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This is the final instalment of my Cannes notebook for 2019 (see parts 1 and 2).

Tomorrow, posts delve into the city’s restaurants.

Before then, here is a bit more about Cannes past and present.

The Anglo-French relationship

In 2017, I wrote a brief history of Cannes, from its earliest days to the present.

For centuries, the Church — via the local monastery on St Honorat Island — played a huge part in the lives of the townspeople.

After the Revolution, things changed dramatically. By then, the English were making their grand tours of France and Italy.

In 1834, Lord Brougham and his daughter Eleonora toured the Côte d’Azur in the hope of finding a place where she could recuperate from her bronchial ailment. By chance, they stopped in Cannes — then, like neighbouring Nice, a poor fishing village — where she recovered. The Cannois extended exceptional hospitality towards the two, and it was not long before Lord Brougham built a villa there for his daughter.

He and his family enjoyed their stays in Cannes. He told his English friends that they, too, should consider spending their holidays there.

With that, the numbers of foreigners grew and grew. By the time Lord Brougham died in 1868, dignitaries and royalty from not only Britain but also the Continent had built holiday villas in Cannes.

Today, everyone visiting Cannes can see a grand statue of Lord Brougham in the city centre (next to McDonald’s!) overlooking a large fountain facing the Bay of Cannes.

As one can see from this Provençal festival poster below, the English were still involved in the city’s activities in the 1920s:

The Lord Brougham referenced there would have been a direct descendant.

The Entente Cordiale between Britain and France began in 1904. This short British Pathé newsreel shows the 25th anniversary commemoration of this important alliance, which exists to this day. In 1929, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, was the honoured guest in Cannes, along with many other British and French dignitaries:

The cityscape looks much different these days! For a start, the old casino in the film was razed a long time ago.

New developments

Mayor David Lisnard has been making many changes which he hopes will further improve the city.

I am less sure, but then I always liked the little quirks that made Cannes such a unique place. They are quickly disappearing.

Rue Felix Faure

This street runs parallel to La Croisette and has the city’s most popular restaurants.

Lisnard is pedestrianising the street so that it forms a new esplanade running from the north side of the Croisette near the bandshell all the way to the restaurants’ frontage.

I already miss the traffic that used to go down there. I used to look at the registration numbers to see where the various cars were from. There were no bin men doing their early evening collections, either. Oh well.

I can understand Lisnard’s objective, but yet another quirky aspect of Cannes daily life has disappeared.

Plage Zamehnof

Zamenhof Beach is at the eastern end of La Croisette.

It has recently been enlarged and improved:

Largely, it’s a great move, especially as this is a public beach.

But …

Look at the rocks to the left of the photo. When we first started going to Cannes regularly in the late 1990s, they used to be a haven for locals who sunbathed nude. They did not bother anyone because the place was deserted. The sunbathers did not seek each other out. They placed themselves as far apart as possible.

Some years later, the nearby marina was expanded, making that area more exposed. Fewer lone sunbathers went there for privacy and quiet.

Now, as you can see, the rocks are deserted.

Another quirk gone forever.

Le Carré d’Or

The Golden Square is just off the Croisette.

It had the city’s nightclubs, particularly the late, glitzy Sparkling (6-8 Rue des Frères Pradignac), which was no stranger to the local news in 2013.

This area, comprising the small streets of Rue Macé, Rue des Frères Pradignac, Rue Gérard Monod and Rue du Commandant André, is undergoing renovation:

I can vouch for the fact that, since 2014, a number of traditional French restaurants in that area have closed. I accept that a) people retire and b) restaurants fail.

However, their replacements in Le Carré d’Or are highly-priced, characterless, blingy restaurants and bars designed for those on expense accounts, i.e. conference goers.

I liked the old places better. It was in this Golden Square that we had our first serious dining experiences in Cannes.

Another bit of ‘old’ (my term) Cannes that is no more.

Rue des Serbes

Arrgh! This is where the Nice Airport bus used to stop on its return journeys. It was so easy for travellers staying in the vicinity.

Note the palm trees in the before and after photos:

Okay, it’s now streamlined, and no doubt delivery lorries find it much easier now, but it’s too darned tidy!

I also lament the absence of the palm trees just to make a new bus lane.

This part of Rue des Serbes coming off La Croisette was actually quite pretty in the ‘old’ days. No longer.

Le Suquet

On top of Le Suquet, the old quarter, is a fortress which was turned into a modern art museum many years ago.

Added since our last visit is a large gold CANNES sign, similar to the HOLLYWOOD one in California, only more discreet.

You cannot see the sign in the photos below, but when you are in the centre of town a few storeys up you can see it and the clock clearly, even if the clock looks tiny here:

I haven’t been up there so I cannot comment, but I have been along the streets below the fortress, and they had some character to them. I will have to return next time to see if everything there has been cleaned up, too.

Conclusion

We saw a lot fewer cars in the centre of Cannes.

It seems that is one of the objectives of this exercise.

With that, however, the city is also beginning to lose some of its innate charm.

Cannes needs a bit of its old chaos. However, that’s all by the wayside now.

Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage

I attended Mass in this 19th century church in May 1978, in the days when I was still Catholic.

It is absolutely beautiful and, if I am not mistaken, Grace Kelly attended Sunday Mass when she was in town for the Cannes Film Festival one year in the 1950s.

This is another restoration project the city is undertaking:

There is a stone plaque on the side of the church along Rue Notre-Dame commemorating Napoleon’s march along that route.

It is one of Cannes’s oldest churches and why it is important to Mayor Lisnard and to the city. Both the exterior and interior will undergo renovation:

The importance of classical music in Cannes

Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage is known for its organ music. Often, between 6 and 7 p.m. you can hear the organist rehearse for Mass.

On June 24, the local Conservatoire de Musique et Théâtre gave an end of term concert at the church:

Here are some excellent photographs of that event — and of the church interior:

Education

As I mentioned yesterday, education has long been a priority for Cannes.

A new initiative has been launched for every child born in Cannes who is still living in the city on his or her sixth birthday — a set of six books to enjoy during their formative years:

These books will cover traditional subjects such as fairy tales, mythology, history, animals and nature:

Lisnard’s EAC — Education Artistique et Culturelle — has been achieved and appears to be going nationwide:

Parents attend special art workshops with their children. This one was held on a Saturday in June:

The mayor also actively promotes civic education in schools:

In order to receive the ‘passport’, each child has to undertake eight activities, involving personal behaviour, citizenship, computing and the environment:

This was a voluntary school project but will become mandatory in all Cannes schools for the next academic year:

Mayor Lisnard distributed the passports personally:

Thus ends my summary of Cannes for another year — with nary a celebrity or film star in sight!

