Adult Ritualised Sexual Abuse: A Contemporary, Western Phenomena?

Being a prologama to a discussion about the issues related to Core, the history of its formation, and the role of its founder Willi Stewart. The nature of power in the evolution of the crisis. Also the role of the leadership from the creation of Core in 1993 to the first identified example of  the manipulation of  power in a sexual context in the ’94-’96 period. The problem of the Core Trust leadership to be able to accept the resignation of a charismatic founder. This leadership controlled the story and kept it hidden from the congregation. These then were presuppositions which inevitably led to explosion of 2004. Then instead of that leadership team resigning they actually remained till in 2005.  Revd. Jon Kissell was then appointed as Rector. One could say it was the equivalent of an oil blow out, where Red Adair tries to plug it. We will in a later post return to this history to seek further clues to understanding  this crisis. Here we should say the common reaction when the issue of Willi Stewart is raised is as follows:  It was ‘consensual,’ he was ‘over 18,’ he was not a ‘minor.’  ‘Poor Willi,’ ‘poor Ruth.’ We must ‘forgive,’  ‘love is all.’  “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?  Matthew 18:12. That is what happens when you have a good shepherd. When you have a bad shepherd and people say it is ok you are actually destroying right and wrong. You are definitely morally bankrupt and treating the victims with contempt.

This the Celtic Tiger Theology similar in shape to the loss of meaning this period represented brought about by the loss of the fear of the Lord. This,  “all we need is love” was not contextualised in tough love. It was all about me. We will have to look at the Toronto Blessing at the core of CO(R)E to see if it was a relativistic preamble to moral collapse which I have called Spiritual BSE or a harbinger of (renewal?) Here though we introduce our Buddhist consultant who looks at this problem from outside the Christian box, but it can lead us to a deeper awareness and focus away from power to the weakness at the edge, the desperate, the rejected, neglected, abused and victim(s.)

A Buddhist consultant to Dialogue Ireland wrote concerning Eoghan Harris’s view in relation to the Rigpa centre in West Cork in 2009.

See full article below:

In the context of a Christian minister the issue of the style of abuse is slightly different in that generally speaking the Minister is not asking a person for sex to enable them to be enlightened, but rather uses their power role to obtain what they should not. Or if there was a counselling situation might suggest sex as a means of resolving some issue. They are helping the person to resolve some issue by providing a sexual service.

‘While all sexual abuse is immoral, it is obvious that the depth of the immorality varies in dependence on the context of the abuse: the abuse of an adult is immoral, but that of a minor is significantly more so. Here, sexual activity at first seems to have occurred between two, consenting adults and, generally speaking, such a consensual act would not be considered immoral; this is certainly how your correspondent Mr Harris appears to perceive it.

However, where a religious figure in a position of trust engages in a sexual act with a follower, that person’s status transforms a seemingly consensual act into an abusive one. It is blatant abuse where a person in a position of trust engages in sexual relations with another, both from the perspective of the abuse of power and the abuse of the individual victim.

The status of the teacher too contributes to determining the depth of the abusiveness of the act. If relations occur between a ‘mere mortal’ teacher and an equally mortal student, that is one thing. But where the teacher is perceived as a ‘tantric master’, and the act is accompanied by the promise of spiritual benefit, this moves everything to an even deeper level of abusive depravity. Mr Harris appears to have not understood this.

3 Responses

  1. Valuable info. Lucky me I discovered your website unintentionally, and I am shocked why this twist of fate did not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.


  2. Other ideas that might be used to facilitate abuse in the Christian context, but which continue to resemble the Buddhist model put forward are ‘the purification of sin’ via the act or ‘serving God by serving his servants’. The point is not that all adult ritualised sexual abuse specifically offers ‘enlightenment’ but rather that it is said to facilitate some or any kind of spiritual growth or development; the term enlightenment was used simply because the explanation was given in the context of abuse perpetrated by a Buddhist leader.Such ‘spiritual’ justifications are an all too common basis for abuse.


  3. “n the context of a Christian minister the issue of the style of abuse is slightly different in that generally speaking the Minister is not asking a person for sex to enable them to be enlightened, but rather uses their power role to obtain what they should not”

    Nevertheless, the proposed relationship is one that, in many cases, is purportedly going to bring the victim ‘closer to God’. This is particularly so within a Catholic context, wherein the priest is seen as a divine intermediary between God and man, as opposed to the Protestant one wherein the concept of the divine intermediary is anathema


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