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Sadistic Foster Mom a Devout Jehovah’s Witness

Sadistic Foster Mom a Devout Jehovah’s Witness

I had intended to do a summary of recent stories on Jehovah’s Witnesses in the news, but I can’t put this in as a story among others. It illustrates the extreme of a general tendency fostered by Jehovah’s Witnesses, however they may try to deny it.

Twice-divorced foster mom Eunice Spry, of Tewkesbury, Glos, has been found guilty at Bristol crown court of 26 charges of cruelty and assault. This Jehovah’s Witness has shown no sympathy for her victims, nor accepted any blame for torturing three children over a period of almost 20 years.

Spry, 62, routinely beat, abused and starved the two girls and a boy as punishments. The victims, now in their late teens and early 20s, said the devout Jehovah’s Witness forced sticks down their throats, made them eat their own vomit and rat excrement, drink washing-up liquid and bleach and locked them naked in a room without food for a month.

Spry claims that the children were possessed by the devil. Sandpapering their skin seemed like a good solution.

Child A, now 21, came into Spry’s care when she was five. She said: “We were regularly beaten. We were starved or made to eat blocks of lard, drowned in the bath and kicked down the stairs.

“Mum had an array of sticks and would beat us with them and kick us until we were bruised and collapsing with pain. If we screamed, she would push the sticks down our throats. The pain was unbearable. These things happened all through my childhood.”

Child B, a girl also now aged 21, said: “We had no friends. We were told not to speak to anyone.” Child C, a boy of 23, told Bristol crown court: “One summer, when I was seven or eight, we were starved for a month.

“We were kept locked in a room with no clothes on and had very little to eat.

“If we wanted to go to the toilet we had to do it in the corner. I remember being made to eat my own excrement off the floor.”

Spry, 62, who faces jail after she was yesterday convicted of child cruelty, wounding, assault and perverting justice, kept her savage regime secret by refusing to send the children to school. She taught them at home and rarely let them to leave the house.

The children were routinely punished for supposedly misbehaving by being made to swallow rat droppings, dog food, bleach, washing-up liquid and the antiseptic TCP.

Prosecutor Kerry Barker said that interviews with the victims resulted in a “horrifying catalogue of cruel and sadistic treatment,” but the case relied heavily on evidence from forensic scientists.

Police described Spry as intelligent and clever who had showed no emotion when she was questioned. Det Con Victoria Martell said: “Most mothers who’d been accused of such things would have shown something. She didn’t and it was quite chilling.”

Although a spokeman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses claimed that the faith does not tolerate physical abuse, her behavior was clearly fueled by JW beliefs. Fanatical Jehovah’s Witness Eunice believed the two girls and a boy were possessed by the Devil – she wanted to “purify” them. At a local Kingdom Hall, Spry made one of the children wear a sign on back which said: “This child is evil. Do not look at her or talk to her.” Did anyone intervene? Nah. This nasty woman was considered a pillar of her local community.

Yes, clearly this story is beyond the pale of any kind of acceptable behavior. Why does it matter that she was a “devout Jehovah’s Witness”? It matters because the authoritarian/perfectionist mindset of JWs contributes to the pathology of individuals like this. In such simplistically totalitarian groups (and JWs are not alone), there is simply more child abuse, more domestic abuse, more sexual abuse, and more violence.

Despite their “pacifist” beliefs about not fighting in wars (which really have to do more with their separation from the world and this “system of things” – like their refusal to vote), the internal dynamic of the followers of the Watchtower Bible and Tract corporations encourages behaviors of domination and control. In a very real psychological sense, they are controlled and thus abused, and often become abusers themselves. As any non-JW family member can tell you, kindness is not at the top of their list of priorities. This is especially so for men, although this case involves instead a woman. I hope to hear more about the background – I think the history here must be very convoluted.

I never saw an elder chastised for cruelty. I never saw a single JW interfere with physical, abusive “correction” of children (or women). The man is head of the household. This book excerpt describes a common situation that I observed in my own youth.

When I was twelve years old, my nineteen-year-old sister married a Jehovah’s Witness, and one year later she delivered a beautiful baby boy. Sadly, Jon would come to know at a tender age of one the frustration I experienced sitting on that anthill during those long sermons in the Kingdom Hall. When Jon started fidgeting, his father grabbed him by the arm and literally dragged him to the restroom to beat him. Jon’s beating became such a ritual that when his daddy reached for him during a meeting, he knew it meant a beating. He cried and pleaded “No, Daddy” as he buckled his legs, refusing to walk willingly to meet his fate. Everyone in the Kingdom Hall could hear his screams. The sound that echoed from the blow varied; sometimes Jon’s father used his hand, sometimes a belt. After ten or fifteen minutes, they would return with Jon hyperventilating, desperately trying to catch his breath. Beaten into composure, he would sit still for a while longer. Usually he stared motionless into space, his eyes bloodshot from crying. If fate smiled on him, Jon fell asleep in my arms for the duration of the meeting. If not, then back again to the restroom he would go for another beating and the cycle continued, until the closing prayer. One heart-wrenching day in particular is forever seared into my memory. My sister confided in my mother, father, and me that Jon, then two years old, had asked his father to hit him on his hands with the belt instead of his buttocks. When asked why he wanted to be punished that way, he replied, “Because my butt is too sore.” Within a year, my sister had another child and his fate, sadly, was no different than Jon’s. Meanwhile, my sister’s husband was rewarded for his devotion to the faith. He was made an Elder.’ – from Out of the Cocoon: A Young Woman’s Courageous Flight from the Grip of a Religious Cult by Brenda Lee.