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On May 23, 2019, LBC’s award-winning journalist Rachel Venables broadcast a revealing investigation about Purple Drank’s arrival in the UK:

She received many negative comments to her Twitter thread on the subject, but, let’s keep in mind that the kiddos already know about it. She’s no doubt trying to inform parents and guardians:

Her article for LBC radio has more. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

Teenagers are turning lemonade, boiled sweets and liquid codeine into a potentially lethal drug.

The liquid Codeine is shipped in from Africa and France and can be easily bought on Instagram.

It has risen in popularity after rap stars in the US starting singing about it and taking it in their videos.

The drug takes around 20 minutes to kick in and lasts around three hours. It is popular amongst teenagers and students and one user told LBC it is “the drug to be seen with at parties”

The drug advice website Frank states that codeine is especially dangerous to mix with alcohol and drugs like Valium and other opioid[s]. They state: “Taking more codeine than prescribed to you by a doctor, or taking illegal codeine (such as from a friend, a dealer or website), increases the risk of overdose and other side effects.”

The UK Addiction Treatment Centres website adds: “Regular users of codeine often develop both a physical and psychological dependence on the drug, which causes various symptoms whenever they try to quit.

To avoid these withdrawal symptoms, many people will continue to use codeine, even if doing so causes negative consequences for themselves and others. It is this cycle of abuse that more often than not leads to a crippling addiction.”

It is so addictive, doctors advise not taking it for more than three days.

One young man, Noel, now 18, started drinking it a year ago. Since then, he has increased his usage and takes it every weekend. He describes the ordering process on Instagram (!?!) for Purple Drank, also known as Purple Lean:

People have their own lean pages to sell. Then there’s a PayPal or Depop page they send you once you order it.

There’s a normal delivery time of 3-5 days and it will be with you. It will be classed as child’s clothing, because they don’t get checked as hard. It protects the shape of the bottles as well.

It’s so easy for kids to order it to their house and tell their mum it’s some shoes.

Mitch, a dealer in the Midlands, says he’s been making a lot of money by selling ‘lean’. He says that police are unaware of ‘drank”s popularity:

Everyone was asking for it, couldn’t get it and we realised you could charge what you wanted and people pay it. If you get a good weekend, you can make a few thousand pounds.

I haven’t heard of anyone being done and prosecuted for selling bottles of lean yet. I don’t think they’ve caught on yet to how big of a issue it is really.

The government’s ‘Talk to Frank’ service is for those who want to talk about drug addiction. Call Frank free on 0300 123 6600.

A commenter had this helpful information:

Purple Drank is an illegal recreational drink popular in the Southern United States rap community, whose main ingredients originally consisted of prescription strength cough syrup, containing codeine and promethazine, and either a carbonated soft drink (generally Sprite) or fruit juice. The purple-ish hue of Purple Drank comes from the dyes in the cough syrup. Recently, the term has expanded to cover mixtures including over-the-counter cough syrup and vodka in place of prescription cough syrup. Other terms for Purple Drank include Barre, Oil, Purple Tonic, Lean (or Southern Lean,) Drank, and Syrup (which is sometimes slangly pronounced as Sizzurp.)

After all this time, I thought we would escape the scourge of Purple Drank. Apparently not, sadly.

France began reporting on it in 2016. French pharmacists first noticed it in 2015. L’Internaute, a daily online news service, explained (translation mine):

The ingredients in this marvellous, dangerous mixture are all legal. Purple Drank is a mixture of cough syrup containing codeine, which is an opiate, and promethezine, an antihistamine neuroleptic, [combined with] alcohol and energy drinks. On the other side of the Atlantic, this beverage has created a very real health problem.

The consequences can be serious. Drowsiness, agitation, delirium and even convulsions: it’s not a pretty sight. And victims are mostly young people: adolescents from 12 years old up to young adults. Both boys and girls are affected …

Pharmacists were the first to notice this phenomenon. In 2015, the National Order of Pharmacists raised the alarm.

Since then, pharmacists, general practitioners, ER doctors and addiction specialists have been urged to report anything that ‘seems suspect, in particular, coming from young adults or adolescents’.

Parents, guardians: summer’s coming. Please be alert.

When I was a nipper, I was very grateful when plastic straws first appeared on the market and in restaurants.

That was in the mid- to late 1960s.

Finally, I could suck as hard as I wanted to on my soft drink.

Paper straws are upsetting for children. They are unaware how quickly paper straws become soggy.

Kids love to see how hard they can suck on a straw whilst drinking a beverage. They also like blowing into a straw and watch their milk bubble up.

Children need plastic straws.

I am proud to say that, as an adult, I have a surfeit of plastic straws: three or four boxes purchased over the past few decades, totalling 900+.

It is just as well, because, following the example of America’s loony-tune West Coast (apologies to the sensible souls there), England will ban plastic straws — as well as stirrers — from April 2020.

What is wrong with our once great nation?

On May 22, The Guardian reported:

Plastic straws and drink stirrers, and cotton buds with plastic stems will be banned from sale and use in England from next April, the government has confirmed.

The move, which has been in the offing for more than a year, is hoped to vastly reduce the litter and other environmental impacts of the nearly 5bn plastic straws currently used each year in the UK, along with more than 300m plastic stirrers and close to 2bn cotton buds with plastic stems.

Huge numbers of these items, particularly cotton buds, are flushed down toilets or otherwise end up in litter – surveys have recently found waterways across the UK teeming with plastic, putting wildlife at risk.

I have seen a lot of rubbish in my time, but I have rarely seen a plastic straw discarded as litter.

Only the disabled or someone with a medical need will be allowed a plastic straw. The government must add children to that list!

Think of the children!

This is especially irritating. It is shameful for Theresa May’s office to be putting out a tweet like this when she should have given us Brexit on March 29, 2019. Ironically, the day this tweet came out was a very difficult one for her regarding Brexit. Never mind plastic straws. She could be out of office shortly for not delivering as pledged:

It doesn’t matter how many plastic straws are used. What matters is how they are disposed of.

Furthermore, we are not talking about a UK-wide ban — only one in what used to be Merrie Olde England!

I have not finished writing about the humble and useful plastic straw. At least another post will appear on that great invention at some point.

In closing, as if that were not enough, eco-warriors also want to ban balloons:

… the items expected to be banned were only part of the plastic problem, said Emma Priestland, campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “These three items are just a fraction of the single-use nasties that are used for a tiny amount of time before polluting the environment for centuries to come,” she said.

“Ultimately, we need producers to take responsibility for the plastic pollution caused by all their products, whether it’s bags, balloons, packets, containers or otherwise. That’s why we’re campaigning for legislation to cut back on pointless plastic across the board.”

These people are joyless. That includes our Scottish-born environment secretary Michael Gove.

The pro-choice tweeters commenting on the following photos accuse Paul Joseph Watson of lying about the survival of a prematurely born baby.

I am delighted that the child’s mother contributed to the conversation. Her daughter, pictured below, is now 15 years old:

This is something upon which to reflect as we see a push in Democrat-dominated states for murdering children at birth.

