Tag Archives: childrens rights

“Too many kids show worrying signs of fragility from a very young age…”

Story by Kate Julian

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET on April 17, 2020.

Imagine for a moment that the future is going to be even more stressful than the present. Maybe we don’t need to imagine this. You probably believe it. According to a survey from the Pew Research Center last year, 60 percent of American adults think that three decades from now, the U.S. will be less powerful than it is today. Almost two-thirds say it will be even more divided politically. Fifty-nine percent think the environment will be degraded. Nearly three-quarters say that the gap between the haves and have-nots will be wider. A plurality expect the average family’s standard of living to have declined. Most of us, presumably, have recently become acutely aware of the danger of global plagues.

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Suppose, too, that you are brave or crazy enough to have brought a child into this world, or rather this mess. If ever there were a moment for fortifying the psyche and girding the soul, surely this is it. But how do you prepare a child for life in an uncertain time—one far more psychologically taxing than the late-20th-century world into which you were born?

To protect children from physical harm, we buy car seats, we childproof, we teach them to swim, we hover. How, though, do you inoculate a child against future anguish? For that matter, what do you do if your child seems overwhelmed by life in the here and now?

You may already know that an increasing number of our kids are not all right. But to recap: After remaining more or less flat in the 1970s and ’80s, rates of adolescent depression declined slightly from the early ’90s through the mid-aughts. Shortly thereafter, though, they started climbing, and they haven’t stopped. Many studies, drawing on multiple data sources, confirm this; one of the more recent analyses, by Pew, shows that from 2007 to 2017, the percentage of 12-to-17-year-olds who had experienced a major depressive episode in the previous year shot up from 8 percent to 13 percent—meaning that, in the span of a decade, the number of severely depressed teenagers went from 2 million to 3.2 million. Among girls, the rate was even higher; in 2017, one in five reported experiencing major depression.

An even more wrenching manifestation of this trend can be seen in the suicide numbers. From 2007 to 2017, suicides among 10-to-24-year-olds rose 56 percent, overtaking homicide as the second leading cause of death in this age group (after accidents). The increase among preadolescents and younger teens is particularly startling. Suicides by children ages 5 to 11 have almost doubled in recent years. Children’s emergency-room visits for suicide attempts or suicidal ideation rose from 580,000 in 2007 to 1.1 million in 2015; 43 percent of those visits were by children younger than 11. Trying to understand why the sort of emotional distress that once started in adolescence now seems to be leaching into younger age groups, I called Laura Prager, a child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a co-author of Suicide by Security Blanket, and Other Stories From the Child Psychiatry Emergency Service. Could she explain what was going on? “There are many theories, but I don’t understand it fully,” she replied. “I don’t know that anyone does.”

From December 2015: Hanna Rosin on the Silicon Valley suicides

One possible contributing factor is that, in 2004, the FDA put a warning on antidepressants, noting a possible association between antidepressant use and suicidal thinking in some young people. Prescriptions of antidepressants to children fell off sharply—leading experts to debate whether the warning resulted in more deaths than it prevented. The opioid epidemic also appears to be playing a role: One study suggests that a sixth of the increase in teen suicides can be linked to parental opioid addiction. Some experts have suggested that rising distress among preteen and adolescent girls might be linked to the fact that girls are getting their period earlier and earlier (a trend that has itself been linked to various factors, including obesity and chemical exposure).

Even taken together, though, these explanations don’t totally account for what’s going on. Nor can they account for the fragility that now seems to accompany so many kids out of adolescence and into their young-adult years. The closest thing to a unified theory of the case—one put forth in The Atlantic three years ago by the psychologist Jean M. Twenge and in many other places by many other people—is that smartphones and social media are to blame. But that can’t explain the distress we see in kids too young to have phones. And the more the relationship between phones and mental health is studied, the less straightforward it seems. For one thing, kids the world over have smartphones, but most other countries aren’t experiencing similar rises in suicides. For another, meta-analyses of recent research have found that the overall associations between screen time and adolescent well-being range from relatively small to nonexistent. (Some studies have even found positive effects: When adolescents text more in a given day, for example, they report feeling less depressed and anxious, probably because they feel greater social connection and support.)

