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Mormon Leaks document on handling Child Abuse

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5 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Driving on I-15 the other day I saw a traffic notice that said something like "129 deaths on Utah roads this summer."

Yes, that strikes me as sad.  Any non-zero number strikes me as said.  But "yikes" seemed to suggest something unexpected or disproportionate.

It doesn’t suggest that to me. 

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12 minutes ago, ALarson said:
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Says the guy who writes behind a pseudonymn.

As do most posters on here, correct? 

Yes.

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That he's chosen to keep his identity private should be respected and this is bordering on repeated personal attacks, smac.  Not cool.

That the LDS Church has chosen to not publish details about sensitive and difficult issues to the world should also be respected.  Instead, the Church is being slammed for not publishing every jot and tittle of sensitive/difficult information it has.

Why is it okay for people like you to exercise discretion about the publication of sensitive and private information?

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And to compare it to wanting the church to be more transparent on certain matters?  Talk about apples and oranges.....

As a general proposition, a private religious group has a right to exercise discretion about the disclosure of sensitive and private information.

HJW claims that right.  As well he should.

You claim that right.  As well you should.

But when the Church claims that right, all bets are off?  The ends justify the means?  We huzzah the fellow who is publicly encouraging the employees of the Church to steal from their employer (and, more recently, employees of the Church's law firm to steal attorney work product) and send those stolen materials to him so he can publish them to the world?  We laud the purveyor of stolen goods, even though you (and, I suspect, HJW) would scream bloody murder if Ryan McKnight treated you the same way he treats the Church?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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People everywhere handle abuse badly often and they want to deal with it within their family or within their church to avoid "ruining a person's life". People get forgiveness all wrong and think to excuse one from harsh consequences is to be Christlike. I know many people in our church need to learn this too - you can't just give a person a slap on the wrist and tell them never to do it again. It's even harder when that person has their whole life ahead of them, but that's too bad. I would bet though that the number of cases handled appropriately by the church far outweigh any that were not handled as they should be and you're definitely not going to find that the church moved a child molesting bishop to another ward to make him bishop again. It's like people secretly hope our church is currently doing something as horrid as the Catholic Church has done, but it's not. Yesterday as I saw headlines from various sources, I couldn't believe what I was reading from the Pope. I hoped the translations into English were wrong or made up. 

As long as humans are imperfect, abuse cases will sometimes be handled all wrong. Mothers will continue to believe their husbands over their children or to lie to themselves when they know deep down what's happening. Clergy will have a hard time believing that this seemingly angelic person has done something evil. It's hard to accuse someone to their face when their act is so good. 

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5 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm just saving the repeated personal attacks in case you try to edit. 2 times in 2 days you've repeatedly attempted to make this all about me and use of a pseudonym. It was funny at first, now it's irritating. I'm guessing that's your goal, so well done.

How is it a "personal attack" to observe the irony of your demands for unfettered transparency from the Church while you post from behind a pseudonym?

-Smac

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4 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

It doesn’t suggest that to me. 

I stand corrected, then.

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

The church could provide more information if it chose to.

HappyJackWagon could provide more information if he chose to.  His real name.  His social security number.  His bank account username and password.  His email username and password.  His street address.  The combination to the safe in his basement.  

But he doesn't.  And he's justified in that.  He has a right to privacy.  He has a right to keep sensitive information from those who have no particular need or right to know that information.  He has a right to not disclose information that may be used to injure him and other people.

Sure would be nice if he could extend that same privilege to the Church.

1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

But it doesn't and many seem to be fine with that. We are largely in the dark, but that seems to be by design.

If you can articulate a right or need to know the particulars of why Elder _____________ was sent home, then have at it.

As it is, though, the incessant demands for unfettered transparency from the Church are unreasoned and unreasonable.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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10 minutes ago, smac97 said:

As it is, though, the incessant demands for unfettered transparency from the Church are unreasoned and unreasonable.  

I haven't seen a lot of calls for "unfettered transparency," just some transparency from the Church. Do members have a right to any information about the Church? Seems to me you're arguing they don't.

