New Republic Picks Up Donn Ketcham Story

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Ron Bean wrote:

Ron Bean wrote:

When there is an allegation/report/hint of sexual misconduct the authorities and their professional investigators should be contacted immediately!

Completely agree.  In Michigan whenever there is any alleged abuse, school administrators, licensed therapists, clergy, teachers, licensed child care providers, health care providers, and etc are mandated to report abuse right away no matter what the situation.  Until ABWE becomes a mandated reporter, given their past history of cover-up why should we trust them?

One difficulty

....with "going to the authorities" for ABWE is that in many places, there are no authorities that will punish these crimes in a humane manner.  In Bangladesh, for example,  there is in effect no age of consent for marriage.    Here's a little bit about the justice system there.   Put a guy wrongly in a Bangladeshi jail, and he WILL be coming after you in U.S. courts if and when he gets out.

So in my view, ABWE's challenge in many foreign fields is to create an independent, but accountable, system for investigating these crimes to U.S. (and Biblical) standards while conforming to local laws.  Not easy.   This is also another reason why the ABWE reporting clauses simply don't measure up; they don't reflect the situation in their areas of work.  

Bert Perry wrote:

Bert Perry wrote:

....with "going to the authorities" for ABWE is that in many places, there are no authorities that will punish these crimes in a humane manner.  In Bangladesh, for example,  there is in effect no age of consent for marriage.    Here's a little bit about the justice system there.   Put a guy wrongly in a Bangladeshi jail, and he WILL be coming after you in U.S. courts if and when he gets out.

So in my view, ABWE's challenge in many foreign fields is to create an independent, but accountable, system for investigating these crimes to U.S. standards while conforming to local laws.  Not easy. 

The independent group they could develop a partnership with is Child Protective Services of Pennsylvania.  If there are allegations of abuse on one of their fields, then send them over to investigate. 

On Going to the Authorities

To quote a "Good Ol' Boy" pastor, "I call the authorities and the abuser better hope that they (even if they are from Bangladesh) get to him before I do!"

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

TylerR wrote:

TylerR wrote:

There is a natural tendency to keep things "in house." I've been in law enforcement and investigations my entire adult life. I saw this pattern repeatedly in the Navy. A unit would try to "investigate" criminal misconduct itself, to keep things "internal" before going to military police, to see "if there is any credibility" to the reports. I saw it as a Pastor, and was criticized by some for refusing to do this very thing. We see it with the ABWE scandal. Let me be politically correct, nuanced and sensitive for a moment:

  • THAT IS A VERY STUPID THING TO DO. REPORT ALLEGATIONS IMMEDIATELY. IMMEDIATELY. IMMEDIATELY. IMMEDIATELY.

If you don't, you are being stupid. I don't care what your motives are. You are being stupid. It will look like a cover-up. It will be a cover-up. You will contaminate testimony, destroy evidence, poison the well, and generally make yourself and your organization look like idiots. You'll deserve the ridicule you get. You'll deserve to be called stupid. You have no idea what you're doing. You're destroying the victims. You're protecting the potentially guilty. The truth will come out in the wash.

Always report. Don't "check on things yourself." Don't "consult with the deacons." Don't "get counsel and advice" from the local Pastor's fellowship - two weeks down the road. Please, don't be stupid. Pick up the phone and call the authorities. Do it now.

ABWE? They were stupid. Real stupid. Idiots. I've seen this my entire life, repeated over and over again. They deserve to go through the fire for their stupidity. Hopefully, others will learn how not to be so stupid.

Peace out.

I'm not sure I completely agree with this. Imagine this scenario:

We have an Awana ministry on Wednesday nights. Part of Awana is "Handbook Time" where the children are divided up into smaller groups of 5-10 to memorize Bible verses from their Awana handbook and recite them to a leader. There are one or two leaders in each group, and several groups are all meeting in different corners of the same room. In one particular group, a child starts acting up. The leader uses all the proper verbal warnings, but to no avail. The child starts becoming loud and disruptive so that it draws the attention of other leaders and children. The child's leader, who is completely in control of his own emotions and words, looks the boy in the eyes, gently lays one hand on his shoulder, and calmly says to him, "Johnny, I'm asking you one last time to sit still and be quiet or I will be forced to find your parents [or bring the Awana Commander in or whatever the next step would be]." The child immediately yells, "HEY YOU TOUCHED ME WRONG! YOU TOUCHED ME IN A PRIVATE PLACE!"

Now, this is an "allegation of sexual abuse." According to your standard, it should be reported immediately to the police for them to investigate. However, everyone in the room saw that nothing inappropriate took place at all. To report this to the authorities is a completely unnecessary attack on that leader's character.

When I was doing research in preparing a child protection policy at a previous church, I found a statistic that in the state of Iowa, only 25% of the accusations of abuse reported to the DHS are found to be legitimate. Now, it's very possible that in the case of the other 75%, there was actually abuse happening but there just wasn't enough evidence. But even if that were true in some of those cases, the fact is that in the majority of cases, someone is being falsely accused of abuse.

Also--and this is very important--in the State of Iowa, we are called to report "credible" accusations. Not every single accusation, but "credible" accusations. An accusation that is not credible, like in the scenario I described above, does not have to be reported and in fact should not be reported (of course the church would want to document the situation including witnesses in case the boy went home and told his parents and they called the police).

Obviously I painted a very simple and obvious scenario. Not every scenario would be that simple or obvious. However, my point is that our standard CANNOT be that we automatically report every single accusation or else we might be harming the reputations of our own church members. So there has to be SOME level of basic "investigation" to determine if this is a credible accusation. By basic investigation I mean that church leaders (pastors, elders, etc.) would briefly interview the accusing party and the accused party to see if there is any credibility to the accusation. If there is, or if there is any doubt whatsoever, the accusation should be immediately reported.

Yes, of course in the ABWE scenario they were completely at fault for trying to "handle" (read: cover up) this situation in house. But let's be sure to have some balance here.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg

In that scenario, I hope you have it in your policy for the Pastor (or other responsible official) to write a memo detailing everything, people you spoke to, and a summary of their testimony. I also hope you had each person you interviewed write out a brief statement, and had them sign and date it. I also hope this memo outlines what actions the church took (if any), and documents for posterity why it took those actions, and is signed by the Pastor(s) and all the Deacons, and is filed away somewhere in duplicate, and saved electronically to safeguard against "accidental" destruction.

Or, you could just report it anyway. This is a severe liability issue. Let the police make the call that it isn't credible. They'll probably agree, and you're covered.

I've seen this over and over again. No matter how you spin it, it will not look good to keep it in house.

The police are obligated to look into all allegations. If they determine there isn't enough probable cause to refer it to Investigations, they won't - and you'll be clear. No harm done.

I understand your position, but I don't agree with your policy. Russian roulette comes to mind. Don't be the senior person with a secret, Greg. The buck has to stop somewhere. I'd prefer it stop with the authorities. It isn't your job to determine credibility.

