Sunday, June 10, 2012


In Pennsylvania, in the lead-up to the Jerry Sandusky trial, the judge – Senior Judge John Cleland – has ordered that the young men who as minors were allegedly abused by Sandusky will not be allowed to testify anonymously, identified merely by some form of pseudonym.

The judge wrote that while his decision might be “controversial”, yet “there was no legal basis to justify an adult witness” in a sex-crime trial to testify about the alleged crime using a pseudonym.

The judge went further and stated what in the not so recent past in this country would have been so obvious as to seem a witless truism, but now seems the height of courageous insight: “Courts are not customarily in the business of withholding information. Secrecy is thought to be inconsistent with the openness required to assure the public that the law is being administered fairly and applied faithfully.”

Just so.

It has been one of the more characteristic gambits of the SO Mania, this victim-anonymity.

It stemmed originally from the Domestic Violence sub-realm: that complaining persons needed to be protected from the violent retribution of their partners. But while that was occasionally true, it was never really applicable to the trial-stage of any case, since clearly your accused partner knew very well who you were, sitting across the court-room.

But there were other uses as things developed. To insist that all victims had to be ‘protected’ from their partners subtly insinuated that all instances of domestic violence were – indeed – physically and premeditatedly violent at such a level to require official protection at all levels. It wasn’t anywhere near true, but it sounded great (if you were looking to build the case and the numbers for DoVi laws in the public mind).*

From there it expanded in an even more sinister and insidious way: anybody making an accusation ‘deserved privacy’ so that s/he wouldn’t be embarrassed and ‘re-victimized by the system’ by having his/her name associated with the experience of being sexually assaulted.

On the face of it, the preference (it can’t be called a ‘need’) to avoid having one’s name publicized was understandable. Surely, when somebody enters therapy, for example, that fact – as well as the matters considered in therapy - is private and  protected.

But there is the therapeutic forum and there is the legal forum – and the two are very very different. Once you are involved in the demand for the public application of the Sovereign coercive power to be deployed against another Citizen then you are far beyond the therapeutic arena. (Which is a reality victimist law would rather not have anybody realize.)

The public must be informed as fully as possible about the processes by which the Sovereign punitive/coercive authority is deployed. The public – as The People – after all is the ultimate Sovereign in the American political and legal Universe and that punitive/coercive authority is wielded by the state and the courts in the name of The People (it says so in black and white on the first page of all the criminal complaint forms submitted to a court).

And the courts – as well as the public – have not only a right but a need to determine or elicit whatever information might be gleaned from the publicization of any participant’s name.

And this bit has especially been the target of victimist ‘reforms’: the effort to ‘shield’ the accuser (so slyly spun as merely ‘the victim’, as if that fact had already been demonstrated).

It has always seemed odd to me: that somehow being (allegedly) the target of a sexual assault is somehow more embarrassing or ‘traumatizing’ or ‘humiliating’ than – say – admitting to others that one was an alcoholic or a drug addict. At least as the target of a sexual assault, one is not responsible in the way that an addict is responsible for his/her actions. And in all those TV shows that traffic in this sort of public venting of one’s pains, don’t people almost gladly recount their stories of victimization (including sexual)? Think of all those shows back in the not-so-distant day:  Geraldo’s, Jerry Springer’s, and surely Oprah’s.

But, of course, this ‘shielding’ prevents – slyly – the emergence of any information that might break the spell and aura of the script that requires a ‘pure and innocent’ Good Victim, against whom the Evil and monstrous ‘perp’ committed outrageous crimes. That core melodramatic scripting and its spell must be preserved if the game is to continue. **

But there are very high stakes in the legal – and especially the criminal – forum: if found Guilty, the accused Citizen can lose liberty, property, even life. No considerations such as ‘embarrassment’ and ‘privacy’ and ‘preference for anonymity’ must be allowed to take precedence over the utterly essential requirement for as full and open a trial-process as possible. Prosecutors shedding crocodile ( or even genuine) tears for any potential “humiliation” or “pain” are not a sufficient justification for the element of “secrecy” that Judge Cleland has so acutely put his finger on.

This is a vital first-principle of the entire American legal Universe. And – as I have often said on this site – Victimism as it has evolved in this country is most certainly not of the American legal Universe, never has been, never can be, and never should have been introduced into jurisprudence and jurispraxis in the first place.

The fact that the law-and-order Right first ‘valorized’ victimhood in the formal legal forum (it had previously been kicking around in Lefty-liberal academia and consciousness-raising and self-help groups, such as the 1971 publication by a psychology prof of the ‘blame the victim’ dynamic) simply adds a deeper level of clarity to what has been a sly but treacherous anti-Constitutional gambit, soon embraced bipartisanly by the law-and-order Right and the anti-male, radical-feminist Left (that had committed itself to an all-out and thorough Marxist-type assault on all of ‘patriarchal, macho’ male culture and the ‘rule of law’ and Constitution that enshrined and enabled and continued it all).

The judge, Senior Judge John Cleland, deserves a great deal of respect for what he has done here. Victimism – bipartisanly supported by Right and Left – has made lethal inroads into the most vital foundations of law and jurisprudence in the past few decades, and has been largely spun as a ‘good’ thing. And for almost as long they have been teaching it in the law schools as if it were good and gospel as well.

Behind the image of the Victim and especially the Child-Victim, and especially in sexual matters, large and well-organized interests have been allowed to congeal: in civil cases, tort attorneys who have been handed a ‘reformed’ legal system now heavily weighted in their favor; in criminal cases, a fatal  combo of ‘sensitive’ Leviatha from the Left and stern law-and-order Leviathan from the Right; in both instances, a pandemonium of for-profit ‘experts’ and ‘therapists’ and ‘advocacy groups’.

And a mainstream media greedily voracious for the ready-made melodrama that requires nothing more than a stenographic – indeed I would say pornographic – recounting of the Script as it plays out on this far-from- level playing field where life, liberty and property hang in the balance.

And Judge Cleland has drawn clear attention to the fact that if victim’s demand ‘justice’, then it’s going to have to be ‘justice’ as defined and understood according to the first principles of the Framing Universe, or else whatever outcome a trial produces will be no legitimate American justice at all. Rather, it will be some vindictive and crooked game played with loaded dice, dragging in its wake a lethal and fatal anti-American legal Universe and culture.

Indeed, it will be nothing less than a game of Russian roulette, with this nation – through the treacherous deals enabled by far too many elected representatives – holding the gun of totalitarian and police-state justice to its own head.

And that is a game no sane government – especially a constitutional and democratic government grounded in the Framing Vision – should ever be allowed to play.


*Another classic Mania irony: the effort to insist that all instances of the targeted issue were lethally violent intensified at the same time as the definitions of the issue were being expanded to reach down to the most mild and even unconnected events, simply to expand the ‘crisis’ and keep the numbers up and the ball rolling.

**You don’t have to go too far back to see how this lethally toxic gambit created catastrophic and reprehensible consequences when it migrated to matters of war and invasion in the matter of post-9/11 military action against Iraq. (Al Gore exposes it all cogently in his 2007 book “Assault on Reason”.)

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