February 10-13, 2014 – SPECIAL REPORT. Washington, DC (WMR) Loskarn arrest only a tip of a pedophile network that includes Alexander, other Tennessee politicians
The December 11, 2013 arrest by U.S. Postal Inspectors of Senator Lamar Alexander’s chief of staff Ryan Loskarn on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography in connection with international law enforcement’s Toronto-based Project SPADE, represents only the tip of an iceberg which connects Alexander to a network of Tennessee politicians and businessmen associated with child sex abuse.
Loskarn, who was released against the wishes of federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia Mi Yung Park to the custody of his parents in Sykesville, Maryland for being a suspected suicide risk, was found hanging in the basement of his parents’ home on January 23. Foregoing an autopsy, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland in Baltimore concluded, based on a mere visual inspection of Loskarn’s body, that he had died from self-inflicted hanging.
Since Loskarn’s indictment had previously been postponed until February 10, the last day which prosecutors had to bring formal charges, WMR was informed by legal experts that the delay in indicting Loskarn may have been the result of a pending plea agreement. Loskarn, who was identified as a child porn distributor, would have been in a position to identify actual or intended recipients of child pornographic photographs and videos found by postal inspectors in Loskarn’s possession, had he lived.
Loskarn’s purported “suicide note,” which makes no specific mention of an intention to commit suicide, instead contains an effusive apology to his friends, family, and Senator Alexander. The suicide note has more of a ring of the type of letter drafted by legal counsel to a judge requesting leniency in sentencing, another indication that Loskarn and his attorneys may have been working out a possible plea agreement with Department of Justice prosecutors.
Bright Horizons and Lamar Alexander
In 1998, Massachusetts-based Bright Horizons, a child welfare service company, merged with Corporate Family Solutions, a firm that provided similar services and which was founded in 1987 by Lamar Alexander and Bob Keeshan, who had been known to millions of American children as television’s “Captain Kangaroo.” The merged company, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, was acquired by Mitt Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, in 2008.
Alexander, the Secretary of Education under George H W Bush, has been tied to a network of Tennessee politicians and businessmen associated with government and private companies, including Bright Horizons and Omni Visions, Inc. of Tennessee, as well as state government social service agencies, such as the Department of Childrens’ Services, accused of endangerment and sexual abuse of foster and mentally challenged children.
Alexander’s close GOP associate, Jim Henry, the CEO of Omni Visions, provides services contracted out by the state of Tennessee to developmentally disabled and troubled children. Henry is a close political ally of Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Haslam, as well as Alexander. Omni Visions has been cited in several legal cases for placing children into the foster homes of convicted pedophiles and endangering children by placing them under the care of abusive staff. There are also documented cases of children dying at the hands of Omni Vision care providers.
From Lamar Alexander’s University of Tennessee to Penn State and Omaha
The network of child care providers linked to Alexander is also linked to the University of Tennessee and Penn State University, the latter the nexus for the pedophilia scandal involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and his The Second Mile Foundation. Graham Spanier, the former president of Penn State who was fired over the Sandusky scandal, had previously served as chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Spanier’s close friend was his predecessor as chancellor, Ronald Roskans, a close friend of and adviser to fallen GOP rising star Lawrence King, who operated the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union of Omaha. King was implicated in a major GOP pedophile scandal, known as the “Franklin Cover-up,” said to have involved former President George H W Bush.
One of the links between the University of Tennessee and Penn State is the Downsbrough family. George Downsbrough, Sr., a former head of HRB Singer, a State College, Pennsylvania-based firm that provided state-of-the-art technology to the National Security Agency, donated $3 million to Penn State. His son, Bruce O. Downsbrough, served beginning in 2003 as chief operating officer of the University of Tennessee Foundation, which serves as the fundraising arm of the state university. Lamar Alexander had previously served as president of the University of Tennessee. Downsbrough was installed in his position despite a prior conviction for child molestation. Downsbrough had previously been an executive of the Colorado University Foundation in Boulder, Colorado. He was later charged and convicted in an 1986 case for molesting two underage boys in Boulder. Perhaps due to the Downsbrough family’s significant political connections, Downsbrough’s law license was merely frozen by the Colorado Supreme Court because it deemed him incapacitated because of an unstated disability.
As part of Project SPADE, Downsbrough was arrested in Knoxville, Tennessee in 2012. The same law enforcement operation resulted in Loskarn’s arrest. Project SPADE involved the arrest worldwide of individuals found in possession of child pornographic materials distributed by Azov Films of Toronto. The common denominator in the arrests as part of the same operation of two seemingly unrelated men in different parts of the country is their professional association with Lamar Alexander.
A confidential source who investigated the Nebraska pedophile ring known as the “Franklin Scandal,” believes that after the exposure of the GOP-based ring, the pedophile network moved from Nebraska to Tennessee and the protection of powerful GOP politicians, including Alexander, Haslam, Henry, and ultimately, the Bush family, which considers Tennessee to be a personal political fiefdom.
This story continues to develop . . .
February 8-10, 2014 — SPECIAL REPORT. The suicide of Ryan Loskarn: A Likely Story
Befitting the small town of Sykesville, Maryland is the fact that its small bookstore on Main Street is called “A Likely Story Bookstore.” That is because the official report on the January 23 suicide by self-hanging of Jesse Ryan Loskarn, the 35-year old former chief of staff to Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, is indeed a “likely story.”
A special investigation by WMR has discovered that Loskarn’s body was not subjected to an autopsy to make certain his cause of death.
On February 7, Bruce Goldfarb, a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) for the State of Maryland in Baltimore, told WMR initially that the autopsy report on Jesse Ryan Loskarn had not yet been completed. But when Goldfarb returned our call 45 minutes later, he said there was no autopsy report on Loskarn. When Loskarn’s body was taken to the OCME morgue on January 23, an OCME inspection determined that the cause of death for the decedent was by hanging and that no full autopsy to determine the cause of death was necessary.
The disposal of the body, whether through burial or cremation, is private information, according to Goldfarb. A visit by WMR staff and volunteers to the Haight Funeral Home in Sykesville, which handled the funeral of Loskarn, in Sykesville identified a crematorium in the rear of the building. An employee of the funeral home earlier stated that there was no information on the disposal of Loskarn’s body or remains.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, which investigated Loskarn’s hanging, is not required to release the police report of the incident until 30 days after its final completion.
Sykesville’s “A Likely Story Book Store.” The official report on Ryan Loskarn’s “suicide” is a “likely story.”
The delay in Loskarn’s indictment by the Justice Department indicates that a possible plea agreement with federal prosecutors was in the works. However, with Loskarn’s death, any hope additional information leading prosecutors to others involved in the distribution and receipt of child pornographic materials came to an abrupt end.
Although most residents of the Washington, DC area were well aware of the Loskarn case, residents, including police officials and employees of businesses in Sykesville, feigned ignorance of the high-profile arrest and suicide of a member of a well-known family in the small Maryland town where a number of employees of the National Security Agency live. Maryland Route 32, which goes past NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, extends through Sykesville.
Loskarn was arrested at his Southeast Washington home near the Stadium-Armory Metro station on December 11, 2013 by officers of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on a probable cause basis for possession and distribution of child pornography, including videos. The children depicted in the hundreds of videos and thousands of photographs seized by authorities were as young as 6 years old. Loskarn was held in custody in Washington and arraigned the following day, December 12, at the U.S. federal courthouse for the District of Columbia.
Loskarn’s parents own CG Print and Promo at 7533 Main Street in Sykesville. CG stands for Consolidated Graphics.
Federal law enforcement agents seized materials and a computer from Loskarn’s residence and searched his computer in Alexander’s Senate office. Alexander removed Loskarn from his payroll on December 11. Loskarn’s indictment was not scheduled until February 10, the last day federal authorities had to bring formal charges against the fast-rising star in Congressional GOP circles. Loskarn had previously served as an aide to Republican Representatives Wally Herger of California and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. He also worked for the House Rules Committee. Before joining Alexander’s staff, Loskarn was the spokesman for the Senate Republican Conference, working for then-Senator Jon Kyle of Arizona.
Alexander told Politico that he was “stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Mi Yung Park argued against Loskarn’s release from jail at a detention hearing at the U.S. District Courthouse. However, Loskarn’s attorney, Pamela Satterfield, who is married to Chief Judge Lee F. Satterfield of the District of Columbia Superior Court, successfully argued that Loskarn was not a suicide risk. Loskarn was then released on his own recognizance with te provision that he wear an electronic ankle bracelet and stay at the home his parents, Chuck and Gay Loskarn, at 6496 Ken Mar Lane in Sykesville. It was at this address where Loskarn’s body was found hanging in the basement on January 23.
Ryan Loskarn was found hanging in the basement of his parents’ home in Sykesville, Maryland. The police report may or may not contain information on whether ground windows leading to the basement were tampered with or whether footprints leading to and from the house were seen in the snow on January 23.
Satterfield’s biography at the law firm of Schertler and Onorato in Washington states that she was “the Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia from 1994 to 2003 where she was deputy chief of the Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Section, prosecuting adult criminal cases involving sexual abuse of adults and children, intra–family offenses, and child maltreatment.”
Federal prosecutor Park, who, in 2013, assumed the sex offense prosecutor’s position once held by Satterfield, argued against Loskarn’s release because she stated that he was considered a suicide risk. However,U.S. Judge John Facciola disagreed with Park and ordered Loskarn’s release to his parents custody.
The Haight Funeral Home, which handled Loskarn’s funeral arrangements, does have crematorium capabilities as seen from the rear facility with the metal smokestack from the roof. The funeral home did not disclose details of Loskarn’s funeral to WMR assistant.
In 2010, Satterfield prosecuted on obscenity charges John “Buttman” Stagliano, the proprietor of Evil Angel.com, a website that specializes in sado-masochistic pornography and distributed its material from a website in Baltimore. The case against Stagliano failed because of Satterfield’s weak legal arguments and overall lack of evidence.
Loskarn was arrested as part of the multinational Project Spade task force, which saw the arrest in November 2013 of several hundred people around the world for possession of child pornography. The operation specifically targeted Azov Films of Toronto, Canada. Azov Films and a related website called BoyJoy.com were run by Brian Way and his mother Sandra Waslow, who maintained an office in Stafford, Virginia, a Washington suburb and the location of a major airport serving private aircraft. Loskarn was under investigation by the Justice Department as a customer of and distributor for, via file sharing networks, of materials produced by the Toronto child porn operation since 2010. The Artek Camp, 50 miles southeast of the Sea of Azov, was the location of a 2009 child rape scandal involving senior members of the government of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Pro-Western protesters in Ukraine are demanding the release of Tymoshenko from prison where she is serving a sentence for abuse of power and bribery.
– First report in a series –
Issued by ITCCS Central, Brussels
7 February, 2014
“Toothless”United Nations’ statement on catholic child rape condemned by ITCCS at New York rally – Pope Francis, the Jesuits and others to face prosecution by international court comm…encing March 31 – “Holyrood Agreement” between Queen Elizabeth and former Pope Benedict cited as proof of criminal conspiracy -Possible arrest order issued against Kevin Annett by the British Crown
New York City:
Outside the Canadian consulate in midtown Manhattan today, ITCCS Field Secretary Rev. Kevin Annett rebuked the United Nations for its “toothless” statement on Vatican crimes against children, and announced the launch of a new international court case against institutionalized child trafficking.
“If the United Nations had have been serious about combatting the organized rape and trafficking of children that is allowed and encouraged by catholic canon law, it would have treated the Vatican as the criminal organization that it is, by revoking the diplomatic status of the Vatican at the United Nations and barring its representation on U.N. Committees.
