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 Post subject: Panama report
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 7:24 pm 
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Hey all, I've finally joined the forums although I've been reading for a few years and greatly appreciate the courage and hard work done by all those striving to bring accountability to NTM and seeking justice for victims.

I'm finally writing because the NTM report on Panama is supposed to be released soon...supposedly. I'm trying to remember, but think I did the interview in 2011 when pregnant with my son. He is now 4 and in pre-school. That gives me a tangible way to think of the passage of time. So over 4 years since I did the interview with the first investigators...

NTM says that Pii officially started the investigation in January 2012. They completed it in July 2014. Instead of releasing the results of the investigation, NTM fired the Pii investigators. Then they hired IHART who declared the first report was incomplete in January 2015 and had Theresa Sidebotham take over. Now it is September 2016 and we still have no report. Am I the only one who thinks this whole process is sketchy and demonstrates an incredible level of incompetence to take nearly 5 years to produce a single report?
I have a few thoughts and questions like:
1) How much $ did NTM spend to fund two complete reports and do their supporters know that's how they spent the $?
2) What was in the first report and why wouldn't NTM release it? I don't think anyone actually believes the report was incomplete but that NTM didn't like the results so hired someone else to "find" a different conclusion.
3) Will the report that finally gets published be in any way accurate and will it include the information we've all been waiting for to really demonstrate the level of abuse those of us who grew up in NTM Panama experienced and know existed?
4) I was told the investigation was completely independent of NTM when I interviewed, but it sounds like IHART is very much connected to NTM now. Does anyone know the real nature of the relationship?
5) Why is IHART making it difficult to get an actual copy of the report? After nearly 5 years, you'd think they'd want to make it as easy to access as possible for all those interested. But, apparently they can't keep track of the contact information of those who participated and you have to personally email them and ask for the report...putting the burden once again on others. I emailed asking for a copy and did not receive any reply or confirmation.

I guess we'll have to see what's in the actual report. But, NTM has demonstrated themselves to be so entirely untrustworthy that it's hard to believe the report will be worth the wait and effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:30 pm 
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Independent my foot! NTM and IHART are in bed together, no ifs, buts or maybes. It's all a perverse scam, paid for with money that is making some people no doubt rather rich. NTM is a cult, so it has no desire for anyone to be looking at what has been going on, so why not spin this out for years while offenders kick the bucket and victims get fatigued!
IHART will produce a report that avoids putting responsibility for this disgusting mess on NTM. Just a few vague comments and lots of scapegoating!

Open the jail doors and lock up the criminals, sue those who hid them and set the victims free from their personal hell!

And that is about all I've got to say on the matter! Life is for living, not waiting for NTM to piss into the wind and get it's pants wet! And living I am doing :D


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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:37 pm 
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lafula, welcome.
You have asked some good questions.
Just from what we have learned on these forums about abuse in Panama, it was horrid!
It seems that the general public will never learn what is in the report.
Those who gave interviews will get their interview material back.
That's how it appears.
It would be very interesting to know what was in the PII report.
And how this one differs.
We may never know that.


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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:58 pm 
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lafula wrote:
Hey all, I've finally joined the forums although I've been reading for a few years and greatly appreciate the courage and hard work done by all those striving to bring accountability to NTM and seeking justice for victims.


Welcome to the Forums, lafula! This thread you started has received over 70 hits so far, which I would say indicates that among the many nameless readers of this website, there is indeed interest in finding out how the investigation into MK abuse in Panama is going to conclude.

You ask some excellent questions about NTM, IHART and the Panama investigation. I have been fully engaged here on Fanda Eagles since June, 2010. I have tried to stay informed, as much as possible, on how things have been unfolding. So I will respond to your post with what I know ... with the understanding that there are things I also don't know or understand fully.

lafula wrote:
NTM says that Pii officially started the investigation in January 2012. They completed it in July 2014. Instead of releasing the results of the investigation, NTM fired the Pii investigators. Then they hired IHART who declared the first report was incomplete in January 2015 and had Theresa Sidebotham take over. Now it is September 2016 and we still have no report. Am I the only one who thinks this whole process is sketchy and demonstrates an incredible level of incompetence to take nearly 5 years to produce a single report?


