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Old 03-19-2008, 09:09 AM   #76
Fred Little
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Re: Forgiveness

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
This makes good sense.

I think the problem is that "evil" doesn't have a productive meaning anymore because it is enmeshed in that moral relativism/absolutism business.

It's personal. Getting mad at evilness has no meaning. You get mad at the person who made a choice to hurt/violate you regardless of the reason.

And still I'm left wondering when compassion plays its role and to what extent? After or along with the surprised and unforced forgiveness?

Rob
Rob,

I don't have an answer, but I think that our collective understanding of compassion has suffered from a incomplete transmission (or perhaps incomplete adoption) of the Buddhist understanding of compassion. This isn't to say that Buddhism has any lock on compassion, just that the way we talk about compassion has been strongly influenced by the globalization of Buddhism since WW II.

These thoughts by Pema Chodron may be useful in considering what compassion is and how it plays its role, either healthily or otherwise:

Quote:
Student: I'm interested in the idea of idiot compassion that was in Ken McLeod's book [Wake Up To Your Life]", and wishing compassion for someone who's doing harm to you or that you need to remove yourself from. How do you differentiate the feeling of compassion and the need to remove yourself from a damaging situation?

Pema: Idiot compassion is a great expression, which was actually coined by Trungpa Rinpoche. It refers to something we all do a lot of and call it compassion. In some ways, it's whats called enabling. It's the general tendency to give people what they want because you can't bear to see them suffering. Basically, you're not giving them what they need. You're trying to get away from your feeling of I can't bear to see them suffering. In other words, you're doing it for yourself. You're not really doing it for them.
Full text

These by Robert Masters are useful as well:

Quote:
… ‘When those who espouse idiot compassion encounter offensive behavior from others, they usually take pains to not only be nonjudgmental (or at least not to say or do anything that could be construed as judgmental), but also to examine whatever such behavior may be triggering in them, while bringing no significant heat to those who are actually behaving offensively. That is, if what you are doing is upsetting me, my job (as a graduate of Idiot Compassion 101) is not to focus to any significant degree on your behavior, but rather to find out what my being bothered says about me, while perhaps also acknowledging and appreciating the opportunity you are giving me to examine myself.

This is not only a misguided reading of the art of allowing all things to serve our awakening, but also a far-from-compassionate response to our offending others, for we, in not being on the side of doing what we can to bring them face to face with the consequences of their actions, are on the side of depriving them of something they may sorely need. And in letting them off the hook, we are doing the same for ourselves.'
Sometimes, compassion is gentle. At other times, genuine compassion looks like this:



Knowing which face to show on any particular occasion is wisdom. Doing so is skillful means.

Or, as Hippocrates put it: "Life is short, [the] art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate."

A tall order indeed.

Best,

FL
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:13 AM   #77
Cephallus
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

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Bryan Bateman wrote: View Post
I instruct in my own dojo, my wife is one of my students, we have a romantic relationship, we are both over 40 years old. Should my wife stop training or should I stop instructing?

I don't think everythings quite that simple.
I honestly believe that if she started as your student before you were romantically involved, it would have been healthier, as a general rule, to have either stopped the teacher/student relationship first or not pursued the romantic relationship. I should have clarified that I was not referring to existing relationships.

Of course it's a generalization, and I'm sure there have been a lot of successful, long-term relationships that have arisen from exactly the same situation. It's just my opinion that, again, in general, it's not a good scenario for developing a healthy relationship. And you're absolutely correct, it's definitely not a simple issue.

