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From - Wed Apr 23 10:10:10 1997 Received: from ( []) by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with SMTP id LAA08901 for ; Wed, 23 Apr 1997 11:00:00 -0400 (EDT) Message-Id: <> Received: from by with SMTP; Wed, 23 Apr 1997 9:59:36 -0500 (CDT) Comments: Authenticated sender is From: "Steve Finley" To: father09@IDT.NET Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 09:59:41 +0000 Subject: (Fwd) Re: Boston Globe Story - Amirault's (LONG response) Priority: normal X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v2.52) X-UIDL: 345503ee753ba881df5e7f7fd4f3e82b X-Mozilla-Status: 0001 Content-Length: 8777 Forwarded message: From: Self To: WITCHHNT@MITVMA.MIT.EDU Subject: Re: Boston Globe Story - Amirault's (LONG response) Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 09:58:41 >From Mark Hall: > Dr. Judith Herman MUST be challenged on this absurd statement.... > If she expresses such a "learned" opinion and contributes to even > more innocent people being convicted, she is a worse CRIMINAL than > those she falsely accuses.... Her public statement in the face of > ONE THIRD OF DNA TESTS proving innocence amoung such accusations > proves that she is a liar, an idiot, or a criminal, and she should > be treated accordingly. I certainly understand the outrage behind the vehemence in Mark's post, but I'll bet Dr. Herman is neither a liar, nor an idiot, nor a criminal, but rather someone who got into the business out of a genuine and admirable desire to help children, but who has allowed the agenda of extremists to skew her perception to the point where it is completely selective and completely driven by the need to align herself with the highest available statistics for abuse, to confirm nearly all accusations whether there's any evidence, etc. There's definitely an inbreeding effect that happens with people who have no contact other than with those who are in their agenda loop (an effect I've warned against for the folks on this list, BTW). I think of my own estranged wife and how she had virtually NO off-the-job contact with anyone but her family for all the years we were married. In six years of marriage, we had people over to our place twice--that's two times in six YEARS--and I had some really close friends that had been like brothers and sisters for years before this marriage; they'd invite us over multiple times, she'd finally accept, and then when I wanted to reciprocate I'd suggest it several times over a period of months, and every time the response would be, "I had something going with Mother and Daddy this weekend" or "Mother and Daddy were coming over" or "Pam and Paul are coming up from Austin." It was like nobody existed but her folks and her sister. She and her family, the most clannish I've ever been around, are the kind who construct their skewed versions of reality without any apparent ability to figure out how those little stories come off to people on the outside, without any perception of how their "reality" either fits or clashes with what might be called "common reality" (what I'd define as the largely overlapping and similar perceptions of a larger group of people that allow those people to have a common basis for discussion and transaction). In fact, it seems to me that their sense of this "common reality" (whatever that's worth) has declined to the point of near-extinction. That inability of theirs to see things from other people's perspective, to understand how what they're saying compares to reasonable sensibility, has been good for us in the case, because they've done things that are totally outlandish and then acted clueless why anybody would object to them, or why (for instance) a judge or a psychologist would have anything negative to say about them. The point is, I really think their increasing detachment from common ways of thinking and reasoning is a direct result of their clannish little world, a world that leaves them without the benefit of any input or cross-checking or cross-pollenation from anyone else. Sound familiar? I think this same thing happens to a large extent in many social agencies, with self-confirming loops that become almost unbreakable; when anyone threatens them, they're shouted down with cries of "Don't you love the children?" and "Are you in favor of child abuse?" and "You're trying to deny that child abuse exists!" BTW, did anyone else see the irony in what Dr. Herman (and at least one other person in the article) said about how those who disagree with them are doing so out of a desire to ignore reality, deny that child abuse exists, etc.? Aside from the obvious disingenuousness of such nonsense (again, anybody here say child abuse doesn't exist, raise your hand!), it seems to me more that people like Dr. Herman are doing exactly what they accuse us of: minimizing, almost trivializing, the existence of false accusations. I tried to mail Dr. Herman a copy of the response to the article, but couldn't locate her email address on the Web. I found a "Victims of Violence" (or whatever that was) in Canada on a website (at a "Cambridge Hospital," also listed in the article, but one I'd assumed was in the Boston area), but when I tried to send email to the address listed there to ask whether it was the right place, I got a message that said the server didn't have a DNS entry. Anyhow, I thought it was only fair that Dr. Herman know that a discussion about her was going on, first because I know what it's like to find out that people have been discussing you without the benefit of your input, corrections to misquotes, etc. (there's always the principle that the quotes we see in newspaper articles are not unmediated), and therefore that I thought she should have a chance to respond, but also because I'd really like to hear what she has to say and how she defends such statements. For starters, I'd like to know whether the "victims" in the "Victims of Violence" are "victims" because they say they are, or because there's any sort of corroboration that they are. I mean, if you're going to go with somebody's self-claim that s/he's a victim, a practice that comes clearly out of a therapeutic sensibility, you've really created a whole structure for the story by implication, and that's where the escalation starts. That is, if there's a victim, there has to be a perpetrator, and there should be some kind of intervention or even prosecution, and now something that started with a therapeutic-style confirmation for operational purposes has escalated to the point of legal action, prosecution, children being removed, etc., and at ground zero was simply the accusation, sometimes completely unsupported. And the "alleged perp" is put in the position of proving innocence, because accused is as good as guilty when the standard for "truth" (at least operationally defined) is a mere claim. Makes you wonder just how much of this problem of false accusations can be seen as an inappropriate mixture of one kind of world, with its standards and practices and consequences (the therapeutic), with another (the forensic and legal). "Truth" in one world (taking a client at his/her own word for the benefit of the therapy) slides dangerously into the next, where "truth" should mean disconfirmable, tested, proven, but instead becomes a mere story that has had the advantage of a head start on creating a veneer of truthfulness (in the grey transition area between therapeutic and forensic) for the people who will decide the fate of the accused. If you're lucky, as I've been, you get people along the way who are open to disconfirming; if you're not, by the time you know what's going on, everything you're saying and doing is framed as the words and deeds of a guilty person. And it's well-established that virtually anyone's actions, framed a certain way, can be seen as indications of guilt. (Here's the accused murderer at trial, acting agitated: He must be guilty! You can see it in his face! Or, showing no emotion or anxiety: Look at that heartless killer! You can tell he's the kind who would kill without remorse, who'd commit a murder just like this one.) This is why I really believe the heart of the matter, something that MUST change before any real progress is made in increasing the accuracy of investigations, is the abhorrent lack of characteristics that are generally accepted by people in the business as being disconfirming. As it is now, all you hear is "not inconsistent with abuse" or "does not mean that abuse did not happen," which is the kind of language that sends either malicious or merely mistaken accusers on a rampage. To the child protective industry, is there anything--ANYTHING--that means abuse probably or almost certainly did not happen? If not, then the mere fact that one has been shoved into the system, even falsely and unfairly, means that there is no way, ever, to remove the cloud of doubt. And accused equals guilty, or at least maybe guilty, and there's no such thing from that point on as being seen to be innocent--only _maybe_ innocent. Would that be good enough for the people who perpetrate such things? sf  


jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition


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