Category Archives: MSM

Radioactive Europe, Inside Fukushima, US Sells to China, French Nuke Waste


Uploaded by on Nov 12, 2011

http://NukeNe.ws – 11/11/2011 Radiation Levels Up in Europe, Depleted Uranium & More: Infowars Nightly News :: To make money, USA to sell nuclear technology to China nuclear weapons company

To counter China, USA to set up another military base in Australia

France grapples with the eternal unsolved problem of nuclear wastes

Radiation standards for children made stricter in Japan

Legal actions against oil companies on effects of global warming?

Scathing criticism of Koch brothers and climate change denialists

Climate Change has cost $14 billion in health toll

Scene inside wrecked nuclear reactor in Japan

Fukushima nuclear disaster: how it was for the workers when it happened

Mystery of radioactive iodine particles in Europe

Fire at Idaho National Nuclear Laboratory

Bob Brown, possibly Australian government’s only sane member, wants scrutiny about USA military bases

While USA sells nuclear technology to China, Australia gets USA military base against China

NY Times reporter detects 300 microsieverts per hour while inside bus

USA to sell nuclear technology to Chinese company involved in nuclear weapons

Maralinga’s hidden legacy of radioactivity AND asbestos

Australia’s Maralinga veterans and Aboriginals paid the price for nuclear bomb testing

Malcolm Turnbull makes a strong case against Climate Change Denialists, and Koch brothers

Climate change events leading to legal action against oil companies

Marathon uranium miner to sue South Australian government

Now Poland and Denmark report “radioactive dust” — IAEA official: “We are a little concerned”

Fallout forensics hike radiation toll: Global data on Fukushima challenge Japanese estimates

Fukushima Lets Media In (VIDEO)

Fukushima Update — Day 247

Fukushima man reports seeing yellow flash when Reactor No. 3 exploded… from over 30 miles away (VIDEO)

Fukushima, Japan update 11/10/11

Former Tepco employee: Plutonium and uranium in Reactor No. 3 has all been blown out — This was no ordinary explosion — Gov’t is concealing truth (VIDEO)

Hydrogen explosion at Idaho nuke facility? INL Engineer: Sodium released hydrogen… the reaction “can range in magnitude from a flash to an explosion”
First glimpse into Fukushima graveyard (VIDEO)

Japanese Government updates radiation maps with data on six new prefectures -8 Months after Nuclear Meltdown – 12th Nov 2011

Japan Times: Official told of extremely bad conditions at Fukushima — Workers often abandoned after exceeding radiation limit

Mysterious radiation levels detected across Europe, says UN nuclear agency – 12th Nov 2011

#Radioactive “Ekiden” Road Race: High Radiation Detected in the Stadium, on the Course

AP: Anonymous IAEA official says iodine-131 release appears to be continuing across Europe

U.S. NRC approves restart of quake-hit North Anna nuclear plant — Smart move?

EDF fined millions and its senior officials sentenced to years in prison for spying on Greenpeace France

UCS questions NRC on status of shield building prior to Davis-Besse restart

Radioactive basketballs

Idaho National Laboratory experiences second on-site emergency this week

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November 17 2012,Suicidal Greece in Pictures

An employee at the state-run Workers’ Housing Organization (OEK) crouches on a ledge while threatening to jump as a colleague speaks to her, in central Athens, Wednesday, February 15, 2012. The woman was fired as the agency was due to be shut as part of sweeping new austerity measures demanded by Greece’s EU-IMF rescue creditors. After hours of negotiations, the woman was brought to safety as she came in from the balcony. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Looking for a Police State to blow your Whistle? Here you are! The ex- cradle of democracy the current cradle of Tyranny #tapwire  is nothing comparing to what Greek State has become. THIS IS NOT A STATE OF THE PEOPLE BUT OF THE EXTREMES,THE FASCISTS AND THE POLICE INTIMIDATING CIVILIANS

Λέγομαι Αντώνιος Περρής. Εδώ και 20 χρόνια φροντίζω την 90 χρονών Μητἐρα μου(την γεροντοκομώ). Τώρα τα 3- 4 χρόνια έχει πάθει Αλτζχάϊμερ και τελευταία την πιάνουν και κρίσεις σχιζοφρένειας και έχει κι᾽ άλλα προβλήματα υγείας, Και τα γηροκομεία δεν δέχονται τὀσο επιβαρυμένους ασθενείς.
Το πρὀβλημα είναι ότι δεν είχα προβλέψει να έχω αρκετό ρευστό στο λογαριασμό μου, διότι έπιασε ξαφνικά η οικονομική κρίση. Παρόλο που έχω αρκετή περιουσία, και τα πουλώ όλα όσο όσο τόσο καιρό, έχω μείνει χωρίς ρευστό(χρήματα) και δέν έχουμε πια να φάμε, κι´η πιστωτική μου κάρτα με 22% επιτόκιο γεμάτη κι´ας δανείζονται με 1%, κι´άλλα έξοδα που τρέχουν. Ζω πια συνέχεια μιά ζωή δράμα.

2) Τώρα τελευταία δυστυχώς έχω νέα σοβαρότατα δικά μου προβλήματα υγείας.

Δεν έχω καμμία λύση μπρος μου. Περιουσία αρκετή αλλά ρευστό καθόλου, οπότε χωρίς φαγητό τι γίνεται ? Μήπως ξέρει κανείς καμμία λύση.

Ισχυροί της γης γιά την οικονομική κρίση που δημιουργήσατε θέλετε κρέμασμα
και σας είναι λίγο.

Μη μείνει απ´ αυτούς κανείς.

1) Τον κόσμο αυτό αν θες να φτιάξεις
πρέπει ν΄αλλάξεις τη δομή,
πρωτού λόγω της απραξίας μας
μας αφανίσει η παρακμή,
μας κυβερνούν οι λωποδύτες,
οι τραπεζίτες κι´ οι αγιογδύτες
κι´ όλοι τους οι υποτακτικοί.

R. Δίχως έλεος λοιπόν, δίχως οίκτο,
κτύπα τους πριν αφανιστείς,
γιατί αλλιώς μεσ´ στη μιζέρια
και μεσ´ στο άδικο θα ζεις,
δίχως έλεος λοιπόν, δίχως οίκτο,
μη μείνει απ´ αυτούς κανείς.

2) Λέει η εντολή ου αυτοκτονήσεις,
μα κατ´ ανάγκη αυτοκτονείς,
χτύπα τους πριν σε αφανίσουν,
εγκληματείς που αδρανείς,
της ηθικής μας απραξίας
όπως και της νωθρότητάς μας
πια ας μην είμαστ´ ασθενείς.

