Monday, September 24, 2012


FOLLOWERS GUILTY OF HATE CRIMES - Samuel Mullet Sr., the domineering leader of a renegade Amish sect, and 15 of his followers were convicted  on Thursday in Cleveland of federal conspiracy and hate crimes for a series of bizarre beard- and hair-cutting attacks last fall that spread fear through the Amish of eastern Ohio. The convictions of Mr. Mullet, along with several relatives and others from his settlement who carried out the assaults, could bring lengthy prison terms. 
The verdicts were a vindication for federal prosecutors, who made a risky decision to apply a 2009 federal hate-crimes law to the sect’s violent efforts to humiliate Amish rivals. Defense lawyers in the case and an independent legal expert had argued that the government was overreaching by turning a personal vendetta within the Amish community, and related attacks, into a federal hate-crimes case. But the jury accepted the prosecutors’ description of the attacks as an effort to suppress the victims’ practice of religion.

The victims “simply wanted to be left to practice their own religion in their own way in peace,” Steven M. Dettelbach, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said. “The defendants invaded their homes, physically attacked these people and sheared them almost like animals,” Mr. Dettelbach said. Mr. Mullet, 66, the founder of a community near Bergholz, Ohio, and 15 followers, including six women, were tried for their roles in five separate attacks last fall, involving assaults on nine people whom Mr. Mullet had described as enemies. The jury, which had no Amish members, heard 3 weeks of testimony and deliberated more than four days before reaching a verdict last week. Although Mr. Mullet did not directly participate, prosecutors labeled him the mastermind of the assaults, in which groups of his followers invaded the homes of victims, threw them down and sheared their beards and hair. Among the traditional Amish, men’s long beards and women’s uncut hair are central to religious identity. The Amish are religious separatists who dress plainly and avoid many conveniences of modern life.

An Amish sect leader and 15 of his followers are facing more than 15 years in jail after being convicted on federal hate crime charges in connection with several beard and hair-cutting attacks which were carried out with battery-powered clippers, scissors and razor-sharp shears that are designed to trim horse manes. Prosecutors argued that the attacks were intended to humiliate those who questioned Mr. Mullet’s cultlike methods - disciplinary and sexual practices - which included forcing errant followers to sleep in chicken coops and pressing married women - including his own daughter-in-law - to accept his intimate sexual “counseling.” The sect leader coerced married female followers into having sex with him saying it would turn them into better wives. Leaders who have followers under their control should cultivate universal love in order to overcome selfishness and transform arrogance into humility, vengeance into forgiveness, and hate into love.

Universal Love illuminates our relationship with other human beings. ... Universal Love illuminates our realisation of the responsibility we have for all our thoughts, words and actions. With the understanding that every action in this world produces an equal reaction, for our own good we should seek to avoid everything that can produce a negative future effect. We must attempt to perform acts that better the world, offering a positive future for everyone.  ... Universal Love permits us to see ourselves as happy servants, not tyrannical masters of those around us. Envy and taking advantage of the weaknesses of others shows how the exploiting spirit leads to indifference to others sufferings, thus increasing the feelings of frailty in the world. Serving others is a great experience which allows us to feel useful and full of self-esteem; whereas subjugating others only produces hate, rejection and loneliness.

Śrīla Bhakti Aloka Paramadvaiti Mahārāja :
“The VW Collection Online “
“Principles of Universal Love” -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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