Christian Right kidnappers
Nicole Colson reports on the accusations against missionaries who were arrested after trying to take Haitian children out of the country–and the media’s tolerant attitude.
February 17, 2010
“HELP US…That’s the message I would give to Mr. Obama and the State Department. Start helping us.”
You might think that was the plea of a Haitian citizen following the devastating earthquake in January. But no, those words came from Carla Thompson–one of a group of 10 U.S. missionaries arrested by Haitian authorities on January 29, accused of trying to kidnap 33 Haitian children and take them across the border into the Dominican Republic.
At least 22 of the supposed “orphans” were found to have at least one parent still alive in Haiti.
The 10 missionaries are mostly from a Baptist church based in Idaho. Following the earthquake, the group apparently set out with a trailer full of children’s clothes and a vow to help Haiti’s orphans “find healing, hope, joy and new life in Christ.” The group’s creepy leader, Laura Silsby, told reporters: “God wanted us to come here to help children, we are convinced of that. Our hearts were in the right place.”
But Silsby at least knew that the missionaries were flouting the law. In a letter to the United Nations, Anne-Christine d’Adesky, a writer and human rights activist, said she met with Silsby on January 24 in a hotel in the Dominican Republic. Silsby allegedly told d’Adesky that her authorization to pick up Haitian orphans and bring them into the Dominican Republic came from an unnamed Dominican official.
“I informed her that this would be regarded as illegal, even with some ‘Dominican’ minister authorizing, since the children are Haitian,” d’Adesky wrote, adding that she directed Silsby to UN agencies dealing with orphans and adoptions in the country.
D’Adesky told the Wall Street Journal that Silsby responded: “We have been sent by the Lord to rescue these children, and if it’s in the Lord’s plan, we will be successful.”
Silsby’s personal motives may not have been so noble. Back home in Idaho, she faces a string of lawsuits for allegedly failing to pay employees of her Web site shopping business. MSNBC noted that “the $358,000 house at which she founded her nonprofit religious group, New Life Children’s Refuge, was foreclosed upon in December.” Which raises the question of whether Silsby thought she might have profited from arranging for Haitian children to be adopted by people in the U.S.
The other people with Silsby on her “mission,” including at least two teenagers, may have been victims of their own arrogance and stupidity–but that doesn’t excuse their crime. On the contrary, there’s something stomach-turning about using a tragedy like the earthquake in Haiti to promote religious beliefs. (Right-wing Christians aren’t the only ones guilty–the Church of Scientology flew in volunteers after the quake to “minister” to Haitians.)
In the case of Silsby’s group, the Eastside Baptist Church Web site laid out the missionaries’ plans for a “Haitian Orphan Rescue Mission.” According to the itinerary for January 23, the group would “Drive bus from Santo Domingo into Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and gather 100 orphans from the streets and collapsed orphanages, then return to the D.R.”
The group apparently planned to take the children to a hotel in the Dominican Republic, where they would live until a permanent orphanage was constructed. According to the New York Times, the Web site said the group would “strive” to “provide opportunities for adoption through partnership with New Life Adoption Foundation,” which subsidizes adoptions “for loving Christian parents who would otherwise not be able to afford to adopt.”
There’s no evidence that the missionaries were in any way prepared to care for the children they planned to “gather” from the streets–it’s unknown whether any spoke Haitian Kreyol or had any familiarity with the country’s culture or legal system.
Even in the best of times, international adoptions can be fraught with corruption and difficult questions about the rights of birth parents. Those questions are especially complicated when the adoptive parents are white and wealthy, and the birth parents and children are poor and people of color. Closed adoptions, where all ties are cut between children and their birth parents, are especially prone to abuses.
In Haiti, it seems that the desperate parents contacted by the missionaries weren’t told that their children might one day be adopted. Instead, they were told the children would be cared for and schooled in the Dominican Republic–and that they could visit one another. “If someone offers to take my children to a paradise,” a mother told the New York Times, “am I supposed to say no?”
As adoption expert David Smolin of Cumberland Law School commented in the New York Times:
The risks are very high that children with families would be “adopted” into families in the United States, based on the pretense that they are “orphans.” We know from past history that those children most likely would never be returned to their original families, even if those original families were able to find them and sought their return.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
IN SPITE of the fact that the missionaries are accused on strong evidence of kidnapping and child trafficking, the U.S. media has positively fawned over them–stopping just short of portraying them as the victims.
In one story after another, the missionaries have been allowed to plead their innocence–and even complain that the Obama administration has not done enough to help them. Typical was the Today show, which described the “frustrating few days” in jail for people “who insist they had only the best intentions.”
Imagine the level of sympathy in the media if the disaster had been, say, a hurricane in South Florida, and a group of Black missionaries, or perhaps Muslims, from another country came to “rescue” white children in the U.S.–with “only the best intentions.”
One writer for the right-wing National Review, Kathryn Jean Lopez, even stooped to citing a Human Rights Watch report detailing the deplorable conditions in Haiti’s prisons–as if the American missionaries have been suffering like an ordinary prisoners. On the contrary, the alleged kidnappers have been giving access to the media, were allowed to speak to relatives via satellite phone, have a large legal team of American lawyers standing by and were allowed to receive food and other supplies from other missionaries.