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6 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I haven't seen a lot of calls for "unfettered transparency," just some transparency from the Church.

Who gets to decide what "some" means?  

And isn't it pretty obvious that "some" means "more," no matter what?

What limiting principle do you have in mind?  By what metric would you gauge "some transparency" as being sufficient?

6 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

Do members have a right to any information about the Church? Seems to me you're arguing they don't.

No, I am not arguing that.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Just now, smac97 said:

Who gets to decide what "some" means?  

And isn't it pretty obvious that "some" means "more," no matter what?

What limiting principle do you have in mind?  By what metric would you gauge "some transparency" as being sufficient?

No, I am not arguing that.

Take finances, for example. Until 1959, the church published an annual report of its income and expenditures, and then stopped doing so. President Hinckley said that how money from donations is spent is a matter between the members who donate and the church, but we as members have no right to see what the church is doing with the funds we donate. I'd like to see at least some reporting of income and expenditures, which would increase accountability to the members who gave the money in the first place. Yes, I understand that the church is predicated on absolute trust and sustaining of church leaders, but keeping the numbers under wraps does nothing to encourage trust. 

I don't know what the right answer is, but yes, more transparency would be a positive thing. 

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1 hour ago, jkwilliams said:

I don't enjoy this at all, but I guess you find it funny that I'm interested. I've mentioned before that there is a long history of child abuse in my wife's extended family, and this kind of stuff just hits home with me. I readily admit it's hard to respond to this without emotions being involved.

I don't think it's funny, just wishing you (and others) well in finding "what's there is certainly interesting. ¿no ve?" Which didn't convey to me serious, underlying emotional layers. i don't find the content that interesting, so I probably won't be commenting on that, but on other points (which I have).

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1 minute ago, jkwilliams said:

Take finances, for example. Until 1959, the church published an annual report of its income and expenditures, and then stopped doing so. President Hinckley said that how money from donations is spent is a matter between the members who donate and the church, but we as members have no right to see what the church is doing with the funds we donate. I'd like to see at least some reporting of income and expenditures, which would increase accountability to the members who gave the money in the first place. Yes, I understand that the church is predicated on absolute trust and sustaining of church leaders, but keeping the numbers under wraps does nothing to encourage trust. 

I don't know what the right answer is, but yes, more transparency would be a positive thing. 

I remember when I was growing up they had a budget meeting as a ward. The Bishopric every year would get up and say how much they got and what they spent it on. One memorable meeting was when the Bishopric had to spend half the budget on photocopying and boy oh boy did sparks fly that day! It wasn't the Bishopric's fault but they had to get money from somewhere to cover the cost of photocopying🤑

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7 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:
Quote

Who gets to decide what "some" means?  

And isn't it pretty obvious that "some" means "more," no matter what?

What limiting principle do you have in mind?  By what metric would you gauge "some transparency" as being sufficient?

No, I am not arguing that.

Take finances, for example. Until 1959, the church published an annual report of its income and expenditures, and then stopped doing so. President Hinckley said that how money from donations is spent is a matter between the members who donate and the church, but we as members have no right to see what the church is doing with the funds we donate. I'd like to see at least some reporting of income and expenditures, which would increase accountability to the members who gave the money in the first place. Yes, I understand that the church is predicated on absolute trust and sustaining of church leaders, but keeping the numbers under wraps does nothing to encourage trust. 

I don't know what the right answer is, but yes, more transparency would be a positive thing. 

Why?  I just don't get it.  If a missionary in, say, Texas sexually abuses a teenager there, why does the Church need to be "transparent" about that?  Report the matter to civil authorities (if possible), I get that.  But why publish this information?  Whence cometh the "need to know?"  The "right to know?"

And how much detail?  Do we need to know names?  Dates?  How many instances of abuse?  Which body parts were involved?  

Again, what limiting principles do you have in mind?  Any?  None?

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Edited by smac97

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17 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I haven't seen a lot of calls for "unfettered transparency," just some transparency from the Church. Do members have a right to any information about the Church? Seems to me you're arguing they don't.

