American Atheists Atheist child abuse scandal

Commentary by Jim Walker
Originated: 01 April 2010

Priests and ministers are not the only ones abusing children. As a nonbeliever, I feel shame and embarrassment in having to report this but atheists, too, commit sexual crimes just as heinous as any Catholic priest. Please read this recent news article from the Associated Press about Atheists abusing children and feel the outrage:



The American Atheists Says It Recorded 32 Accusations of Sexual Abuse

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TRUMBULL, Conn. (AP) — The American Atheists Organization of Bridgeport have acknowledged in court papers that it documented 32 accusations of sexual abuse of children by atheists associated with the organization for over 40 years.

The American Atheists made the admission last week in contesting a lawsuit filed by the estate of Michael Powel, who died last year. Mr. Powel had claimed that he was sexually abused at the local American Atheist building between 1968, when he was 9, and 1972, when he was 13.

The Atheist organization is contesting a request from Mr. Powel’s lawyers to turn over all documents regarding sexual abuse by atheists at the organization. In its filing in Superior Court in Waterbury, the leader of the American Atheists said it had compiled 126 boxes of documents and files detailing 32 accusations of abuse by eight atheists at the American Atheists organization.

Nine of the alleged encounters occurred before 1973, according to the court papers, and 18 accusations cover encounters that allegedly occurred from 1973 to 1983. Two accusations involve the period from 1984 to 1989, and three pertain to the years since 1990.

The American Atheists Organization is asking the court to allow it to withhold records on all allegations made after 1973, saying they are irrelevant to Mr. Powel’s lawsuit.

In its filing, the American Atheists Organization said it should not have to spend thousand of dollars to review the documents “simply because Michael Powel alleges he was abused one time for one minute in the winter of 1971.”

Mr. Powel’s lawyers said that the motion by the American Atheists Organization was a “bait-and-switch” to avoid producing documents by Wednesday, a date previously agreed upon to provide discovery materials. Mr. Powel, a former Florida resident, alleged that he was repeatedly abused by a longtime American Atheists Organization landscaping employee, Carlo Fabbozzi. Mr. Powel also accused Mr. Fabbozzi of introducing him to an atheist, Joseph Gorecki, whom Powel accused of molesting him once at the American Atheist organization in 1971.

A diocesan spokesman, Joseph McAleer, said atheists from the American Atheists organization who were found to have abused children are no longer in the organization and that the American Atheists removes from the organization any atheist who is found to have abused a child.

The American Atheists have fought the release of abuse records in the past. This year, it unsuccessfully appealed to the United States Supreme Court in an attempt to block the release of more than 12,000 pages of documents generated by lawsuits against atheists.

Judges have ruled that the documents be made public next week.




April Fools.

The news article is real but it actually refers to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, not the American Atheists (read the actual news article below ).

Can you imagine the uproar if 32 members of American Atheists had actually abused children to the extent of the priests of the Roman Catholic Church? The news would hit the newspaper headlines (instead of it being buried deep in the newspapers as usual when it refers to priests). Fox News, NBC, CNN, and all other major television news would broadcast it nationwide for weeks, if not years. What would you think about an Atheist organization who "solved" its sexual molestation problem by simply moving the accused atheist from one atheist organization to another? Or how about the American Atheists simply firing an accused member (as does the Church when it removes a priest from its diocese as its most extreme measure)? Does anyone doubt that citizens throughout the nation would attempt to ban the American Atheists organization from existing?

Do you remember the hysteria that occurred during the McMartin daycare scandal in 1982 when the McMartin's were accused of ritualized sex abuse of children? It was the longest and most expensive criminal trial in history. The story appeared in media news for years. People accused the McMartin's of satanic ritual abuse. Accusers "saw" witches fly, traveling in a hot-air balloon, and kids taken though underground tunnels. People made claims of orgies at car washes and of children being flushed down toilets to secret rooms where the sexual abuses occurred. Fundamentalist preachers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson helped spread the "Satanic" panic. In 1990, after years of trials, The McMartin's were acquitted on most of the counts and ultimately resulted in no convictions. The McMartin preschool was closed, and the building dismantled. The outrage and the reporting lasted for years
by all major news media of the time.

Although the recent news media coverage of the Pope's alleged involvement in suppressing child abuses has been widespread, this is mostly due to the Pope's "supreme" status, rather than a real concern for the abused children. When priests abuse children, hardly anyone except the abused (and their families) gives a damn. Moreover, the priestly molestations hasn't occurred in only one diocese but rather dioceses throughout the world (the McMartin case referred only to the one daycare center). Nor has the priestly child abuses happened only during the 1970s and 80s (some have even tried to blame the "free love" 60s on the child molestations). Priests have been sexually abusing children for centuries (see Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes), not only abusing their bodies, but their minds. These aren't just accusations (as was the McMartin case) but actual confessions and actual rapes of children by priests. Where is the concern for the children we keep hearing from the Religious Right? Where's the outrage? Why aren't there appeals for closing down these dioceses? Why does the news media rarely report about it, and when it does, it appears only as a secondary story? It's something to think about, and it's hardly an April Fools joke.


 

Diocese Says It Recorded 32 Accusations of Abuse

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 25, 2009

TRUMBULL, Conn. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has acknowledged in court papers that it documented 32 accusations of sexual abuse of children by priests associated with a parish here over 40 years.

The diocese made the admission last week in contesting a lawsuit filed by the estate of Michael Powel, who died last year. Mr. Powel had claimed that he was sexually abused at St. Theresa’s Parish in Trumbull between 1968, when he was 9, and 1972, when he was 13.

The diocese is contesting a request from Mr. Powel’s lawyers to turn over all documents regarding sexual abuse by priests at the parish. In its filing in Superior Court in Waterbury, the diocese said it had compiled 126 boxes of documents and files detailing 32 accusations of abuse by eight priests at St. Theresa’s.

Nine of the alleged encounters occurred before 1973, according to the court papers, and 18 accusations cover encounters that allegedly occurred from 1973 to 1983. Two accusations involve the period from 1984 to 1989, and three pertain to the years since 1990.

The diocese is asking the court to allow it to withhold records on all allegations made after 1973, saying they are irrelevant to Mr. Powel’s lawsuit.

In its filing, the diocese said it should not have to spend thousand of dollars to review the documents “simply because Michael Powel alleges he was abused one time for one minute in the winter of 1971.”

Mr. Powel’s lawyers said that the motion by the diocese was a “bait-and-switch” to avoid producing documents by Wednesday, a date previously agreed upon to provide discovery materials. Mr. Powel, a former Florida resident, alleged that he was repeatedly abused by a longtime parish landscaping employee, Carlo Fabbozzi. Mr. Powel also accused Mr. Fabbozzi of introducing him to a priest, the Rev. Joseph Gorecki, whom Powel accused of molesting him once at St. Theresa’s school in 1971.

A diocesan spokesman, Joseph McAleer, said priests from the parish who were found to have abused children are no longer in ministry and that the diocese removes from ministry any priest who is found to have abused a child.

The diocese has fought the release of abuse records in the past. This year, it unsuccessfully appealed to the United States Supreme Court in an attempt to block the release of more than 12,000 pages of documents generated by lawsuits against priests.

Judges have ruled that the documents be made public next week.

[the original AP story comes from The New York Times]


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