Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Mia Farrow's Brother Sentenced for Child Sex Abuse

The brother of movie star Mia Farrow will spend the next 10 years in prison for sexually abusing two boys in Maryland.

John Charles Villiers-Farrow, 67, was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison, with 15 years suspended.
John Charles Villiers-Farrow,  Mia Farrow's creepy brother
Villiers-Farrow entered an Alford plea in July to two counts of child abuse in the molestation of two 10-year-old boys who were his neighbors in Anne Arundel County, Md., in 2002.

He had faced 39 counts. 39 counts dropped to 2? That's a plea bargain and a half. Authorities say he abused one victim for seven years, beginning when the boy was nine, and abused another boy from the ages of 8 to 13.

An Alford plea means the suspect does not admit guilt, but concedes there is enough evidence for a conviction. What a strange thing that is. Is he guilty or not? If he's not, why is he going to jail? Weird, very weird.

Villiers-Farrow was arrested in November following an investigation that began when two men came forward in August 2012. At the time, Anne Arundel County police had recently received information that several children were sexually abused in the Edgewater area.

According to court documents, the boys were abused in Villiers-Farrow's home, and a few times in a nearby camper. The victims told police that Villiers-Farrow would show them pornographic movies. The encounters escalated to touching and then to oral sex, the documents said.
Mia Farrow

Villiers-Farrow made headlines in 1992 when he commented on the controversy surrounding sister Mia's custody battle with Woody Allen, and Allen's relationship with Farrow's adopted daughter Soon-Yi. At the time, Villiers-Farrow told People magazine, Allen "is going to be indicted, and he's going to be ruined. I think when all of it comes out, he's going to go to jail." He didn't, unfortunately.

People magazine described John as "a sometime screenwriter and boat salesman outside Annapolis, Md." A Baltimore Sun article from 1998 described "John Farrow" as co-owner of Chesapeake Catamaran Center in Annapolis, though that business has since been sold.

Villiers-Farrow also had a brush with fame in 1968 when he accompanied Mia and their sister, Prudence, to visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India. The Beatles arrived in India to meet with Maharishi while the Farrows were there. Villiers-Farrow is just one of many nightmare stories associated with people who visited the Maharishi that year. Much, much more to come on that story at a later date.

He appeared as a teen in the Robert Stack movie "John Paul Jones," which was written by his father, screenwriter and director John Farrow. Villiers-Farrow's mother was actress Maureen O'Sullivan.

Mia Farrow, UNICEF
Goodwill Ambassador
The website IMDB says Villiers-Farrow also had an uncredited role in the 1954 Elizabeth Taylor movie, "The Last Time I Saw Paris." And a Brooklyn newspaper said Villiers-Farrow was scheduled to have a movie role at the young age of 5 months, playing a baby in his father's movie "Blaze of Noon" with Anne Baxter and William Holden.

Mia Farrow became famous for her roles in the TV show "Peyton Place" and in movies including "Rosemary's Baby," and Woody Allen movies including "Zelig," "Broadway Danny Rose" and "Hannah and Her Sisters."

More recently, she has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and as an activist for humanitarian aid and political change in Sudan.

Child Sex Assault, Incest Charges Laid Against Sherbrooke, Que. Man

A Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, man accused of child abuse has been arraigned on 8 additional charges including sexual assault and incest following his and his wife's July 21 arrest. 

On July 21st, the couple, a 34-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman were facing four charges each in relation to one of the children for forcible confinement, assault, assault causing bodily harm and failure to provide the necessaries of life.

Three young children were removed from the family's home in Sherbrooke and placed in foster care outside of the city. One, a five-year-old boy, was found badly malnourished. The other two children, girls aged four and six, were in better condition.

A fourth child, aged 14, did not live in the family home but was identified by police as being removed from the couple's care.

On Thursday, the man was arraigned on three charges of sexual contact with a minor, three charges of invitation of sexual touching with a minor, one charge of sexual assault and one charge of incest.

Six of the eight additional charges are for incidents that allegedly took place between 2005 and 2008. The other two charges are for offences allegedly committed between 2013 and 2014. 

So, obviously, 6 of the 8 charges were for acts allegedly committed on the now 14 year old while he/she was between 5 and 8 years old. The other two, most likely, were committed on at least one of the 3 younger children.

Under the province's Youth Protection Act, neither of the parents can be identified because it would identify the children.

Please pray for these children they have had a difficult life and will not have an easy time of it in the next little while.

Britain’s Crime of Complicity With the Savile Sex Abuse Scandal

Op-Ed By LAURIE PENNY   New York Times   July 30, 2014

LONDON — THERE is something almost reassuring about the enduring ability of the British establishment to place itself beyond parody. This month, as the government announced an inquiry into historical allegations of child sex abuse by leading political figures, Parliament pushed through a broad surveillance bill with the justification that tapping everybody’s cellphones would, among other things, help the state catch pedophiles.

The Westminster inquiry will investigate not just the rape and assault of children at group homes going back decades but also accusations that child abuse by politicians and other public figures was deliberately covered up or even facilitated by members of the elite.

The same Parliament has, it seems, spent 30 years failing to catch the pedophiles in its own house. Before the inquiry was even announced, it emerged that 114 files concerning allegations of abuse against children involving senior political figures had mysteriously disappeared.

The tradition of the British establishment’s looking after its own is only now understood to its full and chilling extent.

In Britain in 2014, it is no longer a shock to see the face of a once beloved celebrity or well-known politician on the news in connection with pedophilia. During the past two years, the press has been peppered with reports of allegations and prosecutions of all manner of public figures, from politicians and pop stars to television hosts and senior staff members at exclusive private schools.

The saga began in 2012 when it was revealed that Jimmy Savile, a former children’s television host and charity campaigner who died in 2011, had raped and sexually assaulted hundreds of children. This was a seismic event: A BBC staple, Mr. Savile was an entertainer with the household currency and cultural centrality of Johnny Carson or Oprah Winfrey.

Worse, it became clear that a large number of people in show business knew about this abuse and did nothing because of Mr. Savile’s power and prestige. The entertainer, who was a friend of Margaret Thatcher, used his status to gain access to vulnerable young people in schools and even hospitals.

Cyril Smith
Savile
The posthumous disgrace of Jimmy Savile was just the beginning. A series of other public figures have now been accused or convicted of sexual offenses involving children. Among them was a once respected Liberal member of Parliament who died in 2010, Cyril Smith, who abused boys in a children’s home in his constituency. Those boys grew up into traumatized men who told the police about the “fat man” they were forced to sexually service before they were 10 years old.

What links all these convicted or alleged predators of children is not background or upbringing. Mr. Smith started out as a clerk in a tax office, while Mr. Savile first worked as a miner. Paul Gadd, previously convicted but now facing fresh charges, found fame as the singer Gary Glitter, but was brought up by an unmarried mother who worked as a cleaner. Rolf Harris, recently jailed, was an Australian animator who became a successful performer in Britain. What united them was power and access — and a sense of entitlement, acquired from Britain’s traditional elite, that came from the knowledge that their reputations were too great for them to be held accountable.

