First, I hate to read accusations against God that aren’t true. Of course, any accusation against God isn’t true because God is holy and blameless and righteous and just and good. There simply are no grounds for accusing God of anything.
In reality, Satan has to be behind accusations against God since he is a liar and the father of lies. Hard to believe that Job, in the midst of his suffering, joined in with the accuser to say that God was wronging him.
This is a sort of share of this really idiotic posting by Rebecca and seeing she hates the truths I post to her? Well I figure I will share this idiocy and speak my mind on it here. Christians hate when I do that lol
She hates to read accusations against her god that is not true? Really? She really has not read her Old Testament god huh? Of course? Like all good brain-washed and brain-dead Christians like Rebecca? She fits the typical qualifications for Stockholm Syndrome for God Believers. Let me explain.
Stockholm syndrome is commonly linked to high profile kidnappings and hostage situations. Aside from famous crime cases, regular people may also develop this psychological condition in response to various types of trauma.
Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response. It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse.
With this syndrome, hostages or abuse victims may come to sympathize with their captives. This is the opposite of the fear, terror, and disdain that might be expected from the victims in these situations.
Over the course of time, some victims do come to develop positive feelings toward their captors. They may even begin to feel as if they share common goals and causes. The victim may begin to develop negative feelings toward the police or authorities. They may resent anyone who may be trying to help them escape from the dangerous situation they’re in.
Christian Stockholm Syndrome
Now here is how we can prove that Christians? Have Stockholm Syndrome for their god. We could actually do an experiment to prove this and this is how I am going to do this posting so to prove my theory that Christians have Stockholm Syndrome for their god.
We take a group of people and without telling them where the stories are from? We give them the stories of the bible taken directly from the OT. Most people, including Christians? Pretty much have no clue as to what is really in the OT anyway. Sure they know about Moses, and about Noah and Adam and Eve but how many actually have read ALL the stories of the OT? Not many really. How many really know how the Tribe of Benjamin got their wives for example? Bet not many.
So, we will have stories of the god of the bible? Ordering his followers to rip the fetuses out of the wombs of pregnant Tipurah and Summerian women.
We have the stories of where the god of the bible? Ordered his followers to smash the bodies of infants and children against rocks.
We have the stories of where the god of the bible? Forced parents to cannibalize their children.
We have the story of where in response to the Prophet Elisha’s cries because some kids were picking on him making a joke about his bald head? The god of the bible sent two she bears and had all 42 kids killed by the bears.
Or the story of where the god of the bible ordered the Tribe of Benjamin to go invade Jabesh-Gilead, slaughter all living things except the virgins, rape them, force them into marrying the men of Benjamin and when they did not get enough virgins to do so? They did the same to the virgin dancing girls of Shiloh.
We have the levitical laws where a raped virgin is married off to her rapist for life.
Where a raped woman who does not scream loud enough to be heard and is found out is stoned to death for adultery.
Where a mouthy child is given a death penalty punishment.
If you were to sit a group of people down and tell them all of this? Without telling them these stories came from the bible or they had no knowledge that these stories came from the OT? More than likely when they were asked if this was a good being? A kind and loving being? A being worthy of worship and love? They would more than likely SAY NO. They would actually call this being? A demonic child abuser, murderer, butcher and pure evil.
No moral human being I know of, even good Christians who never knew these stories came from their bible? Would ever proclaim any human who did these things a kind, loving, just, moral human being now would they? Nor would they ever justify the actions of any being who did these actions or ordered these actions.
So let’s take this in another direction that proves? Christians have Stockholm Syndrome when it comes time to their god.
A Christian sure would never say that what Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao and all the other brutal dictators have done in our history were holy people, they would not say they were loving or just. They certainly would not call them merciful either would Christians? No they would not. (Well those lovely Christian groups the Nazis, the Proud Boys, the Aryian Nation, etc would).
Yet? If Christians? Were to read these stories of their god and all he did and ordered in the OT to be done to whole groups of people? Or children? Or infants? Or fetuses? Or women? They would actually call someone like this? A Hitler, a Pol Pot, a Stalin, A Mao. But when it comes to their god doing all this? They literally put a blinder on when it comes to the purely evil actions their god did in the OT and proclaim him holy, loving, just, merciful. They excuse the very same things he ordered to be done, or even did in the bible while they condemn humans who do these same things. They even JUSTIFY what their god does in the bible.
And this? Is what really shows how Christians are trapped in their Stockholm Syndrome with their god. They actually state? They cannot judge their god for doing all these things. Funny how they got no problem being judged by him, but they feel? They cannot even judge their own judge to see if he is even worthy? Of judging them.
Cause if you apply the same morals that Christians speak of in what being a True Christian is? Love, non-judgment, forgiving your enemies and turning the other cheek, and even praying for your enemy? To hate no one? To do no murder? To not harm a single hair on the head of a a child or by your actions drive that child from loving god? Or against rape, pedophilia, etc? Or harming fetuses in their stance against abortion when their own god not only ordered abortions but apparently when he did his flood, committed abortions himself when he drowned pregnant women, killing their fetuses? Then their god? FAILS on all counts of what Christians describe as having good morals and being a good Christian even.
BUT? They again? Either ignore their gods actions, they justify their gods actions or they say? YOU cannot judge our gods actions. But of course? Their god can judge us and our actions though lmfao.
So Christians? Fit the exact definition of someone having Stockholm Syndrome when it comes time to their god. Again, as the very definition of Stockholm Syndrome shows with my editing it a little?
Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response. It occurs when a person who is a hostage to the theology of Christianity and the god of Christians, with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse of being brainwashed that you cannot question ANY judgement of gods actions, that you would even consider immoral and evil, if a human being was doing them, or if they had absolutely no knowledge the stories were about their god from the OT. They are brainwashed that to question this? Would be to doubt and question god and that is evil. So they are reinforced again and again? To literally ignore all the evil that their god did in the OT as TRUE EVIL, and proclaim it as good and loving when it comes time to their god, when again? Any other human or god doing these same things? They would declare pure evil.
If Christians were actually logical and honest with themselves? They would see this with their own eyes.
by Br. Alexis Bugnolo The First Crusade was the most glorious military undertaking in the history of Christianity. It was such because it was the first to internationally testify to the faith of the Church in using military forces for a work of mercy: to restore the order of justice, the rights of the Christian […]
This assclown Roman Catholic says that what his fellow Roman Catholic butchers did during their First Crusade? Was their military forces for a work of mercy, to restore the order of justice, the rights of the Christian faith, the mercy to persecuted Christians.
THIS ASSCLOWN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRAISES HIS HISTORICAL ROMAN CATHOLICS AND THEIR MASS SLAUGHTER, THEIR CANNIBALISATION OF PEOPLE, THEIR BUTCHERY OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
REALLY? APARENTLY THIS ASSHOLE CHRISTOFASCIST TALBAN CATHOLIC? APPROVES OF BUTCHERY AND MURDER AND CANNIBALISM HUH?