Comments temporarily off.

There are people who do not believe there is a crisis at the southern border of the United States, despite repeated statistics such as these:

I would call everyone’s attention to the third statistic.

On February 5, 2019, an article appeared in CNS News about a group of Guatemalans posing as ‘families’, when, in reality, they were human traffickers with trafficked humans (emphases mine below):

Associate Chief of U.S. Border Patrol Intel Carl McClafferty said Friday that human traffickers are using children to smuggle illegal immigrants across the border as a family unit and recycling the children back across the border to be used again.

This phenomenon began in the latter months of Bush II’s presidency:

October 2008 was the first time the Border Patrol ever had more family units than single adults apprehended, McClafferty said during a White House meeting on combating human smuggling on the southern border.

What follows is how Border Patrol linked up with HSI — Homeland Security Investigations — to apprehend a Guatemalan ring of human traffickers and their victims:

In Yuma, Arizona, we were catching groups of Guatemalans — family units — turning themselves into Border Patrol, crossing around where the fence ends. And I just started looking into it and found that some of the sponsors, after they were released, were the same person, with the same address and same phone number,” he said.

So they reached out to HSI, to Charleston, South Carolina, where these people were going. HSI looked into it. There’s something going on here. ‘Why don’t you come out, and we’ll do this case together?’ We went up to Charleston, followed a group that actually got released. They were picked up by the sponsor,” McClafferty said.

“Immediately after that, the smuggler pulled over and put a bag of trash in a dumpster. Agents recovered that. Inside was their ankle bracelet, their illegal documents, already discarded by these sponsors who tend to be in the smuggling organization. They investigated this case. We were able to tie this back to a larger group that was smuggling Guatemalans into South Carolina and other places,” he said.

The investigation resulted in eight indictments, a warrant being served and 24 illegal aliens taken into custody.

This is what was happening to the child victims involved. A woman was being paid to ‘recycle’ them, as it were:

“And one of the indictments was a woman who was being paid $1,500 a child to take the children back to Guatemala who are not part of the actual family unit. So, she claimed to be doing this 13 times, and so we found out they were recycling these children. They would bring them up, smuggling them as part of a family group, recycle them back to Guatemala, put them in another family group, and come back up. So this was, you know, obviously an exploitation of these children,” he said.

Churchgoers, in particular, need to be very careful about accepting the ‘family’ label so quickly and so universally.

Sometimes, all is not as it seems on the surface.

Who knows what was happening to these children? That is the bigger question.

Here is what is happening to some of these children. On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, freshman Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) discussed ‘family’ migration with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Crenshaw said that one little girl ended up in New York, where she was raped repeatedly every day for five years. On a visit with Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas, he also saw groups of illegals presenting themselves as family units. Upon investigation, they turned out to be human traffickers. Nielsen told him that much more border personnel are needed in order to combat the epidemic of human trafficking along the southern border:

I would urge everyone to pray for human trafficking to end and to pray especially for the children involved.

Warning: this post contains references to suicide as per reports listed below.

An American mother, Dr Free N. Hess (aka PediMom), has a warning for parents whose children watch YouTube Kids videos. Some of them have to do with suicide and contain other content inappropriate for younger viewers.

On February 23, CBS News reported:

Video promoting self-harm tips — spliced between clips of a popular video game — has surfaced at least twice on YouTube and YouTube Kids since July, according to a pediatrician and mom who discovered the video.

The suicide instructions are sandwiched between clips from the popular Nintendo game Splatoon and delivered by a man speaking in front of what appears to be a green screen — an apparent effort to have him blend in with the rest of the animated video …

The man featured is YouTuber Filthy Frank, who has over 6.2 million subscribers and calls himself “the embodiment of everything a person should not be,” although there is no evidence that Frank, whose real name is George Miller, was involved in creating the doctored video. He did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment. 

When Free Hess found the video on YouTube last week, she posted it on her blog — warning other parents to take control over what their kids may be watching. 

“Looking at the comments, it had been up for a while, and people had even reported it eight months prior,” Hess told CBS News on Friday.

Shortly after she published her blog post, YouTube took the video down, saying it violated the site’s community guidelines, according to Hess.

This is not Dr Hess’s first foray into YouTube videos for children. She and a group of parents were able to successfully campaign for another video’s removal in July 2018.

CBS reports that Hess became concerned about what children were viewing based on her own experiences as a paediatrician (emphases mine):

Hess said after seeing higher rates of suicide in children in her own emergency room over the last few years, she made it her mission to bring awareness to disturbing and violent content being consumed by children on social media. She said she’s reported hundreds of unsettling videos to YouTube, with some success. On Friday, she found and reported seven more disturbing videos on YouTube Kids, and said they were just the tip of the iceberg.

“I had to stop, but I could have kept going,” Hess said. “Once you start looking into it, things get darker and weirder. I don’t understand how it’s not getting caught.”

YouTube Kids is not for pre-teens. In fact, quite the opposite. The videos are intended for children under the age of eight.

Hess described what she saw:

She said she logs onto the app posing as a child, rather than an adult, so that she can see exactly what kids around the world are seeing. The videos Hess has found contain mentions or visuals of self-harm, suicide, sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse and gun violence, including a simulated school shooting. She said many of the kids she treats in the ER list videos on YouTube as a method used to learn destructive behaviors and self-harm techniques.

Good grief.

It’s interesting that YouTube has no problem removing content from and accounts of conservative video posters, yet they allow this depravity aimed at small children, which was first reported in 2017.

CBS provides the apologies from YouTube, but:

This week, new cases of inappropriate content prompted high-profile responses, including from Disney and Nestle, which pulled advertising from YouTube after a blogger described “a wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring” on the site.

To be fair, YouTube has taken action, but compared to what they do to conservatives — actively seeking out accounts to ban — theirs is a reactive stance when it comes to perverse videos, especially where children are concerned:

Hess has more information about these videos on her website, including this:

Exposure to videos, photos, and other self-harm and suicidal promoting content is a huge problem that our children are facing today. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 10 and 34 and the numbers of children exhibiting some form of self-harm is growing rapidly. In a nationwide survey of high school students in the US 16% of students stated they had seriously considered suicide, 13% admitted to creating a plan, and 8% admitted to attempting suicide at some point in the 12 months prior to the survey. Every year 157,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 present to Emergency Departments for self-inflicted injuries and/or suicide attempts.

Many experts believe that access to self-harm and suicide promoting content is making the situation worse. There have been several recent reports of teens committing suicide after viewing self-harm and suicide material online and on social media platforms. More and more researchers are starting to look into how access to this type of material is linked to self-harm and suicide in adolescents. One such study has just been commissioned and will hopefully give us some good insight into this issue.

But we have to start doing something NOW and we should start by educating ourselves, educating our children, and speaking up when we see something that is dangerous for our children. We also need to fight to have the developers of social media platforms held responsible when they do not assure that age restrictions are followed and when they do not remove inappropriate and/or dangerous material when reported. 

