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    Senior Member Bill Morrison's Avatar

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    More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    One of the pastors on our District (who also directs a homeless shelter in Paola Kansas) has been arrested for "felony aggravated indecent liberties with a child" and has been held on $500,000 bond.

    Please pray that our Kansas City District leaders are given wisdom on how to deal with this in a way that honors both justice and the church.

    BILL
    Thanks Craig Laughlin, Dennis M. Scott, David Graham - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    These things always make all our other debates and squabbles seem so insignificant. Lord have mercy.
    “Martyrs rather than the pastors of megachurches might now become our evangelistic exemplars, and the ‘excellence’ of evangelistic practice’ will be measurable not by numbers but rather by obedience to a crucified God”

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    One of the pastors on our District (who also directs a homeless shelter in Paola Kansas) has been arrested for "felony aggravated indecent liberties with a child" and has been held on $500,000 bond.

    Please pray that our Kansas City District leaders are given wisdom on how to deal with this in a way that honors both justice and the church.

    BILL
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    Thanks Bill Morrison - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Bill Morrison's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    Thanks Jim for your questions and concern. I struggle with this too, and I appreciate your attitude and spirit.

    1. This is already in the Kansas City Star and is going to bring bad publicity to the COTN no matter whether we discuss it or not. I decided not to post a link or name the pastor (even though those who want to will quickly dig that information out...we do live in the information age) because I don't want to cross the line into gossip. Obviously, you feel the line lies elsewhere...and I might too on a given day and in a different situation.
    2. While I have a deep appreciation for Dr. Rowell and other District leaders, I unfortunately also know our denomination does NOT have a very good track record in dealing with these issues.
    I sometimes wonder if we are going to go the way of the Catholics if we aren't careful. We do need to pray specifically that our leaders have wisdom to handle this situation appropriately. I even pray that this pastor, if innocent, is quickly freed from this charge. If he is not innocent, I do wish God would be glorified by the church appropriately supporting the victim of this alleged action and that we NOT sweep this under the rug to "protect the church".

    BILL

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    2. While I have a deep appreciation for Dr. Rowell and other District leaders, I unfortunately also know our denomination does NOT have a very good track record in dealing with these issues.
    I agree with your putting this out there and keeping names out of it. We need more light in the COTN. That being said, I know your DS and the leadership of your Board of Ministry well enough to be very confident that they will not shrink from their responsibilities.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Thanks Bill Morrison - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    Thanks Jim for your questions and concern. I struggle with this too, and I appreciate your attitude and spirit.

    1. This is already in the Kansas City Star and is going to bring bad publicity to the COTN no matter whether we discuss it or not. I decided not to post a link or name the pastor (even though those who want to will quickly dig that information out...we do live in the information age) because I don't want to cross the line into gossip. Obviously, you feel the line lies elsewhere...and I might too on a given day and in a different situation.
    2. While I have a deep appreciation for Dr. Rowell and other District leaders, I unfortunately also know our denomination does NOT have a very good track record in dealing with these issues.
    I sometimes wonder if we are going to go the way of the Catholics if we aren't careful. We do need to pray specifically that our leaders have wisdom to handle this situation appropriately. I even pray that this pastor, if innocent, is quickly freed from this charge. If he is not innocent, I do wish God would be glorified by the church appropriately supporting the victim of this alleged action and that we NOT sweep this under the rug to "protect the church".

    BILL
    Kudos for addressing this issue as to SHOCK AND AWE my friends we BETTER be shocked driven to our knees and broken by this :
    Here is my story I am no longer ashamed or controlled by this:

