Buddhist clerical sexual abuse in the Netherlands


This video from Thailand, with English subtitles, says about itself:

2 March 2014

Protection of Children’s Rights Foundation (Thailand) produced this video to campaign for laws against possessing child sexual abuse material and raising awareness of foreigners arrested in Thailand for child sex abuse jumping bail.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Sexual abuse among Buddhists in Netherlands

Today, 15:56

By NOS-Net editor Bas de Vries

Buddhist monks and teachers in the Netherlands have been guilty in recent decades of sexual abuse of students, both men and women. In some cases the victims were minors. There are abuse scandals in, eg, Waalwijk, Middelburg and Makkinga (Friesland province).

People have been silent about the abuse for decades in some cases. But after the scandals in the Catholic Church now victims of abuse by Buddhist leaders are telling their stories.

Thai monk

In recent months, the NOS spoke together with Buddhism scholar Rob Hogendoorn, among others with three victims of a Thai monk who after his arrival in the Netherlands in the 1970s for at least twenty years abused young men or attempted to do so.

This Mettavihari, according to those involved, in the early 1980s had to leave his temple in Waalwijk. The reason is said to have been a message to the police about the molestation of a minor.

Earlier this month a number of Mettavihari’s former followers decided, after a silence of decades, to speak out about “repeated inappropriate behavior”. Their statement shows that they already known this for decades. The reason to speak out now, according to them, is that their recent own research showed that the abuse was worse than they thought until now.

Scandals

This affair of Mettavihari, deceased in 2007, does not stand alone. The NOS also investigated two other major scandals involving teachers abusing their dominant position with respect to often very vulnerable students. In both cases, the people involved went to the police, but ultimately did not lodge official complaints. Those issues were in various places.

– A Buddhist center in Middelburg, where ‘Kelsang Chöpel’ (the Austrian Gerhard Mattioli) was guilty in the period 2001-2008 of harassment and sexual abuse of female students. In minutes of the Buddhist Union of the Netherlands (BUN) the former president spoke of “a self-proclaimed lama (teacher) who in a horrible way has wreaked havoc.” The BUN sent several people to speak with the victims and gave no further publicity to the scandal.

– A monastery in the Frisian Makkinga. End of 2001, ‘Dhammawiranatha’ (then again Pierre Krul from Den Haag) resigned as a monk after he was confronted with the many sexual relationships he had entered with women. Also in this case the people involved appealed to the BUN. A board member noted: “The stories were truly staggering: brainwashing, instigation, ruining financially, sexual relationships with (usually mentally dependent) women, but also with very young, underage girls.” This issue is the only one which made it to the press. The website of his organization gives the impression that Krul in any case last year was still active as a teacher.

Also very recently, there were cases of abuse in Buddhist circles. The Buddhist teacher Frank Uyttebroeck reports that since 2010 at least five other people who were abused by five different teachers, have sought help from him. Two of them were so traumatized that he referred them to the medical community. He does not mention the names of these teachers, in his own words because he had pledged that to the victims.

Culture of silence

The victims who are willing to come out think the time is now to end the culture of silence, as has happened in the Catholic Church. They cite the example of the United States, where hundreds of Zen teachers last January published an open letter in which they offered their apologies for their “collective failure” in the fight against abuse.

Professor of practical theology Ruard Ganzevoort, specializing in religion and trauma, is not surprised that now among the Buddhists this problem is surfacing. “You can see in every religious tradition that if you bring vulnerable people in contact with people reputed to have much authority, with too little oversight, abuse will occur.”

Codes of conduct

Most Buddhist organizations in the Netherlands are now beginning to think about measures to stop sexual abuse in their own circles and to help victims better. After questions by the NOS about this the executive of the Buddhist Union in the Netherlands recently sent an appeal to the more than forty affiliated centers.

In it, the BUN, the contact point of the Dutch government for the 50,000 to 65,000 Buddhists in the Netherlands, poins out the importance of precautions. “For example, through confidants, codes of conduct or otherwise.” The administration warns individual Buddhists “to orientate well and think” before they join a particular organization or teacher.

