Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-18-2008, 02:45 PM   #51
sutemaker17
 
sutemaker17's Avatar
Dojo: Mokurin Dojo
Location: Louisiana
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 34
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Thank you Ms. Jennifer.
Jason
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 02:50 PM   #52
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

William:

Thank you for putting a "human face" on this issue. I hope that it helps people step back from moral ultimatums and look at the real human side of the issues.

I frequently shake my head when parents knowingly allow their teenage daughters (even as young as 12 y/o) to prance around in low rider pants with their g-strings prominently displayed and their belly button shirts pronouncing statements far beyond their ability to understand. Our society has created vapid models for children to emulate. When I grew-up, 12 & 13 year olds were still children. They were not exhibiting hyper-sexual displays that were far beyond their maturity to understand the implications. Today, that is not so. We not only have to protect our children from predators, but protect them from a society that encourages them to act and look older than they have the life maturity to handle. I am not saying that any of this pattern exists with these allegations. I am addressing the comment that our 13 year olds are simply children. They ARE children who ARE exposed to far more information than they can really handle. I use to work in an inner city, psychiatric center for children and teens. It was far too common that 13 year olds would come in pregnant because they would then have someone to love them unconditionally!

The topics that these allegations bring up should hopefully force us to take a CLOSE look at what our children do, what they are exposed to, and who they associate with.

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 02:54 PM   #53
sutemaker17
 
sutemaker17's Avatar
Dojo: Mokurin Dojo
Location: Louisiana
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 34
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Another good one by Gavin DeBecker is "Protecting the Gift" and if I remember was more focused on children and how to protect them than "The Gift of Fear". Still, both were very good books.
Thanks
Jason
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 03:04 PM   #54
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Jennifer Yabut wrote: View Post
They appear to be his own words...yes. Also notice how he implied that the touching was "consensual"...
The Montana statute defines "sexual abuse" as any non-consensual "sexual contact," with the proviso that any such contact with a person under the age of 16 will be deemed to be without consent. Had the girl been a couple of years older, his actions would not be a crime. However, they still might considered morally reprehensible or an abuse of power.

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?

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.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 03-18-2008 at 03:11 PM. Reason: added link
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 03:18 PM   #55
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Jennifer Yabut wrote: View Post
Wow...thanks for being so upfront and honest. You are fortunate that you survived and endured through such hardships...but it still doesn't make what your teacher did "right". You should know, since you witnessed how her behavior led to the end of her teaching career. If she conducted herself in such a matter today (regardless of the relationship's outcome), she would've been arrested and sent to prison.
I am not suggesting what she did was right..What I tried to say is that we are all human and even our best intentions can lead to suffering. Indeed she saved my life and look what she "sacrificed" to do so... Life is full of paradoxes and we are all prey to them...

That is exactly what I feel about Clint and the Girl.

The Legal and Ethical Boundries are clear

The Human Heart less so...

In the age of Hyper Western Culture with all it's pitfalls I can only hope my choice of Aikido to help navigate it's dangerous shoals will serve me and those I love.

It would appear at first read to me that it did not serve Clint and the girl too well and that is a tragedy...

More will be revealed.

William Hazen
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 03:19 PM   #56
bkedelen
 
bkedelen's Avatar
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 446
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
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?
Short answer: yes.

Last edited by bkedelen : 03-18-2008 at 03:33 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 03:20 PM   #57
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 659
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

<"But being a sex offender in our society results in an almost Amish type of "shunning". You become a non-person in an instant. ">

Social Eta

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 03:50 PM   #58
dragonteeth
Dojo: Elkton Ki-Aikido
Location: Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 108
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Perhaps one of the hardest things to deal with in these situations is believing that one of your close friends could actually commit such a horrible act. Most of us train together for years, and develop friendships that go beyond the dojo doors into real life. We truly think we know each other better than we know ourselves. That's one of the great things about aikido (and any martial art in general). That said, it is also one of our weak points. When someone comes to us with a complaint of impropriety against someone with whom we have shared practice and friendship for years, our first reaction is probably not going to be objective.