We need to all work together to #ProtectOurKids and let them know that #ParentsDemandAction!

Who knew children’s videos were so injurious to kids’ mental health?

I also think that there could be peer pressure associated with these videos. Some children think these videos are ‘cool’ and that, if their peers do not watch them, they are wimps. Parents will have to know how to combat that, too.

In the Western world, we increasingly hear that we should be consuming less meat.

Interestingly enough, our forebears would have enjoyed the luxury of eating meat at nearly every evening meal. That option was not open for many of them.

Meat — especially red meat — has dietary importance for humans at every stage in their lives.

Children and adolescents

A 2007 study showed that meat is vital for children and adolescents. The following study, summarised below, is from the September 1, 2007 issue of The Journal of the Dieticians Association of Australia and appears at The Free Library.

These are the key points (emphases mine):

* Optimal nutrition during the first years of life is crucial for optimal growth and development and, possibly, the prevention of chronic disease of adulthood.

* Iron-deficiency anaemia in childhood and adolescence is associated with serious adverse outcomes that may not be reversible, making detection and early treatment an imperative.

* Zinc plays a major role in cellular growth.

* Vitamin A is essential for the functioning of the eyes and the immune system.

* Vitamin A is necessary for membrane stability, and zinc is essential for mobilisation of the beta-carotene. Vitamin A deficiency contributes to anaemia by immobilising iron in the reticuloendothelial system, reducing haemopoiesis and increasing susceptibility to infections.

* Like iron, iodine appears to be involved in myelin production and, hence, nerve conduction.

* Meat is a core food in the diet for children and adolescents because it provides significant amounts of these micronutrients.

Meat is essential in ensuring that nerve and motor development evolve for overall health, particularly for the myelin sheath, which a number of us will remember studying in our high school biology classes:

Development of functional activity may be associated with myelination. Many nerve fibres are covered with a whitish, fatty, segmented sheath called the myelin sheath. Myelin protects and electrically insulates fibres from one another and increases the speed of transmission of the nerve impulses. Myelinated fibres conduct nerve impulses rapidly, whereas unmyelinated fibres tend to conduct quite slowly. This acceleration of nerve conduction is essential for the function of the body and survival. In humans, the myelin sheath begins to appear around the fourth month of foetal development and first appears in the spinal cord before spreading to the higher centres of the brain. It is assumed that this myelination precedes functional activity. This paper considers micronutrient deficiency in the context of myelination and other developmental features to highlight the need for micronutrients which can be delivered in the diet through red meat.

Note: red meat.

Meat provides the following essential building blocks to good developmental health.

Iron

A young brain needs iron:

Iron is essential for brain development. Brain iron is stored preferentially in the extra pyramidal tracts and is laid down in the first 12 months of life. Once the blood-brain barrier closes, very little iron can be deposited in the brain and, hence, an adequate dietary intake of iron is essential during this critical period … Several studies have now shown that iron-deficient anaemic 6- to 24-month-old infants can score lower on tests of mental development compared with non-iron-deficient controls (13,19,20) and are at risk for poorer cognitive, motor, social-emotional and neurophysiological development at least in the short term. Furthermore, at least one study has shown that these deficits appear to be permanent. (19) These infants appeared to have reproducible deficits in body balance and coordination and in language skills, which could be interpreted as implying problems with nerve conduction and hence myelination

Required iron levels vary with the onset of adolescence. Boys need less. Girls need more:

With the slowing of growth, at the end of puberty, iron requirements decline. Although girls develop less extra muscle tissue than boys, menarche increases the need for iron, and this increased need continues throughout reproductive life. (37) The adolescent girl is therefore at risk for developing ID due to the combined effects of continuing growth, menstrual iron losses and a low intake of dietary iron.

Zinc

Zinc deficiencies can affect mental and physical health:

Zinc is also an essential nutrient for human health. Zinc plays a major role in cellular growth, where it is crucial in the enzyme systems necessary for the production of RNA and DNA. In the brain, zinc binds with proteins and is involved with both structure and function. Severe zinc deficiency in animals has been associated with significant malformations such as anencephaly and microcephaly, and with functional deficits such as short-term memory deficits and behavioural problems. (23) In humans, cerebella dysfunction, behavioural and emotional disturbances have all been described. (23) In spite of the proven benefits of adequate zinc nutrition, approximately 2 billion people still remain at risk of zinc deficiency. (6) When zinc is provided as a supplement to children in lower-income countries, it reduces the frequency and severity of diarrhoea, pneumonia, and possibly malaria. Moreover, studies have shown that children who receive zinc supplements have lower death rates. (6)

Vitamin A

Many children in the developing world lack adequate Vitamin A. Vitamin A needs zinc:

Vitamin A is necessary for membrane stability, and zinc is essential for mobilisation of the beta-carotene. Vitamin A deficiency contributes to anaemia by immobilising iron in the reticuloendothelial system, reducing haemopoiesis and increasing susceptibility to infections. Vitamin A is essential for the functioning of the eyes as well as the immune system.

Vitamin A deficiency is associated with impaired humoral and cellular immune function, keratinisation of the respiratory epithelium and decreased mucus secretion, which weaken barriers to infection.

Iodine

Iodine deficiency is a worldwide problem:

Iodine deficiency is estimated to have lowered the intellectual capacity of almost all of the nations reviewed by as much as 10-15%. (6) In developed nations there has been a recent and disturbing increase in iodine deficiency, with as many as 25% of children and women of child-bearing age being deficient. (6) This increase has coincided with the declining dietary intake of iodized salt and also the elimination of iodophor-based cleaning compounds in commercial dairies. (25) Impaired physical and mental development is common. (26) Foetal iodine deficiency in the first and early second trimester of pregnancy results in retardation and deaf mutism, whereas in the early postnatal period, the main abnormalities are growth stunting and somatic abnormalities. (27) The hearing loss can be variable, depending on the age of onset, and can also be associated with dysarthria and other disorders of speechThe critical stage of foetal development for iodine appears to be around the 14th week of foetal lifeLike iron, iodine appears to be involved in myelin production and, hence, nerve conduction. This appears to be supported in animal model research where rats fed upon an iodine-deficient diet were found to have alterations in myelin basic protein immunoreactivity and hence function. (29) 

The paper’s summary makes salient points about meat and the types of necessary meat protein:

Meat plays a central role in the diet, providing a significant contribution to the intakes of 10 key nutrients: energy, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron and zinc. In young children, an over-dependence on milk may put young children at increased risk of poor iron status, owing to its displacement of iron-rich or iron-enhancing foods from the diet. This risk becomes nonsignificant when moderate to high amounts of iron-rich or iron-enhancing foods (e.g. meat and fruit, respectively) are also consumed. A study performed on infants in the UK has shown that the addition of meat powder to a weaning food has a marked enhancing effect on the absorption of iron, (38) which reinforces the fact that lean red meat is not only an appropriate weaning food but should be considered an essential food during the critical stages of brain development. Dietary diversification involves promotion of a diet with a wider variety of naturally iron-containing foods, especially red meat, poultry and fish. These foods have a high content of highly bioavailable haem iron, and thus are most appropriate for infants and children on weaning. Despite their widespread availability, foods from this group are not always used or may be diluted before use (e.g. meat is rich in iron but meat broth is not). Given the information above, however, it is reasonable to argue that meat is a core food in the diet for children and adolescents because it provides significant amounts of essential micronutrients.

