Articoli con tag testimone di Geova
I Testimoni di Geova hanno fallito nella politica di protezione degli abusi sull’infanzia? Vittime accusano la congregazione di aver insabbiato il loro caso e protetto stupratori e pedofili. La documentazione presentata all’Alta Corte. Per i legali, lo scandalo potrebbe rappresentare la punta di un iceberg
Due delle vittime della perversa aggressione sessuale di Mark Sewell hanno denunciato la Chiesa dei Testimoni di Geova in una causa che potrebbe essere punto di riferimento per colpire le politiche di protezione dell’infanzia di questa religione.
Gli avvocati delle donne presenteranno gli atti di denuncia all’Alta Corte, sostenendo che la chiesa venne meno al suo dovere di proteggerle dall’anziano di congregazione.
Il caso potrebbe aprire le porte per decine di donne del Regno Unito per intraprendere le via legali contro la chiesa.
Il Testimone di Geova anziano Mark Sewell è stato condannato e imprigionato nel luglio scorso a 14 anni d carcere per aver violentato un compagno di fede e abusato di due studentesse più di 20 anni fa. Aveva anche molestato un impiegato.
Le vittime sostengono che gli anziani della chiesa sapessero degli attacchi di Sewell, ma non fecero nulla. Tre delle vittime del predatore hanno rinunciato all’anonimato per raccontare del suo orrendo regno del terrore sessuale, tra cui Karen Morgan e Wendy che hanno intrapreso un’azione legale contro la chiesa.
Di seguito il racconto.
Jehovah’s Witnesses sex abuse scandal: Church accused of cover-up to protect rapists and paedophiles
Elders accused of ‘brainwashing’ victims or threatening to have them shunned by their families and friends if they report abuse to the police
Rapist: Jehovah’s Witness elder Markl Sewell has left a trail of victims
Widespread child sex abuse and rape by church members has been covered up by Jehovah’s Witnesses, it is claimed.
Elders have been accused of brainwashing abused women and girls into not going to the police so the church can maintain its squeaky-clean image, reveals the Sunday People.
The Christian religion, known for its door-to-door preachers, is said not to have taken enough action against suspected paedophiles in its ranks.
But now two women who were sexually abused are filing papers with the High Court saying the church failed in its duty of protection.
Their lawyer has warned this could be the tip of the iceberg – likening it to the sex scandals which have rocked the Catholic church.
It is claimed there are at least 15 other alleged victims in the UK.
Insiders say talking about their trauma is considered gossip, which is a sin in the eyes of the religion.
Karen Morgan, 38, was just a teenager when she was sexually assaulted by Mark Sewell, 53 – at the time a Jehovah’s Witness elder – who preyed on young women in the congregation in Barry, South Glamorgan.
In July he was found guilty of eight sex offences over eight years, including a rape that left his adult victim pregnant and the sex abuse of a 12-year-old girl. He was jailed for 14 years.
When victims reported him to the church, a committee cleared him of all allegations – and destroyed
But Sewell rejected claims his seniority meant allegations of child abuse had been “swept under the carpet”.
Karen told the Sunday People: “Being abused is traumatic enough but being betrayed by the church – the very people you trust in life – is even worse. I felt isolated and alone.
“I grew up believing the church was powerful but it didn’t help me.
“My entire world and every thing I had felt about being a Jehovah’s Witness was blown apart. The only way I can describe it is utter devastation.”
One reason elders are said to take no effective action against suspected paedophiles is the church’s “two witness” rule.
Guidelines state elders are not authorised by the Scriptures to take action unless “there is a confession or there are two credible witnesses”. In many cases this would mean a second victim must come forward before anything is done.
An official letter from the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses addressed to All Bodies of Elders in 2012 also states suspected molesters may remain part of the church if they are repentant.
The letter, sent to British elders from head office in New York, also decrees not every child abuser is a predator.
It says: “A predator is one who clearly lacks self-control and by his actions provides reason to believe he will continue to prey on children.
“Not every individual who has sexually abused a child in the past is considered a predator.”
