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BYU requires new hires to waive their right to clergy confidentiality


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12 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

“On the evening of June 27, 1844 Joseph Smith suddenly stopped breathing. He died shortly thereafter throwing the church into a succession crisis which eventually led to them leaving the state”

-A perfectly normal and accurate history book of Illinois. 

Abraham Lincoln was watching a play when he suddenly stopped breathing. Coincidentally, nearly 100 years later President John Kennedy suddenly stopped breathing while riding in a car. 

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While I don’t think it was wise of her to use that story, I suspect she chose that phrase because that is how it was told to her first and that was how she remembers it when thinking about it emotionally (because the shock of his death is attached to that moment for her, not to what came after).

As far as the cause of death, her dil was not taken to trial, it was dropped and there is no explanation given, which is a big question mark if it was so obviously homicide. It is also well known that both doctors**** and police make mistakes and how police and others may write up reports as sounding more definite than it really is (if so certain why was the investigation dropped, did the prosecutors know something that wasn’t included in the report?), that likely gives Sister Cordon enough room to honestly believe her dil is innocent of wrongdoing. I can’t imagine why she would use that time as an example if she had her doubts. That doesn’t mean she is right (or wrong as at this point I don’t believe we have enough of the story to be sure, I can’t get past why the DA dropped the investigation given a child was involved, but maybe I am too naive) about her dil, but unless there was a confession or enough evidence to go to trial, I don’t see why anyone should be insisting she has to believe her dil is guilty and if Sister Cordon doesn’t think her dil is guilty in her mind, then something else besides abuse killed her grandson.  My guess is she is so certain of that, there is no reason to mention anything else as an aside any suspicion as she is certain the diagnosis was a mistake and no reason not to talk about it as she does.
 

If she isn’t certain, it would be bizarre she mentions it even if the focus is her grief for his death as I think there would be anxiety and uncertainty attached to the whole experience.

Now I don’t think even in a case where she believes her dil is innocent, her sharing it is appropriate if only out of respect for those who have experienced child abuse in their lives as it may appear to be trivializing abuse to them given the background. My guess is she is assuming the background wouldn’t be made public, but that is wishful thinking these days. 

I hope there will be an explanation from Sister Cordon, but I doubt it will occur.  Assuming that even if the investigation was dropped, unless there was additional evidence that disproves the claims of the shaking in the report or at leafy information that opens up other possibilities besides ‘don’t know’, it remains highly questionable both for the initial alleged abuse and why didn’t they at least call 911 (I can see driving to the hospital out of fear the ambulance will take too long, but driving alone seems odd even though they had a baby so the dad stayed with that child as getting them would have delayed them leaving…but then grab the sister or a hotel employee to go with her, I wonder what type of hotel it was).  But shock can make one stupid and hyper focused and perhaps needing to do something as waiting even a second seems intolerable, so I don’t rule that out.  Anyway, it seems more likely she will get advice to just let it die away and it will be pulled from the campaign.

As far as the contradiction of parents at the hospital, I am guessing her son grabbed the baby, woke her and maybe other family up, had them stay with the baby while he then followed his wife to the hospital.

Can’t explain the time gap between him not breathing and leaving for the hospital though unless they were initially successful in reviving him and then lost him again…but if so, why not in the report?  That is just weird and if accurate, would remove my suggestions as that likely imo.  But I am not familiar with how people would react in shock…I don’t understand that part unless there was a misunderstanding about the time.

***AJR.16.17450

Edited by Calm
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10 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

A world wide church leader using her grandsons death in a PR campaign for the church you mean right? 

Well she was at the hospital with him for several days before he died. And as for knowing why? Who knows what she did or did not know. Child abuse is very rarely a one time instance. 

You seem not to like the narrative about Joseph that “factually” states things that happened. I wonder why that is. From my standpoint truth matters. It matters in history books (I’m not sure why you object to the blurb since you and others here think it’s factual) and it matters in a world wide church’s publications and efforts. If this was just a grandma telling a story that would be one thing. But this is a world wide church leader sweeping aside the brutal killing of a person to push an agenda. 
 

If the manner of death is immaterial to the telling of the story why not just tell the truth? Would telling the truth change the story? Does telling the truth about how Joseph was brutally murdered change that story?

