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It's been a long day (I awoke in California after 4 hours sleep,
and am now on the East Coast at bedtime.)
This has kept me from answering this note promptly. Which, in
large part, is good. My initial reaction was to be grumpy,
but given time for reflection, I've grown a little sympathetic
and sad for Stefan, and for how he expresses his s point of view.
On 11/6/2014 2:55 AM, Mark S. Harris wrote:
> No, I’m not castigating the parents for their bad parenting.
You can't get much more wrong than you are.
I suspect that your desire to turn victims into failures,
is in part because you cannot separate your love of the
SCA from the reality of how the world really is, and how
It's good to love the SCA - but not so much that doing so
divorces you from reality. You can love the SCA too much.
So: is a parent whose child is raped by religious clergy,
or a high school coach, or a staff member at a local YMCA
(as happened locally here), or a step-parent, or a
husband, or a wife - are all these parents "bad parents"?
Of course not.
Every parent shares their care-giving responsibilities with
other adults, willingly or not. (I never cared for my ex's
husband, for example.) But my daughter has been in school,
and day care, and religious instruction, and after school
programs, and camps.
No surprise here - every parent does that, and every parent
makes their choices of who to trust.
That did not make these victims bad parents, Stefan.
Thing is, child molesters and rapists don't wear t-shirts
that advertise that they are scum. They don't have a
particular body odor, hair color, or any other special
trigger that says "do not trust me".
In fact, they work hard to blend in, to appear trustworthy,
to gain the trust of parents.
So, there is no bad parenting. These parents did not hire some
wino off the street.
The trust of these parents was betrayed.
And, in relevant part, the trust of these parents was betrayed
in part because the SCA was a significant part of helping
those parents trust this child abuser. That it did not
screen for child abusers, or take normal precautions. That
it gave this man explicit responsibility for children, is
part of its error.
If, as you say, they are bad parents, the SCA is exactly the
same as they are: it is a bad corporation, and it placed
its trust in someone without doing the basic things that
you think the parents did badly.
> I’m castigating them
> for trying to pass their failures off on other people.
Again, fundamentally, you misunderstand.
They didn't fail. They did what every parent does - the
"good parents" that you probably admire, and these parents
who you are making out as failures when they are not.
They were not negligent. They did what parents do.
The SCA, however, did not do what corporations who provide
child-centered programs are supposed to do.
You are absolutely backwards. The parents did things correctly
and in the ordinary way, and the SCA did things incorrectly
and in a negligent way.
> Trying to destroy an organization that has been built up over many
> years by many different people, often vary far from where this one
> incident took place, THAT is what I hold these parents responsible
> for. I thought we were an organization based on PERSONAL HONOR and
> PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
If it is, and I do agree that the SCA is such, then I would look
to you to exercise some Personal Honor and Personal Responsibility.
The SCA failed, and the parents did not.
And, your love of the SCA is blinding you to that astonishingly
I'm very bothered that our leadership not only screwed this one up,
but in fact kept us (the participants) from knowing how many times
in the past it had banished people who were either caught abusing
children at events, or were removed from the SCA when their history
of child abuse came to light.
You are angry with the wrong people.
The people that threaten the SCA's existence, and indirectly
threaten the children of people in the SCA, are the leadership
who, for lack of a kinder phrase, screwed that up so badly.
> That is the big problem. Most of the facts, including those who sued
> the SCA, are censored out. You can only go with the information that
> is available.
Blame the SCA for that. Not the parents.
> When people tried to find out who the parents were, they were told
> this was not available. Perhaps since the case has now been closed,
> more info has been released.
In the ordinary course of things, the identity of the children
is protected. To do that, often the identity of the parents
You can search that information out - it takes only determination.
But it is tacky to find it, and use it.
> If you have that info on who the SCA parents were, please give it.
No, I will not.
Because I care, deeply, for the well-being of those families and
I wish you cared for them at all. It does you no credit to hold
the opinions you have shared, and I hope you discover a way to
change your position.
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