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Old 04-02-2008, 03:23 PM   #126
G DiPierro
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
Previously mentioned was Gavin de Beckers book "The Gift of Fear"

I think this book is a fantasticly presented and illuminating "must read" for every individual concerned with self defense and the behavior of predators. Less well known is his latest book "Protecting the Gift" a work specifically concerned with children, and the dangers they face in our modern society.
Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) was his second book, published in 1999. While not as good overall as his first book, it is more relevant to the issues discussed in this thread:

Quote:
amazon.com wrote:
In this valuable, even necessary, book, he shatters many myths about the typical profiles of regular offenders and the prevalence of such problems as sexual abuse and kidnapping. He also deconstructs the wisdom of traditional maxims such as "Never talk to strangers" and "If you are ever lost, go to a policeman." Without offering a compendium of every conceivable danger, he identifies warning signals and real risks that are often easy to spot once you know what to look for. He offers practical advice on recognizing signs of sexual abuse, choosing a baby sitter or nanny, how to prepare kids for walking to school alone, and how to teach children about potential risks without making them afraid to venture out of the house. And he continually stresses that denial and ignoring intuition are the biggest mistakes that parents make in protecting their kids from those that mean them harm.
His latest book, published in 2002, is called Fear Less: Real Truth About Risk, Safety, and Security in a Time of Terrorism.

Another excellent resource on this subject is the 2006 documentary Deliver Us from Evil, which chronicles the story of Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who raped (physically, not just in the statutory sense) and otherwise abused "potentially hundreds" of children -- 6 to 10 year-olds, not adolescents -- over several decades. Although the allegations raised in this thread are troubling, in my opinion they do not even come close to level of evil that was perpetrated from within the Catholic church, both in terms of the acts themselves and in the church administration's handling of their aftermath, which mostly consisted of covering them up and moving the priest in question down the road to another parish and putting him in a position of power over an unwitting congregation so that he could commit the same offenses again.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:03 AM   #127
Toby Threadgill
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Giancarlo,

I didn't even know about "Fear Less". Thanks for the update.

Toby
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:33 AM   #128
ramenboy
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
[i]...
Another excellent resource on this subject is the 2006 documentary Deliver Us from Evil, which chronicles the story of Oliver O'Grady, a Catholic priest who raped (physically, not just in the statutory sense) and otherwise abused "potentially hundreds" of children -- 6 to 10 year-olds, not adolescents -- over several decades...
gdp
for some reason this show was what came to mind when i first heard the news of this thread and toyoda's. the title was on the tip of my tongue, but couldn't remember it. thanx for jogging the memory
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:14 PM   #129
SGshingu
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Do symbol Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I would like to say thanks for the sincere posts from you Ellis. I have never met you but I have trained with Clint and Hikitsuchi a number of years ago in Shingu. I am shocked and would like to know the facts but I do not think you are really being the Devil's Advocate at all here but just responsible to the Aikido community. I do enjoy and get a lot out of your replies, even when you go off topic. (sorry jun but ..hey he writes eloquently what can I say)

I can say that a few friends I jokingly talked about this very thing happening when we lived there and now it may even have come true. Now just not sure, He was one of the last people I would have thought would do anything like this but with 85 emails between them as the reporter wrote that seems somewhat above a normal relationship to me. As a friend I hope I am wrong and it is all a mistake but not knowing any more you just get to suspect. So please keep writing Ellis and all the others. Also, anyone with more information, would be welcome. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:33 AM   #130
M. McPherson
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Good to see you here, Scott, despite the circumstances.

Best,
Murray
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:56 AM   #131
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

interesting;
Quote:
Words Of Wisdom
Saito-sensei was a perfect gentleman at all times, and set a sterling example for us. He was especially proper with his female students.
One day he took several of us aside and gave us two pieces of advice for conduct as Aikido instructors.
1. Don't try to make a living teaching Aikido.
2. Don't fool around with your female students.
History has shown the wisdom of this advice.
http://www.iwama-aikido.com/iwamawisdom.html
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:59 AM   #132
CorkyQ
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I hope that Jun will not consider this veering off target, but as I was reading all the entries regarding this tragedy I was struck by how many people were quick to judge or at least to refuse to extend understanding. There was talk of forgiveness and how hard it is to forgive, and all that is very understandable, too. But mostly, what stood out was the nod to the idea that maybe the allegations aren't true, let's wait and see, etc. but that if they look to be true the man should be punished.