This is totally aside, but I admire the fact that your relationship is strong enough to accommodate the teacher/student role within your marriage. I'm afraid to show my wife how to do something on the computer, let alone actually *teach* her something...
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:53 AM   #78
aikidoc
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Very interesting discussions. If it was brought up, I did not catch it but I think we have issues of "professional boundaries" here. In the health care professions, many states have requirements for relicensing where doctors have to take so many hours of professional boundaries training. Much like with instructors, transference can occur. Patients become attracted to their care givers and vice versa. Doctors frequently must touch patients to examine and treat them. The issues become complex: how much touching is necessary and under what circumstances? Many doctors have an assistant in the room at all times, some are less cautious. These issues arise in any situation where interactions occur involving physical contact. It might be a good thing for martial arts instructors to become more aware of the issues surrounding professional boundaries. It is complex as the person's personal history and cultural issues enter into defining what is appropriate-it's an individual call for the most part. However, awareness of the issues surrounding age and the ability to comprehend all the complexities of evolving sexual awareness make interaction with minors particularly difficult. Nothing makes sense when it comes to the mental illness of pedophilia. The rescividism rate with child molestors is extremely high. It is difficult to determine who might be a pedophile. Sometimes it becomes very difficult for those in transitional ages to recognize the perils inherent in becoming involved with others at the border of legal age. Hormonal influences are notorious for clouding judgement.

There are online courses available for a reasonable cost that handle or address the issue of sexual boundaries. It might be advisable for martial arts instructors to consider such training and to establish policies for instructors in their dojo with regards to interactions with children and females or members of the opposite sex. Especially for instructors.
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:55 AM   #79
Jennifer Yabut
 
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Re: Forgiveness

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Pema: Idiot compassion is a great expression, which was actually coined by Trungpa Rinpoche. It refers to something we all do a lot of and call it compassion. In some ways, it's whats called enabling. It's the general tendency to give people what they want because you can't bear to see them suffering. Basically, you're not giving them what they need. You're trying to get away from your feeling of I can't bear to see them suffering. In other words, you're doing it for yourself. You're not really doing it for them.
Well said. Sometimes one's "compassion" can be sorely misplaced. A good parent loves his/her child unconditionally, but is also quick to issue some "tough love" when needed.

"The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them." - Miyamoto Musashi
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:01 AM   #80
SentWest
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

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Emily Dolan Gordon wrote: View Post
For those dealing with problems like this, I recommend Gavin de Becker's Gift of Fear.

Any other recommendations?
I'd like to second the recommendation for "The Gift of Fear," as I'm about halfway through the book as we speak.

(Off topic for a second - incidentally I'm sitting at my desk not twenty feet from where a recently fired employee killed two others with a shotgun about ten years ago at my company, so I'm finding the chapter on employee violence rather pertinent.)

As far as Mr. George's alleged behavior, I don't think that we should be too surprised when people who are in positions of power or responsibility take advantage of it. If they didn't have access to said power or responsibility, they'd never have the opportunity to make good on whatever it is they might be inclined to do. They may not have set themselves up for that purpose, but simply take an opportunity when presented.

Part of the reason why we hear much more about teachers and care providers abusing children than say, oil derrick engineers or forestry workers who might posess identical unhealthy ideations.

Edit to add:

There was a question about finding middle ground between naivete and paranoia when interacting with those in positions of power. The right middle ground for me is "Trust, but Verify." I ping for verification often, and am willing to change my position if they start to come back sour, even if I have a history positive relationships with the person.

Last edited by SentWest : 03-19-2008 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:40 AM   #81
Aikibu
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Great Posts...

A few notes....

Some folks seem to be viewing thier conception of forgiveness through a very narrow social prism somehow detaching it from consequence? Lingering background radiation from the feel good me first 70's perhaps? I recommend of Christopher Lasch's book The Culture of Narcissim

In my case and it has been mentioned it came in stages and was a process but at not point did I wish to absolve the persons involved from the consequnces of their acts...I only wished to forgive them....

As Ellis has mention the ideal of forgiveness has been distorted somewhat.

As Fred has mentioned true compassion is allowing people to embrace thier own suffering and to help them wake up to what effect they have caused with thier evil...

A great modern day exercise in this regard was The Reverend Desmond Tutu's Truth and Reconciliation Council in South Africa at the end of Aphartied.

Forgiveness in the beginning can be a very selfish act...In my case did I wish to carry the rage, anger, and shame around with me forever and have it color my relationships and my life... Or could I let it go and move on to the Dharma....

