February 2, 2010
American missionaries still in custody of Haitian authorities

The accused American missionaries in their cell. Photo: ITN

Ten Americans remain in custody in Haiti, accused of illegally trafficking children after they tried to cross into the Dominican Republic on a bus.

Haitian authorities are debating what to do with the group of missionaries that allegedly intended to smuggle the children — after reportedly being told they were all orphans.

Were the American missionaries justified in trying to take a group of kids out of Haiti?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.

bookmark    print    Email

Comments

65 comments

#65

Response to Kathleen E Lo Pinto Vignolini (#55): Your assertion that because “there is still a strong and present bigotry” in the world, the missionaries’ motives, therefore, had to be ulterior, does not follow.

#64

Some background informations on the leader Silsby.
Idaho Statesman.com

#63

My prayers are with the missionaries doing Godly humanitarian aide. A large % of children in Haiti die before the age of 10. I learned bad criminals escaped a destroyed jail, but Haitian authorities focus on jailing helpful Americans. This is insane. Government leaders and our military should free them from the dumpy jail quickly. Hillary’s response about this makes me puke.

#62

There is no justification for the “kidnapping” of the children,furthermore looking at the background of the leader,it does not appear to be
all that sound.

#61

The very fact that you require name and email address prohibits my discussion. How can you differentiate your organization from a tyranny such as North Korea?

#60

David,
I read your post and I salute you. Your are the best and a real humanitarian.

God Bless you…. I would enjoy meeting you. You seem to have seen the suffering these little ones go through. Not many can do what you do….

Sincerely,
Joanne

#59

As news reports continue to reveal the real motives of the “missionaries” it has become apparent that white privilege almost trumped the legal system once more. I cannot help but wonder if this earthquake had occurred in some European country would the civil infrastructure be allowed to deteriorate to the point where people could so brazenly engage in child trafficking? I think not.

#58

Only an idiot (or a biased person) would go into another country & briskly remove anyone, and NOT “ask questions” as to the proper procedures of how best to “help” those in need. Only those with “ulterior motives” would rush in, and attempt to quickly remove they youngest and most vulnerable of that society, without making sure that they are truly “unattached” to anyone. Because of th dire conditions in Haiti, no one has the means yet to insure that these children were “orphaned” or not! That alone shows the “missionary’s” lack of concern.
Ignorance of the proper procedures is no excuse!!! These folks had absolutely no “right” to go into Haiti in the first place! And they had less of a “right” to abduct children and make a hasty exit! The Haitian Government DID have the right to stop them, especially after they had stopped ALL removal of Adoptee’s beforehand!
There are SO many people there who are really trying to help Haitians: physicians, nurses, global Governmental agencies, and charities that are distributing food, water, & shelter to help these people … where … they … are … and NOT trying to permanently remove people ASAP! (unless it is for critical medical care). Ignorance IS NO reason … for their behavior.

#57

One more thing, in response to Patty’s comment, “in many countries people will walk right up to you and beg you to take their children back to Europe or America, simply because they want their child to have a better life.”
Would it not be better for US (all of us in the “industrial world”) to give support to those in these 3rd world countries, than remove the children who would become the lifeblood & future of that country? This attitude shows how some folks continue to have a “superiority complex” toward peoples of other races, cultures, and religions! It is an arrogant and racially biased philosophy, and should be of great concern to the 1st world nations!

#56

I know two of the people in custody. There is ZERO chance of this being any kind of trafficking or anything like that. These claims are ridiculous. Yes, the leader didn’t get proper documentation, but the team members did not know this. The team was told they were to help these kids who were orphans and they did. That’s it. They were called to help and they did. If a plan for help was set out and I was able to help I would, I wouldn’t ask 100 questions making sure every scrap of documentation was right. I would just want to help in the midst of chaos. Why everyone seeks justice where there Is no crime I have no idea. A fine for improper documentation, sure, trafficking charges? Not at all. The spokesperson/leader should be the only one blamed here. And even then, a fine is the only “justice” that needs to be dealt out.

