- Cult child sex abuse case starts ("Verdade Celestial")
- After abuse as a girl, U.N. albinism expert aims to end ritual murders
- Swirling Scandal Involving Shamanistic Cult Threatens S. Korean President
Cult child sex abuse case starts
by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 15-11-2016
The trial of the leader of a fake religious sect called "Verdade Celestial" (Celestial Truth) and seven other defendants accused of sexually abusing children in a farm near Palmela, south of Lisbon, is to begin this Tuesday.
The main pedophile was arrested in June 2015 when he was pretending to be a psychologist and called himself the leader of the religious sect. He has been charged with dozens of crimes of rape, pimping, child pornography, some of which against his own son.
The accusation said the defendants “showed total disrespect for the children" who attended the farm for tutoring or to participate in activities organised by the religious leader who convinced them that the sexual abuse they were subjected to was “purifying acts”.
The cult leader is also suspected of charging other child molesters who wanted to abuse the children who went to the farm.
Article in Portugese about the case: Setúbal seita religiosa que abusava de crianças enfrenta justiça ) TVI24
After abuse as a girl, U.N. albinism expert aims to end ritual murders
World News Wed Nov 16, 2016 By Katy Migiro
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Ikponwosa Ero was five years old, she couldn't walk down the street in Nigeria without being abused for having albinism -- a lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes....
People with albinism are frequently shunned, attacked and even killed across Africa. In many countries, their body parts are believed to bring wealth and good luck and are prized in witchcraft for use in charms and magical potions.
Ero's mother comforted her, telling her that God does not make mistakes, and fought for her to attend school, despite her poor eyesight, a common problem for people with the condition....
Ero's priority is to end the brutal machete attacks on people with albinism by assailants seeking to use their body parts in witchcraft.
More than 600 attacks have taken place in 26 African countries since 2007, with almost two-thirds of the victims being children, she said.
"There is the witchcraft belief that if the attacks are happening to people while they are alive, then the potion is more powerful," Ero said....
Ero was accompanied by Isaac Mwaura, Kenya's first member of parliament with albinism, who organized in October a beauty pageant for people with albinism in Kenya to reduce stigma....
Swirling Scandal Involving Shamanistic Cult Threatens S. Korean President
October 29, 2016 Elise Hu
Tens of thousands demonstrated in cities across South Korea on Saturday, demanding President Park Geun-hye step down from office. Her approval rating has hit an unprecedented low of 14 percent and Park's ordered all 10 of her senior aides to resign, following revelations an unelected, unappointed confidant was receiving advance copies and altering dozens of confidential policy speeches. They have led to charges that the friend is a secret "puppet master" and the real power behind "the throne."
President Park apologized to the country in a rare nationally-televised address this week. She said she sought her old friend's opinion only in the early part of her presidency, before her staff was in place.
It goes beyond tinkering with speeches, however. This scandal involves not only tens of millions of dollars and charges of influence-peddling, but of spiritual guides from a "Shamanistic prophet," voices from the dead and — wait for it — dressage, the competitive form of horse-dancing....
The old friend of the president's, Choi Soon-sil, also runs two non-profit foundations that prosecutors say boasted of its ties with the president to collect more than $70 million in donations from the country's major conglomerates. Prosecutors opened up an investigation into the foundations in early October, and are seeking Choi, who is accused of siphoning some of those funds for personal use — including to cover equestrian training for her daughter, Chung Yoo-ra. (Choi emerged in Germany over the weekend and denies any wrongdoing.)....
Choi Soon-sil is the daughter of a man the president considered her mentor, Choi Tae-min. He claimed to be a pastor from a tiny pseudo-Christian sect, but a leaked diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy describes him as a 'Rasputin'-like character and his "church" is described by Korean media as more of a "Shamanistic cult." The New York Times explains further:
"Mr. Choi was the founder of an obscure sect called the Church of Eternal Life. He befriended Ms. Park, 40 years his junior, soon after her mother was assassinated in 1974. According to a report by the Korean intelligence agency from the 1970s that was published by a South Korean newsmagazine in 2007, Mr. Choi initially approached Ms. Park by telling her that her mother had appeared in his dreams, asking him to help her.
Mr. Choi was a former police officer who had also been a Buddhist monk and a convert to Roman Catholicism. (He also used seven different names and was married six times by the time he died in 1994 at the age of 82.) He became a mentor to Ms. Park, helping her run a pro-government volunteer group called Movement for a New Mind."....