Jump to content

Outta Here

Child Sexual Abuse UK

Topic Summary

Created

Last Reply

Replies

Views

Outta Here -
Space Merchant -
47
2309

Top Posters


Recommended Posts

This subject is unlikely to subside.

@AnneOMaly has related that "there is a campaign to have the UK JWs' child abuse allegation procedures officially investigated due to failings that have come to light in high profile cases over the past few years." This thread was started. due to publicity around the issue. The Times has reported on the campaign, (although a subscription is required to get the full account).

The campaign includes pressure to include the matter in the investigation, currently in the UK, of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse which has commenced hearings despite an extremely shaky start.  https://www.iicsa.org.uk/investigations.

So with this backdrop, don't miss an enlightening BBC drama looking at a particular series of incidents in Rochdale, UK. This illustrates some context around this disgraceful crime, and provides insight regarding the failings of institutional response, highlighting something of the general social and institutional environment that all, including Jehovah's Witnesses, find themselves within, particularly in the UK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08r8pvh/three-girls-series-1-episode-1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08r8s12/three-girls-series-1-episode-2

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08r8vp5/three-girls-series-1-episode-3

As these are time limited links, the drama is also available on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_V35N7SgUU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gglEX3LdFs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILMaglVyU4c

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a classic example of getting slammed for doing the right thing, and it should not be spun any other way.

The way to avoid such messy critiques is to preach to the congregation on Sunday and let that be the end of it. It's up to them what they do with it. That way, if somewhere down the line a member of a religion is busted for child abuse, leaders can truthfully say, like Sergeant Shultz, 'I know notttthhhhiiiiiiiinnnngg!' 

Let them come to consume religion, and no more. Give no thought to disciplining congregants who misbehave. Construct matters so that you never know about these ones.

Fail in your duty to God to produce for him a people spirituality and morally clean. Tell Him: "What you see is what you get. It's not my problem.'

Surely this explains why we never hear religious affiliation for anyone other than JWs when abusers are found out. Nobody else cares about Scriptural direction to maintain cleanliness as a congregation. Nobody else has a clue what their members are up to. When cops nab an abuser, their religion is never reported because few imagine that today's religions should result in clean people; it's not their job. Only Jehovah's Witnesses take it upon themselves to insist upon clean people.

For the most part, former Witnesses who are now enemies and who push this narrative for all it is worth were disciplined at one time for one thing or another, and are livid over it. It's no more complicated than that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:

Surely this explains why we never hear religious affiliation for anyone other than JWs when abusers are found out.

I think your general sentiment is right, of course, but this idea reminds me that a couple weeks ago, I was sent a few newspaper articles from Australia (via Facebook) that were supposedly from a follow-up on the ARC cases. The majority of them had no religious affiliation so I had to take his word for it. I did a search on a few of the names, and was able to figure out that at least one of the accused abusers had been identified as a Witness.

It made me think that this probably happens a lot more often than I had thought, where a newspaper writer will often leave off the religious identity unless they think it's an important part of the story.

That made me think that what happens on forums like this is that there are always some persons, both for and against us, who have their news feeds set up to find any mention of Jehovah, Jehovah's Witnesses, Watchtower, Kingdom Hall, Watchtower, etc., as key words for their searches. So naturally, the news that gets talked about here is news where a Witness has been identified in the news article.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

we never hear religious affiliation for anyone other than JWs when abusers are found out.

Actually this is a valid point but is also an overstatement. The word "never" exaggerates. The Roman Catholic church, as an example, has received considerable publicity over this matter, albeit with a focus on clergy crime. 

This topic provokes strong reactions wherever it is raised, not least because it seems to be one of the final frontiers of morality left in this broken system. Many Jehovah's Witnesses have little detailed knowledge of the topic from a media perspective, both because of it's extreme distastefulness as well as the aforementioned negative media bias with it's apostate links.

It is difficult to get a rational grasp on the matter, even more so on the real facts behind what appears in the media. I have found the factual element of what has been posted on this forum to be very useful along with links to information sources. The various viewpoints expressed, including those I do not share, have been enlightening. 

In field ministry recently, I met the director of a national mental health organisation. He is known for having very strong and negative views on Jehovah's Witnesses in general, and particularly in the area of handling child abuse. He is not averse to loudly disputing with Witnesses on the street, hailing facts and figures to support his views to such an extent that most cannot engage with him. The information I had gleaned from postings here was very useful, and I was able have have a fact-driven conversation with this vociferous man, with an insight into his pattern of thinking. At least the level of emotion  and speech volume was reduced, and I think that being able to engage rationally and factually was a factor in that. A position held in ignorance of facts in an emotional exchange is guaranteed to fuel an angry reaction.

Hopefully, this topic will generate a useful contribution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

Actually this is a valid point but is also an overstatement. The word "never" exaggerates. The Roman Catholic church, as an example, has received considerable publicity over this matter, albeit with a focus on clergy crime. 

I always exaggerate. 'Never' in MySpeak means 'rarely.' 'All' means 'most.'

But in this case, I hold to the never. It is membership I am speaking of. Everybody's clergy gets outed when they do wrong in this regard, but nobody's membership. It's because nobody has a clue as to what their membership is up to. Nobody feels the obligation to present to God a morally clean people, so they don't bother checking to see what members apply biblical morality and what do not. If a member gets blown in for child abuse, it's not their affair; in fact, they know nothing about it. They are not the 'middleman'  and thus cannot be called to account for whether or not they handled matters in the way deemed acceptable by abuse people today.

So with regard to members, how else are we to know an abuser's religious affiliation? Can we imagine the police or the judge will ask about it? Of course, they will not, so the only membership you will hear about is Jehovah's Witnesses. We have a 'vulnerability' in this regard, and it is vulnerability that stems from doing the right thing. If we ignored the conduct of our members, as others do, we would not have this vulnerability. We also, in time, would not have a congregation looking much different than the world in matters of morality. That is what infuriates former members who are now enemies: our attempt to do so, for many of them were once on the losing end of discipline. 

Our 'clergy' stack up pretty well with regard to abuse, and clergy is the only place where you can compare apples to apples - you can't do it with membership because no one else keeps track.

In 2007,  Watchtower settled a number of abuse cases. This statement was released to the media at that time: "For the sake of the victims in these cases, we are pleased that a settlement has been reached. Our hearts go out to all those who suffer as a result of child abuse....During the last 100 years, only eleven elders have been sued for child abuse in thirteen lawsuits filed in the US. In seven of these lawsuits against the elders, accusations against the Watchtower Society itself were dismissed by the courts. Of course one victim is one victim too many. However, the incidence of this crime among Jehovah’s Witnesses is rare..."

We have a missing puzzle piece here. We know the stats for abuse among our 'clergy.' We know the stats for abuse among the clergy of others. But when it comes to membership, we only know the stats for Jehovah's Witnesses. So as not to be comparing apples to oranges, we need to know the stats for the membership of other faiths. We will never get them because nobody keeps track. So people who know better (and many who don't) will continue to equate the membership of Jehovah's Witnesses with the clergy of other religions.

