Twenty-Five Years Later, Marilyn Van Derbur, Still Inspires Incest and Other Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

Crowning Achievement

By David Holthouse June 24 2004

This article is ten years old, but still very relevant, and it contains material I had never read before…

“The footfalls of a stranger in a distant hallway cause Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America 1958, to spring from a cozy chair in her living room like a cat shot with a rubber band.

“I’m just so uncomfortable having anyone I can’t see walk through the house,” she says, rushing toward the noise. “I just can’t help it. It’s old stuff. Old, old stuff, but it’s still with me.”

Van Derbur knows her fear is not rational. She knows the footsteps are those of a photographer, scouting the house with her permission for the best early-afternoon light. She knows she is safe. But she feels afraid, because the deep-down part of Van Derbur that is raw feeling, that still hurts, bleeds and dreads, does not hear the footsteps of a benevolent stranger, but the ghost of her father, padding toward her in felt slippers.


Her father was a rich and powerful man. His name was Francis S. Van Derbur, but his friends — and he had many — just called him “Van.” He owned mortuaries and made himself a millionaire.

He was a socialite, a philanthropist, a renaissance man who recited poetry from memory — and a rapist of children who violated his own daughter hundreds of times.

“Terror was my nightly blanket,” Van Derbur writes in her award-winning autobiography, Miss America By Day, which was published last year. “Many times he wouldn’t come to my room until close to midnight. Sometimes he wouldn’t come at all. The waiting, however, was every night. My father always wore a white terrycloth robe and gray felt slippers. I would listen so hard, I could actually feel my ears listening — like megaphones reaching out to catch the slightest sound. Many times I wouldn’t hear his felt slippers on the linoleum steps leading to my room but I would always hear the slow turning of the knob on my bedroom door and then the scuff, scuff to my bed.

Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur 1958

“The second I felt his hands on me I would tighten every muscle as tightly as I could, like a starfish does if you turn it over and touch it with a stick. I would shut my eyes; squish them closed until they hurt from squeezing them so hard. I wouldn’t open them again until he left. He usually stayed at least an hour. He pried me open night after night. Like a delicate piece of crystal smashed into concrete, my father took my belief system, my sense of self, my very soul, and shattered it into shards.”

Now 67 years old, Van Derbur is still picking up the pieces. She still has trouble sleeping, or feeling safe. She has automatic, descending steel security shutters installed to fit all the windows of her home, so that with a click of a button, she can transform her elegant Hilltop ranch into a modern fortress. She knows the footsteps belong to the photographer, but she has to see for herself. She tracks him down, and he poses her for the photo shoot in the entry hallway, near a framed front page of the February 15, 1964, edition of the Rocky Mountain News.

The top headline reads, “Cyprus Is Facing New War Danger.” Below the fold is this headline: “Marilyn Married in Mountain Retreat.” The story begins, “Miss America of 1958, Marilyn Van Derbur — now Mrs. Lawrence Atler — and her smiling bridegroom pose before a picture window framing a Colorado winter wonderland after a snowy Valentine’s Day wedding in the Indian Hills summer home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Francis S. Van Derbur. The wedding was scheduled in the Van Derbur’s mountain lodge at Black Lake, Colorado, but a snowstorm forced a change in plans.”

A photo shows 26-year-old Marilyn Van Derbur standing with her new husband. She is smiling. But she is not simply smiling; she is turning on the Marilyn Van Derbur all-American beam. She is radiating absolute innocence and wholesomeness. She is the girl next door, and she is perfect and happy.

Marilyn was five when her father started coming to her room at night

Marilyn was five when her father started coming to her room at night


Van Derbur still has that smile, and when she turns it on, the air smells of fresh-baked pastries, and all is right and good in the world for a moment — until she turns off the smile with unsettling ease.

When Van Derbur talks about child molestation, her demeanor is fierce, and her turquoise eyes burn with a natural-born warrior’s zeal for battle. She rattles off shocking statistics like this: “One in six boys and one in four girls are sexually violated before the age of eighteen in this country; fourteen-year-olds comprise the greatest number of sex offenders of any age group. If those statistics don’t frighten you, you are in total denial.” Or sums up the feelings of victims of child molestation like this: “We stay shamed by acting ashamed, when we have nothing to be ashamed of. Together we must say to every violator, ŒThe child may be mute today, but someday the child will speak her name and your name. The children will speak every single name!'” And as she says these words, her eyes shine and her face hardens. But the second the camera is pointed her way, she turns on The Smile, and angels sing while the shutter clicks.

On her wedding day, Van Derbur wore The Smile like a mask as her father led her down the aisle. She wore The Smile on stage in Atlantic City, along with Miss America’s sparkling tiara balanced atop her flawless hair and the winner’s sash draped over her strapless, snow-white gown. Her father commissioned a portrait of Marilyn in that pose, wearing that costume, and he hung her wearing The Smile, captured in oil paint, over the white sofa in his office. The Smile also starred in a Parade magazine cover story that ran a few weeks after she became Miss America, in which her parents made this joint statement: “Marilyn’s 35-25-36 figure didn’t come by accident. She fought for it, by skiing, swimming, playing tennis and riding horseback. Sports gave her self-assurance, poise and vitality. Those qualities clinched the title for her.” When the reporter compared their daughter to Princess Grace of Monaco, her mother countered, ”Actually, she is more like a queen.”

Today, Marilyn Van Derbur will not refer to her mother as her mother, only as “the woman who gave birth to me.”

“She was not my mother; I did not get a mother,” she says. “Real mothers protect their young.” Van Derbur believes her mother knew all about her father’s nighttime predations, yet did nothing out of fear of damaging their image as the perfect Denver family and of falling from social grace, of losing face and position.

“If my father came into my room one night a week for thirteen years, that’s 676 nights,” Van Derbur writes in Miss America. “One night is my most vivid memory. My father had come into my room that night later than usual…around midnight. I was awakened by feeling his hands on my skin. He had been in my room for at least thirty minutes when we both heard footsteps. We hadn’t heard my mother on the carpet walking down the long hallway but the second she stopped on the top linoleum step, we heard the click of her shoe. She always dressed for bed in a light pink or blue negligee and dressy slippers with leather heels.

