March 22, 2007
The Jehovah’s Witness guide to parenting
Members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society—better known as Jehovah’s Witnesses—learn from an early age that everyone else is under Satan’s spell. I’m guessing this isn’t meant to include their own kids:
A Jehovah’s Witness who told her three foster children that they were possessed by the Devil was convicted yesterday of torturing them over a period of nearly 20 years.
Eunice Spry, 62, beat the two girls and a boy with sticks and metal bars, forced them to drink bleach and washing-up liquid and to eat their own excrement and locked them naked in an empty room for up to a month at a time.
Spry, a twice-married single mother with two children of her own, educated the children at home and forced them to lie to doctors and social workers.
One of her foster children, identified only as Child A, was made to stay in a wheelchair for four years so Spry could claim £6,000 compensation for a car accident. She spent the money on a fireplace.
Spry was convicted after a five-week trial during which the three foster children, who are now adults, told how she force-fed them lard, rammed sticks down their throats when they refused and then forced them to eat their own vomit.
… The children had been placed with Spry by Gloucestershire Social Services and lived with her between 1986 and 2005. Child A, now 21, who was placed with Spry at the age of 5, told the court that her earliest memory was of Spry forcing her to eat a can of dog food as a punishment and when she was sick making her eat the vomit.
She said: “We were regularly beaten. We were starved or made to eat blocks of lard, drowned in the bath and kicked down the stairs.”
“Mum had an array of sticks and would beat us and kick us until we were bruised and collapsing with pain. If we screamed, she would push the sticks down our throats. The pain was unbearable.”
The abuse was uncovered only when Child A ran away in December 2004 and confided in a friend from church.
Child B, also 21, said her foster mother believed the three children were possessed by the Devil. They were not allowed to mix with anyone who was not a Jehovah’s Witness.
Child C, now 18, described how he was locked in a room when he was 7 or 8. He said: “We were locked in a room with no clothes on and had very little to eat. If we wanted to go to the toilet we had to do it in the corner. I remember being made to eat my own excrement off the floor.”
The jury found Spry guilty of 26 charges including child cruelty, unlawful wounding, actual bodily harm, perverting the course of justice and witness intimidation—sounds like the complete set. She has yet to be sentenced.
British Jehovah’s Witnesses are adamant that Spry’s parenting style doesn’t represent their religion. The evidence suggests otherwise.
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