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Re: Exposing TF...the last of what I want say on this topic

Posted by Sam Ajemian on August 22, 2003 at 21:13:56

In Reply to: Re: Exposing TF...the last of what I want say on this topic posted by anovagrrl on August 22, 2003 at 08:25:42:

Anovagrrl: You have anecdotal evidence from one member who says things weren’t that bad for him/her. There are lots of 2nd gen who claim something similar: I wasn’t abused.
Sam. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that kids detained in Argentina are saying that they were not abuse while detained. If that is what you are saying, this is very interesting. Now it is not just one ex-member but more young ex-members who are saying they were not abused!


That doesn’t change the fact that many 2nd gen were horribly abused.
Sam: Would you care to elaborate? Who are these many kids that were abused and how were they abuses?

From what I’ve read (exfamily sources), several kids experienced really invasive medical examinations and interrogations during the South American busts. To me, “collateral damage” like this is not acceptable.
Sam: I know of one girl, Pasquala(?). Who else suffered "invasive medical examinations and interrogations"?

I have to say that invasive medical examination and interogation is a gray area,and the Family thrives on gray situations.
Anovagrrl: Police don’t start criminal litigation. They start criminal investigations. If the district attorney feels the case warrants prosecution, it goes before a grand jury for a decision on whether to bring it to trial. You have to have a hell of a lot of evidence to get a criminal prosecution on child sex abuse. Only the worst of the worst cases actually go to court. Trust me on this. Workers in the child welfare system watch perpetrators evade prosecution ALL THE TIME because investigators can’t produce enough evidence to convince a grand jury to uphold the charge.
Sam: For someone that wants to report cases of child abuse in the hope of starting an investigatins that would lead to a criminal case (not civil) is it better to go to the police or to the district attorney's office?
Anovagrrl: Sam, until Faithy’s victims or parents of Faithy’s victims or people who observed Faithy abuse a child are willing to talk for the record in the media, you have no evidence to support allegations of abuse. Anyone can make this allegation — making a credible case for it is another thing altogether. I think it is irresponsible to repeat unattributed hearsay like, “Someone” told me that he saw Faithy do such-and-such with a 16-year-old boy. First of all, who IS this “someone”? How do we know he isn’t a pathological liar? If he saw it, why isn’t he speaking out and putting his name and reputation on the line? Who is the kid involved? What does HE say happened?
Sam: We are not talking about just Faithy but many many cases. But let's talk about Faithy. She was travelling with Montgomery and they had this big youth meeting called Mexico TTC. My informant Aaron was less than 16. The rules had just changed and they were not allowing
12 year olds and up to have sex with older uncles and aunties. NOw you had to be 16.Faithy was having sex with a number of young poeple 16 and 17. Aaron asked Damaris? why he couldn't have sex with Faithy also. Damaris? said it was only for 16 and 17 year olds and it was a special gift from Berg to them. One or more of those 16 or 17 year olds told Aaron that they had sex with Faithy and gave details of what they did, oral sex etc. Aaron was going to go public with these things but his family asked him not to.
Anovagrrl: What Mene describes is abuse legally, morally, socially, and clinically.

A better example is the case of “Davidito.” There is no doubt in my mind that he was sexually abused. However, “Ricky” has never come out publically (as Mene did) and labeled what occurred during his childhood as abuse. Although the law and society might define what happened to him as abuse, it would be impossible to make a case for damages in a civil court case if he insists no damage was done. If he refuses to cooperate with a criminal investigation because he believes no damage was done, it would be very difficult (although not impossible) to prosecute as a criminal case.

There is, after all, photographic evidence. But can you find a prosecutor willing to take up the case? From a practical standpoint, the district attorney will ask whether the taxpayers are served by attempting to prosecute a case that did not occur in his/her jurisdiction. The prosecutor will want to know that the woman (nanny) who perpetrated on Ricky actually lives in his jurisdiction. Has the statute of limitations in that jurisdiction run out on an activity that occurred somewhere in Europe (or gawd knows where) over 20 years ago? Where is the corroborating evidence that the child in the photos is the same person as the adult identified as "Ricky"? If he does not cooperate, you are hard-pressed to make a case.

There are legal definitions of abuse, which are quite rigorous and demand burden of proof, and clinical (psychosocial) definitions, which are broad and encompassing. My perspective is that of a clinician, not a prosecutor or child protective services worker. Objectively and clinically, I may view something a client describes to me as an abusive act. However, if the client doesn’t perceive what happened as abuse, I can suggest the possibility what occurred was abuse, but I can’t insist that the client see things my way. The clinical rationale for this “neutral” position is sound: Abuse victims have had all sorts of horrible things forced on them by people in positions of authority. It’s my job empower the victim’s autonomy, his or her capacity for self-determination, because it is one’s sense of self that is shattered by the sexual perpetrator. The victim has to have control over his or her definition and appraisal of what happened.

AND the client must decide for him/hersef what s/he wants to do about seeking justice if s/he’s define events as abuse. Many, many, many abuse survivors (such as Mene) forgo criminal and civil prosecution because they know they will loose control over what happens to their lives if they step forward. Abuse victims carry a fierce burden of shame, and they often prefer to put the past behind them and move on. Their wishes MUST be respected if they make the choice to avoid public exposure. Loss of control over what happens to them is a HUGE issue for survivors. That’s why I caution you to NOT behave like a bull in a china shop by doing what you believe is best regardless of who gets hurt. Are you prepared to take responsibility for re-traumatizing deeply wounded and emotionally fragile people?
Sam: I don't think Mene wants to do anything,and I wouldn't of course try to persuade her to do so. There are others who have contacted me wanting to do something. We are talking about young people who want to take action.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Anovagrrl: How do you propose to control the “excesses”?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxSam: By doint whatever little I can in that direction. There are some crazy things like what happened in Waco. That stopped me from contacting the FBI ever since. But we can't go on for ever saying we don't want to do anything because we don't want to have another Waco. But we should do all we can to avoid such horrors.
Sam. When you have hundreds or possibly thousands of children and teens molested, legalese, tecknicalities, and all that mambo jumbo sounds so ridiculous. But it's not all automatic. Justice does not come by pushing a botton. But I know one thing. The thousands of children abused
in the group can get justice if they have the moral will to make it all happen. Sam Ajemian