    Thank you Bill for addressing this topic. Here is my story. I come from a unique perspective as a survivor of sexual abuse from someone in the church (not in leadership but a very strict 8 day a week church attendee) who was a friend of the family. He and my father were friends. When they moved away, we often went to visit. During one of those visits at about age 13 he molested me and attempted to several other times, until I threatened to call the police. My family never knew and we continued being friends. I attended their 25th wedding anniversay even and I lived with the growing pain. I saw him at least once a year even after that at church camp in a sister denomination. His daughter were best friends with my sisters. Due to a situation I recently talked for the first time naming to my family the perpetrator (who is long gone). A sister never experienced that, but she was not real surprised, she saw him beating his girls when drunk (alcohol being one his passions to “preach against”. I was molested in my early teens and didn’t realize the effect. I never told anyone until 30 years later after being in ministry many years and with my marriage falling apart, I finally told my wife –first person who ever knew, counselors and other key folks in my life. I won’t go into all those details, bur thank God for some key folks who helped me through those days, 2 of them being our dear friends Dave and Karen Troxler. I was homicidal once I realized what he had done to me... my wife will never v forget the day I came home from a counseling session and she said “what is wrong with you? I cried and cried and cried and threw things AND said “I hate that man I want to kill him !” (Even though he was dead by then. I also was suicidal at one point in that process. Here I was an ordained minister of many years who endured a lifetime of pain. I didn’t connect why I struggled in school that 8th grade year so much and was emotionally falling apart, or why I struggled in my marriage so much. I even attended his funeral visitation with some family a few years before this pushing this all to the back of my mind while destruction threatened my life. I am sad due ot how he always was around kids at camp and friends of pastor’s kids I am almost certain there is a trail of brokenness of folks I know personally.
    Thankfully, I came to a much better place. Through godly folks and 2 key counselors I came to healing I NEVER FORGET THE DAY I TOOK THE ADVICE OF MY COUNSELOR AFTER 2 YEARS OF DISCUSSING HIS NAME AND BURNED IT IN THE FIREPIT as a symbol of forgiveness and releasing his power over me. That truly was a marked day in my life! Yes, I bear the scars, and am deeply pained to hear these stories. As a SURVIVOR.. CHURCH ..WE MUST BE VIGILANT!!!! I know the pain too well. During my Chaplain Residency part of my assignment was adult inpatient mental health. During spirituality group sessions I dealt with folks pained by abuse, and noticed almost all my special requests for visits there had that as part of their story, I asked my CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Supervisor and we discussed in our peer groups and he told me he did most of his chaplaincy in mental health and he asked a supervisor once what percent of inpatient mental health had been sexually abused, and he was told 100% in that facility I found that to be true of every patient I met there except one or 2. Official stats suggest 80-90 % of mental health patients have if I recall correctly. I appreciate you bringing this to light and pray to God we do the right thing. Thankfully that man no longer has power over me and I am able and use opportunity to talk about what I was ashamed of too long. I preach about it, sensitively of course and know from that many tell their stories of abuse. And in the hospital setting and in my many years of end of life care I often hear these sad stories that have never been told before. I can now appropriately preach about it and address it. If you ever want the perspective of survivor please talk to me. I am deeply angry and saddened by this news. If you are anywhere near leadership stand against it make sure we set the standard high. I have seen unfortunately seen care not being exercised. I wont go into detail but I called it out along with some others when someone was being exposed to teens with a not so good criminal record. Well pastor so and so knows him and has worked with him .. I don’t care cant be too careful . We must set the standard. Sorry for so long a post but its real from my own painful experience.

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    Host - Theology Forum Cynthia Prentice's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hamilton View Post
    Kudos for addressing this issue as to SHOCK AND AWE my friends we BETTER be shocked driven to our knees and broken by this :
    Here is my story I am no longer ashamed or controlled by this:

