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Mormon Leaks document on handling Child Abuse

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3 minutes ago, 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.

How do you know the church's position is different? You don't know if the church followed KM's recommendation. You don't know if the church has a policy of non-reporting if reporting could make the church look bad. You don't know how the church reaches out to abuse victims. You don't know what happens to missionaries accused of abuse. Are they sent home, transferred to another mission, left on their mission and transferred to a new area? Are their records annotated so that they never serve with children or youth? Does the church settle with abuse victims and require non-disclosure as a matter of course? How much do they spend on settlements? How many cases of abuse does the church settle? Do they avoid reporting to law enforcement unless absolutely, legally required? If so, why? At least I'm assuming you don't know these things because I don't, and I've never seen it addressed.

More than anything, the Mormon Leak is showing how little we know about how abuse is treated institutionally.  It shows that there may be a problem. It illustrates a need for greater information. If the church wants to maintain the trust of its members it should be transparent about how it handles these kinds of cases. As contributors in time, money, and service I believe members of the church deserve to know how the institutional church responds to accusations of abuse. Are they being responsible in their treatment of abuse victims and also the perpetrators? You don't know, and I don't know. Only those in positions of authority for the institutional church know, and they have the ability to share that information, and unless they feel like they and the church are beyond the questioning of mere mortals, they should be transparent around this issue.

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26 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

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

You may not have, but the thread is based on a leak, so that is what came to mind vis-a-vis transparency.

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Just now, CV75 said:

You may not have, but the thread is based on a leak, so that is what came to mind vis-a-vis transparency.

FWIW, leaks are a lousy way of providing transparency. 

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Just now, jkwilliams said:

FWIW, leaks are a lousy way of providing transparency. 

Agreed. It would be fantastic if the organization was transparent so that leaks weren't necessary at all.

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4 minutes ago, jkwilliams 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?

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.

The feeling is mutual.  You are here, calling for "more transparency" in the context of allegations of sexual abuse involving members of the Church (missionaries), but you are apparently unable or unwilling to explain that "more transparency" means.  You cannot or will not articulate what metric would be used to gauge the sufficiency of "more."  You won't articulate any limiting principle.

I assume you are speaking here in good faith, so why is it you are refusing to meaningfully explain your position?  

4 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

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.

The Church has a published "zero tolerance" policy.  The Church has recently revised interview rules.  The Church has a helpline to assist bishops in navigating the legal aspects of such issues.  The Church regularly refers victims out for therapy and counseling.

But it'll never be enough, apparently.  This is why I am asking for details on the call for "more transparency."

4 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

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.

Statistics on what?  Number of members involved in allegations of sexual abuse?

4 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

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. 

"More transparency."

"Some accountability."

Sure would be nice to figure out what on earth these things are supposed to mean.

-Smac

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Just now, jkwilliams said:

FWIW, leaks are a lousy way of providing transparency. 

Rather, of reacting to an unsatisfied demand for information about the Church. I don't classify a leak as a means of providing transparency, on so many levels.

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4 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Agreed. It would be fantastic if the organization was transparent so that leaks weren't necessary at all.

And this gets to the problem of intentional as opposed to accidental leaks. And to the assumption that they are even necessary.

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14 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Agreed. It would be fantastic if the organization was transparent so that leaks weren't necessary at all.

It would also be nice if we had something more than "more transparency" and "some accountability" to discuss.

I'm starting to take this thread less seriously.  I would like to see some reasoned proposals, but it seems like a prolonged gripefest.  The only metric, it seems, is "Something more than the Church is doing now," repeat ad naseam.  

No specifics.  No framework.  No limiting principles.  Just vague and unexplained calls for "more transparency" and "some accountability," whatever those mean.  Just faultfinding and armchair quarterbacking.  Just endless demands for "more transparency" (while reserving for ourselves the right to exercise reasonable discretion in the publication of our sensitive private information).

Oh, and plaudits to the guy encouraging others to steal from the Church.  Can't forget that.

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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3 hours ago, phaedrus ut said:

If the conduct involved two minors why would be facing felony charges when returning home? 

Yes the law firm holds the opinion the missionary needs to return home but it's the actual church that is reluctant to do so.  Should Kirton McConkie really need to be the moral voice is such matters? 

 

Phaedrus

I don't have time, Havent read the docs yet and have barely read the thread. But to your first questions it could be around child p*** laws. If he was 18 and she was fifteen and send pics of herself, that could be considered distribution of child p********. Even if she was technically "consenting" in the behaviors. 

No time for other comments on the church's reluctance. 

Just giving a hypothetical. 

With luv,

BD

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13 minutes ago, smac97 said:

The feeling is mutual.  You are here, calling for "more transparency" in the context of allegations of sexual abuse involving members of the Church (missionaries), but you are apparently unable or unwilling to explain that "more transparency" means.  You cannot or will not articulate what metric would be used to gauge the sufficiency of "more."  You won't articulate any limiting principle.

