Unintended Consequences

Categories: Gwen Shamblin
by on January 25th, 2007

Cult involvement is dangerous for children. On November 18, 1978, 913 followers of Jim Jones drank poisoned drink mix and died in Jonestown, Guyana (Jones himself died of a fatal bullet to the head). Included in this number were 276 children! On April 19, 1993, 76 Branch Davidians, including 27 children, perished in the flames in Waco, Texas. In June of 2001, Andrea Yates, a follower of Michael Woroniecki, drowned all five of her children, ranging in age from 6 months to seven years old. On March 15 of 2002, Robert Bryant, a Jehovah’s Witness, killed his wife and four children before committing suicide himself. In October of 2003, eight year old Joseph Smith died of what authorities said was a blow to the head. His parents, Joseph and Sonya Smith, members of Remnant Fellowship, were charged with murder. The trial is scheduled to begin next month. Each of these situations were different. However, all of them were tied to religious groups which claimed to be Christian but had departed from, or overtly denied, essential Orthodox Christian teachings. Can we point to any written statements by these groups which explicitly advocates child abuse or even murder? No. Were these acts committed by individuals who didn’t love their children? Again, the answer is no. Was there anything within the group or teachings of the groups to which they belonged that could have contributed to all of these deaths? Put another way, is it possible that these deaths occurred because they loved their children? I believe the answer is, yes. If this sounds like an oxymoron or double talk, that is because we have a difficult time thinking of the death or abuse of a child as something being done for a higher purpose.

I recently watched “Jonestown: Paradise Lost,” a newly made documentary of Jonestown, Guyana, and the events leading up to the November 18, 1978 mass suicide. Although there have been a number of documentaries done about these events, this one introduced an element which I have not seen previously included. It incorporated interviews with Jim Jones son, another survivor and a news reporter who had been there. This provided a unique insider’s perspective. Jim Jones didn’t openly advocate child abuse or murder. While the People’s Temple was a highly abusive cult, where harsh beatings of alleged “miscreants” were publicly administered, it appears from all reports that children were highly valued in Jonestown. One of the big attractions of that cult was their supposed adherence to the ideal that all people were equally valuable, regardless of race, age, sex, national origin or financial station in life. Jim Jones was promoting what he called a “Pentecostal Socialism.” He emphasized the “impending judgment of God upon the world” in order to coerce his hapless followers to stay in line and keep the rules he imposed. The foremost rule was unquestioning obedience to Jim Jones as God’s direct spokesman – to rebel against or even to question Jim Jones was equal to rebelling against God. The second hammer he used against the people was extreme peer pressure. For example, one always had to appear to be happy and contented. To do less betrayed doubts, which led to distrust from the others and pointed reminders of how “protected” they were under the leadership of God’s man.

Jim Jones persuaded his 900 plus followers that the United States was in a state civil war, and that racism was at an all time high. On the fateful day of the mass suicide, he led them to believe that the United States Government had federal troops on the way to capture and abuse them and their children. In their minds, by killing themselves and their children, they were protecting themselves and their 300 children from torture by an evil and satanically possessed government. In their desire to protect their children from the descending evil hordes, they gave them poison laced fruit drink. A few adults had moments of independent thinking, and weakly protested the commanded slaughter, but these few were forced by others to drink the poison or were given deadly injections. However, for the most part, the pressure to conform, and the belief in impending doom persuaded them to doom themselves and their helpless children, who were the first to die in the holocaust.

Similarly, David Koresh had convinced the Branch Davidians that Armageddon was immanent, so although they might perish in the flames they themselves set, they would immediately be resurrected to rule the earth, IF they remained faithful. Unfaithfulness would be eternal loss. In other words, did they want to die voluntarily with Koresh and be raised immediately in great glory, or die immanently anyway and go straight to Hell? The choice was theirs. These parents, who loved their children, kept them to die in order to protect them from what in their minds was an even greater loss.

