News

Religious zealot’s child placed in care

Religious zealot’s child placed in care

A judge in Leicester placed a seven-year-old boy with foster carers because his mother, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, was causing him emotional harm by ‘immersing’ him in her beliefs. 

According to this report, details of the case were disclosed in a written judgment handed down by Judge Clifford Bellamy, after a hearing at the Family Court in Leicester.

Teachers described the boy, who cannot be named, as “troubled, angry and confused”.  He rejected his own father because he said:

He could not be with people who didn’t believe in Jehovah.

He appeared fixated with the idea that his father, who is separated from his mother but had shared parental responsibilities, would not be “going to Paradise” and told adults:

He did not want to go to Daddy’s because he was not a Jehovah.

Staff at his school became alarmed when he cut up teaching materials in RE class because he could not bear learning about mainstream Christianity.

One child psychologist who spoke to him for the proceedings reported how he would react physically even at mentions of the idea that Jesus died on a cross or references to the Bible.

Teachers said he also rejected other children, had only a small friendship circle and described him as:

One of the most worrying children in our school.

Judge Bellamy found that the boy had suffered emotional harm as a result both of the conflict between the parents and, specifically:

Immersion by his mother in her religious beliefs and practices.

He concluded that she was doing this:

With the intention of alienating him from his father.

But the judgment disclosed that a social worker at the centre of the case rejected this assessment and believed that, while the boy was damaged by the conflict between his warring parents, the mother’s religion was not the cause.

It disclosed that at one point in the proceedings the mother went to the Court of Appeal to challenge an initial care order and gave a number of strict undertakings in an attempt to stop the process.

These included not to take him to her local Kingdom Hall – the Jehovah’s Witness meeting house – or any other such gatherings; not to talk to him about religion at all; not to allow him to go on to the church’s website or watch religious DVDs; and, if he raised the issue, to attempt to change the subject.

But during a later hearing she asked Judge Bellamy to relax the ban on discussing religion. In a statement to the court she said:

I would like to be able to take [him] to the Kingdom Hall once a month. I believe that [he] misses going there, and to be able to pray at meal times. This is a simple grace for the food and I will continue to refrain from any further discussion about religion in accordance with my undertakings.

The judge said that while he was satisfied he had the legal power to “regulate” the mother’s exposure of her son to her religion, he was not certain it would be possible to “police” those commitments.

He ruled that the boy was continuing to suffer emotional harm and that it was in his best interests to be placed temporarily in foster care.

• The picture used to illustrate this report shows Jehovah’s Witnesses baptising children at the 2014 New Orleans International Convention of of the cult.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

15 responses to “Religious zealot’s child placed in care”

  1. Broga says:

    People who believe absurdities commit atrocities. How many children are currently in the process of having their lives wrecked because of being indoctrinated by zealots? A child, who in other circumstances could be balanced, happy and curious, has emotional destruction inflicted on him which may last for the rest of his life.

  2. barriejohn says:

    Roll on the day when every child is able to grow up free of indoctrination of any kind. It should be a basic human right.

  3. barriejohn says:

    Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel .

    Ascribed to Plutarch, Plato (as I was told!), Socrates and others, and one of the first sayings that I came across as a student teacher in the Sixties. It had a marked effect upon my personal philosophy.

    From “On Listening” by Plutarch:

    For the correct analogy for the mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting — no more — and then it motivates one towards originality and instils the desire for truth. Suppose someone were to go and ask his neighbours for fire and find a substantial blaze there, and just stay there continually warming himself: that is no different from someone who goes to someone else to get some of his rationality, and fails to realize that he ought to ignite his innate flame, his own intellect.

  4. Angela_K says:

    Society as a whole – or rather our supine governments – frequently pussy-foot around treating the symptoms of religious extremism rather than tackling the main cause of this illness: childhood indoctrination. Governments are too quick to pander to people’s “religious beliefs” in part because the religious lobby have members who have inveigled their way into positions of power where they can meddle and obstruct to do their “god’s work” and because the extremists riot, hack to death, bomb, murder etc to get their way. Religion has to be removed from schools and religion denied any privilege – including access to our state broadcaster – for humanity to move forward, because everyday somebody suffers the effects of religion’s toxicity.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    Child abuse, plain and simple. It’s probably too late already, but for his own sake put the boy with a family with no religion and he might, maybe just grow up to have half a chance of being sane.

    Oh, and geld his deranged fucking parents.

  6. 1859 says:

    Those adults damaged by religion inflict the same damage on their children – who, of course, will grow up and do the same to their children. And the religous mafia know this only too well – indoctrination of children into their single belief system is paramount. It was a well-rehearsed saying in catholic circles when I was younger ‘Give me a child at five and he’s mine for life.’ Religious indoctrination of children is mental child abuse and ought to be criminalised as is physical child abuse. And the two are not so far apart as they both have a devastating effect on children.

  7. Robster says:

    The ongoing safety of society must be protected from Jehovah Witnesses (there’s an oxymoron name for a cult if ever there was, “witness” doesn’t come into it…)they should, as suggested above be neutered and forbidden from reproducing. They may whinge and complain about it, given the nonsense they wrap their lives around a lack of JW offspring can only be a positive move, less doorknocking on Saturdays too!

  8. 1859 says:

    Whatever happened to the UN’s Declaration of the Rights of the Child way back in the 1970’s ?

  9. 1859 says:

    Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) states that those countries who ratify the Convention must “take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence”.

    Fine words remain just that – fine words. They are worthless unless backed by action. But can you imagine the UN sending blue helmets into churches, mosques, synagogues and temples and taking away children? My god – I’ve just seen a pig playing the saxophone through its arse!

  10. Cali Ron says:

    @barriejohn
    Watched the video and read the post by the young JW survivor from your link. She’s so brave and so sincere for someone so young. It gives me hope for mankind. Her story illustrates the evil of child indoctrination, which I have said here before is the tool that keeps religion alive, enslaving vulnerable children to their twisted believes. I wish I knew a good solution to child indoctrination, but there are no easy answers. Can government know and control how parents raise their children. Where do you draw the line between protecting children and violating parental rights. I believe we should always error on the side of protecting children, but most religions see it the other way around. JW’s are on the extreme side of christianity and they should be investigated by law enforcement and prosecuted for any crimes committed (and there have been plenty). JW is a true, hardcore cult, but all religions use child indoctrination and to stop religion we will need to stop this sick practice.

  11. dennis says:

    yes,yes the picture just gives me the shakes and fear. the poor boy is scared. he lost his father and now his only road to power which he has seen from his mothers delusion ( again the picture.) What boy would not want to be a JW.

  12. Trevor Blake says:

    This is consistent with how England addresses the way Muslim children are openly taught to be hostile to the beliefs of non-Muslims. Except England does nothing in regards to Muslims and comes down hard on everyone else. Otherwise, just the same. For example when those thousands of children were raped by JWs in Rotherham, the state was on it. Except it was Muslim rape gangs as it always is in religious rape gangs, and the state did nothing. Otherwise just the same.