- The Facts:This article was written by Lyn Redwood, R.N, M.S.N., President of Children’s Health Defense. Posted here with permission.
- Reflect On:Why is this type of information virtually ignored by mainstream media and medicine? What’s going on here? Why is gardasil marketed as completely safe and necessary when clearly, that doesn’t seem to be the case?
On Wednesday January 9th, I attended Science Day Presentations in the Jennifer Robi vs. Merck and Kaiser Permanente case in Los Angeles Superior Court. I want to report to our community on the outcome of this important event and provide some personal commentary.
It is difficult to describe the feelings of elation and frustration that I experienced during the full day of furious arguments that began at 9:30 am before Judge Maren Nelson. Due to the restrictions of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, my son and thousands of children like him, have never been able to have their injuries acknowledged in a court of law. This day gave families around the globe whose children’s health was permanently harmed by the HPV vaccine a glimmer of hope that their injuries and suffering would finally be acknowledged. The frustration I felt came from the obvious fact that the science relied on by our federal agencies to approve the HPV vaccine was criminally inadequate and that Jennifer’s injuries and those of the thousands of others like her could have been prevented.
Prior to Science Day, plaintiffs’ attorneys worried that because Judge Nelson threw out a $472 million 2017 jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson for causing ovarian cancer in women exposed to its asbestos-containing baby powders, the Court might not be very receptive to their arguments here. However, Judge Nelson gave scrupulous attention to the science presentations by both sides and clearly seemed to be approaching the Robi case with an open mind.
A red-letter day
After 20 years of advocating for vaccine safety, this was the first time that I’ve watched vaccine science issues adjudicated in a true court of law. It was truly a red-letter day. Jennifer’s lawyers brilliantly laid bare Merck’s anemic case for Gardasil, dissecting the science in withering presentations challenging both the efficacy and safety of the Gardasil vaccine, and then chronicling the horrifying agency and corporate corruption that lead to its approval.
Jennifer Robi is a 24-year-old former athlete and scholar who has been confined to a wheelchair since receiving her third Gardasil vaccines at age sixteen. She suffers continual uncontrolled neuro/muscular contractions (jerking) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and many other symptoms of systemic autoimmune dysregulation.
Jennifer’s attorney, Sol Ajalat, initially brought her case in Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and then, following a judgment in the program, elected to proceed in civil court. Since VICA (the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act) forbids recoveries for product defect or negligence, Ajalat brought Jennifer’s civil case under the theories that Merck committed fraud during its clinical trials and then failed to warn Jennifer (and, by implication, other injured girls) about the high risks and meager benefits of the vaccine.
In order to support Sol Ajalat and his sons Greg, Larry, and Steve, who compose the Los Angeles firm Ajalat & Ajalat, a blue ribbon A-Team of the nation’s leading plaintiffs’ law firms have joined Jennifer’s trial team. These include the firms most feared by Pharma: Weitz & Luxenberg (countless major pieces of litigation over 30 years), Morgan & Morgan (Vioxx, Phenphen, Breast Implants, Tobacco), Baum Hedlund, (Monsanto $289 million verdict 2018 and the $54 million 2000 verdict against Bayer in Haemophiliac/AIDS case) as well as Children’s Health Defense’s own Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Kim Mack Rosenberg (a co-author of The HPV Vaccine on Trial). The plaintiff’s bar has steered clear of vaccine lawsuits since the 2008 Thimerosal fiasco which nearly bankrupted several big firms. Now, Merck, through its reckless overreaching with Gardasil—a public health flimflam currently emerging as the most dangerous vaccine in history—has brought the nation’s leading trial lawyers back to the brawl.
The three Merck attorneys who made presentations were Dino Sangiamo, Sally Bryan, and Christina Gaarder. Jo Lyn Valoff represented Kaiser.
Among vaccinologists, it’s axiomatic that duration of immunity correlates directly to the toxicity of the adjuvant: the more toxic the adjuvant, the longer the duration of immunity.
Gardasil’s super-powered aluminum adjuvant
Plaintiffs began the day with a 2.5 hour presentation. Sol Ajalat first introduced Paul Pennock of Weitz & Luxenberg. Pennock ran through a riveting 50-minute slide show demonstrating how Gardasil’s super-powered Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate (AAHS) adjuvant over-stimulated the immune systems of vaccine recipients tipping them into autoimmune conditions in which their redlining immune defenses begin attacking their bodies’ own organs. This “autoimmune process” causes a cascade of illnesses that, in Jennifer Robi’s case, resulted in damage and deterioration in diverse organ systems throughout her body.
