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Religion and Institutional Pedophilia


Jerry_Atrick
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I was going to tack this onto the back of the Pell thread, but thought better of it. I am no defender of the Catholic faith - in fact, quite the opposite. But of course, most of the padophilia we hear about comes from the Catholic church, and as such, we naturally associate the Catholic church as being the harbinger of all institutionalised pedophilia. But, it would appear, at an instiutional level, there are other religious faiths that seem to have a similar issues.

 

I am sure you have heard of Malka Leifer, the accused headmistress pedophile who alledgedly sexually abused a number of girls at an orthodox Jewish girls school in Melbourne. It made the news here, and to be honest, from what I read, I thought it was a headmistress just touchinh them up a bit and p!$$ing off to Israel when the poop hit the fan. But this Australian Story video popped up in my youtube feed and I watched it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqJAh5wvWEg&list=PLn2RjxYNpcazuZ1zmOrdO7dtjvgaWxWHt&index=61&t=0s

 

There is a second part (both made around 2018) and a thrid part (made in 2019/20). I have to admit, I was a little shocked. Firstly, the allegations are quite serious - apparently 74 charges of sexual assault including rape over three sisters and I think a few other girls. The mental toll it took on the Dassi Erlich can only be summed up to have ruined her life. That corrected my thinking. But the real concern is the proven coverup by the school council and them facilitating the headmistress' escape to Israel (which led to a civil award to one of the sisters). And then there appears to have been a member of that partiuclar orthodox sect who has, it has been alledged, blocking the attempts of extradition by influencing psychiatrists to find her mentally incapable to stand for extradition trial, despite clear evidence she was living an otherwise normal and seemingly happy life. Even when it could no longer be entertained in court and they found her fit to stand trial, the judge released he to the care of an official or friend and only a public outcry because of her propensity to flee had her back in court and eventually remanded in custody awaiting extradition proceedings.

 

So, I did a little digging and apparently, the orthodox Jewish community is not without is pedophilia issues; I am not asserting  that is an orthodox Rabbi, Wife of a Rabbi, Official, or parishoner (for want of a better word) is a pedophile, nor would I assert they would necessarily tolerate it at an individual level. Butm given there is an international organisation for the victims of sexual abuse for orthodox Jews, I would think that it is a but more than a one-off rotten apple. But it would appear that in order to protect the good repuation of their church, those sects of a religion that seem to exert very tight control over their members  (these gorils were not allowed any external influences whatsoever) will do anything to cover up. And if you cover up, you can't punish the perpatrator or people will ask questions.

 

When I think of the Catholic issues, they are more by the people who have undue control - not normally your ordinary priest in your ordinary suburban church (at least until they move up the chain, I guess). It would appear from these Australian Stories, it probably isn't your ordinary Rabbi (or wife) in a more liberal setting...

 

At least these girls got an apology from the school council, reasoning that they didn't collectively know the actions of one school councillor paying for and facilitating fleeing the country, despite them defending the school in the court action by stating they had a legal obligation to pay for her flights to Israel.

 

Be that as it may, I wonder how many other orthodox religions have systematic pedophilia or sexual abuse issues and continue to cover it up?

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
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From 2016 - the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today released its response into its Salvation Army Southern Territory (TSAS) case study after hearing harrowing stories of physical and sexual abuse and cruelty.

It heard about a "culture of humiliation" and a "culture of punishment and fear" at Salvation Army-run children's homes in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, where children were regularly beaten, degraded and sexually abused.

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OME has it correct in my view. My parent's generation lived in fear of being put in a "home", by which they meant an institution. They claimed to know nothing about what went on in those places, but I reckon they knew only too well. Unlimited power without accountability gave some people dreadful habits.

Sexual abuse was done from William Slim down.

Why did they ( my parents etc ) tolerate this stuff?  We were a democracy after all. Somewhow it was part of the culture that makes a criminal of the prostitute but not the john, and thank goodness this culture is weakening these days, but not fast enough for me. Blame your local MP, regardless of who is in power, say I. And thank goodness for hidden cameras.

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Our Parents, the children of the inter-war period, knew only too well about "homes". They had read Dicken's Oliver Twist. The memory of the Workhouse was still in their parent's and grandparent's minds. What about "benevolent organisations and their Children's Migrant Programs https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/27/britains-child-migrant-programme-why-130000-children-were-shipped-abroad ? Charities such as Barnardo’s and the Fairbridge Society, the Anglican and Catholic churches and local authorities helped with the organisation of the emigration.

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The real problem was that my generation and others refused to believe children and opted to believe adults. We were too stupid to see that kids were being abused and we were being lied to by priests, boy scout leaders and a load of others. I just hope that it doesn't happen again.