You haven’t heard it, because while she has apparently been telling different versions of this story for years, the actual manner of death (homicide in this case) was not previously discovered. Because she is not being honest. 

I’m sorry, I just can’t take any of your points seriously.  

Your comparisons to historical narrative aren’t reasonable (I have a degree in history and understanding the difference between accounts meant to provide factual information of an event and personal narratives is History 101).

You’re trying to weirdly bolster your argument by calling the series where the story is recounted a “public relations campaign” (which is a known fallacy).

And, your main accusations against her all require “who really knows she’s not a horrible person” assumptions to be convincing.

Edited by bluebell
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30 minutes ago, Calm said:

While I don’t think it was wise of her to use that story, I suspect she chose that phrase because that is how it was told to her first and that was how she remembers it when thinking about it emotionally (because the shock of his death is attached to that moment for her, not to what came after).

As far as the cause of death, her dil was not taken to trial, it was dropped and there is no explanation given, which is a big question mark if it was so obviously homicide. It is also well known that both doctors**** and police make mistakes and how police and others may write up reports as sounding more definite than it really is (if so certain why was the investigation dropped, did the prosecutors know something that wasn’t included in the report?), that likely gives Sister Cordon enough room to honestly believe her dil is innocent of wrongdoing. I can’t imagine why she would use that time as an example if she had her doubts. That doesn’t mean she is right (or wrong as at this point I don’t believe we have enough of the story to be sure, I can’t get past why the DA dropped the investigation given a child was involved, but maybe I am too naive) about her dil, but unless there was a confession or enough evidence to go to trial, I don’t see why anyone should be insisting she has to believe her dil is guilty and if Sister Cordon doesn’t think her dil is guilty in her mind, then something else besides abuse killed her grandson.  My guess is she is so certain of that, there is no reason to mention anything else as an aside any suspicion as she is certain the diagnosis was a mistake.  
 

If she isn’t certain, it would be bizarre she mentions it even if the focus is her grief for his death as I think there would be anxiety and uncertainty attached to the whole experience.

Now I don’t think even in a case where she believes her dil is innocent, her sharing it is appropriate if only out of respect for those who have experienced child abuse in their lives as it may appear to be trivializing abuse to them given the background. My guess is she is assuming the background wouldn’t be made public, but that is wishful thinking these days. 

I hope there will be an explanation from Sister Cordon, but I doubt it will occur.  Assuming that even if the investigation was dropped, unless there was additional evidence that disproves the claims of the shaking in the report or at leafy information that opens up other possibilities besides ‘don’t know’, it remains highly questionable both for the initial alleged abuse and why didn’t they at least call 911 (I can see driving to the hospital out of fear the ambulance will take too long, but driving alone seems odd even though they had a baby so the dad stayed with that child as getting them would have delayed them leaving…but then grab the sister or a hotel employee to go with her, I wonder what type of hotel it was).  But shock can make one stupid and hyper focused and perhaps needing to do something as waiting even a second seems intolerable, so I don’t rule that out.  Anyway, it seems more likely she will get advice to just let it die away and it will be pulled from the campaign.

As far as the contradiction of parents at the hospital, I am guessing her son grabbed the baby, woke her and maybe other family up, had them stay with the baby while he then followed his wife to the hospital.

Can’t explain the time gap though.  That is just weird and if accurate, would remove my suggestions as that likely imo.  But I am not familiar with how people would react in shock…I don’t understand that part unless there was a misunderstanding about the time.

***AJR.16.17450

I’m not going to belabor the issue. Like I said, I think it’s weird, and I wouldn’t have done that. 

Edited by jkwilliams
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2 minutes ago, bluebell said:

If someone ran out of the theater yelling "Abraham stopped breathing!!" then it would make sense for people who first heard that, telling the story of their first reactions to that event, to tell it from that perspective.

Maybe you and Seeking do it differently, but the dozens of times that we've vacationed with family, we always have our own rooms.  And when my kids were little and woke up in the middle of the night, my parents were only ever aware of what happened during that time if I told them what happened.  They were always completely dependent upon my description of the events.

So if I ever had come running out of my room in the middle of the night with a child that wasn't breathing.  I would be screaming "He's not breathing!!"  And that would be what my parents would know about it.  If my parents ever relayed their experiences in those moments after such an event, it would be completely reasonable for them to talk about the reaction they had when they realized the child wasn't breathing.

