Photo. Antonio Miramontes | The Western
A key day is coming for the leader of La Luz del Mundo; the so-called "spiritual coercion" will be put to the test by the one he accuses
Víctor Chávez | El Occidental
Second part Within the process that is being carried out against Naasón Joaquín García, leader of La Luz del Mundo, the key date is approaching (next May) and a very peculiar test such as "spiritual coercion" or "brainwashing", which It will be put to the test during the hearing that is held. The one who accuses is obliged to prove, it is a general principle of law, and just based on it, the US Attorney's Office will try to demonstrate that consequently the alleged victims named Jane Does were mentally manipulated from religion. For this, the existence of a force or threat would have to be demonstrated, beyond, according to international law specialists, who define it as: "isolation and intimidation".
Photo. Antonio Miramontes | The Western
What is brainwashing?
This practice arises or is mentioned for the first time in the Korean War and is classified as “the psychological torture technique used for the first time by Communist China. It is based on isolation and intimidation in order to overcome the resistance of the subject and the consequent imposition of new ideas”.
Those who support this theory and who have wanted to enclose it in religious groups, accuse those responsible "argue that professing faith in an authentic religion is an expression of free will, while sects use thought manipulation techniques that end up controlling the individual and they do not allow you to freely make your own decisions.”
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However, academics, theologians, sociologists, psychologists and psychiatrists have rejected these theories and have highlighted their mythical nature. The argument is that there is no scientific or medical basis and they are based on hundreds of cases.
Now, in the case of the leader of La Luz del Mundo, what they call "the new theory of "spiritual coercion", presented by the US prosecutor at key moments before the Court, has returned to debate, which will undeniably have to enter the study of the same.
The Prosecutor's Office accuses that the Jane Does were mentally manipulated by religion and that this theory must be accepted as true to comply with the element of coercion, a key element that the prosecution needed to charge the charges of rape, oral intercourse, as well as human trafficking.
In the Korean War, for example, the issue was addressed and in a study carried out on 3,500 American prisoners, only fifty gave indications of having been ideologically converted or of having really collaborated with their captors.
Brainwashing is based on isolation and intimidation to overcome the resistance of the subject and the consequent imposition of new ideas
It became clear then that it was simply convenience, and if any genuine conversion did take place, it was due to their close intercourse with the Chinese communists who supported North Korea.
To convince, only mistreatment and confinement
The authors of the study “Psychological Analysis of Brainwashing of American Civilian Prisoners by the Chinese Communists (Schein 1961) determined that it was not due to brainwashing or application of Pavlovian techniques of subordination of will and judgment.
A doctrinal re-education program (szu-hsiang kai-tsao) lasting up to three and a half years was then documented, in which ill-treatment, torture and prolonged confinement were applied to 25 prisoners. Some of them, even so, did not join.
Photo. Antonio Miramontes | The Western
In 1975, 1977, 1991 and subsequent years, we find different legal cases in United States courts where such elements were argued to blame or ex-blame the alleged perpetrators, but the reality is that in modern times not a single case of brainwashing without resorting to imprisonment and/or torture of the victim.
Confinement would be one more factor to consider, as a technique to persuade victims to toxic relationships and abuse. It is concretized to an illegal deprivation of liberty, without even the option of being able to leave the space to develop personal or own activities.
Since his arrest, it was planned to start the trial on November 12, 2020, but it was postponed to January 6, 2021 and transferred to July 9, 2021. It was rescheduled to May 9, 2022.
The arguments of the defense
The element of coercion is usually fulfilled if the existence of force or threat is demonstrated, something that at first glance does not appear from the file. At least that is what the defense lawyers argue in their motion presented to the court in six points:
1. The District Attorney fabricated evidence to make it appear that “Jane Doe 1” was afraid to leave the church due to spiritual duress. The text messages show that it is clearly false.
2. The District Attorney created a fake conversation by cutting and pasting different parts of a conversation from “Jane Doe 1” to make it look like she was afraid to leave the church. A side-by-side comparison revealed that the conversation was actually about the fact that “Jane Doe 1” was afraid of going to college and leaving her boyfriend.
3. The Attorney General actively withheld exculpatory evidence that went against his "spiritual duress" theory of the case.
4. The Jane Does question the existence of God.
5. Jane Does's attitudes towards La Luz del Mundo, such as freely coming and going and even not attending school regularly.
6. The Government suppressed evidence relating to the lifestyle of the Jane Does that contradicted its theory of spiritual coercion and "brainwashing".
This is only part of the file, there are other elements of evidence that must be analyzed and the court will have the last word. In the next edition the third and last part.
Surprising twists in the process
The exhausted part of the process has presented surprising turns and continues to surprise the interested parties. As well as on October 15, 2020 Alondra Ocampo declared four criminal charges charged by the California Prosecutor's Office, United States, according to the Superior Court of Los Angeles; On the other hand, it is also true that in view of many legal firms in the US, the delay in the process has generated various comments.
In international law, respect for due process is key because the rights of the accused are violated.
In addition, a recent motion presented by the lawyers shows that the foundations of the accusation are based on the so-called "Jane Does" -name given to the alleged victims and main witnesses of the accusation-, today they present legal fissures, weak and contradictory statements.
faith in justice
If things do not change, next May 9 will be the hearing to start the trial against the leader of La Luz del Mundo in Los Angeles.
Timeline May 7, 1969 Naasón Joaquín García was born on May 7, 1969 in Guadalajara, Jalisco. At the age of 14 he begins to lead a first group of young people dedicated to evangelization. He is the third apostle of the Light of the World. December 8, 2014 Upon the death of his father Samuel Joaquín Flores, he assumed the direction of the church founded by his grandfather Eusebio Joaquín González. They assured then that there were representatives of 50 nations. June 4, 2019 The religious leader of La Luz del Mundo is detained on June 4, 2019 with Susana Medina Oaxaca upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, California. He was charged with more than 25 counts. August 6, 2020 Judge George Lomelí, of the Superior Court of Los Angeles, California, imposed a bond of 90 million dollars. However, it was denied after new evidence was provided. October 21, 2020 A Los Angeles judge dropped six of the 36 charges in October 2020 against him. The decision for lack of evidence on four counts of extortion and two more for bodily harm. September 15, 2020 Naasón Joaquín García, pleaded "not guilty" again for 36 charges of sexual abuse, rape, among others, in the trial he faces in Los Angeles, California. His defense asked to eliminate several. September 17, 2021 A new postponement is issued for the start of the trial, setting the date until May 9, 2022 (next week). His lawyers managed to postpone the trial several times since his arrest.