“Click. She was on the first step. Then slowly, very slowly, click, down to the second step. Then even more slowly we heard the third click as she stepped down the third step. My door was less than six feet away. Finally! My mother was coming. Finally it would be over. At the sound of the first click, my father had frozen. I had frozen. We remained motionless…It was a dramatic moment in time when each of us knew what the other was thinking. Then we heard another click, but she wasn’t coming to save me, she was going back up the steps. She knew.

“There was never any doubt in my mind after that night that she knew. She walked away from me, back into her perfect world — a world in which she was admired, respected, and charming. I knew she would never come back, and for the hundreds and hundreds of nights remaining she never did.”

In 1978, when she was forty years old, Van Derbur confronted her father. “I was absolutely terrified,” she remembers. “I told him that what I was telling him was the most difficult thing I had ever done, and he said, ‘Just a minute,’ and climbed up the winding staircase, two steps at a time, to his room on the second floor.”

She knew he was going to get a gun. He came back downstairs and then listened to his daughter in silence for twenty minutes as she told him what she remembered and how it had damaged her. He did not deny anything. He said, “‘If I had known what this would do to you, I never would have done it.”

Then he pulled the gun from his pocket and said that if she had threatened him to go public with her accusations, he would have killed himself, right then and there. She felt an implicit threat in this statement. “I sensed that he would have shot me first, then himself, and I know he would have done it,” she says. “He was that cold.”

Van Derbur and her father never spoke of incest again. He died in 1984, and one year later, when Marilyn confronted her mother, “Bootsie” Van Derbur refused to accept as true the accusations her daughter made against the late, great Van.

“Deep, heaving sobs took over,” Van Derbur writes. “I remember the thoughts I had, as I tried to control myself so I could try to form words. ‘Why is she just sitting there? Why isn’t she holding me? Comforting me?’ I don’t remember what words I spoke. I do remember knowing that when I said two specific words she would get it. ‘Daddy. Bedroom.’ Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. She was sitting straight up in her chair with her arms folded across her chest, and she said, ‘I don’t believe you. It’s in your fantasy.'”

Four years later, while her mother was still alive, Marilyn Van Derbur went public with her story. The Atler family had donated $260,000 to establish the Kempe Adult Survivors Program at the Kempe Center, the Denver-based organization that’s a world leader in the prevention and treatment of all forms of child abuse, including sexual abuse. And in May 1991, Van Derbur agreed to give a speech at the ceremony celebrating the new Kempe program.

After she won the Miss America contest, Van Derbur made a good living on the lecture circuit. She was the only woman hired by General Motors to travel the country, giving inspirational lectures as part of the automotive giant’s guest-speakers program. She also had hosted more than twenty network television specials and was the spokeswoman for the popular AT&T Bell Telephone Hour.

But as she approached the microphone at the Kempe ceremony and looked out at the audience, which included a newspaper reporter, Van Derbur knew she was about to make the most difficult and profound speech of her life.

“Tonight I break my silence,” she said. “That means shining a bright light into the blackness where my ‘nightchild’ has been hidden for so many years. It means speaking the unspeakable word. Saying the specific word that I was never able to say — not to my husband or daughter. Saying the ugliest six-letter word in the English language. The word is ‘incest.'”

She spoke of how her childhood and adolescent personality split in two, how she “disassociated” into a “daychild” and a “nightchild.”

“During the days, no embarrassing or angry glances ever passed between my father and me because I had no conscious knowledge of the traumas and terrors of the nightchild,” she explained. “But the more degraded the nightchild became, the more the daychild needed to excel — from the University of Colorado’s ski team, to being a debutante, to graduating Phi Beta Kappa, to being named Miss America. I believed I was the happiest person who ever lived.”

Only the youth pastor at her church sensed her dark secret. When she was 24, he punctured the barricades that she had built in her mind, and the truth spilled out. She also told the love of her life, Larry Atler, whom she’d repeatedly pushed away. And then she began to work on her public-speaking career at a crazed pace, allowing no time to deal with all the memories that were coming to the surface.

“Even with medication, I could not allow deep sleep,” she told her audience. “Beneath my closed eyelids was another set of eyes, always open, always aware of any movement in the room. Nor did my ears sleep. The slightest sound was petrifying. Every night of every week, of every year, I could find no peace, because almost every night at precisely 2 a.m., I would awaken in terror. I sensed that a man was entering my bedroom. I could feel his presence. Too terrorized to move, I would lie there until morning, unable to go back to sleep. For 33 years, the black hours were endless.”

In the mid-’70s, Van Derbur said, she returned to Denver after a successful speaking engagement and felt a compelling urge to lie down, “as though my body were being drawn down by a huge magnet.” She lay in bed like a dead person in a casket, stricken by a paralysis that would afflict her sporadically for the next decade. Looking back, she realized the onset of this paralysis coincided with her only child, her daughter, turning five — the age Marilyn was when her father began to come into her room at night.

“In 1984, when Jennifer began entering puberty, I became completely dysfunctional,” she said in her Kempe speech. “At the height of my career, having recently been named the Outstanding Woman Speaker in America, my life was stopped. From 1984 to 1989, there were many times when I thought I would lose my mind…. In deep despair, I was often dysfunctional for long periods. I looked upon death as peace — as a release from a mind and body that could no longer contain the agony.”

This was the reason she was helping found the Kempe Adult Survivors Program, she said.

“This program will help families understand how they can help the healing process. When a good friend of mine knew I would be speaking here tonight, she said, ‘Why do you want to ruin your father’s reputation? Write an article and do it anonymously.’ This was my father’s greatest weapon. He knew I would never tell. It has been thirty years since I consciously learned of my nightchild, but I say to my father tonight, ‘You were wrong.’ We must say to every member of our society: If you violate your children, they may not speak today, but as we gather our strength and stand beside them, they will, one day, speak your name. They will speak every single name. It is not my father’s reputation that I seek to destroy. As difficult as this is for most people to understand, myself included, I loved my father. It is innocent children and mute adults that I hope to help free. If I cannot speak the truth with my father dead, how, dear God, can we expect a child to speak?”

Van Derbur’s revelations made national news, and she began a second successful public-speaking career, this one as a high-profile survivor of childhood sexual abuse. But not everyone in her home town respected her decision to bring down her father. Rocky Mountain Newscolumnist Gene Amole, who always began his columns with a one-word declaration, started his take on Van Derbur’s speech with “Assassination” and ended with this: “What this really boils down to is one person’s word against another’s, or as in Marilyn’s case, her word against her father, who is dead and cannot respond.”

