New Republic Picks Up Donn Ketcham Story

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Joeb's picture

Ketchum and his son and the third missionary are abusers .  That's what's alleged.  Ketchum no argument he did it.  So far all the victims allegations have been true.   If the conspiracy is true they were trading the girls and were talking about them or the other two knew what Ketchum was doing and decided to get their own piece of the action.

So guys were talking LIFE WITH NO PAROLE   KETCHUM makes Sandusky look like an Angel.  Throw in the other two alleged perps YIKES.   

What makes matters worse is the third missionary's daughter was a victim of Ketchum.  This daughter has a blog and she threw Daddy dearest under the bus one month after the PI report came out. She also alleged that Daddy dearest used to discuss biblical things with his children in the bathroom while sitting on the throne doing his business.  That sounded off the wall so I would not put any credence in it.  Although if true sure shows Daddy dearest had some serious screws loose.  

All in all let's pray that others take heed and learn from this. The big one I see besides call the cops is not putting any one man above our Lord ie Godly Wendall Kempton.  You should see the monument they rasied for him and buried him on the grounds.  I say we call for a monument destruction Party. $1000 dollars a hit to go to the gals and ABWE putting Godly Wendall in a paupers grave yard where none of his fans can rally around his memory.  

Bert Perry's picture

Jay wrote:

There is, in this document, a long laundry list of violations. Not all of them would be handled the same. Thus, the discretion is employed. An employee who buys a hamburger for a child not their own will be handled differently that one who sexually abuses a child. Yet both are violations of this policy. And there may be a good reason to handle the doctor different than the summer missionary. I think the point is that not all violations are the same and thus they cannot all be handled the same.

Larry is right on this one.  You can't possibly build out rules that deal with every situation or permutation of one.  There are times when someone should receive a harsher penalty than someone else.  It's just the way things are, and I believe that God does the same thing on occasion in the New Testament - surely other people have lied to the Holy Spirit, but Ananias and Sapphira were killed for that.

I just have no faith that ABWE will avoid the errors (to put it mildly) of the past.

Look at the last comment; this is why I am saying that there should be no discretion for matters of physical adultery and criminal activity.  If you don't trust someone to use discretion wisely,  you don't give them that discretion, period.  This is why many states and the federal government put in sentencing guidelines in the 1980s--they were tired of judges using their "discretion" to give serious criminals light sentences.  It's also why many factories require managers to sign off on critical measurements--they've learned through hard experience that when people can cheat on things, they will.  It's why military contracting has huge, long checklists--people will cheat when they can, and quite frankly it can kill when they do.  

So if you've got a case where dozens/hundreds of people on two continents over four decades failed to remove an adulterous pederast from his position, you go forward by removing their discretion in such cases.  ABWE has given us a very clear picture of their corporate culture, and that pictures says that if any "discretion" is perceived in this kind of thing in the future, somebody is going to make the exact same mistake again--but with the caveat that plaintiff's lawyers already have the historical exhibits ready. 

Joeb's picture

Larry if you read the PI report ABWE dragged their feet on reporting the new ones to Authorities.  ABWE told PI they were conducting their own investigation first.  In fact in one instance they did not even know if it was reported. 

Many sex perps are into child ponography to. Plus throw in abusing the indigenous people which is a Federal crime investigated by ICE.  So ABWE was obstructing right up into 2014/15 per the PI report.  Any discussion of their new rules is a complete joke.  My concern is how many ABWE hard drives and phones ended up in the Congo or Zambezi rivers.  These guys are disgusting. Reform could only come by selling the home assets and giving the proceeds to the victims and going to leased facilities with a whole new management not connected to ABWE or GARB in anyway.  Let BJU provide the management. At least they have talented people who DON'T PONTIFICATE BIBLICAL THINGS WITH THEIR KIDS WHILE SITTING ON THE THRONE.   I don't think they taught that in their classrooms. 

Ron Bean's picture

ABWE is not necessary to the cause of the Gospel. In fact they are detrimental. Pull a sheet over it and direct its missionaries to other agencies.

Get off my lawn!

 

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

Larry's picture

Look at the last comment; this is why I am saying that there should be no discretion for matters of physical adultery and criminal activity. 

ABWE agrees with you.

Larry's picture

Larry if you read the PI report ABWE dragged their feet on reporting the new ones to Authorities. 

That's old news. But I am not sure what your point is to me. My comment had nothing to do with that. 

Jay's picture

So if you've got a case where dozens/hundreds of people on two continents over four decades failed to remove an adulterous pederast from his position, you go forward by removing their discretion in such cases. 

And who makes those calls?  And what right does that person have to adjudicate ABWE's behavior, outside of God Himself?

I don't like this situation either, but I loathe the idea of setting up some outside party to decide that ABWE is doing the right thing or not.  Better to pull a sheet over it, like Ron Bean said, and shut it down than impose some Pope-like figure to decide whether or not things are being done correctly.  After all, it was the people who were watching over ABWE that allowed this to happen.

