Jerry Sandusky, Msrg. William Lynn and the Horace Mann School, Jury affirms recovered memory, rejects FMS defense, Pinching, purification and finding The Bridge to Total Freedom: Induction at the Scientology HQ

July 9, 2012 Comments Off on Jerry Sandusky, Msrg. William Lynn and the Horace Mann School, Jury affirms recovered memory, rejects FMS defense, Pinching, purification and finding The Bridge to Total Freedom: Induction at the Scientology HQ

“When the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from victims of sexual abuse in 1994, there was one witness who testified in opposition: Pamela Freyd, Executive Director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.  Mrs. Freyd expressed the concern that extending the statute of limitations “may create more tarnished reputations” (Testimony of Pamela Freyd, Senate Judiciary Committee, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; May 24, 1994, p. 5).”

Jerry Sandusky, Msrg. William Lynn and the Horace Mann School

July 7th, 2012

Child sexual abuse has recently been the focus of three high-profile stories. Most prominently, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexually assaulting 10 different boys since 1998. Most dramatically, Msrg. William Lynn became the highest ranking official in the Catholic Church to be convicted of a crime connected to covering-up the sexual abuse of children by priests. Most controversially, the New York Times published a long story about sexual abuse by teachers, none of whom had been charged in court, at the Horace Mann School….

The New York legislature needs to do what the Pennsylvania legislature did years ago: extend the statute of limitations well into adulthood. Had that not occurred in Pennsylvania, the Sandusky case would not have gone forward. Neither would the case against Mrsg. Lynn. The state would have been as powerless to act as prosecutors in New York are now that a former Horace Mann teacher has admitted to sexually abusing students, adding weight to a story that some criticized for focusing only on teachers who are deceased.

We would all do well to remember who lobbied against extending the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania.

When the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from victims of sexual abuse in 1994, there was one witness who testified in opposition: Pamela Freyd, Executive Director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

Mrs. Freyd expressed the concern that extending the statute of limitations “may create more tarnished reputations” (Testimony of Pamela Freyd, Senate Judiciary Committee, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; May 24, 1994, p. 5). She urged the committee to amend the bill to “encourage and emphasize alternative means of resolving these matters other than courts” (Id., p. 7)…. http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/2012/07/07/sandusky-horace-mann-and-msrg-william-lynn/

Jury affirms recovered memory, rejects FMS defense April 19th, 2012

A jury in Stockton, California unanimously found that Rev. Michael Kelly should be held liable for damages related to three counts of child molestation. The plaintiff, a former U.S. Air force major currently on medical leave from his job as a commercial pilot, testified that he was molested by Rev. Kelly in the 1980s and only recently recalled the abuse. The abuse was apparently corroborated by a second victim whose testimony was kept from the jury. The defense relied on Dr. J. Alexander Bodkin, an associate professor of psychology at Harvard, who argued, in a rather circular fashion, that the plaintiff’s recollections must be false because the recovered memory has not been broadly accepted in the field. The jury rejected this defense and the church, which defended Kelly, has since allowed that there were no grounds for appeal. The Church settled the case for $3.75 million. Kelly, as reported in the LA Times, fled the country, while the  investigation of other claims is still pending. http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/2012/04/19/jury-affirms-recovered-memory-rejects-fms-defense/

Pinching, purification and finding The Bridge to Total Freedom: Inside a very sinister induction at the Scientology HQ

Members are checked if they are ‘Clear’ – which costs £82,000 to achieve
Cameras and audio monitor Clearwater site to keep a check on followers
Newcomers must undergo ‘purification of toxins’ which involves sweating out in a sauna

By Kerry Hiatt 7 July 2012

I’d been pinched – hard – in some kind of strange lie-detector test and seen rooms where people went to be ‘purified’.  I’d spent an hour subjected to a gruelling and invasive ‘personality’ test and revealed my deepest inner thoughts as if hypnotised. I’d also been invited to cross the Bridge To Total Freedom – but, in a panic, instead I found myself running away from Scientology as fast as I could – after just a day as a guest of the controversial religion.

I look back on my visit last week to Scientology’s Florida headquarters  to celebrate July 4 as one of the most unsettling experiences of my life, and yet it all started so innocently…

The invitation from the Scientologists had suggested we celebrate Independence Day at ‘the Friendliest Place in the Whole World’. Why should I refuse? The event sounded fun. There would be a barbecue, pool games, live music, a petting zoo and fireworks – just like other celebrations across America.

However, there was a hint that this party would be different. The invitation also said: ‘Get briefed on Scientology’s exponential expansion across the globe, our penetrating 4th Dynamic Dissemination Campaigns and a full view to our future.’

It had been sent to a close relative of mine who had briefly worked for Scientology almost a decade ago, inviting him to the Florida town of Clearwater, Scientology’s spiritual headquarters – where Scientologists own more than 200 shops, restaurants, hotels, banks and small businesses….

Scientology symbols are everywhere in Clearwater; on plaques, in paving stones, and engraved into the architecture. Security cameras are on all Scientology properties and even hidden in the shrubbery. Every move and, no doubt conversation, can be monitored. It feels incredibly sinister.

