Child Abuse

Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo- A Discussion With Cult Expert and Author Debby Schriver

2020-06-30T11:11:03-04:00June 25th, 2020|Blog|

Since my deprogramming from the Moon cult in 1976, I have come to learn of countless thousands of harmful cult groups. Many years ago, I worked with victims of Tony Alamo (birth name Bernie LaZar Hoffman), befriended one of his ex-wives, and am pleased to say that I was involved with asking the Southern Poverty Law Center to investigate and ultimate help prosecute Alamo and put him in jail. They were interested in exposing Alamo for many reasons: he was notoriously anti-Catholic, anti-gay, and was a polygamist (like David Koresh) and included abusing underage girls. If you are interested in [...]

Former Jehovah’s Witness and Activist Mark O’Donnell Discusses Michael Jackson, Leaving Neverland, and the Profile of Child Abuse Predators

2020-05-15T14:42:34-04:00May 15th, 2020|Blog|

I watched the HBO Documentary Leaving Neverland and the follow-up Oprah special that interviewed the two abuse victims and have been wanting to write a blog about the series for a long while now. Leaving Neverland is a 2019 documentary film directed and produced by the British filmmaker Dan Reed. It focuses on two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who allege they were sexually abused as children by the pop icon singer, songwriter, and entertainer, Michael Jackson. The four-hour documentary offers incredible archival footage and gives a very detailed description of events. However, I feel strongly that the documentary [...]

Former 3HO Official Pamela Dyson Discusses Yogi Bhajan’s Use of Sex, Money and Power to Deceive and Control

2020-04-18T17:14:24-04:00April 18th, 2020|Blog|

My guest this week is Pamela Saharah Dyson, a former top official of 3HO (known also as Western Sikhs)  and once a long term devoted follower of Yogi Bhajan. If you have ever heard of kundalini yoga, or even taken some classes, that was the main bait to recruit people. That and promises of health--even though Bhajan died at 75 from ill-health. Even though she left the cult in the 1980s, she has now published her story in a must-read book: Premka, White Bird in a Golden Cage: My Life with Yogi Bhajan. If you have ever met or done [...]

Child Protection, Shunning, and Parental Alienation: A Discussion About the Word of Faith Fellowship With Former Member John Huddle

2020-04-10T16:13:13-04:00April 10th, 2020|Blog|

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and, now more than ever, we need to protect children.  Too many are still being hurt: physically, mentally and emotionally, as seen by recent national child abuse statistics. For those raised in cults, they are at a higher risk for physical, medical, sexual, emotional, and psychological harm. I wrote a blog about the work of Marci Hamilton and ChildUSA; it is worth checking out. Sadly, many are being hurt by destructive groups which are proving to be an unsafe, abusive environment for young ones. One such Bible cult is Jane Whaley's Word of Faith [...]

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Child Abuse and the Child Victims Act: A Discussion with Mark O’Donnell

2019-10-31T11:44:25-04:00July 29th, 2019|Blog|

In the last year, we have seen a major change in how sexual and child abuse is viewed and handled by authorities. In the #MeToo and #ChurchToo era, more courageous survivors are safely telling their stories. Even cult leaders are being held accountable for abuses they inflicted. For example, recently NXIVM leader Keith Raniere was convicted. Other harmful groups are also being sued such as Scientology. Attorney Marci Hamilton, founder of the nonprofit think tank ChildUSA, is accomplishing many victories. I previously published a blog and video of her talk about my forensic think tank at The Program in Psychiatry [...]

America’s Violent Culture: Does It Start With Corporal Punishment?

2019-10-31T11:55:54-04:00January 24th, 2019|Blog|

Physical violence such as being hit, spanked, whipped with a belt, and paddled as a child is unfortunately done by parents. But did you know that it is legal in 19 states for school teachers to use corporal punishment? Often with a wooden paddle. Why? Is it the Proverbs 13:24 “Spare the rod, and spoil the child” that is what is giving the authority to do violence to children, even infants? I believe this is cruel and it teaches violence to children. Do people say, "Well, it was done to me and I turned out ok?" Do we just do to [...]

Time to Abolish the Statutes of Limitation for Child Sexual Abuse!

2018-12-16T19:40:23-05:00October 18th, 2018|Blog|

"Children's Rights are Human Rights" is the first thing you see when visiting the CHILD USA website. CHILD USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit think tank dedicated to protecting kids and preventing abuse. Its two founders are law professor and author Marci Hamilton and Dr. Rita Swan. Both are dedicated to ensuring children receive proper medical treatment (but do not provide direct services). Marci is the Founder and CEO of CHILD USA, which is the successor organization to Rita Swan’s CHILD Inc. I have had the opportunity to meet and know both of these extraordinary activists through my involvement on the advisory [...]

Malice Found by Jury in Montana Watchtower Society Sex Abuse Case

2018-12-16T20:47:55-05:00October 11th, 2018|Blog, News and Updates|

The huge decline in membership due to critical information on the Internet, as well as lawsuits, are forcing leadership of older established clergy organizations, like the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons, to try to find ways to cope. In the case of Watchtower, documents listing predators have been leaked. Also, in the case of the LDS Church, documents are being leaked and put online. Long term dedicated members are realizing that they have been systematically lied to about the actual goings, causing large scale defections. Psychologist John Dehlin was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for speaking out about a need to change their policy [...]

Children Are Harmed by Destructive Cults: Part Two

2018-12-15T19:49:50-05:00September 6th, 2018|Blog|

Freedom of religion does not give permission to traumatize and abuse kids! Last week, I blogged about some ways that children are harmed physically by destructive cults, including murder, suicide, medical neglect, trafficking, corporal punishment and sexual predation. Many children that are born or raised in a group are helpless and do not have the resources to protect themselves. And very often, children are harmed psychologically and face difficulties not just during their childhood but also after leaving the group. For example, in this week's blog we list just a few things that can cause lifelong harm if not [...]

Children are Harmed by Destructive Cults – Part One

2019-02-13T13:47:02-05:00August 31st, 2018|Blog|

Freedom of religion does not give permission to traumatize and abuse kids! Last week, I blogged about adults in totalistic, destructive cults who are physically still in but psychologically out and sitting on the fence. This week I wanted to blog about children who are helpless and were born or raised in a group. They do not have the resources to protect themselves. In this blog (part one of a two-part series) I focus on the physical and medical harm to children. Next week, I will discuss psychological harm to children. Both weeks, I will include some resources for [...]