Jehovah’s Witnesses regularly consign their children to death, due to the organization’s egregious teaching on blood transfusions. The May 22, 1994 issue of their Awake! Magazine has its cover filled with pictures of JW children who have tragically perished because of this teaching. The lead article is titled, “Youths Who Put God First.” The page 2 synopsis proudly states:

In former times thousands of youths died for putting God first. They are still doing it, only today the drama is played out in hospitals and courtroom, with blood transfusions the issue.

As the article progresses we are introduced you a 14 year old named Adrian who has a tumor on his stomach. This will require surgery and the attendant loss of blood which goes with this type of surgery. The surgeon, Dr. Jardine, was fully aware that performing this type of surgery without replenishing the blood supply was potentially deadly. He spent time trying to persuade Adrian but a thoroughly indoctrinated Adrian held the line on the JW teaching and responded:

To disobey God and extend my life for a few years now and then because of my disobedience to God lose out on a resurrection and living forever in his paradise earth – that’s just not smart.

Do JW parents refuse the very thing that will preserve the life of their children because they don’t love them? No, far from it. They choose to endure the pain of losing the child because they have been persuaded that to give the child blood consigns their beloved offspring to be cut off from God forever. The peer pressure from those around them is so great that even a Jehovah’s Witness who has been weak in the past will conform. In essence they allow the child to die because they love them.

And what of Gwen Shamblin and Remnant Fellowship? How does all of this relate to them? Again, I do not think (my opinion) nor do I have any evidence to indicate that Gwen Shamblin and Remnant Fellowship “advocate child abuse or starvation.” That does not mean it may not happen through the law of unintended consequences as the result of her teachings. Some of her followers may do one or both out of fear, fear that their child will be rejected by God for a misstep or for weighing a few pounds more than Gwen claims that God finds acceptable. It may result through fear of peer pressure as others hold up their children as idyllic and they know theirs are less than perfect. The combination of pressures and expectations of the group can lead parents who love their children deeply to harm them greatly. It is a tragedy which only can be averted by the wide dissemination and dedicated teaching of true doctrine in order to counteract the false teachings and the unintended consequences of dangerous religious groups.

35 responses to “Unintended Consequences ”

  1. SMN1977 says:

    I do think that it is a shame that you would link Gwen Shamblin and the members of Remnant Fellowship which I am a member of to the grotesque Jim Jones having children drinking poison. Having 276 children drink poision was an unintended consequence? I don’t think so at all. I have been a member for over 2.5 years and have never once heard a sermon telling us to spank our children or else. I have heard sermons and teachings on discipling the child in love, and using spanking as a last resort. ONLY AS A LAST RESORT!!

    I do think it is the duty of the blogger to really give integrity to the entire situation while not equating two ENTIRELY DIFFERENT situations. (i.e RF vs Jim Jones)

    Best Regards,

  2. Lynn says:

    What about the “showdown spankings?” Didn’t Gwen teach on that? Has she dropped that out of her teachings?

  3. Lynn says:

    Here is what has gone on a few years back:

    From Christianity Today:
    http://www.ctlibrary.com/11196

    “A former Remnant member provided CT with a copy of a recorded church conference call from February 2003. In it, Sonya Smith informed Shamblin that she had locked her unruly son in his room from Friday to Monday. Afterward, he began to behave respectfully, Sonya Smith said.

    ‘That’s a miracle,’ Shamblin responded. ‘You’ve got a child going from bizarre to in control. So praise God.’

    Investigators in Atlanta have obtained more than one tape, said police Lt. Paula Sparks. On a second tape, Shamblin praises a Remnant leader for repeatedly spanking his strong-willed two-year-old daughter. ‘It was a one-night showdown, and that child never forgot it,’ Shamblin said.”

    Don has said in a newsletter about this subject:

    “Remnant Fellowship teaches something they call the “showdown spanking” which is to spank the child until they reach the point
    where they completely submit.”

