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Michael Jackson, Child Abuse, and JW Apologist Firpo Carr

Michael Jackson, Child Abuse, and JW Apologist Firpo Carr

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” – William James

Recently, I participated in an online discussion in the comments of an article written by a prominent friend/adviser to the late Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson & Jehovah’s Witnesses, by Firpo Carr

The Michael Jackson case and the issue of child abuse are both important to me, but I didn’t really know who Firpo Carr was when I made my first comment. I’d run into his name before, but I was a little under-prepared for his particular style of debate. I felt pretty battered by the end of it, much like what happens when I try to have a political discussion with someone who has already been stirred up by their favorite propaganda machine.

His back and forth with Jerry Bergman is illuminating and true to form.

A sampling of Carr’s other L.A. Sentinel articles for you to chew on:

One article on money and priorities took an argument that was very familiar to me from JW days, and made it much more compelling and interesting. He’s clearly a smart guy, but something….

I hadn’t really thought about this very much before, but there might be a serious educational problem with a dependence on some forms of long-distance learning, especially at the upper levels in the humanities. Potential scholars may simply lose too much by not participating on-site at their universities. There is a sort of human osmosis effect that can only be learned by being there. It’s important to have both peers that are interacting with you and trustworthy mentors that can call attention to your blind spots without attacking you as a person. It may be more difficult to absorb the values and norms of dialogue and debate if you’re not part of the ebb and flow of discussion.

On campus, you become part of a network of friendship that includes worthy adversaries, and you develop different skills as you learn how to respect people independently of whether or not you have disagreements. Constant exposure to a wide range of scholarship and discussion not only helps the scholar to develop an ethical sense of discernment, but also models the qualities that they admire (or reject!) in a teacher. At its best, university life at the graduate level is amazingly liberating, intellectually stimulating, and fulfilling.

It’s not just the “immorality” (sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll) of university life that JWs object to, it’s the training in strong interpretations and critical thinking, along with the ethics of scholarship, that would be dangerous for them to condone in their followers. Independent thinking is against their religion.

Firpo Carr has written a fair number of books. Good for him for being so prolific! However, some supplemental reading might be helpful. Start with a selection from my page of reading recommendations for former JWs. To that, add:

Why? Because this latter list contains non-JW-influenced resources for understanding some aspects of the mindset that can lead people to be manipulated – and possibly continue the chain.

To stick to the topic at hand, though, readers should be aware that child abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses is a systemic problem, one that is reinforced by setting unreachable standards of perfection, demonizing “worldly authorities,” defending questionable biblical interpretations with out-of-context snippets, defending the two-witness rule for any accusation of foul play, subordinating women, presenting an almost comical style of discourse and argument, hours of weekly meetings for repetition and reinforcement, the paucity of choices for a mate, the fear of disfellowshipping and abandonment by friends and family, the threat of demonic possession, the undermining of kindness, and the almost complete lack of pastoral care.

Firpo Carr can of course believe what he likes and project what he needs to – his path is none of my concern – but it’s a very odd position from which to deny or rationalize child abuse. Even more so now, I wish that I had followed my instincts while Michael was still alive. Michael Jackson describes some of the abuse he and his siblings suffered at the hands of his father in this video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc8HjdK7kJ8[/youtube]

Watch that, then read our discussion. Remember that Firpo Carr says he was Michael’s friend. I’m sorry, but I have serious doubts that Firpo Carr brought much of spiritual value to the friendship. Now he says that Michael Jackson took him aside and told him that he wished his children to be brought up as Jehovah’s Witnesses – and to have them study with Carr!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnAhcHMgR_8[/youtube]

I wonder if Michael said that to anyone else, or (shall I be this cynical?) if he said it to anyone at all.

In related news – some new documentation on the Watchtower child sexual abuse settlement. It’s not hearsay – it’s signed, sealed with gag orders, wrapped up in lies, and delivered:

“Documents show that the church knew for years that some prominent members were sexually abusing children and did little.”

The Watchtower PR department issued a statement. “For the sake of the victims in these cases, we are pleased that a settlement has been reached.” Sigh. It’s not for the sake of the victims, or their policies would be different.

This is the way they protect known predators. Imagine how they handle psychological and physical child abuse, and then start Googling for the testimonies…

Here’s a sweet sad Monty Python/Michael Jackson mashup. Maybe it will start to express the inexpressible value of caring and kindness.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Z04RssKWI[/youtube]

For a while, Michael was able to redefine and transform his experience. He created music that brought fun – and even joy – to people all over the world.

I will remember him that way.

