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Old 03-17-2008, 11:46 PM   #10
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 809
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I absolutely agree that one should not make decisions at a distant remove, not knowing details and circumstances. However, I do want to comment on some of the comments.

Ron writes:
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Apparently, it is very easy for any of us to be seduced by positions of authority (either as perpetrator or victim). Let's keep that in mind should we ever be in authority. These things stink. It's bad for the victim, the perp, and aikido.
Ron, I absolutely disagree with this. It is easy for people to abuse authority when they want to - decide to - abuse authority. But further, such cases are not an "abuse of authority." They are an abuse of a human being. And quite honestly, having been in such positions of authority with vulnerable human beings, I cannot - internally - conceive of such a desire. I can understand it, because part of my profession is assessing such individuals. But it is NOT easy to be seduced if you are a person of integrity. If you are not a person of integrity, well then. And that it's "bad for the perp," I have not the slightest degree of compassion for someone who decides - willfully - to violate anyone else.

Jason writes:
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I certainly wouldn't try to fool myself into thinking that these people are not human or some kind of monsters that slipped in under the radar and lurk in our midst undetected until something of this nature happens. No. They are just people. Just like you and me.
Once again with the caveat that I'm not referring to Clint's situation, because I don't know it - yes, those who molest children are not "monsters." But they are not like me. I do not intend to be petty when I say that whether they are like you is something you would know, not me. But this kind of "we are all alike under the skin" is contradicted by a simple fact. I have never had - and I bet most of those reading this thread have never had - the slightest temptation to violate a minor child sexually. Not only because it is morally wrong - but because those who are sexually drawn to physically and emotionally immature individuals are NOT like you (hopefully) and me (definitely).

Rob writes:
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Even if you manage to teach such things well, how do you go about evaluating damaged psyches?
I'm not quite sure what you intend to mean by this statement. But - if I do understand the intent of your statement, it is dangerously facile, comforting though it may seem, to call molestors, ill or having damaged psyche's. But what does this mean? When one consciously and deliberately chooses to put one's own desires over the well being of a child, be it because one delights in the power or sadistic control, or because one is so selfish that one convinces oneself that the child wants it too - or will, when one is finished with the child - this is not "sick." It is evil. Why is it so difficult to state a simple fact, that the choice to inflict pain and damage is evil?

George writes:
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I don't think that . . . should be lumped in with those folks unless there is a lot more that comes out that would justify it.
Cutting the name to make it a general discussion - yes, some actions and some people are more evil than others. Some are evil to the core. Some willfully embrace and rationalize a hurtful act while choosing to view themselves as somehow not responsible or culpable (Eliot Spitzer?). The problem with this type of statement is that it attempts to comfort or molify. John Lamont was not Ted Bundy. Having listened to a tape recording of Lamont, I agree with that, but he is a scary man (if you fit his victim profile after he went through his "interview") and the fact that he is not like Ted Bundy does not make what he is any less. So a person who seduces and "pets" a thirteen year old after several years of grooming, for example, is not the same as . . .whoever you like. But such a person is doing evil.

George also writes:
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. . . may have gotten unwisely involved in something he shouldn't, it probably reflects a need for some serious help,
This is another truism that people say, but should further think through. "Unwisely?" I unwisely write down a few extra deductions on my income tax. I unwisely call my boss a waterhead when he is standing outside my cubicle. I unwisely eat all the fat around my rib steak and wash it down with seven shots of Gosling's Black Seal Bermuda Black Rum. But one does not unwisely fondle, seduce, groom or otherwise invade the sexuality of a child. Furthermore, it has NEVER been established that treatment for sexual abusers works, so what is "help?" Think of this - the average sexual predator of children successfully preys on several tens of children, even a hundred before being caught. that is a VERY skilled criminal. And what is treatment. Being placed in a group with, say, ten other individuals with similar histories, and treatment consist, in part, of discussing in detail one's acts to ascertain one's "triggers" (this, as if it is the same as an "addiction"). I'm not so good at math, but ten people with an average of, let us say, thirty crimes, comparing them together, is a high powered seminar on how to not get caught next time. So recidivism is lower after treatment? Why is that?
"Help?" No, sequesteration, for as long as is possible. I did not say punishment, because it doesn't help. I simply mean that because we have no means of making things better, keep such individuals far away from our society for as long as is possible.
In sum, I find decent people, particularly in the world of aikido, try so hard to see both or all sides that they can loose sight of the fact that there are moral absolutes.
Best

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 03-17-2008 at 11:49 PM.

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