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Haiti, Idaho, 33 traumatized kids, 10 arrested Baptists and ChurchThink

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I am going to start posting this, I think, at the top of every post:


Know thyself, and Know Thy Nonprofits (including churches).  ONE way to know someone is to take a look at their books.  I mean Income, Expense, Assets & Liabilities, and request proof of who got which services.

Register for FREE with Guidestar, and start looking things up.  That’s what the 2 men from Albany, GA did in the nonprofit hospital scam… 

Do a local audit.  After all, if you pay taxes, aren’t those YOUR taxes?  And if a tax-exempt organization is tax-exempt and NOT providing whatever actually qualifies them for tax-exempt status (presumably a healthy does of altruism and concern for the common good, or picking up some of what the government can’t cover itself….) (say WHAT is government for, again?  Health? and Human Services ???  Linguistic transformations, etc….). 



OK, not one of my best post titles, but who could resist this article?

‘Right Thing’ or Recklessness?

Arrests of Baptists stir debate about trafficking

By Frank Bajak and Paisley Dodds
Associated Press Posted: 01/31/2010 08:39:52 PM PST Updated: 01/31/2010 10:34:56 PM PST

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Ten U.S. Baptists arrested trying to take 33 children out of earthquake-shattered Haiti say they were just trying to do the right thing, applying Christian principles to save Haitian children.

Prime Minister Max Bellerive said Sunday he was outraged by the group’s “illegal trafficking of children” in a country long afflicted by the scourge and by foreign meddling.

One thing I’ve noticed about people intent on grabbing children is a total insensitivity to their former culture or values, let alone parentage…

But the hard reality on the ground in this desperately poor country — especially after the catastrophic Jan. 12 quake — is that some parents openly attest to their willingness to part with their children if it will mean a better life.

It was a sentiment expressed by all but one of some 20 Haitian parents interviewed at a tent camp Sunday that teemed with children whose toys were hewed from garbage.  {{“hewed”?  Isn’t that what you do to trees?}}

“Some parents I know have already given their children to foreigners,” said Adonis Helman, 44. “I’ve been thinking how I will choose which one I may give — probably my youngest.”

Haiti’s overwhelmed government has halted all adoptions unless they were in motion before the quake amid fears that parentless or lost children are more vulnerable than ever to being seized and sold.

Without proper documents and concerted efforts to track down their parents, they could be forever separated from family members able and willing to care for them. Bellerive’s personal authorization is now required for the departure of any child.

The orphanage where the children were later taken said at least some of the kids have living parents, who were apparently told that the children were going on an extended holiday from the post-quake misery.

The church group’s own mission statement said it planned to spend only hours in the devastated capital, quickly identifying children without immediate families and busing them to a rented hotel in the Dominican Republic without bothering to get permission from the Haitian government.

Whatever its intentions, other child welfare organizations in Haiti called the plan reckless.

The church members, most from Idaho, said they were only trying to rescue abandoned and traumatized children.

IDAHO has a family court system.  There are certainly traumatized children being manufactured over there — why not practice this form of “love” locally, or have CPS and other agencies already marked out this territory?  There are battered mothers on the verge of poverty and homelessness there.  Were they simply in need of kids without going through the approval process?  Or is the Bill of Rights over here getting in the way?

In this chaos the government is in right now, we were just trying to do the right thing,” the group’s spokeswoman, Laura Silsby, said at Haiti’s judicial police headquarters, where she and others were taken after their arrest Friday night trying to cross the border into the Dominican Republic in a bus.

Silsby, 40, admitted she had not obtained the proper Haitian documents for the children, whose names were written on pink tape on their shirts.

Dang those pesky laws.  The “right thing” in this case was obviously to ignore them, or be totally unconscious that such restraints might exist, and be appropriate.

The children, ages 2 months to 12 years old, were taken to an orphanage run by Austrian-based SOS Children’s Villages, where spokesman George Willeit said they arrived “very hungry, very thirsty.”

WERE taken, or HAD been taken?  Did the church go to this orphanage to get some abandoned traumatized kids?  Or were they taken here after the Haiti-fleeing church folk were caught?

A 2- to 3-month old baby was dehydrated and had to be hospitalized, he said. An orphanage worker held and caressed another, older baby, who was feverish and looked disoriented.

“One (8-year-old) girl was crying, and saying, ‘I am not an orphan. I still have my parents.’ And she thought she was going on a summer camp or a boarding school or something like that,” Willeit said.

The orphanage was working to reunite the children with their families, joining a concerted effort by the Haitian government, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other nongovernment organizations.