NOW? LET’S TAKE A REAL LOOK AT WHAT THESE SCUMBAG CHRISTOSHITSTAINS ON THE UNDERWEAR OF HUMANITY ACTUALLY DID IN THEIR BRUTAL BUTCHERY OF THEIR CRUSADES TO JERUSALEM SHALL WE?
The siege is notable for the mass slaughter of Muslims and Jews perpetrated by the Christian crusaders, which contemporaneous sources suggest was savage and widespread
On 7 June, the crusaders reached Jerusalem, which had been recaptured from the Seljuqs by the Fatimids only the year before. Many Crusaders wept upon seeing the city they had journeyed so long to reach. As with Antioch, the Crusaders put the city to a siege, in which the crusaders themselves probably suffered more than the citizens of the city, due to the lack of food and water around Jerusalem. The city was well-prepared for the siege, and the Fatimid governor Iftikhar ad-Daula had expelled most of the Christians. Of the estimated 5,000 knights who took part in the Princes’ Crusade, only about 1,500 remained, along with another 12,000 healthy foot-soldiers (out of perhaps as many as 30,000). Early in the siege, some low-class knights claimed to have been visited by Adhemar, the papal legate for the crusade, who recently died of typhus after the Siege of Antioch. They claimed that this would be similar to the Battle of Jericho, and that he instructed them to march around the city walls barefoot. They did so for a few days, singing holy chants. After this Peter the Hermit held religious sermons in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, in the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the Mount of Olives, sending the crusading knights lost into religious zeal. It was at this time that they were ready for a siege. Godfrey, Robert of Flanders, and Robert of Normandy (who had now also left Raymond to join Godfrey) besieged the north walls as far south as the Tower of David, while Raymond set up his camp on the western side, from the Tower of David to Mount Zion. A direct assault on the walls on June 13 was a failure. Without water or food, both men and animals were quickly dying of thirst and starvation and the crusaders knew time was not on their side. Coincidentally, soon after the first assault, two Genoese galleys sailed into the port at Jaffa. The Crusaders also began to gather wood from Samaria in order to build siege engines. They were still short on food and water, and by the end of June there was news that a Fatimid army was marching north from Egypt.
Atrocities committed against the inhabitants of cities taken by storm after a siege were normal in ancient and medieval warfare by both Christians and Muslims. The Crusaders had already done so at Antioch, and Fatimids had done so themselves at Taormina, at Rometta, and at Tyre. However, the massacre of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, both Muslims and Jews, may have exceeded even these standards. Historian Michael Hull has suggested this was a matter of deliberate policy rather than simple bloodlust, to remove the “contamination of pagan superstition” (quoting Fulcher of Chartres) and to reform Jerusalem as a strictly Christian city.
The Archbishop of Tyre, eye-witness, wrote: “It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of the slain without horror; everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of headless bodies and mutilated limbs strewn in all directions that roused the horror of all who looked upon them. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them. It is reported that within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished.”
Christian chronicler Eckehard of Aura noted that “even the following summer in all of palestine the air was polluted by the stench of decomposition”. One million victims of the first crusade alone.
Jerusalem conquered 7/15/1099 more than 60,000 victims (jewish, muslim, men, women, children).
(In the words of one witness: “there [in front of Solomon’s temple] was such a carnage that our people were wading ankle-deep in the blood of our foes”, and after that “happily and crying for joy our people marched to our Saviour’s tomb, to honour it and to pay off our debt of gratitude”)
Here the Christians “did no other harm to the women found in [the enemy’s] tents—save that they ran their lances through their bellies,” according to Christian chronicler Fulcher of Chartres.
Marra (Maraat an-numan) 12/11/98 thousands killed. Because of the subsequent famine “the already stinking corpses of the enemies were eaten by the Christians” said chronicler Albert Aquensis.
This is a long report of 13 pages. I am going to take some sections of it to post, but if you wish to read the whole report? Please download it.
Abstract: Utilizing data from 326 cases of alleged child sexual abuse that occurred at or through activities provided by Protestant Christian congregations, this study examines demographic and contextual characteristics of alleged child sexual abuse that took place within the most prevalent religious environment in the United States. Research questions are addressed in this study. First, what type of child sexual abuse most commonly occurs at or through activities provided by Protestant Christian congregations? Second, where do such offenses physically take place? Third, who are the offenders and what role(s) do they assume in the congregations? We find that the overwhelming majority of offenses were contact offenses that occurred on church premises or at the offender’s home, and that most offenders were white male pastors or youth ministers who were approximately 40 years in age. We conclude with policy implications and recommendations for future research.
Specifically, three faith-based insurance companies that provide coverage for 165,500 churches—mostly Protestant Christian churches and 5500 other religious-oriented organizations—reported 7095 claims of alleged sexual abuse by clergy, church staff, congregation members, or volunteers between 1987 and 2007 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2007). This is an average of 260 claims of alleged sexual abuse per year, which resulted in $87.8 million in total claims being paid (Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2007). Although information on the extent and context of abuse is preliminary and limited, these previous statistics suggest to us the need for systematic research on child sexual abuse within US Protestant congregations. This study will provide a more comprehensive understanding of alleged child sexual abuse that occurs with Protestant Christian congregations, while also serving as a strong foundation for future research on this understudied topic.
The overwhelming majority of studies that have been published on this topic have focused on either individual cases of abuse, how to stop abuse from occurring, how to recover from such instances of sexual abuse, or some combination of those (see Capps 1993; Flynn 2003; Horst 2000;Muse 1992; Poling 1999).
Even though the above issues are crucial for study, there is even less information about what offenses occur at a national level, where they physically take place, and who offends. This information is especially crucial when considering Capps’ (1993) three key reasons why religious leaders have the strong potential to engage in sexual abuse. These reasons are the (1) power of access throughout the church and victim accessibility; (2) power from not being under the surveillance of others; and (3) power over congregants by being privy to personal knowledge (e.g., marital issues and addictions).
Garland and Argueta (2010) later identified factors that may be related to sexual abuse committed by religious leaders. These factors are (1) family members, friends, and victims ignored warning signs; (2) the niceness culture (i.e., discounting sexual flirting for being friendly); (3) ease of private communication; (4) no oversight; (5) multiple roles (e.g., pastor, marital counselor, etc.); and (6) inherent trust in the sanctuary.
With the lack of specific research on sexual abuse within these environments, it is pertinent to briefly examine the sexual misconduct literature within these environments for contextual purposes.
1.1.1. Clergy Offender Characteristics
One universal trait that has been found in prior studies pertaining to both sexual misconduct and abuse is that the overwhelming majority of known offenders are male (Francis and Baldo 1998; Friberg and Laaser 1998; Garland and Argueta 2010; Thoburn and Whitman 2004). This characteristic should not come as a surprise since most Christian denominations (88%) only allow males to assume leadership positions within the church (Cooperative Congregations Studies Partnership 2010).
