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Thread: Focus on Ruhama

  1. #1
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    Default Focus on Ruhama

    Many of the members will already be aware of Ruhama and the type of work and campaigning activity that it engages in, but some of the newer members may not be as aware of this organisation and even some of the longer term members might learn a thing or two from this piece.

    Ruhama is a Hebrew word meaning "renewed life", but don't be fooled by this, Ruhama is very much a front organisation for the Catholic Church and like all such front organisations and the Church in general, it's purpose is to exert it's influence in order to influence the Irish state and control in as far as possible Irish society and the lives of the individual citizens of the state.

    This is a link to Ruhama's website: Ruhama | Support services and help for women involved in prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation

    Ruhama describes it's origins thus....."Ruhama was founded as a joint initiative of the Good Shepherd Sisters and Our Lady of Charity Sisters, both of which had a long history of involvement with marginalised women, including those involved in prostitution."

    Indeed, both the religious congregations involved in establishing Ruhama have a long and not very distinguished past in working not just with "prostitutes", but also with children. It is a past which Ruhama conveniently neglects to mention on it's website....and for a good reason. The Good Shephard Sisters and also the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity are linked to the notorious Magdelene laundries. The women who were transported/trafficked from their homes to these places of detention and forced labour were not just "prostitutes". Most were unmarried mothers, girls who were deemed to be a bit too free and easy and thus a temptation to men and women from poorer backgrounds. In the case of many if not most Magdalene residents, it would be correct to describe their detention as internment, as they had not committed any offences and were incarcerated without trials and without having been found guilty of anything.....except maybe of being poor or having a healthy approach to their sexuality.

    Here's a link from Wikipedia: Magdalene Asylum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Here are some interesting quotations from the Wikipedia entry:

    "The Magdalene movement in Ireland was quickly appropriated by the Roman Catholic Church, and the homes, which were initially intended to be short-term refuges, increasingly turned into long-term institutions. Penitents were required to work, primarily in laundries since the facilities were self-supporting and not funded by the Roman Catholic Church.
    As the Magdalene movement became increasingly distant from the original idea of the Rescue Movement, that is, to take prostitutes off the streets who could not find regular employment because of their background, the Asylums took on an increasingly prison-like character. Supervising nuns were instructed to enact strong measures that would discourage women from leaving and instead encourage them into penance. The Congregation of the Sisters of Misericordiae, for example, is described by the Catholic Encyclopedia thus:
    In receiving patients, no discrimination is made in regard to religion, color, or nationality. After their convalescence, those who desire to remain in the home are placed under a special sister and are known as "Daughters of St. Margaret". They follow a certain rule of life but contract no religious obligations. Should they desire to remain in a convent operated by the Good Shepherd Sisters, after a period of probation, they are allowed to become Magdalens and eventually take the three vows of the Sisters Magdalen, which was formed by Saint Mary of St Euphrasia to meet the needs of the penitent desiring to enter a cloister within a cloister. Former penitents are barred from becoming Sisters in the Good Shepherd Community, but can apply to novitiates in other orders, such as the Ursulines."

    And regarding conditions in Magdalene laundries..."According to Finnegan, because of their background as prostitutes, inmates (who were called "children") were regarded as "in need of penitence" and were required until the 1970s to address all staff regardless of age, as "mother". To enforce order and maintain a monastic atmosphere, the inmates were required to observe strict silence for much of the day, while corporal punishment was common, and passive-aggression was simply ignored:"

    Of further concern, is that both congregations are amongst the 18 congregations which were represented by CORI in the shameful deal drawn up by that body and Dr. Michael Woods on behalf of the Fianna Fail government which limited the exposure of such congregations to claims as a result of abuse in Residential Institutions. See Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002

    Although victims shamed the government and the religious congregations into belated action, it was the taxpayer who as usual ended up footing the lions share of the compensation bill.