I assume you are speaking here in good faith, so why is it you are refusing to meaningfully explain your position?  

The Church has a published "zero tolerance" policy.  The Church has recently revised interview rules.  The Church has a helpline to assist bishops in navigating the legal aspects of such issues.  The Church regularly refers victims out for therapy and counseling.

But it'll never be enough, apparently.  This is why I am asking for details on the call for "more transparency."

Statistics on what?  Number of members involved in allegations of sexual abuse?

"More transparency."

"Some accountability."

Sure would be nice to figure out what on earth these things are supposed to mean.

-Smac

I thought I did meaningfully explain my position, even giving examples. Oh, well.

I kind of knew you'd end up with "But it'll never be enough." For whom? That you think my thoughts merit nothing more than "where will it end?" suggests this conversation is a waste of time. Definitely not playing this game, either. 

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1 hour ago, MorningStar said:

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".

The Church is moving past that, with some real success.

But it'll never be enough.  Endless demands for "more" is all I am seeing from critics.

1 hour ago, MorningStar said:

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.

The Church isn't really in the business of meting out punishment.  See D&C 134:10:

Quote

We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship.

That's the extent of what the Church can do.  And the Church is doing it.  And strangely enough, our critics complaint about that, too (I've lost count of the number of times I've seen critics complain about the Church imposing discipline on its members).

I am very glad that we live in an era when member records can be immediately annotated, and when such records are electronically transmitted.  These are very helpful resources.

1 hour ago, MorningStar said:

It's even harder when that person has their whole life ahead of them, but that's too bad.

Well, we can't be quite that cavalier, I think.  The principles relating to juvenile criminal justice should be studied a bit.  They speak to the importance of rehabilitation, since "that's too bad"-type approaches can almost guarantee that the kid's life is destroyed.

1 hour ago, MorningStar said:

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.

Yep.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

I thought I did meaningfully explain my position, even giving examples. Oh, well.

I am happy to be corrected on this point.  Could you point me to the post(s) you have in mind?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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34 minutes ago, smac97 said:

No, I'm not.

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

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.

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

I guess to you, the concern over proper execution of these issues is just a gripefest.  Your words.  Posture away.

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3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

The Church is moving past that, with some real success.

But it'll never be enough.  Endless demands for "more" is all I am seeing from critics.

The Church isn't really in the business of meting out punishment.  See D&C 134:10:

That's the extent of what the Church can do.  And the Church is doing it.  And strangely enough, our critics complaint about that, too (I've lost count of the number of times I've seen critics complain about the Church imposing discipline on its members).

I am very glad that we live in an era when member records can be immediately annotated, and when such records are electronically transmitted.  These are very helpful resources.

Well, we can't be quite that cavalier, I think.  The principles relating to juvenile criminal justice should be studied a bit.  They speak to the importance of rehabilitation, since "that's too bad"-type approaches can almost guarantee that the kid's life is destroyed.

Yep.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Thanks, I'm not talking about punishing, but well-meaning people trying to save a person from legal consequences. A friend had a young man in her ward babysit and he ended up raping her daughters. She had church members asking her not to press charges and seemed to think he would never do it again. They thought she was being unChristlike by having him arrested. The boy had his whole life ahead of him. That's the kind of "tough" I'm talking about. 

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7 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I am happy to be corrected on this point.  Could you point me to the post(s) you have in mind?

Thanks,

-Smac

What do you expect the Church to do for each of these situations listed in the spreadsheet?

Edited by lostindc

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3 minutes ago, lostindc said:
Quote

No, I'm not.

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

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.

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

I guess to you, the concern over proper execution of these issues is just a gripefest.  Your words.  Posture away.

To me, proposals for "more transparency" and "some accountability" are not helpful without some basic idea as to what is being proposed.  A framework.  Some specifics.  Some limiting principles.

The only "postur[ing]" I am putting on is trying to elicit some further explanation from the critics and opponents of the Church who are making vague demands of "more" from the Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

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3 minutes ago, MorningStar said:

Thanks, I'm not talking about punishing, but well-meaning people trying to save a person from legal consequences. A friend had a young man in her ward babysit and he ended up raping her daughters. She had church members asking her not to press charges and seemed to think he would never do it again. They thought she was being unChristlike by having him arrested. The boy had his whole life ahead of him. That's the kind of "tough" I'm talking about. 

Ah.  I see your point, then.  Thank you for clarifying.

Given the high rates of recidivism for sex offenders, sweeping things under the rug and ignoring them is not the way to go.

Thanks,

-Smac

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3 minutes ago, lostindc said:

What do you expect the Church to do for each of these situations listed in the spreadsheet?