Ex Jehovah’s Witness Merice Marshall, from East Yorkshire, who works with those abused in the church, says she knows of at least 15 women who claim they were sexually attacked as children within the denomination’s 1,382 UK “kingdom halls” but are reluctant to report their experiences to police.
She said there are at least two more cases due to go to court.
She said: “Every week women tell me how they suffer flashbacks and nightmares. Many have dark thoughts of suicide because they’ve never dealt with it.”
She said saving the church from reproach is drilled into everyone from childhood: “When it comes to reporting a fellow witness to police, you are made to feel you are bringing scandal on the congregation. It doesn’t matter that the paedophile has brought shame.
“If the elders consider you have brought shame to Jehovah’s door you can be barred from the church and everyone you have ever known, including family and friends, will shun you.
“They will cross the road to avoid you. Your life as you knew it falls apart.”
For Merice and others helping victims, one of the most troubling aspects is the “two witness” rule.
She said: “By the very nature of abuse, what are the chances of having two witnesses? It means a second young girl or boy possibly has to suffer before the elders even agree to question them.
“Women have told me their attackers were confronted by elders, denied everything then went back into the congregation as if nothing had happened.
“The worst thing is that none of the families within the church find out about the accusations for gossiping is considered an offence which can lead to being disfellowshipped.”
Former Jehovah Witness Cora Latham, who runs the UK Advocates for the Awareness of Watchtower Abuses in Cheltenham, Gloucs, said: “We talk to victims all the time and many have been brainwashed into preserving the image of the church or are frightened to go to the police for fear of being shunned by their families.
“Many have been born into the church so the implications of having to leave after reporting crimes is extremely frightening.”
She said a Kent woman, now in her 20s, was abused between the ages of 14 and 16 by a senior church figure. But when she told elders, they said she had not suffered abuse and made it feel consensual.
She added: “The church makes the women feel guilty by suggesting they might have worn inappropriate clothing or allowed someone to hold their hand without telling them off.”
She said the woman, who left the church as a teenager, felt dirty after the elders’ meeting and is struggling to go to the police as she has been made to feel the assault is partly her fault.
Cora claimed another victim in her 30s, from Yorkshire, left the church in her mid-teens after being abused aged eight, but still worries that her parents will shun her if she ever goes to the police.
And Cora said a third victim only recently reported her case after being abused for years by a family member.
She said: “Her family say she has shamed Jehovah’s name so don’t speak to her and they are supporting the person who abused her instead. She is devastated.”
The church was the subject of investigations in 2002 after an American ex-member, Bill Bowen, blew the lid on its child protection policies. In the past four years, there have been 21 UK sex attack convictions involving Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Lawyer Kathleen Hallisey, representing Karen and Wendy, said: “I think these cases are very similar to the Catholic church scandal in terms of the secrecy.”
In six of the cases, elders were accused in court of doing nothing, allowing abusers back into the church or allowing criminals to quiz their own victims.
The Jehovah’s Witness Church London headquarters said: “We don’t approve of, or condone or cover up child abuse.
“It’s a breach of our religious principles, a breach of human rights. It’s horrible and any victim or parent or somebody who is aware of what is going on has every right to report crime to the authorities and we are supportive of them if they do.
“There is no such pressure (not to report). End of story. You can look at our literature and, if you’ve been on our website, you will see how much literature we have put out and over how many years, we make it clear that crime is a matter for the secular authorities.”
He admitted the church adhered to a two-witness policy and that suspected molesters were welcomed back into the congregation if they were repentant.
Sewell’s victims to sue church
TWO of perverted Mark Sewell’s sex attack victims are suing the Jehovah’s Witness Church in a landmark case which could blow the religion’s child protection policies apart.
Lawyers for the women will lodge High Court papers claiming the church failed in its duty to protect them from the elder.
The case could open the floodgates for dozens of UK women to take action against the church.
Jehovah’s Witness elder Sewell was jailed for 14 years in July for raping a fellow worshipper and abusing two schoolgirls more than 20 years ago. He also molested an employee.