#55

Thank you, World Focus for your consistently unbiased coverage of world news! SO refreshing! I so enjoy hearing news from other countries prospectives! The “Missionary Abduction of Children” in Haiti is but one of these fair and sound stories. After all, the Haitian Government first used the term “Trafficking” … AFTER catching them “leaving town abruptly” … NOT the news media. And, as we all know, there is good reason for this Government to question ANY hasty removal of their children from their homeland!
Though I don’t believe these people were into “Human Trafficking” for slavery purposes … I do believe they were taking the children without any regard to the Children, the Haitian people, or the Haitian Government. Because they did not follow the same procedural protocol as every other agency and person have, at the very least each should be very heavily fined. And since Haiti can ill afford to “house them” in the aftermath of this earthquake, the USA should step up with some modest punishment.
My take is, that since 80% of Haitians are Roman Catholic, this group were “Soul Trafficking” … or “saving the children’s souls, for eternity”, because of their deluded ideas of what Catholics truly believe! It should not be overlooked that while Haiti is 80% Roman Catholic, 80% of its people are also extremely poor … and black! Because it is the ONLY country where Enslaved Blacks were successful in revolting against their “owners” … it created an immediate retaliation from those overlords who were ousted, and demanded payment from Haiti for that war!!! Thus they were kept in abject poverty from the moment they gained independence. Add that there is still a strong and present bigotry against blacks (and Catholics and Jews as well), these “Missionary’s” motives, rather than being tried and true, or “humanitarian,” were most defiantly ulterior. Has anyone but me noticed that ALL of those legal adoptions of Haitian children, were by White Americans? NOT one (1) black family was shown rescuing an adopted child. Though those were legal, I wonder WHY that is? Who is going to teach that child their heritage, both Haitian & black? How can those parents possibly understand, nor really help what their children will most likely experience, because of their color? And, will they be raised in “whatever faith” their birth parents were??? I also wonder, if they were in the orphanage, while their parent(s) were alive, but not able to care for them financially?
Lots more questions about how some are “helping” those in Haiti than answers.

#54

DONATION TO HATE EEE CANCELLED ON MY CREDIT CARD.

#53

These “missionaries” sure know how to roam
For “angels” they want to take home
They are simply “soul snatchers”
Who heighten enrapture
By stealing these kids from Rome

#52

Jesus save us from your followers.

#51

I think the coverage was fair and I love this station’s newcast. After watching the incarcerated Baptist members on tv, they appeared to be arrogant and testy. I don’t see how they can call themselves missionaries acting like that. Their body language that was given off seems like they are covering something up. I think dad should come get that teenager who is locked up with her mom; the rest should face trial. she read from the her bible, but that has nothing to do with the reason they are there, and God isn’t talking to you lady by any means. i think they are fake. I haven’t received any good vibes from this group after reviewing mulitple reports on them. Supposinlgy they were warned by a human rights activist. Let them face their judgement by an expediated court and lenglthy prison sentence.

#50

I thought World Focus’s coverage of this story was appallingly prejudicial and one-sided. While these people have obviously broken the law and must face appropriate legal consequences, applying terms like “human trafficking” and lumping these people in with slave-traders and child exploiters is absurd. By all accounts these people believed they were rescuing orphans and these children had been entrusted to them by indigenous Haitian pastors who told them that the children had no parents. There is no evidence or testimony that any money was involved or that any of these children were abducted or taken from unwilling parents. The one parent interviewed said that she wanted her child to go and have a better life. To those insinuating that these children were being taken to be sold for adoption, look at the statistics on how hard it is for black kids to get adopted in the US and how many tens of thousands of black kids are stuck growing up in “the system” while would-be parents wait for white babies. It is ludicrous to believe that a bunch of mid-western churchgoers, (mostly ladies and youth) got together and spent thousands of dollars to go thousands of miles to steal a bunch of Haitian kids to sell in Idaho! Lets be realistic here people! Their minister back home vouches for them and their intentions. I work in refugee resettlement and I have spent a lot of time in “3rd world countries”. I have seen real human trafficking and child exploitation and it looks nothing like this. And as another person posted on here, in many countries people will walk right up to you and beg you to take their children back to Europe or America, simply because they want their child to have a better life. We who live in a world of comfort and convenience and see stories of child molesters on the evening news every night do not understand the situation or motivation of these parents who have to watch their children suffer every day, unable to provide their most basic needs. We think first of protecting our children from strangers because we haven’t had to watch 3 or 4 of our 10 kids starve or die for lack of clean water or a $2 bottle of medicine. That’s what these Americans were trying to save these kids from and that’s why their parents and local pastors were eager to send these kids out of that hell. These Americans should face the consequences of not following proper procedure, but they should not be treated or depicted as kidnappers or slave-traffickers.

