Sekt Info http://sektinfo.org/ Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:16:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 http://sektinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/sekt-info-icon-150x150.png Sekt Info http://sektinfo.org/ 32 32 Why some Orthodox Jewish women won’t get vaccinated http://sektinfo.org/why-some-orthodox-jewish-women-wont-get-vaccinated/ http://sektinfo.org/why-some-orthodox-jewish-women-wont-get-vaccinated/#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 17:01:49 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/why-some-orthodox-jewish-women-wont-get-vaccinated/

New York City will spend up to $ 60 million, according to an estimate from health officials, on a vaccination program aimed at tackling hesitation and access issues. But in many Orthodox neighborhoods, the messages of respected rabbis resonate more.

In Israel, where restrictions on coronaviruses have ended now that the majority of the population has been vaccinated, state officials have faced similar difficulties with the ultra-Orthodox community. However, community representatives carried out an effective campaign of counter messages.

But these messages did not have as much success in New York.

In Brooklyn’s Borough Park zip code, which has a large Orthodox community, 28.5% of the population is fully vaccinated, compared to 45.7% for all city residents. In the South Williamsburg zip code, where several major Hasidic sects are concentrated, 35% of the population is fully vaccinated. In East Crown Heights, where the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic sect is located, that number is 30.5%.

Patrick Gallahue, a spokesperson for the city’s health ministry, said the agency ran ads in local Orthodox media, worked with community organizations to host pop-up supplemental vaccination sites and partnered with trusted organizations like Hatzalah, an orthodox ambulance corps run by volunteers, to educate community members.

Other organizations in the region have made similar efforts.

John Lyon, spokesperson for the Rockland County Health Department, said fertility was the main concern of ultra-Orthodox residents when it came to receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Rockland County, home to 90,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews, was particularly affected by the virus last year.

Mr Lyon said the department “works through the delicate and personal process” of responding to fertility-related questions by partnering with local health providers and sending envoys to community rabbis, who have the best chance. affect the results of the community.

In April, the Jewish Orthodox Women’s Medical Association hosted three live coronavirus vaccine webinars for Orthodox women, doulas, prenuptial counselors, and attendants in ritual baths or mikvah, involving a total of nearly 5,000 participants.


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Mindful travel shouldn’t be a personal pursuit http://sektinfo.org/mindful-travel-shouldnt-be-a-personal-pursuit/ http://sektinfo.org/mindful-travel-shouldnt-be-a-personal-pursuit/#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 15:00:00 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/mindful-travel-shouldnt-be-a-personal-pursuit/

There has been a lot of ink spilled in the pandemic – including in these pages here – about what the future of tourism will look like.

We already know there is no going back to business as usual, with tourism hotspots such as Whistler, Venice, Valencia and others calling for more sustainable forms of travel long before COVID- 19 does not force the industry to stop.

Much of the discussion about the future of tourism has focused on the concept of ‘conscious travel’, and tour operators from Australia to India are now marketing travel packages with unhurried itineraries meant to promote connection. deeper with nature and longer stays in a destination.

These are undeniable positive elements in the ongoing transition to a fairer and more conscientious global tourism landscape. I just hope tourism can avoid the pitfalls of the multibillion dollar wellness industry that has co-opted the very concept of mindfulness from Eastern collectivist religious traditions to better match the West’s individualistic obsession. for self-actualization, telling clients (mostly women) that the only way to get there is to look younger, slimmer, better; that the only way to achieve inner peace is through expensive retreats and private gurus.

Travel, I would say, is often viewed in the same way: as a tool for personal growth for those who are privileged to afford it. How many blog posts, guidebooks and travelogues have been written to extol the personal value of travel without really acknowledging the toll it takes on the people who need it?

I remember that famous quote from Mark Twain you still see scribbled on Instagram posts about travel being “fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” From the popular travel diary The innocent abroad, which recounted Twain’s 1867 “Great Excursion of Pleasure” across Europe and the Holy Land, the book offered a rare window into cultures that most Americans of the day could only conjure up in their imaginations. It is clear, even through the satirical lens in which Twain excelled, that he had very different views of some cultures compared to others. He calls the French emperor the “representative of the highest modern civilization, progress and refinement”, while, later in the same passage, he describes the Ottoman emperor as “the representative of a people by nature and by his training dirty, brutal, ignorant, non-progressive. , [and] superstitious. ”Twain presents his exaggerated sense of cultural superiority as evidence of an expanded worldview, which I think still infects the Western perspective of travel in subtle ways.

