KSB school wants to come to terms with the past
After years of denial, cover-up and deception, there is apparently a change of course at the former Swiss branch of the South African Kwasizabantu mission. The “Christliche Schule Linth” (CSLinth), as the former Domino Servite School is called today, has declared in a letter to parents and students of the boarding school in Hof Oberkirch that it will “deal with the history of our school” and conduct an investigation into abuse at the school announced. For this purpose, a so-called reporting office was set up, a psychological practice that victims of abuse can turn to. Almost 30 former students have reportedly already reported there. The tenor of the communications so far: “You have reported clear mistreatment. Girls and boys ”. Meanwhile, Swiss television is also researching a documentary about the school’s past.
While it is slowly dawning on Kwasizabantu’s former European supporters that they may have violated laws and abused their flocks for decades, they are still waiting in vain for this realization at the former headquarters in Kranskop/Natal.
For years and again and again at the beginning of the 2000s, accusations against the Domino Servite School in Kaltbrunn / Switzerland had been raised. There was always talk of psychological terror, beatings for the smallest violations of the rules of the offshoot of the Kwasizabantu Mission, denunciation and intimidation. When the authorities were finally awakened by newspaper reports and investigated the allegations, the schoolchildren were no longer beaten, but the stress continued for them, including being exiled to South Africa for months at the sect’s headquarters.
The authorities got no further with their investigations. Felix Brunner, at that time the head of the primary school in the canton of St. Gallen, stated that when the school authorities visit everything, everything is prepared and cleaned up, and the school inspector is received by singing children. “We lack the evidence,” argued Felix Brunner. The school always denies the allegations. “Testimony stands against testimony”. It is “an absolutely unsatisfactory situation”.
“… always disputed!” This is the characteristic feature of the Kwasizabantu sect (KSB) wherever it has its offshoots. But now, after almost three decades of vigorous denial of all internal and external allegations, movement may now come into play. In the letter signed by Walter Mannhart, a top functionary of the KSB sect who has been a hardliner internally for decades, it now says: “There can be no tolerance for violence, discrimination or abuse”. In the history of the Domino Servite School, there was “cause for doubt” that the Christian values that the school wanted to convey were actually lived in it.
Therefore, according to the letter dated October 4, 2021, one wants to face the past. It sounds a bit strange to some mail recipients after all these years when the letter says: “You are invited to contact the Daniel and Regina Zwiker practice group by letter or e-mail by October 30, 2021, if you do You believe you are a victim of abuse by school officials or classmates, or are aware of such an incident ”. After all the years of mistreatment and lies, the sponsoring association of the “Linth Christian School” gives the victims a full 26 days to report to people about traumatizing experiences that they do not know, the background of which they do not know and their connections to the sect and of their successors they may have no idea. Suddenly psychologists come into play, of whom KSB sermons have always made it very clear what the sect generally thought of them: namely, nothing at all. The KSB successors plan the further procedure as follows: After the therapists have written an anonymized report on the statements of the victims, two lawyers should examine and evaluate these reports. The letter promises the victims “to deal transparently with what happened injustice, insofar as this is possible at all”,
“We cannot undo the suffering that has been caused,” it says in the letter and also “We regret and apologize that we did not initiate this investigation years ago”. If that sounds like a touch of recognition and remorse, the last sentence of the letter reveals that the management of the CSLinth sponsoring association still does not realize how terrible and formative the experiences of some of their helpless protégés could have been. “We are grateful if you could make use of this offer and support us,” writes da Walter Mannhart without noticing how he is derailing the content here. It sounds like he is making an offer to the victims of the Swiss school Kwasizabantus to support him and the organization that once abused them. There is no talk of supporting the victims.
Solving cases of abuse has to serve the victims above all. They are the ones to be supported. And nobody else! The clarification of cases of abuse can only serve the perpetrators secondarily, so that they can draw conclusions. It would have been appropriate to say so. The Catholic Church is already further than ex-KSBler: The investigation of the abuse in its ranks serves the victims first, and they even receive compensation.
But self-centeredness or lack of sensitivity – now there actually seems to be a real opportunity to uncover the endless fairy tales of the Kwasizabantu school management and the management of the KSB sect branch in Switzerland. And possibly to begin to actively work on the traumas of the past. The therapists Daniel and Regina Zwiker in Gümlingen, not far from Bern, engaged by CSLinth, are proven experts in psychological, physical and also religious abuse. They declare that they did not even know the Kwasizabantu Mission and its school before, and they know how much courage it takes to turn to them after experiencing abuse. It is said that, despite the short notice, almost 30 people have already contacted them. In an email to the father of a German ex-student in Kaltbrunn, they write: “You have reported clear abuse. Girls and boys ”.
Here is the therapist’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, Swiss television is also doing research for a documentary about the past of the Linth Christian School and what happened in Hof Oberkirch. The SRF also offers the victims of abuse in Kaltbrunn the opportunity to get in touch and report on what has happened. The editor Eveline Falk assures everyone who comes into contact with her the strictest confidentiality. However, it may also be possible to talk about the psychological terror and abuse experienced in front of the camera.
Here is the e-mail address of the editor of Swiss television: email@example.com
In a cover letter to everyone who turned to the psychological practice about the Kaltbrunn-Hof Oberkirch-Domino Servite School matter, it says:
“… We can imagine that it took you some effort. We appreciate your courage all the more. It is important to shed light on this dark side of the institution so that this is never repeated and, above all, that you receive recognition of your pain and suffering.
CSLinth wants to deal with the story honestly and transparently and learn from the mistakes in its history. That is why my wife and I were commissioned to hold discussions as independent experts. It is about the following:
A help: First of all, we want to listen, understand your experience. My wife and I would like to clarify to what extent you need help with further processing. If necessary, we will refer you to psychotherapists in your area with whom you can process your experiences with CSLinth. If it is possible (it should often be a question of the travel route), we will also be personally available for it.
Taking stock: It is important to assess the extent of abuse on many levels (physical, psychological, sexual, religious) so that light can shed light on this darkness. We will write an anonymous report for this purpose.
Legal: If something needs to be dealt with legally, we will help you to get in touch with specialists who will advise you legally in the further steps. These specialists are also experienced in these questions and are independent of CSLinth. Of course, you are free to take such a step or not, or choose legal advice yourself.
Our independence from CSLinth (school, church and mission) is a very important prerequisite for this process. It is important to us to provide you with competent support on this path. We both have many years of experience in processing and accompanying abuse in all its many facets. Of course, the discussions take place in a confidential setting. ….
We are aware that the deadline for initial contact with us was set very short at the end of October, especially since it is still the holiday season. The talks with us will certainly last until the end of the year. That is why we will certainly take into account contacts made before the festive season. Some people still need some time to make up their minds and weigh up different things. We understand that.
We would be happy if you let us know your appointment options as soon as possible, at the latest by 11/14/21. Thank you very much.
We remain sincerely awaiting your response
Regina and Daniel Zwiker