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Nicole

Haredi sect leader arrested in Guatemala over child abuse

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After receiving dozens of complaints of child abuse, including whippings, beatings and forced underaged marriage, Guatemalan forces raid 'Lev Tahor' yard; Former cult member: 'They tried to break your independent thought.'

Guatemalan authorities raided a yard belonging to a community of an extreme Haredi faction Tuesday “Lev Tahor” (Pure Heart) in the country’s capital Guatemala City after a number of serious child abuse complaints.

Lev Tahor is an ultra-Orthodox sect comprised of predominantly Israeli Haredi extremists who leave their families behind in Israel as part of a wider boycott of Zionism. The group is widely considered to be a cult for its extreme conduct which adheres to the strict word of Jewish scripture.

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Raid in Guatemala

The authorities arrested the leaders of the sect and also took dozens of Israeli children and babies in their possession. Since the raid, Israel has established contacts with Guatemala to coordinate the flight of the children back home.

 

The cult, which is headed by Shlomo Erez Helbrans, who 10 years ago was recognized as a refugee in Canada, consists of 230 members, 150 of whom are children. Until 2013, they resided in the St. Agate province in Quebec but were forced to move to Ontario.

 

Two-and-a-half years ago the Canadian authorities thwarted an attempt by the sect to send its adherents to Guatemala after the Canadian courts decreed that some of the children be transferred to foster families due to evidence proving that they were suffering serious abuse.

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Raid on Haredi extremist faction

However, the sect succeeded in transferring a number of the children to Guatemala giving rise to a legal battle over the last few years to expel them back to Canada.

 

According to social services in Quebec and Ontario, they have evidence of instances of abuse including beatings, child marriage and illegal education.

 

One former member of the faction ‘A.’ described the prevailing culture of brainwashing by the leader. “People would follow us for him and report back to him. He would then take me and others for discussions which lasted for hours. The aim was to break your independent thought and to prove how big he was,” A. recalled.

 

According to the Guatemalan authorities, “Lev Tahor” said that members of the cult were under national police surveillance.

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Raid

Evaluations indicate that Helbrans made a decision to secretly transfer the cult to Guatemala after Canadian authorities began waging a legal battle against it and demanded that children be placed in the care of foster care. According to families in the cult in Israel, Helbrans abused the children with clubs, coat hangers and iron rods and would sometimes lock them in basements. Moreover, social services in Quebec received reports that the children were forced to marry as young as 14.

 

The raid in the group’s yard came at the request of the Israeli government. According to a statement by the Guatemalan authorities, the evidence compiled showed cases of, among other things, of “marriage between children, physical and emotional abuse against members of the community and against children. This evidence raises concerns about the physical and emotional well being of dozens of Israeli children currently residing in Guatemala under the sponsorship of the community.“

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Attorney’s Office, the Welfare Ministry and the Israel Police have been tracking the group’s development for a number of years and are all in contact with the relevant bodies, both in Canada and Guatemala.

 

“I hope this will be the end of the nightmare for many people and children,” said A. He added that while he never witnessed any violence during his time in the cult, he heard about serious misdeeds.

 

“I heard screaming from different houses of the cult members, and eventually I heard members telling about threatening acts such as humiliation, violence and whippings. One mother received orders to hit her child in the presence of others,” the former member recalled.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4854943,00.html