There are leaders who prefer to fall on either side of this divide. I respect your position, and understand it. I just think it's ripe for abuse by ill-intentioned men (e.g. ABWE), and it leaves the church with an unacceptable degree of risk and civil liability. I'd also be interested to know what your church's general liability insurance policy says on these matters. It likely specifies what actions will disqualify you from liability coverage (e.g. deliberate failure to report) if a suit is brought against the church.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Of course we would document

Of course we would document it.

We have a responsibility to protect children from harm, and we also have a responsibility to protect childcare workers from the damage done to their reputation from a false, completely outrageous accusation. I wouldn't want to serve in or be in a church that would call the police to report something that multiple witnesses will say is absolutely false. Again, we are to report "credible" accusations.

If it were a he said-he said situation with no witnesses, yes we would report it. That's why it's so important to train workers not to put themselves in those kinds of situations.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Put in other words

Men's reputations are ruined not when things are provided to police, but when they hit the press.  This happens when:

  • Someone sues or otherwise talks to the press
  • Grand juries are convened and indictments are handed down

If those in and around your church know you have incident reports just about everything down to paper cuts, and that these documents will be made public when subpoenaed in discovery or after an indictment, then a lot of people are going to be a lot less eager for a legal confrontation unless they are very sure of the allegations and the likelihood of prevailing.  

That's true, Bert, but we

That's true, Bert, but we also need to remember that kids today know exactly what words to say to get adults in trouble.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Parallel

In the military police, we theoretically were required to call EOD anytime somebody found a suspicious package. That was our "official" procedure. We couldn't touch it. We certainly couldn't open it. That was the policy on paper.

In reality, as a responding patrol officer, is sometimes opened the thing and ignored policy, if the circumstances led me to believe there was nothing sinister. Of course, I was taking the risk I'd be blown to bits. And, I was going against policy. But, that was a risk I was willing to take in those circumstances, because I didn't think there really was a risk.

So, now we come to reporting requirements for alleged child sexual abuse. The correct paper policy, in my opinion, is to report. A church can decide, based on the context, to not report. That's up to the church. But, you're taking a risk. How big of a risk? Tough to say. But, the choice is yours, and you'll have to live with the potential consequences . . . That's all I'm sayin'.

But, know this - ABWE had a "paper" policy, too. It just chose to ignore it . . .

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Risk Management and False Accusations

That's true, Bert, but we also need to remember that kids today know exactly what words to say to get adults in trouble.

It's all about risk management, as TylerR just noted.  

I get that filing reports with the police are icky, painful and ugly.  But I'd always rather report first and have it be nothing than be caught "holding the bag" if it was real.

As for dealing with false accusations - having been through that myself, although not in an abuse context - the only things I could hang my hat on to get through it was that 1. I knew I was innocent and 2. That God would clear and vindicate me. Fortunately, He did.  But even if He doesn't, and I can't escape the accusation no matter how hard I tried, I could tell people that I was more than willing to sit down and answer any questions, turn over any and all appropriate documentation as appropriate, and do whatever I needed to in order to alleviate their concerns.  If they decided to believe a lie about me anyway...well, there isn't a whole lot I could do about it.

Joseph was falsely accused and went to an Egyptian prison for years (Genesis 39-41).  That was just as much a part of God's plan as selling him into slavery or raising him to be the most powerful person in Egypt outside of Pharaoh.  It's not the glamorous part we like to talk about though.  

Jesus was falsely accused all the time by the Pharisees and Sadducees; eventually, they put to death unjustly, but He didn't answer them a word, other than to confirm that He was their Messiah, for which they sentenced Him to death, also unjustly (Matthew 26:57-65, 1 Peter 2:20-25). 

Paul was falsely imprisoned by the Romans, but eventually vindicated (Acts 16:37).

Trust in that, brothers. God is working in and through all of this - even if we are falsely accused of all sorts of evil.  And frankly, we should expect it because Jesus told us it would happen in Matthew 5:11-12.

"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

Incidents

#1 A junior high girl tells her teacher that he father (a single Dad) hit her. The teacher reported the incident to authorities who immediately came to the school to interview the girl. They called in the father shortly thereafter. The investigation revealed that the girl had snuck out of her house to meet with her older boyfriend and Dad had caught her and spanked her. The investigating officer told the girl she needed to be thankful she had a father who loved her.

#2 A young girl who was sexually abused as a child was adopted out of foster care by a couple who were graduates of a Christian college and were involved in a good local church. The girl knew "the system" and would call CPS whenever she thought Dad and Mom were too strict. and accuse them of abuse. Each case was investigated and dismissed. When she reached her early teens she went to her pastor, who was familiar with  the background, and accused her father of sexually molesting her. The pastor concluded that the girl was rebellious and recommended that the girl go to a Roloff type home. The parents moved to another church and their new pastor received a call from the home informing him that the girl had, in fact, been sexually abused by her step-father. The pastor immediately went to the step-father's place of business and escorted him to the police station where he turned himself in. He was sent to prison and is a registered sex offender.

 

 

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

"Hidden factory"

What Tyler is describing is the "hidden factory", what really gets done vs. what the specs tell you to do, and to some point it's unavoidable.  That noted, I've always encouraged people to follow the policies fairly closely so that the problems become so obvious, even lieutenants and higher can figure it out.  Using Tyler's example, he had a certain set of criteria for what constituted a suspicious package--and then if you make EOD's life miserable with all those packages, they're going to set the MPs up with, say, an X ray machine or something so they can do that work themselves.

In the case Greg mentions, you keep filing reports and then as we have 1000 incidences of "kid makes public accusation with 12 witnesses saying it didn't happen" with 0 real problems, you start returning discretion with the proviso "if you simply note that an accusation was made with a few witnesses affirming it didn't happen, don't bother with the police." 

Which is a long way of saying "as a rule, err on the side of documentation and reporting."  

Bert, So you are going to

Bert, So you are going to make false statements and "stand by them"? That's wrong, Bert. You are doing exactly what you accuse ABWE of doing, of ignoring the truth and sweeping it under the rug because it makes you look bad. Granted, being wrong and possibly lying about a policy here in a discussion forum is not as egregious in terms of consequences, but it is just as wrong. You made false accusations. You can't just sweep your that under the rug and pretend they don't exist. At this point, Bert, I don't know how we can trust you. You say you write policies. Fine. But it appears to me that you don't read them. I don't know how else to explain this. You appear not to know what the policy actually says. 

For you to say the policy is not clear is bizarre. I can't imagine what is not clear. It seems that the problem is (1) you misread or overlooked somethings or perhaps just ignored them and (2) you think the policy should be written differently. Both of those are indisputable. I am not sure what is not clear about it. 3.6 is perfectly clear and given the breadth of things it addresses is certainly a reasonable statement. It allows them to do exactly what you think they should do. Your complaints are simply misplaced. 

Here's an example: Person A sees person B giving a hug to 10 year old person C who is known to have a close family type relationship that has never aroused any sort of suspicion. It is a quick hug and then they go their separate ways. Person A has never seen that before and has no reason to suspect anything so they don't say anything. Ten years later, person B is found to have molested Person C. Should Person A be fired? Should they be suspended? Reprimanded? What is the appropriate response? In your view, you seem to think they should be fired for not reporting something they saw even though there is no cause for suspicion, no "reasonable" basis (to use the legal term) for reporting. When you have a policy such as you suggest, you can end up being unjust because you have no discretion. But you have no options because Person A didn't report. Wisdom is usually the better part of valor. I will grant that you mean well. But that is not enough. Mandatory sentencing was a response to abuse, but it still resulted in injustice. 