MNA–Unprecedented, for Greece, percentages of depression and suicidal tendencies have been recorded in the Greece society, as well as anxiety and despair, in the past two years due to the economic recession, unemployment and the sense of insecurity, psychiatrists told a press conference on Thursday evening ahead of the 38th annual Panhellenic Medical Congress to be held in Athens next week.

Suicides climbed by 22 percent in the two-year period 2009-2011, while the number of people seeking help in support services have jumped by 20-30 percent.amna

According to Professor Eleftherios Lykouras, director of the Psychiatric Clinic of Attikon Hospital, children, even pre-schoolers, have been affected by the heavy climate, with the number of children requiring psychiatric care increasing by 10-15 percent in the two-year period. He said that most of the children are taken to hospital pediatric departments with intense headaches and stomach pains and pains in their extremities, with the diagnosis resulting from test results indicating a psychological, stress-related factor.amna

He said the reduction in incomes, unemployment and financial difficulties are risk factors for the occurrence of depression symptoms, while the debt is proving to be a critical factor in the link between financial difficulty and depression.amna

Further, fear, insecurity and uncertainty for the future are psychological effects connected with the economic parameters and can also lead to depression.

(Reuters) – On Monday, a 38-year-old geology lecturer hanged himself from a lamp post in Athens and on the same day a 35-year-old priest jumped to his death off his balcony in northern Greece. On Wednesday, a 23-year-old student shot himself in the head.

In a country that has had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world, a surge in the number of suicides in the wake of an economic crisis has shocked and gripped the Mediterranean nation – and its media – before a May 6 election.

The especially grisly death of pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas, who shot himself in the head on a central Athens square because of poverty brought on by the crisis that has put millions out of work, was by far the most dramatic.

Before shooting himself during morning rush hour on April 4 on Syntagma Square across from the Greek parliament building, the 77-year-old pensioner took a moment to jot down a note.

“I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for sustenance,” wrote Christoulas, who has since become a national symbol of the austerity-induced pain that is squeezing millions.

Greek media have since reported similar suicides almost daily, worsening a sense of gloom going into next week’s election, called after Prime Minister Lucas Papademos’s interim government completed its mandate to secure a new rescue deal from foreign creditors by cutting spending further.

Some medical experts say this form of political suicide is a reflection of the growing despair and sense of helplessness many feel. But others warn the media may be amplifying the crisis mood with its coverage and numbers may only be up slightly.

“The crisis has triggered a growing sense of guilt, a loss of self-esteem and humiliation for many Greeks,” Nikos Sideris, a leading psychoanalyst and author in Athens, told Reuters.

“Greek people don’t want to be a burden to anyone and there’s this growing sense of helplessness. Some develop an attitude of self-hatred and that leads to self-destruction. That’s what’s behind the increase in suicide and attempted suicide. We’re seeing a whole new category: political suicides.”

Police said the geology lecturer, Nikos Polyvos, who hanged himself, was distraught because a teaching job offer had been blocked due to a blanket hiring freeze in the public sector.

A blind protester shouts against anti-austerity measures during a protest near the Prime Ministers office in Athens, on February 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

NATION IN SHOCk

Experts say the numbers are relatively low – less than about 600 per year. But increases in suicides, attempted suicides, the use of anti-depressant medication and the need for psychiatric care are causing alarm in a nation unaccustomed to the problems.

Before the financial crisis began wreaking havoc in 2009, Greece had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world – 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. There was a 40 percent rise in suicides in the first half of 2010, according to the Health Ministry.

There are no reliable statistics on 2011 but experts say Greece’s suicide rate has probably doubled to about 5 per 100,000. That is still far below levels of 34 per 100,000 seen in Finland or 9 per 100,000 in Germany. Attempted suicides and demand for psychiatric help has risen as Greece struggles to cope with the worst economic crisis since World War Two.

Nikiforos Angelopoulos, a professor of psychiatry, has a busy psychotherapy practice in an upmarket Athens neighbourhood. He said the crisis has exacerbated the problems for some already less stable people and estimates that about five percent of his patients have developed problems due to the crisis.

“We’re a nation in shock,” he said, even though he suspected that it was the media coverage of suicides that had increased dramatically rather than the actual numbers of suicides. He nevertheless says the crisis is behind a notable rise in mental health problems in Greece.

“I had one patient who came in with a severe depression – he owns a furniture making company that got into financial trouble and he had to lay off 20 of his 100 workers,” he said. “He couldn’t sleep and couldn’t eat because of that. He said his good business was being ruined and he couldn’t cope anymore.”

The furniture maker spent four months in therapy and was also helped by anti-depressants, Angelopoulos said.

“He’s better now. He realised what happened just happened. But there are many others who are unstable or psychotic to begin with and the crisis is increasing their anxiety and insecurity.”

Angelopoulos, 60, has also suffered himself because about 20 percent of his patients can no longer afford his 100 euro ($130) per hour sessions. Some have asked for a half-price discount while others tell him they simply can’t afford to pay anything.

“I never turn people away,” he said. “If a patient says to me ‘I have no money’, I couldn’t tell them to go away. I tell them okay you don’t have to pay now but remember me later.”

HAPPY GREEKS?

There are several possible explanations for Greece’s low suicide rate that go beyond the fact that the country has an abundance of sunshine and balmy weather.

To avoid stigmatising their families, some suicidal Greeks deliberately crash their cars, which police often charitably report as accidents. Families often try to cover up a suicide so their loved ones can’t be buried because the Greek Orthodox church refuses to officiate at burials of people who commit suicide.[…….]

Another important factor behind the low suicide rate is that Greeks have extremely close knit families as well as a highly communicative and expressive culture.

“Greece is a country where everyone will talk to you,” said Sideris, the Athens psychoanalyst. “You’ll always find someone to share your suffering with and someone’s always there to help.

“It’s not only the good weather. It’s the powerful network of support that has made the suicide rate in Greece so low. It’s still there but this crisis is still too much for some people.”


