Author Topic: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church  (Read 6598 times)

fern hill

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Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« on: February 21, 2008, 10:01:11 AM »
I figure we need a catch-all thread for these.

Today's oopsie: 'Father Teresa' from the Globe and Mail.

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'Quebec's Father Teresa' charged with sex abuse at Haitian orphanage

QUEBEC — The man who some liked to call "Quebec's Father Teresa" for his work with underprivileged children was arrested yesterday and charged with sexually touching young boys while working in an orphanage in poverty-stricken Haiti.

Armand Huard, 64, appeared briefly in a Quebec City court yesterday to face 13 counts of sexually touching minors or inciting them to sexually touch him while working at the orphanage in the city of Les Cayes, 200 kilometres from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

Another aid worker, Denis Rochefort, 59, was charged with 10 similar offences.

deBeauxOs

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 07:15:45 PM »
1337haxOr, a member of ProgBloggers just posted about religious misogyny. He draws a parallel between one of James Tiptree/Alice Sheldon's short stories, and the recent raid of a West Texas sect whose leaders set up communities there and in BC, based on some Mormon-inspired teaching, but mostly centered on the cultish leaders and their dogma-sanctioned abuse of their many wives and children.

An excellent post and analysis.

skdadl

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 07:45:33 PM »
That is a very thoughtful and well-written post, deBeauxOs.

A factual detail related to that post, more than a bit alarming: in at least one of the stories I've read about Bountiful (BC) over the last few years, there were claims that some of the young women from that compound were being spirited back over the border to a Mormon compound in Texas, where it was believed their slave-owners (why call them much else?) would be in less danger from the law.

I've wondered something like haxor's question m'self about a younger generation of men and what they believe about women. It's interesting that he keeps his focus on Western men, even when he's talking about the assaults in Iraq. He isn't taking the easy way out that so many Westerners do, focusing on the abuses that are common in other cultures. He reminds us that Western men let loose in a lawless wartime situation and assured of their privileged status will do absolutely horrific things to women, including Western women who are supposed to be their colleagues. Just another perk of the job, as it were. That is happening, is well documented, and is still not answered by anyone's laws.

anne cameron

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 11:15:56 AM »
The flaw in the blogger's question/analysis is that this cult, or sect, has been around for several generations, possibly for a century.  I think Bountiful has been flourishing for some sixty years, with several generations of males growing up and becoming married to several wives.

For me, the truly sad part of it is that their brainwashing works well enough the women accept this shitty treatment.

The big problem in the set-up, the one I see could lead to the downfall of the group, is that when the old farts have first choice and access to the girls, and can have as many wives as they want, there aren't enough girls or women left for the young men.

The cult solves this problem by exiling those young men, usually in their mid-teens.  They are thrust out into the "godless" world with very poor education, no job skills, and minds completely twisted and warped.  Should they manage to survive, and get married, what in hell are they going to teach THEIR kids?

deBeauxOs

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 11:25:17 AM »
Anne, I suspect that his perspective is limiited by the news source that he links to - he has developed an insightful piece, but you're right, it lacks historical context and it seemingly ignores the connection to the Canadian branch of the sect.

anne cameron

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2008, 12:12:48 PM »
I haz no linkz but:- When the main Mormon church stopped the practise of polygamy, there were some "fundamentalists" who left Salt Lake and set up their own enclave.  And from that split the fundamentalists have spread.  There is no hint that they are in any way at all running out of membership, in fact they seem to have been growing almost exponentially.  Well, with all the women married off early and with no birth control available, easy to see how the numbers would mushroom.

I believe a group left the USA and went to Airdrie (sp?) Alberta, and then a group left there and went to set up Bountiful, BC.  (it kind'a sort'a puts me in mind of bees, swarming when the hive becomes crowded).

Teen-aged girls have been passed back and forth over the border, I would expect it's a feeble effort to avoid consanguinity.  Some of the kids in custody in Texas right now are said to be Canadian-born but I understand it's going to take DNA matching to figure out whose kid is whose because the moms aren't cooperating, and the little kids don't seem to know which woman is "mommy".  I can see how that happens when there are half a dozen women under the same roof.

"Blackie", whose real name is Ellen, is two-and-a-bit and often gets mixed up, calling me "Auntie" and calling her auntie "G'amma".  She knows we aren't "mommy" but after that it's a puzzle.

With all the focus and attention on the sexual aspects of this cult, little has been said or written about those little kids in Texas.  Okay, it's a given, I abhor the idea of girls being shuffled like playing cards and raped by withered old fucks, and yeah yeah yeah to the rest of the noise, okay, we have to do something, fine.  Granted.  Given.