A stronger case can be made that social media is potentially hazardous for people who are already at risk of anxiety and depression. “What we are seeing now,” writes Candice Odgers, a professor at UC Irvine who has reviewed the literature closely, “might be the emergence of a new kind of digital divide, in which differences in online experiences are amplifying risks among [the] already-vulnerable.” For instance, kids who are anxious are more likely than other kids to be bullied—and kids who are cyberbullied are much more likely to consider suicide. And for young people who are already struggling, online distractions can make retreating from offline life all too tempting, which can lead to deepening isolation and depression.

This more or less brings us back to where we started: Some of the kids aren’t all right, and certain aspects of contemporary American life are making them less all right, at younger and younger ages. But none of this suggests much in the way of solutions. Taking phones away from miserable kids seems like a bad idea; as long as that’s where much of teenagers’ social lives are transacted, you’ll only isolate them. Do we campaign to take away the happy kids’ phones too? Wage a war on early puberty? What?


Video: Kids Feel Pandemic Anxiety Too

Ihave been thinking about these questions a lot lately, for journalistic reasons as well as personal ones. I am the mother of two children, 6 and 10, whose lineage includes more than its share of mental illness. Having lost one family member to suicide and watched another ravaged by addiction and psychiatric disability, I have no deeper wish for my kids than that they not be similarly afflicted. And yet, given the apparent direction of our country and our world, not to mention the ordeal that is late-stage meritocracy, I haven’t been feeling optimistic about the conditions for future sanity—theirs, mine, or anyone’s.

From September 2019: Daniel Markovits on how meritocracy harms everyone

To my surprise, as I began interviewing experts in children’s mental health—clinicians, neuroscientists doing cutting-edge research, parents who’d achieved this unofficial status as a result of their kids’ difficulties—an unusually unified chorus emerged. For all the brain’s mysteries, for everything we still don’t know about genetics and epigenetics, the people I spoke with emphasized what we do know about when emotional disorders start and how we might head more of them off at the pass. The when: childhood—very often early childhood. The how: treatment of anxiety, which was repeatedly described as a gateway to other mental disorders, or, in one mother’s vivid phrasing, “the road to hell.”

Actually, the focus on anxiety wasn’t so surprising. Of course anxiety. Anxiety is, in 2020, ubiquitous, inescapable, an ambient condition. Over the course of this century, the percentage of outpatient doctors’ visits in America involving a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax or Valium has doubled.* As for the kids: A study published in 2018, the most recent effort at such a tabulation, found that in just five years, anxiety-disorder diagnoses among young people had increased 17 percent. Anxiety is the topic of pop music (Ariana Grande’s “Breathin,” Julia Michaels and Selena Gomez’s “Anxiety”), the country’s best-selling graphic novel (Raina Telgemeier’s Guts), and a whole cohort’s sense of humor (see Generation Z’s seemingly bottomless appetite for anxiety memes). The New York Times has even published a roundup of anxiety-themed books for little ones. “Anxiety is on the rise in all age groups,” it explained, “and toddlers are not immune.”

How do you inoculate a child against future anguish? What do you do if your child already seems overwhelmed in the here and now?

The good news is that new forms of treatment for children’s anxiety disorders are emerging—and, as we’ll see, that treatment can forestall a host of later problems. Even so, there is a problem with much of the anxiety about children’s anxiety, and it brings us closer to the heart of the matter. Anxiety disorders are well worth preventing, but anxiety itself is not something to be warded off. It is a universal and necessary response to stress and uncertainty. I heard repeatedly from therapists and researchers while reporting this piece that anxiety is uncomfortable but, as with most discomfort, we can learn to tolerate it.

Yet we are doing the opposite: Far too often, we insulate our children from distress and discomfort entirely. And children who don’t learn to cope with distress face a rough path to adulthood. A growing number of middle- and high-school students appear to be avoiding school due to anxiety or depression; some have stopped attending entirely. As a symptom of deteriorating mental health, experts say, “school refusal” is the equivalent of a four-alarm fire, both because it signals profound distress and because it can lead to so-called failure to launch—seen in the rising share of young adults who don’t work or attend school and who are dependent on their parents.

Lynn Lyons, a therapist and co-author of Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents, told me that the childhood mental-health crisis risks becoming self-perpetuating: “The worse that the numbers get about our kids’ mental health—the more anxiety, depression, and suicide increase—the more fearful parents become. The more fearful parents become, the more they continue to do the things that are inadvertently contributing to these problems.”