About 18 years ago an incident came to light in a dojo where I trained in a different style. The chief instructor was a well respected special forces veteran who at that time was also serving as a pastor at a local church. One of the teenage female students found herself caught up in a serious case of hero worship, and he took advantage of that. It took the girl several months to gather up the courage to approach one of the other teachers with her story. A meeting of the teachers was called, but since time had passed there was no physical evidence, it was her word against his. She had been seen by others in the school as having "sucked up" to him (bad choice of words but no others seem to fit), and so the few instructors that did believe her story had a strong sense that she had set herself up for it. Whether she did or not is irrelevant - she was 14, he was 38, and he knew better.

The one instructor that did believe her ended up breaking off from the organization to form his own along with several of his personal students, including myself. The girl in question also followed him having been "uninvited" to train with the original school. In later years, it came out that not only had the chief instructor molested this girl, but that he also molested 3 other teenage girls (that we know of), groped a handful of adult women under the guise of teaching "pressure points" and initiated an affair with another instructor's wife resulting in her pregnancy and their divorce. None of these students felt comfortable going to another teacher about what happened, both because of the first incident's outcome and because of the "he can do no wrong" attitude that pervaded the school.

The sad thing is that because of lack of physical evidence and the statute of limitations, no charges were ever filed against him when the full story came out. By this point, the remaining students and teachers realized that there were too many allegations for them not to be true, and ended up leaving the original school which subsequently shut down.

One cannot help but wonder what could have been done differently to create an atmosphere in that dojo where not only would the girls have been more comfortable coming forward but also would have eliminated the possibility of it happening in the first place. There has been great wisdom written in the posts here about creating guidelines to prevent even the appearance of impropriety which goes a long way towards preventing the impropriety itself. I would only ask that if someone comes to you with an allegation, especially a young person, please you respect the trust that young person is showing in you. Their trust has already been violated by another person of authority, and you'll hopefully never have to know the courage it took for them to come to you. If you know that you cannot be completely objective in your assessment of the allegation because of your friendship with the accused, then redirect it to someone who can be. Even if the allegation appears to be false, be especially vigilant in the future just in case there is more to the story than just what the evidence supports.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 04:12 PM   #59
Jennifer Yabut
 
Jennifer Yabut's Avatar
Dojo: Aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 100
United_States
Offline
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?
ABSOLUTELY...there is a *significant* difference in development between 13 and 16. The average child enters adolescence around age 11-12 - some of them a year or two earlier or later. At the age of 16, the child is nearing the end of the adolescent period (again, give or take a couple years). And it would NOT be acceptable for a 40-something year old to initiate an "inappropriate" relationship with a 16-yr-old. A 16-yr-old simply is NOT mature enough to handle all of the consequences of an "adult relationship" (e.g., unwanted pregnancy).

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.
Unwanted sexual advances - regardless of age - should not be tolerated...PERIOD. Hence, the discussion about teacher/student boundaries.

"The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them." - Miyamoto Musashi
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 04:56 PM   #60
Cephallus
Dojo: judo only at the moment
Location: SoCal
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 36
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Jennifer Yabut wrote: View Post
Unwanted sexual advances - regardless of age - should not be tolerated...PERIOD. Hence, the discussion about teacher/student boundaries.
If not outside the scope of the original topic, I'm certainly approaching the edge...but the language used in the article says that this teacher claimed the contact was consensual. I think what Giancarlo was asking is at what age should sexual contact be defined as consensual, legally?

Personally, I believe that a teacher participating in a romantic relationship with a student is overstepping an important boundary, regardless of age.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 07:24 PM   #61
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
Offline
Culture

