Bob Jones University terminates relationship with G.R.A.C.E.

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Bob Jones University terminates relationship with G.R.A.C.E.

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Unethical of G.R.A.C.E. to post link to confidential BJU letter

Unethical of G.R.A.C.E. to post link to confidential BJU letter!

  • BJU and G.R.A.C.E. had a contract
  • There was a stated method of terminating the contract which BJU followed
  • BJU explained their reasoning and agreed to pay all contractural expenses
  • BJU specifically marked its letter confidential
  • And G.R.A.C.E. posted letter

Epic fail G.R.A.C.E. Why would anyone want to contract with you again!

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BJU official statement
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Is it true that the original

Is it true that the original agreement anticipated such a development and specifies that the results will be published even if the contract is terminated?  

 

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psh.

Yes, because clearly BJU is the victim in this whole mess and needs a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on for being so badly wronged by GRACE.

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How would one know?

Jeffrey Dean wrote:

Is it true that the original agreement anticipated such a development and specifies that the results will be published even if the contract is terminated?  

 

How would one know?

  • You have a contract between two parties. The parties are G.R.A.C.E. and BJU
  • ​I'm  not, and you are not a party to the contract
  • And as far as I know, the contract was never public. 

Analogy:

  • I am currently working with a realtor and a bank. They are privy to all kinds of my personal information (mainly financial, work history, income, debt, credit history, intent to potentially offer $ XX on a condo, etc. 
  • If I terminate those relationships, all of the links die too! 
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that's 2

organizations that hired GRACE and then terminated their contract.

I am less impressed with GRACE now than I was prior to ABWE terminating their contract.

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i dont know, its not just someone's property

obviously from their letter, BJ wants to keep everything closed. But considering the fact that grace has probably talked to a lot of people already, it's not just a deal btwn grace and bj. How professional of grace it is to publish that letter ... probably not, but at least it's out in the open.

I honestly wish that BJ would just accept the humbling of this moment and let it  come out all the mistakes they did. they would find a lot more favor with people through honesty and repentance then through hiding it all or trying to put it all in a way that makes them look good. that is what frustrates me. if it's going to sink my ship, id rather do it that way than the other.

and the sad thing is that some mistakes can't be paid for.

but who knows. i could be wrong.

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Why assume that the problem

Why assume that the problem is with Grace?  Perhaps the "problem" is that the magnitude of the abuse is far beyond what the organizations that hired GRACE ever imagined.  Perhaps it is simply "buyer's remorse" and the idea of airing the dirty laundry becomes much more untenable the closer laundry day gets.  

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I agree it doesn't look good.

I agree it doesn't look good..

BUT - we don't know the facts.  As Jim pointed out GRACE wasn't exactly ethical in the way they announced it.  So maybe the problem is with GRACE - not BJU.  It's really hard to say - and now we'll just see the mud .. and attempt to sort facts from insinuations - or weird hysteria.

I get frustrated by all the attacks on my alma mater - no place is perfect... and yet I thank the Lord that He saw fit to send me there.  I learned about grace, love and the Christian life there, and never understand the bitterness I see from some graduates and former students.  It's as though we were in two different universes.

In the end the truth DOES come out - even if we have to sort it grain by grain.

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Give BJU the benefit of the doubt-Stephen Jones informal comment

After seeing comment Stephen Jones made on Tom Pryde's Facebook page this afternoon in a comment thread that was expressing concern and skepticism toward BJ, I'm feeling pretty confident in giving BJU the benefit of time to see this through...

Thomas, there's more here than can be shared--things we can share only with GRACE. We're still committed to finishing the process--with our ombudsman's integrity and independence completely intact. Please give some benefit of the doubt, my friend. Our whole goal is to sit down, talk, and then move forward again. Hope all is well with you and your family!

