“Sex abuse is a ‘growth industry.’” –in “The ‘Validators’ and other examiners” in Issues in Child Abuse Allegations in 1991 by Richard A. Gardner—found in Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People by Dr. Tana Dineen. Dineen’s 1996 book is heavy reading but has scads of very interesting, very relevant quotations with details of sources. (A list of the more interesting pages is added below. A pdf of Gardner’s full article is online.)
Gardner has some very vocal critics, and he does say things even I find questionable. However, I imagine his critics can’t even begin to deal with his first irrefutable point: counseling ‘professionals’ who call themselves “validators” of abuse reveal a telling bias and prejudice about themselves. Having skimmed the article and some of his other work myself, I’d bet those critics cannot even begin to respond to some of the other things he says in an effort to improve how evaluations of allegations are conducted. In any other field, his ideas would be openly welcomed as being more scientific and objective. Perhaps using some ideas in Gardner’s work, but not his name, might throw some of the opposing team off their game.
“The question is not the reality of witches but the power of authority to define the nature of the real¸ and the desire on the part of individuals and the state to identify those whose purging will relieve a sense of anxiety and guilt. What lay behind the procedures of the witch trial and political hearing was a familiar American need to assert a recoverable innocence even if the only guarantee of such innocence lay in displacement of guilt onto others.” –from a special edition of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. If you haven’t seen the Winona Ryder and Daniel Day-Lewis movie, watch it! Miller wrote his play during McCarthyism because of parallels with the Salem witch trials centuries before the Red Scare. I’ve also seen an interview of Miller on YouTube in which he notes parallels with the new hysteria, such as the McMartin preschool debacle. That’s not to say he’d defend SOs and I’d hate to see his reputation tarnished by misuse, but (as with Gardner above), we need to keep pointing out the parallels to McCarthyism and Salem.
During and since my probation over 15 years ago, I’ve often thought how fitting it is that Lady Justice sometimes wears a blindfold and cannot see the scales she holds. Recently, as plaintiff in a civil case unrelated to the hysteria, I discovered something that explains a lot about the Law. In the last couple of centuries, The System was overcome by a philosophical change called Legal Positivism, replacing the idea of Natural Law. My research of this is only beginning, but my initial opinion is this movement has been and is the Law’s misguided, laughable attempt to be more scientific and logical and less concerned with morality. I believe I can say that because my career before and after my SO story involved using science and logic in the pursuit of knowledge and truth. (I honestly don’t intend to sound hoity-toity, but I don’t want to be more specific here.)
What the Law misses in its attempts to be scientific and logical is a thorough understanding of the scientific method and how an idea that does not advance knowledge toward the truth is discarded and not kept merely for reasons of politics or profit. In that same vein, the Law completely misses how its own attempts to be ‘dispassionate and amoral’ ultimately cause it to be immoral (as I’ve seen in both my criminal and civil issues). This misguided course/direction is yet further complicated by the Law’s failure to see its own logical fallacies. (More on this below.)
In 1928, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr wrote: “It is a less evil that some criminals should escape than the government play an ignoble role.” It is the likelihood of the government’s ‘ignoble role’ in my family’s future that is on my mind every minute of every day, each day more intensely…
In his 1993 book Not Guilty: The Case in Defense of Men, David Thomas quotes a lady attorney: “I was sexually abused over a period of two years by a male relative adopted into my mother’s family. The sexual abuse has, so far as I’m aware, had little discernible effect upon me. The discovery of the abuse and trauma of the investigation by professionals had profound effect upon me. I’ll never forget the feelings of shame, degradation, and intense physical invasion when examined by a pediatrician. In my view the sexual abuse I suffered was a pretty tepid affair. The sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of a pediatrician will live with me the rest of my life.”