Marc writes:
Quote:
That is OUR view point that represents OUR culture. Their are NO moral absolutes in how cultures assign worth to people, regardless of age or gender.
Moral relativism. Such a "correct" shibboleth that it shuts the conversation down. One must not dare go against such a powerful weapon.
There has been a radical shift in a large segment of Islamic culture, where suicide once forbidden, is now given sanction, if one is killing one's enemies, defined only by ethnic or religious grounds, and this is given religious approval by some of the top religious leaders in various countries. But there's no moral absolute. Shred bodies as you will - that's the new cultural rule, so there's nothing to condemn.
Interestingly, the Dyak of Borneo used to headhunt. Originally, it was a war trophy, but it got so a young man couldn't marry without presenting his inamorata with a head. So they would sneak into the next valley and slaughter the nearest unaware old person, woman or child. It became a pernicious addiction, that compulsively continued, generation after generation. The English, when they colonized Bornea stopped it, on pain of death. A very famous Dyak chief expressed gratitude saying that they were sick with blood and could not stop by themselves. (Those awful English absolutists).
There is a long-standing group of cultures in New Guinea that believe that males grow strong through the ingestion of sperm. So the young boys are taken from their mother's into the long-houses and used every day for oral sex until they grow up and do it, in turn to young boys themselves. The young boys are taught to believe the value and brag about how much they are "given." They grow up and marry. This is a profoundly violent society, particularly in regards to women with women, using them to procreate more boys for more . . . But how dare we condemn it! It's their culture.
Perhaps another book is in order - the marvelous SICK SOCIETIES by Robert Edgerton, which looks at various cultures as being damaging or healthy to their members.
Quote:
I shall first define it as the failure of a population or its culture to survive because of the inadequacy or harmfulness of one or more of its beliefs or institutions. Second, maladaption will be said to exist when enough members of a population are sufficiently dissatisfied with one or more of their social institutions or cultural beliefs that the viability of their society is threatened. Finally, it will be considered to be maladaptive when a population maintains beliefs or practices that so seriously impair the physical or mental health of its members that they cannot adequately meet their own needs or maintain their social and cultural system.
So cultural rules can actually damage people severely, and if you look around the world, women are the first, foremost and almost always victims.
So let us bring up ancient Rome, one of the most genocidal cultures ever to exist on the face of the earth, where Hitler and Goering would have been unremarkable, typical Roman generals, and Stalin a marvelous Emperor. Young girls were married off young, with no say in the matter. Fathers also had the right to kill their sons at any time or age, for any reason they chose. There was no concept of "majority" - you were your father's boy until he died. Perhaps not the best example to validate age of consent.
In many "primitive" cultures, the life expectancy is 30 years old. Not surprisingly, one marries when fertile. You will likely be dead around the time your child is ready to reproduce. Biology will out.
Are we, today, simply biological beings? No, in addition to genes, we have "memes," cultural rules and values passed on from generation to generation. And one of them is age appropriateness. A 13 year old girl or boy is terribly ill suited to the role of reproduction in the complexities of modern life, AND, terribly ill-suited to the experiences that he or she will have in a sexual relationship with an adult. Thus, going back to Edgerton, we see that an adult initiating a relationship with a child - which is surely to satisfy his or her own needs and not taking the child's needs into account - or taking into account the potential, very likely damage - is profoundly selfish.
There are evil people, because every act they do is calculated to do harm, willfully so. And there are many many ordinary people who do evil things. So returning to William Hazen's brave note. I wouldn't call his teacher evil. But what she did - meeting her own needs at a child's expense - is an evil thing to do. That she also helped a young boy who so terribly needed help means that there was more to her than what she was doing to him. But that help that she offered could have been given without the sex.
How dare I be so harsh and judgmental? Should I be more supportive to help people's self esteem? Calling an act evil might make them feel bad?
In my world, I simply do not trust people who are not willing to make moral choices - and not merely about their own child, as in, "Look, there are many cultures and many rules and many perspectives. If it was my own daughter, of course . . ." Why not someone else's daughter or son?
Why is this so difficult?

What is good? An act that is concerned with more than oneself. One does something not out of selfishness, to meet one's own needs - lust for example, or a need for power. One considers the implications of one's acts as they affect others. (Oh, perhaps that is part of Ueshiba's aikido - it's contributing to something larger than just one's own selfish needs? No, let us not go there, because we'd be shunning the selfish and they need our love . Let us make aikido "unconditional positive regard." ).
What is evil? That which only is considered with satisfying one's own needs without concern or care for another, or the damage you cause. Or further, the deliberate considered, cultivated, planned, choice to commit such an act, damn what consequences to the other person.
Yes, there are different cultures. Am I a racist or ethnocentric individual - America uber all? One culture that manifests profound sickness (per Edgerton) is our own. Read Boys Adrift by Sax - one of the most important books of the 21st century about the profound damage to a generation of males in Western society, and how it endangers everything in our culture, now and in the future. But if we can look at our own and see profoundly flawed values that damage people in our own, then we can do the same regarding other cultures. Or the short version, just because some cultures say it is fine and dandy for the adult males to take young girls and f*** them because it feels good and they want to, no matter what psychological - or physical damage it causes - doesn't make it right.
Best

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 03-18-2008 at 07:30 PM.

