MK forum

Panama report
Page 5 of 9

Author:  Raz [ Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report


Yes, welcome back, Paul!

Paul Syson wrote:
After reading the Panama Report I can state it much more briefly than they ... "We investigated the allegations and found them to be true. We decided nothing could or should be done further. We are sorry. We are moving on."

It took them 48 pages to say nothing new or substantive.

And whose brilliant idea was it to sprinkle pictures of the crime scene (EHM) throughout the report? Flashbacks, anyone? Maybe whoever does their monthly prayer letters was in charge of creating the format. :shock:

"We investigated the allegations and found them to be true. We decided nothing could or should be done further. We are sorry. We are moving on."

Accurate and concise.

I have some observations as well. They will not be nearly as concisely stated as yours, however.

Author:  Raz [ Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

The most glaring feature of the IHART report on Panama is the refusal to name the missionaries who were confirmed by the investigation to have abused children.

By its very definition, an investigation report confirming child abuse should acknowledge that there was a victim, there was abuse, and there was a perpetrator of that abuse.

But note the title of this report: IHART Panama Historical Investigation Summary Report.

Historical investigation? Does that mean IHART was investigating Panama's history? Or that this investigation will go down in history?

The word missing here is ABUSE. CHILD ABUSE.

The title of GRACE's investigation report is "Amended Final Report For the Investigatory Review of Child Abuse at New Tribes Fanda Missionary School".

Just in case anyone is wondering how this report compares with that one.

Author:  Raz [ Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

I am refreshing lafula's initial gut reaction to the Summary Report, since there have been many posts since then. I believe that so far, hers is the only post here on FE from an actual NTM Panama MK. I hope others will post as well. We would like to hear from you all!

We stand by with love and support. We cannot feel the full impact of seeing the photos in the report, because we have not been to EHM. Those haunting photos of empty rooms and buildings and grounds, with no people. Creepy. But know that we are with you. Theresa has described us in this paragraph of the report:

"Several strains of thought exist even within the NTM MK community about how broadly the investigations should be discussed, and IHART has heard a number of perspectives. One
community of MKs who have suffered has a deep suspicion and mistrust that NTM will “cover
up” abuse. This community’s desire is to see the entire situation handled with full transparency,
and with broad acknowledgement of any allegations. This community would generally prefer to
see alleged perpetrators and leaders publicly named and shamed."

lafula has named the people who hurt her. Theresa won't name them publicly. But as one missionary parent quoted in the report said, "The survivors own their stories. They and they alone, have the right to tell those stories if they choose."

This is a place you can tell your story. Here is where you will be believed. We don't sort things by percentages of evidence here. :roll:

Standing with you, lafula. And with all your fellow MKs from Panama.

lafula wrote:
Just got my report. I wanted to share some initial thoughts although will continue to process and have more later. I'm especially interested to hear what the rest of you think of it.

Overall, it's exactly what we expected...primarily a use of historicicsm to justify the behavior of the times. We didn't have the same standards for abuse back then, we didn't know how to identify it, we didn't talk about it...etc. As a little girl, I knew without a doubt that most adults at EHM were abusive. I didn't need to know the vernacular or acceptability of behaviors at the time to understand that manipulation, lying, beating, humiliation, and totalitarian control were wrong and certainly not godly.

Of course my letter says that "the investigative team did not make a finding of abuse by preponderance of the evidence for any of my specific allegations." They noted my parents spanked me naked. But did not include any of my specific examples of current missionaries like Bruce Enemark taking me out to the deposito alone as an 8 yr old girl to try to force me to admit to a "crime" that I had not committed and how i was terrified of this huge man intentionally intimidating me. In fact, another student had already admitted to the infraction to the teacher. But Brenda Baird did not care about truth. She merely chose to lie about "knowing" I'd committed a crime and reported it to Bruce. According to the times, children were always wrong. So despite having no evidence and a student's word acquitting me...willing to take the punishment...I was taken alone to the deposito by Bruce. When I didn't cave, my dorm parents were instructed to discipline me and I was spanked.My other reports didn't make the cut either, like Mark Case trying to hold me accountable or give me lower grades due to lies and manipulation by Marion Woodhead and John Anderson. His response to my clear explanation of their lies was that they really did care about me so it was ok. Huh? Again, children must always be wrong and adults right. The world revolved around protecting adults regardless of their behavior.