A second key characteristic found regarding clergy that do engage in sexual abuse is that only a small percentage are believed to have some form of paraphilia, which is an extreme fixation on a certain individual, object, or situation that results in intense sexual arousal (American Psychiatric Association 2013). Specifically, 2% are believed to be potentially diagnosable as a pedophile (i.e., sexual focus on prepubescent children), while 4% could be diagnosable as an ephebophile (i.e., sexual fixation on those between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age) (Sipe 1990, 1995).
Other psychological issues that have been attributed to priests that have been known to engage in child sexual abuse include addiction, depression, and even cognitive dysfunction (Blanchard 1991; Plante and Aldridge 2005).
A third key characteristic found regarding clergy who have reported to have engaged in sexual misconduct have had higher-than-normal levels of narcissism when using Raskin and Hall’s (1979) Narcissistic Personality Inventory (see Brock and Lukens 1989; Francis and Baldo 1998; Hands 1992; Muse 1992; Muse and Chase 1993; Seat et al. 1993). Narcissism is seen as a key trait that can amplify instances of sexual abuse for individuals in positions of power.
1.1.3. Offense Locations
For instances of sexual misconduct and abuse that occurred within Protestant Christian churches, Chaves and Garland (2009) found that most (92%) sexual misconduct occurred in a private setting. Garland and Argueta (2010) found that most sexual misconduct/abuse occurred inside the offender’s church office while conducting a counselling session. Since Protestant Christian clergy generally live off the church campus, this may restrict their attempts to commit sexual abuse due to less absolute privacy (Bohm et al. 2014; Fegert et al. 2011).
Despite research that has examined sexual misconduct and abuse within religious settings, there still exists a need for research pertaining to offenses that occur at or through activities provided by Protestant Christian churches. Such information is crucial with an estimated 314,000 churches in the US, with a substantial portion of that population being occupied by the ages with the highest known sexual victimization rates (Grammich et al. 2012; Pew Research Center 2007). Any environment that may be conducive for instances of sexual abuse is essential to study because of long-lasting side effects, such as depression, increased substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts/attempts/completions (see Beitchman et al. 1992; Dube et al. 2005; Najdowski and Ullman 2009; Rossow and Lauritzen 2001; Simpson and Miller 2002). As such, the expansion of research into specific and contextual information regarding child sexual abuse that occur at or through activities provided by Protestant Christian churches is imperative.
1.2. Clergy Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct refers to clergy that have engaged in legal, sexual relations, adultery, or some other related sexual action with a congregant that is deemed unethical or improper within these environments. Several studies have attempted to understand the prevalence of clergy sexual misconduct among Protestant Christian clergy (see Cooper 2002; Francis and Stacks 2003; Meek et al. 2004; Seat et al. 1993; Thoburn and Whitman 2004). Studies 1% to as many as 38.5% of all clergy, across a wide range of Christian denominations, have engaged in sexual misconduct of some form (Francis and Stacks 2003; Meek et al. 2004; Seat et al. 1993; Thoburn and Whitman 2004).
The Present Study
There are three foci for the present study. First, we examine the types of child sexual abuse alleged to occur within Protestant Christian congregations. Second, we provide information on where these offenses are alleged to occur. Third, we examine who commits alleged offenses within these environments and which role(s) they assume within their congregations. It is important to understand these core contextual characteristics, to provide a framework for additional research on this topic, and to provide law enforcement officers and faith leaders with information that could be useful in preventing and controlling child sexual abuse in faith environments.
4.1. Offense Type
Across all 326 cases that resulted in an arrest, a total of 454 individual offenses were alleged to have occurred. Since the 326 cases occurred in 41 total states, numerous local and state jurisdictions were crossed. As such, the name for a particular offense in one jurisdiction may be entirely different in the legal definition, severity, and overall scope than an offense with the same/similar name in another jurisdiction. As such, sexual offenses were organized into the two categories of (1) contact offenses and (2) non-contact offenses.
A similar categorization strategy has been employed in prior studies examining sexual offenses (see Babchishin et al. 2015; MacPherson 2010). Contact offenses are criminal actions that involved the offender making some form of direct physical contact with the victim’s body, whereas non-contact offenses are still sexual in nature, yet do not involve the offender making direct physical contact with the victim.
A third category of property offenses was also developed to include the property offenses (e.g., possession of criminal tools, and burglary) that were alleged to have occurred during the commission of the alleged sexual abuse.
4.1.1. Contact Offenses
Contact offenses refer to alleged offenses that involved some direct physical sexual contact between the offender and the victim(s) (Mair and Stevens 1994). Notable examples of contact offenses include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, rape, and groping. In total, contact offenses represented fully 80% (n = 363) of the 454 total offenses. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of all offenses included direct physical sexual contact between the offender and the victim(s). The total number of victims per case ranged from one to as many as 20 individuals. However, the vast majority of cases involved only one known victim at 61.7%. We must note here that cases involving child pornography were not included in this part of the analysis. Therefore, the number of cases is 321.
4.1.2. Non-Contact Offenses
Non-contact sex offenses refer to those where the offender did not have physical sexual contact with any victim(s) (Mair and Stevens 1994). Some examples of non-contact sex offenses include stalking, sexual harassment, and possession of child pornography. Across all 326 cases, non-contact offenses represented 18.9% (n = 89) of the 454 separate offenses. Although this is a sizeable minority, it is important to consider that 79.1% (n = 258) of cases involved the offender being charged with both contact and non-contact sex offenses when arrested, and only 7.4% (n = 24) were charged with solely a non-contact sexual offense.
4.1.3. Property Offenses
Some individuals within the present study were also charged with a property offense at the point of arrest in conjunction with a sex offense (i.e., contact and/or non-contact). In total, a mere 1.1% (n = 5) of all offenses at the point of arrest were for a property crime (e.g., burglary and theft of a victim’s clothing).
4.2. Offense Locations
A total of 41 states were represented in the present study. The top five states that had the most reported instances of alleged sexual abuse were as follows: Florida (9.6%; n = 32), Texas (8.4%; n = 28), California (7.5%; n = 25), Illinois (5.1%; n = 17), and Tennessee and Alabama, respectively, at 4.2% (n = 14). Across the 326 cases, the specific offense location was available in 70.9% (n = 231) of the cases. Fully 29.1% (n = 95) cases did not have a specific location reported. Findings were divided into two primary subsections, being (1) general offense locations and (2) specific offense locations.
4.2.1. General Offense Locations
General offense location was divided into three distinct categories. These three categories were if the offense(s) occurred either exclusively (1) on church grounds; (2) off church grounds; or (3) both on and off church grounds. Among cases with a reported location (n = 231), 45.5% (n = 105) occurred exclusively off-site. Specifically, most cases with a reported offense location occurred within the offender’s home, victim’s home, or some other off-site location (e.g., hotel/motel room). In contrast, fully 35.5% (n = 82) of cases with a known location occurred exclusively on church grounds. Examples of such locations on church grounds included church offices, the parking lot, and the sanctuary. A sizeable minority of all offenses with a reported offense location took place both on and off the church grounds at 19.0% (n = 44).