Read: What the coronavirus will do to kids

This is the essence of our moment. The problem with kids today is also a crisis of parenting today, which is itself growing worse as parental stress rises, for a variety of reasons. And so we have a vicious cycle in which adult stress leads to child stress, which leads to more adult stress, which leads to an epidemic of anxiety at all ages.

I. The Seeds of Anxiety

Over the past two or three decades, epidemiologists have conducted large, nationally representative studies screening children for psychiatric disorders, then following those children into adulthood. As a result, we now know that anxiety disorders are by far the most common psychiatric condition in children, and are far more common than we thought 20 or 30 years ago. We know they affect nearly a third of adolescents ages 13 to 18, and that their median age of onset is 11, although some anxiety disorders start much earlier (the median age for a phobia to start is 7).

Many cases of childhood anxiety go away on their own—and if you don’t have an anxiety disorder in childhood, you’re unlikely to develop one as an adult. Less happily, the cases that don’t resolve tend to get more severe and to lead to further problems—first additional anxiety disorders, then mood and substance-abuse disorders. “Age 4 might be specific phobia. Age 7 is going to be separation anxiety plus the specific phobia,” says Anne Marie Albano, the director of the Columbia University Clinic for Anxiety and Related Disorders. “Age 12 is going to be separation anxiety, social anxiety, and the specific phobia. Anxiety picks its own friends up first before it branches into the other disorders.” And the earlier it starts, the more likely depression is to follow.

All of which means we can no longer assume that childhood distress is a phase to be grown out of. “The group of kids whose problems don’t go away account for most adults who have problems,” says the National Institute of Mental Health’s Daniel Pine, a leading authority on how anxiety develops in children. “People go on to develop a whole host of other problems that aren’t anxiety.” Ronald C. Kessler, a professor of health-care policy at Harvard, once made this point especially vividly: “Fear of dogs at age 5 or 10 is important not because fear of dogs impairs the quality of your life,” he said. “Fear of dogs is important because it makes you four times more likely to end up a 25-year-old, depressed, high-school-dropout single mother who is drug-dependent.”

Compounding this, the young kids with mental-health problems today may have worse long-term prospects than did similar kids in decades past. That is the conclusion drawn by Ruth Sellers, a University of Sussex research psychologist who examined three longitudinal studies of British youth. Sellers found that youth with mental-health problems at age 7 are more likely to be socially isolated and victimized by peers later in childhood, and to have mental-health and academic difficulties at age 16. Concerningly, despite decreased stigma and increases in mental-health-care spending, these associations have been growing stronger over time.

Big societal shifts such as the ones we’ve undergone in recent years can hit people with particular traits particularly hard. A recent example comes from China, where shy, quiet children used to be well liked and tended to thrive. Following rapid social and economic change in urban areas, values have changed, and these children now tend to be rejected by their peers—and, surely no coincidence, are more prone to depressive symptoms. I thought of this when I met recently with the leaders of a support group for parents of struggling young adults in the Washington, D.C., area, most of whom still live at home. Some of these grown children have psychiatric diagnoses; all have had difficulty with the hurdles and humiliations of life in a deeply competitive culture, one with a narrowing definition of success and a rising cost of living.

The hope of early treatment is that by getting to a child when she’s 7, we may be able to stop or at least slow the distressing trajectory charted by Sellers and other researchers. And cognitive behavioral therapy, the most empirically supported therapy for anxiety, is often sufficient to do just that. In the case of anxiety, CBT typically involves a combination of what’s known as “cognitive restructuring”—learning to spot maladaptive beliefs and challenge them—and exposure to the very things that cause you anxiety. The goal of exposure is to desensitize you to these things and also to give you practice riding out your anxious feelings, rather than avoiding them.

Most of the time, according to the largest and most authoritative study to date, CBT works: After a 12-week course, 60 percent of children with anxiety disorders were “very much improved” or “much improved.” But it isn’t a permanent cure—its results tend to fade over time, and people whose anxiety resurges may need follow-up courses.