Victims like Jennifer are left exhausted as the body fights off disease on multiple fronts. Pennock explained that vaccine makers add aluminum adjuvants (to weak antigens and a long list of other potentially toxic ingredients) to elicit an immune response, hoping to extend the short-term immunity otherwise provided by most vaccines. Among vaccinologists, it’s axiomatic that the duration of immunity correlates directly to the toxicity of the adjuvant; the more toxic the adjuvant, the longer the duration of immunity. Most vaccines provide immunity for only 5-10 years. Gardasil’s promoters were promising lifelong protection, and needed a super toxic adjuvant that would provide this unprecedented level of protection. After all, Merck was promising regulators, pediatricians and the public that inoculations given to 9-12-year-old girls would provide immunity against a relatively rare cancer that typically doesn’t kill until age 58!
Pennock explained that Merck has refused to disclose the contents of AAHS or to provide samples to independent and university scientists for testing. AAHS, astonishingly, has never been safety tested by government regulators or by Merck. Studies on animals conducted by world renowned independent scientists like Dr. Chris Exley, Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld, Dr. Chris Shaw and others have found that mice and sheep exposed to aluminum adjuvants, at concentrations comparable to those found in vaccines, develop strange behavioral patterns and illnesses resembling autoimmune diseases.
Using a poisonous placebo in the control group allowed Merck to mask the cascade of injuries suffered by girls in the Gardasil group during the clinical trials.
A parade of deceptive canards
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. next gave the court an explosive 50-minute presentation of 112 disturbing slides describing the parade of deceptive canards that composed Merck’s clinical trials. Kennedy described a series of fraudulent gimmicks employed by Merck to deceive regulators during the clinical trials including the use of a “spiked” extremely toxic AAHS placebo rather than a true inert placebo that is standard for control groups in blue ribbon safety studies for other pharmaceutical products. Using a poisonous placebo in the control group allowed Merck to mask the cascade of injuries suffered by girls in the Gardasil group during the clinical trials. Half the girls in the Gardasil group and half the girls in the spiked placebo group suffered serious injuries, including several deaths, in the first seven months of the clinical trials, yet Merck was able to claim that reactions in the study group “were similar to the reactions in the placebo group,” and that, therefore, the vaccine was safe. Merck reported most of these serious injuries as “new medical conditions” not adverse events, dismissing any connection to the vaccine by fiat. Information about this parade of grave injuries appears nowhere in the Gardasil package insert.
Merck committed its boldest fraud in its key clinical trial, Protocol 18. Merck told FDA that Protocol 18 was the single study in which its researchers gave the control group a true inert placebo. For this reason, FDA declared Protocol 18 “of special interest.” However, in reality, Merck appears to have taken the precaution of removing half the aluminum from the vaccines administered to this study group. Plus, The Company laced the “placebo” with a witches’ brew of other toxic chemicals. This study, the only “controlled” study that included children in the target cohort of 9-12-year olds, may not have in fact tested the vaccine that Merck went on to inject into millions of young children around the world. Kennedy told the judge that this is not just scientific malpractice, it is outright fraud!
Merck’s control groups did not reflect the target population for its drug
Another tactic utilized by Merck was to purge the study group of anyone with the slightest vulnerabilities to the vaccine or its ingredients despite the fact that the vaccine would ultimately be marketed to girls with the very vulnerabilities excluded during the clinical trials. This precaution allowed the company to mask effects that occur only in vulnerable subgroups. Mr. Kennedy drew laughter from the large court room audience when he described how Merck had prescreened the study subjects to exclude people with allergies, immunological or nervous disorders, more than 4 lifetime sexual partners, genetic vulnerabilities to cancer or to any other medical condition, or with any hint of general infection, a history of alcohol or drug abuse, or a serious or chronic illnesses, and so forth. Finally, Merck told its researchers to exclude any individual with “any condition which in the opinion of the researchers might interfere with the study objective.” The remaining participants were an elite club of super healthy individuals. “You couldn’t get into the clinical trials unless you were a superhero,” Kennedy told Judge Nelson. “You had to be eligible for the Avengers.” The problem, of course, is that none of the people receiving the vaccine under CDC’s mandate are screened for these vulnerabilities. In other words, Merck’s control groups did not reflect the target population for its drug.
