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About smac97

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    Creates Beasts Of The Earth

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    My name is Spencer Macdonald

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  1. No need to assume. I think misusing and disrupting the religious observances of a private (and, in many quarters, unpopular) religious group, and planning to do so beforehand, and recording it, is per se bad faith. Thanks, -Smac
  2. And if you report it 30 years later, you need to limit your expectations as to what can be done about it. Statute of limitations, witnesses gone, witnesses' recollections faded, forensic evidence gone, corroborative evidence lost, etc. The same is true of any allegation of wrongdoing. If you wait to report misconduct, you risk the loss/deterioration of evidence pertaining to that misconduct. Thanks, -Smac
  3. I appreciate and agree with what you say here. It's going to be a hard pill for some folks to swallow. An allegation of sexual abuse is not evidence of itself. The presumption of innocence applies to allegations of sexual abuse. Due process applies to allegations of sexual abuse. Statutes of limitations apply to allegations of sexual abuse. Requiring the same standards of evidence as used for other claims applies to allegations of sexual abuse. Scrutinizing allegations of sexual abuse is not, in and of itself, "victim-blaming" or "victim-shaming." Women are not entitled to their say-so about a sexual assault claim being taken as the gospel truth simply because they are women. Women are not entitled to privilege their claims of sexual assault from normative measures of scrutiny and evidentiary requirements simply because the accuser is a woman and the accused is a man. Politicizing allegations of sexual assault (deeming them established without evidence, or else utterly without merit, depending on the political affiliation of the accuser and/or the accused) is a terrible, terrible thing. Unbridled, let's-destroy-a-man's-life-solely-on-the-uncorroborated-and-unsubstantiated-say-so-of-a-woman's-claims activism is a terrible, terrible thing. These things are indeed indicative of the pendulum having swung way too far. Thanks, -Smac
  4. Well yes, you have. You said: "Most of those questions are answered if you keep reading the OSF website." You haven't substantiated this claim. That makes it . . . unsubstantiated. No, you didn't. You said: "Most of those questions are answered if you keep reading the OSF website." If you are amending your claim, just say so. Again, you said: "Most of those questions are answered if you keep reading the OSF website." "Most of those questions are answered" sounds like a claim. And you made it. Hence the CFR. And it's an important one, too. For all the hue-and-cry about how the Church needs to be "transparent," there seems to be quite a bit of "Nothing to see here, move along..." when it comes to the critics adhering to their own standards of conduct. And now here you are, defending them, saying that most of my questions "are answered on the OSF website." Well, they aren't. And as you are asserting an affirmative factual statement, you have the obligation to provide substantiated references. So . . . It published a five-page summary with no details. Radically and painfully insufficient. Its summary is insufficient. I get to say so. I am the arbiter of what is and is not sufficient "transparency." I say that the OSF is not being sufficiently transparent. By way of illustration, I posed a number of questions left unanswered by the OSF's five-page summary. You have asserted that answers to most of these questions are on the OSF website. So . . . CFR, if you please. Since when does donating to OSF amount to a hill of beans? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Not a double standard. Just an exercise in nose-tweaking. And in pointing out the irony of people like John Dehlin and Ryan McKnight faulting the Church for not meeting arbitrary standards of "transparency," only to turn around and find out that Mr. Dehlin is engaged in all sorts of shenanigans, that there's virtually no accountability about what he's paid, and that Ryan McKnight is apparently now just hunky-dory with this state of affairs, having mended fences with Mr. Dehlin (despite Mr. Dehlin apparently having not changed his level of "transparency"). Who watches the watchers? Nobody. They get off scot-free. 'Cuz reasons. "Transparency for thee and thine, but not for me and mine." That's the way it works, I guess. Thanks, -Smac
  5. Okay. I'll do that. But again, I reserve the right to unilaterially and arbitrarily declare what amount of "transparency" is sufficient. EDIT TO ADD: Okay, here's the part of the OSF website about its finances: I'm not seeing any answers to my questions. I'm also not seeing them in the FAQ. So . . . CFR. If you please. You said: "Most of those questions are answered if you keep reading the OSF website." Please provide references as to where these "questions are answered." Chapter and verse. Thanks. But I'm not satisfied. Non sequitur. Dodge. Distraction. Thanks, -Smac
  6. Nothing. Well, it's clearly hiding something, since they're not disclosing everything. Right? That's a non sequitur. If Mr. Dehlin can say "Hey, my disclosures are sufficient because I am disclosing more than the Church does," then why can't the Church say "Hey, our disclosures are sufficient because we are disclosing more than [some other organization] does?" Thanks, -Smac
  7. But it is still insufficient. There is so much more OSF could disclose. What is it hiding? -Smac
  8. So here are the OSF financial disclosures for 2017. It's five pages long. Here's the first page: What are these assets? What are the liabilities? Here's the key bit: Who is the CEO? What as the bonus based on? What about benefits? Were those paid for by OSF? Travel? Lodging? Food? And what about the complaints made by Kristy Money and Kate Kelly? Have those been addressed, or swept under the rug. Nosiree. This summary is insufficient. I demand more. Ryan McKnight is satisfied with these disclosures, huh? If so, it looks like McKnight-the-Watchdog has become McKnight-the-Lapdog. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Thanks, -Smac
  9. Not to my satisfaction, though. I'm glad we agree on that. Except that the Church's disclosures are not "zero." It looks like we're talking a difference of degree, not kind. Thanks, -Smac
