Sunday, 12 June 2022

Religious Abuse News - Leader of La Luz del Mundo Cult Sentenced to 16 Years and 8 Month in Jail for Abusing Minors

Naasón Joaquín García
16 years and 8 months in jail for sex abuse of underage girls
Leader of La Luz del Mundo Megachurch Sentenced to 16 Years for Sex Crimes - The New York Times

Readers with good memories might remember the case of Naasón Joaquín García, founder and head of the Mexico-based cult megachurch, La Luz del Mundo (the Light of the World), who was charged with multiple sex abuse crimes against minors in California in June 2019, when he faced counts of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation of a minor, human trafficking and possession of child pornography. La Luz del Mundo claims to have about 1 million members worldwide

That case has finally reached a conclusion with Garcia suddenly changing his plea to guilty. He was sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in prison. According to this report in the New York Times:
[Naasón Joaquín García, 53] pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible oral copulation involving minors and one count of a lewd act upon a child who was 15 years old, California’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, said in a statement last week. Mr. García will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
The case illustrates the hold the leaders of a cult can exercise over the members. Garcia is regarded as an 'Apostle of Jesus Christ' and is referred to by cult members a "The Apostle" and "The Light". His word was law within the cult. For example, one of his victims told the court how Garcia had told her he was giving her a 'blessing' as he raped her and told her to keep her lips sealed to keep in the blessing - which she did because she believed him. Others told how they were told by the women who assisted Garcia in his abuses, that to go against his desires was to go against God. They were told that an 'apostle of God' can never be judged for his actions.

In an extraordinarily defiant statement, considering the hideous crimes their leader has pleaded guilty to, La Luz del Mundo church put a statement on Twitter, which said:
We publicly manifest our support for the Apostle of Jesus Christ Naasón Joaquín García; our confidence in him remains intact with full knowledge of his integrity, his conduct and his work.
Apparently, they regard his behaviour as perfectly acceptable.

The tweet contained an image of a press release which continued in the same defiant tone and confirmed that Garcia will remain a minister in the church. It also claimed that the evidence was “suppressed, withheld, doctored and altered”, that the trial was unfair and Garci had only pleaded guilty to protect the church and his family. There were no expressions of regret or signs of any concern for the young victims of their cult and its leader, so we can expect abuses of this nature to continue, assisted by cult members and using God as their excuse:
Press Release
June 8, 2022, Los Angeles, CA.

The Office Of Public Relations Of the Light Of the World informs that, in the case Of the Apostle Naason Joaquin Garcia, the decision has been made to accept an agreement with the Attorney General's office to minimize his prison sentence in order to regain his freedom.

Since his arrest in 2019, the Apostle has been subjected to a prosecution in which evidence was suppressed, withheld, doctored and altered. After the defense finally obtained this evidence, the Court ruled that the defense would not be permitted to use the materials at trial, preventing the defense from effectively cross-examining the complaining witnesses and challenging their allegations.

Without a right to use the evidence, there is no right of defense.
Without a right to use the evidence, there can be no fair trial.

The Apostle of Jesus Christ has had no choice but to accept with much pain that the agreement presented is the best way forward to protect the church and his family. While he respects the law, and the community, he does not believe that the trial he would receive under these conditions would be fair and just. He wishes to spare the church and his family from weeks of unfounded public accusations, including threats to their physical well-being. We publicly manifest our support for the Apostle Of Jesus Christ; our confidence in him remains intact in the full knowledge Of his integrity, his conduct and his work. We will continue to practice the works of Jesus Christ, which the Apostle has taught us, always seeking to help Our neighbor. The Apostle will continue ministering to the church. This is a path that God has placed in front Of him for a reason, as he did for Apostle Paul. The Apostle will work this path with his faith in God and continue fulfilling the mission Of Jesus Christ: to be the Light Of the World.

God bless you.
And if you believe that, you'll believe anything and should probably be a member of Garcia's cult.

Again, we see religion being used for what it was probably originally designed for - the exercise of power over others and obtaining unquestioning obedience while the leaders abused their positions and the hold the cult gave them over others. Their power is absolute and their corruption is likewise.

Religions provide excuses for people who need excuses.


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