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Ear to the Ground

Baptist Do-Gooders in Trouble in Haiti

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Posted on Jan 31, 2010
youtube.com via AP

Laura Silsby, the American Baptists’ spokeswoman, comments in Port-au-Prince after 10 members of the group were detained.

Call it vigilante relief work or kidnapping, 10 American Baptists are in jail in Port-au-Prince after attempting to take 33 children out of Haiti in what they claim was an effort to “do the right thing.” —JCL

The Guardian:

A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in Port-au-Prince today after trying to take 33 children out of Haiti.

The church group, most of them from Idaho, allegedly lacked the proper documents when they were arrested on Friday night in a bus along with children aged from two months to 12 years who had survived the earthquake.

The group said they were setting up an orphanage across the border in the Dominican Republic.

“In this chaos the government is in right now, we were just trying to do the right thing,” the group’s spokeswoman, Laura Silsby, said at the judicial police headquarters in Port-au-Prince, where the Americans were being held pending a hearing tomorrow before a judge.

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By Fred Thomas, February 4, 2010 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t believe we are even helping this joke country.  Regardless of what people think about these 10 people we are the U.S.of A and we are there to help.  If we were not there this joke country would literally go under.  Yes, we are not the only ones there, however if you want to praise all the others there then let them do it alone.  But don’t take my troops, my medical crew, and my citizens away from OUR country that has its own needs and bring them to a country that is willing to incarcerate people for trying to help.  Last time I checked you don’t “look a gift horse in the mouth.”

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By Leefeller, February 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Lets see, if I had good intentions and went to another country with these good intentions, I guess I could consider myself to be a Crusader. These folks sound sort of like don’t ask don’t tell kind of people.

If I was judge, Jury and executioner, I would make them poke pins in Pat Robertson dolls, recite Voodoo incarnations and chase roosters.

Well, they could have been Catholics or even worse Methodists!

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By mjc, February 1, 2010 at 4:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I lived in Guatemala (another poor latin country with Christian adoption/kidnapping issues) the evangelicals were renamed “evil genitals”. Always rang true to me….

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By ThomasG, January 31, 2010 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

It would be better for the Baptists to set up their orphanage in Haiti for the children of Haiti.

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By samosamo, January 31, 2010 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

By samosamo, January 31 at 5:32 pm #

“These people should be arrested and jailed just because they
are baptists.”

That is what I said.

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By RTA, January 31, 2010 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Not one of you knows a SINGLE thing about the group in question, what their motives and intentions were and are…” -Maani

Are you kidding?  The group members have splashed their stated intentions all over the press!  They have admitted they did not obtain permission to take any of the children, that they were eventually going to adopt them out from the DR, and in their defense have only been able to offer “good intentions” and cites to scripture.  The “presumption of innocence” doesn’t mean we blind ourselves to the evidence, or in this case, what appear to be self-incriminating statements.

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By Maani, January 31, 2010 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

With the exception of Jeno, all of you failed one of the primary tests of your understanding of justice: that people are innocent until PROVEN guilty.  But not at Truthdig!  Here, the readers are judge, jury and executioner - and all the more rabid if it has to do with (oh no!) RELIGION!

Not one of you knows a SINGLE thing about the group in question, what their motives and intentions were and are, or any other fact except what you read in the MSM (which I thought was anathema to TD people!) - since that is where all the news thus far on this group and the situation has come from.

Nor are any of you apparently aware that MOST of the legitimate adoption and child orphanage groups in Haiti are run by…the Baptist Church!  Oh no!  Say it aint so!

Certainly there have always been, and will always be, SOME of those within a given group (in this case Baptists, or Christians) who give their particular group a bad name.  But the immediate willingness of some of you to broad-brush this against all Baptists - and even all believers - is despicable.

It may well end up that this group had less than honorable intentions.  If so, they deserve whatever they get.  But until there is solid proof that they had anything but good intentions, the knee-jerk reaction of those here to judge, vilify and condemn them says more about all of you than it says about them.

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By pulaski, January 31, 2010 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

The story interested me because I am a former Idahoan.  I tried to keep an open mind taking the Americans at their word as I began to read. When I came to Ms Silsby’s claim that the assumed chaotic state of the Haitian government precluded contacting Haitian authorities, nt up.

Silsby’s insistence that her group only had the best interests of the children in mind doesn’t make sense, it seems lame, untrue and stupid at best.

I’m glad the children are safe and the Americans are in jail.  Unfortunately the Haitian authorities will have to waste time and resources they can ill afford while seeking justice in this case.

I hope a journalist down there and Truthdig up here keeps on the story.

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By Arabian Sinbad, January 31, 2010 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

Yes, disasters and trying times have a way to bring out the best or the worst in humans, depending on their intentions and natural inclinations. While many of the people who came forward to help with money, medical services and equipment are indeed sincere in their compassion towards the Haitians, there are those opportunists who are fishing in troubled waters.

I read in some international news outlets that there are some Israelis in Haiti who are there on the hope of harvesting children organs for sale as some have done during the Israeli war in Gaza.

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By @murmur55 twitter, January 31, 2010 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe they just smelled an opportunity to spread their empty religious memeplex to vulnerable uninfected brains which is one of the main goals of religion. Monitor the #memeplexfrak at all times by those calling themselves religious. It is a killer.

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By Jeno Denuzzi, January 31, 2010 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How monstrous! Children who are most likely homeless,with the very real possibility of contracting any number of deadly diseases that are rife during disasters,such as cholera or typhus,nevermind outright malnutrition/starvation; and you heartless busybodies are quibbling over religion??! God have mercy!...,and I am NOT a Baptist(generic Christian!)

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By Xntrk, January 31, 2010 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

I was not going to comment, because I agree with most of the remarks so far. But then I read another article in Al Jazeera with a different photo than the one in the Guardian…

Neither photo shows poor sickly kids in need of emergency rescue. Rather, these children seem to be young adolescents or pre-adolescents, in good condition and health. The boys look big enough to work, and so do the girls. None of them appear to be the kids potential adoptive families are looking for: kids young enough to still be ‘cute’; and malleable enough to bring into a new environment with few problems.

My opinion is that this bus load of young Haitians looks like prime meat for the sex trade and pedophilia market. The “Do-Gooders” can deny criminal intent, and claim pure hearts and souls all they want. I think that is what most bad guys do when caught out.

Nor does the fact that 2 Preachers [1 Haitian], are involved impress me. Plenty of criminal activity hides behind the cloak of Ordination! Plenty of people have been abused and brain-washed by religious leaders, including James Jones’ flock. There are possibly 20 ‘legitimate’ off-shoots of the Baptists, and then there are the cults calling themselves Baptists. or 7th Day Adventists, or Mormons, or whatever…

World wide, more young people are Shanghaied and corrupted by Religious Leaders, than by the Humanists. Isn’t that how the Taliban operates?

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By samosamo, January 31, 2010 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

These people should be arrested and jailed just because they
are baptists.

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By Mike, January 31, 2010 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the Miss Things under arrest in Haiti has her resume being exposed around the Latino/Caribbean news and blogs since she’s advertised herself as a “personal shopper”.

The Pastors & cohorts rented a hotel in a nation whose headlines are replete with Christian organizations kiddy bordellos servicing pedophile tourists & what do these “don’t break up families” family values ilk say?

“they are doing the right thing”.

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By purplewolf, January 31, 2010 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

Gee, almost like the religious lunatics that stole Native children here in America from their families and put them in the Carlisle Indian schools only to turn the children into slave labor, prostitution and neglecting and abusing them if they did not assimilate to the white Christian-Judeo way of life. Only difference is time and place. No good ever comes out of children being taken by Christian religious groups for the sake of the child. They are as corrupt as ever using “poor children” to make themselves richer by soliciting funds they claim will take care of all the needs of these unfortunate victims and give these children the barest of necessities.They speak with shredded tongues.

Some out there will deny that religious organizations would be fraudulent in these situations, but people who have been sucked into thinking they are helping the victims have been victimized by these very same groups who claim they will see to it these children are helped. Been there, had it done to my family when we donated to some of these religious organizations. Never again.Do-Gooders my backside.

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By Brian Dykstra, January 31, 2010 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pat Robertson blames Haitians for their suffering for making a “pact with the
devil” two weeks later Baptists are attempting to kidnap young earthquake
victims. My god, my god, what you allow in your name. Lock them all up.

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By skulz fontaine, January 31, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Yeah, the Baptismos call it their ‘Hope for Haitian Harvesting Children Now’
project. Saving the ‘adoption jackel’ industry one little black child at a time. Jesus
would “adopt” a Haitian orphan. Sure He would.

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By Augie, January 31, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any world event causing chaos in nations, the US “adoption industry” goes into orgasmic thralls easily witnessed by any observer of their grapevine and network.

They’re not “doing the right thing”, they are doing what the US adoption “industry” does - grab kids before the dust is settled - to make money.

If these so called “do gooders” were concerned about kids’ they would have re-hydrated and fed them while reuniting families instead of spending buckets of $$ on a hotel in another country to set up shop.

Before the tides receded in the tsunami not long ago, the industry was cheering the financial windfall of available kids & again ...made NO “Christian Nation” effort to unite kids w/family. The adoption industry, online forums and adoption blogs were salivating moments after the tsunami became world news.

Post WWII and 1950’s they snatched tens of thousands of EU’s kids w/o ANY effort to reunite them with family in the “American Sectors” to sell them off to ‘adoptive’ Americans.

The result is another industry that birthed: decades of profits made off those who never lost hope for their ‘real family’ who spent decades trying to locate their stolen children and from the children trying to locate parents/siblings.

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By Thong-girl, January 31, 2010 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Rescue by Baptists, is the ultimate oxymoron.  They are now in the right place, Haiti prison, and hopefully will remain there forever.  This brings a tiny bit of justice for what these monstrous self righteous lunatics have done to countries stricken by poverty and American imperialism. I hope they get what they deserve.

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