Illustration: Oliver Munday; Marco Pasqualini / Getty

A bigger problem is that cognitive behavioral therapy can only work if the patient is motivated, and many anxious children have approximately zero interest in battling their fears. And CBT focuses on the child’s role in his or her anxiety disorder, while neglecting the parents’ responses to that anxiety. (Even when a parent participates in the therapy, the emphasis typically remains on what the child, not the parent, is doing.)

A highly promising new treatment out of Yale University’s Child Study Center called SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) takes a different approach. SPACE treats kids without directly treating kids, and by instead treating their parents. It is as effective as CBT, according to a widely noted study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry earlier this year, and reaches even those kids who refuse help. Not surprisingly, it has provoked a tremendous amount of excitement in the children’s-mental-health world—so much so that when I began reporting this piece, I quickly lost track of the number of people who asked whether I’d read about it yet, or talked with Eli Lebowitz, the psychology professor who created it.

In working directly with parents, Lebowitz’s approach aims to provide not a temporary solution, but a foundation for a lifetime of successful coping. SPACE is also, I have come to believe, much more than a way of treating childhood anxiety—it is an important keyhole to the broken way American adults now approach parenting.

When lebowitz teaches other clinicians how to do SPACE, he starts by telling them, several times, that he’s not blaming parents for their kids’ pathologies.

“Because we represent a field with a very rich history of blaming parents for pretty much everything—autism, schizophrenia, eating disorders—this is a really important point,” he said one Sunday morning in January, as he and his collaborator Yaara Shimshoni kicked off a two-day training for therapists. A few dozen were in attendance, having traveled to Yale from across the country so that they might learn to help parents reduce what Lebowitz calls “accommodating” behaviors and what the rest of us may call “behaviors typical of a 21st-century parent.”

“There really isn’t evidence to demonstrate that parents cause children’s anxiety disorders in the vast majority of cases,” Lebowitz said. But—and this is a big but—there is research establishing a correlation between children’s anxiety and parents’ behavior. SPACE, he continued, is predicated on the simple idea that you can combat a kid’s anxiety disorder by reducing parental accommodation—basically, those things a parent does to alleviate a child’s anxious feelings. If a child is afraid of dogs, an accommodation might be walking her across the street so as to avoid one. If a child is scared of the dark, it might be letting him sleep in your bed.

Lebowitz borrowed the concept about a decade ago from the literature on how obsessive-compulsive disorder affects a patient’s family members and vice versa. (As he put it to me, family members end up living as though they, too, have OCD: “Everybody’s washing their hands. Everybody’s changing their clothes. Nobody’s saying this word or that word.”) In the years since, accommodation has become a focus of anxiety research. We now know that about 95 percent of parents of anxious children engage in accommodation. We also know that higher degrees of accommodation are associated with more severe anxiety symptoms, more severe impairment, and worse treatment outcomes. These findings have potential implications even for children who are not (yet) clinically anxious: The everyday efforts we make to prevent kids’ distress—minimizing things that worry them or scare them, assisting with difficult tasks rather than letting them struggle—may not help them manage it in the long term. When my daughter is in tears because she hasn’t finished a school project that’s due the next morning, I sometimes stop her crying by coaching her through the rest of it. But when I do, she doesn’t learn to handle deadline jitters. When she asks me whether anyone in our family will die of COVID-19, an unequivocal “No, don’t worry” may reassure her now, but a longer, harder conversation about life’s uncertainties might do more to help her in the future.

Despite more than a decade’s evidence that helicopter parenting is counterproductive, kids today are perhaps more overprotected, more leery of adulthood, more in need of therapy.

Parents know they aren’t helping their kids by accommodating their fears; they tell Lebowitz as much. But they also say they don’t know how to stop. They fear that day-to-day life will become unmanageable.

PLEASE CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO….

Robin Rider Osborne is an Activist and Advocate for seriously disabled children ….

Rare Disease Day in Frankfort Kentucky

  • Published on February 27, 2017

Rare Disease Day

Thank you to Pat and Jennifer and NORD for having this event. I am honored to be here

Marinesco Sjogren’s syndrome disorder, consist of cataracts, mental retardation ataxia, cognitive delay and very small in stature. It is a genetic disorder and is hereditary. the SIL1 mutation on chromosome 5 was recently discovered for the syndrome. Both parents must have the mutation to produce offspring with the disorder. the other children can be carriers or not have it.