Of course "reasonable" doesn't prove anything, but "reasonable" sure leaves a lot of room for not accusing someone of being complicit in killing her grandson or trying to cover it up after the fact.

**Especially when no one was ever charged or arrested for the child's murder in a state that has nothing to gain from covering it up or protecting members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from justice or even bad press.

Like I said, I find the whole thing weird. Not much else to say. 

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

If someone ran out of the theater yelling "Abraham stopped breathing!!" then it would make sense for people who first heard that, telling the story of their first reactions to that event, to tell it from that perspective.

Maybe you and Seeking do it differently, but the dozens of times that we've vacationed with family, we always have our own rooms.  And when my kids were little and woke up in the middle of the night, my parents were only ever aware of what happened during that time if I told them what happened.  They were always completely dependent upon my description of the events.

From her different retellings, she attended the child in the hospital over the couple of days before he passed away. During this time an child abuse investigation was conducted. Are you saying you believe she was unaware of the investigation? You don't think she would have been asked any questions, seen or heard anything? The investigation report was public, an autopsy performed and the daughter in law was arrested. I don't see how she could possible be unaware of what was going on, but I guess its technically possible.

2 hours ago, bluebell said:

So if I ever had come running out of my room in the middle of the night with a child that wasn't breathing.  I would be screaming "He's not breathing!!"  And that would be what my parents would know about it.  And that's what they would find in my arms, a child not breathing.  And when we drove off to the ER, for their perspective it would be a child that had stopped breathing being taken to the ER.

Likewise, if my parents ever relayed their experiences in those moments after such an event, it would be completely reasonable for them to talk about the reaction they had when they realized the child wasn't breathing.

Of course "reasonable" doesn't prove anything, but "reasonable" sure leaves a lot of room for not accusing someone of being complicit in killing her grandson or trying to cover it up after the fact.

**Especially when no one was ever charged or arrested for the child's murder in a state that has nothing to gain from covering it up or protecting members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from justice or even bad press.

As noted above, she was arrested. As to why the prosecutor decided not to pursue the case? Who knows. RFM put in a freedom of information request, so if there material available perhaps it will be made public soon. 

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4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

From her different retellings, she attended the child in the hospital over the couple of days before he passed away. During this time an child abuse investigation was conducted. Are you saying you believe she was unaware of the investigation? You don't think she would have been asked any questions, seen or heard anything? The investigation report was public, an autopsy performed and the daughter in law was arrested. I don't see how she could possible be unaware of what was going on, but I guess it's technically possible. 

In Utah at least, anytime a child ends up in the ER, social services comes in and questions are asked.  It really doesn't matter what it was from. My 15 year old ended up in one from a car accident when a friend was driving, and I still had to go through all the social service stuff until they were sure it wasn't anything negligent on my part.  So sure, she probably was asked questions, but under those circumstances I doubt they produced any real red flags at first.

Though I have no idea how Florida does stuff when this kind of thing happens, it's not crazy to assume that it would be really easy, in the thick of so much emotional trauma, to not really process if a serious investigation was taking place during that time.  Especially because most of the time they don't want you to know that a serious investigation is taking place.  It produces better results when people trust the doctors and police to be on their side.

And, no findings of homicide were found (from what I can tell) until after the autopsy.  Which would have been long after any family members were in the hospital with him.

Quote

As noted above, she was arrested. As to why the prosecutor decided not to pursue the case? Who knows. RFM put in a freedom of information request, so if there material available perhaps it will be made public soon.

I would really love to see that and hope there is more information available because it is incredibly weird to have a finding of homicide and then.....nothing.  I wonder if the little guy somehow got injured on a disney ride or something?

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21 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

From her different retellings, she attended the child in the hospital over the couple of days before he passed away. During this time an child abuse investigation was conducted. Are you saying you believe she was unaware of the investigation? You don't think she would have been asked any questions, seen or heard anything? The investigation report was public, an autopsy performed and the daughter in law was arrested. I don't see how she could possible be unaware of what was going on, but I guess its technically possible.

As noted above, she was arrested. As to why the prosecutor decided not to pursue the case? Who knows. RFM put in a freedom of information request, so if there material available perhaps it will be made public soon. 