Adult depression — and some physical ailments — linked to L-carnitine deficiency

We in the West seem to be undergoing a depression epidemic.

I know many people offine who are taking anti-depressants. We had fewer of these issues 40 years ago.

A Stanford Medicine study published on July 30, 2018 links depression to a lack of L-carnitine, an amino acid that the body produces naturally. Natalie Rasgon’s study showed that patients responded positively within days to acetyl-L-carnitine supplements to ease their depression. By contrast, anti-depressants can take a few weeks to be effective.

She says that, although L-carnitine supplements are available at health food shops, more research needs to be done to find out exactly what L-cartinine supplements will help.

WebMD explains that low L-carnitine levels can be genetic or related to medicines. Ultimately:

The body can convert L-carnitine to other amino acids called acetyl-L-carnitine and propionyl-L-carnitine. But, no one knows whether the benefits of carnitines are interchangeable. Until more is known, don’t substitute one form of carnitine for another.

WebMD also lists physical ailments that can arise from low L-cartinine levels:

L-carnitine is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels including heart-related chest pain, congestive heart failure (CHF), heart complications of a disease called diphtheria, heart attack, leg pain caused by circulation problems (intermittent claudication), and high cholesterol.

Some people use L-carnitine for muscle disorders associated with certain AIDS medications, difficulty fathering a child (male infertility), a brain development disorder called Rett syndrome, anorexia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, overactive thyroid, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), leg ulcers, Lyme disease, and to improve athletic performance and endurance.

However, eating meat might be the simplest way to help increase natural L-cartinine levels.

According to a 2004 abstract from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, ‘Species and muscle differences in L-carnitine levels in skeletal muscles based on a new simple assay’, red meat — especially deer, horse and goat — has the highest levels of this essential amino acid:

We have adapted the enzymatic method [Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 176 (3) (1991) 1617] for the safe and rapid assay of L-carnitine (L-CA) in skeletal muscle using a microplate reader. The concentration of L-CA in fresh semitendinosus muscle from broiler chicken, pig, beef cattle, deer, horse and goat muscle were 0.69, 1.09, 1.86-3.57, 4.57, 4.95 and 11.36 μmol/g wet weight, respectively. The animals which had higher concentration of L-CA, also had the highest amounts of myoglobin as an index to the redness of the muscle. Furthermore, we investigated this relationship between white muscle, M. pectoralis profundus, and red muscle, M. soleus, in laying hens. The L-CA and myoglobin concentration in red muscle were significantly higher than those in white muscle (p<0.01). These findings suggest that L-CA concentration in muscle is related to oxygen metabolism and to myofiber types.

Conclusion

It’s time to stop obsessing over eating meat, especially red meat, which has been a no-no for decades.

Red meat helps to ensure good health — at any stage of life.

Enjoy it.

A few days ago, I watched an abortion survivor give her testimony against Planned Parenthood before the US House Judiciary Committee on September 9, 2015.

Melissa Ohden is, happily, not the only abortion survivor, but further proof that there are many living miracles. The good Lord’s design was to have them survive the worst procedures, give those babies care through concerned hospital staff and provide them with loving adoptive families to nurture and raise them.

This is powerful testimony — and it’s just over six minutes long. I encourage everyone, especially logical, rational, pro-choice readers to listen to what this lady says and to especially note what she survived at 31 weeks old — saline solution over a five-day period — designed to burn her to death (see the medical report at 1:06 minutes in):

It turns out that Melissa’s biological parents wanted her to be born and wanted to get married. However, Melissa’s maternal grandmother — a pillar of the community — said they were much too young (aged 19) and that would impact the family’s social standing negatively. So, Melissa’s grandmother forced the abortion procedure against the 19-year-old’s will (see first 14 minutes in this 2013 video of hers):

Returning to the first video, Melissa says that she was fortunate in that the abortion procedure was performed in a hospital rather at a Planned Parenthood clinic. She says that Planned Parenthood are experts at ensuring that abortion survivors — live babies — die.

Melissa survived abortion in 1977. That was only five years after Roe v Wade was passed. Those of us who were alive at the time were told that abortion was a simple ‘medical procedure’ performed at an early stage on a ‘lump of cells’. I had no idea until now that abortions then were also performed at an advanced stage of pregnancy.

When she was a newborn, doctors told Melissa’s adoptive parents that she would be chronically ill throughout her life. Certainly, she had seizures and other illnesses that no baby should suffer. Yet, despite all the odds, thanks to God’s mercy and a loving family, Melissa grew up to become a healthy child — and a healthy adult.

Melissa holds a Masters degree in social work and worked in that field dealing with clients who had problems with substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.

Melissa researched the failed abortion herself, which took dogged attempts over the years. Finally, she was able to obtain her medical records of the failed saline procedure at St Luke’s Hospital — oh, the irony — in Sioux City, Iowa.

Melissa’s journey was, at times, understandably painful emotionally. She came to terms with the circumstances of her birth and her biological family by becoming a Christian. She is a practising Roman Catholic.

Visit Melissa’s website for more information.

Below are two views of abortion.

The first is Bill ‘Science Guy’ Nye presenting his opinion, strongly objecting to the pro-life movement and stupid men of ‘European’ extraction who legislate against it. Nye, an atheist, disapproves of the Bible, which he mentions here as ‘a book around 5,000’ years old, and, clearly, outmoded. He does not present one salient fact about abortion. Essentially, if you don’t like abortion — tough. You’re probably too dumb:

The second is from a former abortionist, Dr Anthony Levatino, who still works as an obstetrician and gynaecologist. He testified in 2015 before the House Judiciary Committee hearing about Planned Parenthood’s medical procedures. The YouTube description adds:

Planned Parenthood has been under fire after videos were released showing how the mega abortion provider sold fetal tissue to researchers.

Regardless of where you stand on the subject, I strongly recommend watching — not just listening to — Dr Levatino’s description of what happens during a second-trimester abortion. This video is especially important for those who call foetuses/developing babies ‘whatchamacallits’:

During his career as an abortionist, he performed over 1,200 D&Esdilations and evacuations — as abortions done between 13 and 24 weeks are known in the medical profession.