With a missing puzzle piece that will not be supplied, all we can do is extrapolate. If eleven Witness clergy were sued over 100 years, with only four of them stemming from any culpability from the organization, then I submit that the overall rate among the members will also be low. If it is seen to be high, then the overall rate among memberships elsewhere will be astronomical.  

Of course, we see that it is. Child sexual abuse everywhere is an absolutely out of control pandemic. Like nurturing a seedling plant through inclement weather, apostates promote the idea that the pedophilia problem is disproportionately a Witness problem. It is not. If stats are disproportionate, it is probably the other way, as it is with clergy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, TrueTomHarley said:

I always exaggerate............................But in this case, I hold to the never.

Exaggeration is a feature of this area of debate and (for me) has no place in informed discussion on such a serious matter.

I haven't seen any analysis on the religious persuasion of child abusers and agree that some apostates contribute to fueling the biased reporting on the religious identity of child abusers who are or may have been connected at some time with Jehovah's Witnesses.

I recognise that the reporting on the religious identity of child abusers amongst religions other than Jehovah's Witnesses is biased toward "clergy" or other religious officials. However, in view of their imaginary office, I still view them just as members. Obviously, a cursory look at the vast numbers of reported child abuse cases indicates that the proportion of non-clerical membership of various religious groups engaging in this crime must be higher than commonly perceived.

And as you have now explained that your "never" means "rarely", I hold to my view.

 

21 Nov 2007 JW Press release.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:

 

And as you have now explained that your "never" means "rarely",

When you come right down to it, do absolutes ever apply to entire populations? In any group consisting of millions, you will find many examples of anything. It is enough to focus on the preponderance of evidence, the overall pattern, the forest - even when discussing individual trees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

    Unfortunately child abuse will likely only get worse as this system goes down as seen from 2 Tim 3:1-5, 13.. It is found  everywhere in the world not just among religious groups.  In the First Century the Christians also had a problem with "such immorality as is not even among the nations" 1 Cor. 5:1 [also chp 5, 6 and 7 also deal with this incident]. The incident in this case was "incest" which CAN be child abuse if the victim is a child. Of course in the Corinthian congregation the APOSTLE  Paul  was counseling them because they were not handling it correctly {making excuses instead of removing him from association]. Yes Christians including those in authority do make mistakes but eventually as noted in this Scripture it was handled "properly"{remove the wicked man} although many in satans world may have handled it "differently".

   Jehovah's way is always the best way even if we do not understand why Jehovah may do certain things in certain unusual ways [expect the unexpected]. After all someone could conclude on principle that Jehovah was guilty of child abuse when he told Abraham to "tie up the boy" and then hold a knife to him to kill him? {Quality of Loyalty? obviously not just a prophetic drama}. From that day on, Jehovah called Abraham his friend. Do you know why? Abraham did whatever Jehovah wanted him to do, evenwhen he didn’t understand why Jehovah had asked him to do it 2 Tim 3:16; 1 Cor. 10:11.

   And Jesus said to eat his flesh and blood so was that "misleading false information" was it "right or wrong"? {Loyalty}  Who dares tell Jehovah that his way or his representatives are WRONG in how Jehovah handles things or finds "fault" except of course Satan and other DISLOYAL ones {Korah-like apostates}. Genesis 22! {. Ez 18:25. Isa. 55:8,9}.

   These fundamental principles from God's Word are as relevant today as when they were first written even if today's society says otherwise. It is not up to US to "reform" Jehovah's Organization. Christ is the HEAD of the Congregation - our commander and chief.

   "Whether good OR BAD, we will obey the voice of Jehovah". And who was that "voice" that instructed them? "To Jeremiah [an imperfect human]...do exactly as Jehovah your God instructs us THROUGH YOU" Jer. 42:5,6. Humble LOYALTY is the point, to Jehovah and his organization. Heb. 13:17.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bruceq said:

Unfortunately child abuse will only get worse as this system goes down. It is found  everywhere in the world.  In the First Century the Christians also had a problem with "such immorality as is not even among the nations" 1 Cor. 5:1 [also chp 5, 6 and 7 also deal with this incident]. The incident in this case was "incest" which can be child abuse if the victim is a child. Of course in the Corinthian congregation Paul was counseling them because they were not handling it correctly. Yes Christians including those in authority do make mistakes but eventually as noted in this Scripture it was handled properly although many in the world may have handled it differently.

Not every problem needs to get worse as the system goes down. Plagues and flu that have killed millions of people may have seen their worst days from the Middle Ages until about 1919. Soap and a better understanding of germs and cleanliness (clean water, etc) has likely been the reason that the population of the world has grown so rapidly especially in the last two or three generations since 1919.

The Watch Tower publications were not the only sources of bad (false) information about germs, up until as recently as 1931. Note: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/08/09/yes-there-really-are-people-who-dont-acc/

Of course, we have had multiple plagues in the world from the even before Jesus predicted that these things would continue to occur. And we could be hit with something unexpected and terrible in the near future, but plagues are no longer the kind of worry they were during the days of exploration from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Lack of plagues results in rising populations and therefore food shortages, however.

Child abuse might actually be another matter that gets better, not worse, as the system heads towards the end. More public awareness (including families of course), and more education, and more alert institutions (religious, educational/academic, health, government services) can make a huge difference, especially as children are made aware of the potential problem at younger ages. Although there is still scrutiny and a lot of news about the problem, I think the situation might already be improving. The circuit overseer in my parent's congregation, Kent K*rr*s.,  in private conversation, claims that the problem is much rarer in the past few years than it was 10 years ago. I suspect the same is, or will soon be true with better vetting in the Catholic churches, too. My aunt is a lapsed Witness who attended a funeral for a friend in a Catholic Church about 4 years ago, and picked up a letter from the archbishop to all members in the back "foyer" of the church that announced that their new priest was on leave for an investigation into such a scandal, and that this was especially difficult on all church members since their bishop had just been removed indefinitely although he claimed innocence of similar charges. The archbishop promises that great care will be taken to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.

I understand your point about bringing the incest problem from 1 Cor 5 into the mix, although that was not at all about child abuse. The idea that even the world might have handled this particular problem better than the Corinthian congregation was handling it is an interesting point. I hadn't thought of that. 

But the real point I wanted to make was that it seems like a real non sequitur when you add this:

5 hours ago, bruceq said:

Jehovah's way is always the best way even if we do not understand why Jehovah may do certain things in certain unusual ways. After all was Jehovah guilty of child abuse when he told Abraham to "tie up the boy" and then hold a knife to him to kill him?  Who dares tell Jehovah that his way was wrong except of course Satan and his minions. Genesis 22!

Of course Jehovah's way is best! But your logic is hard to follow here. What does Jehovah doing things in certain unusual ways have to do with child abuse? And how is handling child abuse in any way akin to telling Jehovah he was wrong in Genesis 22?

