Tuesday, February 22, 2011


An article appearing today offers more food for thought in this curious matter that was the subject of my immediately previous Post.

Brown, it appears, now says that he did tell his mother a short while ago – and thus it wasn’t quite accurate that she would find out for the first time when she read the book, which he had previously stated.

The District Attorney with jurisdiction for the matter – that Christian summer camp (and there is only one) is located down on Cape Cod – offered to open an investigation. Brown has refused that offer. (A DA has to ask the allegant for permission to open up a child-sex-abuse investigation?)

Brown, rather, is ready to move on with his life and anyway, he notes, the alleged abuser is “about 70 now” – which seems neither here nor there given standard practice in this field; surely there are priests, to note just one target population, who are not only older but are even – not to put too fine a point on it – dead and yet are allegated-against in impressive numbers. And, literally, Brown says he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

And in an almost predictable irony, this has incurred for Brown the censure of one of the area’s most successful civil-litigators, the same attorney (Mitchell Garabedian) who has made millions settling lawsuits (not criminal cases and not even civil trials in most instances) against Roman Catholic dioceses (Boston, especially) in the alleged cases of numerous priests, largely dating back decades.

The attorney points out, quite logically in terms of the reigning philosophy, that “ ‘it is highly unlikely that Brown was the counselor’s only victim and there probably were many more who are too fearful or embarrassed to come forward.

“ ‘It’s very important to expose child predators,’’’ Garabedian said by phone. “ ‘Everyone should know who their neighbors are so the children are safe and the sexual abuse ends. Sex predators don’t stop until they either die or get caught.’’’

I note the legitimate trope that there is concern for sexual-abuse of children. However there is still some question – more usefully handled in a criminal trial than a lawsuit-settlement horse-trading session – as to just what this 20-something was up to when he acted out, in the story, against the 10 year-old Brown.

I also note the easy conflation of this groper with a “predator”, which quickly raises the old and vivid image of the monster stranger child-raper and abductor. There is a lot of conceptual and clinical daylight between what this young counsellor is alleged to have done and what constitutes a (using the non-clinical term) ‘predator’.

I also note that according to proper SO Mania thinking, ‘getting caught’ doesn’t stop a ‘predator’ – and of course, if you are going to get into the ‘potential recidivism’ bit then they can be kept or tagged for a lifetime. This is demonstrably not true, but victim-friendly and truth-friendly, as I have said in several recent Posts, turn out in all this to be not quite the same thing. Genuine pedophiles – those driven to commit sex acts with infants and small children – are clinically distinguishable as having deep-seated, profound problems that need serious and extensive work. But a 20-something groping a 10 year-old in a semi-public bathroom does not easily fall into that category – at least without further investigation into the facts.

Further, the attorney then tosses in this bit, regarding the almost half-century that has passed since the incident allegedly occurred: “Garabedian said it was not unusual for victims to wait years to reveal they were sexually abused, and then wait even longer to identify their attackers”. This may be true in matters of awful and sustained assaults, but can it also be reliably the case in matters of a boy groped by a somewhat older male in a bathroom?

Ditto when the attorney asserts that “’it’s an incremental process’”. I can’t see any psychological necessity that would ground this assertion, and indeed – assuming that it’s not about a family member or some such close relationship – it seems not to be the case: if you have brought yourself to the point of coming-forward with the revelation of the incident, why and how would you not then psychologically be ready to identify the alleged perpetrator?

Yes, there might be motivations to do so that are beyond the psychological, but if there are other motives at work in the allegator then those should also be brought to light. But that, of course, gums up the victim-as-pure-and-truthful element of the usual Script, and also opens up an allegant to the complexities of lesser motivations or at least strategic motivations. And it has always been an objective of the Victimist approach never to permit the allegant to be sullied with such (legitimate) questions.

Further, this entire assumption had far more credibility in the early days – now decades ago before the Mania Regime – when these matters were not widely discussed. But that can hardly be said to be the case now; it’s almost a case of refusing to stop shooting any Japanese national you encounter after the surrender in September, 1945 because ‘they attacked Pearl Harbor’: yes, but events have moved on from there and the situation is rather largely changed. What was valid as a justification and a reason at one point in time may not be valid at a later point in time.

Neatly, however, the DA – and presumably with Brown’s apparently necessary approval – says that his office will be glad to entertain anybody else’s allegations of abuse, from this particular counselor of 40 years ago or others. And that serves the purposes of a number of varied interests, as always, while keeping Brown from ever having his story tested in a court of law (even with the distortions introduced through ‘victim-friendly’ ‘reforms’).

Of course, there is also the fact that the actual gravamen of Brown’s allegation – a groping – does not rise legally to the level of qualifying for a Statute of Limitations-busting eligibility for prosecution; it just wasn’t that big of a deal even in current SO Mania law. And yes, that point may elicit the response that therefore the laws must be even further ‘reformed’ so as to make even ‘groping’ a sufficiently heinous charge, but I wonder if the assorted interests want to be publicly seen trying to create a fresh ‘emergency’ and ‘outrage’ over it at this point.

