Feb 26, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 2/26/2020

Twelve Tribes, Legion of Christ, La Luz Del Mundo, Polygamy, Hasidic, Home  Schooling, Religious Freedom, YouTube, Jehovah's Witnesses

"The headquarters of the Sydney-based arm of the Twelve Tribes cult was raided [February 18th] by detectives as a part of Strike Force Nanegai.

A Current Affair can reveal that police have been investigating the cult known for its strict disciplining of children and lack of medical care since 2018.

Detectives from Springwood Police searched the cult's Peppercorn Creek Farm property in Picton for six hours earlier today, collecting documents and diary entries as evidence.

Numerous investigations into the Twelve Tribes have taken place overseas within the last decade, including a US investigation into allegations of the group forcing their young members to work on farms and factory assembly lines, and a German police investigation into the repeated physical punishment of children.

A Current Affair has heard numerous accounts of Australian children of the Twelve Tribes being beaten with rods from a very young age."
"The cardinal's response was not what Yolanda Martínez had expected — or could abide.

Her son had been sexually abused by a priest of the Legion of Christ, a disgraced religious order. And now she was calling Cardinal Valasio De Paolis -- the Vatican official appointed by the pope to lead the Legion and to clean it up -- to report the settlement the group was offering, and to express her outrage.

The terms: Martínez's family would receive 15,000 euros ($16,300) from the order. But in return, her son would have to recant the testimony he gave to Milan prosecutors that the priest had repeatedly assaulted him when he was a 12-year-old student at the order's youth seminary in northern Italy. He would have to lie.

The cardinal did not seem shocked. He did not share her indignation."
RNS:  La Luz del Mundo minister says abuse allegations are false

"A minister for La Luz Del Mundo, a Mexico-based Pentecostal movement that claims 5 million members, said new allegations of abuse against more than a dozen of its leaders are false and meant to disrespect their sacred celebration this week.
"We find these accusations to be absolutely untrue and ridiculous," said Jack Freeman, a spokesman and minister for La Luz Del Mundo. "There is no possible way that those could have taken place."
At a news conference Friday (Feb. 14), church leaders gathered at the Fairplex in Pomona to address the allegations made in a recently filed lawsuit against the church and its leaders. The media briefing took place as church members flocked to the fairgrounds for the third and final day of the Holy Supper, a sacred rite that church members say memorializes the death and salvation of Jesus Christ."  

Salt Lake Tribune: Lindsay Hansen Park: It helps no one to equate polygamy with slavery

"In the late 19th century, thousands of human hands were systematically amputated from enslaved Africans who failed to meet quotas for extracting rubber in the Congo. Nearly three decades after the United States abolished the practice of slavery, rubber was bought and sold to feed a growing demand in the international tire market created by Dunlop and the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

This is just one small glimpse into the brutal history of the transatlantic slave trade that robbed the personhood and freedom of millions. Millions more were tortured for centuries while black and brown bodies were systematically purchased, exploited, raped and brutalized in state-sanctioned violence. The consequences of this system still deeply impact our world today.

This is likely why comments by anti-polygamy activist Angela Kelly raised concerns at a caucus lunch this week as she advocated to vote against Senate Bill 102, which reduces bigamy among consenting adults to an infraction.

Kelly, a white woman and director of Sound Choices Coalition (a group that seeks to criminalize polygamy), used her invitation to speak with the Utah Legislature's House Minority Caucus to draw comparisons between Mormon polygamy and slavery. Taking her comparison a step further, she singled out Rep. Sandra Hollins, the only black legislator in Utah, by handing her a name tag that read "Slave" and verbally referenced Hollins' black skin.

The act drew public outrage for good reason. Not only are Kelly's words racist and aggressive, they are concerning coming from someone claiming to advocate for the marginalized.

Polygamy is not slavery. Polygamy is its own system with its own unique challenges and we needn't plunder the traumas of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to highlight those issues.There are plenty that stand on their own.

To effect change and disrupt power structures, we need a working knowledge of how those structures interact. Kelly's remarks reflect a privilege that lacks important historical distinctions. This context is critical to helping victims and survivors from these communities get the justice they deserve.

My work allows me unique and exclusive access to some of the most isolated fundamentalist polygamous groups in the American West. As a born-and-raised LDS monogamist, feminist activist and researcher on the history of polygamy, I have struggled to accept some of the nuances that challenged my preconceived notions about these communities.

Polygamy is hard. I still don't like it. It systematically discriminates based on gender. It commodifies women. I've seen true horrors as the result of this doctrine."
CBC News: Hasidic schools aim to strike a balance between faith and provincial curriculum, court hears

"Quebec's Hasidic community is trying to strike a balance between preserving its own religious faith and satisfying the educational requirements of the provincial government, the president of Quebec's Jewish Association for Homeschooling told a Montreal courtroom [February 17, 2020].

Abraham Ekstein was the final witness in the civil case brought before the Quebec Superior Court by Yohanan and Shifra Lowen, two former Hasidic Jews who say the province and their home community of Tash should have done more to provide them with a secular education.

"We strive to maintain our culture, to transmit our culture to our children, to survive as a people," said Ekstein, a Hasidic Jew and father of seven who lives in Montreal's Outremont borough.

"This whole case is so sad for us, in the sense that there are no winners."

The Lowens are seeking a declaratory judgment from Justice Martin Castonguay, to compel the province to do more to ensure children in Tash are taught subjects like math, English and French.

Castonguay will also need to consider whether new rules for home-schooling put in place by the previous Liberal government and strengthened under the Coalition Avenir Québec have helped achieve that goal."

" ... As president of the home-schooling association, however, Ekstein said he met multiple times with Tash leaders in recent years and that they are aware of the need to work with the province.

He acknowledged there had been resistance in Tash, which was founded in 1962, over fears the province was trying to "impose assimilation."

However, he said, "I'm convinced that we are going in the right direction and that children will succeed much better."

Children in Tash were the subject of an investigation by Quebec's youth protection agency beginning in 2014, the court heard last week.

The agency found that boys were taught "little to nothing" from the provincial curriculum, while the girls received a balance between a religious and a secular education — learning math, social sciences and English."

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