This is not to say that there is no inherent value in travel. Twain was not wrong to say that exposure to different cultures can bring incredible benefits, but if we are to create a more conscious form of tourism, we must, unlike Twain, recognize our position at the top of the hierarchy of people. travel and be honest about the transactional nature of tourism. It also doesn’t mean that you have to be ashamed every time you go on vacation.

This is something Professor Anu Taranath, a professor at the University of Washington (UW), discusses in his book, Beyond Guilt Journeys: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World, who was informed by his numerous human rights-themed trips with UW students in India, Mexico and elsewhere.
“Mindful traveling in an uneven world is not about getting on a plane to go somewhere, it is about paying attention and noticing the position in relation to each other,” she said in a commentary. interview with 2019 UW News. “It’s about understanding that we all live in a much longer history that has placed us in different positions of advantage and disadvantage, and has given us very few tools to talk about it.

It’s those tough conversations about power, privilege, and moral responsibility that should be happening with us in our own communities long before we settle into the next vacation destination.

So do your homework. Try to understand a place, its culture, customs, history and power dynamics, and where you fit into it. Read sources that go beyond the Planet alone guides, local leaders and community groups working on the ground, voices that have historically been slandered in the mainstream. Take the time to understand the indigenous rights, traditional place names and customs of the territory you will be visiting and, if necessary, seek permission to enter the territory.

And when it comes to spending your hard-earned money on vacation, make sure you understand exactly where that money is going and who you are supporting. You can even go a step further and pay a property tax (although I struggled to find a Canadian equivalent, the Sogorea Te ‘Land Trust run by native women in the Bay Area is a prime example) or donate to groups like the Black Trans Travel Fund which is dedicated to promoting a safer and more accessible tourism landscape for all.

After all, travel cannot really be considered conscious until it transcends the individual and takes into account all aspects of the tourism equation.


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Kidnappings, Cults and North Korea: How People Disappear. Listen to Dakota Spotlight, episode 15 http://sektinfo.org/kidnappings-cults-and-north-korea-how-people-disappear-listen-to-dakota-spotlight-episode-15/ http://sektinfo.org/kidnappings-cults-and-north-korea-how-people-disappear-listen-to-dakota-spotlight-episode-15/#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 12:55:00 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/kidnappings-cults-and-north-korea-how-people-disappear-listen-to-dakota-spotlight-episode-15/

When Barbara Cotton went missing without a trace on April 11, 1981, some thought she had just run away. They guessed. They speculated.

Sometimes that’s all we have left when someone goes missing, speculation and theories. Our most common theories are those that are meaningful to us, things we have heard of or are familiar with: running away, accident, kidnapping, assault. Murder! But what are some of the more obscure ways that people have disappeared in the past?

In episode 15 of “A Better Search for Barbara”, host James Wolner explores some lesser-known explanations.

Kidnappings in North Korea

From 1977, the North Korean government came up with a creative solution to meet some of its needs for language teachers and other professions; they started kidnapping people from other countries. Most of these people were from Japan, but there are testimonies from all over the world including Italy, the Netherlands, France, Romania, Thailand and others.

From Son of Sam to Barbara Cotton?

Maybe it’s just a case of six DEGREES OF SEPARATION. It may be a coincidence. Whatever the explanation, there is now an alleged connection between convicted “Son of Sam” killer David Berkowitz and the disappearance of Barbara Cotton from Williston, ND In this episode, host James Wolner discusses the recent Netflix documentary ” Sons of Sam “with private investigator Carrie Abbey. The documentary explores theories of occult activity and its alleged role in the Son of Sam murders of 1976. The discussion takes us from New York to Minot, ND to Williston.

Listen to episode 15

Listen to previous episodes:

Listen to the podcast here or wherever podcasts are found (Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, Stapler etc.)

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True Crime Podcasts BY JAMES WOLNER

RELATED Podcast home page | Bulletin | Season 3 Videos | Season 2: 1976 Zick Murders | jwolner@forumcomm.com

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Why is it so difficult to assess support for QAnon http://sektinfo.org/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-assess-support-for-qanon/ http://sektinfo.org/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-assess-support-for-qanon/#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 10:00:00 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-assess-support-for-qanon/

How many Americans believe in the QAnon plot? A recent June poll shows it’s around 15 percent. But wait, a poll from last October found it was 7 percent. But even that is high compared to an ongoing investigation which set it at 4% earlier this month.