Πολυτεχνείο 73-σπάνιο βίντεο -Greece Uprising against the Junta 17/11/1973 rare document

Feel free to share/reblog /repost.Thanks

H Δικη των υπαιτιων της Χουντας στην Ελλαδα documentary

The trial of the colonels in charge of the Junta Militar in Greece 1967-1974

Πρόκειται για μια ταινία ντοκιμαντέρ η οποία αναφέρεται στην δίκη των πραξικοπηματιών της 21ης Απριλίου του 1967. Προβάλλονται ντοκουμέντα από την εν λόγω δίκη με τις απολογίες του Παπαδόπουλου, του Αγγελή, του Πατακού κ.ά.
Ο σκηνοθέτης ενδιάμεσα απ’ τις σκηνές της δίκης παραθέτει ιστορικά ντοκουμέντα που φανερώνουν πως φτάσαμε στην Χούντα του 1967 (μεταξικό καθεστώς, Δεκεμβριανά, Εμφύλιος, δίκη Μπελλογιάννη, δολοφονία Λαμπράκη κ.ά.).
Από τον φακό περνάνε σχεδόν όλοι οι πρωταγωνιστές εκείνης της ταραγμένης περιόδου όπως ο τέως βασιλιάς Κωνσταντίνος, ο Μίκης Θεοδωράκης, ο Ιωάννης Μεταξάς, ο Γεώργιος και ο Ανδρέας Παπανδρέου, η Μελίνα Μερκούρη και πολλοί άλλοι.
Πρόκειται για ένα πολύ καλό ιστορικό ντοκιμαντέρ που παραχωρεί στην κρίση του θεατή πρωτογενές ιστορικό υλικό προς μελέτη.

Η ταινία είναι σκηνοθετημένη από τον Θεοδόση Θεοδοσόπουλο. Η μουσική είναι του Γιώργου Γιαννουλάτου με βασική ερμηνεύτρια την Άλκηστις Πρωτοψάλτη.
Κυκλοφόρησε το 1981.

So where is Greece right now? Where is Democracy right now?Right in the hands of the extremist party of Golden Dawn


Merkel Outraged about Greeks on Strike; She May Consider to Impose Curfew

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel stunned 200 parliamentarians and journalists in Europe Parliament when she fiercely opposed Greeks launching strikes and protests.

You have to tell them, ‘It is not right, that every time I go on strike when a privatization is due,  it is not right that a railway company is not able to pay its employees due to the ticket fares, it is not OK if the government ministries do not cooperate with each other, it’s not OK if one has a taxation system, but not paying taxes.”

I assume, that the aversion and the lack of understanding for the frustration and anger of austerity-ridden Greeks, have very much to do with the former DDR-mentality of Frau Merkel, where even basic labour rights were forbidden and hardly one dared to whisper “b” when Honnecker was singing ”A”.

Nevertheless, Angela Merkel was sharply criticized by her own German people, with leader of European Socialists, Hannes Swoboda telling her:

“Together with the Troika you demand something, you would never demand in Germany: namely, the destruction of social networks”

Left MEP Gabi Zimmer told her: “Austerity kills! What is good to be more competitive if it takes people to perish?”

Green Party chairman Rebecca Harms spoke of  “enslavement of  the innocent” and of  “Merkel’s Greek disgrace.” (Full story Tageblatt GER)

Rumors that Merkel considers to impose curfew on days of scheduled protests and to send her own tax-collectors to invade each and every home in Greece are not confirmed. At least, not yet.

No Greeks, No Strikes!


Lagarde List “Burn After Reading” Leaked,Greek Journalist Arrested

“Democracy” Today: Pictureshack storing wasn’t working after the journalist’s arrest by the greek ” law” enforcement so I had to re-upload the files of the list and the names contained in there.Greece has turned out to be the most fascist country .Sorry for the inconvenience ,it was a 404 error: democracy not found

CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE & READ THE NAMES.

Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis Arrested for Publishing Lagarde-List

Source:Keep  Talking Greece

Greek Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis was arrested on Sunday morning at his home for publishing 2,059 names of Greek HSBC-account holders whose names were on so-called Lagarde-List.

The journalist wrote on his Twitter account during his arrest:

@KostasVaxevanis They’re coming in the house with a prosecutor now. They are arresting me. Spread “

He was arrested at 11 o’ clock in the morning, the moment the military parade was starting in Thessaloniki to  commemorate the NO Greeks said to Axis Forces on 28. October 2012.


An hour before his arrest Vaxevanis had Tweeted:

“Outside my home are 15 policemen. Let them come in and arrest me like German collaborators.”

A closely-kept secret by the Greek government – the names of 1,991 people who made $1.95 billion in deposits in the Geneva, Switzerland HSBC bank branch – has been released by a Greek investigative journalist and immediately went viral on the Internet, listing several politicians, an advisor to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, well-known businessmen, journalists, doctors, lawyers and engineers, actors and civil servants – some of them working at the Finance Ministry.

The list contains also the names of three former ministers, of whom one died sometime ago. Also the names of owners of enterprises that have gone bankrupt. But also students studying abroad, pensioners and housewives.

Former Minister George Voulgarakis is on the list

The names were said to come from an original list given by former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde – now the head of the International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s Troika of international lenders – to former Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou who said he lost them.

That prompted his successor, Evangelos Venizelos, now the current head of the PASOK Socialists, to produce a copy he said he had on a memory stick and set off an investigation by Greek prosecutors as to whether any of those listed had evaded taxes. It’s not unlawful for Greeks to have accounts in another country as long as they are declared and taxes are paid on them.

Greek authorities did not confirm that the list printed on Oct. 27 in Hot Doc, a weekly magazine published by investigative journalist Costas Vaxevanis, were those on the Lagarde list, given to Greece in 2010 as part of a longer list on a CD that came from stolen records from the bank, the reason Venizelos said he never acted on it, although Lagarde said other countries who found names of their citizens have used it to prosecute tax cheats.

Neither Papaconstantinou nor Venizelos indicated there were any politicians on the list and the government wanted the names kept secret as Samaras is proceeding with a $17.45 billion spending cut and tax hike plan while tax evaders who owe the country $70 billion have largely escaped Greece’s crushing economic crisis. The plan includes more pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions affecting workers, pensioners and the poor while Greece’s politicians, rich elite and tax heats have been relatively unaffected.

The embarrassing release came only a day after Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Nikos Pantelis asked for Parliament to be briefed regarding any politicians on list. Former minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, from Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives, whose name is on the list, said it was “disinformation” and “mudslinging” and declared via his Twitter account, “Neither my wife nor I have any offshore companies or foreign bank accounts.”


BURN AFTER READING

Not only Greeks but also name of foreign nationals are on the list – apparently having transferred money to HSBC from Greek banks. Hot Doc stressed that people on the list should not be considered tax evaders unless it is proved they did not pay taxes on the deposits.