The mayhem caused by Gardasil
Even these flimflams could not conceal the mayhem caused by Gardasil. Kennedy showed the court data from Merck’s own package insert showing that 2.3 % of the girls receiving the vaccine complained of symptoms of autoimmune disease within 7 months. Since cervical cancer kills only 1.5 Americans in every 100,000, he noted, “Merck’s own data show that the chances of getting an autoimmune disease from this vaccine are 1000 times the risk of dying from cervical cancer.”
Merck’s own data showed that administering the Gardasil vaccine to girls who had previous exposure to HPV actually raised their risk of developing precancerous lesions (or worse) by almost 45%
Not only did a heartbreaking 50% of the subjects in both the study group and the spiked placebo group experience a serious adverse event within the seven months of the trial, death rates among girls in the study were double background rates. In fact, the rate for girls during the clinical trials (85/100,000) was 37 times the death rate from cervical cancer! Birth defects among children conceived during the study period were 5x those of the control group and miscarriages were doubled over background rates. Reproductive problems among vaccinated girls were 10x background rates. Finally, Merck’s own data showed that administering the Gardasil vaccine to girls who had previous exposure to HPV actually raised their risk of developing precancerous lesions (or worse) by almost 45%. This revelation is particularly frightening since sexual behavior is only one of many vectors for acquiring HPV. Many children are exposed in the birth canal. Kennedy cited numerous studies showing many very young children are exposed to HPV, including one in which upwards of 34% of girls had exposure to HPV prior to age 10.
Kennedy closed his powerful presentation by chronicling the parade of corrupt conflicts that caused HHS officials to turn a blind eye to the rife fraud that characterized the clinical trials. Merck loaded the two FDA and CDC panels that approved Gardasil, with paid toadies. He showed that the pharmaceutical industry actually pays 45% of FDA’s annual budget and that NIH and its officials own part of the patents to the Gardasil vaccine and collect royalties on every vaccine sold. NIH collects tens of millions of dollars annually from Gardasil sales. Finally, 45% of CDC’s budget goes to promoting and purchasing vaccines. Merck exerts control over the CDC with millions of dollars in contributions to the CDC foundation, which allows funding for pet projects. This level of support gives Merck the power to also punish the CDC by withholding funding if displeased by the agency.
Jennifer’s illness due to Gardasil
Nicole Maldonado of Baum Hedlund next described the onset of Jennifer’s illness which worsened with each stage of the three vaccine series and how her symptoms were identical to the symptoms seen among hundreds of injured women during the clinical trials around the world, in places as diverse as Japan, Australia, Colombia, and Denmark (where special clinics have been set up to treat Gardasil’s victims), as well as among many girls here in the United States. These symptoms included menstrual irregularities, gastrointestinal dysfunction, musculoskeletal pain, neurological conditions and even death.
One courtroom observer, a concerned mother identifying herself as Rachel Harris said she felt sick to her stomach at the revelations. Jennifer Robi’s mom told me that she felt elated that Mr. Kennedy had mastered the facts so completely and that their family’s story was finally being told.
Merck’s AAHS adjuvant was safe because of the small quantities of this known neurotoxin in each vaccine. She told the judge that ‘the dose makes the poison,’ and that even water in large enough doses can be toxic
The Defendants’ three-hour rebuttal was mainly toothless. Sangiamo doggedly described six studies, that he claimed were relied upon by the plaintiff, that had been retracted. However, only one of those studies was even mentioned on the plaintiff’s lengthy exhibit list (Plaintiff’s attorneys never referred to it in their briefs) and that study was republished elsewhere after the original journal retracted it under pressure from its pharmaceutical advertisers.
Sangiamo argued that the plaintiff had relied on case studies rather than large scale epidemiological studies of the kind largely funded by industry or the NIH which owns the Gardasil patent and profits on every injection sold. He cited five of those NIH and industry-authored epidemiological studies that found no causal relationship between Gardasil and autoimmune diseases. All are plagued by fatal defects such as only looking for a very limited number of potential injuries for a short period of time following exposure to the vaccine, despite the fact that autoimmune diseases can take months or years to manifest. The authors of these studies had financial ties to Merck.