    Thank you Bill for addressing this topic. Here is my story. I come from a unique perspective as a survivor of sexual abuse from someone in the church (not in leadership but a very strict 8 day a week church attendee) who was a friend of the family. He and my father were friends. When they moved away, we often went to visit. During one of those visits at about age 13 he molested me and attempted to several other times, until I threatened to call the police. My family never knew and we continued being friends. I attended their 25th wedding anniversay even and I lived with the growing pain. I saw him at least once a year even after that at church camp in a sister denomination. His daughter were best friends with my sisters. Due to a situation I recently talked for the first time naming to my family the perpetrator (who is long gone). A sister never experienced that, but she was not real surprised, she saw him beating his girls when drunk (alcohol being one his passions to “preach against”. I was molested in my early teens and didn’t realize the effect. I never told anyone until 30 years later after being in ministry many years and with my marriage falling apart, I finally told my wife –first person who ever knew, counselors and other key folks in my life. I won’t go into all those details, bur thank God for some key folks who helped me through those days, 2 of them being our dear friends Dave and Karen Troxler. I was homicidal once I realized what he had done to me... my wife will never v forget the day I came home from a counseling session and she said “what is wrong with you? I cried and cried and cried and threw things AND said “I hate that man I want to kill him !” (Even though he was dead by then. I also was suicidal at one point in that process. Here I was an ordained minister of many years who endured a lifetime of pain. I didn’t connect why I struggled in school that 8th grade year so much and was emotionally falling apart, or why I struggled in my marriage so much. I even attended his funeral visitation with some family a few years before this pushing this all to the back of my mind while destruction threatened my life. I am sad due ot how he always was around kids at camp and friends of pastor’s kids I am almost certain there is a trail of brokenness of folks I know personally.
    Thankfully, I came to a much better place. Through godly folks and 2 key counselors I came to healing I NEVER FORGET THE DAY I TOOK THE ADVICE OF MY COUNSELOR AFTER 2 YEARS OF DISCUSSING HIS NAME AND BURNED IT IN THE FIREPIT as a symbol of forgiveness and releasing his power over me. That truly was a marked day in my life! Yes, I bear the scars, and am deeply pained to hear these stories. As a SURVIVOR.. CHURCH ..WE MUST BE VIGILANT!!!! I know the pain too well. During my Chaplain Residency part of my assignment was adult inpatient mental health. During spirituality group sessions I dealt with folks pained by abuse, and noticed almost all my special requests for visits there had that as part of their story, I asked my CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Supervisor and we discussed in our peer groups and he told me he did most of his chaplaincy in mental health and he asked a supervisor once what percent of inpatient mental health had been sexually abused, and he was told 100% in that facility I found that to be true of every patient I met there except one or 2. Official stats suggest 80-90 % of mental health patients have if I recall correctly. I appreciate you bringing this to light and pray to God we do the right thing. Thankfully that man no longer has power over me and I am able and use opportunity to talk about what I was ashamed of too long. I preach about it, sensitively of course and know from that many tell their stories of abuse. And in the hospital setting and in my many years of end of life care I often hear these sad stories that have never been told before. I can now appropriately preach about it and address it. If you ever want the perspective of survivor please talk to me. I am deeply angry and saddened by this news. If you are anywhere near leadership stand against it make sure we set the standard high. I have seen unfortunately seen care not being exercised. I wont go into detail but I called it out along with some others when someone was being exposed to teens with a not so good criminal record. Well pastor so and so knows him and has worked with him .. I don’t care cant be too careful . We must set the standard. Sorry for so long a post but its real from my own painful experience.
    Thank you for sharing!
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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Dan, I'm still digesting the enormity of your sharing, where you've been, where you are now, and your courage to come here and speak forthrightly.

    So much of our response to sexual abuse in the church involves female victims. It is doubly hard for me to hear of the abuse you endured, the processing you undertook, and the courage you've displayed.

    I can't go another minute without saying THANK YOU to you for your post. When the shock of your testimony lessens, I will respond to some of your points that hit me the hardest as I read your account.

    Thank you seems so anemic for the appreciation I'm feeling.
    Thanks Gina Stevenson - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    I'm neither Bill nor Nazarene. But I'm part-time staff at a church that operates a day-care facility. I also spent 36 years as an elementary teacher in California. It's simply impossible to be too careful when you're dealing with people's children. Paranoia may well be a mental disorder, but it can also be a survival skill.
    After seeing a colleague hit with what turned out to be a false accusation of molestation, I made sure there could be absolutely no way I could be vulnerable to such a charge. For example, I would never allow the classroom door to be closed when I was in a room with one or two children. In the case of a restroom problem, I wouldn't enter a student restroom of either gender - I'd send in another student with the word that the place had better empty immediately. You simply can't be too careful.

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    Abuse thrives on secrecy, and this is why churches are such easy targets. "Don't talk about it!" has led to lots of cover up and even abusers being allowed to continue their behavior.

    We have pretty strict guidelines here at naznet - you can't just lob accusations or make insinuations without facts. That is not what Bill did.

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Bill, I mean no disrespect to you when I post this. I am sure your intentions are pure and truly are asking for prayer. But every time I see on of these threads, the first question I ask is ...WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here. Not only that, then those who continually find it necessary to dog out COtN leadership just jump on one more boat.

    Why not just post.... Hey, a serious situation needs our immediate prayers. Please pray for our KC leaders. ????

    Just wonderin? !!!
    Are we so committed to the idea of secrecy and pride over transparency and accountability?
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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    Are we so committed to the idea of secrecy and pride over transparency and accountability?
    I don't think that I have stated ANYWHERE to be secretive. I am 100% about accountability. What I am not about is a bunch of people on a public forum discussing something that they have no part or involvement in. Though the initial op may be truth, the rest is just gossip and sticking noses where they don't belong. Transparency is good, but only with those who actually know what they are talking about.

    Again, why not just say "Please pray for a serious situation on the KC district"? Or even "Pray for a serious situation dealing with pastor misconduct on the KC district"?

    But no, the shock and awe headline has to read
    "More alleged child molestation in the COTN"


    WHY????????? Naznet is NOT (thankfully) the voice of the Church of the Nazarene.