Three of those 200 known cases are my sister and two brothers

Having this Rare disorder made them members of the disability community.

It was a bad time to be born with a disability in the 1960s. Children’s Hospital immediately recommended they be sent to Frankfort State Hospital and school. Over the next 10 years, it was a constant back and forth between Frankfort and Children’s Hospital to try to get two of the children committed since there were no services in the community at that time. They could not attend school. They could not attend church. They lived in the shadows of society. They had to be diapered, fed and cared as a baby would, so we as children were caregivers.

Eventually, this took its toll on the Family and they had to be placed in state care. I reviewed some of their records and it shows ten years of correspondence between Frankfort State Hospital and Children’s Hospital insisting they be institutionalized and Frankfort saying no room, they are on the waiting list. The also stated they didn’t take children under the age of 6 yo. but the records also show a court order for Alice to be admitted there in 1965.

Frankfort state hospital closed in 1972 so Alice and Jeff were sent to Hazelwood. in Louisville 1973, After being there less than a year Alice died from asphyxiation due to a restraint 

Jeffrey was then moved to Oakwood in Sommerset, Ky and eventually was able to return to his Northern Kentucky community. He died from asphyxiation due to a restraint

Michael was placed locally with foster parents and sadly he too died of asphyxiation in his own bed. Asphyxiation was not part of the syndrome.

Michael’s Foster-father was arrested and charged with sexually abusing one of the other children in their care. In Jeffrey’s first placement in foster care, the man also was accused of sexual abuse of Jeffrey.

My mother and father brought all three children home to be buried in our family plots to finally rest in peace. There are many in unmarked graves at FSH Cemetery and ESH Cemetery.

I struggled with what to say today. I felt I have to speak for the dead and honor what they would want me to say. This is beyond tragic. This is systemic and goes on every day. Folks with disabilities are at high risk of abuse and sexual assault, seclusion and restraint.

I am mindful there are still people in Institutions in KY in group homes, PCH homes etc. wanting to return to their communities. there are also folks at risk of being sent to nursing homes and Institutions because of the cuts to Medicaid.

7,000 people on our waiting list for home & community-based services, 5k on MP … 2k on SCL waiting list

No one w/ a disability should be forced into a nursing home because of lack of integrated home and community options

We must look at where we were in the 60’s and where we are now in 2017. We are at a crossroad. Everyone and anyone are at risk of becoming a member of the disability community at any given time.

I want to encourage everyone to take a stand and support people with disabilities call your legislators and representative.s We can and must do better and they deserve better. I believe we will be judged by how we treat the weakest among us.

my speech in Frankfort. 🙂

Video with speech here:

https://www.facebook.com/hahaitsme01/videos/10211969682666928/

SOURCE LINK

Robin Osbourne

Robin’s Profile

https://www.facebook.com/kyblueblood/videos/vb.1007653766/10212407239348544/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab

linkedin.com/in/robinriderosborne

https://www.facebook.com/kyblueblood

https://www.facebook.com/hahaitsme01/videos/10211969682666928/?fref=mentions

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robinriderosborne/detail/recent-activity/posts/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rider-children-kentucky-robin-osborne/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rare-disease-day-frankfort-kentucky-robin-rider-osborne/?published=t

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/marinesco-sjogren-syndrome#synonyms

This is the story of Terry Parker Jr., how he was lobotomized, forcefully implanted with brain electrodes and the activism that followed.

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Max Coulombe

Greetings citizens of the world. We are Anonymous.

This is the story of Terry Parker Jr., how he was lobotomized, forcefully implanted with brain electrodes and the activism that followed.

At the age of 14, Terry was lobotomized and forcefully implanted at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto. According to the hospital, he underwent a right temporal lobotomy for treatment of his seizure disorder and behavioral disturbance. This procedure was done without his consent, while his mother was told that scar tissue was being removed.

Although it is not in the hospital’s report, Terry had 43 metallic objects implanted in his brain. These objects are still in his brain, they can be seen on an XRay of his skull. Why were these objects implanted in his brain? CIA mind control programs have existed since the fifties, and were active in 1969 when Sick Kids’ surgeon Harold Hoffman performed this illegal psychosurgery.