My point is that the report says it wants to find the root causes of abuse...but doesn't even touch on them. The closest it got was admitting we had an authoritarian and hierarchical leadership which we changed in the late 1990's. I hoped they would have the decency to be introspective and enumerate real root causes of abuse. A missed opportunity but not surprising. Oh yes, the leadership is also all men in the report and no mention of how that is problematic. They talk extensively about how things have improved since 1997, but again, not addressing the real issues that report was supposed to be about. It reads as an excuse because look how much we've changed!

A surprising section is the one on the political climate under Noriega and the stress and concern of school leadership to not traumatize children about what was happening in the country. I knew a political opponent was beheaded and body and head were found on either sides of the Panama/Costa Rica boarder at age 6. I knew people were stressed and I couldn't say Noriega or Pina Cabeza in public. But does the principle (presumably Harry Huddleston) seeing someone shot in the street during this time make him more likely to beat children? The logical connection in this section doesn't work at all and the political stress provides no clear reason why NTM children would be more abused while he was in power.

I hope someone can shed light on the claim that Pii did not produce a report on leadership culpability. The time frame given in this report and explanation for why it took about 5 years rings hollow and I hope someone will provide more details on this.

Very concerning is the complete lack of accountability for leaders of the time. The report tries to say they may not have known of these incidents and issues because people were afraid to report or assumed they knew. We all knew they knew. Just because they EC leaders didn't take good meeting minutes or track who knew what...or are not willing to admit it to investigators now doesn't mean they didn't know what was happening. It's scary that they mention things like an MK getting pregnant and how they couldn't report it to the police but there is NO discussion on how that MK was shunned and the whole family sent home for the MK being raped...because they led everyone to believe the MK was promiscuous and the rumors abounded about her before and after departure.

And there is an effort to say that the MKs who communicate and want full transparency have maybe contaminated the reporting process by sharing info. All people trying to maintain power in a system discourage the sharing of info between the regular people and use intimidation. I'm not surprised to see this continued effort in the report and the reference to MKs who had positive experiences and don't want to see full transparency or discipline. Yes, many MK's went straight back into NTM and/or have family and friends in the organization. There are many different motives for the way people responded to the investigation. I know my parents were told it was a witch hunt and did not participate. So despite all these claims for trying to be unbiased, it's very clear to me that NTM was forced to produce a report with a degree of accountability, but not willing to really make the necessary changes and examine the deeper underlying issues. I think this whole effort was meant to a be a controlled confession with limited actionable results. Again, if you read Theresa Sidebotham's paper that was posted to this thread earlier, you will see the exact mindset and methodology used in this report.

Author:  Raz [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

I posted the link to the Panama report on my own Facebook page, and waited to see what the response would be.

Some of my friends who apparently skimmed through the report quickly, had positive comments.

To me, this shows that Theresa Sidebotham did her job well. She is paid by NTM to protect their organization and its reputation and financial income. She is obviously a smart woman and a brilliant strategist. NTM should be very pleased with her work.

At first glance, the report is attractive, with colored pictures, clearly laid out sections, and explanations that seem logical and understandable.

Theresa does speak of the horrendous physical abuse that IHART confirmed was indeed inflicted on the children at NTM's MK school in Panama. But she surrounds it with so many rationalizations that the reader is distracted from the muck by the flowering trees surrounding it.

And I think that was the intent. Obviously a great deal of time went into crafting this piece of work called a Summary Report. (Unlike the previous IHART report on a different school, produced by a different coordinator .... that product was abysmal in every way.)

My guess is that when active mission members received the link to the report (as far as I can determine, not even the link was sent to retired members -- who account for a large percentage of NTM's numbers, and naturally would be the contemporaries of the missionaries who beat and abused children), any of them who actually took the time to click on the link, skimmed through the pages quickly, and saw just what NTM wants them to see: Yes, some bad stuff happened to a few kids at the school, but nothing out of the ordinary for that period of time ... and no one in leadership can or should be held responsible, and anybody who was really, really bad has been dismissed from the mission or had their personnel record amended, but we aren't going to tell you who those really, really bad people are, because you don't need to know.

And then they X'ed out of the report document and will never look at it again.

Casual readers will not even notice some of the features of the report that are so glaring to Panama MKs. Like the absence of names. Not a single abuser is named. Casual readers don't think that is significant.

But casual readers don't continue to have nightmares about the beatings they received that were so severe they could not even sit down, or had to have their pants soaked off them because of the dried blood on their bottoms.

Casual readers don't remember how it felt to have a rag stuffed in their mouth to muffle their screams as they were "spanked" with huge paddles, asking themselves if they would be able to catch their terrified breaths, or if they would suffocate to death there in that room, far, far away from their parents.

These MKs know the names. They know who whipped them, humiliated them, berated them, and made their childhoods a living hell. They know the names, and they told those names to the IHART interviewers. The interviewers who the MKs were led to believe were "independent" investigators, when all along they were but a part of a "process" created by the mission.

A "process" which includes keeping the mission safe from scrutiny by refusing to publish the names of child abusers, under the excuse that this is an "employment investigation". Employment investigation? What happened to independent investigation? And since when is a mission member an employee of New Tribes Mission? I was a member of this same mission at the time the abuse in Panama was taking place. My husband and I filed our taxes as "self employed". We were never employees of the mission.

I am both impressed and depressed by the response of the general public to this Summary Report. Impressed at the skill that went into producing the document. Depressed by the fact that so many people want so badly to believe that the mission they have had confidence in for so long has done everything with godliness and integrity. They are skimming but not thinking. They are not asking themselves the hard questions. They are not comparing this report (which is not even called an abuse investigation report) with reports produced by other investigations, such as the report GRACE wrote on abuse in NTM's school in Fanda, Senegal.

Theresa has rewritten the narrative according to her own crafty crafting. But her report is what many want to believe.

And so they do.

I weep for the MKs of Panama. I weep for what they waited for and did not receive.

Author:  Panama MK [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

It has been a loooong time since I have been here and I have only read through the report once, but here are some initial thoughts I had/have....

On the outside the report sounds like a nice tidy investigation was done and "we" have taken care of those who were abusers and now everything is okay...

If you know anything at all about anything that went on, or even ask a few questions you will know something isn't quite right about this report.

I was one of the "fortunate" ones and only suffered emotional, mental and spiritual abuse. I was not beat with a fishing rod by Ralph or any of his cronies. But he mocked and belittled me. My personal report made me sound like a complaining five year old.

The cast he made for the student with a broken foot was no mistake or lack of training ----
He was mocking and making fun of a young man. How humiliating...and there was no apology. This one incident in this report made me realize that NTM can and will make up excuses to save their backsides. This report is a joke- how do you take them seriously when they brush of abuse as a mistake or lack of training. In people's heart of hearts they would know that this is not right. To beat children until they are bruised or bloodied is not something we can pass off as an acceptable punishment of the times.

As far as what leadership knew.....this is a hard one. Do people get old and forget what they knew? Perhaps. But I also know of at least one person who went head to head with Ralph and when they approached the leadership they were blown off because 'that is just the way he is'...

I know I need to go back and read the report again and make notes...maybe do some communicating of dissatisfaction with NTM- just to let them know that it isn't the tidy little job they thought it is .

These are just some initial thoughts...

Author:  mosquito bite [ Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

Thank you all.
How many times did we hear on the field---It's all been taken care of.
We should have been better detectives.
Little did we know we should have been. :( :x

Author:  Journey [ Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

28 pages of introduction and excuses
8 pages of "findings", which mostly could not be corroborated
10 pages of reassurance that NTM has already taken care of everything and have in fact gone above and beyond any reasonable expectations.

Nothing here, folks! Move on along. :evil: :evil:

Author:  Journey [ Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

lafula wrote:
I think this whole effort was meant to a be a controlled confession with limited actionable results. Again, if you read Theresa Sidebotham's paper that was posted to this thread earlier, you will see the exact mindset and methodology used in this report.

Author:  Raz [ Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

Journey wrote:
28 pages of introduction and excuses
8 pages of "findings", which mostly could not be corroborated
10 pages of reassurance that NTM has already taken care of everything and have in fact gone above and beyond any reasonable expectations.

Nothing here, folks! Move on along. :evil: :evil:

Thanks for breaking it down for us, Journey. I was wanting to do that but hadn't yet.

I also want to point out that over seven pages worth of space are taken up by the photos.

You are right.

Nothing here, folks.

Author:  Journey [ Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Panama report

Raz wrote:
I also want to point out that over seven pages worth of space are taken up by the photos.

To account for the pictures and dead space:

22 pgs. intro and excuses
6 pgs. mostly uncorroborated findings
7 1/2 pgs. of reassurance
35 1/2 pgs. total (not including title page and table of contents)

Insulting :evil:

Page 5 of 9 All times are UTC - 5 hours
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group