During the 1970s and ’80s, the political establishment increasingly sought to bolster its legitimacy by cultivating the rising ranks of radio D.J.s, TV celebrities and popular entertainers, co-opting their appeal at photo opportunities and charity galas. All the while, the rumors about Mr. Savile, Mr. Harris and others were suppressed or dismissed, their libertinism privately excused as privileged eccentricity — as if fondling 9-year-olds were no different than a fondness for Napoleon brandy. The culture of secrecy remains in place, as does a climate of fear.
Savile hospital victim
In many cases, investigation by the authorities was deliberately deflected. Nowhere is this truer than at Britain’s top “public schools,” as the private secondary, usually boarding, schools are known. In these, a culture of bullying and sexualized violence has been understood for more than a century as part of the process of training young men to be leaders. Teachers at 130 of these schools have been implicated; several schools are under criminal investigation by the police.

“Nobody said anything about it, for the same reason that people were mercilessly bullied and that wasn’t dealt with,” one former St. Paul’s student told me, on the condition of anonymity. “Public schools are built on the idea that it’s good for you to be abused while you’re young, so that you toughen up for when you go out and run the empire. That’s the point.”

The author Edward St. Aubyn has written scathingly about how child rape and a culture of emotional sadism were tolerated, even enabled, within aristocratic families like his own. The journalist Alex Renton told me, “That’s how you get the elite we’ve ended up with,” in discussing his own experience of sexual abuse in what he calls the “platonic forcing house of great Englishmen.”

“Hurt people hurt people” is not supposed to be a political program. That victims of child abuse often grow up to replicate that abuse, to become bullies or tyrants or covert sexual predators, has long been understood as a human tragedy. Only in Britain does it seem to have been the intrinsic psychology at the dark heart of the governing elite.

Britain’s child sex abuse scandal is not a conspiracy. A conspiracy, even an organized cover-up, could be exposed as a one-off criminal disgrace. What’s happened in Britain — and has for generations — is bigger than a conspiracy.

Journalist Laurie Penny
It is a culture of complicity that cuts across every major institution in public life: from Parliament to the police, from broadcasters to charities, from public schools to children’s homes. It operates on the tacit understanding that the rich, the powerful and the famous are permitted to exploit and hurt young people, sure in the knowledge that the elite will look after its own. Thus the scandal cuts to the bone of what sort of society Britain understands itself to be.

There are more revelations to come. Whether an honest accounting and atonement can be made for these crimes will depend on the price the British establishment places on its integrity.

Laurie Penny is a contributing editor at The New Statesman and the author, most recently, of “Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution.”

Are you British? Do you agree with Laurie?

Attorneys Ask to Withdraw from X-File's Bryan Singer's Lawsuit

REUTERS
LOS ANGELES: The attorneys for the man who accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was a minor have asked to be withdrawn from the case, according to a filing on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hawaii.

Lawyers Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher say in the filing that their relationship with client Michael Egan "has broken down completely and cannot be repaired" and that Egan has a new attorney but will not let them leave the case.

Egan, 31, in April filed a civil lawsuit against Singer weeks before the release of his blockbuster "X-Men: Days of Future Past" accusing the 48-year-old filmmaker of raping him as a minor, a claim Singer denies.
X-files Director Bryan Singer

Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement that Egan and his attorneys have asked to settle the suit for a relatively small sum compared to the millions of dollars often awarded or agreed upon in such cases.

"This was their way of trying to save face after an unsuccessful attempted shakedown of Bryan Singer," said Marty Singer, who is not related to the director.

A source with knowledge of the case who was not authorized to speak publicly said a $100,000 settlement had been agreed to but not finalized.

Vince Finaldi, one of Egan's new attorneys, said his firm does not represent Egan in the Singer case but have been hired to advise him on any potential claims.

Herman did not respond to requests for comment.

With the help of Herman, a noted child sex abuse litigator, Egan filed lawsuits against three other entertainment executives in Hawaii. Each of the lawsuits which alleged abuse as a minor have been dismissed.

Garth Ancier, who worked at networks Fox and NBC, has also filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit in Hawaii against Egan, Herman and Gallagher.

Marty Singer said Bryan Singer will do the same.

Rolf Harris's Sentence Will Not Be Reviewed Despite Complaints

Rolf Harris's sex offences sentence will not be referred to the Court of Appeal, despite 150 complaints over its "leniency", the attorney general's office has said.

The disgraced entertainer was jailed for five years and nine months for 12 indecent assaults on four girls.

Complaints were lodged following his sentencing earlier this month.

In a statement, the office said the attorney general understood the decision would cause disappointment.

It said Attorney General Jeremy Wright would not refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal as "he did not think they would find it to be unduly lenient and increase it".

The office said the judge had been required to take Harris's age into account. After all, 5 years to an 84 year old is practically life or a very large part of it. Most important is the fact that even if he does survive prison, he is not likely to re-offend in his late 80s or 90s.

"The sentencing judge was bound by the maximum sentence in force at the time of the offending," it added.

"The judge made some of the sentences consecutive to reach the total sentence, but he could not simply add up sentences on individual counts; the overall sentence had to be just and proportionate to the overall offending."

I understand the concept but don't understand the process. Why wouldn't the sum of individual sentences fit the overall offending? If it doesn't then perhaps the individual sentences are excessive. Concurrent sentences, to me, are absurd and an insult to the victims - some of them count in sentencing, some of them don't.

Rolf Harris with the Queen and Kylie Minogue at the Diamond Jubilee concert in June 2012
What is the Unduly Lenient Sentence system?
By Clive Coleman, legal correspondent

The system for reviewing sentences passed in the Crown Court in England and Wales is an incredibly democratic one in which ordinary people can have a real effect on the working of the criminal justice system.

Anyone - whether connected with the case or not - can complain to the attorney general's office about a sentence being "unduly lenient", ie too low, and one single complaint is sufficient to trigger a review by the attorney general.

The system only applies to the most serious crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, some child sex crimes and child cruelty, serious fraud and drugs offences, and crimes committed because of someone's race or sex.

Any complaint must be made and the review carried out by the attorney general within 28 days of a sentence being passed.

He has no power to increase the sentence himself, but if he considers it unduly lenient, ie outside the reasonable range of sentences the sentencing judge had available based on the facts of the case, he can refer the case to the Court of Appeal.

It will decide whether to hear the case and if does, it will decide if the sentence is unduly lenient and should be increased.

Harris, 84, was prosecuted in line with legislation in force during the period his offences were committed - when the maximum sentence for indecent assault was two years in prison, or five years for offences committed against victims under 13.

His offences took place between 1968 and 1986 against four girls aged seven or eight to 19.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed it has received "a number of allegations" about Harris since his conviction.

