Why I Chickened Out
A few months ago, in a post titled What Can Be Done? I wrote about a certain Terrible Situation which has been going on for many years at a certain institution - a form of severe emotional abuse and long-term life harm. In a follow-up post, titled, What I'm Going To Do, I wrote that I was leaning towards writing a series of posts about the situation to raise awareness. But, aside from a single vague post about the definition of a cult, I never did.
In light of the fact that I've since written several posts about the problem of abuse, a number of people have challenged me, very reasonably, as to why I am not exposing the case that I know about. And so I would like to explain why.
Basically, I did a cost-benefit analysis. I looked at the likelihood of my posts actually preventing anyone from being harmed, and it appeared slim. The people who attend this institution or who send their children to it are unlikely to find out about my posts, or to be swayed by them even if they were to read them.
Meanwhile, I am not as invulnerable to people who want to harm me as I thought I was. I run an institution, and it's not too difficult to make headaches for it. Even though my museum is not remotely controversial or problematic in any way, and I'm just one of over a dozen people on staff, there might be people who are sufficiently crazed and crazy that they would seek to harm me by harming the museum. And even the personal campaigns against me, while they don't bother me at all, are upsetting for certain members of my family.
And so that's why I decided not to write anything about it. You can call it "chickening out" if you want. I am rationalizing it to myself by arguing that I've taken up many causes, often suffering a result, and I don't need to take up every one.
But if you feel that such causes should be taken up, there are those who do so, and who would be able to be even more successful if they had funding. I am speaking about Magen, a woefully underfunded but critically important organization at the forefront of tackling abuse in the Orthodox community. They just launched a fundraising campaign, and I urge people to support it at this link.
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