110504095833_05-04-11-van-derbur(Actually, one of Marilyn’s three sisters had already come forward to corroborate her story and reveal that their father had victimized her as well.)

Amole’s column coaxed readers to remember all the good things Francis Van Derbur had done, like give lots of money to worthy causes, including the Boy Scouts. For the next three years, Van Derbur and Amole dueled. In September 1994, Amole wrote a column that was an open letter to her.

“Dear Marilyn,” it began. “You have been demonizing me in your appearances for three years and I have said nothing. At one point, you suggested I was part of an ‘old boy network’ protecting men who commit incest. You even bad-mouthed me when you met with state legislators. You are angry because I suggested that some cases of repressed incest memory may be bogus…Why is it, Marilyn, if you hate your father so much, that you cling tenaciously to his name? Why aren’t you just Marilyn Atler instead of Marilyn Van Derbur Atler? You know what I think? You thrive on notoriety to feed your ego. You love the spotlight. In your heart you still hear Bert Parks singing, ‘There she is, Miss Amer-i-ca.’ I have watched your testimony of sexual abuse several times. Not long ago I had a sleepless night and went downstairs at 3 a.m. to zap through the TV cable channels. There you were on one of the public-access channels, clutching your doll and talking about the ‘daychild’ and the ‘nightchild.’ I’ll give you this, Marilyn, you do a dynamite show. You look like Saint Marilyn with that beatific expression on your face. I am sure you have helped some women confront their incest experiences and you deserve credit for that, but now it is beginning to look as though you are no longer helping. You are exploiting. You went public with your repressed memories after people forgot you were Miss America of 1958. You weren’t getting any invitations to make your motivational speeches. And then all of a sudden, BINGO, incest! You were in People magazine and on network television. You were a celebrity again…. But there is so much more to living than being a professional victim. Get a life, Marilyn. Get a life.”

[Alethea's notes: I have had similar words said to me by some of my readers. I am happy to know it is not just me who people have attempted to demean. I feel better knowing that even people like Marilyn, with an excellent reputation, who are upstanding well-known citizens, and who have had crowning achievements, and done public speaking to help others, can also experience people who wish to try and belittle them]

By that time, Van Derbur was indeed a celebrity again. In the early days of e-mail, she was receiving mailbags full of letters every day, most from survivors of childhood sexual abuse. (Since going public, she has corresponded with more than 8,000 of them.) She was back on the lecture circuit, and survivors were lining up for hours to talk to her after her speeches.

“A lot of them want me to be their mother,” she says. “I tell them, ‘I can help you, and I can be in your life, but I can’t be everything you want me to be.'”

At the end of a speech, Van Derbur asks all survivors in the audience to silently stand. Some people always do. “I ask survivors to stand because it was standing in the light that changed my life forever,” she says. “When newspaper reporters took me forward, I was standing in the light. Within a period of two weeks, my shame was gone.”

In 1992, Van Derbur spoke at the University of Colorado Medical Center before an audience of about a hundred doctors. One of them was Fred Mimmack, a respected psychiatrist and teacher at the center who’d practiced medicine in Denver for more than thirty years and was then in his late fifties.

“When I asked survivors to stand, this man stood, and it just sucked the oxygen out of the room,” Van Derbur recalls. “He was in the third row, and he was about 6’4″, and he didn’t look left or right, he just stared straight ahead, and all I could think of was this lone pine tree standing erect in a storm. He didn’t know several others were rising behind him.”

Remembers Mimmack: “I was not prepared for what she did, but it took almost no thought for me to stand. It was the truth, and it was a relief to say it by standing. There is a Spanish proverb which says, ‘A life lived in fear is half a life.’ A life lived in shame is half a life as well.”

Van Derbur still speaks in public often, most recently to the national convention of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, which was held in Colorado earlier this month to coincide with a national gathering of Catholic bishops in the Denver area.

“I opened by saying that they are the ones who brought the horrors of sexual abuse into the consciousness of America and, indeed, the world,” she says of her keynote address to SNAP. “Many not only had the courage to come forward and speak publicly, they had the courage to take on the Catholic Church! I knew their stories, their struggles. I also knew that many of their survivor friends had committed suicide and that they are still grieving. It was a very powerful morning for me. All survivors are in their debt.”

Last year Van Derbur self-published Miss America By Day, subtitled “Lessons Learned From Ultimate Betrayals and Unconditional Love.” The book spent thirteen weeks in the top ten of Colorado’s non-fiction bestsellers list, which tracks statewide sales of all books published in the country, and in May it won first place in the prestigious Writer’s Digest awards as the Most Inspirational Book published in 2003.

Though printed under one cover, Miss America By Day is really two books disguised as one. The first is Van Derbur’s autobiography, a survivor’s tale. The second is perhaps the single best clearinghouse of meticulously sourced information on the pervasive evil of childhood sexual abuse in this country, as well as a “how to” guide on how to talk to children about inappropriate touching by those they know: their siblings, coaches, priests, babysitters and fathers. (The vast majority of sexual assaults on children are committed by family members or acquaintances, not strangers.)

“We are just now beginning to come of age with this problem as a society,” Van Derbur says. “It would never have entered our minds thirty years ago to worry about our kids at camp.” It is a few days after the death of former president Ronald Reagan, and she holds up that day’s USA Today, in which Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, reveals that he was sexually abused by a camp counselor when he was a boy. “It’s like Maya Angelou says: ‘We did what we knew. When we knew better, we did better.'”

Almost fifty years after the terror ceased for the nightchild, Marilyn Van Derbur’s doing better.

“The truth was devastating to me,” she says, “but it did set me free.”

And then she smiles.”



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Miss Pennsylvania -Miss USA Contestant- Was a Product of Rape

Miss USA Contestant Addresses Sexual Assault as a ‘Child of Rape’

“Sexual assault awareness has gained a new and unexpected voice in Valerie Gatto, a Miss USA contestant who describes herself as a “product of rape.”


The 24-year-old marketing consultant told NBC’s the story of her mother, who became pregnant at age 19 after she was raped at knifepoint.

“Being a child of a rape, not knowing who my father is, not knowing if he’s ever been found, most people would think it’s such a negative situation,” Gatto told TODAY. “I believe God put me here for a reason: to inspire people, to encourage them, to give them hope that everything is possible and you can’t let your circumstances define your life.”

Gatto first learned of the assault when she was in the third grade and began to ask about her father. Her mother responded, “Something bad happened to me. A very bad man hurt me but God gave me you.”

