Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amnesty International calls abuse of tens of thousands in Catholic reformatories an act of torture

via: Catholic News Service

Credit is due the Catholic News Service for exposing this appalling problem. Here the wide gulf in ethical legitimacy between the laity and much of the clergy is made evident. As always, it is necessary to distinguish between Church as an expression of the people and Church as an expression of hierarchy, because the former invariably holds a greater claim to the roots of Christian charity and compassion, and where corrupt, impractical doctrines are maintained, those precepts are largely disregarded, even where lip service is given. This pattern is displayed here most obviously, where Pope Benedict's numerous attempts to keep information about pedophilia in the Church from legal authorities have thankfully been ignored.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The abuse of children in Irish institutions amounted to torture and represents an enormous human rights failure, Amnesty International Ireland said.

Based on evidence revealed by a number of independent commissions, "children were tortured. They were brutalized, beaten, starved and abused," said Colm O'Gorman, executive director of the Ireland office of the human rights organization..."At every turn, Irish people kept their mouths shut out of deference to state, system, church and community," she said.

She said, "We must create a society in which no-one is afraid to speak. In which no-one is afraid to challenge authority and power, because deference to the powerful is a guaranteed way to help that power corrupt." more:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Torture Alleged at Chain of Children's Homes, (edited)

via:Courthouse News Service

Warning: This post is not for the squeamish.

So, what follows below is yet another national chain of children's homes involved in what seems to be a cover for ritual abuse, the likes of which have been uncovered countless times with nearly identical indicators, such as sexual assault, locking children in cages, binding their hands and feet and forcing them to eat vomit/feces. One of the other national chains involved in religious ritual abuse was Kindercare, a company whose logo contains a barely concealed all-seeing eye. More information about Kindercare follows at the end of this post.

Make note of the fact that the following excerpt concerns abuse occurring at a Mormon children's home, because the numerous links between Mormonism and Freemasonry are well established, and regular readers here are already aware of Freemasonry's central role in trauma-based mind control projects. The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, was himself a Master Mason who inspired the construction of a Salt Lake City Great Sphinx statue that bears his likeness, in keeping with Freemasonry's fascination with Ancient Mysteries. Other Masonic imagery such as the compass and square can be found in Mormon temple garments. For a comprehensive overview regarding the long history of torture and cult abuse within the Mormon Church, refer to this page on the S.M.A.R.T.(Stop Mind Control and Ritual Abuse Today) website, which details personal accounts involving groups of up to 800 individuals. In nearly every single scenario described, Freemasons were present. Please be aware that the descriptions contained within may be difficult to read.

It is also important to know that these well-organized abuses have been allowed to continue on account of legislation passed by former Texas Governor George Bush, who enacted laws that exempted faith-based institutions from governmental oversight. Mother Jones recently published an article, Escape From Missouri, which documents how this deregulation allowed for the proliferation of a network of Christian residential facilities for "troubled teens", where physical and psychological abuse were routine. The homes were typically located in remote rural areas, sometimes surrounded by barbed wire fences. Residents were often severely beaten, kept in isolation rooms with no bathroom access, forced to wear high heels for weeks at a time and cut off from all communication with their families.

When deputies finally raided one of the homes they discovered handguns, rifles, leg irons and handcuffs. Former residents testified that armed staffers would sometimes "go hunting for runaways". In 2007 several deaths at the homes resulted in a House Resolution, the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which would have banned the use of physical and chemical restraints in residential facilities. The bill died in the Senate when GOP members stated "This bill is not needed. The states and the localities can handle this situation. They will look after the children." Many former staffers, including Reclamation Ranch founder Jack Patterson, who was charged with aggravated child abuse, continue to own teen homes across the country. According to Mother Jones, the network of Christian homes is linked by overlapping leadership and connections to religious institutions, particularly Christian universities. It is worth keeping situations like this one in mind when discussing issues like states' rights or "religious freedom", especially since the "troubled teen" industry has been a key fund raiser for presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Because the size of government is not the only aspect defining its intrusion into the lives of the people and, in this scenario, as well as in many others, "smaller government" did nothing to protect vulnerable people from the most severe human rights abuses, since it allowed for the rise of a dangerous strain of religious fundamentalism every bit as destructive as centralized bureaucracy.