JWs in the News

JWs in the News

Antonie Dixon’s sister gives evidence in court

When Antonie Dixon told the jury an astonishing tale of sexual abuse by his mother and beatings at the hands of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they must have wondered whether any of it was believable. Today they heard from someone else who was there at the time and she confirmed much of what he said. According to Dixon’s sister Carla, he was dubbed “devil spawn” by their mother. (more…)


Murrieta Man Convicted Of Molesting Sisters Ages 9, 10

A 49-year-old man was found guilty Thursday of molesting two young sisters at his home in Murrieta, City News Service reported. Gilbert Simental was accused of molesting a then-9-year-old girl in 2005 and her 10-year-old sister in 2006. It took less than a day for the eight-woman, seven-man jury to find him guilty of three counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14. (more…)

See also the involvement of local elders at the Silent Lambs link:
http://www.silentlambs.org/ElderprotectPedophile.htm



Jehovah’s Witness Elder Accused of Raping Daughters in El Salvador

In the original Spanish at http://www.laprensagrafica.com/nacion/1095874.asp

Being discussed at http://jehovahs-witness.com/8/161809/1.ashx

Agentes de la delegación de la Policía en Mejicanos arrestaron a Carlos Martínez Castillo, de 40 años de edad, acusado de abusar sexualmente —desde hace seis meses— de sus dos hijas de ocho y 10 años respectivamente.

Partial translation:

PASTOR ACCUSED OF RAPING HIS TWO DAUGHTERS:

Going by the National Police Commission, the accused took advantage of visits by the minors to his house located in Soyapango. “The kids lived with their mom in Mejicanos but used to visit the guy who’s under investigation. There he’d get one of the girls to play while he raped the other and vice versa,” an official of the PNC explained. The capture of Martinez, who according to the authorities is a pastor of the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was effected yesterday morning at a framing and painting workshop, where he works. According to the police, the arrest was realized after representatives of an NGO whose name they did not want to reveal, they interposed the denunciation in which they showed that the little girls had said that their father had abused them.

The authorities have given assurance going by the crime of violating an innocent minor and, the organs of justice will be ordering a penalty of seven to 14 years of jail time, but in this case, due to relationship with the person being charged, it could be decreed at more than 15 years. Martinez denied the charges against him and claimed everything was a set-up by his daughters’ mother, because he does not want to be with her at their home. The office of the public prosecutor says that it has for proof the children’s testimony and the results of exams from Legal Medicine.


And… a very touching video about what has happened to those dedicated (and exploited) workers in Watchtower Corporation Service as they have aged:

Serve Jehovah in Your Youth!

Once again, it’s time for “JWs in the News”

Once again, it’s time for “JWs in the News”

Some recent media items on Jehovah’s Witnesses:

Surviving a JW Sadist

Alloma Gilbert has published an article – an excerpt from her upcoming book Deliver Me From Evil (March 2008) – on how she survived being starved, beaten and tortured by her Jehovah’s Witness foster mother Eunice Spry (see also the post Sadistic Foster Mom a Devout Jehovah’s Witness).

Ten years later, in court, I would hold one of the sticks she routinely used to thrust down our throats and show the world the two inches of dried blood still staining the end. It was shortly after this appalling incident that something inside me finally snapped. I was 11 by now and had been enduring Eunice’s terrible physical and psychological cruelty for nearly five years.

… But this time I’d had enough. I don’t know whether it was my outrage at all the previous punishments, or just growing older and more defiant, but I utterly refused to admit to something I hadn’t done. “It wasn’t me,” I said. Eunice stared hard at me and came and bent over me. “Answering back, are we?” she said. “Well, you can starve.”

This was the first moment I had ever really stood up to her and although it was only a small thing, and I knew I was going to be hungry afterwards, I felt a tiny edge of triumph. And so I starved. For a week she gave me nothing – not a single scrap to eat. It was a real battle of wills, and I became so weak and sick that I was hallucinating. In my desperation, I resorted to the pig bin and feasted greedily on mouldy boiled potatoes, vegetable peelings and pig nuts. It was revolting, but I just hoped it would give me the energy to survive.

I’m glad to see that Alloma reclaimed her name. To Eunice, who made her answer to the name “Harriet,” it was a magic “demonized” name.


JW’s “Not Exactly Interfaith,” Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Medical Alarmists

The Independent has a scathing article in health news: The Big Question: Why are the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Why Do They Refuse Blood Transfusions?

Why don’t other religions stick up for them?