A spokesman said these further allegations were being considered.

Peter Saunders of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood said: "A lot of people have said to me that they think that Rolf Harris got a very lenient sentence.

"But whether he was sentenced to five years or 20 years in prison, it cannot make up for the lifetime of suffering experienced by his victims."

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Is Boko Haram Using the Chibok Schoolgirls as Human Bombs?

At least six people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a college in northern Nigeria's biggest city, Kano, witnesses say.

The female bomber is reported to have blown herself up as students queued to check their names on an admission list.

Meanwhile the government says a 10-year-old girl with a suicide belt has been arrested in a neighbouring state. Whoever put that belt on her needs to be dealt with.

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.

The college bombing was the fifth attack in Kano since Sunday.

At least three of the attacks were carried out by female bombers, in what BBC Nigeria analyst Aliyu Tanko describes as a new trend in the insurgency.

It is unclear whether the group is recruiting female bombers or forcing kidnapped girls to carry out suicide missions, he says. They should be able to test this theory when they talk to the 18 year old arrested and from DNA of the bombers, if they have the technology. It would certainly be a dreadful thing were it true and provide some incentive to go after the girls that are captive. Nothing would be too low for the insane leader of Boko Haram.
Abubakar Shekeau - Leader of Boko Haram
Boko Haram is holding more than 200 girls that its gunmen abducted during a raid in April on a boarding school in Chibok town in the northern state of Borno.

The bomber who carried out the latest attack was hidden in the crowd at the Kano State Polytechnic, a witness, Isyaku Adamu, told the AFP news agency.

"It was a huge crowd and people were jostling to go through the lists," Mr Adamu is quoted as saying.

The bomber detonated an "improvised explosive device", killing six people, government spokesman Mike Omeri confirmed in a statement.

The BBC's Yusuf Ibrahim Yakasai reports from Kano that bodies were strewn around the blast site.

About seven people are said to have been wounded in the explosion.

At least 19 people lost their lives in the series of bombings in Kano in the past week.

In a separate incident, Mr Omeri said three suspected militants were arrested in Katsina state on Tuesday.

The suspects included one male and two girls, aged 18 and 10, he said.

The security forces found the younger girl had been "strapped with an explosive belt", Mr Omeri added.

In May 2013, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in the northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, vowing to crush the insurgency.

However the militants have stepped up attacks, killing more than 2,000 civilians this year, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch.

A Bad Month at New Orleans PD or Are They Completely Out of Control?

It's not like the New Orleans Police Department don't have enough to do, but they are now making themselves busier than ever investigating their own. I know several police officers and I know how difficult their home lives can be. PDs need to address this issue before it turns to violence.

NOPD OFFICER ARRESTED ON CHILD SEX ABUSE CHARGES

Posted Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Stephen Babcock

A longtime NOPD officer was arrested Tuesday on child sex abuse charges, according to the department. Willie A. Gant, a 26-year veteran of the force, faces two counts of sexual battery on a juvenile, and two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile.

Officer Willie Gant NOPD
Gant, who was most recently assigned to the highly visible NOPD Mounted Unit, was placed on emergency suspension without pay following the arrest. The NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau learned of the allegations against Gant Monday (7-28), and launched an investigation. By Tuesday evening, police had a warrant and Gant was under arrest.

NOLA.com reports that the allegations were made by a 12-year-old relative of Gant, who said she was assaulted two times in Gant's home.

Gant's arrest comes amid a string of NOPD officer arrests in domestic abuse cases. Over the weekend, Officer Stephanie Caldwell was arrested after trying to run over a man on Broad St. Earlier this month, NOPD arrested Detective Robert Hurst and Officer Christopher Carter in connection with domestic incidents.


NOPD OFFICER ARRESTED AFTER CAR CHASE ON BROAD STREET

Posted Monday, July 28th, 2014 by Stephen Babcock

NOPD arrested one of their own on Sunday. Officer Stephanie Caldwell, a 10-year-veteran of the force, was booked on a host of charges after trying to run over a man in a car in a domestic incident early Sunday morning on N. Broad St.

The incident happened around 3:30 a.m. near the corner of N. Broad and D'Abadie St.

According to police, Caldwell got into a fight with the 47-year-old man in the 1700 block of N. Broad St. The fight turned physical, and the man ran away.

The ten-year NOPD veteran then got into her car, and chased after the man on N. Broad St. heading westbound against traffic. Near N. Broad and Onzaga St., Caldwell hit a parked car. She then turned onto Rousselin Dr., still chasing the man. Eventually, the chase came to an end when Caldwell's car hit a wooden post, and cracked it in half.

The man was not hurt in the incident.

Caldwell was booked on charges of assault, simple battery, reckless operation, hit & run and driving against traffic.

Police administered drug and alcohol tests to Caldwell, but she was not booked for driving under the influence.

Caldwell was also placed on emergency suspension without pay from NOPD. She worked most recently with the Special Operation Division Tactical Unit.


NOPD DETECTIVE CHARGED IN DOMESTIC ABUSE CASE

Posted Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Stephen Babcock

A New Orleans police detective was charged with attempted second degree murder and simple battery Friday, according to a department news release. The charges against Robert Hurst stem from a domestic abuse incident, police said.

The NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau received a domestic abuse complaint against Hurst on April 25, 2014. They investigated the complaint against the detective, resulting in today's charges, which were entered by the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office.

OPP records indicated Hurst was not booked into the jail as of 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. NOPD placed Hurst on emergency suspension without pay as a result of the charges, according to police.

Hurst is a 10-year veteran of NOPD, most recently assigned to the department's 5th District, which covers Marigny-Bywater, St. Roch and the 7th, 8th and 9th Wards.

He was one of the lead detectives in the investigation that followed the Mother's Day Shooting in 2013. The detectives' work resulted in the arrest of alleged shooters and Akein and Shawn Scott, and later led to a federal indictment against the Frenchmen-Derbigny Gang.

“The Fifth District lead detectives- Robert Hurst, Rayell Johnson and Sergeant Gary Lacabe, did an extraordinary job," NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said following the Scott Brothers' arrest on May 16, 2013.

But Serpas' praise for Hurst hasn't been limited to praise for a job well done. According to WWL-TV  reports from the time, Hurst was reassigned in 2011 after letting a woman wear his police uniform at Fat Harry's.

“And for this particular employee – I can't even bring myself to call him an officer – for this particular employee to be so flippant with the use of this uniform knowing how many people have lost their life in service of this uniform disgusts me to my core,” Serpas told WWL-TV at the time.


DOMESTIC ABUSE CHARGES FOR ANOTHER NOPD OFFICER

Posted Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Stephen Babcock

For the second time in four days, a veteran of NOPD is facing domestic abuse charges. Officer Christopher Carter was charged Monday in connection with a January beating and strangling, according to the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office.