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

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Original intent

http://www.bju.edu/about/grace.php (Original BJU announcement of G.R.A.C.E. investigation)

It appears that the original intent of hiring G.R.A.C.E. was to have an independent Christian organization aggressively lay bare all past sins, repent appropriately, and then sail on with better safeguards in place. Perhaps G.R.A.C.E. has done something unethical. Perhaps the termination is merely temporary while BJU and G.R.A.C.E. renegotiate terms. But the circumstantial evidence does not point that direction. BJU's decision is highly suspect. In terminating G.R.A.C.E., they have given rational friends cause for concern.

I am willing to suspend my judgment for a bit while the parties work things out, but this is no small matter.  They need to fix this, and fix it quickly, either by charging G.R.A.C.E. with substantial violation of ethics or violation of contract. If they fail to do so, BJU will appear to have all the integrity of Bill Clinton staring into the TV camera and proclaiming his innocence.

For the time being, "bad optics".

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Submission

I remember when I first got to campus, Tony Miller had a meeting with the new male students.  We discussed rules, policies we don't agree with, etc.  But he also discussed a concept that I think is fitting here.  He told us that we were voluntarily submitting ourselves to the University in order to improve our ability to serve Christ.  In doing so, we would need to submit to some rules that we may disagree with, and that were uncomfortable for us personally.  But this was for our own good and betterment.  BJU is an organization that understands the training of men for service to Christ.  They are good at it.  It is what they do.

Tony Miller's point was certainly valid.  I gave up my music, wore a tie, attended a campus worship service on Sundays (instead of going to my church), etc.  And I learned.  I grew personally. 

BJU voluntarily submitted itself to G.R.A.C.E. in order to improve its ability to serve Christ.  I would suggest that they allow G.R.A.C.E. to complete the work, even though it is uncomfortable, and even though there may be some disagreements on the particulars (price, methods, etc.).  G.R.A.C.E. is a professional organization that understands investigations and public, independent accountability.  They are good at it.  It is what they do.

Unless there is a definite and serious breech of trust or ethics, BJU should submit to God's instruments of change.

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took kids away from their own church?

Sean Fericks wrote:

I remember when I first got to campus, Tony Miller had a meeting with the new male students.  We discussed rules, policies we don't agree with, etc.  But he also discussed a concept that I think is fitting here.  He told us that we were voluntarily submitting ourselves to the University in order to improve our ability to serve Christ.  In doing so, we would need to submit to some rules that we may disagree with, and that were uncomfortable for us personally.  But this was for our own good and betterment.  BJU is an organization that understands the training of men for service to Christ.  They are good at it.  It is what they do.

Tony Miller's point was certainly valid.  I gave up my music, wore a tie, attended a campus worship service on Sundays (instead of going to my church), etc.  And I learned.  I grew personally. 

BJU voluntarily submitted itself to G.R.A.C.E. in order to improve its ability to serve Christ.  I would suggest that they allow G.R.A.C.E. to complete the work, even though it is uncomfortable, and even though there may be some disagreements on the particulars (price, methods, etc.).  G.R.A.C.E. is a professional organization that understands investigations and public, independent accountability.  They are good at it.  It is what they do.

Unless there is a definite and serious breech of trust or ethics, BJU should submit to God's instruments of change.

Not to derail things and not, perhaps, to demonstrate my own ignorance of BJU-related matters, but they did that? Not allow students to attend churches other than Campus for Sunday morning?

This is probably an ancient conversation I'm just jumping in to, but I didn't realize that. I'm rather horrified. Isn't that usurping the authority of the local church, even if tacitly approved by said churches? Please tell me they no longer do that.

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BJU and Churches

I was a student at BJA (grades 7-12) and BJU (BA, MA) for twelve years.  I never attended campus church because my parents lived in Greenville, and we attended our local church.  Only dorm students were required to attend BJU campus "church."  I didn't think campus church was good policy, and apparently neither does BJU because they are phasing it out.  A few months ago, I attended campus church while on vacation (to hear a particular speaker).  Many students were not present because they were attending their own local church.  (This now includes dorm students who are able to exercise that option.)  My understanding is that the campus church will soon be terminated.