The investigation into MK abuse in Panama has always been under the control of IHART. Professional Investigators International is a group that was hired/contracted by IHART to conduct an investigation into Panama specifically, but they were working for IHART/NTM all along. (Pii conducted several other investigations for NTM into individual abusers, such as Gary Earl of PNG.) Pii was terminated in Dec. 2014, and it is my understanding that this termination was at the hands of Theresa Sidebotham. Theresa Sidebotham, as the new coordinator of IHART (replacing Pat Hendrix), took over the Panama investigation. Ostensibly, the reason Pii's investigation report was rejected is because it did not address leadership culpability. Pii however, has stated that they were specifically not contracted to include leadership culpability in their report, but they did have enough information that they could have added that aspect to their report if Theresa had allowed them to do so.

lafula wrote:
1) How much $ did NTM spend to fund two complete reports and do their supporters know that's how they spent the $?


NTM will never reveal how much they have spent drowning out the voices of MK abuse survivors and their supporters, who are simply calling out for validation, support and justice. NTM is fighting for its very survival, which hinges on the confidence that the Christian public has in their integrity and the rightness of their cause. Of course NTM's supporters know nothing of this daily outflow of money. NTM will tell you they are funding their lawyers, investigators, etc using funds not meant for missionaries' ministries, but it is my understanding that the money taken out of individual missionaries' accounts for a "contingency fund" is partly what is funding this fight. You may not know, lafula, that there have been three lawsuits filed by NTM MKs that were eventually settled financially, but only after years of billable hours racked up by NTM's attorney/s. There have also been a number of financial settlements reached with MKs through mediation. It is my understanding that the total cost so far is in the millions ... and this process is far from finished. I do think that many churches and individuals who support NTM would be appalled if they knew facts and figures on this. And so would a good many NTM members ... if they only knew.

lafula wrote:
2) What was in the first report and why wouldn't NTM release it? I don't think anyone actually believes the report was incomplete but that NTM didn't like the results so hired someone else to "find" a different conclusion.


I have had enough communication with the now-closed Pii to believe that you are correct in this assessment. I expect the new report Theresa is going to produce will be much more palatable to NTM leaders, members and supporters.

lafula wrote:
3) Will the report that finally gets published be in any way accurate and will it include the information we've all been waiting for to really demonstrate the level of abuse those of us who grew up in NTM Panama experienced and know existed?


If Theresa follows a similar process to the one IHART under Pat Hendrix followed at the conclusion of the Vianopolis, Brazil investigation, I expect that very little will be revealed publicly about the findings of the Panama investigation. Theresa has promised a Summary Report which will be published on line. I think we have already gotten indications that this summary report will not name names of any missionaries responsible for child abuse or the covering up of such. I also expect this public report to include rationalization and justification for much of the abuse that is revealed, especially if it is physical abuse. I do not think NTM will ever admit to the amount of emotional and spiritual abuse that was used to control children's behavior and keep their parents out on the front lines.

MKs who receive their own "packets" of information will have more detailed documents than what is put on line. In the Vianopolis case, MKs eventually shared these documents publicly, even though initially, they were afraid of doing so because of the dire warnings on the pages about the information being personal and private. Even in the packets, the individual statements of findings generally just retold the abuse that was reported by the recipient of the packet. This was their own story, which they already knew. The reports did not combine all the abuse reported about a particular perpetrator, as is normally done in investigative reports.

lafula wrote:
4) I was told the investigation was completely independent of NTM when I interviewed, but it sounds like IHART is very much connected to NTM now. Does anyone know the real nature of the relationship?


Yes, there are many MKs who feel they were deceived in the beginning about the identity of IHART. NTM chose their words very carefully. But here are the facts: IHART did not exist until April, 2011. It was created at that time, by a woman named Pat Hendrix, who had been hired by NTM to conduct investigations into MK abuse in NTM. There were some tricky ways that NTM misled people, including the used of the word "Independent" in the name of the Independent Historical Abuse Review Team. About the only really independent thing about IHART is that the people in that team were/are not members of NTM; they didn't go through Boot Camp. As time went on, it became abundantly clear that IHART was under the control of NTM. NTM had the power to fire Pat Hendrix in Nov. 2014, replacing her with Theresa Sidebotham. As the truth began to dawn on the misled, NTM was quick to point out the ways in which they had not actually clearly said for sure that IHART was not a part of NTM. In fact, now they are calling IHART "a process of NTM", which of course puts this farce in a totally different light. But it's too late. The damage is already done. Scores of MKs, parents, and others already trusted and believed they were talking to an independent group, and believed that what they told investigators would be kept private. Now we know better.