Leaks are hardly a valid substitute for transparency, and are even a less valid reaction to an unsatisfied demand for information about he Church.

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9 hours ago, smac97 said:

Why?  I just don't get it.  If a missionary in, say, Texas sexually abuses a teenager there, why does the Church need to be "transparent" about that?  Report the matter to civil authorities (if possible), I get that.  But why publish this information?  Whence cometh the "need to know?"  The "right to know?"

And how much detail?  Do we need to know names?  Dates?  How many instances of abuse?  Which body parts were involved?  

Again, what limiting principles do you have in mind?  Any?  None?

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Please stop, you’re turning this into a game.  It’s really not funny and says a lot about you.  

Respond to a post with something other than personal attacks.

 

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16 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I don't know what the right answer is, but yes, more transparency would be a positive thing. 

You can almost see the headlines:

"Church publicly accuses young woman of unproven crimes"

"Church list of sinners throws 'innocent until proven guilty' out the window"

"Returned missionary unable to find work, shunned by family, after church smear campaign"

A "positive thing" for some folks, I suppose...

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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1 minute ago, lostindc said:
Quote

Why?  I just don't get it.  If a missionary in, say, Texas sexually abuses a teenager there, why does the Church need to be "transparent" about that?  Report the matter to civil authorities (if possible), I get that.  But why publish this information?  Whence cometh the "need to know?"  The "right to know?"

And how much detail?  Do we need to know names?  Dates?  How many instances of abuse?  Which body parts were involved?  

Again, what limiting principles do you have in mind?  Any?  None?

Thanks,

-Smac

Please stop, you’re turning this into a game.  

No, I'm not.  These are entirely legitimate questions.  I'm trying to take seriously the demands for "more transparency."  But I don't know what that means.

1 minute ago, lostindc said:

It’s really not funny and says a lot about you.  

I'm not being funny at all.

-Smac

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3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Why?  I just don't get it.  If a missionary in, say, Texas sexually abuses a teenager there, why does the Church need to be "transparent" about that?  Report the matter to civil authorities (if possible), I get that.  But why publish this information?  Whence cometh the "need to know?"  The "right to know?"

And how much detail?  Do we need to know names?  Dates?  How many instances of abuse?  Which body parts were involved?  

Again, what limiting principles do you have in mind?  Any?  None?

I'm not sure how that follows from what I said. I'm not suggesting that the church needs to divulge detailed information about, per your example, a case of sexual abuse. Not sure where you're getting that. As a member, I think it would be helpful to know what the church is doing to better prevent and deal with sexual abuse of children. I'm quite sure the church keeps statistics on this, and publishing those statistics might be a good barometer of how well we are doing as a church. Would anyone's privacy be violated? Not that I can see. I feel the same way about finances. "Unfettered transparency" is a strawman because no one is asking for the church to publish every last detail of its financial operations. Would it be good to know what the church takes in and how it is managing the money? Of course. 

I've been to countless leadership meetings that have stressed "accountability," but it's always accountability to your priesthood line authority going up; there's no accountability going the other way. Personally, I think some accountability from leaders to those under their stewardship would improve leadership and make the church run more efficiently. I don't find that unreasoned or unreasonable. 

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10 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Leaks are hardly a valid substitute for transparency, and are even a less valid reaction to an unsatisfied demand for information about he Church.

I've said nothing about leaks. How does that follow from anything I've said?

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1 minute ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

You can almost see the headlines:

"Church publicly accuses young woman of unproven crimes"

"Church list of sinners throws 'innocent until proven guilty' out the window"

"Returned missionary unable to find work, shunned by family, after church smear campaign"

A "positive thing" for some folks, I suppose...

As I said, it's about accountability. You can provide information for accountability that does not involve putting out any information about individuals. Frankly, the idea that transparency is all or nothing is ridiculous and clearly an attempt to shut down discussion.

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9 minutes ago, smac97 said:

No, I'm not.  These are entirely legitimate questions.  I'm trying to take seriously the demands for "more transparency."  But I don't know what that means.