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      The following comment has been quoted on this forum, at least partially.  Attached also is another report of Geoffrey Jackson’s statement made in France.   Here is the individual’s comment, unedited:
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        ----quotation-------
      Here’s some news which the ABC and Fairfax Media do not regard as fit-to-print. Over the past four decades, a child in Australia was much more likely to suffer sexual abuse at a school or institution run by the Uniting Church than at a school or institution run by the Catholic Church.
      The ABC and Fairfax Media – along with The Guardian and The Saturday Paper – have given extensive coverage to allegations against the Catholic Church made at the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The ABC’s Samantha Donovan and Philippa McDonald and Louise Milligan along with Fairfax Media’s Rachel Browne and Joanne McCarthy have been perhaps the most outspoken of the journalists regularly reporting the Royal Commission in so far as the crimes of pedophile Catholic priests and brothers have been concerned.
      The ABC and Fairfax Media gave considerable coverage to the statement by Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC on 6 February 2017 that 4445 people alleged instances of child sexual abuse within Catholic schools or institutions up until 2015. Most media focused on the statement by Ms Furness that “7 per cent of priests were alleged perpetrators”.
      However, virtually no media attention was given to Ms Furness’s subsequent clarification on 16 February 2017, with reference to the Catholic Church:
      In other words, within the Catholic Church the vast majority of allegations of pedophilia were made with respect to alleged crimes in the period 1950 to 1989 with close to a third of all allegations relating to the decade of the 1970s. That is, most of the allegations relate to instances of close to four decades ago and are historical crimes.
      In what was called the “Catholic Wrap”, Royal Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan devoted 15 entire days to examining the Catholic Church. Hearings were held between 6 February 2017 and 26 February 2017.
      On Friday 10 March 2017, the Royal Commission devoted only half a day each to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Uniting Church of Australia. Yet the evidence suggests that, on a per capita basis, there were more pedophiles in each church combined than in the Catholic Church – especially in the 1990s and subsequent decades. . . .
      The statistics available to the Royal Commission with respect to the Uniting Church cover the period from 1977 to the present. That is, unlike the Catholic Church and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the allegations do not relate to a period going back to 1950.
      There were 2504 instances or allegations of child sexual abuse made in the Uniting Church in the period 1977 to 2017 compared with 4445 instances in the Catholic Church covering the period 1950 to 2015. Yet the Uniting Church is about a fifth of the size of the Catholic Church. And its data covers four decades whereas the Catholic Church’s data covers over six decades. Moreover, evidence available to the Royal Commission indicates that virtually all offending by Catholic priests took place before 1990. Not so, apparently, with the Uniting Church.
      On this evidence, child sexual assaults in the Uniting Church have been more prevalent than in the Catholic Church – especially in the years since 1990. This despite the fact that the Uniting Church has married male priests and female priests. There is no celibacy requirement within the Uniting Church and no sacrament of confession (in which the Royal Commission has taken a special interest concerning the Catholic Church).
      Yet you would not be aware of any of this if you followed only the reporting of the Royal Commission by the ABC, Fairfax Media, The Guardian and The Saturday Paper. It seems the likes of Samantha Donovan, Philippa McDonald, Louise Milligan, Joanne McCarthy and Rachel Browne did not come back from lunch on Friday 10 February and simply missed the coverage of sexual child abuse in the Uniting Church in the four decades since 1977.
      ---end of quotation-----
      I downloaded that Excel spreadsheet from the ARC (once posted here) that gave limited information about each of the JW cases, and should note that even cases that went back to the 1970's were evidently not there because there was any regular record-keeping by JWs going back that far. They could have been included when a case recorded decades later was found to be applicable to an instance or accusation from a much earlier date.
    • By Jack Ryan
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/26/mps-demand-action-over-jehovahs-witness-abuse-allegations