There are a couple of ancillary points to make, and I am not taking part in ‘politics’ here but rather I am noting what possibly relevant factors might be creating their own dynamics in this SO matter.

The article itself mentions that Brown will be speaking about his book at celebrations of Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday anniversary observances and celebrations. This adds a note of a somewhat queasy political calculation, and the ‘coincidence’ of the book with its revelations appearing just at this point. Which must be added to political strategic thoughts voiced by some (see the previous Post) that Brown happens now to be receiving a great deal of publicity as a junior-Senator just as the re-election run of another former junior-Senator (and now President) of the opposition Party is heating up.

And that the Republicans – Brown’s Party – may well have hit on a way of appealing to what might have been formerly a more Democratic ‘base demographic’ while proving themselves ‘concerned’ and ‘sensitive’.

And that, as has happened for so long, a Sex-Offense and especially Child-Sex-Abuse brouhaha would serve nicely to distract from concerns about how both Parties have made a rather lethal hash of the national economy over the past two or three decades.

Which certainly also offers ‘The Boston Globe’ a golden – and urgently needed – opportunity to re-align itself away from a more avowedly Democratic-friendly stance.

I don’t raise these points to comment on politics, but rather to recall just how the originating and sustaining dynamics of the Mania Regime have always operated: creating something of a ‘perfect storm’ of political calculation, vote-getting, appeal to ‘bases’, vivid ‘issues’ created so largely by exaggeration and selective emphasis on desired bits of information while ignoring others (and can you say ‘Iraq War’?), while simultaneously enlisting the mundane interests of attorneys, professionals and ‘professionals’, scholars and ‘scholar’s, advocates and entrepreneurs … the whole caboodle.*

And lastly, and this may be a result of my own technical limitations, I have the impression that many of the Brown articles on the paper’s online site do not seem to allow for ‘Comments’; what Comments I saw when the earliest articles about this came out seemed to contain either a noticeable bunch of deleted-by-the-paper comments, or many rather too-candid victimist assertions, or more than a few skeptical thoughts. In regard to this latter category, the paper may not want to expose itself to the Politically Correct charge that it is giving ‘voice’ to thoughts that do not deserve to be heard in the public forum (because they are ‘insensitive’ or ‘uninformed’ or ‘backlashing’ or what-have-you).

Such are the complexities of trying to figure out what’s actually going on in a time of Mania. We need to borrow some attitude from the citizens of the USSR during the bad old days, who approached every issue of ‘Pravda’ or ‘Izvestia’ looking not so much to what was actually printed but to what was not-said, looking to try to construct a mental picture of the story that is printed and then see if all the dots connect or if, as so often was the case, there were many gaps. Because it was there – in those blank gaps – where the real dragons be.


*A recently published book, “Mao’s Great Famine”, relates Mao’s effort to quickly impose ‘progress’ on China in the years 1958-1961. Among other things, Peking/Beijing ordered that all farming be collectivized ruthlessly, the small private farm being erased, merged into larger and larger collective schemes. The result, in short order was famine on a scale not seen in modern times: tens of millions of Chinese starved to death at the hands of their own government.

But the plan could not have been implemented without the willing cooperation of millions of “unscrupulous cadres”, not inaptly termed “Mao’s willing executioners”, who saw the orders from the capital as an opportunity to settle old scores, consolidate local power, enhance their status, and generally surf the wave emanating from the center for their own profit and advantage at the expense of their hapless fellow citizens.

Worse, after Mao actually received criticism from more prudent senior leaders in 1962, he sought to reinforce his now threatened position by unleashing the “Cultural Revolution” of 1966-76 (it collapsed with his death in that final year): suddenly ‘the young’ were named the bearers of the country’s future, and were turned loose on anything ‘old’ (including the accrued wisdom of those dissenting senior leaders). And once again, hordes of willing cadres went forth and laid waste to Chinese culture as it still existed, and all of its principles and all of its ethos and traditions. The very ground of Chinese personal and civic life – such as it still remained in a Communist nation – was ripped out from under generations of Chinese.

I mention this not only because it exemplifies the dangers – and dark dynamics – that can somehow take over even the best-intentioned (‘modernization’, in Mao’s case) ‘sweeping reforms’. I mention this also to demonstrate what happens when government power is unleashed like a powerful tidal wave and is then ‘surfed’ by all manner of interests as the tide bursts into this and that local venue.

And because it was the ‘example’ of Mao’s ‘enlightenment’ and ‘robust willingness to try new things’ that inspired the New Left – already soused with the Marxist nostrums adapted piecemeal but whole-heartedly by ‘progressive’ elements in this country – to undertake all manner of center-directed reform hatched by vanguard elites who figured that they ‘got it’ and the majority of the lumpish citizenry ‘just don’t get it’. The roots of the SO Mania Regime are deeply intertwined with these dynamics, although it took until the 1990s, with the demise of America’s great Cold War rival, that the dynamics of such ‘reform’ could be unleashed here.

No comments:

Post a Comment