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 07:51 PM   #62
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,550
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Well, geez, here I was getting mentally prepared to type up a long missive about moral relativism, headhunters, eating the heart of enemies, and the practice in some asian cultures of killing female children... But Mr. Amdur has covered it quite well...

As we evolve, become more civilized, and spend more time considering the consequences of our actions I would hope we have become more aware of issues of damages we do to each other through our actions, deceits, conceits and ignorance. There is clear evidence of damage done to children in modern society by abuse. Heck, William's very honest post also shows a young man that was literally a perfect candidate for exploitation. And while it might have filled a void for him, her choices in how she could have helped were many. But she chose a particular path, an evil path. And if I'm reading the story correctly ("tendancy to "bond" with male students"), it may not have been the only time she'd acted in such a way. Do you think she "helped" all these boys? Maybe William feels it helped him in retrospect considering the magnitude of problems faced at the same time. Lesser of evils? However, this sort of scenario is all-too-common in these cases. A kid who needs a parental figure. A kid who is missing out on love and guidance. And a person who sees that, comes in, gets close, and takes it someplace else entirely. Taking advantage of an opening... With a child.

It is wrong.

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 08:00 PM   #63
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,778
United_States
Online
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Aaron Finney wrote: View Post
If not outside the scope of the original topic, I'm certainly approaching the edge...but the language used in the article says that this teacher claimed the contact was consensual. I think what Giancarlo was asking is at what age should sexual contact be defined as consensual, legally?
And the answer is...it depends. Just in the United States alone, sexual consent laws are extremely variable, not only in the age that's defined as capable of giving consent, but to what acts and with whom as a partner. I would not argue with someone who states firmly that there's a big difference in maturity between a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old (although I might point out that while there should be such a difference, there isn't always)...but it defies logic to say that a 16-year-old in one state is capable of consent and a 16-year-old in another state is not. Yet that is exactly what consent laws would have us believe.

Now, if what you're talking about is sensible legal reform of consent laws...well, first of all, be prepared to be labeled a pedophile yourself, just for suggesting that we touch that sacred cow. But in an ideal world, where a rational discussion about the subject could take place, would it not make sense to consider not just the chronological age, not just the act, but the situation and the relationship between the two? It astounds me that consent laws fail to do this -- and yet, I think we'd probably all agree that the potential for true consent is lowest when one party is in a strong position of authority over the other (a school principle, a police officer, or worse yet, a parent).
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 09:17 PM   #64
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

When I was a child, my father physically and emotionally abused me in unimaginable ways. I apparently repressed the memories of the abuse for many years. Later in life I was visiting some family and I heard what sounded like the physical abuse of a child in the next apartment. I "woke" up on the floor in a fetal position. Memories of the abuse came flooding into my mind. I became a very angry and bitter person. I sent my dad an email detailing some of my memories and letting him know what a terrible and evil human being he was. I cut off contact with him for several years. How could he have done such evil things to his own child? What a despicable human being he must be. His sins were surely greater than my own; after all, I had never done such despicable things to my children. In fact, I had never layed a hand on my children. I was surely a superior human being. Then one day I received a call; dad was in the hospital and his condition was critical. I debated whether or not to go to the hospital. I went. He had been in a coma and the moment I walked in the room he awoke, looked me in the eye, and mouthed these two words: I'm sorry. At that moment I forgave him. He recovered and lived several more years before dying of lymphoma cancer. What I learned about myself was that, initially I could not forgive him because I felt his sins were greater than mine. What I have since discovered is that only when we think our sins are less than another's can we not forgive them. When our sins are not as great or as evil as our neighbor's, it is much easier to condemn them. I now try to withhold my judgment and condemnation of others. There are plenty of others who are more than willing to accept that responsibility.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 10:52 PM   #65
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Surface level moral relativism is obviously an issue.