The instrument he is holding in his hand is a Sopher clamp. That is used to remove all the body parts. Watch him describe how the abortionist has to use it ‘blindly’ in search of a leg, then an arm, then the head.

The Sopher clamp purposely has rows of sharp metal teeth on it so that the doctor can grasp all of the body parts as efficiently as possible.

He says that all the body parts must be set aside on a table and be accounted for. Anything left in the former mother can cause infection, haemorrhaging and, possibly, death.

He then related his own family experience. He met his wife while at medical school in Albany. Interestingly enough, they wanted to start a family, but they had an infertility problem. They adopted a baby, Heather, in 1978. Incredibly, his wife became pregnant a month later.

Just before Heather turned six, she was fatally injured in an automobile accident. Levatino thought he could get through the mourning period and go back to work.

He did, for a time.

Then, one day when he was beginning another abortion, he pulled out a limb and got sick. He composed himself and finished the abortion, but when he looked at all the assembled body parts:

All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter.

That was the last D&E he ever performed.

Several months later, he stopped doing abortions altogether.

————————————————————————————

In November 1987, Levatino spoke at the first ever Meet the Abortion Providers conference.

Pro-Life Action has an edited transcript of what he said. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

He said that the private clinic where he worked in Albany was about the only one performing D&Es:

My partner and I, however, were relatively important in the Albany area for one infamous fact, which to this day I regret. Our group was just about the only group that was performing late abortions, D & E procedures, Dilatation and Evacuation. And we received referrals from all over the area in our part of the state, even from neighboring counties 70 to 80 miles away. We had a lot of patients.

He explained why OB-GYNs perform abortions:

It’s profitable, there’s a lot of money in it! But there’s philosophical things that come first. As I’m fond of telling people, if you are pro-choice and you happen to be a gynecologist, then it’s up to you to take the instruments in hand and actively perform an abortion. It’s the most natural association in the world.

Along the way you find out you make a lot of money doing abortions. In my practice we were averaging between $250 and $500 for an abortion, and it was cash.

The pro-choice movement helped a lot, too:

There are other reasons; they’re perhaps no less important. I’ve heard many times from other obstetricians: Well, I’m not really pro-abortion, I’m pro-woman. How many times have you heard that one? The women’s groups in this country, they’re not alone, but they’ve done a very good job selling that bill of goods to the population. That somehow destroying a life is pro-woman. But a lot of obstetricians use that justification to themselves, and I can tell you, a lot of them believe it. I used to. It’s not hard to be convinced of it.

There is a gynaecological procedure known as a D&Cdilation and curretage — which is performed when a woman has a uterine ailment. However, it is also used for early-term abortions. Levatino described his residency period, which required that he perform several D&C suction abortions twice a week. Despite the fact that they are first-trimester abortions, they can also present risks to a woman. And, in case anyone is still unconvinced, there is more than ‘a mass of cells’ afterwards:

When the abortionist finishes a suction D & C he has to literally reassemble the child.

When the abortionist finishes a suction D & C, he has to open a little suction bag and he has to literally reassemble the child. He has to do that because he wants to make sure he didn’t leave anything behind.

I had complications, just like everybody else. I have perforated uteruses. I have had all kinds of problems — bleeding, infectionLord knows how many of those women are sterile now.

I remember getting called down to my chairman’s office because a young lady that I had done an abortion on showed up, and the abortion had been incomplete. I had not done my job right, and she passed an arm or a leg and she freaked out because she didn’t realize what had happened.

He also performed saline procedures. This was during the time he and his wife were going through their period of infertility. Saline is painless, right? Saline is harmless, right? After all, ‘it’s just a mass of cells’, right? Levatino describes what he experienced during his residency:

My discomfort came at that point because there was a tremendous conflict going on inside me. Here I was doing my D & Cs, five and six a week, and I was doing salines on a nightly basis whenever I was on call.

I wish one of these people would just let me have their child. But it doesn’t work that way.

The resident on call got the job of doing the salines and there would usually be two or three of those. They were horrible because you saw one intact, whole baby being born, and sometimes they were alive. That was very, very frightening. It was a very stomach-turning kind of existence.

Yet, I was doing that at the same time that my wife and I were trying to have a child, and we were having difficulty with that. We had been married a couple of years at that point — and no baby. Suddenly, we realized we had an infertility problem.

I kept doing abortions, I didn’t stop. But it was tough. We started desperately looking for a baby to adopt, and I was throwing them in the garbage at the rate of nine and ten a week. It even occurred to me then: I wish one of these people would just let me have their child. But it doesn’t work that way. So the conflict was there.

Remember that Levatino also helped pregnant women have their babies. I cannot fathom how one can rejoice with an expectant mother one moment, then perform an abortion the next. Yet, these men and women do it. Levatino said:

As a doctor, you know that these are children; you know that these are human beings with arms and legs and heads and they move around and they are very active. But you get reminded — every time you put that scanner down on somebody’s uterus — you are reminded. Because you see the children in there — hearts beating, arms flinging.

We have a ball with it. It is a lot of fun. We have people coming in who have bleeding and who are afraid they may have a miscarriage — now this is someone who wants to have their child. There is no better news for me than to put that scanner on them at seven and eight weeks and show them a heartbeat and say: Your baby is okay. You do that as an obstetrician all the time.

And then, an hour later, you change your clothes, walk into an operating room and do an abortion. If you have any heart at all, it affects you.

Having graduated and being the proud adoptive father of baby Heather, he joined a gynaecologist in the Albany area who did D&Es. Levatino learned how to perform them. By then, his wife was expecting their first child:

Again, I didn’t particularly like doing abortions, but my partner did abortions and I didn’t object to it morally, so we worked together. I was on salary at the time, as a new partner, so it made not a whit of difference on my income. I did it to be agreeable. It’s a lousy reason in retrospect, but that was my reason. That was our business for years to come.

In 1984, his daughter Heather was hit by a car in front of their home and died:

Everything changes. All of a sudden, the idea of a person’s life becomes very real. It is not an embryology course anymore. It’s not just a couple of hundred dollars. It’s the real thing. It’s your child you buried.

His relationships at home and in the office became strained:

Every time I was asked to schedule an abortion, I got very angry. I began feeling that people were doing something to me. That was ridiculous — I was doing it to myself.

After a few months of that I started to realize — this is somebody’s child. I lost my child, someone who was very precious to us. And now I am taking somebody’s child and I am tearing him right out of their womb. I am killing somebody’s child.

Eventually, he turned his revulsion on himself:

My own sense of self-esteem went down the tubes. I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was. It got to the point where it just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. It was costing me too much personally. All the money in the world wouldn’t have made a difference.

So, Levatino stopped performing abortions:

I slept a lot better at night after that.

I really like hearing male doctors present the case against abortion, and I particularly liked Levatino’s staccato, matter-of-fact delivery in the video above. He presents his case objectively. Any men who are fence-sitting on abortion would do well to watch his video.

