DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

 
 
WATCHTOWER CULT - JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
 
FOSTER PARENTS - ADOPTIVE PARENTS COURT CASES
 
 
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LOSTE v. FRANCE was a 2012-22 ECHR case in which a FOSTER CHILD wrongfully reared as a Jehovah's Witness finally received a small token of justice after years of neglect by French Social Services and rejection of her claims by multiple French courts and the French government.

Born in February 1971 to a Muslim family, Tarn-et-Garonne Children's Social Aid placed the 5 year-old girl with a foster family of Jehovah's Witnesses, in 1976. Thereafter began 13 years of sexual molestations committed by the Jehovah's Witness Foster Father. Additionally, while French law theoritically required her foster parents to rear her as a Muslim, she predictably was reared as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Loste remained with her Jehovah's Witness foster family until her twentieth birthday, in 1991. During her 15 years in the system, Social Services visited the foster family only six times. Existing records indicate that SS workers did the least work required during those six surveys. There is no record that the girl's schools nor teachers were ever visited. In 1985, when the girl was 14 years-old, she revealed to a fellow Jehovah's Witness that she was being sexually molested by her JW Foster Father, but nothing was done. Details unknown. 

In September 1988, when the girl was 17 years-old, she was seriously injured in a traffic accident. Her JW Parents formally requested that the girl not be given needed blood transfusions because Loste was a "Jehovah's Witness". Social Services failed to document such in their November 1988 report, and they failed to inform the Judge about such in the December 1988 hearing which extended the foster care arrangement until February 1991.

In 1994, as a married Jehovah's Witness, Loste, age 23, reported her childhood of sexual molestation to JW Elders, who apparently repeated what has occurred thousands of times worldwide. A limited "investigation" was performed by the BOE, but when no  "witness" to any of the molestations was available, and after the perpetrator denied such, the matter was dropped. Thereafter, Loste cut her ties with both her foster family and the WatchTower Cult. 

In 1999, Loste finally reported the matter to French authorities, who refused to prosecute after an investigation in which JW Foster Father allegedly admitted to minor offenses against his foster daughter. In 2001, a civil lawsuit was filed, but it was dismissed for SOL time reasons in 2003.

In 2004, Loste brought an administrative action against the government, and was awarded 22,000 Euros. A French appallate court reversed that decision. In 2007, Loste brought an administrative action against Social Services, but it was dismissed.

This action was initiated in 2012. Finally, in 2022, the ECHR ordered the government of France to partially compensate the victim in the ridiculous amount of 55,000 Euros for having repeatedly failed to provide any amount of "justice" to this now 51 year-old French national female.


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KIMBERLEY ALDRIDGE v. LAWRENCE SAVINO, HENRIETTA CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ET AL was a confidentially settled 2021-23 New York civil court case. The following are edited excerpts from Plaintiff's Complaint (allegations denied entirely by defendants):

In and around 1974, when PLAINTIFF was 12 years old, her mother became [a Jehovah's] Witness [in the  Henrietta] Congregation [in Rochester, New York]. Her mother was a paraplegic. The CONGREGATION elders agreed to help provide foster care for her daughter. When PLAINTIFF was 11-12 years old, she was placed by the Elders in the home of Lawrence Savino, who was a CONGREGATION elder. 

At first, [LAWRENCE] SAVINO acted like a father figure to PLAINTIFF. SAVINO quickly began making advances toward her. He would kiss PLAINTIFF on the lips and put his hands down her pants to "stimulate" her several times. SAVINO would take photos of her in outfits he would buy her, and at one time laid on top of her and kissed her breast. The abuse would take place at SAVINO's home, CONGREGATION premises, public parks, and in his car. 

Prior to the sexual abuse of PLAINTIFF, elders of the CONGREGATION had been warned that [LAWRENCE] SAVINO was attracted to PLAINTIFF and that she should not be placed in SAVINO's home. After PLAINTIFF was moved from SAVINO's home, SAVINO was reported to the elders of the CONGREGATION for engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor. SAVINO was publicly reproved after the elders held a judicial committee. Subsequently, he was disfellowshipped after having engaged in an extramarital affair. At no time, was SAVINO reported to public authorities by the elders or anyone else. 

PLAINTIFF was trained by CONGREGATION, WATCHTOWER, and GOVERNING BODY that she should obey SAVINO and respect the individuals appointed as elders and ministerial servants, including SAVINO. ... SAVINO used his position as an elder to gain access to PLAINTIFF and used that access to molest her. CONGREGATION elders represented to PLAINTIFF and her mother that SAVINO was a good mentor for young children in the CONGREGATION and recommended that PLAINTIFF be entrusted to the custody and care of SAVINO. Upon the advice and recommendation of the CONGREGATION elders, PLAINTIFF's MOTHER agreed to let SAVINO foster PLAINTIFF.  In his capacity as an elder and foster parent, [Lawrence] SAVINO routinely took PLAINTIFF out in field service and engaged in other CONGREGATION related activities with PLAINTIFF. ... Despite receiving a report regarding SAVINO's abuse of a minor and knowing his propensity to sexually abuse minors, CONGREGATION, WATCHTOWER, and GOVERNING BODY provided no warning to members of CONGREGATION whose children were at risk, including PLAINTIFF. 



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IN THE MATTER OF SARAH SUSAN PAVONE was a 1986 Florida court decision. Susan Pavone, age 46, of Margate, Florida, was admitted to Broward County's Northwest Regional Hospital on March 11, 1986, with a severe bleeding ulcer. After refusing to consent to necessary blood transfusions, Susan Pavone transferred to Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. There, Susan Pavone's condition worsened. Supported by her 14 year old "adopted daughter", Carol Pavone, also a Jehovah's Witness, Susan Pavone pleaded with her non-JW husband, Joseph Pavone, not to let the doctors administer blood transfusion to her. However, non-JW husband Joseph Pavone was NOT going to sit by and allow his wife to die needlessly. Joseph Pavone petitioned a local court for authorization to administer blood transfusions. An emergency hearing was convened in Susan Pavone's hospital room, and the sane Judge authorized blood transfusions if such became necessary to save Susan Pavone's life. The judge cited the interests of the state and society, as well as those of the husband and the fourteen year old daughter. Blood transfusions were administered, and Susan Pavone eventually recovered and was discharged in good health. Chuck Kohnert, one of Susan Pavone's Elders from the Coconut Creek Florida Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses told reporters that Joseph Pavone "will face God on Judgment Day".
 
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CAROL PAVONE, aka CAROL VOLKMAN, aka JULIANA ALLIE IGLESIAS v. NEW YORK CITY and ENTIRE WATCHTOWER ORGANIZATION. Also see: IN THE MATTER OF SARAH SUSAN PAVONE. Until she was an adult, Carol Pavone thought she was the adopted daughter of Jehovah's Witness Mother, Susan Pavone, and non-JW father, Joseph Pavone, who were originally from NYC, but had relocated to Florida around 1979, and thereafter had associated with the Coconut Creek Florida Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Around 1993, the State of Florida refused to renew Plaintiff's drivers license because her legal documents from New York were fraudulent. Plaintiff subsequently discovered that NYC had records up to her placement with the Pavones as Foster Parents, but no records thereafter, including no records that she had been adopted by the Pavones. Here are edited excerpts relating to the Jehovah's Witnesses from Plaintiff's complaint (allegations) in her ongoing 2021-23 New York civil lawsuit:

Plaintiff spent her entire childhood being horrifically abused. She was physically, and psychologically abused by Mrs. Pavone. Additionally, Plaintiff was also sexually abused by Defendants ELDER JOHN DOE and OVERSEER JOHN, members of the Jehovah's Witness organization when Mrs. Pavone gave them access to her. ...

