Saturday, March 31, 2012

CNN AC360's Investigation into Pinehaven Part II of III: The IFB Ignores More Sexual Abuse while “Pinehaven Oversees Pinehaven”

Continuing with Part II of the CNN Anderson Cooper 360 investigation into Pinehaven of St. Ignatius, Montana, one of the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) affiliated homes for troubled children that employ extreme abuse and forced heavy labor to purify their souls. Note that Kathryn Joyce titled her article about these IFB homes as “Escape from Montana” when it first appeared in Mother Jones in August, 2011 because the Montana state laws apparently facilitate the free operation of the abuse that takes place within them.

On a personal note, I suggest that James Mason who breaks the silence about what really takes place within these IFB homes be considered another “Tank Man of Tianamen Square.

 Addendum 31Mar12 5PM:  Since this initial posting, I've been made aware that though the IFB does run boarding homes like Pinehaven, the facility in Montana is not directly affiliated with the the IFB in the same way as homes like Hephzibah House.  Apparently, the home is subsidized as a missionary effort in the same way that the IFB homes are and practice the same types of discipline and heavy labor as a "Christian ministry" but receive donations from a variety of sources including funds from many evangelicals including Baptist and Catholic sources.  Like the homes directly affiliated with the IFB, Pinehaven does operate without oversight from anyone under the laws protecting private homes and religious liberty.

Part II of III as it appears on the AC360 blog entry:

March 28, 2012 transcript not included in video:

COOPER: Tonight, part two of our report on disturbing allegations of abuse at a small religious school in Northwestern Montana. Now it's the latest installment in our ongoing discipline -- "Ungodly Discipline" series.

The school facing accusations tonight has been operating for decades beyond the reach of state authorities. It's all perfectly legal, but the question is, is the lack of oversight safe for the students? We'll let you decide.

Here's part two of Gary Tuchman's investigation.


COOPER: Gary joins us now. I mean, he's correct. Parents don't have to send their kids there. It's not really a great defense, though.

TUCHMAN: Right. I mean, there is -- it is real. It's a real statement. It's true. But there are certainly kids we talked to during this investigation who say while they were there, they were never uncensored. They weren't allowed to make phone calls to their parents describing what was happening.

Also there's a woman we talked to who has a child there today, and this woman want her child out of Pinehaven. And that's the subject of part three of our investigation, and I want to show a little snippet of that right now.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Paula Bowen of Olney, Illinois, says without her permission, her daughter Cassie was whisked away more than 1,800 miles to rural northern Montana, to the Pinehaven Christian Children's Ranch. And that's where we met her.

(on camera) What's your name?


TUCHMAN: Where are you from?

C. BOWEN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) [Host note: Olney, IL]

TUCHMAN: Cassie's mother says she wants her daughter home, but Cassie is not being allowed to leave.


COOPER: So why isn't she being allowed to leave?

TUCHMAN: It's a really unusual story, but basically, a truant officer in their community in Illinois recommended to a judge that Cassie go to Montana. And that truant officer -- and he tells us this -- he's sent at least 29 children over the years from that small area in Illinois to Montana. So basically, that small town in Illinois is a pipeline to Pinehaven.

COOPER: Wow. Fascinating story. We're going to look at that more tomorrow night. Gary, appreciate that.

Link here to Part I and Part III
with transcript not included in the video.