      MPs are demanding government action after more than 100 people contacted the Guardian with allegations of child sexual abuse and other mistreatment in Jehovah’s Witness communities in the UK.
      “I am extremely concerned, but not surprised, by the allegations of child abuse within the Jehovah’s Witness movement. Whenever there is a closed society with an inherent power imbalance, the potential for abuse is there,” said the Labour MP Sarah Champion.
      She said she would be raising the issue in parliament and demanding that the government take action to make sure all children were safe.
      Alex Chalk, the Conservative MP for Cheltenham, said he planned to raise the issue in parliament, saying it was not just a historical issue but an ongoing child safety concern.
      “My instinctive thoughts are that the sheer numbers and seriousness of the allegations coming forward is concerning ... If even half the allegations coming to light are true then it’s clear that an entrenched culture of cover-up and flawed in-house investigations continues to this day,” Chalk said.
      A Guardian investigation heard from 41 people who claimed they were victims of child sexual abuse and alleged a culture of cover-ups and lies, with senior members of the organisation, known as elders, discouraging victims from talking to the police.
      A further 48 people said they experienced other forms of abuse, including physical violence when they were children, and 35 claimed they witnessed or heard about others who were victims of child grooming and abuse.
      The Guardian was told that members of the community were taught to avoid interaction with outside authorities. It was also claimed that, according to rules set by the group, for child sexual abuse to be taken seriously there must be at least two witnesses to it. If that happened or a perpetrator admitted abuse, a judicial committee would be called and the case investigated.
      A solicitor representing some of the alleged victims said she believed there were thousands of complainants in the UK and that the people who had contacted the Guardian were “just the tip of the iceberg”.
      Kathleen Hallisey, a senior solicitor in the abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, acting on behalf of 15 alleged victims, said: “Given the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the UK, and what we know about the pervasiveness of abuse in the organisation, there are likely to be hundreds and probably thousands more victims. This is truly just the tip of the iceberg.”
      Champion said she was concerned that victims had to report their abuse to elders, without independent scrutiny.
      She also expressed concern that abuse claims could only be taken before a committee for investigation if there were two witnesses to it. “Abuse happens in the shadows, so to ask for a second witness is ludicrous and effectively prevents reporting,” Champion said.
      Several more alleged victims came forward after the initial claims were published. One woman, speaking anonymously, said: “I’m a former Jehovah’s Witness and know personally of two girls who were abused and silenced within their congregations.”
      Another woman, also speaking under the condition of anonymity, said she tried to kill herself when she was 14 after being abused by her father. “I found an old article in the Awake magazine on abuse in the congregation library and left it open for the elder. I had left the same article for my father at one stage hoping he would read it and stop. When it was found out, I too was subjected to being told not to say anything and a cover-up. In my case the evidence was also destroyed by the elders,” she said.
      She said she was told never to speak to anyone about what happened and was not given any counselling. “I asked the elders privately if I could go live with a friend’s family ... and they said I had to ask my father as he was the head of the household.”
      Operation Hydrant, a British police investigation into allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse, has dealt with 45 potential victims of child abuse within a Jehovah’s Witness setting. It said allegations could be made by a third party which either identifies or does not identify a potential victim.
      When informed of the Guardian’s findings, the Charity Commission said its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ governing body in the UK, was continuing. It said anyone affected by safeguarding concerns should come forward.
      In a statement, the Jehovah’s Witnesses said child safeguarding was of the utmost importance. They said that a victim and their family had the right to report allegations of child abuse to the police, and that the principle of sufficient evidence was a scriptural rule not related to reporting an allegation of crime to the authorities. 
      In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
    • By Jack Ryan
      More than 100 people have contacted the Guardian with allegations of child sexual abuse and other mistreatment in Jehovah’s Witness communities across the UK.
      Former and current members, including 41 alleged victims of child sexual abuse, described a culture of cover-ups and lies, with senior members of the organisation, known as elders, discouraging victims from coming forward for fear of bringing “reproach on Jehovah” and being exiled from the congregation and their families.
      A Guardian investigation also heard from 48 people who experienced other forms of abuse, including physical violence when they were children, and 35 who witnessed or heard about others who were victims of child grooming and abuse.
      The stories told to the Guardian ranged from events decades ago to more recent, and many of those who came forward have now contacted the police.
      They told the Guardian about:
      An organisation that polices itself and teaches members to avoid interaction with outside authorities.
      A rule set by the main governing body of the religion that means for child sexual abuse to be taken seriously there must be two witnesses to it.
      Alleged child sex abuse victims claiming they were forced to recount allegations in front of their abuser.
      Young girls who engage in sexual activity before marriage being forced to describe it in detail in front of male elders.
      A solicitor representing some of the alleged victims said she believed there were thousands of complainants in the UK and that the people who have contacted the Guardian were “just the tip of the iceberg”.
      One alleged victim, Rachel Evans, who has waived her right to anonymity, claimed there was a paedophile ring active in the 1970s, although details of the case cannot be divulged due to a current investigation.
      “Within the Jehovah’s Witnesses there is an actual silencing and also a network where if someone went to the elders and said ‘there is a problem with this’ and they believe you, the whole thing will be dealt with in-house. But often these people are not dealt with, they are either moved to another congregation or told to keep their head down for a few years,” she said.
      Another victim, who did not want to be named, said she was abused by a ministerial servant (someone with congregational responsibilities) in the organisation in the 1970s.
      “I was sexually abused many times a week from the age of three until I was 12. Congregation elders knew that when I told them, at 12, what had been happening. No steps were taken to tell the police. I had to tell three male senior figures what had happened. Imagine that? A young girl telling a bunch of men what this man did to me. I wasn’t even allowed to have my mother there with me.”
      After she went to the police about what had happened, the person who abused her pleaded guilty and was eventually convicted. “The Jehovah’s Witnesses should lose their charity status as they are not protecting children,” she added. She said she had mental health issues as a result of what happened and how it was dealt with.