Finally, Merck’s Sally Bryan rose to the podium to explain to Judge Nelson that Merck’s AAHS adjuvant was safe because of the small quantities of this known neurotoxin in each vaccine. She told the judge that “the dose makes the poison,” and that even water in large enough doses can be toxic. She pointed out that there are only 225 micrograms of aluminum in each vaccine. To illustrate how small this is, she asked Judge Nelson to imagine a dollar bill – which weighs one gram – cut into 1 million tiny pieces. She pointed out that only 225 of these pieces would be in any Gardasil vaccine, far too little to cause any adverse outcome. So in one breath, Merck was telling Judge Nelson that the amount of aluminum in Gardasil was substantial enough to permanently alter a person’s immune system to prevent cancer for the next half century and, at the same time, small enough to cause no harm.
The path forward
At the end of a long day, Judge Nelson ordered both sides to work out a discovery schedule and to reappear in court on February 7 to resolve any differences.
In Merck’s zealous promotion of the Gardasil vaccine, the company and its allies have shamed parents into vaccinating their children, through a series of misleading ad campaigns which play on parental instincts to protect their children from harm, especially from a disease as frightening as cancer. One commercial depicts young girl and boy actors recounting how they developed cancer from HPV and asking their parents if they knew this could have been prevented. “Did you know – Mom and Dad?” Jennifer Robi has had the courage to tell a real-life story that the public rarely hears – about the risks of the Gardasil vaccine itself.
Watch RFK, Jr. describe his plan to take this issue to the courts
RFK, Jr. (from the video): “We’re going to fight this battle for you. We’re going to take it to the streets. We’re going to take it to Congress. We’re going to take it to the regulatory agencies. We’re going to force the press to start covering this issue honestly for the first time, and allowing this debate to take place. And above all, we’re going to take it to the court room, and we’re going to win these cases. We’re going to find justice for you, for your families and for our country at last. If we’re going to do this effectively, we need your support.” www.childrenshealthdefense.org/donate
California Brain Tumor Association Issues Warning On Dangers of 5G
At the center of the debate about 5G technology is the issue of whether or not 5G is safe. Already underway, though, the rapid rollout will deploy 20,000+ satellites, millions of small towers, and use the same range of EMF waves as a military crowd-control system. Proponents of the technology don’t seem to acknowledge the growing body of research and growing number of voices warning us of the coming catastrophe of a world blanketed in 5G radiation.
Most often, however, those who are negatively impacted by wireless technologies and electromagnetic pollution, are individuals whose voices aren’t heard outside of courtrooms and city halls. In Canada, for example, journalist Rodney Palmer spoke to local government about a “wi-fi disaster,” which actually hurt a number of school children, resulting in the removal of the school’s wireless network.
“When the schools installed the wifi, we found out that at least four children had erratic tachycardia [fast or irregular heart rate] that confounded their doctors and they were wearing heart monitors to school. The older children…told us they had blackouts in certain areas of the school.” – Rodney Palmer
Interestingly, firefighters have for years opposed the placement of cell towers near fire stations, arguing that the effects of the towers disrupt living conditions for firemen and can cause neurological problems. A study was done for an incident occurred with a group of Los Angeles firefighters in 2016, and is recounted in public testimony from veteran firefighter and Union president, David Gillotte.
Dr. Gunnar Heuser lead brain studies on firefighters following a cell tower installation on their fire station and found that their brains were all abnormal. His SPECT brain study in 2004 focused on firefighters who complained of neurological problems following a cell tower installation at their fire station beforehand. The symptoms they experienced were: headaches, memory problems, sleeping problems, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Heuser published a study recently on fMRI showing abnormalities in EHS similar to brain injury. Original study published in July 2017, without the controls, full text: Corrigendum to the study, which includes fMRI scans of the controls (non- EHS) ~Arun Walia
Gillotte speaks on the need to protect firefighters and stations from cell towers.
Of interest in this conversation should also be the insight and opinions of closest to the victims of EMF pollution. In 2016, the California Brain Tumor Association (CBTA) condemned the passage of a bill that allowed for proliferation of small cell towers in California communities by requiring cities to lease land to telecom companies for 5G equipment and infrastructure.
Acknowledging the known concerns of firefighters, CBTA executive director Ellie Marks had remarks for then governor Jerry Brown:
CBTA said, “The burning question Gov. Brown should be asking himself as he makes a decision that could change California forever is this: If we exempt fire stations to protect firefighters, why are we allowing cell towers throughout neighborhoods, in front of preschools, schools, hidden in church steeples, on lampposts, utility poles and on most public buildings if these are too dangerous for fire stations?” [Source]
Marks and the CBTA cited several key studies as the scientific and ethical foundation for opposing the bill and for opposing 5G in general.
