Better Dead Than Gay

Four years ago, Alex de Koker, a South African proprietor of a farm he used as a “ranger training” camp, stood trial for the deaths of two youths who’d been in his care. De Koker, associated with a nominally Christian “white power” group long led by the notorious Eugene Terre’Blanche, seemed to be especially interested in turning “effeminate-looking” boys into men. It didn’t end well for these two:

Eric Calitz, 18, and Nicolaas van der Walt, 19, had both died after being enrolled at the Echo Wild Game Rangers camp, held on a farm near Vereeniging [South Africa]. Calitz’s family were initially informed of his death via SMS, and told that their son had died of a heart attack. Subsequently, the cause of death was changed to a seizure, and later, to dehydration. It was eventually revealed that Calitz had died from bleeding on the brain. Van der Walt, meanwhile, appeared to have been choked with a seatbelt.

De Koker emerged more or less victorious from the judicial proceedings: He received only a suspended sentence in Calitz’s death, and was not charged in Van der Walt’s demise, which was ruled to have been the result of a heart attack.

Now de Koker is back in court, made to answer for the 2011 death of another camper, 15-year-old Raymond Buys. This is what Buys looked like after 10 weeks at game rangers camp.

706x410q70Rebecca on Raymond Buys

Buys lay in intensive care for four weeks before he died. The teen’s parents had signed Buys up for the three-month Echo Wild Game Rangers training course in perfect health. When he was admitted to hospital 10 weeks later, he was semi-conscious and convulsing, with his arm broken in two places. There were burns and wounds all over his body. Buys was severely malnourished and dehydrated, and a medical report predicted that his chances of recovery were “virtually zero”.

What were his last months on earth like for Raymond Buys? His former tentmate Gerhard Oosthuizen, 19, testified that the 15-year-old was chained to his bed night after night. Buys was refused permission to visit the bathroom, and was forced to eat his own feces.

On one occasion, recalled Oosthuizen, after Raymond knocked over a container of detergent, he was made to ingest what he had spilled, and began vomiting foam.

Oosthuizen also testified, sobbing, that he saw de Koker and an employee, Michael Erasmus, electroshock Buys, who was naked and tied to a chair, his head covered in a pillowcase.

De Koker and Erasmus have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, child abuse and neglect, failure to provide adequate clothing, food, housing or assistance, and assault. The trial continues.

Mirror Images: In New Jersey, One Jackson Family Child-Abuse Case Foreshadowed Another

The case in our previous post, involving the alleged child abuse in the family of New Jersey’s John and Carolyn Jackson, has eerie echoes of another neglect story. It played out a decade ago. The 2003 events also took place in New Jersey; the evildoers were church-going, god-fearing folk who starved their adopted children; and their last name, improbably enough, was also Jackson.

From NBC Philadelphia:

Back on October 10, 2003, a neighbor found Bruce Jackson rummaging for food in a trash can in Collingswood, Camden County. Despite being 19 years old, Bruce weighed 45 pounds and stood only four feet tall. When police arrived, they found him disoriented, shoeless, cold, and extremely malnourished.

Police raided Bruce’s home where he was staying with his three brothers and adopted parents. Inside the home, [the officers] found 9-year-old Michael, who only weighed 23 pounds, 10-year-old Tyrone, who only weighed 28 pounds and 14-year-old Keith, who only weighed 40 pounds. Officials say the kids were eating uncooked pancake batter and wallboard to survive.

Police arrested their foster parents, Raymond and Vanessa Jackson [photo], charging them with 28 counts of child endangerment and aggravated assault.


Officials say during the time the four boys were starved, no one came forward, even though they were often seen in public. The parents often took the boys to the front row of their church [the Come Alive New Testament Church] in Medford, New Jersey. The family also often attended church picnics and the boys even sang for the church choir. Investigators say the parents claimed the boys were emaciated because of medical problems.

Raymond Jackson, 51, died of complications from a stroke a year and a half after his arrest. Vanessa Jackson ultimately pled guilty and was sentenced to seven years behind bars.

The case has its own Wikipedia entry, which, by the way, NBC’s David Chang appears to have plagiarized without credit or attribution.

