Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:43 pm

Emmet wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:36 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:47 pm
Emmet wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:57 pm


No; a single allegation does not automatically equal guilt, but when considered in light of all the other allegations lodged against multiple individuals, it argues strongly in favor of recusal. Otherwise it contributes to the appearance that Shambala's insular, in-house approach is somewhat less than legitimate.
In any event, that's a wee bit hyperbolic. I haven't heard of any decapitations.
According to what? You certainly couldn't use this "evidence" in a legal sense, yet somehow this one piece of hearsay argues for recusal because it nebulously connects her to an overall pattern in the organization? Because you say so, or is there another reason? How is that the responsibility of one individual who is being accused of a specific response in a specific conversation, a number of years ago? That is not a "pattern" of anything, that is just you wedding claims made about one individual to the greater organization, in a way that might not be entirely kosher.

It seems a little contradictory to state believing in innocent until proven guilty, and then turn around and say Pema Chodron is guilty enough to be recused, based on this.
A presumption of innocence is entirely logically consistent with the expectation that someone accused of something should not be investigating the violation they're accused of; innocent or not, that's an insurmountable conflict of interest.
Is Pema actually investigating, I mean, is that her stated role? What is her role specifically, in terms of duties, etc?
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:59 pm

PC is a member of the Transition Team. It's not clear from these reports what the function of the TT is other than facilitating the transition of leadership from Sakyong Rinpoche. PC's participation on the TT is questioned to the extent that it is alleged she has on at least one occasion questioned a person who came forward to complain about sexual abuse. This is said to be relevant since the underlying problem is not merely the abuse by Sakyong Rinpoche but rather the overall culture of the organization that enabled his behavior and possibly the behavior of other leaders as well.
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Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:28 am

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:59 pm
...but rather the overall culture of the organization that enabled his behavior and possibly the behavior of other leaders as well.
What about the overall culture of the society that allows organisations like this to from and does nothing to control/investigate them? If there has been rape happening, why is the state not involved in investigating Shambala?
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Anders » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am

It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by smcj » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:06 am

Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
If this thread has its facts right, she is not sitting on her own judgment. She is helping with the transition.

Under ideal circumstances, who would you nominate to manage the transition? How would that process work?
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:32 am

Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
It is not a judging panel. It is not illegal to say: "I don't believe you". Especially to a person who, according to a personal account of a member here, has made false accusations in the past. You cannot be judged for saying "I do not believe you".

Realistically speaking: If what was happening is true (and I am not denying that it is), then the people involved should have gone to the cops, not to a nun.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:44 am

Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
Is Pema Chodron "the accused" in any real sense here? If so, all she can be accused of is once saying "I don't believe you". Anything else connecting her seems to be a very speculative narrative, and one which would never hold up were she actually legally accused of anything, whether the accusations end up holding weight or not. Surely we have to have some kind of standard to hold accusations to. I admit I skipped bits in the documents, is she actually accused of anything but this one conversation?

I get that part of the impetus here might be simply to not see Shambhala torn apart, but if there is going to be an "investigation" that uses random hearsay as some sort of compelling evidence....these documents jump around from reading like a psychotherapy group to a some kind of business process improvement, through actual hard fact and speculation, to advice on Budhist practice. I'm not sure I even understand the mission here, much less the conclusions. It's hard to even know how to contextualize some of the accounts in these, it is hard to read these and not assume that we are expected to simply suspend critical judgment.

Like Queequeg, I have some real issues with the lack of verifiability, or even corroboration behind the claims in these documents, if they are supposed to be presented as some kind of "smoking gun", well, the smoke is so thick from them that it obscures any conclusion whatsoever, I can't imagine a more muddled way of presenting findings on institutional sexual abuse.
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by amanitamusc » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:31 am

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:32 am
Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
It is not a judging panel. It is not illegal to say: "I don't believe you". Especially to a person who, according to a personal account of a member here, has made false accusations in the past. You cannot be judged for saying "I do not believe you".

Realistically speaking: If what was happening is true (and I am not denying that it is), then the people involved should have gone to the cops, not to a nun.
Yes, instead of dragging someone through the mud of social media instead
of taking legal action first.

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Anders » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:06 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:32 am
Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
It is not a judging panel. It is not illegal to say: "I don't believe you". Especially to a person who, according to a personal account of a member here, has made false accusations in the past. You cannot be judged for saying "I do not believe you".

Realistically speaking: If what was happening is true (and I am not denying that it is), then the people involved should have gone to the cops, not to a nun.
It's not illegal but it certainly puts her as part of the problem, whose interests are with the establishment over the victims. Since the truth of the claim is yet to be ascertained but nonetheless weighed enough to be included in the report, it really would be far better for the integrity of the process if she recused herself.

@johnnyDangerous I frankly find it offensive that witness reports of grave personal injury are dismissed as "random hearsay". It seems that there are no thread standards for shaming the victim here.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Anders » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:09 pm

smcj wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:06 am
Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
If this thread has its facts right, she is not sitting on her own judgment. She is helping with the transition.