4.2.2. Specific Offense Locations
Across all 326 cases, there were a total of 311 reported offense locations. Five unique offense locations were reported across the 311 offense locations. Table 1 presents the findings for the specific offense locations, percentages, and the total numbers.
Table 1. Offense locations. Location Percentage at the church 38.9% (n = 121) offender’s home 31.2% (n = 97) off-site 12.9% (n = 40) off-site church-sponsored activity 10.6% (n = 33) victim’s home 6.4% (n = 20) n = 311.
The most frequent specific offense location reported was that it occurred someplace at the church (e.g., office, basement, bathroom, etc.). Altogether, 38.9% (n = 121) of all offenses allegedly took place on the church premises, with 15.4% (n = 48) occurring within the personal office of the alleged offender.
The second most frequent specific offense location was at the offender’s home (31.2%; n = 97), thus suggesting some degree of planning and/or grooming by the offender to isolate the victim inside a relatively controlled environment. The third most frequent offense location was at a sponsored off-site church-sponsored activity (e.g., mission trips, camping trips, etc.), accounting for 10.6% (n = 33) of all cases with a known location. The fourth most frequent offense location was at an off-site (e.g., offender’s car) location at 12.9% (n = 40). The fifth and final specific offense location was alleged to have occurred within the victim’s home at 6.4% (n = 20).
4.3. Offender Characteristics
To meet the third goal of this study, the offender characteristics are presented. Altogether, 332 offenders across the 326 identified cases were identified. The remainder of this section is divided into the four subsections of (1) offender sex; (2) offender race/ethnicity; (3) offender age; and (4) offender role.
4.3.1. Offender Gender
The overwhelming majority of identified offenders were male. Specifically, male offenders were represented by 98.8% (n = 328) with female offenders at only 1.2% (n = 4) of the offender sample.
4.3.2. Offender Race/Ethnicity
There were five total races/ethnicities represented among the offender sample being White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American. A total of 18.3% (n = 61) of the race/ethnicity of the offender was missing. The overwhelming majority of offenders were identified as White (73.1%; n = 198) with Black representing 18.8% (n = 51) of all offenders. The remaining three races/ethnicities of Hispanic, Asian, and Native American accounted for less-than 10% of all offenders.
4.3.3. Offender Age
In total, 56 distinct offender ages were represented in the sample. Specifically, offender ages at the time of the alleged sexual abuse ranged from 18 to 88 years of age. Altogether, only 2.7% (n = 7) of all offender ages were missing, yielding 325 total cases. The mean age was 40.4 years of age with a standard deviation of 13.7 years. For male offenders (n = 315; 7 missing), the mean age was 40.5 with a standard deviation of 13.7 years. For female offenders (n = 4), the mean age was considerably younger at 23.5 with a standard deviation of 12.8 years. One’s age is oftentimes associated with one’s role within a church, with many positions relying upon a seniority system. Thus, the offender’s role held within the church is an important characteristic for understanding who occupies the role and how such a role can potentially influence one’s opportunities for victim access.
4.3.4. Offender Role
The specific role that the offender held within the church was available in 92.2% (n = 306) of the cases with 7.8% (n = 26) having no reported role. Across all cases, 12 distinct offender roles were represented within the sample. The overwhelming majority (80.1%) of offenders were employed in an official capacity within their respective churches with a substantial minority (19.9%) being volunteers.
Table 2 presents the findings for both male and female offender roles. Table 2. Offender Role within the Church. Offender Role Percentage Male Offender Roles Pastor 34.9% (n = 110) Youth Minister 31.4% (n = 99) Youth Volunteer 8.3% (n = 26) Associate Pastor 5.4% (n = 17) Music Minister 4.8% (n = 15) Volunteer 3.2% (n = 10) Sunday School Teacher 2.9% (n = 9) Deacon 2.2% (n = 7) Church Member 2.2% (n = 7) Church CampWorker 0.6% (n = 2) n = 315 Female Offender Roles Youth Volunteer 50% (n = 2) Youth Minister 25% (n = 1) Pastor’s Wife 25% (n = 1) n = 4
Male Offender Roles
Of the 328 male offenders in the present sample, 94.7% (n = 305) of their roles were known with 4.0% (n = 13) missing. The most frequent male offender role was a Pastor at 34.9% (n = 110) of the sample, followed by Youth Ministers at 31.4% (n = 99). The third most frequent offender role of Youth Volunteers was a sharp contrast in frequency compared to the first two roles consisting of 8.3% (n = 26) of the sample. Youth Volunteers can range from someone that is an unpaid church member to a young adult who assists with the youth ministry. Combined, those who occupy roles that require the direct supervision and/or interaction with youth (generally under 18 years of age), comprised 38.8% of the total offender sample. The fourth most frequent offender role was that of Associate Pastor, followed by Music Ministers. Specifically, Associate Pastors represented 5.4% (n = 17) of the sample, whereas Music Ministers held 4.8% (n = 15) of the total sample. Even though all but one of the male offender roles at this point have been employees of the church, the remainder of offenders held some volunteer role. Volunteers, the sixth most represented male offender role, made up 3.2% (n = 10) of the total sample. Volunteers is a general category that includes a wide-range of individuals serving in various capacities, such as a sports coach or bus driver. Yet another form of volunteer that was also represented were Sunday School Teachers at 2.9% (n = 9). Typically, Sunday School Teachers are tasked with preparing and instructing individuals with religious materials on a weekly or more basis. The eighth most represented offender role, Deacons (2.2%), are also individuals that provide a wide-range of services to the church, such as collecting tithes and visiting church members in the hospital. The ninth most represented male offender role was a general Church Member at 2.2% (n = 7) of the offenders. Somewhat unique when compared to the other offender roles present, Church Members do not occupy a specific role within the church, nor do they hold an official title. The final two male offender roles were Church Camp Workers (0.6%; n = 2) and Choir Volunteers (0.6%; n = 2). Church Camp Workers are individuals that worked for a short-term summer camp or other camp operated by the respective church. Choir Volunteers are those that sing within the respective church’s choir. Although male offenders held 10 distinct roles, the female offenders occupied only three individual roles.
Female Offender Roles
Even though there were only four female offenders represented, these offenders also warrant discussion. The three female offender roles were a Youth Volunteer, Youth Minister, and the Pastor’s Wife. Youth Volunteers represented 50% (n = 2) of the female offender sample while Youth Minister and the Pastor’s Wife had one case (i.e., 25%), respectively.
When any remaining abortion doctors in Louisiana are eventually murdered, each and every member of the Louisiana House and Senate who voted for their new HB 388 law, as well as Governor Bobby Jindal, should be charged as accessories to murder. This law will be requiring doctors, including those in private practice who provide a limited number of abortions, to register with the state. This registration requires doctors to publish their names, addresses, and even photos to the internet. Pushed through the Louisiana Senate with a vote of 34-3, and then the House with a vote of 85-6, HB 388 also closes most of the state’s abortion clinics.
