Re: Chicago Tribune Article

Janice wrote:
Pepe was Italian? Wouldn’t it have been necessary to follow the laws of the land in the activation of an adoption in that land? I find the story about how Abdu’l-Baha “adopted” Mason very endearing. It confirms even stronger that Mason indeed was someone to be trusted and listened to. But, the adoption of Neal Chase by Pepe is a little far fetched. Had they ever even met?

Dear Janice,

As far as I know Pepe Remey was legally adopted as Mason Remey’s heir but this had nothing to do with appointing him Guardian. As I said, Remey offered Pepe the Guardianship and he refused on account of the fact he didn’t consider himself a believer. As for Pepe’s supposedly adopting Neal Chase as his own son, no such adoption ever took place. Pepe, in his letters to the followers of Leland Jensen would often joke about adopting people as his ‘sons.’ He did that with Brent Matheiu long before he ever did it with Neal Chase. Neal Chase claims to have gone to Italy and collected Pepe’s belongings which supposedly included a medallion which Jensenites believe represented Mason Remey’s office. Thing is, we have no real evidence other than Chase’s word that this ever happened or that there ever was a medallion which had this significance.

As for Ottoman adoption laws, here I’m afraid the Jensenites don’t know what they are talking about. I can tell you as Middle Eastern historian, there is no such thing in the Islamic world as adoption as we know it. The Islamic term for what is commonly called adoption is kafala, which comes from a word that means “to feed.” It refers to the act of taking an orphan into ones home, but the child retains his birth parent’s name and he does not inherit from his ‘adoptive’ parents.
If you think I’m wrong about this, ask Victor to produce the text of the Ottoman law he refers to. If you try and google adoption laws in the Ottoman Empire it will almost invariably take you to a Jensenite website because this is a fiction of their own invention. Susan

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