[image via Wikipedia]

Did Hard-Christian Web Outfit WorldNetDaily Reflexively Defend Homeschooling Child Abusers? Kids Disciplined With Beatings, Thirst.

Two years ago, the hardline-conservative website WorldNetDaily (WND) took up the cause of Army Major John Jackson and his wife Carolyn, devout Christian homeschoolers who claimed they were experiencing terrible religious discrimination when they had their biological, adopted, and foster children taken away from them.

“It’s every parent’s nightmare,” WND said, taking the side of the parents despite allegations of harsh physical punishment for their adopted kids that resulted in bone fractures and severe dehydration.

For quotes, the site only used interviews with the Jacksons and their attorney, Grace T. Meyer, who is affiliated with the Home School Legal Defense Association. No one from the state or from child protective services made it into the WND article, nor did reporter Bryan Fitzpatrick consult children’s advocates or medical personnel; nor did he interview neighbors, or schoolmates of the children, or police officers. Fitzpatrick wrote he had called the child-protection agency and was told that no one could comment due to confidentiality rules — and that was that.

WND presented the Jackson saga as a case about civil liberties and freedom of religion.

Funny story: Yesterday, John Jackson surrendered to federal agents, following his wife’s arrest earlier that day at their home in Mount Holly, NJ.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement that the couple are guilty of

“…unimaginable cruelty to children they were trusted to protect. The crimes alleged should not happen to any child, anywhere, and it is deeply disturbing that they would happen on a military installation.”

The Jacksons are accused of engaging in a pattern of neglect and cruelty toward three children they fostered and then adopted, one of whom died in May 2008.

Like everyone else charged with a crime, they should be considered innocent until their guilt is established in court.


The U.S. Attorney’s office alleges that the Jacksons physically and mentally abused their adopted and foster children through beatings, breaking their bones, failing to get them medical help, depriving them of water, and training their biological kids to take part in the mistreatment.

After John Jackson was told by a family friend that one of the children had revealed the alleged abuse, he told his wife, authorities said. Carolyn Jackson then retaliated against that child with multiple beatings with a belt, authorities said.

The Jacksons told their three biological children not to tell others of the physical assaults because

…the punishments and disciplinary techniques were justified [they said], as they were “training” the adopted children how to behave. …

The Jacksons assaulted their children with various objects, causing two children to sustain fractured bones, for which the Jacksons failed to seek prompt medical attention, authorities also allege in the indictment.

The parents
also withheld proper medical care for their adopted children, withheld sufficient nourishment for two of the children, withheld adequate water from two of the children, and, at times, prohibited them from drinking water altogether, authorities say.

Another form of discipline was force-feeding the adopted children spicy or salty foodstuffs, authorities say. If true, it makes the alleged water-withholding a special kind of cruel.

The couple forced two of the children to consume food intended to cause them pain and suffering, variously including red pepper flakes, hot sauce and raw onion, authorities said. They also caused one child to ingest excessive sodium or sodium-laden substances while being deprived of water, leading to a life-threatening condition, authorities also allege.

According to NBC News,

…the couple even made one of their biological children stand guard to make sure the foster children would not be able to quench their thirst with water from the toilet. …

One child in the Jacksons’ care died in 2008, but details are sketchy. The Associated Press says that

The Jacksons weren’t charged directly with the child’s death but are charged with assaulting the child and failing to seek prompt medical care. The Jackson children are in the custody of New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families, the U.S. attorney’s office said. Kristine Brown, a spokeswoman for the department, said the one child’s death was determined not to be caused by abuse or neglect.

An apparently dormant website protesting the Jacksons’ innocence reports that Carolyn Jackson has a remarkable background for a suspect in this kind of crime.

Carolyn has a BS in Individual and Family Studies specializing in ‘at risk’ families.

It would be interesting to learn what WorldNetDaily, whose readers leapt to John and Carolyn Jackson’s defense two years ago, makes of the latest developments in the case. At present (early Wednesday morning), the site hasn’t reported on the Jacksons’ arrest and on the U.S. Attorney’s case against the couple.

UPDATE: Friday morning — two days later. Still nothing.