A couple newspaper stories during my probation days have always stuck with me. In one, a 17-year-old high school athlete went to her coach’s house to pick up some stuff for the summer sports day-camp she was helping him with; according to the newspaper story, the girl entered her coach’s house and followed him to a bedroom despite his answering the door in his birthday suit. In another story, a 14-year-old reportedly spent three or four nights in a hotel with a 27-year-old man. I remember my mother commented: “Where was her mother?” while the question in my mind was “Was the girl falsely imprisoned and unable to leave?” Maybe. Maybe not.
My shrink for my five-year probation was a psychology PhD/LPC with 30+ years’ experience and a devout Christian. After hearing me relate the facts over and over, Doc told me: “Dolores’s worldview isn’t skewed because of anything you did; it’s skewed because her mother’s is.” He also told me and my folks that Dolores and her mother, Charlotte, share part of the blame for what happened. He gave me a Level 1 assessment, which he restated in a letter ten years later. (We also often talked about how the assessment scale should be 1-10 to show the greater difference between a man who’d go through a window, kidnap, etc. etc. and a man who reacts to something, and those kinds of things can be listed even though they’re never talked about…)
Most people are familiar with “Seeing is believing.” That’s actually a good way to determine the truth of something. The opposite, however, can be downright sinister: “Believing is seeing.” That is, unquestionably believing there is a boogeyman around every corner is going to make sure the believer does indeed see a boogeyman around every corner. Yet another twist to the original is worth considering: “Not believing is not seeing.” I know all types of people are reading this, but climate change is real; it doesn’t matter if you believe in humanity’s contribution to it or not. The opposing team in our common fight does not seem to believe some things, things which are not kosher to bring up but must be brought up at some point. My hope is doing so might make their house of cards collapse although flat-earthers don’t seem troubled at all by round shadows on the moon or the fact people in Australia stay stuck to the ground for the same reason Americans do.
Yes, terrible things happen sometimes. Megan’s and Polly’s deaths are two of them, so are the deaths of Andrea Yates’s five children. Terrible things without the end result being death also happen. My abusive father died when I was 49 and he was 81. There were no bottles or bruises or any kind of physical violation, but his actions concerning me have had and will have a massive impact on me the rest of my life. In fact, every day I think all day about what he did to me and my family (emotionally/psychologically/financially), that is, when I’m not thinking every day all day about what The System is trying to do to me and my post-probation family!
But personality disorders, such as the one my father had, are not illegal—despite the fact that the impact of abuse caused by them can be more devastating than being fondled or groped a couple times. My shrink never met Dolores or her mother, Charlotte, but after he listened to my description of them both many times, he did note that Charlotte was likely a sociopath. After my research into NPD and concluding it explained everything about my late father, I’m also quite certain Charlotte had not just a mental illness but a personality disorder: Every day, starting at 5:00 PM, as soon as she got home from work, “Get your pills and go to bed!” What pills? A Ritalin (for alleged ADHD) and five Benadryl (Yes, FIVE! And she was an LPN!). My “defense” attorney (see Alan Dershowitz’s book The Best Defense) reminded me many times: “It’s not a crime not to love your own kids.” Nor, it seems, to treat them so badly that it makes them act out in ways to get some kind of attention from someone else.
Yes, I’m using names from ‘the book by Nabokov.’ My story was similar in those two respects: a mother who never should have become one and a daughter who wasn’t all that innocent to begin with. If a girl lap dances and purposely grabs a man’s crotch at 13, what is she going to do at 18? (How many of the Pitchfork Brigade have read Nabokov’s book or seen the movies?)
This is where I have trouble controlling my derision at the idea of Legal Positivism and The Law’s attempts to be scientific and logical. I encourage everyone reading this to find a website with descriptions and examples of logical fallacies. There are several good ones even for those who might have not gone far in their education. Our team needs to be informed about these “rules of the game” of debate. There are many fallacies to learn, and knowing them is the first defense from committing them and having a stronger position from which to make our points. For example, there is the ad hominem or “to/at the man” fallacy which is attacking the person instead of the person’s idea. We cannot fall into this even though I’d personally find it enjoyable to challenge Chris Smith to an IQ test or at least a comparison of college transcripts and personal reading lists and libraries. The Gardner article mentioned above will probably cause the Pitchfork Brigade to wet their britches trying to get out an attack on the man (RIP) even though they have nothing to say about what he said in his interesting article because they haven’t read it.