Why the disparity? Perhaps, in an attempt to downplay QAnon’s power, a secret clique of electoral elites signed a contract with Satan and Marina Abramović to offer very different poll results… or maybe it’s just difficult to poll on QAnon.

As much as QAnon feels like a distinctly modern phenomenon, much of its tradition is rooted in conspiracy theories that have been around for decades or, in some cases, centuries (the main one is that an elite global cabal runs a satanic network of child sex trafficking and cannabilism). It’s part of what helped QAnon gain as much traction as it did, a sort of big tent conspiracy movement that combines aspects of many different beliefs. But that’s also what makes it hard to measure.

What if someone thinks a few Q ideas seem plausible? Should a poll see them as “believers?” What about Americans who endorse QAnon’s beliefs without realizing that they are associated with QAnon?

It’s hard to fathom how many people believe in QAnon

Pollsters have strategies for solving these dilemmas, but it is difficult to solve them all at once. Considering a dilemma – for example, avoiding the term “QAnon” so as not to scare people who are reluctant to share their affiliation – opens the door to another (capturing people who are not affiliated with QAnon at all) . As a result, each individual survey asks very different questions and ultimately measures different things.

Consider a recent poll of the PRRI. He asked Americans if they agreed with three separate statements, each part of the QAnon belief system, but he did not mention QAnon by name. Fifteen percent of Americans agreed with the statement “the government, media and financial world in the United States are controlled by a group of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.” This statement is the central tenet of QAnon, but it is also not a belief unique to the movement. Fears about Satan-worshiping pedophiles predate entirely QAnon, so belief in this statement is not limited to people who follow – or have even heard of – Q, according to Mary deYoung, professor emeritus of sociology at the Grand Valley State University in Michigan. DeYoung studied the so-called ‘satanic panic’, the popular misconception in the 1980s that satanic ritual abuse of children was widespread in this country. A 1986 ABC News Poll found 63% of Americans believed members of religious sects had “too much influence in this country,” and 54% of Americans believed there should be laws against worshiping Satan, poll finds from 1987 Williamsburg Charter Foundation survey.

The other statements polled by PRRI, about a “coming storm” to “sweep the power elites” (20%) and that “the patriots could resort to violence” (15%) are not either specific to QAnon. The prediction of the “storm” mimics the apocalyptic language of evangelical Christianity, and the use of violence is said to be endorsed by a number of right-wing militias or extremists.

Natalie Jackson, PRRI’s research director, said the company had existing conspiracy theories in mind when designing the investigation and carefully crafted the statements to match what they have. found in QAnon sources. She also said that the extent of QAnon’s conspiracy topics is part of the reason PRRI focused on the beliefs themselves, rather than asking respondents to identify themselves as QAnon supporters. Someone could potentially buy into QAnon’s ideas without realizing that he is part of the movement, and PRRI wanted to capture those people’s beliefs as well. (Other polling firms have focused on beliefs rather than QAnon affiliation, and they have found similar rate at the PRRI survey.)

“The big picture here is less about QAnon himself than the people who believe in such a savage conspiracy theory. I never thought I would write a poll question like this in my career, ”Jackson said. “At this point, does it really matter that you are officially affiliated with QAnon, or is the most important thing that you think it’s a real possibility? ”

But in addition to the possibility of attributing belief in QAnon to non-QAnon conspiracy theorists, asking questions about specific beliefs can present another probing risk: expressive responses, a phenomenon where people sometimes answer questions. ‘survey with what feels closer to their opinions, rather than to what they believe to be true. Take a 2016 survey by UMass Lowell / Odyssey, where nearly a quarter of millennials said they would rather “have a giant meteor strike Earth, instantly extinguishing all human life” than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump winning the election. In a 2020 version of the New Hampshire poll, a majority of Democrats chose the meteor on Trump winning a second term.

Joshua Dyck, associate professor of political science and director of the Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, explained that they never believed those respondents were sincere. “The reason we asked the question is because it’s funny, and because it’s a measure of negative partisanship and expressive response – people will say something crazy!” said Dyck. “Sometimes I don’t know what to do with the QAnon response. Do people really believe in the global conspiracy, the pedophile ring, or is it just that they hate Hillary Clinton so much?

Dyck said it was difficult to get around the expressive response dilemma, but that studies have shown that offering people money, for example, can improve their ability to give factual answers and reduce the impact of expressive answers and partisan bias.

But overcoming a set of dilemmas sometimes opens the door to a new one. Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami who has polled Americans about QAnon since 2018, chooses to focus on the movement’s explicit name, even if that means missing some “shy” QAnon followers.