I'm not being funny at all.

-Smac

 Really though, you’re playing a “but why” game at a grownup level.  Most of us in this thread have spent many years arguing various issues using various rhetorical devices, but sometimes playing these games needs to stop.  In this case, the subject is more serious than golden books, LGT, Maxwell Institute, etc.  

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

It seems to me that the leak provides some information about how the church may decide and act in the cases of abuse. Do they have all of the information? No. But that doesn't mean there aren't issues raised. I'd prefer to see more information, not less, as would seem your preference. IF the church is engaged in activity that is aimed primarily at protecting the reputation of the church, even at the expense of victims, or failure to send a missionary home where he might be reported, then I believe more info is needed. Sticking your head in the sand and decrying what has been released, because we don't know everything (because the church chooses not to disclose and not everything on this issue has been leaked) seems to indicate a willful blindness. If you've ever watched Spotlight, or read about the Catholic scandal, you know that not everything came out at once. I'm guessing that in many whistleblowing situations only partial information is leaked. That doesn't mean there isn't more to learn, but in this case Mormon Leaks has leaked information that could indicate bad behavior by the church. Is it illicit behavior? I don't know. We need more information. The church can provide that.

The rest of your post, as has become typical for you, is an attempt to personalize this as an attack at me. Your game is old and I'm not responding to you trying to make this about me.

2

No, not even close (the bolded statement above). The information you see is the lawyer stating what their position is as a legal counsel. The Church's own position is very different.

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Just now, Storm Rider said:

No, not even close (the bolded statement above). The information you see is the lawyer stating what their position is as a legal counsel. The Church's own position is very different.

What is the Church’s position?  

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2 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

Its explicitly in the theology of the church, and yes, I think many church members not only think this way but practice this teaching and take it very seriously.  I know I took those words about what I would need to sacrifice very seriously as a conservative orthodox member.  Are you honestly suggesting that people don't take those words seriously and that they wouldn't be willing to do things that might otherwise seem questionable, to support the church and what they view as righteousness?  

Of course, I am. I think your position is laughable and does not pertain or reflect the feelings of the vast majority of the members of the Church. I know that conflicts with your personal narrative of the Church and its members, but that is more a personal problem - as in your personal problem - than reality. 

When humans adopt an agenda it is humorous how far they will go to ignore all conflicting data. This goes for those of religious faith and most definitely for those with conflicting religious affiliations/faiths, as well as anyone else with an agenda. 

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4 minutes ago, lostindc said:

What is the Church’s position?  

I have not seen any documentation on this thread regarding the Church's position the situations mentioned. As far as I can tell this is a runaway train based on an in-house memo of a law firm alleged to be hired by the Church.

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5 minutes ago, lostindc said:
Quote

No, I'm not.  These are entirely legitimate questions.  I'm trying to take seriously the demands for "more transparency."  But I don't know what that means.

I'm not being funny at all.

-Smac

Really though, you’re playing a “but why” game at a grownup level.  

No, I'm not.

Are you familiar with the term "limiting principle?"  Have you ever heard it used in a legal context?

5 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Most of us in this thread have spent many years arguing various issues using various rhetorical devices, but sometimes playing these games needs to stop.  

I'm not plyaing a game.  To the contrary, I'm trying to give others a fair hearing.  This thread has a bunch of people calling for "more transparency" from the Church.  Well, okay.  What does that mean?  What limiting principles are in view?  What metric is proposed to gauge the sufficiency of the increased transparency?

These are eminently reasonable questions.  If people calling for "more transparency" are unable or unwilling to explain their position with any semblance of coherent reasoning, then my only mistake was taking them seriously in the first place.

5 minutes ago, lostindc said:

In this case, the subject is more serious than golden books, LGT, Maxwell Institute, etc.  

I agree the subject is serious.  I am treating it seriously (trying to, anyway).

If there is a serious proposal to be aired, let's have it.  If this thread is just a prolonged gripefest, then let's not waste time pretending that it is substantive.

Thanks,

-Smac

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