  4. worshipGOD says:

    Gwen and Remnant do NOT teach child abuse and have never taught it. I am a member of Remnant Fellowship also. Whatever was said in the tape about “showdown spanking” has been totally taken out of context–a context of a loving man training his child and not giving up until the lesson was learned, not beating his child but having to administer discipline whether he liked it or not because he loved his daughter and wanted to raise her right! Half of what we say in conversation every day could be held up and used in slander against us. Come on, give me a break! David Martin was speaking in that conference call to other Remnant members, who knew it was all about love for God and then loving our neighbour (including our own kids, of course) as ourselves! When those with an agenda against this Biblical teaching (that to love God is to obey Him) WANT to find evil in something, they will take anything and make it sound horrible. This is no Jim Jones cult, this is a group of decent, loving Christian people who would meet even this kind of slander with prayer for those slandering them. Gwen doesn’t control anything I think, but she does encourage me to worship God and put Him first, and I am very thankful for that. And so are my kids, who are a lot happier now that we’re in Remnant and I don’t yell at them any more, like I used to when I was in the so-called mainstream church. As for the Smiths, I’ve met them and they are sweet, gentle, delightful people who love God and even in custody brought others to worship Him as well. That’s the way they spend their day, finding things to praise God for even in the midst of all this horror and grief. I find it much more difficult to believe they would do the horrible things they are accused of than to believe their accusers have a nasty agenda that should be investigated.

  5. Lynn says:

    I am not trying to connect the killing of this boy to Gwen’s teaching on corporal punishment. But what I have heard is that she has taught to spank until you break the will of the child and that child completely submits. This is one of Don’s quotes.

    I think Gwen’s teaching on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is heresy, but she keeps telling people to look into the Scriptures. How does she deal with the Scriptures which clearly indicate women are not to be teaching men in the gathered worship? See especially I Corinthians and I Timothy.

  6. Think about it! says:

    I would like to point out the fallacy of these statements that are being made against Remnant Fellowship and these parents who have lost thier little boy.
    Remnant is being eqauted with a group of people who took poison to kill themselves and their children. You should be ashamed of yourself to convict and try a group of people of whom you have never met. Does it talk in the bible of bearing false witness?
    How do you become judge and jury? Is that not the job of God? And, no this is not discernment either. I personally know the smith’s and Gwen Shamblin. She has never counseled me to ever strike my child. She and others in remnant have taught me to set boundaries and guidelines that are reasonable. She and Remnant have taught me to praise my children. Also, Does the Remnant Fellowship teach you to spank your children? They teach it as a last resort and only in love. Sensible discipline. It was more than I was ever taught before in other churches. Why is it so strange to follow the principles of the whole bible? Is it not the foundation of the church?

    As far as women teaching men; God will even use a donkey if he is so inclind to. How about Deborah and chloe? Gwen has been asked to lead by all of us. A truly godly woman whom I have examined up close. She lives what she teaches. The Smith’s do too. Your words are many against Gwen Shamblin and Remnant. I wonder how people that Love God whole heartedly, live and work in thier communities and, are raising their children in Love are thought of mindless followers. What is the most sad about all of this are the parents who have endured all of this. They have lost their children. I will pray for all of you who have made up your minds about this case and this church. I will still praise God because he is in control of all of this.

  7. Lynn says:

    How long have you been involved with Gwen and her teaching? What you are saying stands in sharp contrast to quotes from a few years ago. Maybe she’s taken her medicine and doesn’t say such things about corporal punishment any more? Is that a possibility? Does she say that Christianity Today quoted her wrong?

  8. one who knows says:

    Remnant is a cult – pure and simple.

    If you are a Remnant member you have no friends outside Remnant…your children have no friends outside Remnant..your nor your children have no activities outside Remnant…and most likely you have no contact or minimum contact with family outside remnant

  9. Sad says:

    I’ve been watching the Smith trial, and I am sad. That poor child needed HELP, not to be punished. Why didn’t the parents go for help? Don’t call it a money thing, because I know several parents who don’t have the money but get state or feder help for their children. THE CHILD WAS URINATING BLOOD!!!!