“I want to particularly say this to make it clear that you should act immediately if something is wrong,” said Patrick Franssen, who was abused in the 1970s from his 19th year in his own words forty to fifty times by Mettavihari. “You have to stop it early, otherwise even worse things will happen. And do not be afraid of negative publicity. Buddhism can take criticism, it is much larger than these issues.”

The Dalai Lama and sexual abuse among Buddhists: here.

French military sexual abuse of African children


This 30 April 2015 video is called France investigates allegation of child abuse by its troops in the Central African Republic.

By Antoine Lerougetel and Kumaran Ira in France:

French soldiers sexually abused children in Central African Republic

6 May 2015

On April 29, Britain’s Guardian newspaper revealed the sexual abuse of children aged between 8 and 15 by French soldiers in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). The deeply impoverished country has experienced escalating sectarian fighting between Christian Anti-balaka and Muslims Seleka militias. Thousands of civilians had fled Bangui neighborhoods to seek shelter in nearby M’Poko airport.

According to the Guardian, the alleged abuse took place between December 2013 and June 2014 in a refugee camp in Bangui.

Reuters cited French judicial sources saying that a number of French soldiers had been identified. Chadian peacekeepers were also allegedly involved in the sexual abuse. On Thursday, Le Monde reported that more than 14 soldiers are under investigation.

The Guardian revelation was based on a leaked report by a senior UN aid worker, Anders Kompass, who disclosed the abuse allegation to French prosecutors last July, after the UN failed to take action to stop the abuse. Kompass is under investigation for breaching confidential information and was suspended after leaking the report.

According to many witnesses, young boys accused French soldiers of having raped and abused them “in exchange for food” or money. The incidents took place before and after the establishment of the UN-led peacekeeping mission in CAR.

The leaked report contains interviews with six children, who were sexually abused by French soldiers. Some indicated that several of their friends were also sexually assaulted. According to the Guardian, “The interviews were carried out by an official from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights justice section and a member of Unicef between May and June last year.”

One interview describes how two nine-year-old children were sexually assaulted together by two French soldiers who demanded oral sex in exchange for food.

The Guardian continues, “Another nine-year-old child describes how he went to ask for food from the French military at the IDP camp at M’Poko airport. He says the soldier told him to carry out a sex act on him first … He [the child] had friends who had done it already, he knew what he had to do. Once done the military gave a military food portion and some food. X said the military had forbidden him to tell anything about him to anybody, and that if he would do so he would beat him.”

The sexual abuse committed by French soldiers exposes the utterly fraudulent character of the “humanitarian” pretensions of French imperialism’s intervention in CAR, a former French colony.

Paris launched its military intervention in CAR in December 2013 under the guise of halting sectarian violence between majority Christian and minority Muslims. Paris initially backed Muslim Seleka forces in an attempt to topple President François Bozizé, aiming to seize the strategically located country in the centre of the African continent, and destroying China’s growing economic influence in the country. China had made several key deals with the CAR under Bozizé, including on oil contracts and military cooperation.

Paris initially deployed 1,600 troops in the CAR and around 2,000 troops are being deployed under the peacekeeping mission, codenamed Operation Sangaris. Since Paris intervened militarily, the humanitarian crisis has deepened and sectarian conflict has escalated.

Although the report on the sexual abuse emerged last July, the PS government kept total silence on the matter and avoided taking any legal action. Since the Guardian ’s revelation, the government has made hypocritical comments, and is seeking to whitewash the case.

When informed on the affair last July, in an interview to Le Journal du Dimanche on May 3, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed to have felt “disgust and a form of betrayal of the mission that was given to Operation Sangaris,” adding: “I immediately transmitted the report to the judiciary. It was our wish that the full truth rapidly come to light in this affair.”

After the report was passed to the French prosecutor, an internal army investigation into the matter reportedly was carried out, ending in August.