These legislators know that they are purposefully putting the lives of abortion providers at risk by forcing them to publish their identifying information. In the past, in other states, wanted posters with the names and details of abortion providers have been circulated among anti-choice extremists. In these cases, the consequence has been death, such as the murders of Dr. David Gunn and Dr. George Patterson. Too often, the allegedly “pro-life” community either remains silent on these murders or applauds them outright, as Reverend Paul Hill did when he said in the New York Times that the murders of Drs. Gunn and Patterson, “had the desired result.”
As it stands, five years after the murder of Dr. George Tiller, most of these remaining abortion doctors already have to remain in hiding to prevent violent radicals from killing them or their loved ones. They take different routes to work each day. They wear bullet proof vests. Their clinics have armed guards, metal detectors, and the highest levels of security they can afford.
When Maddow, on June 3rd, covered Louisiana’s premeditated effort to have abortion providers targeted for murder, she quoted Democratic State Representative Larry Walker of Georgia, who said in 2001,
“Have you heard about these clinics being bombed and these people being shot and if the word goes out this could very well cause that. In fact, I had a leading Republican over here say we’re a right to life, not this kind of thing…How many appendectomy doctors do you know whose clinics have been bombed? Or baby doctors…pediatricians…or heart specialists? Now…let’s be realistic about it. If you take that approach, this is the real thing. If you put out on the Internet that these people are performing abortions, the next thing you know some of these radicals are going to want to shoot ’em and kill ’em and bomb ’em and everything else. It’s going on. It’s the real world.”
Louisiana itself is no stranger to violence against abortion clinics. In 1986, several people were indicted for bombing two clinics and attempting to bomb a third. Again in 1993, a man torched another abortion clinic in Louisiana. People know the consequences of publishing this information.
It is not enough that Louisiana (and so many other states) have already restricted access to abortion to an unprecedented extent. It is not enough that they have assured that low-income women, the women most in need of services, are unable to get them. While the past four years have seen extraordinary overreach on the part of mostly Republican lawmakers in the states regarding abortion restrictions, it has to be noted that nearly every Democratic lawmaker in Louisiana voted right alongside the Republicans on this newest bloodthirsty bill. It is a matter of time before one of two things happens. Either Louisiana lawmakers will get their wish that abortion providers will at least be frightened out of delivering services in the future, or they will get their wish that abortion providers are all murdered. If it’s the latter, or if even one abortion provider is killed as a result of this electronic ‘wanted’ list, all 119 legislators who voted in favor of HB 388 should be charged as accessories to 1st degree murder when the eventual tragedy (or tragedies) occur(s.)
Their god given moral told them it was perfectly ok to commit the worst act of mass genocide and extermination against my Native American ancestors under their Manifest Destiny theology.
To slaughter and butcher millions of the original inhabitants of North, Central and South America, forcing them on death marches to death camps, raping and pillaging the Nations, brutalizing them. Taking the children and forcing them into their brainwashing Christian schools where Christians sought to remove any and all trace of their Native American heritage, through violence, beatings, starvations, rapes and outright murder of these children.
While proclaiming themselves the Civilized Ones bringing the religion of peace and love and non-judgment of Christianity to us savage injuns. Stealing our lands in their massacres of us. Slaughtering our game to starve us. Committing acts of Crimes Against Humanity in their biological warfare against us.
It told them it was ok to commit acts of mass murder in their 9 forced conversion programs against the Pagans of Northern Europe. It told them it was ok in 322 AD to proclaim Paganism a death penalty punishment and invade their countries and under their ChristoFascist Taliban ways? Slaughter whole towns of Pagans, murder Pagan priests and priestesses, beat to death Pagan children on the spot who were found playing with Pagan statutes as if they were playing with a doll. Destroying Pagan temples and then? Stealing all the Pagan holy days and rituals and converting them to their own use of Christianity.
It told them it was ok to slaughter whole towns of Jewish people, to blame them for the Black Death, etc. To wipe out Jewish towns of people because they said they murdered their Christian Lord and Savior, despite the fact that all what Christians teach goes against everything that Jewish theology and Old Testament teachings of theirs. It did not matter they literally hijacked the Hebrew religious beliefs and converted them to their Christian ones and then? Slaughtered, butchered and murdered the Jews.
It told them it was ok for them to build some of the most foul, evil and diabolocal torture machines to use on their fellow human beings they proclaimed as witches and heretics, and of course scientists who they disagreed with because the scientist proved them wrong.
It told them it was ok to own their fellow human beings as slaves. To even fight wars over the owning of another human being as a slave. Because hey, god commanded slavery in the bible, so according to gods morals? It is perfectly ok for Christians to own another human being as a slave.
It told them it was ok to go to war over differences in their belief in a god and a Jesus and slaughter whole nations and decimate their populations, like in the Thirty Year War between the Catholics and Protestants.
Yeah, Christian morality from their god and Jesus and leaders who order them to go out and slaughter people? Sure leaves a whole freaking lot to be desired. But of course? In their apologist hypocrisy? They will play the No True Scotsman line of apologetic bullshit to proclaim those people who did those things were not True Christians lmfao.
And of course? They say the same for the hundreds of thousands of Christian priests and pastors busted for raping kids, while they blame lgbts, atheists and Pagans for their rampant pedophilia.
I will provide a few examples from Twitter today, as it’s the same type of sweeping statement that I’ve read time and time again.
Maybe religion but not Christianity. Atheists hold the record for murder. You can call it what you will, but it was due to atheists being atheists. Only an atheist with no morality and no apparent consequences for their actions. No God means no consequences.
Atheists are a bunch of people who believe they can do anything without any morality. A young lady in China was sentenced to death because she crudely killed many young children, kidnapped and tortured them before took their life. In court, she said she is an atheist.
Earlier during the month I wrote a post “Anti-Christian latest intolerance: Swiss Christian Chocolate Company.” I had an interesting troll in the comments who claimed to be a Christian fighting against other Christians for “intolerance.” I responded in a post here: Calling out a Drive-By Virtue-Signaling Troll. Seems like the story with this troll has a […]
Funny how these scumbag intolerant Christians can spew all kinds of lies, hate and bullshit at us atheists and they all think? We atheists are just going to continue to lay down and take it.
These ChristoTalibans? Are no different than the MuslimTalibans. Perverted, degenerates, disgustingly demonic scumbags, true shitstains on the underwear of humanity.
They think because they are Christians they have a fucking right to shove their brutal, shitty, vile and evil, blood covered, butchering and slaughtering, persecuting religion upon the rest of us and think we are just going to shut our mouths and let these Fascist shitstains on the underwear of humanity keep walking all over us.
I got news for these ChristoTaliban shitstains on the underwear of humanity. They haven’t met too many atheists like myself yet, but we are a rising breed of atheists, who have fucking had it with all these Theist Fascist pig fuckers who think they can tell everyone else what to do and we should just shut up and take it. The Dark Ages are over you dumb asses. Try burning us now.