In Christian terms should I continue to nuture the "Sins of the Father" and pontentially have my "sons" pay for them...

Forgiveness to me was the only way to break this chain and become free of the evil it caused in my life and the lives of others...

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 03-19-2008 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:47 AM   #82
Aikibu
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Wow, some really amazing posts here. This thing has gone places I never expected. Again I really appreciate the tone people have brought to this discussion.

I don't know when the last time you watched Harold and Maude was, but it's pretty clear (to me at least) that they did consummate their relationship (recall the scene with the two of them in bed blowing bubbles in lieu of smoking cigarettes). I would argue (perhaps incorrectly) that that film was different in that it portrayed the relationship between an elderly woman and a young *man*, rather than an adult and a minor. While Harold's age isn't specifically brought up (that I can remember) his mother does seem to be encouraging him to get married, not just date, and all of the prospective young ladies are employed. If I had to guess I would put him in his early twenties and at the very least, no longer a minor. Sorry for the drift, but I wanted to point out the distinctions there.
Noted and perhaps I should have parsed it better. It's been awhile since I saw it but I was struck by the emotionally immature man bonding with the older wiser woman in other words the Theme of the movie I thought it was exploring the same issues perhaps a few years removed and hence t sans' the taboo.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 03-19-2008 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:49 AM   #83
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Aaron Finney wrote: View Post
I should have clarified that I was not referring to existing relationships.
Hi Aaron,

I should also clarify that our relationship started long before my wife started Aikido

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:51 AM   #84
Keith Larman
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Re: Forgiveness

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
Sometimes, compassion is gentle. At other times, genuine compassion looks like this:



Knowing which face to show on any particular occasion is wisdom. Doing so is skillful means.
It's interesting you posted that as I was reading all these posts about compassion thinking to myself about the expression oft heard in Aikido of Fudoshin, Fudotai. Immovable mind immovable body. To me it brings up associations with Fudo Myoo. And all of this includes the idea of resisting temptation along with balancing compassion for the world with an unyielding and clear view of truth. Too often in our fluffy passive aggressive touchy-feely approach to these arts we tend to forget about the inexorable truths. We talk about motivations, feelings, etc. and pretty soon we've obscured the underlying truth of a child being victimized.

Idiot compassion is a very good phrase indeed IMHO.

Talk of the age of consent is interesting at all, but we're not talking about a 17-year-old. Or a 16-year-old. Thirteen. With an adult in a position of authority. A teacher, a husband and a parent. Sorry, I'm not going to be understanding on that one. No way, no how.

I pray the story is false for everyone's sake including Mr. George's. But if it turns out to be true, well, I have no compassion whatsoever for him. None at all.

Consenting adults? Sure, bang away folks. Going back to one of Ellis' posts I think it may under many circumstances be unwise to embark on a dojo romance as the repurcussions of a soured one can be pretty severe. "Unwise" is the key word there. We all do unwise things periodically. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they blow up in our faces. However, grown ups can make those choices for themselves. And they should be free to do so. And they can live with the consequences because they're adults. Fine. I have no problem with that, I'd just counsel being very careful if you do. Consenting adults.

But kids are off-limits. We can debate when someone has the maturity to give informed consent. But at the age of thirteen? And sexual behavior? Nope. I'll be understanding of two thirteen-year-old hormone addled adolescents getting into it. I'll show compassion there as I try to convince them to hold off or at least be safe. I'll shake my head at the early loss of innocence. But a mature adult with a thirteen year old under their tutelage?

That deserves nothing but disdain.

Forgiveness is for the victim to give if they see fit to give it. Society, however, should not and I would argue cannot forgive that sort of behavior. And I'll reserve my compassion for wide swath of victims episodes like this create. The victim herself, her family, his family, their friends, and so on. That's where compassion needs to be focused.

I hope to God it turns out to be false.