      Jason Munro says he was abused for 10 years. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian
      Jason Munro, another alleged victim of sexual abuse who waived his right to anonymity, could not give details of his case due to a current investigation but said: “I am completely horrified by the Jehovah’s Witnesses ... I didn’t get support and I experienced 10 years of abuse. Elders knew in my teens about the abuse but it was never a case of ‘let’s get this person the professional help he needs’.”
      Advertisement
      When a Jehovah’s Witness experiences sexual abuse they are supposed to report it to elders, who are always men, who will take further action if there is a second witness to the offence. The perpetrator will then be called before a judicial committee if they admit abuse or if there is a second witness.
      “This causes further trauma to the victim and coupled with the two-witness rule, is undoubtedly the reason that so many victims have never reported it,” said Kathleen Hallisey, senior solicitor in the abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, who is currently acting on behalf of 15 alleged victims.
      She also noted that the problem with the two-witness rule in the context of sexual abuse was that there were rarely witnesses to it, “meaning that [these] reports ... are usually dismissed”.
      It has been reported that the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the UK, the Watch Tower, holds a database of abuse allegations made within the organisation but has yet to hand it over to authorities.
      The Charity Commission launched an investigation in 2013 looking into the Manchester New Moston congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, concluding that it did not deal adequately with allegations of child abuse made against one of the trustees.
      The commission is still running an inquiry into the main government body of the group, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain. This is examining the child safeguarding policy and procedures further.
      Following the investigation into the Manchester New Moston congregation last year, the Watch Tower changed its policy so that victims are no longer required to confront their abuser face to face.
      A former elder, who was asked to investigate a child abuse case in 2007, claimed he was urged not to contact the police, although it was decided that the perpetrator should not be assigned to work with children.
      However, the then elder – who left in 2012 over how the case was handled – said that this rule was not followed by everyone and when he raised this as a concern he was told to back off.
      “I hugely regret the fact that I wasn’t able to do anything at the time and I didn’t have the strength. And that lives with me,” he said.
      Other former Jehovah’s Witnesses told how they were forced to share personal sexual experiences at a young age, after breaking rules set by the religion.
      One woman, who wished to be anonymous, was called to a meeting with elders after she had sex at 15, which goes against the rule of no sex before marriage. “This meeting was three older men and me, a scared 15-year-old, who had just had sex for the first time. They had to know all the details before they chose my punishment,” she said.
      “I had to answer questions like, did it hurt? Where were you? Did you enjoy it? I don’t think any child that age should ever be in that situation.”
      A former elder described how a congregation responded when a 13-year-old girl had sex. A judicial committee was called, and she was disfellowshipped and eventually asked to leave her parents’ house.
      The Guardian also heard from those who described strict upbringings and a culture of hierarchy which meant physical and other psychological abuse were rife and often ignored.
      Stephanie, a former Jehovah’s Witness, said that when she reported her own experience of domestic violence she was told by elders to do nothing.
      The accused “remained in the congregation with privileges and authority. Later, when I came out to the congregation elders as gay, they sent two men to my house ... and asked me in detail about sex and masturbation,” she alleged.