It comes across as a kind of defense of the long-standing way in which the Organization has handled child abuse cases just because, for example, we were trying to make excessive(?) use of the two-witness rule (which had the supposed advantage of keeping most of these cases quiet from both the rest of the congregation and the press). Even now there are very few Witnesses who know the identity of more than just a few of the 1,003 child abusers in Australia, for example. I happen to know for an absolute fact that just a very few of these were men that were regularly seen by tens of thousands of fellow Australian Witnesses due to their high positions. There had been an unofficial move-them-around policy similar to what happened in some Catholic dioceses. Something very similar came up in the UK Branch Office so that a few people at the very top lost their positions (a couple years ago) so that the branch in the UK would be in a better position to save their threatened status as a charitable organization. By the way, if you happen to know the three or four top persons who lost their positions, I am not referring to whether or not any or some had been personally accused of crimes, I'm also referring to a claim of undeniable knowledge of crimes that were not handled correctly, ethically, or even according to law in some cases.

Also, I should mention that it is now the Governing Body's position that certain things must be done by the law of the land even if we know that the Bible itself recommended a different process under the nation of Israel. This is why Brother Jackson refused to admit that the Bible supports corporal punishment of children and focused on only one scripture in that regard that could be said to have a non-literal meaning. The rights that Jehovah has to create a prophetic drama by having a specific situation played out is not relevant at all to how we handle matters of abuse today. (When Jehovah asks a prophet marry a prostitute, or cook his food with excrement, or even see just how far a person will go when asked to kill their son: none of these have anything to do with how we should handle child abuse or defend processes just because Jehovah may do certain things in unusual ways.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"What does Jehovah doing things in certain unusual ways have to do with child abuse?"

This was the thinking also of a certain other poster on a similar thread, and I hate saying this, but perhaps this kind of mentality has been the reason for non reporting and other inefficiencies regarding the handling of child sexual abuse. Yes, it is true that Jehovah should figure in our trying to solve problems, since being a JW is a way of life, but when it comes to handling of child sexual abuse, "waiting on Jehovah" and other perceived theocratic sensibilities just don't seem appropriate in this situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By 4Jah2me
      Jehovah’s Witnesses go to court to block sex abuse report publication
      https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2020/01/jehovahs-witnesses-go-to-court-to-block-sex-abuse-report-publication/
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      The Supreme Court Rejected a Case About the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sex Abuse
      By Hemant Mehta October 8, 2019   Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not take up a wild case concerning the organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We can breathe a huge sigh of relief that the case won’t be overturned. (In that link, it’s case 19-40 on page 42.)
       
       
      The case, which involved child molestation and religious secrecy, centered around an incident that took place on July 15, 2006.
      J.W., a nine-year-old girl with Jehovah’s Witness parents, was invited to her first slumber party at the home of Gilbert Simental. He had a daughter her age, so that wasn’t too weird. Two other girls (sisters) were also at the party. These families all knew and trusted Simental because, while he was no longer a local Witness leader, he had spent more than a decade as an elder in the faith. He was a religious leader who stepped down, he said, to spend more time with his son. They believed him. They all respected him. It’s why they allowed their girls into his home.
      During that party, everyone got into a pool in the backyard… including Simental. And he proceeded to molest J.W. and the sisters. He did it again later that night. The sisters eventually told their parents, who reported Simental to local Witness elders (which is what they’re taught to do in these situations).
      Simental confessed to some of the allegations, and the elders basically gave him a faith-based slap on the wrist: a reprimand that had no meaning outside church circles.
      Things changed only when the sisters’ school principal learned about what happened and, as required by law, reported the abuse to local law enforcement. Police soon contacted J.W.’s family asking for their story, but after consulting with the Witnesses, her father chose not to speak with the cops.
      It was a year later when J.W., then 10 years old, told her parents what Simental did to her in the pool. It infuriated them, and they told the Witness elders that they wanted a restraining order against him. The elders told him not to do that since it would require informing the police about what Simental did — and they preferred to keep his actions private.
      Here’s the bigger problem: There’s reason to believe the Witnesses were aware that Simental was a child molester… and they kept it from the families. Simental was allowed to be a religious leader — earning respect from the community — even though higher-ups in the religion knew that he shouldn’t be around children.
      It raised an important question: How much blame did the Witnesses deserve for what happened at that pool party?
      J.W.’s family eventually filed a criminal lawsuit against Simental and a separate civil suit against the Watchtower Society (the Witnesses’ governing organization). They basically said the Witnesses should have informed congregation members about Simental and stopped him from being around children. They never should have allowed him to be a religious leader.
      The Watchtower Society’s argument? They didn’t know Simental was a child molester, and the pool party occurred after he was no longer a religious leader, and the slumber party wasn’t a church-sponsored event, so leave them out of this.
      (To be clear, I’m simplifying the details of this case and the legal journey quite a bit.)
      When this case went to trial in California, J.W.’s family demanded that the Watchtower Society produce documents relating to what they knew about child molesters within the faith. The Witnesses had already admitted to keeping lists of problematic leaders along with their specific “crimes” — similar to the Catholic Church. If Simental was on that list — from 1997, nearly a decade before the pool incident — it would essentially be a smoking gun showing the Witnesses knew he was a threat to kids but did nothing about it.
      But the Witnesses refused to hand over that material. They treated it like Catholics treat confession: It’s private information, they argued, and to reveal what was said internally would violate their religious beliefs.
      J.W.’s family didn’t buy that argument. The information they wanted wasn’t bound by clergy-penitent confessional privilege. It’s not like Simental told the elders what he had done in order to confess his sins. He was caught. The Witnesses were merely shielding him from legal punishment.
      In the criminal trial, Witnesses elders were forced to admit their practices and that the private discussions they had about abusive clergy members were not considered confidential under the law.
      Mark O’Donnell, writing at JWSurvey, explained what happened next:
       
        Simental’s appeal got him nowhere. He’s in prison today. But there were still so many questions about what responsibility the Witnesses had in this whole matter.  
      J.W.’s family wanted to know why Simental, a known pedophile, was promoted within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why did they allow him to be around children? Why didn’t they warn families? Why did they just give him a slap on the wrist?
      In 2013, the civil trial began against the Watchtower Society, but again, the Witnesses didn’t want to provide necessary documents. They eventually lost the case. In 2015, the Riverside Superior Court of California awarded J.W. a judgment of $4,016,152.39. This past December, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in California upheld that decision.
      You get the idea: The Witnesses refused to hand over internal data, presumably because it would’ve been like handing over a loaded gun. So the courts had no choice but to assume the plaintiff was telling the truth and the Watchtower Society was negligent in their handling of Simental.
      Earlier this year, in a Hail Mary attempt to reverse their punishment, the Watchtower Society appealed to the Supreme Court. They wanted the justices to say that documents relating to child abuse within a religious group can be kept confidential.
      Here’s how the Witnesses’ attorney introduced his case to the justices. (You don’t need a law degree to see how he just completely dismissed the molestation.)
      Watchtower attorney Paul Polidoro said the Supreme Court needed to consider whether California violated the Constitution when it held the Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for what Simental did “during non-church activity,” forced them to hand over internal communications, and punished them for protecting everyone’s “privacy rights.”
      J.W.’s attorney responded to that brief asking the Court to flat-out reject this case.
      Indeed, that’s what the Court decided. When the first set of orders in the new term was released yesterday, there was this case among many many others, in the list of those which would not get heard this term.
       