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Old 03-19-2008, 11:18 AM   #85
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Forgiveness in the beginning can be a very selfish act...In my case did I wish to carry the rage, anger, and shame around with me forever and have it color my relationships and my life... Or could I let it go and move on to the Dharma....
I think it's a matter of terminology, and what you mean by "forgiveness". I stand by what I said earlier, that I think forgiveness (as I define it) is not something that one can do unilaterally -- it requires something from the offender. What I failed to add, though, was that there are other things you can do unilaterally that do not meet my definition of forgiveness, but that do allow you to let a past hurt go. It's the distinction between things being made right between you and your offender, and you reconciling with yourself (and maybe making things right between yourself and...the universe?) while still recognizing that an offense happened and the offender hasn't done the right thing about it.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:22 PM   #86
Michael Hackett
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

As a cop I've spent most of my adult life dealing with offenders and victims and at least anecdotally learned a few things about both. Victims suffer long-term consequences often that prevents them from enjoying their lives to the fullest, whether it is the rape victim who fears physical intimacy or the mugging victim who fears being out in crowds at night. The vast majority of offenders I've dealt with made a conscious choice to offend with full knowledge of its prohibition and consequences.

I recognize that many offenders were themselves victims of abuse, broken homes, fetal alcohol syndrome, poor potty training, poverty, and a myriad of other handicaps in life - but so were many of their victims and a large portion of society at large. Frankly I've come to the admittedly cynical conclusion that those are excuses and not causes. People make choices and then try to find someone else, or something to blame when they have to face the consequences.

Here in the US, we have mala en se and mala ad prohibitum laws. A mala en se law is one that prohibits conduct that our society agrees is intrinsically wrong such as murder or rape. Mala ad prohibitum laws are those we developed to regulate our society and are wrong simply because we have decided they are wrong. Our drug laws are good examples of mala ad prohibitum laws. We don't seem to get too worked up over violations of mala ad prohibitum laws - yeah, our political leaders get wrapped around the societal axle now and again, but generally we don't get too emotional over a particular offender or offense in these cases.

On the other hand, we tend to ascribe terms like "evil" to violations of mala en se laws and we should. The conduct is so horrible and so damaging that we can't tolerate it. The offender's state of mind is the same in each however. He knew his conduct was proscribed, he knew his conduct was wrong, he knew that there were possible consequences and then he CHOSE to do it. Let him make all of the excuses he wishes in mitigation, but please remember that his conduct was a choice and not a matter of predetermination, rather a product of free will.

As men in modern American society we all know that "no means no". As a society we have loudly and repeatedly said "No!" when it comes to sexual relations between adults and children. Those who go over that line anyway are solely responsible for their actions and I have no sympathy for all their psychic aches and pains. I will reserve my sympathy and compassion for their victims. I've seen too much and too many.

Michael
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:16 PM   #87
Dan Rubin
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I wonder if it would help some of us if we thought of certain people as “dangerous.” A “dangerous” person is, well, dangerous, without regard to why he is so, and without regard to how we should think of him, or her. A child molester poses great danger to children and must be kept away from them, by force (prison) if necessary. If we all agree with that, then the discussion of why he’s dangerous and how we should treat him (in prison) might be easier.

Dan
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:29 PM   #88
Marc Abrams
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Michael:

I do not recall people people in this thread pouring out their sympathies for Clint George. You aptly described the awareness of a person's actions. You are absolutely correct is acknowledging that ANY type of sexual relationship between a child and an adult is simply wrong.

People who have known Mr. George (some quite well) are genuinely shaken. They are struggling with trying to reconcile the person whom they know with the unacceptable acts (groping, e-mails) that he was alleged to have done. The people with whom I have spoken to, who know Mr. George, do not have sympathy for him, but their is a genuine sense of sadness and disbelief. Mr. George was always spoken about in respectful-to-glowing terms, both in terms of him as a person, and he as an Aikidoka. The few times I had met him (translating at the Aiki Expo's), I had left with a positive impression of him. That was why I was dumbstruck by what he was alleged to have done.

My sympathies go immediately to the victim. Whether or not these allegations are true, she is now a victim. Secondarily, my sympathies go out to the community, family and friends of Mr. George. Having to reconcile and try and live with someone you might either know well, or love, with what was alleged, is no easy feat. FInally, my sympathies go to the Aikido world, because regardless of whether he is found guilty of what he was charged with, his career is ruined. With it, goes a host of knowledge from his times training in Japan.

