Suicide Amid Molestation InquiryThread Started December 14 at 3:13AM
<< Thread Modifed December 14 at 3:13AM >>
Does all this seems to be going too fast for anyone else? I just saw this article on MSM tonight and find it horribly sad. I know Mike started the backlash thread, but it was getting terribly long so I chose to start a new one. I really am at a loss of what to think about this. :(
Rep Dan Johnson commits suicide amid inquiry.
Reply on December 14, 2017 05:12 AM
This absolutely highlights what I was saying on the other thread about trial by media and its consequences. It is a devastating thing for an innocent person to be accused of a crime like this. Even if people are proven innocent in a court of law, these allegations would still dog them. Unfortunately, suicide is apt to make people think the individual had something to hide/a guilty conscience, when in fact it could just be they couldn't handle the hellish circus that such accusations have now become.
The problem is that when it comes to this sort of thing these days, all brakes are off. The internet keyboard warriors will hound the accused without even considering there might be another side to the story, and certainly not listening to it.
Misogyny doesn't sit well with me, but replacing it with misanthropy is not the answer. And that is what is happening, here. It's a witch hunt, in which every man accused is automatically guilty. Mud sticks, and even if a man accused manages to clear his name (difficult to do, as difficult as it is prove sexual assault in some cases), there'll still be people in his community who will always regard him with suspicion, maybe even his own wife will never be quite sure.
And the response of, 'oh, the victims have had years of not being believed' doesn't justify this. Two wrongs do not make a right.
Reply on December 14, 2017 07:28 AM
I agree with much of what you say, Emma. As a male, I certainly wouldn't want to be presumed guilty unless I could prove myself innocent if someone took it upon themself to make accusations against me - and I can see that this does happen. Also, "trial by media" is a real thing, and can have dire consequences.
However, turning to the particular case in question, I think there are some things that need pointing out.
The godly gentleman in question might have been the bishop of a church, but he was hardly a choirboy. He is well-known for anti-muslim rants and for calling for Islam to be banned. He also gleefully posted to his Facebook photos of the Obamas, portraying them to be monkeys. He was indicted for the arson of his car, and suspected of being involved an arson incident concerning his own church. Finally, it was not just as if some random female decided to make sexual assault allegations against him, these accusations were actually being investigated by police.
Now, none of these things prove he was guilty of the crime of which he was accused, but they certainly cast doubt upon his character from where I stand.
The other thing is, both Johnson and his defenders have been at pains to suggest that Liberal ideology is the reason these accusations are being made against the man. He even demanded in what is assumed to be a suicide note that "Conservatives make a stand". The same claim was made about accusations against Moore, and even Trump's misogynistic behaviour is made out by his fan club to be a "liberal beat-up".
All of these incidents, and many more, could, imaginably, be fabrications of the luciferan left. Or, they could be evidence that the God-fearing Christian right contain in their number a great many scum, who regard women as toys to be used for their gratification, and undeserving of decent treatment.
I think in this case, particularly since it was something being investigated by police, the media had a right to report it.
Short Works Rating
Reply on December 14, 2017 08:37 AM << Modifed December 14 at 8:56AM >>
There has to be a way to give those that have been sexually assaulted, molested, or in any way mistreated, to have a public voice...there should be a public investigation in these cases...I say that so in each case, the truth does come out...yet the media does seem to condemn, and continue a daily effort to bring these cases to light...Should these men/woman be brought to some kind of justice, if possible, of course, but we the people have to take some responsibility for some of what's going...there is a kind of hysteria that has become something, I believe, has taken the idea of harm to woman too far.
There's a history that followed this man, and not all of it had to do with sexual abuse, people allowed some of that, they stood by him, yet..did he commit the crime that he was accused of?..we'll never really know...the investigation, at the time, was never quite satisfactory, his conduct was never proven...but he was accepted by his church audience as a Christian man.
I find that odd indeed...just the charge of abuse, should have given cause for his church audience to insist on a full and complete investigation of the charges before he was accepted back into any pulpit.
After a seven month period and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, could not get a response from Johnson, I don't know what they should have done, but I do believe the atmosphere that is now finding men/woman guilty of sexual assaults based on the words of those that claim to be assaulted has to be changed...I think jail sentences are appropriate...suicide is not.
He probably did abuse this young girl, but I'd rather he be in jail, than having committed suicide...What about this man's family...what about the families of those that have been accused for what is considered abuse, and is not...every single case should be dealt with, but it has to be done fairly..
Just Some Thoughts!
Reply on December 14, 2017 01:50 PM
Interesting, Craig. The man was not a pleasant man, it seems. But the key sentence you used was 'being investigated by the police'. 'Investigated' doesn't mean guilty. A couple of the people I know who were falsely accused were investigated by the police. Didn't make them guilty.