However, the head hunter tribe after years and years had some sort of social illness snowballing out of control. How do you blame the members of say generation 15 in that societal/cultural evolution. All those people ever knew was violence. Does that make them "evil"? It just seems like that is ignoring the process of events that got them there.

I suppose I see sexual predators in much the same light. I assume they weren't happy and healthy individuals who out of boredom and curiosity just randomly decided to abuse power. I assume these people were very damaged by their parents, who were damaged themselves by their parents, who were damaged by their parents or priests or whatever, who were ... going back for generations of damaged people.

I look at computer related problems and I'm pretty good at getting to root cause in highly complex systems. I don't understand human behavior all that well, so I admit I'm guessing a bit. But the line of reasoning seems reasonable to me so far. Is there some distinction here? How do you look at anyone doing "evil" AS them being "evil" themselves - when you suspect that they seem to most probably be just caught up in a "generational track" that is much bigger than many of their conscious decisions.

I don't really know what I'm talking about here, so this is more of a statement looking for perspective than some open challenge to people that don't see things the way I do.

We define good and evil. What is the definition of compassion? Isn't it the ability to see emotionally from another perspective - and maybe a bigger picture since you are not all caught up in what is blinding them.

I just get the sense that we have some weird need to punish EVIL doers. The whole "punish" deal is part of the problem as I see it. Maybe if we figured out how to not punish children no matter how much we were punished ourselves we could break some of these long term generational tracks of abusiveness. Isn't that a message we are supposed to be considering as aikido people who train to become so strong that we have no need to punish and damage those who want to damage us.

My understanding of the Osensei take on relativism was that there is an absolute and a relative. They are absolutely relative to each other. It is some kind of dualist monism or monistic dualism. And I have the impression that there is probably some order where absolute gets a higher precedence than the relative which results in so many natural "spirals" as opposed to "circles".

I have trouble believing such loaded issues can really be "black and white" or "just black end of story" simply because they seem a bit too surface level to me.

Forgive my ramblings - Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 03-18-2008 at 10:54 PM. Reason: left out a word
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 11:13 PM   #66
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Hello,

I am an on-again, off-again, over the years Aikidoka since a kid. I have been in many situations where lines where crossed by the adult authority. Thank God in Heaven, I wasn't completely victimized as the new report indicated or like the stories told here. I would like to add something.

Having children of my own, I see how vulnerable children are to adults. Especially those adults those children look up to, admire, or fear. I see children who are in need of models, protectors, and emotional caregivers. Children as these seek-out naturally such adults. But, children don't yet have the sophisticated instrumentation to seek out the good from the bad adults right away. Children can be easily manipulated, tricked, and confused when at any given level or time of need. Adults know this.

No adult has any business moving into that type of physical and emotional intimacy as reported. Adults have behavioral instrumentation. We know what we should and shouldn't be doing with children. Boundaries are put in place by adults, and adults know when they cross those boundaries. There should be no philosophical debate about it.

Aikido, martial arts overall, attract people who want authority. More often then not this means running a dojo and being a Sensei. More often then not this is benign. Because Aikido does attract it would reason there would be more cases of abuse then the three guys mentioned. A very low number of the publicized cases compared to all the people who take Aikido. Incidences exist in other organizations or professions which have gotten plenty of media exposure because of the high number of occurrences of abuse.

I don't see Aikido being primetime for predators to prey on children. I don't think is a big enough issue to sweep under the rug because it is a rare occurrence in Aikido. During practice, the Sensei is there being watched by parents (if not the child's then by the other parents) in one large open room. The child is rarely, or should be ever, alone with the Sensei. I would be alarmed if there where sleep-overs at the Sensei's house, or if the Sensei takes them on a trip. If the relationship between the child and the Sensei was too close where little if any boundaries existed. I don't think Aikido is about those things.

It's not the art it is the person. People are not gods. Aikido is an art and each dojo reflects the Sensei. There are some bad people who teach Aikido, and do bad things. Thank goodness the bad are few. Aikido isn't immune to the bad. There are bad people and bad people take Aikido. It is good to know that there are many more good people in Aikido then bad. Aikido is an art and it isn't perfect or imperfect. It shouldn't be a matter of reputation of the art when something bad happens. Rather. it is a matter of the individual who should suffer the reputation of being bad when doing something bad.