Carter, a 10-year NOPD officer who was assigned to a Special Operations Division tactical unit, was formally charged with Domestic Abuse Battery involving Strangulation, and Domestic Abuse Battery.

Few details were offered on the case, but police said Carter was charged as a result of an internal investigation by the department's Public Integrity Bureau. Police were alerted to the crime involving one of their own by someone who came forward with a "complaint," NOPD said in a statement.

Carter was already on desk duty in connection with the investigation. Now, he is on emergency suspension without pay.

Just How Many Pedophiles are There?

The Pope was recently reported to have said that about 2% of Catholic clergy are paedophiles. But how does this compare with society as a whole - is it more or less than average?

As soon as you give this question a moment's thought, you realise that it's not going to be an easy one to answer. Paedophiles are not easy to identify.

"Because paedophilia is so secretive and so few people are willing to admit it, there is no meaningful way to get a reliable estimate," says Dr James Cantor, a psychologist and sexual behaviour scientist at the University of Toronto.

"There's no meaningfully ethical way of taking 200 men, hooking them up to detectors, showing them pictures of adults and children and seeing how many respond most to children."

One person who has attempted an estimate is Dr Michael Seto, a clinical and forensic psychologist at the Royal Ottawa Healthcare group.

In 2008 he wrote a book in which he put the prevalence of paedophilia in the general population at 5%.
Dr Michael Seto

The figure was based on surveys conducted in Germany, Norway and Finland in which men were asked whether they had ever had sexual thoughts or fantasies about children or engaged in sexual activity with children.

But Seto stresses that 5% was an upper estimate, and that the studies were limited in what they revealed.

"What those surveys don't include are questions on the intensity of those thoughts and fantasies, whether they were repeated or not. Someone might say 'Yes' because they once had a fantasy but our understanding of paedophilia would be that that person recurringly had sexual thoughts and fantasies about children."

Now, with more data and better methodology, he has revised his figure down to about 1% of the population, though he makes clear this is still only an educated guess.

One problem is that the term "paedophile" means different things to different people.

"It's very common for regular men to be attracted to 18-year-olds or 20-year-olds. It's not unusual for a typical 16-year-old to be attractive to many men and the younger we go the fewer and fewer men are attracted to that age group," says Cantor.

He thinks that if we say that a paedophile is someone attracted to children aged 14 or less, then he estimates that you could reach the 2% figure.

"If we use a very strict definition and say paedophilia refers only to the attraction to pre-pubescent children [then it] is probably much lower than 1%," he says.

The term is often applied to a person who sexually abuses someone below the age of 16, but given that in some countries - and even some US states - you can marry below the age of 16 this definition would clearly not be universally accepted.

There is consensus on the clinical definition. Michael Seto and his colleagues agree that a paedophile is someone who has a sexual interest in pre-pubescent children, so typically those under the ages of 11 or 12. Although girls in India, Pakistan and neighbouring countries may well reach puberty before the age of ten.

But whether the prevalence using this definition is 0.5%, as James Cantor says or 1%, as Michael Seto says, you can be assured than in any large group of people - whether they be politicians, entertainers, or Catholic clergy - you are likely to find some paedophiles.

Paedophilia is not restricted to men - some women also sexually abuse children, although research suggests this is much less common.

But back to the Pope. How would he define "paedophile"? We don't know, but there is a clue.

There is one well-known study of paedophilia among Catholic clergy, carried out by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Its researchers went to each diocese in the US and found all the plausible accounts of abuse involving clergy who served between 1950 and 2002 - and they found that 4.2% of had been plausibly accused of abuse.

That included allegations of abuse of adolescents as well as pre-pubescent children.

But if you use the stricter, clinical definition of paedophilia the figure drops to between 1-2% according to Prof Philip Jenkins from the Institute of Studies of Religion at Baylor University in Texas. This corresponds, more or less, with the figure attributed to the Pope.

"If he was using a different word like 'abusive clergy' then I think he would be going for a higher figure," says Jenkins.

The John Jay College study is not perfect, though. For some reason, 40% of the allegations referred to abuse said to have been carried out in a six-year period between 1975-1980.

It seems unlikely that cases of paedophilia in the clergy would have been so heavily concentrated in one period. Furthermore, even if there was a peak in the 1970s, a lot of the perpetrators are probably no longer active in the church.

All we can confidently say is that, firstly, the figures are imperfect - both for Catholic clergy and the general population. And secondly, that these imperfect figures are in the same ballpark.

So, if we use the stricter definition of the term pedophile, then 1% of 2 billion 500 million men equals 25 million pedophiles globally. If we use the broader definition where young teenagers are in danger, then the global number becomes 125 million men.

These are estimates, of course, and don't account for pedophiles who don't ever act on their lust for children. These people I'm not really concerned about, it is only those who are a danger to children that are of concern and I think those numbers are fairly realistic.

Whether 25 million or 125 million, that's a lot of perverts!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Religious Children are Different from Secular Children - Silly Science

This experiment comparing religious children to secular could only have been done by an anti-religious atheist, in an attempt to gather 'scientific' evidence that religion is harmful to children and parents should be charged with child abuse. However, the reporter sought more open-minded opinions and puts the 'scientific' findings into a much better perspective.

If you expose your child to Moses, Muhammad or Matthew the Apostle, are they at a disadvantage?

According to new research from Boston University, young children with a religious background are less able to distinguish between fantasy and reality compared with their secular counterparts.

In two studies, 66 kindergarten-age children were presented with three types of stories - realistic, religious and fantastical. The researchers then queried the children on whether they thought the main character in the story was real or fictional.

While nearly all children found the figures in the realistic narratives to be real, secular and religious children were split on religious stories. Children with a religious upbringing tended to view the protagonists in religious stories as real, whereas children from non-religious households saw them as fictional.

Although this might be unsurprising (it would be very surprising if it were otherwise), secular and religious children also differed in their interpretation of fantasy narratives where there was a supernatural or magical storyline.

"Secular children were more likely than religious children to judge the protagonist in such fantastical stories to be fictional," wrote the researchers.

"The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children's differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories."

Some commentators believe these findings show that religious children use their specific background to explain the magical elements of fantasy stories.

Three Joseph stories:

Religious: "This is Joseph. Joseph was sent to a mean king in a land far away. However, God sent Joseph many dreams warning about terrible storms, and Joseph used those dreams to tell the king how to protect his kingdom from the storms. The king was so amazed by Joseph and they became friends."

Fantastical: "This is Joseph. Joseph was sent to a mean king in a land far away where there were terrible storms. Joseph used his magical powers to see into the future, and told the king how to protect his kingdom from the storms. The king was so amazed by Joseph and they became friends."

Realistic: "This is Joseph. Joseph was sent to a mean king in a land far away where there were terrible storms. The king realised that Joseph was very good at looking at clouds and predicting when there would be rain. The king was so amazed by Joseph and they became friends."