And what about those little kids?  They are much less "worldly" than any little kids most of us would know.  This might well be the first time they've been off that compound.  They don't know TV, radio, or what we would consider a normal diet. (mormons have some strict food restrictions)

I know I'm not a good candidate for Objectivity Award of the Year.  I read "young children" and I think of my grrrrrrrrrrrrrls.  The sight of their mothers..ALL their mothers...weeping is sure to terrify the little ones...loaded into a bus for the first time in their lives..taken away from everything they've known...people staring, cameras pointing, and the questions, questions, questions...those poor little jiggers must be just about ready to snap.

So what kind of psychological state are they going to be in ten years from now?

BC doesn't seem interested in "doing anything" about the situation.  Heaven knows there are enough women have fled Bountiful, and given testimony about the conditions, that if there was any will at all to intervene it would already have been done.

God knows the history of this province's treatment of minorities isn't one of tolerance... so there's something about Bountiful that has them leery of prosecuting the good bishop and his elders.

I'm snarly enough to think it's a kind of salatious envy... that the men in gov't think only of those barely nubile girls... and what life would be like for them if only they had the chance to collect those young bodies...

so while the ones who ought to be "doing something" instead slaver and fantasize, the abuse continues, with girls being taught their only chance to go to heaven is if some wrinkled old fart invites them to accompany him when he goes.

deBeauxOs

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2008, 12:52:00 PM »
I haz linx:

NDP calls on Ottawa to take action against polygamy: "The Harper government is coming under pressure from the NDP - its chief rival for B.C. seats - to abandon its hands-off approach to the Bountiful, B.C., polygamist colony and lobby Victoria to lay charges."

B.C. polygamist community praying for Texas children: Blackmore:"The rocky peaks of the snow-covered Skimmerhorn Mountains rise straight up to the sky to form what appears to be a natural fortress, one that protects the polygamous community of Bountiful, one of the most private and controversial locations in Canada.

On Sunday, hundreds packed the community's temple to pray for their "relatives" in a related colony in Texas."

Leader says many in Bountiful concerned over U.S. raid:"Winston Blackmore, the unapologetic leader of a polygamist community in British Columbia, says his people are praying for their "relatives" in Texas.

The spiritual leader of the colony at Bountiful, B.C., says he doesn't know if any of the children seized by U.S. authorities from a similar Texas compound earlier this month are from his commune."

anne cameron

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008, 01:38:26 PM »
Winston is smooth, and Winston is slick, and Winston has axes to grind.  At the time the old "prophet" died, Winston was the senior bishop, and many people expected he would be the next Prophet.  Then Warren Jeffs pulled off what might be seen as a coup, and announced he was the Prophet, he is the son of the late Prophet.

The sect is split into two camps now .  Warren Jeffs was so threatened by Winstons position as senior biship he declared Winston excommunicated.  Winston ignored the excommunication order, refused to leave Bountiful, and continues life as if Warren had never surfaced.

With Warren Jeffs in prison, and facing more charges which well might see him locked up for life, Winston moves closer to being the one to fulfill the position of Prophet.

And he is slick.  He likes to give the appearance of being a simple rural-living man of faith but his country bumpkin persona is deceptive.  He is highly intelligent and verbally skilled, and in some ways what he says makes some degree of sense.

Personally, I do not care if Winston has a hundred "wives".  His kids seem to think he's great!  He can accumulate another hundred wives as far as I'm concerned, as long as each of those wives is adult and agrees willingly to enter into the arrangement.

I am uneasy about the brainwashing but every religion brainwashes in it's own way.  We all seem willing to accept the brainwashing with which we're comfortable, however bizarre it might seem to outsiders.  Some of us believe a guy walked on water and fed five thousand people with a few loaves of bread and a handful of sardines.  Others of us see nothing wrong with the idea a father would put his son on an altar and be prepared to sacrifice him.  And some of us don't mind that Lot fucked his daughters after his wife was turned into a pillar of salt.

It only looks like brainwashing to non-believers.  To believers it is faith, and that's supposed to be a good thing.

Whatever the rest of us think, this group is growing in numbers , it is actually extrapolating, and with Slick Winnie leading them they're going to become more visible, and will probably even experience an influx of converts.

After all, Sung Myung Moon was an unknown kook in Korea and since his arrival in North America as an almost penniless immigrant he has managed to amass a frikken fortune and lead an ever increasing horde of followers.