In Idaho, the Rev. Clint Henry denied that his Central Valley Baptist Church had anything to do with child trafficking and said he didn’t believe such reports. He urged his tearful congregation to pray to God to “help them as they seek to resist the accusations of Satan and the lies that he would want them to believe and the fears that he would want to plant into their heart.”

{{pls. note on my blogroll link to copyright use…}} 

And there, my friends, you have a typical church reaction to being confronted on violations of laws by its members.  It wasn’t the members’ illegal activities that count, but Satan that motivated whoever reported them.

That US/THEM mentality is the breeding ground for gangs as much as other areas.  Add to it the herd mentality, and people with needy children in the emotional portion of their thinking, and voila — an overseas trip comes together. 

I promised in an earlier blog I’d make up for having failed to offend ALL groups, so this is part of my delivery.



Miscellaneous programs in Idaho (Taggs.hhs.gov.  These were REALLY random selections of CFDA programs I thought some of those church folk might want to get involved in, some of which refer to adoptions…

Number of rows returned: 40
Rows 1 through 40 displayed.
Records Searched: 161306

Award Number Award Title OPDIV Program Office Sum of Actions
1001ID1407  FY 2010 ADOPTION ASSISTANCE  ACF  CB  $ 3,149,636 
SM059054  MADISON CARES  SAMHSA  CMHS  $ 996,964 
0901IDCJA1  2009 CJA  ACF  CB  $ 130,414 
09PAIDFPSS  2009  ACF  CB  $ 38,214 
09PCIDFPSS  2009  ACF  CB  $ 23,032 
0901IDCA01  2009 NCCAN  ACF  CB  $ 178,963 
0901IDFPSS  2009  ACF  CB  $ 1,217,307 
0911IDFPCV  2009 FPSSCV  ACF  CB  $ 36,142 
0901ID1407  FY 2009 ADOPTION ASSISTANCE  ACF  CB  $ 5,207,087 
0801IDCJA1  2008 CJA  ACF  CB  $ 130,413 
08PAIDFPSS  2008 PSSF  ACF  CB  $ 38,432 
08PCIDFPSS  2008 PSSF  ACF  CB  $ 23,164 
0811IDFPCV  2008 FPSSCV  ACF  CB  $ 18,717 
0801IDCA01  2008 NCCAN  ACF  CB  $ 174,928 
0801IDFPSS  2008 PSSF  ACF  CB  $ 1,260,832 
0801ID1407  FY 2008 ADOPTION ASSISTANCE  ACF  CB  $ 4,468,573 
0701IDCJA1  2007 CJA  ACF  CB  $ 124,244 
07PCIDFPSS  2007 PSSF  ACF  CB  $ 25,188 
0701ID00FP  2007 PSSF  ACF  CB  $ 1,336,795 
0701IDAEGP  2007 AEGP  ACF  FYSB  $ 208,264 
0701ID01FP  2007 PSSF  ACF  CB  $ 41,791 
0701IDCA01  2007 NCCAN  ACF  CB  $ 171,365 
0701ID1407  FY 2007 ADOPTION ASSISTANCE  ACF  CB  $ 3,792,023 
0301ID00FP  2003 PSSF  ACF  CB  $ 1,067,762 

C’ouer D’alene city blogspot (in Idaho) has this on Child Abduction Prevention:

Although the Coeur d’Alene Police Department receives very few cases of child abduction, the correct response and investigation of missing or abducted children remain a high priority for the department. Last year, Chief Wayne Longo spearheaded up-to-date training in Amber Alert for all members of the police department. Idaho State Police and Kootenai County Central Dispatch have been vital in offering and providing such training in the use of the statewide Amber Alert system. This training initiative has assisted officers in responding quickly and appropriately to these types of cases.

In the fall of 2007, Chief Longo attended a two-day workshop in Alexandria, Virginia, hosted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC, a non-profit entity supported by corporate sponsorships and grants, paid for all expenses associated with the training.

The executive-level training has a focus on a standardized law enforcement response and policies nation wide in child abduction cases. NCMEC also offered additional information and resources such as “Team Adam” to local law enforcement agencies.
Team Adam is a deployment of retired police officers specifically trained in child abduction who respond to a community and assist local law enforcement in the case of an abducted child.

. . .

