Cbarb - too late. I think I was the one that caused the world shortage of mince pies.
Anyway, being the sort of boring person that doesn’t have a life, (and trying not to eat too much until the effect of the mince pies wears off) I thought I would have a look at the Charities act. (Interesting stuff if you like that sort of thing).
The first thing I noticed was that the key test of a Charity is about the benefit it provides (and any disbenefit). Well, that should be a quick decision then – OSCR only has to look at quotes like that of Golden Girl back in August 2011:
First of all, as a teenager I started to go along to meetings with a few of my friends and very quickly changed from a happy outgoing child who belonged to various groups and organisations, to a teenager who felt worthless and inadequate and never quite good enough.
Not sure I would take too long to decide whether that was a benefit or a disbenefit! As I said at the time:
Finally, Goldengirl, welcome to the forum…
I think the issue about personality changes is very relevant. As I look back, I can think of a number of people who went through a change, always in the same direction - from the energetic to the passive and from the enthusiastic to the depressed.
There are of course many other forum contributions I could quote but almost all say the same thing – Struthers causes pain and hurt and the leadership simply do not care.
The reason I chose the comment above was because it was not just about the trauma caused by being treated badly when leaving however, it also highlights the harm caused just by joining. I wonder if OSCR actually have the power to look into things like this at a suitably detailed level. Could they for example ask members of the congregation whether they have ever been depressed? It would be no good asking members how they felt now, as they would inevitably say they were wonderfully blessed and all was good in this best possible of all worlds, but I suspect that evidence-based questions such as “have you ever been absent form work or on medication for stress or depression” would get a different response.
Not that I am saying there is anything wrong with getting support to deal with stress by the way – I would absolutely support people seeking help and support for anything like that, and would defend their personal validity as individuals and employees. My point is emphatically not that there is anything wrong with any of that, it is simply the question of whether SMC is a cause of stress or depression, which I suspect it is.
It also seems to me that more recent comments confirm there is no real change to the negative impact those in Struthers have members of their congregations, so I reckon the judgment about benefit and disbenefit is very clear.
My main concern now is how long OSCR is taking. I would have thought that this was a 5-minute decision, not a 3-year one, and I really worry about those who remain in the organisation while OSCR is fiddling (or whatever they are doing).
On another matter entirely, I was also interested to read the outcome of the recent report on the Rotherham scandal. Yes, I know the circumstances are different, but I think there are a number of parallels around whole idea of a “culture of denial”.
For example, the report indicates that Rotherham Council, “had a deep-rooted culture of cover-ups and silencing whistleblowers, “was in complete denial" and that the inspection “revealed past and present failures to accept, understand and combat the issue”.
Well, even speaking for myself alone, I think the SMC leadership is in complete denial about their responsibility. As I read other comments on this forum, I have no doubt that they have also been in complete denial with regard to others.
The current lack of any attempt to right the wrongs would suggest they are still in denial at this present time but, like Rotherham, truth will out eventually. Whether it takes one report, two reports or three reports, they cannot get away with it forever.