Each of its QAnon polls asks respondents to rate conspiracy theory on a “sentiment thermometer,” from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more positive feelings. QAnon systematically notes in the mid 20s, which makes it one of the political groups least appreciated by Uscinski and his colleagues.

Uscinski points out that when Americans are asked point blank if they have heard of or believe in QAnon, the results are also consistent. In August 2019, an Emerson poll found that 5% of voters answered “yes” when asked simply, “Do you believe in QAnon? Among Americans who had heard of QAnon, 7 percent said they believed it was true, according to an October 2020 Yahoo / YouGov poll. Likewise, a Civiqs rolling tracker found that less than 10% of Americans consistently say they support QAnon and that number has declined over the past year (from 7% in September 2020 to 4% this week).

“The good news is that QAnon is not that big,” Uscinski said. “The bad news is that a lot of the wacky ideas that dominate with QAnon are huge, and they probably were long before QAnon came along.”

Asking respondents directly whether they believe or support QAnon avoids finding unrelated conspiracy theorists, but it also risks being another pitfall of polls: social desirability bias, that is, when respondents give the answer they think they sincerely believe. Jackson said some Q believers may be skeptical of pollsters to begin with, and are less likely to admit their affiliation when asked directly. Not mentioning QAnon directly may mitigate this effect. Uscinski, for his part, believes that the risk of social desirability bias with QAnon is minimal, given the shameless zeal with which the supporters seem to show their support.

The best strategy for disentangling all of these issues is to ask many types of questions, according to Dyck. Ideally, this would be done in a survey and repeated regularly with the same set of questions, but resource constraints mean this is not often practical.

Instead, these different types of questions measuring different aspects of QAnon support are spread across many different surveys. This makes it harder to draw any conclusions, but when you add up all the polls it becomes clear that the number of Americans who are really in the QAnon rabbit hole is likely low, and the number of those individuals who would be willing to act. violently on behalf of the movement is a tiny fraction of the total population. That’s not to say that QAnon isn’t a problem – it is. But the number of Americans who make up the population of True Believers is probably smaller than it sometimes appears.

Confidence Interval: QAnon is Going Nowhere | FiveThirtyEight

Why it’s so hard to survey people about the death penalty


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BenFred: Alonso’s conspiracy theory proves one thing: the gap between players and MLB owners is not improving | Ben frederickson http://sektinfo.org/benfred-alonsos-conspiracy-theory-proves-one-thing-the-gap-between-players-and-mlb-owners-is-not-improving-ben-frederickson/ http://sektinfo.org/benfred-alonsos-conspiracy-theory-proves-one-thing-the-gap-between-players-and-mlb-owners-is-not-improving-ben-frederickson/#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/benfred-alonsos-conspiracy-theory-proves-one-thing-the-gap-between-players-and-mlb-owners-is-not-improving-ben-frederickson/

I wish Alonso had picked a better talking point, like calling the owners for manipulating younger players’ duty time, or calling for a faster route to free agency. The facts support both of these views. Finding a better way to ensure that young players who are relied on a lot more of the baseball revenue pie is the kind of topic that should get a lot of attention. Instead, it’s ignored for that kind of noise.

At some point, the noise becomes the news.

Alonso’s willingness to shoot from the hip, regardless of the damage done by his megaphone comments, paints a troubling picture of the situation between the two sides of baseball as they approach a crossroads.

Players and owners continue to show little understanding of the damage that could be done to their sport if they lose a single day of the 2022 season to billionaires and millionaires arguing at the expense of fans. Other sports, some of which have left baseball in the dust, are gearing up for the 2022 seasons during the post-pandemic sports boom. Baseball cannot afford to slow down or hit.

That Alonso’s claim of a league intentionally trying to sabotage its stars has been so casually and recklessly deployed is a testament to the growing us-against-them sentiment that has grown as the current collective agreement draws near. from its end on December 1. Alonso isn’t the only player who believes the league is actively working against players. Sour feelings flow both ways. (Just wait until the owners start accusing players of maximizing injury roster time in 2021 due to their aversion to the 60-game season imposed by Manfred in 2020.)


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Utah charter school linked to polygamous sect receives warning http://sektinfo.org/utah-charter-school-linked-to-polygamous-sect-receives-warning/ http://sektinfo.org/utah-charter-school-linked-to-polygamous-sect-receives-warning/#respond Thu, 10 Jun 2021 23:35:42 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/utah-charter-school-linked-to-polygamous-sect-receives-warning/

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Regulators voted Thursday to issue a formal warning to a Utah charter school run by people with ties to a polygamous cult, and to launch a further investigation.

