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About esodije

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  1. I’m usually no fan of huge jury awards in tort cases against government agencies, but there are times when the behavior is so grossly negligent, and the consequences so horrific, that justice demands a financial thrashing. Josh Powell was pure evil, and the judge and CPS looked the other way.
  2. Denson very much reminds me of a relative of mine, who suffered a head injury in a car accident at around age 19 and who now, 40+ years on, has virtually no grasp of reality. Highly intelligent, but almost completely delusional—has abundant memories of things that never happened and no memory of things that did. One can speak to this person and conclude they are perfectly lucid and very knowledgeable—for a time. Eventually one realizes that he/she is crazy or this person is—and even I have questioned my own sanity on multiple occasions.
  3. I do know one thing: if by “racist” one essentially means “anyone I don’t like or with whose views I disagree,” one is not going to change very many minds.
  4. If Denson has any friends left, they should really advise her to pack it in. She can’t prove her case, especially by clear and convincing evidence, and she’s not even doing the church any harm at this point beyond the ongoing legal fees it’s having to pay.
  5. Didn’t Cleveland have a cousin named Polly?
  6. Boy, the dismissal process is taking so long in this lawsuit that one starts to wonder whether the various U.S. Courts of Appeal routinely reverse U.S district judges on the question of dismissal (when such orders are appealed). I’m also reminded of Dr. Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit against the National Review and Mark Steyn, which has gone on for the better part of seven years now (in the D.C. District Court) without any significant discovery being done or compelled. D.C. apparently has a so-called “SLAPP-back” statute, and the Mann suit is seemingly precisely the kind of abuse of process the statute was meant to short-circuit. Don’t ask federal judges to enforce it, however. What’s the saying? “Justice delayed is justice denied.” D^mn straight!
  7. I agree. My point is that many people have assumed Bishop is guilty simply because he confessed to something with respect to Denson, without taking into account what he confessed to and the likelihood (a) that it really happened, and (b) that Denson really was the person to whom it happened. I’m not talking about the BYUPD giving a legal opinion; however, they scared Bishop unnecessarily by making it seem that criminal charges were almost certain to result from the investigation. I would have told him, at least, that the prosecutor would have to decide both whether there was sufficient credible/reliable evidence to convict and whether the applicable statute of limitations operated to bar the prosecution in any case. Exactly. Imagine you’re the MTC president’s ecclesiastical authority and he comes to you confessing grossly inappropriate behavior with multiple sister missionaries. Again, many people have taken it at face value that a church authority knew what Bishop had allegedly done and gave him “absolution,” but with no real “penance” or “restitution,” and apparently without making any effort to protect other sister missionaries by initiating a process for removing him from the MTC post. (And they have used this “fact” as proof positive of the church’s “depravity” in covering up for male abusers.) My point is that it strains credulity to believe that, even in the “dark age” of 1984, a church authority would simply have let Bishop slide on the supposed confessions he made, especially since he still had two-plus years left in the calling. I agree, especially if the second victim were to testify as to Bishop’s having massaged her buttocks, the precise thing he admits to having done. I think it’s probable that Bishop did at least a few inappropriate things to/with sister missionaries in the MTC; however, neither Bishop nor Denson would make a very good witness.