Well fuck that. Any fucking Christian gets into my face and tries to do me, or my loved ones harm? Better have their wills written out and be prepared to meet their invisible sky daddy. See if he will save your ass as I rip your fucking heads off, shit down your necks, put your heads back on, poke your fucking eyeballs out and skull fuck you for your Jeebus the Dead Jewish Zombie Still Rotting on a Fucking Stick.
How do you like that ChristoTwats? If you ChristoFascists can scream how you all should have the right to put us atheists, or anyone else to fucking death, according to your Bronze Age bullshit terrorist theology of Christianity? I got new for ya. And if you think we atheists are going to continue to lay down for you punks hiding behind a religion called Christianity and using the title of Christian to spew your hate and death against atheists, lgbts and others and think you are not going to get called out on it by this atheist? I got fucking news for you there too Sunshines. I will stand up to your vile and evil bullshit. I will expose it and I will never fear punk assed bully bitches like yourselves. So suck it up and deal with it you fascist pig fucking ChristoTalibans.
Bunch of Project Veritas Jimmy Blowboi O’Keefe and Erik Twatwaffle Prince clown car of Reich-Wing ChristoFascist Traitor Trump blowbois. Listen well bitches. If I have the unmitigated balls to stand up and get in the faces of the Popes, Cardinals, Bishops and Archbishops of the Roman Catholic Cult of Pedophiles without one ounce of fear what the fuck makes you punks think I would be afraid of you mental midget morons?
Database of Publicly Accused Roman Catholic Priests, Nuns, Brothers, Deacons, and Seminarians in the United States This is just the database for priests in the United States, filled with over 10,000 named Catholic priests, brothers, nuns and sisters busted for raping and abusing children. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/member/index.jsp
Naason Joaquin Garcia, the leader of the Mexico-based church La Luz Del Mundo, is scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles on June 21. The list of charges is long and disturbing. Among them: rape of a minor, extortion and human traficking.
But what exactly is La Luz Del Mundo? And what role does Joaquin Garcia have among his followers?
WHO IS JOAQUIN GARCIA AND WHY WAS HE ARRESTED?
Joaquin Garcia isn’t just the leader of La Luz Del Mundo. Adherents of the fundamentalist Christian group consider the man now being held on $50 million bail a living apostle of Jesus Christ, like his father and grandfather before him.
Joaquin Garcia was arrested at LAX last Monday on charges including child rape and human trafficking, after four church members from L.A. County filed reports using the California Attorney General’s clergy abuse tip line. The alleged crimes occurred in L.A. County between 2015 and 2018.
Prosecutors say Joaquin Garcia and three female co-defendants coerced underage victims into performing sex acts by telling them that if they defied Garcia’s desires as “the Apostle,” they were defying God.
In a news conference Thursday, Attorney General Xavier Becerra said his heart goes out to the many Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles who depend on La Luz Del Mundo, or The Light of The World church, for support.
“I understand many are probably very frightened and confused,” Becerra said. “Many of these folks are not well-versed in American society, are not totally fluent, and depended quite a bit on what this organization provided to them.”
“I would simply say to them that no law of California, no law of humankind, and certainly no law of God would permit what Naason Joaquin Garcia is alleged to have committed against these young women,” Becerra said.
HOW HAVE LA LUZ MEMBERS REACTED?
Since Joaquin Garcia’s arrest, some members have held prayer services for their embattled leader and church leaders have issued statements of support.
“The church categorically rejects the false accusations against Joaquin Garcia,” La Luz spokesman Nicolas Menchaca told LAist, adding that “the Apostle” has always acted according to the law.
During a service this week at La Luz Del Mundo’s East L.A. church, a crowd of about 100 people gathered — the focus was largely on Joaquin Garcia himself.
“Our reaction has been to come to church and to pray, and to put everything in God’s hands, because we trust that God will answer our prayers,” said Priscilla Granados, 25, standing outside after the service.
The Greek-style, gold-columned temple is the group’s largest in Southern California, with more than 1,200 members. Joaquin Garcia once served as pastor at the East L.A. church. In 2014, he became the international leader of La Luz Del Mundo, based in Guadalajara.
Granados, who joined the church with her family at age 12, said she believes Joaquin Garcia is innocent of the charges against him.
“I only speak of what I know, and what I know of him, for the years that I’ve been part of the church, I’ve never seen anything, witnessed anything, or heard anything relatively close to what’s being spread right now,” Granados said.
Some former members of La Luz Del Mundo have spoken critically about Joaquin Garcia. One online forum is aimed at “exit support” and discussion.
WHAT IS LA LUZ DEL MUNDO?
La Luz is the largest evangelical church in Mexico and the second largest religious body there after the Roman Catholic Church. It’s also a transnational movement with between 1 and 5 million members worldwide and dozens of churches in Southern California. That includes the East L.A. location and a church in Pasadena.
The religious group was founded in Guadalajara in 1926 by Joaquin Garcia’s grandfather, Eusebio Joaquin Gonzalez, still venerated by adherents as the “first Apostle.”
After the Great Depression, Joaquin Gonzalez recruited migrants returning to Mexico from the U.S. In the 1950s, he began to evangelize in Los Angeles.
“This is a migrant church that was born in the most historically and traditionally migrant place in all of Mexico,” said Patricia Fortuny, a cultural anthropologist based in Mexico City, that’s researched the group since 1989. “It has the highest rate of migration to the United States historically, since the 19th century.”
For that reason, Fortuny said California, with its large population of Mexican immigrants, has the largest concentration of La Luz adherents in the U.S.
Joaquin Garcia’s father, Samuel Joaquin Flores, led the church from 1964 until 2014. He was the subject of sexual abuse allegations in 1997, but never faced criminal charges.
WHAT IS THE BELIEF SYSTEM OF LA LUZ MEMBERS?
The La Luz belief system is a mash-up of Pentecostal theology and regional Catholic culture, Fortuny said.
La Luz followers identify as Christians who follow the Bible and believe that Jesus Christ is humanity’s savior. But they’re taught salvation can only be achieved by following the international leaders of their church, past and present.
This belief system fostered an intense connection and trust among many members who view Joaquin Garcia as the key to their religious movement.
La Luz traditions are unfamiliar to many in the U.S. Churches offer three prayer services each day. Male and female worshippers sit on opposite sides of churches. Women wear long skirts and cover their heads with lace veils. Church members aren’t supposed to drink, smoke or gamble. The church does not celebrate Christmas or Easter.
While Fortuny said the religious group is too large and well-organized to be considered a cult, La Luz Del Mundo’s focus on its “apostles” does set the church apart from other Latin American evangelical Pentecostal movements.
“Most Pentecostal churches don’t worship their pastors,” Fortuny said. “Having this ‘living apostle’ is the strongest feature of the church, because it’s fantastic for the people. They feel unique, like they are chosen to be part of the restored primitive Christian Church. But it’s also the weakest feature of the church, because of that coercive power the leader, in this case Naason Joaquin Garcia, has.”