      Operation Hydrant, a British police investigation into allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse, said that it was dealing with 45 potential victims of child abuse within a Jehovah’s Witness setting. It said allegations could be made by a third party which either identifies – or does not identify – a potential victim.
      Based on the Guardian’s findings, the commission said its inquiry into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ governing body in the UK, was continuing and it encouraged anyone affected by safeguarding in congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in England and Wales to come forward.
      Hallisey said: “Given the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the UK, and what we know about the pervasiveness of abuse in the organisation, there are likely to be hundreds and probably thousands more victims. This is truly just the tip of the iceberg.”
      She said the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse should investigate. “It is absolutely critical that IICSA investigates the Jehovah’s Witnesses ... This is actually a public safety issue. The person knocking on your door or handing you literature in the street could be an accused or even admitted paedophile,” she said.
      An IICSA spokesperson said that while it was currently delivering its existing programme, the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses-specific investigation carefully” as work progressed.
      In a statement, the Jehovah’s Witnesses said that safeguarding children was of the utmost importance. They said that a victim and their family had the right to report allegations of child abuse to the police, and that the principle of sufficient evidence was a scriptural rule not related to reporting an allegation of crime to the authorities. “Elders treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. Elders will conduct a scriptural investigation of every allegation of child sexual abuse,” they said.
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/25/jehovahs-witnesses-accused-of-silencing-victims-of-child-abuse-uk
    • By Jack Ryan
      A Las Vegas man was arrested last week after authorities accused him of raping a teenage member of his church, police and court records show.
      Carlos Alfonso Perez, 55, was charged in January with three counts of sexual assault with a minor under 14 and two counts of sexual assault with a minor under 16, records show. He was arrested March 13 at his northeast Las Vegas home.
      Perez is accused of assaulting a teenage girl multiple times between July 2012 and July 2014. He denied any wrongdoing in a December interview with police, according to records, but declined to take a polygraph examination.
      The girl was 13 at the time the abuse began, according to a police report. She and Perez attended the same kingdom hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses for more than 10 years, according to the report, and the girl saw him multiple times a week at church functions.
      She eventually reported the abuse to church officials, who had her confront Perez face to face, according to the police report.
      “The church members decided that there was nothing they could do, since the stories were different,” the report states.
      The document makes no mention of church officials attempting to contact police. A spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday and Friday.
      According to the document, the girl reported Perez to police in August.
      https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/sex-crimes/las-vegas-man-charged-with-raping-teen-member-of-his-church/
    • By Witness
      "This week a troubling story on W5: Avery Haines investigates an alleged sex abuse cover-up within the Jehovah's Witnesses. From across Canada, to the United States, England and Australia she reveals how the religious sect's doctrine protects accused sex offenders and pedophiles and makes it virtually impossible for complaints to be reported to police. Watch NO WITNESSES Saturday at 7 pm on CTV."
      https://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/
       