    Here is a link to the Irish Times which lists the congregations involved in running industrial schools and reformatories and what they are currently involved in:

    The 18 orders: what they do now - The Irish Times - Sat, May 30, 2009

    The types of abuse in these institutions ranged from neglect, psychological abuse and forced labour to physical and sexual abuse. If both these congregations had been treating the most vulnerable in society properly, would they be on this list of shame?

    You may have noticed Ruhama's sources of funding listed on their website. The last source listed is fundraising initiatives. I have personally seen evidence of one of such initiatives in that Ruhama participates in the Women's Mini Marathon in Dublin.........or should I say, Ruhama gets young women to run and gather sponsorship for them. At least two of these young women, that I am aware of, were women who had been "helped" by Ruhama.......maybe more were "encouraged" to help their rescuers.

    Given that Ruhama has no reluctance in condemning consentual sex amongst adults for money and demonising clients for their supposed abuse of vulnerable women, maybe their spokespersons might answer a few pertinent questions:

    1. Do the religious congregations behind Ruhama differentiate between the supposed abuse of escorts by their clients and the actual abuses against both women and children document in various reports by those orders in Magdalene laundries, industrial schools and reformatories?

    2. Given that Geraldine Rowley has called for judges to name and shame escort's clients (who have not committed any crimes), would she also be in favour of naming and shaming those members of both religious congregations who have actually been involved in criminal behaviour, even if they were never dragged before the courts to answer charges?

    3. Can Ruhama assure us, that it does not now nor ever has put any pressure, in the form of cajoling, coercion, enticing etc, on young women that use it's services, to run or otherwise take part in activities to assist in raising funding for Ruhama's activities or for the payment of it's employees' salaries?

  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to carlos marvado For This Useful Post:

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  3. #2
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    and again I ask, how do they address INDEPENDENT escorts, who are INDEPENDENT, INDEPENDENT, INDEPENDENT and NOT working for anyone, except THEMSELVES. They CANNOT STOP independents and if they try to , they will be invading the rights of these women, which will be hypocritical, since they are all for women's rights. Women have a right to choose what they want to do.

  4. #3

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    Very well written and thought out thread, one of the best threads i have read in quite some time therefore i take my pants off to you Carlos*
    Quote Originally Posted by carlos marvado View Post
    Many of the members will already be aware of Ruhama and the type of work and campaigning activity that it engages in, but some of the newer members may not be as aware of this organisation and even some of the longer term members might learn a thing or two from this piece.

    Ruhama is a Hebrew word meaning "renewed life", but don't be fooled by this, Ruhama is very much a front organisation for the Catholic Church and like all such front organisations and the Church in general, it's purpose is to exert it's influence in order to influence the Irish state and control in as far as possible Irish society and the lives of the individual citizens of the state.

    This is a link to Ruhama's website: Ruhama | Support services and help for women involved in prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation

    Ruhama describes it's origins thus....."Ruhama was founded as a joint initiative of the Good Shepherd Sisters and Our Lady of Charity Sisters, both of which had a long history of involvement with marginalised women, including those involved in prostitution."

    Indeed, both the religious congregations involved in establishing Ruhama have a long and not very distinguished past in working not just with "prostitutes", but also with children. It is a past which Ruhama conveniently neglects to mention on it's website....and for a good reason. The Good Shephard Sisters and also the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity are linked to the notorious Magdelene laundries. The women who were transported/trafficked from their homes to these places of detention and forced labour were not just "prostitutes". Most were unmarried mothers, girls who were deemed to be a bit too free and easy and thus a temptation to men and women from poorer backgrounds. In the case of many if not most Magdalene residents, it would be correct to describe their detention as internment, as they had not committed any offences and were incarcerated without trials and without having been found guilty of anything.....except maybe of being poor or having a healthy approach to their sexuality.

