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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ghost Rapes of Bolivia
    Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 9:29am

This Mennonite Colony Has a Crazy-Horrible 'Ghost Rape' Problem

Over the course of four years, 130 females of a Mennonite colony in Bolivia reported that they'd woken up with raging headaches, bits of rope in their hair, pain "down below," memory loss, and blood and semen stains on their sheets. For the townsfolk there was no other explanation: a demon was raping their women.

Well, actually, that's not entirely accurate. Initially, no one even believed the women. They chalked it up to "wild female imagination." Then, when too many incidents occurred to too many families to continue denying the problem, they agreed it was a "plague from God" before settling on the demon/ghost theory.

Secluded from the rest of society and inexperienced with supernatural sexual assault, the Mennonites of Manitoba Colony, Bolivia didn't know what to do. So they did nothing. And the females continued to be raped, repeatedly (so often that some lost count), between 2005 - 2009.

Of course, it wasn't a ghost or a demon committing the serial rapes. It was a group of nine men in the community, ages 19 - 43, who used a spray—concocted by a veterinarian to anesthetize cows—to essentially roofie entire households in the dead of night. Two of them were caught trying to enter a neighbor's home in 2009 and they ratted out their cohorts. They were turned over to the Bolivian authorities and, in 2011, they each received 25-year prison sentences for their crimes, which were harrowing, to say the least:

Victims ranged in age from three to 65 (the youngest had a broken hymen, purportedly from finger penetration). The girls and women were married, single, residents, visitors, the mentally infirm. Though it’s never discussed and was not part of the legal case, residents privately [said] that men and boys were raped, too.

Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, who initially reported on the serial rapes for Time, went back to Manitoba Colony for a follow-up piece, published in Vice, and what she found was depressing. Not only were the victims denied professional counseling (by the men in their colony) after the crimes and the trial, but the entire community is discouraged from speaking about it at all, as though nothing ever happened. But it's worse than that.

[O]ver the course of a nine-month investigation, including an 11-day stay in Manitoba, I discovered that the crimes are far from over. In addition to lingering psychological trauma, there’s evidence of widespread and ongoing sexual abuse, including rampant molestation and incest. There’s also evidence that – despite the fact that the initial perpetrators are in jail – the rapes by drugging continue to happen.

Of course it's still happening. And it's indicative of a few things.

1.) The Old Order Mennonites—with their conservative doctrines prohibiting electricity, cars, or higher education—are unable to sustain their desired "simple" life in a world that's far too complicated.

2.) Progress is a good thing.

With all the evils to which one can be exposed in a secular life, there is evidently just as much opportunity to sin in a sheltered one. And maybe our advancements in technology can distract us from more meaningful time spent with our families, but our advancements in other areas—like women's rights, for example—can help keep us safe.

Living a 19th-century life, the Mennonites in Manitoba are, by definition, sexist. Girls finish school a year earlier than boys "because females have no need to learn math or bookkeeping." Women are not permitted to vote for their elected leaders. Old Order Mennonites believe that a woman's role in life is to "obey and submit to her husband’s command."

What's very sad about the situation for the women in Manitoba is that they have no one to turn to in cases of sexual assault.

Before Old Colonists migrate to a new country, they send delegations to negotiate terms with the governments to allow them virtual autonomy, particularly in the area of religious law enforcement.

Other than cases of murder, the Bolivian government does not require Mennonites to report crimes and police have no jurisdiction inside the colony. If someone has a problem, they take it up with the church leaders.

But a girl would be unlikely to even be able to do that. Because sex is such a taboo in the community, most women are never even taught the proper names for genitals. And without even the most minimal sex education, they aren't taught the difference between "good touching" and "bad touching." So most women in that community would not possess the language for, or the understanding of, sexual assault.

And if they did realize that they were assaulted, and they did report it, they are forced to forgive their attacker/rapist/molester. And once that person receives apologizes and receives her forgiveness, the perpetrator can go on with their lives, without punishment. For many women, this means that the father or brother who raped them is allowed back in their home. And will continue to rape them.

But if one woman didn’t want to forgive…she would have been visited by Bishop Neurdorf, Manitoba’s highest authority, and "he would have simply explained to her that if she didn’t forgive, then God wouldn’t forgive her."

How do insulated communities like this continue to operate under the guise of religious freedom? It's not like these women are choosing to join up with these people. They are born into a culture that conditions them to believe that they don't deserve basic human rights. They are purposely kept in the dark—literally and figuratively—so that they don't know enough to question how stupid, unfair, and arbitrary their rules are. (For instance, why are they required to dress so conservatively in regards to some parts of the body but wearing flip flops is OK? There are plenty of people out there with foot fetishes! Some of them are probably Mennonites. And they're getting a free show!)

Governments should mandate a minimum level of standardized education for women (and people in general) regardless of their church doctrines. And if you believe that is religious persecution, well, then, I have a ghost rape story to tell you.

for more on the original article:

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 10:04am
Jesus, why the youngest had to be 3 though? Ugggggh I wish all pedos would commit right now, at this very moment.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 10:09am
smh..I just can't.  They basically want the victims to forgive and forget or blame themselves. Ouch
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 11:20am
Isn't it the same case with the different sects of the LDS religion?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 10 2013 at 12:13pm
Is this the same people?

Provincial officials in Manitoba are working together to help families involved in a massive seizure of children from a Mennonite community in rural Manitoba.

“This is a very unique and challenging situation,” said Jay Rodgers, chief executive of Manitoba Child and Family Services.

Dozens of children were seized earlier this year after multiple assault charges were laid against 13 adults in the community.

Court documents allege some of the assaults involved a strap and a cattle prod. The children seized range in age from less than a year old to 17.

Now Family Services officials are working to find placements for the children and helping families to create safe environments.

A restoration team has been formed that includes members of the community where the children were seized, as well as child welfare workers.

“The restoration team has come together as a way of trying to build a relationship between child and family services system and this community,” said Rodgers.

He said part of doing that is working with adults in the community to bridge the gap between their traditional beliefs and modern standards. He said child-welfare workers are helping the adults “to understand the laws that we have to work under in Manitoba and what’s acceptable and not acceptable discipline of kids.”

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Rodgers said the process is about mutual education. “I think the community members have to understand that better from our perspective, and as a service system, we have to understand better from their perspective, their history and their culture.”

Former Mennonite Central Committee executive director Peter Rempel is also on the restoration team. He said the community reached out to him for help when RCMP began investigating the use of corporal punishment in some of the homes.

Rempel said RCMP was originally called into the community to look into another matter, but ended up focusing on the use of corporal punishment.

He said Family Services “started apprehending children because of the corporal punishment aspect of it.”

Rempel added: “That’s the point they called me and said strange things are happening here, which we don’t understand, and so I’ve worked with them since then.”

Rempel was first in contact with the community years ago when they first arrived to Manitoba from another province. He was with the MCC at the time.

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“There is a profound and deep desire to — I’d almost say — do what it takes to have the children returned,” said Rempel. “They came to me and said we need some resources to help us rework things.”

Rempel helped to pull together resources for the families to address Family Services' concerns about child safety. Counsellors have worked with some of the community members already, and parenting courses have been introduced.

“We are basically trying to do some educating and encouraging, and in some ways, maybe helping translate what Child and Family Services looks for,” he said. “We will work at what steps the community can go through to address the concerns about safety of their children and work towards having the children returned.”

About 40 children remain in Family Services' care. Rodgers said children will only be returned when the agency determines they will be safe.

“The mandate of child and family services under provincial legislation — under our laws — is to keep kids safe,” he said.

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