In Reply to: Re: To Sam posted by Sam Ajemian on February 01, 2003 at 22:03:10:
First, I want to remind you that I respect and admire what you are doing greatly, and I don't agree with how you have been treated recently. We don't have to talk about that incident and the issue you were asked not to bring up here. I would prefer posting instead of email so I can keep my anonymity, and this discussion probably concerns everyone else too. So I am taking the risk of taking up this discussion, and if the coordinators find it wrong of me, they can delete me.
What I am interested in discussing is your rule about reserving the right to reveal anything and everything that has been shared with you in private. If I understand correctly, you made this rule to simplify it for yourself, so you didn't have to remember what you could tell whom and what not tell whom if, and so on. That's understandable, to a point. You want to be an open book, and have nothing to hide, and speak truthfully at all times. Good idea. You mentioned that you are very concerned with the protection of children against abuse. Admirable.
What I question is the negative application of such a rule where you can divulge any information that has been shared with you. Can you not see any situations where emails should be better left private?
If someone were to confide in you that some abuse was going on, would it not be wiser not to reveal the details to the public, but to alert the authorities? By pre-empting the chance for a proper and quiet surprise investigation by professionals, you can do the victim more harm. You could undermine the legal process, and remove forever the possibility of prosecuting the perpetrator. You might even cause the criminal activity to continue under cover.
Secrecy is a necessary thing. Medical and legal professionals sign oaths not to ever divulge information about their cases. This makes it possible for victims to step forward and get help. It is very bnecessary for victims to have the right to privacy. Victims must feel safe and know whoever they come to for help won't make it worse for them. Sometimes the worst thing to do is to come in with your sirens blazing.
Apart from that, are you not also preventing yourself from receiving useful information?
What if a "deep throat" insider source had some really important information for you to act on quietly, but if you made any of it public it would alert the Family and make it pointless for you to have that info in the first place? Or what if it might endanger the informant?
That is what I mean by rules having a soul. What were they designed for in the first place? TO protect children? To help voctims of abuse? Or was it simply so you could have it easier for yourself and not struggle with bad memory? To do the great job you are doing, my opinion is that you should re-think this policy of yours, and find a way to remember the what-you-can-tell-whom business. It goes with the territory.