Victims claim elders at the church knew of Sewell’s attacks but did nothing. Three of Sewell’s victims have waived their anonymity to tell of his horrendous sexual reign of terror, including Karen Morgan and Wendy who are taking legal action against the church.
Lawyer Kathleen Hallisey, representing Karen and Wendy, said: “I think these cases are interestingly very similar to the Catholic Church scandal in a lot of ways in terms of the secrecy, the keeping things in house. It demonstrates a lack of judgment certainly in the cases I am dealing with.”
Brazen Sewell raped Wendy, then 29, on the sofa of his home. She said: “His heavy bulk was almost suffocating. I could hear him grunting. In seconds it was all over.” She became pregnant but miscarried within weeks after the attack in April 1990. When Wendy, now 54, told her husband Paul they confronted Sewell.
He made a snivelling apology which they accepted. She said: “Looking back it’s weird as we later went on holiday with Mark and his wife Mary, but the church expected you to forgive people.”
Sewell, 53, convinced the couple the attack was a one-off – until his 16-year-old niece Karen Morgan babysat for Wendy’s kids and revealed she had been abused by him since the age of 12. It was then that Wendy complained to elders at the kingdom hall in Barry, South Glamorgan, in 1991.
The two women, who both live in Barry, were then forced to face their attacker at church judicial committees, chaired by elders. Wendy said: “My husband and I sat in a room with Mark and his wife as the elders heard both sides of the story.
“They asked me all sorts of very personal questions, including how far apart he pushed my legs, then put the allegations to Mark. It was excruciating. I was never told to go to the police and the Church didn’t either.”
Mum-of-two Karen, 38, said: “I had to sit in front of a man who had touched me and give all the sordid details to three ageing male elders while Mark branded me a liar. I later went to the police but Mark said ‘no comment’ through the interview and it was his word against mine.”
Sewell was disfellow-shipped from the church, not on the grounds of abuse, but for his attitude during judicial committees and admitting being drunk when he raped Wendy.
He moved to the nearby Llantwit kingdom hall where he was shunned for three years before being reinstated in the congregation.
It was there in 1996, he assaulted book keeper Tina Guy, one of his employees at the janitor supply company he co-owned. Tina, now 44, complained to elders after winning an out-of-court industrial tribunal settlement against Sewell after he propositioned her for sex in his Jaguar and rubbed himself against her at work.
Sewell’s trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard how the church failed to help police with their enquiries.
NOTA: Leggi anche articolo pubblicato su Wales online “Mark Sewell: Two victims of perverted Jehovah’s Witness sex attacker to sue church“, qui:
NOTA 2: Vedi precedenti notizie sulla vicenda, qui:
“Sono un Testimone di Geova ma prima sono un padre” Se necessario, per salvare il suo bambino, il padre del piccolo Ashya King affetto da tumore cerebrale maligno, accetterà eventuale trasfusione di sangue
Ashya King’s father says he’ll go against religion and allow son to have blood transfusion
Despite Ashya’s parents being devout Jevovah’s witnesses, 51-year-old father Brett King says that when it comes to a straight choice, his son comes before his religion
Ashya King’s dad has vowed to let the five-year-old brain cancer victim have a blood transfusion if needed – despite it being against his religion.
Brett and wife Naghmeh are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses who have brought up their seven children in the faith, which says it is a sin to accept a blood transfusion.
But Brett, 51, is determined to see desperately ill Ashya get better and is willing to do whatever it takes – even if it means defying his own strongly-held beliefs.
He said: “I’m a Jehovah’s Witness, but I’m a father first – and I’d do anything for my son.
“If a child needs treatment they should give them the treatment. It’s not for the parents to say. We just want the best for Ashya.”
The family was in the Czech Republic yesterday where Ashya was preparing for the first of 30 sessions of £70,000 radical proton beam therapy, starting in the capital Prague tomorrow morning.
After Ashya was diagnosed with a brain tumour on July 22, Brett was determined to get him treated with the pioneering therapy he had read about on the internet.