Le Drian claimed that the investigation has been “made available to the justice system.” With the case still in its preliminary stages after it was opened nine months ago, Le Drian downplayed it, saying, “I believe it is a complex inquiry. Since the crimes allegedly took place, most of the soldiers involved have left this theater of operations, but this should not prevent the judiciary from rapidly doing its work.”

In a cynical attempt to give a positive, “humanitarian” face to more imperialist crimes, President François Hollande said, “If some soldiers have behaved badly, I will show no mercy … You know the trust I have in our army, [and] the role the French military play in the world.”

French neo-colonial military abuse of African children


This video says about itself:

France, US want to keep Africa under colonial rule

10 April 2013

France has started pulling its troops from Mali – the first step in handing over operations to a UN-approved African force. The French anticipated a short campaign against Islamist insurgents in January – but now plan on keeping one thousand troops by the end of the year. Investigative journalist Michel Collon thinks Africa’s instability is the perfect excuse for the west to intervene and exploit the continent’s untouched resources.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

UN aid worker suspended for leaking report on child abuse by French troops

Anders Kompass said to have passed confidential document to French authorities because of UN’s failure to stop abuse of children in Central African Republic

Sandra Laville

Wednesday 29 April 2015 11.02 BST

A senior United Nations aid worker has been suspended for disclosing to prosecutors an internal report on the sexual abuse of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic.

Sources close to the case said Anders Kompass passed the document to the French authorities because of the UN’s failure to take action to stop the abuse. The report documented the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French troops stationed in the country as part of international peacekeeping efforts.

Kompass, who is based in Geneva, was suspended from his post as director of field operations last week and accused of leaking a confidential UN report and breaching protocols. He is under investigation by the UN office for internal oversight service (OIOS) amid warnings from a senior official that access to his case must be “severely restricted”. He faces dismissal.

The treatment of the aid worker, who has been involved in humanitarian work for more than 30 years, has taken place with the knowledge of senior UN officials, including Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, and Susana Malcorra, chef de cabinet in the UN, according to documents relating to the case.

The abuses took place in 2014 when the UN mission in the country, Minusca, was in the process of being set up.

The Guardian has been passed the internal report on the sexual exploitation by Paula Donovan, co-director of the advocacy group Aids Free World, who is demanding an independent commission inquiry into the UN’s handling of sexual abuse by peacekeepers.

It was commissioned by the UN office of the high commissioner for human rights after reports on the ground that children, who are among the tens of thousands displaced by the fighting, were being sexually abused.

Entitled Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces and stamped “confidential” on every page, the report details the rape and sodomy of starving and homeless young boys by French peacekeeping troops who were supposed to be protecting them at a centre for internally displaced people in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

Donovan said: “The regular sex abuse by peacekeeping personnel uncovered here and the United Nations’ appalling disregard for victims are stomach-turning, but the awful truth is that this isn’t uncommon. The UN’s instinctive response to sexual violence in its ranks – ignore, deny, cover up, dissemble – must be subjected to a truly independent commission of inquiry with total access, top to bottom, and full subpoena power.”

The UN has faced several scandals in the past relating to its failure to act over paedophile rings operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo and Bosnia. It has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct by its troops in Haiti, Burundi and Liberia.

The treatment of Kompass, a Swedish national, threatens to spark a major diplomatic row.

This month, the Swedish ambassador to the United Nations warned senior UN officials “it would not be a good thing if the high commissioner for human rights forced” Kompass to resign. The ambassador threatened to go public if that happened and to engage in a potentially ugly and harmful debate.

The abuses detailed in the internal report took place before and after Minusca was set up last year. Interviews with the abused children were carried out between May and June last year by a member of staff from the office for the high commissioner of human rights and a Unicef specialist. The children identified represent just a snapshot of the numbers potentially being abused.

The boys, some of whom were orphans, disclosed sexual exploitation, including rape and sodomy, between December 2013 and June 2014 by French troops at a centre for internally displaced people at M’Poko airport in Bangui.

