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ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 22, 2004

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  • Anton Hein
    ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 22, 2004 [Polygamy] Director of Child Brides is ousted http://www.religionnewsblog.com/5789-.html Help the Child Brides director Bob
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2004
      ReligionNewsBlog.com, Jan. 22, 2004

      [Polygamy] Director of Child Brides is ousted
      Help the Child Brides director Bob Curran, who voiced his concerns Tuesday
      that anti-polygamy activist Flora Jessop was jeopardizing the group's
      credibility, has apparently paid a price for speaking out. [...] The split
      between Curran and Jessop comes on the heels of unsubstantiated claims by
      Jessop that she is harboring six teenage runaways from the polygamist towns
      of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz. [...] Curran said he would take
      the time today to investigate whether the action taken against him is
      legally binding. Vicky Prunty of Tapestry Against Polygamy in Salt Lake City
      said she is saddened to hear of Curran's dismissal. "We are disappointed
      that Bob Curran is leaving Help the Child Brides because he has been a
      tremendous force for good in the St. George area," Prunty said. "At this
      time, Tapestry will not refer any polygamous refugees, especially minors, to
      Help the Child Brides." Jessop is also under fire for a separate incident
      in which she took two 16-year-old girls from a St. George safe house to
      Phoenix, where she lives. The girls ran away from their Colorado City homes
      the weekend of Jan. 10.

      [The Body] Opening arguments begin in murder trial of sect member
      Prosecutors said Thursday that Karen Robidoux was a willing participant in
      the murder of her infant son, while her attorney countered that Robidoux was
      under the control of a religious sect when she and her husband starved the
      boy to death.

      [Religious Persecution] Muslim Christian convert wins asylum
      A court in Germany has upheld the right to political asylum granted to a
      Muslim who converted to Christianity after coming to this country. The
      federal administrative court in Leipzig said Tuesday the defendant, a
      political refugee from Iran, could conceivably face persecution in his
      native country as a result of having renounced Islam.

      [Alternative Healing] Weil's integrative medicine gathering steam
      Although the launch of the "integrative medicine" movement in this country
      may have depended on the face and fame of Dr. Andrew Weil, its rapid spread
      nationwide is now out of his hands. [...] No longer the solo act of a single
      doctor, "integrative medicine" - the blending of conventional mainstream
      Western medicine with more nature-based alternative therapies - is fanning
      out across the country faster than anyone had predicted. Though still
      controversial, it is a medical revolution now fueled by growing legions of
      doctors burned out by a broken health care system, responding to patients
      demanding better treatment from them.

      [Lord's Resistance Army] Ugandan rebel commander killed in battle
      Church sources described the killing of Nyeko as a setback to peace talks
      church leaders have been trying to broker between government and the LRA.
      "For us it is a disadvantage to the talks efforts as he has been one of the
      moderates in the rebel ranks who was receptive to talks and he has met our
      team seven times," an official in the Acholi Religious Leaders' Peace
      Initiative, told AFP on phone. The source described Nyeko as one of the few
      in the LRA who was amenable to discussion, even if he had blood on his

      [Nuwaubians] York trial to go to jury today
      The closing arguments are to begin this morning, then Royal will take about
      an hour to instruct the jury on the law. Deliberations are expected to begin
      after lunch. The government called nine rebuttal witnesses Wednesday,
      including another woman who said York sexually molested her as a child while
      she was living on his United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors compound in Putnam

      [Nuwaubians] Defense rests in York case
      The defense for Malakai York's federal child molestation case rested Tuesday
      while the government announced its plans to call several rebuttal witnesses
      today. [...] According to Lightsey, the government will present witnesses
      this morning. "We may possibly do closing arguments (this) afternoon or
      Thursday morning," she said. "The judge will charge the jury. He told them
      that they will be sequestered once they begin deliberating. They won't go
      home until we have a verdict."

      [The Body] Sect scofflaw nabbed on eve of cult mom murder trial
      Attleboro cult mom Karen Robidoux goes on trial today for allegedly starving
      her son to death, and police last night arrested another sect member who was
      under court order to testify but was a no-show in court yesterday. A
      Taunton Superior Court judge issued an arrest warrant for David Corneau, a
      member of The Body religious sect who led authorities in 2000 to a
      Mainegrave site where they found the remains of Karen Robidoux's son,
      Samuel. Corneau was arrested at a gas station and was being held last night.
      Corneau's stillborn son, Jeremiah, was buried alongside Samuel, who
      prosecutors say died of malnutrition days before his first birthday. Corneau
      was never charged. He testified in last year's trial of Robidoux's husband,
      Jacques, who was convicted of first-degree murder.

      [Polygamy] A cult of abuses
      For more than 50 years, an enclave of lawbreakers and advocates of child
      sexual abuse has straddled the Arizona-Utah border, unrepentant and
      unchallenged. Girls were property, boys were competition, women were
      chattel. All were denied access to the justice system and the protection of
      the Constitution. Until recently, state officials responded with the
      scalded-dog routine. A botched raid in 1953 produced such political
      embarrassment that everybody ran away from this thing. Not anymore. The
      attorneys general of Arizona and Utah are investigating crimes including
      child abuse, child labor law violations, income tax evasion, welfare fraud
      and civil rights violations in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah. Utah
      Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said the practice of joining young girls in
      polygamous unions with older men in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus
      Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) was so widespread, and the "horror
      stories" from those who fled human bondage so egregious, that "I couldn't
      sleep at night." The joint efforts of the top prosecutors in two states
      represent real progress. In addition, Gov. Janet Napolitano sent her
      director of women's services to the area to assess the need for shelter
      space. State Sen. Marilyn Jarrett, R-Mesa, is preparing legislation to make
      child bigamy a Class 5 felony. These are good efforts. But ensuring the
      rights of victims of a religious cult remains a daunting task.

      [The Body] Religious sect trial begins today
      "The Body" broke up after the arrest of three sect members, including Karen
      and Jacques, and the publicity that followed. However, according to an
      expected defense witness, Robert Pardon, of the New England Institute of
      Religious Research, it has reassembled and has at least 12 members living
      together in Attleboro. The current members include Roland Robidoux and five
      immediate family members of Karen Robidoux, including her mother. Her father
      was also still associated with the sect when he died last March. "The sect
      had a new individual join this year, through marriage, but all the children
      have been adopted out and are spread across the county," Pardon said. "There
      are no kids with the sect in this state, but two members left the state with
      their child and no one is sure where they are." According to Pardon, the
      sect's leader feels no guilt over the death of Samuel Robidoux. "Roland
      Robidoux believes this trial will completely vindicate him and the sect and
      that he acted appropriately," Pardon said. "He feels a lack of faith on
      Karen's part led to Samuel's death. "I believe when the evidence comes out,
      it will be obvious Karen's mind was controlled and manipulated. We hope
      Karen will be vindicated when this trial concludes."

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