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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:53 am 
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When we were naive students at NTBI we met RH. He was on his way to Bolivia (1980) and he was fondly reminiscing about his years in Paraguay with the Les Pedersons. We don't know what Les knew about RH's stint in Paraguay. (They were going for field conference every year at that point and were well-connected.)

RH eventually was the Principal at Tambo and the SINGLE dorm parent for the 10-14 yr old boys. Several parents complained more than once about not having a couple as dorm parents and they were ignored.

The Tambo Committee when RH was dismissed was Al Lotz, Walt Durfey, RH himself and we don't remember who else.

There was talk of sexual molestation of boys in the Bob Fisher case. We cannot substantiate this.

Mark Ertl was at Tambo for 1 or 2 years as an associate starting in 1990. He lived in the HS Boys Dorm, at least the 1st year. He took one of the Korean HS boys home with him to the States one summer. Later he came back for a semester. There were accusations of sexual molestation against him. He lived somewhat near NTBI Waukesha. We heard of a meeting between Mark and the Director of NTBI where these accusations were brought up. Mark did not admit to anything as far as we know.

NTBI staff who had been staff at Tambo when Mark was there invited him to a Bolivia reunion at NTBI. They said they had not been told anything about the accusations and did not know any reason to be skeptical about Mark being around the students.

This all needs to be checked out with people who were in leadership at the time. Or people who were at Tambo/NTBI at the time. Will they be willing to be of help?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:24 pm 
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I would be careful about dropping names with unsubstantiated rumors/accusations. That can tear apart good people, or leave yourself open to liable/slander. Just a cautionary thought.

Mark Ertl was a great guy. I lived in the dorm when he was on staff and he was very careful about boundaries. I've never had any thought of him being inappropriate in any way. He didn't even use the bathroom/shower room that we used; there was a guest one that only he used so there was never a time where he was around us in inappropriate moments. The Korean student who did some traveling with him was a good friend of mine and that was after he had graduated from high school. I hadn't heard anything about any accusations regarding Mark or any of his activities.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:26 pm 
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I don't want to muddy the waters too much, but in regard to full exposure of child molestation I think I do need to mention that there is also the privacy of the young, innocent victim that needs to be considered. Many victims feel intense shame that will take years of maturity and therapy to resolve. I am not suggesting that in any of the hush-hush cases we are now discussing, that privacy of the victim is the primary reason things were kept quiet. But it truly is a part of the complete picture. Can you imagine how a little boy or little girl on a school base would feel if "their secret" was made public in that close-knit environment? And even if they were nameless at the time of the exposure, I have no doubt that eventually the mission grapevine would expose them.
I'm not saying this to defend how things were handled, but I do feel that as a mother of one survivor who goes to extreme lengths to protect her privacy to this day, I just need to mention this additional, complicating factor.
This is a very good discussion though!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:33 pm 
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MK MINDA wrote:
That is too bad that the pastor was not filled in by NTM...makes NO sense to me. I wish I could connect with someone who was in leadership at the time in Tambo. Actually I have found one person but they have yet to reply to me.

That particular incident was handled in the worst way every step of the way. There would have been a lot less hurt for everyone in the aftermath if they had been more transparent and put the needs of the abused child ahead of their friend.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:49 pm 
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Tambo MK wrote:
MK MINDA wrote:
That is too bad that the pastor was not filled in by NTM...makes NO sense to me. I wish I could connect with someone who was in leadership at the time in Tambo. Actually I have found one person but they have yet to reply to me.

That particular incident was handled in the worst way every step of the way. There would have been a lot less hurt for everyone in the aftermath if they had been more transparent and put the needs of the abused child ahead of their friend.

Did the same field leaders remain in leadership after RH was given 24 hours to get out of Bolivia?

This is not legalistic, paternalistic, authoritarian, or harsh leadership. It is nothing for which subsequent leaders have apologized. It is incompetence that defies description.

The EC, who demanded (and got) the removal of this pervert are to be applauded for that. However, if the same group of leaders remained in power on the field, it shows a total disregard for the missionaries who were asked to serve under and submit to them.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Tambo MK said:

"I would be careful about dropping names with unsubstantiated rumors/accusations. That can tear apart good people, or leave yourself open to liable/slander. Just a cautionary thought."

Thanks, Tambo MK for the warning. We still stand by the fact that this info should be looked into. Does anyone think we should ask Kari to pull this post? Or part of it? We are still learning. Maybe we should have just written to GRACE?

One thing of value to us in reading these forums is the good communication that is happening. Very open and receptive, compassionate and helpful to others. Not afraid to be corrected.

When someone TELLS us they are like that, but in reality they are just the opposite, THAT is abuse.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:49 am 
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Raz wrote:
I don't want to muddy the waters too much, but in regard to full exposure of child molestation I think I do need to mention that there is also the privacy of the young, innocent victim that needs to be considered. Many victims feel intense shame that will take years of maturity and therapy to resolve. I am not suggesting that in any of the hush-hush cases we are now discussing, that privacy of the victim is the primary reason things were kept quiet. But it truly is a part of the complete picture. Can you imagine how a little boy or little girl on a school base would feel if "their secret" was made public in that close-knit environment? And even if they were nameless at the time of the exposure, I have no doubt that eventually the mission grapevine would expose them.

