La Luz Del Mundo leader held on all counts of rape, child pornography and sex trafficking

LA Times

Matthew Ormseth

August 21, 2020路6 min read

Naason Joaquin Garcia at his bail hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Naas贸n Joaquin Garcia, leader of the Guadalajara-based La Luz del Mundo church, at his bail hearing in downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 5. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

One after another, the agents from the California Department of Justice took the witness stand and related what the teenage girls and young women had told them: Naas贸n Joaquin Garcia, the leader of La Luz Del Mundo, an international church headquartered in Mexico, had raped them.

After five days of testimony, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen on Tuesday found that prosecutors from the California Attorney General’s office had gathered enough evidence to bind over for trial Garcia and two co-defendants, Alondra Ocampo and Susana Oaxaca, on all 36 counts of rape, child pornography, sex trafficking and extortion lodged against them.

All three have pleaded not guilty, arguing through their lawyers that the prosecution’s case rests on the untested, uncorroborated word of accusers whom the authorities have refused to identify.

Garcia, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, succeeded his father in 2014 as the leader of La Luz Del Mundo. The church’s followers, said to number in the millions, consider Garcia an “apostle” of Jesus Christ.

La Luz Del Mundo, Spanish for “The Light of the World,” was founded nearly a century ago by Garcia’s grandfather, Aar贸n Joaqu铆n. In court papers, prosecutors said they believe sexual abuse has been perpetrated within La Luz Del Mundo since the 1970s.

When he took control of the church six years ago, Garcia “found himself at the head of an organized sex ring originated by his father (or perhaps grandfather),'” Troy Holmes, a special agent for the California Department of Justice, wrote in a declaration.

In a statement, Jack Freeman, a minister and spokesman for the church, said the attorney general’s office has presented only “suspicions” based on “anonymous witnesses alleging outlandish claims.”

“Blatant hearsay does not amount to truth,” he said, predicting that as the case moves through the courts, “the innocence and honorability of the Apostle of Jesus Christ Naas贸n Joaquin Garcia will be proven.” Story continues鈥


The impact of sexual violence and abuse on victim-survivors and their families

By Hannah Pocock, Bravehearts Youth Advisory Council member

Sexual violence is, unfortunately, more common and prevalent than society would like to believe. An estimated 31,118 Australians reported being sexually assaulted in 2021, and shockingly, 61% of those victim-survivors who reported were under the age of 18 when the assault occurred. These statistics are horrific and are only a snapshot of the sexual assault and violence that occurs as so many incidents go unreported and people suffer in silence. It is important to remember that these statistics are real women, men, and children in our community who deserve and need support.

This month is Sexual Violence Awareness Month, and I thought I would share some of my thoughts. The reason why I am so passionate about preventing sexual violence and child sexual abuse, is because I have personally witnessed the devastating impact of these crimes. My family鈥檚 experience is not unique or special, and I naively thought that something as horrific as sexual abuse would never happen in our family. Although it鈥檚 been 5 years since a family member disclosed the abuse they had suffered, we still deal with the trauma every single day.

For the brave victim-survivor, not only do they have to deal with the abuse they suffered and disclosing it, but they also face the daunting process of reporting to police if they wish, and the possible criminal process beyond that. The systems in place that are supposed to protect, serve, and deliver justice, failed us immensely. And I doubt we are the only ones who have experienced this. The pursuit of justice and trying to hold the perpetrator accountable was so painful that it makes sense why victim-survivors don鈥檛 want to go through the process at all.

My family鈥檚 experience is why I am so motivated for change and passionate about raising awareness of sexual violence and abuse. Imagine a world where perpetrators are held accountable, the criminal justice process is trauma-informed and minimally re-traumatising as possible. Imagine a world where victim-survivors are believed from the outset and supported through the whole process. I hope that by sharing my story it helps others not to feel so alone. I hope that it can spark some real and definite change so no other victim-survivors and their families have to experience what my family did.

To all the victim-survivors: you are believed, you are worthy of support and healing, and what happened to you was not your fault. To all the families and supporters: you are important, you are valued and your story matters too.

About Hannah

Hannah is a fourth-year psychology student who鈥檚 passionate about child safety and protection. She has a keen interest in the Queensland justice system and how it can be reformed so victims of abuse are listened to, taken seriously and justice is given. She loves her casual job at a doggy day-care and enjoys reading in her spare time.