But it said: “It is apparent that a large portion of deposits are not justified with the income of depositors. Proof is that most accounts were closed after the bank briefed on the data leaking.” Vaxevanis wrote that he had received the list content on a USB memory stick “by somebody” who wrote to HOT DOC that s/he “believed that the list has been misused for political and economic purposes for two years.”

The HSBC data were stolen by former bank employee Herve Falciani in 2007.  While countries like France, UK and Germany pursued tax evaders, Greece kept moving it from one place to another until Papaconstantinou said it was lost, and he blamed his aides and it became apparent that no politician wanted to get involved.

There was no immediate reaction from the government, which is rushing to finalize the new austerity plan and ram it through Parliament before a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers on Nov. 14 so that a pending $38.8 billion loan installment can be released.

The Hot Doc website stated:  “Our controls led to the conclusion that this is the list of Greek depositors to HSBC until 2007 when the leak started. So this list was identical to the Lagarde-List. But we cannot check if this is the (original) list received by Papaconstantinou or a list being formed later after the removal of some names in an potential attempt to hide evidence.”

Until now, one journalist said that he had no bank account abroad and a well-known lawyer declared that his family had transferred money abroad in the late 1980’ss to cover surgery expenses for a family member. Another journalist said he had no money abroad at that time, while a former New Democracy minister and his wife dismissed any connection to the list. While the Hot Doc list did not show how much money was deposited by each individual, that information was reportedly on the original list.

Read the original article here


7 Groups the FBI and Corporations Have Classified as “Terrorists”

Today you’ll hear the annual chorus of “we will never forget.” But we have forgotten. We have forgotten the uproar against the Patriot Act, which was passed in the middle of the night. We have forgotten that Guantanamo Bay was once treated as an aberration, which Obama promised to close. And we have forgotten what freedoms have been sacrificed in the name of an ever-growing threat.

As an illustration of that, consider these 7 examples of the types of people the government and corporations now routinely label as “terrorists.”

1. Undercover investigators. Corporations have lobbied for “Ag Gag” bills to criminalize undercover investigations of animal abuse. And U.S. Congressmen compare investigators to arsonists and terrorists.

2. Tim DeChristopher. As an undergraduate student, DeChristopher disrupted an illegal oil and gas lease auction by placing bids (when he knew he didn’t have the money). For his act of non-violent civil disobedience, he was sentenced to 2 years in prison. Politicians called him an “eco-terrorist.”

3. Muslim communities were disproportionately targeted in the aftermath of 9/11, and through surveillance, harassment, infiltration (not to mention physical violence) the attacks continue. This has become so institutionalized within law enforcement that they continue even when they have not generated a single lead.

4. Anarchists. In the Northwest, more than 60 FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided homes and subpoenaed activists to a federal grand jury. The warrants listed, among other generic items, “anti-government or anarchist literature.”

5. Animal rights protesters. The Center for Constitutional Rights is in court challenging a law called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which is so broad that it labels a wide range of First Amendment conduct as terrorism if it threatens corporate profits.

6. Anti-war and international solidarity activists. In the Midwest, the FBI raided homes and a political group’s office, and served subpoenas for a federal grand jury. The fishing expedition has been fruitless for the FBI, but it has brought together a broad range of groups opposed to the political attacks.

7. Journalists. The Counter Terrorism Unit has kept files on my work (including a book report!) and the work of other journalists critical of government counter-terrorism operations.

You know who is not on this list? Anti-abortion extremists who have actually murdered people.   [source]

A group of men is awoken sharply at four in the morning. Each one thinks to himself, “I wish I could sleep just a little longer.” Anyone not awake, on his feet and ready for morning exercises can expect a strike with a board in his stomach or groin, or some other punishment to be meted out later.

It is winter, and each man hurries to pull on his stiff and frozen boots. In summer, the smell of manure from the animals housed below permeates the loft where they sleep, but the cold weather keeps the aroma of the animals they live with at bay.

A war veteran leads forty-five minutes of grueling exercises, including two hundred pushups and one hundred fifty sit-ups. A quick two-mile run ensues, with each man carrying a staff or club. After the run, all the men file into the animals stalls to urinate–no one had wanted to waste even a minute of their precious sleep time getting up early to urinate before exercises.

They file into the warm house where their leader sits; he will lead everyone in prayer and their daily devotion to God. Many begin to nod off as soon as they are seated, but a jab in the ribs and the fear of being caught sleeping when they should be worshipping God keeps everyone on edge.

The women in the compound serve the men breakfast; and their leader sits as a commoner among them at the table, which is soon enveloped in raucous laughter. The shared hardships of their life bind the men in a camaraderie they all cherish.

Breakfast ends and the men file out of the warm house. All spend the next half-hour tending to the numerous animals. It is now 6:45 a.m.

Some will stay in the compound all day, tending animals, repairing buildings, and working in the fields. Most will leave the compound to hitchhike to jobs in the city or suburbs. The select few who own broken-down vehicles struggle mightily to stay awake as they drive. Each remembers that three of their members have already died from falling asleep at the wheel, and they are determined not to be the next. Each man struggles hour after hour with his friend and enemy, sleep.

It is five-o’clock in the afternoon and the men begin their trek back to the compound. The vagaries of their modes of transport mean some will arrive back as late as 6:30 in the evening. As soon as they reach the compound, they begin their work tending to the animals. Dinner follows for most, but some are fasting, they believe fasting will help bring them closer to God.

After dinner, the lieutenants have lists–lists of arduous work to be performed, and lists of punishments to be handed out for the previous day’s infractions. For most, their fate is assignment to a work crew, but others are not so lucky. One will be forced to run ten miles for the crime of not washing the goats properly before milking, another, five miles for failing to wake up on time.

Then it is out to the fields for more work. Each one secretly hopes it will be only work this evening–drudgery that may last until twelve, one, or two-o’clock in the morning. But tonight a meeting for worship and political instruction is called. Even though they revere their leader as a great prophet, inwardly, they fear him.

No one will admit it, but the hard labor is preferable to sitting in a meeting where they listen to lessons on their Holy Book from their leader, lessons and harangues that can last up to four or five hours. Individuals are singled out for criticism in front of the group. One is sentenced to forty lashes with a bullwhip. His crime? –wearing dirty socks to prayer.

Everyone struggles to stay awake. Finally the meeting ends at 1:00 AM.

The watch list is posted: eight unlucky men have drawn guard duty. The little sleep they have remaining will be interrupted by a twenty-minute guard duty between now and 4:00 a.m. Some wash before retiring, others fall filthy and exhausted into their makeshift beds.

