Tue | May 30, 2023

J’can authorities have traumatised our children, says Qahal Yahweh leader

Published:Sunday | November 10, 2019 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera - Senior Gleaner Writer
Omar Thompson, leader of the Qahal Yahweh assembly
Omar Thompson, the leader of the Qahal Yahweh congregation in St James. File


Qahal Yahweh’s Chief Apostle Omar Thompson is declaring that the Family Court judge’s decision to remove his three children from his care shall be revoked.

Thompson used several verses from the Bible in seeking support for his stance taken in an eight-page letter condemning the actions of the security forces, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), and a judge who presided over the case last Thursday in the St James Family Court.

In his letter, he called for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to intervene in the matter which the authorities are viewing as a case involving human trafficking, child abuse, abduction and sexual assault.

The letter, written on Wednesday, November 6, one day after a major joint agencies operation, which resulted in the removal of three additional children from the Qahal Yahweh, Norwood Avenue, Paradise, Montego Bay, was copied to the Ministry of Education, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, Acting Education Minister Karl Samuda, and the Police High Command.

Brainwashed with righteousness

Questioning the authority of the Family Court judge who gave the order for the removal of his children, Thompson admits that he brainwashes his children with “righteousness”.

He claims that putting them back into the regular school system will defile them physically and spiritually. In fact, the judge’s decision, he said, amounted to abuse.

“The intent behind every question that was asked of me by Your Honour the judge was so clear that the judgment was already made before she formally tried the case,” Thompson stated in his letter, which saw him pleading for the preservation and respect of his human rights.

“As a citizen of my country, I have the right to live. I have the right to practise my faith/religion. As a human being, I have the right to worship Our Creator in spirit and truth. As a father, a leader, and a citizen of my country I must have and live a positive influence on my children forever,” he lamented.

The Qahal Yahweh leader argued that his children were neither Christians nor Muslims, and that he would not allow those faiths, including Rastafarians, or the product of Jamaica’s immoral culture, to brainwash them.

He argued that with three different unnecessary raids on his Qahal Yahweh compound in recent weeks, what the Government of Jamaica has done has psychologically and emotionally damaged, tarnished, ruptured, assaulted his mind and the minds of the people residing there.

“Such trauma the children will never forget nor be healed from. Even after this case is closed, all who are involved will have to accept and live with its repercussions. It has already begun,” he bemoaned.

Thompson’s children, ages 11, 10 and eight, were placed in the custody of his estranged wife, Shirnett Davis Thompson, who he said was disfellowed in March 2019.

Mrs Thompson told The Gleaner last week that child marriages were actively being conducted at the communal compound in Paradise. There is reportedly no marriage officer presiding over the marriages of women as young as 16 years old.

The women of the faith are also impregnated as soon as they turn 16, some reportedly as early as 15.

The children residing at the compound are also segregated and not allowed to attend regular schools, a fact Thompson says is not unusual.

Making reference to the decision of the prime minister and his wife, Juliet, to homeschool their sons, he said his group took a similar decision in order to offer their children individualised learning solutions.

“Being fathers with righteous moral principles who have seen the fruitage of negative external influences on the minds of our children, should we not make decisions to educate our children rightly as we see fit within our rights as fathers and parents alike?” Thompson questioned.