  10. They've resolved their differences? So full-and-unfettered disclosure of OSF finances has happened? I am happy to be corrected on that point. However, I also reserve the right to unilaterally and arbitrarily declare that the disclosures of OSF finances - whatever they are - are insufficient, and that the public needs "more." I, and I alone, get to decide what "more" means. Thanks, -Smac
  11. Well, no, it doesn't. Is Ryan McKnight encouraging people close to John Dehlin to steal his financial information and surreptitiously send it to Mr. McKnight, with the intended purpose of publishing it to the world? Kidgloves go on when Mr. McKnight is addressing the purported lack of sufficient transparency from his fellow critic, but the gloves come off and thievery is the order of the day when addressing the purported lack of sufficient transparency from the Church. One standard for the Church, another for Mr. McKnight's compatriots. Convenient, that. And the accountability for Mr. Dehlin appears to be . . . lacking. And yet Mr. McKnight is not encouraging people associated with Mr. Dehlin to steal from Mr. Dehlin and send the stolen materials to Mr. McKnight. A brave crusader, this Mr. McKnight. Except the information isn't "out there," and Mr. Dehlin isn't being held "accountable." And yet Mr. McKnight is approaching him in conciliatory, can't-we-all-get-along tones, and is not encouraging Mr. Dehlin's trusted associates to steal from Mr. Dehlin and send the stolen materials to Mr. McKnight for publication to the world. Curious. We have annual reports. We have the Council on the Disposition of Tithes, the Budget Committee, the Appropriations Committee, the Church Budget Office, the Finance and Records Department, the Auditing Department, the Audit Committee, the Investment Policy Committee, the Deseret Management Corporation and its board of directors, the First Presidency of the Church, the quorum of twelve apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric, "other boards and committees to oversee the management of the Church's investments and reserves," and on and on. Moreover, we have a robust missionary program. And meetinghouses. And temples. And educational and humanitarian efforts. And Fast Offerings. And so on. We also have a generalized knowledge that the General Authorities live very moderate lifestyles, particularly given the huge amounts of money to which they have access. They aren't in it for the money. We also have tens of thousands of bishops and stake presidents and other local leaders who work for free. We also have periodic assurances from the leaders of the Church that it "has been living within its means." It is false to say that the Church is "totally unaccountable to the people who donate." Mr. Dehlin is not being held accountable. Mr. McKnight is not encouraging Mr. Dehlin's associates to steal from Mr. Dehlin so as to coerce Mr. Dehlin into "accountability." Thanks, -Smac
  12. I think this article is worth mentioning: Victims of False Accusations of Rape Need to Be Heard, Too Some excerpts: I think this points merit attention. And repetition. But we are told, over and over, that we cannot listen to these stories. That we cannot countenance these stories. That anything other than uncritical and reflexive acceptance of any and all allegations of sexual abuse amounts to victim-blaming, rape culture, etc. I think we need to take allegations of sexual assault seriously. They should be investigated. But the presumption of innocence must be maintained in such efforts. There are Tom Robinsons out there. And Mayella Ewells. Mr. Perry served 11 years in prison. Mr. Counts served 26 years. From the linked article above: "Last month, the woman, who has not been identified, told investigators from the district attorney’s office and the Innocence Project the rape 'never happened.' Her admission came after DNA testing connected the semen found on her body to another man through an F.B.I. database." "The rape 'never happened.'" And this (also from the linked article): "These were the eighth and ninth convictions to be vacated since the creation of the Conviction Integrity Program in Manhattan in 2010. Similarly, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office overturned 24 convictions since 2014, and the Bronx district attorney’s office vacated three since 2016." Back to the main article: And yet the lack of physical evidence, the lack of corroborative evidence, the inconsistencies, etc., will never be enough for som Justice Kavanaugh will be forever branded a rapist, based solely on the unsubstantiated and uncorroborated say-so of the purported (female) victim. Back to the article: The presumption of innocence is taking a major beating these days. By downplaying the number of false accusations, the media allow victims of this heinous act to be ignored and silenced, their reputations ruined with no recourse to find redemption. The result is depression, anger, disrupted relationships, and even suicide. Yep. We have seen this same "downplaying the number of false accusations" on this board. I am not a family law attorney. To be honest, I lacked the stomach for it. I know family law lawyers who have said that false allegations of sexual assault/abuse are very common in divorce and child custody proceedings, that such allegations are overwhelmingly made by women against men, that such allegations are extremely effective as a bargaining tool, and that there is essentially no "downside" to making false allegations because the person making them (again, overwhelmingly women) are virtually never punished in any way. Back to the article: I think it's fair to say that men - a lot of men - are scared these days. An allegation of sexual abuse alone is sufficient to destroy his reputation, his family, his livelihood, his life. And we, as a society, are going along with it. Some of us are even rooting for it. Yep. But if she is found out to have lied, she won't be held accountable for it. I'm laying down a marker on that. Well said. Thanks, -Smac
  13. Hmm. It seems like John Dehlin is a "transparency for thee, but not for me" kind of guy. See here: https://dearjohndehlin.wordpress.com/ https://medium.com/@ryanmcknight_61338/the-rift-that-could-tear-apart-the-post-mormon-community-7c9c26bba3ec Thanks, -Smac
  14. Has Runnells been successful in monetizing his "CES Letter?" I have some doubts about that. Dehlin has produced huge amounts of content, whereas Runnells is a one-trick pony. He hasn't posted any updates to his website since December 2017. Thanks, -Smac