I hope that someday that Dr Levatino meets Bill Nye and teaches him a thing or two about abortion.

Recent investigative reporting by the Houston Chronicle has revealed long-standing abuses of women belonging to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches.

The Chronicle says that, in 2007, victims of sexual abuse at the hands of SBC church leaders requested that a database be created with names of any current or former church leaders who had been convicted of this type of crime or had been credibly accused of same.

The database was never created. In 2018, advocates for the victims made an appeal for such a registry. Houston Chronicle reporters began their own investigation, combing news archives, websites and databases (emphases mine):

We found complaints made against hundreds of pastors, church officials and volunteers at Southern Baptist churches nationwide.

We focused our search on the 10 years preceding the victims’ first call for a registry and on the 10-plus years since. And we concentrated on individuals who had a documented connection to a church listed in an SBC directory published by a state or national association.

We verified details in hundreds of accounts of abuse by examining federal and state court databases, prison records and official documents from more than 20 states and by searching sex offender registries nationwide. In Texas, we visited more than a dozen county courthouses. We interviewed district attorneys and police in more than 40 Texas counties. We filed dozens of public records requests in Texas and nationwide.

Ultimately, we compiled information on 380 credibly accused officials in Southern Baptist churches, including pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers and volunteers.

We verified that about 220 had been convicted of sex crimes or received deferred prosecutions in plea deals and sent letters to all of them soliciting their responses to summaries we compiled. We received written responses from more than 30 and interviewed three in Texas prisons. Of the 220, more than 90 remain in prison and another 100 are still registered sex offenders.

Find our records that relate to those convicted or forced to register as sex offenders at HoustonChronicle.com/AbuseofFaith.

Some of the registered sex offenders are still allowed to preach:

Some registered sex offenders returned to the pulpit. Others remain there, including a Houston preacher who sexually assaulted a teenager and now is the principal officer of a Houston nonprofit that works with student organizations, federal records show. Its name: Touching the Future Today Inc.

Most of the abused were teenagers at the time. However, adults seeking pastoral guidance were also victims.

The Chronicle‘s expose is in three parts:

Part 1: Abuse of Faith

Part 2: Southern Baptist churches hired ministers accused of past sex offenses

Part 3: All too often, Southern Baptist youth pastors take advantage of children

A few excerpts follow from the first instalment.

The sections about children were particularly revolting, considering that Southern Baptists in positions of authority portray themselves as being very holy:

Many of the victims were adolescents who were molested, sent explicit photos or texts, exposed to pornography, photographed nude, or repeatedly raped by youth pastors. Some victims as young as 3 were molested or raped inside pastors’ studies and Sunday school classrooms.

Here is one girl’s story:

Heather Schneider was 14 when she was molested in a choir room at Houston’s Second Baptist Church, according to criminal and civil court records. Her mother, Gwen Casados, said church leaders waited months to fire the attacker, who later pleaded no contest. In response to her lawsuit, church leaders also denied responsibility.

Schneider slit her wrists the day after that attack in 1994, Casados said. She survived, but she died 14 years later from a drug overdose that her mother blames on the trauma.

“I never got her back,” Casados said.

Here is one man’s story of his molestation as a boy:

David Pittman was 12, he says, when a youth minister from his Georgia church first molested him in 1981. Two other former members of the man’s churches said in interviews that they also were abused by him. But by the time Pittman spoke out in 2006, it was too late to press criminal charges.

The minister still works at an SBC church.

Pittman won’t soon forgive those who have offered prayers but taken no action. He only recently stopped hating God.

“That is the greatest tragedy of all,” he said. “So many people’s faith is murdered. I mean, their faith is slaughtered by these predators.”

The Chronicle says that the reason for rampant sexual abuse is the fact that SBC churches are largely autonomous:

At the core of Southern Baptist doctrine is local church autonomy, the idea that each church is independent and self-governing. It’s one of the main reasons that [August “Augie”] Boto [interim president of the SBC’s Executive Committee] said most of the proposals a decade ago were viewed as flawed by the executive committee because the committee doesn’t have the authority to force churches to report sexual abuse to a central registry …

SBC churches and organizations share resources and materials, and together they fund missionary trips and seminaries. Most pastors are ordained locally after they’ve convinced a small group of church elders that they’ve been called to service by God. There is no central database that tracks ordinations, or sexual abuse convictions or allegations.

I’m not a Southern Baptist, but if the SBC allows sharing of funding, resources, trips and seminaries, surely, it can allow central records to be kept.

A Catholic priest, the Revd Thomas Doyle, thinks so, too.

Doyle was one of the earliest whistleblowers on similar abuse in the Catholic Church, a hierarchical church. He is also a retired lawyer. He contacted SBC leaders in 2007, urging them to act:

“I saw the same type of behavior going on with the Southern Baptists,” he said.

The responses were predictable, Doyle said. In one, Frank Page, then the SBC president, wrote that they were “taking this issue seriously” but that local church autonomy presented “serious limitations.” In March, Page resigned as president and CEO of the SBC’s Executive Committee for “a morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past,” according to the executive committee.

Details have not been disclosed, but SBC officials said they had “no reason to suspect any legal impropriety.” Page declined to be interviewed.

Wade Burleson, a former president of Oklahoma’s Southern Baptist convention, requested in 2007 and again in 2018, that the SBC take action on this issue, but to no avail:

Leaders pushed back both times, he said. Some cited local church autonomy; others feared lawsuits if the reforms didn’t prevent abuse.

Burleson couldn’t help but wonder if there have been “ulterior motives” at play.

“There’s a known problem, but it’s too messy to deal with,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s not that we can’t do it as much as we don’t want to do it. … To me, that’s a problem. You must want to do it, to do it.”

Doyle, the Catholic priest, agrees:

“I understand the fear, because it’s going to make the leadership look bad,” he said. “Well, they are bad, and they should look bad. Because they have ignored this issue. They have demonized the victims.”

Similar abuses have also taken place in Evangelical churches and institutions, which are also independent.

I saw this tweet the other day:

Linda Kay Klein grew up in Evangelical churches and wrote the book Pure, about the toxicity surrounding women’s purity culture.

In an article she wrote for NBC News, ‘Southern Baptist Convention report on sex abuse shines a light on evangelical culture’, she says:

As an adult, I went on to spend more than a decade researching sexuality and the evangelical church and heard story after story of minimized and unreported abuse. To be sure, sexual violence extends well beyond the church, yet I have found that religious authoritarianism and purity culture — hallmarks of both Catholicism and evangelicalism, among other groups — can enable it.

Purity culture teaches that there are two types of people: those who are sexually “pure,” and those who are “impure.” Some teach one can lose their purity by having sexual thoughts or feelings or making sexual choices outside of a heterosexual marriage. Some even teach you can lose it by inspiring sexual expression in others.