FOX 13 INVESTIGATION: Public school linked to polygamous sect is 100% white

A recent audit found that Vanguard Academy in West Valley City had almost no students of color and that its vendors had family ties to school employees, among other issues.

Vanguard students and staff are individuals associated with the Davis County Cooperative Society, also known as the Kingston Group.

“Probably most, if not all, are family members,” said Amanda Rae, a former cult member who attended the meeting.

The audit took place after FOX 13 investigated and discovered multiple links between Vanguard and the Kingston Group.

The warning requires Vanguard to correct any issues identified during the audit. But the Utah State Charter School Board also voted Thursday that a further investigation was needed.

“We need to be transparent,” said Bryan Bowles, vice chairman of the board. “These are public money.

WATCH: School linked to polygamous sect investigated by charter school board

Utah charter schools are said to be open to students who apply, but the audit found only children in the Kingston group were admitted. The listeners found a reference to the only students who belong to the “LDCC” being allowed to enter the gymnasium.

“Our staff, we don’t know what LDCC means,” said Stewart Okobia, chief financial officer of the board of directors Thursday. “We have no idea what it is.”

Rae has stated that it means The Church of Christ of the latter days – the incorporated church of the sect.

WATCH: Audit confirms FOX 13 investigation into public school linked to polygamous sect

Rae and another woman who grew up in the group, Kollene Snow, are thrilled with the further investigation as they believe a warning is not enough.

” It’s not good ! Snow said. “The state must do a lot more. “

The board has the option of imposing a harsher probation sentence or shutting down Vanguard.


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Dom Sibley clumsily cements his status as England’s new cult hero | England cricket team http://sektinfo.org/dom-sibley-clumsily-cements-his-status-as-englands-new-cult-hero-england-cricket-team/ http://sektinfo.org/dom-sibley-clumsily-cements-his-status-as-englands-new-cult-hero-england-cricket-team/#respond Thu, 10 Jun 2021 18:33:00 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/dom-sibley-clumsily-cements-his-status-as-englands-new-cult-hero-england-cricket-team/

Hhow has anyone ever been made so happy by Dom Sibley’s staff? Dropped in a test match after a 15-month intermittent lockdown, the crowd in the Hollies Stand was raved about England openers Sibley and Rory Burns as they battled during Thursday morning’s session for 72. That ranked surprisingly high in England’s recent opening stand list: fifth-best in a home test since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012, and their biggest in a home first leg since the last time Nova Zealand was here in 2015, when Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth put 177 together at Headingley.

It is a testament to England’s struggle to settle on a reliable opening pair. And also the fact that they may have finally found one. Unfortunately for them, it seems to have happened when their middle order disappeared. Graham Gooch memorably described Richard Hadlee’s strike against New Zealand as a showdown with World XI on one side and Ilford Second XI on the other. Watching England do their job on Thursday afternoon, it was as if New Zealand were bowling against Ilford Second XI on one side and Ilford Third XI on the other. By this time, those at the Hollies Stand were chanting the return of home football. They were strangely silent about the possibility of cricket doing the same this winter.

Sibley, however, looks set to become a cult hero. Few men have gone open for England with a smaller arsenal to work with: he’s got a frown, pad, cuff and goad. Cook, who has built a record-breaking career on the back of three shots, feels blessed with an unfathomable wealth of talent in comparison. They used to say that the hardest part of bowling for Brian Lara was the feeling that he could choose from one of three different strokes, even the best balls you deliver. Sibley is the other way around – you think he could punch all day long without playing anything other than a nudge to the side of the leg.

His staff is so clumsy that it makes Burns look good. At one point he tried to play a cover workout, but his claw grip on the bat meant he simply refused to do as he was told and he ended up squirting the ball for too long. He did not cross the border but instead abandoned the path, perhaps because he died of boredom. Later, mirabile saying, he tried again and hit two blankets all the way to the border in one from Neil Wagner, who invited him in by floating the two deliveries as full and wide as he could, maybe just because he wanted to see if Sibley would.

In case it is not clear, I am a fan. I mean, how could you not be when the man came out to knock in the same dirty sweater he wore when he took 60 steps in the second inning at Lord’s last week? There was still a large muddy trail down the front from which he had collapsed on his stomach to beat a jet from the depths. It was a shame he got out here, for all kinds of reasons, not least because you were wondering how long he would have lasted before finally washing off his lucky top. No doubt if he had carried his bat he would have swung in it in Nottingham for the first Test against India in August.