When I say we I mean others like me, because I never came across allegations of abuse, I just wonder how I would have acted.

I was in my thirties, when I was told that a certain person was abusing his daughter. I was absolutely flabbergasted. I had no idea that anyone could even think to do such a thing, so I would probably have disregarded any story about her fathers abuse by the daughter.

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When I was in my thirties, the next-door neighbor's daughter claimed sexual abuse by her father. We didn't believe it then or now, and in fact the daughter later told me that she "just felt so bad that she had to blame somebody " Yes she suffered from depression.

In a funny way, I reckon the father was partly to blame because he was too puritan to give his kids hugs. As a bloke, he was if anything too correct.

The daughter was believed by some at the time but not the police, the mother or the next door neighbors. She doesn't believe it herself any more.

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  • 1 year later...

I spent my first 8 years in a very religious family of a christian cult faction. At one time was involved with varying different church branch's and a boys home, Physical and sexual abuse was widespread, you just saw it as part of life and kept out of the way of the predators. Was only when I broke free, that constant threat disappeared in the general community, I felt safe with non religious men around, compared to the constant watching, moving out of their paths or bolting paranoia.   

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I grew up in a more or less religious apathetic family. We celebrated Christmas and Easter, but it was all about the pressies and low-quality chocolate. Neither myself nor my brother are baptised, Muslimised, bar mitzvatised, or any other religion-ised. Fro the sounds of it, they can be substituted with the term, terrorised.

 

A few weeks ago, my 18 yr old son thanked me for not forcing religious beliefs on him. He is finding himself spiritually, professionally, and personally. He believes there is some superior being or force that has intelligence.. but he does not believe it as embodied by religions. That is OK - he can believe it, because, ultimately, it can't be disproved. However, he has stated he won't resist the evidence to the contrary when it is in.

 

I have been to a Christina school in Australia - in the early '80s. While we had to do religious studies until I think yr 11, I have to give the Anglican minister credit - he maintained a rational debate on the issues, and he was emphatic we should make up our own mind. I sent both of my kids to a Christian private school here in the UK.. It has a similar ethos re religious studies to the point that both of my kids were reconciling what was taught in religious studies vs the scientific and humanities subjects and would question the contradictions - to which both our and the school's response was go with the evidence. The priest at the school is more a pastoral carer than a religious zealot..

 

I have no problems with individual spirituality (although I have little need for it, myself). I have no problems with people's personal beliefs (well, as long as they are not in contradiction of blatant facts). I have a real problem with institutionalised religions, as the are the alternate polity and prey on the unknown and peoples' vulnerabilities and insecurities.

 

BTW, the one pedo I came across as a youngster was at a local sports club. It didn't take me long to work out why he had no connection to the club (such as kids or nephews playing), but made the trip from Frankston to North Melbourne to basically be the ball carrier.

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  • 1 month later...

I knew pedophiles and homosexuals as a kid but was never threatened by them. There was the Rajah, an elderly ex-cameleer who was rumoured to like boys. Then there was Poofter Pete, who was a young american man who insisted on showing me his penis, then there was Arthur, who worked as a clerk in the plumbing section of the dept of works. Is his off-time, Arthur was in demand as a dress designer and he lived with a taxi-driver who used to get drunk and beat him up.

If anything, we kids thought that Poofter Pete was an object of amusement but we felt sorry for Arthur. We just stayed clear of the Rajah, which wasn't hard because he moved slowly.

 

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Just came across this thread and impressed by the thoughtful contributions.

We haven’t yet heard much about pedophilia in the Islamic world, but their Prophet set a dodgy example.

I suspect we’ll be hearing more, as a significant number of brave Moslems are losing their religion. 

 

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/religion/2018/05/what-i-learned-when-i-spoke-people-who-chose-leave-islam

 

https://www.theguardian.com/global/2015/may/17/losing-their-religion-british-ex-muslims-non-believers-hidden-crisis-faith

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That's a nice story old K. There may be hope for the future huh.

How anybody can believe that bronze-age stuff which was written by profoundly ignorant men is a mystery to me.

But here's a question for the bible scholars on this site ...

Where is the bible reference "three score years and ten shalt be thy days" ?

The other day while waiting to see a dentist I tried to find it in a nearby bible but no luck. I tried Genesis but only found nonsense...  gosh those ancient scribes knew nothing about astronomy or anything else.

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The "things" that you're liable to read  in the bible,  ain't necessarily so.. In Leviticus it tells you to eat your own children if you are besieged by enemies . That confounds them as  to how you are in such good condition, as the "baddies" wouldn't have been  clever enough to think of. that, apparently .Nev..

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