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    Senior Member Karen Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    I don't think that I have stated ANYWHERE to be secretive. I am 100% about accountability. What I am not about is a bunch of people on a public forum discussing something that they have no part or involvement in. Though the initial op may be truth, the rest is just gossip and sticking noses where they don't belong. Transparency is good, but only with those who actually know what they are talking about.

    Again, why not just say "Please pray for a serious situation on the KC district"? Or even "Pray for a serious situation dealing with pastor misconduct on the KC district"?

    But no, the shock and awe headline has to read
    "More alleged child molestation in the COTN"


    WHY????????? Naznet is NOT (thankfully) the voice of the Church of the Nazarene.
    I don't know Bill Morrison personally, but I wish I did. IMO, he is one of the most consistently gracious, good-humored people on Naznet, regardless of whether he agrees or disagrees with someone. From what I have seen of him on here, he would NEVER create a title on the basis of being "shock and awe." The title reflects the real situation that is happening, hence why he used the word "alleged."

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen Troxler View Post
    I don't know Bill Morrison personally, but I wish I did. IMO, he is one of the most consistently gracious, good-humored people on Naznet, regardless of whether he agrees or disagrees with someone. From what I have seen of him on here, he would NEVER create a title on the basis of being "shock and awe." The title reflects the real situation that is happening, hence why he used the word "alleged."
    Karen, I need to back up because I don't want that to seem as if I was coming at Bill. I do not believe that his intention was to put a shock and awe headline out there. I was just stating that that's (IMO) what it becomes. I believe that Bill had nothing but good intentions with his post. I am putting this together with other discussions on NazNet with this same subject matter and none that I have read have been helpful in any way.
    Thanks David Troxler - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Karen, I need to back up because I don't want that to seem as if I was coming at Bill. I do not believe that his intention was to put a shock and awe headline out there. I was just stating that that's (IMO) what it becomes. I believe that Bill had nothing but good intentions with his post. I am putting this together with other discussions on NazNet with this same subject matter and none that I have read have been helpful in any way.
    While I don't agree with your assessment of the discussion, thank you for clarifying your position concerning Bill!

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    I don't think that I have stated ANYWHERE to be secretive. I am 100% about accountability. What I am not about is a bunch of people on a public forum discussing something that they have no part or involvement in. Though the initial op may be truth, the rest is just gossip and sticking noses where they don't belong. Transparency is good, but only with those who actually know what they are talking about.

    Again, why not just say "Please pray for a serious situation on the KC district"? Or even "Pray for a serious situation dealing with pastor misconduct on the KC district"?

    But no, the shock and awe headline has to read
    "More alleged child molestation in the COTN"


    WHY????????? Naznet is NOT (thankfully) the voice of the Church of the Nazarene.
    This is public information that is totally appropriate to discuss, pray about, pray over, and, hopefully, learn from together.
    “So there are no nontheologians; there is just good theology and bad theology.”- Will Willimon
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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Pence View Post
    This is public information that is totally appropriate to discuss, pray about, pray over, and, hopefully, learn from together.
    Cam, I agree with both of your points and I don't believe it needs to be swept under the rug. I just don't think this is necessarily the place to do it. Too many voices that seem to only search out the negative in the CoTN (some of whom aren't even part of the church and some who see it in such a negative light, they probably should leave). Parts of the conversations I have seen in other threads does nothing to bring Glory and Honor to the name of Jesus nor do they do anything to stand in support of the Church of the Nazarene. The headline alone does not give any support to the KC District, its leadership, or the Church of the Nazarene in general. Again, I don't believe that this was Bill's intention. But I wish someone could please tell what positive, if any, could come from that headline other than drawing attention? We should learn yes. But what do we "learn" from a forum like this?
    Thanks Cam Pence - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    The headline alone does not give any support to the KC District, its leadership, or the Church of the Nazarene in general.
    As the OP, I have no problem (if it is possible) with a moderator changing the thread title to something less offensive.
    It was simply the first thing that came to my mind on hearing the news.

    BILL

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    As the OP, I have no problem (if it is possible) with a moderator changing the thread title to something less offensive.
    It was simply the first thing that came to my mind on hearing the news.