  10. Sad says:

    I’ve been watching the Smith trial, and I am sad. That poor child needed HELP, not to be punished. Why didn’t the parents go for help? Don’t call it a money thing, because I know several parents who don’t have the money but get state or feder help for their children. THE CHILD WAS URINATING BLOOD!!!!
    What I’m having trouble with is why Remnant Fellowship is rallying around this family. The parents themselves admitted to the police that they beat this child! Why did Remnant families pay for bail and for lawyers? If Remnant people find them such good people, why did it take 4 months to bail them out? Why didn’t Remnant pay for medical care for the “skin condition”?
    I’m just sick.

  11. smart not to join RF says:

    Before you remnant people accuse anyone of passing judgment or making up our minds about remnant or your so called church. First YOU have to stop passing judgment on anyone who is not part of your church. You people believe that the only one’s going to heaven is the people of remnant and the rest of the world is going to Hell because you people are the only pure ones. Than you claim that the only TRUE church is remnant and every other church is a counterfeit. If this is not passing judgment on us than what is? So don’t get so offensive when other’s pass judgment. By the way What have remnant people done for the poor and hungry? All you worry about is yourselves, Gwen’s acceptance, and how obedient you can be to Gwen. I have taken her classes and been to Gwen church and never seen so many people passing judgment others (family, coworkers etc)! GIVE ME A BREAK…..

  12. it's a SHAME says:

    Good question why did it take 4months to post bail? Gwen and her church are standing by these people just to prove that their teachings are the best for children, its all about exposing herself in order to gain more people into her church. It’s a shame to see how an innocent child had to die in such a horrible way. If you go to channel5news in tennessee on the web there are numerous link of past interviews and you will see how Gwen denies her involvment but yet they show you past tapes of her (VIDEO) worship services where she praises the smith’s. Also whenever she was caught in a lie they go back to what she said during her services.

  13. one who knows says:

    all the remnant folks really care about is how they look, how big their house is – even though as many as 16 people may live in one house – and they have no curtains or furniture in their 500k home – funny how they afford that much house when in one case that i know in particular they were living in a family members basement and now suddenly they can afford a 500k home…i wonder if they even own their homes..if the church really owns them and that’s part of why people stay…have no money to leave…essentially they are owned…

  14. Samuel J. Harris says:

    To ONE WHO KNOWS (diddly I might add)

    You seem to be more concerned with how they live. You condemn them for having expensive houses and then you condemn them for not having curtains or furniture to your taste. Envy and hypocrisy are evident. I can understand theological differences, but I think credibility in that area is destroyed because so much of what is written here is about personal hatred.

    Another example, you condemn Remnant for not helping people and then you condemn the church for providing homes. Now I’m not saying the church owns the homes, I am merely pointing out the illogical contradictory nature of your attacks.

  15. one who knows says:

    you must have me confused with someone else…i never posted anything about your not helping people?

    and I am not envious…i have just as big a home…lol…just pointing out that the remnanteers i know are living a facade to attract other members with the supposed money you get with the church…

    and the life “looks” good…unless you go in one of the homes…it looks like any other Brentwood home..until you find all the people living in one house…the lack of furnishings…i think most normal people have curtains in their home and most own chairs that are not card tables and folding chairs…no matter what size their home…most people don’t live with several other families in their homes…these homes are just dorms…i doubt the “home owners” have any control over who lives with them…deep down I bet they live in fear of what would happen if the whole “mess” folds…i know i would

    and i don’t hate them…just pointing out they are not what they seem…as for theological differences…i could care less…i am not a church goer

    i feel sorry for them…they have no life of their own…everything they do must be approved by their leader…no downtime…all remnant…all the time…24/7…

    i feel most sorry for the children… my relatives oldest doesnt even have a GED and now works for the church…what’s gonna happen when the whole house of cards finally collapses? his parents work for the church too…and the dad could never keep a job until he went to work for the church…

    but that’s just my opinion….u seem really worried…better not read Court TV boards about the trial…lol…

    we just wonder how long before we have to support the family again…so much bad publicity now with the trial and the recent magazine article in Self…it’s gonna be bad when the Smiths are convicted…all the abuse photos are being shown on Court tv…there’s a lot more people you need to sue over there…

  16. SMN1977 says:

    One who knows says,

    “Remnant is a cult – pure and simple.

    If you are a Remnant member you have no friends outside Remnant…your children have no friends outside Remnant..your nor your children have no activities outside Remnant…and most likely you have no contact or minimum contact with family outside remnant”

    Don’t you think that this statement is a little presumptious. You have no knowledge of who our friends are, and therefore could not reasonably conclude that we have no friends outside of RF. I do have friends that are outside of RF, however I do spend the majority of my time with RF members, just as a person who enjoys golf would spend the majority of their time with people who like golf, talk about golf, and even live on a golf course. Do you subscribe that golfers are CULT members?

    We are not CULT memebers! We are normal, decent, and law-abiding citizens that believe differently from you.

    It does amaze me that when you guys say that RF does not teach grace, you in the same breath codemn RF of heresy without regard to said grace.

  17. Samuel J. Harris says:

    When I see all these unsubstantiated, ill-informed (or recklessly disregarding the truth) statements crying crocodile tears for Remnant children, I can think of one question that impeaches all these posters’ implications that Remnant is a child abuse cult:

    Other than Josef Smith, can you name any other child associated with Remnant who has suffered injury or death in the over three years since his tragedy?

    If hypocrisy is defined as doing that for which one criticize others of doing, then many here need to reflect upon their own words and deeds. You talk about “unintended consequences” yet you do not consider the consequences of your own words. On this page and others you besmirch those with different beliefs than yourselves. If this support of religious bigotry spawns violence, are you not guilty every bit as much as you claim Remnant is because they have suggested that spanking is an acceptable form of discipline? Will Don Veinot admit liability if some crazed bigot attacks some Remnant or Mormon (based on recent posting) because the bigot read his article and saw the “cults” to be a threat?

    Answer: No.

    Conclusion: Just criticizing others for the doing same thing. Hypocrisy.

  18. one who knows says:

    so because only one child is abused and dead, Remnant teachings must be ok?

    who are any other possibly abused kids supposed to tell? and why would they tell…they know that Josef wasn’t an obedient child…and now he is dead…

    his abuse would have never been exposed if he hadn’t died…

  19. Samuel J. Harris says:

    To One who doesn’t know:

    What teachings do you think lead to child abuse? Cite your source. Not what you’ve heard from the cousin of a friend’s barber’s paperboy.

  20. one who knows says:

    the “showdown spankings” and the “discipline camps”; the spanking in increments of 10 with the glue sticks and that the spankings must hurt. Gwen and David Martin’s own recorded words played on the Channel 5 investigation into Firm Beliefs. and the fear in my own nephew’s eyes when being threatened by his older sibling if he is not obedient

  21. Nadia says:

    I’ll vouch for the fear in the eyes of a family member threatened by an older sibling in my own family at a gathering last month. It was something like, ‘you know what will happen if you don’t listen to me……’ And yes, the fear i the eyes of the younger ones was evident. Why wasn’t this older sibling with the adults? (he is 17) Why was he in another room monitoring the younger children? Ah yes….to make sure the “perfect” rf children stay in line. If they were so perfect, his presence wouldn’t have been needed, would it? They live under a lot of illusion in rf. A lot of trying to show how holy they are. How perfect. Nothing wrong here. Yet, it’s a great illusion and the facade is breaking down as evidenced by the whole sad Smith situation. I pray for the Smiths. It’s too late for Joseph, or I’d have prayed for him, too.

  22. Sad says:

    I’m starting to believe that Remnant paid for the lawyers to protect themselves. It was agreed between the prosecuting and defense before the trial not to bring RF into the trial. The recording between Sonya Smith and Gwen Shamblin wasn’t brought into evidence, and I think a good defense would have been to “blame it on Remnant.” I think the Smiths not only lost a son because of Remnant, but will lose any contact with their other children for the rest of their lives. How sad! I honestly feel sorry for them. Although they were responsible for their actions, I think they were doing what they thought was best for their child…no matter how sick it was.

  23. Samuel J. Harris says:

    To one who doesn’t know:

    If that’s all you think Remnant Fellowship, Gwen Shamblin, or David Martin have said, then you are making a mountain out of a molehill. You also don’t know much about raising children.

    Children will test boundaries as part of the learning process. Discipline as to where those boundaries exist is best imposed by loving parents. Imposing a restrained amount of physical force and creating a little bit of fear helps set those boundaries so that children don’t gravitate outside other boundaries later in life such as abusing drugs, engaging in promiscuous sex, or just plain being lazy and lacking in ambition thinking everything in life is easy and to be taken for granted.

    You try raising a kid without spankings; try Ritalin and letting children do whatever they want and then in 20 years tell me how it worked out.

    The advice given by Remnant many months before the child’s death did not and indeed could not have contributed to the death of the child. The only ones pushing the “Big Lie” that Remnant encourages child abuse (though 3 years later we are talking about only one child) is a media that profits from sensationalism for its entertainment aspects rather than a search for truth and substantive discussion, the haters who have a personal bias because of a prior interaction with Remnant particularly through family members, and finally those who disagree with Remnant theologically and use the event to discredit Remnant. All of these people assume to satisfy their bias that Remnant is a child abusing cult. Accordingly, they buy into any unsubstantiated negative statement about Remnant or its individual members.

    Take Nadia (see above) for example, she interprets every act and word of Remnant members as having some sinister intent. She is predisposed to do so by the hysteria self created. Remnant children are not perfect. They need guidance. If we are going to speculater, let’s do so with a positive frame of mind. The 17 year old was in the room to watch the children so they didn’t get into trouble and to help them in the event one gets hurt (no doubt a loaded glue gun may have been left about (sarcasm alert for the slow)). I doubt however that “what will happen the child” was that in the event of misbehavior the child was going to be overloaded with cotton candy and cola as discourage future misbehavior. The child instantly fearing the prospects of cavities and diabetes would immediately self correct his own behavior.

    It is sad the Josef Smith is dead. Everyone at Remnant Fellowship feels genuine sorrow; I have seen it.

  24. Nadia says:

    To “sad” –
    I have no doubt those in RF are doing what they think is best for their children. I think that was evidenced by the fact that the Smith’s unblinkingly told investigators what they did to Joseph – as though every one does.

    To Mr. Smith –
    No, I don’t see every act and word of my RF family as sinister. However, I have seen very distinct changes in them since joining RF and those changes are sinister.

    You don’t need to believe that the 17 year old was watching over the little ones to keep them from harm. I’ve been with the family long enough and often enough to know this isn’t the “norm”. The parents had always watched over the kids and were never overly-concerned that any harm would come to them so that argument doesn’t hold any weight.

    By the way, the claim to perfection comes from them, not me. I’ve heard it over and over – they are perfect. Their kids are perfect. Finances – perfect. Jobs – perfect. Life in general – you guessed it. Perfect. Leaving the older child there just shows it’s not so, as does the behavior of the younger ones when parents aren’t watching. Simply making an observation. You weren’t there, I was.

  25. Samuel J. Harris says:

    So are you happy that their lives are not perfect? Or are you frustrated because they refuse to admit to you that their lives are not perfect? Sounds like it’s your own problem and not theirs.

  26. one who knows says:

    i have a child..he’s never been spanked..straight a student, boy scout, great athlete…great kid…you don’t have to hit a child to raise a great kid…and they don’t have to fear you…and no drugs or ritalin here either…i expect him to be a graduate of an ivy league school in 20 yrs…

    at least he won’t be a remnant zombie

    i would hate to live my life by the word according to gwin which is who remnant really worships.. they have to…they all work for her…if they disagree with her they are out…as so many have found who questioned her in the past

    and yes…to “sad”…i too think remnant paid for the defense to keep remnant and weigh down out of the spotlight…all that negative publicity means dollars lost…a non-remnant paid lawyer would definitely have tried to go after church brainwashing…and using that defense might actually have got them off…so remnant caused them to lose a child and their freedom

  27. Samuel J. Harris says:

    Give me a break, One Who Doesn’t Know. The jury would have just found them guilty of first degree murder. Besides, the cop testified there was no solid evidence linking Remnant to the events leading up to the child’s death. Of course let’s not let facts get in the way of religious bigotry inspired hysteria. Did Gwen also pay off the State and its witnesses to keep Remnant out? While you don’t have to, I would appreciate an answer. BTW, what’s your real name – it would save subpoena time cause you have committed defamation by your lies above. Don’t worry, Remnant is more decent than you or I. I’d drag you down in a lawsuit in a heartbeat if I thought I could recoup my expenses from your cowardly hide. You talk a big game when you can hide behind anonymity.

    I am however happy that you are more fortunate than others in that you have a problem free child. So why the concern over Remnant member’s children?

  28. Sad says:

    Mr. Harris-
    What does it take to put you on retainer? I belong to the Roman Catholic church, and people say ALL kinds of things about MY church due to the actions of some sickos… but you see, the members of the Roman Catholic church didn’t support those sickos once they knew what was going on. We marched in Boston, NY, Chicago, and other cities to demand change.
    I do not want to deny Remnant the right to worship. I DO hate how families have changed since Remnant members move to Nashville. I’m sure glad I don’t have to move to the Vatican! My Latin is pretty rusty…
    I guess what bothers me the most about this whole thing is how the Smiths have done some terrible things and Remnant is totally supporting them. Skin disease, my foot! Anyway, if it was just that he SHOULD have been seeing a doctor!
    Just my 2 cents…
    I’m sad and disgusted with the whole thing. Little kids aren’t supposed to suffer and die. Christ already did that for us.

  29. Samuel J. Harris says:

    Too Sad:

    1. I would defend any Catholic who was accused of child abuse simply because another member or even a leadership figure such as a priest had done some act that resulted in harm to a child. That is exactly what people have used the Josef Smith tragedy as an opportunity to attack all of Remnant.

    2. As for you not moving to the Vatican, I suppose you are under the misconception that Remnant members are required to move to the Nashville area. It is simply desired by Remnant members. Why else does Remnant have a webcast to reach out to members throughout the country? On the other hand, religion plays a bigger part of some people’s lives. I don’t know you well enough to comment on whether you only have a casual commitment to your religious beliefs such that actually altering your life beyond the superficial attendance on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligations is the extent of your spiritual life. Besides I doubt that St. Peter’s Basilica could house the millions.

    3. As to Remnant supporting the Smiths, I suppose the more just in our society would have just assumed the Smiths guilty, skipped trial, and taken them out back and shot them. Hey, to each his own I guess. How do you know that the child did not scratch his Eczema suffering skin to the point that a staph infection developed and overcame him in a very short time? The autopsy report noted staph infection, yet the State of Georgia’s law enforcement and medical examiners had already made up their minds like you so why bother taking skin samples or actually investigating and eliminating other conclusions that conflict with the agenda of accusing the Smiths of child abuse. As for not taking the child to the doctor, you are ill informed and incorrect about that fact.

    You are correct about one thing – this event has been a major tragedy.

  30. Sad says:

    Well, I’m done trying to argue… I don’t have the time or energy at the moment. I was trying to make a point about our sue happy country.
    My last words:
    1. The child should have been seeing some sort of mental health professional for his behavior. If he WAS, why wasn’t that brought up in the defense.
    2. Why wasn’t medical care brought up in the defense?
    3. Through history, Catholics are GUILTY of WAY more than child molestation. I’ve been picked on my whole life about what *WE* did. I admit those mistakes, and *WE* all work to make it a better church. BTW… I’m a good Catholic.
    4. Rafael Martinez is a good man.

  31. one who knows says:

    what did i lie about?

    remnant paid for the smith’s defense and for the use of expert witnesses…expert witnesses are paid for their time when they testify in a trial…and they are selected so that their testimony supports the lawyer’s case…the defense would certainly not select a doctor to testify that didn’t support the staph infection defense…

    the State didn’t have to be paid off…nor would I think they could be….the State only had to prove evidence of guilt according to the charges…the State did not have to put remnant on trial in order to get a conviction against the smiths…

    are u sure you’re a lawyer? cause i would think you would know that type information concerning the law…

    also please note that you said the testimony did not show “solid” evidence linking remnant to the child’s death…that doesn’t mean “no” evidence

    i have no religous bigotry against remnant…they can worship the easter bunny if they so desire…and gwen’s teachings make about as much sense to anyone with half a brain…but when religous practices lead to family problems and death…then i am concerned

    my name…why do u want to know…maybe u know i speak the truth…and it makes u squirm…

    let’s just say i am related to some of gwen’s right hand men…and u’d be surprised what children tell u that their parents never would

    again if u would pay attention to past posts you would know my concern about remnant children…that we have had to support our remnant relatives in the past pre-remnant as they could never support themselves or their children..and most likely we will have to support them again in the future when this whole mess implodes..problem is we never were repaid for our past financial support…so much for perfect pure godly christians…i guess loan repayments don’t count as a sin…

    oh yeah…and andrea yates certainly got off on insanity/religous brainwashing defense..so there is a precedent there

  32. one who knows says:

    oops…meant to say that not paying loans must not count as a sin…

  33. one who knows says:

    isn’t it true that remnant members are told they should sell their homes and move to nashville because it is selfish of them to want their own home?

  34. Samuel J. Harris says:

    “i too think remnant paid for the defense to keep remnant and weigh down out of the spotlight……so remnant caused them to lose a child and their freedom”

    There’s your Big Lie, One Huge Nose.

    What nerve for a coward! You hide behind anonymity and then say it is I who squirm. Well if I was spreading vicious lies and innuendo like you I wouldn’t want anyone to know my name either.

    The prosecution did not produce any evidence that says that Remnant encouraged the child’s abuse. How did Remnant swing that one? If the prosecution believes it was abuse as part of religious practices, where’s the evidence? Solid or otherwise. And I don’t mean the speculative rantings of religious bigots or disgruntled, dysfunctional individuals such as Teri Phillips.

    I am not surprised what children say. But I remember that children do not always understand fully what they see or hear and then there is even more risk of error in their communication of what they perceive. Of course you can say anything because nobody knows who you are.

    Your Andrea Yates comment is incomprehensible. Presumably you are saying that attorneys should present any defense that exists regardless of whether there is a factual basis. It doesn’t work that way unless … Well I did miss a couple of Perry Mason episodes – was it discussed there?

    You (and Andrea Yates) may be able to assert an insanity defense based on the facts, but the Smiths are not insane and therefore that defense was not viable in their case.

    Finally, as to post #33, I have never heard of the requirement for Remnant members to sell their homes. It never fails to amaze me what some people will tell you to justify not having to live near you. Oh well we’ve all screened our calls by message machine so don’t take it too personally.

  35. one who knows says:

    its all going down, down, down…….

    oh..i’m sure my remnant relatives would screen their calls…not that I call them…don’t wanna be them…or see them…just please pay us…they owe us money…lol…ask the puppet leaders…who among them owes 30K+ they haven’t paid…

    and defense lawyers do it all the time..the goal is to get the client off…not present the truth…just figure out how to refute any evidence presented against his client…

    again…the prosecution just had to prove the evidence…they didn’t have to prove the motivation behind the beatings…just that they happened….and even the defense never tried to disprove the beatings…just that they didn’t cause the child’s death…

    i never said it was a requirement to sell their homes…just that they are encouraged to not to want their own home…all part of submitting to leadership authority…it’s selfish according to ya’ll to want to have your own individual home…

    u are very angry…it is not good for u… :)

    and children are excellent witnesses…especially teenagers…they see so much….

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