inquiry, Leah Remini on Scientology’s Abuse, Understanding the lure and persuasiveness of cults

May 31, 2017 Comments Off on Scottish child abuse inquiry, Leah Remini on Scientology’s Abuse, Understanding the lure and persuasiveness of cults


– First hearings in child abuse inquiry to get under way
– SCOTS ABUSE PROBE What is the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry?
– Leah Remini on Scientology’s Abuse: ‘It Should Be Everyone’s Fight’
– Understanding the lure and persuasiveness of cults

First hearings in child abuse inquiry to get under way
Scotland
The first hearings in the Scottish child abuse inquiry are set to get under way in Edinburgh later.

More than 60 institutions, including several top private schools and church bodies, are being investigated.

The inquiry, which is being chaired by Lady Smith, will look in detail at historical abuse of children in residential care.

It is expected to report in late 2019 – more than four years after it was set up.

The inquiry states its purpose as being “to investigate the nature and extent of abuse of children whilst in care in Scotland”, while considering “the extent to which institutions and bodies with legal responsibility for the care of children failed in their duty”, in particular seeking any “systemic failures”….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-40093270


SCOTS ABUSE PROBE What is the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry? What is its aim and what organisations are being investigated?
The inquiry will raise public awareness of institutionalised abuse and reveal the reality of the suffering of child victims
By Matt Coyle 30th May 2017

….More than 100 locations identified as places children are believed to have been assaulted.

Prestigious private schools including Fettes College and Loretto are among the sites being investigated.

Eight institutions run by Christian religious orders are also named as part of the investigation.

Under historic care arrangements, Scottish children were sent to countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand and organisations in these countries will also be probed…..

The overall aim and purpose of the Inquiry is to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care, particularly in the past

It will allow the public to acknowledge the suffering of those children and a forum for validation of their experience and testimony…..
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/1080683/what-is-the-scottish-child-abuse-inquiry/

Leah Remini on Scientology’s Abuse: ‘It Should Be Everyone’s Fight’
Jim Halterman May 28, 2017

Nobody is as surprised as actress Leah Remini that her A&E series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, was such a hit during its first season last year. Sure, she’s already written an autobiography (Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology) about her experiences in the organization and appeared on countless talk shows….

Now it’s time for the government agencies whose job it is to protect people from dangerous cults like this to do something about it.

And the IRS not to allow an organization such as this to stand behind the First Amendment and give them free reign to abuse people. That’s not why this amendment is there. It’s there to protect people, to protect real religions and beliefs. This is not that. These are not that. This and other cults like it should not be recognized under this amendment. I obviously need to do more. The headlines should be about the abuses and the people writing these stories should be just as shocked and not use my name. I’ve learned a little bit in that way to be a little bit more selective and demand that people do their job and not put it on me and [former Scientology executive] Mike Rinder as our fight. We’re not anti-Scientologist, we’re anti-bully and we’re anti-abuse….
https://www.tvinsider.com/194985/leah-remini-interview-scientology-and-the-aftermath-season-2/

Understanding the lure and persuasiveness of cults
Cults are groups that hold persuasive power over their members and demand extreme dedication and subservience. How do cults lure people in and what happens on the inside? Why do people join controlling groups and how difficult is it for them to leave?

There are many stories about cults that have been involved with fraud, embezzlement and abuse. One such story is that of Australia’s most notorious cult, The Family.
http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nightlife/understanding-the-lure-and-persuasiveness-of-cults/8560064 

Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N., Turkey child rape protests, Growing up with The Family “sinister cult”

November 22, 2016 Comments Off on Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N., Turkey child rape protests, Growing up with The Family “sinister cult”

– Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N.
– Turkey child rape protests: Thousands take to streets against law that would let men off if they marry victim
– Growing up with The Family: inside Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s sinister cult

Turkey should reject child abuse law shielding men who marry from punishment: U.N.

By Umberto Bacchi  Mon Nov 21, 2016

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A bill that could allow men accused of sexually abusing girls in Turkey to avoid punishment if they marry their victim would create a climate of impunity for child abuse in the country, U.N. agencies warned on Monday.

The Turkish parliament gave preliminary backing to the controversial proposal put forward by the ruling AK Party last week.

MPs are due resume the debate on Tuesday before a second and final vote.

Several U.N. agencies criticized the legislation, which they said was akin to an amnesty for child abusers and could expose victims to further suffering at the hands of their abusers.

“Any forms of sexual violence against children are crimes which should be punished as such,” the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, U.N. Women and the U.N. Development Programme in Turkey said in a joint statement on Monday.

“We call on all Members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly to do their utmost in ensuring that all girls and boys in Turkey are better protected from all forms of sexual abuse.”…
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-politics-law-sexcrimes-idUSKBN13G22K


Turkey child rape protests: Thousands take to streets against law that would let men off if they marry victim
‘We will not shut up. We will not obey. Withdraw the bill immediately,’ chant protesters
Harriet Agerholm     Sunday 20 November 2016

Thousands have taken to the streets of Istanbul and other cities in Turkey to protest against a bill that would allow child rapists to walk free if they marry their victims.

The country’s government insists the law would help resolve legal challenges caused by widespread child marriage in the country, yet critics argue the bill legitimises rape.

In Istanbul, protesters clapped and chanted: “We will not shut up. We will not obey. Withdraw the bill immediately.”

About 3,000 people gathered in Istanbul’s Kadikoy square, many waving placards that said: “Rape cannot be legitimised,” and “AKP, take your hands off my body” – in reference to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that proposed the bill.

Similar demonstrations were held in other cities, including Ankara, Izmir and Trabzon.

If the law passes, men who sexually abuse girls under 18 without “force, threat or any restriction on consent” and marry them could have their convictions quashed or avoid prosecution….