#49

Apparently the Americans were either ridiculously ignorant of the law, or viewed it dismissively as a corrupt banana republic. I think they should face appropriate penalties to preserve the rule of law and prevent real bad guys from real trafficking, but that is not what was happening here. They might be guilty of arrogance, ignorance, and cultural insensitivity, but they should not be villainized as exploiters or human traffickers. Also I have to speak up against some of the blatant bigotry I’ve been reading here. I work with several humanitarian aid organizations and, though I do not consider myself religious, I have to admit that most of the people I’ve worked with who really cared and really loved the people they served, were religious. Of course, I know a few other non-religious people like myself who care about their fellow human beings enough to do something about it, but most of the true humanitarians I’ve seen in the field who showed genuine love for people, were religious whether Catholic, Muslim, or American Evangelicals. Of course, every batch has it’s bad apples and there are always going to be some people with questionable motives, but in my experience, non-religious aid workers are just as likely to be condescending and/or politically motivated as the religious ones are.

#48

Haiti let our people go, they went there to do God’s work and you arrest them. Unless this is
set straight, I’m not giveing any more relief money.

#47

Fc, the charge of kidnapping, as you are making here, is a very serious charge. What evidence do you have of that other than the allegation that the Christian group may have intentionally or unintentionally failed to complete all the required paperwork? As the Ten Commandments states, “You shall not bear false witness”, which I believe is what you just did.

#46

About the writers who are saying the kids would be better off with good American families, most of use would agree. I wish someone there would at least implement a foster care system where some of those kids could come here once families are first checked here and the children are documented and it is known by the proper authorities who they are and where they are going. They should be fingerprinted, DNA taken and photos taken so they can be reunited with their parents if or when they are identified. This kind of help does need to be fashioned by the Haitian government and other governments who are helping in this effort and can’t be done like the ten people who were arrested.

#45

Thank you Duane Palmer!! in saying, “establish just when was it that Jesus told them to go and illegally kidnap those kids.”

There are times when one has to follow God’s law over man’s law, like in the case of the Holocast. This was not one of those situations.

But as to the Patty who asserted that Christians should stay out, perhaps she should consider who has been supporting numerous schools in Haiti and many other developing countries. I’m quite sure it wasn’t her, and I’m very confident it has been primarily Christian groups. They are there in the daily poverty and misery trying to make a difference–when no one else cares. My daughter went and worked at a Mission in Mexico and my current church was supporting a school in Haiti before the Earthquake. It was reduced to rubble and they are rebuilding it. When she wants to replace the good works of the Christian organizations she is criticizing, then maybe she will have that right.

But the good work of the many Christian organizations around the world has nothing to do with the kidnapping that ten people calling themselves Christian just attempted.

#44

Response to Patty (#40): No child should be allowed to leave a disaster country under any circumstances except for the injured? Even if there is no more food or water in the country? Explain that one.

#43

I think we need to decide to what effect self-professed intentions have prior to a trial. If every criminal were permitted to walk away without a trial by saying they meant well, society, even there, would be more chaotic. The known facts from seeing news broadcasts would appear to indicate there was a bizarre rationale in existence for acquiring and transporting these children without documents and approvals. It’s clearly more than a misunderstanding. Whatever their internal intentions, there doesn’t seem to be any doubt on the part of anyone who knows of that case that these people surely had to have known they were breaking the law.

#42

yes! good intentions, but they did not know the real world of haiti. o.k. lesson learned, pay the fine, kiss the ground of the U.S.A when you come back home, let the U.N. deal with it…..

#41

I’m thinking maybe from now on, there should be a “main organization” like UNICEF or the American Red Cross or joint Militaries from various countries or the UN that goes to help disaster areas and ALL other organizations and individuals MUST funnel through THAT organization, whichever one it turns out to be. THAT organization will check credentials of everyone coming in, find out what the person or group’s purpose is, how long are they staying, what kind of “help” are they actually bringing and giving, what goods are they bringing in, what their purpose is AND NO ONE is allowed to leave the disaster country and go across any border unless authorized by the governing body–Military or UNICEF or Red Cross, etc. or going home. And certainly NO NO NO children are allowed to leave the disaster country especially “WITH” people who are not of their own country. Medical evacuations are different, as long as the injured are accompanied by doctors or helpers and NO smugglers. I can’t believe that now disasters have to be policed. What is this world coming to?