Because they have gone out of their way to be rude about them. They have their own, rather eccentric, translation of the Bible and rubbish everyone else’s beliefs as “mere human speculations or religious creeds”. They have routinely described the Roman Catholic Church as a “semiclad harlot reeling drunkenly into fire and brimstone”. Then there are “the so-called Protestants” and the “Yiddish” clergy “like foolish simpletons” participating in “the world empire of false religion”. I could go on. They do. They are not exactly big on inter-faith.

What’s the situation with child abuse?

Not good. They take Deuteronomy 19:15 literally, which demands two witnesses to a crime (not easy in cases of abuse). And they cite 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 – “Does anyone of you that has a case against the other dare to go to court before unrighteous men, and not before the holy ones?” – to justify trying to deal with criminals with courts of elders rather than courts of law. A Panorama investigation reported they have an internal list of 23,720 reported abusers which they keep private. Studies in the US suggest they have proportionally four times more sexual assaults on children than the Catholic Church.

But didn’t they change their policy a few years back?

No. In 2000 the church council announced that it would no longer expel members who had willingly had a blood transfusion. But only because by doing so they had excommunicated themselves. Many JWs still carry a signed and witnessed advance directive card absolutely refusing blood in the event of an accident. And the church’s website still carries alarmist material about the dangers of transfusions in transmitting Aids, Lyme Disease and other conditions. It also exaggerates the effectiveness of alternative non-blood medical therapies.

To verdener / Worlds Apart

In Denmark, a trailer is available for To verdener / Worlds Apart, an upcoming movie based on the life of a young Jehovah’s Witness woman. The situation of a Jehovah’s Witness that falls in love with a non-JW is a very, very common one. Even with the language barrier, you can see the makings of tragedy unfold. My stomach roiled as I watched it.

Watch the Preview

New Resources

Divorce, Blood Transfusions, and other Legal Issues Affecting Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses – The purpose of this website is to bring together in one website summaries of as many custody and other miscellaneous legal disputes involving children of Jehovah’s Witnesses as can be located in published news reports and court decisions. Currently, there are approximately 485 case summaries posted. Approximately 365 summaries are posted in the blood transfusions section; approximately 100 more lengthy summaries are posted in the divorces section; and approximately 20 other summaries are posted in other sections. An additional 50 historical case summaries are linked from the JW History page.

Employment Issues Unique to Jehovah’s Witnesses – A collection of lawsuits in which Jehovah’s Witness employees have sued their employer, as well as related employer issues. The website summarizes, discusses, or identifies approximately 380 Jehovah’s Witnesses cases and incidents, including civil court cases, criminal court cases, threatened lawsuits, complaints filed with various government agencies, media reports, other miscellaneous information about employment-related controversies.

Former Jehovah’s Witnesses – Take care, please

Former Jehovah’s Witnesses – Take care, please

I am becoming a bit concerned about the safety of former Jehovah’s Witnesses.

When I received this latest email, I asked permission to post it.

Reports of various annoyance activities toward vocal former Jehovah’s Witnesses seems to be increasing. I will try to do a post very soon about how things are heating up in the public sphere for JWs.

Already Ex-JWs are demonized – at any sign of escalation, please never hesitate to contact the police.

Barb and I are back in our house though remodeling construction work continues to kick up some dust.

Today 11-11-07 I filed report number 2007-024301 with the Overland Park, Kansas, Department of Public Safety (police), the attending officer being Officer “Carrillo” with badge number 673, after having received a criminal telephone call from a person at 2:52 AM (i.e. in the morning), our phone recording that the call had come from 613 212-1419 in Ontario, Canada. (I’m guessing the number is a deadend or somehow they re-routed it)

The person sought for approximately fifteen minutes to talk me into “returning to Jehovah” and he offered me a $10,000 bribe to do so, the person’s motive for this speculatively being because of my anti-child molestor efforts in backing Silentlambs, my having an online fellowshipping website where 1,207 persons have signed in with two years which is viewed as possible down-the-road competition by the Watchtower Society, and implicitly my “needing to shut up or be shut up.”

A friend had just the day before spoken with me of ritualistic abuses other than those I too have experienced which, if they were to become widely known, would be of tremendous embarrassment to pedophile leaders embedded in the Watchtower Society. The caller did also use obscene language vile enough that, although put into writing by myself as asked for by the police, is really too repulsive for me to repeat to you here.

Officer Carrillo said that there would be other officers assigned to look into the matter. As those of you who have been on the ExJWs&FriendsNet for a long time already know, I have had to file past reports; for example, previously my wife and a neighbor friend were on the phone when two men broke in calling them vile names and the like, whom my wife and the neighbor believe may have been and be part of the general harassment campaign we have been regularly subjected to.