The proposed change would apply to cases between 2005 and 16 November 2016.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkey-child-rape-protest-thousands-law-men-freed-marry-victim-istanbul-ankara-izmir-akp-erdogan-a7428166.html


Growing up with The Family: inside Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s sinister cult

Cruel and charismatic, Anne Hamilton-Byrne was the Australian leader of a doomsday cult who thought she was the Messiah. Abigail Haworth on the woman behind The Family
Abigail Haworth Sunday 20 November 2016

Anne Hamilton-Byrne…leader of The Family, the Australian doomsday cult she founded in the 1960s, she claimed to be Jesus reborn as a woman.

….One of the few female cult leaders in history – and apparently one of the cruellest – Hamilton-Byrne operated in almost total secrecy over two decades. Hidden away in the countryside outside Melbourne, The Family’s motto was “Unseen, unknown, unheard”. The police, acting on information from two child escapees, raided the cult in 1987. It emerged that over the years Hamilton-Byrne had collected 28 children through bogus adoptions and “gifts” from followers, dressing them in identical clothes and bleaching their hair platinum. To keep her eerie brood under her control, they say she subjected them to vicious beatings, starvation and emotional torture.

“Anne wasn’t giving love,” says Parker, whose young son was one of Hamilton-Byrne’s victims. “She was offering it and then taking it back. She broke people’s spirit.”

The glamorous guru used the same tactic on her adult followers, handpicking them from Melbourne’s wealthy professional elite with promises of spiritual fulfilment in the 1960s and 70s when new age seeking was all the rage. “I’ve been waiting for you,” she’d say on first meeting a potential recruit. “You are special

Preaching a mishmash of Christianity, eastern mysticism and apocalyptic prophecy, she allegedly forced followers, including children, to take dangerous amounts of LSD and other hallucinogenics as part of prolonged initiation rites. Once they had submitted, she’d dictate every aspect of their lives. “There was only one rule: do absolutely everything she said,” says David Whitaker, a former child survivor. “That included what to think, what to wear, what to eat, who to marry, who not to marry. Total obedience.”
The children were initiated with ‘huge, relentless doses of LSD’ in trips that lasted for days…

By the time of the police raid, Hamilton-Byrne had broken up families, destroyed marriages and left her child victims with lifelong psychological scars. A number of followers tried to kill themselves, either during their time in The Family or after they escaped. Tragically, some succeeded. The cult leader amassed an estimated AU$150m (£90m) through property, land and cash donated by followers. She hid overseas and was eventually arrested in 1993 on relatively minor fraud charges….
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/nov/20/growing-up-with-the-family-inside-anne-hamilton-byrnes-sinister-cult


Child Abuse Research
https://ritualabuse.us

Articles by Neil Brick
http://neilbrick.com  

Drugs, sexual abuse and every child an identical blonde: Inside the cult known as ‘The Family’ that raised more than a dozen children as a mirror image of its leader

July 26, 2016 Comments Off on Drugs, sexual abuse and every child an identical blonde: Inside the cult known as ‘The Family’ that raised more than a dozen children as a mirror image of its leader

Drugs, sexual abuse and every child an identical blonde: Inside the cult known as ‘The Family’ that raised more than a dozen children as a mirror image of its leader

A new look into the Melbourne cult ‘The Family’ reveals its sinister nature
New documentary at the Melbourne International Film Festival probes ‘family’
It explores networks Anne Hamilton-Byrne used to ‘steal’ children

By Belinda Cleary For Daily Mail Australia  24 July 2016

The notorious Melbourne cult dubbed ‘The Family’ has been described as ‘sinister and beautiful’ and like a ‘Grimm fairytale’ as it is revealed practicing members still live in Victoria.

A documentary into the LSD-using cult led by yoga teacher Anne Hamilton-Byrne will premiere at the upcoming Melbourne International Film Festival on Saturday with new information on the cult – which flew under the radar for 20 years….

‘How do people get involved in a cult, what draws them in, how do they do things that they would normally find morally reprehensible,’ she said.

‘It opens up a lot of questions that are universal rather than relevant only to this particular group.’

The cult, which was set up in Lake Eildon, was know for having the children dressed identically, their hair bleached blonde and shaped into the same bob.

This was so the children from different parents who were cult members looked like siblings – and their new ‘mother’ Anne Hamilton-Byrne.

Anne Hamilton-Byrne famously claimed she was the natural mother of each of the six children found by police during extensive raids of the cult-owned properties.

These raids occurred in 1987 – after one of the cults ‘daughters’ – now revealed to be Hamilton-Byrne’s favourite child Sarah – went to police with abuse allegations.

Following the raid police found another 14 children had been brought up in the isolated home.

Children who grew up in the strange cult were interviewed for the documentary and spoke of severe punishments for bad behaviour – like being starved or beaten.

They open up about being forced to take drugs including LSD and also of the sexual assault of children.

In 2009 Hamilton-Byrne spoke with the Herald Sun claiming she cared for the children as her own and said anyone who said otherwise were ‘lying bastards’.

She said the only regret she had was ‘losing touch with daughter’ (Sarah) and after an emotional reunion with the young woman who brought the cult down she said she was ‘ready to die’.

Sarah had been thrown out of The Family for disobedience two years before she dobbed her ‘mother’ in to police….

The film also explores how far the reach of The Family stretched – Raynor Johnson who was a key member helped Anne recruit doctors and lawyers to the cult.

‘They only recruited really wealthy people, in fact, or people with status and skills they needed.’

The medical staff and lawyers made it easy for the cult to take babies from single mothers who were pressured into signing their children over.

Other babies were those of cult-followers who didn’t want them….

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3705224/Inside-Melbourne-cult-known-Family.html

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