I think non-religious groups should be the ones going to these countries, not religious groups. religious groups have an agenda, get converts, show the world how ‘godly’ they are by ’saving’ the victims. That is not what a disaster victim wants or needs. They need water, food, shelter, clothing, medical supplies, to find their families and bury their dead. If the religious groups cannot provide those provisions, they should stay home where they belong. Let the REAL aid organizations do the work we donate money for them to do. They are schooled in how to do the work, how to rescue, how to care, they know what foods, water, medicines, etc. are needed.

religion has to quit being in a forefront of anything. It is a volitale ingredient and does not mix well with anything. It is explosive and it kills innocents. Leave religion at home or in church or wherever, but DO NOT STEAL children in the name of a god or a religion!!! This is why I do not like religions of any sort or color or creed or whatever. I have NEVER seen anything good come from a religion, and I have seen and participated in just about all of them trying to find out what they are all about! I pass on all fo them.

#40

Of course I can’t really say because I don’t know all the facts, and of course children should be protected, but it seems very possible to me that this was a well-meaning group of Christians who were genuinely trying to help out a group of children in desperate circumstances and who did not knowingly break any rule, and that the Haitian government is sort of trying to play “Mr. Big” here and sort of “play government” and appear tough to the rest of the world at the expense of a Christian group. Just because a person or group has not entirely completed all the required paperwork for something does not by itself mean that they had knowingly violated any procedures.

#39

I realize that Haiti is a foreign country. I also realize that we, the people of the United States, are poring in millions of dollars of private and public money. With hundreds of aid workers and “yes” missionary’s that are preforming undocumented humanitarian aid to those suffering at this time. In the U.S. people are innocent until proven guilty. With the few, comments and reports on the world news you’ve already tried and are ready to pronounce a guilty sentence on these people. How biased and closed minded can you be?

#38

NO ONE is allowed to go to a country and steal the children! I don’t care who they are! You don’t go stealing children! What is the matter with those people? I don’t care if they say they are missionaries or not. That is not the point. They were stealing human beings. Smuggling children on a bus, trying to sneak them across a border is theft and stealing and human trafficing. And it is premeditated by the very fact that they were trying to “sneak” them across the border. That “very” behavior is “Suspect.” There are all sorts of legitimate aid organizations in Haiti helping the people “in place.” If those so-called missionaries want to help, they can “stay there” and help the aid organizations that are already established. Do not whisk the children across the border and smuggle them into another country. And tell the children lies that their parents can come and visit them. That too is “Suspect,” with a capital S. That is theft. That is smuggling human beings. That is a crime. To use religion as a guise is even MORE serious. How many crimes are commited in the name of a religion? What gives a religion to right to steal children? The Haiti children belong to Haiti. No one has the right to steal them. It is NOT for anyone to say those children “are better off somewhere else.” They belong with their people. Leave them in Haiti and “help them in their own homeland” if they are so caring. Why aren’t they staying and helping the children in the “safe places” that have been provided for them by organizations such as UNICEF???

#37

There should be a thorough background check on each and every last one of them then….establish just when was it that Jesus told them to go and illegally kidnap those kids.

#36

I really don’t know, missionaries or not, the only things they have done is to go against the laws of the land and abduct those innocent children.

Why? To take them across the border and sell them or put them to other nefarious schemes

Being “missionaries” doesn’t cut it with my
concept of people being legitimate agents of a Church.

They are smart enough to figure out the consequences of their actions. What did they take the Haitian people to be?

I reall don’t know what kind of missionaries they are, they didn’t act the part very well, or using their church as a cover up to take advantage a calamity or to sell the children for a quick profit. I really don’t know, but it sure does look fishy to me…. they should be punished after the Haitian law….