A group of men is awoken sharply at four in the morning. Each one thinks to himself, “I wish I could sleep just a little longer.”

The foregoing is an account of what my life was for nearly four years, not in some Middle Eastern terrorist training camp but on a farm forty-five minutes from Cleveland, Ohio in the mid 1970’s.

Since leaving this fundamentalist Christian cult in 1977, I have spent considerable time and effort in gaining an understanding of how I could have been led to sacrifice everything, my time, family, money, and health, to follow a messiah into a living hell. The answers I discovered are dreadfully relevant today. It is the same way a terrorist is created to sacrifice everything to achieve his mad leader’s goals.

In order not to spread any more fear than already exists in our country, let me point out that while our group believed in a coming apocalypse, we did not subscribe to any notion of terrorism. We did believe we must be ready to fight a foreign invader and that our group would emerge as a holy remnant on the other side of a coming conflagration. While there are literally thousands of cults in the United States today, only a small percentage are of a paramilitary nature, and even fewer advocate terrorist activity.

Obstacles to understanding

“It is odd that despite their current widespread use and looming future importance, most of us know very little about our automatic behavior patterns. …Whatever the reason, it is vital that we clearly recognize one of their properties: They make us terribly vulnerable to anyone who does know how they work,” warns Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., in his landmark work, Influence: The New Psychology of Modern Persuasion.

There is a deep-seated and widespread denial of the reality that we all have behavior patterns that can be manipulated by others. An example of a milder form of this manipulation occurs in sales situations. How many of us have bought something that we really didn’t want or at a price that wasn’t really fair? Another more extreme form is what is termed thought reform or mind control.

It is a difficult concept to understand how one individual can manipulate another to such an extent that he will believe and behave in a manner that is harmful to him or herself and/or society. This article will attempt to explain this phenomenon. I have lived it.

When I give a presentation regarding my experiences in the cult, I am usually met with some version of the same question: “What was wrong with your own psychological makeup that you were vulnerable to manipulation?”

Pursuing the answer to this question diverts our attention from the core problem, the source of the manipulation.

Suppose I venture into a bad neighborhood and am beaten and robbed by a neighborhood thug. I may have behaved foolishly for walking in a dangerous area, but to concentrate on my behavior leads us away from our core problem: the neighborhood thug.

Dr. Louis J. West, a psychiatrist who studied thought reform for more than four decades states: “no single personality profile characterizes those who join cults. Many well-adjusted, high-achieving persons from intact families have been successfully recruited by cults. So have individuals with varying degrees of psychological impairment.”

We have missed what should be one of the most self-evident, looming lessons of history: that the millions of Germans who blindly followed Hitler could not have all been emotionally unbalanced or defective. The denial mechanism may work as follows: only defectives can be led and manipulated, I am not a defective, therefore I cannot be manipulated.

The denial that maintains that normal people cannot be taken in by a totalitarian system of belief was evident in the FBI’s mistaken profile of a terrorist recruit. Each was thought to be very young, without a family, poor, uneducated, and psychologically unstable.

However, the terrorists responsible for the September 11th disaster proved to be quite unlike the FBI’s profile.

It is this deep-seated denial that prevents us from understanding and countering the most dangerous trend of the 20th Century: the spread of cultic totalitarian governments and organizations that use thought reform or mind control.

The Charismatic leader

If we reject the notion that only psychologically defective individuals succumb to mind control, we must use a new model to explain what happens when ordinary people follow the leadership of a new messiah.

Rudolf Odom in his 1933 biography of Hitler, addressed the question; Does Hitler understand what he is doing? Meaning, does he understand how he is manipulating the people? He compared Hitler to a comedian or football player.

Ask the comedian how he makes people laugh and he probably has no idea. Nonetheless, he is very good at it. Likewise, the typical cult leader has an innate ability to manipulate and control people, and many couple this innate ability with a shrewd theoretical understanding of psychology to further entrap their victims.

Cult leaders may also use or appropriate long-standing thought reform methodology developed over decades or even hundreds of years that are embedded in the culture. Arkon Daraul in his Secret Societies: Yesterday and Today, describes in detail this centuries-old Arabic mind control system from which much of the modern terrorist thought reform system has evolved.

“These cults are led by a charismatic leader who actively anticipates an apocalyptic event that will purify the world. Often they invite altruistic killings to accomplish this,” said Professor Robert J. Lifton in his November 3, 1999 presentation of his book, Aum Shinryko, Destroying the World to Save It, to the Commonwealth Club of California.

Lifton further describes a cult leader in a 1989 introduction to his seminal 1961 work, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: “[The cult leader] tends increasingly to become the object of worship in place of more general spiritual principles that are advocated.”

Evidence of this phenomenon is the proliferation of large photos and statues of the leaders of totalitarian states. Osama bin Laden has certainly reached the status of worship. His photo is ubiquitous and in Pakistan it is reported that one in five boys born is named Osama.

The evil wrought by madmen serial killers Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, or Ted Bundy pales in comparison to what has been perpetrated by leaders skilled in manipulating ordinary men.

The great crimes of history were carried out by men convinced they were doing the right thing, or serving the only God, their world-view warped by forces outside themselves.

“If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities”–S.R. Krishnan

How does a cult leader ensure that his followers will carry out his wishes? The tragedy of September 11th provides us with some terrible illustrations of how the process works.

Unlike passengers on the other three hijacked planes, the passengers of flight 93, hijacked over Cleveland and pointed towards Washington, resisted their attackers.

Why?

Simply because they were in possession of a different understanding of their fate than the passengers on the other three planes. Through conversations on cell phones, the passengers of flight 93 understood they were going to die at the hands of their hijackers. Consequently, they heroically rushed their attackers, minimizing any additional loss of life. They were behaving logically based on their understanding of their situation.

The passengers on the other three flights did not resist. Until this point in history, most hijackings had ended in negotiations with minimal loss of life. Standard procedure was not to resist. These passengers were also behaving logically based on their understanding of the situation.

In similar fashion, the cult member’s world-view, not necessarily his capacity for judgment, is what is distorted and impaired. He behaves logically according to his world-view.

This is why the cult member can seem quite rational and capable of functioning in many levels of society, but the consequences of him following his conscience or world-view can be barbarous and insane.

When the cult’s world-view is successfully inculcated in its victim it does not necessarily need to be closely regulated and the desired behavior will follow. An example is the Nazis’ depiction of the Jews as sub-human. Once this view was accepted by a significant percentage of Germans, the anti-Semitic behavior of the populace logically followed.