As a minority religion in heavily Catholic Mexico, La Luz Del Mundo members have faced some marginalization and persecution. Fortuny said Joaquin Garcia’s arrest will only worsen relations between Catholics and non-Catholics in Mexico.
“There’s already violent discourse against La Luz Del Mundo in Guadalajara,” Fortuny said. “Now, this is probably going to extend into many other evangelical groups who are not La Luz, and who are not as fundamentalist. Other churches will be painted with the same brush.”
Fortuny also worries about millions of La Luz faithful, whose lives are now thrown into disarray.
HOW WILL THE ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AFFECT THE CHURCH AND ITS FOLLOWERS?
While a faction of believers are defending Joaquin Garcia, Fortuney said there’s likely another faction that believes he’s guilty and will fight to keep the church going without him.
“The church could be divided and weakened, but it could also become stronger,” Fortuny said. “Naason can be perceived as an innocent man wrongly persecuted by the state. This persecution can become symbolic social capital for the Church to use.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Joaquin Garcia’s $50 million bail set a new record in Los Angeles County, because of concerns his followers might be able to raise enough funds to help him flee prosecution.
Last Friday, La Luz Del Mundo officials held a press conference in Los Angeles, introducing the legal team that will defend Garcia against 26 felony charges.
Wednesday, June 12, 11:52 a.m.: This article was updated with the new arraignment date and details from members.
This article was originally published on Monday, June 10 at 7 a.m.
Aaron Schrank covers religion, international affairs and the Southern California diaspora under a grant from the Luce Foundation.
A new civil lawsuit filed Thursday against religious leader and self-proclaimed “Apostle” of La Luz Del Mundo, Naason Joaquin Garcia, contains shocking allegations of abuse.
The filing, made in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, came as the religious group is holding its “Holy Supper” event at the Pomona Fairplex, attended by thousands.
It also comes more than eight months since Garcia, the Mexico-based megachurch’s religious leader, was arrested in Los Angeles on dozens of felony child rape and human trafficking charges. He has been held without bail in downtown L.A.’s Men’s Central Jail since then, after the court refused to grant bail citing him as a high-flight risk.
The lawsuit filed by Sochil Martin, a former Luz Del Mundo member, marks the first time a former La Luz Del Mundo church member has spoken openly about abuse allegations. Martin’s lawyers held a news conference Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles to detail her claims against the religious organization, Garcia and other top leaders of the organization.
The 34-year-old woman says she grew up deep in La Luz Del Mundo, primarily attending the flagship temple in East L.A.
Martin says she was groomed as a child, beaten, forced to work for no pay for the church’s communications department, and raped dozens of times over two decades by ‘The Apostle’ Naason Joaquin Garcia and his father, Samuel Joaquin Flores.
Martin’s complaint alleges a ring of child sexual slavery and financial manipulation within the church and points fingers at Naason Joaquin Garcia’s family members and La Luz Del Mundo bishops, many of whom are based in Southern California.
“For nearly 22 years, I was made to work for, travel for, lie for and give my body to an organization who saw me as nothing more than a source of profit and sexual pleasure,” Martin told reporters gathered at the offices of Greenberg Gross in downtown Los Angeles Thursday. “Hundreds, if not thousands of other children before me and after me suffered the same fate.”
Church officials rejected Martin’s account Thursday morning.
“I think it’s just a ploy for attention,” said Jack Freeman, La Luz Del Mundo’s U.S. spokesman and minister of its temple in Redlands. “It’s hatred being manifested towards the Church to disrupt our biggest and holiest event.”
Freeman told LAist he hadn’t read the complaint, but confirmed that Martin was a former church member who had once worked for La Luz Del Mundo’s communications arm, Berea International USA.
WHAT IS LA LUZ DEL MUNDO?
La Luz Del Mundo (full name “Church of the Living God, Pillar and Ground of the Truth, The Light of the World”) was founded in Guadalajara in the 1920s by Naason Joaquin Garcia’s grandfather Eusebio Joaquín González, the church’s first self-proclaimed apostle.
La Luz Del Mundo is Mexico’s second-largest religious movement, after the Catholic Church. It’s a Protestant Christian religious movement that considers itself a restoration of early Christian church.
The Light of The World reports 1,500 temples in 58 countries and between 1 and 5 million members worldwide.
It has a big presence in California, with more than 50 temples, including churches in East L.A. and Pasadena.
Joaquin Garcia’s father, Samuel Joaquin Flores, led the church from 1964 until 2014.He was the subject of sexual abuse allegations in 1997, but never faced criminal charges.
La Luz traditions are unfamiliar to many in the U.S. Churches offer three prayer services each day. Male and female worshippers sit on opposite sides of churches. Women wear long skirts and cover their heads with lace veils. Church members aren’t supposed to drink, smoke or gamble. The church does not celebrate Christmas or Easter.
As a minority religion in heavily Catholic Mexico, La Luz Del Mundo members have faced some marginalization and persecution.
WHAT IS THE HOLY SUPPER?
This event is the U.S. twist on the group’s annual Santa Cena gathering at the church’s historic headquarters in Guadalajara — which draws hundreds of thousands of the church’s millions of members every August in honor of the founding apostle’s birthday.
It’s a sacred rite and ritual for Luz Del Mundo members. Several cups filled with wine (or grape juice) are shared among their thousands of members.
This U.S. version was first held here in 2018, to signal the church’s growing role in the U.S. under Naason Joaquin Garcia’s leadership.
The ritual itself is scheduled to take place Friday evening, in part commemorating the former apostle Samuel Joaquin Flores’ birthday.
“It’s a moment of spiritual renewal where we are able to break bread, drink wine and regain our connection with God and Jesus Christ,” said Genesis Coronado, a spokesperson providing a tour of the Pomona Fairplex. “As humans, we have moments of sin, and this event allows us to reconcile with God.”
Church officials estimated more than 10,000 members showed up to celebrate in Pomona. There are five more sites around the country, including San Diego, Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas and Wanshington D.C.
NEW ALLEGATIONS FROM ‘THE INNER-CIRCLE’
Sochil Martin is stepping forward and alleging years of abuse and manipulation growing up deep inside the religious group’s flagship church in East L.A,, where the jailed church leader and self-proclaimed “Apostle” of the religious movement was once a pastor.
In her civil complaint, Martin says she was trafficked throughout the U.S. and Mexico, beaten and raped dozens of times and even forced to have sex with children — all to satisfy the desires of “the two Apostles,” Naason Joaquin Garcia, and his father Samuel Joaquin Flores.
Martin also claims that since age 16, La Luz Del Mundo’s senior leaders forced her to do more than 30,000 hours of unpaid work for the church’s communications arm, International Berea USA. which is run out of East L.A. and was established by Naason Joaquin Garcia in 2009.