If what was alleged did happen, that unfortunate child will have a large, undeserved, burden to have to now navigate through in her life. No penalty imposed can equal, or negate the damage that might have been done. Justice then becomes a word that rings quite hollow.

Michael, you serve in the law enforcement end of things. Those of us who serve as treaters see the damages done to the victims and the damaged people who commit unspeakable acts. The tragedy is that the damage done to many of these people earlier in their lives, cause them to repeat horrors in their lives. Our concern for the aggressor's damage should in no way be construed as sympathy. Understanding and caring for a damaged soul is not sympathy. You are right in that not all people who have been damaged in their lives, go ahead and return the favor to others. Understanding this process and learning how to intervene early is critical in helping to stop this cycle of repeating horrors of the past. It is most unfortunate that the mental health field has such a poor understanding in how to intervene and prevent pedophiles from doing what they do.

Several posters, besides myself, have noted that in certain endeavors/professions, people are trained in how to handle the power-inequity relationships that are part of the endeavor/job. What training to Aikido teachers get before they open their own schools? How many of us know stories of well-known teachers who had a woman in every port? What kind of role models were those teachers? If the incidents alleged regarding Mr. George and Mr. Toyoda should move us in any direction, it should be towards an open discussion in how we can seek to establish ways to prevent this from happening in our community.

As a licensed psychologist in New York State, I had to be fingerprinted and registered with the State of New York since I am a mandated reporter for Child Protective Services. Licensed teachers are as well, so that the State can maintain a database. Should we not act to protect our own community before States try an enact things that do not necessarily work? I would like to hear what other people do in their schools to insure that there is adequate supervision/oversight regarding the teaching of students (of all ages). I for one, plan on drafting a letter to send to the parents of my students (children and teens) explaining the concerns in the Aikido community about the issues of appropriate and inappropriate contact, and working with the parents to draft guidelines that will be posted in regards to this issue. I will have an open discussion among the adult students, for their input as well.

We cannot fully prevent these types of unacceptable acts from happening in our society, let alone our art. I think that if many of us can agree upon basic standards that help to maintain appropriate boundaries and behaviors, then it will become easier to identify potential problems in our communities when people are known to deviate from acceptable standards of practice. That might be a start, which is better than having done nothing to address a real issue.

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:37 PM   #89
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Hi Marc,

That sounds like a very principled stand to me. Best of luck as you go through this with your students and parents.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:10 PM   #90
aikidoc
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Here are some adapted questions from a medical professional boundaries course. They are good ones to ask yourself if teaching. They are true false questions.
1. A boundary violation occurs any time the instructor becomes more than a teacher of the various aspects of the art of aikido.
2. Outside stressors or personal stressors may make an instructor at risk of succumbing to invitations from needy students.
3. Boundary violations range from mild to severe, but they all are potentially harmful to the student and may affect the quality of instruction received by the student and others in the dojo.
4. Repeated attempts at gift giving or gifts accompanied by compliments and other evidence of seductive behavior may represent an attempt by a student to consciously or unconsciously control the instructor-student interaction.
5. Making special exceptions for certain students, such as offering reduced fees or overlooking inappropriate behaviors, may be an early indicator of problematic boundary violations.
6. With boundary violations, everyone loses including the student, his or her family, the instructor and his or her family, as well as other students who are being taught by the instructor.
7. Social contact with students begins to take an ominous tone when the student begins to perceive the relationship as "special" and beyond the range of normal instruction.
8. It is the instructor's responsibility to define and maintain professional boundaries.
9. Anything less than professional attitudes by the instructor and other instructors or students is high risk for complaints or lawsuits.
10. The exact incidence of difficult students is hard to establish since there are no standards by which to measure such student behavior.
11. Reframing the perception of a difficult student as more of a challenge rather than a nuisance empowers the instructor to effectively manage the situation.
12. Establishing a vision of how an instructor wants to be perceived by his or her students and instructional staff will provide a solid footing for boundary guidelines and rules for students and fellow staff members.
13. . Complete and accurate witnessed documentation of issues and behavior is an instructors best defense in a lawsuit.
14. Social, financial, or other external problems may cause students to appear problematic.
15. Setting limits, restating common goals, and keeping interactions off the mat shorter and focused (controlling the envirnment) are some strategies of responding effectively to a "demanding" student