Sarah Susan Pavone is the person that took custody of the Plaintiff from ... the City of New York. She was not approved to be a foster parent and never formally adopted the Plaintiff. She took Plaintiff as a baby and left the state of New York. She was physically abusive to Plaintiff since she was a small child until she was old enough to leave the home. The city should have been aware of this if they were properly monitoring the child. 

Plaintiff has memories of when she lived in New York during her early childhood. During her time living in New York, she was sexually abused by an Elder of the WATCHTOWER, ELDER JOHN DOE. Ms. Pavone allowed ELDER JOHN DOE to have access to Plaintiff as a child, at his home in New York.

ELDER JOHN DOE lived in New York. He had Plaintiff touch his penis, and he touched her vagina and had her sit on him when he had an erection. He penetrated her vagina with his fingers. This all happened when Plaintiff was a child. ...

During one of the visits to New York with OVERSEER JOHN when Plaintiff was around 14 years old, he began to make inappropriate sexual advances towards her. Mrs. Pavone told Plaintiff that she needed to go upstairs and OVERSEER JOHN followed her. This happened even after Plaintiff had stated that he made her uncomfortable. She was upstairs with him for hours and Mrs. Pavone never questioned why. OVERSEER JOHN began touching her breasts through her clothes, had her masturbate him, digitally penetrated her vagina, and penetrated her anus with his penis.

Plaintiff reported this behavior to Brother Reynolds, a ministerial servant of the JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ORGANIZATION. A friend of the Plaintiff reported this to the Elders in the local Watchtower congregation in Coconut Creek, Florida. After this incident was reported to the Elders in Florida she was called to a meeting regarding the incident by Brother Caraballo. The Elders in Florida proceeded to chastise Plaintiff, tell her she was not being a "good example" to other JW members and that she needed to retract her allegations. They asked her questions about "molestation", quoting scripture and telling her that his life would be ruined if she reported this to the "worldly" authorities (meaning the police). They also tried to make her feel guilty that she would be responsible for ruining this man's life and he would have to step down.

Neither the Elders in Florida or New York nor any member of the WATCHTOWER ever reported the abuse to the police or to Child Protective Services or the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. Mrs. Pavone proceeded to physically discipline Plaintiff and ordered her to retract her statement. ...

Plaintiff was less than 18 years old at the time of the incidents. During some of the earliest incidents, Plaintiff was under the age of 11. MRS. PAVONE gave numerous ELDERS access to her child as an infant. ... On multiple occasions, Defendants WATCHTOWER and GOVERNING BODY'S agents forced Plaintiff to perform sexual acts on other children and have sexual acts performed on her for Defendant's own sexual gratification, degrading and abusing the minor Plaintiff. On at least one occasion, ELDER JOHN DOE forced Plaintiff to perform oral sex on him and penetrated her vagina digitally when she was under 11 years of age. On at least one occasion, OVERSEER JOHN forced Plaintiff to touch his penis, penetrated her anus with his penis, and penetrated her vagina digitally when Plaintiff was approximately 14 years old.


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M.E. v. POUGHKEEPSIE NY CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, DUTCHESS COUNTY, NEW YORK ET AL is an ongoing 2021-23 New York civil court case. Edited excerpts from Plaintiff's complaint (allegations):

As a minor, the Plaintiff was placed in a residence with Jehovah's Witness foster parents and was sexually abused while in the legal custody and care of the COUNTY. ... Plaintiff's sexual abuser, Ronald Bowman ... was at all times relevant and material hereto a practicing member of the Jehovah's Witnesses sect, and a member at Defendant CONGREGATION. 

In approximately 1979, when Plaintiff was five (5) years old, Plaintiff was placed in Edwards' care by COUNTY. Plaintiff's foster parent, Tommy Lou Edwards, ... often left Plaintiff in the care of [Ronald Bowman] as a babysitter. Soon after she was placed in Edwards' home, PERPETRATOR began to sexually abuse Plaintiff. The abuse consisted of PERPETRATOR having Plaintiff sit on his lap, fondling her vagina, having Plaintiff fondle his penis, and digitally penetrating Plaintiff's vagina. Edwards would have Plaintiff often sleep over at PERPETRATOR'S home, and PERPETRATOR would wake Plaintiff in the middle of the night and force her to perform oral sex on him. PERPETRATOR regularly and routinely sexually assaulted and abused Plaintiff for approximately five (5) years.

When she was approximately eight (8) years old, Plaintiff disclosed the abuse to her social workers ... Plaintiff was not removed from Edwards' home and no corrective measures were undertaken; as a result, she continued to be abused by [Ronald Bowman].

When she was approximately nine (9) years old, Edwards brought Plaintiff before a panel of Elders of the CONGREGATION and Plaintiff reported PERPETRATOR'S sexual abuse. [Ronald Bowman] was consequently disfellowshipped from the CONGREGATION, but the CONGREGATION did not report the sexual abuse to law enforcement or take any other corrective measures. The CONGREGATION instructed Edwards not to report the abuse to law enforcement or otherwise involve the authorities. The PERPETRATOR was ultimately reinstated into the CONGREGATION, and the abuse continued. 


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MONIQUE W. v. CONTRA COSTA COUNTY CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES BUREAU was a 2019-20 California state court case which highlighted the WatchTower Cult's historical advocacy of physical discipline of member's children. MONIQUE was an otherwise unidentified single Jehovah's Witness adult female, who was employed as a Medical Assistant in the pediatrics department of a local hospital. 

Between 2013 and 2017, MONIQUE adopted three brothers and one sister. Children and Family Services Bureau (CFSB) filed dependency petitions as to the children in January 2019 after the agency received reports that MONIQUE hit one of them. At that time, the daughter was nine years old (Older Sister) and the sons were six (Older Brother), three (Middle Brother), and two years old (Younger Brother). The petitions alleged that MONIQUE inflicted bruises on Older Brother when she disciplined him with a belt, and also that MONIQUE said that the Bureau could "take them all", referring to her children. The social worker reported that Older Brother said MONIQUE "whooped him the previous day on his arms, legs and face", and he had linear bruises on his arm and leg and scratches on his hands and right temple. The four children were ordered detained. They were ultimately placed together in a foster home. 

Following are edited excerpts from latest court decision. Interested parties should google and read entire decision.

[MONIQUE] did not use physical discipline on the children when they were in her care as foster children, but she started spanking them after their adoptions were finalized. [MONIQUE] later explained that she knew she was not allowed to spank foster children, but she felt it was acceptable to use physical discipline on them after their adoptions were finalized. ...

[MONIQUE] began taking various classes aimed at improving her parenting skills and learning about caring for a child with ADHD. [MONIQUE] at first declined to participate in anger-management classes because she denied having an anger problem; she did not think she had anything to talk about in therapy because the children were not in her care; and she said she could not participate in services that took place on church grounds because it was against her religious beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness. (Apparently, the anger-management classes were held at a church premise.) ...

The foster mother had trouble in her interactions with [MONIQUE]. The foster mother reported that [MONIQUE] would question the foster mother repeatedly about whether the foster mother's parenting style was consistent with [MONIQUE's] Jehovah's Witness beliefs.

Sometimes the children would return from visits and tell the foster mother that "my mom said I don't need to listen to you, only to my mom." [MONIQUE] denied there was conflict. The children would become agitated after calls with [MONIQUE] because [MONIQUE] would suggest that the children were certain to soon return home, and she would promise treats and surprises when that happened. ... A review report recounted that multiple people who had worked with [MONIQUE] stated that she did not consider hitting her children to be a problem, she had trouble staying calm in their presence, and she did not appreciate that Older Brother had suffered severe trauma. According to the social worker, [MONIQUE] had been actively participating in her case plan yet had not shown a change in attitude or an improved sense of appropriate parenting. Her therapist reported that [MONIQUE] understood that others disapproved of her physical discipline, but had not internalized the concept that it was wrong. The social worker also was concerned about [MONIQUE's] lack of interest in reunifying with Older Brother, as demonstrated when she expressed interest in potentially reunifying with only the other three children. ...

The continued hearing on July 16 apparently was held via video conference call and was treated as an 18-month review hearing because of the further passage of time. CFSB counsel argued that for [MONIQUE], physical discipline was an "ideology" and a "philosophy", and that [MONIQUE] did not believe it was inappropriate to physically discipline children as young as two or to use a belt to hit her children.

Counsel for the three boys agreed with the Bureau that reunification services should be terminated because [MONIQUE] had not acknowledged her "pretty significant physical abuse" and had failed to show she had changed her behaviors. Older Sister's counsel likewise argued that reunification services should be terminated because of Mother's "very concerning" physical discipline of the children and the fact that [MONIQUE] minimized her behavior.

[MONIQUE's] counsel, by contrast, argued that there is a constitutional right to parent one's children and that [MONIQUE] should not be separated from her children because of some past mistakes. ...

The juvenile court found that [MONIQUE's] testimony was not credible because "there were substantial inconsistencies between what she told the social worker was going on in this case and what she testified to here in court and then again in the letters she submitted" to the court. The court found that the children continued to be traumatized as the result of [MONIQUE's] harsh punishment and that [MONIQUE's] participation in her case plan had been "superficial and ineffective". The court found by clear and convincing evidence that returning the children to [MONIQUE] would create a substantial risk of detriment to their safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being, and it also found by clear and convincing evidence that reasonable services had been provided. The court terminated reunification services and scheduled a selection-and-implementation hearing under section 366.26. Mother timely sought writ review. [DENIED.]

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JEHOVAH'S WITNESS MINISTER
FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL FOSTER PARENTS ORGANIZATION
CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER


HAWAII v. LOUIS ALBERTO MARTINEZ A/K/A DAVID LOUIS was a Hawaii 2013-16 criminal prosecution of a Jehovah's Witness Minister (Aiea Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses) with multiple aliases -- Louis A. Martinez, David Louis, and David Barber. DOB: 1976. JW Minister claimed to have been a troubled foster child who had been born in Los Angeles, California, and thereafter placed into 30 different foster homes and 19 different schools.

Only in his 30s, JW Minister claimed that he had held a plethora of employment positions over the years working with troubled children. In 2005, using the alias David Louis, JW Minister founded Heart Gallery Hawaii -- the Oahu affiliate of Heart Gallery of America Inc. -- a national organization that recruits parents for hard-to-adopt foster children by publicly displaying photos and biographies of hard-to-place foster children. In 2006, JW Minister authored his autobiography, "Scars That Can Heal", under the alias David Louis. In January 2009, David Louis was named Executive Director of the national organization -- Heart Gallery of America Inc.

In May 2013, JW Minister was indicted for having sexually assaulted in October 2011 a passed-out 16 year-old girl to whom JW Minister had given liquor. Thereafter, JW Minister also was charged with sexually assaulting his 11 year-old daughter in 2011. At some point while out on bail, JW Minister fled to California, and had to be extradited back to Hawaii. In January 2015, a jury deliberated less than three hours before finding JW Minister guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, one count of attempted felony sexual assault, and two counts of misdemeanor sexual assault. In 2016, JW Minister, then age 40, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

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IRONY!!!

IN RE ALEXANDER GOVAN and DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. ENDURA GOVAN. The following edited excerpts are from a newspaper article entitled "Endura Govan's Herbal Remedies Failed to Cure Her Son's Cancer. Now She's Being Tried for Manslaughter", which was authored by Paul Belden, and published on December 20, 1996, by the Washington City Paper. Given the WatchTower Cult's historical fight against court-ordered medical treatment of its own children, we found it highly ironic that Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents would be willing to involve themselves in this case:
When Alex was born [in 1986], Endura [Govan}was 19 years old and unmarried. She lived with her [African-American] parents ... [in Washington D.C.]. ... The growth on Alex's neck first appeared in the spring of 1993. ... "The doctor said don't worry about it." ... The next spring, Alex had strep throat again, accompanied by that same puffiness on his neck. But this time the swelling was ... about the size of a golf ball. When [Endura] Govan took Alex to D.C. General, the doctors admitted him for CAT scans and tests. But they were unable to figure out what the swelling was. On general principles, though, their advice was to have it cut out.

And this is where [Endura] Govan and the medical profession parted ways. ... "I felt like they were rushing, and I wanted a second opinion," says [Endura] Govan. ... The next day, [Endura] Govan called D.C. General to check on Alex and found out that they were prepping him for surgery. "I said, 'I haven't even signed a consent form. How are you going to operate? You don't even have my consent.'" So she drove to D.C. General and took Alex home. The hospital reported her to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for medical neglect. So [Endura] Govan scheduled an appointment for Alex at Children's Hospital, where a specialist spent a few minutes examining Alex. The opinion? Take him back to D.C. General and have the growth removed. [Endura] Govan wasn't pleased. Conventional medical approaches inspired very little confidence in [Endura] Govan; she decided to explore other approaches. On the recommendation of a friend, [Endura] Govan began looking into the world of naturopathic medicine. ...

DHS responded by setting a date -- Sept. 18, 1994 -- and telling her that if she did not have the tumor surgically removed by then, it would take custody of Alex. On that date, [Endura] Govan took Alex and absconded to Baltimore. There, she rented an apartment and tried to continue Alex's herbal treatments with her meager savings.There was no way it could last. And it didn't. Life on the lam came to a crashing close in February. [Endura] Govan had brought Alex back to D.C. to visit a friend, and somehow the police learned of his whereabouts and stormed the house. Alex was taken away and placed with a family that happened to be Jehovah's Witnesses. All aspects of his holistic treatment program were halted; surgery was scheduled.When they operated, doctors found that Alex's tumor had spread throughout his lymphatic system. A biopsy revealed Hodgkin's disease, a form of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes. Doctors immediately placed Alex on a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. It didn't work. ... ...

Occasionally, when he wasn't too sick to walk, Alex's foster family -- a group of Jehovah's Witnesses -- dressed him up in church clothes and took him out on proselytizing excursions. Hairless, thin as a stick, with the tumor on his neck bulging out over the collar of his dress shirt, he went from house to house knocking on doors for a faith he barely knew.

Through it all, Alex had one wish, say children's advocates who befriended him at the time: to go home to his mother. But the court refused to allow it. The only time his mother was permitted near him was when he went to the hospital for treatments. After a year had passed, though, it became clear that the treatments weren't working: The cancer would not be cured, and Alex would not survive. The foster-care judge relented, and Alex returned home. Two weeks later -- in May 1996 -- he died.

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POSSIBLY AMERICA'S MOST NOTORIOUS FOSTER PARENT


Currently serving a life term in Attica, Stephen Van Der Sluys is now so widely publicized that our summary simply is intended to motivate readers to google one of the several books or magazines which contain detailed accounts of this EVIL, EVIL Jehovah's Witness Minister. As EVIL was Stephen Van Der Sluys, he never was prosecuted for many of his crimes because of the difficulty of such caused by Van Der Sluys' high intelligence and extraordinary ability.

For instance, Stephen Van Der Sluys BOMBED and damaged the Canandaigua, New York Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses after it disfellowshipped him for the SERIAL RAPES discussed below. As quickly as the WatchTower Society likes to discuss "bombings" of its Kingdom Halls, this is one BOMBING that the Cult rarely if ever brings up. Thus, few people ever have heard of such.

Stephen Van Der Sluys also was CAUGHT committing insurance fraud, but apparently was not prosecuted. He filed a signed insurance claim for personal property that he claimed had been stolen, but that property was later found in storage by the police.

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NEW YORK v. STEPHEN VAN DER SLUYS was a 1986 New York criminal court case which involved Stephen Van Der Sluys, age 34, who was an active minister in the Syracuse, New York; Farmington, New York; Mechanicsville, New York and Canandaigua, New York Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses. Stephen Van Der Sluys first came to the attention of law enforcement in Spring 1985, when he was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed for one year for regularly and repeatedly sodomizing and raping a teenage foster daughter ($$$) who had been placed in the family's home through the state foster care program.

If Stephen Van Der Sluys was so "slick", how was he caught and convicted this first time? First, Stephen Van Der Sluys was caught because he finally IMPREGNATED the 16 year-old girl -- something that reporters often did not disclose in their reports. Second, another little tidbit rarely released by the media was that the 16 year-old foster daughter was a FELLOW JEHOVAH'S WITNESS, which meant NO ABORTION. The Van Der Sluys family and the foster daughter's family were all members of the Canandaigua, New York Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. "Marital problems" was the reason given for the removal from her JW Parents and her placement with JW MONSTER.

At some point, New York authorities also began to investigate the deaths of Stephen Van Der Sluys' own three young children, which had occurred in the late 1970s. Heath Van Der Sluys, age 16 months, died in 1976, supposedly from choking on a quarter. Heather Van Der Sluys, age 3 months, died in 1977, supposedly from SIDS. Vicki Van Der Sluys, age 14 months, died in 1979, supposedly from SIDS.

The first two children each had a $10,000.00 life insurance policy. Vicki, the third child, had a $30,000.00 life insurance policy. After Vicki died, Van Der Sluys and his wife, Jane, then had three more children. Although there was no indication that Jane knew about the prior murders, a Prosecutor told a reporter that the only reason those three children were not killed was because Jane would not allow Stephen to buy a life insurance policy on them. In the 1986 murder trial, Stephen Van Der Sluys was convicted of second-degree murder for the suffocation death of Heather. Van Der Sluys pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in Vicki's death, which was also believed to have been by suffocation. Van Der Sluys was sentenced to 25 years to life for the 1977 murder, and 8 1/2 to 25 years for the 1979 slaying. The Prosecutor decided not to pursue the 1976 death. The primary motive in the deaths was the insurance money -- some of which was used to purchase a brand new TRANS AM.



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Foster child and Jehovah's Witness convert, Jonathan Everett, age 22, of Deane, England, died in January 2001, after his motorcycle collided with an automobile. Everett received treatment at Bury General Hospital following the accident. Jonathan Everett's Jehovah's Witness foster father Graham Bibby told the inquest that at first they had no idea that Everett's injuries were life threatening. However, Graham Bibby telephoned Everett's natural father three hours after the accident, after Everett started to suffer from abdominal pains, and needed surgery.

Graham Bibby said Everett fully understood the implications of undergoing surgery, and because of Everett's adopted WatchTower Cult religious beliefs, Everett signed a consent form refusing all blood products and blood transfusions. Everett, who had been fostered since early childhood, became a Jehovah's Witness ten years ago when he and his brother, Christopher Everett, 20, went to live with Graham and Sandra Bibby. The family were members of the Bolton Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

The surgeon testified that the extent of Everett's injuries only became apparent hours after Everett was brought into the hospital, because the internal bleeding had been a "trickle", and it would have taken some time for abdominal pain to kick-in.

The surgeon further testified: "Mr Everett was unshakeable in his belief. He knew the consequences could be fatal. Normally, we would have given a blood transfusion immediately, but we could not do any more than we did, or we would have faced criminal proceedings for assault." Everett died of a heart attack hours later after being transferred to the Intensive Care Unit following surgery.

A Kingdom Hall Elder told reporters: ''It was Jonathan's own decision and he showed the courage of his convictions by making it, and didn't seem to have any hesitation about it.''

WatchTower Cult representative Victor Harbinson, speaking on behalf of the family, said: ''Mr Bibby said to Jonathan that he would have to make a decision and it was Jonathan's own decision and he showed the courage of his convictions by making it and didn't seem to have any hesitation about it. Jonathan took his beliefs very seriously. Every individual has to make the choice for himself. He made that decision because it was something that he felt strongly about. ... The family are stunned and in a state of shock. They were a tightly-knit family. They were very close. It was one of those happy arrangements that was working very well.''

However, a moronic spokesman for Manchester's Hospital Liaison Committee -- which had advised doctors on alternative treatments before the operation was carried out -- FALSELY claimed that Everett's injuries would have led to his death whether or not he had accepted a blood transfusion. The FOOL simply repeated the standard line for fatalities taught him by the WatchTower Cult's Hospital Information Services.


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DEHN v. CHILDREN'S HOME SOCIETY OF FLORIDA was a 1983 Florida court decision. In mid-1982, a Jehovah's Witness Couple, named John Dehn and Bonnie Dehn, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, applied to adopt a baby boy, born in September 1982, to a Tampa, Florida, Jehovah's Witness Mother, who gave up the baby to CHSoF for adoption. The Dehns were approved, and in December 1982, they traveled from Minnesota to St. Peterburg to complete the adoption process, and pick up their new son. However, on arrival in Florida, the Dehns refused to sign CHSoF paperwork which required then to authorize necessary blood transfusions for the baby during the initial six-months long "trial period" during which the Dehns and CHSoF maintained joint custody of the child. Thus, CHSoF declined to place the baby with the Dehns, and thereafter placed the baby boy with another couple. Thereafter, the Dehns filed this lawsuit in which they alleged that CHSoF had violated their constitutional right to freedom of religion.

In February 1983, a state judge ruled against the Dehns, and wisely avoided the constitutional issue. The judge ruled that the Dehns had told CHSoF that they would NOT contest CHSoF's decision, and that CHSoF had relied on that promise in proceeding to place the baby boy with another couple. Yet, the Dehns had filed this lawsuit only a few days thereafter.

Second, the judge noted that the original application that the Dehns had signed with their adoption agency in Minnesota had also required them to consent to necessary blood transfusions, plus the CHSoF paperwork and adoption forms, which had been sent to them in August 1982, had the same requirement (which had been highlighted by agency staff who were aware that the Dehns were Jehovah's Witnesses), and the Dehns never once objected about such until they arrived to pick up the baby in December 1982.

Interestingly, the court hearing was attended by a roomful of Jehovah's Witnesses sent there by the WatchTower Society in an attempt to intimidate that judge. Undoubtedly, the CHSoF had been "set up" for a lengthy constitutional fight by the WatchTower Society's Legal Department, but this wise state judge saw through their scheme and craftily avoided such.


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RE DBB and MDB was a 2005 Quebec family court case in which the two children (ages 4 and 6) of an alcoholic Mother were removed from that Mother's custody in May 2004 and placed with state approved foster parents for nine months. Mother complied with court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, but continued to relapse and needed additional treatment. Foster care was extended for another six months in this decision. (The status of the children's father is unknown due to being only briefly referenced in this published decision.)

Mother regularly visited her two children in the foster parent's home, and the foster parents had even permitted Mother to stay overnight on occasion. However, this same regular contact between Mother and foster parents soon gave rise to concern about the foster parent's "Jehovah's Witnesses religion", and the impact that such was having on her two young and impressionable children. Mother formally requested that her two children be placed in a different foster home. After an inquiry, Mother's request was denied.

Reportedly,the DUMBASS, IGNORANT Quebec social worker testified that although the Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents were taking Mother's two young children to the then five weekly meetings -- two weeknights and Sundays -- at their local Kingdom Hall, that Quebec social worker further reported that "children are not encouraged to practice [the Jehovah's Witness] religion". Assumedly, that Quebec social worker had been so convinced by the two Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents. However, someone that stupid and that ignorant of what is common knowledge is unqualified to hold a job as a government social worker.
However, that social worker's stupidity and ignorance was exceeded only by the stupidity and ignorance of the decision maker or decision makers at Quebec's Child Protective Services who swallowed the social worker's stupidity and ignorance and refused Mother's request that her two impressionable children be placed in a different foster home.

In this hearing, multiple attorneys and staffers at Quebec's Child Protective Services continued to use that social worker's stupidity and ignorance in making their case for an extension of the foster care period.

In turn,in this decision, Quebec Judge Yvan Cousineau both relied on the social worker's stupidity and ignorance, and repeated such for the record. Exactly how many FOOLS work for the government of Quebec?

This is yet another example of what we have repeatedly noted in our two sister case summary websites -- for DECADES, the WatchTower Cult has both COUNTED and RELIED on the STUPIDITY and IGNORANCE of non-JWs parties -- judges, attorneys, opponents, etc. -- to win decision after decision.
 
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IN RE ADOPTED JW INFANT is an ongoing 2016 British Columbia, Canada adoption court case, which well demonstrates what inevitably will go wrong when Jehovah's Witnesses naively do any kind of "business" with other Jehovah's Witnesses without the benefit of the intercession of an intelligent, educated non-JW third party.
 
Birth Mother (BM) is from a mixed-race extended Jehovah's Witness Family. Around 2007, unmarried BM, then age 27, lived with her JW Parents. Apparently irresponsible, BM already had a 7 year-old son, who had been adopted by BM's parents. Then, still unmarried BM became pregnant again.
 
The adoptive parents also are Jehovah's Witnesses, who had not had any children. Adoptive Father (AF) was 37 years-old, while Adoptive Mother (AM) was 41 years-old. AF and AM are both Caucasian. AM's JW Sister attended the same Kingdom Hall as did BM and her parents. After becoming aware of BM's second unmarried pregnancy, AF and AM decided that they wanted to adopt BM's baby when it was born, and BM agreed. AF-AM were present at the delivery in 2008, and took the mixed-race female child (FC) home with them after two days.
 
There is no indication that either AF-AM or BM and her parents sought any outside, non-JW social or legal counseling -- not even the obtaining of the basic legal services needed to legally affect the adoption. Nothing regarding the adoption or access to FC had been formalized whatsoever. Both sides had simply agreed "generally" to an "open adoption" which would allow BM and her JW Parents liberal access to FC. Thus, when the "honeymoon" was over, unspecified confrontations developed between the two JW Families. After AF-AM assumedly began to withhold access to FC, BM filed a lawsuit to regain custody of FC -- sometime around 2009-10. At some point in time, BM also managed to find a husband. (We can't help but wonder which party got the crappy end of that stick.)
 
The BC Provincial Court ordered the parties to engage in mediation. The parties entered into a consent order in February 2011 which formalized this "open adoption", which provided BM and her JW Family with specified liberal access to FC. The terms even specified when and for how long BM and her JW Family could have FC when both families attended the WatchTower Cult's annual then two-day Circuit Assembly, one-day Special Assembly Day, and 4-day District Convention. Peace and harmony between the two JW Families was short lived, and tensions between the parties apparently exploded at an unspecified WatchTower Cult meeting.
 
AF-AM sought legal intervention, and by January 2016, this matter was in the hands of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, which reduced the 1.5 hour visits from two per month to one visit of 3 hours every other month, in addition to the three 45 minute visits during WatchTower assembly/conventions. Needless to say, the court ordered psychological assessments of all three involved Jehovah's Witnesses were less than flattering -- which is "typical" of the Jehovah's Witnesses community. Stay tuned.
 
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JEHOVAH'S WITNESS FOSTER PARENT v. CHILDREN'S AID SOCIETY OF SUDBURY was a 2010 Canadian adminstrative case which is included here because it represents well what can occur when Jehovah's Witnesses are involved in a foster parents scenario, adoptive parents scenario, or any other societal interaction for that matter.
 
JWFP was a former foster parent who filed a complaint with the CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES REVIEW BOARD after CASS allegedly refused JWFP's application to adopt the 2 year-old boy whom she and her non-JW husband had served as foster parents from April 2008 until November 2009. Ultimately, the Review Board determined that JWFP and her non-JW husband had never applied to adopt the foster child (FC).
 
JWFP had wanted to adopt FC from the start, but her husband would not agree. In mid 2009, when JWFP was informed that CASS had approved a LESBIAN COUPLE to adopt FC, the typically anti-homosexual JWFP informed CASS that she and her husband would not cooperate in the "transition" process, and would not allow the lesbians into her home. CASS sped up the move of FC, and after discussions regarding JWFP's religious beliefs and failure to cooperate with this transition, JWFP and her husband "withdrew" as foster parents for CASS, and their home was closed as a foster home.

 
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CALIFORNIA v. FERNANDO ENRIQUEZ PAZ and CALIFORNIA v. MARIA DEL CARMEN PAZ were related 1997 California criminal court cases. In October 1997, Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents Fernando Enriquez Paz, age 34, and Maria Del Carmen Paz, age 29, were convicted on various criminal charges relating to the Christmas 1996 death of a 19 month-old foster child. In a plea bargain deal, Fernando Enriquez Paz pled guilty to child abuse, and was sentenced to six years in prison. Maria Del Carmen Paz pled no contest to child abuse, and was sentenced to time served and five years probation. The couple also lost custody of their own 9 year-old son and 3 year-old daughter, who reportedly provided testimony against the parents. Described as "model foster parents", these Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents reportedly had passed the foster parent system's scrutiny with flying colors on multiple occasions. Fernando Paz was even employed at a hospital as an emergency room clerk.

On December 27, 1996, the Pazs called 9-1-1 because 19 month-old Julio Gonzalez had stopped breathing and had slipped into unconsciousness -- allegedly after choking on a carrot. When paramedics arrived, they noted that Fernando Paz was giving CPR to the 19 month-old foster child in an overly rough manner. Paz alleged that he had already removed the carrot from the child's throat using the Heimlich maneuver. Doctors at Pasadena's Huntington Memorial Hospital put the foster child on life support and worked on his little body for 36 hours before declaring him dead. A CAT scan performed during the treatment revealed that the child was suffering from head trauma and injuries consistent with "shaken baby syndrome". The coroner later determined that the foster child had died of those and other injuries including broken bones and a bruised skull.

 
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OREGON v. THOMAS FRANCIS CRAPSER and OREGON v. DOLLY JEAN CRAPSER were related 1991-92 Oregon criminal prosecutions of a Jehovah's Witness Foster Parent Couple then living in Keizer, Oregon, named Thomas F. Crapser, then age 45, and his second wife, named Dolly Jean Crapser, then age 46. In September 1991, local law enforcement arrested and charged the Crapsers with 34 counts of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and sexual assault committed over the previous six years against five foster and three adopted children, 5 males and 3 females, ages 6 to 13 years-old. (At various times, the Crapsers were reported to have cared for as many as seven foster children, in addition to their three adopted children, and Dolly Crapser's biological son, Henry Sydney Crapser.) The allegations involved gagging, beating, striking on the head with a clubbing device, hitting with a belt, kicking, shoving against a wall, force-feeding, and causing a dog to bite the children in the JW Couple's care. Specifically, Thomas Crapser was indicted on 23 counts including Rape of one foster daughter, along with criminally assaulting and mistreating the others. Dolly J. Crapser was indicted on 11 counts of criminally assaulting and mistreating the children. In 1992, the Crapsers accepted a plea deal from the hardarse local prosecutor to plead "guilty" to multiple lessor charges. Tom Crapser reportedly spent only 90 days in jail on a sexual abuse count, with the Jehovah's Witness Couple reportedly receiving a $5000.00 fine and probation on all other counts.

Adam Crapser, the only foreign-born adoptee (Korean), has publicly compared Dolly Crapser to "Cruella de Vil", the "101 Dalmatians" villain obsessed with having a variety of animal furs."It was like 'one of each' for her," claims Adam Crapser. "They had a Latino boy, a Filipino boy, Caucasian siblings, a black girl, me," Crapser told a reporter."We were shown off at Jehovah's Witness gatherings to make it look like [Dolly Crapser] was doing Jehovah's work."


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NEW JERSEY v. ANTHONY JAMES and NEW JERSEY v. SHIRLEY JAMES were related 1993-1999 New Jersey court cases. The cases began with the arrest of two children in October 1993, and did not end until January 1999, when the children's former adoptive parents, Anthony James and Shirley James, and New Jersey Prosecutors finally reached a plea deal. Anthony James was sentenced to 4 years on probation for 4 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and Shirley James simply agreed to enter a pretrial intervention program. By that time, Anthony James and Shirley James had reportedly relocated to Deltona, Florida, in 1998, where Shirley James eventually became a licensed foster parent.

In October 1993, Englewood, New Jersey Police arrested for shoplifting food at a local supermarket a 15-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother. These two children accused Anthony James, then 36, and Shirley James, then 39, of neglecting them and two other adopted children, a 16-year-old girl, and a 10-year-old boy. The James family also included the James' own 8 year-old son, and a fifth adopted 12 year-old girl, who allegedly was treated better than the others, and apparently did not complain. (That's six children in total.) Neighbors told reporters that the James were Jehovah's Witnesses, who could be seen attending a nearby Kingdom Hall. When contacted, Elders at that Kingdom Hall confirmed that they "knew" the James, but refused to say more.

Details provided by media reports are sketchy and sometimes contradictory. Apparently, all five "adopted children" had been adopted before the James family had relocated from New York to New Jersey. The children had been classified as "hard-to-place" by the State of New York, and as a condition of adoption, the State of New York was paying the Jameses (who allegedly were both unemployed) $500.00 per month "per child" to care for the five adopted children until each reached 18 years old. The State of New York did no further monitoring of the family after the adoptions were finalized.

The four adopted children who complained about their living conditions -- a 16 year-old girl, a 15 year-old girl, an 11 year-old boy, and a 10 year-old boy -- lived in the Jameses converted attic, and were required to use a bathroom in the basement. They allegedly were restricted as to what, where, and when they could eat. The other two children had their own bedrooms, and reportedly were not subject to the same bathroom and eating restrictions as were the four children. According to New Jersey education officials, at the time of the shoplifting arrests, all six children were supposedly being "home-schooled" without the benefit of state approval.

The James were initially released on $10,000.00 bail, and the four children who complained were placed in the care of New Jersey's Division of Youth and Family Services.

In May 1994, Anthony James and Shirley James were indicted on 13 counts each of child endangerment, criminal restraint, and fraud. Supposedly due to lack of evidence, most of those charges were dropped in the January 1999 plea deal.

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Interestingly, within a week or so after this scenario made the news, two similarly adopted children of Shirley James' twin sister, Debra Winston, who reportedly was also a Jehovah's Witness, and who lived within a block of the James' family, came forward and made similar accusations of both neglect and abuse against that second JW Family. No further details.


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QUEBEC v. ANDRE ROBERT NAURY was a 2003-04 Quebec criminal court case in which a Jehovah's Witness Elder named Andre Naury, then age 57, of Laval, Quebec, was prosecuted for allegedly sexual assaulting an 11 year-old boy who was a previously-sexually-abused foster-child of a fellow Jehovah's Witness family.

Andre R. Naury was accused of first befriending and grooming that young boy, and after gaining the friendship of the boy and the trust of that boy's Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents, then inviting the boy alone on a camping trip. Both Naury and the boy agreed that at a point during the camping trip that they both swam and bathed naked in a nearby river. Andre Naury admitted that he noticed what he perceived as an abnormality with the boy's penis, and that he proceeded to examine such -- with no sexual intent. After returning from that camping trip, the JW Foster Mother noticed that the boy no longer felt about Naury as he had prior to that camping trip. On questioning the boy, he related that Naury had touched his penis during the trip, but further related that Naury also had tried to get the boy to touch Naury's penis, which Naury later denied.

After the matter was reported to the police, and after their investigation, Andre R. Naury was charged with one count of sexual assault, one count of sexual touching for sexual purpose, and one count of inviting the child to touch him for sexual purpose. The trial occurred in March 2004, and the Quebec court found Andre Robert Naury "Guilty" of sexual assault, but "Not Guilty" of counts 2 and 3, because the court ruled that such touching, nor the invitation to touch, had been for a "sexual purpose". Like most readers, we do not understand how a person can be convicted under Quebec law of "sexual assault" if the "touching" was deemed not to have been for a "sexual purpose". Possibly, it is a difference in the amount of evidence/proof required for the different charges. We are assuming our inability to figure this one out is due to the decision being published in "French". Sentence unknown, but Naury likely did not do any prison time whatsoever, but rather had such probated by the court. Possibly, Naury was still added to Quebec's sex offender registry. (This Editor once seriously considered attending a "French Law School" at which he had been offered entry, but wisely decided to study English common law instead.)


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WEST VIRGINIA v. STANLEY COLBERT and WEST VIRGINIA v. VEENA COLBERT were related 1985-86 West Virginia criminal court cases. In October 1985, Jehovah's Witnesses Foster Parents, named Stanley Colbert and Veena Colbert, took their foster son, Micah J. Colbert, to City Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The 3 month-old baby was found to suffer from broken ribs, a fractured skull, and possibly other injuries. The baby was air-flighted to Children's Hospital in Washington D.C., where the Colberts were asked to consent to needed blood transfusions. The Colberts refused to give their consent. Children's Hospital was forced to petition a local court for authorization to administer medically required transfusions.

However, Micah Colbert died two days later from the original injuries, which were determined to have resulted from physical abuse. Both JW Foster Parents were charged in Micah's death. However, after further investigation, the local Martinsburg prosecutor dropped the charges against Stanley Colbert. Then, that same West Virginia prosecutor dropped the charges against Veena Colbert -- despite the fact that psychiatric testing found that Colbert was legally competent to stand trial. That genius prosecutorreasoned that since it had been determined that Veena Colbert was suffering from "multiple personalities disorder", that Colbert could not be convicted on the element of "criminal intent". Needless to say, there are few other locales in the United States where a baby could be beaten to death and noone would have at least been prosecuted for such in a court of law. Was the JW Husband totally oblivious to his JW Wife's mental illness, which was insufficient to deem her incompetent to stand trial? Did the JW Husband owe no legal duty to protect that baby? Something tells me there was more to this story than ever made the local newspaper.

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CROWN v. EUNICE SPRY was a well-publicized 2007 English criminal court case which involved a homeschooling Jehovah's Witness foster parent of three children, named Eunice Spry. Many aspects of this case sound eerily similar to some of those of the Lawrence Slack Family case. Eunice Spry was convicted of committing 24 acts of abuse dating all the way back to 1986 (and undoubtedly had committed many more). Yet, this devout Jehovah's Witness had managed to consistently carry out the abuse right under the noses of social workers and other governmental officials who visited her home and home school regularly; as well without being detected or reported by her fellow Jehovah's Witnesses, with whom she attended five meetings every week at her local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Home-schooling prevented the obvious signs of abuse, both physical and mental, from being detected and reported by teachers and classmates with whom children who attend public and private schools are forced to interact daily.
 
Like the Chicago Judge in the Slack case, the British Judge in this case told Spry that this was the worst case he had come across in 40 years in law. "Frankly, it's difficult for anyone to understand how any human being could have even contemplated what you did, let alone with the regularity and premeditation you employed," stated Judge Simon Darwall-Smith. Spry was found guilty of charges ranging from unlawful wounding; cruelty to a person under 16; assault occasioning actual bodily harm; perverting the course of justice; and witness intimidation. The Judge sentenced Spry to 14 years in prison, and ordered her to pay costs of approximately $165,000.00 USD.
 
The three children, two girls and a boy, were placed as foster children with Eunice Spry in 1986. Spry believed that the three children were possessed by the Devil. To be "purified", Spry decided to rear them in strict accordance with her WatchTower religion. The children testified that they were forbidden to listen to current music, read current children's or teenager's magazines, dress like other children of the same age, or even eat candy, etc. One girl reported that Spry even made her wear a sign on her back while at the Kingdom Hall, which read: "This child is evil. Do not look at her or talk to her."
 
One girl testified that they were treated as slaves. They were rarely allowed to go out of their filthy, rat-infested house. The girl said her earliest memory was of Spry making her eat dog food and, when she was sick, eat the vomit. They were often made to sleep on the floor. "We were beaten, starved, drowned in the bath and kicked down the stairs. ... Mum had an array of sticks, and would beat us with them and kick us till we were collapsing with pain. ... If we screamed she'd push the sticks down our throats." The children were instructed to lie about their bruises if people inquired.
 
Another child testified that if Spry thought one of the children was lying to her, which they sometimes did for obvious reasons, Spry would pour liquid detergent down their throats, and threaten: "Don't throw up, or youll have more. Spry told the children they were told not to speak to anyone. Spry believed other people were "worldly", since they did not believe in her WatchTower religion.
 
That chapter of the children's nightmare finally came to an end after one of the girls spoke to the police after finally running away in December 2004. The other two children were removed from Spry's custody, and Spry was arrested in February 2005. However, the three children are premanently injured - both physically and mentally - for life. All three suffer from depression, and likely other undisclosed mental illnesses. Both girls had attempted suicide.
 
At trial, Spry denied abusing the three children - explaining that she was only trying to bring them up according to her faith. Spry testified: "I sweated blood for those children. I went to great lengths to protect them from immorality. ... From a Christian point of view we expect our children to be obedient. As it says in the Bible, 'Children, be obedient to your parents and make the Lord proud'."
 
British officials responsible for monitoring home-schools apologized for their having failed these children, and promised to tighten up their procedures and maybe even seek tighter laws governing home schooling. The WatchTower Society typically accepted no responsibility -- issuing a PR statement alleging that the Jehovah's Witness religion did not condone abuse. A WatchTower Society spokesman said, "We don't tolerate physical cruelty."
 
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EUNICE SPRY CASE: OFFICIAL RETROSPECTIVE
 

"Mrs Spry's contact with Gloucestershire Social Services began in 1979 when she applied to become a childminder. This application was initially declined because of unspecified concerns from the health authority but these concerns were subsequently lifted and approval was granted. Mrs Spry's first application to become a foster parent in 1983/4 was declined because she was a Jehovah's Witness and it was felt that this lifestyle would not accommodate being a foster parent. These objections were removed and she was approved as a local authority foster carer from 1985 until 1994. ... ... ...

By November 1994, the five children had been removed from school by Mrs Spry and educated at home by her and her eldest daughter. Between October 1990 and 2000, concerns about the care of the children were expressed on 12 occasions. Social Services did respond to these concerns, however the concerns were not at a level that was subsequently revealed through the criminal trial and therefore these responses did not lead to continued social work involvement. Mrs Spry was described as "eccentric" and there was evidence of her being quite controlling and being difficult to engage in professional interventions. Her frequent moves of home added to the difficulties. ... ... ...

Mrs Spry controlled the amount of contact that professionals could have with the five children. She removed all of the children from school to be educated at home, as permitted by law, which had the effect of preventing any day-to-day external view of their care. Mrs Spry also either rejected or consistently changed planned appointments that were offered, making it difficult for all professionals coming into contact with the family to establish a clear view of the home circumstances and the care of the children. ...

Mrs Spry was regularly described by the professionals who came into contact with her, as having "alternative views about life and parenting". She was also seen as being "powerful", "controlling" and generally difficult to work with.
Nevertheless there were a number of occasions when professionals made very positive statements about her care of the children, for example that Mrs Spry was "very caring", a playschool leader described her as having "exceptional parenting skills" and a Police Officer said that he admired the way she cared for her children. There was a level of professional sympathy that developed for Mrs Spry as someone who was trying her best to care for five children, all of whom were seen as having some form of health or developmental problem. Mrs S clearly had the ability to present an appearance to professionals of being a very able, concerned and caring parent, and to get them to take her side.

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This EXCERPT from an article entitled, "Homes for the Unwanted", by Robert Joe Stout, which appeared in the Christian Century magazine, September 28, 1977, p. 849, succinctly captures the essence of Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents, which apparently escapes many state officials across the United States:

In California the era of incarcerated noncriminal children is over. A law that took effect January 1 prohibits any law-enforcement body from locking up a runaway. Opponents of the measure in the state assembly claimed that it would open the state to an invasion of teen-age and preteen drifters, drug addicts and prostitutes.

The bill's backers insisted that runaways are a social rather than criminal problem, and that receiving homes, crisis centers and mental health agencies are better prepared to handle abandoned children than punishment-oriented law-enforcement agencies. Other states, including Oregon, had already put similar laws into action and had experienced little if any increase in youthful lawlessness.

But whether criminal or social, the problem remains. Tutored in the skills of shoplifting by his older sister; taught to roll a tight joint of marijuana by his mother's boyfriend; hyperactive, acne-scarred, a Saturday-night drunk, 11-year-old Raleigh isn't equipped for adapting to a 50-year-old foster parent couple who are members of the Jehovah's Witnesses and whose idea of indulgence is to permit him to select one 30-minute period a night for watching television in their living room.

At the first opportunity he'll run. Sooner or later, he'll get into trouble -- steal a tire or a bottle of wine; snatch a coat or a purse; hot-wire a car. Some other foster home will house him for a few weeks or months. When a discipline problem develops, he;ll bolt. Next time he'll be sent to a boys ranch; then to Youth Authority, where he'll apprentice for a career of hard core criminality. Can this chain of events be halted? Its time to try.

 

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OHIO v. MICHAEL DEAN SCOTT was a 1999-2004 Ohio criminal prosecution of a former foster child of Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents Frederic Scott and Bettie Scott of Canton, Ohio. Michael Dean Scott lived with his Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents from the time he was 10 years-old until he was 18 years-old, in 1995. In 1999, when he was only 22 years-old, Michael Dean Scott pointlessly went out of his way to commit two murders. Michael Dean Scott now sits on Ohio's DEATH ROW.

In its decision to the routine death penalty appeal, the Ohio Supreme Court wrote:

When Scott was ten years old, the Scott family took him into their home, reunited him with his brothers, and adopted him. The Scotts lived in a nice neighborhood and provided him with a stable and loving home environment. Scott also attended church with his family, who were Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Scotts were strict parents and set high standards for Scott. When Scott was a teenager, tensions developed between him and his parents over their rules. Scott began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Further, church elders denied his request to be baptized because they felt that he did not behave properly. Soon after his 18th birthday, Scott left his parents' home.... ... ...

Frederick Scott and his wife adopted Scott's two younger brothers and later adopted Scott, then 11 years of age. Scott adapted well to the family; however, Mr. Scott noticed a change in his behavior when he turned 17 years of age. Then, a couple of days after his 18th birthday, Scott dropped out of high school and moved out of his parents' home. At trial, Mr. Scott maintained that despite the current situation, he would not abandon his son because "there was an attachment made there that goes beyond life."

Tanise Michelle Scott, Scott's sister, was 12 or 13 years old when Scott moved into the family home. She had had a good relationship with him, which she attributed to their closeness in age. She related that, at 18 years of age, Scott began having problems with their parents because "he wanted to do what he wanted to do" and made a poor choice of friends.

Bettie J. Scott explained that she and her husband had adopted Scott and his brothers because they loved them. The Scotts developed a good relationship with Scott until he was approximately 17 years old. At that point, Scott began making bad decisions, including his choice of friends. Despite her opposition, he left home to be with some of his friends. The Scotts did not know where he lived after leaving their home and had scant contact with him thereafter.

Jason Scott considers his brother Scott to be his best friend and continues to maintain as much contact with him as possible. Jason declared the day Scott left home to be the "[w]orst day of [his] life."

Readers should understand that during the criminal trial, the Prosecutor acknowledged that Michael Dean had had a poor home and family life until he was ten years old, but that after moving in with the Scott Family, Michael Dean had had as good of a home and family life as any foster child could ask, and that Michael Dean had squandered such. The trial Jury bought into the portrayal that the Scotts were exemplary parents, and so did the Supreme Court of Ohio.

However, in the (routine) Petition for a new trial, the Ohio Public Defender's Office criticized Michael Dean Scott's defense team for not more thoroughly investigating the Jehovah's Witness family who fostered and later adopted Michael Dean. Attorneys Angela M. Greene and Wendi Dotson stated in their Petition that in interviews they conducted with two former foster children who had lived with the Scott family, those two foster children alleged that the Scotts:

1. Routinely beat their children, including Michael, with machine belts, which they called "Mr. and Mrs. Brown".

2. Forced both foster and adoptive children, including Michael, to witness door-to door for the Jehovah's Witness religion, in violation of social services regulations.

3. Restricted movement/activities within the home of foster children who refused to go to the Kingdom Hall to attend religious services.

Regardless of the truthfulness or partial truthfulness of some or all of the allegations made in that Petition, even the "hints" included in the Ohio Supreme Court decision seem to indicate a home/family life with standards set so high by the WATCHTOWER SOCIETY (with the Scotts serving as "agents") that some of the foster or adopted children must have felt the despair of "futility", in that certain achievements were simply unattainable, and that some of the Scott's foster or adopted children simply "gave up".

There are even "hints" of the WatchTower Society's "mentality" of "giving up" even by the Scotts themselves, which results from the religious practice of "marking", "shunning", and "disfellowshipping". Simply google those terms along with the term "love" for a more thorough consideration of what Jehovah's Witnesses consider to be an appropriate display of "love" toward children who make mistakes -- which includes the failure to achieve standards completely. There is nothing wrong with "high standards" so long as there are appropriate responses to partial achievements of those standards. Jehovah's Witnesses do not tolerate "partial" achievements. Partial achievements are PUNISHED not partially rewarded. Re-read the EXCERPT from Robert Stout. Being reared as "Jehovah's Witnesses" simply may not be appropriate for most foster children.

And, if there are government officials who believe that foster children who live with Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents are not being reared to become "Jehovah's Witnesses", then they are simply too incompetent to hold their position.


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OHIO v.RAHEEM SMITH was a 1992 Ohio juvenile court case. In July 1992, a Jehovah's Witness, named Carolyn Smith, 51, of Dayton, Ohio, was murdered by her 13 year-old adopted son, Raheem Smith, on the Monday morning after the family had returned from the annual WatchTower Convention in Columbus, Ohio. Although Harold and Carolyn Smith were publicized as having been foster parents to a number of troubled youths in the Dayton area, their 13 year-old son, Raheem, had been adopted into the family several years previous before the Smiths had moved from New York to Ohio.

Something triggered an argument between Carolyn Smith and her son, and the juvenile proceeded to severely beat and stab Carolyn Smith. Raheem Smith then stole the family car in an effort to escape, and apparently led police in a high-speed chase during which the youth caused a number of separate wrecks. Raheem later told police that he plunged the knife into his mother's neck, then ripped open her blouse, checked her heartbeat, and kissed her breast.

At his arraignment, Raheem Smith was charged with delinquency by reason of aggravated murder, grand theft and grand theft auto. Despite the fact that his father, Harold Smith, failed to attend that hearing, reporters were somewhat surprised to find the 13 year-old Jehovah's Witness to be typically "soft-spoken" and "polite".

Raheem Smith eventually pled guilty and was sentenced to the Ohio Department of Youth Services until he was 21.

 

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In October 2003, in Blount County, Tennessee, an unidentified 14 year-old female foster child was removed from the home of Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents Billy Johnson and Keri Johnson by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services after that foster child complained that she was forced to attend five weekly meetings at the Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents' local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Although the Johnsons had served as foster parents for ten foster children over the years, all of whom were required to attend the five weekly meetings at the Jehovah's Witness& Foster Parents' local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, this particular foster child objected to the religious indoctrination. The Johnsons refused to pay for a babysitter so that the foster child could stay home while the rest of the family attended Kingdom Hall meetings, as did TDCS, so TDCS removed this foster child from the Johnson's care.
 

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RECOMMENDED READING:

Short BIBLE TOPIC Readings Selected For Those With Jehovah's Witnesses Backgrounds

Wifely Subjection: Mental Health Issues in Jehovah's Witness Women

Jehovah's Witnesses and the Problem of Mental Illness

The Theocratic War Doctrine: Why Jehovah's Witnesses Lie In Court

Blood Transfusions: A History and Evaluation of the Religious, Biblical, and Medical Objections (Jehovah's Witnesses perspective)

Blood, Medicine, and the Jehovah's Witnesses: The Hidden History of the Watchtower's Position on the Blood Issue


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