Or perhaps Person A reports and it is investigated and there is no evidence found. Both Person B and Person C adamantly and credibly deny any sort of wrongdoing. You have just caused Person A to slander a brother or sister in Christ, and for the rest of their lives, Person B will be under suspicion, all because of a misguided and unwise policy. Either scenario is easily avoided simply by the use of common sense and wisdom. Laws are written a particular way for a reason. And they use the word "reasonable" or something similar for a reason.

You say molestation is not a clear legal category. But it is plenty clear and has been for a very long time. This particular policy is more clear and more extensive about what is prohibited than the law is. You remind me of those who want controversy over words while ignoring the substance. But let's assume you are right, that it's unclear. What's your solution? What definition of molestation would you add to this policy to make it more clear? 

We have one line that says crimes against children are covered in the child policy manual, and a paragraph or two below, the reader is expected to clue in that "molestation" (in itself not a clear legal category) encompasses the entire area of child sexual crimes.  What's going to happen is that one person is going to CPM, the other looks at that paragraph, and the decision is made, again, according to....corporate culture, which has not been fixed.

Here's a good example. You acknowledge that they have a policy about crimes against children. If someone doesn't read the policy, it won't matter what it says. If someone does read the policy, they will know exactly what to do. There is nothing either in the line or the following paragraph that is confusing. Someone who does what you suggest (i.e., ignores the policy) should not be allowed anywhere near management because they can't read a basic paragraph with comprehension. No policy is going to fix that. If seeing "molestation" in a list of causes for removal doesn't clue you into the fact that "molestation" is a cause for removal, then you should return to high school. It's a simple conditional: If A then B; if X then Y. It's clear and easy to follow which is exactly what you say it should be.

Regarding mandatory reporting, the problem is that the manual requires the missionary to know and follow the applicable state laws....OK, good luck with that when the missionary starts in one state, solicits contributions in a dozen or so other states, gets trained in a few more states, and ends up serving in a number of foreign fields. 

First, this assumes that a missionary would be a mandatory reporter in all these places. It is unlikely that a visiting speaker is a mandatory reporter in any of these places except possibly their actual place of service, and they may not even be there. Second, this is the way it is for everyone, not just missionaries. You, as Bert Perry, are required to know and follow the applicable state law where you live. Are you a mandatory reporter? Do you even know? Do you know the standards of reporting and the process of it? You are in the same boat as they are. Third, ABWE provides training on the legal requirements during its staff training sessions so they cover it. Fourth, they provide a Child Safety Officer and a Child Safety Response Team to help. So what other solution is there? A person simply has to know their legal duties by some means. It's not anyone else's responsibility. What would you have them do?

You say that "a clear basic guideline requiring a certain degree of reporting is essential." That is in the policy as you should know if you have actually read it. Section 3.4 requires internal reporting of prohibited conduct and 3.5 requires external reporting. Section 8 also addresses reporting. The policy requires the reporting of all prohibited conduct, not just illegal conduct. Section 5 spends several pages outlining the prohibited conduct that must be reported and to whom it is to be reported. So contrary to your claim, the policy is clear (1) that reporting both internally and externally is mandatory, (2) what should be reported, and (3) to whom it should be reported. So they already did what you said. And the policy outlines a variety of consequence up to and including firing for failure to do so. Again, how do you not know this?

I am beginning to think you didn't even read the policy because it's hard to imagine that someone who read the policy can be this unfamiliar with it.

You complain that this is based on what management thinks. Again, what other option is there? It's always based on what management thinks. Even if you report it to law enforcement it is based on what management thinks. It's called prosecutorial discretion. A document has no authority. Only people do in a case like this. No manual is going to address corporate culture. 

In the end Bert, I don't think you have read this whole document, particularly not closely and not with a view to understanding it. You have simply been wrong about too many things that are explicit. What policies you have written, I hope you have done it better than you have done here. 

There is plenty that ABWE should have done. But I think the stuff you are harping here has been shown to be wrongheaded. In some cases you are simply wrong about what the document says and in other cases you are taking the worst possible reading of it when there is a perfectly legitimate and more sensible reading to take. 

Deferring to an unidentified

Deferring to an unidentified person or department to manage a situation as difficult and opaque for guidance on a case-by-case basis is a recipe for all sorts of problems and confusion.

The person and department is not unidentified. 

For example, the policy I cited says that someone accused of misconduct should be privately confronted.  What if your suspicions are against someone in a different province?  What if you have suspicions but don't feel comfortable because you don't have enough proof to make this anything more than 'something seems wrong'?  What if the accused assures you everything is on the up and up but you aren't buying it?

First, the policy section you cite applies to behavior between adults. It does not apply to child abuse issues. But having said there, here are the answers:

  1. Make a phone call or a visit or send an email.
  2. Give it some time, thought, and prayer and pay attention because you might be wrong and you are about to create huge problems if you are.
  3. Then continue to give it time, thought, prayer, and attention. And realize you might be wrong. 

BTW, this is the explicit application of Matthew 18.

The policy says if in doubt, report. But be ready to own the fallout of it. 

For that matter, why isn't the ABWE Child Risk Safety Officer (or whatever the title is) notified the very second someone receives an allegation of child abuse on a mission field?

Well, because it takes a few seconds to find a phone and dial a number. The policy specifies that the report should take place immediately or quickly. In fact, it says that 9 times. 

Here's my question for you, Jay: Are you critiquing a policy you haven't read? Because if you have read it, why would you ask this question? You would already know the answer to it. 

So Tyler, you're saying that

So Tyler, you're saying that in the scenario I provided you would report it to the authorities? Wow. Again, I would never want to be in a church like that.

You keep using illustrations from the military. I helped write a child protection policy in a church based on resources from Church Law & Tax (widely acknowledged to be an expert source in this area) and input from our insurance company, then implemented that policy in that same church with over 150 children's volunteers, then oversee that policy for a number of years.

That doesn't make me an expert or always correct, but I just find the idea that churches should automatically report any accusation, no matter how obviously false and ridiculous, to be just as dangerous as the opposite error. Again, the law in Iowa clearly states all "reasonable" accusations should be reported, so the law is on my side here.

EDIT: After reading Larry's post and looking up the Iowa code, I remembered the correct word is "reasonable" not "credible" (as I used in a previous post), although they are similar. The point remains the same.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg

I've gone out of my way to be nice about your perspective. I understand your position. I just don't agree. It's ok.

I'd encourage everybody in a position to care to do two things:

  1. examine what your church's general liability insurance policy say on this. Don't bother your attorney. Don't bother with an expert. Just find the insurance policy, buried in the depths of some cabinet, and read the relevant section. I am almost certain there are exemptions under which your church forfeits liability coverage - like, for example, failure to report. If these exemptions for your negligence are there, make sure your church's SOP takes that into effect.
  2. research what your state's mandatory reporting law says. You don't need an attorney, I promise. You're all intelligent people. You can read the law, and even research some caselaw, if you wish. I deal with attorneys every day. There are three sitting ten feet from me right now; you probably don't need them for this. Consult one if you wish, but you can likely figure out the mandatory reporting requirements on your own. Whatever decision you make, ensure it complies with your state's mandatory reporting requirements.