We are talking about 5 or 6 year olds here. The use of the term 'magical powers' in the 'Fantastical' version would not likely make much difference to a kindergarten child. The point is Joseph saw the coming famines (not storms).

To suggest that Joseph was very good at looking at clouds and predicting rain is completely irrelevant at best and erroneous at worst. Many of the children would know that Joseph actually predicted 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine. A 14 year forecast by looking at clouds, now that is truly fantastical and very silly science.

"By relating seemingly impossible religious events achieved through divine intervention (eg, Jesus transforming water into wine) to fictional narratives, religious children would more heavily rely on religion to justify their false categorisations," writes Shadee Ashtari for the Huffington Post. Duh!

This blurring of reality and fantasy, even for children, is not always a good thing, says notable atheist blogger Hemant Mehta. These are kindergarten children, you dolt! Not having a blurred vision between fantasy and reality, I believe, would be very abnormal and undesirable.

"Religion blurs the lines between fact and fiction. You only hope kids exposed to it figure it out soon enough," he writes for Patheos.

In a provocative fashion, Mehta says that the study could be viewed as "evidence for those who believe religious indoctrination is a form of mental child abuse." 

But not all commentators saw this study as critical of a religious rearing.

"This study proves a benefit of religion, not a detriment, because research shows how imaginative and fictional thinking, fantasy play, aid in the cognitive development of children," writes Eliyahu Federman in USA Today. "Raising children with fantastical religious tales is not bad after all." In fact, raising them without religion might make a better case for child abuse.

Although Federman believes that religion can sometimes lead to harmful thinking particularly within the world of science, it can hardly be viewed as a hindrance for developmental growth.

"Those claiming that belief in religious stories harms children should be interpreting research and science correctly," he says.

"Not only is there benefit in allowing children to think imaginatively without forcing them into the mindset of perceived reality, but according to at least one study, raising children with religion also increases self-esteem, lowers anxiety, risk of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, and dangerous sexual behaviour." I think there are probably a lot more than a single study to verify this.

But other commentators found that the implications of the research should not be taken so seriously.

"Are we really going to say that kids who are taught to believe the Bible is true are somehow developmentally delayed because they're more likely, at age 5 or 6, to believe fantastical things?" writes Jenny Erikson for the Stir.

"Flip side to this equation could be that secular kids are taught to lose their sense of wonder and imagination at an earlier age than their Bible-believing friends."

Prosblogion's Helen De Cruz says that while there may be some truth to the results, what the study really shows is that the religious children know their Bible stories.

"The Bible characters are presented to them as historical, so of course they would be more likely to judge them as historical than children who didn't hear about these characters," she writes.

She says the subject deserves further study before drawing conclusions. For instance, would children exposed to scientific study at a young age be more inclined to believe pseudoscientific claims? Would Christian children be more likely to believe miracle narratives from other religions?

Only at that point could such inquiries be more than just fuel for a media-hyped religion debate, she contends.

While this volley in the anti-religion lobby clearly fell short, it won't be the last and it signals a new frontier in which the battle will be fought. Christianity is doing pretty well in this battle, so far, but there will come a day when emotion overrules truth and reality as it already has in the gay rights lobby.

Another House of Horrors - This One in India

PUNE: The initial complaint about the child sex abuse scandal at a home in Karjat is proving to be the tip of the iceberg as more children have come forward narrating their horrifying experiences.

"So far 18 children have come forward and narrated their experiences — the youngest is merely a six-year-old boy while the eldest is about 14-years-old. Most of them have recounted the abuse that they suffered over a two-year-period with some enduring it for longer," said the social workers of Dnyana Devi Childline, the NGO that filed the original complaint in the case.
Holi - Festival of colours
Social workers revealed that it took hours for the children to get past their initial reluctance and speak about the abuse that they suffered.

"A 9-year-old girl came to us the other day. After she heard about the case through the media, her mother had been asking her about what happened to her at the school, but she refused to reveal anything. Gradually, she started admitting that corporal punishment was regularly meted out and that the main accused Ajit Dabholkar would often beat her up," a social worker said.

"As we asked her more questions, she began describing the sexual abuse that other children had suffered. She claimed that others had been abused but she was spared. Suddenly, she broke down and began to cry bitterly, eventually describing what she was put through," she added.

Social workers said that most of the children who have been traced down have had a similar reaction and it has taken four to six hours for some of them to open up.

"Some children are still in denial. For instance, there is a boy who refuses that he suffered any abuse personally but other children have independently described situations where he was abused by Dabholkar and the caretaker of the institution Lalita Tonde," a social worker said.

The children have described instances when a girl was stripped and then paraded before the others. Once all the girls were told to leave the room, leaving her alone with the young boys. Other children have recounted in graphic detail how Holi was celebrated by forcing them to play Holi after they had been stripped, they added.

Holi is a celebration of Spring with a festival of colours. Children and youth spray coloured powder solutions (Gulal) at each other.

"While the police were unable to locate any cameras that were recording these activities, all the children have claimed that they were filmed. They mentioned the same spots within the premises of the institution where they believed the cameras were placed," another social worker said.

Child rights activists have repeatedly raised their concerns about the handling of the case by the local police at Karjat, eventually forcing the state to transfer the case to the state's Criminal Investigation Department.

Please pray that these children get the counselling they need to recover from what is obviously serious trauma.

Pune is the 7th largest city in India and is about 100 kms southeast of Mumbai.

2 Year Manhunt for Child Sex Abuser Ends in Shootout

A two-year American manhunt for child sex abuser ended in a Manhattan gun-battle last night.

Charles Mozdir, 32, was killed in the shootout -  two US Marshals and a New York detective were also wounded.
Killed: Charles Mozdir
An all-USA wanted alert had gone out for Mozdir, who was wanted in California for molesting a seven-year-old boy.

He was finally traced to a “smoking shop”, where people are allowed to puff cigarettes and cigars, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

Mozdir had been wanted since June 2012 when he missed a scheduled court appearance in San Diego.

But after a TV Crimewatch-style programme, titled The Hunt, he was tracked down.

As three Marshals and the NYPD entered the small shop, Mozdir pulled out a .32 revolver and fired, said New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton.

The Commissioner added: “Immediately upon entering, a gun-battle ensued.”

Shooting: The scene in New York's Greenwich Village
It was later revealed, despite being wanted , he had a California gun-licence, but not one for New York. Isn't the NRA wonderful?

As soon as he pulled the trigger the officers returned fire, killing him. The detective and the two marshals who were shot are in stable condition in hospital.

One of the marshals suffered a graze wound to elbow, the second suffered a gunshot wound to the buttocks.

NYPD detective 45-year-old Mario Muniz, a 20-year veteran of the force, was hit in the abdomen.

Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association union said one bullet entered an opening to the right of his bulletproof vest, striking his body.

A second bullet was stopped by the vest, which Commissioner Bratton said saved the officer's life.