    Here's a link from Wikipedia: Magdalene Asylum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Here are some interesting quotations from the Wikipedia entry:

    "The Magdalene movement in Ireland was quickly appropriated by the Roman Catholic Church, and the homes, which were initially intended to be short-term refuges, increasingly turned into long-term institutions. Penitents were required to work, primarily in laundries since the facilities were self-supporting and not funded by the Roman Catholic Church.
    As the Magdalene movement became increasingly distant from the original idea of the Rescue Movement, that is, to take prostitutes off the streets who could not find regular employment because of their background, the Asylums took on an increasingly prison-like character. Supervising nuns were instructed to enact strong measures that would discourage women from leaving and instead encourage them into penance. The Congregation of the Sisters of Misericordiae, for example, is described by the Catholic Encyclopedia thus:
    In receiving patients, no discrimination is made in regard to religion, color, or nationality. After their convalescence, those who desire to remain in the home are placed under a special sister and are known as "Daughters of St. Margaret". They follow a certain rule of life but contract no religious obligations. Should they desire to remain in a convent operated by the Good Shepherd Sisters, after a period of probation, they are allowed to become Magdalens and eventually take the three vows of the Sisters Magdalen, which was formed by Saint Mary of St Euphrasia to meet the needs of the penitent desiring to enter a cloister within a cloister. Former penitents are barred from becoming Sisters in the Good Shepherd Community, but can apply to novitiates in other orders, such as the Ursulines."

    And regarding conditions in Magdalene laundries..."According to Finnegan, because of their background as prostitutes, inmates (who were called "children") were regarded as "in need of penitence" and were required until the 1970s to address all staff regardless of age, as "mother". To enforce order and maintain a monastic atmosphere, the inmates were required to observe strict silence for much of the day, while corporal punishment was common, and passive-aggression was simply ignored:"

    Of further concern, is that both congregations are amongst the 18 congregations which were represented by CORI in the shameful deal drawn up by that body and Dr. Michael Woods on behalf of the Fianna Fail government which limited the exposure of such congregations to claims as a result of abuse in Residential Institutions. See Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002

    Although victims shamed the government and the religious congregations into belated action, it was the taxpayer who as usual ended up footing the lions share of the compensation bill.

    Here is a link to the Irish Times which lists the congregations involved in running industrial schools and reformatories and what they are currently involved in:

    The 18 orders: what they do now - The Irish Times - Sat, May 30, 2009

    The types of abuse in these institutions ranged from neglect, psychological abuse and forced labour to physical and sexual abuse. If both these congregations had been treating the most vulnerable in society properly, would they be on this list of shame?

    You may have noticed Ruhama's sources of funding listed on their website. The last source listed is fundraising initiatives. I have personally seen evidence of one of such initiatives in that Ruhama participates in the Women's Mini Marathon in Dublin.........or should I say, Ruhama gets young women to run and gather sponsorship for them. At least two of these young women, that I am aware of, were women who had been "helped" by Ruhama.......maybe more were "encouraged" to help their rescuers.

    Given that Ruhama has no reluctance in condemning consentual sex amongst adults for money and demonising clients for their supposed abuse of vulnerable women, maybe their spokespersons might answer a few pertinent questions:

    1. Do the religious congregations behind Ruhama differentiate between the supposed abuse of escorts by their clients and the actual abuses against both women and children document in various reports by those orders in Magdalene laundries, industrial schools and reformatories?

    2. Given that Geraldine Rowley has called for judges to name and shame escort's clients (who have not committed any crimes), would she also be in favour of naming and shaming those members of both religious congregations who have actually been involved in criminal behaviour, even if they were never dragged before the courts to answer charges?

    3. Can Ruhama assure us, that it does not now nor ever has put any pressure, in the form of cajoling, coercion, enticing etc, on young women that use it's services, to run or otherwise take part in activities to assist in raising funding for Ruhama's activities or for the payment of it's employees' salaries?
    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
    Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)
    16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

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    Excellent thread but one I feel we will never get answers too.. Welcome back to form Carlos..

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenBee View Post
    Very well written and thought out thread, one of the best threads i have read in quite some time therefore i take my pants off to you Carlos*
    Did you mean 'take your pants off for Carlos.

    I also agree that it was a very interesting thread. People in power always seem to get away with their wrongdoings.

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    I bet if u nitpic at the financial accounts, I'm sure there are overspendings or cutbacks that can be made in Ruhama. I'm sure just under 0.5 % of girls MIGHT be trafficked ( and I am totally against that obviously) , so Ruhama is discriminating against the other 99.5 %. Amazing.

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    I for one am actually quite saddened by this post. EI has has it's history of who's behind it, financial earnings etc. Viewing accounts, come on, is there going to be a comparison? Ruhama has an opposite viewpoint, structure etc as regards prostitution. I care for neither though view though I appreciate the moral aims and goals of Ruhama. They have taken a pop at you, you have taken a pop at them. This is an escort site with forums for both punters and escorts...we are never going to be seen as normal uncoerced individuals, free to engage in sex for money activities. I deplore trafficicking, I have heard of it, but thankfully never knowingly or otherwise experienced a girl that was the subject of such a crime. I hope to continue on as such. I theresay that Ruhama do some good, as a willing participant of this site I am not going to slate their efforts, or those of EI. Whether people think Ruhama are misguided or otherwise, I don't think it's fair to judge, particularly on this forum.... MY OPINION....

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFussy View Post
    I for one am actually quite saddened by this post. EI has has it's history of who's behind it, financial earnings etc. Viewing accounts, come on, is there going to be a comparison? Ruhama has an opposite viewpoint, structure etc as regards prostitution. I care for neither though view though I appreciate the moral aims and goals of Ruhama. They have taken a pop at you, you have taken a pop at them. This is an escort site with forums for both punters and escorts...we are never going to be seen as normal uncoerced individuals, free to engage in sex for money activities. I deplore trafficicking, I have heard of it, but thankfully never knowingly or otherwise experienced a girl that was the subject of such a crime. I hope to continue on as such. I theresay that Ruhama do some good, as a willing participant of this site I am not going to slate their efforts, or those of EI. Whether people think Ruhama are misguided or otherwise, I don't think it's fair to judge, particularly on this forum.... MY OPINION....
    This isn't me having a pop at Ruhama. I don't tell Carlos what threads to post. Regards comparing accounts with E-I, E-I never professed to be a charity. I don't however think this post is in anyway unfair. Ruhama are out there every day telling the public that prostitution is all about trafficking etc, because that is what suits their agenda. I would respect them 100% whatever their views if they told the truth, but they don't, they continually tell lies and for that reason I don't have a lot of respect for them. They actually cause a lot of harm to women in prostitution by the way they behave.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFussy View Post
    I for one am actually quite saddened by this post. EI has has it's history of who's behind it, financial earnings etc. Viewing accounts, come on, is there going to be a comparison? Ruhama has an opposite viewpoint, structure etc as regards prostitution. I care for neither though view though I appreciate the moral aims and goals of Ruhama. They have taken a pop at you, you have taken a pop at them. This is an escort site with forums for both punters and escorts...we are never going to be seen as normal uncoerced individuals, free to engage in sex for money activities. I deplore trafficicking, I have heard of it, but thankfully never knowingly or otherwise experienced a girl that was the subject of such a crime. I hope to continue on as such. I theresay that Ruhama do some good, as a willing participant of this site I am not going to slate their efforts, or those of EI. Whether people think Ruhama are misguided or otherwise, I don't think it's fair to judge, particularly on this forum.... MY OPINION....
    Mr. Fussy, you've written 108 reviews in the space of less than 2 years........the good boys and girls of Ruhama would probably have you castrated if they could get their hands on you.

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    At simple face value, Ruhama are whiter than white.

    But in this world you have to look beyond the image of themselves that organisations like Ruhama create and see what is really behind the PR facade.

    I'd challenge anyone to really look into Ruhama and then come back here and defend them.

    I can fully understand that most people would look at Ruhama on the face of it and imagine they do good work, but scratch the surface and it's a whole different story.

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