I told the officer that also a while back I did not report it (not wanting to have the police running out to us so often as to annoy them) but there was a young adult Afro-American male dressed in a loud necktie and blue suit shirt whom I spotted from my upstairs den window after he had knocked on our door (this time for a change in broad daylight) then scurried away. I believe that back when a JW I had seen him at one or more Bible conventions in Kansas City.

Such knocking then leaving while we are upstairs and can’t easily get to the front door in time has occurred many times before as well as for example pebbles or rocks being hurled up against our upstairs bedroom and den walls, some kind of electronic device being used to raise our garage door, what the police have described as a “professional” crow-bar effort being perpetrated to try to break inside our front room door (found out it had happened after a night when I had especially complained about the Watchtower Society’s sending pedophiles among those JWs unknowing or unbelieving of the pedophiles among them preaching at doors or the like), assorted monkeying around with and even inside our car.

These things are documented by me for the police and also here to you guys in email so that in the event that serious harm or death ever occurs to myself, my wife or other loved ones, then there is a record.

This email is not a direct accusation against the Watchtower Society for I cannot prove such, but it is a statement of factual observation that the events as stated in the police reports have occurred including that the person today offered a bribe to get me to re-enter the Watchtower Society organization, in other words to shut up and get back on their side.

I told him No then said they need to reform and end their sheltering of pedophiles as I said I supposed he himself probably is (his vile words caused me to believe this too) and although awakened and thus tired I also calmly if exhaustedly “witnessed” to him pertaining to three doctrinal lies the Watchtower misteaches JWs and the Public.

I pointed out that Luke 10:7 don’t be transferring house-to-house but rather Christians can go from a house with interested persons to a house in a different town where similar interest exists; that the Christmas tree began with the Tree of Paradise in church plays about the Garden of Eden in the Middle Ages rather than originating from Druid tree worship; and the Watchtower Society teaches many now living will never die, the many being JWs loyal to the Watchtower Society’s governing body members increasingly and wrongly held to be over even the Annointed, and that this idea of “many now living will never die” flies directly in the face of the apostle Paul’s having said all humans sin and therefore all humans die.

When my wife handed the phone to me early this morning I got to speak with only the one person who to me appeared to be faking an Oriental accent. She said she herself had also been spoken to by a second person.

Anyway, after I pointed out the contradiction between what Pauls said about all having to die as opposed to the Watchtower misteaching that many will never die, he ceased to say anything more (I believe I hit the target with that point), it was clear that although I was speaking into the mouth piece what I said was somehow not going through (it was like speaking into and having your words muffled by a wall), yet I could tell there was some manner of continuing electronic connection (possibly what I believe detectives call a hook-switch by-pass), and I said this into the mouth piece whereupon there were 2-3 small clicking sounds then a sudden abrupt full and fairly loud termination of the electronic connection.

I was in then out of the Watchtower Society twice so am what they see as a “two-timer” and whom they would like to get back and seek to “mold” (brainwash) etc to neutralize me. I am also a very good, powerful writer (so I’ve been told) who is able to hit them in various different languages beyond English alone. My helping Silentlambs including by a reminder in the last email that it’s good for us to remember to donate to it so that it can keep helping the kids is also a pain in the rumps of pedophiles.

As stated previously I believe the perpetrators of such harassment are most probably pedophiles, some of whom are, as seen this time, given to “return to Jehovah” type statements and the like, enhancing the likelihood most are active JWs; although I also hold belief that pedophiles such as among JW do also collaborate across and regardless of religious belief differences, for example, as when my wife has told me that Mormons (possibly themselves pedophiles or acting on the behest of a pedophile Mormon elder) have appeared at our door and simply stood standing and facing it about twenty minutes before suddenly quietly leaving.

That two older elders of Jehovah’s Witnesses sought to set up fellow exJW Danny Haszard in Maine (who has posted signs they saw clearly, and who has delivered hours of videotapes to the police showing previous harassment) as they did therefore does not seem the least implausible to me, and I know of at least one other person in the Net reading this email right this second no doubt (also on the East Coast) who has had similar harassment experiences. If any of you also have such to happen or if you know of another exJW (especially those in and out of the organization twice as I think those including myself get especially worked over) then please let me know.

The Watchtower Society not only has had to pay out to settle with 16 victims of sexual harassment (Silentlambs) earlier this year but at a guess there will be more such lawsuits. In fact I told the harasser this morning after he made his $10,000 bribe that I found it interesting how they lost millions of dollars (one guess is up to $1.5 million for each of the 16 earlier this year) and given how they refuse to reform and keep enabling the harming of children, I have no doubt they will be paying out more.