Gatto’s message focuses on ways potential victims can reduce their risk of an attack: “I hope to show others how to be proactive, what to do, to be present, to be aware of your surroundings, little things like that,” Gatto told TODAY. The comments put her in the middle of the national debate about how best to prevent sexual assault. Campuses across the country are putting in place buddy systems and other safety measures, but many advocates for sexual assault survivors avoid emphasizing how women can avoid sexual assault because they believe that approach places too much responsibility for an attack on the victim and doesn’t take into account the fact that most know their attacker.

“I’m not sharing this story for publicity. I’m not doing this for any selfish reasons,” says Gatto, who will compete in the Miss USA competition on Sunday. “I truly am doing this to change the world and make a difference.”


Valerie’s mother never considered having an abortion. I hope this is an inspiring story for many women, who might have chosen a different path for an unexpected or unwanted child, or one that was a product of rape or incest.

Jaycee Lee Dugard’s children are another inspiring survival story of love.



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The Keepers of the Lie

This was published a year ago, but it is timely and needed again for many people…

“We are only as sick as our secrets” ~unknown

Something is happening within the soul of a number of people I know, or who read my Blog –people who have been sexually abused as children, have grown deeply tired of the secrets, the lies, and especially being a lie to themselves by not speaking up to those who have abused them.

Sixteen years ago, I wrote my mother the letter that I never thought I would have the strength to write, much less send.

Sixteen years ago, I mailed the seven-page letter and I did not die.

Sending that letter was one of the most healing and strengthening moments of my life, and to be able to tell my mother that I remembered the incest, and that she did not stop it, and to continue healing without the validation from anyone in my family, was deeply empowering for me.

When I told my mother it set me free, and although she will never consciously know it, I know my letter also helped her soul.

More importantly, when I revealed the deadly secret, it began to set the little one inside of me free because she was finally able to tell.

If a previous victim of incest or child sexual abuse (or even physical abuse) decides they cannot stand keeping the secret anymore, or carrying on with the family functions and phone calls without speaking the truth, I want them to know that it does not violate the law of love if you intend no harm, but only wish for the false interaction with the family to end. Lying to yourself helps no one. Pretending only helps them, and will probably keep you sick.

It was very painful being attacked by the keepers of the lie, as I call them –the people I thought loved me.

I would rather be alone than with people who want to cover up a dirty secret with superficial pleasantries and family make-believe. I prefer animals, nature, and the love of my husband. Animals are especially good company because they do not lie. They are true to themselves, and they do not judge me, or demean me. Animals don’t viciously attack me with personal insults, or cut me out of their life for personal, selfish gain.

I find nature to be extremely healing, forgiving, and ever giving –in spite of what we humans do to nature and the earth, the earth continues to sustain our life and provide us with what we need to survive.

So do I prefer the company of nature and God’s furry creatures over human companionship….absolutely. Do I prefer it over the relationship with my blood relatives? You bet!

“Thank you for sharing your story. You have done what I am trying to do. I want to tell my parents and sister about the abuse, but it is hard. I am afraid of what their reaction will be. I will try to draw courage from you because telling takes more strength than I ever realized” ~A survivor

It does indeed take more strength than we ever realized. But having gone through what I did with my family, and using that experience to help others has given me more joy than any phone calls riddled with false-harmony under the guise of superficial pleasantries –more than any Christmas get-togethers (where everyone gets on eachother’s nerves anyway), and certainly more than catering to the comfort of my family by pretending the incest never happened.

I know in my own flesh, blood, and body how badly it feels to speak up and to be cut off. This is the fear every adult survivor has when they contemplate exposing the family secrets.

But I would do it again in a minute, and that is what must be understood.

I cried deeply when I realized there was no real love for me from my sisters to begin with, and it took me about another decade of healing before I finally became strong enough to wake up and realize that my mother never loved me, has never felt empathy for me, and resented me for being born.

But after “mourning” the death of the illusion that my family really loved me, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, threw my shoulders back, and decided that I needed to move on without looking back.

In spite of the excruciating pain I endured when I let the secret out, I would do it again. The family members who want to live the superficial life they have created cannot silence us with denial. Speaking out was the best thing I could have done for my inner child. She was crying out to be heard, and I gave her the chance to finally speak up after thirty years.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,....evil continues

Speaking out for me was especially difficult, as well as simultaneously healing, because as a child I was threatened with death with knives, being hit over the head with blunt objects, locked in closets, and punished for the times that I did try and call someone outside the home.

Speaking up and being cut off was just like a death. When one of my sisters threatened, ‘If you tell I will cut you off,’ it was similar to “If you tell I will kill you.”

I had to be strong and not let them break me. Though, I am thankful to those sisters for putting me in touch with what so many victims and survivors go through with family backlash. I could now see why so many people back down from their truth out of fear –fear of not being accepted and not being loved, but I found my strength in the middle of chaos.

I have transformed the pain of being cut off, and the anger at the injustice, into something else. I have turned it into a strength I never knew I had, and will continue to use that power to help others.

Victims and survivors are given the signal “We will only love and accept you if you don’t speak up.” The power of silence is strong, but the power of speaking up is stronger.

It was worth it. The pain I am going through of what my family is doing to me does not matter. In fact it has made me stronger. My sisters have put me in touch with the reality that many survivors face, the denial, anger, hateful words, being called a liar. ~Alethea’s journal 1998

In my family silence was the law, and I broke that law. I would not tolerate pretending nothing ever happened between my father and me. I would not cooperate with the system of denial any longer.

I was sick to my stomach for a week after receiving the ugly family backlash fifteen years ago, but I refused to allow their ugliness to affect me in a negative, self-pitying, shameful, guilt ridden way. I transformed the guilt into something else –a drive to help others find their voice, and to use use their voice in spite of their fear, and in spite of what could happen when they do.

Family members create a fantasy reality world and nothing can penetrate it. One survivor wrote to me, “I think there was a class in their days in school DENIAL 101, and there also must have been a secondary class PERFECTING DENIAL (DENIAL 101 PRE-REQUISITE)”

Another survivor wrote to me, “In my 40’s I wrote a long, frank letter to my father. In it I mentioned a recent suicide attempt and the efforts I was making to dig myself out of the hole.A few weeks later, I got a reply:

“Dear ___, We got your long letter. The weather here is really nice this week…”

Once the secret is out, we cannot cannot expect a healthy response from unhealthy people.