I know from personal experience how hard it is to forgive, yet I remember the story of the prophet who came upon the ensuing execution of a woman for harlotry who suggested that among the group who was ready to stone the woman to death, the person who had never sinned be the one to cast the first stone. No one could throw the first stone because all them had sinned. That there is some cultural gauge to which sin is the worst among the worst, made no difference in the prophet's eyes. His message was clear. Sin is an errant way of being, and it lives within us all.

The same prophet, as his hands and feet were nailed to posts, and he was hung out to dry in the desert heat, asked the creator to forgive his torturers.

And here we are, none of us the victim or direct relation of the victim of this act of misplaced love, debating the nature of the subject's evil as if, because we have not committed or even thought of committing the crime to which he is charged, somehow we are superior human beings.

If this man had been charged with vehicular manslaughter for hitting a child in a cross-walk and making her quadriplegic for life because he was adjusting his car radio, would it have warranted 6 pages discussing his moral inferiority because none of us would have been unwise enough to adjust the radio while driving, or because we may not even have the desire to listen to music in the car?

Since we are basing everything we write on a single page of half a dozen or so paragraphs, re-read it. This is not a predatory monster, he is man whose crime it was to fall in love with a child who fell in love with him. A child who was the same age as Shakespeare's Juliet when her parents were admonishing her to find a husband so that she could start raising her family.

Like everyone else, I can think of a million reasons to call what this man may have done wrong, and I can say how I would never have fallen prey to the same temptations to which he fell prey, but I will never be able to say that I will not fall prey to some temptation that will cause harm to myself or someone else.

Those of us who take the moral high ground when others screw up (and I include myself among us) would do well to recognize when those flashing thoughts of how bad someone else is, how wrong they are, how we would never... when those judgmental thoughts arise in us, to use that as an opportunity not to glorify ourselves as ones who would never, but to admit that as writer Jason pointed out before he was shot down in the court of public opinion, that after all, at the most fundamental level, this admired aikidoist who made a mistake of falling in love with an underage student - is just like you and me.
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:22 AM   #133
rob_liberti
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

No, Corky. First this isn't about a religious hierarchy of sins. There is a secular hierarchy. Second a bunch of the 6 pages were about how to protect your kids, and the obvious connection between how one treats their kids and the violence those kids will do in turn. Then there was a push to return to what I consider the gossip side of the topic, and then many thread contributors with anything constructive to say gave up in frustration. Now we are at the point where some more useful information is being shared, but unfortunately in too small of a scope compared to where we had tried to take it.

I suppose I dislike having such specific thread names - it has the common effect of encouraging reductionism at the expense of more comprehensive understanding of the nature of the underlying issues/themes.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 04-20-2008 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:42 AM   #134
akiy
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Then there was a push to return to what I consider the gossip side of the topic
Since you keep bringing this up in public despite my having sent you my thoughts through private e-mail correspondence, I will address your thoughts here,

If you consider my call to please "steer the discussion back to being directly pertinent to aikido and the original topic" as a push to return to the "gossip side of the topic," I certainly can't stop you from doing so. I guess you can call my moderation what you want, Rob, but I am here (in the General forum) to try to keep the discussions directly pertinent to aikido; had folks here kept explicit references and connections back to aikido in the discussion, I wouldn't object to those posts being in the General forum. Likewise, if you wish to expand the scope of your discussion, there is nothing keeping you nor anyone else from opening up a new thread in the Open Discussion forum to continue your discussion; I find your argument somewhat puzzling in light of that fact.

Please direct all further discussion on this particular topic of "encouraging reductionism" into the Feedback forum. Thank you.

Best,

-- Jun

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Old 04-20-2008, 07:12 PM   #135
rob_liberti
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Hi Jun,

We are having a misunderstanding based on the fact that unfortunately I received no private messages or emails from you. I'm glad to hear you had responded - I felt ignored and a bit disappointed (and I imagine you felt the same). Please resend if you still have a copy.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 04-20-2008 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:21 AM   #136
Keith Larman
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
This is not a predatory monster, he is man whose crime it was to fall in love with a child who fell in love with him. A child who was the same age as Shakespeare's Juliet when her parents were admonishing her to find a husband so that she could start raising her family.
Oh, please...

Up until as late as the early 20th century even in America we put 12-year-olds down mines, into fabric mills, sweatshops, steel mills, etc. up until we began to see some semblance of modern child labor laws. If you've spent any time at all studying theories of child development you can't get away from social context. And in many times in history children were treated more as property or just "extra hands" and were for all intents and purposes considered by many to be "expendable" cheap labor. And they still are treated that way in other parts of the world. In those societies children are often treated as no better than cattle. And marrying them off is a common practice in order to keep social order, distribute wealth and resources, etc.