A serious issue George Clint is accused of? Yes. A major problem in Aikido, no I don't think so. Not enough to ride through town crying that the British are coming, or a spot on Dr. Phil. I don't think as touchy-feely and seen no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil, as Aikido is, it is something predators overall are attracted to. There are other professions that have more of an authority role involving teaching or leading children, predators are likely more attracted.

Sorry for the length.

Last edited by Buck : 03-18-2008 at 11:16 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2008, 11:59 PM   #67
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Well, geez, here I was getting mentally prepared to type up a long missive about moral relativism, headhunters, eating the heart of enemies, and the practice in some asian cultures of killing female children... But Mr. Amdur has covered it quite well...

As we evolve, become more civilized, and spend more time considering the consequences of our actions I would hope we have become more aware of issues of damages we do to each other through our actions, deceits, conceits and ignorance. There is clear evidence of damage done to children in modern society by abuse. Heck, William's very honest post also shows a young man that was literally a perfect candidate for exploitation. And while it might have filled a void for him, her choices in how she could have helped were many. But she chose a particular path, an evil path. And if I'm reading the story correctly ("tendancy to "bond" with male students"), it may not have been the only time she'd acted in such a way. Do you think she "helped" all these boys? Maybe William feels it helped him in retrospect considering the magnitude of problems faced at the same time. Lesser of evils? However, this sort of scenario is all-too-common in these cases. A kid who needs a parental figure. A kid who is missing out on love and guidance. And a person who sees that, comes in, gets close, and takes it someplace else entirely. Taking advantage of an opening... With a child.

It is wrong.
Thanks for the post...This issue to me brings to mind a few films in popular culture which have tried to explore this particular "bond" and strike a chord with me personally.

Harold and Maude
Gloria (The John Cassavettes version the better of the two)
The Professional.

Each film towed right up to the line of a possible physical relationship between an adult and a child as a byproduct of a bond both of them pursue and the adults innate desire to perform a greater good by protecting a child not his/her own.

They never cross that line...That (as Ellis points out) is a taboo meme.

I was lucky in the my Teachers desire to nuture protect and take care of me stood in stark contrast to her failure to honor that taboo.

I know nothing about Clint George other than he apparently failed too..a flaw in his charactor? A byproduct of his own physical abuse as a child? A sex addict? Who knows?

I will pray for him and her.

I hope I am not rambling to you good folks but in my heart of hearts this is what an Aiki Community Feels and Looks like and I am greatful to be a part of it.

William Hazen
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 12:05 AM   #68
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
When I was a child, my father physically and emotionally abused me in unimaginable ways. I apparently repressed the memories of the abuse for many years. Later in life I was visiting some family and I heard what sounded like the physical abuse of a child in the next apartment. I "woke" up on the floor in a fetal position. Memories of the abuse came flooding into my mind. I became a very angry and bitter person. I sent my dad an email detailing some of my memories and letting him know what a terrible and evil human being he was. I cut off contact with him for several years. How could he have done such evil things to his own child? What a despicable human being he must be. His sins were surely greater than my own; after all, I had never done such despicable things to my children. In fact, I had never layed a hand on my children. I was surely a superior human being. Then one day I received a call; dad was in the hospital and his condition was critical. I debated whether or not to go to the hospital. I went. He had been in a coma and the moment I walked in the room he awoke, looked me in the eye, and mouthed these two words: I'm sorry. At that moment I forgave him. He recovered and lived several more years before dying of lymphoma cancer. What I learned about myself was that, initially I could not forgive him because I felt his sins were greater than mine. What I have since discovered is that only when we think our sins are less than another's can we not forgive them. When our sins are not as great or as evil as our neighbor's, it is much easier to condemn them. I now try to withhold my judgment and condemnation of others. There are plenty of others who are more than willing to accept that responsibility.
Amen Ricky I have had that exact same experiance too...

A man I know and trust said the most powerful idea to emerge out of the Christian Religion was the ideal of forgiveness...