Nearly all of the family members in cases of hidden child sexual abuse and incest, are psychologically dysfunctional, so their responses will most likely also be unhealthy. If the sexual abuse, or incest, is revealed in a letter, some people may never receive any response at all. 

Those who do not respond are protecting themselves from the truth. People don’t like to see, or hear the truth that threatens the system of what they have created as “good.”

Others have to work out their own issues, in their own time, and in their own way. We each have our own timing in life. For siblings, there may be such deep pain about them also being abused, that they are not willing to face it, so they will not be able to face your abuse either.

If an abuser, or the mother who protected the abuser, does not admit anything, it often means they are unwilling to face their own shame, or fear being indicted for a crime.

When I first came out with the abuse to my mother, I wrote a letter to Marilyn Van Derbur. She wrote back to me, “denial is a given in incest families.”

To anyone who has recently spoken out, and who was denied truth:

In my own family, and in talking with many survivors, and doing much reading from others, there is rarely the confession, acknowledgement, regret, apology, or even slight admission that would bring us the small amount of peace that a small grain of truth would bring. What is important is that you were able to break through fear and discomfort and SPEAK what needed to be said, what was long overdue, and what their soul needed to hear. The soul knows the truth, and even if they denied and if they lashed out at you, or if it got ugly, the most important thing is that you used your voice and spoke the truth to them….and they know it…inside. You stood up for yourself. Pain now, but strength will come from this. When we remain silent, they hold our power. You took your power back.

LOVE and PEACE, you are awesome.~Alethea

Please also read my series, Voices from the Bedroom


Posted in Child Abuse, child molestation, child sexual abuse, Crime, Denial, Headlines, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

In Order To Eradicate Disease of the Mind and Body, People Need To Heal the Diseases of Their Soul

In January of 1994, my life ended. I was thirty-two years old.

Up until then, I was healthy, physically active, and had no physical or mental diseases.

This all changed when I suddenly came down with a long list of frightening physical problems, and psychological issues. I also developed  a terrible case of shingles, which is a virus of the nervous system, and can be quite serious.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome)

After a year of endless physical suffering and so much fear that I used to lay awake at night shaking in my bed, three different doctors diagnosed me with chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, which is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.

Why did it take a year? I don’t know, but I saw some of the best medical doctors in Los Angeles California, at Cedar Sinai and UCLA.

During that year, I endured seemingly endless intrusive and frightening medical tests, which included having instruments inserted into my ears to look for tumors, tubes inserted in my urethra to see if I had a tumor in my bladder, and an MRI to rule out multiple sclerosis or cancer.

Doctors gave me numerous EKGs, heart stress tests, blood tests, chest X-rays, ultrasounds on my bladder and heart, neurological exams, and was tested with pharmaceutical drugs to see which medication might rid me of the suffering. On one occasion, I went to an emergency room in the middle of the night with chest pains… I was only thirty-three years old.

The diagnosis of cfids, was made by two cfids experts and an expert in the field of otolaryngology. The expense of finding a diagnosis amounted to more than $30,000.

In order to confirm what the doctors told me, I read a number of books on the subject, and reviewed material distributed by the CDC and the CFIDS Association of America.

The experts in the field of medicine told me cfids is untreatable and incurable.

I have proven them wrong.

The life-altering, debilitating, and excruciatingly painful physical problems I lived with every day for over fifteen years, have been completely removed through hypno-analysis therapy.

My body was keeping secrets from me.

When I became sick with cfids, my body was a walking memory of child rape, betrayal, lies, emotional pain, emotional trauma, shame, guilt, and extreme FEAR.

Each virtually unbearable cfids symptom -as well as years of depression, nightmares, PTSD, panic attacks, anger and rage issues, sexual problems, and issues with food- was directly linked to the incest I suffered at the hands of both parents -including rape by my POLICE-OFFICER father, as well as having been hit over the head with blunt objects, having knives held to my throat, guns to my face, and locked in closets.

Those secrets were being held in my subconscious mind because, as a child, I was threatened with death several times to keep the family secret. I was choked when I tried to call someone outside the home, and even hit on the head and knocked out for trying to reveal the abuse.

My father, who was an L.A.P.D. officer for 25 years, used his police weapons to silence me. Even though he died when I was twelve, he succeeded in terrorizing me for three decades. His threats were kept alive by the power of my subconscious mind.

My mother, also used threats against me to silence me.

And so, I kept the secrets…even from myself.

I was unable to speak or even acknowledge the incest for more than thirty years. The cfids, and all of the other physical and psychological symptoms, became a substitute language.

The physical disease, and psychological anguish, was rooted in my emotional reaction to being sexually abused, threatened with death, terrorized, and abandoned by a mother who willfully facilitated the incest with my father, and sexually abused me herself.

Who wouldn’t feel like this woman in the photo if their mother had betrayed, abandoned, helped rape, or sexually abused her own child? Look at this woman’s face. She is literally saying, “What’s the use? If my own mother didn’t want to help me, and didn’t love me, then what is my life worth?”

Examine the word disease for a moment. The body is literally in a state of “dis-ease” because the mind is not at ease. The vast majority of doctors, who only practice conventional medicine, refuse to recognize the undeniable link between the mind and physical disease.

Although a number of western medical doctors are beginning to acknowledge that the mind has the ability to create illness in the body, most physicians still prefer to prescribe dangerous drugs or perform surgery to cure every ailment.

Scientists are now proving the power the mind has -especially, and most importantly- the power of the subconscious mind and it’s ability to cause mental and physical illness.

Example of the conscious and subconscious mind.

Example of the conscious and subconscious mind.

I sought out a multitude of medical experts before finding my therapist, and I was in a desperate state when I did find her because no medical doctor could help me with my suffering.

I also found no relief from herbs, vitamins, eating healthy, or from yoga.

Yoga actually made me worse many years ago because yoga triggered the sexual abuse by the woman who abused me.

The hypno-analysis therapy provided the only liberation for my physical and mental anguish.

Link Between chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome and child sexual abuse

I am not proclaiming that everyone with cfids was sexually abused as a child or has repressed memories of sexual abuse; but research has discovered a link between childhood abuse and cfids.

I have personally found a high percentage of cfids sufferers who experienced physical or sexual abuse in childhood.