In 2005, Chief Longo was part of a multi-agency team that investigated the devastating Groene case that sent shock waves through North Idaho and the nation. In the past year, the FBI requested that he travel around the nation with other commanders involved in this investigation to share the lessons learned from that difficult case with other law enforcement leaders. FBI Special Agent Mike Genecko, Major Travis Chaney of the KCSD, FBI Supervisor Don Robinson, and assistant US Attorneys have accompanied him. The FBI has paid the expenses associated with all of the trips. Important lessons learned in Idaho are shared with our counterparts around the nation to assist other jurisdictions with best practices and ideas. The concept of cooperation and the Unified/Incident command system (Chief Longo refers to it as the “Blurring of the Patch”) are strongly emphasized.

Our children are our most precious resource and it is the goal of the men and women of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department to provide the highest level of protection and service to our community,” Chief Longo stated. “This investigation [Groene] has forever changed all who were involved. The response by our community was unbelievable and continues to this day.”

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department encourages citizens to report any suspicious activity or information regarding a child abduction case. For more information on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, please visit their website at http://www.missingkids.com.

Posted by Victoria Bruno at 8:49 AM
Well, I just kind of think they ought to spread some love around closer to home.
The teaching point:
Our OWN U.S. Systems are creating abandoned and traumatized children and families faster and faster.  It has become an art form, practically.  If the churches would care equally about this, there might be more people with more resources to go to Haiti or other emergency areas, if need be, and LEGALLY find out how to help.
Traumatized kids are vulnerable.  Keep your hands OFF them unless there is a legitimate cause to put them on!  Recognize they have parents, and play by the rules.
My own life has been devastated, to this point, by people that don’t.  Many of them religious, and all of them having their own motives, and  spreading out apron skirts or whatever when I have approached with the simplicity of the laws that already exist.   Laws are not “satanic,” they are good, and they are to protect vulnerable populations, crisis or no crisis. 


Lessons from Luzerne County, PA:

Disclaimer:  I am aware of the case, and this website.  I have not screened it; you can get the same story from other sources on-line.  The United States is engaged in child-trafficking through its own courts.  Take your spare church (etc.) time and do some financial audits.  Families in the middle of this can hardly afford to!
This is a link on the page “San Diego Child Trafficking.com”

Despite Red Flags About Judges, a Kickback Scheme Flourished

Published: March 27, 2009

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Things were different in the Luzerne County juvenile courtroom, and everyone knew it. Proceedings on average took less than two minutes. Detention center workers were told in advance how many juveniles to expect at the end of each day — even before hearings to determine their innocence or guilt. Lawyers told families not to bother hiring them. They would not be allowed to speak anyway.

The 56-foot yacht in Jupiter, Fla., used by the two judges.

“The judge’s whim is all that mattered in that courtroom,” said Marsha Levick, the legal director of the Juvenile Law Center, a child advocacy organization in Philadelphia, which began raising concerns about the court to state authorities in 1999. “The law was basically irrelevant.”

Last month, the law caught up with Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr., 58, who ran that juvenile court for 12 years, and Judge Michael T. Conahan, 56, a colleague on the county’s Court of Common Pleas.

In what authorities are calling the biggest legal scandal in state history, the two judges pleaded guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud in a scheme that involved sending thousands of juveniles to two private detention centers in exchange for $2.6 million in kickbacks.


On Thursday, the State Supreme Court ordered that the records be cleaned for hundreds of the 2,500 or so juveniles sentenced by Judge Ciavarella, and in the coming weeks, the two judges will be sentenced, under a plea agreement, to more than seven years in prison.

While the scandal continues to ripple nationally as legal experts debate whether juvenile courts have sufficient oversight, here in Luzerne County people are grappling with more immediate questions: How did two native sons, elected twice to the bench to protect children and serve justice, decide to do the opposite? And why did no one stop them?

Old Friends Hatch a Plan

It all started in June 2000 with a simple business proposition, according to the judges’ indictment and more than 40 interviews with courtroom workers, authorities and others.

Robert J. Powell, a wealthy personal-injury lawyer from Hazleton, Pa., and longtime friend of Judge Conahan, wanted to know how he might get a contract to build a private detention center. Judge Ciavarella thought he could help.

The two men agreed to meet and, according to prosecutors, somewhere in that conversation a plan was hatched that courthouse workers and county officials would later describe as a “freight train without brakes.”

First, Judge Ciavarella put Mr. Powell in touch with a developer who also happened to be an old friend, Robert K. Mericle, to start work on finding a site. Then, in January 2002 — the month Judge Conahan became president judge, giving him control of the courthouse budget — he signed a secret deal with Mr. Powell, agreeing that the court would pay $1.3 million in annual rent, on top of the tens of millions of dollars that the county and the state would pay to house the delinquent juveniles. And by the end of that year, Judge Conahan had gotten rid of the competition by eliminating financing for the county detention center.