Any man or woman who could embrace and practice it in thier own life would become the most powerful of all spiritual warriors...

God Bless You.

William Hazen
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 12:26 AM   #69
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
Offline
Forgiveness

Seems like I'm functioning as a devil's advocate. I wish to be very clear that I am not questioning nor arguing with the forgiveness that R. Wood and William have described. BUT - one of the most pernicious problems I see in the treatment and recovery from violation is the "pushing" of forgiveness. This can be due to an ideology of a particular religion or psychology (particularly "pop" psychology); discomfort on the part of the auditor at the anger or even rage of the victim; or a fantasy that forgiveness will always heal.
I've worked with many many people who never healed because they suppressed their righteous outrage when pushed by pastor, therapist, family or friend to forgive. I see many children pushed to forgive their abusive dad by their mother whom they love - but who wants the man back in her life above all else, or as above, is more uncomfortable at the anger of their child than the act of the abuser.
So, it's been my experience that the only forgiveness that heals comes from the heart, and that is not something that is taught or even pointed out. It emerges completely unexpected, as a shock from within, like when you walk into a hospital room, look in someone's eyes, and somehow, the rage is gone, and forgiveness or compassion emerges.
Most of the time, my job is to help a person become enraged, to succeed in hating both the deed and the doer, to have it burn through them like a fire burning out all the underbrush in a redwood forest. When one can clearly condemn evil, without reframing it, or finding a pablum explanation in the oppressor's past, when one can clearly say that no explanation excuses violation, then and only then can forgiveness OR indifference OR a continuation of a righteous disdain and hatred emerge, all equally valid, equally powerful, and equally true.
Again, I am not discounting what William and Ricky wrote. But just as moral relativism, multi-culturalism, or the idea of self-esteem healing all, "forgiveness" has become, for many, a talisman that is deemed so self-evidence that no one dare question it's worth.
Best

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 03:41 AM   #70
batemanb
 
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,029
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Aaron Finney wrote: View Post
Personally, I believe that a teacher participating in a romantic relationship with a student is overstepping an important boundary, regardless of age.
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.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 07:03 AM   #71
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Ellis:

I fear that you have misread what I was trying to convey. It tends to be when people place events, ideas, opinions, etc. in absolutes, frequently, the conversation is shut down. I would have thought that the example that I gave with the book "The Nazi Doctors..." would have clearly illustrated that point. So many people want to look at what happened as "absolute evil." The reality was much more complicated than that. Understanding the psychological principles that shaped people into doing the "unspeakable" is critical. We obviously have not learned from that, because we have other other mini genocides occur while the world stood by and watched.

All of the examples that you gave discussed how events were shaped by their cultures over time. Thanks to abstract reasoning capacities, humans have the unique capacity to justify things that run counter to our very survival! I

I agree with you assessment of society's need for "forgiveness." You and I have both worked with people who have been severely traumatized, abused,.... Your assessment was right on target. My nonacceptance and condemnation of these types of alleged events are on par with yours (my guess- I may be wrong about that). My own experiences, personally and professionally have been that personal healing has been facilitated when a person does not have to only look at the events from the "eyes" of moral absolutes.

I try and live up to the idea of treating everything around me as I would wanted to be treated. Living up to the reverence of the most precious, fragile gift - life, is easier said than done.

I have to get to work now in my job as a psychologist. I think that if we were to discuss these issues, we would have more common ground than you might believe. If we look at things from slightly different angles, then that simply highlights to beauty of the uniqueness of life.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 07:38 AM   #72
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Forgiveness

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
When one can clearly condemn evil, without reframing it, or finding a pablum explanation in the oppressor's past, when one can clearly say that no explanation excuses violation, then and only then can forgiveness OR indifference OR a continuation of a righteous disdain and hatred emerge, all equally valid, equally powerful, and equally true.
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

Last edited by rob_liberti : 03-19-2008 at 07:41 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 08:16 AM   #73
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,778
United_States
Online
Re: Forgiveness

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Seems like I'm functioning as a devil's advocate. I wish to be very clear that I am not questioning nor arguing with the forgiveness that R. Wood and William have described. BUT - one of the most pernicious problems I see in the treatment and recovery from violation is the "pushing" of forgiveness. This can be due to an ideology of a particular religion or psychology (particularly "pop" psychology); discomfort on the part of the auditor at the anger or even rage of the victim; or a fantasy that forgiveness will always heal.
Well, sure. Been there, done that. The healing process has many stages, of which forgiveness is only one -- and forgiveness is not always possible. A friend once told me that in Jewish tradition, it's not considered possible to forgive someone who doesn't repent: it's not that it's hard, it's that it's impossible, like 2 and 2 equaling 5. I believe that that's true, and that forgiveness isn't something you can do all on your own.