And the problem with a media shit-storm like this is that if such cases do make it to court, how would you find an unbiased jury? Yes, there's a journalistic duty to report, but where and how that reporting is done is part of the problem.
Years ago, before social media, you'd see in the paper, 'A man is accused of ... ' The person was rarely named, and the article would be pretty standard, factual stuff. Now, with every on-line hack posting up names, dates, times, inside leg measurements, and crucially, opinions, people are often tried and convicted before the police have so much as dabbed for fingerprints.
It doesn't matter how much of a bastard somebody is, they still have the right to a fair trial. If they ARE under investigation, all the more reason to keep their names out of the media. Investigations can be seriously jeopardised by biased exposure to sensationalised 'facts'.
I know I should, as a woman, be supportive of people speaking out against abusers. But I am also a big supporter of human rights, and that includes the legal rights of the accused. And what of the accuser? More often than not, the accuser comes under fire as well. Personally, as a victim of abuse myself, who didn't speak out for other reasons, if something like that happened to me today, I'd be even less inclined to speak out. I couldn't take the public scrutiny. Even if you aren't named, someone always finds out who you are, and before you know it, your name is up there in the light, and the focus is drawn from abuser to victim.
I don't think people 'under investigation' should be named. It hinders investigations, does untold damage to the family of the accused, who, regardless of what the accused did or didn't do, are often completely innocent/had no idea. And if it has all been for nothing, the damage is already done. The victims often find themselves on trial also. I wouldn't want to be reading the latest internet assassination of my character, even if I wasn't 'named' as the victim. I'd still know it was me.
Short Works Rating
Reply on December 14, 2017 03:03 PM
Again, I agree with your thoughts!
Perhaps, because of the kind of hurtful experiences that I have had to deal with in my life, I know for definite sure, that if someone abused me in a physical way...I would speak out loud and clear..loud and clear!....why?..because I own that to myself.
There is absolutely no chance I would go through 10-15 or more years of my life without making an effort to see some kind of justice.
I just heard there was 2 other men being charged with abuse today, on top of the 1 from yesterday...and this is going to continue...yet how many of these men/woman has had a day in court or had a face to face public meeting.
Life will go on for those women that have gone on for a long time, its just getting to be without closure, but isn't the idea of fairness mean anything...is the mouths of every woman to be accepted as truth...I think not...but even when or if an abuser has been proven innocent, what about their family...that might seem trivial, but its not...why should children have to read, listen to their father's being accused of such terrible things, and not get a open meeting, between both parities to allow their sides to be made.
I know it sounds redundant, and I'm sorry, but before I condemn ALL men accused of abuse, I'd have to have it proven to me...Indeed there have been money settlements,
and I can assure you I wouldn't accept that to keep my mouth shut...not one penny!
I guess that might be because I didn't get to my stage in life, by letting some guy maul me, or anything like that...have any tried, just one, and it got him nowhere...did I report it, hell yes I did, would I have wanted him to get fired, no, but he was made to apologize...after I met him in his office, with the door closed...and had my say.
My concern is not as much for the women supposedly abused, as it is for the families of those men/woman that get caught up in all of this...only to find there was little truth in what their family members/close friends were accused of having done.
Just Some Thoughts!
Reply on December 14, 2017 03:06 PM
Yes, all true, Emma. But there is the other side of the coin.
How would it be if every newspaper headline was something along the lines of "Someone is accused of doing something to somebody"? There are many, many cases where people have remained silent, thinking that no one would believe them - yet, when the details appear in the press of another victim, they are given some measure of courage to report their own story. From there you sometimes have an avalanche of cases, where if specific details had not been reported, a serial offender would have gone unpunished, and the victims would have kept piling up.
What do you think would have happened if the media had not reported specific cases of child sexual abuse in the Catholic, and subsequently, other, church(es)? Would the church have reported itself? They've gone to extraordinary lengths to cover up these abhorrent actions, whenever they have occurred.
If I were to put myself in the position of this man, and let's assume I'm innocent of the accusations against me. What would I do? Well, I imagine I might take the press on head-on, and tell them if they've got any evidence other than the uncorroborated testimony of a single person, to provide it. In other words, "put up, or shut up". If I were innocent of the charges, the last thing it would occur to me to do is take my own life, and thereby remove any chance whatsoever of clearing my name.
Reply on December 14, 2017 03:25 PM
I see your point, Craig, but you aren't in that position. We can all say, of many suicide cases, 'if it was me, I'd have done this', but you don't know the pressure until you've been there, and even then, everyone responds differently. It's all very well saying, 'I'd have fought for my innocence', but how many of these men have said/are saying just that, over and over again, and how many aren't being listened to? There's people who've said the same of the abused who killed themselves: 'Well, if it was me, I'd have kept shouting until someone believed me'. But if you are constantly being hounded over it, being told you are a liar, how will that beat you down? There's people released from prison 30 years after they've been sentenced who always protested their innocence of whatever the crime was, but got sent down because they weren't believed. Doesn't matter how much you shout, sometimes it isn't enough, and these days, if the media isn't on your side, you haven't a chance. Doesn't even matter if a court clears you, if the majority of the press and the public make it plain they think you 'got away' with it, your life it in tatters. Some people can't handle that, and I'm not sure I blame them.