Cfids expert, Dr. Jay Goldstein, told me the majority of his patients had a history of either physical or sexual abuse.

Dr. James Grisolia, a neurologist at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego California, found that people with cfids have suffered child abuse more commonly than those without the disease. Although, Dr. Grisolia says that because child abuse alters hormones and resets the brain, a person who has been abused is more susceptible to disease.

Fred Friedberg, an assistant professor of psychiatry at State University of New York at Stony Brook, also found a link between child abuse and cfids.

Given the fact that I healed from cfids by healing the previously repressed memories of trauma and incest, it is possible that the true percentage of people with cfids, who also had an abusive childhood, is much higher than what is reported in sufferers of the disease.

A person cannot report a history of child sexual abuse to a doctor if they are consciously unaware of any childhood abuse.

At the time I was diagnosed with cfids I had not yet started psychotherapy, so I was unable to tell anyone in the medical profession that I had been a victim of incest because, at the time, I had no conscious knowledge of the incest.

One study found, not only a link between childhood sexual abuse and chronic fatigue, but a connection between those with chronic fatigue and having been threatened with death along with sexual abuse.

If a victim is given a threat to keep silent and they obey it to the point of mentally blocking out the threats, and the abuse, then one day the victim’s body will do the talking. Their soul, through the use of the body, will scream out for justice and to be heard.

People who have suffered extreme trauma and sexual abuse, especially incest, cannot repress the emotional pain and trauma forever. Their pain either has to come out consciously or physically. For most people, it comes out in both ways, and usually when a person hits the ages of twenty to forty.

In the United States, most cases of cfids are diagnosed in females ages twenty-five to forty-five. and cfids is three times more common in women than men.

Child sexual abuse is three times more common in women than men.

The Disease from Hell




Cfids (ME) is a highly complicated disease with a multitude of physical manifestations. Any sufferer of cfids knows the symptoms don’t stop with fatigue, nor is it just a matter of being tired. The person with cfids can, and most often does, develop a debilitating exhaustion that causes them to become bed ridden, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. They feel lethargic in every fiber of their body and even the mind feels extreme fatigue.

One woman with cfids told me that she used to have to crawl from her bed to the toilet on her hands and knees in order to relieve herself.  (Notably, the woman has always remembered being sexually abused by her father as a child, and her mother did nothing to stop it)

Incapacitating fatigue is only a portion of what a person with cfids goes through.

One of the hallmarks of this disease, is that people with cfids can look just fine on the outside, and try to show a positive attitude in public, but they may be suffering from multiple uncomfortable symptoms simultaneously.

This was a routine for me that lasted fifteen years. After the first two years of having cfids, I trained myself to bear with the pain and fatigue in order to get through a few errands or attend a social function. People with cfids learn to suffer in silence in order to go on with life, but their quality of living is more like a walking death.

Many of my friends and neighbors had NO idea what I was going through while I was sick.

Cfids is often only identified after extensive tests, countless doctor visits, and after much time and money is consumed. The symptoms can be extremely difficult to diagnose because cfids affects much of the mind and body, and the sufferer experiences many symptoms at one time.

When I began hypno-therapy, I was on the verge of death. The cfids affected my immune system and vital organs, my heart, bladder, respiratory system, my bowels, and my neurological system. My psychological and emotional state was on the edge of collapsing and I thought about suicide three times.

For four months I could barely urinate. I went to the bathroom twenty to forty times a day in a futile attempt to expel my urine. Each agonizing time, only a trickle came out. Gynecologists and a top urologist found nothing physiologically wrong.

A typical day for me was being bed-ridden with a fatigue that is indescribable, while also having chronic diarrhea, stomach aches, ringing in my ears, short-term memory loss, pain in my heart, unable to breathe normally, vice-grip headaches, inflamed lymph nodes, inability to urinate, and dizziness.

Severe insomnia plagued me for years, and if I did manage to fall asleep, I was soon awakened by a feeling of forgetting how to breathe.

When I managed to crawl out of bed during the day, meals caused me to want to vomit or I shoveled food in my mouth at alarming rates, and there were numerous days at a time when I could barely eat at all because food made me so nauseous and dizzy that I became afraid to eat.

During the years with cfids, I continually suffered shingles outbreaks.

This is what my neck looked like every six months (photo is a depiction only)

This is what my neck looked like every six months (photo is a depiction only)

The shingles attacked my head and ears with severe pain, and an ugly, bubbly lesion always formed down the left side of my neck. It was embarrassing and painful.

Through deep-introspective, hypnoanalysis therapy, I was able to find the root cause of the shingles outbreaks and I no longer suffer from them. The shingles were a direct link to having been threatened with death with a knife to my throat if I told anyone outside the home about the incest. This is what death threats can do to a child!

The majority of sufferers have varying symptoms that are usually not witnessed or noticed by others. Therefore, people frequently consider the person with cfids as “faking it,” or may feel their friend with cfids is perfectly healthy but just “a little down.”

Many people with the disease will only go out in public on good days, and are bed-ridden or too sick to leave their home on bad days. A large amount of sufferers are so ill they can no longer work. Others stop attending social functions and cease activities they used to enjoy.

During the years when the disease was most brutal, my days were filled with seclusion and deep anguish. There were seemingly endless days when I could not function or even go to the grocery store.

I find it interestingly ‘coincidental’ that children being sexually abused, often show little or no sign of the abuse, and can look just fine on the outside, and behave normally in public.

Some people consider the disease a death sentence

“This illness is a nightmare that is extraordinary.” ~Cfids specialist, Dr. David Bell

Cfids is known by its sufferers as a walking death. I can testify to this being absolutely true. Many people with cfids long for death.

One woman was suffering so much from cfids that she had Dr. Kevorkian help her take her own life, and according to The CFIDS Association of America, people with this disease have a high risk of committing suicide

Although there are few studies about recovery from cfids, experts say that recovery is uncommon and those who report a recovery still suffer from some of the symptoms, and one-third of those who claimed recovery had a relapse six months later.

An expert at John’s Hopkins reveals that scores of doctors are unwilling to take patients with the disease because he says that doing so is “such a downer.”

Many survivors of child sexual abuse consider the abuse a death sentence, and think they will never recover, or I often hear them say, “you never get over it.”

This is false information.

Prevalence and Diagnosing cfids

More than four million Americans have Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome. Many physicians are unwilling to take patients with CFIDS because of the low recovery rate and the untreatable incapacitating symptoms.