Punishments are inflicted – even at the Kingdom Hall itself – to try to create the perfect submissive JW child who will never make a mistake of any kind. That kind of situation was the subtext of a poem I wrote about how I learned to re-imagine my role in order to navigate through difficult situations. My mind was always my realm of freedom. As a child, there are some things you can’t escape. I was hit with a belt, but not nearly as much as some others. Sticks are also common, since they seem to remind people of the “rod.”

While the actions of this horrible woman are not typical, they are on the same continuum. The protective paranoia of the group, which considers all “worldly” authorities to be ruled by Satan, discourages reporting to outsiders. They don’t trust psychologists, psychiatrists, or child development specialists. They don’t trust the police or the legal system or any part of government. They discourage reading outside their publications, and think that education is a waste of time and energy. People who are so controlled sometimes do odd and destructive things, like this. She would have been horrible without the JWs, but this gave her the ideology and rationalization, and the cover, to do it. She was also able to pull the kids out of school (for “home-schooling”) when concerns arose about their neglect, possible starvation, and the environment of “austere” parenting. Children, who may grow up thinking that abuse is “normal,” should be better protected.

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. – C.S. Lewis

Rant on the So-called Marriage Amendment

Rant on the So-called Marriage Amendment

Tell Congress you oppose the “marriage” amendment to our Constitution. I did….

How dare you try to amend our Constitution to discriminate against any American citizen? How dare you appeal to hate? How dare you use God for this!

This is so low, so hypocritical. You won’t dabate Iraq, but you WILL debate this?

Is this what you have left to say about “compassionate conservatism”? You’ve let pseudo-christian dominionists (otherwise known as supremacists) gain too much power in our process because you think hate will motivate enough votes that the rigged elections can be rationalized.

These people want to bring back stoning! In America! They are wayyy too concerned with how to control other people. It won’t stop with this – gays aren’t the only people they hate. They want to put women “back in the box” as well, and they are training the children just like little Hitler youth with their home-schooling programs. Some even speak of a return to slavery.

But that’s not even what it’s about, is it? Because in addition to payback to the terrorist christian right – remember these are the people who incited to murder, bombed clinics, etc – this is really about something else.

It’s about insurance. You want to nip that “alternative family insurance” movement in the bud. You know, at the behest of the people who wrote the laws for the prescription drug “benefit”? It wouldn’t look good to talk about poor grandma raising her grandchildren, or the single moms or dads doing the best the can. Noooooo….you have to find that bigotry that remains, and work it, baby, work it.

Meanwhile, the dollar seems (to me at least) ready to plummet, Iraq is a disaster, Iran is about to become a disaster, Halliburton and ExxonMobil walk off with our money, and you don’t think there are any monuments in New York so you’re cutting homeland security funds. People are dying, people are hurting. There are parts of America that are as poor as any third-world nation, but you’re in bed with crony corporatists (when you don’t have prostitutes or long-term buddies from college to sleep with and promote).

You want to lecture us about morality? You want to use our own constitution for power, for hate? You have profoundly misunderstood the nature of this country. This country belongs to WE THE PEOPLE.

You’ve handed power to the executive branch. You’ve destroyed our country. You’ve taken our future. Keep going, and you’ll be showing up for photo ops in your hoods or uniforms or whatever.

The Nazis had their scapegoats too.
Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you.

You fundamentalists have lost
the thing most fundamental.
Pharasees again, in code
have lost or burned the message.
You fanatics worship manmade creeds
that will undo us all
And YOU, you terrorists of all religions
your gods will make us fall.

Yes I confess this deep deep flaw,
this remnant of rigidity,
scar-tissue of self-righteousness,
torn open yet again.
Yet one must speak from where one stands
and this is what I know,
I have no room left in my heart
for love toward you to grow.

The evil that your “god” incites
in you and o’er the world,
stains for all time our histories,
we all pay for your sins.
I guard compassion jealously
held selfish in reserve
for the ones you hurt so deeply
and whose stories aren’t heard.

I name you and yours false prophets
because you do define the phrase,
you lead the would-be faithful
always far and further astray.
Placing demon masks
on the faces of our kin,
undoing all the fragile good
that lets us breathe again.

JW News – Former JW Protests at Memorial

JW News – Former JW Protests at Memorial

Man protests Jehovah’s Witness teachings
By Robert Mills, Lowell Sun, Lowell Massachusetts, April 13, 2006

WILMINGTON — Rick Fearon stood outside the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall just off Main Street last night knowing a daughter who will no longer speak to him would soon be inside.

That daughter, as well as several other family members, stopped speaking to Fearon a few years ago when he left the church and began speaking out about problems he sees in the Jehovah’s Witness religion.

A Jehovah’s Witness for more than 40 years, Fearon now wants to inform people of accusations that the church does not adequately react to reports of sexual abuse of children, and charges the church’s teachings on blood transfusions have needlessly killed Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.

“I attended this congregation and never realized the problems they had,” he said.

Fearon stood across the street from the Kingdom Hall with about a half-dozen others in the hopes they would make those new to the church look into it more deeply.

Those inside the Kingdom Hall were observing The Memorial of Christ’s Death, in which they celebrate the death of Jesus on the first full moon of the Vernal Equinox. Those new to the church or not yet part of it often attend the observance, Fearon said. Fearon cites national studies and news reports on a growing sexual-abuse crisis in the Jehovah’s Witness religion, which he says has not done nearly enough to keep pedophiles away from children.

He also says the churches previous ban on members getting blood transfusions, and other confusing teachings about accepting blood have led to what he said are thousands of unnecessary deaths.

He was joined by John Harris, of Norwood, who was one of hundreds of clergy-abuse victims who sued the Archdiocese of Boston. Harris, who said he was abused by Father Paul Shanley, said he settled with the archdiocese in December of 2003. He said he is fighting all religions and cults in which abuse is not adequately responded to, and that he is pushing for federal laws to make it easier to prosecute and prevent abuse.

A man who answered the telephone at the Kingdom Hall declined comment last night.

No Tax Money for GA Public School Bible Classes

No Tax Money for GA Public School Bible Classes

The Georgia State Senate has passed two pieces of legislation that pose a serious threat to the separation of church and state.

One would create state-funded Bible classes in Georgia public schools.
The second would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed by county governments.

Both bills are on Governor Sonny Perdue’s desk, and he is contemplating whether to sign them.

Take action now and demand that Governor Perdue defend the Constitution and Georgia’s citizens from these attacks on the separation of church and state.

If these were really christians, they would want to post something that better represented Jesus’ teaching. The focus on the ten commandments is symptomatic of their seeming inability to understand love, forgiveness and grace. Neither do they take into account hundreds of years of Jewish and Christian scholarship and debate on issues of interpretation, translation, or socio-historical context. Their “take” on christianity is a perversion of their own religion. Their absolutist views of human beings show little evidence of any of the spiritual virtues. Think I’m overstating? Try Googling “Christian Reconstruction” or “theonomy” – they want a theocracy here, complete with the total control of women, even stoning!

From the Forerunner – I’m not linking to this site – Google a phrase:

We are not looking for a “voice a the table” nor are we seeking “equal time” with the godless promoters of pornography, abortion, safe-sodomy subsidies, socialism, etc. We want them silenced and punished according to God’s Law-Word.

They use God as a tool. Jesus would think they were jerks. This is about votes! This is about scapegoating and turning us against one another so that we don’t notice that we’re all getting robbed. I mean literally robbed – of our traditions, our ideals, our treasury, our natural resources, our futures.

From Apologetics Index:

Epitomizing the Reconstructionist idea of Biblical ”warfare” is the centrality of capital punishment under Biblical Law. Doctrinal leaders (notably Rushdoony, North, and Bahnsen) call for the death penalty for a wide range of crimes in addition to such contemporary capital crimes as rape, kidnapping, and murder. Death is also the punishment for apostasy (abandonment of the faith), heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, ”sodomy or homosexuality,” incest, striking a parent, incorrigible juvenile delinquency, and, in the case of women, ”unchastity before marriage.”

I can’t believe this. Really. I’m shaking my head. So now they want to get ’em while they’re young – and use our own tax dollars to do it! Already they have uniforms. What next, a special salute?

The separation of church and state protects religious rights, the freedom of religious expression. There should be no state sponsorship of a specific religious tradition. Religious training of minors is the right and responsibility of families and their own religious tradition.

There is no proposal here to teach a wide range of religious texts or religious themes across the world’s traditions. The cuts to more fundamental educational areas serve only to highlight the political motivation of these bills.

Bible classes for minors are an unconstitutional use of funds. At the college level, courses related to religion, such as comparative religion and mythology, spiritual autobiography, Bible as literature, and the like are appropriate as elective courses at state universities. I have been trained in theology and ethics at a state university, and taken courses in religion at the undergraduate level at another. But courses and departments of religion have a different set of approaches than the ones we can expect to see from public school teachers. They started with home schooling, now this. Questions of belief will enter the classroom, and we will see a newly indocrinated “Christian Youth” if they get their way. Wake up, sheeple.

No – you can’t use our tax dollars to indoctrinate our children. No – you can’t fool us, we know what this is all about, and we’re not all as ignorant as you seem to think. Add these totalitarian “religious” power freaks to the neo-cons of empire and the puppets of corporate interests, and you see the unholy trinity that is killing this country and all it stands for! Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, take heed!

Stop the pseudo-religious right from pushing their dubious “theology” in our public schools and our public square.

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