RETRIEVED BraveHearts https://bravehearts.org.au/the-impact-of-sexual-violence-and-abuse-on-victim-survivors-and-their-families/

Overlapping similarities

Something that becomes easier for some victims/survivors/oppressed/bad-eggs/outcasts to see is the hidden-truth, the dry wit, the 鈥榓dult humour鈥, 鈥渢hings only grownups understand鈥 that they innately become both aware of & exposed to during their youth. I wanted to post this immediately after recognising patterns in 鈥She Said鈥. Many of the power+control methods exposed by this great work also reflect/mirror dynamics they continue throughout Institutions-Corporations-Society鈥檚-Families & personalities.

While Harvey Weinstein鈥檚 鈥榠mprisonment鈥 has triggered off other moments, reminders give hope to other truth鈥檚 being exposed.

Promising Young Woman, 2021.

Many other 鈥榩arallels鈥 appeared to me, which I gravitate to. It鈥檚 not about whether it鈥檚 popular to others, it鈥檚 whether it鈥檚 meaningful to me, another was Spotlight which brought up reminders I was exposed to on a church youth camp! How blessed were we?!

Spotlight, 2015.

Ongoing 鈥榞enerational鈥 differences?

Timed perfectly(?), an encounter with some graduates + a younger BBC student occurred on a train TWG-CEN: (eMail contents to BBC, OCA & QR)

/ / / Belatedly  & with 鈥it鈥檚 a generational thing鈥 regret as both an Old Boy, OCA-Bursary recipient & past BBC Teacher鈥檚 Aide 

#duckduckgo, retrieved 2022

volunteer, the following results from a QR TWG-CEN ~3:43pm:
– QR/TransLink Concession Card Recepients (4/5 seniors, 1 green)- uniformed BBC Students 鈥represent the school & should give the greatest (public) impression鈥 (QR, BBC & OCA)- similar BBC Admin messages have been successfully enacted, yet 鈥榶ounger learn from older鈥 isn鈥檛 practiced- passionate language was triggered, resulting from overall 鈥榰ntouchable/innocent鈥 response(?) (predominately seniors)- immediate conversation with QR staff reinforced these 鈥students from private schools鈥 conundrum.


Now would be a good time for BBC to seperate itself, from the herd-mentality. Otherwise, expecting ongoing feedback re: these matters.

Recent progress and recent institutions to join:

Application progress

As of 25 March 2022, the Scheme:

  • Had received 14,582 applications.
  • Made 9,164 decisions 鈥 including 7,889 payments, totalling over $682.6 million (m), with an average of $86,521
  • Has made 8,679 offers for redress. Applicants have six months to consider their offer of redress.
  • 5,923 applications are currently being progressed, 702 are on hold or paused, including 112 applications due to institution not participating (representing 1.9% of applications on hand).
  • The total number of applications finalised and redress payments in Year 1 are 239 ($19.8m), 2,537 ($205.0m) in Year 2, 3,283 ($285.0m) in Year 3 of the Scheme and 2,148 ($172.8m) in Year 4 of the Scheme.
  • 43 IDMs are currently actively making decisions.

Participating institutions update

All institutions where child sexual abuse has occurred are encouraged to sign up to the Scheme as soon as possible.

As at Declaration 2, signed by the Minister on 7 March 2022:

  • All Commonwealth and State and Territory government institutions and 577 non government institutions are now participating in the Scheme.
  • Approximately 70,200 sites across Australia are now covered by the Scheme.
  • To date, 63 institutions have been declared under the Funder of Last Resort (FOLR) arrangements.
    • These institutions are defunct, a government is equally responsible for the abuse and the Commonwealth and/or relevant state governments are the FOLR.

A number of institutions were recently added to the Scheme legislation. This declaration is available on via the Federal Register of Legislation: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022C00171

For the latest information about institutions, visit our website: https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/institutions

Take Your Power Back

Take Your Power Back: Healing Lessons, Tips, and Tools for Abuse Survivors

This material may be protected by copyright.

Take your power back, Evelyn M. Ryan

If 鈥淚鈥檇 been looking for 鈥榯his kinda book鈥, for so long鈥 sounds familiar – this could be the answer! Both suggested + reviewed by others in our league, here are some short examples of what it contains:

鈥淎s you discover and come into your own truth, you will gain the following:

            鈥   emotional strength as your self-confidence and self-assurance build
            鈥   an awareness of what triggers your painful emotions and moods, and an improved ability to cope with them before the pain escalates
            鈥   more responsiveness to outside influences as you become less reactive
            鈥   a feeling of safety in your own body
            鈥   confidence in your ability to consciously choose your response to situations that are in your best interest with due consideration for others, rather than emotionally gambling by unconsciously reacting in unhealthy ways to gain others鈥 approval and avoid pain

        Mentors, coaches, and therapists can be instrumental in guiding you through the process, but the answers to truth-based healing reside in us. We must seek them out and apply them by reaching into the core of our being for the answers. The point is this:
        You must uncover and discover to recover.鈥



Ryan, Evelyn M. (2015). Excerpt from (p.25/188)


This book isn鈥檛 an easy read, but that鈥檚 not what readers of it are looking for. Answers, methods + solutions are what it contains, which is what this writing aims for! If anything can make surviving-victims of child-sexual-abuse feel better, it鈥檚 knowing that there are things like this book.