Investigate to the extent possible.  Mete out church discipline as appropriate.  Refer criminal matters to law enforcement as appropriate.  Annotate church records as appropriate.  Facilitate and encourage therapy and counseling.  That sort of thing.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Just now, smac97 said:

To me, proposals for "more transparency" and "some accountability" are not helpful without some basic idea as to what is being proposed.  A framework.  Some specifics.  Some limiting principles.

The only "postur[ing]" I am putting on is trying to elicit some further explanation from the critics and opponents of the Church who are making vague demands of "more" from the Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

You’re exhausting the need to establish some sort of baseline for every potential process in this situation.  It’s not needed.  

Your argumentation is the same argumentation Penn State truthers, such as Lubrano focused on, that being, what is considered enough when handling these difficult situations.  It’s distraction and avoidance.  

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3 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Investigate to the extent possible.  Mete out church discipline as appropriate.  Refer criminal matters to law enforcement as appropriate.  Annotate church records as appropriate.  Facilitate and encourage therapy and counseling.  That sort of thing.

Thanks,

-Smac

What if the Church didn’t do what you listed?

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Just now, lostindc said:
Quote

To me, proposals for "more transparency" and "some accountability" are not helpful without some basic idea as to what is being proposed.  A framework.  Some specifics.  Some limiting principles.

The only "postur[ing]" I am putting on is trying to elicit some further explanation from the critics and opponents of the Church who are making vague demands of "more" from the Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

You’re exhausting the need to establish some sort of baseline for every potential process in this situation.  It’s not needed.  

First, I didn't introduce the calls for "more transparency" and "some accountability."

Second, I think D&C 134:10 has some real application here.

Third, I think the Church is presently doing a pretty good job of addressing allegations of abuse.  

Fourth, I think this thread, to the extent it had any merit to begin with, has devolved into a gripefest.  

Just now, lostindc said:

Your argumentation is the same argumentation Penn State truthers, such as Lubrano focused on, that being, what is considered enough when handling these difficult situations.  It’s distraction and avoidance.  

I have no idea what you are talking about.

And asking for clarification regarding what is meant by "more transparency" and "some accountability" is not distraction and avoidance.  It is an attempt to better understand what is being requested.

But I'm becoming less persuaded that the calls for "more transparency" and "some accountability" represent any thoughtful introspection.  So far I have not seen anything coherent.  No framework.  No specific proposals.  No limiting principles.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 minutes ago, lostindc said:

What if the Church didn’t do what you listed?

In the main, the Church is already doing what I listed.

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 hours ago, phaedrus ut said:

To quote the document

So the missionary department doesn't want to send a Elder home because he faces a felony for unlawful sexual acts and the Stake President would have a duty to report because of the laws of that state.  Yet the missionary has also been practicing the same behavior in the mission field. Again this Elder is touching 15 year old girls in the mission field but the "missionary department" of the church is reluctant to send him home because he faces felony charges because of his sexual behavior with a different 15 year old girl.  I can reasonably infer there is a lack of concern for the current and future victims. 

Phaedrus

The unlawful sex act prior to his mission was sexting with a 15 year girl when he was likely 17 or 18.  In some places there are Romeo and Juliet laws that drop the crime down to misdemeanor when the age difference is less than 3 years, so it is understandable if the missionary department who are charged with the well being of the missionary feel rather parental in their care and have some issues with it being a felony rather than a misdemeanor...though he has to go home eventually so it is just putting it off, perhaps they were hoping to better prepare him.  Since the SP would be required to report it, then it appears the knowledge he was sexting is from the missionary's confession, if it had been the victim telling the SP it would have already reported, correct?  I can see the inconsistency of priest/penitent laws also causing some feelings of indecision and reluctance in the missionary dept.

From the way it is worded...the sexting is the only thing mentioned at first...it appears to me the additional confession of kissing and touching a 15 year old/minor (one 15 year old girl is reported, not "girls") came from the further investigation, so I suspect that behaviour was unknown when the missionary department made its decision, otherwise it would have been describing as sexting and physical contact with a minor.  Otoh, the lawyers who did the investigation for certain knew of the additional behaviour and there was no question for them the missionary needed to go home which meant he would be charged with a felony.

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:
10 minutes ago, lostindc said:

What do you expect the Church to do for each of these situations listed in the spreadsheet?

Investigate to the extent possible.  Mete out church discipline as appropriate.  Refer criminal matters to law enforcement as appropriate.  Annotate church records as appropriate.  Facilitate and encourage therapy and counseling.  That sort of thing.

Indeed.  The church should first and foremost protect the innocent, after that try to help the guilty avail themselves of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and become better people. 

The second thing must not ever ever ever interfere with the first thing.  Also, in there should be something about protecting the good name of the church.

 

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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

In the main, the Church is already doing what I listed.

Thanks,

-Smac

Not sure how you can draw that conclusion based on the information available.  Based on how you assessed the spreadsheet, and deemed the spreadsheet had limited info, same can be said for the Church at this point.

Do you believe the Church should be held to higher standard than say a university? 

 

 

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