Saturday, October 23, 2021

What I'm Going To Do

In the previous post, I asked for advice on what to do regarding a certain Terrible Situation; not sexual abuse, but a different situation that results in many damaged victims. I would like to thank everyone for their suggestions, and I am contact with several people as a result.

A number of people asked if I, or someone else, could speak to the perpetrator, and convince him to stop what he is doing. Alas, this is completely impossible. It would be like suggesting that someone should convince Donald Trump that he's a narcissist, or that he lost the election. His personality makes this utterly impossible.

Others asked if there was some person or some sort of body that could stop him. Alas, there isn't (and that's part of the problem). His enablers answer to him, and he answers to nobody.

Accordingly, others pointed out that unfortunately the only thing to do is to help the victims, and to try to prevent there being even more victims.

It was also stated to me that the fact that the perpetrator didn't harm me personally, and even helped me in some ways, is no reason for me not to prevent other people being harmed. For the record, I have always intellectually acknowledged that; all I meant is that it is emotionally difficult for me to do so.

How does one prevent other people from being harmed? The only way of doing this is to create awareness of the danger. And it seems that the only way of doing that is to publicize the danger online. Ideally, this would be done by the victims, but since none of them are currently interested in doing so, it falls upon me. And so that's what I'm leaning towards doing (though I'm still open to being convinced otherwise!). Perhaps if I get the ball rolling, others will be stimulated to speak up and take action.

What about danger of the perpetrator and his enablers trying to get back at me? I've been giving it thought and I don't think that there's anything that they can actually do. They're not the type to try to physically harm me or my family. Intimidation and harassment? Been there, done that; it's so 2005. I've had plenty of harassment, some of which necessitated having to go the police, and while it's upsetting, I'm ready to have to go through it again. Besides, if there's one thing that these people are not, it's stupid. They know how to strategically further their cause, and how to avoid harming it, and the last thing that they want to do is anything that will inflame public interest. They are going to want to keep as low profile as possible and wait for me to move on to the next topic.

However, I will not be naming any people or institutions (and I will delete any comments that do so). This is for several reasons. One of them is that this leaves me with some cards up my sleeve. Since I'm not naming anyone, if the guilty party does do anything, it will immediately identify them as being the party that I am referring to. And keeping this in reserve provides an additional incentive for the perpetrator and his enablers to avoid doing anything that will provoke me against them. 

But there's also another reason. At first glance, it would seem that failing to name and shame the perpetrator misses the whole point. How are people supposed to avoid being harmed if they don't even know who to avoid? Yet in fact, it turns out that just the opposite is the case. After my post on Friday, a number of people contacted me privately to say that they guessed who I was referring to. While some of them were correct, others were not. From those who guessed incorrectly, I learned that the Terrible Situation which I described is not unique. There are other similar Terrible Situations, albeit perhaps less intense. 

And so, if warning of the problem without giving identifying details causes people to be more concerned and suspicious in general, that's a good thing. Halevay that it should stimulate the creation of an organization to be on the lookout and create a warning mechanism for such dangerous situations.

Meanwhile, it would be a good idea if someone with technological know-how would volunteer their services to create a website in which victims of this and other problems could anonymously report their situations. True, it creates the risk of false allegations. However, it seems to me that the number of real crimes that go unreported vastly exceeds the number of people who are likely to be falsely accused. And if the website is run and monitored by a responsible person, it should be fairly easy to only promote stories in which the complaints are credible, such as if they are numerous. As Rabbi Alfred Cohen writes, in “Judging Transgression in the Absence of Witnesses" (Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society LX): "When the community is in danger, the rights of the individual to be considered innocent until proven guilty have to defer to the overarching necessity of safeguarding the community.”


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13 comments:

  1. Why bother? If your not going to name the person, who cares? They'll just find another sneaky way to get by. If you really wanted it to stop, go to the authorities or post it publicly here. Otherwise, you giving them permission to act since there are no consequences. We have a right to know who it is so we can avoid them and people like them. Otherwise, this is jut a waste of time!

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  2. Something tells me you like this person and dont want them to get into too much trouble. But again this conflicts with your morality. How can we be moral when we allow evil to thrive? Being complacent is not the solution. Unless you feel the victims are not really being hurt? Sure, he may have helped you. You can thank him for it later. For now, either bring him to justice or at least make it stop.

    “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” ― Albert Einstein

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  3. In the previous post, you wrote that the type of journalists that typically do this kind of investinagtion are in the US but this situation is in Israel. Is this the kind of thing that HaAretz would be interestd in exposing? Perhaps you should contact them and see if they are interested.

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  4. You mentioned the need for an “ an organization to be on the lookout and create a warning mechanism for such dangerous situations,”. It brought to mind Takana, the group of “Torah scholars, educators, law professionals, and therapists” who publicly exposed the abuses of Motti Elon when other alternatives were deemed ineffective. Perhaps it would be worth approaching members of this body, seeing that they’ve had the courage and responsibility to fight abuses in the past, albeit of a different kind? It would also be a good idea to get legal guidance, before opening yourself up to potential libel charges.

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  5. You have a chiyuv midoiraise of לא תעמוד על דם רעיך to warn ppl. I dont really understand why you are "unsure" other than personal feelings towards him (see חפץ חיים רכילות כּלל ט בּאר מים חיים אות א).

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    1. I think his question is what is the most effective way to fulfill that deoraysa. Just because you have a mitzvah does not mean you cannot use your seichel to come up with the best way to achieve the result.

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  6. Needs to be another Failed Messiah.

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  7. You may want to read two books by Martha Stout
    The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us
    Outsmarting the Sociopath Next Door: How to Protect Yourself Against a Ruthless Manipulator

    Not knowing the details I can't say it fits, but it does sound like it does.

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  8. What would Moses do

    Also, remember Spider Man looked the other way during a robbery and then Spidey’s loved one became the next victim

    Also, you wrote it’s been bothering you for twenty years, do you want it to be forty years

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  9. Reading these two posts carefully, I believe you're on the right track in not naming names but instead alerting communities to dangers and how to avoid them. It might take longer, but scandals fade from the public consciousness after a pretty short while; teaching people over time how to avoid being financially or emotionally manipulated has led many to be more careful about things, from not giving personal information to strangers posing as legit companies on the phone, to never allowing a kidnapper to take you to a second location, or how to know you're dealing with a psychopath. It's all out there now, if people want to look it up. This can be quite the same, but with reaching toward more awareness in specific communities in the beginning. Don't start with accusation, start with "How to tell you're dealing with______" or "Protect yourself, learn how to not let _____ happen to you as it's happened in the last (period of time) in our community."

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  10. What is going on with? You seemed to be going somewhere with the cult post, but nothing after that. Is it connected to the Yanky post? hard to believe it has to do with him

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    1. That's pretty honest of you. I don't judge you since I have to imagine I would most probably do the same if I were in your position. I'm just surprised that it's so hard to bring something like this to light, even without specifically mentioning the person. It's really sad to know that it's so difficult to protect people

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