I also agree with your point about the pushing of forgiveness, which strikes me to be a variant of the constant pushing for "closure" (a much-misused word that I would like to ban from all discourse for a period of not less than two decades). I think it arises from the reasons that you cite, which when you get right down to it are really childish. Let's forgive! Let's get closure! That'll make the bad feelings go away, right now! God forbid we should have to live with the consequences and reminders of the past; much better to stick our fingers in our ears and squeeze our eyes shut and yell "LA LA LA LA LA MAKE IT GO AWAY!!!"

Quote:
<snip>So, it's been my experience that the only forgiveness that heals comes from the heart, and that is not something that is taught or even pointed out. It emerges completely unexpected, as a shock from within, like when you walk into a hospital room, look in someone's eyes, and somehow, the rage is gone, and forgiveness or compassion emerges.
It was like that with me, too (I wasn't abused, btw -- I grew up with an alcoholic parent, different issue). I had to stop trying to fix things. It's much like physical healing: you do what you can, but you also have to let go of the idea that you control it -- and (this is the real scary part) you have to accept that it might not get better. You have to find your will to live with what you have, even as you work and hope for improvement.

Quote:
Most of the time, my job is to help a person become enraged, to succeed in hating both the deed and the doer, to have it burn through them like a fire burning out all the underbrush in a redwood forest. When one can clearly condemn evil, without reframing it, or finding a pablum explanation in the oppressor's past, when one can clearly say that no explanation excuses violation, then and only then can forgiveness OR indifference OR a continuation of a righteous disdain and hatred emerge, all equally valid, equally powerful, and equally true.
I think the problem -- which took me decades to understand -- is that most people have a tendency to conflate things in a way that suggests a relationship that doesn't exist. "He abused you, but he was abused himself" -- that conjunction is very problematic. Yes, there may be a connection, and it may be helpful to understand for someone, but it's got to be carefully removed from the context of stating what happened and who bears responsibility. I got to my own forgiveness by abandoning all conjunctions and dealing with each truth by itself. Now I can appreciate some of the connections between them, dismiss others as false, and accept others as true but not particularly relevant to me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 08:36 AM   #74
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

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.

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Harold and Maude
Gloria (The John Cassavettes version the better of the two)
The Professional.

Each film towed right up to the line of a possible physical relationship between an adult and a child as a byproduct of a bond both of them pursue and the adults innate desire to perform a greater good by protecting a child not his/her own.

They never cross that line...That (as Ellis points out) is a taboo meme.
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.

As for the 13 to 16 distinction, I think it's easy as an adult to say, it's only two years. But in terms of development, a couple years is not insignificant. For those of you with teenagers, imagine handing your twelve year old the keys to the car for a night. Handing them over to a sixteen year old is bad enough, but those few years do make a big difference.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2008, 09:09 AM   #75
ramenboy
Dojo: midwest aikido center
Location: chicago
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 328
Offline
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

maybe its because i'm so narrow-minded, but, on the whole, its very interesting to see threads like this one, the similar AAA one and the one on 'eroticism' http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13924 going on at the same time.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
George Ledyard Sensei in San Antonio Oct. 13-15, 2006 AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 1 09-24-2006 10:17 PM
Seminar with Sensei Clint George Brad Pruitt Seminars 2 08-05-2006 02:26 PM
AikiWeb Front Page News AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 04-26-2006 11:12 AM
New Sword DVD Set from George Ledyard AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 08-24-2005 04:45 PM
Review: George Ledyard Seminar at Shindai AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 06-22-2005 05:17 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:48 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate