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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.)
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 convicted and jailed for one year for sodomizing and raping a teenage foster child ($$$) who had been placed in the family's home through the state foster care program. 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.
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 prosecutor reasoned 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.
"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.
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.
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.
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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