Showing posts with label sex abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sex abuse. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Danger of "Forgive and Forget"



Watch this powerful series to see what happens when "forgive and forget" victimizes the victims, and allows a culture of abuse to thrive in the dark.

In Brazil, the rapist of a 9-year old girl who became pregnant with twins remains a member of the Catholic Church while the girl's mother (and the doctors who preformed a life-saving abortion), were excommunicated. The girl escaped excommunication only because she is still a child in the eyes of Church authorities. 

In Portland, Oregon, a woman is suing the Apostolic Faith Church for abuse she suffered as a child, saying she wants to hold the church accountable for looking the other way and ignoring her pleas for help.

"I realized that one way to help a lot of the friends that I knew in this church that were also victims was to come forward and let them see my face and show them that I’m not scared to let people know what was done to me," she said. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

News & Views

Here is a round-up of news from my inbox:
  • FALC member Ray Huhta of Hancock, who was convicted of child sex abuse in 2005 after being under suspicion for at least thirty years, passed away in Texas on October 11th. Please take a moment to remember his victims and to read Beth's blog here, on why abuse does not die with the abuser. 
  • There is almost daily news of how institutions have failed to protect children from abuse. Why? There are clues in this compelling PBS documentary called "The Silence." We must end the conspiracy of silence. To those still in the church, reject the practices that value reputations over a child's life. Put the shame where it belongs.
  • Does Mormonism seem weird to you? Scientology? Test Your Knowledge of Wild, Weird, and Outright Wacky American Religious Beliefs.
  • Congratulations to Hanna Pylväinen who, in addition to a steady stream of rave reviews, just won a $50,000 Whiting prize for "We Sinners."
  • Interested in exploring Sami history and culture? Check out the resources on my PSS blog.
  • You don't have to be an atheist to appreciate this "Matter of Doubt" podcast with Ed Suominen about his experience in leaving the LLC.  It has been downloaded over 3,800 times so far! You'll hear serious analysis but also some humor and uplifting thoughts. As Ed says in his conclusion: Reality isn't half bad. Life is amazing.
  • Last but not least, check out this music video. Some of you may recognize the surname of the talented artist. 



Got a video or link you'd like to share with our readers? Comment below or send me an email!

Take care,
—Free


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Two More Blogs from Ex-FALC

In addition to Finding My Way ...Finding My Voice which I blogged about briefly on Tuesday, two more blogs by ex-FALC discussing (among other things) their experience with sexual abuse and its cover up and enablement within Laestadianism have come to my attention:

I Am Jim. Not very many posts here, but nonetheless extremely powerful description from a former FALC preacher about the abuse he experienced and heard about, and what happened to him when he started speaking out within the church about the abuse.

Imperfect Lady. Thanks for the link, Beth. :-) Beth has been out of the FALC for over six years now, blogging about her journey since 2010.

Words really can't express the level of admiration I have for the courage these folks express by being willing to speak out against what happened to them, confront the church, and blog (in their own names!)

Free's update:

Beth's brother Carl also is blogging, at Messy Guru.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SRK admits serious mistakes in dealing with sex abuse

Thanks to commenter Xsa for pointing out this article, the most comprehensive English-language recap I've seen thus far of everything to do with the current SRK Laestadian sex abuse scandal happening in Finland:

Conservative Laestadians admit serious mistakes in dealing with child abuse issue – trust is gone in SRK

The responsible leaders’ excuse for keeping a very tight lid on hundreds of child victims and a myriad of perpetrators, who have not come to light, is “lack of information”. Anyone of the 24 members of the SRK board (they all are men) did not know anything.

Someone else could suggest “lack of freedom of speech”, too.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Key Laestadian sentenced to Prison

Thanks to Old AP for the link:
Key figure in Laestadian movement sentenced to prison

A middle-aged man described as an influential figure in the Conservative Laestadians, a revival movement of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, has been sentenced to prison for molesting a girl who is a relative.

According to the article an internal study has also been done by the SRK regarding abuse, to be released in April.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Laestadian sex abuse case goes to trial

Here's a link to an extremely short article stating that:

A prominent figure in the Laestadian revival movement faces charges of child sexual abuse and rape in a case that goes to trial next week, reports the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

If I can find more about this story I'll post some follow ups. I think going to trial is one of the best things that can happen for getting the facts out.

UPDATE 01.10.2011
Here's a link to a longer version of the story:
Leading Laestadian figure charged with serious sex crimes

Monday, December 06, 2010

"Satan misled them"

HELSINGIN SANOMAT has this story about a Laestadian sex abuse case that happened back in the 1970s and 80s, but just recently came to light:

Incest victim of Laestadian preacher tries to piece his childhood together

This story seems especially tragic given that the victim's family knew about the abuse and chose to do nothing:

. . .at least some of the parents of the boys were aware of the preacher’s doings. Yet they did nothing to help their own children. Saving the congregation’s face was more important than protecting the children from their predatory grandfather.

One aspect of Laestadian theology that is only hinted at in the article is the whole idea of "the Devil made me do it." When we'd do something good growing up, we weren't supposed to take credit for it. Instead we'd "give God the glory." Conversely, if we did something bad, Satan was at work. It only now occurs to me that this is a very convenient way to avoid taking any sort of personal responsiblity.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Minnesota Laestadian Sex Abuse Case

Apparently sex abuse is still happening in Laestadian circles in the United States as well, as attested to in this article regarding a case that hit the news last July involving a volunteer at the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church on Rowland Road in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Minnetonka church volunteer gets a year in jail for having sex with teen

As the parents grew increasingly suspicious, they contacted authorities. Foley told a sheriff's deputy that he was acting as a "counselor" to the girl and other members of the church, Old Apostolic Lutheran Church on Rowland Road.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Laestadian Sex Abuse Scandal Update

The following short article appeared the Helsinki Times a few days ago:

Leading Laestadian figure arrested on suspicion of abuse

Apparently an unnamed person holding a "position of trust" within the SRK has been detained on suspicions of sexually abusing a child.

There isn't much in English on this news story as of late, but if I find anything else I'll post it here.

Hat tip to the Laestadian-ism blog for this story. See their site for additional links in Finnish.

See also: Laestadian Sex Abuse Scandal

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lastadian Sex Abuse Scandal

"A Pedophilia scandal with more than ten victims is now being rolled up in a revivalist movement within the state church in Pietarsaari in Finnish Ostrobothnia. Years of covering-up keeps the total number of victims unknown."

This headline made my stomach turn. As longtime readers of this blog may remember, several of us wrote to a Finnish elder about our concerns over sexual abuse in the OALC congregation. The parallels are chilling. Children are told to forgive the abuser, who repeatedly repents, and continues to abuse.

I can't read Finnish or Swedish, and the online translations are clumsy. Bilingual readers, please help.

How did this come to light? What sect is involved? What is the response from the sect? What is the response from their American counterparts?

Go here or here for the story.

UPDATE: I found an English version here.