Under ideal circumstances, who would you nominate to manage the transition? How would that process work?
Independent oversight for one.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:50 pm

Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:06 pm
...whose interests are with the establishment over the victims.
Is that what your crystal ball tells you, or can you directly read her mind?

A respected and long standing western woman monastic (one of VERY few), in a fatally toxic hyper-patriarchal organisation.

I wouldn't want to be in her shoes even for a second.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:04 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:28 am
Queequeg wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:59 pm
...but rather the overall culture of the organization that enabled his behavior and possibly the behavior of other leaders as well.
What about the overall culture of the society that allows organisations like this to from and does nothing to control/investigate them?
What about the overall culture? Culture is a strong influence but its basically passive. #metoo is a movement seeking to change the overall culture in the West in the area of sexual abuse and discrimination, particularly the United States. I am sure what is happening at Shambhala now is influenced by #metoo.

But what I think you mean is society itself, through the function of the state.
If there has been rape happening, why is the state not involved in investigating Shambala?
While the state can be proactive in respects, generally, especially in policing and criminal prosecution, it is reactive.

Have any criminal complaints been made about the activity of Shambhala leaders? As far as I know, no.

That said, this issue is getting quite a lot of publicity and might present an opportunity to an aggressive prosecutor. Without a person complaining of rape, though, a rape investigation will go nowhere. Rather, its more likely that a financial investigation might be done, but these are complicated, resource intensive endeavors, and there would probably need to be some political payoff for the prosecutor. The fact is, outside of Tibetan Buddhist circles, Shambhala means nothing. There's not really a lot recommending investigation and prosecution here unless women come forward and make rape complaints.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:13 pm

Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
In principal I agree.

The problem here is the allegations against Pema Chodron have been made anonymously with no apparent corroboration.

No doubt the allegation against Pema Chodron is troubling. We really need to be careful about drawing conclusions, though. This is a very serious matter. This incident should be investigated further, and if credible, then Pema Chodron probably should probably recuse herself.

The independent investigation that is ongoing should be the one to look into this complaint. If they find that the complaint is credible, that would be damning. There are questions raised in the report about this independent investigation, however, since it reports only to Shambhala's attorney. There are a lot of layers between the investigator and public disclosure of findings.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Anders » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:16 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:50 pm
Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:06 pm
...whose interests are with the establishment over the victims.
Is that what your crystal ball tells you, or can you directly read her mind?


I am doing neither. I am talking about the integrity of the process. Since no one can read her mind, the apparent circumstances matter for this.
A respected and long standing western woman monastic (one of VERY few), in a fatally toxic hyper-patriarchal organisation.

I wouldn't want to be in her shoes even for a second.
Me neither, but I don't see how it affects her position in this case.
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I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:36 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:44 am
Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
Is Pema Chodron "the accused" in any real sense here? If so, all she can be accused of is once saying "I don't believe you". Anything else connecting her seems to be a very speculative narrative, and one which would never hold up were she actually legally accused of anything, whether the accusations end up holding weight or not. Surely we have to have some kind of standard to hold accusations to. I admit I skipped bits in the documents, is she actually accused of anything but this one conversation?

I get that part of the impetus here might be simply to not see Shambhala torn apart, but if there is going to be an "investigation" that uses random hearsay as some sort of compelling evidence....these documents jump around from reading like a psychotherapy group to a some kind of business process improvement, through actual hard fact and speculation, to advice on Budhist practice. I'm not sure I even understand the mission here, much less the conclusions. It's hard to even know how to contextualize some of the accounts in these, it is hard to read these and not assume that we are expected to simply suspend critical judgment.

Like Queequeg, I have some real issues with the lack of verifiability, or even corroboration behind the claims in these documents, if they are supposed to be presented as some kind of "smoking gun", well, the smoke is so thick from them that it obscures any conclusion whatsoever, I can't imagine a more muddled way of presenting findings on institutional sexual abuse.
If Pema Chodron really did treat that complainant that way, that is troubling and in the least she needs to address it forthrightly if she is going to have any credibility going forward. She should have a vested interest in the investigation being complete and open. In passing judgment on her, though, a lot of factors need to be taken into account including the prevailing sexism of the organization and broader culture in which she was abiding. We should not be passing judgment on her based on the one accusation in the report (I also skimmed, but this was the only allegation against her that I noticed). We need more.

In the section where the allegation against PC is presented the report is questioning the Transition Team since many of its members purportedly derive their authority from the leadership structure established by Sakyong Rinpoche. The allegation against PC is raised to suggest that PC is vested in the status quo which she contributed to and enabled the sexual abuse and discrimination. The argument itself needs further discussion.

The nature of this whole Sunshine project needs to be taken into account. I think it is supposed initiate some sort of cathartic healing process, but its straddled into organization politics. In the healing process, these anonymous accounts might be appropriate to stimulate discussion. In the political context, presenting these reports amounts to a hit job.