This is going to sound super bad, but can the church paid lawyers do a lot in the background for cases like this? I know that Pres Nelson's daughter and husband were accused of child abuse by the victims, but that's all but disappeared. 

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28 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

This is going to sound super bad, but can the church paid lawyers do a lot in the background for cases like this? I know that Pres Nelson's daughter and husband were accused of child abuse by the victims, but that's all but disappeared. 

It's probably naive to think the church doesn't employ "fixers" to clean up messes, but I doubt it extends to relatives of an auxiliary leader. 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

This is going to sound super bad, but can the church paid lawyers do a lot in the background for cases like this? I know that Pres Nelson's daughter and husband were accused of child abuse by the victims, but that's all but disappeared. 

 

47 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

It's probably naive to think the church doesn't employ "fixers" to clean up messes, but I doubt it extends to relatives of an auxiliary leader. 

Was she an auxiliary  leader at the time? I think part of the problem with bringing a case is the burden of proof. Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt it was the wife and not the husband or vice versa?

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9 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

 

Was she an auxiliary  leader at the time? I think part of the problem with bringing a case is the burden of proof. Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt it was the wife and not the husband or vice versa?

Yeah, I would think that would be a difficult case to prove. She acknowledged "gently" shaking the child and putting her hand over his mouth to keep him quiet. I can see how that would go south in a hurry, but it would be difficult to prove in court.

Edited by jkwilliams
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18 hours ago, bluebell said:

 

Though I have no idea how Florida does stuff when this kind of thing happens, it's not crazy to assume that it would be really easy, in the thick of so much emotional trauma, to not really process if a serious investigation was taking place during that time.  Especially because most of the time they don't want you to know that a serious investigation is taking place. 

The mother was arrested before the child died per the report timeline. That’s pretty easy to notice (IMHO). 

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14 hours ago, Buckeye said:

At the risk of getting the thread back on topic, and with apologies if this has already been discussed, is it correct that the new policy applies to all employees, not just LDS? There are Catholic, Protestant, and others non-LDS faculty at BYU.
 

As I understand it, Catholics in particular take the privilege very seriously and don’t recognize “waiver.”  Does the church even bother trying to send an inquiry to the dioceses of catholic faculty asking if the person is worthy? I’d expect a response to “go pound sand”. 

Interesting question -- anyone know how it works with other religions? What is the equivalent of an ecclesiastical endorsement (if I remember that as the correct phrase) for non-LDS, non-Christian, and atheists? I'm not sure what a Catholic being "worthy" would mean to BYU. Regular attendance at mass? It couldn't be anything involving the confessional at all -- there are no exceptions to the seal. Also, on a practical note, any Catholic can confess to any priest. You are not assigned a confessor, and your confessor doesn't have to be your parish priest. You can have many confessors if you want, but it's advantageous to have one, because then you can work together on spiritual progress.

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15 hours ago, Buckeye said:

At the risk of getting the thread back on topic, and with apologies if this has already been discussed, is it correct that the new policy applies to all employees, not just LDS? There are Catholic, Protestant, and others non-LDS faculty at BYU.

As I understand it, Catholics in particular take the privilege very seriously and don’t recognize “waiver.”  Does the church even bother trying to send an inquiry to the dioceses of catholic faculty asking if the person is worthy? I’d expect a response to “go pound sand”. 

This is a very good question.  I suspect BYU will not ask this of any Catholic employees because BYU has no "privity" or particularized relationship with the the Catholic Church.  It does, however, have a relationship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  So it's possible that, proverbially speaking, the Church's right hand (BYU) needs to know what the left hand (Bishops granting or withholding a TR from a BYU employee) is doing.

I am curious as to whether church employees other than at BYU are likewise asked to waive confidentiality with their bishops.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

The mother was arrested before the child died per the report timeline. That’s pretty easy to notice (IMHO). 

True.  

I wonder how long it will take to hear back about the request for more records (or whatever it's called)?

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4 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

 

Was she an auxiliary  leader at the time? I think part of the problem with bringing a case is the burden of proof. Can you prove beyond a reasonable doubt it was the wife and not the husband or vice versa?

Very true!

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6 hours ago, Tacenda said:

This is going to sound super bad, but can the church paid lawyers do a lot in the background for cases like this? I know that Pres Nelson's daughter and husband were accused of child abuse by the victims, but that's all but disappeared. 