So what is psychosurgery? The Ontario Mental Health Statue states that. Psychosurgery means any procedure that, by direct or indirect access to the brain, removes, destroys or interrupts the continuity of historically normal brain tissue, or which inserts indwelling electrodes for pulsed electrical stimulation for the purpose of altering behavior or treating psychiatric illness. So why were these electrodes implanted in his brain?

According to Wikipedia, electrical stimulation of the brain can be used to cause sensory, motor, autonomic, emotional and cognitive effects. Sensory effects involve you feeling something that isn’t happening, such as swaying, movement, suffocation or burning. Motor effects involve forced movements, such as blinking, laughing or crying. Autonomic effects involve changes to your body, such as an increase in blood pressure, breathing or sweating. Emotional effects involve forced changes in your mood, such as anxiety, fear, happiness or sadness. Cognitive effects involve the reduction of normal brain function, such as the ability to recall things or do math.

In 1992, Terry began protesting against the illegal psychosurgery performed on him, at Sick Kids hospital in 1969. Every day, he would create a large sign and march down to the hospital, handing out copies of his XRay, and demanding a royal commission into the continued cover up at the hospital. After 200 days of this, City News wrote a piece on his experience. In that piece, Terry said they used him as a guinea pig in an experiment that didn’t work. He claimed that Sick Kids is a good hospital, but it has a dark history that people should know about. Terry had two operations at that hospital, the first time he was sedated. The second time, they shaved his head, gave him a local anesthetic, and put his head in a clamp. When they were cutting his skull open, he was screaming out, what the fuck are you doing man, what the fuck are you doing. He was panicked.

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They did not tell him what to expect. He was told to be a good boy and cooperate. There was no informed consent for what they did. While he was protesting, one of the security guards at the hospital told him, hell would freeze over before an inquiry would be called. Terry claimed that, when hell freezes over he will still be here. After 350 days of protesting in front of the hospital, Sick kids hospital brought an injunction against Terry. At that point his sign said, Warning, Doctor Harold Hoffman is a psycho surgeon. They wanted to keep Terry off their property. Terry fought against the request, claiming that Hoffman performed brain surgery on him in 1969 and again in 1972, and that Hoffman had used the word psychosurgery to describe the procedures. Another neurosurgeon also claimed that the images of the procedure done, did not match what Hoffman had recorded. According to his lawyer, the circumstances around Terry’s case were at the very least suspicious. The lawyer claimed that, not allowing Terry to demonstrate in front of the hospital was a violation of his freedom of speech. Neither the hospital nor Hoffman had made any attempt to refute the claims. The hospital claimed, that by bringing forth the injunction they were refuting the claim.

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The judge sided with the hospital, claiming that there was not one iota of evidence. He went on to say, you cannot come here claiming that the world is square, when the world is not square. Doing so goes beyond the right of free speech.

Terry was banned from displaying any sign or distributing any material stating doctor Hoffman was a psycho surgeon. Terry is still alive and well, he is a member of a group, who have all had devices implanted in their brains unwillingly. He has his XRay, and has showed it to reporters, lawyers, and politicians. On Facebook, he tells his story to whoever will listen. For most of us, it has been a long time since we started seeking freedom.

For Terry, it has been fifty years.

We are Anonymous .

We are Legion.

We do not Forgive.

We do not Forget.

Expect us.

SOURCE LINK

ACLU Represents Man-Boy Love Group

  • By BRYAN ROBINSON   Aug. 31

Citing the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union is defending a group that supports pedophilia against a civil suit filed by the family of a molested and slain Massachusetts boy.

The parents of 10-year-old Jeffrey Curley filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking damages from the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) for the 1997 rape and murder of their son. Another defendant in the suit is the Web provider, Verio Inc., for hosting the NAMBLA Web site.

The suit accuses NAMBLA of inciting Jeffrey’s murder and rape at the hands of Charles Jaynes and Salvatore Sicari through its literature and Web site — which is now offline. Both men were convicted of killing Jeffrey in separate trials and are serving life sentences.

According to the Curley’s suit, Jaynes was a member of NAMBLA under an alias at the time of the slaying. Jaynes, the plaintiffs say, had viewed the NAMBLA Web site shortly before the murder. NAMBLA literature showing members how to gain children’s trust, gain access to children nationwide, and avoid police investigating pedophilia cases were also found in Jaynes’ car and apartment, the lawsuit alleges.