[image via NBC News]

Ex-Pastor Eddie Schauberger, Smooth-Talking Dad of 7, Adds Child Molestation to List of Crimes

Another one bites the dust:

Former Liberty County resident Eddie Shauberger, 58, has been arrested in San Antonio, TX, after being indicted by a Liberty County grand jury on two counts of sexual assault of a child.

Shauberger is the former pastor of Oak Island Baptist Church in Chambers County, Texas.


In May 2009, in a business fraud case, Schauberger was indicted for tampering with a governmental document; in August 2010, for aggravated perjury; and in September 2010, for engaging in organized crime.

A four-year-old article about him in the Houston Chronicle points out that

Although he has no seminary training and his only experience was as a deacon, Shauberger was picked over other candidates to become Oak Island’s pastor because of his stirring oratory, members said.

Shauberger continues to commute to the church from Liberty, where he raised his seven children and ran for public office [as a Republican] a dozen times. He lost each election — including his last one in 2002 for state representative — but never let that discourage him.

Amazing he didn’t get the job; between the mendacity, the fraud, and the propensity to fuck the weak and defenseless, he clearly has all the qualifications to be a successful politician.

[image via Beaumont Enterprise]

Some Problems With Theological Proof

Do you ever see an athlete publicly acknowledging the Lord Jesus after a losing game?

Doesn’t happen.*


Have you ever heard devout folk blaming god for an earthquake that killed thousands of people?

No dice — they’re too intent on praising the miracle of one or two victims getting extracted from the rubble alive, a week later. That’s right: Rather than take the thousands of innocents who got crushed and suffocated as compelling evidence that there is no (benevolent) god, they focus on the odd survivor as proof that there is.

But didn’t god create that earthquake in the first place?

It’s long been driving me nuts.

Let’s say you order the chef’s menu in a restaurant and are served an appetizer of dried nasal mucus in goat-turd sauce, a main course of soiled crusty socks cooked in a reduction of maggots, and a dessert that is actually a pretty good ice-cream sundae. On balance, would you call that a satisfying culinary experience?


Christians do it all the time. In fact, they rave about the celestial chef’s miracle sundae, while ignoring the torrents of revolting shit he unleashes on unsuspecting diners. The most they’ll say about the revolting shit is that they probably deserve and must endure it, because chef got mad at a few of the other guests (probably the two guys holding hands in the corner).

And after they’ve gobbled it all up, every last repellent lump, they insist that this chef is the best and only chef in the universe; and they pity others who don’t want the shit buffet; and they pray for them to come round and sample the divine fare.

The Godless Geeks website calls the god-is-good line of reasoning an “Argument from incomplete devastation.”

(1) A plane crashed killing 143 passengers and crew.
(2) But one child survived with only third-degree burns.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

While I’m at it, another one that exasperates me is the fallacious argument from tradition, which essentially holds that the Christian god exists because people have been believing in him for 2,000 years.

One commenter over at the Popehat blog came to a realization about that today:

I just figured out why the phrase “2000-year-old traditions” makes me want to punch an angel in the face. It’s not “2000-year-old traditions.” It’s “the traditions of 2000 years ago”.

A memorable thought.


*(Except for the idiotic but refreshingly consistent football player Steve Johnson.)

[top image via a corinthian; bottom image via]


Via ABC/WRIC, Richmond, Virginia.

All in the Family

In West Virginia,

A local pastor is behind bars for allegedly sexually abusing a young female family member over a period of several years.

Jonnie Franklin Winnell, 59, of Gypsum Lane in Elkview, is being held at South Central Regional Jail on a $20,000 property bond, according to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

Kanawha man jailed on sex abuse charges  - Cops and Courts - Charleston Daily Mail - West Virginia News and Sports -

Winnell was charged Friday with three counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian and/or a custodian.

Winnell is a pastor at United Gospel Mission on Charleston’s West Side.

[image via Charleston Daily Mail]

Preacher’s Sons Spread Jesus’s Love With Their Cocks; Brothers Molest Underage Church Girls

A former Texas youth minister, 29, is accused of molesting a teenage girl; and his brother, 24, who was once a volunteer at the same church, is facing similar charges — for getting jiggy and exchanging sex pictures with two other underage victims.

They procured their prey via the church.