RETRIEVED

Ran, Evelyn M. (2015). Take your power back. Retrieved via https://books.apple.com/au/book/take-your-power-back/id1068414334.

Amazon logo

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Take-Your-Power-Back-Survivors-ebook/dp/B0793P43LP

Apple Book logo

Apple https://books.apple.com/au/book/take-your-power-back/id1068414334

Google Play logo

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=4F4TCwAAQBAJ&rdid=book-4F4TCwAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_atb&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_atb

HalfPriceBooks logo

HalfPriceBooks https://www.hpb.com/products/take-your-power-back-9781491778166

Cardinal George Pell Civil Case Catholic Archdiocese

By Danny Morgan

Posted Thu 4 Aug 2022 at 4:30pmThursday 4 Aug 2022 at 4:30pm, updated Yesterday at 5:58am

A man wearing a black robe holds his fingers to his temple as he speaks.
The father of a former choirboy who died of a drug overdose in 2014 has launched a case against Cardinal George Pell.(AP: Gregorio Borgia)

The Catholic Church is using a controversial legal tactic in a bid to be excused from a civil damages claim lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court involving Cardinal George Pell.

Key points:

  • The man lodging the claim says he suffered nervous shock after learning of allegations his son was abused by Cardinal Pell
  • Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence and was acquitted by the High Court of criminal charges in 2020
  • The Archdiocese has asked to be excused from the civil case, claiming the father was not the primary victim of any alleged abuse

A man is suing the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Cardinal Pell for damages, claiming he suffered nervous shock after learning of allegations Cardinal Pell sexually assaulted his son when he was a choirboy at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne in 1996.

In 2018, Cardinal Pell was found guilty of the assault, but the High Court unanimously quashed the conviction in 2020.

The Cardinal has always maintained his innocence.

Church calls upon ‘Ellis defence’

In a preliminary hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday, the Archdiocese indicated it wanted to rely on what is known as the ‘Ellis defence’ to be excused from the case.

The Ellis defence emerged out of a 2007 NSW Court of Appeal judgement that prevented an abuse survivor suing the Church because it was not a legal entity.

Survivors have long complained about the Church using the Ellis defence, and in 2018 the Victorian Parliament passed legislation that required unincorporated associations such as the Church to nominate an entity that is capable of being sued.

However, lawyers for the Archdiocese argued that legislation did not apply in this case because the father of the choirboy was not the primary victim of the alleged abuse.

The facade of St Patrick's Cathedral reaches into a cloudy sky.
The civil damages claim relates to allegations of abuse at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

The father’s barrister, Julian Burnside QC, disagreed, arguing the 2018 legislation applied to both primary victims and their families.

“What our learned friends’ submission amounts to is this: If the victim of child abuse dies, then the family has no remedy, they have no-one they can sue,” Mr Burnside said.

“Now that’s plainly wrong in our submission.”

Justice Michael McDonald has reserved his decision on whether to excuse the Archdiocese.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

Archdiocese pledges to pay any potential damages

If the Archdiocese is excused, Cardinal Pell would remain a defendant.

In a letter to the court, solicitors for the Archdiocese indicated that, even if the Church avoided liability, it would still pay any damages should the judge find against Cardinal Pell.

“If the plaintiff is awarded damages against the second defendant [George Pell], the Archdiocese will ensure that the award is paid by indemnifying the second defendant in respect of the award,” the letter said.

The father of the choirboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, launched his case last month.

His son died of a drug overdose in 2014 and the father only learned of the allegations against Cardinal Pell the following year.

The father is claiming general damages, special damages and seeking compensation for past loss of earning capacity as well as past and future medical expenses.

His solicitor, Lisa Flynn, said the High Court’s decision to quash Cardinal Pell’s conviction would not affect the civil proceedings.

“The High Court made some decisions in relation to the criminal prosecution against [George] Pell. Our case is a civil case against George Pell and the Catholic Archdiocese,” she said.