  8. I listened to the two recorded conversations the BYUPD had with Joseph L Bishop in December 2017 (posted by RFM yesterday). This is what I came away with: 1. There is still a huge disconnect between what Denson said happened in the MTC storage room and what Bishop confessed to. Bishop still thought Denson had had breast-augmentation surgery, and that that is why he requested her to show her breasts to him. When he brought the subject up in with Denson in the nearly three-hour “interview,” however, she laughed it off and even asked Bishop (paraphrasing), “Why would we have been talking about my boobs if I didn’t have any at age 21?” (See page 37 of the transcript.) 2. Bishop, in describing the second conversation he had (by phone) with Denson, said that she told him she would ask the judge (conflating a criminal trial and a civil action?) to go easy on him, as there was a “higher cause” to be served. It’s thus hard not to conclude (a) that the church was her real target all along, and (b) she’d already formulated a plan of action with her attorneys that was calculated both to embarrass the church and to extract money from it. 3. I was intrigued by the fact that the BYUPD officers described in detail to Bishop what might happen to him in a criminal proceeding, but they didn’t once mention the possibility/probability that charges against him would be time-barred. I don’t know if they’ve been trained never to bring up the statute of limitations with an alleged perp, or if it really didn’t occur to them to mention it, but that stood out to me. 4. If Bishop really did confess the “show me your boobs” and “butt massage” incidents to his bishop shortly after they happened, I can’t fathom that bishop not discussing with him whether or not he really should continue as MTC president if he couldn’t resist the urge to diddle (and betray the trust of) young sister missionaries. If I were in that bishop’s shoes, I’d have suggested strongly that Bishop also confess to his superiors in the church Missionary Department and thus put the ball in their court. (And, if he refused to do that, I’d have called church HQ myself.) 5. Lots of male church members end up in frustrating, sexless marriages. However, acting out with young sister missionaries, just for the “titillation” (Bishop’s word choice), betokens a pretty deep character flaw. I still wonder how reliable Bishop’s memory is, just as I wonder if Denson’s recollections haven’t been augmented (my word choice) due to mental issues. But it’s mind-bending to contemplate.the black-hearted man who would manipulate and abuse a young woman in his charge.
  9. As with most things in life, the topic of incest comes down to a Weird Al song: Tell meHow was I supposed to know we were both related?Believe me, if I knew she was my cousin we never would have datedWhat to do now? Should I go ahead and proposeAnd get hitched and have kids with eleven toesAnd move to Alabama where that kind of thing is tolerated?
  10. I heard someone say once that he believed the human genome has been in decay ever since Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden. I thought it was a joke at the time, but when I consider all the psychological issues that we’re now being told we have to take at face value as “normal” for the people involved, I worry what the next couple of generations will bring.
  11. I have to wonder what Denson could possibly have on Leavitt. As I understand it, Leavitt originally said he didn't report Denson's accusations up the chain in 1987 because he didn't believe them. But then he supposedly arranged the interview Denson said she had with Carlos Asay, to which her future ex-husband took her. What could he have told her last year that would be a bombshell for the church?
  12. I don’t think Joseph Smith could have succeeded as the leader of a religious movement unless he was both charismatic and intelligent. I had a stake president who was gifted in both of those attributes, and I’ve often thought about how much he was like “Brother Joseph.” Brigham Young was the same way; I always thought it was ironic that Hollywood (cf. Brigham Young, starring Dean Jagger) portrayed BY as a shrinking violet who assumed leadership only with great reluctance.
  13. Talk of settlement of this case reminds me of Mel Brooks’ discussion of how Hedy Lamarr threatened suit over Harvey Korman’s “Hedley Lamarr” character in Blazing Saddles back in 1974. Brooks said, “Bless her heart. She wants money? Let’s get her some money. And the studio gave her some money.” At this point, the church’s settling with Denson would be an act of pity based on the church’s being a deep pocket which can easily bear dropping a little chump change to make a nuisance lawsuit go away. I still say there’s no way this case goes to trial; if any evidence favorable to Denson had come out in the Wells and Leavitt depositions, it would have leaked ages ago.
  14. I have a feeling that the parties (with some prodding by the judge) will stipulate to a dismissal without prejudice. Technically, it would mean Denson could re-file, but I expect the claim eventually to go gentle into that good night. I remember some ex-Mos accusing the judge of bias (being that he’s reportedly LDS and a BYU grad) when he dismissed most of the original complaint on SOL grounds. If anything, he’s been bending over backward, to the church’s detriment, to be “fair” to Denson. I think most judges not only would have granted the motion to dismiss as to all claims, but they would since have dismissed the suit for Denson’s failure to respond to discovery requests or to comply with court orders. Certain classes of people always seem to flog the wrong cases to promote a narrative. I know I felt a strange fascination with Denson’s sensational claims when the December 2017 audio recording surfaced, even though I felt all along that there would have to be a succession of other accusers and/or solid circumstantial corroboration—from those who knew Denson best in the MTC—to prove the allegations. I don’t know how much of a perv Robert L. Bishop really is, but I think it’s safe to say he’s not a Mormon Harvey Weinstein, as Denson predicted he’d be known.
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