All three alleged victims were 16-year-old girls whom the brothers met through Arapaho Road Baptist Church in Garland, TX. In one case, a girl told police she performed oral sex on one of the brothers in a church Sunday school room. Another of the incidents is alleged to have occurred during an off-site Bible study session with the other brother.

I wonder what part of the Bible they studied. Maybe it was Genesis 19:8, in which the holy Lot offers his virgin daughters to a crowd of lecherous rapists.


Joshua Earls, 29 [photo, right], who worked his way up from intern to youth minister at Arapaho Road Baptist, was arrested more than two weeks ago on a Garland charge of indecency with a child.

Jordan Earls, 24, a student pastor at his father’s church in South Carolina and former volunteer at the Garland church, was arrested in South Carolina and transferred to the Collin County Jail. He is charged with online solicitation of a minor in Collin County and indecency with a child and two counts of sexual assault of a child in Garland.

Investigators say there could be additional charges.

The Earls’ father, Bobby Earls, did not return phone calls seeking comment. He is the pastor at Northgate Baptist Church in Florence, S.C., where Jordan Earls was recently student minister. All references to Bobby Earls’ children have been eliminated from the Northgate Baptist website.

Of course, church members are shocked, shocked; the brothers are Christians.

“Both of them, as far as I know, wouldn’t do anything like that,” said one church employee. “They’re both solid Christian guys. It’s out of character.”

Yeah, it’s a headscratcher all right; we all know that it’s incredibly rare for Christians to do anything illegal or immoral.

[images via Dallas Morning News]

One Single NYC Church Is Worth Two Billion Dollars; Rector Rakes In Monthly Salary of $40K

A church rector with an annual compensation package of 1.3 million dollars?

Welcome to Trinity Church in Manhattan, whose assets, the New York Times revealed today, are valued at more than $2 billion.

The Episcopal parish, known as Trinity Wall Street, traces its holdings to a gift of 215 acres of prime Manhattan farmland donated in 1705 by Queen Anne of England. Since then, the church has parlayed that gift into a rich portfolio of office buildings, stock investments and, soon, mixed-use residential development.


The church funnels enormous chunks of that fortune into shelters and soup kitchens.

Just kidding. In 2011, Trinity Church earmarked all of three million dollars for “philanthropic grant spending” — less than 0.15% of its total worth.

It reported $158 million in real estate revenue for 2011, the majority of which went toward maintaining and supporting its real estate operations, the financial statement indicates. Of the $38 million left for the church’s operating budget, some $4 million was spent on communications, $3 million on philanthropic grant spending and $2.5 million on the church’s music program.

Then there are the earthly rewards enjoyed by the Rev. James H. Cooper, who has been the church’s rector since 2004. He gets a salary of almost $40,000 a month,

…which rises to a total compensation of $1.3 million [annually] when his pension and the estimated cost of his residence in a $5.5 million, church-owned SoHo town house are added.

The Times article details that the church board  — the “vestry members” — fight with the Reverend Cooper all the time

…over whether the church should be spending more money to help the poor and spread the faith, in New York and around the world. Differences over the parish’s mission and direction last year led nearly half the 22-member vestry — an august collection of corporate executives and philanthropists — to resign or be pushed out, after at least seven of them asked, unsuccessfully, that the rector himself step down.

One longtime vestry member who resigned last year alleges that Cooper was part and parcel of “a glaring atmosphere of deceit.”

Sounds like a den of vipers challenging work environment. One can only hope that Cooper’s compensation package makes up for the hardship.

[image via]

Little Preacher Must Gear Up For Big Lawsuit

James ‘the Giant’ Croft stands 3’10” tall. He’s a Southern Baptist evangelist preacher, and also a freshly-minted Baker County Commissioner in Florida.

It’s when Croft can’t keep those jobs separate that he appears to invite major trouble. The Florida Times-Union headlines its article about the reverend James ‘The Giant’ Croft preaches from two pulpits, and right there the scope of this little preacher’s big arrogance becomes apparent.

James _The Giant_ Croft preaches from two pulpits |

While he saves most of his preaching for the pulpit, Croft believes in applying Christian principles to government and occasionally quotes scripture during meetings.

“We need to be placed where we have influence on folks in a positive way,” Croft said. “If we don’t, everywhere we leave a vacancy, Satan will fill it.”

If Mr. Croft really wants to serve the people of Baker County, he’d do well to keep his beliefs out of the local government’s business. I’d sure hate to see his constituents — believers and nonbelievers alike — have to foot the legal bill when the ACLU or the Freedom From Religion Foundation remind the commissioners of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

‘Satanic-Stabbing’ Perp in South Africa ‘Drank From Neck Wound’; 10 Classmates Suspended

From the GlobalPost:

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A South African teenager was murdered outside Lukhanyo Secondary School near Randfontein by a fellow student, prompting allegations that it was a “satanic killing.”

Seventeen-year-old Kamogetswe Sefularo was stabbed to death in her chest, throat and abdomen by a 15-year-old girl who allegedly drank her blood afterwards, South Africa’s Eye Witness News reported.  A friend of Sefularo’s told her family that “the leader and the girl who did the stabbing sucked Keamo’s blood from [a wound] on her neck,” the victim’s brother Zali Nxabi told News24.

South africa satanic killing | GlobalPost

GlobalPost senior correspondent in South Africa, Erin Conway-Smith, says that  in the last few years in South Africa, there have been several murders of young people where “satanism” was said to be involved.

For example, there is a trial continuing in the murder of 18-year-old Kirsty Theologo who was doused with gas and set on fire in what was described as a satanic ritual.

Another example is the killing of a 6-year-old girl last month in KwaZulu-Natal province; charged in her murder is Wiseman Tholelani Shandu who is said to be part of a satanist group.

[image via GlobalPost]

Recidivist Faith-Healing Child Killers Will Do It Again, Says Their Pastor Approvingly; Claims That Kids Died Due To ‘Spiritual Lack’ By Parents

The Christian pastor who ministers Catherine and Herbert Schaible gives the couple a big theological thumbs-up for letting two of their children die through medical negligence.

The Schaibles lost one child in 2009, and another this year. In both cases, they declined to call a doctor for their ill offspring, choosing to rely on prayer instead.

The Rev. Nelson Clark, of Philadelphia’s First Century Gospel Church, told the local newspaper that the Schaibles are going to have to pray harder and truer next time, as the couple suffers from a “spiritual lack” that can only be remedied with more faith.

Clark [photo] was the spiritual adviser when the Schaibles’ 2-year-old, Kent, died from bacterial pneumonia in 2009, which led to a manslaughter conviction and probation for the couple. And he ministered to them last week when 8-month-old Brandon died, a case now being investigated by police.

In an interview with The Inquirer, Clark said God did not want the Schaible children to die. Instead, he said, the children died because of some “spiritual lack” in the Schaibles’ lives — a flaw they need to correct to prevent future deaths.

Joy105 – Spreading the Word!! – Second son of faith healing couple dies from no doctor treatment

“They realize they must get back to God, to seek wisdom from him, to find where the spiritual lack is in their heart and life . . . so this won’t happen again.”

There is no question Herbert Schaible would turn to prayer again if any of his six other children, whose ages range from about 8 to 17, fell ill, Clark said. Just as any First Century member would. “He would confess his sins and repent to God and ask for a healing touch,” Clark said.

The Schaibles would not call a doctor, even now, Clark said. “Oh, no,” he said. “That thought would never enter his mind.”

Other highlights from the Philadelphia Inquirer article:

• The church has 525 members, including many large, young families.
• First Century Gospel Church authorities counsel against college, because it is “fraught with drinking and immorality.” A “basic high school education” is OK.
• Herbert Schaible teaches in the church-run school — “all subjects except faith.” Only Pastor Clark teaches faith.
• The parents are not behind bars even now. They come to church faithfully, and the congregation has rallied around the Schaibles, Clark said. “They would do anything for Herb.”
• Pastor Clark seems less distraught by the likelihood of other congregants’ children dying for lack of medical care, than he is about the Schaibles’ remaining six children possibly getting placed in foster care with “nonbelievers.”

Because clearly, what those kids need most is more Christianity in their lives.

Previous Christian-faith-healing posts here, here, and here.

[image via Joy 105]