Police recovered Mozdir’s revolver and found 20 spare rounds in his pockets.

Charles Mozdir was arrested on June 8, 2012, on five felony counts of committing forcible lewd acts on a child and a sixth count of attempting to dissuade a witness.

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said he failed to appear in court after posting $250,000 bail, around £150,000, on June 9, 2012.

He failed to appear a second time on June 15, when bail was increased to $1 million, around £750,000. ?? Good thing this reporter is not a mathematician, his math makes no sense.

As he made a cross-country dash, authorities received over 50 tips over two years - claiming he owned at least one firearm and was traveling with a black Labrador named Lucky.

But then the TV broadcast on Sunday trailed him to New York, even though he had grown his hair to collar-length and grown a beard.

One law enforcement officer said the broadcast was "absolutely critical" in a case that had been cold for over a year.

They added: “We had exhausted all of our law-enforcement techniques.”

Monday, 28 July 2014

Ex-Lost Prophets Moving on Without Pedophile Ian Watkins

The former members of Lostprophets have talked about their shock and disgust after finding out that singer Ian Watkins was a paedophile.

The 36-year-old was sentenced in December to 35 years for a string of child sex offences.

Bassist Stuart Richardson told Newsbeat: "Even though I was completely done with him, I hoped it was all a mistake, he was innocent, he had to be.

"The first time, we knew the band was done. You can't go back from that."
No Devotion (No Ian Watkins)
Now the five remaining members - Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - say they are trying to move forward with their new band, No Devotion.

The band is sat in a north London pub, the afternoon before they play the third show on a run of four gigs.

Gaze, Richardson and Lewis say they are aware that before this band can truly begin, they have to confront the past.

They say the shock of hearing the news last year about their former frontman is still difficult to put into words.

"When 15 years of your life is washed down the toilet in that one moment, it's harsh to take in," says Lewis, the band's rhythm guitarist.

Fellow guitarist Gaze adds: "There was two sets of it [shock] because there were the accusations - which was one thing.

"And then there was the actual, 'Yeah I did do it' which was a year later. He dragged that out for a year, so we got hit by it twice."
Lostprophets are pictured with Ian Watkins crouching at the front
Once Ian Watkins was arrested, some people asked how the other band members couldn't have known something was going on.

"How could you know? How would you know?" Gaze says in disbelief.

"Who would disclose such a thing to five people, who between them have eight children? You just wouldn't because they would be killed on the spot."

Richardson adds: "I kind of expected it.

"People are angry, they needed somewhere to look and there's the target, there we are."

Gaze says he is angry that people could think that about them though.

"We weren't hiding under rocks, we were still out there," he says.

"It wasn't like, 'That's happened, let's run away.' It was like, 'We are sticking together,' which I think is such a bold statement."

The remaining band members reveal how before Ian Watkins committed his crimes, he was becoming increasingly distant from the band.

"He was doing his own thing," says Gaze. "That just grew worse over the years, the more he was using drugs.

"He could be in the same city as me and I wouldn't hang out with him, even if we weren't playing shows."

All three say it wasn't a rock 'n' roll atmosphere backstage at their gigs and they certainly didn't live in each others pockets.

"I think a lot of people think you are in a band together, back of a van, you're doing everything together, there are all these wild after show parties," Lewis tells Newsbeat.

"That's such a cliche."
Ian Watkins is serving 35 years in jail after pleading guilty to 13 sexual offences in 2013
Gaze breaks in: "That is such a naive way to look at things.

"Some of the best bands in rock 'n' roll history have the most fractured structure and they keep on going and they are so broken as a band."

The final time they saw Watkins was at the band's last gig at Newport Centre on 14 November 2012, except for Lee Gaze.

He recalls: "We shot a video for what was to be our last single for the record, which was probably nine days before he got arrested."

He says Watkins was "strangely positive and enthusiastic about everything".

"[He was] talking about the next record and how it's going to do really well and get back on our feet."

The rest of the band argue they would never have recorded another Lostprophets album, even if none of this had happened.

Gaze adds: "It goes to show how deluded he was.

"He is just completely on a different level to everybody, happy and positive and convinced we are going to be successful again."
No Devotion's singer, Geoff Rickly, performs at Soundwave 2012 in Sydney
Once they decided to form their new band, No Devotion, they say they knew it was a bold decision and might not be met positively.

To start with they needed a new frontman and knew some singers might feel they were tainted.

"Our attitude was that we were so dead set on doing a band that if no-one will do it, we will do it ourselves," says Gaze.

They recruited Geoff Rickly, former frontman of Thursday, who they say has vocally taken their tracks to "another level".

They are in the middle of recording their debut album and are already getting support from the music industry and fans.

No Devotion played their first gig in Cardiff last week and admit they were a bit apprehensive.

"We just wanted people to love the songs as much as we did and to know that it was accepted and it wasn't just a pity party," says Richardson.

"We wanted people to know we were a band and not just these guys who went through something bad."

The three say there were plenty of moments when they thought they could never play again.

Lewis explains: "It was vindication almost that we were there and we are doing this and we do have an incredible support from people."

For him, getting back on the road and returning to the music industry has been "incredibly cathartic".

"I believe now that's the past, let's forget about that, that band happened, that band is in the past.

"It's time to move on and we just want to focus on that from here on in."

PORN ADDICT SPARED JAIL FOR CHILD SEX ABUSE IMAGES

By Phil Coleman, News & Star, Carlisle, UK

A pornography addict who downloaded hundreds of images of children being sexually abused has walked free from court.

Keith Bell, 43, was given a year in jail – but a judge suspended the sentence after hearing how he had made strenuous efforts to overcome his obsession with pornography since police arrested him at his home.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Bell, of Tribune Drive, Houghton, entered guilty pleas to 12 counts of downloading child pornography on his computers.
Carlisle is in the far northwest of England near the Scottish border and along Hadrian's Wall
Carlisle Castle was built late in the 11th century. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there
for a few months in 1568
Prosecutor John Woodward told the court how police had arrived at the defendant’s home on March 24 last year because they had uncovered evidence that he was using his computers to access child pornography websites.

An examination of his computer equipment later confirmed he had been looking at such images for years.

In total, he had downloaded 1,279 images which were classified as the third most serious type of child pornography; 159 category B images; and 148 images were class A, the most serious type of indecent child image.

Some of the child victims involved were just a year old. The offences dated back to November 2005.

Mr Woodward told the court: “He admitted straight away in his [police] interview that for at least a period of 10 years he had been viewing images. He could not pinpoint the trigger but he felt it had become an addiction.

“He wanted to talk to someone to get help but he didn’t know where to go. He said he hadn’t used pay sites.”

Bell told police that he had regularly looked at pornography while his partner, who was in the court’s public gallery to support him, was at work between 11am and 4pm. He said his preference was for females aged 14 and upwards.