Unfortunately, by emphasizing the words “chronic fatigue” experts gave the disease a name that causes the general population to assume that cfids only causes a person to be tired.

It is probably very helpful that the disease is now known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.

This is a highly complicated disease with a multitude of physical manifestations. Any sufferer of cfids knows the symptoms don’t stop with fatigue, nor is it just a matter of being “tired.”


Herpes, shingles, and chicken pox are common in people with cfids, and doctors report that patients frequently have mitral valve prolapse. MVP is a heart valve malfunction, which I was also diagnosed with.

Below is a list of symptoms associated with the disease. With the exception of fainting, I experienced each of these symptoms, on and off, over a period of fifteen years.

  • Substantial and life-altering decrease in ability to exercise
  • Impaired speech and/or reasoning
  • Visual disturbances
  • Migraines
  • Psychological problems (depression, irritability, anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings)
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Substantial decrease in the ability to exercise
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Irritable bowels (diarrhea, constipation, intestinal gas)
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the face or extremities
  • Menstrual problems
  • Chest pains
  • Pathological hunger
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sensitivity to noise/sound, odors, chemicals or medications
  • Feeling of having a virus
  • Feeling in a fog
  • Fainting
  • Muscle twitching
  • Pathological (abnormal) or urgent hunger
  • Sore throats
  • Tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
  • Unusual headaches
  • Unrefreshed sleep
  • Post-exertion malaise
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vertigo
  • Depression
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Chronic sinus problems
  • Blacking out
  • Nausea
  • Sudden Choking
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unusual or frequent cravings for sugar and breads
  • Severe, abnormal fullness after meals
  • Pain in
  • Irritability
  • Excessive anger
  • Hypoglycemic symptoms
  • Excessive heartburn
  • Insomnia
  • Vertigo
  • Urinary frequency or burning while urinating
  • Tightness in chest
  • Mucus in stools or black stools
  • Vaginal pain
  • Neurological problems
  • Seeing spots before eyes
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate) with minimal or no exertion, which may persist for long periods of the day, coming on at any moment and with no known cause.
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Caffeine intolerance

These symptoms indicate that it can be extremely difficult to diagnose cfids. The disease is often only identified after extensive tests, countless doctor visits, and after much time and money is consumed.

During the years that I was most sick with the disease, a typical day consisted of ten or twelve symptoms throughout various periods of the day. In one day, I experienced, rapid heart beat, inflamed lower lymph nodes, difficulty urinating, hemorrhoids, stomach aches, a headache, a tooth ache, dizziness, heart flutters, choking for no known reason, pain inside of my throat, and pathological hunger.

The physical manifestations would alternate but the pain and suffering was always the same, and my sanity was constantly challenged.

Reaching a diagnosis of cfids is frightening, painful, and uncomfortable. I had a forty-five minute MRI, invasive tests inside my ears, medical-induced vertigo, and had catheters inserted in my urethra. I had several EKGs, heart stress tests, blood tests, chest X-rays, ultrasounds on my bladder and heart, neurological exams, and testing with pharmaceutical drugs.

The cure is in one’s own mind and soul

My body had been a walking memory which was unable to speak for more than thirty years. The cfids was a substitute language. The voice from my past screamed at me in the form of incapacitating and frightening symptoms. The cause of the disease was unhealed emotional trauma caused by father/daughter incest, maternal incest, death threats, terror (enough to make me wet my bed until I was nine years-old), attempts on my life, physical assaults, mental and physical abandonment by my mother, and total lack of love.

I sought out a multitude of medical experts. Three of them were highly respected physicians at the well-known Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles California, and I saw two cfids experts, one at UCLA.

No medical doctor could help me. Hypno-analysis, which revived the incest memories, was the only thing that provided relief and an eventual cure and liberation from my physical suffering.

It is excruciatingly painful, shameful, and time-consuming to face one’s childhood sexual abuse and trauma, but I would rather have gone through the process of facing and healing the incest, than to take the hell of cfids to my grave.

Psyche means “soul.” Psycho-analysis is the analysis of the human soul.

Twenty years ago, I could no longer ride my bike.


This is me today.

Researchers say no cure for cfids exists, but my experience proves that there is a cure.


Childhood trauma and risk for chronic fatigue syndrome: association with neuroendocrine dysfunction. Heim C, Nater UM, Maloney E, Boneva R, Jones JF, Reeves WC., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Woodruff Memorial Research Bldg, Ste 4311, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Chronic fatigue, abuse-related traumatization, and psychiatric disorders in a community-based sample. Taylor RR, Jason LA. Department of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. Other source: Possible influence of defenses and negative life events on patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: Sundbom E, Henningsson M, Holm U, Soderbergh S, Evengard B. Department of Psychology, Umea University, Sweden.
Early adverse experience and risk for chronic fatigue syndrome: results from    a population-based study.Heim C, Wagner D, Maloney E, Papanicolaou DA,        Solomon L, Jones JF,   Unger ER, Reeves WC
Chronic fatigue, abuse-related traumatization, and psychiatric disorders in a community-based sample. Taylor RR, Jason LA Soc Sci Med 2002 Jul; 55(2):247-56
Physiology of Chronic Fatigue Begins to Take Shape, Judy Foreman, Los Angeles Times; Sep 19, 2005; F.3;
CFIDS Association of America,


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Jane Fonda’s Mother, Killed Herself Because of Child Sexual Abuse

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — “Jane Fonda told an audience of activists and philanthropists that her mother had been sexually abused as a child before eventually committing suicide at 42.

Fonda shared the personal story at an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Rape Treatment Center, which provides comprehensive free treatment for sexual assault victims. She hosted the Rape Foundation’s annual fundraising brunch Sunday at billionaire Ron Burkle’s Greenacres estate in Beverly Hills.


Fonda said that while writing her memoirs, she reviewed her mother’s medical records and discovered she had been sexually abused when she was 8 years old. Frances Ford Seymour committed suicide when Fonda was 12.

“The minute that I read that, everything fell into place,” Fonda said from a small stage set up in Burkle’s sprawling backyard. “I knew why the promiscuity, the endless plastic surgery, the guilt, the inability to love or be intimate, and I was able to forgive her and forgive myself.”

She said sexual violence is “epidemic,” vowing, “I will support the Rape Treatment Center for the rest of my life.”