Although I never agreed with the campus church situation, I do understand some of the reasons.  When my family moved to Greenville in 1960, we had difficulty finding a solid independent baptist church with an expository pulpit.  There were none.  That has now changed in a BIG way.  Also, few dorm students had cars in those days, and thus no transportation.  Furthermore, most fundamental churches were small.  The few that existed could not handle an influx of 4,000 students.  I think campus church was a pragmatic decision that met a a need that no longer exists.  For all its faults and weaknesses, and every person and every Christian institution has more than we wish, BJU was a great place for me.  I learned, grew, and thrived spiritually, and I thank God for directing me there.  It's exactly what I needed to prepare me to pastor these past 41 years.

G. N. Barkman

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G. N. Barkman wrote:

G. N. Barkman wrote:

I was a student at BJA (grades 7-12) and BJU (BA, MA) for twelve years.  I never attended campus church because my parents lived in Greenville, and we attended our local church.  Only dorm students were required to attend BJU campus "church."  I didn't think campus church was good policy, and apparently neither does BJU because they are phasing it out.  A few months ago, I attended campus church while on vacation (to hear a particular speaker).  Many students were not present because they were attending their own local church.  (This now includes dorm students who are able to exercise that option.)  My understanding is that the campus church will soon be terminated.

Although I never agreed with the campus church situation, I do understand some of the reasons.  When my family moved to Greenville in 1960, we had difficulty finding a solid independent baptist church with an expository pulpit.  There were none.  That has now changed in a BIG way.  Also, few dorm students had cars in those days, and thus no transportation.  Furthermore, most fundamental churches were small.  The few that existed could not handle an influx of 4,000 students.  I think campus church was a pragmatic decision that met a a need that no longer exists.  For all its faults and weaknesses, and every person and every Christian institution has more than we wish, BJU was a great place for me.  I learned, grew, and thrived spiritually, and I thank God for directing me there.  It's exactly what I needed to prepare me to pastor these past 41 years.

Though I still disagree, that's more understandable. The impression I got from the former comment was that he was required to stop going to his local church as an act of submission, even though he still had opportunity to do so. Perhaps I misunderstood?

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GRACE not unethical

First, there is nothing unethical about GRACE publishing that letter. Writing the word "CONFIDENTIAL" on top of a letter carries no legal weight. Nor does it carry some unspoken moral weight. Confidentiality exists only in certain legally specified situations or when both parties previously agree beforehand in a confidentiality agreement. Letters are not confidential.

The agreement between BJU and GRACE was public knowledge. GRACE has responsibilities not only to BJU but also to the many individuals who were part of the interview process. If that process is interrupted, someone owes an explanation. Rather than put words in BJU's mouth or make up an answer or stonewall, they simply showed the letter, which contained no privileged information. Failure to make some statement could easily be interpreted as collusion with BJU to suppress the results. Furthermore, the GRACE leadership team is made up of lawyers who know exactly what is and isn't confidential. Given that they waited two weeks before publishing the letter they received, I'm sure it was an informed decision.

But that's all really beside the point. We have, on the one hand, an organization with a history of shady practices that has come under such scrutiny that it needs an independent audit for its handling of sexual abuse. We have, on the other hand, an organization full of trained and credentialed lawyers and counselors that specializes in abuse investigations regarding Christian institutions. Both organizations agreed to a certain method of proceeding at the beginning. The auditing organization worked for many months doing exactly what it said it would do. Then right before the end, the agreement is canceled. The reasons stated are a bit contradictory, but one thing is clear:

The organization suspected of misconduct does not get to "gr[o]w concerned" about the methods employed by the professional, independent auditing organization. That is the whole point of employing an independent organization.