Cult-ure

The totalitarian cult leader in a free society is faced with two tasks: recruitment of followers, and retention of followers.

Once a sufficient mass of people have been indoctrinated and support the leader, and political and police power have been established within the movement, those who continue to resist the mind control apparatus of the state can be dealt with through the physical power of the government.

In Nazi Germany, the remaining portion of the populace that had not succumbed to the mind control system was either cowered into submission through fear, imprisoned, or murdered.

Once the cultic thinking becomes pervasive in the culture, it follows that there are two types of members in the totalitarian system, those who are recruited into the system, and those who grow up in the system. The methods used to convert someone can be exceedingly complex, and space prohibits a detailing of all of them.

However, by examining someone who has absorbed the cult’s philosophy and world-view during their formative years, we will also encounter some of the principles used against the convert.

Travel is one method of becoming aware that human beings in every culture hold to beliefs that are quite irrational and bizarre. By doing some time-travel we can explore our own culture and see practices that were unquestionably wrong, but universally upheld at the time.

Before 1840, the notion that bacteria caused disease was unknown. Cleanliness with regard to medical procedures was considered unnecessary and the results in terms of public health were catastrophic.

Why did we tenaciously hold onto these quite mistaken notions?

There are two reasons: contradictory information was unavailable and this is the way everyone else thought. The tribesman who grows up eating roasted grasshoppers for a snack would be shocked at our spraying them with pesticides, and vice versa. So we all can grow up with some odd beliefs with absolutely no awareness of their irrationality, simply because they are accepted by our parents, community, government, or, in short, our culture.

One method a cult leader uses to maintain irrational beliefs is by ensuring that contradictory information is unavailable.

In a closed society, this is easier to accomplish than in an open one. In both open and closed societies, mind control measures instituted from the top typically present their victims with a plausible reason that attempts to hide the measure’s true purpose. When the state directs that citizens can no longer listen to foreign broadcasts because they promote the interests of the state’s enemies; the true reason is to ensure that no contradictory information is available to counteract the process of mind control.

For example Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership issued a “break your (TV) set now” ruling, claiming that television was impeding prayer.

In Nazi Germany from 1933 until the end of the war in 1945, the Hitler Youth, the bad-guy equivalent of being a Boy Scout, were bombarded with the message of how glorious it is to die for the Fatherland. The official title of Hitler’s elite military units, The SS Storm Troopers, was “The Order of the Death’s Head.”

Germany was steeped in a cult-ure of glorification of death.

Japan had the centuries-old tradition of the Samurai, from which the concept for the kamikaze suicide attacks evolved.

The parallels between the homicidal and suicidal nature of Nazism, Japan’s Samurai, and Islamic terrorist cults are not difficult to draw. Pakistan has numerous religious schools called madrasas, which Jeffrey Goldberg of the New York Times characterizes as nothing more than jihad factories, or schools of indoctrination.

The Islamic extremist culture is infused with the glorification of death.

One of the most difficult concepts for people to believe is that mind control can be maintained in an open society.

I physically left the group I was in for two years after being drafted into the Army. I returned to the group after my discharge. I still believed I was doing God’s will, and it made sense to return to duty with God, no matter how distasteful.

How is the control kept over the mind of the cult member even when he is not under the direct control of the group?

The adherent is taught to separate himself from the evil world, which typically translates to not socializing with non-believers.

Mass media is often portrayed as being co-opted by Satan, and so television, movies, magazines, and newspapers are avoided.

Though not the case with the Islamic terrorist sleeper agents, the mind control victim is often taught to evangelize friends and relatives so aggressively that he is either successful recruiting them or he alienates them.

There is thus no meaningful human interaction between the cultist and non-believers. The only contact with non-believers permitted is that which furthers the interests of the cult.

“Humans use logic not to solve problems in the first instance, but to check the work and put it in presentable order after the insight has been attained.”–Edmund Cohen

Something that has continually impressed me is the fact that highly intelligent people come to widely differing conclusions about all manners of things in life. There are intelligent Democrats and Republicans; conservatives and liberals; religionists of all creeds, atheists, etc.

The divergence of opinion regarding crucial issues suggests that reason and logic may play a minor role in how people arrive at their philosophies about life. This suggests that people have an emotional reaction or experience about an issue, and then go about finding facts and intellectual arguments to support that position.

The danger the cult leader represents is that he typically understands not only how to create an emotional experience for an individual, but also then how to go about wedding a group of facts and arguments to the emotional experience.

For example, Hitler carefully planned the Nuremberg rallies with lavish pageantry and torches, and understood the additional psychologically manipulative power they would carry by always staging them at night. The pageantry was then combined with Hitler’s charismatic delivery of the Nazi philosophy.

I will illustrate with a scenario that is similar to my experience in the Bible cult. Let’s suppose a person attends a religious service. A friend has invited him. The friend sits next to him and hopes that he will have the same wonderful experience he’s had at these services. The service is carefully calculated to heighten the emotions through music and ceremony. The leader may take the participants on an emotional roller coaster, first inducing euphoria and then guilt and shame. Healings and miracles might be part of the scheme, usually effected by either the power of suggestion, deception, or magic tricks. An invitation is made to surrender the will to a higher power and join this loving family. Prayer, shouting and emotion may ensue. There is joy; a new convert has been born into the group.

What we have now is a contrived emotional experience, almost entirely crafted and orchestrated by the leader of the group. The group now will strive to link the emotional experience of the convert to their doctrine and philosophy.

In the cult I was in, we were taught the importance of follow through with this new “babe in the faith.”

We had a set of Bible study doctrines that we were instructed to teach the convert, many of which purported to explain in doctrinal terms his experience. In order to cement the convert’s relationship with the group, the system proceeds to wed the doctrine of the group to the emotional experience of the convert. The cult creates the pseudo-spiritual experience, and then anchors its doctrine and cosmology to the experience they induced in their victim.

The emotional experience can be one that is contrived as pointed out previously, or it also can be a real-life scenario, such as growing up in poverty in a refugee camp, losing a relative to an act of violence, or fighting an oppressor, etc. The cult leader seeks to capitalize on that experience and wed it in the mind of his victim to the cult’s philosophy or doctrine.

In a normal environment, an individual may educate him or herself with additional information that supports his world-view and associate with others of like mind. We can call this an educational process.

However, what the cult strives not for education, but indoctrination.

In education, information is processed with the student’s understanding and consent, while indoctrination sneaks in the back door of the mind without its victim’s approval.

Those involved in the education of students are typically not threatened by opposing points of view; in fact, the classical idea of the university is to encourage and test competing theories.