The God of all the Earth shall judge rightly...much more rightly than any man or panel or committee ever could.

"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

Jay's picture

While I understand your point about filing a Form 990, the requirements to complete that form are a huge financial drain and timesuck for most parachurch and church organizations; the form is very complex and easy to answer incorrectly.

If you look at the original 990 form itself, you'll see that it's 12 pages and usually ends up doubling or even tripling in size by the time it's completed because of the space required to answer some of the questions.  It's a highly complex document. Just to illustrate, I worked for a nonprofit for seven years that reported 2.5 MM in revenue for 2015.  Their form was 48 pages long. Another NPO I know well has a 990 that was 98 pages long, although it is much, much larger than the first.

ABWE is at least providing some transparency by providing their audited financials.  Many organizations like theirs wouldn't, and frankly, wouldn't want to bother with it.  I always take it as a good sign when they do volunteer that information.

"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

Jim's picture

To whom is ABWE accountable? 

[this is the problem with mission boards - although I see the value of them]

Did ABWE involve the churches in the D/K mess? Nope!!! 

TimT's picture

I have no problem with a church or para-church group not filing a 990 if they are not required to do so.  Also, 10% toward office/management/overhead seems pretty good to me, although I do not know exactly what is required to "manage" a mission board.

Tim

TimT's picture

This appears to be the total and no more will be incurred going forward.  I wonder how much they spent in past years on this whole mess (legal/PR/counseling/attempts to "help"/Pii and other outside folks)?  The financial cost is huge which is terrible stewardship of what God gave them through people's donations.

The financial cost is nothing compared to the human cost though (understatement of the year by me).

There is mention of another related entity called ABWE Foundation - would like to see their financials as well to see what the whole picture is.

 

 

 

 

Tim

TimT's picture

Does CMC have another funding mechanism for overhead and non-direct costs?  I just don't know enough about how mission orgs work to have a strong opinion.

 

Tim

Bert Perry's picture

Larry wrote:

Look at the last comment; this is why I am saying that there should be no discretion for matters of physical adultery and criminal activity. 

ABWE agrees with you.

As long as section 3.6 exists in their policy as currently stated, no, they do not agree with me.  It does not matter how often leadership says they have zero tolerance; the policy says that punishment will be at ABWE's discretion.  Hence, punishments will reflect ABWE's culture, which for the past four decades has been to cover up the most serious allegations when we're dealing with key people.  The policy needs to address this corporate culture, and that means that in certain cases--say gross sexual abuse, adultery, or fornication among missionaries, or a few other crimes of violence--the person will be automatically dismissed from the mission.  You could do it in five sentences or less.

Besides, I think that spelling this out as fairly absolute would be a good idea for any church or missionary policy, no matter what the history and corporate culture.  You know the adulterer or child molester is not, sexually speaking, a one woman man--there is no "parsing it out" that needs to be done as with, say, a pastor who has gone through divorce a decade ago to say "OK, he wasn't a one woman man then, is he now?", or something like that.  This is "right here, right now, we know that this man does not keep his sexual attentions to his wife."

Unless, of course, we're going to decide that a missionary is not necessarily a person meeting the standards of eldership, which is problematic in its own right.

Bert Perry's picture

Jay wrote:

So if you've got a case where dozens/hundreds of people on two continents over four decades failed to remove an adulterous pederast from his position, you go forward by removing their discretion in such cases. 

And who makes those calls?  And what right does that person have to adjudicate ABWE's behavior, outside of God Himself?

I don't like this situation either, but I loathe the idea of setting up some outside party to decide that ABWE is doing the right thing or not.  Better to pull a sheet over it, like Ron Bean said, and shut it down than impose some Pope-like figure to decide whether or not things are being done correctly.  After all, it was the people who were watching over ABWE that allowed this to happen.

The God of all the Earth shall judge rightly...much more rightly than any man or panel or committee ever could.

The point of clarifying something in a policy is so that no one, strictly speaking, makes the call in a given case.  Sure, the leadership needs to be on board and sign off with the overall policy, but all you need to do in this case is to insert something into section 3.6 stating to the effect:  "Any missionary participants in adultery or fornication will immediately be terminated.  Any missionary participants in sex crimes will be immediately terminated and the relevant reports shall be made to authorities.  Any ABWE employee who suppresses a report of adultery, fornication, or sex crimes against children will be immediately terminated and relevant reports shall be made to authorities."

It's that simple.  No Popes necessary, just to take seriously Paul's requirements for deacons and elders to be a one woman man, and to understand that ten thousand miles away from support structures, people are far more vulnerable than they are at home.  It's even more important when you consider that some missionaries consider themselves highly important revenue sources--I'm guessing DK did.  You want to change a culture of covering things up?  Great!  Give no leeway in these cases. 

I'd understand the pushback a little more if we were talking about something that's a little less clear in Scripture, but to push back against saying "any adulterers will be immediately separated from the mission" somewhat boggles my mind.  Why?

Larry's picture

As long as section 3.6 exists in their policy as currently stated, no, they do not agree with me.  It does not matter how often leadership says they have zero tolerance; the policy says that punishment will be at ABWE's discretion.