Thankfully we as a society have matured and evolved, at least to some extent. Although sometimes I read posts like that and I wonder. Our attitudes about the place of children in society has changed rather dramatically. In the process we have also found what sort of damage can be done by inappropriate sexual contact between a full grown adult in a authority role and a child in a subordinate position in *today's* society.

Or we could always go back to Shakespeare's time and enjoy all the benefits of sending children back into the fields, mines and all the other dangerous work. Ah, the good old days. Right? I'm sure you miss going to the dentist for a good blood letting and leach treatment for that severe case of the vapors...

What does this have to do with Aikido? How about how we need to protect the children we are charged with caring for in classes? How about setting a proper example? How about being a role model? How about as instructors not violating the trust of the parents let along the innocence of the child?

Unbelievable...

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Old 04-21-2008, 10:42 AM   #137
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

And since way too high a proportion of abusers were abused themselves, how about we as a society stop creating people who then go out and do this again?

Best,
Ron (let's stop the freakin' cycle, for god's sake)

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:47 AM   #138
Keith Larman
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
And since way too high a proportion of abusers were abused themselves, how about we as a society stop creating people who then go out and do this again?

Best,
Ron (let's stop the freakin' cycle, for god's sake)
Now *that* I'll say "amen" to...

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Old 04-21-2008, 11:15 AM   #139
dragonteeth
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Sometimes I wonder if it would be worth taking the route that many daycare facilities have and installing either security cameras or password protected webcams for youth classes. That would give extra encouragement for the tempted to behave, as well as giving the parents a little more peace of mind. And who knows? If someone fails to respond to a teenager's advances and the kid wrongly accuses the instructor out of spite, it might end up protecting an innocent teacher to boot. I've seen several places that have 2-4 camera systems for under $300 with audio capabilities that record to DVR.

Of course, it goes without saying that one should be careful not to put up cameras that would capture questionable views of toilet and changing facilities....

Lori
(who doesn't own a leech and saves the blood letting for the mats...why you gotta always pick on us poor dentists huh?! )
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:23 AM   #140
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Like everyone else, I can think of a million reasons to call what this man may have done wrong, and I can say how I would never have fallen prey to the same temptations to which he fell prey, but I will never be able to say that I will not fall prey to some temptation that will cause harm to myself or someone else.
People screw up, all the time. But it's like mental illness... at what point do you go from being simply a difficult person or an eccentric to being crazy? Every society defines the "norms". If you are unfortunate enough to live in a society in which your desires / needs / behaviors are out of sync with the "norms" you are in big trouble.

In some cases we set up norms that make little sense. For instance, our insistence on almost Puritanical levels of proper behavior from our public figures while the average person's behavior is anything but that. It's hypocritical, sure. But you also see a high level of forgiveness because on some level folks understand the standard isn't realistic.

But as you move farther and farther away from what the normative is, you cross into a level real dysfunction. And the actions and desires of folks in that range are simply unacceptable and society will move to protect itself. Clint George is a personal friend of mine. But his actions place him beyond the pale into an area which we, as a society, have determined is unacceptable. There is very little disagreement on this, society is pretty much unanimous on the fact that this type of behavior is not acceptable, period.

It's not that there aren't folks of like mind out there. The Fundmentalist Latter Day Saints tried to set up their own separate society in isolation. For them, this behavior would be acceptable. Now our society has moved to take four hundred children from their parents because our view of acceptable behavior differs from theirs.

The reason that people always have such a hard time wrapping their minds around evil actions is that they want people to fall into one of two camps, the good folks or the bad folks. It doesn't work that way in most cases... Most folks carry both streams all the time. Studies have shown that it would take very little for the average person to perform deeds which he or she would have called evil. It just takes a certain set of conditions to bring out an entirely different side. If you look at the actions of the Japanese during the Rape of Nanking in 1937 you see soldiers committing unspeakable crimes who would never even have thought of breaking the law or violating social convention at home. When these soldiers returned home they became law abiding citizens and family men and generally never, ever spoke of what they had done in China. The whole society has been in denial about what they did because they can't square that knowledge with how they see themselves.

