Feb 14, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 2/14/2020

Transcendental Meditation, Jehovah's Witnesses, Michael Sperou, Legal, Sexual Abuse

Wiki Leaks: Transcendental Meditation Governor Recertification Course Overview of Policies and Procedures, May 2005
" ... Page 10: "We are not going to take help from medical Drs. as medical professionals give poison. So don't engage any medical Drs. for anything - absolutely whatever it is - even if they are in our Movement family... Hold onto the fact that we are the supreme authorities on health - we know how to create perfect health - we are challenging all governments in world." The TMO's current efforts with Lynch (which can be seen in various TMO sites including http://doctorsontm.org/) relies heavily on selectively chosen research to imply that TM is accepted by and endorsed by the medical community. But underneath that promotional need, which includes name-dropping the names and logos of professional organizations and the US government's NIH, there is a clear contempt for medicine and the medical profession; they ultimately seek to substitute profound medical quackery for medicine (continuing the theme of TM programs being the panacea for all problems and making outrageous claims more generally associated with those of a religious cult)."

Teenager and her parents oppose blood transfusion for religious reasons

"A teenage girl who urgently requires surgery can, if necessary, be administered blood or blood products against the wishes of herself and her parents, all members of the Jehovah's Witness faith, the president of the High Court has ordered.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he was satisfied, notwithstanding the views of the girl and her parents, the orders are necessary for preserving the girl's life and not to permit them would be "hazardous".

The orders take immediate effect, he directed.

David Leahy BL, for the HSE, sought the orders in an ex parte application, one side only represented, on Friday afternoon.

A solicitor for the HSE told the court he had informed the girl and her parents of the court application and the parents had indicated they were not attending court to oppose it.

The solicitor said the parents were not objecting to surgery but, should a situation arise where the medical team wanted to administer blood or blood products, they could not agree to that and wanted the team to explore all other alternatives.

They had also said they wanted the best for their daughter and would not stand in the way of a court order."

"From clergy-penitent privilege to disfellowshipping, here are the findings of a five-year investigation into the child abuse policies of Jehovah's Witnesses.

For decades, the Jehovah's Witnesses have claimed a legal right to keep reports of child sexual abuse by members of their congregations secret from police.

Attorneys for the religion argue that when congregation leaders learn of child sexual abuse, those reports are considered confidential spiritual communications -- like a priest hearing a confession -- even when the report comes from the victim. 

The Montana Supreme Court agreed with the Witnesses' this month, overturning a $35 million court judgement and allowing the Witnesses to avoid accountability for their decades-long practice of keeping child sexual abuse allegations from police and prosecutors in certain states where the Witnesses have determined they have the legal right to withhold.  

In a 7-0 decision, the justices wrote that the Witnesses were exempt from Montana's mandated child abuse reporting laws "because their church doctrine, canon, or practice required that clergy keep reports of child abuse confidential."

According to the decision, Maximo Reyes was a Jehovah's Witness at the Thompson Falls congregation in Montana when he sexually abused three children, all members of his family by marriage. In 2004, after two of the victims reported the abuse to local elders, those leaders notified the legal department of Jehovah's Witnesses in New York. Attorneys there advised the elders -- a group of men who collectively run each local congregation -- that they were not required to notify secular authorities."

" ... Prosecutor Melissa Marrero described Sperou as a prolific child predator who acknowledged during the trial that he abused two of the women who have accused him. She said he lacks remorse and continues to treat his victims with "disdain," glaring at one during his trial.

"He was offending against multiple young children over the course of years and years and years," Marrero told the judge.

Sperou led what's now called the North Clackamas Bible Community. Former members describe the group as a cult that required them to live in a network of homes in Happy Valley and Portland, sometimes with entire families in a single bedroom and children living in closets. Former members said Sperou exercised absolute control over the food members ate, that he drank heavily and used drugs and took as much as 25 percent of their incomes as a church tax.

Prosecutors had sought the maximum sentence – 170 months -- for Sperou. Marrero said a lengthy prison sentence is the only way to protect children in his group from becoming victims."

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