He feared the radiation treatment he was to be given in the UK would be too strong for a five-year-old.
But doctors here refused to allow the proton beam treatment, dismissing it as “unproven”. So 17 days ago Brett and wife Naghmeh, 45, smuggled Ashya out of Southampton General Hospital and fled with him to Spain.
They were arrested there after British cops issued an international arrest warrant, and spent three nights in jail. But now they feel all their sacrifices were worth it.
Brett said: “What Ashya has now is proper treatment. Everything is explained nicely so we feel comfortable, we feel taken care of.”
ARCHIVI 2001: Tragedia, testimone di Geova si suicida al raduno all’ Olimpico ma per lui nemmeno una parola
12 agosto 2001
Testimone di Geova suicida all’ Olimpico
Uno spagnolo si e’ lanciato dagli spalti sotto gli occhi di 77 mila persone, ma per lui neanche una parola
Testimone di Geova suicida all’ Olimpico
Si e’ lanciato dagli spalti dell’ Olimpico sotto gli occhi di 77 mila “fratelli”, ignari per lo più del dramma che si e’ consumato in pochi istanti alle loro spalle. Heloy Barrero Perez, spagnolo di Valencia, 27 anni, ha scelto Roma e il congresso internazionale dei Testimoni di Geova per mettere fine a una vita difficile, segnata da crisi depressive e schizofrenia. Inutile l’ apparato di sicurezza schierato dalle sette del mattino, inutile il tentativo di un usciere di aggrapparsi alle gambe del ragazzo per salvarlo. Erano le 9.30, sugli spalti i delegati di 18 paesi diversi (dalla Croazia al Libano, dagli Stati Uniti al Giappone) stavano prendendo posto per la seconda giornata del congresso “Insegnanti della Parola di Dio”, che si concludera’ oggi. Heloy era con la sua delegazione, 2.715 Testimoni arrivati da un po’ tutta la Spagna giovedi’ sera. Sembrava tranquillo, pronto a sedersi con i “fratelli” in curva Nord, nel settore riservato agli spagnoli e ai portoghesi. Invece all’ improvviso si e’ lanciato verso la rete in cima alla gradinata, l’ ha scalata e si e’ lanciato nel vuoto. “Un usciere – racconta Oscar Martinez, di Madrid, capo della delegazione – ha visto Heloy aggrapparsi alla recinzione, lo ha rincorso, ha tentato di afferrarlo. Purtroppo e’ arrivato troppo tardi”. Venti, venticinque metri il volo del iovane “fratello”. Il corpo di Heloy e’ rimbalzato sul tendone blu del “Lunch box distribution” all’ altezza del cancello 49, quindi si e’ schiantato sull’ asfalto. “Si e’ sentito un gran botto”, e’ il primo ricordo di uno degli addetti, poi e’ stato il momento degli strilli e dei pianti fra i Testimoni che man mano accorrevano. Fra loro c’ erano anche alcuni medici, ma non hanno potuto far nulla per salvare il ragazzo. Heloy era morto all’ istante, anche se il decesso e’ stato constatato poco dopo al San Giacomo. “Era malato da diversi anni – spiega Martinez – e seguiva una cura farmacologica per la schizofrenia. Ieri (venerdi’ per i lettori, ndr) aveva seguito i lavori per tutto il giorno, pero’ era chiaro che non stava bene. Se ne stava in disparte, non parlava con nessuno”. Uno stato d’ animo in stridente contrasto con l’ atmosfera di festa del congresso, con gli inni e le foto di gruppo. Il suicidio di Heloy e’ passato quasi inosservato anche tra i connazionali, fra i quali gli agenti del commissariato Prati hanno individuato soltanto tre testimoni, compreso l’ usciere che ha tentato di salvare il giovane. La mattinata e’ trascorsa secondo il calendario previsto ed e’ culminata alle 12 con il battesimo di 626 Testimoni: otto anni il piu’ piccolo, 86 il “decano”. Nemmeno una parola, ai microfoni, sul volo suicida del “fratello” spagnolo.
di Gianvito Lavinia
Fonte: Corriere della Sera (Archivio storico)
Regno Unito. Testimone di Geova condannato a tredici anni di carcere per crimini sessuali commessi su un minore
Church leader jailed for child abuse
A JEHOVAH’S Witness whose sex crimes against a child were hushed up by the church has been jailed for 13 years.
Gordon Leighton admitted sexually abusing a child when he was confronted with allegations before church elders at Lambton Kingdom Hall in Washington.
The elders knew about the 53-year-old’s admissions for three years but refused to co-operate with the criminal investigation, saying that what they had heard was confidential.
Sentencing him at Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Penny Moreland said Leighton had subjected his victim to “untold damage”.
The judge said: “You manipulated her with a combination of affection and attention and violence and threats.”
Leighton, who hit the headlines in the 1990s when his wife Yvonne, 28, died after refusing a blood transfusion after childbirth on religious grounds, was found guilty of two charges of indecency with a child and six of indecent assault.
Prosecutor Katherine Dunn told the court it was in 2009 the victim, who is now an adult, broke her silence about what Leighton had done to her.
The court heard at a special meeting, aimed at “keeping the congregation clean”, Leighton “admitted sexual abuse” and made excuses for his vile behaviour.
Miss Dunn said: “The elders conducted their own investigation.
“A meeting was arranged and the defendant was confronted with the allegations.
“After initially denying the allegations, he broke down and admitted sexually abusing the complainant.”
The court heard Leighton, of Wigeon Close, Ayton, Washington, refused to answer any questions when interviewed by detectives and claimed his confession at the meeting was limited to a sex act on himself and reading pornographic material.
Throughout the six-day trial, Leighton, a Jehovah’s Witness ministerial servant, denied all allegations against him and denied he had confessed to the elders. Leighton, who has since been expelled from the church, had also denied unrelated assault charges of child cruelty, grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm, which he was found guilty of.
Throughout the criminal investigation, church elders Simon Preyser, Harry Logan and David Scott refused to make statements about Leighton’s confession, keeping their stance when the case was brought before Newcastle Crown Court. Their barrister said the men had a “duty to God” not to breach confidence after they were summons to court as they fought to overturn it.
Each was then issued a witness summons which they launched a court battle against, but they were ordered to testify by Judge Moreland after months of legal wrangling.
Their barrister Richard Daniels said the men had a “duty to God” not to breach confidence.
Leighton was also given a sexual offences prevention order and was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.
Fonte: Sunderland Echo
NOTA: Precedenti articoli sulla vicenda, sono visionabili qui
Testimone di Geova rifiuta le trasfusioni. E’ vittima di un incidente a Tertenia
E’ ricoverata all’ospedale di Lanusei per curare le ferite riportate in un incidente stradale. La donna è testimone di Geova e rifiuta la trasfusione di sangue.
Maria Porru, 76 anni, nata a Villamar ed emigrata a Soresina, è ricoverata all’ospedale di Lanusei. Ha subito un incidente e per poter ripristinare i valori di emoglobina ha necessità di fare delle trasfusioni. Ha però dichiarato di non volervi fare ricorso. “Non siamo dei kamikaze e neppure dei fanatici. Esistono delle terapie alternative”, dice il figlio della paziente…
NOTA: Leggi articolo completo, firmato da Mariella Careddu, sull’Unione Sarda in edicola.
Fonte: L’UNIONE SARDA
Testimone di Geova muore rifiutando le trasfusioni: «Un sacrificio»
Tratto da: Barinedita
Pubblichiamo integralmente la lettera aperta di Mario Cannella. Suo fratello, testimone di Geova, è deceduto qualche giorno fa a causa di una grave malattia, rifiutando più volte delle trasfusioni di sangue. Probabilmente per lui non ci sarebbe stato nulla da fare, sarebbe morto comunque, ma secondo Mario questo rifiuto l’ha condannato senza appello: suo fratello si è lasciato morire senza nemmeno provare a curarsi, senza tentare, perlomeno, di allungare la propria vita anche solo per qualche mese o qualche anno.