    • By 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 years’ 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 Hewitt’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
    • By 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 JOHN BUTLER
      I cannot understand why there is only partial information concerning the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society Child Abuse accusations from around the Earth. I have just put a status on my FB page saying that : The one thing I have learnt in life is, that I don't know the truth about anything".  The reason for this is that there is always some doubt about things read 'online'. Are they true ? Does one want them to be true? Are my opinions correct?   So with that in mind I will continue with the information I 'have read online'. 
      We all know that Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse accusations are, or appear to be 'in fashion' right now. In politics, in entertainment, and in religion. But Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be 'no part of the world', that is the 'world' that belongs to Satan the Devil. So it would come as a surprise then that from top to bottom the JW's are being accused of Child Abuse Earthwide. 
      What I've noted so far : The Australian Royal Commission did a three year investigation into the JW org, most of which is available online to read. They found that since 1950 there were 1006 accusations of Child Abuse within the Australian branch of Jehovah's Witnesses, none of which were reported to the police or secular authorities........... In Canada there have been large court cases in Quebec and Ontario againse JW org..... A $66 million lawsuit against the religion's leadership is taking place.....  In the Netherlands 'Reclaimed Voices' foundation have set up emergency phone lines and have put out advertisements concerning victims of abuse within the JW org there. The 'hotline' had received 80 replies as of December 28th 2017..... In the UK (where I am) the Charity Commision set up an inquiry into the UK branch of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding child abuse / sexual abuse. I think this started with the Manchester New Molton congregation in 2014. The Charity Commision also set up an inquiry into the Watchtower Soc (WTBTS) here in the UK. In Feb 2016. The Org went to court to try to block the investigations but failed. A former elder from South Wales said there was instructions to elders to destroy all documents regarding child abuse. There seemed to be a cost to the Org of over £1 million which I presume is court fines and payouts. 
      Then of course we have the USA. In 2014 a $10.5 million lawsuit against JW Org by Valicia Alston and others. In 2015 the Candace Conti case against Jonathan Kendrick. And in April 2016 the Watchtower Soc' remained defiant in refusing to hand over documents about the Child Abuse in the USA branch of the JW Org.  Now it seems (and remember I'm only going on what I've read) that the JW Org in USA sent out a letter in 1997, to all elders of congregations in the USA. The letter was a direct instruction to the elders to send in ALL documents and information concerning accusations of Child Abuse / Sexual abuse both current and passed. This was to be an ongoing instruction and all information was to be sent in special blue envelopes to Brooklyn. Now there are approx' 14,000 congregations in the USA, and the time period from 1997 to 2017 is of course 20 years. So it would seem that the Governing Body have 20 years worth of accusations concerning Child Abuse and Sexual abuse with in it's USA congregations. However, despite court action and direct instruction to the JW Org / Watchtower Soc', the W/T and JW Org still refuse to hand over the documents to the High court. In November 2017 a High court of California fined the JW Org / WT Soc'  $4,000 per day for not handing over the documents, and it seems the cost so far to the Org / WT is more than           $2 million. I cannot find out if any of this money has been paid or is still owing. 
      One other point that I found interesting (providing it's true of course) is that the Governing Body has deliberately separated the JW Org, known as the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Each of these now has its own Legal Department. The purpose of this is to slow down all court proceedings because the Legal Dept from one has to write to the Legal Dept of the other for information, then the legal Dept of the other refuses such information etc. This is what caused the Supreme Court of California to impose the heavy fines on the Org. Basically the court got fed up with the 'clowning around of the JW Org.  
      So to sum up: It seems that many countries, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, UK and USA, have found and proved many cases of child abuse / sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society. But what makes this worse is that the Governing Body of the Org' is deliberately withholding  the information about pedophiles within its ranks. Add to this that elders of congregations Earthwide are instructed not to inform their congregations about pedophiles within their congregation. And, congregation members are told not to report child abuse / sexual abuse within the congregations, to the Police or outside secular organisations. On top of this victims are not believed, because the Governing Body has made a rule that says there must be two witnesses to any accusation of abuse, which of course will not happen in the case of Child abuse or Sexual abuse.
      About me : I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses until about a month ago.  After doing approx three months research online my conscience would no longer allow me to remain within the Organisation. How could I encourage other people to join an Organisation that allows Child Abuse /Sexual Abuse to continue unreported and unpunished within its ranks. There could be a pedophile within the congregation that I was part of, I would never know, because the Elders would keep it secret.... However, I do believe in God, whether His name is Jehovah, Yahweh or something else, and I am keeping my mind open as to how I will find the 'truth' of God's requirements. 
      What i am hoping for is that some BIG media source will bring all the information together concerning all the Child Abuse / Sexual Abuse accusations against the Jehovah's Witnesses Org' and the Watchtower Soc' Earthwide, so that all info' is readily available to everyone. At the moment it all seems so 'bitty' and not organised. Yes there is info' online, but are the sources trustworthy. What is needed is a neutral unemotional factual report, please. 
    • By Srecko Sostar
      "Some 80 reports of sexual abuse involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses community have been made over the past month, Trouw said on Thursday.
       