He’s not lacking in stubbornness, after all, or determination, or patience, but he’s had enough of all three to make up for whatever he apparently lacks.

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England’s management obviously love him too, and they were rewarded for sticking with him through a streak of six consecutive single-digit scores before the final day at Lord’s. It’s hard to say how much weight the England team have placed on what happened in Sri Lanka and India this winter, but there is no doubt that some previous regimes would have dropped it already. It is a testament to Sibley’s poise that as soon as he returned to England he started doing what he’s always been good at again, a little older and wiser, perhaps, for going through the mill. on tour.

Some of his teammates, on the other hand, seem to still feel quite baffled by these experiences. Zak Crawley’s game is in pieces – he’s made nine single-digit scores in 11 innings since scoring that double century against Pakistan. Ollie Pope scored in 14 innings without going over 50 at the same time, although he hit double digits in the last six of them.

The break following this game may have saved the managers a tough decision, although you can assume both men will wish they had a bit more top-class cricket to play by August 4. Sibley has far fewer hits than either, but more poise than both.


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Hispanic Americans are also curious about QAnon http://sektinfo.org/hispanic-americans-are-also-curious-about-qanon/ http://sektinfo.org/hispanic-americans-are-also-curious-about-qanon/#respond Thu, 10 Jun 2021 16:41:16 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/hispanic-americans-are-also-curious-about-qanon/


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Mehul met Barbara for dinner the day she disappeared: Choksi’s wife http://sektinfo.org/mehul-met-barbara-for-dinner-the-day-she-disappeared-choksis-wife/ http://sektinfo.org/mehul-met-barbara-for-dinner-the-day-she-disappeared-choksis-wife/#respond Thu, 10 Jun 2021 15:29:09 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/mehul-met-barbara-for-dinner-the-day-she-disappeared-choksis-wife/

Priti Choksi, wife of fugitive diamond dealer Mehul Choksi, has lived in Antigua since 2018. She says she feels trapped after her husband was reportedly kidnapped, tortured and taken from Antigua to Dominica in a boat on May 23. “Priti told LA WEEK.” People call us crooks. But the Jain community supports us.

Excerpts from the interview:

How long have you lived in Antigua?

I had never visited Antigua before 2018, (ie) when we moved here. Mehul must have been here before, when he applied for citizenship and came to the swearing-in ceremony in 2017. We don’t know many Indians here. The fact that there is a red corner notice against him put us in a situation close to jail. We cannot travel freely. I feel like I’m already living in prison. The island is my prison.

Mehul Choksi is reported to have led an extravagant life.

We live in a rented property and drive a used or third hand car. It’s a Japanese or Chinese car. So you can imagine our way of life. We live in a gated community, where most of the people are expats. People ostracized us. After learning about the accusations made by Indian investigative agencies, they began to make vague comments. Some called us crooks.

The local people are nice and kind. But we don’t have any friends in the family.

How do you manage your expenses? Have you or your husband taken a job?

Barbara had rented an apartment across from our house in August 2020 and used to meet my husband on his walks. He likes to walk on the beach and Barbara was there once.

He is not doing well; most of his time here was spent visiting doctors or lawyers. We don’t have a lot of expenses. We are Jains. We don’t eat non-vegetarian food and we lead a simple life. I am not an employee. There is no temple where we live, so I built a small temple in our house with two or three pictures of our gurus. This is where I spend my time.

Do you have the support of your family or friends in India?

The whole Jain community came to support us. Jains around the world have supported us.

There is speculation that you got divorced.

It’s our 35th wedding anniversary.

Where were you when Mehul Choksi disappeared?

I was in my house. We were all seated and waiting for him to come back. My children are worried; we are all clueless.

Do you know Barbara Jarabik? How do you react to the reports that she was Choksi’s girlfriend?

We are traumatized. Barbara had rented an apartment across from our house in August 2020 and used to meet my husband on his walks. He likes to walk on the beach and Barbara was once there. It was an acquaintance with whom he walked. I never spoke to her, but she used to contact my husband every now and then for help. She said she was in the home improvement industry.

On May 23, he left in his car to meet her for dinner. She had been staying in a hotel for some time and would call him to chat over a meal about a property she had to renovate at the behest of her boss. He had just recovered from the Covid and was not going out. That day he went out for dinner.

When did he contract the Covid?

