"This is all just nonsense". Okay, that's a pretty clear view. No need to worry about putting together a reasonable response then! ;
Well, I am happy to admit I can might carried away, and phrases like the above are conveying some of the frustration I feel rather than a logical argument. Fair point, and I apologise.
I am not sure that negates the need for a response however – just because someone conveys emotion or uses the wrong words does not mean what they are saying is wrong. The fact that I express myself badly or inappropriately doesn’t take away form the fact that you seem to have a whole list of reasons from NOT examining things in SMC. Similarly, even if the issues about the accounts are raised due to a grudge, so what – are they real issues or not?
You have in fact just added to my list, as there is now the additional point that, if people convey too much emotion, are judged to have a grudge, or are dismissive of criticism, then that is yet another reason NOT to examine the underlying issues.
"That seems to me to be the thrust of your arguments – always find a reason to avoid actually examining the issue." If you do have a point (re. the whole purpose of this forum) it at least benefits from proper scrutiny, right?
I absolutely believe in the need for scrutiny of this forum as well as of SMC and any other organisation, and am personally very happy to take criticism (hopefully constructive although, as I illustrated above with my own comments, it is not always easy to remain detached in the course of a discussion).
It becomes a bit surreal when you are scrutinizing the people raising “grievances” without actually examining the underlying issues however – that has probably been the single most powerful way of suppressing truth throughout history - or at least the most recent centuries when the pen has been mightier than the sword. Is that not exactly what happened in the Roman Catholic church only a few decades ago when they tried to suppress knowledge of child abuse? In fact, is it not almost a hallmark of abuse that the victim is made to think it is their fault and that they are bad for reporting things, and that they can’t possibly be true because the people concerned are in a position of authority and are above suspicion?
If you read books like’ “the subtle power of spiritual abuse” you will find that propensity to focus the scrutiny on the victim rather than the (alleged) perpetrator is the main reason abuse can flourish, and this is true of almost all forms of abuse. That doesn't prove abuse is happening of course, but it does mean that, if abuse does happen, there is less chance it will be identified and corrected.
So, I am sorry, but I do get hot under the collar when I see that people who have been through serious trauma are then having their testimony questioned without them being granted the opportunity for their case to be heard.
What you seemed to want from the outset is for me to accept your version in its entirety.
No, absolutely not. Claims should be scrutinised.
They should not be dismissed out of hand however. I would not expect you or any others to accept claims listed here without hearing any counter-claims or evidence to the contrary. I do not see that evidence however, I do not even see any acknowledgement that there is a need to bring evidence or counter-claim. Instead, I see a view that there is no need to examine the issues or bring any counter-evidence as they are so obviously unreasonable. Deciding in advance that issues must be too trivial, too unbelievable, too un-provable, too wild or are accusing people who are too respectable is not the answer as far as I am concerned.
as Clive says:
Finally I actually went through this entire forum thread some months ago and tried to collate the "Essence" of testimonies - in particular those ones from people who grew up in this church, while cutting out the chatter and fluff. ;
And I have to tell you Kelvin, that once one does that - a very consistent pattern starts to emerge. ;
Does that not warrant examination? I am not asking you to accept anyone’s version in its entirety, but I am asking you whether you think the issues, helpfully listed by Chesterk55, are worthy of investigation or can all just be dismissed without checking.My view is that the list of issues raised by Chersterk55, the “very consistent pattern” identified by Clive and your agreement that there is an issue re the airing of grievances would suggest to me the need to focus our energies on the (alleged) perpetrators rather then the victims of abuse.
If there are people in SMC worthy of respect, I suggest they too read ALL of what is written here and on the Latigo site. The Bible says that accusations against elders that are brought by two or three witnesses should be heard. Well, there are accusations here brought by 30 or 40 witnesses, but no-one is prepared to hear them. We all know what happened in the Roman Catholic church re abuse, and all of the issues related to Jimmy Saville and others are in the press at the moment. He was a respected person who did a lot of charity work, but it now seems he abused that position - and others who should have known better turned a blind eye, perhaps thinking there was nothing they could do or using the old chestnut that it was for “the greater good”.
Well, if there are respectable people in SMC, and they chose to turn a blind eye, I suspect they will largely be judged as being equally guilty. This is their chance to say, “These are serious allegations of abuse. They must be investigated and (without prejudice to the outcome of these investigations) we must develop public policies to ensure that nothing like this can happen in our organisation in future
.” That to me is the fundamental choice people in SMC have - pretend it can all be dismissed without examination, or wake up and start to look at whether things do have a basis in fact and might need examination. The Chesterk55 list (including the financial questions) would be a good place to start.