RETRIEVED

Morgan, Danny. (2022). Cardinal George Pell Civil Case Catholic Archdiocese. Retrieved https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-04/cardinal-george-pell-civil-case-catholic-archdiocese/101301514. ABC News, Australia.

When Relationship Abuse Is Hard To聽Recognize

 | SILVERGIRL

COERCIVE CONTROL

Signs of coercive control are hard to spot; support and information will help.

Great campaign from @CitizensAdvice

By Lisa Aronson Fontes

Paybacks. Silent Treatment. Isolation. Threats. Humiliation. Sometimes even physical abuse. These are the weapons of coercive control, a strategy used by some people against their intimate partners. A relationship that should involve loving support ends up as a trap designed for domination. Although coercive control can show up in a variety of relationships, the most common is one in which a man uses coercive control against his wife or girlfriend. However, people of any gender and orientation(link is external) can be victims or victimizers.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, verbal and psychological attacks used to control an intimate partner or family member. Without intervention, violence typically escalates in frequency and severity. safehaventc.org:

People subject to coercive control grow anxious and afraid. Coercive control strips away their independence, sense of self, and basic rights, such as the right to make decisions about their own time, friends, and appearance.

Many men who use coercive control also abuse partners physically or sexually, but some use coercive control without physical violence. Outsiders may not be able to see the signs of coercive control in a couple; those who use it are often quite charming.

 (Do you know someone who is being controlled in this way? Do you wonder if your relationship is too controlling? Here鈥檚 a checklist(link is external) from my book, Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship(link is external).)

Victims of coercive control often feel like hostages. Over time, being grilled, criticized, stalked, and monitored may seem routine and inescapable. Victims often blame themselves as they feel despairing and disoriented. It鈥檚 easy for a person in this position to lose confidence and accept a partner鈥檚 view of reality. They may feel confused as they are told again and again that they themselves have triggered their partner鈥檚 behaviors by doing something 鈥渨rong.鈥 At the same time, to keep the peace, victims may suppress their own desires, silence their voices, and detach from loved ones. Unfortunately, victims often do not see the connection between their partner鈥檚 control and their own isolation until time has passed. Losing self-confidence and close relationships at the same time can be paralyzing.

People who get caught in the web of a controlling person are no different from others. They just have the bad luck to become involved with an abuser at a time when they are especially vulnerable. Typically, an abuser will lavish attention on a woman at the beginning of the relationship. Over time, he becomes jealous, monitors her whereabouts, and restricts her interactions with others. His partner thinks the original 鈥渉elpful man鈥 is the 鈥渞eal鈥 him, and if she does things right, he鈥檒l go back to being wonderful again. At times he may indeed act loving, if this seems like the best way to maintain his control. Loving acts become another controlling tactic.

Once a controlling man has caught a woman in his web, he will do everything he can to prolong the relationship. Sometimes he will threaten, stalk, assault, or even murder her if she leaves or he suspects she鈥檚 trying to leave. For this reason, even if there is no physical violence it is important for a person who is being controlled to contact a domestic violence agency and devise a safety plan.

Only a couple of decades ago, society named and recognized the problems of sexual harassment, dating violence, marital rape, and stalking. Coercive control needs to be similarly named and recognized, so we can begin to address it. We all need to learn more, so we can offer the right kinds of support(link is external) and not allow victims to become isolated.

If you don鈥檛 like the word 鈥渧ictim,鈥 feel free to substitute 鈥渟urvivor鈥 or another term that you prefer. 

RETRIEVED

Offending Institution: St Vincent鈥檚 Orphanage, Clontarf聽


Sexual abuse was rampant at St Joseph鈥檚 Orphanage in Clontarf, WA.聽The Christian Brothers would leer at the boys while they showered, and in the evenings, the Brothers would choose boys to take to their bedrooms. One of the survivors said this was 鈥減retty much a nightly occurrence, or at least it occurred more often than not鈥濃

Discover the horrific history of St Joseph’s Orphanage.
/ / /
RETRIEVED
Kelso Lawyers. (2022). St Vincents Orphanage Clontarf, from https://kelsolawyers.com/au/institutions/st-vincents-orphanage-clontarf/?goal=0_8de5cf57f7-b1db0993e0-26105593
READ MORE

POSTS/Messages

To all of those who鈥檝e sent in WP Messages to this RoyalCommBBC blog, I am sorry I haven鈥檛 responded to your messages. Although I鈥檓 now able to partly post new pieces, I鈥檓 not able to access your messages. If possible, please COPY + PASTE them into either an eMail OR TXT:

treacl@icloud.com

0410 277 791