“It would have encouraged all nations to nullify their tax exemptions to the catholic church and revoked the financial concordats that unlawfully funnel billions of dollars of tax payers’ money to the Vatican Bank. And it would have declared the Vatican incorporated to be a transnational criminal organization under the U.N. Convention by that name, and brought civil court action against all known child raping priests, and the high church officials who protect them.
“But the United Nations did none of that, and it has thereby enabled the church to continue its reign of terror against not tens of thousands of children, as the UN statement claims, but against millions of innocent little victims, and millions of victims to be … And so it is now up to the people of the world through their lawful common law courts and enforcement, to directly stop the crimes of the Vatican.”
Annett announced that the same Common Law Court of Justice that successfully prosecuted former Pope Benedict and compelled his resignation will now try Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, for crimes against humanity.
Bergoglio will be named as the chief defendant in the case that will be initiated in the International Common Law Court of Justice (ICLCJ) in Brussels by March 31, 2014. Top officials of the Jesuit Order and the Crown of England are also named in the court action.
In a startling news announcement last Monday, Jorge Bergoglio has been named by a former member of the Argentine military junta of organizing the trafficking of kidnapped children of political prisoners during that country’s Dirty War of the 1970′s, in which over 30,000 people died. (ITCCS posting, 3 February, 2014 at www.itccs.org)
The Crown of England is also named in the new ICLCJ lawsuit.
“Every Anglican clergy, like every catholic priest, must now cover up the raping of children in their church if they want to keep their job – thanks to the Queen of England” said Kevin Annett to a crowd of reporters and onlookers at the media event.
“By her September, 2010 agreement with former Pope Benedict to abide by the catholic ‘protect the rapist’ policy known as Crimen Sollicitationas, Elizabeth Windsor has formed a criminal conspiracy and committed treason against the laws of England and of Nations. That monster of a child-killing church and state must be slain, with or without the help of the United Nations.”
Kevin also announced that an arrest warrant may be issued against him soon by the Crown of England’s Privy Council office and the government of Canada. He announced that in such an event, he may be compelled to seek political asylum in the United States in order to continue the prosecution of the Vatican and Crown of England for crimes against children.
The complete transcript of Kevin’s press statement can be found at www.itccs.org.
Rev. Annett can be reached at hiddenfromhistory1@gmail.
Issued by ITCCS Central, Brussels
7 February, 2014
Obama will steal your weaponry, unless you know this…
by Damian Campbell
What’s the one thing you can rely on which protects your family?
It’s your guns.
Hopefully you already have one, if not more.
But, did you know that the government is actively trying to take them away right now?
You could be left completely defenseless.
Your 2nd Amendment rights are being violated.
Watch this short report to see exactly how to stop this law breaking action while protecting your firearms.
>> You can get it here <<
And even if you don’t have some guns now, you’ll learn how to get one without having to go through any background checks.
Oh, and it’s completely legal.
These loopholes won’t be open for long.
Get the information now and continue protecting your family now and into the future.
>> Watch the report now <<
~ Damian Campbell
P.S. This information is HIGHLY controversial and I may be forced to remove it at any time. Don’t miss out on this. Get the facts right now… Here’s the link:http://preparedredirect.com/6u
February 4-5, 2014 – Pedophiles are the new harangued and misunderstood “special rights” group
by Wayne Madsen
Some news stories have the effect to drawing out from the dark recesses of society the most vile and slimy members of humanity. Witness those who have jumped to the defense of trademark neurotic comedian and movie director Woody Allen after his step-daughter, Dylan Farrow, accused him of molesting her when she was 7 years old. Dylan recently wrote an open letter in which she revealed Allen’s molestation of her while married to her mother, actress Mia Farrow.
Allen eventually married Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon Yi Previn, who was the subject of Allen’s naked photo shoots before she was 18. At the time of their marriage, Allen was 56 and Previn was 20. Farrow charged that Allen had molested 7-year old Dylan in an attic in their Connecticut home. A prosecutor concluded that Allen likely did molest Dylan but declined to bring criminal charges.
Allen has dodged many sexual molestation bullets over his career. Allen is protected by a Hollywood culture that stands ready to accept pedophilia as a legitimate alternate life style. Dylan, now 28, married, and living in Florida, has condemned performing artists who have worked with and praised Allen. These include Cate Blanchett, Diane Keaton, and Scarlett Johansson. Dylan rightly asks these actors if they would be so praiseworthy of Allen had it been their children who had been molested by lauded director of such films as “Manhattan” and “Annie Hall.”
In her letter, published on the New York Times website, Dylan, wrote, “when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.”
Allen beat being charged with child molestation, which would not have been career killing in Hollywood considering the fact that another pedophile director, Roman Polanski, exiled abroad, has never served a day in an American prison for his 1977 rape of a 13-year old girl in Los Angeles.
Dylan continued in her letter, writing, “After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the ‘child victim.’ Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up.”
Over the years, Allen’s image continued to haunt Dylan. She wrote of Allen: “Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.”
Dylan’s brother, Ronan Farrow, now an attorney and MSNBC host, wrote after Allen was honored with a lifetime achievement Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe award, “Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?”
Ronan has been rumored to be the son of Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra. There is no evidence that Allen ever tried anything untoward with Ronan, and, in fact, Allen’s interests appear to be confined to underage girls and using Ronan’s electric train set to lure Dylan to a dark attic. Allen’s predilections probably saved his life. Had Allen been caught molesting the possible son of Sinatra, it is entirely likely that Woody Allen would have had his balls cut off, stuffed in his mouth, and been deposited in a Staten Island landfill.
One of the major defenders of Allen is the money-losing Daily Beast, the hoity-toity alleged “news” website for which celebrity sycophant Tina Brown once served as editor. Articles published by the pro-pedophile news outlet have sought to debunk Dylan, Ronan, and Mia Farrow, suggesting they have some axe to grind with Allen.
Dylan had some choice words for Allen’s adulators: “What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me? . . . So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.”
The “liberal” blogs are also full of praise for Allen and contempt for Dylan, Ronan, and Mia Farrow and anyone else who calls the aging pedophile Allen to account for his despicable crimes. Those who try to defend Allen’s victims are charged with “bigotry.” In their defense of Allen, charges of “anti-Semitism,” homophobia, and libel are often conflated by Allen’s fans and supporters to demean his critics.
Some demented Allen supporters are actually declaring that Dylan’s charges against Allen are part of a campaign to deny Allen an Oscar for his latest movie, “Blue Jasmine,” as if that is all that matters to the denizens of Tinsel Town.
It is often the case with those who shed the disinfectant of sunshine on those who peddle in pedophilia and its by-products that they are attacked by what amounts to a pedophile lobby. Beneath such obvious operations as the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a more subterranean and covert network of those who would legalize pedophilia as an alternate and “accepted” life style. While running for president of France in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy shocked the French electorate by stating that he was “inclined to think that people are born pedophiles, and that it is also a problem that we do not know how to manage.” Sarkozy was echoing the NAMBLA party line.
Allen was never prosecuted because pedophilia in the United States is a recreation sport and a blackmail tool. WMR previously wrote about the plague of pedophilia in the higher echelons of the U.S. government: “. . . cover-ups of Henry Kissinger- and G.H.W. Bush-endorsed Operation Condor’s links with Colonia Dignidad pedophilia in Chile in the 1970s, U.S. government awareness of pedophilia at Jonestown in Guyana, the Georgetown Club, the Franklin/Omaha pedophile scandal, midnight tours of the White House for underage male prostitutes during the G.H.W. Bush administration, Mark Foley and Dennis Hastert, sexual molestation of children at Abu Ghraib, child prostitution in U.S. military occupation zones in the Balkans, and molestation of teens at Texas and Florida youth detention facilities involving political appointees of the Bush family, including a cover up in Texas initiated by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and his U.S. Attorneys” are all linchpins in elite America’s toleration of pedophilia. This tolerance has been enabled by the popular media, of which Allen and his friends are an integral part.
The recent arrest of Senator Lamar Alexander’s chief of staff, Ryan Loskarn, a rising star in GOP politics, for possession of and intent to distribute thousands of child pornographic images and videos on a computer hard drive, and his subsequent “suicide” by hanging, is not the end of the story as Alexander and his congressional colleagues and business associates in private child welfare firms had hoped. A body hanging at the end of a rope or cord is merely the beginning of the story and hopefully a clue that leads to the identification and incarceration of those who prey upon America’s children. And there is nothing that says that Allen cannot stare at all of his Hollywood awards and honors on the wall of a prison cell.
For those who defend Allen, consider what Allen told People magazine in 1976, “I’m open-minded about sex. I’m not above reproach; if anything, I’m below reproach. I mean, if I was caught in a love nest with 15 12-year-old girlstomorrow, people would think, yeah, I always knew that about him . . . Nothing I could come up with would surprise anyone. I admit to it all.”
Nothing should surprise us about the disgusting cretin Woody Allen. He is the Jimmy Savile of America. He should be scorned and his movies should be boycotted.
Saturday February 8, 2014 at 7:00pm
Sunday February 9 at 2:00pm
Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, Hawaii
Click here for Tickets
Article by KAREN ROSE North Hawaii News
PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO (SPECIAL TO NHN)
Despite its unique and provocative title, The Vagina Monologues” is much more than a highly acclaimed stage production. It’s also a social movement and a testament to the violence experienced by women and girls globally. “The Vagina Monologues,” directed by Jane Sibbett with a guest appearance by Roseanne Barr and 22 women actors, will run Feb. 8 and 9 at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea.
“Our cast is comprised of women who not only have talent, but also have the heart to be in this,” said Sibbett. “We also have two 16-year-olds who are participating, and who are on fire for helping. It’s nice to have some young women be a part of this.”
Eve Ensler, an author, playwright, professor and activist, wrote the “The Vagina Monologues” book in 1994 after conducting more than 200 interviews with a vast array of women – from urban New York City to remote African villages. The book was so powerful that Ensler adapted it for the stage, where it debuted off-Broadway in 1999 at the Westside Theatre. Since then, it has been translated into 48 languages and performed in more than 140 countries. Yet, despite these worldwide advances, saying the word “vagina” still makes many people uncomfortable 15 years later.
Performed for the first time in Kahilu Theatre last year, “The Vagina Monologues” runs as a series of soliloquies from different women on their struggles and life experiences with their sexuality. Some of the stories are funny and many are tragic, depending on the issue — rape, sex, menstruation, love – are just a few of the topics. The play raises awareness of the serious and often fatal struggles that women and girls face. It is a confirmation of how complicated, and often devalued, women’s experiences are within society.
“We have such a great cast that knows how to do this really well,” Sibbett said. “We’ve put a lot of humor into it too, which is a good balance. Because of the humor, and because of the mixed media I have included, I think people will enjoy it. I feel the humor is so key and I’m excited that we have a cast that is going to carry it off.”
Ensler adds to the play annually, connecting the dialogue to current issues.
“There are two new monologues this year and some of the old ones are still there,” said Sibbett, who also directed last year’s production.
Addressing domestic violence on Hawaii Island
“The Vagina Monologues” provides an artistic medium to raise awareness about these serious issues through humor, solidarity, and well…vaginas. The Family Violence Prevention Fund estimates that one in three women will face sexual or physical assault in her lifetime.
Hawai’i Island is not immune to the devastating effects of violence against women. Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth said, “Domestic Violence is a root problem to much of the crime and other negative social consequences on Hawai’i island. Our office is very active in the education of victims and others in the community – proactively reaching out to others in government and social services to improve the systems dealing with domestic violence – and most importantly, supporting programs that puts an end to the circle of violence.”
The play is described as a celebration of women and a celebration of the vagina. It’s also a dark reminder of women’s place in society—whether in developed countries like the United States, or in parts of the world like Central Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Asia and parts of Europe where women are raped, beaten, prostituted, murdered, and permanently immobilized by the fear that is instilled in them from childhood.
Yisa Var is one of the actresses in this year’s production and feels it’s imperative that we talk to our children about the realities of violence against women in hopes of breaking the cycle.
“Even if someone has not experienced abuse themselves, they will still connect to many themes throughout the show,” said Var. “I have an 11-year-old son, and although the show is recommended for a little older audience, I feel as a parent that it is imperative that my child learn the truth— good and bad. The stories in the ‘Monologues’ may go a little above his head, but I am hopeful that it will start a dialogue and help him to feel comfortable talking about sexuality and how to love someone without hurting them. It is a step toward breaking the cycle to put forth into the world strong, but sensitive, empathetic and loving young men. To do that, they need the knowledge. ‘The Vagina Monologues’ offers that and so much more.”
The play is full of powerful narratives that make a statement about the prevalence and reality of violence against women around the world. Participants acknowledge that saying the word ‘vagina’ is not going to end the war on women, but hope that it will raise awareness of harsh realities that many women face on a daily basis.
According to Ensler in her book, “I say ‘vagina’ because I have read the statistics, and bad things are happening to women’s vaginas everywhere: 500,000 women are raped every year in the United States; 100 million women have been genitally mutilated worldwide. Saying ‘vagina’ is the first step in acknowledging our authentic selves.”
Sibbett is just as passionate about empowering women to reclaim their power over their bodies and themselves.
“For the women who’ve experienced violence, I want them to know that they’re not alone. It’s a club that none of us wish we were a part of, but now that we are, I want them to know that they have a lot of support,” she said. “There are a lot of strong women that come from this. We can unite together and make a difference. “
“The more voices we get pulling together, especially on this island, the better.” She said. “I want people to know that there are resources for them, and that there are many other wonderful women that are going through this situation that they wouldn’t even suspect. Once we start putting our voices together we really can start making some changes.”
In addition to Barr and Sibbett, the cast of this year’s monologues includes Sara Beery Hagen, Bonnie Cherni, Sophie Dommer, Beth Dunnington, Rep. Cindy Evans, Ronja Giesser, Harmony Graziano, Barbara Harris, Isabel Kalaau-Catrett, Rona Lee, Rani Moore, Robin O’Hara, Naomi Peters, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, Melinda Polet, Jan Rae, Madeline Schatz, Mary Sharma, Shanon Sidell, Maia Tarnas, Corine Tilson, Yisa Var, and Tess Yong.
Ensler’s work has inspired the social justice movement known as V-Day, with the goal to end violence against girls and women. It includes the worldwide annual production of “The Vagina Monologues.”
Performances of The Vagina Monologues and the V-day movement have raised more nearly 100 million dollars worldwide, and benefited numerous community-based programs dedicated to anti-violence causes.
“It’s important to raise money for needed programs on the Big Island and to celebrate the great writing of Eve Ensler, a revolutionary force for good,” said Roseanne Barr.
“Regardless of whether or not you’ve been touched by violence, I invite everyone to come to the show so we can all find our voices all together,” said Sibbett. “This has got to stop. It’s got to happen by us coming together as a community. It’s time for peace. We all deserve our divine right to choose happiness. None of us need to submit to this kind of violence.”
The Vagina Monologues shows at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8, and 2 p.m. on Feb. 9. Tickets are $10, $15, and $20 and can be purchased on line at kahilutheatre.org or by calling 1-808-885-6868. All profits will benefit women and families affected by violence on Hawaii Island.