We both had it in February. My case was very serious and I had to leave Antigua for treatment. He was also ill for a while. Now we are both vaccinated. Mehul has heart problems, high blood pressure, and many other ailments; he hadn’t received proper medical assistance here. He had applied for permission to travel to Miami last year for treatment, but it was refused after objections from India.

Are there reports that Barbara was involved in the kidnapping of Choksi?

From what I learned, when Mehul went to pick her up, the door to her house was open. She asked him to come inside, saying she wanted to show him something. As soon as he got out of his car, eight to ten men in blue uniforms grabbed him. They beat him, blindfolded him and gagged him with a plastic tarp, tied him to a wheelchair and took him to a boat in Jolly Harbor. They told him not to mention Barbara and to cooperate with them. He was half unconscious. They gave him electric shocks and confiscated all of his money, watch and bank cards. We don’t know where Barbara is today.

What is your biggest concern?

I want to ask the authorities: are we no longer under the rule of law? It is quite simply contrary to basic human rights. Even if there is an investigation, there are procedures to follow. You cannot just kidnap someone, torture them and deport them.

My husband is 63 years old and needs medical attention. How do the Dominican authorities keep him in police custody for so long? Mehul is not an accused in the CBI indictment against Nirav Modi. But still a red corner notice was issued against him.

Are you planning to appeal to UK?

I appeal to the Queen, who is the Head of State of Antigua and Barbuda. I will approach international forums against kidnappings and human rights violations in my husband’s case.

Are there reports of two Indian men accompanying Choksi on the boat?

Everyone knows what happened. The ship’s crew included two men from the Punjab. I later learned that one of them was from Birmingham. As it was a public holiday in Dominica when they disembarked, Mehul stayed in the boat for a whole day. They mistreated and mistreated him.

Do you miss India?

Certainly yes. What I miss the most is going to the temples, to our guru ji. We regularly visited the temples of Teen Batti [in Mumbai].

How was your lifestyle in India?

We are religious people and we believe in charity. On December 24, 2017, before leaving for Antigua, we opened a girls’ school in Ahmedabad. We have also contributed to the creation of an engineering school. Mehul is a philanthropist, but now he’s called a crook.

Do you want to return to India?

I want my husband to go back to Antigua. I want justice.


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Passionate mother of transgender people in India http://sektinfo.org/passionate-mother-of-transgender-people-in-india/ http://sektinfo.org/passionate-mother-of-transgender-people-in-india/#respond Thu, 10 Jun 2021 10:23:33 +0000 http://sektinfo.org/passionate-mother-of-transgender-people-in-india/

Prema Chowallur was destined to become a teacher like her Catholic parents. She ended up becoming a social worker and champion for the rights of transgender people, one of the most marginalized groups in India.

Originally from the state of Kerala in southern India, she developed a strong vocation to serve the poor and needy as she grew up, leading her to join the Sisters of the Cross of Chavanod (SCC) in 1977 at the age 18.

The nun made her final vows in 1981 and 1988 and pursued higher education. She obtained a master’s degree in business and education and became principal of the famous ICSE school in Gorakpur district, Uttar Pradesh state.

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Sister Chowallur’s life took a turn in 2000 when her boss assigned her to a social work center, which she gladly accepted.

“My goal was to become religious and to serve the poor. Although I was totally dedicated to the ministry of education for 15 years, the desire to work for the poorest of the poor and the left behind was very close to my heart, ”Sister Chowallur said. , 62, at UCA News.

Since then, the charismatic nun has traveled and worked with various church and development groups across India to support poor communities.

Sister Chowallur’s life of service widened in 2015 as she began to fight human trafficking and the plight of LGBTQ communities.

She worked with Palli Unnayan Samiti (Rural Development Society or PUS) in Baruipur in the state of West Bengal and Tarumitra (Friends of Trees), an environmental charity based in Patna in the state of Bihar. She has collaborated with the North East Diocesan Social Service Society (NEDSSS) in Guwahati, capital of the state of Assam, and Purvanchal Pragati Samaj (Eastern Development Society or PPS), both covering North East India.

Her prolific social work was recognized worldwide and in 2005 she was invited to participate in a United Nations consultation on sustainable development.

Sister Chowallur then became vice-president of the Indian chapter of Talitha Kum, a worldwide network of Vatican-sponsored religious congregations against human trafficking. She is also a facilitator of the North East Forum for Justice and Peace and coordinator of her congregation’s Crossian Consortium to Reach Out to the Periphery (CCROP).