So, yes, we all need to understand that we carry the seeds of evil behavior within us. But that doesn't mean that we condone that behavior. If it turns out that Clint George has done what is alleged, he is, by all acceptable contemporary standards, broken. Hopefully, he gets help. I don't think that this requires that we hate him or get angry at him. I think it allows us to feel compassion for him. But it also means that as far as any normal social intercourse goes, he is largely done for. It certainly means that he is through as an Aikido teacher completely and absolutely. It's a tragedy but that's the way it is. We have defined certain lines in our society that you just don't cross... some make sense, others seem more arbitrary. But I think that we uniformly believe that our young should be protected. Threatening our young will bring out some of the strongest defensive reaction on the part of the group. And I do not think that this is wrong.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 04-21-2008 at 11:28 AM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:34 AM   #141
mriehle
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So, yes, we all need to understand that we carry the seeds of evil behavior within us. But that doesn't mean that we condone that behavior. If it turns out that Clint George has done what is alleged, he is, by all acceptable contemporary standards, broken. Hopefully, he gets help. I don't think that this requires that we hate him or get angry at him. I think it allows us to feel compassion for him. But it also means that as far as any normal social intercourse goes, he is largely done for. It certainly means that he is through as an Aikido teacher completely and absolutely. It's a tragedy but that's the way it is.
I'm quoting this bit because I think it summarizes very well a point several people have tried to make here.

There are several, separate aspects of a situation like this and it's important not to get them mixed up with each other. As soon as you do, you limit your choices in a very non-productive way.

This issue should not be retribution, it should be protecting potential victims. I'd go so far as to say that if we focused on that to begin with, these sorts of things would be less likely to occur at all. Consider some of the ideas presented in this thread and it's spin off about instructors behavior standards.

I would also go so far as to say this is part of why we study Aikido. Sometimes it's easy to get wrapped up in the self defense stuff and forget that the best self defense is to not be in a vulnerable space to begin with. And as we grow more able to do that for ourselves, it's important to help others avoid vulnerability as well.

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Old 04-21-2008, 11:48 AM   #142
Keith Larman
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Lori Snidow wrote: View Post
(who doesn't own a leech and saves the blood letting for the mats...why you gotta always pick on us poor dentists huh?! )
Cause I spent years working in a dental office...

I don't think cameras are something we really need, but policies of having more than one adult present for kids classes, etc. are all sound ideas and what we do at our dojo.

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Old 04-21-2008, 12:18 PM   #143
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Cause I spent years working in a dental office...

I don't think cameras are something we really need, but policies of having more than one adult present for kids classes, etc. are all sound ideas and what we do at our dojo.
Do any of the major Aikido organizations have written policies on the subject of teaching minors? If not, it might be a good idea to put one together and get the major organizations to endorse and adopt them.

It's only a matter of time before an organization is taken to court for the behavior of a member of their organization, especially teachers that have received some sort of official teaching certification.

Many of the youth sports organizations have written policies and their coaches receive training. That makes it VERY clear when someone is acting beyond the pale, usually before their behavior can cross from the "grooming" stage into something more sinister.

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Old 04-21-2008, 12:25 PM   #144
Jennifer Yabut
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I don't think cameras are something we really need, but policies of having more than one adult present for kids classes, etc. are all sound ideas and what we do at our dojo.
One of the dojos I visited not only has security cameras, but also an "instructors certification" which must be renewed on a yearly basis. Since they have multiple children's classes, I can understand why they put the cameras in place.

I don't know if the USAF has an "official policy" for minor students, but our dojo recently created one for ourselves. Some kind of "instructor course" (with an emphasis on appropriate teacher/student interactions) would also be a good idea, methinks.

"The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them." - Miyamoto Musashi
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:59 PM   #145
Ellis Amdur
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The "cycle that isn't"

Thought I was finished posting on this, but no. Not yet, I guess.
Ron Tisdale writes:
Quote:
And since way too high a proportion of abusers were abused themselves, how about we as a society stop creating people who then go out and do this again?
This is not true.
1. Research shows clearly that violence breeds violence, that there is extreme statistically significant relationship between violence to children and them growing up to be violent
2. Furthermore, if children simply witness violence in the home, even when they are not a direct victim, they are more likely to be violent.
3. BUT - this is not true in sexual abuse. First of all, when uncontrolled studies are done, an incredible majority of sexual predators endorse being abused as children. I recall it was 75% or 80%. But when they did a controlled study, where one could actually establish the facts of the individuals lives, the figure went down to about 30%.
4. Well, we say, at least the "cause" is established in 30%. Not so. That these people were abused and later abused others may be causally related and it very well may not be.
5. And the vast majority - 70% - were not abused.
6. The hard to accept truth is that sexual abusers of children - generally speaking - show no other signs of psychological pathology or trauma - when compared to the non-abuser population. The only difference between them and us seems to be we like vanilla ice cream and they like to sexually violate children.
7. That said, psychopaths show no apparent psychological pathology either. There is an excellent paper - (somewhere on my shelves) - which describes the pedophile as a "sectored-out" psychopath. Within that circle, they have no conscience or caring for the victim, and only their own needs matter. Outside the circle, they can be unremarkable. A classic example just went to prison - one of Martin Luther King's closest friends, an absolute unmitigated hero of the civil rights movement, who sexually molested most of his daughters.