The children described how they were sexually exploited in return for food and money. One 11-year-old boy said he was abused when he went out looking for food. A nine-year-old described being sexually abused with his friend by two French soldiers at the IDP camp when they went to a checkpoint to look for something to eat.

The child described how the soldiers forced him and his friend to carry out a sex act. The report describes how distressed the child was when disclosing the abuse and how he fled the camp in terror after the assault. Some of the children were able to give good descriptions of the soldiers involved.

In summer 2014, the report was passed to officials within the office for the high commission of human rights in Geneva. When nothing happened, Kompass sent the report to the French authorities and they visited Bangui and began an investigation.

It is understood a more senior official was made aware of Kompass’s actions and raised no objections. But last month Kompass was called in and accused of breaching UN protocols by leaking details of a confidential report, according to sources.

Kompass’s emails have been seized as part of the investigation into the alleged leak. One senior UN official has said of Kompass that “it was his duty to know and comply” with UN protocols on confidential documents.

Bea Edwards, of the Government Accountability Project, an international charity that supports whistleblowers, condemned the UN for its witch-hunt against a whistleblower who had acted to stop the abuse of children.

“We have represented many whistleblowers in the UN system over the years and in general the more serious the disclosure they make the more ferocious the retaliation,” said Edwards. ”Despite the official rhetoric, there is very little commitment at the top of the organisation to protect whistleblowers and a strong tendency to politicise every issue no matter how urgent.”

UN sources confirmed an investigation by the French was ongoing – in cooperation with the UN – into allegations of a very serious nature against peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

On Wednesday a spokesman for the French justice ministry told Reuters: “A preliminary investigation has been opened by the Paris prosecutor since July 31, 2014. The investigation is ongoing,” he said, declining to give further details.

A spokesman for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed an investigation was under way into the leaking of confidential information by a staff member.

France’s poisoned legacy in the Central African Republic. Latest mission to the former colony in 2013 was to protect people displaced by sectarian conflict – now French troops are accused of engaging in child abuse: here.

United States child abuse cover-up bishop resigns


This video from the USA says about itself:

Catholics in Kansas City urge Pope Francis to discipline Bishop Robert Finn

17 February 2014

James McConnell and Jeanne Christensen, Sisters of Mercy Justice Advocate for Human Trafficking, spoke about petitioning Pope Francis to discipline Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph during a press conference outside the Catholic Center, 20 East 9th Street in Kansas City.

From Associated Press:

Pope Francis accepts resignation of KC Bishop Robert Finn

04/21/2015 7:12 AM

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, who led the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Finn pleaded guilty in 2013 to failing to report a suspected priestly child abuser in the first known case of a pope sanctioning bishops for covering up for pedophiles.

The Vatican said Tuesday that Bishop Robert Finn had offered his resignation under the code of canon law that allows bishops to resign early for illness or some “grave” reason that makes them unfit for office. It didn’t provide a reason.

Finn, who leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, waited six months before notifying police about the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, whose computer contained hundreds of lewd photos of young girls taken in and around churches where he worked. Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

Finn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report suspected abuse and was sentenced to two years’ probation in 2012. Ever since, he has faced pressure from local Roman Catholics to step down, with some parishioners petitioning Francis to remove him from the diocese.

No U.S. bishop has been removed for covering up for guilty clergy.

Finn remains the highest-ranking church official in the U.S. to be convicted of failing to take action in response to abuse allegations. The Vatican’s failure to sanction or remove him had fueled victims’ complaints that bishops were continuing to enjoy protections even under the “zero tolerance” pledge of Francis.

Even Francis’ top sex abuse adviser, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, had said publicly that Francis needs to “urgently” address Finn’s case, though he later stressed that Finn deserved due process and must be spared “crowd-based condemnations.”

The Vatican last fall sent a Canadian archbishop to Finn’s diocese as part of his an investigation of his leadership. But until Tuesday, there had been no word about what the pope would do.