They are all true by the way. If you answered any false, you may be at risk.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:31 PM   #91
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Here is a blog entry reaction that I found to this new item:

http://aikiinseattle.wordpress.com/2...-and-yourself/

-- Jun

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Old 03-19-2008, 04:44 PM   #92
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:

their is a genuine sense of sadness and disbelief. Mr. George was always spoken about in respectful-to-glowing terms, both in terms of him as a person, and he as an Aikidoka. The few times I had met him (translating at the Aiki Expo's), I had left with a positive impression of him. That was why I was dumbstruck by what he was alleged to have done.
It isn't that always the case? 99% of child molesters have to be charming, nice, friendly, and most of all unsuspecting. They have to be able to get close, and get that all important trust. It is always a surprise and a shock to find out such a seemingly well adjusted trusting person who harms a child. That is the dangerous part, well for this parent, and the kids. I don't trust anyone, and suspect everyone. I certainly don't put my kids or allow them to be in any position where they could be vulnerable to a predator.

Mr. George, is innocent until proven guilty. I don't put much weight in what he supposedly said, because it is third hand information. I weigh more what will be proven in court then what is printed in the media.

Quote:
Several posters, besides myself, have noted that in certain endeavors/professions, people are trained in how to handle the power-inequity relationships that are part of the endeavor/job. What training to Aikido teachers get before they open their own schools? How many of us know stories of well-known teachers who had a woman in every port? What kind of role models were those teachers? If the incidents alleged regarding Mr. George and Mr. Toyoda should move us in any direction, it should be towards an open discussion in how we can seek to establish ways to prevent this from happening in our community.
I think there is a difference in intent and what happens between adults, then the intent of adults and what they do to children. Having an over active libido for a variety of adult encounters is different then acting upon kids. There are two different mind sets, two different goals, two different outcomes. Children are not full developed physically, mentally/psychologically, emotionally to engage at any degree of romantic or sexual intimacy with an adult. A randy Sensei with an adult engagement at every port is a poor role model for kids. A Sensei who drinks moderately, a sensei who goes to bars for a good time is also a bad role model. Unless your are Mother Theresa you are not a good role model for kids. Being a poor role model is different than being a criminal. A child molesting sensei is more devastating then a drunkard or womanizer.

Aikido has a integral spiritual framework that is practiced (many see that it is up to interpretation), so we hold Senseis to this high moral and ethical standard of sainthood. An unrealistic thing of holding the position of Sensei to the purest moral and ethical character standards. I think this is dangerous. It is dangerous because people get too comfortable, too trusting, or even hero worship the Sensei. Giving any human such a blank check in a position of authority is more of a danger over all. If we hero worship the sensei, we ignore the red flags providing an unspoken permission for abuse. We have seen that with the Jacko case.

Quote:
We cannot fully prevent these types of unacceptable acts from happening in our society, let alone our art. I think that if many of us can agree upon basic standards that help to maintain appropriate boundaries and behaviors, then it will become easier to identify potential problems in our communities when people are known to deviate from acceptable standards of practice. That might be a start, which is better than having done nothing to address a real issue.
A key to stopping the type of molesters we are speaking about is to have vigilant caring well-adjusted parents/guardians to protect their children, but not everyone has such good parents/guardians. I think those basic standard are very clearly mapped out. It is the parents/guardians vigilance and protectiveness that hampers the molester. It is parents/guardians lack of vigilance and protectiveness that allow the molester access to the child. I find if a child is molested by an Aikido sensei it shows there was a great lap of judgment by the parents. A sensei has no business with a child outside the dojo, alone with the child in the dojo. No special relationships with the sensei. The child goes to class with the parents, and the parents watch class, no babysitting at the dojo. The sensei/child relationship is a strict sterile one. No exceptions. There are the boundaries, there is the basic standard. This is for all those 0-17 years old.