The "cycle of abuse" theory is actually the height of cruelty, because the vast number of victims who do not abuse often see themselves as ticking bombs, afraid that this repressed damaged desire will emerge. For example, I've worked with guys afraid to change their children's clothes, because they believe, contrary to any actual feelings they have, that they probably will abuse a child because of this "cycle of abuse" of which they are supposedly a part.
Best

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:22 PM   #146
mriehle
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Do any of the major Aikido organizations have written policies on the subject of teaching minors? If not, it might be a good idea to put one together and get the major organizations to endorse and adopt them.
I wonder if this isn't the sort of thing deserving of a wiki page.

It strikes me that there are legal, moral and ethical issues which should be brought to the attention of anyone wanting to teach Aikido and any organization which is hiring teachers.

I through a wiki page under teaching together as a place to start. I have some ideas about some of the issues mentioned in it and I'll go fill some of them in as I have time.

But I have no particular emotional attachment. It strikes me that there are at least three people here who are more qualified than I am to fill some of these sections in.

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:26 PM   #147
Keith Larman
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Thank you for the post Mr. Amdur. Interesting bit of information. More to add to my notes on the topic (I'm trying to compile a presentation on this).

I think the part that bugs me so much about many of these discussions is how some seem to confuse the desire to understand and/or explain how abuse happens with excusing and/or forgiving it. I'm all about understanding and studying why these things happen -- I've been reading a lot of books on the topic since this event came to light. So we all try to understand these things -- hopefully with an eye towards preventing it in the future and maybe even identifying those who might be prone to it or situations that might otherwise go unnoticed.

However, once it happens, well, I have precious little sympathy for the abusers. That moves us from trying to understand why these things happen to dealing with it once it has. That latter is something else entirely. And IMHO too often that "idiot compassion" (as Fred Little so well put it) allows it to go on, to propogate and to go unfettered.

"Oh, he said he's sorry, it was just a small infatuation... It won't happen again... His only "crime" was falling in love..."

It doesn't work that way. And time and again when someone is exposed as having had an "inappropriate" contact with a minor it is found that it was not the only time. Often the list of victims turns out to be enormous. And each step of the way someone, somewhere probably saw something, noticed something, and could have said something. But it is too "unseemly", too "unthinkable", or "just falling in love"...

The "cycle" that needs to be stopped is the cycle of the rest of us enabling these things to happen. Of turning away and lying to ourselves about it happening.

We need to have these discussions and we all need to be vigilant. Because it isn't just the creepy guy around the corner who does these things...

What I find most encouraging about the story is that apparently someone in the dojo in question confronted him about it. And reported it. Now there is someone who deserves praise and respect.

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:29 PM   #148
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Re: The "cycle that isn't"

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Thought I was finished posting on this, but no. Not yet, I guess.
Thank you, Ellis. I'm certainly glad that you took the time to continue, even when you thought you were done. The information given was something I had not known, nor even guessed at.

(Now, isn't there a book you're supposed to be finishing up? )

Mark
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:34 PM   #149
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Thanks Ellis. You can see how those of us unfamiliar with the subject are subject to many myths. Keep checking in at least, I might be fostering more, for all I know...

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 04-21-2008, 03:59 PM   #150
mathewjgano
 
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: The "cycle that isn't"

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
The "cycle of abuse" theory is actually the height of cruelty, because the vast number of victims who do not abuse often see themselves as ticking bombs, afraid that this repressed damaged desire will emerge. For example, I've worked with guys afraid to change their children's clothes, because they believe, contrary to any actual feelings they have, that they probably will abuse a child because of this "cycle of abuse" of which they are supposedly a part.
Best
Not that this testimonial adds much, but one of my closest friends has expressed this exact fear. The trauma of the abusive event(s) can easily extend into innocent events. As a consequence (tying this back into an Aikido-related post), innocuous physical contact can itself become pretty uncomfortable for those with these kinds of past trauma. As a result of this knowledge, I am pretty sensitive toward people who display a reluctance for physical contact whereas I've seen other folks assume they're "just shy" and try to "break" them of this kind of behavior.

Gambarimashyo!
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