Torture Alleged at Chain of Children's Homes

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - Hundreds of parents claim a group of boarding schools tortured their children: locked them in dog cages, forced them to lie in feces and eat vomit, masturbated them and denied the troubled teens any religion "except for the Mormon faith."
The Utah-based World Wide Association Of Specialty Programs and Schools and its owners - Robert Lichfield, Brent Facer and Ken Kay - went to great lengths to hide the "torture," which began in the mid-1990s and continued for a decade, the 357 plaintiffs claim in Salt Lake County Court.
The plaintiffs say that 59 schools and owners tied to the company "jointly promoted, advertised, and marketed defendants' residential boarding schools as a place where children with problems could get an education while receiving instruction and direction in behavior modification for emotional growth and personal development."...
According to the complaint, students were locked in boxes, cages and basements at the schools, denied medical and dental care, and forced "to carry heavy bags of sand around their necks or logs throughout the day over many days."
They were sexually abused, "which included forced sexual relations and acts of fondling and masturbation performed on them," according to the 119-page complaint.... forced to sleep on cold concrete floors, boxspring, or plywood," and put to forced labor...more...

Here, also, is an excerpt from David Icke's Biggest Secret, about the Kindercare company:

One unfolding story I have featured on my website is that of Zack. He is a little boy who attended a pre-school operated by a company called Kindercare at 100 Endeavor Way, Cary, North Carolina. Kindercare is the biggest pre-school organization in the United States. Zack's experience contains all the elements of the constantly recurring reports of child abuse, both in what he says happened to him and the shocking lack of investigation by the authorities that are supposed to be protecting children.

This story and all the quotes by his parents and grandmother are from direct correspondence and conversations with me.4 Zack said that he was taken from the centre in Cary to a house where he was tied up and made to watch people sacrifice a little boy. He said that he and other children were made to drink the blood and eat the flesh of the dead child. He also said that they took his own blood. He had a small circular puncture on his elbow, which looked like a mole was growing there. He said this is where they put the "needle-knife" into him.

He has also talked of large spiders he saw in movies on these occasions and of seeing "bad movies" all the time. The mother of another boy at the centre, a four year old called Tyler, said her son had asked her if it was all right for people "to eat each other". Zack talked about a "green" party at the school in which the children were given green food and juice. He said the children were given gifts at the party, but he was given 'poop'. When asked if anyone else got poop and he said:

"No, only me -the other kids got cars and things like that."

He said the sandwiches were all green with "yucky mustard" and "there was blood". Suzen, his grandmother, asked him what happened when he wouldn't eat it and he said:

"We all went to sleep." He also said: "They put blood in the oatmeal at the school."

And another from the San Jose Mercury regarding the abuses coordinated by former Army colonel Michael Aquino:


The preschool and hourly care programs were both run by the US. Army at the Presidio of San Francisco, a sprawling compound of turnofthecentury wood and brick buildings, headquarters of the Sixth Army, the place that motorists glimpse through the pines on their way to the Golden Gate Bridge.

On that day that changed her life and the lives of her family, Joyce Tobin arrived at the Presidio day care center at 2:30 p.m. Her son appeared to be napping with several other children, and the teacher, Gary Hambright, was sitting at a table in the room...

That night, while watching television with his older brother, the 3-year-old started playing with his penis, pulling it forward with both hands and letting go. "Mr. Gary do it," he said and kept at it. His brother ran for their mother, who was talking to a neighbor in the front doorway. Trying to keep her voice calm, Joyce asked her son what he was talking about.