The town is dominated by the Church’s £57 million Super Power Building which will, eventually, be a centre for learning. Construction paper covers doors and windows so I couldn’t see what was inside and no one could tell me when it would open….http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2170232/Scientology-Pinching-purification-finding-The-Bridge-Total-Freedom-My-sinister-induction-Scientology-HQ–just-days-ago-July-4.html

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Prep-School Predators – The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse Allegations, ‘No Way Out But One’ Domestic Violence

June 10, 2012 Comments Off on Prep-School Predators – The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse Allegations, ‘No Way Out But One’ Domestic Violence

Prep-School Predators – The Horace Mann School’s Secret History of Sexual Abuse
By AMOS KAMIL June 6, 2012

….When the Penn State scandal came out last year, I kept getting tangled in the questions everyone else was getting tangled in: How does an institutional culture arise to condone, or at least ignore, something that, individually, every member knows is wrong? Andrew’s story came back to me in a rush. The questions of Penn State, I realized, are the questions of Horace Mann and perhaps every place that has been haunted by a similar history.

….I spoke with nearly 100 people for this article, including 60 former students and 15 former or current faculty members. Some of them implored me not to pursue the subject, insisting that no good could come of opening old wounds. Others said that Horace Mann today is a very different place than it was back then — eagerly responsive to the concerns of students and parents. Some said they were unaware of these rumors. Some said nothing had happened to them but that they had heard similar stories from classmates. Many said they were surprised it took this long for these stories to come out.

The former students who chose to share their stories with me are all men, but if their classmates are to be believed, the situation was far more complex. People who haven’t set foot in the school in 30 years still rattle off the names of male teachers who were said to be sleeping with their female students. A couple of female faculty members were said to be sleeping with male students. Once I started asking around, these stories continued to bubble up — from friends I thought I knew well and from other schools, public and private, each with their own elaborate histories of which teachers you ought to steer clear of, which students seemed too old for their years. In just the past couple of years, among just the tiny fraternity of elite New York City private schools, two allegations made the news. A male math teacher at Riverdale Country School pleaded not guilty to charges that he had oral sex with a 16-year-old female student. And Poly Prep was named as a defendant in a lawsuit in which 10 former students and two day-campers say the school covered up for a football coach who was molesting boys. In New York City public schools, during the first three months of 2012, reports of sexual misconduct involving school employees were up 35 percent compared with the same period last year.

I have several friends who confided in me, back in high school, about their own sexual encounters with teachers, but who are now unwilling to talk about it. I can’t say I blame them. Victims rarely speak out, said Paul Mones, a lawyer who represents people who have been sexually abused by authority figures. “The whole goal of the grooming process is to wrap the child close,” he told me. “The affection and trust is to make the kid complicit in the act. Make them feel like it was their fault, so it won’t even occur to them to talk.” Even if they do, New York State’s statute of limitations, which says people who were victimized as minors cannot take civil action against an abuser after they turn 23, makes it unlikely that they would find justice.

….Stories like theirs point to why sexual abuse by teachers — or religious leaders or relatives, for that matter — is so especially damaging. As Mones said: “It’s counterintuitive, but sexual abuse emotionally binds the child closer to the person who has harmed him, setting him up for a life plagued by suspicion and confusion, because he will never be sure who he can really trust. And in my experience, this is by far the worst consequence of sexual abuse.” That’s one reason, he said, why those few victims who ever speak out at all tend to do so only after the abuser is dead or dying: telling the truth while the other person is still strong enough to deny it, or to blame the accuser, is just too terrifying.

….I have similarly conflicted feelings about Horace Mann. It was in many ways an amazing place filled with inspiring teachers and smart, funny students, with a sense of enthusiasm and possibility. Despite all I’ve since learned about it, I still look back on my years there with affection and gratitude, as do so many former students, even some who shared their harrowing stories with me. But that gratitude is part of what makes these stories so painful. We were at such a vulnerable moment in our lives — just beginning to make the transition from childhood into early adulthood, struggling to come to terms with the responsibilities of sexuality and trying to decide what we were willing to stand up for. We needed strong and consistent role models. In many cases we got them. But in too many other cases, we got models of how to abuse authority, how to manipulate trust, how to keep silent, how to fix your eyes forward.

Amos Kamil is a screenwriter, playwright and brand strategist. He graduated from Horace Mann in 1982.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/magazine/the-horace-mann-schools-secret-history-of-sexual-abuse.html

Prep-School Predators: Report Alleges Sex Abuse at Elite New York City School
A scathing exposé alleges that decades of sexual abuse by teachers at the elite Horace Mann school went unreported and unpunished.
By Catherine Traywick June 9, 2012

The world of elite New York City private schools was rocked this week by allegations in a special New York Times Magazine report alleging decades of sexual abuse at one of the most well-respected institutions in the country.

For decades, a handful of teachers at the Horace Mann school, an elite prep school in the Bronx, sexually abused both their male and female students with various levels of impunity, according to the exposé by screenwriter Amos Kamil. In the article, Kamil, a Horace Mann alumnus, recalls his friends and classmates privately confiding in him the abuse that they endured at the hands of their teachers….http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/06/09/prep-school-predators-report-alleges-sex-abuse-at-elite-new-york-city-school

‘No Way Out But One’ Wednesday, June 6, 2012

California Judge Michael Nash this year ruled to open child welfare hearings in Los Angeles County unless there’s proof that doing so will harm the child.

Advocates in favor of more transparency in family courts applauded the decision, because they believe the secrecy can lead to decisions that hurt children.

Gail Helms was behind the push for more transparency in California. In 1995, her 2-year-old grandson was beaten to death by his father, who had been awarded custody despite a history of drug abuse.

Around that same time, Holly Collins of Minnesota was on her way to the Netherlands with her children, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Jennifer. They had been placed in their father’s custody, and she says she fled to protect them from abuse and a court system that ignored her pleas for help. http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/06/06/domestic-violence-out

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