    BILL
    There is nothing wrong with with the thread title IMO. We shouldn't be worried about soft pedaling or protecting reputation in cases like this.
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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    The headline alone does not give any support to the KC District, its leadership, or the Church of the Nazarene in general. Again, I don't believe that this was Bill's intention. But I wish someone could please tell what positive, if any, could come from that headline other than drawing attention? We should learn yes. But what do we "learn" from a forum like this?
    The headline simply tells what the thread is about. This is yet another case of alleged child molestation in our denomination. If we are discussing this incident in a thread, how would you word it? This just seems like about as straight forward of a thread title as they come. Its an extremely sad and horrible thing that happened. Simply saying what that thing is, to me, is not being negative but truthful about the situation.
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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Cam, I agree with both of your points and I don't believe it needs to be swept under the rug. I just don't think this is necessarily the place to do it. Too many voices that seem to only search out the negative in the CoTN (some of whom aren't even part of the church and some who see it in such a negative light, they probably should leave). Parts of the conversations I have seen in other threads does nothing to bring Glory and Honor to the name of Jesus nor do they do anything to stand in support of the Church of the Nazarene. The headline alone does not give any support to the KC District, its leadership, or the Church of the Nazarene in general. Again, I don't believe that this was Bill's intention. But I wish someone could please tell what positive, if any, could come from that headline other than drawing attention? We should learn yes. But what do we "learn" from a forum like this?
    So far, this thread has not gone the direction you feared it would. And I've already learned a lot from it (about insurance, for example).

    Perhaps it's time for you to stop fretting and celebrate that this particular conversation is going in a more helpful direction than others have.

    BTW, I see nothing wrong with the thread title or our discussing the situation here.
    Thanks Cam Pence, Diane Likens - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Schmidt View Post
    Perhaps it's time for you to stop fretting and celebrate that this particular conversation is going in a more helpful direction than others have.
    It has and my prayer is that it will continue.

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Okay, so now insurance topic has surfaced and been aired, how about this as a follow - up question?

    I'd like to hear how the unspoken chill of insurance claims adjusters and insurance lawyers imposition into "normal church life" actually affects the work load, whether pastor, staff, or volunteer laity. Litigation is an "adversarial activity." Finding adversarial advisors suddenly an unspoken, unacknowledged partner in church life is tough. Adversarial and community building are mutually exclusive.

    How is re-balancing PROCESS achieved in a devastated congregation?

    Dave spoke of a couple helpful responses agreed upon by leadership at Gig Harbor. Appointing a spokesperson.
    Securing pastoral interaction with the incarcerated.

    As laity, I'd like to know how to helpfully address both the non-predator's primary victim as well as the collateral victims in the congregation. Walking on eggshells is not my strong suit. Nor is pretending nothing has changed when I know it has.

    I want to modify my personal behavior to address and be supportive in pragmatic ways to the larger pool of victims in my church family. Being told to keep silent isn't good enough. I need to do more.

    I'm sure open for ideas.

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member Diane Likens's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosey Morgan View Post
    Okay, so now insurance topic has surfaced and been aired, how about this as a follow - up question?

    I'd like to hear how the unspoken chill of insurance claims adjusters and insurance lawyers imposition into "normal church life" actually affects the work load, whether pastor, staff, or volunteer laity. Litigation is an "adversarial activity." Finding adversarial advisors suddenly an unspoken, unacknowledged partner in church life is tough. Adversarial and community building are mutually exclusive.

    How is re-balancing PROCESS achieved in a devastated congregation?

    Dave spoke of a couple helpful responses agreed upon by leadership at Gig Harbor. Appointing a spokesperson.
    Securing pastoral interaction with the incarcerated.

    As laity, I'd like to know how to helpfully address both the non-predator's primary victim as well as the collateral victims in the congregation. Walking on eggshells is not my strong suit. Nor is pretending nothing has changed when I know it has.

    I want to modify my personal behavior to address and be supportive in pragmatic ways to the larger pool of victims in my church family. Being told to keep silent isn't good enough. I need to do more.

    I'm sure open for ideas.

    Thanks.
    During the years I was handling litigated claim files, I can't remember even one time where the claims process had an "adversarial" feel. If there's litigation involved, the person who'll be speaking with the church's representative is the church's counsel. I see no reason that there'd be hostility between the two. There have been times when employees of my insured would get a rumor mill going amongst themselves, sure that the company would be going broke and they'd all be out on the street in no time flat. As the adjuster, that wasn't a concern of mine.

    I guess my best advice would be to treat this as you'd treat ANY challenge in the church. If a member couple divorces, do you cling to one and shun the other? Doubtful. Also -- don't gossip. Ever.
    Wherever I am, God is, and all is well.
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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Likens View Post
    During the years I was handling litigated claim files, I can't remember even one time where the claims process had an "adversarial" feel. If there's litigation involved, the person who'll be speaking with the church's representative is the church's counsel. I see no reason that there'd be hostility between the two. There have been times when employees of my insured would get a rumor mill going amongst themselves, sure that the company would be going broke and they'd all be out on the street in no time flat. As the adjuster, that wasn't a concern of mine.