Martin alleges church leaders used their positions of power to benefit from her trafficking and unpaid labor. She named 12 additional people in the lawsuit, including several bishops in La Luz Del Mundo, some of Martin’s former bosses at the Church’s communications department and Naason Joaquin Garcia’s family members.
She alleges a widespread culture of coercion and control inside the organization. Martin says countless members have been forced to work for LDM. The complaint claims most of the employees at Berea International were unpaid.
“For far too many La Luz Del Mundo members, everything they have is taken by LLDM. Every dollar they make goes to La Luz Del Mundo because they truly believe their money will be used to do the work of God on Earth,” Martin said. “But all the hard-earned money goes to making Naason and his enablers rich.”
Martin claims, on one occasion, LDM members in Southern California were encouraged to donate gold jewelry and heirlooms to the Apostle, which were melted down and used to paint the molding on his new home in Los Angeles.
She says members are pressured to give whatever they have to the Church, including homes, which are then either used by the Apostle’s family or rented out to other LDM members for revenue.
“As thousands gather to celebrate the Holy Supper, Naason’s followers will call me a liar and coerce members into giving their last pennies into helping Naason fight me and people like me,” Martin said.
Martin says cash donated at La Luz del Mundo’s temples feeds Naason Joaquin Garcia’s lavish lifestyle. According to the complaint, Naason Joaquin Garcia owns two private ranches in Redlands and South Texas, which house exotic animals and vintage cars.
Sochil left the Church in 2016. Since 2018, She’s been working with authorities to help investigate and prosecute La Luz Del Mundo’s leaders.
WHAT’S HAPPENED IN COURT SO FAR?
Naason Joaquin Garcia and several co-conspirators were arrested last June and charged with dozens of felonies in a case filed by California Department of Justice. Garcia was first held on record high bail in L.A. county, and now without bail oncharges involve three girls and one young woman in L.A. county in recent years. Garcia had denied the charges.
The case has been dragging in the pre-trial phase since Naason Joaquin Garcia’s dramatic arrest at LAX, at least in part because the child victims in the case were guaranteed anonymity when they reported alleged abuse to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office.
But the criminal case filed today is the first where a former member of the church is publicly accusing La Luz Del Mundo and its leadership of manipulation and sex abuse. Sochil’s attorneys, from Greenberg Gross and Jeff Anderson & Associates, said they hoped more victims will come forward.
Church officials and active members maintain the innocence and righteousness of their leader and Apostle. Spokesman Jack Freeman says despite the new allegations, the Holy Supper is going on as planned and has already resulted in hundreds of baptisms around the U.S.
An Indiana woman is suing the First Baptist Church of Hammond, alleging its youth minister repeatedly raped her as a teen girl in the late 1970s.
Joy Ryder, who now runs a support group for sex abuse victims, said she is trying to win justice not only for herself, but others similarly abused by the fundamentalist movement’s clergy over the decades.
She alleges officials of the church and Hyles-Anderson College put her at the mercy of David Hyles, son of the church’s charismatic leader, the late Jack Hyles.
She said once her family accused David Hyles of sexual abuse, the church covered up his wrongdoings.
Ryder, who spoke this week with The Times and gave permission to identify her by name, said the federal lawsuit is the only way left to hold church officials publicly accountable.
“You couldn’t go up against their authority. (David Hyles) told me that nobody would believe me,” she said.
She said the statute of limitations has passed on criminal charges, and the church hierarchy has repeatedly refused to respond to her accusations.
Her attorney, Robert Montgomery, filed a civil suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
It alleges David Hyles, Hyles-Anderson College in Schererville and the First Baptist Church of Hammond violated state and local law as defined by the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) statute.
Neither David Hyles, who now is affiliated with a different church out of state, nor a spokesperson for the First Baptist Church of Hammond, were immediately available for comment Tuesday.
The new lawsuit marks the latest in a history of civil and criminal accusations of sexual abuse of underage girls made against officials of the church, which was founded in 1887.
A Lake Criminal court jury convicted A.V. Ballenger, a deacon of the Hammond Baptist Church, almost three decades ago of fondling a 7-year-old girl in the summer of 1991 in her Sunday school class.
Jack Schaap, a son-in-law Hammond Baptist church founder, the late Jack Hyles, was pastor of Hammond Baptist Church and a married man with two children when he pleaded guilty in 2012 to transporting a teen female student of the church’s high school to Illinois and Michigan for sexual encounters. Schaap also had sex with the underage victim in his church office earlier that year, according to court filings.
Schaap, 62, is being held in the Federal Correctional Institute in Ashland, Ky., and he isn’t eligible for release until April 20, 2023.
In the case surrounding the recent lawsuit, Ryder said her parents were church members and employees when she was being raped by David Hyles, then the church’s youth minister and son of Jack Hyles.
She attended Hammond Baptist Schools and Hyles-Anderson College during the 1970s and early 1980s.
She said David Hyles was 25, and she was 14 when he began to pull her aside from church youth groups to flatter her, select her as a member of the church’s traveling music group and gain her trust.
The suit alleges Ryder became concerned about David Hyles stalking her with repeated calls to talk and be with him. It alleges that when this was brought to Jack Hyles’ attention, he responded that Ryder “wasn’t special” and his son “did that with everyone.”
Ryder said she was a high school sophomore when David Hyles first assaulted her in his office at the church’s youth ministry building in downtown Hammond.
The suit alleges David Hyles “pinned her to the floor in his office and raped her.”
The suit alleges: “Multiple other girls accused (David) Hyles of sexual misconduct, similarly, to no avail.”
The suit alleges David Hyles sexually abused Ryder more than 50 times over two years inside church buildings as well as other locations during her travels with the church music group.
The suit also alleges David Hyles once ordered her to his home when his wife was out of town and threatened to reveal her to the congregation as a “slut” and have her parents fired from their church employment.
The suit alleges that once she arrived at his house, he forced her to perform oral sex and later laughed, “Bet you didn’t expect that, did you?”
It alleges David Hyles secretly put drugs or alcohol in her food and drink to make her more compliant.
The suit alleges Ryder finally informed her parents of the rapes after two years and brought her father with her to a meeting with David Hyles to confront him.
It alleges that after their meeting, her father personally informed Jack Hyles of the son’s wrongdoing.
It alleges the church responded by giving her father a lucrative job at Hyles-Anderson college “in exchange for his silence and agreement not to take the allegations to law enforcement.”
The lawsuit also alleges the church then moved David Hyles to a church in Texas, where his father had previously been a pastor.
The suit alleges child rape and sexual abuse by all church clergy, including those of the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist movement, “are widely known” and have led to numerous later investigations, trials and convictions.
David Hyles doesn’t face criminal sanctions, but Ryder’s civil suit seeks a monetary award for damages she has suffered. No trial date is set in the matter.
Ryder, who formed the non-profit support group, Out of the Shadows more than six years ago to help other victims of sex abuse, said her lawsuit against David Hyles and the Hammond Baptist Church is more than a personal demand for justice.
She said it is meant to encourage all who have been similarly victimized to stand up for their rights.