Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard"

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university
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by university » 01 Feb 2016, 16:20

Well, I think found what I suspect spurred this essay:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mr-wonder-a ... r-decades/

Overview:
In 1979, the man known to north Louisiana television viewers as "Mr. Wonder" vanished amid allegations that the children's show host sexually abused several kids during a camping retreat.

Now authorities say they have arrested him, living under another name in California, and officials and neighbors fear he could have preyed on other children during his 37 years on the run.
Neighbors in a well-to-do section of a San Diego suburb knew him as Frank Szeles, a friendly Cub Scouts leader who frequently gave swimming lessons to young children in his backyard pool.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints banned Szeles, a member of a San Diego congregation, from contact with children years before his arrest this week. He was "removed from all positions related to children" after failing to comply with the church's child protection policies, Eric Hawkins, a church spokesman, said in an email Thursday.

After his removal, a parent expressed "a generalized concern" about the suspect's behavior toward a child and the church urged the parent to report it to authorities, said Hawkins. He said he didn't know if the parent reported it.
The church spokesman said Szeles belongs to a group of Mormon congregations in the San Diego area called the Sweetwater Stake. But Hawkins didn't indicate which positions Szeles held and said he couldn't elaborate on the nature of the alleged incidents.

However, Hawkins said the church did not report the matter itself because "what we were told was not criminal in nature." Asked to comment, the suspect's attorney, Marc Carlos, said, "Clearly whatever these allegations were, they were not serious enough to refer to the police, which is what they should have done if they were serious."
The Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday that the suspect was Cubmaster of Pack 888 in Bonita, near San Diego, but he was "removed from Scouting several years ago for non-compliance with our youth protection policies and procedures." Without elaborating, it said his removal followed a complaint from a parent who was not involved in the group and was unrelated to scouting.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Feb 2016, 17:47

Makes total sense University, you are probably correct.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Joni
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by Joni » 02 Feb 2016, 06:42

Two more thoughts and then I will shut up, I swear.

1) The Newsroom is indulging in a bit of circular logic here. "The LDS Church is better than other churches than preventing abuse." Well, without revealing any numbers, how can we know that? (Anyone with a calculator can adjust for membership figures and see if we are better or worse, per capita, than other churches.) We know that the number of abuse cases is greater than zero, because the newsroom says that abuse is "rare," not "impossible." Well, what about those actual cases of abuse that the Church admits happened? Those accusations are "spurious allegations" and "overreaching demands," ie. lies. But without hearing the victims' side of the story, how do we KNOW they are lies? Well, they MUST be lies because the LDS Church is better at preventing abuse than any other church.

2) Humblebragging about how much money it's costing to replace the doors in all the LDS meetinghouses... that's just tacky. When we are constantly inviting the world to our temple open houses so that they can see we have spared no expense in these buildings, we are clearly not hurting for construction funds. And you have to wonder... Why didn't God simply reveal to the architectural committee who designed these meetinghouses that the Primary room doors would need windows? After all, He managed to tell the designers of the SLC temple where the elevator shafts should go.

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DarkJedi
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Feb 2016, 08:02

Joni I did have the thought that this was another "we're better than all the rest" piece. I tire of hearing that.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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nibbler
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by nibbler » 02 Feb 2016, 10:57

The Church has long had a highly effective approach for preventing and responding to abuse. In fact, no religious organization has done more. Although no one system is perfect and no single program will work with every organization, the Church’s approach is the gold standard.
No one likes a braggart. I also feel for abuse victims. This sort of press release makes them feel like victims all over again.
The church spokesman said Szeles belongs to a group of Mormon congregations in the San Diego area called the Sweetwater Stake. But Hawkins didn't indicate which positions Szeles held and said he couldn't elaborate on the nature of the alleged incidents.