People seem to actually want to be duped ... look at the numbers who voted for Harper!

deBeauxOs

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2008, 05:26:23 PM »
On the issue of fatherhood, the radio news report that I heard on Radio-Canada added an interesting facet to the situation in the Texas raid.  It observed that although all the children could name their parents, most of the fathers could not precisely identify all of their children.

 :?

Have I mentioned that I detest the pointy-chinned smilies?  Some of my old favourites I no longer use, they're so strange-looking now.

anne cameron

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2008, 06:53:33 PM »
Have you seen the documentary where one old fart is showing off the wall of portraits of his kids and he talks about how every kid born in a particular year gets a name starting to with same letter...so these are the A's, and these are the B's and...

Canadian Kennel Club has a similar sort of system.

I spent my teen years being given no choice but to attend an insular and isolating group of very rigid patriarchists, and I know I'm very touchy about it.  I'm sure they could give lessons to the North Korean interrogators!  I have two sisters still emotionally cloistered in that fundamentalist playpen.  One of them hasn't spoken to me in probably twenty years because I "abandoned The Truth".

The other one is my best friend.  She worries about me, and about my soul, but she doesn't preach or nag.  The other, of course, is bloody endless so being shunned by her is almost a welcome relief.

sparqui

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2008, 07:13:30 PM »
Quote from: anne cameron
Canadian Kennel Club has a similar sort of system.

 :rotfl:

anne, you should check out the TV show "Big Love". I thought the writers were taking imaginative liberties about life on the "compound" but this Texas and BC stuff demonstrates that fiction pales in comparison to the truth some times.

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Big Love is an HBO television drama about a Utah Polygamist family that practices plural marriage, a type of polygamy. Big Love stars Bill Paxton, Chloë Sevigny, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin and Harry Dean Stanton. It premiered in the United States on March 12, 2006 following the sixth season premiere of the popular HBO series The Sopranos. The second season began on Monday, June 11, 2007.[1] The show has been renewed for a third season.[2]

The show was co-created by Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer who also serve as executive producers. Olsen and Scheffer spent two and a half years researching the premise of the show,[citation needed] with the intent of creating a fair portrayal of polygamy in America without being judgmental...

...Season 1 introduces the main characters and revolves around the family's struggles to live their polygamous lifestyle while keeping it a secret from the outside world. While Bill goes about expanding his chain of home improvement stores ("Henrickson’s Home Plus"), he struggles to balance his three wives and his strained relationship with Nicki's father, Church prophet Roman Grant. From his compound on Juniper Creek, Roman seeks to gain a greater share of the profits from Bill's business ventures. Bill, who is resentfull towards Roman for expelling him from Juniper Creek as a teenager, opposes this and manipulates his alcoholic brother Joey, a former NFL player, to gain a seat on the church's board of directors, in order to undercut Roman's considerable influence and to maintain a level of autonomy from his controlling grasp...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Love

The first season is running on regular TV. Honestly, I thought the depiction of the compound was far fetched but now...?!?!
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

anne cameron

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2008, 02:06:29 PM »
I haven't seen it, not even seen it advertised on the preview channel here but I'll keep an eye peeled.  Already, though, I'm not all that interested as it seems to focus on the men, the struggle to hang onto the business, and other male things.

Women get short shrift on most TV programmes, but it seems to me just a tad MUCH that the review ignores the reality polygamous lifestyle has on women.

sparqui

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2008, 02:12:50 PM »
I've seen a handful of episodes and I think the female characters are actually very well written. I think it runs on Global on Thursday nights. We taped the latest episode but VCR chewed it up.  :evil:
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

brebis noire

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2008, 02:53:00 PM »
sparqui, I caught the very beginning of Big Love last week on TV - the opening credits were kind of surreal, at least for regular TV, so I hung around to watch. It took me about 10 minutes to understand it was about polygamy, first I was  :shock: then I was  :popcorn  because it was like an alternate-universe soap opera. Really unexpected.

I finally concluded the women characters were well-written, even though they reasoned in ways that I found to be convoluted, as if they are trying to square their own feelings within a situation that appears deeply degrading from the outside. And I suppose what troubled me the most was that it was evident they saw themselves as "nothings" in the outside world, so of course they would do almost anything to find what was potentially positive about the life they were in.

But that's from one episode. I'm not sure I'm that interested to follow it reguarly. I don't really get soap operas.

sparqui

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Re: Sex Scandals and the Church, Any Church
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2008, 03:33:10 PM »
I guess I find the creepiness factor fascinating brebis. I also enjoy how they explore the competing systems of morality (LDS versus the fundamentalist cult-like polygamists).
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

 

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