A church can certainly choose to not report. By all means. Just be prepared to deal with the civil consequences. I've passionately argued against internal investigations, because you don't know what you're doing, you don't know the law, you don't know how to interview people, and ill-intentioned and/or stupid men can use these "internal investigations" as a smokescreen for cover-up. Not to mention, you open yourself up for civil liability if you're wrong. Not worth it, in my opinion.

Greg, I assure you that "reasonable" is a wiggle-word, deliberately chosen to be ambiguous. That's not something you want to hang your hat on.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Tyler, as I clearly stated,

Tyler, as I clearly stated, our policy was based on our insurance policy and our state law.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg

No worries then. You should be fine. You did a good job and wrote a responsible policy. Most people don't do that. The key, for everybody, is to actually follow the policy. ABWE decided not to.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Sigh

Larry, re-read that section of the child protection policy.  Would it kill them to provide contact information for child safety?   If you have to spend a few minutes looking these things up, the section simply does not exist, really.  A form would help as well.  

Moreover, the adult section really has the same problems as we've been accused of for decades; it does not really specify a reporting structure, but requires one on one confrontation.  Good luck getting that going when people are afraid of the bigwig.  And again, it's not clear to whom the problem ought to be reported.

And yes, they say they'll comply with mandatory reporting laws....but with no punishment for not complying....with no one to tell.....honestly, Larry, read between the lines.  The new policy may be better than the old, but please try to read it like an ordinary missionary in Bangladesh will read it, one who has the local manager very concerned that a star performer is being accused, and if he goes, so does a lot of the funding that the son of the head of the GARBC will bring in.

Really, when you argue that people are misstating the policy, you're arguing against the policy.  It's like AP style--you lead with what's important.  ABWE does not, nor is it clear which paths ought to be taken.  You cannot expect people to parse it out like good lawyers here.  

Larry, re-read that section

Larry, re-read that section of the child protection policy.  It does not once say to whom the report should be made.

Once again Bert, you are simply wrong.

To make a report under this Policy, the ABWE Staff Member shall notify ABWE’s Child Safety Officer or, if the Child Safety Officer is unavailable, another member of ABWE’s Child Safety Response Team (“CSRT”). The members of the CSRT may be contacted on ABWE’s website under Protecting Our Children. The CSRT includes the Child Safety Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Vice President of Global Operations of Ministries, and such other individuals as may be appointed by the President of Ministries from time to time.

There are no less than three people specifically identified as well as others who are appointed from time to time. 

Not to mention there are numerous times that "ABWE" is mentioned as the place where the report is made, which signifies the organization itself which provides many more places to report. So if one of the three is not available, there are plenty of others to report to. 

This is explicit and once again you have said something blatantly untrue.

How long, Bert? When you still stop this nonsense and actually read the policy and seek to understand it? When will you take responsibility for the falsehoods you have told?

Would it kill them to provide

Would it kill them to provide contact information for child safety?

Um, "The members of the CSRT may be contacted on ABWE’s website under Protecting Our Children." Inside of 60 seconds I found an email address and a phone number. That is much more accessible than this document is. And it can quickly be changed online if need be.

Moreover, the adult section really has the same problems as we've been accused of for decades; it does not really specify a reporting structure, but requires one on one confrontation.  Good luck getting that going when people are afraid of the bigwig.  And again, it's not clear to whom the problem ought to be reported.

Again, simply incorrect. From the policy manual:

If there truly is a problem, the field team leader and the Regional Director should be informed. 

The Regional Director and field team leader will then assure the spouse and/or offender(s) of ABWE’s support and love, remind them of the protocol which will be followed, and work out with them how the rest of the immediate family will be informed. 

 The Regional Director will inform the ABWE President, V.P. of Global Operations, and the Executive Director of the problem and receive input.

How many times will make accusations that are blatantly false?

But on top of that, the one on one confrontation is Matthew 18. It is biblical. 

And yes, they say they'll comply with mandatory reporting laws....but with no punishment for not complying....with no one to tell.....honestly, Larry, read between the lines.  The new policy may be better than the old, but please try to read it like an ordinary missionary in Bangladesh will read it, one who has the local manager very concerned that a star performer is being accused, and if he goes, so does a lot of the funding that the son of the head of the GARBC will bring in.

There is a punishment for not complying, and why read between the lines? We can actually read the words that address your issues. Plus the "ordinary missionary" in Bangladesh or wherever will have gone through the training process where this is taught.

Really, when you argue that people are misstating the policy, you're arguing against the policy.

No, you are misstating the policy. Virtually everything you have said about the policy is blatantly incorrect. 

ABWE does not, nor is it clear which paths ought to be taken.  You cannot expect people to parse it out like good lawyers here.  

No, it is clear. You don't have to be a lawyer. You need a jr high reading level. 

How long, Bert? How long will you continue to make false accusations? How long will you continue to refuse to take responsibility for your words?

Tim Challies, who had posted

Tim Challies, who had posted a link to the Atlantic article, yesterday posted this letter he received with additional perspective:

First, to give a little background about myself, I attended The Master’s College where I was first exposed to ABWE. After completing medical school and residency my wife and I committed to going with ABWE in Africa to work in medical missions and church planting. We arrived in France in 2016 to begin language studies and will be leaving in December of this year to start our work at a hospital in an African nation.

Making a decision to go with ABWE required much thought and prayer. One issue for us was this history of child sexual abuse by Donn Ketcham and ABWE’s failures in properly dealing with us. First, as a Christian who wants to see Christ glorified, I could not partner with ABWE if I did not have the confidence that going forward their leadership would properly address sin issues. Second, as a father of 3 young children, I would never commit to going with ABWE if I thought the culture that would put my two daughters and one son at risk of sexual abuse. Having never even been a member of a Baptist church, I can assure you that I have no prior allegiances to ABWE. Thus, our commitment to serve in this agency stems from a conviction from a few key things, namely 1) their conviction to use medicine to plant churches best allows us to use our gifting to serve God in missions, and 2) the patterns of failure in dealing with sin and sexual abuse by Don Ketcham have been thoroughly dealt with and will not be an issue in the future.

It is on this latter point that I feel that the article failed. I believe that truth is important and glorifies God, which is why I am glad that the truth of Donn Ketcham’s sin and the cover up/failure to properly deal with it by ABWE leadership came out. There is no excuse for that. From what I know of the incident, I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this article’s details about the abuse and ABWE’s handling of it in the years to follow.

However, in the same concern for truth, I believe the article failed to report significant portions of ABWE’s thorough and significant response that has taken place over the last 6 years. I do not know why this was not done by the author. However, this information is readily available as I will summarize below. Thus, whatever the cause for this omission, the author did not fulfill her responsibility to fully investigate the truth about the topic she discussed.

First, ABWE’s discussion of the situation and their response can be easily found on their website. It includes a thorough discussion about the incident, including the executive summary and the full 280-report of the investigation done by Pii, which clearly delineates Donn Ketcham’s repeated incidents of sexual abuse, ABWE’s failure to properly remove him from the organization long before the victim mentioned in the article was abused, and ABWE’s mishandling of the abuse incident spanning several decades. These failures are fully acknowledging in several places, from the video by the current president at the top of the page, the statement below this video, links to further statements, etc. I list these things to demonstrate that ABWE as an organization is not hiding from there sin, but confessing it and repenting.

Furthermore, ABWE has responded by removing and replacing the ABWE leadership and Board of Directors during the time of this misconduct (this was done several years ago). Because of the report released last year, further consequences were given to those who mishandled the situation. ABWE has a strict child protection policy and a training program, which I can personally attest to since I have completed it. In short, they have initiated significant changes to minimize the chance of future abuse and ensure that if such a thing happens again it is properly dealt with.

This is why I have a concern with the article you linked to. It fails to mentions this response and change. As a result, one is left with the impression that ABWE continues in this pattern of behavior instead of realizing that God has worked to bring about repentance and change. I have already seen this article referenced by others on Facebook and Twitter. I have other colleagues who have been approached by friends who are questioning the integrity of ABWE after reading it. In short, this article is having a damaging effect on an organization and people in the ministry who are committed to spread the kingdom of Christ, a damaging effect that rises from its failure (even if not purposeful) to share the whole truth about this situation.

Which leads to my motivation in writing you directly. A significant number of my fellow church members and friends read and trust your blog. So, when you post an article like this, it carries a significant weight. And unfortunately, I am concerned that by posting this article without any mention to ABWE’s response, you are unwittily propagating this incomplete disclosure of truth.

Imagine there was a large church where one of the pastor’s committed sexual abuse (as we know, this has happened way too many times). Despite a lot of God-glorifying ministry that happened through others at the church, some of the leaders did not fully deal with it. It leads to more abuse. We agree this is awful. But suppose it comes to light and the church deals with it in a God-glorifying way. There are consequences for sure, to the name of Christ and the reputation of the church. But if they have removed those who have failed and confessed their sin and repented and moved forward, is there any reason that church should forever be defined by that sin? Can God never use them in ministry because of that failure? Must the new people and leadership and those who were never involved be considered complicit in the past failure? Or, in God’s grace, can He use their obedient response to move his kingdom forward? Can they actually be defined in God’s grace by their humble response to their sin?

In conclusion, I would ask two things. 1) Please go to ABWE’s website as mentioned above. Read the statement, watch the short video, take a look at their response. 2) If you believe that they have responded in an appropriate, God-honoring way that doesn’t pass over sin, please consider making an additional post to balance out the impression given in “The Silence of the Lambs” by its omission of this response.
—Stephen W, Albertville, FR

https://www.challies.com/letters-to-the-editor-consecutive-exposition-fu...

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Larry, what about you?

How many times will YOU make the false claim that I'm making false claims here? 

First of all, for moral failure, one on one confrontation is required.  From page four:

The protocol to be used in handling moral failure on the part of a missionary is as follows: Step 1: Confront the alleged offender. 

If you don't think this is a problem, keep in mind that Donn Ketcham's sins include forcible rape.  Think about this a moment.  You've got to have a less direct means of confrontation here.  Say, an "incident report form" that can be used for everything from accidental injuries to....forcible rape.  Say a form that is included right in the text of the policy manual, with clear instructions on physical address, phone numbers, email addresses, and the like.

Yes, you can look it up with first world internet, but reality is they don't have that in a lot of places where ABWE works.  It's got to be there or it doesn't get done.

Sorry, Larry, but it matters that the main document points in two different directions, doesn't clearly describe penalties for failing to report, does not provide an incident report form, and the like.  It matters that the child protection manual's instructions also do not have an incident report form, clear instructions on where to send it, and descriptions of penalties for failing to report.  It matters that the main document says one thing in one paragraph and hints at another in the next, and it matters that if one follows the first sentence, one might never see the second paragraph at all.  It matters that the child policy manual says that punishments will be at the discretion of ABWE--and does not clarify that for some sins, there is no discretion.

Larry, this is not like a court case where you've got lawyers who are going to dig deep and harmonize a bunch of different passages and read in and figure out what the best solution is.  This is a type of case where a lot of people are going to get to the first sentence of the moral failure policy, go to the kids policy--let's imagine a good wait on internet in Bangladesh--then not know where to send the report or what it needs to say--there's another ten minutes on Bangladeshi internet--then realize that penalties are not spelled out in the document....

(you make these things too difficult, and they will not get done, especially without clear incentives)

These would be decent policies given a missionary population of U.S. -based lawyers with excellent internet speeds.  ABWE is 0 for 3 on that, though, so they really need to fix some things. 

Greg

Appreciate the link to from Challies. I understand what the writer is saying. Still, I will never support ABWE. I will always direct people away from ABWE. My son, who wants to be a missionary, will not go through ABWE. There are plenty of other fine Baptist mission boards. No reason for ABWE to exist. I don't think it deserves to.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

How many times will YOU make

How many times will YOU make the false claim that I'm making false claims here? 

What false claims have I made?

I have quoted the policy to documents false claims you have made. I have quoted you and then quoted the document, and you can compare them side by side and see that your claims are false. Whether they were knowingly false and malicious or whether you simply didn't read the document and didn't know what you were talking about, I don't know. But we must not make false claims about people and organizations. We must tell the trutth, even if it doesn't make the point we want to make. 

You claimed they didn't require reporting, but they do. You claimed it didn't say who a report about child victims should be made to. It does. You claimed the adult section had no reporting structure. It does.

All of these things, and others, you could have found simply by reading the document, or even by Cntrl-F and using "Find" to find it if you were interested. They were explicit. You were simply wrong. 

First of all, for moral failure, one on one confrontation is required.

Yes, it does. That's Matthew 18. Remember when you used to argue that we should be following Scripture? Boy, those were the days.

I actually think there are times when one on one confrontation is not necessary; it might be good for self-protection or for strength to go with someone. And I think the policy allows for that when it says as a part of step one that "If there truly is a problem, the field team leader and the Regional Director should be informed." I don't think telling someone else of a real offense violates the spirit of the policy. But the point is that it should be handled biblically from the first level all the way through. 

 Sorry, Larry, but it matters that the main document points in two different directions,

It points in two different directions about two different things. You handle children one way and adults another way. It doesn't point two different ways about the same thing, at least so far as I can see.

An incident report form may exist and not be public. It may not exist. It may be a good idea, but it isn't necessary. Basically, you are judging them by the policy you think you be written. I am fairly sure they had insurance companies and attorneys involved in this. I am pretty sure they aren't just winging it.

The document is clear to me. I think it would be pretty clear to you if you actually read it with a desire to understand it. Furthermore, remember that ABWE trains all its associates on the matter. It's just not that hard for someone of average intelligence and common sense.

It matters that the main document says one thing in one paragraph and hints at another in the next, and it matters that if one follows the first sentence, one might never see the second paragraph at all.

It doesn't hint at it. It plainly states it. And the two different paragraphs clearly apply to two different things (assuming we are talking about the same section). If someone doesn't read the document, it doesn't matter if all this stuff is in there that you want. If someone only reads the first paragraph and misses the second, that's on them. 

It matters that the child policy manual says that punishments will be at the discretion of ABWE--and does not clarify that for some sins, there is no discretion.

This is a misleading claim. The policy manual which includes the CPP plainly states that for some sins, association with ABWE is terminated. It's hard to be more clear than that. Again, if people don't read the document, then it won't matter what it says. 

Here's an interesting fact for you: Our church insurance company has a sample CPP that does not spell out the consequences for these sins. It specifies that (in addition to reporting) an internal investigation be carried out and that recommendations of action be made. It doesn't specify what those actions should be.

This is a type of case where a lot of people are going to get to the first sentence of the moral failure policy, go to the kids policy--let's imagine a good wait on internet in Bangladesh--then not know where to send the report or what it needs to say--there's another ten minutes on Bangladeshi internet--then realize that penalties are not spelled out in the document....

The penalties are spelled out in the document, and every person with ABWE undergoes training on it. So they have been told what to do and they have been told who to ask if they don't know or are not sure. 

Average internet speeds in Bangladesh are about 2Mbps, so it's not that slow. And they know where to send the report and what it needs to say. And they probably have a hardcopy of the CPP and one on their computer as well. It's not that difficult. 

Again, Bert, you are trying very hard to make a point that is unfounded. The document is decent enough. You would write it differently. Fine. When they ask you, you write it. Or start your own organization and write your own. 

But no matter how you would write it, don't make false claims about what it does or does not say. 

 

Lester Roloff Home Are You Kidding Me.

Roloff  Homes have  got a history of abusing children per the victims.  Second Tyler is right on point especially in this day and age.  Just call the cops.  

The Cops handle matters all the time from child abuse to domestic fights.  Let them decide that's what they're paid for.  It may just involve an incident report but they make the call not the Pastor.  

Internationally the Home Land Security ICE would handle it for a start.  If an American Overseas sexually abuses children and goes overseas for that purpose it does not matter where it happens.  Usually it deals with the local people but could extend to missionary kids. Also people who sexually abuse children are usually looking at child porn on the internet.  Another Federal violation where ever  it occurs. 

The young  male missionary teacher they caught in Africa got 40 years.  If that's to harsh to bad.  If a Christian man is in a dangerous maximum security prison why should he be shown any preferential treatment different than  the common criminal. 

Ketchum deserved the death penalty in my mind.  If Ketcham got convicted in Bangladesh and received the death penalty to bad for Kitty and the rest of his ABWE chums. The issue is justice for the VICTIMS not the comfort of the perps 

i personally contacted an AUSA who prosecuted my cases.  She said I quote the victims or their representatives have to make a complaint.  Nothing can be done without a complaint.  I passed this on to the gals hoping that the newer victims would take it out of those scum bags ABWE's hands.  

If you recall there was a missionary who Jay Sekulow got out of a Haitian jail.  It figures another Fundy/Evangelical would not want to have the poor man to suffer. Well now ICE is involved. Apparently he was running an Orphanage and allegedly raped the female children. Then his own wife allegedly helped with the cover up.  When will Fundy /Evangelical institutions stay out of it.  All they appear to try to do is protect their male Missionaries from mistreatment and mistreat the victims.  

Another case in point. A girl sexually assaulted at BJU later filed charges against her Perp. The Perp is s fine Missionary Guy with four little kids and a wife on the Mission field .  The Mission Board refuses to cut funding to force him to return and face charges.  Reason he said he was sorry and asked for forgiveness therefore the sin is now on her head ie bitterness.  Even though he harassed her after the assault.

The bitterness issue is the same thing the girl and her sister were told even though their Perp raped them 1000 times.  

When is this stupidity going to stop and when as we as bothers and sisters of Christ are going to campaign and publically ask Churches not to fund ABWE and other idiots who do the same with the idea of killing the organization.

 I did so I spoke to an Elder of my former church.  Jim probably knows this couple.  Both he and his wife are doctors. I told my friend the church should tell them to find another mission board or within a reasonable amount of time be defended. 

 Considering my old church donated a lot of money including my money and helped him physically build his clinic and home in Africa.  I think they have a right to make that request.  I told my friend all the church is doing is supporting a totally morally bankrupt and corrupt organization by continuing support to ABWE.  

Joeb wrote:

Joeb wrote:

Another case in point. A girl sexually assaulted at BJU later filed charges against her Perp. The Perp is s fine Missionary Guy with four little kids and a wife on the Mission field .  The Mission Board refuses to cut funding to force him to return and face charges.  Reason he said he was sorry and asked for forgiveness therefore the sin is now on her head ie bitterness.  Even though he harassed her after the assault.

The bitterness issue is the same thing the girl and her sister were told even though their Perp raped them 1000 times.  

When is this stupidity going to stop and when as we as bothers and sisters of Christ are going to campaign and publically ask Churches not to fund ABWE and other idiots who do the same with the idea of killing the organization.

 I did so I spoke to an Elder of my former church.  Jim probably knows this couple.  Both he and his wife are doctors. I told my friend the church should tell them to find another mission board or within a reasonable amount of time be defended. 

 Considering my old church donated a lot of money including my money and helped him physically build his clinic and home in Africa.  I think they have a right to make that request.  I told my friend all the church is doing is supporting a totally morally bankrupt and corrupt organization by continuing support to ABWE.  


Whoa.  Wait.  Is that missionary currently on the field?  Currently evading charges?  ABWE is his missions agency?  

Policy and corporate culture...

@Joeb: if there is related case that is public information at this point, please link to a credible source. Otherwise, this is not a place to make allegations of criminal activity.

As for policies and corporate culture, I've been reading, line by line, an average of 60 policies a week for two years now (these are mostly county and municipal police departments), and had a few opportunities to edit manuals and draft policies before that, and then years in the work force on the staffs of several ministries as well as large and small corporations. For what it's worth, in my experience:

  • The old saying that culture eats policy for breakfast is true. This doesn't mean policies are worthless, but it does argue that they are ultimately not determinative of what organizations actually do.
  • No amount of policy, however well crafted, can ultimately substitute for good people with sound judgment. You can't have a policy for every scenario, and if you did, the quantity of policy would guarantee it is not consistently referenced.
  • The corporate culture (values, commitments, principles, convictions and the practices that grow out of them) is rarely better than the policies. Sometimes it is, but not usually.
  • Organizations almost always have a process for making internal evaluations of allegations first (with language in policies that distinguishes baseless accusations from potentially true ones), whenever going outside isn't required by law. Even in cases where mandatory outside reporting is involved, there's no way to completely avoid some internal evaluation. This is because the law will say "report A to B," and you have to make a determination whether what has happened is "A" or not.
  • Policies are never perfect.

