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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:49 pm 
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It's 2017. I would love to start this new year with a clean slate. But I can't yet. There is unfinished business to tackle.

IHART/NTM's report on MK abuse at NTM's school in Tambo, Bolivia was made public on Dec. 16, 2016.

Theresa Sidebotham, the attorney who is the coordinator of IHART (which is a "process" of NTM), is clearly a very strategic thinker and planner. It was smart to release this report on Tambo right before the holiday season. I suppose she hoped people would barely pay it any attention at all.

I remember back to the early days of this journey, back in the 2010-2011 time range, when there was actual, real, humble and transparent communication from NTM. There were real facts being posted publicly on the NTM website, and concern was shown for MKs who were in pain as a result of childhood abuse.

Today I looked through the NTM website, searching in vain for any sort of notification that all three of IHART's internal investigations have now been concluded: first Vianopolis, E Brazil, then Panama, and now Tambo, Bolivia.

Nothing. Everything in the Historical Reviews section is the same as it has been for the last couple of years. Anyone reading this would conclude that investigations are still ongoing, and that people who have information or wish to participate in an investigation should contact Theresa.

https://usa.ntm.org/about/historical-reviews

The opposite of love is not hate. It's apathy.

NTM shows through their website how they really feel about their MKs -- the children of their own missionaries! -- they really don't care.

They are just moving on. But I am not. Not yet, anyway.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:36 pm 
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Raz wrote:
...
They are just moving on. But I am not. Not yet, anyway.

Actually, you got that backward. You are moving on, and continuing with the battle, while NTM is clearly stuck in the past, and continues to refuse to admit:

- that abuse did happen
- that they (both field and executive leadership) knew about it and did little or nothing to deal with it
- that in most cases, what they did do, was the wrong thing
- that they laid most of the blame on the victims
- that they have done as little as they possibly could to help any of the victims
- that they think that this whole issue is just an attempt to thwart their "work"

And most of all as Raz so correctly noted:

- that they don't care at all about any of the MKs who are not back in NTM and still "drinking the Kool-Aid"


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Agreed.

:x


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:57 pm 
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And most of all - the names of those for whom there was a preponderance of evidence that they were, in fact, guilty of abuse of MKs, and what, if any, action was taken against them. And the names of those who were in direct leadership, both at the field and executive levels, that had, or should have had, knowledge of the abuse, what they did, or didn't, do about it, and what actions, if any, were taken against them.

As we have seen in the ABWE case of Dr. Donn Ketcham, it is important for the public to know the names of abusers. It's quite likely that they have more victims who may be afraid to come forward.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:06 pm 
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Yes! I have lots more to say, including regarding the protection provided to child abusers by Theresa's refusal to name names! Just need more time to research and write. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:26 pm 
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After reading both of IHART's reports on their investigations into MK abuse in Panama and Bolivia, I feel I need to clarify/correct something. I cannot blame Theresa Sidebotham for taking whatever NTM tells her at face value and including it in her reports. Theresa is not a veteran of NTM like I myself am, having been a part of the mission from 1952 to 2001. Nor has she been following developments on Fanda Eagles as closely as I have, from 2010 to the present.

From IHART's Panama Historical Investigation Summary Report (pg 28):

"NTM USA initially commissioned the Panama Field investigation due to an allegation made by an MK who had attended EHM in Panama. The student, who was 10 at the time, committed a minor infraction of the rules. A staff person beat this student bloody, with a weighted fishing rod. The student’s parents were actually staying near the school at the time. The parents discovered the injuries when the student could not sit down for dinner. His father confronted the erring staff person, but took no formal action. This student has remembered the pain and humiliation of this incident through the years and reported the incident to the IHART team."

From the Bolivia report (pg 23):

"NTM USA initially commissioned the Bolivia Field investigation due to an allegation made by an MK who had attended Tambo. The student alleged a beating from a teacher. NTM USA decided to have the Bolivia Field investigated."

NTM USA decided to have the Bolivia Field investigated? Oh yes, they did. But that is not exactly how that decision came about.

Here is a better timeline of how things unfolded:

July 2009 - The Fanda Eagles website was created by Kari and Bonnie, two MKs who had been sexually abused in NTM’s MK school in Fanda, Senegal, years before.

September 2009 - Kari and Bonnie agreed with NTM to use GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to investigate abuse at Fanda.

June 2010 - The Fanda Eagles site expanded with a Forums section for posts and easy interaction. Various sections were added for other NTM schools. Stories of abuse from all over the world and from many decades were posted.

August 2010 - GRACE released their 67-page report on abuse at Fanda, which included detailed recommendations to NTM for consequences to specific, named abusers and those who covered up or mishandled reports of abuse.

November 2010 - A petition, with 528 signatures, was submitted to NTM. The purpose of the petition:
To insist that NTM employ an outside agency to conduct the investigations of child abuse in other locations. Many posters on Fanda Eagles urged NTM to use GRACE for further investigations, but these requests went unheeded.

April 2011 - Pat Hendrix was hired by NTM as the "independent coordinator" who would administer investigations. Pat announced that her team would be called IHART – Independent Historical Abuse Review Team.

March 2012 - Brian Shortmeier sent out a letter to MKs and other interested parties. It can be read in full here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=610&start=280 Here is an excerpt:
"Sept 2011 – IHART received all of NTM’s files on historical child abuse cases in Bolivia, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Mexico, Venezuela and Panama. Investigations were slated to begin as investigators were in place. Experienced investigators were being recruited, interviewed and oriented."

The implication in IHART's reports is that the Panama and Bolivia investigations were commissioned because of single abuse reports from individual MKs. The truth is that NTM ALREADY KNEW that in their files were NUMEROUS child abuse reports. They set up their sham "company" (as many misunderstood it to be) to conduct "investigations" that were supposed to be "independent", only because of the insistence by many of us (528 of us signed the petition) that the abused MKs from other fields in NTM needed to be heard, and that their suffering must be investigated. We wanted the mission to use GRACE for these other investigations, but our requests fell on deaf ears.

Theresa is what we used to call "an outsider" when I was in NTM. This is the only sense in which she and Pat Hendrix are/were "independent" from the mission. They are not members of the mission, but they have been controlled by NTM USA all along. And they have believed what NTM told them. Even when we have not.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Raz wrote:
... And they have believed what NTM told them. Even when we have not.

You would think that as an attorney she would have better sense than that. But on the other hand, she knows who's paying the bills.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:19 pm 
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The most recently finished IHART "investigation" was the one done on child abuse in Bolivia.

Keep in mind that IHART is now described as "a process of NTM". Also, in her reports on Panama and Bolivia, Theresa Sidebotham is now using the term "internal investigation". It should be very clear to everyone that these so-called investigations are not independent or unbiased.

I have written extensively about my observations and criticisms of the Bolivia report in a thread in the Bolivia section: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1465 So I will not repeat myself here, but I encourage anyone who is trying to figure out how NTM has handled the many child abuse reports they've received over the years to read that thread.

I also feel it is imperative that I point out the very close affiliation and influence that NTM has with the Child Safety and Protection Network.

Here is a quote from pg 22 of IHART's Bolivia report, under the section titled "Early Years of Child Safety Policies within NTM":

"In the mid-1990s, Scott Ross, legal counsel at NTM headquarters, instigated the formation of a
Child Protection Committee and child protection policy. He was instrumental in helping form the
inter-mission Child Safety and Protection Network
and created a series of training programs to
aid NTM missionaries’ understanding of child abuse. While early steps were not without their
shortcomings, Ross was a pioneer in the Evangelical missionary context in regard to improving
child safety and protection."

Scott Ross was indeed one of the founders of CSPN, which has now grown to include over 70 agencies, mission organizations and schools. http://www.childsafetyprotectionnetwork.org/

Anyone who has studied and compared this organization and the response of NTM to child abuse allegations can see the interconnectedness. "Best practices" of IHART are based on the guidelines set by CSPN. Theresa Sidebotham is a prominent participant in CSPN's conferences. In CSPN's "Inquiry Team Training", people from various mission groups and international/MK schools are being taught principles and processes that have guided IHART and NTM.

The wagons have circled, due to the foresight of Scott Ross. On pg 51 of GRACE's report on abuse at Fanda, GRACE notes, "New Tribes has acknowledged that there were between 80-90 NTM child abuse allegations worldwide at the time Scott became in-house counsel for NTM." I think that Scott Ross anticipated the firestorm that was coming, and he came up with a plan to protect NTM and any other missions or schools that might come under criticism for the mishandling of child abuse events in the past.

A recent abuse investigation that concerned allegations from several decades ago (at a non-NTM school overseas) illustrates my point. The team that conducted that investigation had close connections with CSPN. In that "investigation" report also, the perpetrator was never named (also referred to as AO, as in the IHART reports. Which offends me, by the way, since if the investigation verifies that this person was indeed an offender, why would you continue to call this "alleged"??) And the MK abuse survivors were left feeling that their memories were being doubted, the severity of their abuse was questioned, and the people who mishandled their situation at the time it occurred were being protected.

This leads me to warn anyone who might think that they can trust CSPN-trained "inquiry teams" to be very careful. Interviewers can come across as being so empathetic and validating, but if, in the end, an abuse survivor does not get the result they hoped for, these so-called investigations can just heap more pain onto a person whose life has already been difficult, if not intolerable.

My heart breaks for the countless victims of abuse all over the world who reach out for help, only to be pushed back down in the waves.

Tears for the children. :cry:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:49 am 
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Posted elsewhere in these Forums yesterday.

I am re-posting here, because this relates to NTM/IHART's investigations in general.

threewillows wrote:
From one of our Panama mks:

I am sitting in my office with a lot of work on my plate having just completed a long and arduous year. I have a lot to do not related to NTM, but I believe that reflecting back a little and reminding people reading of what has taken place is important.
Last year, 2016, saw the completion of two reports by Theresa Sidebotham. While the opinions vary on whether it was a good or bad report, I am not sure I can change anyone’s mind either way. I will say I personally have spoken with the Director of Personnel, the Chairman of NTM and members of the Executive Board. I exchanged email with The Director of IHART, I have spoken with the investigators who investigated some of the accused, I have had meetings with numerous local pastors. Sometimes those meetings were initiated by me, and in other cases it was initiated by groups of pastors. I have spoken with a little over 400 people that have related abusive accusations in the last 3 years and read many other stories. While none of this proves anything, my point is that I have engaged in the debate.

The bigger issues are twofold if I can simplify them.

#1. Has NTM completely taken their hands off of the process and allowed the report to be what it would be regardless of the outcome? The answer is no.

To take their hands off of it they would need to not hire an attorney that has numerous ties to NTM. They would need to not have an attorney handling the investigation who is admittedly working in the best interests of the one paying her. The attorney would need to not try to mitigate the risk to a paying client if the facts bore out wrongdoing. The attorney would need to not write a report that minimized the action where the conclusion was unavoidable. NTM Executive Board and Personnel Department would need to be willing to act with complete integrity and transparency. The Executive Board would need to be willing to make difficult calls as it relates to the financial security and the reputation of the organization, and to be able to look at the retirees and longtime friends and say, “I don’t hate you but what you did or allowed to happen was wrong, and wrong actions carry a consequence.” So, to the reader, if you have a problem with anything I have just written, then you need to take a long look inside yourself and find out what is wrong. What I have advocated for all along has been a consistent message of: Take away all of the clutter and get to the bare facts, let them stand for what they are without excuse or apology. This has not happened, nor will it be allowed to happen – too scary.

#2 NTM members and Executive Board must be committed to a life of gut level honesty about themselves and committed to pursue their vocation and issues of life with integrity.

I started my journey with the way NTM was handling abuse believing the absolute best about the organization. I believed that there were men at the helm that had and did want the organization to change and I heard members say so. I do not believe in witch hunts. I do believe that when a group of people uphold the name of Jesus that they commit themselves to a standard and to be accountable to that standard. I do not look for perfection in the way that people do this. I do expect that when confronted, that the first thing considered is not the reputation or stewardship, but am I blameless before God, other Christians, and the unbelieving world in my approach to the issue at hand. After many interactions with NTM Executive Board members and Director of Personnel I do not believe this to be true about them.

I will relate three instances:

#1. After leaving a meeting in Sanford I had no contact or phone calls from a particular individual for over 12 months. I was told by a group of local men who are friends of mine that “so and so “said they tried to call and you wouldn’t return their calls. I have the phone number of this person from Sanford plugged into my phone so I know when he calls, but he never called in this time period. When I heard this I actually called AT&T and went thru the records of all of my calls for the time in reference to see if I had missed a call from them, but we did not find any numbers from Sanford or this person’s personal number. I went back to this group of guys to verify what had been said to them, and they confirmed that this man had said he had tried to contact me but I didn’t respond.

#2. There is a very damaging statement made from someone in Sanford with a position of authority to an accused abuser that stated to the abuser that they would be in jail if they had done their actions in the US, this statement is documented. When meeting with members of the Executive Board I was told “we just don’t have enough clarity to know if what this person is being accused of is true” My thoughts are “Well if you have the facts and you can’t read them and make the appropriate determination then you are being willfully blind”

#3. The previous Director of IHart was fired shortly after a meeting of mks went to San.ford in November of 2014. Theresa Sidebotham’s role in that meeting was told to me in a text as “House Counsel”. As I have gone back and spoken with Executive Board members about this to remind them about how she was presented to us, they argued and dismissed this as not true. The response from them has been no she was the Director of IHART. Theresa did not come on officially in that role until Jan of 2015. There is an official release stating this, they are either revising history because it is inconvenient, or they are not paying attention.
Some of you reading this, may say that these are not a big deal or that you also do not have enough information to make a determination. Maybe you are willing to explain away much of this by thinking I (the writer) just don’t understand, I don’t have all the facts, I have a vendetta, I am an instrument of Satan. My response is that there is plenty of information available (see second paragraph). Many of the people gathering the information have tried to be as unbiased and through in uncovering the truth as possible. The layers are many. The way that I have pointed out inconsistencies and deceit to the Executive Board has been to document absolutely every conversation with everyone I have talked to including location, date and who was present. These conversations generally have gone nowhere because of an unwillingness of many NTM members to hold their leadership accountable and those in Leadership characterizing what I am stating as untrue or uninformed. I have lost all respect for the Executive Board. I have lost a lot of respect for many members that I know. I have expressed how disheartened I was to see a group of Christians acting this way and Fanda Eagles has plenty of readers, but I have not seen any outrage where it matters.

So as I reflect on 2016 I have come to realize that many of you in reality don’t care about truth and so we have come full circle in our efforts as mks. Where we needed to be believed and cared for as children, the Christian and mission community failed and this left us damaged. As adults our conclusions aren’t that different.


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