But those who seek to indoctrinate do everything within their power to separate the cult member from information that is critical of their cause. Since it is not always possible to separate cult members from negative information about their group and philosophy, they are trained to effectively close their senses to any information that contradicts its philosophy.

A chilling example of this is related by Jeffrey Goldberg in a September 16, 2001 New York Times article, “Jihad spins out from a corner of Pakistan.” Goldberg was visiting a madrasa, a Muslim religious seminary where students range in age from 8 to 35. When Goldberg quoted passages from the Muslim Hadith forbidding the killing of women and children in a Jihad (an armed struggle), the students began chanting, Osama, Osama, Osama. The students then took turns defending Osama bin Laden.

This episode illustrated that when presented with an idea that directly contradicted everything they had been indoctrinated in, the tension became too great and they launched into thought-stopping chanting. They then went on the offensive with what were likely stock arguments they had been drilled on beforehand.

Cult leaders use many different techniques to indoctrinate their followers, including thought-stopping, rhythmic breathing, fear, sleep deprivation, supplying a deficient diet, repetition, charismatic leadership, peer and social group pressure, magic, isolation, guilt inducement, proselytizing, and revealed knowledge, among others. Most of these techniques work to place the mind in an altered state, a state wherein the victim is unable to critically process and filter information. In effect, these techniques are opening the back door to the mind without the victim’s awareness or consent.

For example, the cult leader might present rhythmic breathing as the path to better health, while the true purpose is to place his victim in a suggestible state for indoctrination.

How well do you think when you are angry, tired, or fearful?

The connection between the cult victim’s emotional experience and the group’s doctrine or philosophy is strengthened to a frightening degree through this multi-front psychological manipulation. This bond is far stronger than any tie that could be achieved through education and takes on a sinister power.

Remember that the cult member experienced an emotional event through his own senses. Now any attack on the philosophy is experienced by the cult member as the same as an attack on his personal experience. That the information perceived by his senses was wrong is difficult to believe and too emotionally painful to contemplate. The cult victim cannot and will not deny the experience he knows his senses have told him are real, so the linked doctrine stands like a rock, impenetrable to any rational argument.

This is why the cult member clings to ideas and arguments that are clearly illogical; any information that attacks his doctrine and threatens to prove it false threatens to prove his powerful experience false as well.

The war against self

In the previously mentioned Times article, Goldberg dispels some misconceptions regarding jihad: “‘Jihad’ is misunderstood in the West. It does not mean ‘holy war.’ It essentially means ‘struggle’ and there are two types of jihad: greater and lesser. ‘Greater Jihad’ is the struggle within the soul of a person to be better, more righteous — the fight against the devil within. ‘Lesser Jihad’ is the fight against the devil without: the military struggle against those who subjugate Muslims.”

The Biblical fundamentalist cult of which I was a member also had what they termed a war against self, or a war against one’s own ego.

One manifestation of this struggle was the treatment of women and sexuality. Women were required to wear ankle length dresses, have their hair covered, and were not to look anyone directly in the eye.

There was also a considerable amount of preaching advocating the suppression of sexual thoughts for unmarried believers, not an easy task for a group of people who were mostly in their early twenties.

In retrospect, I believe nearly every person there failed at this task of suppression, and probably experienced the same requisite guilt, fear, sense of failure, and self-loathing that I did.

The game is: convince people their natural impulses are sinful and then set them at war against their own personality and nature. The cult victim then continually works at suppressing his own “unholy” personality, and his self-doubt drives him to further surrender his will and judgment to his leaders.

The fundamentalist extremist Muslims are at work at the same game.

Women are required to dress in the burqas, clothing that obscures their face and bodily form. Men are warned of the dangers of looking upon a woman.

Evidence that the hijackers were in this sexual double bind is found in a story recounted by the Florida motel owner who had rented a room to some of the hijackers. The hijackers had complained about a painting in their room that showed an uncovered shoulder of a woman. They requested that the painting be either removed or covered.

However, after they moved in, the motel owner marveled at how often they were seen watching women in bikinis at the motel pool.

Each look probably filled them with guilt and a sense of failure, and perhaps renewed purpose and resolve after each lapse in morality.

Ironically, in what may be a deadly harnessing of the sex drive, the Islamic martyrs are promised in heaven what they are denied on earth: marriage in paradise with 72 beautiful virgins. In a fantasy that is the height of hypocrisy, they are rewarded in paradise with an orgy that they would roundly condemn on earth.

The foregoing does not represent the entire gamut of the mind control or thought reform process, but hopefully can serve as a framework to illustrate how these powerful forces can be used to enslave the mind.

Is there a way out?

There is a loose-knit association of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, sociologists, clergy, parents, ex-cult members, and most importantly, exit-counselors, which has studied and combated cultism and mind control in this country over the last three decades.

Exit-counselors assist those who are trapped in mind control cults, and understand how to break through the barriers of thought reform.

These individuals have stared in the face of totalitarianism and developed tactics to free minds from its grip. This expertise could be used to reach suspected terrorists our government has in custody and possibly transform them into useful sources of information.

In addition, the government and intelligence community can benefit from the other professionals who have studied this problem in helping to develop strategies for dealing with the cultic organizations in the Middle East.

The political situation we are currently in can be seen accurately through the lens of the thought reform and mind control models. And our leaders must develop a true picture of the forces arrayed against us in order to combat them more effectively.

Will this understanding allow us to avoid war or military action? Probably not.

But without a precise understanding of the psychological dynamics of cult leaders and their followers, our government’s actions may lead to disaster.

The government misread the situation with the Waco cultists. We cannot afford to misread this new threat. We must not turn Afghanistan or a Middle Eastern country into a Waco disaster. If we do, there will be dire consequences.

It is popular for those wishing to sound a warning to quote George Satayana when he said, “Those that do not remember history, are condemned to repeat it.”

We don’t have a problem remembering the events of World War II, but I do think there is a problem with comprehending how the minds of millions of Japanese and Germans were turned to mass murder, destruction, and suicide.

My warning is to misquote Satayana by saying: “Those who do not understand history, are condemned to repeat it.” [source]


Lawyer gets threats for defending gays

Yaounde – Cameroon lawyer Alice Nkom, who is known for defending gays and lesbians in a country where homosexuality is outlawed, said on Tuesday that she has been receiving death threats from anonymous callers over her stance.

“Since October 18, I have become the victim of anonymous death threats,” she said, adding that she has been warned to stop defending homosexuals.