The failure of the standard is by the parents who provide the opportunity needed by a molester to victimize the child.
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Old 03-19-2008, 05:16 PM   #93
Michael Hackett
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Hi Marc,

What I was starting to see was a number of terribly disappointed folks trying to find some rational reason for this situation and trying to understand why and how something like this could take place with someone so respected and admired. I honestly don't think there is a rational explanation beyond a matter of choice. The one constant I've seen with educators, physicans, lawyers and even a couple of cops in these circumstances was a sense of entitlement and arrogance that was almost palpable. I make no judgment about this particular case as I only know what has been published and that simply isn't enough.

Some of the suggestions put forth to protect an individual are excellent ideas to prevent unwarrented allegations and folks would be wise to heed them. Those would be good subjects to consider for inclusion in instructor's seminars and within individual dojo. I still maintain however that an adult, man or woman, knows full well they are going into a very dark place when they engage in sexual relations with a kid. No amount of training will prevent these acts from happening, regardless of the walk of life the individual is engaged in. Maybe the day will come when we have the tools to prevent these events or to correct them. Today we don't with any degree of success and we are left to punishment in the form of confinement and even shunning. And yes, in my view, sexual offender registration is a modern equivilent of shunning.

Although I still have contact with some of the victims I worked with over the years, I don't have your experience in trying to put the pieces back together in their lives. Usually I only dealt with them when they were freshly broken and obviously suffering and perhaps that has skewed my view. You have made me think a little. Maybe the world that I thought I saw in shades of grey were more black and white.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:13 PM   #94
SeiserL
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I tend to stay out of these discussions. I don't always want to play where I work. I work with predators and their victims.

I think the lesson here is that we all already know what is right and what is wrong. If you choose not to listen and live by it, then you pay the natural and logical consequences. Its cause and effect. We each bring it on ourselves by our choices and actions.

Recently the Aikido world has felt the impact of bad choices. It effects us all.

Lets hope that none of us make similar choices.

We know the right thing. Lets do it.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:44 PM   #95
Marc Abrams
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Phillip:

I am sorry that you are so distrusting of your world. I believe that it is important to be vigilant as parents, but teach children how to use good judgment, rather than to be distrustful of the world at large. I agree with you that incidents between adults and incidents between adults and children are different. Both are abuses of a certain type of a relationship. Both are wrong. One is certainly worse than the other.

Teachers have an obligation to maintain appropriate boundaries with all of the students, regardless of gender, age, .... I do not believe in idol worship of anybody. The point that I was trying to make is that teachers should be held to reasonable standards. One of those is maintaining appropriate boundaries. If the teacher's teacher sets a poor example, then it can easily become a slippery slope downhill. In my line of work, those lines are firmly set with very serious consequences if boundaries are violated.

Michael:

I agree with you about the futility of trying to find "rational" reasons. It is possible to "dissect" events and psychological processes that create the conditions in which horrible things occur. These understandings do not make the event any more palatable/rational. I am truly sorry to say that I have had to work with children who have had things done to them that I could never imagine another person would do another living being (same things apply to what has happened to adults as well). I have learned to realize that reality is always more disturbing than fantasies. I always strive to gain some understanding into these dark places. Sooner or later, enough of people's attention should hopefully result in some better understandings. This might then lead to better predictive capacities, and lastly better treatment options.

You are right in that we cannot stop a person who wants to walks into that dark place. I am hoping that if enough of us set up certain standards, that we can slowly educate parents in our communities as to what to look for (good and bad) and what to be wary of. This will also serve to protect teachers from false accusations.

