....I suppose conservatives would not mind applying the same standards to their own perverse religion. Meet the Mohlers. They are a family outfit. For the past two decades, these holy men have been raping girls on their farm.
"It's unspeakable. I can't think of words that would put this in perspective. I find it repulsive if it's true," said Darrel Mohler, a brother of one of the five men charged.
The men — a father and his four adult sons — were dressed in orange jumpsuits and shackled at their wrists, waists and ankles on Thursday when they made their first court appearance. Associate Circuit Judge John Frerking read the charges against them, including forcible sodomy, rape with a child younger than 12 and use of a child in a sexual performance.
Burrell Edward Mohler Sr., 77, of Independence, looked ill, keeping his eyes closed during much of the proceeding and coughing several times.
The other suspects are Mohler's sons: Burrell Edward Mohler Jr., 53, of Independence; Jared Leroy Mohler, 48, of Columbia; Roland Neil Mohler, 47, of Bates City; and David A. Mohler, 52, of Lamoni, Iowa.
Missouri State Highway Patrol arrested a sixth suspect late Thursday, a 55-year-old man from Kansas City. The man is suspected in the rape of a child less than 14 years old, the highway patrol said in a statement. The suspect is an "associate" of the Mohler family, the statement said.
The allegations against the Mohlers — including bestiality, forcing children into fake marriages with relatives and making an 11-year-old have an abortion — date from 1988 to 1995.
The men did not enter pleas and said little during the 20-minute hearing. They did not appear to have legal representation. The judge told them they could apply for public defenders.
The men are being held on cash bonds ranging from $30,000 to $75,000. Their next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17.
Darrel Mohler, brother of Burrell Mohler Sr., said Thursday that he hasn't seen his brother for years and the two were never close. "I'm 72, and this kind of struck me right in the gut," he said.
Merrill Clark, 63, a cousin of Burrell Mohler Sr.'s, said he attended the men's hearing hoping to get a sense "of their guilt or innocence."
"But I went away not much better than I was before," said Clark, of Lenexa, Kan. "Burrell looks like a broken old man. ... His hearing aid wasn't turned up quite enough. He never looked at me."
Clark said he did, however, make eye contact with David Mohler.
"I wanted to cry, and he appeared to be about the same way," Clark said. "But again, was he glad to see me for support, or was he embarrassed to see me? I can't really believe it. But I know it could be true."
Clark said when he heard about the charges against the five men his "chin kind of hit the floor."
"As far as I know they have been very upstanding citizens. It's just hard to believe," he said. "But anything is possible in this day and age."
Authorities resumed a search Thursday at a rural property outside Bates City, about 30 miles east of Kansas City, Mo., where members of the Mohler family once lived. They believe they may find a body or bodies and buried glass jars with notes written by children who may have documented sexual abuse.
"There has been an indication that there are body or bodies in numerous locations," Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh said Wednesday, although he would not say whose bodies they might be.
Cpl. Bill Lowe of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Thursday that about 50 law enforcement officials are involved in the case, and that several leads have come in since the arrests Tuesday.
"It's 55 acres, so it's quite a bit of land," Lowe said. "We're still searching the area and doing lead follow-ups. We're getting substantial amount of leads that we need to track down and verify."
Alumbaugh earlier pleaded for the public's help, saying investigators "believe that there are other victims out there" and that the public can provide more information.
"The case has taken 100 turns since our last news conference," Alumbaugh said Thursday. He wouldn't discuss what, if anything, investigators have found on the property, except to say that authorities may have another suspect. He wouldn't elaborate.
On Thursday afternoon, crews dug with a backhoe in front of a garage on the property. The excavation previously had taken place about 200 yards from a house in a wooded area.
Authorities said a 26-year-old woman came forward to investigators in mid-August with allegations of sexual abuse that began in the 1980s and continued until about 1995. A probable cause statement released by the Lafayette County prosecutor's office says five other siblings of the woman have accused all five men of abuse, but it's unclear if all the siblings were claiming to be victims.
"Each of the victims is being interviewed, and we're still collecting all of that," Lowe said Thursday.
Highway patrol said Thursday night it had identified "additional victims in the case."
Lowe said the woman told investigators that she and her siblings had buried glass jars around the property that were filled with messages they had written "about what was happening to them" when they were younger. The woman said she had "suppressed many of the memories of abuse perpetrated on her" and her siblings, according to the probable cause statement.
The Associated Press is not revealing details that could identify the alleged victims of sexual abuse.
Three of the five men are lay ministers in the Community of Christ church whose licenses have been suspended, church spokeswoman Linda L. Booth said.
Booth said Wednesday that none of the Mohlers served in leadership roles in the congregations they attended "nor did they serve as volunteer youth workers, teach children or youth church school, or work with children or youth."
"The church takes seriously the allegations that have been made and suspended the priesthood licenses of three lay ministers: Burrell Mohler Sr., David Mohler and Jared Mohler," the church said in a statement.
Associated Press writer Maria Sudekum Fisher in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.
I am sure you will not see Joy Tiz worry too much about such God-fearing Americans.
It makes you wonder what is in the water of Christians and Christian clergy these days. Well, maybe it is because the largest Christian church, my old church, still claims that raping children is not about pedophilia.
Fightback and counterattack: Vatican says church sex abuse of kids not really pedophilia
For those of you who thought the Catholic Church was truly feeling some deep remorse about the tens of thousands of children who have been molested by priests over the years, think again.
Self-reflection, shame, and remorseful regret?
Are you out of your mind?
How about a defiant counterattack in the face of unjust criticism and slander?
Oh yeah, you heard that right. According to the Guardian, the Vatican has indeed just lashed out at its critics— that is, those who say it hasn't done enough to uncover and stop the abuse—claiming that the abuse is just as bad, if not worse, in other religions and dominations.
That's right, people, the Catholic Church—according to the Catholic Church—is actually one of the world leaders when it comes to low sex abuse rates among clergy.
You want real sex abuse? Check out the Jews, Protestants, Muslims, and Hindus. And, for Christ sakes, don't forget those filthy-minded Buddhists.
Even more ballsy than all this finger pointing at others and insinuations that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion by the media and those whiny little "victims" is the claim that none of this has anything to do with pedophilia.
Yes, that's right, according to the Vatican none of this is really about pedophilia, rather it's all about raging ephebophilia (the homosexual attraction to adolescent males).
In other words, it's not so much about sexual abuse as it is about gay priests, to quote the Vatican, "engaging in sex with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17".
What a relief! And to think that I had felt sickened by all this alleged abuse, when really it was never anything more than teenage (and prepubescent) boys "engaging in sex" with their priests.
I don't know about you, but I'm convinced by all this and I think it's finally time that people lay off the poor misunderstood Catholic Church.
Oh and one other thing: the Vatican also stated that, "only 1.5%-5%" of Catholic clergy are involved in child sex abuse.
I know that some may argue with that number but, personally, I know the good church has nothing to hide and these numbers are probably pretty accurate.
So, using the five-percent figure, with a worldwide Catholic priesthood of more than 400,000, that means there are only about 20,000 Catholic priests presently involved in child sex abuse. And those 20,000 on average are only molesting, say, half a dozen to a dozen kids at any one time, right? So at worst there are only between 120,000 and 250,000 kids being buggered and fondled by their clergy in any given month.
That's nothing! Not even when you add in the thousands of others who claim to have been abused by non-priests, such as the Christian Brothers in both Newfoundland and in Ireland, where a government inquiry found rape to be "endemic" over a period of decades, or when you include the tens of thousands of Natives who suffered abuse in Canada's notorious residential schools.
No, I think it's pretty clear, the Vatican is right; there simply isn't anything to be concerned about here. Especially since, once again, we're not actually talking about pedophilia, but only priests "engaging in sex with adolescent boys".
Lighten up everyone; priests have to have a little fun, too, you know.
Hasn't the Church been put through enough already? Seriously, if you're looking for a real victim in all of this, look no further than the poor misunderstood Church.
I'm so glad they stood up for themselves and finally set this matter straight once and for all.
Mike Cowie is a freelance writer who writes about politics, music, film, travel, and much more. You can read more of Mike’s views on his Web site.
Now, let us see, if shooting up an army base based on your religiously intolerant views mean that you should have been kicked out beforehand, and calls into question the patriotism of all Muslims, how should we view Christian clergy and Christians in general in our armed forces? What about a loyalty oath in which they swear to believe that raping kids is an act of pedophilia? Sound overly mean? Consider the behavior of my old church in Ireland, in which the Vatican knew since the early 1930s that the Christian Brothers were raping and molesting thousands of school children, and did absolutely nothing to stop it (and did everything possible to prevent the revelation of these crimes in the 1990s and 2000s). Or that my same church would excommunicate a 9 year old rape victim (impregnated by her stepfather) for having an abortion, even though doctors stated that the girl would die otherwise, but refused to punish the Christian dad who sexually assaulted the girl. These are global tendencies of the faith, whether we like to face it or not.
I am not saying such a view is right, but there are many more children throughout this world who have been sexually abused by Christians than people who have been killed by Muslims in the past century. Why is it that those of in the West who judge Islam negatively (as I do, since I am at least a consistent non-believer), and yet refuse to hold that same mirror up to our own culture's dominant religion? I do not anticipate this question being answered on Fox 'news', or any of them, but it is worth asking.