However, Hawkins said the church did not report the matter itself because "what we were told was not criminal in nature." Asked to comment, the suspect's attorney, Marc Carlos, said, "Clearly whatever these allegations were, they were not serious enough to refer to the police, which is what they should have done if they were serious."
Nope, that's not how the "gold standard" works. You report it to the police and let them decide whether the allegations are serious, especially if the alleged incidents have occurred multiple times.
Joni wrote:If I thought a Church member was harming my child, why wouldn't I go to the police and seek out a professionally trained counselor? I'm sure I'd tell the bishop eventually, but I guess I don't see why I would need to go to him as a first line of defense.
This. I'm reminded of some of the talking points surrounding the Jerry Sandusky trial. Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky doing something. His initial reaction was to call his father. His father sought the advice of Dr. Jonathan Dranov and they decided that no clear crime had been witnessed but they took the matter to Joe Paterno, a football coach. After that the reporting went further and further up the university's hierarchy of authority.

The further up the hierarchy the information goes the easier it becomes for someone to say something like "it's not serious enough to refer to the police" because they are several layers removed from the firsthand account. Hearing these sorts of allegations can be a shock to people's senses. I think it's human nature to default to a position of not wanting to believe something horrible so we find ways to tell ourselves that a matter isn't as serious as it really is. That likely contributes to people not going directly to the police.

I'm sure wanting to be cautious before leveling serious allegations also factors in.

It's interesting how in the Sandusky case McQueary went to an authority figure, not the correct one but an authority figure nonetheless. He may have felt as though he did his duty in reporting to someone in a position of authority over him (his dad, his coach, and other university officials). I don't think he was trying to save Penn State's football program, I think he made a mistake on which authority to report to. I feel it might be the same way for people in church. People know that something needs to be reported to an authority but in many cases people make the mistake of reporting to the wrong authority. Church leaders have no authority when it comes to enforcing law, if a law is broken take it to someone that has the authority to enforce the law.
It is the end of the world. Surely you could be allowed a few carnal thoughts.
― Connie Willis

Roy
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by Roy » 02 Feb 2016, 11:29

This press release was originally from 2010.

The following now appears with the press release:
(The following article was published in 2010. Some bloggers have written that the Church “re-released” this article on February 1, 2016. The article was not intended to be re-released. Because of a technical error on the website, some past articles have been showing up with the current date. Because of that issue, some understandably saw this as a current release from the Church.)
I see two possible scenarios.

1) Someone in the Newsroom dug up this old release and decided to re-post it in light of recent events. This probably seemed like a safe thing to do. It says nothing new. Everything in it had already been out there for 5 years. And it couldn't hurt to highlight the churches successes at combating child abuse - right? Then the bloggernacle lights up in indignation and the newsrooms repositions this re-post of the old release as a technical error.

2) There actually was a technical error and the timing was purely coincidental.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

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Joni
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by Joni » 02 Feb 2016, 11:46

Our building just got the new, windowed doors in 2015. Did they actually start working on this project in 2010? Because that's a specific thing mentioned in the 2010 press release. Was the expense of replacing doors in church buildings so great that it had to be spread out over a span of 5 years? That seems unlikely, considering that church buildings and temples continued to be built between 2010-2015.

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nibbler
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by nibbler » 02 Feb 2016, 11:56

Joni wrote:Our building just got the new, windowed doors in 2015. Did they actually start working on this project in 2010?
Maybe. They modded the doors in our meetinghouse a long, long time ago. I didn't write down any entries in my journal that decade so I couldn't tell you exactly when they went in other than "it's been forever."

Also, the windows are up too high for the more vertically challenged in our ward.
It is the end of the world. Surely you could be allowed a few carnal thoughts.
― Connie Willis

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DarkJedi
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Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Feb 2016, 12:14

Our building was built with windowed doors in the early 90s. Maybe we were ahead of the curve? I agree that the are on the high side for the "vertically challenged." I look in every week to be sure my son went to class. (If he's not there I can usually find him on the stage or in the kitchen, neither of which have windowed doors.)
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Joni
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013, 08:36

Re: Church on Abuse: "Church’s approach is the gold standard

Post by Joni » 02 Feb 2016, 12:42

And of course, the bishop's office, where worthiness interviews take place, has a thick soundproof non-windowed door.

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