Lily Tomlin introduced Fonda, her “9 to 5″ co-star, and longtime friend. David Schwimmer and Eric McCormack also spoke during the luncheon, where guests included Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum and Sam Waterson.

Gail Abarbanel, founder of the Rape Treatment Center and president of the Rape Foundation, introduced several rape survivors, including the mother of the victim of the 2012 Steubenville High School assault in Ohio. She noted her daughter’s bravery in pressing charges against her attackers — beloved star football players who had the support of the community.

Schwimmer and McCormick asked the deep-pocketed in the crowd for their support, and five people — including Burkle — spontaneously gave $100,000 to help the Rape Treatment Center continue to offer free medical, psychological and legal services to children and adults.

The Rape Foundation also provides free training for first responders and sexual assault prevention programs nationwide.”

Side note: David Schwimmer is a hypocrite, or he used to be. The TV series “Friends” in which he starred in, has aired several jokes about child molestation in some episodes, and the character “Phoebe” gave birth to her blood-brother’s children.

David Schwimmer should publicly apologize for the TV show’s jokes about child molestation before he gets himself involved in child abuse or rape treatment organizations.



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Memory Impairment For Child Sexual Abuse Linked To Mothers Who Are Indifferent To Their Child’s Suffering

While going over my documents today, I found an old research article that might be interesting to some of you.

Gail Goodman and others at the University of California at Davis performed a study on forty-six children who were between the ages of three and ten years old. The children were going through kidney and bladder dysfunction and needed a procedure done which would involve embarrassment and would be intrusive.


The children whose mothers were not really involved in the treatment, were less helpful, and who did not provide physical or verbal relief to the child after the procedure ended, experienced more memory problems regarding the experience.

The level of stress during the test did not contribute one way or another to the child’s memory of the events.

This study suggests that memory repression is compounded by mothers who are ignorant, willfully blind, indifferent, or unsympathetic to their child while the child is being sexually abused, and or, after the abuse ends and has disclosed it to their mother.


Gail S. Goodman, Jodi A. Quas, Jennifer M. Batternam-Fraunce, M.M. Riddlesberger & Jerald Kuhn, “Predictors of Accurate and Innacurate Memories of Traumtic Events Experinced in Childhood” in Kathy Pezdek & William P. Banks(eds.), The Recovered Memory/Fasle Memory Debate, (San Diego: Academic Press, 1994) pp. 3-28
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Do Jews Get Away With Child Molestation Just Because They Are Jewish?

I don’t watch a lot of TV, so I don’t know how much television coverage this received in the U.S. media, but I was pretty shocked when I read this on-line; and not much shocks me anymore.

Now, consider for a moment this practice being performed by a protestant minister, or, a CATHOLIC PRIEST. Would this be allowed to continue? NO. Would this ritual be protected by The First Amendment? NO. Public health and child protection services, and the general public, would be up in arms to stop this if it were a minister, or a priest, and the U.S. media would ride this story until it ran out of gas.

The priests would be called “pedophile priests” and the protestant ministers would be considered sexual perpetrators. But because this is a JEWISH practice, it appears that very few people care or dare?, to condemn or try and stop it.

Within the last three months, two infants in New York City’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community have been given herpes from a ritual circumcision.


The Jewish ritual is known as ‘metzitzah b’peh’ and is performed by a “mohel” (who is often a Rabbi) who places his mouth around the baby’s penis to suck the blood to “cleanse” the wound.

“One of the two infected babies developed a fever and lesion on its scrotum seven days after the circumcision, and tests for HSV-1 were positive, according to the health department.”


Last year, the New York City Board of Health made it a requirement for the newborn’s parents to sign a written consent warning them of the risk of this ritual. None of the parents of the two infected boys signed the form.

It has been determined that it is “too early to tell” if the babies will suffer long-term health problems from the infection.

“Since 2000, there have been 13 cases of herpes associated with the ritual, including two deaths and two other babies with brain damage.”

Neonatal herpes infections have the ability to cause death or disability in an infant

“First, these are serious infections in newborns and second, there is no safe way an individual can perform oral suction on an open wound,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. “Third, these terrible infections are completely preventable. They should not occur in the 21st century with our scientific knowledge.”

Rabbis have admitted to performing “tens of thousands of times a year” worldwide.

hqdefaultThis is child ABUSE

“A herpes infection in a newborn baby has the risk of leading to severe illness and death,” said Varma. “The reason is that the baby doesn’t have the same fully developed immune system as an adult. Instead of staying in the genital area, it extends throughout different organs in the body.”

The modern Jewish community performs the ceremony with a sterile aspiration device to clean the wound in a circumcision, but approximately two-thirds of boys born in New York City’s Hasidic communities are circumcised with the oral suction. This is according to Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America.

In 2003 and 2004, three babies, including a set of twins, were infected with Type 1 herpes; the cases were linked to circumcision, and one boy died. Another died in 2010. In the last decade, 13 babies in the city have contracted the virus, and two have had brain damage, according to health officials. All were circumcised by the metzitzah b’peh method.

First Amendment rights do not trump the rights of a child! And as disturbing as it is for the child to potentially develop herpes from this “religious” ceremony, why is no one stating the obvious?….That a man’s mouth should not be sucking a little boy’s penis.

This is child sexual abuse, blatantly allowed under the guise of a religious practice. The Health Department, and Child Protective Services should stop this practice, and it should be a crime to commit this act on a child.

Children do not have the capacity to protect themselves –to defend their own body– to say no, to having some strange man suck the child’s penis, and to put the boy at risk for herpes, and death.

What if this were a male (or female) Rabbi performing this on the vagina of a little girl? Would anyone speak up then?

Parents who sign the agreement to allow this practice on their child, are signing a form to say, “I give you permission to sexually assault my child, and put him at risk of death.”

This needs to be exposed and stopped…but by Jews themselves –Jews, who are not afraid of taking a stand against their own practices, or against the religious practices of Ultra-orthodox Jews.

Jews themselves need to stop this –Jews who want to help children enough to not worry about being ostracized, vilified, or condemned by other Jews who will undoubtedly tell them to keep quiet.

Jews themselves must be strong and take a stand, publicly, and within their own community because if I try to do it, I would be considered “anti-semitic.” But if Jews themselves take action, then they are protected by their own bloodline, and would be stronger in their position because they are Jewish.


Posted in Child Abuse, child molestation, child sexual abuse, Crime, Headlines, News, rape and abuse | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments