From Amita Swadhin (via Facebook):
A VERY PERSONAL CALL FOR SUPPORT
Friends, this week I learned that the organizers of the 2012 New World Fair (https://www.facebook.com/events/226684914097257/), an event taking place TOMORROW in Queens, NYC, had invited my father - a man who raped, sexually assaulted and emotionally and verbally abused me for 8 years of my childhood (ages 4-12) - to speak at this event, under the guise of holding ”esoteric” and “ancient healing” knowledge.
I immediately emailed the event organizers, letting them know my story, including a link to Secret Survivors, and telling them about my father’s long history of sexually assaulting women and girls in my family and community, only to be initially dismissed as potentially making up lies and trying to derail their event by raising “family issues” that the organizers did not want to know about or get involved with.
Thanks to supportive pressure from the Queens Museum of Art, the event organizers finally removed my father from their speaker lineup and website, but refused to meet my demands to let their audience (who have now seen his name and “bio” promoted for months on their website) know why he was removed, and to feature a NYC-based speaker working to end child sexual abuse. They claimed that confronting the endemic reality of child sexual assault and holding people who rape and sexually abuse children accountable is separate from their “platform” (ironically, a platform focused on human evolution and healing revolution). One of the event organizers is the publisher and graphic designer of my father’s new books (http://www.outfinitevision.com/).
I have strong reason to believe that my father has continued to rape and abuse women and girls in his family and community, and I am speaking out more publicly than ever because I want to prevent him from being able to harm others by cloaking himself in a veil of ‘spiritual knowledge’ as a mechanism to hide his violence.
While none of us are ‘bad people’ for not knowing when our neighbors, colleagues, spiritual guides, friends and even family members are raping/sexually assaulting children, what matters most is what we do when survivors step forward to tell their truths. I believe that all adults, organizations and institutions have a responsibility to confront the reality of this endemic violence when it comes to light. We should all be learning from the mistakes that were made in the Penn State cover-up, and should never shame or try to silence survivors for speaking out.
Some of my wonderful loved ones in NYC have put together the flyer below. If you would like to stand in solidarity with this effort to educate attendees and supporters of this event, both about my father’s violence AND about the endemic nature of child sexual abuse, you can post this picture:
* on the 2012 New World Fair event wall (https://www.facebook.com/events/226684914097257/),
* in the Global Movement group (this is the entity under which one of the event organizers publishes my father’s books): https://www.facebook.com/groups/theglobalmovement/
* on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TheNewWorldFair)
* on their Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/TheNewWorldFair).
I also encourage people in NYC to distribute this flyer at tomorrow’s event (11am-6pm tomorrow in Flushing Meadows Park, near the museum).
Thank you for all the support and love you have given me over the years - it holds me up and helps me to be strong in these moments. Also, please feel free to forward this message.
“For all of us, this instant, and this triumph; we were never meant to survive.” -Audre Lorde
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