       
      It was the right move. There’s nothing further to debate here. Finally, this case has been put to rest.
      (Image via Shutterstock. Large portions of this article were published earlier)
         
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A new worship centre for Jehovah's Witnesses is coming to Gloucestershire.
      Plans were approved earlier this week (June 19) by Gloucester City Council to build the place of worship in Kingsway.
      The development will be the second Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Gloucester, the first being based in Abbeydale.

      The plans for the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Kingsway (Image: Gloucester City Council)
      The proposal includes a single storey building to be used by Jehovah's Witnesses as a place of worship and religious education, as well as five car parking spaces.
      The developer, Elevation One building design, said the building will resemble a site used by the religious group in Dover.
      A planning statement submitted by the firm said two new halls like the proposed have been built in the last year and another 14 nationwide have been planned.
      The site fronts Thatcham Avenue and abuts the southern boundary of Kingsway Primary School.

      The plans for the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Kingsway (Image: Gloucester City Council)
       
      It is not clear when building works will begin.
      It will be the ninth Kingdom Hall in Gloucestershire with others in Cirencester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Dursley, Blakeney and Lydney, in addition to the existing on in Gloucester.
      https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/new-jehovahs-witnesses-kingdom-hall-1707220
    • By Anna
      Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that despite this informative document recently made available to download in several languages on the JW website, there is not too much of a mention of it by any of the opposers and "campaigners" against child abuse in the JW organization.
      Here is the entire document:
      JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION
      Definitions: Child abuse may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
      Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes one or more of the following: sexual inter-course with a child; oral or anal sex with a child; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a child; voyeurism of a child; indecent exposure to a child; or soliciting a child for sexual conduct. It may include sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor.
      In this document, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians or other persons who hold pa-rental responsibility for a minor.
      1. Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3.
      2. The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org.
      3. Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
      4. In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
      5. When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
      6. Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
      • Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
      • Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
      • Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Proverbs 22:3.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
       7. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activi-ties that separate children from their parents.
      8. Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
      9. Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
      10. Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans 13:1-4.
      11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individ-ual.
      12. A person who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation for decades, if ever. —1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7.
      13. This document is available upon request to members of the congregation. It is reviewed at least once every three years.
      Source: https://www.jw.org/en/news/legal/legal-resources/information/packet-jw-scripturally-based-position-child-protection/#?insight[search_id]=4022773a-67c8-48a8-ba04-eac2f426147e&insight[search_result_index]=0
       
       
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      If you’ve been in Newcastle city centre recently, you will have noticed them.
      Happily handing out copies of The Watchtower from carts, Jehovah’s Witnesses are taking to Newcastle’s streets in their droves.
      And the reason for the recent increase is simply due to a change in tactics.
      For years, members have gone door-to-door to spread the word about the faith.
      But now members are heading into the city to try and reach out to more people.
      “We feel the use of carts allows us to reach people we perhaps wouldn’t meet at home due to their work schedules or other factors,” said spokesperson Andrew Schofield. “The carts also provide the public with the choice of approaching us or not, which some people appreciate.
      Read more: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/more-more-jehovahs-witnesses-middle-14627882
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have left hospital after the arrival of their third child, a boy.
      The couple's second son, who was born at 11:01 BST, weighing 8lb 7oz, is fifth in line to the throne.
      Prince George and Princess Charlotte had visited their brother at the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, London.
      Leaving the hospital Prince William said the couple were very happy, before holding up three fingers and joking he had "thrice the worry now".
      "We didn't keep you waiting too long this time," he added.
      When someone asked him whether the couple had decided on a name, he said: "You'll find out soon enough."
      Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43864933

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Michael John Hewitt was described as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
       
      A man who took advantage of his position of trust in a Surrey branch of Jehovah's Witnesses and sexually abused three young girls has been sentenced to 15 yearsÂ’ imprisonment on Monday, 12 March at Croydon Crown Court.
      Michael John Hewitt, 71 and now of Fremington in Devon, was found guilty of eight counts of indecency with children who were all aged under 16 years at the time.
      He will be on the sex offenders register for life and have a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Restraining Order served.
      The court heard that in the 1980s Hewitt, who previously lived in Wallington, was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Congregation and abused his victims over several decades.
      Two of HewittÂ’s victims were as young as five when the abuse started. He sexually abused all three of them in his and their home addresses, undetected by family members.
      He later sold his home in Surrey and moved to Devon.
      On January 11, 2016, two of the victims reported what had happened to a family member, who then contacted police. Hewitt was later arrested in January 2016 and bailed pending further enquiries.
      Following extensive research by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, the third victim was identified and came forward when told Hewitt was under investigation for two similar offences.
      In May 2017, Hewitt was charged with eleven counts of indecency with three girls under 16 years old. He was later acquitted of three offences.
      Whilst sentencing Judge Flahive described Hewitt as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
      Detective Constable Janet Williams, the investigating officer from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said: "The victims were abused by Hewitt at a very early age. Only when they were older were they able to understand what Hewitt subjected them to. Hewitt abused his position of trust to exploit the young girls for his own satisfaction.
      "I would like to pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to report these distressing crimes to police. I hope today's conviction gives the victims a measure of comfort and closure."

      Read more at http://talkradio.co.uk/news/michael-john-hewitt-paedophile-jehovahs-witness-jailed-15-years-18031324822#oKZhFYx0KmfTr538.99
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Independent investigators in the United Kingdom are weighing whether to launch a new investigation into the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. after receiving a “considerable number” of abuse allegations.
      The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, or IICSA, a government-sanctioned investigative panel in England and Wales, told The Guardian that it had gotten a “considerable number” of reports from both the public and elected officials about the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. A spokesperson told the newspaper the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses–specific investigation carefully.” 
      It was unclear how many reports the watchdog group had received. When contacted by Newsweek, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ public information office did not immediately comment.
      Kathleen Hallisey, a lawyer who brought charges against the Jehovah’s Witnesses for sexual abuse in 2015, said she suspected there are thousands of such cases in the U.K., The Guardian reported. 
      “The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to recognize the issue of child abuse in their organization or to create robust safeguarding procedures to protect children,” she said. “An investigation by IICSA into the Jehovah’s Witnesses is an opportunity for the inquiry to effect real change in an organization that refuses to shine a light on child abuse and protect children.”
      News of the possible investigation comes weeks after the nonprofit religious transparency organization Faithleaks leaked 33 letters and internal documents revealing a pattern of sexual abuse by one Jehovah’s Witness member, and the lengths the church went to cover up the scandal. 
      Those documents detail communications among church leaders and several legal entities—collectively known as Watchtower—between 1999 and 2012. In one letterto Watchtower dated November 14, 1999, the Palmer Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from Brimfield, Massachusetts, said it had reviewed claims by two women who alleged their father sexually abused them as children. The group found those claims to be true. 
      “Our impression upon speaking with both girls was similar. That they are both quite rational. It certainly appears that these were real events,” the letter said. 
      In that case, church leaders pressured one of the accusers not to report the abuse to police. Years later, the church held an in-house trial and briefly excommunicated the father. 
      That victim was not the only person pressured to remain silent. 
      In the U.K., several alleged victims had come forward with similar claims in November 2017, according to The Telegraph. 
      “Frankly, I would equate this to a scandal and a cover-up akin to the Catholic Church,” Hallisey told The Telegraph at the time.
      http://www.newsweek.com/jehovahs-witnesses-child-sexual-abuse-investigators-allegations-united-kingdom-837351
       
    • By TrueTomHarley
      Here is a 14 year-old girl who sexted an explicit picture of herself to her boyfriend via Snapchat - and he spread it about widely. Guys will do things like that and girls should not be dumb.
      https://www.rt.com/usa/414031-aclu-girl-selfie-child-porn/
      She is looking at 10 years felony jail time for violation of Minnesota's child-porn law. The ACLU spokesperson defending her says this is a "teachable moment" for parents to inform the girl that her actions have consequences. Tell me about it.
      It is also a "cautionary tale," the ACLU adds. Yes. It IS cautionary for a 14 year old trying to live in an insane world supplied her by adults that pushes powerful social media tools, a sexually promiscuous culture, and then ten years for making use of them.
      Only RT.com picks this story up (besides local media), probably in a quest to embarrass the West, but that is hard to do because the West routinely embarrasses itself yet feels no embarrassment. To the contrary, it parades around in its wisdom. Meanwhile – ‘wisdom from the mouth of babes’ – the girl says “Sexting is common among teens at my school, and we shouldn’t face charges for doing it. I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through.” Of course. It is a no-brainer. It is not that what she did wasn’t wrong – it is that the entire adult world should be prosecuted ahead of her. That way, there will be no room left in jail for the child.
      In a greater context, the story highlights the absolute failure of the world to vanquish pedophilia, which it has declared public enemy #1 - with its frothing take-no-prisoners, pulling-their-hair out frustration over making no dent in the pandemic, and so wildly overswinging to compensate. It is the frenzied carpenter who misses the nail and then furiously hammers ten times more, again missing each time. This is how it is with zealots who see their cause and nothing else – and the world is full of such people.
      It mirrors the Arizona law of 2015 criminalizing contact with the private areas of any child under 15 REGARDLESS OF INTENT. Prosecutors did not back down even when it was pointed out that the law criminalizes parents changing diapers. No “sane or reasonable prosecutor” is going to misuse the law that way, they said. That is reassuring, but what about the insane and unreasonable ones? Will the law be repealed? Not easily. Just try repealing it and political enemies will scream you are being soft of pedophiles – no politician dares risk that.
      Meanwhile, Jehovah’s Witnesses, of all people, get caught in the cross-fire of pedophilia for doing what no other religion attempts to do. Where there are reports of wrongdoing in their midst, they investigate, so as to keep the congregation morally clean – an obligation they feel before God. There is the unfortunate by-product that their name is always attached to pedophiles within their ranks, something that happens nowhere else. No other faith dreams their members should actually apply Christian conduct in their lives. No other faith looks into such things – preach Sunday and be done with it - and thus rarely learn of them. Thus pedophiles, who appear to be every third person on the planet, especially when the statute of limitations is forever, and the 14-year old and folks changing diapers are included, are never ever identified with any religion (unless they are clergy), with but a single exception.
      The book I am almost finished with about Witness persecution in Russia will contain individual chapters on all charges made against Witnesses. ‘Pedophilia’ will be one of them, even though the subject did not arise there, strangely. It has arisen most everywhere else and it is only a matter of time there. The Russian embassy to the U.S. recently did mention the topic in a tweet, attempting to justify its ban – the first such mention I have ever seen, despite years of flinging dirt in that country to see what will stick.
      Even my shoving match with @Ann O'Maly over who has the best child-protective video is in the pedophile chapter.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Children who were sexually abused by Jehovah's Witnesses were allegedly told by the church not to report the crimes.
      Victims from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religious organisation's own rules protected perpetrators.
      One child abuse lawyer believes there could be thousands of victims across the country who have not come forward because of the "two witness" rule.
      A spokesperson for the church said it did not "shield" abusers.
      'Bring reproach on Jehovah'
      BBC Hereford and Worcester spoke to victims - men and women - from Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leicester, Worcestershire and Glasgow, one of whom waived her right to anonymity.
      Louise Palmer, who now lives in Evesham, Worcestershire, was born into the organisation along with her brother Richard Davenport, who started raping her when she was four. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for the abuse.
      The 41-year-old, formerly of Halesowen, West Midlands, said when she told the church of the abuse she was told not to go to police.
      Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-42025255
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      UK - Conservation work set to silence much-loved Big Ben for four years
       
       
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      UK - Big Ben sounds its midday bongs for the last time in four years... and it upsets many Brits!
       
       
    • By The Librarian
      NORTH KENSINGTON, London – Not less than four members of Jehovah’s Witnesses survived the inferno that ravaged the 24 storey Grenfel Tower, London killing at least 79 people.

      None of the witnesses died in the inferno, which has led to revolution and evacuation of about 25 other blocks that have failed fire resistant test in London.
      The 4 witnesses however lost their apartments and properties in the fire. 
      “Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community”, the JWs said on their website.Jehovah’s Witnesses are known worldwide for their speed in mitigating the affliction of their neighbours worldwide.See full statement below.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses are assisting victims of a catastrophic fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, a 24-story apartment building in the North Kensington area of London, in the early morning hours of June 14, 2017. Authorities are reporting that at least 79 people were killed.
      Four Witnesses were evacuated from the apartment building, two of which were residents of Grenfell Tower. Fortunately, none of them were injured, although the Witnesses’ apartments were among those completely destroyed in the blaze.
      Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community.
      http://starconnectmedia.com/four-witnesses-survive-grenfel-tower-fire-in-london/
    • By Jack Ryan
      In Newcastle town centre. UK.
      The Chronicle Live. 15 June 2017.
      A council worker will stand trial after he was accused of being drunk at the wheel of his road sweeper in Newcastle city centre.
      John Paul Carruthers, who has since resigned from his post at Newcastle City Council, was allegedly over the legal drink-drive limit when he ploughed into a Jehovah’s Witness stand on Northumberland Street near to Haymarket Metro Station.
      Prosecuting, James Long told Newcastle Magistrates’ Court: “The allegation is that he was driving a Newcastle City Council road sweeper when he collided first with a Jehovah’s Witness stand next to Haymarket Metro Station. He carried on then a short while later was detained on Ridley Place and was said to be aggressive.

      READ MORE: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/newcastle-council-roadsweeper-drink-drive-13183193
    • By Jack Ryan
      09:38  Official police statement 
      Detectives have launched a murder investigation following the suspicious death of a man in Honiton today [6 June].
      Police and ambulance crews were called at around 3.40pm after concerns were raised for the welfare of the man at a premises in Dowell Street.
      On arrival they found the man, who is yet to be identified, deceased at the scene. He had sustained a number of stab wounds.
      A 55-year-old man was located nearby and has been arrested on suspicion of murder. He has been taken into custody in Exeter awaiting questioning.
      Detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Team have launched an investigation to establish the circumstances of the man’s death.
      Officers are appealing for anyone who may have information which may assist with the enquiry to contact them.
      A cordon remains in place around the scene while a forensic examination is carried out by scenes of crime officers.
      Anyone who may have information about the incident is asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or by telephoning 101, quoting log 529 of 06/06/17.
      Information can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers via 0800 555111 or the charity’s website at www.crimestoppers-org.uk
      Read more at http://www.devonlive.com/police-cordon-around-honiton-s-kingdom-hall-of-jehovah-s-witnesses-after-fatal-stabbing/story-30375040-detail/story.html
      ---------------------------------------
      The question now is.... are either of the two Jehovah's Witnesses?
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via TheWorldNewsOrg
      World News
    • By admin
      Terrorist incident at Manchester Arena 
      Police shutdown central Manchester, early Tuesday morning, after a suspected explosion at the Manchester Arena killed 19 and injured 50.
      Suicide Bomber suspected
      The incident is thought to have occurred at 22.35 local time (21.35 GMT), at the end of an Ariana Grande concert as 20,000 + attendees were leaving the premises. Emergency vehicles streamed to the arena and helicopters circled above as police urged people to stay clear of the area.
      As we all get more details about this event please post news below as a reply
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A WOMAN  who was molested by her father over 5 years and afterwards by a Jehovah’s Witnesses she asked for assistance has oral out about her ordeal.
      Terrified Angie Rodgers, from Ayrshire, was abused weekly by her perverted Jehovah’s Witness father Ian Cousins from a age of 11.

      Angie Rodgers was 11 years aged when her father started abusing her
      The dauntless teen eventually plucked adult a bravery to disclose in a Jehovah’s Witness elders, who took small action and she was after abused by one of them too, Harry Holt.
      Angie, now 36, said: “I incited to a church for assistance and we was abused a second time.
      “I was a child and they should have helped, though they incited on me. They make me feel sick.
      “I don’t consider I’ll ever get over what happened. I’ve usually schooled to live with it.
      “I have nightmares and flashbacks all a time and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.”
      Angie’s father was detained for 5 years in 2002 for his crimes, while Holt was usually jailed final year for Angie’s attack along with 7 others he molested.
      Now aged 36, Angie, a mother-of-four, has bravely waived her anonymity in a wish her story will assistance other people.
      She said: “Dad did it whenever he got a chance, even when we was ill.

      Angie Rodgers poses here with others in a Jehovah’s Witness community
      “Once, we was throwing adult with gastric influenza when father brought me home a feathery bunny, with a organic white floral dress and bloomers.
      “My wordless went to a Kingdom (church) and my father scooped me adult in his arms from a couch, took me to his room and molested me.
      “I prayed my wordless would come and save me though she never did. After that he used to try to hold me whenever we were alone. It got worse and worse.
      “We went to a Jehovah gathering when we was about 14 and he attempted to rape me in a tent. He was usually interrupted when an elder shouted him from outside.”
      At a age of 15 Angie confided in a friend, whose father led a opposite church, in a wish that they would be means to stop a abuse.
      While her father Cousins was called in for a “judicial meeting” no movement was taken, as Jehovah’s Witness elders can't act opposite suspects unless “there is a admission or dual convincing witnesses”.
      Angie was afterwards subjected to an talk by 3 masculine elders including Holt, where she was done to plead insinuate sum of a abuse.
      She explained: “They even asked what I’d been wearing, as if it was my fault. It was excruciating. we was so genuine we was still personification with toys and Lego during 18.”
      As Cousins showed plea for his sins he was authorised behind into a church after being reprimanded – and a abuse stopped.
      A brief while after in 1997, Holt done a pierce on Angie when pushing her home following a event door-knocking for members.
      She said: “On a approach home in a automobile he grabbed my leg and felt his approach adult towards my underwear.”
      Shocked, a immature lady told her relatives about a occurrence and a explanation led to Holt journey to Edinburgh.
      It was suggested in justice final year that he went on to abuse some-more children.
      Angie motionless to make a censure to a military about her father when she found out he had also abused another dual girls.
      She also incited her behind on a Jehovah’s Witnesses during 19 in a wish of starting fresh.
      The sacrament is pronounced to inspire members to reject people who leave, and Angie claimed that she didn’t see her mom for 6 years after she left.
      In 2014 a censure was done opposite Holt, and Angie concluded to come brazen and pronounce about her horrific experience.
      In Feb 2016, 71-year-old Holt was condemned to three-and-a-half years in jail for a abuse of 8 girls between 1971 and 2004.
      Angie said: “If what happened to me helps usually one immature lady – or child – go to a military it will have been value it. What happened to me is horrible though I’m perplexing to pierce on, differently my abusers have won.
      “The sacrament is zero though a cult. Children are kept wordless by fears of Holy condemnation and Armageddon if they move a church into ill repute.
      “It’s that fear and a fear of being shunned by friends and family if we leave that stops victims from stating to police. It’s primitive and it has to stop.”
      When contacted, a Jehovah’s Witnesses wouldn’t criticism on Angie’s box though they did criticism on their position in general.
      The matter said: “Jehovah’s Witnesses detest child abuse and perspective it as a iniquitous crime and sin. Safety of a children is of a pinnacle importance.
      “Elders do not defense abusers from a authorities. Anyone who commits a impiety of child abuse faces exclusion from a congregation. Any idea Jehovah’s Witnesses cover adult abuse is false.
      “We are doing all we can to forestall child abuse and to yield devout comfort to any who have suffered from this terrible impiety and crime.”
      http://ukstar.org/lifestyle/girl-who-was-abused-by-her-dad-from-the-age-of-11-sought-help-from-jehovahs-witnesses-only-to-be-molested-by-one-of-their-elders/
       
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via TheWorldNewsOrg
      World News
    • By Kurt
      Arbroath man who acted aggressively towards his wife sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid work
    • By Kurt
      IBSA London
       
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Dorking residents inspired to life-changing response to migration crisis

      Kristin and Peter Nevins came to Dorking from the US and piled their four children into two bedrooms so they could begin hosting refugees © Anna Gordon
      “If they ask, say you’re my nephew,” Constance Nash advised the young Syrian man staying with her, in case he encountered an unfriendly neighbour.
      Ms Nash has a lot of foreign guests this year at her home in Dorking, a leafy town in the Surrey hills about an hour’s train ride south of London.
      First came the Eritrean woman who was 28 weeks pregnant and then the wounded Syrian soldier and his Congolese friend, who had been sleeping rough.
      Then there were the Syrian and Sudanese teenagers. “They said they came on the train,” Ms Nash said. “Not in the train, on the train.”
      There was George from Ghana and Jean from the Congo and the Zimbabwean and Sudanese, and Ahmad, a soft-spoken pharmacist from Aleppo who stayed for five months.
      Ms Nash refers to them not as refugees but “guests”. She and a motley group of nearby residents have been hosting them during the past year to make their modest response to the global migration crisis and fill the sizeable gaps left by the British government.

      Constance Nash: 'It’s not charity. At all. It’s human solidarity.' © Anna Gordon
      “It’s not charity. At all. It’s human solidarity,” said Ms Nash, who — like her guests — is a foreigner who never expected to land in Dorking. A frenetic Parisian, she moved to the town 17 years ago after marrying an Englishman and then ended up staying after the marriage ended.
      She hates the idea of spinning her experience into a feel-good story, insisting: “We don’t do cute in Dorking.”
      “Actually, we do,” corrected her friend Carmel O’Shea, who was seated in Ms Nash’s kitchen-cum-salon on a recent afternoon. Also passing through were Syrian and Congolese refugees, a gaggle of schoolchildren and neighbours, a tattooed Anglican curate and his wife, a pair of cats and an unusually active turtle.
      Britain has pledged to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees. The government selects families from UN camps and meticulously screens them before offering asylum, housing, English lessons and a living allowance.
      But that ignores many others — from Syria and elsewhere — who arrive in the UK on their own. Some come with fake passports, or hidden in the back of trucks using the Channel tunnel.
      In theory, these people can claim asylum and, if necessary, receive government lodging. But in practice, many become trapped in a suspicious, slow-moving bureaucracy. In the interim, they may end up sleeping on church floors, in hospital emergency rooms or even on London’s night buses, as Jean sometimes did.

      The Nevins talk to Constance Nash in her kitchen. All three are part of the Dorking Group of local hosts © Anna Gordon
      “If it’s not deliberate then it’s the least competent government ever,” said Peter Nevins, a curate at the local Anglican church.
      He and his wife, Kristin — both from the US Midwest — moved to Dorking in August and piled their four children into two bedrooms so they could begin hosting. First came a Nigerian man, who stayed for a few days, and then a Syrian jeweller and baker, who had become friends in Calais’ infamous “jungle” migrant camp, and stayed for a few weeks.
      “The rooms should be filled, as far as I’m concerned,” Kristin shrugged.
      The Dorking Group, as the 10 local hosts informally call themselves, take referrals from an Epsom-based charity known as Refugees At Home, which has its own web page and Facebook group. The guests are first screened by the Red Cross and Refugee Council. Refugees At Home visits the hosts to check them, too.
      “Everyone just acts as if it’s going to be a friend’s friend [staying],”said Ms Nash, who first contacted Refugees At Home in August last year after reading about Icelanders pledging to house 11,000 refugees. “I got all agitated and said: ‘Let’s do it in England.’”
      Still, she recalled fretting after being briefed on her first arrival. “What if we don’t like her? She has nightmares. What if she sleepwalks?” Her son, Raph, 15, also confessed he was “a bit worried” about sharing the house with a stranger.
      But those fears melted. “When it clicks, it feels like the most normal thing you’ve ever done,” Ms Nash said. So much so that Raph’s school friend went home one day and asked his mother, Ms O’Shea, why they were not hosting any refugees.
      “I was hugely apprehensive. I wouldn’t even do French exchange with my kids,” Ms O’Shea said.

      Ahmad, a Syrian pharmacist, spent 10 months in the Calais 'jungle' before making it to the UK © Anna Gordon
      But she ended up opening her home to Mohammad, a 22-year-old Iranian builder — and sobbing when he left five months later. “I think we thought we were offering someone a room. It’s much more than that,” she said.
      Besides the humanity of it, hosting has wider benefits, the Dorking Group argues. Chief among them is that it speeds refugees’ integration, immersing them in the culture and language and making it easier for them to build their own lives if they win asylum.
      “It’s things like: why are the English always talking about the weather?” said David Preedy, a retired project manager. “It’s the kind of thing you don’t get going through the faceless, official scheme.”
      For Ahmad, the Syrian pharmacist, Ms Nash’s home was a refuge after a harrowing journey. He fled Aleppo in 2013 as the war intensified, paying a smuggler €1,050 to take him from Turkey to Greece. His nose was broken by bandits in Macedonia, where he was jailed. He also spent 10 months in the Calais “jungle” before making it to Britain.

      David Preedy, a retired project manager, has just had his first refugee to stay
      “When I stay in Dorking, I feel I am among my family,” he said in halting English.
      His asylum request was finally approved last week. But he appeared more focused on the news back home, repeatedly returning to a smartphone with images of bloodied corpses and rubble.
      Dorking has not been universally welcoming. When Ms Nash posted leaflets promoting her work around town they were torn down.
      Even the best-intentioned hosts admit they can become worn out. The Iranian family of Jehovah’s Witnesses that Mr Preedy and his wife took in ended up staying for nearly nine months.
      In addition to expenses for bus and train fares and food, Mr Preedy became drawn into the bureaucratic tangle of jobcentres, immigration law and the challenges of opening a bank account. “We saw them through the whole asylum process, which is mind-blowingly depressing,” he said. Still, he came away uplifted. “It’s given me a completely different perspective on people,” he said.
      Ms Nash also sounded transformed. “You really do connect and then it rips you apart when they leave,” she said. “But you know? It’s good sorrow, good sadness.”
      Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
      https://www.ft.com/content/5f1b2d90-c5d8-11e6-8f29-9445cac8966f
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (CNN)The UK's fertility regulator has given the green light to a treatment that will make it possible for babies to be made from two women and a man. The new advancement in in vitro fertilization, developed by doctors in Newcastle, is intended to prevent children being born with certain fatal genetic diseases.
      The first child to be born in the UK through the new method could arrive by the end of 2017.
      The procedure will allow the donation of mitochondria, which provides energy for cells, to mothers with mutations within the DNA of their own mitochondria so they do not pass the mutations on to their child.
      What are mitochondria?
      Mitochondria are small structures found in our cells that generate the cellular energy used to power every part of our bodies.
      Mitochondria have their own DNA, which controls only mitochondrial function and energy production.
      This is separate from our "nuclear DNA," which makes us who we are and determines appearance and personality.
      (Source: Wellcome Trust)
      Replacing your mitochondria
      Mitochondrial diseases are genetic conditions; about one in 4,300 affected children are estimated to be born with these conditions every year. Mitochondria provide humans with energy and are present in almost every cell within the body.
      Known as "mitochondrial donation," the IVF technique involves replacing faulty mitochondria inherited from the mother with the healthy mitochondria of another woman.
       
      Most of a cell's genetic material, or DNA, is contained within the nucleus, but a very small amount (less than 1%) is found in the mitochondria.
      This mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from the mother through her eggs.
      If the mother's mitochondrial DNA is faulty, it is possible that she may pass on a number of rare but very serious mitochondrial diseases, including muscle weakness, diabetes, heart problems, epilepsy and stroke-like episodes. In serious cases, they can lead to death.
      About 1 in 6,500 children are thought to develop a serious mitochondrial disorder, according to Newcastle's Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, which has been a leading partner in the project.
      A historic decision
      "Today's historic decision means that parents at very high risk of having a child with a life-threatening mitochondrial disease may soon have the chance of a healthy, genetically related child," said Sally Cheshire, Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority chairwoman. "This is life-changing for those families."
      An expert panel reviewed the development, safety and efficacy of these techniques over five years and four reports, she added, saying the authority feels that "now it is the right time to carefully introduce this new treatment in the limited circumstances recommended by the panel."
      Moving forward has been approved, but caution is still recommended.
      "Although it is tempting to rush ahead with new treatments, the UK approach of testing public opinion, putting the issue to Parliament and carefully monitoring laboratory research has proved to be the most responsible and sustainable of introducing new, cutting-edge treatments into the clinic," Cheshire said. "Such an approach has allowed us to balance innovation with safety, maintaining public trust as we go."
      In February 2015, UK lawmakers voted in favor of a law that would allow the pioneering technique using DNA from three people.
      The Newcastle team aims to offer treatment for up to 25 women a year affected by mitochondrial disease, but the treatment could be held back if they don't have enough healthy donated eggs.
      Playing catch-up
      The UK is probably not the first country in the world to have children born through the three-person technique.
      A Jordanian couple and doctors in New York claimed they performed the procedure in Mexico, with the child being born on April 6.
      The use of this reproductive technology was originally intended to prevent Leigh syndrome, a severe neurological condition that affects at least one in 40,000 newborns.
      The mother in this historic case previously had four pregnancy losses and had given birth to two children, one of whom survived less than a year and another who lived only six years, both due to this syndrome.
      For religious reasons, the mother wanted to use a technique that would not require the destruction of a fertilized egg. A team of doctors, led by Dr. John Zhang, founder of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City, went to Mexico to perform the procedure, as it is not licensed in the US.
      But the UK may now see many babies being born through the method in the coming years.
      "Mitochondrial donation offers a real opportunity to cure a class of potentially devastating inherited conditions and will bring hope to hundreds of affected families in the UK," said Dr. Dagan Wells, associate professor at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at the University of Oxford. "Research teams, such as those of Professors Herbert and Turnbull in Newcastle, have done sterling work to assess safety of methods for replacing defective mitochondria, and their research has provided much reassurance in that regard.
      "The HFEA's decision to allow clinics to apply for permission to perform mitochondrial donation finally opens the way to begin using this technology for the benefit of families that have faced much heartbreak and hardship as a result of carrying a mitochondrial disorder."
      "This marks a momentous and historic step, and we hope families next year will begin their journey to eradicate these genetic diseases," added Dr. Adam Balen, chairman of the British Fertility Society. "Clinics will now need to apply for a license, and the regulator will grant them, taking into account each application extremely carefully."
      CNN's Meera Senthilingam contributed to this report.
      http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/15/health/babies-three-people-embryos/index.html
  • Forum Statistics

    62,086
    Total Topics
    116,866
    Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    16,534
    Total Members
    1,592
    Most Online
    Marek Markus
    Newest Member
    Marek Markus
    Joined




  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Live: Chinese officials brief the media on novel coronavirus control   Asymptomatic man infects 14 medics with coronavirus. They are calling him "超级传播者" (Super-spreader), he took more than 15 days to start feeling symptoms, even though he was able to infect the doctors and nurses. In 12/25/2019 Zhao, 69, was admitted to the Union Hospital of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan. He was suffering from pituitary tumors, he didn't have a very good cardiac function, coronary heart disease, sinus bradycardia and other illnesses. He stayed in the hospitals for 12 days for preoperative examination and evaluation (until January 6th). Before the brain surgery, he had no respiratory symptoms, normal body temperature, normal white blood cell and lymphocyte values. Preoperative x-rays showed he had some shadows on his left rib cage due to a long history of smoking. He was full of gas, good mental state, the doctors didn't have any reason to doubt he had an sort of viral pneumonia. December 30, 2019 the hospital received an internal notice about cases of pneumonia of unknown causes and January 7th, 2020 the hospital staff started wearing protection clothes. Zhao's surgery was done January 8th during the morning, it was done successfully and the patient was in stable conditions. January 9th the hospital was informed that the unknown cause of pneumonia was a virus called coronavirus. But Zhao didn't have any symptom whatsoever. January 11th Zhao suddenly got fever, but it was extremely difficult to determine the clinical reason since he made an cranial surgery, it could be changes in the body's stress, cerebral vascular irritation, changes in intracranial pressure... Meanwhile a neurosurgeon issued a lung CT scan, image display showed multiple lung opacities sheet with right pleural effusion, interstitial pneumonia. Significant pulmonary infection performance has emerged. Also, leukocytes increased significantly, elevated neutrophils, lymphocytes low, these changes are not typical virus infection. Doctor immediately reported the case and specialists did RNA tests confirming the patient got the virus and infected 14 people from the hospital staff. He was classified as "Super Spreader", that's when a person infects a large amount of people. The hospital doesn't know how many people were infected by the patient and the staff since hundreds of patients, medics and students go to that hospital daily and as observed the infected person might take 15 days to feel symptoms, but can infect others even before the symptoms appear. Source: China Press    
    • If half your international workers are down with the flu (I'm "just" going off the flu symptoms here)... your company grinds to a halt. What worries me is that the world's increasingly-interdependent medical goods supply chains operate very leanly and with comparatively lower stockpiles than we used to. And any given country, the US for example, is less self-sufficient than ever before (in terms of established supply chains currently in use). So any major disruption in the production and global distribution of medical goods will be very readily felt by hospitals. And no one is prepared for that with adequate contingencies in place. Huge amounts of basic medical supplies are manufactured in Asia. China- masks, PPE, some fluid/ fluid bags, scapals/ instruments, wound dressings, IV machines/ mobile xray/ other machines; South America- Certain IV fluids, medications, some anti viral/ antibiotic meds; India- outer protection bag that some IV fluids are packed in If the supply chain were to be interupted- at any point in the world where medical equipment is produced- that is almost unfathomable. Germany gets 80% of it's pharmacies from foreign countries, most of it from China and India...... Outsourcing (globalizing) medicine is a disaster recipipe beyond pandemics, when you actively make yourself dependent.
    • China's CDC report says Coronavirus "has higher pandemic risk than SARS" | Can be transmitted without symptoms within incubation period [from renowned Harvard scientist Dr. Eric Ding] About 100,000 people could be infected with the new coronavirus around the world, experts have warned, as the UK government faced calls to reassure people that the NHS is ready to deal with any British cases within days. In spite of the rigorous containment measures China has taken, its ban on flights and the UK checks on travellers from China at Heathrow, experts say it is only a matter of time until there is a case in the UK, given the ease with which the new coronavirus is now believed to pass from one person to another - possibly transmitted by people with mild or even no symptoms at all. Secondly, there are reports from China of people who have infected others before they have experienced any symptoms.
    • Dr. Liang Wudong, a surgeon who was treating patients in Wuhan, become the first doctor to die from the new Coronavirus at Hubei Xinhua Hospital. A reminder that while everyone else is trying to avoid it, frontline medical staff are risking their lives to cure it and help others.
    • Rumour from Wuhan that at one hospital over 70 patients died in just one hour This post says someone working in a hospital in Wuhan said that all the doctors and nurses of two departments died within 3 hours, and that over 70 died within one hour in No. 5 hospital last night.     Date unknown. Rough translation of the chat (from SleepyKitto on the discord server): White: I just got through my comrade's office line W: He wailed and told me no one left from the two departments within 3 hours W: All dead W: Last night 70 something patients died in Wuhan Fifith Hospital within an hour Green: Were those doctors? W: DO NOT take this lightly W: Doctors, nurses W: Whole section department, no one left G: My god, where are the resrouces? G: (where is) the Government?
  • Popular Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.