That’s a far cry from conditions a couple hundred miles to the west, at the U.S. government’s Guantánamo Bay prison camp. As Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald pointed out, referring to one of the missionaries, Jim Allen, singled out by right wingers:
Why would National Review–which endorses far worse abuses when perpetrated on Muslims convicted of nothing–take up the cause of an accused child smuggler and possible child trafficker, and suddenly find such grave concern over detainee conditions?…Because, as a Christian, Allen is deemed by National Review to deserve basic human rights, unlike the Muslim detainees whose (far worse) abuse they have long supported…
The very same people who have been demanding for years that Muslims be imprisoned for life, tortured and killed with no trials or charges of any kind suddenly become extremely sensitive to the nuances of due process and humane detention conditions. They start sounding like Amnesty International civil liberties extremists–the minute it’s a Christian, rather than a Muslim, who is subjected to such treatment.
1 Comment »
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
or go to
From the Archives
By PIERRE PICCININ | March 06, 2012
More than a year after civil unrest broke out and plunged part of Syria into the chaos of the ‘Arab Spring’, the Baath government remains firmly in control and the majority of the country is calm; almost untouched by an opposition which is scattered and confined to the cities of Homs and Hama, as well as a few towns on the Turkish and Lebanese border. The main reported cases of unrest are linked to regular attacks from Salafist bands which are of an extremely violent nature and more importantly, the Free Syrian Army. The latter counts amid its ranks numerous Qataris and Libyans, all whom have been trained in the art of urban guerilla warfare by the French army in refugee camps, which provide perfect bases from which to operate and orchestrate attacks.
How can one explain the resilience of this regime? A regime which is more or less in complete control despite facing what is usually described as a “revolutionary populist uprising”? One which is determined to overthrow the “Alawite dictatorship” from the political and economic realms of Syrian society, the so-called privilege of the Alawi, a community which accounts for no more than about 10% of the population?
Perhaps it is because the reality does not correspond to this over simplified equation. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
November 13, 2011
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- The entire globe is a battlefield for Pentagon May 25, 2013
- “This time they destroyed everything”: Uprooted Bedouins face more evictions May 25, 2013
- Palestine: 85 percent of east Jerusalem children are below the poverty line,olive trees burned with chemicals & youths held at the Ibrahimi Mosque May 25, 2013
- Protesters march against Monsanto in 250 cities May 25, 2013
- ‘Sayyed Nasrallah: I promise you victory again’ May 25, 2013
- Obama legitimates drones outside US airspace & Pakistan slams drone strikes May 24, 2013
- The Palestine Liberation Movement is not about Anti-Semitism May 23, 2013
- United Against Scholarship May 23, 2013
- Gilad Atzmon on Muhammad and Friends (TV Show) May 23, 2013
- [Video] An interview with Professor James Petras May 25, 2013
Looking for something?
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney. Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Visits Since December 2009
- 1,465,598 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
- Ocean of corruption in Spain May 25, 2013
- Kafr Qaddum – Blocked from life’s basics; pushed back when doing something about it May 25, 2013
- Obama Expands Militarization of Police May 25, 2013
- MI5 ‘tried to recruit’ Woolwich murder suspect May 25, 2013
- Wall Street is writing its own regulation bill May 25, 2013
- Obama Distorts ‘Just War’ Principles May 25, 2013
- UK: Woolwich attack sparks Labour calls for snooper’s charter May 24, 2013
- Colombia: extrajudicial executions killings still ongoing according to report May 24, 2013
- Hospital patients in Gaza poisoned by gas from Israel May 24, 2013
- A million Israeli landmines planted in occupied Palestinian West Bank May 24, 2013
- “We will stand in front of the bulldozers” – Beit Dajan homes threatened with demolition May 25, 2013
- Kafr Qaddum – Blocked from life’s basics; pushed back when doing something about it May 25, 2013
- Photo essay: Gas, frisbees and the Apartheid Wall in Ni’lin May 24, 2013
- Jamila Shalaldeh, accused of assaulting 13 soldiers found innocent by Ofer Military Court May 23, 2013
TagsAfghanistan Africa Al-Manar American Civil Liberties Union Benjamin Netanyahu Canada Central Intelligence Agency CIA Egypt European Union France Gaza Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Israel Israeli settlement Jerusalem Latin America Lebanon Middle East NATO New York Times Obama Pakistan Palestine Palestinian prisoners in Israel Press TV Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey United Nations United States Venezuela West Bank Zionism
skulzstudios on Ocean of corruption in Sp… B. Benhamid on Kafr Qaddum – Blocked from lif… B. Benhamid on Obama Distorts ‘Just War’… Lissakrhumanelife on Colombia: extrajudicial execut… skulzstudios on What an Anonymous U.S. Officia… skulzstudios on Jewish settlers injure childre… traducteur on Church of Scotland Report Chal… Goliath on US government admits to killin… Goliath on ‘Never in his life… Dr. Ernesto Cantina on The Role of the United States… Ribeekah Grant on Church of Scotland Report Chal… skulzstudios on US government admits to killin… Ribeekah Grant on US government admits to killin… Rohrabacher’s Plan t… on Rohrabacher’s Plan to Partitio… skulzstudios on Rohrabacher’s Plan to Partitio…