CBTA, headed by executive director Ellen [sic] Marks, issued a press release that cited several studies pointing to the dangers of pulsed, electro-magnetic radiation.
DNA damage in those living close to a cell tower was documented in a new study by Electromagnetic Biol Med. 2017 Aug 4:1-11: “Impact of radiofrequency radiation on DNA damage and antioxidants in peripheral blood lymphocytes of humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations.”
Source: Zothansiama, Zosangzuali M, Lalramdinpuii M, Jagetia GC.: Department of Zoology, Cancer and Radiation Biology Laboratory , Mizoram University, India.
“All of the recorded radiofrequency radiation (RFR) power density values in this study were well below the Federal Communication Commission’s maximum permissible exposure limits in the U.S. for the general population,” said Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., University of Calif. Berkeley School of Public Health.
The study, said CBTA, follows on the heels of the major $25 million study recently released by the U.S. National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health that found increased incidences of brain cancer, malignant tumors of the heart and DNA damage in laboratory animals from exposure levels the FCC considers “safe.”
The American Cancer Society’s statement on the significance of this new study was cited: “The NTP report linking radiofrequency radiation (RFR) to two types of cancer marks a paradigm shift in our understanding of radiation and cancer risk. The findings are unexpected; we wouldn’t reasonably expect non-ionizing radiation to cause these tumors.”
According to their website, the CBTA was formed by Ellie Marks as an advocacy group after her husband was diagnosed with brain cancer which was believed to be the result of cell phone usage. More on the CBTA
Founded in 2008, the California Brain Tumor Association is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding public health. We believe that it is inexcusable to allow technological advances invented to enrich our lives rob us of our lives instead.
We have been researching the question of how the wireless radiation from cell phones, towers and wifi routers (all things wireless) has harmful effects on health. The wireless industry says the “jury is out” and that the studies to date are inconclusive or mixed, with about half saying yes and half saying no. We do not agree.
Independent expert groups have looked at the same studies and determined that the industry-funded studies tend to find no harm and the independent studies tend to find there is harm.
The science is far more settled than the industry claims.
Our reading of the situation is that science has established enough proof of harm that regulations should be updated now and appropriate warnings issued. The “jury” actually is back and it has given its guilty verdict.
In brief, we are convinced that the science, on a global basis, is far more definitive than the claims by industry and government agencies imply. I recognize that this position places us far out on a limb relative to most people, but our conviction level is very high.
CABTA focuses on prevention as the cure and exposes environmental hazards.
Currently, we continue to focus on prevention of primary brain tumors due to cell phone use and our government’s deployment of 4G and 5G technology with no apparent concern for peer reviewed published science documenting the health risks from wireless technology.
In the following video, members of the wireless industry admit that there are no studies showing 5G is safe:
About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.
This article (California Brain Tumor Association Issues Warning On Dangers of 5G) originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com.
The Deeper Reason for Drug Ads On Television
Television viewers are inundated with drug ads from Big Pharma. It’s a flood.
Have you ever heard of these drugs? Otezla, Xeljanz, Namzaric, Keytruda, Breo, Cosentyz? Not likely. If you have, do you know what conditions they treat? Highly unlikely. But there they are, splashed in commercials.
Why? Who is going to remember to ask their doctor whether these and other obscure meds are right for them?
What’s going on here?
The answer is: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT DRUGS ARE BEING ADVERTISED.
If Pharma can pay enough TOTAL money for ads, for ALL drugs, and dominate the allotted TV time for commercials, it can control the news—and that is exactly what it wants to do.
Pharmaceutical scandals are everywhere. Reporting on them, wall to wall, isn’t good for the drug business. However, as an industry ponying up billions of dollars for TV ads, Pharma can limit exposure and negative publicity. It can (and does) say to television networks: If you give us a hard time on the news, we’ll take our ad money and go somewhere else. Boom. End of problem.
Face it, the billions of dollars Pharma is paying for TV ads are a drop in the bucket, compared with its profits gained from selling the drugs. The ads are a good investment. As a bribe.
Control the news.
There is another reason for the insane flood of TV drug ads:
By their sheer number, they convince viewers that medical drugs (no matter what they are) are absolutely necessary.
Hour by hour, viewers numbly watch drug commercial after commercial. The overall message is: To keep illness from your door, to cure illness, to alleviate illness, you must take these medicines. THIS IS LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. You’re all sick, and you need help, and this is the ONLY kind of help there is.