Bert, once again, you are simply incorrect. Their policy manual states, " Any ABWE missionary or prospective missionary who becomes involved in sexual immorality is disqualified from further service with this mission agency. Sexual immorality shall be defined as adultery/fornication, incest, sexual molestation, lesbianism and homosexuality, and habitual use of pornography." 

Jay's picture

Bert,

You will never find a way to enforce policies if people don't want to follow them and DO want to cover up sins / crimes.  You could have a policy manual of thirty million pages and it wouldn't work.  It's no different than a pastor who has lost his family or who was committed adultery but the church won't terminate his employment either because 'the church would suffer' or 'he is the pastor and we can't do that'.

This was part of the problem with HCA and Maddi.  They left the disciplinary decision to the Board and the Board threw the book, the table, and the entire library as well. 

"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

Bert Perry's picture

I just searched the child protection policy for a reference to sexual immorality.  It has none.  It also does not contain the word "disqualified". What document are you looking at, Larry?  

Again, if the child protection policy does not say this EXPLICITLY, they are treading on very thin ice.  And it ain't there.  And it's what people are going to refer to if and when this kind of thing happens again.

Jay, agreed that you could have the policy be infinite in length, and it wouldn't work without people being willing to do so.  That said, there are simply some things that you have to put in there to deal with known corporate culture--at the very least, your summer missionaries are going to figure out that things at ABWE are not according to spec, and they will talk and cut off the pipeline of new summer missionaries.

Larry's picture

It is in the ABWE International Policy Manual dated April 2017, which is where the CPP is found as well. It comes up on the first page of a Google search for "ABWE adultery." Why did you not think to look this up before taking such an outspoken and strong position on it? 

Bert Perry's picture

Here is the link, and here's a very interesting quote from it: page 4, right before your quote.

The Child Protection Policy applies to situations involving child victims. In all other situations, this Moral Failure Policy applies

In other words, your quote is completely irrelevant to your point.  The policy in question is the child protection policy, which still fails to require mandatory disassociation from ABWE, still fails to require mandatory reporting of crimes to authorities, and still fails to separate those who sweep these things under the rug.  For that matter, the moral failure policy should also provide for severe penalties for those who sweep these things under the rug.  

Jay's picture

Step 2: If offense is confirmed and admitted*, the offender, if married, will be urged to immediately inform the spouse of the details.

5 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. *Note: In instances where the offense is not admitted, the procedure will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Isn't that more or less what they did with Donn Ketcham?  

Oh wait, no - they sent the offending * women * home.  Donn was allowed to stay on the field.

"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

Joeb's picture

Jay and Bert your arguments are right on the money.  Hopefully Pastors of GARB Churches out there will start telling their Missionaries to find new mission homes or face defunding. Obviously it will take time but the churches need to take a stand against this evil and put the screws to ABWE.  Money talks. 

Larry's picture

In other words, your quote is completely irrelevant to your point.  The policy in question is the child protection policy, which still fails to require mandatory disassociation from ABWE, still fails to require mandatory reporting of crimes to authorities, and still fails to separate those who sweep these things under the rug.  For that matter, the moral failure policy should also provide for severe penalties for those who sweep these things under the rug.  

Bert, perhaps you are simply not reading closely and not thinking clearly.

First, the CPP is part of the Policy Manual and it requires mandatory dissociation for sexual molestation. It plainly states that. For you to say otherwise is downright bizarre. The line you quote about the moral failure policy appears to refer not to the immediately following paragraph, but to the six steps outlined below which is the actual protocol. In other words, when the moral failure is not covered by the CPP, then you follow the six steps. When it involves a minor, you follow the CPP. But dissociation for sexual molestation is explicit.

Second, the CPP does not fail to require mandatory reporting. 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 is devoted to mandatory reporting and makes plain that the mandatory reporters are required to report and reporting to the mission will not suffice. Did you really just miss something that big? Why would you say something that is so obviously untrue?

Third, regarding sweeping things under the rug, one of the apparent reasons for the "discretion" is the very long list of things included, not all of which are of equal weight. Not reporting a frontal hug (a violation of the policy) or buying a hamburger (also possibly a violation of the policy) is different than not reporting an actual physical molestation (also a violation of the policy). ABWE is wise to reserve discretion for this rather than treat these the same. I highly doubt that, given the heavy emphasis on reporting things, that ABWE intends to protect anyone who sweeps it under the rug. That makes no sense at all.

Bert, might it be good to give some thought to your approach. In the recent past you have missed a number of clear and obvious things and then gone on to try to build a case on a falsehood, such as you have done here. Two of the accusations you made here are explicitly false and the third can easily be seen as a wise policy given the breadth of the policy. You have also made accusations against people that you have no basis for making. I don't think that is a good way to go about discussion.

 

Larry's picture

 *Note: In instances where the offense is not admitted, the procedure will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Jay, what should the policy be when an accusation is made but the offense is not admitted?

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