“In the beginning, there were calls at 04:00 in the morning. Now they are sending SMSes,” she said, adding that she received the latest text message at 03:00 on Tuesday.

She said one such SMS read: “Lesbian whore, it’s your turn to suffer. Watch your back well as your security is very weak. We will give you a demonstration when the moment comes. No respite for gays in our country.”

Nkom said that the threats also targeted her children, but she vowed that they “cannot discourage me from my fight”.

 

– AFP

Ambam – Two women on trial in Cameroon for homosexuality pleaded not guilty on Thursday as their lawyers sought an annulment of the trial over alleged rights abuses.

“Not guilty”, said Esther, 29, and Martine, 26, whose full names are being withheld to protect them in a country where homosexuality is illegal.

The two are charged with “having intercourse with a person of the same sex”.

Their lawyer, gay activist Alice Nkom, asked the court in Ambam in south Cameroon to annul the case as investigators had failed to inform her clients of their right to legal counsel or to remain silent.

“Since this case began, we have been the laughing stock of our town. We are being treated as witches,” Esther told AFP on leaving the courtroom, which was packed with curious onlookers and supporters

“I do not see what they did wrong to deserve this,” onlooker Fabrice Ngningha told AFP.

But another passerby, who refused to give her name, said: “It is not normal that two women sleep together. They must be condemned, as an example to their children.”

Martine has two children and Esther one.

– SAPA

Liberia’s senate to consider anti-gay bill

2012-02-24 07:50

Monrovia – Liberia’s senate will consider a bill to strengthen the nation’s existing anti-gay laws, a senator said, as another West African nation, Cameroon, announced the arrest of 10 women suspected of being lesbians.

Cameroon Radio Television reported on Thursday that the 10 women are being detained in Ambam, about 300km south of the capital of Yaounde, until they go to trial.

Consensual same-gender sex is considered criminal in Cameroon and punishable by a jail sentence from six months to five years and a fine. Gay rights defender and founder of the Association for the Defence of Homosexuals, Alice Nkom, says detainees in Cameroon are frequently tortured in police stations to force them confess.

Meanwhile, Liberia’s former first lady, Senator Jewel Taylor, submitted a bill last week that would prohibit same-sex marriage and make homosexuality a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

“We are only strengthening the existing law,” she said. “Some media are reporting that I said anyone found guilty of involvement in same sex should face the death penalty, I did not say so, I am calling for a law that will make it a first degree felony,” she told the Associated Press.

The current law considers gay relationships a first-degree misdemeanour, which carries a punishment of up to a year in prison.

We are looking at it critically” and will put it before the entire Senate “during our next sitting on Thursday”, Senator Joseph Nagbe, chairperson of the Judicial Committee, told The Associated Press.

Wave of intense homophobia

If passed by the Senate, the strengthened bill would then go the House and then the president.

Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, has said she will not sign any such bill into law.

“Liberia is a member of the global community and therefore cannot kick against the rights of others to do what they choose to do,” said Archie Ponpon, chairperson of the newly-formed gay rights advocacy group the Movement for the Defence of Gays and Lesbians in Liberia.

Ponpon and his family have already faced hostility because of his fight for gay rights in Liberia. Weeks ago, his mother’s house was set on fire and he and another advocate, Abraham Kamara, were mobbed by angry students while campaigning at the University of Liberia.

“We will not relent,” he said. “People will come to the realisation that in this day and age, individuals should be free to practice what they wish.”

A wave of intense homophobia has been washing across Africa in the past few years, where homosexuality is already illegal in many countries.

“It’s getting worse,” Cameroon gay rights defender Nkom said of homophobia.

People accused of homosexuality are put in jail straight away” she told reporters in November after three men were each sentenced to five years in prison for homosexual acts.

Death threats

International rights groups, including Amnesty International, have frequently lambasted Cameroon’s homosexuality law, demanding its abolition.

But the authorities have turned a deaf ear to such requests. Last year, the government demanded and successfully obtained the withdrawal of grants allocated the Association for the Defence of Homosexuals by the European Union.

Nkom said she has received numerous death threats from fellow lawyers and Cameroonians, as well as a threat from the Ministry of Justice to dismiss her from the country’s roster of legal practitioners.

Contempt for homosexuals has led to anti-gay legal measures elsewhere in Africa. Last year, Nigeria’s Senate voted in favor of a bill that would criminalize gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays of affection. Two years ago, Ugandan legislators introduced a bill that would impose the death penalty for some gays and lesbians, though it has yet to become law.

In January, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said African nations should stop treating gays as “second-class citizens, or even criminals”. Ban told African leaders that discrimination based on sexual orientation “had been ignored or even sanctioned by many states for far too long”.

– SAPA

Uganda raids gay rights workshop

2012-02-15 07:53

Kampala – A Ugandan minister on Tuesday raided and shut down a workshop run by homosexual rights activists in Entebbe, Amnesty International reported, days after a draconian anti-gay bill was reintroduced.

The London-based rights watchdog said in a statement that Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo, also a priest, raided the workshop flanked by police and expelled its participants from the Entebbe hotel where it was being held.

This is an outrageous attempt to prevent lawful and peaceful activities of human rights defenders in Uganda,” Amnesty International said.

Ugandan police spokesperson Asuman Mugenyi said: “Gay activities are illegal activities under our law and our law has not been amended.”

Homosexuality is already punishable by life imprisonment in Uganda but a recently reintroduced bill proposes to toughen the law, notably by criminalising acts aiding or abetting homosexuality.

The bill, which enjoys wide support in the east African country’s parliament, initially envisioned making certain homosexual acts punishable by death.

But the bill’s author, MP David Bahati, said last week after an international outcry that he wanted to drop the death sentence clauses.

Gambia president will cut off gay’s head

2012-02-14 22:34

Banjul – Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday reiterated his stance that he would never accept homosexuality in his country, after recent pressure from abroad on African states to respect gay rights.

“We know what human rights are. Human beings of the same sex cannot marry or date,” Jammeh said while swearing in 15 ministers of his new government.

“If you think it is human rights to destroy our culture, you are making a great mistake because if you are in the Gambia, you are in the wrong place then,” he added.

In 2008, Jammeh gave an ultimatum to homosexuals to leave the country and vowed to “cut off the head” of any homosexual found in the Gambia.

In the west African nation homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, for men and women. Jammeh has threatened to introduce even stricter laws.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently told leaders at an African Union summit they must respect gay rights.

“If we Africans are to build our societies based on outside dictates and structure, our cultures based on alien cultures, we will be the losers,” said Jammeh.


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