Ricordiamo che per i Testimoni di Geova “accettare il sangue per salvare la vita equivale a rinnegare la fede, incorrere nella disapprovazione divina e disprezzare il provvedimento per la salvezza eterna che Dio ha disposto, cioè il prezioso sangue di Cristo. È impensabile esprimere dubbi od incertezze sull’assoluta correttezza di questa posizione. Se qualcuno osasse farlo verrebbe ripreso, disciplinato e, se persistesse nelle sue posizioni, espulso”(dal sito infotdgeova.it).
Ecco la lettera di Mario:
“Domenica 23 giugno 2013 mio fratello Giacomo se n’è andato. Dieci anni fa gli avevano riscontrato l’epatite c e da allora si curava con l’interferone. Nell’aprile scorso però la sua situazione è peggiorata. E’ stato ricoverato in un ospedale a Melegnano, in provincia di Milano e dopo 15 giorni è stato trasferito al Policlinico del capoluogo lombardo. I medici dopo una settimana hanno detto subito che il fegato era da trapiantare e che avrebbe subito delle trasfusioni di sangue, cosa vietata però dai Testimoni di Geova di cui mio fratello faceva parte.
Lui era sempre seguito da un signore del comitato dei testimoni di Geova, non ricordo il nome. Mi sembrava un anziano che dava “consigli”. Era sempre circondato da tanti fratelli spirituali. Insomma questi fratelli hanno deciso di trasferirlo a Modena perché a loro dire lì facevano trapianti senza trasfusioni.
Ma lui nel frattempo si era indebolito ulteriormente e dopo due settimane di accertamenti il chirurgo decide che non si sentiva di operarlo, perché avevano diagnosticato anche problemi al pancreas. A quel punto lo rimandano a casa, dicendo che a Bologna ci sarebbe stato un noto chirurgo che avrebbe potuto eseguire questa operazione su pancreas e fegato. Ma arrivato a Bologna e passati altri dieci giorni, il chirurgo dichiara che essendo passato troppo tempo ora l’operazione sarebbe stata rischio.
Mio fratello, penso insieme con la moglie e il comitato, decide di non fare nulla. Tornato a casa cade in bagno e si procura un ematoma alla cassa toracica, perdendo ulteriore sangue interno. Mi riferisce che anche in questo caso avrebbe potuto fare delle trasfusioni che l’avrebbero fatto sentire meglio. Ma niente. Dopo qualche giorno si aggrava e i fratelli decidono di farlo spegnere in una clinica/ fondazione, dove muore il 23 giugno.
Il dubbio che mi porto dentro è che forse avrei potuto fare qualcosa in più per lui, magari convincendolo che era in pericolo, che avrebbe dovuto ascoltare i medici invece dei suoi fratelli spirituali del movimento dei testimoni di Geova.
La rinuncia a non ricevere trasfusioni di sangue mi sembra una pratica sacrificale che poteva forse andar bene un secolo fa, quando regnava ancora l’ignoranza. Mi chiedo: è giusto che per un’interpretazione di una frase inserita nella Bibbia delle persone si lascino morire? Ognuno ha diritto di seguire le proprie convinzioni, ma quando c’è di mezzo la vita di innocenti le cose cambiano. La responsabilità di tutto questo qualcuno ce l’ha: non certo i signori che si aggirano per le strade delle nostre città con i volantini in mano, ma menti più evolute che per scopi personali cercano di ingannare le menti più deboli e incoscienti.
La morte di mio fratello mi pare un sacrificio, un sacrificio come quelli che avvenivano nei secoli scorsi e avvengono ancora adesso in nome di un Dio come al solito fatto a propria immagine. Mi auguro in futuro che le cose cambino e le persone possano riprendere la vita nelle proprie mani invece che riporla in quelle, sbagliate, degli altri”.
L’uomo doveva essere sottoposto a un prelievo di sangue per controllare se aveva bevuto, ma ha spiegato che la sua religione glielo vietava
TRENTO. Quando ha visto l’ago della siringa, ha detto di no….
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