I am afraid I am overwhelming you with information, lafula, but I do think it is important to point out the connections that all go back to Scott Ross, the long-time house counsel for NTM. I think Scott may be retired now, but his influence can clearly be traced. He is the one who acquired Pat Hendrix to set up IHART for NTM; Scott and Pat knew each other from previous MK-abuse-related groups. Pii was also founded through the encouragement of Scott Ross, and I believe he did this as another way of having "independent" investigators who were actually his friends (this backfired on him in the end, but that is not the point here). And then we have Theresa Sidebotham. Theresa is notorious here on Fanda Eagles for being the co-author of a horrendous article which lambastes the GRACE report on abuse at the MK school in Fanda, Senegal. ( http://telioslaw.com/pdfversions/new-market.pdf ) Theresa and Scott (both attorneys) have a longstanding friendship, so it is clear that putting Theresa in charge of IHART and the NTM investigations makes her an ally, and far, far from being independent.

lafula wrote:
5) Why is IHART making it difficult to get an actual copy of the report? After nearly 5 years, you'd think they'd want to make it as easy to access as possible for all those interested. But, apparently they can't keep track of the contact information of those who participated and you have to personally email them and ask for the report...putting the burden once again on others. I emailed asking for a copy and did not receive any reply or confirmation.


I agree, this seems to be part of the strategy to keep this report (at long last finally finished) hidden from as many eyes as possible.

lafula wrote:
I guess we'll have to see what's in the actual report. But, NTM has demonstrated themselves to be so entirely untrustworthy that it's hard to believe the report will be worth the wait and effort.


I think there is also a strategy at work, to just wear people down and wear them out, as we wait ... and wait ... and wait. I think they are hoping they can wait everyone out till people have lost interest or just give up. As MKs in NTM we were (harshly) trained to be compliant and to not fight those who were abusing or controlling us. Remember the teaching that children should be spanked (beaten) until there was no fight left in them, and they just went limp, instead of wiggling and fighting? This was called "breaking their will". I think NTM is counting on the fact that many MK abuse survivors don't have much fight in them.

Maybe you will show them they are mistaken about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:18 pm 
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Deja do wrote:
Independent my foot! NTM and IHART are in bed together, no ifs, buts or maybes. It's all a perverse scam, paid for with money that is making some people no doubt rather rich.


The hidden truth that only came out once NTM fired the head of IHART and replaced her with their lawyer, Theresa, is that IHART is not an independent organization. It is a "process," as NTM calls it, started and controlled by NTM. They "own" it, it is their staff. What none of us understood when we were first being interviewed by the investigators was that this was not like GRACE, a separate organization. We were giving NTM our stories. They may say they will never touch the files, but the reality is that they own them and could change their mind at any point. They misled the victims about the nature of their "independent" investigation.


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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:55 am 
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Thanks so much for answering these questions and providing the useful info!!

I read the report the paper co-authored by Theresa. This is a must read if you want to understand the world view and principles guiding our investigation. http://telioslaw.com/pdfversions/new-market.pdf
It leaves no doubt regarding the approach and what we can expect from the Panama report. I'm thoroughly disgusted but the paper. The driving purpose is to figure out how to not spend too much $ on reports of abuse and payouts to victims...learning from the Catholic experience.

I think the key excuses we will see included in the Panama report include:

1) Much of what has been reported as abuse what culturally acceptable during those years and the response was on par with investigative and disciplinary standards of the time

2) Abuse is more widespread in secular settings and they aren't sued as much. Why are Christians holding leaders accountable. (NTM switching the table to be the victim and make it look like those who are abused and their attorney are on a witch hunt to get rich).

3) MK's have psychological issues related to being MKs or TCKs and claim abuse when much of what they experience are just normal issues related to growing up in another country. (Quote from her paper which is particularly disgusting and again turns the blame away from mission agencies).

"Some allegations of abuse in missionary boarding schools conflate actual abuse with
typical MK psychological issues or confuse the two
. Most MKs have feelings of disorientation,
dislocation, abandonment, and rejection, whether or not they attended a boarding school.52 The
MK experience is also complicated by strong elements of spiritual shame and coercion that were
often present in the evangelical subculture during the relevant periods.