Finn’s resignation comes as Francis is facing similar pressure to remove a Chilean bishop, Juan Barros, amid an unprecedented outcry over his longtime affiliation with Chile’s most notorious molester, the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Karadima’s victims say Barros witnessed their abuse decades ago. He has denied knowing anything until he read news reports of Karadima’s crimes in 2010. The Vatican has defended the appointment. Karadima was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2011 for sexually abusing minors.

Earlier this month, members of the pope’s sex abuse advisory commission came to Rome in an unscheduled session to voice their concern about Barros.

O’Malley subsequently told the pope that the Vatican must come up with “appropriate procedures and modalities to evaluate and adjudicate cases of ‘abuse of office’ ” when bishops fail to protect children.

Was British Conservative Enoch Powell a racist child abuser?


This BBC video series from Britain is called Enoch Powell, Rivers of Blood.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Enoch Powell investigated as alleged member of Westminster paedophile network

Posted 2 hours ago by Cahal Milmo

Enoch Powell, the Conservative anti-immigrant firebrand, is being investigated as an alleged member of a claimed Westminster paedophile network after his name was supplied to police by a senior Anglican bishop.

The name of the late MP, one of the most divisive politicians of the late 20th century, was provided to Scotland Yard after a clergyman came forward with claims from the 1980s relating to ritual satanic abuse.

Mr Powell, a maverick politician who achieved notoriety with his so-called Rivers of Blood speech decrying migration to Britain, is the latest senior Parliamentarian to be made the subject of police inquiries into an alleged Establishment sex ring.

The Metropolitan Police has several ongoing investigations relating to claims against suspected abusers, including the former Liberal MP Cyril Smith. Detectives are also investigating allegations against former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.

The Independent understands that the claims against Mr Powell were passed to police by the Right Reverend Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, more than a year ago but they have only now been made public.

The Rt Rev Butler, who is the lead on safeguarding for the Church of England, contacted police after details of the allegations against the late Conservative politician were passed to him by a fellow clergyman, Dominic Walker, the former Bishop of Monmouth.

It is understood that the Rt Rev Walker first heard the claims when he was counselling young adults as a curate in the 1980s and claims were made that an unknown number of MPs had been involved in satanic cult-type abuse.

Scotland Yard said it did not name individuals being investigated as part of its ongoing inquiries into the alleged sex rings.

See also here.

Police are considering an unprecedented legal challenge against the director of public prosecutions (DPP) over her failure to charge Lord Janner of Braunstone following allegations that he abused boys in children’s homes over nearly two decades. The proposed judicial review follows a statement on Thursday from the DPP, who said it was “not in the public interest” to put the QC and former MP on trial despite evidence from four police inquiries that he had been involved in the abuse of children: here.

GREVILLE JANNER’S family insist that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to proceed with charges of sexual abuse of children means that he is “entirely innocent of any wrongdoing.” Their statement echoes similar protestations by members of serial predator Jimmy Savile’s family. Savile could not face criminal charges because he was dead: here.

British royal in child abuse scandal, ex-policeman says


This video from Britain says about itself:

Is The Establishment Riddled With Paedophiles? Russell Brand The Trews (E244)

28 January 2015

Reaction to the delay in Parliament’s child abuse inquiry, the allegations of child abuse against former politicians and the recent allegations against Prince Andrew.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Royal family member was investigated as part of paedophile ring before cover-up, ex-cop says

The former officer claims the investigation was shut down for ‘national security’ reasons

Jon Stone

Monday 23 March 2015

A member of the Royal family was claimed to be part of a suspected paedophile ring under investigation by police in the late 1980s, a former police officer has said.

The former Metropolitan Police officer says he was told by a detective sergeant that the investigation into the ring, which was also claimed to include an MP, was shut down for national security reasons.

“I was in a car with two other vice squad officers. … The detective sergeant said he had just had a major child abuse investigation shut down by the CPS regarding a royal and an MP,” he told the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

“He did not mention names, but he said the CPS had said it was not in the public’s interest because it ‘could destabilise national security’.”

The police officer identified the two colleagues, the newspaper said.

