Charee Stanley filed complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
“No one should have to choose between their career and religion,” lawyer says
ExpressJet spokesman declined to discuss discrimination complaint
(CNN)A Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended by ExpressJet for refusing to serve alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith.
In a bid to get her job back, Charee Stanley filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday for the revocation of a reasonable religious accommodation.
She wants to do her job without serving alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith — just as she was doing before her suspension, her lawyer said.
“What this case comes down to is no one should have to choose between their career and religion and it’s incumbent upon employers to provide a safe environment where employees can feel they can practice their religion freely,” said Lena Masri, an attorney with Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Attorney: Muslim flight attendant wants accommodation
Attorney: Muslim flight attendant wants accommodation 04:21
Stanley, 40, started working for ExpressJet nearly three years ago. About two years ago she converted to Islam. This year she learned her faith prohibits her from not only consuming alcohol but serving it, too, Masri said.
She approached her supervisor on June 1 and was told to work out an arrangement for someone to fulfill passenger requests for alcohol.
“It was at the direction of the airlines that she began coordinating with the other flight attendant on duty so that when a passenger requested alcohol, the other flight attendant would accommodate that request,” Masri said. “We know that this arrangement has worked beautifully and without incident and that it hasn’t caused any undue burden on the airline. After all, it was the suggestion of the airline.”
Flight attendants complained about ‘menacing’ images on aircraft
It seemed to be working out until another flight attendant filed a complaint against Stanley on August 2 claiming she was not fulfilling her duties by refusing to serve alcohol, Masri said. The employee complaint also said Stanley had a book with “foreign writings” and wore a headdress.
On August 25, the airline sent a letter to Stanley informing her that it was revoking its religious accommodation to exclude her from service of alcohol and placing her on administrative leave.
“They placed her on unpaid leave and they advised her that her employment may be terminated after 12 months,” Masri said. “We are requesting that her employment be reinstated and the accommodation of her religious beliefs be reinstated as well.”
A spokesman for ExpressJet declined to discuss Stanley’s complaint.
“At ExpressJet, we embrace and respect the values of all of our team members. We are an equal opportunity employer with a long history of diversity in our workforce. As Ms. Stanley is an employee, we are not able to comment on her personnel matters,” spokesman Jarek Beem said in an email.
-Sorry dear, but don’t work in a profession where your belief in a certain mythology conflicts with your job duties. You can believe in your magic sky fairy but if I get on a flight that says that they serve beer and you won’t give me one, then YOU are the one who is wrong! Get a job in a field where you can discriminate against people if you want to believe in an oppressive religious myth, but don’t expect the rest of us to believe your unsubstantiated poppycock! If you want to converse with someone that no one else can see then get on some meds like the rest of the schizophrenics out there, but don’t expect the general public to become as mentally unstable as you are and hear voices in THEIR heads!
Josh Duggar enters rehab, family says
Josh Duggar information turned up in Ashley Madison hack
Duggar apologized last week; family released statement Wednesday
(CNN)Josh Duggar, the eldest of the Duggar children, is going into rehab, the family said in a statement Wednesday.
“Yesterday Josh checked himself into a long-term treatment center,” the family said in a posting on duggarfamily.com. “For him it will be a long journey toward wholeness and recovery. We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change.
“In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future,” the statement continued.
It’s unclear what type of rehab the former reality TV star has entered.
Josh Duggar: ‘I have been the biggest hypocrite ever’ 01:36
Last week, Josh Duggar apologized after his name turned up in the data of the cheating website Ashley Madison.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,” Duggar said August 20.
“I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust,” Duggar said.
The Ashley Madison hack, which included information on 32 million users, was released to the public last week.
It’s been an embattled year for Duggar, 27, who is married to Anna Duggar and is the father to four children.
He also apologized back in May after reports emerged alleging he molested girls as a teenager, including his sisters. He said then that he “acted inexcusably.”
His family’s TLC show, “19 Kids and Counting,” was canceled in May.
The Duggar family is known for its adherence to strict religious beliefs, including no sex outside of marriage. For two years, Josh Duggar was head of the Family Research Council’s FRC Action arm, a division of the conservative interest group. He resigned in May after the reports about his sisters emerged.
In the statement, the family said “we continue to look to God”
“He is our rock and comfort,” the statement said. “We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family.”
CNN’s Dana Ford, Steve Almasy and Laurie Segall contributed to this story.
-So Josh Duggar is goin’ ta rehab huh? For WHAT? Sex addiction? There isn’t any such animal, he is who he is because he was told that sexual urges were sinful and that he would burn in Hell for flogging his log! Not that he is a pinnacle of purity, NO! Is he an asshole carbon copy of his fucktard father? YES! Is he an adult person denying science and teaching further generations to be myth-believing throwbacks? YES!
This asshole stood at rallies condemning certain secular and pro-choice issues, trying to force his stupid myth onto those who were firmly grounded in reality and science, HE is a complete shitbird and a hypocritical jackass! And while I am chortling mightily at the Duggar downfall, I also understand that he is a child born of people sooo ignorant that they believe the Earth to be only 6.000 years old, and believe that a 900 year old man built an ark that saved all of the animals that we see today.
I surely hope that Josh finds it within himself that flogging his log and watching a little porn is actually healthy, and that worshiping a fairy godfather in the sky is actually akin to kneeling to My Little Pony
Guru convicted of abusing followers’ children fled justice
“The Hunt With John Walsh” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CNN. Got a tip? Call 1-866-THE-HUNT (In Mexico: 0188000990546) or click here.
(CNN)As young girls in the 1990s, Shyama Rose and sisters Kate and Vesla Tonnessen loved living in Barsana Dham, the Austin, Texas, ashram of the International Society for Divine Love.
- Convicted of 20 counts of indecency with a child
- Believed to be living in India
“Being a kid at Barsana Dham was pretty amazing,” Kate Tonnessen, now in her 30s, recalled. “To live on 200 acres of what was about as wild land as you can get in Texas.”
They, their parents and other families moved to the ashram in pursuit of enlightenment under the guidance of their spiritual leader, Prakashanand Saraswati, whom they called “Swamiji,” an honorific Hindu term for a guru.
“It was sort of understood that Swamiji was God, just on earth,” Vesla Tonnessen told CNN’s “The Hunt with John Walsh.” “He held absolute power over anything.”
The children of the ashram loved Saraswati. “We always felt as kids that he seemed like an Indian version of Santa Claus,” said Kate Tonnessen.
“He was very affectionate with everybody, and then the kids, he was really, like, cuddly and he’d give you hugs and kisses that just felt like your grandpa. But then sometime his kisses got weird.”
The abuse began when the girls were around age 12.
“The first time that he put his hand up my shirt,” Kate Tonnessen recalled, “I thought it was an inappropriate touch, and it was, uh, pretty devastating to me.”
“He would sometimes, you know, show up at my house at 3 in the morning and just come in,” Rose recalled.
“He’d tell me to go lock the door, and then he’d pull me onto the bed and kiss me and ask me to unhook my bra,” Kate Tonnessen said.
All three girls experienced acts of indecency at the hands of a man they were taught to believe was a god on earth.
As Rose recalled, “We were told if we said or thought anything negative against the society or against him, we could literally go to hell.”
Rose talked to her mother about what Saraswati had been doing. Her response shocked her.
“When she kinda knew and not only didn’t stop it but promoted it, like, what do you do as a kid?,” Rose told “The Hunt.” “I was like kind of flabbergasted when she told me, ‘Just enjoy it.'”
As Kate Tonnessen recalled, “After talking to Shyama and getting that confirmation that what had occurred to me had been happening to her, I don’t know, I just panicked and I spent days in darkness, writing in this journal.”
“On the third day, my mother kind of burst into my room and was livid and she’s like, ‘I read your journal.'”
Like Rose, Tonnessen expected support from her mother. Instead, her mother sided with her guru. Tonnessen said, “I was in trouble for seeing it as something other than religious.”
“I had considered telling somebody; telling an adult outside of the ashram,” Tonnessen said. “But the idea of what would happen if I did was just too painful to accept.”
“If I told someone, I’d be pulled out, away from my family.”
Allegations against Swamiji’s guru
Without support from their families or communities and afraid to go to the police, the girls stayed and endured until they were old enough to leave Barsana Dham.
“When I turned 18 and moved out, I felt entirely free for the first time,” Kate Tonnessen said.
Shyama Rose went to college to pursue a degree in computer science. “I was told by my mother that I shouldn’t go, and that I was being worldly; and that I wasn’t smart enough,” Rose recalled. “But, you know, I just decided to take off and go.”
Saraswati had a guru of his own, a well-known holy man from India named Kripalu who came to the United States in 2000 to spend time at Barsana Dham.
In a later online search, Kate Tonnessen discovered that Kripalu had faced accusations of rape in India and in Trinidad.
“I couldn’t stop shaking, recalled Tonnessen. “I clicked on it, and all these pages opened up; these news articles about how Kripalu had been accused by a young Trinidadian girl of rape.”
As Vesla Tonnessen recalled, the Kripalu allegations changed the equation for the three women. Knowing that Saraswati served and worshipped Kripalu, could the arrival of the guru’s guru put other girls still living in the ashram at risk?
“I think it just became clear that we weren’t the beginning and the ending of any abuse. And that there was probably a lot more abuse out there,” Vesla said. “And I think that was the point when we realized, like, well we should say something.”
“So then, after your parents, where do you go? You go to the police.”
In 2008, the three women brought their allegations to the Hays County, Texas, authorities. Though Saraswati never had sexual intercourse with them, in the eyes of the law his touching of their breasts while they were under the age of consent constitutes a felony.
But for Kate Tonnessen, it was too late to seek justice. The statute of limitations for this offense — 10 years after her 18th birthday — had expired a mere two months earlier. But her younger sister Vesla and their friend Shyama Rose were still within the 10-year limit. Assistant District Attorney Cathy Compton pursued their case.
Spiritual Huckster show true colors.
“When you have somebody who is repeatedly molesting children, you could not possibly charge every single time something happened,” Compton told “The Hunt.” “We just decided, we’re going to charge 10 counts for each girl.”
An indictment was handed up against Prakashanand Saraswati, but his devotees’ faith never wavered.
“There was absolutely no belief whatsoever in these three young ladies,” Hays County Lieutenant Sheriff Jeri Skrocki told “The Hunt.” “Everyone that lived out at the temple rallied around Swamiji.”
Kate and Vesla Tonnessen’s parents were among those who sided with the Saraswati.
“It feels like potentially what it feels like [when] a parent dies,” Kate Tonnessen told “The Hunt.” “But it wasn’t death that took them away. It was their own attachment to their guru that allowed them to override their love for me and my sister.”
Producers for “The Hunt” reached out to the women’s mothers, who did not comment.
Trial and conviction
Saraswati was released pending trial on a $1 million dollar bond, paid for by a member of the ashram.
His lawyers managed to delay proceedings for three years, but the case finally went to trial in 2011. On March 4, 2011, Saraswati was convicted of 20 counts of indecency with a minor.
The verdict came down on a Friday. The judge permitted Saraswati to return to Barsana Dham for the weekend. The punishment phase was set to begin that Monday, but Saraswati never showed up.
In his absence, the judge sentenced him to 14 years in prison for each of the 20 counts.
The hunt for Prakashanand Saraswati
“What happened in this case happens all over America,” said “The Hunt’s” John Walsh. “I’ll never know why. Think about it, he’s from another country. He’s got the resources to run. He did.”
Authorities believe he crossed the Laredo, Texas, border into Mexico, and from there fled to India.
Ultimately, the case in Trinidad against Saraswati’s guru, Kripalu, was dropped, “amid rumors of corruption and bribery,” according to Cathy Compton. His accusers in India recanted. Kripalu died in 2013. But Rose and the Tonnessen sisters still hope to see his disciple brought to justice.
“He’s still out there and he’s still abusing people,” said Vesla Tonnessen of Saraswati. “I don’t think that will stop until he’s imprisoned.”
Prakashanand Saraswati is thought to have various health issues including back problems and possibly diabetes. The U.S. Marshals Service believe he’s living in India between New Delhi and the town of Mussoorie. If you’ve seen Prakashanand Saraswati, please, call 1-866-THE-HUNT or go online at CNN.com/TheHunt. You can remain anonymous, we’ll pass your tip onto the proper authorities and, if requested, will not reveal your name.
Got a tip? Call 1-866-THE-HUNT (In Mexico: 0188000990546) or click here
Saraswati’s ashram has since changed its name to Radha Madhav Dham.
The managing members assert that they have no ties with Saraswati, that they did not assist in his departure, and they have no knowledge of his whereabouts.
Radha Madhav Dham also asserts that its leadership has been changed; that the new leaders have cooperated at all times with law enforcement; that they removed all images of and references to Saraswati, and that they have created controls to ensure a safe environment.
See more of Prakashanand Saraswati’s case on “The Hunt with John Walsh,” at 9 p.m. ET/PT Sunday, August 9
-Not just Christians, all of those who rely on woo to guide them have shitbirds among them. Religion just needs to be gone as an influence to control and subvert mankind.
And in ‘I thought that the rhythm method was reliable,’ news. Abstinence advocate and complete hypocrite Bristol Palin went in again, balls deep, to announce yet another out-of-wedlock pregnancy that will most likely end with the birth of a child with a name like Tarp or Slap or Trank, or some other redneck moniker along those lines. We atheists don’t really give a rat’s ass what this climate change denying throwback does with her vagina, we only care that she is a fucking bigot and that she has received over $300,000 heading up a ‘Charity’ that promotes abstinence as the only effective birth control method and flying in the face of the fact that fucking is a drive more powerful than eating!
This ‘Charity’ has raked in over a million bucks of which only $30,000 of that has actually been donated, while the rest went to pay the huge paychecks of Bristol Palin and the bogus board that heads up this obvious comical farce. This, of course, has demonstrated what a load of shit the whole abstinence deal is and what an effective tool birth control is. Palin, who is best known for her slope-browed bigoted opinions and her bar fighting skills, demanded from people that she not be lectured for being a fucking hypocrite and down right liar who has profited of of the persecution of others.
I really don’t care about this poor excuse of a human being who was able to fleece so many out of hard earned money for her tours and book deals. The fact that so many vapid ignorant sheeple made her ridiculous ‘reality show’ successful only serves to demonstrate how some people deserve to be conned. One can only imagine the mindset of a person who could actually take that family serious or follow anything that they do. They are all embarrassments to the human race and bigoted, myth-following Neanderthals. Hopefully these Cro-Magnon fucks will crawl back into the cave from whence they came and leave the modern world alone with their trailer-trash antics and fucked up politics.