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Right-wing activists for 'children' crafts affair lie about a reporter who exposed abusive Christian camp
One of the biggest conspiracy theories around the far-right Republican Party is that Democrats are secretly trying to kidnap children to drink their blood, or make every child gay. But conservatives lashed out when one reporter and his wife uncovered abuse accounts at a Christian camp.
David and Nancy French wrote for The Dispatch this week that one of America's most prominent Christian camps, Kanakuk, tried to cover up the abuse of children.
Pete Newman was a camp director at Kanakuk Kamps, which claims to have served more than 450,000 campers, The Dispatch reported. They're located outside of Branson, Missouri, and welcome the "Evangelical elite." Newman was promoted as one of the most popular with girls who wanted to date him and guys who wanted to be him.
Kanakuk chief executive officer Joe White once claimed he wasn't sure which would be more popular at the "kamp" Jesus or Newman. He ultimately became a camp director and was sent on the road to recruit campers and raise money for the church camp. Parents were desperate to host him.
"He was also a superpredator. He groomed and abused boys in their own homes. He groomed and abused boys at camp. In fact, he abused boys across the world," The Dispatch reported. "On June 9, 2010, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sexually abusing boys. He received a sentence of two life terms, plus 30 years. His guilty plea was but the tip of a terrible iceberg. A civil complaint alleges that there were at least 57 victims, but the prosecutor in his case estimates that the real number could be in the 'hundreds.'"
The story continues, walking through the survivors left in his wake and the trial that unfolded.
Since then, those involved in trying to protect children think that White and the camp still have a lot they're hiding about what they knew and when they knew it.
“Kanakuk Kamp and Joe White have much to answer for,” the report cited Dawn Hawkins, senior vice president and executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
David French also wrote a column about Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who is on his own personal crusade to make men more "manly." Hawley has written a book about the topic, lectured on the topic, and focused intensely on "masculinity."
Meanwhile, Hawley accepted political donations from Joe White, despite allegations that he covered up hundreds of children being molested by someone in the leadership of his church camp, Heartland Signal reported.
Hawley responded to the column by French and his report with his spouse.
"David French takes a break from promoting drag queens to talk about masculinity," Hawley posted with a laughing and crying emoji.
French's wife responded to the tweet from Hawley, saying, "Josh Hawley takes a break from counting his money from @Kanakuk CEO Joe White to complain about @DavidAFrench," she then linked to the Heartland Signal reporting.
Enter Sara Gonzales, BlazeTV host of "The News and Why It Matters," who also says she's the executive director of Defend Our Kids Texas. It's one of the fringe groups that claims drag queens are perverting children by reading children's books at public libraries.
In response to allegations that Hawley was taking money from someone who covered up for a man convicted of abusing children, Gonzales alleged that Nancy French was having an affair.
"What does your boyfriend think about your husband's column?" Gonzales said.
"Sara portrays herself as a defender of children against sexual deviance," Nancy French responded. "Though my @Kanakuk investigation exposed a cover up of what a prosecutor called 'hundreds' of child rapes, she shrugs it off. Instead, she tweets a gross lie about me and my marriage."
"This is actually evil," David French responded to Gonzales. "A right-wing personality is mad at me over a column. And what's her response? To publicly level false accusations of adultery against my wife. And people wonder why I sound the alarm over the moral rot on the right. I ignore 99.99 percent of the personal attacks on this hellish website, but when you lie about Nancy, I'm going to show people who you are."
A person of interest was arrested in connection with a shooting at a Florida beach boardwalk Monday evening that left nine people with injuries that required hospitalization, authorities said.
It proved to be one of many incidents of gun violence over the holiday weekend. As a result, at least 16 people have died across the country thus far, with dozens injured.
An additional person of interest is sought in connection with the shooting, Hollywood Beach police spokeswoman Deanna Bettineschi told reporters.
The outstanding person is described as a male with dreadlocks, a black short-sleeved shirt and camouflage shorts.
Online cameras in the Hollywood Beach boardwalk area show a frantic scene in which people are running as the sound of gunfire is heard.
Officers at around 6:42 p.m. responded to Johnson Street on the report of the shooting, Bettineschi said.
“Officers immediately began rendering aid, and then the nine victims were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Hospital,” Bettineschi said.
An altercation between two groups is believed to be what precipitated the shooting.
“Police are responding right now. We have victims treated by police and paramedics on scene and transported to the hospital,” said Mayor Josh Levy, The Sun Sentinel reported.
“It seemed like people might have gotten caught in the crossfire. But I can’t verify that,” Levy said.
No additional information was available by Monday night.
Memorial Day weekend gun violence kills at least 16, injures dozens: report
At least 16 people were killed and dozens more injured across the country in Memorial Day weekend shootings, NBC News reports.
The shootings occurred in at least nine states at beaches, high schools and motorcycle rallies among other locations, according to the report.
The most recent shooting occurred Monday at around 7 p.m. local time in Hollywood, Florida, where at least seven people including a 15-year-old were shot near the boardwalk. No additional details of this shooting were immediately available.
In Chicago alone, more than eight people were killed and another 32 were injured in separate shootings.
At around 3:30 p.m. Friday, five people were injured in a Baltimore shooting, all of whom suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
In Mesa, Arizona, Iren Byers, 20, was arrested in connection with a series of shootings from Friday afternoon through Saturday evening that killed four people and injured another, police said.
Byers was arrested on suspicion of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree attempted murderer, police said in a news release. He is being held without bail.
On Saturday evening, a shooting at a Red River, New Mexico motorcycle rally killed three people and injured five others, including the suspect, who was arrested in connection with the shooting. The suspect, Jacob David Castillo, 30 of Rio Rancho, suffered injuries that required hospitalization and will be booked into the Taos County Detention Center after he’s released.
A Garden Grove, California shooting at a restaurant Saturday evening injured three people, two of whom were seriously injured. Patrons detained the suspect, but it’s not yet known whether he had been arrested or charged.
In Atlanta early Sunday one teenager was killed and another injured during a “unauthorized gathering” at Benjamin E. Mays High School.
In Washington D.C., one person was killed and late Sunday in a shooting on a Metro Transit Green Line train at the Navy Yard station.
Three people were injured Saturday evening in a south Seattle casino shooting,
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