Lynne:

I agree with you wanting to keep our two "lives" separate. I NEED my Aikido to keep some balance in my life so that I can work effectively. Separation is critical. That being said, I think that in this arena, we need to not assume that everybody simply knows what is right and wrong. With these allegations, that is obvious. Contributions from everyone to help set standards of practice, like in our field, help the teachers and the students alike when the issues are not as "clear" as the one behind this thread. Those standards that exist for us, protect us and the public. Some standards for us could be helpful as well.

Marc Abrams
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:08 PM   #96
aikidoc
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Thanks for the blog Jun-it was very interesting and well written.
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Old 03-20-2008, 03:51 PM   #97
akiy
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

The posts on "Abuse of Authority in Aikido" have been moved to this below thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14158

-- Jun

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Old 03-20-2008, 04:51 PM   #98
akiy
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Here's another blog post on this new item:

http://inexhaustiblethings.blogspot....delusions.html

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Old 03-20-2008, 05:21 PM   #99
erikmenzel
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
I wonder if the reaction be the same, though, if she had been 16? Would it even have come to the attention of this forum were not for the fact that he broke the law? Or is there such a clear and significant difference in development between 13 and 16 (which could be closer to a 2 year difference than 3, depending on where the person's birthday falls) that that would have been acceptable?
Yes the difference in development is so mindboggling big that even as an adult it is hard to understand. The early teens are the period where personality changes from being a child (with the implied dependency on the parents) to starting to be an independant individual. This the time where the child has to learn to understand adult signals. The reason teachers tell 13 and 14 year old pupils that they are angry is because the 13-14 year olds cannot tell this from the "normal" signs yet. The same holds for even more complex behaviour like forming relations. The 13 year old does not know the complex sign system, has no reference to what is normal and not and is at the same time trying to find its own rules and security in this unsecure time.
At that age 2 years can be such a huge difference...and anyone dealing with that age group should at least know this.
Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
If you think 16 is equally deplorable, although legal, then where do you draw the line? 18? 21? 30? It seems to me that if you frame the issue in black-and-white terms then you have to pick an arbitrary point where you go from one to the other.
Problem is that the law requires an absolute line where as reality cannt give that.

I hope my incoherent ideas are coherent enough to understand

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:16 PM   #100
Buck
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Phillip:

I am sorry that you are so distrusting of your world. I believe that it is important to be vigilant as parents, but teach children how to use good judgment, rather than to be distrustful of the world at large. I agree with you that incidents between adults and incidents between adults and children are different. Both are abuses of a certain type of a relationship. Both are wrong. One is certainly worse than the other.

Marc Abrams
I am not distrust of my world, I am vigilant. I think that is the better term. I don't cross the street without looking in both directions, for example. I don't let my children run around the neighborhood and play like I did at their age. If I did I might ever see them again. My parents could hire a teenager out of the newspaper to find a baby-sitter for us, and where able to trust that babysitter. I can't do that with my kids. As my father liked to say, "Andy, we don't live in Mayberry." Because we live in a different world, I have no choice not to trust anyone with my kids, because look what happens when you do. It only takes one person to violate, to abuse, to ruin your child.

I am a father and my number one priority is to protect my kids, to insure their welfare and safety until they are adults. If I don't do that then I have failed as a parent.

BTW, I am also an Aikidoka and part of that is not just about being civil, and merciful, (or warm and fuzzy), it is also about being on guard, being vigilant. And it is my understanding of Japanese Budo and Japanese history the act of trust isn’t something you should give out.

I teach my children that they are precious and valuable. I don't want them to be victims. I do teach my children to be distrustful of strangers, of all adults, and for good reason. Children are easily manipulated, persuaded, controlled, and overpowered by adults. I teach them to be vigilant, and cautious. I teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, and use caution. When asked why, I say I don't trust anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle. There in no guarantee someone will not run a red light and hit you. Better be safe than sorry.

I am sure my children will be well adjusted adults, not having any issues choosing an equally well adjusted friends, colleagues and spouses. I am sure they will not have problems with trusting people. Because they will be able to identify and avoid those who intend to take advantage of them or harm them. I am sure as parents they will not trust anyone with their kids.

Last edited by Buck : 03-20-2008 at 09:19 PM.
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