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I'd say it was bad form at

I'd say it was bad form at best for Boz and Co. to post the confidential letter.  But as Jim points out, we haven't seen the contract.  So we have no idea if section VIII actually allowed BJU to terminate it for reasons stated, or what the remainder of the contract allows GRACE to do in cases of "bad faith" termination.

The scenario Greg Linscott proposes above had crossed my mind as a possibility.  However, there are troubling signs this may not be the case.

-The reason(s) for termination stated in BJU's letter to GRACE are not the same as those in the BJU official announcement.

-The self-rehabilitation program that BJU has engaged in.  Who hires an independent firm to investigate themselves in an area they feel they may be deficient (criminally?) and then turns around before said investigation is complete and offers to train all comers in that very  area using some of the very people accused of (grossly?) "underserving" victims?  "Hi, we may have a real problem, let us help you with it."  Weird, to say the least.

-Note the language of control in the official BJU announcement.  They were concerned with how the independent ombudsman was pursuing their goals.  Well, that's how independence works.  One does not hire an independent investigator and then manage him.  As my BJU grad pastor frequently says, you cannot get real help on your own terms.  Not good.

I hope BJU re-engages GRACE and completes this project.  As painful as it may be, I think it will be good for them in the long term.  I hope that the main issue is the presidential transition.  I hope hope hope.

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Related filing - ABWE ... why GRACE replaced
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ABWE

Lest anyone forget that GRACE did respond - at some length - to ABWE's complaints: http://netgrace.org/wp-content/uploads/GRACE-Response-February-10-2013.pdf

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Charlie wrote:

Charlie wrote:

First, there is nothing unethical about GRACE publishing that letter. Writing the word "CONFIDENTIAL" on top of a letter carries no legal weight. Nor does it carry some unspoken moral weight. Confidentiality exists only in certain legally specified situations or when both parties previously agree beforehand in a confidentiality agreement. Letters are not confidential.

The agreement between BJU and GRACE was public knowledge. GRACE has responsibilities not only to BJU but also to the many individuals who were part of the interview process. If that process is interrupted, someone owes an explanation. Rather than put words in BJU's mouth or make up an answer or stonewall, they simply showed the letter, which contained no privileged information. Failure to make some statement could easily be interpreted as collusion with BJU to suppress the results. Furthermore, the GRACE leadership team is made up of lawyers who know exactly what is and isn't confidential. Given that they waited two weeks before publishing the letter they received, I'm sure it was an informed decision.

But that's all really beside the point. We have, on the one hand, an organization with a history of shady practices that has come under such scrutiny that it needs an independent audit for its handling of sexual abuse. We have, on the other hand, an organization full of trained and credentialed lawyers and counselors that specializes in abuse investigations regarding Christian institutions. Both organizations agreed to a certain method of proceeding at the beginning. The auditing organization worked for many months doing exactly what it said it would do. Then right before the end, the agreement is canceled. The reasons stated are a bit contradictory, but one thing is clear:

The organization suspected of misconduct does not get to "gr[o]w concerned" about the methods employed by the professional, independent auditing organization. That is the whole point of employing an independent organization.

This is exactly right.  BJU has not earned the right to wait and see and trust them.  The whole reason for the audit is because of major breaches in trust.

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FWIW, Here's the last Update from G.R.A.C.E. regarding BJU:
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James K wrote:

James K wrote:

 

...The whole reason for the audit is because of major breaches in trust.

...

Since I don't keep up with all things BJU, and this statement assumes public knowledge, and a number of people here and at other places on the web are quite lathered up on this issue, would it be appropriate for the sake of us not in the know to be brought up to speed on these publicly known "major breaches in trust"?

I don't want to rush to judgment, and it may be because I'm not the type that sees a rat in every woodpile, but the appearance to me is that one business terminated an agreement with another business for contracted services because the service they were getting was not perceived to be the service they contracted for. 

Lee

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Over a year ago...

...these questions were asked:

It could be argued that no BJU student is “forced” at all – that upon enrollment, all students agree to participate and support BJU in all things – lest they violate the “No Griping Tolerated” policy or appear to have a “bad attitude.”  But as minors & young adults, should new students be expected to understand that?

Once established that a BJU student falls into the category of being sexually abused and exploited, then, according to the scope of the investigation, G.R.A.C.E. can examine “inappropriate statements” and “spiritual abuse” by any and all representatives of Bob Jones University.

Who determines what was “inappropriate”?

Who determines “spiritual abuse”?

And what if it comes from pulpit?

What if it comes from a literal interpretation of the Bible?

Anyone who completely read the G.R.A.C.E. "scope of investigation" (in their initial post) could see where this was going to end up -- especially knowing the conservative, independent nature of BJU, et al.

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On the other hand, Easton,

On the other hand, Easton, did you expect this?  I recall you opining that BJU had a plan and contracting with GRACE was a part of it and BJU would ultimately benefit and their critics would put to shame, as it were.

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Rehash

JamesK -

I'd also be interested to know what the 'major breaches in trust' are and why we should take G.R.A.C.E.'s word for it considering the claims leveled at them by ABWE and the fact that they have now been terminated (interesting term, that?) by two of their clients in less than one year.

This is what ABWE reported:

As a result of these conversations, ABWE believes that G.R.A.C.E.:

  1. Has not utilized acceptable practice and professional techniques in interviews to obtain truthful statements. For example, in its Philadelphia interviews of more than 20 witnesses, many of them alleged victims, it was reported that G.R.A.C.E. housed them in the same hotel and allowed the witnesses to compare stories BEFORE the interviews, thereby tainting the testimony so much that it would not have been admissible in a court of law according to former VA Attorney General Mark Earley. 
     
  2. Has not recorded many of their interviews to ensure accuracy and context of the interviewees’ testimony, which is standard operating procedure for any independent investigation, especially as to alleged victims and key witnesses. 
     
  3. Has provided to interviewees incomplete and inaccurate transcriptions of their interviews.
     
  4. Has asked clearly leading questions to interviewees, demonstrating what appears to be a strong bias in one direction. 
     
  5. Has added and/or cut out important information, including any favorable information about ABWE, letting the transcript misrepresent facts and not reflecting appropriately what the interviewee stated.
     
  6. Has confronted some interviewees with blatant and intimidating statements and suggestions, rather than questions, during the interviews. 
     
  7. Has refused to use any standard of evidence (such as preponderance of evidence or clear and convincing as adopted by ABWE) in which to apply the facts to reach its conclusions.
     
  8. Finally, these wrong investigative tactics and flaws have led victims to withdraw from the investigation with a number of other victims and witnesses expressing similar concerns about the perceived lack of truthfulness of any report due to the fatal investigative flaws. In fact, one of the victims who was allegedly abused by Donn Ketcham has recently withdrawn from G.R.A.C.E. investigation and stated to G.R.A.C.E., “We continue to be very uncomfortable about the incomplete nature of the notes.  We were very surprised that G.R.A.C.E. did not record our session in order to get a complete record of the interview  . . . Therefore [we] withdraw our consent for G.R.A.C.E. to use any part of our interview both verbal and written in its investigation process.”  One of the victims stated to ABWE that she felt that she was “re-victimized by G.R.A.C.E.”.

I get that there is a very vocal anti-BJU group out there, but I don't think that you are being fair to the University here.  Those kinds of allegations are very strong.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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This is...

On the other hand, Easton, did you expect this?  I recall you opining that BJU had a plan...

This is what was said:

"Personally, I think this GRACE investigation will not solve anything at all.  In fact, when it’s over and the 'GRACE Final Report' is 'published to the public in its entirety', the first members of the public to complain about the results will be the disgruntled people that demanded it in the first place."

It was a surprise to me that BJU waited so long to ditch this investigation.  When ABWE dumped GRACE, I thought sure BJU would be quick to follow.

The "disgruntled people" or "very vocal anti-BJU group[s]" are not after "justice" (defined by them) for the alleged victims, but to close BJU and shut it down.  Once BJU is closed, it's on to PCC and on down the line...  Any conservative religious institution will be a target.  Social media gives them a voice -- abuse allegations give them perceived substance and weight.

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Is it a very terrible thing

Is it a very terrible thing that social media gives abused people a voice?  And that their voices carry substance and weight?  The days of sweeping stuff under the rug in order to give the appearance of a clean house have gone.  And if BJU closes down it won't be just because of disgruntled former students.  No that coffin will have been nailed shut for a thousand different reasons.  

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Jay, this is taken from BJUs

Jay, this is taken from BJUs own site:

On January 10th, 2013, GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) begins a comprehensive, independent investigation of any complaints concerning the response of Bob Jones University and Bob Jones Academy to victims of adult and child sexual abuse. The purpose of this investigation is to identify areas in which authentic repentance may be required to redress past harm and to provide recommendations for possible institutional change.

Enough people believe there was abuse that occurred for BJU to contract a third party to look into it.  Remove BJU from the equation.  Some other school has a group of people accuse of abuse, yet the school counters with a "trust us" attitude after terminating the independent investigation.  Where does this leave BJU?  If BJU implies that GRACE was incompetent, then what does that say to BJU's ability to do their own due diligence?  Is that a better alternative than how their current spin is?  Their alleged incompetence is the reason for the audit.

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Alleged

Is it a very terrible thing that social media gives abused people a voice?

Allegedly abused people.  All we have are stories.

I am not one of those who think BJU is or was a slice of Heaven on Earth.  All I'm trying to do is to get people to take a step back and check these things out.  Look at who's saying them.  What is their history with the University?  Do they have an agenda?  Are they motivated by factors other than "seeking justice?"

These are all legitimate and proper questions.  Yet, they are seldom asked.

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Social Media

Jeffrey Dean wrote:

Is it a very terrible thing that social media gives abused people a voice?  And that their voices carry substance and weight?


Having a voice is not in itself a bad thing, but there are two sides to that coin. Social media gives voice both to those that tell the truth, and to those that lie. Since, as is easily demonstrated, social media is not that great at determining what truth is (look at all the debunked posts that have a very long life on social media), the "weight" generally goes to those who yell the loudest and longest, or those that tell the slickest stories. While that could represent those who have experienced abuse, it could also (and often does) represent those that really just have an axe to grind, and are willing to spend a lot of time and effort doing so. Factual reports will end up coming from other sources than social media before they will have serious credibility.

There have not yet been any credible public reports of Ketchum-type abuse at BJU. I'm sure there are those who were hoping that the GRACE report would give them those reports so whatever charges they want to make have merit. I'm sure there are also many who believe that this termination took place because it's "just another example of a cover-up." Personally, I prefer to wait see how this will actually play out rather than waste a lot of time worrying about the naysayers until there is actually some real news to report. Given the stridency and lack of credibility of some of the voices out there, I feel certain that any positive news (or lack of negative news) about this organization from any source (even GRACE) will never be accepted anyway.

Dave Barnhart

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Is this...

Is this...

dcbii wrote:

...There have not yet been any credible public reports of Ketchum-type abuse at BJU. ...

the answer to this...

Lee wrote:
Since I don't keep up with all things BJU, and this statement assumes public knowledge, and a number of people here and at other places on the web are quite lathered up on this issue, would it be appropriate for the sake of us not in the know to be brought up to speed on these publicly known "major breaches in trust"?

??

Lee

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I"m struck

I'm struck that while there seems to be speculations on both sides as to what happened between BJU and GRACE that the original victims in this situation are still victims, but perhaps even re-victimized.  If you think about it - many of these survivors finally felt like they were being heard by GRACE.  Some had never told their story before.   They took great pains to rehash their experiences so that GRACE could do a thorough investigation.  Revisiting sex abuse is a very daunting and emotional task.  And now this.  The victims could be reeling with this news.  

May I ask each of you to consider this group of hurting individuals?  Keep in mind when any kind of sex abuse occurs in a church-related environment, not only is there sex abuse, but likely spiritual abuse as well.  They may be feeling that God has abandoned them in this process and are very likely experiencing an emotional or spiritual crisis.  

 

 

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Alleged

Allegedly abused people.  All we have are stories.

And how many "alleged" stories does one need before one decides that maybe it's worth investigating?   Maybe when it happens to YOUR kid or YOUR niece or YOUR sister?  Until then, it's just "alleged?"  

 

Love:  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

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Investigation...

And how many "alleged" stories does one need before one decides that maybe it's worth investigating?

Investigation?  Yes - by all means.

Condemnation before investigation?  No.

Let's be honest, this GRACE thing, no matter what their final report revealed, was never going to end well for BJU.

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Fri, 7/31/09
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Observations

1.  DavidO pointed out something that everyone else seems to have missed:  "The reason(s) for termination stated in BJU's letter to GRACE ["the ongoing challenges of leadership change"] are not the same as those in the BJU official announcement ["we grew concerned about how GRACE was pursuing our objectives"]."  This requires some explanation.  There may be a legitimate explanation, but none has been given.

2.  The fact that both ABWE and BJU terminated GRACE proves nothing either way.  All we have are ABWE's unproven complaints about GRACE's mishandling of that investigation and GRACE's unproven defenses of its investigation.  We have even less than that much information about the BJU termination.  It could well be that GRACE has mishandled both investigations.  But it could just as well be that GRACE did its job in both instances and both ABWE and BJU wanted to avoid a negative report.  Given the subject matter of the investigations that GRACE exists to do, it's entirely foreseeable that sooner or later one or more client organization is going to have a change of heart, and in that situation the client is unlikely to concede that GRACE did a good job but the client just doesn't want the report to come out.  I am NOT saying that's what happened with ABWE or BJU.  I am saying that it's silly to presume that BJU must be right about GRACE because ABWE also complained about GRACE.

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Not so quickly re: supposed contradiction

I would be slow to say that Stephen's public announcement and the letter do not square with each other. The letter mentions that they would like a new contract that will enable them to fulfill the objectives cited in the letter. Sure, it does not directly charge GRACE with deviating, but it puts the issue of unfulfilled objectives on the table. That allows the two statements to be harmonized, especially since: (1) Stephen said that they had been seeking to have a meeting to explain their concerns; and (2) it is true that leadership changes at BJU have now entered into the equation. I don't see anything contradictory here. 

(I posted this in both threads in response to the same post in both. Not sure if that is proper protocol, so I'll defer to the moderators on how to handle it.)

DMD

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JamesK

James K wrote:

Enough people believe there was abuse that occurred for BJU to contract a third party to look into it.  Remove BJU from the equation.  Some other school has a group of people accuse of abuse, yet the school counters with a "trust us" attitude after terminating the independent investigation.  Where does this leave BJU?  If BJU implies that GRACE was incompetent, then what does that say to BJU's ability to do their own due diligence?  Is that a better alternative than how their current spin is?  Their alleged incompetence is the reason for the audit.

I'd rather admit to not hiring the right agency or not doing due diligence than release a report that was either incorrect or misleading, ESPECIALLY in a matter as sensitive as child abuse and ESPECIALLY if the allegations of malfeasance in their methodologies were recurring in an investigation of my organization.  And that goes for BJU, NIU, SharperIron, or anywhere else.  It is far more important to get an accurate and truthful report on what happened than it is to finish any investigation.

As an aside, G.R.A.C.E. seems to have removed the letter from Stephen Jones from their website.  I wonder why.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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BJU Termination Letter

As an aside, G.R.A.C.E. seems to have removed the letter from Stephen Jones from their website.  I wonder why.

No, GRACE has not removed the letter.

http://www.netgrace.org/wp-content/uploads/Termination-Letter.pdf

You have to know where to look.

As an aside, there are inconsistencies between BJU's "Termination" letter (signed by Jones & Jackson) and Dr. S. Jones' video posted on the BJU PR page. 

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Easton

Thanks - it wasn't loading in Chrome, but it did load fine in IE / Firefox.  

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Weird

Usually Chrome & Firefox work & IE craps out.

Interesting letter - very different "tone" to it than the Dr. S. Jones video.

 

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Proverbs 18:13

"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

Empathetic Apologist

iancolumba.com

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G.R.A.C.E. Announcement

During the past week, representatives of GRACE and BJU have continued to communicate for the purpose of working out a time for an in-person meeting. The parties were recently able to schedule such a meeting for next week. The purpose of this meeting is for the parties to articulate expressed concerns, as well as to dialogue about the possibility of GRACE completing the independent investigation process started last year.

GRACE will post another update shortly after the meeting next week.  We ask for prayers for everyone involved in this upcoming meeting. We also ask that we continue to pray for God to work mightily on the behalf of all the amazing individuals who have been impacted by this most recent development.

Via Twitter

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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BJU Rehires GRACE

Posted on bju.edu at 10:00 AM

Greenville, S.C. (February 25, 2014) – Bob Jones University today announced that it has reached agreement with GRACE to complete the independent review of the University’s response to sexual and other abuse.   The independent review was initiated by the University in response to a series of national news stories about abuse at other institutions.  The purpose of the review was to assess past responses by the University in support of victims and identify policies and procedures that could be enhanced.

Bob Jones University suspended the review on January 27, 2014.  Bob Jones University met with GRACE on February 18-19, 2014, to discuss any issues that might stand in the way of GRACE’s completion of thorough, transparent and objective review.  GRACE satisfactorily addressed the University’s concerns and Bob Jones University is confident the review can be completed in a timely and professional manner.  To be clear, GRACE and BJU are united in their commitment to a review that is thorough, transparent and objective.  As the process moves forward, regular updates will be provided.

BJU appreciates our former students and others who participated in the review with GRACE. They demonstrated great courage to share their stories in an effort to help us improve. We appreciate how important this review is to everyone who cares about the University and we apologize for the added anxiety caused by the temporary suspension of the review.

--------- Moderator Note ---------------- [Jim Peet] ------------

Added this link

BJU Reengages GRACE To Complete Independent Review

---------- END ----------------------------------------------------

Empathetic Apologist

iancolumba.com

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Temporary suspension.  I see.

Temporary suspension.  I see.

It's the right move, anyway.

Jim's picture
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Observation and prediction

Observation: Good move

Prediction: BJU will get a clean review. (No one likes audits (I can attest to that having been audited by the IRS once 25+ years ago). But when the audit is complete .. sigh of relief)

DavidO's picture
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Also encouraging:

BJU agrees to reinstate GRACE to complete independent investigation under the terms of the original agreement. No changes. GRACE to post formal announcement early this afternoon. Looking forward to completing this process with excellence!

(from the GRACE Facebook page)

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I wonder

I wonder what all the people who were accusing BJU of "coverup" are going to say on SharperIron and the blogs now.  Anyone in particular want to weigh in?

 

I'm not going to hold my breath.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Jay wrote:

Jay wrote:

I wonder what all the people who were accusing BJU of "coverup" are going to say on SharperIron and the blogs now.  Anyone in particular want to weigh in?

 

I'm not going to hold my breath.

Today some of the 256 residents of Fantasy Land are claiming victory believing that they forced BJU back to working with GRACE.

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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New York Times

Hmmm. This story made the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/us/christian-university-under-fire-res...

Sound like the reporter was looking for a smoking gun but was sad he didn't find one.

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

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Redefinition

BJU redefines the word "termination"...

...by "un-terminating" the GRACE investigation.

So, the next BJU terminates anyone, the proper response should be, "I'll be back."