The child's reply was terse and grim. "He touched my penis with his hand, and he bit my penis." The boy made a chomping sound with his mouth. Asked if "Mr. Gary" had done anything else, the boy said, "He put a pencil in my hole in my bottom. He do that, he do that to me. He hurt me and I cry and I cry."...

CASARC reviews more than 700 cases of suspected sexual abuse every year. Among other things, the CASARC staff had often heard children describe anal rape as having a pencil put in their bottoms. When Dr. Kevin Coulter examined the Tobins' son, he observed that the child's anus dilated to approximately 20 millimeters in approximately five seconds, a much faster and wider dilation than normal. Coulter had conducted more than 300 examinations of children at CASARC. His conclusion was that such rapid and wide dilation was caused by trauma to the anus and rectum, consistent with penetration. The Tobins' 3-year-old son had been sexually abused, anally raped. took the Army almost a month to notify the parents of other children who had been in "Mr. Gary's' class that the incident had taken place, that their children might be at risk. Nearly a year would pass before more than 59 other victims children between the ages of 3 and 7 had been identified. And allegations would be made by parents that several more children were molested even after the investigation had begun.
...The children had begun to talk. And they kept talking. That was the problem. They kept saying things that no one, especially not the Army, wanted to hear. They kept mentioning other people besides "Mr. Gary," other locations besides the day care center. Among the allegations:

Some of the children said they were taken from the day care center to private homes on the Presidio where they were sexually abused. Two houses were singled out on the Army post and at least one home off-post, in San Francisco.
One girl said she played "poopoo baseball" at the home of one of her female teachers. The girl said the game involved throwing feces at the teacher.
Other children talked about playing the "googoo game" with "Mr. Gary". It involved Hambright having the children urinate and defecate on him. Then he would do the same to them. Sometimes, the children said, they were forced to drink urine and eat feces. Some said they had blood smeared on their bodies.
Some children said they had guns pointed at them. Others said they were told they or their parents would be killed if they told what happened.
One 3-year-old boy said he was sexually abused on his first visit to the center. That day was also his birthday.
A 3-year-old girl said "Mr. Gary" used special pens, black, blue, pink and red -- to doodle on her, starting at her legs and moving up over her genitals. The same child said she saw one of her friends at the center cry when "Mr. Gary's" friend, a woman, pointed a gun at the friend.
There were five confirmed cases of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, including two of the four daughters of one family.
A preliminary test of one boy for AIDS came back positive. Further tests revealed that a he did not have the disease, but fear of AIDS tormented parents for months. .

...The core group of parents consisted of professional people doctors, a dentist, a nuclear scientist. They spoke out loud and often. They said they spoke for those who could not, the children and the enlisted people who, they said, were too afraid to risk their military career to speak out. The enlisted people needed their jobs and the day care. The core group could afford day care elsewhere.

...NONE OF THE PARENTS WHO WERE PROTESTING the Army's handling of the case knew that signs of trouble had surfaced at the center at least six years earlier. And none of them knew that the Army had been dealing with sex abuse problems at its day care centers for years before the Presidio case broke.

The Army said nothing of prior cases at West Point and Fort Dix. The Army said nothing of an investigation six years before involving John Gunnarson, the Presidio's top day care official and the supervisor of the day care center during the time Hambright allegedly molested the children.

In 1982, Gunnarson was child support services coordinator at the center, responsible for the training of the center staff, when he was arrested on charges of assaulting an employee of the center, Pearl Broadnax. Broadnax had been complaining about conditions at the center and treatment of the children. She say she was branded a troublemaker and often called to task about her job performance. On Feb. 3, 1982, she and Gunnarson argued over the use of scissors by the children. He asked her to go into another room to continue the discussion, but Broadnax said she wanted to remain in the playroom. "At this time," according to an investigative report of the incident, "Gunnarson grabbed Broadnax by the left arm above her wrist and pulled her toward him. She then told Gunnarson, "don't touch me," to which he replied, I'm not touching you." She felt that she was in fear of bodily harm at this point in the incident.

...Now a deputy sheriff in Santa Clara County, Albanoski called after he read one of my stories about the Presidio case. "When I read the paper, I almost fell out of my chair," Albanoski said ""I couldn't believe [Gunnarson] was still working there" While interviewing Broadnax at the day care center after she had called MPs about Gunnarson, Albanoski learned that Broadnax was concerned about more than the alleged threat of harm to herself. She also alleged that employees had touched children's genitals improperly...Broadnax also said she had seen the then director of the center hit a child in the mouth, making him bleed.

...Capt. Robert J. Meyer was appointed to look into the allegations for the commander of the Presidio in a letter summarizing his findings, Meyers said, "at least three of the Child Care Center staff have been threatened with the loss of their jobs if they speak out and tell the truth about how the Child Care Center is being managed and how the minority children are treated." A hearing was held at the Presidio on the allegations in 1981. The director in question was reinstated. more...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The CIA Really Wants to Make Hollywood’s Next Blockbuster

Anyone who believes that sending military aid to Israel, or any of the other corrupt regimes presently receiving U.S. support, is a wise idea is urged to look into the following article to get a glimpse into exactly how unbiased our media truly is. While you're at it, read Naomi Klein's unusually balanced article on The Goldstone Report, because it clearly demonstrates how supporting war crimes today means having to account for the imposition of international authorities tomorrow. But honestly, the looming specter of global governance only underscores the more important reality, that bombing schools, hospitals and vital civilian infrastructure is never acceptable under any circumstance, no matter which country is doing it.


Are you an aspiring filmmaker who wants to produce a spy thriller? Well, you're in luck because the CIA has a pile of script ideas lying around.

Ironic, you say, that an organization known for secrecy is doling out helpful hints to Hollywood? The CIA doesn't think so. For them it's all about image control. And they're just the start of it. The Department of Defense and just about every branch of the military has an entertainment industry liaison similar to the CIA's. Read more:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Conspiracy of Silence

Viewing Conspiracy of Silence, a documentary about a child prostitution ring serving high-level politicians, is absolutely necessary for understanding the material covered here, particularly regarding connections between organized child trafficking and the Roman Catholic Church. Be assured that the crimes described in the film, targeting society's most vulnerable members and supported by highly respected social institutions, continue up to the present day and will not be alleviated until the necessary task of exposure and prosecution takes place. Please help to spread the word and bring justice to those whose stories remain invisible.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pope accused of crimes against humanity by victims of sex abuse

via:The Guardian

Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have accused the pope, the Vatican secretary of state and two other high-ranking Holy See officials of crimes against humanity, in a formal complaint to the international criminal court (ICC)...It includes individual cases of abuse where letters and documents between Vatican officials and others show a refusal to co-operate with law enforcement agencies seeking to pursue suspects, according to the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a US-based organisation that represents the claimants...Megan Petersen, from Minnesota, is one of two named US victims whose cases have been included in the complaint to the ICC. Petersen was awarded $750,000 (£500,000) last week in a civil claim against Crookston diocese, in which she alleged that a priest, Joseph Jeyapaul, had raped her repeatedly as a child.

Speaking at The Hague, where the complaint was being launched, Petersen said of Jeyapaul: "He was a man of God and I was very devout. I wanted to be a nun. I trusted him.

"Part of why I'm here is to protect kids. My perpetrator is still serving among kids and vulnerable adults, despite there being criminal charges against him. Ratzinger is the head of this organisation and these are his sheep, his flock. I will do everything in my power to make sure this does not happen to another child." more...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Wheel of Fortune (edited)

I am linking to this article from with reservation because of the author's tendency to mix in irrelevant gossip about public figures' sex lives with far more serious charges like the sexual exploitation of boys from care homes. I am suspicious of the motives of anyone who is so cavalier about an action that can easily destroy careers and/or families while inducing brutal public humiliation, all because of trivial, quite possibly fabricated tabloid fodder that is ultimately nobody's concern except the people directly involved. So, those parts have been removed and I would urge anyone to take this article with a grain of salt.

However, by all accounts the sexual exploitation of minors by public figures is a thriving industry and one that is routinely used for blackmail purposes by intelligence agencies. I can certainly appreciate the work that went into the article despite any disagreement with the methods of the author. Of course, I can't vouch for the veracity of individual names listed here but based on what I've seen the overall pattern is correct. It's unfortunate that there is no reliable legal system through which to voice these issues because this absence of judicial oversight means that justice is almost solely the domain of individual citizens, many of whom seem unconcerned about the right to privacy. Bolded sections are my own emphasis.
The link to the wikipedia entry on Lindi St. Clair is particularly informative.

Many have wondered how the controversy over former IMF chief Dominique Strauss –Kahn’s escapades ever reached the public? After all the Murdoch press serve the same masters as Strauss-Kahn so they could easily have kept this scandal from public scrutiny.

As the wheel of fortune turns it turns good fortune and prosperity for one man and desolation and ruin for the next.

What did Strauss-Kahn do whereby he needed to be pushed from favour?

The Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss specialised in honey trapping Hollywood luminaries and political high flyers that were lured into the frame to be blackmailed.

The British brothel madam Lindi St Claire(the Saint Clairs, also known as Sinclairs, were a dynasty that descended from the Merovignians, one of the 13 Bloodlines that occult researcher Fritz Springmeier claims control international politics) the original Miss Whiplash ran a similar service supplying the most extraordinary beautiful women to those in government in the seventies and eighties. Her underground torture chamber was reputedly rigged for secret sound and film, although I hasten to add that I do not know for which intelligence service, if any.

She also would arrange a service called ‘normalising’. This occurred when suspected homosexuals were dining quietly in a cosy romantic restaurant with someone of the opposite sex when press photographers would suddenly burst in on them.

However, Lindi was involved in a very strange car crash, where she was driven off the road and was close to losing her life in similar fashion to Princes Grace of Monaco and Princess Diana.

During renovations the restaurant opposite the House of Commons was found to be riddled with British and Soviet listening equipment professionally wired into the building’s fabric. Thereafter both restaurants and pubs were kept inside Parliament for security purposes.

The DJ Allan ‘Fluff’ Freeman(the Freemans are yet another one of the 13 bloodlines), brought a special blend of quick humour and colour to radio and televised pop music shows. He owned a large corner shop in Lea Bridge Rd. London, and this was the venue for many kinky parties where young boys from several care homes would be brought in by taxis for the night. Jimmy Saville, Jonathan King, Joe Meeks and on occasion Brian Epstein, all Jewish pop mogul homosexuals would party and ply drugs and alcohol to young boys. The local police chief was horrified to find Liberal party leader Jeremy Thorpe and other top politicians also attended these parties, and a boozy lunchtime in the policemen’s pub the Windmill, made sure the kinky parties quickly came to an end.

Jeremy Thorpe had a taste for young street boys and runaway teenagers were often brought to him, and at his trial for the attempted murder of male prostitute Norman Scott, he threatened to expose the perversions of many members of government.

Thorpe’s threats worked, he was found not guilty and he got off as it was said ‘Scott free’.

One of those who stood most to lose was Sir Edward Heath prime minister from 1970-74, who was known to visit the Jersey care home the Haute Garrene among others to take young boys on boating weekends on his yacht called ‘Morning Cloud’, or as bodyguards referred to it, ‘Morning Sickness’.

Heath was warned on 4 occasions by the head of the Metropolitan police not to loiter in London’s lavatories and not to try to pick up young boys. Nonetheless, he quickly fell prone blackmailers who insisted he dress up in a ridiculous Gestapo uniform in which he was photographed.

Under threat of exposure Heath was forced to enter Britain into the Common Market, now the European Union, under very unfavourable conditions. It is still a bone of contention among scholars how he became PM in front of the immensely popular and scholarly Enoch Powell who to all intents and purposes should have been Prime Minister.

Late one night on the Thames embankment by the House of Commons a British prime minister approached a rent boy, almost all the rent boys there were employed by the KGB or Mossad or occasionally CIA and sometimes they would sell info to all of the aforementioned to fund their drug habits.

The sordid details of the encounter on the Thames embankment quickly ended up on the London KGB station chief’s desk but this very brave man was also working for MI6 and he quickly passed the details onto British intelligence.

That same evening a British Prime Minister got the scolding of his life for such risky behaviour.

Sir Anthony Blunt was a big instigator of these homosexual parties at the highest levels and many young boys who went missing over the years were murdered at his bequest. It was his way of tidying up and making sure potentially dangerous secrets were kept hidden.

The full extent of his crimes will probably never be known, but in contrast Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s crime, if he is guilty, look rather petty to me.

But how strange it is that a man can be a top banker one day and a suspected criminal leper the next, the wheel of fortune turns for us all and is never ending.

T Stokes London

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Medicis Pharmaceuticals CEO hires small army to ward against bad publicity in death of his girlfriend (edited)

So, the basic gist of the story here is that the six-year-old son of a pharmaceutical CEO, Jonah Shacknai, age 54, was found dead of an apparent accident that occurred when the boy fell off the balcony of his family home. Within a few days, Shacknai's girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, was found dead, hanging from a second story balcony with a gag in her mouth and her hands and feet bound. Zahau's hands were bound behind her body. Witnesses say they heard loud music coming from the Shacknai residence during the night before the body was found. Inexplicably, the death was almost immediately ruled a suicide. Since then, a leading pathologist has questioned the suicide ruling, citing haemorrhages beneath Zahau's scalp surface that may indicate evidence of blunt force trauma. On the bedroom wall was a message scrawled in black paint: "She saved him, can he save her" (sarcasm?). Within a week of Zahau's death, Shacknai had already hired a PR firm to represent him. Recently released police reports have revealed that Shacknai's second ex-wife went to the police to file a domestic violence report, saying that he had allowed his guard dog to attack her, in addition to other accounts of physical assault. In a written statement, she said "I feel scared of what he is capable of doing to me physically via the dog as well as the lengths he will go to try to destroy me in any way he was able to do so."

Here is the logo for Shacknai's company, Medicis Pharmaceuticals. The Medicis were a banking family and royal house that played a central role in founding an occult fraternity called Rosicrucianism, an organization that continues to exercise enormous influence on international politics up to the present day. The Medicis logo contains an image strikingly similar to the caduceus, a staff carried by the Greek god Hermes which was entwined by two snakes. Within Western occultism, Hermes is considered to be the primary teacher whose writings form the basis of modern esoteric tradition. Rosicrucianism itself is promoted as a Hermetic Order. The caduceus was originally adopted as a symbol of medicine allegedly at the insistence of Captain Frederick P. Reynolds, descendant of a lineage that occult researcher Fritz Springmeier names as one of the 13 Bloodlines of the Illuminati.

What does any of this have to do with the "suicide" at the Shacknai residence? Beyond the obvious, that anyone who belongs to elite networks of power possesses a virtual immunity from being prosecuted for crimes that would have the rest of us behind bars for a lifetime, it's hard to say. I will let the reader draw their own conclusions because anything else I could say at this point would be pure speculation. Here is part of a relevant article from CBS News.

CEO Shacknai Wields Small Army Against Speculation on Death of His Girlfriend

Medicis (MRX) CEO Jonah Shacknai’s threat to sue the lawyer representing the family of his late girlfriend, who was found bound and hanging naked from a balcony at his Coronado, Calif., home on July 13, is an attempt to do the impossible: Dampen speculation about the death.

The Shacknai family has reportedly hired two lawyers, a PR firm and a private detective since the death, which has officially been declared a suicide.

Shacknai hired a PR firm, Sitrick & Co., less than a week after Rebecca Zahau Nalepa’s death. Executives at that agency have had a series of off-the-record conversations with reporters whom the agency believes have made mistakes in their coverage.

Media coverage has changed: A source close to the case told BNET that Rebecca told her family she believed Max, Shacknai’s 6-year-old son, may have been “planking” on a stair rail before he suffered a fatal fall two days before she died. (Planking is a fad in which people photograph themselves lying face down in unusual locations.) USA Today initially published a story that included the planking reference, but that word was removed from later editions, as these images of Google’s cache of two older versions of the story show: more...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Opus Dei member argued for total abortion ban in El Salvador

I recently came across this NYTimes article about abortion in El Salvador, which is a unique country, legally speaking, because not only are total bans on abortion in place, even including when the life of the mother is in jeopardy, the ban is enforced by police and medical spies. Predictably, since the law was passed the maternal death rate has since reached a high of 1 in 350. This is probably a good time, yet again, to post a link about Queen Anne's Lace, an herbal implantation inhibitor that can cause a fertilized egg to leave the body painlessly, typically within 72 hours after conception. Again, this may be a bit of a tangent but I thought it was somewhat relevant

since it highlights the moral bankruptcy of covert organizations like Opus Dei, which was involved in enforcing the ban. Here are some choice quotes from the article.

The pope's appointment of Lacalle 11 years ago brought to the Archdiocese of San Salvador a different kind of religious leader. Lacalle, an outspoken member of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei, redirected the country's church politics. Lacalle's predecessors were just as firmly opposed to abortion as he was. What he brought to the country's anti-abortion movement was a new determination to turn that opposition into state legislation and a belief that the church should play a public role in the process. In 1997, conservative legislators in the Assembly introduced a bill that would ban abortion in all circumstances. The archbishop campaigned actively for its passage.

There are other countries in the world that, like El Salvador, completely ban abortion, including Malta, Chile and Colombia. El Salvador, however, has not only a total ban on abortion but also an active law-enforcement apparatus — the police, investigators, medical spies, forensic vagina inspectors and a special division of the prosecutor's office responsible for Crimes Against Minors and Women, a unit charged with capturing, trying and incarcerating an unusual kind of criminal.

Julia Regina de Cardenal runs the Yes to Life Foundation in San Salvador, which provides prenatal care and job training to poor pregnant women. She was a key advocate for the passage of the ban. She argued that the existing law's exception for the life of the mother was outdated. As she explained to me, "There does not exist any case in which the life of the mother would be in danger, because technology has advanced so far."...In January 1999, as the issue headed toward the second vote in the Assembly, Pope John Paul II visited Latin America. "The church must proclaim the Gospel of life and speak out with prophetic force against the culture of death," he declared in Mexico City."May the continent of hope also be the continent of life!"..."At the hospital they asked me what I had. I didn't want to say. I said I felt bad. They did tests on my urine, blood and lungs and found I had a severe respiratory infection. They did an ultrasound and found my kidneys, lung and liver were infected. And the ultrasound showed something else. They asked me: "Why do you have a perforated uterus? What have you done?" Then they did a vaginal exam, and it was the most painful thing for me in the world. They put something in me, and I cried out. They had two doctors holding me down. They said they knew I had had an abortion because my uterus was perforated and big and they would have to operate immediately. All I remember was going to the operating room, and then I don't remember anything because for the next six days I was in a coma"...

"Back-alley abortion" is a term that has long been part of the abortion debate. In the United States, in the years since Roe v. Wade, it has come to seem metaphorical, perhaps even hyperbolic, but it happens to conjure precisely D.C.'s experience. And it's easy in El Salvador to find plenty of evidence that D.C.'s story is neither isolated nor the worst case. A report by the Center for Reproductive Rights offers this grim list of tools used in clandestine abortions: "clothes hangers, iron bars, high doses of contraceptives, fertilizers, gastritis remedies, soapy water and caustic agents (such as car battery acid)."...when a woman might face jail time for an abortion, she's less likely to discuss her pregnancy at all. According to a study on attempted suicide and teen pregnancy published last year by academics at the University of El Salvador, some girls who poison their wombs with agricultural pesticide (its efficacy being a Salvadoran urban legend) would rather report the cause of their resulting hospital visit as "attempted suicide," which is not as felonious a crime nor as socially unbearable as abortion. "They don't want to be interviewed about abortion," Irma Elizabeth Asencio, one of the study's authors, explained to me. "They know they have committed a crime."...

Abortion as it exists in El Salvador today tends to operate on three levels. The well-off retain the "right to choose" that comes of simply having money. They can fly to Miami for an abortion, or visit the private office of a discreet and well-compensated doctor. Among the very poor, you can still find the back-alley world described by D.C. and the others who turn up in hospitals with damaged or lacerated wombs..."When we get a call from a hospital reporting an abortion," said Flor Evelyn Tópez, "the first thing we do is make sure the girl gets into custody. So if there is not a police officer there, we call the police and begin to collect evidence." Tópez is a prosecutor in the district of Apopa in San Salvador...Wandee Mira, an obstetrician at a hospital in San Salvador, told me that she had seen "a young girl handcuffed to her hospital bed with a police officer standing outside the door." "Yes, we sometimes call doctors from the Forensic Institute to do a pelvic exam," Tópez said, referring to the nation's main forensic lab, "and we ask them to document lacerations or any evidence such as cuts or a perforated uterus." In other words, if the suspicions of the patient's doctor are not conclusive enough, then in that initial 72-hour period, a forensic doctor can legally conduct a separate search of the crime scene. Tópez said, however, that vaginal searches can take place only with "a judge's permission."...Doctors in El Salvador now understand that it is their legal duty to report any woman suspected of having had an abortion.

A policy that criminalizes all abortions has a flip side. It appears to mandate that the full force of the medical team must tend toward saving the fetus under any circumstances. This notion can lead to some dangerous practices. Consider an ectopic pregnancy, a condition that occurs when a microscopic fertilized egg moves down the fallopian tube — which is no bigger around than a pencil — and gets stuck there (or sometimes in the abdomen). Unattended, the stuck fetus grows until the organ containing it ruptures. A simple operation can remove the fetus before the organ bursts. After a rupture, though, the situation can turn into a medical emergency.

According to Sara Valdés, the director of the Hospital de Maternidad, women coming to her hospital with ectopic pregnancies cannot be operated on until fetal death or a rupture of the fallopian tube. "That is our policy," Valdés told me. She was plainly in torment about the subject. "That is the law," she said. "The D.A.'s office told us that this was the law." Valdés estimated that her hospital treated more than a hundred ectopic pregnancies each year. She described the hospital's practice. "Once we determine that they have an ectopic pregnancy, we make sure they stay in the hospital," she said. The women are sent to the dispensary, where they receive a daily ultrasound to check the fetus. "If it's dead, we can operate," she said. "Before that, we can't." If there is a persistent fetal heartbeat, then they have to wait for the fallopian tube to rupture....

One doctor, who asked to remain anonymous because of the risk of prosecution, explained that there are creative solutions to the problem of ectopic pregnancies: "Sometimes when an ectopic pregnancy comes in, the attendant will say, 'Send this patient to the best ultrasound doctor.' And I'll say, 'No, send her to the least-experienced ultrasound doctor.' He'll say, 'I can't find a heartbeat here.' Then we can operate."

In the United States, this conundrum is only beginning to emerge, as it did on "Meet the Press" in October 2004, when Tim Russert, the host, asked Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican representative then in the middle of what turned out to be a successful campaign for the U.S. Senate, to explain his position in favor of a total ban on all abortion procedures. DeMint was reluctant to answer Russert's repeated question: Would you prosecute a woman who had an abortion? DeMint said he thought Congress should outlaw all abortions first and worry about the fallout later. "We've got to make laws first that protect life," he said.