The drug companies could invent names of fake drugs that don’t even exist, advertise them in a cascade on television, with the same intent. DRUGS ARE AS VITAL TO LIFE AS WATER OR AIR.
But what about all those dire warnings of side effects from the drugs? By law, the companies must include them in their commercials. Well, the companies have calculated that, on balance, the stark, front-line, unending message of DRUGS, DRUGS, AND MORE DRUGS will outweigh the warnings in viewers’ minds.
If the television audience is nailed with the idea that they can’t escape; that their health always hangs in the balance; that dire illnesses are always waiting in the shadows to strike; that the slightest ache or pain could be a precursor to a crippling or fatal disease; and drugs are the only solution and protection—they’re going to overlook the warnings about side effects.
ALL IN ALL, DRUG ADS ARE NEWS.
That’s the approach. Pharma is blasting out 24/7 news asserting modern medicine’s central and commanding role in the life of every human.
It’s a gigantic and stupendous piece of mind control, but when did that ever stop tyrants from inventing reality for the masses?
Implicit in “ask your doctor if drug X is right for you,” is the message: “go to your doctor.” That’s the key. If the ads can put a viewer into the system, he will be diagnosed with something, and he’ll be given a drug for it.
So the drug ads are also promotions for doctors, who are the arbiters and the decision makers. Some kind of medical need (drugs) always exists—and the doctor will tell you what it is. And all patients should OBEY. Even if, in the process, they go broke.
Take the case of Opdivo, a drug that treats squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Cost? $12,500 a month. Patients on Medicare will pay $2500 a month out of their own pockets. And the result?
Wall St, Journal: “In the clinical study on which the Opdivo ad bases its claims, the drug extended median patient survival to 9.2 months from the start of treatment…”
The cancer patient pays $22,500 for nine months of survival, during which the suffering continues, and then he dies.
The ad isn’t mentioning THAT.
The ad relies on the doctor to convince the patient to go along with this lunatic program.
About the Author
Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29thDistrict of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.
(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrix, click here.)
Pope Francis Admits Nuns Were Used as “Sex Slaves” by Priests and Bishops
Pope Francis has acknowledged that the Roman Catholic Church has a persistent problem in which nuns are sexually abused by priests and bishops who have resorted to using them as “sex slaves.”
The admission by the pontiff marks the first public acknowledgement of the problem, which piles further scandal onto Catholic clergy who are already coping with a crisis of global proportions over the sexual abuse of children.
In recent years, Catholic nuns have raised their voices over sexual assaults by clerics in Africa, Latin America, India, and Italy.
Speaking to an Associated Press reporter on Tuesday during a flight home from Abu Dhabi, the pope acknowledged that more must be done to address the crisis:
“It’s true … There have been priests and even bishops who have done this. I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it.”
The pope also revealed that an order of nuns was dissolved by the previous pontiff, Pope Benedict, after abuses “to the point of sexual slavery” were committed by high-ranking clergy. Pope Francis said:
“It’s a path that we’ve been on. Pope Benedict had the courage to dissolve a female congregation which was at a certain level, because this slavery of women had entered it — slavery, even to the point of sexual slavery — on the part of clerics or the founder.”
A Vatican press representative later confirmed to CBS News that the order of nuns dissolved in 2005 was the Community of St. Jean in France.
The comments come on the heels of an article released by a Vatican women’s magazine that delved into the abuse of nuns within the Catholic Church.
In an article for Women Church World, editor-in-chief Lucetta Scaraffia noted cases where nuns were forced to carry out abortions of priests’ children or to bear children that the priests refused to recognize, noting that offenders enjoyed impunity because of the culture of silence surrounding their crimes.
“If eyes continue to be closed to this scandal – rendered even more serious by the fact that the abuse of women entails procreation and is thus at the root of the scandal of imposed abortions and of the children not recognized by priests – the condition of oppression of women in the Church will never change.”
The magazine also included a message from the pope addressing the scandal, where he tore into the abuse of power by high-ranking clergy and priests who have shielded their crimes.
On Wednesday, church officials sought to walk back the “sexual slavery” line. Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti told reporters that the ope “spoke of ‘sexual slavery’ to mean ‘manipulation’ or a type of abuse of power that is reflected in a sexual abuse.”
Last year, the International Union of Superiors General, a body representing over half a million nuns, blasted the “culture of silence and secrecy” over such abuses in the church, and urged members to report instances of abuse to their congregations as well as church and state authorities, noting that they “stand by those courageous women and men who have reported abuse.”
This article originally appeared on TMU
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