As for ABWE, it's quite clear that they do indeed have a policy of mandatory reporting to the appropriate outside authorities, as Larry has pointed out:

Section 3.5 says, "This Policy requires that Staff Members comply with mandatory child abuse and neglect reporting laws applicable to them when they become aware or suspect that a child has suffered abuse or neglect." Section 8.2.1 says, "ABWE Staff Members who are mandatory reporters are responsible for making reports under applicable law."

Could things be more clear in their policies? Probably. Policies are never perfect. Many of the agencies I work with have whole departments that do nothing but study, evaluate, and update policies.

At the same time, the more resources you put into compliance, the less you have left to do what you exist to do. Presumably, no organization exists for the sole purpose of compliance with regulations!

Scandals and large organizations

Scandals and large organizations: Consider

Secular:

Christian:

​Speaking to the W/F scandal (as a retiree with 22 years / my wife as a retiree with 25 years):

  • Controls and training were in place
  • We had annual ethics training classes
  • Greed and sinful people evaded and obstructed

In the case of:

  • VW - deceit was involved
  • EBM - lack of proper controls & audit

I know many of the ABWE principles. I suggest they tried to protect the organization's reputation by handling in-house

Crystal and Aaron

To the two of you.  That case was well documented in the GRACE REPORT.  Names and everything.  Per the Grace report and the victim that fine Baptist Mission has kept that fine young man Overseas.  So cut the boloney.  

There is no question here and nothing created.  Aaron and Crystal I just cited the Source 

Just like churches still holding the Bill Gothard daddy daughter ring banquets. What idiot Pastor would still do anything remotely connected to Bill Gothard unless they still honored Bill Gothard's Godly teachings and that he is a Godly man.  

Aaron having such attitudes places one squarely  with all the people at ABWE that covered for the sexual predators.  No wonder non believers think so low of us   Even they see that a Circus Chimp could figure it out   Why can't we   

 So Aaron question for you considering the ring banquets sexual implications why would any Godly Pastor keep doing such a thing so connected to Gothard.  

 That case was well

 That case was well documented in the GRACE REPORT.  Names and everything.  Per the Grace report and the victim that fine Baptist Mission has kept that fine young man Overseas.  So cut the boloney.  

FYI, the GRACE report did not name any names of alleged perpetrators or victims. It named only a handful of people employed by BJU at the highest levels. And I don't believe it was a Baptist mission, was it? (This I don't know for sure, but I think it wasn't.)

 

I Stand To Be Corrected LARRY

Larry the victim revealed herself after the Grace Report and it was a small Baptist Mission and I believe BJU allowed this guy back on campus to represent the mission while the victim was still at BJU.  That was one of many complaints made by the victim.  

Name of Mission

Name of mission is Baptist Pioneer Mission per the Grace Report There is no statute of limitations on sex assault in Greenville,SC.  So the mission is guilty of protecting a sexual predator.  Wow very Godly just like Godly Wendall

I won't name the missionary here.  Very sad. Same old same old. Nothing changes.

The men only had moral lapses and the ladies need to get over it and not be bitter.  We would not want to stop a fine Christian Man from serving the Lord EVEN THOUGH HE IS A RAPIST.  

Sound good to you Aaron.  Do you buy into that Ketchum and Godly Wendall  and this Pioneer Baptist Missionary only had a few moral lapse only deserving of few Godly rebukes. 

Hopefully The Fundy/ Evangelical Community Will Learn

I truly believe BJU learned their lesson.I don't agree with their non action but no criminal things were found done on their part.  They manage their University the way they want and made no bones how they handled matters unlike ABWE that hid everything repeatedly  

When I talked to that current AUSA who prosecuted my cases about ABWE.  She stressed THE VICTIMS HAVE TO MAKE THE COMPLAINTS AND COOPERATE OR NOTHING CAN BE DONE.  

Minus the victims being dissuaded by BJU from reporting when BJU brought up the victims did not go to the Police themselves there is an argument to be made on that matter.   

Case In Point :  The lady at Liberty University who declined to pursue a criminal complaint against her rapist the Liberty University Football Player.  The result of non action on her part.  A Sexual Predator went on to rape more victims and became a serial Killer.  Included in his victims killed another young lady in Christ abducted from Liberty University campus and killed.  That blood is to some degree on that ladies head and God forbid anyone who might have dissuaded her from pursuing a prosecution against her Perp. 

Joeb wrote:

Joeb wrote:

To the two of you.  That case was well documented in the GRACE REPORT.  Names and everything.  Per the Grace report and the victim that fine Baptist Mission has kept that fine young man Overseas.  So cut the boloney.  

There is no question here and nothing created.  Aaron and Crystal I just cited the Source 

Just like churches still holding the Bill Gothard daddy daughter ring banquets. What idiot Pastor would still do anything remotely connected to Bill Gothard unless they still honored Bill Gothard's Godly teachings and that he is a Godly man.  

Aaron having such attitudes places one squarely  with all the people at ABWE that covered for the sexual predators.  No wonder non believers think so low of us   Even they see that a Circus Chimp could figure it out   Why can't we   

 So Aaron question for you considering the ring banquets sexual implications why would any Godly Pastor keep doing such a thing so connected to Gothard.  

I had *no* knowledge of this case.  I wanted to know the agency and the name because I find that to be inexcusable to not pull him off the field.  I fully intended to call the agency and ask them why they were enabling an abuser to not be returned to the states to face a court for his actions.  
I am failing to see what exactly in my initial comment incited this kind of response from you.    

Ditto

JoeB,
Looking at the couple of references to "Aaron," I'm guessing that's me, but I have no idea what you're getting at.

Beyond pointing out what ABWE's policy says, and how policies generally work in organizations, I don't have much to say on the topic. Unless I'm a stakeholder or decision-maker in some way, I don't follow scandals, so... I have not read up on any of these particular stories.

Not only that

" I don't follow scandals, so... I have not read up on any of these particular stories."

It's not just that.  SharperIron isn't the police and shouldn't be treated as a law enforcement agency.  It's also not the National Registry of Sex Offenders and shouldn't be treated as such.

If you have an issue with someone - anyone - that you think is culpable for sexual abuse (or any kind of abuse for that matter), call the police and file a report with them.  After you do that, call the Missions Agency / School / Etc and let them know.  Don't bring it to SI for dissemination.  The members of SI aren't cops, don't have jurisdiction if there is crime, and frankly, I don't think Aaron or the rest of the administrative team want to get involved in that.

"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

Caution re ...

If you have an issue with someone - anyone - that you think is culpable for sexual abuse (or any kind of abuse for that matter), call the police and file a report with them.

If you don't have first hand knowledge ... waste of time!

Agreed

Sorry - I wasn't clear. Yes, I'm assuming the person has firsthand knowledge.  Other than that, push the person who has firsthand knowledge to report it themselves.

"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

"second hand evidence"

Only primary evidence--eyewitness or circumstantial--is admissible in a criminal or civil trial.  However, hearsay or other second hand evidence can be, if given in a non-anonymous way with some evidence that it could be true, sufficient to grant a warrant.    

(for example, if I see a string of men coming into a home and leaving 15-20 minutes later at odd hours, that can be reason to start a drug or vice investigation)

I'm not quite sure what Joe is getting at, but I do believe that in the Grace report about BJU, there was evidence that some sins were overlooked because of the perpetrator's involvement in ministries.  I don't believe it was just one.  Regarding Liberty, the football player was Jesse Matthew, who was expelled for sexual assault at LIberty in 2002, but not prosecuted.  He went on to commit at least one more sexual assault in 2003, and then  at least two murders.

If you want to know why you ought to get a report in, think of those grieving families.  If you want to know why ABWE needs to change their culture, think, again, of grieving families.  To be blunt, if I were running things at ABWE, I'd contract with an external auditor and require reports to be kept at the mission site, with the external auditor, and with ABWE, and each year, those reports would be checked and audited.   Moreover, the full contact information would be in the policy.  

Clarification on ABWE

Looking again at the data, the existence of 7000 (or whatever) files in their "dirty files" indicates that their system was working at least partially--it had enough data to end Donn Ketcham's career.  The problem was that clear signs of non-repentance were not acted on, and offenses that clearly should have sent him home with a complaint to the AMA and physician certifying agencies were simply filed.  Hence my comments above that it's not enough that ABWE have a "best in class" policy; they need a policy that specifically prioritizes addressing the failures they've had.  Any auditor will tell you the same about any ISO or other governing policies--you've got to address the weaknesses you've got.

And if the dirty files had 7000 entries in the last 40 years or so, the cost of having an outside agency audit is the cost of reviewing a few hundred documents--it would be a few thousand dollars in legal fees if they really are changing their culture, and of course if they aren't, probably ten times as much--but far less than the cost of another Donn Ketcham issue.

Aaron and Crystal

I took your statements that I was making this up.  I tend to take that personally sorry.  That's the point of my statements.  

An open letter or blog was written about the church where Josh DUGGER was receiving his sex Counseling.  The criticism was how can they counsel sex perps when they were a supporting church of the Missionary in question.  Meaning why don't they cut the Missionaries funding forcing him home to face justice.

 I don't know if I could track it down again but I'm not in a habit of lying.  My whole career was based on my integrity.  I was an Internal Affairs Criminal Investigator.  One lie and my career was finished.  It never happened.  

Bert The Fact That They Did Not Destroy His Medical Career?

Bert the fact that ABWE and related GARB Churches who Ketchum was Supervised by, did not destroy his medical career makes them responsible for the current matter he is charged with.  Also facing no life in prison and allowed to continue a career as a Doctor and build a comfortable retirement for himself and poor little Kitty is one more disgusting thing ABWE is responsible for.  

The victims got practically nothing financial from ABWE or Ketchum.  The only thing Wendall and his minions pined for was poor Dr Ketchum and Kitty.  Throw in calling Victim 1 an outright whore for tempting Dr Ketchum and calling it a conseual relationship the whole thing is a complete disgusting  joke.  

Not trying to be mean here but I pray that this current victim gets a good Attorney and plucks Ketchum and Poor little Kitty like a pair of Spring Chickens ready for the fryer. 

For those whole feel bad for Kitty I don't.  She should have divorced this monster as soon as she got back to the states.  She hooked her train to this monster so she is not an innocent little Kitty.  No pun intended. As far as I'm concerned let her live in a single wide in a mobilehome park without a car or at least without that Cadillac I saw in the picture.  No more comfortable retirement home for dear Dr Ketchum and Kitty. 

I also hope Ketchum is convicted and does some jail time even if it's in the Senior citizen unit. My additional hope is there will be a 105 year old member of the Purple Gang from Detroit and he will have a powered wheel chair and get that baby reved up and wheels spinning and run it right into Ketchum's shins.  Ouch.   ONLY KIDDING GUYS.  

Note Just found article they cite the Grace Report about the Victim asking Pioneer Mission sending Missionary Perp home to face justice.  They refused and will do everything legally to protect him.  Their reason HE REPENTED. 

Sounds like a familiar answer.  Same one the Senior Pastor Pastor of a GARB church gave my Detective friend regarding the churhmember who he arrested and got convicted for sexually abusing his stepdaughter. My friend wanted the guy out of the church for the safety of the little girls.  Seemed like a relevant request seeing that the Perp was the Jr High School Girls Youth Group Leader.  He was also the Senior Pastors skirt measurerand religious Policeman. The Senior Pastor and the Elders declined because HE REPENTED. Sick huh. I think the Senior Pastor and Perp were also very critical of how this Detective's wife dressed for church.  I grew up with his wife during high school. She was a very beautiful girl and let's just say no matter what she wore conservely some legalistic self righteous Christian male could find fault. Especially one who is a sex Perp. 

Lets not question this one guys and gals because someone out there knows I'm telling the absolute truth.   Point is the same Githard Cult response taught by Bill Gothard.  The Sex Perp repented all is right.  Question is if my buddy had not caught wind of this would the Senior Pastor have buried it.  From what I understand the Senior Pastor was none to happy my friend arrested his skirt measurer.   You see my friend knew how to work around corrupt men who might interfere with his investigation.  

Just to clear the air my friend was a committed believer in our Lord and would fully qualify as a Fundementalist  but like me he did not tolerate sex perps       and that's not the only one he arrested  

 

In her defense?

I've got to admit I'd wondered whether the marriage had survived all this.  Regarding what would have happened if she'd left him, keep in mind that ABWE leaders had already decided to look past repeated adultery.  I don't know that it's a gimme that they'd have acted with divorce, other than perhaps to blame the wife for being the bad one who "wouldn't accept genuine repentance".  Yes, I'm being very cynical here.

I don't even know that she would believe she could divorce him, Joe.  One of your "favorite ministry leaders", Bill Gothard, is said to have taught that a woman cannot under any circumstances divorce her husband because Matthew 5 and related passages speak of the man divorcing his wife--Gothard's really close to orthodox Judiasm if I understand this (and Judiasm) correctly.   So I would not be surprised if she didn't even see it as a possibility.  

(I believe that in some cases, it is almost a duty to divorce an unfaithful spouse--in the case of severe, repeated adultery and such, cases like this or the Clintons--but to be fair to Mrs. Ketchum, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't see it that way)

And a civil suit?  I'm guessing one is coming up, and a pound of flesh will be taken from both the Ketchums and ABWE--I wouldn't be surprised if all 7000 of those dirty files were in their hands already, and 40 years of ignoring sex crimes will leave a mark.  It might even make everything we've been discussing here moot, if you catch my drift.

I think

I think that it would be best to leave any discussions about Kitty and what she knew / didn't know or whatever out of this.  The story is embarrassing and shameful enough without pulling the various wives and families and what they knew or didn't know into it.  There's no need to pile on.

 

"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

Yes, but let's remember

Jay wrote:

I think that it would be best to leave any discussions about Kitty and what she knew / didn't know or whatever out of this.  The story is embarrassing and shameful enough without pulling the various wives and families and what they knew or didn't know into it.  There's no need to pile on.

 

Jay, point well taken, but if we can assume that she knew any significant portion of her husband's crimes and sins--and certainly she did when they came back to the States, and she probably had a good idea as early as the 1970s--it illustrates the strength of the culture we fundagelicals may often have regarding this kind of thing, and the kind of culture change we ought to try to achieve.

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