Targeted For Beliefs

ACLU officials say NAMBLA denies encouraging the rape and murder of anyone.

According to the ACLU, the suit is designed to stifle the dissemination of the group’s unpopular beliefs: advocating consensual sexual relationships between adult men and boys and abolishing age-of-consent-laws that classify adult sex with children as rape. Plus, NAMBLA should not be punished for the crimes of two men and their beliefs should be protected, despite their unpopularity.

“There was nothing in those publications or Web site which advocated or incited the commission of any illegal acts, including murder or rape,” said John Roberts, executive director of the ACLU’s Massachusetts chapter. “NAMBLA’s publications advocate for changes in society’s views about consensual sex between adults and minors. This advocacy is political speech protected by the First Amendment.”

“We urge the public to not jump to conclusions about NAMBLA based on the allegations appearing in the press and the Curley complaint,” Roberts added in his statement. “We also urge consideration of the consequences to freedom of speech by holding authors, musicians, or filmmakers liable in damages for crimes committed by individuals who have read, heard or seen their work.”

National Pedophilia Conspiracy?

But Lawrence Frisoli, the attorney representing the Curleys, says the ACLU is “missing the point” of the lawsuit. Frisoli claims the Curleys are not trying to deprive NAMBLA leaders of their rights to share their beliefs. Instead, he says, they are trying to bring down the organizational structure that set the stage for Jeffrey’s molestation and murder.

“No one alleges that they shouldn’t be allowed to share their beliefs. That is their right,” Frisoli said, adding that the lawsuit is focusing on NAMBLA’s activities. “NAMBLA’s principal leaders were the ones who wrote the brochures and sent them out. We allege that because of that, NAMBLA has been part of a national ongoing criminal conspiracy to rape children, and we intend to hold them accountable.”

Frisoli claims investigators uncovered Jaynes’ diary where he admits having problems dealing with a desire to have sex with children. Jaynes later reveals that he felt NAMBLA’s teachings validated his feelings.

Besides the diary, Frisoli says he has depositions from an ex-girlfriend and several close friends who testify that Jaynes was a heterosexual male who became obsessed with having sex with minors only after joining NAMBLA.

NAMBLA Leaders in Hiding

NAMBLA has not revealed whether Jaynes was ever one of its members. Since the Curleys filed their suit in May, the group has not responded to any pretrial discovery motions. Frisoli says he is happy that the ACLU is representing NAMBLA so that the case can go forward. He has had trouble finding the group’s members.

Still, the ACLU attorneys, citing U.S. Supreme Court cases from the 1960s that protected the NAACP’s civil rights activities in the South, say they will try to block any attempt by the plaintiffs to get NAMBLA’s membership lists, or other materials identifying members. The ACLU also will act as a surrogate for NAMBLA, allowing its members to defend themselves in court while remaining anonymous.

Prosecutors said Jaynes and Sicari lured Jeffrey Curley into Jaynes’ Cadillac with the promise of $50 and a bicycle on Oct. 1, 1997. They convinced two juries that the men suffocated, killed and then molested the child after he resisted sexual advances and then stuffed him a concrete-filled container. Jaynes and Sicari dumped the container in the Maine River.

Last week, the Curleys won a civil suit against Jaynes and Sicari when a jury awarded them $328 million.

CONTINUE READING…

UN enlists ‘Thomas & Friends’ to teach kids about UN goals

Image result for THOMAS AND FRIENDS

Sep. 7, 2018

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations is enlisting the animated series “Thomas & Friends” to teach preschool children the importance of taking part in global efforts to end poverty, provide girls and boys with the same opportunities, and protect the planet.

The U.N. and series owner Mattel Inc. announced a collaboration Friday that will see elements of five of the 17 U.N. goals for 2030 incorporated into nine of the 26 episodes of the new season of “Thomas & Friends.”

U.N. Outreach Division director Maher Nasser says that “Thomas & Friends was a natural fit for younger audiences as well as their parents and caretakers.”

Mattel President Richard Dickson says the U.N. exists to create a better world “and that’s been the core lesson of Thomas for over 70 years.

CONTINUE READING…

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