Therapeutic intervention in the Masha Allen case

When last week Jaycee Dugard re-appeared after having been abducted for 18 years, her well-being and her future were one of the main considerations of the authorities involved. The New York Times ran an article For Longtime Captives, a Complex Road Home, in which several therapists shared their view about cases like these.

One of the experts mentioned is Dr. Judith A. Cohen medical director of the Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Allegheny County, the place where six years earlier Masha Allen was found living with a pedophile adopter, who raped her, abused her and sent her photographs all around the world. If ever there was a clear-cut case where top-notch intervention would be required, it was Masha's. Yet despite the availability of such an expert on child trauma in the area, all the help Masha got was fifteen hours of wrap-around service at the house of her foster mother Lynn Ginn by the Holy Family Institute and counseling once per week at the Bethany Baptist Church from an unlicensed counselor.

So why did Masha not receive the treatment she needed at the time? The reason is plain and simple, faith-based zeal dominated her placement with Lynn Ginn.

Lynn Ginn was a troubled young woman who grew up in Georgia under the name Kimberly Murphy, a name she later changed to Lynn Ginn, when she started a new life admitting herself to the Peniel Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a faith-based drug rehab center. Kimberly/Lynn supposedly suffered from anorexia at the time.

Through the Peniel Center, where she stayed twice, once in 1998 and once in 2001, Lynn Ginn met Cheryl Allen, a black evangelical judge, who had introduced praying in courtroom and who sought a seat in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Judge Cheryl Allen took Lynn Ginn in her home and got her counseling through Theotherapy, a faith-based service for which Judge Cheryl Allen served as a board member.

At Judge Cheryl Allen's directions, Masha was placed with Lynn Ginn hours after police rescued her and it was in this faith-based environment, belief prevailed over reason. Although Masha received a mental health evaluation by Dr. Sharon of A Second Chance Wellness Center, the recommendations were not followed up. Instead of asking expert opinion, available near-by, prayer was believed to be in Masha's best interest.

Things didn't work out well in Pennsylvania for Masha , Lynn Ginn, who by then had changed her name in Faith Allen with the help of Judge Allen's Court Attorney Elizabeth Lacey, subsequently took her to Georgia, inspired by the works of Karen Dones. In Georgia, Masha received treatment through Attachment and Bonding Center of Atlanta. This treatment immediately followed upon Masha's refusal to return to home, after she had been abandoned by Faith Allen in Washington DC, a week earlier, the day after Faith Allen had received the Angels in Adoption Awards. Masha didn't want to return to Faith Allen's home, but DCF Georgia left her no other option, but to comply.

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Jaycee

And Jaycee Dugard has already-thankfully-been offered counseling and treatment from one of the top psychologists specializing in helping former kidnap victims.

I see very little difference in what Masha and Jaycee both endured. The only difference seems to be that Masha was "adopted" by her pedophile abuser and Jaycee "kidnapped." Now Jaycee has been reunited with a family who loves her (could Masha have had the same reunion in Russia with birthfamily?) and provided some of the best resources for coping and recovering out there, as she should. On the other hand, Masha was given Lynn Ginn.

What is wrong with this picture?

Sinners All

I remember Masha's statement to Judge McDaniel which was reported in the news here in Pittsburgh when her adoptive father was sentenced last year. It always struck me as a bit odd and went something like this: "I did not know God before, but my new adoptive mom showed him to me. If my mom hadn't shown me Jesus, I would still be a sinner. I needed God."

What's that all about? And what ever happened to race/religion/etc. matching under MEPA? Shouldn't they have put this girl in some Russian Orthodox home instead of with Black holy rollers? Who decided all this anyway? And where were Masha's lawyers in all this or didn't she have a lawyer at the time. I thought I read somewhere that she did.

Faith Healers

"I did not know God before, but my new adoptive mom showed him to me. If my mom hadn't shown me Jesus, I would still be a sinner. I needed God."

I don't know much about legal transcripts and all that takes place in a court-room drama. 

I do know a little about crusading religious-folk who like to scare the devil out of people, and make all sorts of claims that they have been sent by God to do His Work.  Many of these so-called mission-minded ["Heal and Save"] servants of The Lord have been found with their pants down (and very full private bank accounts.)  Jim Bakker, of course, immediately comes to mind... but as many of us know, there have been many.   Christian Evangelist Scandals

Hmmm

This makes me think that what Masha's been exposed to in her "adoptive" home is even more suspect. I wonder what kind of church they attend? Looking at her statement, "I did not know God before, but my new adoptive mom showed him to me. If my mom hadn't shown me Jesus, I would still be a sinner. I needed God.", is not in line with what the New Testament actually says.

I could really dig into this theologically, but suffice it to say it sounds more like emotional and mind control. It's as if she's being told, You needed me or else you'd still be a sinner. Wow. Makes me wonder if Faith Allen actually understands the very faith she claims to follow.

conversion

For some time Faith Allen was involved in Potter's House Ministries in Monroeville Pennsylvania. During her stay in Georgia, she apparently was under the spell of Karen Dones. Apparently Faith has a thing for the African American evangelical religious movement. Part of that is related to the relationship with Judge Cheryl Allen, in whose honour Lynn Ginn (previously known as Kimberly Murphy) had changed her name.

The main question remains why a white orthodox girl had to become a black evangelical?

Numbers are color-blind

The main question remains why a white orthodox girl had to become a black evangelical?

If I may, I'd like to respond with another response:  Finding recruits who will serve

A tale of faith, hope and love blesses all

Numbers may be color-blind, but voters in Pennsylvania are not. Judge Allen had been seeking the position of Supreme Court Judge in Pennsylvania for some time before Masha was adopted, but had lost. Around the time of Masha's adoption she again was seeking to be elected. Could it be "black judge saves white girl" played a role in her campaigning? The article A tale of faith, hope and love blesses all sure contributed to that image. Judge Allen did win the next election, so whatever she was doing to achieve her goal, she succeeded.

true be that!

The article A tale of faith, hope and love blesses all sure contributed to that image. Judge Allen did win the next election, so whatever she was doing to achieve her goal, she succeeded.

I believe it can definitely be said, "adoption wins all sorts of favors".... especially if that adoption-blessing represents a mixed race/flavors.  But then, my cynical-side must be showing.  Must be all the articles I've been reading about politicians wanting to please their many (kind and generous) supporters.

Sins and actions

I could really dig into this theologically, but suffice it to say it sounds more like emotional and mind control. It's as if she's being told, You needed me or else you'd still be a sinner

"still be a sinner".

What sins did this child do?

Did she act-out and show feelings that resemble anger and hate?  Did she act like she was possessed by satan, himself?  Did she kill, rape and destroy another living creature? 

Or did she respond like any human would after being held captive by a perverted child abuser?

I think it's a sin how others are willing to mess with a child's head.... especially when that child has been put through so damn much.  [That anger... that rage... that pain... it has to go somewhere!]

In a few years, Masha will be a young woman in her 20's.  It will be interesting to learn what, if anything, she has to say about all that was done (and not done) during those days major decisions were being made FOR her, on her behalf.  It will be interesting to learn if Masha has ever been given the freedom to express her own independent thinking.  For Masha's sake, I hope fear-instilling brainwashing has NOT been the cure of choice.

Oy! The things we call sins

Great thread! I have a pounding headache, so I am gonna keep it short and sweet.

  Anyone that has, is or does act "Possesed by Satan himself" isn't really acting like anything other than a hurt human being. Satan is yet another tool that
the Christian church created and used to scare people into buying their bullshit fairy tale stories. People that hurt have usually been hurt and GOD/Satan
has nothing to do with it.  

  But that's me, maybe i'm wrong. Who knows? :-)

  Michael

" The very survival mechanics RAD Adult's use to survive slowly kill them" M.S.

Wrong-doings

As one who has been following the Masha-case, I have this to say:  Masha, in my own personal opinion, could easily be the poster-child for all that could go wrong in an adoption story.   Her life is an enormous collection of "what-should-not-have-beens".  Time and time again her "best interests" were not respected by adults who claimed "to care".  Time and time again, the desires (and decisions) of those much older than her got this child exploited, hurt and abused.  Time and time again Masha was failed by those who were trusted to provide "much better".

Look what "much better" brought this child adopted from Russia.

If there is sin in this world, I would say:  Look Here... read it all, and WEEP!

Pound Pup Legacy