Gail Heard, for Bell, said the defendant had now himself voluntarily installed equipment on his home computer which would prevent him gaining access to such material. He wanted to ensure he never repeated the offence, she said.

Kieth Bell
She said that since his arrest, Bell had taken “positive steps” to rid himself of what he regarded as an addiction. It had been his interest in adult pornography, which he had viewed in vast quantities, she said, that had led him into his offending. Since his arrest he had contacted the Stop It Now charity helpline, and had had regular counselling.

Miss Heard added: “He is mature enough to realise that these things don’t just disappear but there is a real prospect that this is a man who can be properly rehabilitated.”

Commenting on the ease with which the defendant was able to look at vile child pornography, Judge Paul Batty QC said: “It is a sad reflection of our society that such revolting material – with some of the children as young as one or two years old – can be readily accessed on the internet. It’s a truly shocking state of affairs.”

He said the images represented actual sexual abuse of little boys and girls. Some people just don't get that.

The judge said that while Bell’s references spoke of him as a thoroughly decent man, he had a dark side.

He said: “There is no doubt that the court is here dealing with someone who was indeed an addict. The question, therefore, for the court is ‘Is it simply a question of punishment,’ or should something more constructive be tried?”

Noting that the defendant had sought out help, completed 40 counselling sessions, and put monitoring software on his own computer, the judge ruled it was appropriate to suspend the prison sentence, though this in no way minimised the seriousness of the offences. He suspended the jail term for two years.

In addition, he ruled that Bell be supervised by the Probation Service for two years and undergo a Sexual Offences Behaviour Programme. The appropriate police monitoring software will be installed on his computers, which the police will have access to at all times, and he must have his details entered on to the Sex Offenders’ Register for the next 10 years.

Was this a good call by the judge? Do you agree with it? For all the child pornography he viewed, I think he deserved some jail time, however, what is most important to me is to protect the children who would be abused by his continuing to view child porn. The steps taken by Bell and those ordered by the judge seem like they will do that. I like the sentence.

It is also interesting to note that his lawyer blamed the move to child porn on his addiction to adult porn. If these two can be linked more formally, it would make a good case for outlawing all pornography.

North American Pervert Round-up

Toronto man faces nine charges in child pornography investigation

A 57-year-old Toronto man faces nine charges in connection with a child pornography investigation and police fear there may be more victims they don’t yet know about.

Det. Const. Scott McQuoid told reporters Monday morning that a man was using social media to lure teenage girls in addition to distributing pornography.

“This man was making, accessing, possessing [and] making available pornography over the internet,” said McQuoid.

It’s alleged that a man was posing as teenager himself and had several aliases and email addresses which are listed below:
James Vandenberg
Abigail Davies; abbydavies429@gmail.com
Danica Pines: danicapines@gmail.com
Maria Moon: zippym97@gmail.com
Natasha Z: natashamoo97@gmail.com
Jim Victorry: jvictorry@gmail.com
Ashton Gomes: ashtongomes98@gmail.com

James Vanderberg has been charged with five counts of making child pornography, possession of child pornography, accessing child pornography, making available child pornography and luring a child under the age of 16.

Police believe there may be other victims living in Canada and other parts of the world. Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 416-808-8500.

Corinth, Maine man pleads guilty to child pornography charge

BANGOR, Maine — A Corinth man pleaded guilty in a Bangor courtroom Monday to a child pornography possession charge.

David Livingston Brown, 40, faces up to 20 years behind bars and a fine of $250,000.

A sentencing date has not been set, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

According to court documents, Brown sent an email containing child pornography to an FBI agent in April 2013, and a search warrant of his Corinth residence was executed three months later.

Brown admitted sending and receiving images of child pornography by email and collecting hundreds of pornography images and videos over the years.

A search of Brown’s computer verified his admission. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

Brantford, Ontario man charged with making child pornography

Hamilton police have charged a 41-year-old Brantford man with making child pornography.

The man, whose name will not be released by police because it may identify the victim, was arrested on Thursday. The police investigation into the case began in the spring.

On May 30, members of the Hamilton police were called to a Flamborough residence to "check on the well-being" of a man. The man is from Brantford but was staying in Flamborough at the time.

As a result of the call, say police, officers became suspicious of communications the man had with another man in the United States.

Hamilton police worked with investigators in the U.S. on the case and "discovered the contents of the communications between the two parties constituted the making of child pornography."

City Commissioner charged with child pornography

CHIPPEWA CO, Michigan -- A Sault Ste. Marie City Commissioner is charged for child pornography on Monday in Chippewa County.

Jeffrey Harold Stepfanski is charged with five counts of felony child pornography as well as one count of contributing to a minor.

Jeffrey Harold Stepfanski
Stepfanski is scheduled for a status hearing on Aug. 28th.

Former Princeton volunteer soccer coach pleads guilty to possession of child pornography

Jorge A. Roman, a former volunteer soccer coach at the University, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman ’78 announced on Friday.

The maximum penalty for possession of child pornography is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for December 15.

According to court records, Fishman’s office and Roman’s attorney, a public defender, reached a plea agreement on June 12.

Roman pleaded guilty to owning 600 or more images of child sexual abuse in various forms at his home in Princeton, including DVDs, computers and other digital media. Some of these included images of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, the release says.

Postal Inspector Ann M. Kolczynski of the United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation that led to the charges. In the original complaint, filed May 16, 2013, Roman was said to have purchased approximately 79 products, marketed as “naturist films from around the world,” in 40 transactions from a movie production company.

In an interview with law enforcement officers following a search warrant, Roman apparently admitted to purchasing the DVDs and said he had viewed them.

These films included “Sandy Bottoms,” “Water Wiggles Going Commando: Boy Fights XI (2008)” and “Raw Rewind,” which are described as featuring prepubescent boys in various settings while completely or partially naked. The total cost of the films was over $2,200.

At the time of his arrest, Roman was a volunteer assistant soccer coach at Rider University and led a soccer coaching company. He organized a summer soccer camp in 1999 that included several University soccer coaches as well.

Fourteen New Jersey men were arrested on child pornography charges on Thursday in a six-month, statewide child pornography sweep, The Times of Trenton reported.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The World has Forgotten the Nigerian Girls

Mohammed Adam, The Ottawa Citizen

How easily the world forgets. It has been only three months, but it feels like a lifetime since more than 200 Nigerian girls were snatched from their school in the dead of night by the brutal Boko Haram. Vigils and marches around the world marked the girls’ 100 days in captivity, and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan managed to emerge from his cocoon to finally meet the parents of the abducted girls. I guess we should thank God for his small mercies. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in his role as a UN global ambassador, tried to keep up hope for the girls’ return on the bleak anniversary, but his words had a hollow ring.