      Justice minister Sander Dekker has already said that the (JW)church should look to the example of the Catholic church to dealing with complaints about sexual abuse."
       
      "We are going to study the measures of the Catholic Church."
      - Michel van Hilten, spokesman Jehovah's Witnesses

      source;  
      DutchNews.nl: Dozens come forward to report abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/12/dozens-come-forward-to-report-abuse-by-jehovahs-witnesses/
      https://www.trouw.nl/religie-en-filosofie/minister-dekker-jehova-s-getuigen-moeten-misbruikbeleid-onder-de-loep-nemen-~a796d271/
    • By Nicole
      Guatemala trasladará su embajada en Israel a Jerusalén, en consonancia con la decisión de Washington condenada por la Asamblea General de la ONU y desatando el agradecimiento israelí y el rechazo palestino.
      “El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores recibe la instrucción presidencial (de Jimmy Morales) e inicia el proceso de ejecución de esta decisión de política exterior”, afirmó la cancillería guatemalteca el lunes en un comunicado.
      El proceso se inició al día siguiente de que Morales anunciara que dio instrucciones a su canciller Sandra Jovel para realizar el traslado.
      El primer ministro israelí, Benjamin Netanyahu, saludó este lunes en un comunicado la “importante” decisión de Guatemala.
      https://www.24matins.es/traf/portada/guatemala-inicia-proceso-para-trasladar-su-embajada-en-israel-a-jerusalen-40123
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    • I would rather live in Japan Japanese schoolchildren clean the school. It's totally normal and expected and starts from very early so they just do it automatically and with no fuss. You can see what it teaches them.   IeoMPNc.mp4
    • @admin Yeah this was bound to happen. The whole Fortnite take over the world craze, and the fact it hit the Nintendo scene with more than 2 mil+ in a span of minutes on E3 day is insane. I have a neighbor, big guy loves fitness and all and has 4 kids, him and his kids play Fornite, he himself says up and you can hear him laughing, his laugh is like that of a Hyena, but yeah I don't play games like that, I got stuff to do, if anything, it is Forza Motorsport for me   But you know what they said, whatever is cool today, will be old skool tomorrow, either the community for that game will die off when the player count drops and or shift to something else when it releases. VR though is still expanding though, no one is going to pass up being Hank Hill and impersonate him.
    • Están en un depósito en Texas, enjaulados como animales. Duermen en colchonetas en el piso, con la luz permanentemente encendida.    Los chicos duermen en colchonetas en el piso. Y hay unos 20 por jaula, en el centro de detención de McAllen, Texas./ AFP tro de un viejo depósito en el sur de Texas, cientos de niños esperan, separados de sus padres, en una serie de jaulas creadas con alambrados. En una jaula hay 20 niños. Hay botellas de agua y paquetes de papas fritas desparramados y grandes trozos de papel de aluminio hacen las veces de mantas. Una adolescente le dijo a un defensor que la visitó, que ayudaba a cuidar a una niña pequeña desconocida porque la tía de la nena estaba en otro lado en esas instalaciones. Dijo que tuvo que mostrarles a otros en su celda cómo cambiarle el pañal a esa beba. El domingo, la patrulla de frontera de EE.UU. les permitió a los periodistas hacer una breve visita a las instalaciones donde se encuentran las familias arrestadas en la frontera sur, en respuesta a las nuevas críticas y protestas por la política de “tolerancia cero” de la administración Trump y la resultante separación de las familias. Más de 1.100 personas estaban dentro de las instalaciones amplias y oscuras divididas en alas separadas para niños sin compañía, adultos solos y madres y padres con sus hijos. Las jaulas en cada ala dan a áreas comunes, para utilizar los baños portátiles. La luz en el techo está encendida todo el tiempo. Inmigrantes enjaulados en el depósito McAllen, Texaspañal Los agentes no les permitieron a los periodistas entrevistar a ninguno de los detenidos, ni sacar fotos. Casi 2.000 niños han sido separados de sus padres desde que el fiscal general, Jeff Sessions, anunció la política que determina que los funcionarios de seguridad interna deriven todos los casos de ingreso ilegal a los EE.UU. para procesamiento. Los grupos de la iglesia y los defensores de los derechos humanos han criticado considerablemente esta política, denominándola inhumana. Se han revelado las historias de niños arrancados de los brazos de sus padres y padres que no pudieron saber dónde habían llevado a sus hijos. Un grupo de legisladores visitó las mismas instalaciones el domingo e iban a visitar un refugio para estadía más prolongada que alberga aproximadamente 1.500 niños, muchos de los cuales fueron separados de sus padres. Buscadors de asilo son detenidos por la patrulla fronteriza de EE.UU., en Texas./ AFP   Esos niños allí dentro, que han sido separados de sus padres, ya están traumatizados”, dijo el senador demócrata Jeff Merkley, de Oregon, a quien le negaron el ingreso al refugio de los niños a comienzos de este mes. “No les importa si el piso está limpio, ni si la ropa de cama está bien ajustada”. En el valle del Río Grande en Texas, el paso más concurrido para quienes intentan ingresar a EE.UU., los funcionarios de la patrulla de fronteras argumentan que tienen que dividir a los inmigrantes y separar a los adultos de los niños como disuasivo para los otros. “Cuando uno exceptúa a un grupo de personas de la ley… eso crea un empate”, dijo Manuel Padilla, jefe de agentes de la patrulla de frontera aquí. “Eso crea las tendencias aquí”. Agentes fronterizos vigilan a los detenidos en jaulas, en Texas. /AFP Los agentes que están a cargo de las instalaciones, en general conocidas como “Ursula” por el nombre de la calle donde se encuentran, dijeron que todos los detenidos reciben alimentación adecuada, acceso a duchas y lavandería para sus ropas y atención médica. Se supone que esas personas tienen una estadía breve en las instalaciones. Según las leyes de EE.UU., es necesario que los niños sean pasados a refugios financiados por el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos dentro del plazo de tres días. El centro de procesamiento de inmigrantes en McAllen, Texas./ AFP Padilla dijo que los agentes en el valle del Río Grande les han permitido a las familias con niños menores de cinco años permanecer juntos en la mayoría de los casos. Una defensora que pasó varias horas en las instalaciones el viernes dijo que estaba profundamente perturbada por lo que había encontrado. Michelle Brane, directora de derechos de los inmigrantes en la Comisión de Refugiados de Mujeres, conoció a una adolescente de 16 años que había cuidado de una niña durante tres días. La adolescente y otros niños en su jaula creían que la niña tenía dos años. “Les tuvo que enseñar a los otros niños en la celda cómo cambiar un pañal”, dijo Brane. Agentes fronterizos vigilan a los detenidos en jaulas, en Texas. /AFP Brane afirmó que después de que un abogado comenzara a hacer preguntas, los agentes encontraron a la tía de la niña y ambas se reencontraron. Resultó ser que la niña realmente tenía cuatro años. Parte del problema fue que no hablaba español, sino k’iche, un idioma indígena de Guatemala. “Estaba tan traumatizada que no hablaba”, contó Brane. “Simplemente estaba acurrucada hecha un ovillo”. Inmigrantes son detenidos bajo la mirada de sus hijos en Texas. / AFP Brane dijo que también vio a funcionarios en las instalaciones que retaban a un grupo de niños de cinco años por jugar en su jaula, y les ordenaron que se calmaran. No hay ni juguetes ni libros. Sin embargo, un niño cerca de ellos no jugaba con el resto. Según Brane, estaba en silencio, apretando un pedazo de papel que era una fotocopia del documento de identidad de su madre. “El gobierno literalmente separa a los niños de sus padres y los deja en condiciones inapropiadas”, afirmó Brane. “Si un padre dejara a un hijo en una jaula sin supervisión con otros niños de cinco años, serían considerados responsables”. Fuente: AP  
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