The reports are sensational. If even just some of the accounts presented are true, it suggests Shambhala is real, possibly fatal mess. If you're personally involved, its going to be rough - this is far from over. Even after the leadership and the culture is addressed, the religious doctrine underlying the organization is going to be in flux for decades to come. Good luck.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:39 pm

Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:16 pm
I am doing neither. I am talking about the integrity of the process. Since no one can read her mind, the apparent circumstances matter for this.
You seemed to be implying that you knew what her interests are.
Me neither, but I don't see how it affects her position in this case.
It doesn't, it affects my understanding of her actions.
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Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:46 pm

Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:06 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:32 am
Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:43 am
It doesn't matter if she is innocent. The accused should never sit on their own judging panel. This is basic stuff.
It is not a judging panel. It is not illegal to say: "I don't believe you". Especially to a person who, according to a personal account of a member here, has made false accusations in the past. You cannot be judged for saying "I do not believe you".

Realistically speaking: If what was happening is true (and I am not denying that it is), then the people involved should have gone to the cops, not to a nun.
It's not illegal but it certainly puts her as part of the problem, whose interests are with the establishment over the victims. Since the truth of the claim is yet to be ascertained but nonetheless weighed enough to be included in the report, it really would be far better for the integrity of the process if she recused herself.

@johnnyDangerous I frankly find it offensive that witness reports of grave personal injury are dismissed as "random hearsay". It seems that there are no thread standards for shaming the victim here.
Legally, I think it would be something akin to hearsay. It wasn't even presented in the section of victim stories, and was somewhat incidental to the section of the report it was presented in. if you want to extrapolate it as something more, and claim I am saying something i'm not, that's your right. Maybe next time you can ask for clarification on what I mean instead of publicly accusing me of not caring about the personal experience of sexual assault/abuse victims, in fact, i'm gonna request that you do just that next time an assumption like that comes up for you.

The "random" and "hearsay" bits have to do with the document, and how that particular personal account is presented within it. I have no way of knowing anything about the veracity of the information within the specific account one way or another, and the document itself does a very poor job of establishing that veracity - that's precisely the problem, not the personal accounts themselves.
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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:13 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:04 pm
What about the overall culture? Culture is a strong influence but its basically passive. #metoo is a movement seeking to change the overall culture in the West in the area of sexual abuse and discrimination, particularly the United States. I am sure what is happening at Shambhala now is influenced by #metoo.
It seems to me that #grabthembythepussy is currently winning the culture war in America.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:19 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:13 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:04 pm
What about the overall culture? Culture is a strong influence but its basically passive. #metoo is a movement seeking to change the overall culture in the West in the area of sexual abuse and discrimination, particularly the United States. I am sure what is happening at Shambhala now is influenced by #metoo.
It seems to me that #grabthembythepussy is currently winning the culture war in America.
No, that is not the case. At this point, there is a 72% chance that Dems win the House, according to 538.
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-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

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Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by PeterC » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:38 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:46 pm
Anders wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:06 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:32 am
It is not a judging panel. It is not illegal to say: "I don't believe you". Especially to a person who, according to a personal account of a member here, has made false accusations in the past. You cannot be judged for saying "I do not believe you".

Realistically speaking: If what was happening is true (and I am not denying that it is), then the people involved should have gone to the cops, not to a nun.
It's not illegal but it certainly puts her as part of the problem, whose interests are with the establishment over the victims. Since the truth of the claim is yet to be ascertained but nonetheless weighed enough to be included in the report, it really would be far better for the integrity of the process if she recused herself.

@johnnyDangerous I frankly find it offensive that witness reports of grave personal injury are dismissed as "random hearsay". It seems that there are no thread standards for shaming the victim here.
Legally, I think it would be something akin to hearsay. It wasn't even presented in the section of victim stories, and was somewhat incidental to the section of the report it was presented in. if you want to extrapolate it as something more, and claim I am saying something i'm not, that's your right. Maybe next time you can ask for clarification on what I mean instead of publicly accusing me of not caring about the personal experience of sexual assault/abuse victims, in fact, i'm gonna request that you do just that next time an assumption like that comes up for you.

The "random" and "hearsay" bits have to do with the document, and how that particular personal account is presented within it. I have no way of knowing anything about the veracity of the information within the specific account one way or another, and the document itself does a very poor job of establishing that veracity - that's precisely the problem, not the personal accounts themselves.

It is not hearsay, as this is not a legal process. There are no rules of evidence. All that’s happening is that two people are collecting information and presenting it to the public. They have been transparent about the source and nature of that information so that the public can make their own determination as to its reliability, which is exactly what we are doing in this discussion.

Clearly people would prefer to know this information about PC and assess it themselves rather than not know it. I don’t think they did the wrong thing by including it in the report.

What the investigators perhaps are doing wrong is not turning the whole thing over to law enforcement. This last report feels like it’s crossed that line.

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