Sir Allan Green, the Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the CPS at the time the conversation took place, said he was not aware of any child abuse investigations shut down for national security reasons.

He however said he had been asked by a “senior person” if he had heard anything about a named MP being involved in child abuse. He said he had not.

The MP he was asked about has since died, Mr Green said.

The Metropolitan Police has pledged to investigate historical crimes by establishment figures “without fear of favour”.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he was pleased that allegations of cover-ups were coming to light.

“We do think we are getting somewhere with these wider enquiries and we are seeing people coming forward. We have seen lots of coverage this week around allegations of cover-ups, and I think it’s helpful that this is being spoken about and people are coming forward.

“We will go where the evidence takes us, without fear or favour, I think that is what the public expect and that is what the investigators are doing and are keen to continue to do.”

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating 14 related allegations of impropriety by officer stretching from the 1970s to 2005.

The Home Secretary Theresa May said earlier month that child sexual abuse ran through British society like a “stick of Blackpool rock” and warned that the public did not fully “appreciate the true scale” of exploitation.

DJ Neil Fox charged with nine sex offences involving six people – three of whom were children: here.

US soldiers and military contractors were responsible for the rape and sexual abuse of scores of Colombian children, but faced no legal repercussions because of a treaty between Washington and Bogota granting them full immunity: here.

Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky to be charged over child abuse images. CPS draws up charges against Bukovsky, 72, who moved to Britain in 1976 after exposing Soviet misuse of psychiatry against political prisoners: here.

Chileans protest against bishop’s cover-up of child abuse


This 21 March 2015 video is called Chilean Catholics Protest Naming of Bishop Linked to Sex Abuse.

From the BBC:

21 March 2015 Last updated at 19:25 GMT

Hundreds in Chile try to stop Bishop Barros ordination

Protesters in southern Chile have tried to stop the ordination of a Catholic bishop, accusing him of covering up a priest’s sexual abuse of young boys.

Police in the city of Osorno said at least 650 people turned up at the cathedral wearing black in protest against the ordination of Juan Barros.

The protesters say Bishop Barros used his position in the Church to try to deter an investigation into the actions of his mentor, Fernando Karadima.

Bishop Barros denies the allegations.

‘Tremendous problem’

More than 1,000 people wrote to Pope Francis to ask him to review the appointment.

“I believe the Catholic Church is not listening to its people,” said Christian Democrat congressman Sergio Ojeda.

“That is why we are asking for Bishop Barros to show dignity and resign, putting an end to this tremendous problem,” he told La Tercera newspaper.

The top leaders of Chile’s Catholic Church and most of the local authorities stayed away, but the ceremony went ahead in the morning in Osorno, some 900km (560 miles) south of the capital, Santiago.

Protesters outside and inside the cathedral attempted to stop the ordination going ahead.

There was a heavy police presence there and three people were arrested. …

‘Penitence and prayer’

Juan Barros was a protege of Father Karadima, who spent decades training young men to enter the priesthood, and regularly celebrated Mass at a well-known church in Santiago.

In February 2011, the Vatican found Father Karadima, then 81, guilty of sexually abusing children.

The Vatican ordered him to a life of “penitence and prayer” in a monastery in Santiago.

Months later, a judge dismissed a criminal case against him, saying the alleged crimes had been committed too many years before.

The BBC’s Gideon Long, in Santiago, says that before the allegations surfaced, Father Karadima was one of the most respected and influential priests in Chile.

Pope Francis under pressure after appointing bishop suspected of protecting a pedofile priest: here.

Child sex abuse survivors who were handpicked by Pope Francis to advise the Catholic church on how to address the issue are meeting with a senior church official in Rome on Sunday to criticise the Vatican’s handling of a case in Chile. Peter Saunders, a Briton who was abused by two priests as a teenager, told the Guardian that in an emergency meeting with Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who heads the pope’s abuse committee, he would demand action in a case involving a Chilean bishop, Juan Barros: here.

At least 54 Colombian girls sexually abused by immune US military: Report here.