It's "all but disappeared because it didn't happen.

A statement from Richard and Brenda Miles in response to allegations in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Utah, where they were anonymously named as “Doe 1 and Doe 2”:

“Allegations from the 1980s that we sexually abused neighborhood children by hosting 'touching' parties and engaging in other bizarre forms of ritualistic abuse are patently false and deeply, utterly offensive. Now that we have been subjected to a lawsuit attempting to dredge up these long-ago debunked accusations, it’s important for us to speak out.
We have never abused these children or anyone else. To do so would be contrary to our beliefs, our principles, our character and the way we have always lived our lives.
Police investigated these allegations against us more than 30 years ago and found no evidence to support them. To protect ourselves from the specter of false allegations, we voluntarily took a polygraph test. The results of the tests, which we took in 1986, support the reality that we did not sexually abuse these children."

The Miles’ attorney, Jim Jardine, released the following statement:

 “These accusations from the 1980s arose from children of a single family whose grandmother was at the time a business colleague and friend of the very controversial therapist, Barbara Snow. Since the 1980s, Snow has been investigated for employing techniques that “plant” false memories of child abuse. Her methods for interviewing patients—especially children—have been widely criticized by state and federal judges, the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, law enforcement, and members of her own family.”
“In recent weeks, we received notice from a plaintiff’s attorney known for frequently suing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that he planned to file a lawsuit on behalf of the children who had accused the Miles in the 1980s and who are now grown."

The Miles further stated: 

“While it pains us to engage in litigation with former neighbors, especially individuals who have so clearly faced significant challenges in life, with the lawsuit they have filed, we are left with no choice but to defend ourselves in the court of law and in the court of public opinion. The allegations against us are false. While we feel deep sadness and concern for these individuals, any abuse they suffered did not involve us.”

Jardine concluded: 

 “We have full confidence that both the legal and journalistic processes will come to the same truth—that the Miles are completely innocent of these allegations. The Miles will vigorously defend against these false claims and will be completely vindicated. To that end, we will be filing today a motion to dismiss this complaint. Child sexual abuse is evil; so is a false accusation of such abuse.”
https://kutv.com/news/local/daughter-of-lds-church-president-at-center-of-decades-old-sex-abuse-cover-up-allegations
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20 hours ago, Buckeye said:

At the risk of getting the thread back on topic, and with apologies if this has already been discussed, is it correct that the new policy applies to all employees, not just LDS? There are Catholic, Protestant, and others non-LDS faculty at BYU.
 

As I understand it, Catholics in particular take the privilege very seriously and don’t recognize “waiver.”  Does the church even bother trying to send an inquiry to the dioceses of catholic faculty asking if the person is worthy? I’d expect a response to “go pound sand”. 

Maybe it is handled the same way it is for students:

Quote
How do I obtain my endorsement if I am not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

If you are not a member of the Church, you have the option of completing your first level endorsement with your own religious leader or with a local bishop or mission president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (to find a local Latter-day Saint leader, enter your address into the meetinghouse locator tool). For your second level endorsement, you will be contacted by the university chaplain via the email provided in your application. 

You can start this process by going to endorse.byu.edu and selecting "STUDENT." You will then select the "APPLICANT" option and follow the instructions given.

https://enrollment.byu.edu/endorsement

I assume if a Catholic wants to work at BYU now, but their own minister won’t provide an endorsement if it requires sharing confidential information, they can make arrangements with local bishops or mission presidents and then whatever bishop covers the area they live in once working at BYU (as most likely they will live in Utah Valley or nearby).

Someone could call the office and try and find out (I am not in the mood to try):

https://hrs.byu.edu/ecclesiastical-clearance-office

Edited by Calm
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59 minutes ago, Calm said:

Maybe it is handled the same way it is for students:

https://enrollment.byu.edu/endorsement

I assume if a Catholic wants to work at BYU now, but their own minister won’t provide an endorsement if it requires sharing confidential information, they can make arrangements with local bishops or mission presidents and then whatever bishop covers the area they live in once working at BYU (as most likely they will live in Utah Valley or nearby).

Someone could call the office and try and find out (I am not in the mood to try):

https://hrs.byu.edu/ecclesiastical-clearance-office

What do you think an LDS bishop might ask a Catholic (or another non LDS) to give them an ecclesiastical endorsement?

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