“They were unstoppable,” said Judge Chester B. Muroski, who sent a letter to county commissioners raising concerns about detention costs, only to be transferred days later to another court by Judge Conahan. “I knew something was wrong, but they silenced all dissent.”

Other dissenters were also steamrolled.

When the county controller, Steve Flood, leaked a state audit that described the state’s lease of the center as a “bad deal,” the center’s owner filed a “trade secrets” lawsuit against Mr. Flood, and Judge Conahan sealed the suit to limit other documents’ getting out. His decision was later overturned.

“Everyone began to assume that the judges had some vested interest in the private center because they were pushing it so doggedly,” one courthouse worker said. Virtually all former colleagues and courthouse workers would not allowed themselves to be identified because the federal investigation into the kickback scheme was ongoing and they feared for their jobs if they alienated former allies of the judges.

Mr. Powell has not been charged. His lawyer said that the judges had coerced him into paying the kickbacks and that he was cooperating with investigators.

The few officials who had concerns at the time say their hands were tied. Probation officers say they suspected that something was amiss but were overruled every time they requested lighter sentences or for sentences to be served at home. County commissioners were the only ones authorized to sign contracts for detention centers. But by eliminating money for the county center, Judge Conahan left them little alternative but to sign on to the deal for the private facility. . .


Stop the carpetbagging!

(I know I also just ‘sandbagged” this post, i.e., started on one topic, and ended on another.  But this is the blog that talks about money trails, like we all should teach each other to understand.)
The religious sentiment in people can go one way, or it can — like lemmings, or that herd of swine that Jesus gave some cast-out spirits called “Legion” permission to infest, sparing the man but causing the pigs to go “over the edge” like some overentitled spouses do, sometimes.
Come to think of it, in that incident (you can look it up at bible.cc if you want: google “Gadarenes”) the villagers were far more concerned about their lost swine (and profits) than the deliverance of a man who had a death fascination and was cutting himself — like some young survivors of childhood abuse, including molestation, sometimes do.
If you want to stop the hurt, stop the profit that comes from it.  And start using your head, including the analytical part of it, if there is such  — ALL the time, not just when there’s a disaster…
Even with a devastated country, the Haitian Prime MInister recognized that this behavior was “off.”:

Prime Minister Max Bellerive said Sunday he was outraged by the group’s “illegal trafficking of children” in a country long afflicted by the scourge and by foreign meddling….

Haiti’s overwhelmed government has halted all adoptions unless they were in motion before the quake amid fears that parentless or lost children are more vulnerable than ever to being seized and sold.

Without proper documents and concerted efforts to track down their parents, they could be forever separated from family members able and willing to care for them. Bellerive’s personal authorization is now required for the departure of any child

Congratulations for recognizing that Haitian children are Haitian children, and may still have parents who love them.  Congratulations for learning from history and taking some precautions against the next load of church folk with a warm fuzzy feeling in their hearts, extra resources, a sketchy plan, and a pastor who apparently believes that people, including foreign countries, who respect due process are somehow Satanic for interfering with the insatiable hunger for more children aged 2-12 to hug, mother, and be seen rescuing..
(This post written by a non-church-attending Christian mother who found NO help –ESPECIALLY not from any faith institution — when her own children were taken illegally within her own state when she was NOT in a devastated state.  Her apparent sin was leaving the devastation of domestic violence and starting to prosper, without state aid.  So I feel I have some right to be sharp-tongued in this matter!)

One Response

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  1. Wow I came on the internet to see what the latest news on the folks incarcerated for helping the children was. I found numerous sites/posts condeming these folks, many with burning hate. I know for a fact that main stream Baptist have helped countless people as they did after Katrina hit, with their time sweat, money, and in some cases blood as some got hurt in the restoration efforts, of course I would never say that Baptist are the only people who helped then or in other tragedies. It’s just sad to me to see the open hodtility that some people have directed at these folks. They went about what they were doing the wrong way true but as to their intent I belive that was honorable. According to the news these kids parents had said they couldnt take care of them and they’d probably be better off in the U.S. if the kids had stayed they might have gotten abducted by real child slave traders. This incident will make people leary about wanting to go the extra mile to help as it looks like so many people are tickled pink to see U.S. citizens locked up for trying to help. I know I’ll be blasted to bits but I’m one person I assure you there are plenty of people out there that saw this and feel the same way. They want to make an example out of these people why not the known criminals they already had before?


    February 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm

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Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

The American Spring Network

News. by the people, for the people. The #1 source for independent investigative journalism in the Show-Me State, serving Missouri since 2011.

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'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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