One fallacy we face regularly comes in two versions: false cause(s) and false effect(s). I accept I suffered a lapse in judgment nineteen years ago, but (as my shrink pointed out to me), I’m not 100% to blame for what happened. There were at least two causes outside of myself for what transpired. Before anyone attacks me for that, consider this: Is it possible that, instead of there being a victim and the perpetrator, sometimes there might be the ‘victim’ and a perpetrator? I’m sidestepping the issue of ‘age of consent’ because it sometimes seems to get in the way of the truth, besides being quite vague and abstract. Every man remembers her name: the girl from his boyhood neighborhood or school; her name was probably repeated often when it was just the boys hanging out together… An objective assessment of the truth of what happened is not possible if both sides don’t consciously try to avoid “Believing is seeing” or “Not believing is not seeing” (as happens with the fossilized idea ‘Don’t blame the victim’ is always right).
It is a false cause to say the only reason all sex offenses happen is because of the SO. If it’s such a big deal that new laws keep getting added all the time, why aren’t there more efforts to find out ALL possible causes and prevent them from happening rather than after-the-fact approaches? It is another potential false cause to claim the trauma seen by investigators is due to the “offender” when there may be another actor in the drama whose not-illegal personality disorder might have caused the trauma seen in the “victim.” As per the lady lawyer quoted above, Dolores’s having to talk about the event with uniformed, suited, or white-coated men she did not know might have been more emotionally (or physically) invasive than what happened originally! The trauma in that scenario would be a false effect of the original event. Maybe the distress the investigators/ ‘validators’ see might be largely because the girl’s own mother tells her every evening to “Get your pills and go to bed!” before dinner every night for years on end? Maybe many cases of a young person ‘seeking attention’ should be a warning sign that something else is going wrong.
Does the stuff sent to Interpol and various immigration bureaus around the world include facts swept under the rug in a quick plea bargain almost twenty years ago? Is any of this information included in the ‘Tweet-sized info’ added to passports or in info on airline check-in computers?
Earlier this year, with a ticket already bought, I was prevented from boarding a plane to leave my adopted overseas home, transit that carrier’s home hub in another country, and continue to the US. At check-in, the delay seemed to drag on; a supervisor was called, and he stood there talking on the phone with someone and looking at the front page of my three-year-old passport. He asked if I were travelling alone. I indicated no one else was with me at the counter. I realized later there must have been question about my being a trafficker! Another overblown hysteria. Eventually, the supervisor said I could get a refund for the ticket and “try some other carrier with a different route” because there were “immigration issues” with his carrier’s hub airport and my merely transiting it for a couple hours. (As I have for many years when I buy tickets, I had requested a wheelchair from one plane to the next because of health issues affecting mobility.)
I still don’t know what came up on the check-in screen and am afraid to try even domestic flights to take my new, post-probation family on a trip flying in the country. Despite our flying a lot before this year, I now have to think of excuses for going by bus or train so my mrs won’t learn of something that happened years before I came to her country to ‘start a new life’ as people used to do when they moved to America. I’m also on pins, needles, razor blade edges, and glass shards about what will happen a few months from now when I have to go to our embassy to get paperwork prior to going to the immigration office for my new home country. When and where will my eleven years of marriage and my family be destroyed? Will it even matter to the uniforms flexing their muscles I am the sole financial support for my wife and our school-aged child? Or that my health issues have become so constant and severe I’m pretty much house-bound except for our weekly trips to the grocery store or an occasional visit to my specialist to get my seven daily medications, which cost ten percent here what they cost in the US?
I hated algebra in high school, but William K. Clifford (of algebra fame) wrote something in his 1877 “The Ethics of Belief” which would serve everyone well to remember in 2018: “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence… If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call into question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it—the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.”
To be continued IF the fan is not hit sooner than expected…