These experiences, though painful, were often not abusive, but an outcome of a particular
choice of lifestyle and occupation by the parents
. For a missionary child to face a boarding school
separation is no more abusive than for military children to have their fathers sent to Iraq
for a year. However, some claimants and some investigators are confused about this.53 Any
team that investigates alleged abuse in missions agencies, especially historic abuse, should have
an in-depth and realistic understanding of MK and TCK issues and the historic subculture."

4) Slams the GRACE report for doing all the right things in a report that doesn't coddle NTM leadership but actually presented their findings including naming some abusers. She repeatedly uses the word "usurp" to say the GRACE report wrongly provided recommendations to leadership and to MKs. (How dare the report actually find wrongdoing in NTM...we should just trust the leadership to review the condemning findings and let them bury it!)

5) Fear mongering - the conclusion leads the reader to be scared of how bad the situation can get with potential payout costs rather than doing the most simple and right thing...admit the wrongdoing publicly, deal with the abuser, and bring restitution to the victim. Instead, she focuses on the worst case scenario and leads the reader to focus on how to best protect the organization...which is obviously the highest priority with NTM.

"When people have been injured, the Church needs to respond as the Church--with
compassion and generosity. This could include top organizational leaders meeting the victim, an
apology, and provision of therapy or other avenues of healing. Are there limits to a Church's
compassion? What if the person injured requests weekly counseling for 20 years? What if the
person requests $50,000, $500,000, or more?"

"Since 1985, Protestant organizations have watched the Catholic scandal unfold. Some
thought, "This is a Catholic problem. This cannot happen to us." The reality is that Protestant
ministries can learn from the Catholic Church's experience. We hope that this paper might help
facilitate such learning. The risks are great. Now is the time to prepare."

6) With such a focus on those bad attorneys trying to make $ off the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals, she neglects to mention how much $ the attorneys make who defend Churches and missionary organizations. I wonder how much Theresa is making off her role with NTM and managing these investigations? The last I "heard" through the grapevine is that NTM has already spent $1 million on the Panama investigation. I'm not sure if that is accurate, but what if it were? A tiny fraction of that would have covered hundreds of hours of counseling for abuse victims. That money could save lives of the poor and hungry. I guess it's all about priorities.


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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:05 pm 
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I am glad you took the time to read the Sidebotham article, lafula. It is indeed very, very revealing.

I reacted strongly to the article when it first came out, and stated that the detailed list in the article (pages 18-19), of everything GRACE had supposedly done wrong in the Fanda report, smelled like collusion. I was confronted by NTM for making that accusation. But as things unfolded, and the author of that atrocious article turned out to be a good friend of Scott Ross, and eventually was crowned the new head of IHART, I will state even more clearly that I believe this article, written back in 2011, was influenced by Scott Ross, who was no doubt very dissatisfied with the contents of the GRACE report on Fanda, particularly with some of the things GRACE had to say about him.

There are two threads here on Fanda Eagles, in the Miscellaneous section, where this article was discussed: "Finally! The reason NTM isn't using GRACE" and "Discussion of the Sidebotham/Nussbaum Article". I will refresh both of them under Miscellaneous, so you and other readers can find the threads easily and look through them.


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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:13 pm 
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lafula wrote:
6) With such a focus on those bad attorneys trying to make $ off the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals, she neglects to mention how much $ the attorneys make who defend Churches and missionary organizations. I wonder how much Theresa is making off her role with NTM and managing these investigations? The last I "heard" through the grapevine is that NTM has already spent $1 million on the Panama investigation. I'm not sure if that is accurate, but what if it were? A tiny fraction of that would have covered hundreds of hours of counseling for abuse victims. That money could save lives of the poor and hungry. I guess it's all about priorities.


Yes, isn't this beyond ironic! Theresa Sidebotham publishes an article titled "Are Protestant Ministries a New Market? Lessons Learned from the Catholic Sexual Abuse Scandal", and then she proceeds to tap into that market royally!

NTM! What have you done? You have played right into this plan!! You have told me Theresa has taken things out of your hands, you have no control, you don't know what's going on, and you do not know why the Panama investigation is taking so long to finish up.

GET A CLUE!!

Do I have to spell it out for you, what is going on here????


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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:47 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Panama report
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:13 pm 
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threewillows! How did you know??

I predict those sentences will be found in the yet-to-be-delivered Panama abuse report, practically word for word!

Arrghhhh!!

:roll:


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