We’ve all heard about the sex abuse allegations within the Catholic Church. This series looks at four other world religions and their dirty secrets. In Buddhism, a world-renowned Rinpoche is accused by several women of sexual exploitation; in Islam, the actions of zealots led to the religiously justified rape of students and gays; in Orthodox Jewry, the cover-up of sexual abuse by a predatory rabbi leads to turmoil behind closed doors; and in Christian Evangelism, a homophobic black bishop in Atlanta is accused of the serial molestation of fatherless boys.
This four part documentary series, Sex Scandals in Religion was produced for VisionTV by We Did Overcome Production Inc. Editorial Director for each episode was Peter Kavanaugh and producers are Christopher Sumpton and Robin Benger. Gordon Pinsent narrates.
IN THE NAME OF THE AYATOLLAH
Tragically, rape as a tool of war is as old as war itself. But religious rape?
It seems like an impossible concept; too horrendous to contemplate. This show focuses sharply on several chilling reports that democracy activists were raped with religious justification in Iran, as part of a frenzy of fundamentalist punishment after the Presidential elections of June 2009. Two rape victims tell their terrifying stories from their refuge in adjoining Turkey; two distinguished human rights experts confirm the reports; and a defector from the pro-government Basiji militia draws the line from a gang rape operation he refused to take part in through his Commander to the Supreme Religious Leader Ayatollah Khameini.
Written and Directed by Robin Benger.
WALL OF SILENCE
In Winnipeg and Brooklyn, allegations of child abuse rock Orthodox Jewry. The sin is compounded by Orthodox Jewish authorities closing ranks around the accused rabbis. It is compounded further as these same holy men try to prevent the victims and their families from going public. The effects on the victims are devastating. But now, the truth comes out. With unusual access to this tightly bound community we find some hope that openness and justice will finally clear out the predators.
Written and Directed by Alan Mendelsohn.
IN THE NAME OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Buddhism. An image of peace, meditation, gentle respect. Not serial sex abuse. Accusations of tawdry sexual exploitation are threatening the elevated status of this beautiful religion. One of the Dalai Lama’s star protégés, the author of one of the most powerful and popular books in the history of Buddhism, and the leader of a global network of holy centers, has left a wake of damaged and abused women. Until now, they have been kept silent. Speaking out for the first time in this documentary, they accuse him of rape, seduction, physical assault and moral deceit. It’s an extraordinary story of sexual aggression, spiritual arrogance and avoidance of moral leadership…to the very top.
Written and Directed by Debi Goodwin.
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD
Eddie Long was electrifying. In less than 25 years, he took a fledgling congregation of 300 and built it into a global mega-church of 25 thousand in the upper-middle-class African American suburbs of Atlanta, with a TV audience of millions more. He also campaigned vigorously against gay rights. He also drew hundreds of fatherless boys to one of the most respected community centers in the south. Then four young followers accused him of sexual abuse. As a potentially multi-million dollar settlement is thrashed out behind the closed doors, the question now is, will there be a Second Coming for the disgraced pastor? Or has he arrived at his Day of Reckoning? Written and Directed by Peter Findlay.