Include purity in an authoritarian local church structure and a fear of secular reaction to scandal and it makes for one unholy trinity of toxicity:

Many parishioners see their pastor as the conduit to a higher power and will go to great lengths to protect them even if it means ignoring, blaming and ultimately hurting survivors.

In America, a contributing factor is a strong culture of collective victimhood in the evangelical community. My interviewees and I were taught growing up that evangelicals were the real victims — that the world hated us so much they’d do anything to make us look bad. So, it was our job to represent our community in the best light possible for more people to join us and enter into heaven. The underlying message was clear: a good Christian keeps their mouth shut.

She describes how this works in practice:

Women and girls, in particular, can be silenced in hierarchic churches that teach “complementarianism” — the belief that God ordains male authority especially in the church and the home. Having been conditioned not to question men, some women struggle to stand up to male misconduct when they see it, and when they do are often dismissed. For example, when my youth pastor was applying for the position, he was given a kind of audition: lead a youth retreat. Our head pastor asked us to report back on his performance. I did. As did at least one other girl. Each of us told the head pastor that the man applying for the position made us uncomfortable. Soon afterward, it was announced that he was our new youth pastor.

Meanwhile, when women and girls come forward as survivors, purity culture — which focuses largely on them — can be used against them. Many of my interviewees and I were taught that men are weak when faced with the temptation of the female flesh and it was therefore our responsibility to protect men from the threat that our bodies posed to them. We had to walk, talk and dress just right to ensure the alleged purity of our entire community, safeguarding against all sexual expression outside of marriage — the implication being that anything that did happen, even sexual violence, was our fault.

Klein’s opinion piece has a video recently broadcast on NBC’s Today show about women who were sexually abused as children in an Evangelical organisation, New Tribes Mission (now Ethnos360).

There is also another Today show article which summarises the video of the New Tribes Mission survivors: ‘Ungodly abuse: The lasting torment of the New Tribes missionary kids’.

The girls’ parents were missionaries at the time, and each mission had a boarding school for the children of New Tribes employees. These missions were in foreign countries, in the back of the beyond. Each dormitory had a ‘dorm dad’ and a ‘dorm mom’. It was not unknown for dorm dads to molest little girls.

In 2009, Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian — one of Billy Graham’s grandsons, who is a law professor and a former prosecutor on sexual abuse cases — began investigating sexual abuse cases at the behest of New Tribes Mission (as was). He told NBC News:

“I feel that in so many ways justice has failed,” said Boz Tchividjian, a former sex crimes prosecutor who leads Grace (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), the organization that investigated the New Tribes school in Senegal and that focuses on rooting out abuse in Christian organizations.

“You have individuals who physically and sexually abused children who have gone on to live quote-unquote ‘normal lives.’ You have an organization that had to deal with some press and people talking about it but in large part has moved on and continues to do their work around the world.”

“And then,” added Tchividjian, who is a grandson of the evangelist Billy Graham, “you’ve got the scores and scores of missionary kids. So many of them are struggling to get by in life, struggling to comprehend, why is this man who sexually abused me not in jail, not in prison? Why is this man serving in church, living what appears to be a normal life?

The article recaps the experiences of the victims who appeared on Today. This is one woman’s story. Her dorm dad was David Brooks, the most prolific perpetrator, and an occasional preacher in the Georgia town where he currently lives:

Bonnie Cheshire was just 2 when she arrived in Senegal with her parents, both New Tribes missionaries, in 1981. She grew up in a river village surrounded by forest and miles away from a major city.

“It was an amazing life. It was absolute freedom,” Cheshire said. “Outside all day, in trees all day.”

By age 6, she was living with other children of New Tribes missionaries at the Fanda school where boys and girls were split into separate rooms. There was a “big girls” room and a “little girls” room, each one accommodating about six to eight girls.

Like all of the New Tribe boarding schools, American missionaries who were not sent out in the field were assigned to take care of the children and lead them in Bible study and prayer.

Brooks and his wife held the role of Fanda dorm parents in the mid-1980s, according to the Grace report.

Cheshire said Brooks would sometimes play the “seashell game” when he was alone with the children outside, hiding a shell in his bathing suit and urging the girls to find it.

Soon he was also showing up in her room late at night, Cheshire said. “You need to find a way to relax to go to sleep,” she recalls him telling her.

Brooks would then start touching her, Cheshire said, noting that she was 7 when the abuse started. It seemed innocent at first, she said, but became anything but.

“I knew that it was not right,” Cheshire said.

One woman was abused by her own father when she was a little girl — in the girls’ dorm! He also abused her roommates at the Aritao school in the Philippines:

Escaping the abuse was nearly impossible for Kelly Emory. Les Emory is her father.

Kelly says her dad raped and molested her for three years starting at age 6. She says she was also forced to endure the horror of being in the same room as her father sexually abused her roommates inside the Aritao dorm.

“I had to pretend I was sleeping,” Kelly said. “It was a hell I still live with.”

Kelly said nothing about her father’s attacks until she was 15. In March 1993, with Kelly struggling in school and wrestling with thoughts of suicide, she says she told her dorm mother.

The woman reported the allegations, Kelly said, and days later three New Tribes field leaders showed up at the school to question her.

“They asked me to describe what had happened, and I told them,” Kelly said. “And they told me to not say anything. It was my duty to protect my family, to protect my dad, and if I did say anything, if I did tell anybody anything, my dad would be thrown in a Filipino jail.”

Within a week, Kelly said, her family was shipped out of the Philippines and flown to Missouri to attend therapy sessions with a mission counselor.

“After two weeks we were pronounced healed and whole,” Kelly said. “Those were their words.”

Emory was ordered to leave the mission, Kelly said, but the real reason for the family’s sudden relocation was kept secret from all but a few in the organization.

“You try to do the right thing,” Kelly said. “We got shushed and rushed out of the country. They made us all stay quiet. They silenced us.

In 2009, Bonnie Cheshire and Kari Mikitson, another New Tribes abuse survivor launched a website, New Tribes Mission Abuse. (They have an active forum and an inactive blog.)

Before long, the site attracted a lot of views and New Tribes Mission invited Mikitson to speak with them at their Florida headquarters. It was after that when the mission asked “Boz” Tchividjian’s GRACE organisation to launch an investigation.

GRACE’s investigation took a year, and uncovered widespread sexual abuse of youngsters in the missions. New Tribes Mission then hired another independent organisation, IHART, to continue the work. IHART appears to have done very little.

Today tracked down David Brooks, who refused to speak to camera, and Les Emory who gave a telephone interview.

Emory admitted to what he did and said that he should have been ‘decapitated’.

New Tribes changed its name to Ethnos 360 in May 2017.

In closing, imagine that what actually makes the news in terms of church-related sexual abuse is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

I hope that more will be revealed, for the victims’ sakes as well as for the future health of the Church as a whole.

Finally, all churches — Catholic and Protestant — must take resolute action to ensure these abuses are stopped once and for all.

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