“The world has not forgotten these girls. Not in a 100 days. Not for one day,” Brown wrote.
Nigerian campaigner Maryam Uwais presses for the release of the abducted
Chibok schoolgirls during a rally to mark 100 days since 276 girls were taken
Yes it has. The universal outrage that greeted the abduction, and the massive effort to mobilize the global community to confront the terrorists and rescue the girls, has dissipated. Western governments talked tough, promised big, but in the end, did precious little to help save the girls. A world-wide Bring Back Our Girls campaign led by politicians, religious leaders and celebrities swept across continents and energized people. There was hope, but it was only fleeting.

Once the sad faces that tugged at our heartstrings disappeared from our TV screens, the outrage faded, and governments moved on to the next crisis in the headlines, promises forgotten. People returned to their busy lives, and the Bring Back Our Girls campaign fizzled. More than 200 girls are brazenly abducted, and what the world does is to shed a little tear, then shrug its shoulders and move on. It is hard to imagine the horror that confronts these girls every waking moment. The terror, the helplessness and the feeling of abandonment must be excruciating.

But concerned and dismayed as people around the world are, we all can’t just march into the Nigerian rainforest and snatch the girls back. That is the responsibility of the government, and the failure rests entirely with what passes for government in Nigeria. And this failure raises the fundamental issue of what use government really is, in many parts of Africa.

Dictators, politicians win elections, rig them or seize power all in the name of the people, but once in, look out for only themselves. Some of them plunder the kitty, leaving the vast majority of people impoverished. Others siphon proceeds from vast natural resources such as oil, gold and timber into personal bank accounts. And still others turn their countries into police states, jailing, torturing and killing their own kind. Now we have a government that shows little regard for the safety of its children.

It is inconceivable that a child would go missing in Canada or say Germany, and the government machinery would not go into overdrive to find this one human being (example: Madeleine McCann). Yet more than 200 girls go missing for three months and the Nigerian president doesn’t even bother to meet the grieving parents, until Pakistani teenager and child advocate Malala Yousafzai prods him.

Nigeria has the largest military in West Africa, and an equally large police and security force. Yet vast stretches of the northeastern part of the country have become no-go areas for government forces. Boko Haram has scared off the military and security forces, leaving towns and villages at the mercy of the heartless thugs. Since the abduction, dozens, including the fathers of seven of the kidnapped girls, have been killed by the terrorists. When villagers under threat ask for help, their government ignores them. Corruption is rampant, and the soldiers, poorly armed, poorly paid and motivated, have little or no inclination to put their lives at risk.

What’s happening in Nigeria is symptomatic of government in many parts of Africa: self-serving, uncaring and clueless. It is no surprise citizens are in despair. As for the girls, sadly the nightmare continues. All the rest of us can do is to keep praying for a miracle.

Mohammed Adam is an Ottawa, Canada writer.

Indeed! Please join me in praying for a miracle for the rescue of these girls. Because the government and military of Nigeria are what they are, it will take an act of God to save them. Fortunately, God still answers prayers.

A Leader in a Secretive Sect Jailed for 3 Months on CSA Charges

Guilt can be a heavy burden - and this seems to be the case with the latest chapter in the disturbing story of a senior Victorian (Victoria State, Australia) sect leader now in jail on child sex charges.

This young woman, whose identity we have concealed,
is still dealing with the consequences of alleged sex abuse.
Ten days ago Chris Chandler, 56, drove to Melbourne from his property on French Island, in Western Port. Then he went to the Melbourne Magistrates Court to hand himself in.

Chandler was a leader of the secretive Bible sect known as Friends and Workers, or the Two by Twos, who have 2000 Victorian members. He had already admitted his guilt in eight charges in a Gippsland court including unlawful indecent assaults, indecent assaults and gross indecency on three young female victims.

But Chandler baulked at his sentence of a year's jail with a non-parole period of three months, telling his lawyers that while he was guilty, he wasn't guilty to that extent.
Chris Chandler

But then something changed. He decided he wanted to go to jail. When he turned up at Melbourne's central magistrates court to surrender - not the Morwell court his hearings had been held in, and not the one closest to his home - he hadn't told the policeman who made the charges stick what he was about to do.

Sergeant Darren Eldridge of Moe police was surprised to hear Chandler had given up his fight. He had been working on the case for two years. ''We were assisted in different ways by a number of congregation members,'' he said.

The sect is a strange offshoot of the Cooneyites; it adheres strongly to Bible sections of Matthew 10 to do with Jesus sending out disciples to cleanse ''impure spirits''. I expect he means 'to cleanse people of impure spirits', not cleansing the spirits themselves.

They do not have church buildings or headquarters and do not have written policies or doctrines. Travelling missionaries live with sect families for extended periods.

Television, radio, movies, dancing and jewellery are banned. It is strong in Victoria because the Irish founder of the Cooneyites was the Protestant evangelist Edward Cooney, who moved to Mildura and died there in 1960.

A submission to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious groups by WINGS, an online group of ex-sect members, said it has been ''haphazard'' in dealing with many sexual abuse allegations.

The sect was linked to the suicides of Narelle and Stephen Henderson, aged 14 and 12, of Pheasant Creek near Kinglake, in 1994. Narelle's suicide note read: ''We committed suicide because all our life we were made to go to meetings. They try to brainwash us so much and have ruined our lives.''

The sect holds five Victorian conventions a year at Speed (near Mildura), Colac, Drouin and Thoona near Benalla, where a prominent sect family has a farm.

A Fairfax Media investigation last year established sect leaders knew of the allegations against Chandler but promoted him, in 1991, to the senior position of ''worker'', or minister - meaning he was staying in private homes until 2004 in Wodonga, Shepparton, Launceston and rural Tasmania.

He later positioned himself as a counsellor and sect contact for child sexual abuse victims. He recently returned from stints for the sect in South America and Africa.

The Victorian and Tasmanian leader of Friends and Workers, David Leitch, of Melbourne, is known to be close to Chandler. He would not comment but an ex-sect source claimed he has a file on alleged sexual offences by Chandler which he has not given to police. Leitch sacked a sect leader for reporting sexual abuse in 2013.

Ex-member ''Ruby'', of Gippsland - not her real name - said Chandler was close to her family and that she was sexually assaulted by him in 1989 when she was 10. Her allegations led to one of the eight charges against him. She says the pair were at a beach when he rubbed his erection against her and asked if she ''wanted to make him happy''. He later tried to have a conversation with her about sexual rights and consent, she said.

She said the sect had a ''culture of secrecy'' and distrust of outsiders. Sexual abuse of young people and children was common. She said she was visited by sect head Leitch before she went to police. ''He said to me 'if you go to the police there's not much they can do'.''

She said Chandler messaged her through Facebook claiming he was molested as a child, that he had a different memory of the beach incident and that he was not a paedophile but rather suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder.

''It is not so much what he did to me,'' she said.

''I know he did worse things to others who are not emotionally strong enough to act. I want to get it all out in the open.''

Sergeant Eldridge said Chandler had made contact with family members of other alleged victims before handing himself in.