If any of you know victims please urge them to come forth and sue the perpetrators of such sexual or other crimes (phone harassment etc) against them. Let’s also keep each other informed, speaking up, spotlighting the darkness so that it keeps fleeing into the shadows, and trying to document matters so that if law enforcement may do more in the years ahead, then there will be a strong paper trail lending credibility strong enough to be used as evidence when the creeps are brought to justice.

I showed Officer Carrillo the silentlambs.org website’s photos of JW elders convicted of sex crimes including one just sentenced to several years in Ontario, told him about the 16 settlements etc. He found it interesting and, as said, he says other investigators will pursue this farther – I believe the telephone record of time and location being tangible enough evidence in view of the other things such that it is now seen that the matter is serious for our household even as Danny has concerns about his family in his house in Maine.

The metro areas are where organized crime of diverse types are focused, and this is, I believe, also extremely true for sex crimes perpetrated by pedophiles seeking to hide behind the cloak of religion. Three of the largest U.S. cities are Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. When I think of L.A. I remember what Pat Garza when alive said was done to her there. Chicago reminds me of Laree Slack’s fate. New York also has its skeletons including at Brooklyn where the Watchtower Society is headquartered. Of course Kansas City, St. Louis and other places have them too at least to some extent.

As also said before two of my three dear adult daughters are still in the cult; besides which there are many others in the ranks there who are kind, decent people despite the cult’s misleadership and who do not know what all has been done by Ted Jaracz and others on the Watchtower Society’s Governing Body. In a courtroom they would instantly deny that the Watchtower Society shelters pedophiles etc, that it became an NGO of the UN while having local JW elders keep preaching against the UN; and most are misled into thinking they must die or let their own kids die rather than ever take an emergency transfusion of whole blood to live, not knowing 1 Sa 14:32-34 says Saul’s men ate unbled meat and were forgiven as it was to stay alive. Unfortunately we can be loving and loveable people and yet also wrong and misled by those who are devious.

Well, enough, I’ve written a letter almost enough for a booklet. Thanks for being friends. I told one of you earlier today in an email I would try to not directly ask for donations for Silentlambs (he views it as tacky, counterproductive or whatever) but in that case then he should know that I will give the Silentlambs link more regularly in emails, and so here it is for those who like the reminder of helping the abused kids: http://www.silentlambs.org

Best wishes,

Joe

J. Mason Emerson

The above is posted in its entirety, with permission, from an email dated Sun, November 11, 2007 2:56 pm. Other readers may also print it, but only in its entirety and as is.

I will look at them and repeat here and now in this email to you (please retain a copy) for the record in case the Watchtower Society’s attorneys ever try to claim differently that as said in my email their Watchtower organization per se is not accused of harassment but PEDOPHILES who spoke of wanting me to “return to Jehovah” have done so and the criminal record and convictions among organization’s elders from Bethel headquarters (e.g. Jesus Cano) down speak for themselves loud and clear. Thanks for posting the email and you are encouraged to post this one too.

Which I did.

Hang in there Joe, Barb, Danny – and everyone else, please be a little extra careful.

SNAP and Silent Lambs Evansville, IN

SNAP and Silent Lambs Evansville, IN

Othmar Schroeder, the founding pastor of Holy Family Parish in Jasper, Ind., is accused of abusing several people. More than 10 victims have alleged sexual abuse by the late Monsignor Othmar Schroeder and reports are continuing to come in, the Catholic Diocese of Evansville’s bishop said Thursday.

Silentlambs will be leafleting along with SNAP (Survivors Network for Those Abused By Priests) in Evansville, IN on Sunday September 2, 2007 at the Catholic Church.

The program will start at 11:15am on the steps of the Church. If you would like to attend please contact silentlambs.org at info@silentlambs.org or call 270-527-5350 for more information.

Videos about Jehovah’s Witnesses

Videos about Jehovah’s Witnesses

On the practices and policies of the Watchtower Society

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt47lPS_QEw[/youtube]

Some background on early JW days – most contemporary JWs are unaware of their own history

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-40YmWfg9sQ[/youtube]

One testimony of what it was like to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H-Y1mSf0xk[/youtube]

On the Street with a Jehovah’s Witness – Gloats Gripes (and Damage Done)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-llW8QUM7g[/youtube]

Jehovah’s Witnesses Should Not Look at this One

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biuJ74qu_pc[/youtube]

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