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

 
 
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
 
FOSTER PARENTS - ADOPTIVE PARENTS COURT CASES
 
 
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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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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.

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.
 

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WEST VIRGINIA v. STANLEY COLBERT and WEST VIRGINIA v. VEENA COLBERT were related 1985-6 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 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.

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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 you’ll 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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