#35

There good intentions got the best of them. In deciding to transport the children out of Haiti following the earth quake there must have been some of the Missionaries who questioned if the children were truly orphans or not; yet, they decided that the resources they could provide these children outweighed the rights of their natural parents, alive or not. These poor black children, it they were rich or white, there would be no question that they were kidnapped.

#34

Unfortunetly we live in a world where you have to spent so much money to adopt a child, it is not easy not to question of these people’s motivation. If a child adoptation would be an economicly easier process then maybe we all would have diferent feelings about these people.
I personaly would never think of getting these children out of their country without making sure that is legal. It is just odd.

#33

Let’s take away the fact that Haiti is a developing country and the fact that it just suffered a detrimental calamity, and then ask the question again. Is it ok then? Absolutely not! It is absolutely ridiculous to think that these people should have the right to take these children. The mere point that they think they can do so without following proper and legal procedure makes them unfit to do so.

#32

Joe Lukas, I hope you get to get to suffer the consequences of your arrogance. What makes you such a Know it all? I grew up in a Chirst of Christ Children’s Home in Chino, California. These people were there to rescue the little ones. My parents could not afford to feed or care for us, and now I am the care giver of my yoonger Brother who was four when they sent us away. Unless you have been there and know the damage it can do to you. you have no knowledge in which I speak of. You were proably raise in a normal childhood, imagine one where you have no one and wait every Sunday for five years on a bench, for your Mother to come back but never did. Do not judge others unless you have been there. Don’t be such a know it all.

#31

Having seen both stories of human trafficking and rising violence against homosexuals in the Carribean and some African nations on your broadcast today is what they have both in common: the missionary work that influences their cultures. Having Haitian families give up their children for a better life in the West and having african governments embrace dicriminatory laws to presecute homosexuals are heavily influenced on the ideological values of christian missionary NGO’s. These organizations render humanitarian aid under the guise of another agenda, namely the spread of evangelical fundamentalism. These missionaries have no respect for international human rights and seek to push their agenda in vulnarable countries with weak governments. More oversight is needed to curb these organizations from their hateful agendas.

#30

Prudence in this case stood on ground subject to interpretational earthquakes. Regardless of intent, more research should have been done into the intricacies of what was being attempted so that the physical feet of these several persons would not have had to be standing, as they are now, on earthquake-prone ground–on more metaphysical levels than merely a unified “One”.

#29

They absolutely made mistakes. All they had to do was pay the bribes.
Parents try to give their kids to Anglos all the time in the Caribbean. I personally have been asked many times to bring sons and daughters back to the U.S. and raise them, when I wasn’t in a tourist area.
I don’t care what religion they are from.
What were they going to do besides deliver the children to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic?
I believe there jailing is a diversion from the corruption and ineptitude of the government.

#28

This is typical behavior of arrogant elitist white christian Americans, completely ignorant and unsympathetic to other cultures. They are consumed with their righteousness and believe that righteousness trumps family structure and law. Their response to these charges is to read the bible, maybe they should have read the word of local law first, now they get to suffer the consequences of their arrogance.

This is conquistador thinking, far more dangerous in the long run than starving to death.

#27

I have read comments #1 through #18. As a Christian I perceive that comment #1 (frantzchar@msn.com) is true. Perhaps the missionaries did not use the best legal judgment, resulting in being persecuted themselves, but it is ludicrous to suggest that they are evil doers.

#26

These people are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
They believe that there religious right wing attitudes should be adapted by the entire World. Sound like another group we hear a lot about trying to impose there religious values. how foolish of these people to go to a country already strained to feed there own people , they only add to the problem. They should be sent back to America at full Fair and billed for it.

#25

These were missionaries who went there to help the little Children. Yes, They should have gotten the approval of the Haitian Government, but even the Haiti President has vanished. I feel that the punishment should be, let these Missionaries work and help Haiti rebuild. But to keep them in prison!!!!! This is Crazy, when their own is stealing the food we are bringing and they are looting. If they do not release the Missionaries, then I think we should WITHDRAW ALL HELP, AND SEND THE INJURED BACK. the only thing the Missionaries are guilty of is ignorance, they did not get the approval of the Haitian Government. They were not trying to hurt these Children, just help them. IF WE STOP ALL OUR EFFORTS, PERHAPS THEY WILL SEE WE ARE AMERICANS, ALWAYS READY TO HELP, BUT NOT ALWAYS PERFECT. We as Americans need to stand together ready to help those in need, and again STAND UP FOR OUR OWN, I am a Christian and will do whatever it takes to bring the Missionaries home to the United States of America. You perfect one’s out there may think differently, yet let us see you wrongly accused and sitting in a cell, when you thought you were doing the right thing, helping the little ones. Some f the comments I have read, who do you think you are?
Superior? Think again.

#24

The missionaries are guilty of being stupid, but by no means are they in the same category as people who intentionally traffic children. The typical human trafficer lures children away in order to exploit them, by putting them into slavery type of conditions, whereas these missionaries had intentions of improving the lives of these children, not exploiting them. Their crime should not be human trafficing, but rather failing to follow correct adoption procedures.

Frantzchar: Let’s not make baseless assumptions about the government
PJ: Do you realize how hypocritical it is to lecture a group of people about being tolerant of other religions when you simultaneously lambaste them for not sharing in your belief that all religions lead to salvation?

#23

No. Missionaries are not,what they did was stupid.

#22

What these right wing religious groups are really after is to pull these children away from their Roman Catholic rearing and turn them against the Pope and their parents and train them to believe in their idiotic anti-Darwin, Rapture driven lunacy!

#21

The true believers of this world seem to think that their own concept of god can dictate their actions be it kidnapping children, blowing up infidels, or colonizing land because God intended for them to have it. These people rationalize their own selfish aims by passing on the blame to their God. These “missionaries” should be tried in Haiti under Haitian law for their attempted crime. I am reminded of Flip Wilson’s character Geraldine who offered as her reason for misdeeds “the devil made me do it.”

#20

I believe these missionaries should be ashamed of themselves. It seems like they were out to steal children from parents, whom couldn’t provide for their them. I would be interested to know if any of the families from the village, wer paid any cash by these missionaries. When interviewed, they looked a little to happy, when talking about giving up the children. Were they paid???

Shame on the missionaries, and the church they represent. THEY BELONG IN JAIL…

Steven King

#19

Even the purist motive is no substitute for common sense. Waiting for justice in a Haitian jail will give these unfortunate missionaries plenty of time to consider that the road to hell may very well be paved with good intentions.

#18

No. This is a group of individuals who have now made the legal and authorized care and adoption of Haitian children much more difficult through their zeal and stupidity. Having participated in many medical missions to the Dominican Republic, one must respect the laws and customs of the country in which you are a volunteer. Otherwise, the good you are trying to accomplish may be to no avail.

#17

Suspicions of malfeasance? Maybe among the slave traffickers of the countries already on record who spawn them–speaking of which were noticeably absent from sending any visible aid or health assistance to Haiti. Get my drift???

#16

These “missionaries” made an error in judgement. They should be investigated to see where their misdirected intentions came from and be released. Send them back to the US and let them go through proper adoption channels if adoption was their true motive. As far as breaking the law, these are extraordinary circumstances in Haiti and leniency should be given, especially considering the corrupt history of the Haitian government. With millions of US $ pouring in, it’s time the Hatian government showed some sense and integrity in dealing with its main benefactor at this time.

#15

The missionaries seem only to be guilty of stupidity. Their hearts are in the right place and I understand any Haitian parent who would give them their children up so that their children could survive and live a better life. The shame is that the country is so bad off that a parent would ever have to face such a dicision. It doesn’t seem like the missionaries thought things through and made emtional decisions. They too face a tragedy now being thought of as people with evil intentions. I’m disappointed that World Focus seems to be encouraging the feeling that they are “evil doers” vice being naive, insensitive and wrong in their approach.

#14

Trafficking of children in situations like this is not only about making money. There are colonialist and racist ideals here. The white Christian ‘rescuers’ believe that these children will be better off with white Christian families. They believe that they are saving them — not from disaster, but from their own culture.

#13

I am a Christian. However good these peoples intentions were or are, makes no difference to their innocence or their Blatant neglect to have AUTHORIZATION to take these children. These children have been through enough TRAMA. If their intentions were good, they could have waited to do it the proper way. If the Haitian people had come to America with these intentions after the horrible Hurricane in New Orleans that George Bush neglected to handle with Integrity, and try to take the children from the U.S. well these people would be prosecuted..and JUSTLY so. they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law of haiti. I couldn’t bare the thought of my children being CAPTURED and transported out of country! Like we did the slaves back in the day! Shame on them! What really were their intentions? It really strikes distaste in my heart. So sad.

#12

There was/is absolutely no justification for what the Americans did. They are intelligent people and it is difficult to believe that what they were doing was totally illegal–in addition to telling the children that they were going on vacation and showing them pictures of beautiful homes with swimming pools. Shame on them. They bring disgrace on our country and those woo truly are doing good deeds.

#11

The missionaries are not justified. They were warnedin advance by a person who has worked for years in Haiti. About half of the children were not orphans. The accepted legal standard is “best interests of the child.” Given the facts so far, it is highly questionable that they were acting in the best interests of the children.

#10

They showed a total disregard for the children and for the law….and if God told them to - Heaven help them

#9

I think they were trying to bring the children to the born again philosophy rather than saving the lives of the children. Fanatics like these folks are as dangerous as Bin Laden……. I hope that they are prosecuted for kidnapping which is the crime they committed. Unbeknown to the fanatics…….Christ is not the answer to eternal salvation. A true Christian life would embrace everyone including all religions, sexual orientations and even mental illness which causes many to commit atrocities.

#8

This group of individuals were entirely wrong to kidnap the children. If they wanted to help, they should have provided aid in Haiti and not create the suspension of intent of child abuse and molestation.

#7

Regardless of their intentions they had no right to do what they did in taking the children. Their desire to help is admirable but taking children from their communities is not right.

#6

What they did is wrong. While I believe in their good intentions… listening to their group leader and her followers from behind bars does nothing but give me the creeps. They are obviously intelligent and well financed. They certainly know the law, both those of the U.S. and Haiti regarding, at the very least, personal travel. And they must have been aware of the struggle American families were experiencing after the quake with their LEGAL adoptions already in process. And now they’re using their faith and overwhelming desire to do “good” as excuses for their poor judgement. While I understand their motives, they would’ve been better served to liason with any of the many established organizations already recognized and on the ground doing work in Haiti and elsewhere around the world. Consequences for their alleged acts? Hmmmm, I say definitely fines/restitution, deportation and a future travel ban. Ideally though I’d like to see them sentenced to a 6 month community service tour helping rebuild destroyed orphanages and hospitals.

#5

They had no right to take the children. There were ways to make sure they were orphants. They could have helped to feed and give them medication if needed and watch them until they had the ok to take them to America.

#4

These 10 people should be taken to trial and given their day in court. I can’t imagine how 10 adults could make such a poor, but “innocent” decision to attempt to remove all those Haitian children from the country during a period of such chaos without considering that it would provide them some “cover” in doing so. These 10 baptist adults can say whatever suits them now–to cover their butts….but, their activities certainly appear very suspicious.

#3

I am a Christian and have done mission work. But, one has to be very careful to say “God told us to…” when it involves breaking the law. Their intentions, I believe, were good.

The gentleman that murdered the Dr. that performs abortions…were his intentions good. We could say “Yes, he was trying to protect innocent lives.” What he did was horribly wrong. Now, I do not wish to compare “kidnapping” and murder, but good intentions do not justify breaking the law…in any form or fashion.

Also, if I believed the hospital care and education in my city was better than yours, it would not be OK for me to come into your city and just start picking up kids to bring back to my city.

What they did was wrong. No matter their intentions.

#2

Most missionaries are motivated by good intentions. I hope they had translators who could understand the children and vice versa. It’s difficult to believe they could form a group, organize the trip, then not make any contact with the orphanages in Haiti if they wanted to help the children.

#1

They are missionaries doing a good deed. The Haitian government is looking for publicity. The government is mad because the politician did not receive any bribe in this benevolent action. The children will be better off with this group of missionaries than staying in Haiti. If the government does not release those missionaries with the children, 6 months from now they will become kokorats and restaveks. Unfortunately this is the true reality of our country. If when I was a child living in Haiti and I have lost my father after a devastating earthquake, I would take my chance with those missionaries rather than staying in Haiti hell. If after a US investigation we found that those people were not planning to enslave or use those children as organ donors I strongly support their release and allow them to move on with the children.

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2014 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television