    I guess my best advice would be to treat this as you'd treat ANY challenge in the church. If a member couple divorces, do you cling to one and shun the other? Doubtful. Also -- don't gossip. Ever.
    By 'adversarial' I took Rosey to mean that the congregation could be affected by the thought - far in the back of one's mind of course - that every person who darkens the door of the church is a potential plaintiff in the next lawsuit.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

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    Senior Member Diane Likens's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    By 'adversarial' I took Rosey to mean that the congregation could be affected by the thought - far in the back of one's mind of course - that every person who darkens the door of the church is a potential plaintiff in the next lawsuit.
    I sure hope that's not the case. If there's someone in the church eyeing everyone (or anyone) with suspicion, perhaps s/he needs some bended knee time.
    Wherever I am, God is, and all is well.

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Thank you for your response, Diane. In regards to your Member Couple Divorces posit, does the church cling to one and shun the other? That would be a loud YES in pew practice observations in over 60 yrs of personal observation.

    The shunned one is the one who did the filing--regardless of cause. They lose their S/S job. They lose their money counter job. They lose their NMI presidency They lose their choir "spot." They never get asked to provide special music, serve on Funeral Dinner cooking, babysit in nursery. Their contributions are still welcome because their donations in the plate don't have ID scrawled on it.

    I don't think shunning in practice has changed since Pilot Point. At least not in the churches I've intimately observed member divorce occurrences within. More often than not, the advice is for the "filer" to go to another church where they can start over. At the new church, the choir director is thrilled to have them, the nursery attendents are thrilled for new assistant, the S/S teacher assignments are quickly issued. I've never understood this "you're okay there, not okay where the filer came from" distinctions due to member couple divorce.

    Now that I think about it, a moral failure and criminal arrest warrant occurring within a church family IS a type of divorce, yes?



    Quote Originally Posted by Diane Likens View Post
    During the years I was handling litigated claim files, I can't remember even one time where the claims process had an "adversarial" feel. If there's litigation involved, the person who'll be speaking with the church's representative is the church's counsel. I see no reason that there'd be hostility between the two. There have been times when employees of my insured would get a rumor mill going amongst themselves, sure that the company would be going broke and they'd all be out on the street in no time flat. As the adjuster, that wasn't a concern of mine.

    I guess my best advice would be to treat this as you'd treat ANY challenge in the church. If a member couple divorces, do you cling to one and shun the other? Doubtful. Also -- don't gossip. Ever.
    Thanks Diane Likens - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Billy and Diane and possibly others, allow me to rephrase, pls.

    With the insertion of an external process, a superimposition if you will, of an adversarial investigation insurance adjuster system put into place, and interrupting normal communication flow between minister, staff, and laity as well as laity with laity, how is re-balancing of normal communications ever established in the devastated church while the long, drawn out, adversarial legal processes grind on?

    As laity, I'd like to know how to helpfully address both the predator's primary victim, if they indeed remain in the church family, as well as the much larger pool of collateral victims in the congregation? Walking on eggshells is not my strong suit. Nor is pretending nothing has changed when I know it has. And to maintain a policy of silence in the face of this, especially over time seems to not be conducive to loving support of individuals, especially over the long haul.

    Newly inserted, Adversarial based advice to stay silent to stay insured is not compatible with community re-balancing and service within the affected congregation. It is elephant in the room advice. I need practical ideas. Please. Avoiding, or turning away from for fear of jeapordizing church insurance, yes from the very people who are hurting (besides the predator's family) is not helpful. It is devisive.

    How do we help each other, staff or laity deal with this in real terms? What works? What programs? Any help from HQ? Do we all have to figure this out on our own? Each and every time? Is there no guidance?

    Thank you for revisiting my question. I hope I stated the adversarial mandate of silence question, a non-church family value, impact better this time.





    Quote Originally Posted by Rosey Morgan View Post
    Okay, so now insurance topic has surfaced and been aired, how about this as a follow - up question?

    I'd like to hear how the unspoken chill of insurance claims adjusters and insurance lawyers imposition into "normal church life" actually affects the work load, whether pastor, staff, or volunteer laity. Litigation is an "adversarial activity." Finding adversarial advisors suddenly an unspoken, unacknowledged partner in church life is tough. Adversarial and community building are mutually exclusive.

    How is re-balancing PROCESS achieved in a devastated congregation?

    Dave spoke of a couple helpful responses agreed upon by leadership at Gig Harbor. Appointing a spokesperson.
    Securing pastoral interaction with the incarcerated.

    As laity, I'd like to know how to helpfully address both the predator's primary victim as well as the collateral victims in the congregation. Walking on eggshells is not my strong suit. Nor is pretending nothing has changed when I know it has.

    I want to modify my personal behavior to address and be supportive in pragmatic ways to the larger pool of victims in my church family. Being told to keep silent isn't good enough. I need to do more.

    I'm sure open for ideas.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Rosey Morgan; July 16th, 2016 at 01:35 PM.

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    The following executive summary from the 84pg PDF insurance industry white paper if offered here for introduction and review. The link to the entire document is listed below this summary.

    Quoted Executive Summary of copyrighted material is presented under Fair Use Doctrine, 17 Section USC 107

    I want to thank the insurance professionals both current and former for directing me into areas which helped further my study and understanding.
    That's how this document surfaced and is the basis for this sharing here.


    DOCUMENT NAME: Coverage and Liability Issues in Sexual Misconduct Claims

    Claim Trends and Changes in the Law, Case Management and Risk Management

    Claim Trends
    One significant claim trend is that courts and defendants are allowing anonymity of alleged sexual abuse victims and more open resolution of claims, through John Doe filings, and non-confidential settlements.

    A related trend is the growth and active participation of survivors groups in sexual misconduct litigation.

    The SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) website includes information about perpetrator priests and actions by Dioceses to address sexual abuse claims.
    The combination of survivors’ anonymity, support groups, and public outrage has warranted insureds’ concerns about negative publicity and their willingness to pay large sums.

    *Abuse claims against
    the Archdiocese of Boston resulted in an $85 million payment to settle 541 claims and the resignation of a Cardinal.

    *There was a recent settlement by the Diocese of Orange, California, part of the Clergy I

    coordinated proceedings, wherein approximately $100 million was paid to 87 claimants.

    *A recent jury
    verdict award of $437,000 to a single victim of sexual abuse by a priest from the San Francisco Archdiocese is not being appealed by the Archdiocese.


    Changes in the Laws
    The most significant change in the law in recent years concerned the statute of limitations.

    Many states
    have eliminated the statute of limitations defense or made the defense fact-intensive so as to foreclose opportunities for early dispositive motions.

    The available causes of action, remedies, defenses and claim values vary greatly, depending on jurisdiction.

    We refer the reader to Part Three for specifics on the jurisdictional differences. As a result of these jurisdictional differences, choice of law disputes is becoming more prominent in the underlying and coverage cases.


    Changes in Case Management

    It is becoming more common for multiple victims to consolidate lawsuits and coordinate proceedings. This has required parties and the courts to use case management and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures to address what has essentially become mass tort litigation.

    Another change has been the increase in filings of petitions for voluntary bankruptcy by defendants. The bankruptcy proceeding addresses pending claims and may also require the presence of a future claims representative to represent those claimants who are unable to present claims at the time of the proceeding.


    Changes in Risk Management
    Several churches and social service providers with primary care responsibilities for minors who have become defendants in such claims have implemented risk management practices and loss control procedures.

    These include:
    the screening of all workers,
    physical plant changes,
    policies for interactions
    with children, and
    mechanisms for investigating and responding to claims.

    Although these improvements
    have resulted in a downturn in reported incidents, the long tail and increased complexity of litigation continues to produce higher expenses, settlements, and jury verdicts.

    http://www.ficurma.org/misc/sexual_m...uct_claims.pdf

    Thanks Gina Stevenson - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Wilson Deaton's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    We should learn yes. But what do we "learn" from a forum like this?
    Well, Jim, you must be way better connected than me. I still have not heard one thing about this recent scandal other than what I've read here.

    I believe that as a Nazarene pastor, I have the right to be informed of issues that impact the denomination. This kind of scandal is one of those things. This (awful) news is at one and the same time, a prayer request, and a warning/reminder to be diligent. If not here, where?

    Wilson
    "But by the grace of God I am what I am." (1 Cor. 15:10)

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson Deaton View Post
    Well, Jim, you must be way better connected than me. I still have not heard one thing about this recent scandal other than what I've read here. I believe that as a Nazarene pastor, I have the right to be informed of issues that impact the denomination. This kind of scandal is one of those things. This (awful) news is at one and the same time, a prayer request, and a warning/reminder to be diligent. If not here, where? Wilson
    Wilson, that's the question that I put out there. I agree 100% that as Nazarene pastors, we have the right to information that impacts the denomination. But you know as well as I do that this is not a site for Nazarene pastors. Maybe some different form of communication from the district level to keep us informed? I don't know the answer. I also agree with Rich in the fact that this thread has not gone bad yet and I pray that it doesn't. When I say "bad", I'm not just talking about false information and conjecture. I am also talking about openly dogging out our leadership which has no place in a public forum.

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    I also agree with Rich in the fact that this thread has not gone bad yet and I pray that it doesn't. When I say "bad", I'm not just talking about false information and conjecture. I am also talking about openly dogging out our leadership which has no place in a public forum.
    This case (so far) seems very straightforward. An incident occurred, was reported, and now a pastor/compassionate ministry leader is in jail.

    Thusfar, there is no indication of a pattern of similar behaviors nor any effort by the denomination to cover it up.

    In other words, no information has emerged suggesting that 'our leadership' needs to be called on the carpet for anything.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

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    Host Theology Forum David Graham's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    This case (so far) seems very straightforward. An incident occurred, was reported, and now a pastor/compassionate ministry leader is in jail.

    Thusfar, there is no indication of a pattern of similar behaviors nor any effort by the denomination to cover it up.

    In other words, no information has emerged suggesting that 'our leadership' needs to be called on the carpet for anything.
    I hope you're right.

    At least no one is owning up to knowing about the said abuses or had suspicions about the alleged abuses.
    I wonder how they'd go being cross examined by a US equivalent of a "Royal Commission" such as what is still taking place in my country. We're all amazed by what has emerged about who knew what about specific cases of abuse and yet did nothing.

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by David Graham View Post
    I hope you're right.

    At least no one is owning up to knowing about the said abuses or had suspicions about the alleged abuses.
    I wonder how they'd go being cross examined by a US equivalent of a "Royal Commission" such as what is still taking place in my country. We're all amazed by what has emerged about who knew what about specific cases of abuse and yet did nothing.
    This is always a possibility. People have a nasty way of surprising us and anyone who reads Naznet knows I'm not afraid to criticize leadership. I can't speak for the situation at the local church/Compassionate ministry center. That being said, I know the DS well and many of the key players on the Board of Ministry. When it comes to this sort of thing they are very much no-nonsense kind of people and are not afraid of controversy. Their personalities are bent toward justice and doing the right thing even if it is painful. Some of our problems in the past have been with folks who had long patterns (if not always well known by the general church) of behaving in troubling ways. That is not the case with the KC district leadership. If anything they would lean to the other side.

    I could be surprised but it seems unlikely in the extreme with these folks.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    This is an interesting thread, to say the least. We had in our family a person that molested several girls, his wife denied that he did anything. Molesting of a young girl is, we believe a devastating experience, probably equal to rape, in a sense. It is a shame that some attempt at protecting the innocent, either didn't work or worse was ignored. We will pray for the party's involved.

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    Senior Member Jon Bemis's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    WHY are we even posting this? Why do those on Naznet feel the need to kick it around? It's not as if the situation isn't going to get enough publicity without it being gossiped about here.
    IMO things like this need exposed. Not just for the sake of protecting children - which should be the highest priority, but to demonstrate that as a denomination we are committed to complete transparency and zero tolerance for this kind of thing. Those who abuse children rely on levels of secrecy to get away with what they do.
    Loving God . . . Loving others.

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Morrison View Post
    One of the pastors on our District (who also directs a homeless shelter in Paola Kansas) has been arrested for "felony aggravated indecent liberties with a child" and has been held on $500,000 bond.

    Please pray that our Kansas City District leaders are given wisdom on how to deal with this in a way that honors both justice and the church.

    BILL
    Very sad. I have known this pastor for many years.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    Very sad. I have known this pastor for many years.
    Yeah, this one hits home and really breaks my heart.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

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    Thanks Bill Morrison, Jeremy D. Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Praying for the child, families involved, and for my D.S. and Leadership, sad tonight, just very sad.

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    Host Theology Forum Dennis M. Scott's Avatar

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    Re: More alleged child molestation in the COTN

    Without a doubt, those closest to the situation have been instructed strongly to not talk about it at all. Those who speak freely are those that are either least informed, or reckless and disregarding legal counsel to let it be handled discretely. That is often perceived as cover-up. Innocent people - in this case, apparently a child, and family members of anyone that might be found guilty - do not deserve to be dragged through the gauntlet of public harassment.
    In some cases, legal counsel instructs leadership to not even ask for prayer. When such instructions are violated, liability insurance is able to deny coverage, but organizational financial liability remains. Sometimes leadership can be the object of screaming charges of cover-up, and their only option is to stand there silently, blinking and holding their breath: all the while frequently aware that false information runs rampant.
    The whole situation stinks.

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