Sister Chowallur’s life of service widened in 2015 as she began to fight human trafficking and the plight of LGBTQ communities.

“In 2016, I saw a lady sitting alone on a bus I was traveling in and I dared to sit next to her where no one dared to sit. I started chatting with her and she told her painful story – how she was kicked out of her family and ended up in a railroad slum. It inspired me to work for those who live on the margins or even outside society, ”recalls the nun.

The meeting encouraged her to join the Global Rainbow Catholic Network (GNRC) and the Indian Rainbow Catholic Network (INRC), enabling her to better understand the challenges and plight of LGBTQ communities.

The nun began to take to the streets looking for transgender people, mostly from the Kinner / Hijra community (eunuch). She listened with passion to their stories of pain, struggles, abuse and discrimination, and she felt strongly that she had to do something to help them.

She started inviting poor transgender people to her convent in the Joypur area of ​​Guwahati for discussions and food, which they greatly appreciated.

Her religious order, superiors and confreres supported her as she began to take a less traveled path. The current Superior General, Sister Elizabeth Miranda, has enabled their province to create a home for transgender people.

The nun befriended Nayaks and Gurus, the leaders of the community, and gained their trust. She then began to visit community members regularly and invited them to attend various programs, including Christmas and New Years.

This condition melted the transgender community and they began to see her as one of them. They often call her “Maa” (Mother).

The nun has organized numerous social and awareness gatherings attended by dignitaries and Catholic officials, increasing interaction as a means of gradually reducing the marginalization of the transgender community. Such meetings created a sense of pride and dignity in the community.

My approach is like a double-edged sword. I motivate the transgender community to discipline and refine their life

She also brought in psychiatrists and psychologists, as many transgender people need counseling to overcome trauma.

“My approach is like a double-edged sword. I motivate the transgender community to discipline and refine their lives, which leads them to transform their way of life, although it is a long process, ”said Sister Chowallur.

About 60 transgender people have directly benefited from the nun’s ministry and she is also in contact with over 400 LGBTQ people.

For years, Sister Chowallur and her confreres have envisioned a home for the transgender community in Guwahati.

Finally, on June 2, the Rainbow Home of Seven Sisters was inaugurated in Christian Basti (shanty town) in Guwahati with the full support of the Archdiocese of Guwahati. The event brought together social and religious dignitaries amid the wish that the refuge will remain a ray of hope and a sign of God’s love for humanity, especially the transgender community.

Jesuit Father Owen Chourappa, lawyer and director of the Guwahati-based Human Rights Legal Unit, blessed the home.

The priest appreciated the efforts of the nun to satisfy a great desire he had to open a center for transgender people without being able to move it forward.

“I am happy to see that the Rainbow Home for the trans community started near our institute by the Sisters of the Cross,” said the priest.

Local leader Sandillya Dulal Goswami applauded Sister Chowallur’s indomitable spirit and her unwavering love for transgender people.

“Sister Prema will not give up until she achieves her goal. Her persistent and inexorable search for a space to house the transgender community has proven it,” he said, adding that he This was a very rare type of service.

“The sisters initiated and made a reality where broken, broken and homeless people can find a home,” he added.

Even though there is a quota of jobs in some states like Kerala, transgender people have had to quit their jobs due to non-acceptance, threats and humiliation.

The nun said she plans to welcome trans children to good schools, as she seeks land where trans people can be rehabilitated effectively.

“For now, this center will accommodate both adults and trans children. There will be separate sections for the Kinner / Hijra community, trans women and children belonging to this third gender, ”she said.

South Asian countries, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, enjoy legal recognition and protection, including education and employment rights, but transgender people do. some of the most marginalized communities in the region due to extreme social stigma and discrimination.

Sister Chowallur laments that most legal protections only remain on paper and are not a reality. Transgender people are not accepted by families and society and are looked down upon, teased and treated as objects everywhere.

“Even though there is a job quota in some states like Kerala, transgender people have had to quit their jobs due to non-acceptance, threats and humiliation. In India, people generally believe that they are a curse and a disgrace to the family, ”she said.

Now the nun is looking forward to a dignified life for all trans people.

“We don’t want to see trans people kicked out anymore. Rather, we aim to reduce the number of them living in slums and roaming the streets, ”she said.

“We would like to provide a more socially acceptable lifestyle with some discipline, a better moral life and both the soft skills and life skills required for independent living. This is our first step towards making a big dream come true.

Sister Prema Chowallur with transgender people during the distribution of food rations during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo provided)


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