I'm not saying this to defend how things were handled, but I do feel that as a mother of one survivor who goes to extreme lengths to protect her privacy to this day, I just need to mention this additional, complicating factor.
This is a very good discussion though!

This certainly does not muddy the waters! Privacy issues are not a complication as much as an essential factor in handling these sorts of crimes. If the victims can be shamed, intimidated or otherwise coerced into silence, the perpetrator will often go free. Perpetrators and their defense attorneys know this. So do corporations that have their reputations to think about, come to think of it.

GRACE has done a very good job of protecting the identities of victims. So have the Fanda Eagles. I commend them all for their high ethical standards and I hope that victims who have not yet done so will consider contacting them, even if they use a pseudonym initially. Courage inspires courage.

I am sure inspired. I am speechless in the face of the courage of the many victims who are even now finding their voices. I have had many opportunities to see courage - but none that matches this. You all have overcome so much to get this far. Victims, by which term I mean to include parents, siblings and other family members as well, thank you for enriching the lives of those of us who count it an honor to be on your side.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:45 am 
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Gene Long wrote:
Tambo MK wrote:
MK MINDA wrote:
That is too bad that the pastor was not filled in by NTM...makes NO sense to me. I wish I could connect with someone who was in leadership at the time in Tambo. Actually I have found one person but they have yet to reply to me.

That particular incident was handled in the worst way every step of the way. There would have been a lot less hurt for everyone in the aftermath if they had been more transparent and put the needs of the abused child ahead of their friend.

Did the same field leaders remain in leadership after RH was given 24 hours to get out of Bolivia?

This is not legalistic, paternalistic, authoritarian, or harsh leadership. It is nothing for which subsequent leaders have apologized. It is incompetence that defies description.

The EC, who demanded (and got) the removal of this pervert are to be applauded for that. However, if the same group of leaders remained in power on the field, it shows a total disregard for the missionaries who were asked to serve under and submit to them.


Let me clarify; he didn't have 24 hours to get out of Bolivia, just to get out of the boarding school. Here was the order of events (as I remember them):

During the Christmas break, RH was discovered to have abused one of the children under his care in the middle school dorm he was in charge of. I believe the parents of the child were communicated with. As far as Tambo staff went, it was only kept in the leadership's knowledge; Al Lotz, Durfey and RH. The rest of the staff were told that RH had a sin issue that would not be disclosed, that he was being removed from the director position and being removed from the dorm, but he would continue to teach at the school. This did not go over well with the rest of the staff, especially staff members who had children living under his care in the middle school boys' dorm. At least one staff member who had a child in the dorm pursued the issue far enough to find out what actually happened; he insisted that the response was wrong, that RH was disqualified for ministry in general and with students indefinitely, that the authorities should be notified, and that parents needed to know so that the kids in the dorm (and school) could be questioned about abuse. He was told he was wrong and that the decision would stand. Nothing was done to communicate with parents of other children in that dorm, no search to find out of if the one child was the only one or not. Larry Depue was brought in from the field committee (I think I remember that he was on the field committee?) to replace RH as a temporary director of the school.

School resumed. Students were informed that there was a change because of a 'sin issue' and that we should not talk about it or ask about it.

A couple weeks later, when the field report landed at the NTM headquarters in Florida, word was immediately communicated to the field leadership that RH was disqualified and was to be removed from Tambo within 24 hours. Once out of Tambo, they could make arrangements to return him to England. No charges were made, his home church was not informed of why he was no longer with NTM.

One of the worst scenes I have ever seen was when RH was allowed to address the students before leaving the school. It was at a meal with all of us in the room. He was sobbing, telling us he didn't understand why this was happening, that he had been told he could stay as a teacher, etc. Many of the students were upset by this wondering why NTM was being so mean to RH. Meanwhile, the abused child was sitting there, hearing the whole thing, seeing all of his peers and fellow dorm-mates reacting with tears and anger that RH had to leave. The poor kid was abused, and then most likely felt guilty for 'causing' this drama.

Eventually word did get around to the staff, but not from the leadership. It was whispered behind closed doors. Children of leadership outside Tambo heard from their parents (who naturally wanted to check if their child had ever been molested), those children then told their friends at Tambo, some of whom were staff kids, who then told their parents.

The whole thing was a mess from beginning to end. It's especially frustrating that the leadership had been told how to handle it and ignored it; ignorance was not an excuse they could use. The problem was they were protecting a friend instead of looking out for what was best for the children, and what was Biblical, and mandated by the law.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:40 am 
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Terrible, terrible, And sadly ... typical as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:14 pm 
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Tambo MK...thanks so much for this information. The picture is coming together a bit more. YET ANOTHER huge failure on the part of the leadership!


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