And, as you've unwittingly exemplified, here, attachment to a certain group or organisation marks you out as being more likely to be guilty. And guilt by association may be a natural human reaction, but that doesn't make it right.
The church kept cases they knew about quiet, and that is wrong, but that is still not an excuse for hounding someone who has not been proven to be guilty simply because, in some cases, they are people the media doesn't like.
And that's the problem with some of these cases. I'm sorry, but how much of an arsehole the guy is has nothing to do with anything. Got to go, tea's ready, will finish later.
Reply on December 14, 2017 04:31 PM << Modifed December 14 at 7:33PM >>
Yes, we've all heard about the cases and seen the movies. People who have spent 30 years in gaol (or even been executed) because they were falsely accused. Hounded, and their reputations ruined, by a partisan, hostile press. Convicted by judges and juries with a particular philosophical bent and agenda (although that's a different issue). Like most other people, I find those cases deeply disturbing, incredibly so.
But there's one thing I find even worse. That's the cases you hear about all too often, where some poor man or (more often) woman winds up dead, because a judge has ruled, in a previous case, that her killer's previous rape and murder convictions couldn't be used as evidence - because the court must be persuaded "only by the facts of this case". Or some judge has slapped a gag order on the press who have been pursuing this homicidal maniac.
There is a problem with trying to view facts in isolation. No, being an asshole doesn't automatically convict someone of any and every allegation someone wishes to throw at them. But it speaks to character. The fact that someone behaves reprehensibly in their dealings with people, that they appear to have a problem with being truthful, and other such issues is something most of us mere mortals would have trouble putting aside in trying to decide whom to believe. Unless, that is, one is a member of the staunch religious right. They appear to be of the opinion - expressed by this individual - that they answer to no one other than God. This, by the way, is the incredibly arrogant position of the Catholic Church in Australia in relation to the abuse of children, as anyone who has heard their spokespeople could tell you.
I won't cop the "guilt by association" rap. I was not endeavouring, by bringing up the crimes of Catholic clergy, to insinuate that this man, being religious, must be guilty of those same crimes. That thought never entered my head. The point I was trying to make was how incalculable damage has been done by not listening to victims of such crimes, and how essential press coverage has been in exposing them.
Yes, the press needs to carefully check their facts. Yes, they need to avoid indulging in "witch-hunts" to sell copy. Should they be muzzled? Not in my opinion. There are legal remedies available if they cross the line.
The ridiculous right is trying to make out that all of these cases that are coming to light are an invention of their political opponents and leftist media. Which is about as credible as saying Sandy Hook, Columbine and the recent massacre in Texas are all media beat-ups. Their problem is that it's a no-win. The girl (at the time of the alleged offence) and her family are also Christians, and were attendees at the church.
This case smacks of at least severe police bungling, if not deliberate cover up - IMO much more likely the latter. I found it instructive to read this - the original article published just days before Johnson's suicide:
Reply on December 14, 2017 07:31 PM << Modifed December 15 at 8:58PM >>
Christianity in America, 2017. How proud would Jesus be?
Edit: Well, it seems the Youtube video has been pulled. No surprises there.
Edit to edit: It appears the video is back (for now)
Reply on December 15, 2017 02:32 AM
Well, there's two sides to the character argument. There have been a lot of pretty nasty folk who would not have been described as such before the bodies were discovered. Fred West was generally viewed as a nice guy, bit on the dim side, maybe, but popular in his community. Everyone was shocked when the bodies were found. Harold Shipman. Charming doctor, lovely bedside manner ...
The reason someone's past crimes cannot be considered in a court of law until sentencing is because it biases the jury. You are absolutely right that most mortals would look at the character of the accused, and that is why we have a legal system that tries to be as objective as possible, to circumvent that very human and sometimes misleading trait.
Whilst the local hoodlum/racist/right wing religious nut is being relentlessly pursued by the media, the real murderer/rapist/whatever quietly goes about his business not drawing attention to himself. It's how most of the people who perpetrate terrible crimes over a number of years get away with it. Because they AREN'T the ones shooting their mouths off down the pub or on facebook.
Yes, the justice system makes mistakes, because it is composed of humans, not machines, and yes, it is terrible when it happens that a guilty man goes free because only the evidence of the current case is taken into consideration, but how else could justice really be done? Do you really think somebody should be tried and convicted on circumstantial evidence simply because they've committed unrelated crimes, or spewed hateful opinions on social media? How would that work out?
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