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My first and probably only comment on the Penn State scandal - This is what scares me the most

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 08:35 AM
Original message
My first and probably only comment on the Penn State scandal - This is what scares me the most
http://www.suntimes.com/news/index.html

CAROL MARIN: Sexual predators look just like everybody else

CAROL MARIN cmarin@suntimes.com November 11, 2011 8:50PM

If the Penn State child sex abuse scandal teaches us nothing else, it is that sexual predators look just like everybody else: our parents, priests, ministers, teachers. And coaches.

They are dead ringers for the mild-mannered guy next door. The millionaire power broker up the road. Or the respected civic leader of a childrens charity.

Back in the mid 1990s, this was driven home to me when my own two boys were very young. And I was reporting on one of the several programs the state has to try and repatriate convicted sex offenders.

In a conference room at the Graham Correctional Center in Downstate Hillsboro, about a dozen male inmates filed in and, one by one, identified themselves in a classic 12-step manner, combining their name with their addiction or compulsion:

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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. direct link
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. Absolutely. We certainly learned this in Boston during the Catholic
Church's meltdown. And many of those "wonderful priests" preyed on disadvantaged kids and kids from single parents homes. Two of the priests were in Parishes in my home town and they were pillars of the community. One was a guidance counsellor...A GUIDANCE COUNSELLOR...at the high school. Two of the boys he abused later committed suicide.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
3. I thought they all had that special, sexual predator mustache. n/t
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
22. And drove around in a white van handing out candy.
n/t
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Tom Ripley Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. And wearing a cheap windbreaker
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. and lived in mom's basement
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Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. What this teaches us is that any power structure will sacrifice children to protect itself

even if it is something as trivial as an amateur sports team.

The people (men) in power protect themselves and the power they have accumulated even when that has a price as high as this.

The bureaucracies are as much to blame as the individuals and steps should be taken to reduce the power of individuals within these bureaucracies.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's scary as hell to know that if there is a physical difference between us and them,
no one has ever found it. People want to label them as monsters, but they are ourselves if we'd taken different paths!
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Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. There are psychological differences that don't show up...
in physical characteristics, but we don't all have the urge in us to wander onto that path.
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eShirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. IMHO it's not a different path one could have taken (choice)
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. It's pretty much that way with any type of abuse on women and children -
these issues show up in every income strata.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
7. That's exactly the point. Sexual predators don't have a stereotypical demeanor or
dress in a costume for their purposes. They "pass".
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Cirque du So-What Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
9. I would be remiss if I failed to mention...
the ongoing effort to portray pedophiles as gays and gays as pedophiles, which even today is used as an excuse to deny same-sex couples (especially two males) the right to adopt children. I don't know what it'll take to convince society that pedophilia is predominantly practiced by heterosexual males, regardless of their victim's sex, but the change in attitude is occurring far too slowly AFAIC.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
10. I think everyone has sexual urges...
...and it is one of the strongest urges of nature. In my opinion, these urges are magnified and strengthened by the dictates of society and/or environment. Some people are able to control these urges better than others. Some cannot control them at all. It is a strong "compulsion or addiction" that is beyond their ability to control. It is an illness as much as it is a crime. The first step is to understand why it happens? Is there a solution other than to lock these people away forever?
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #10
19. The problem is that if you read essays by pedophiles they don't think
they have an illness, they see their urges as natural and don't see any reason to change.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #19
29. I think some have mixed emotions,
or at least a healthy dose of self-loathing.

Jeffrey Dahmer asked for the death penalty and expressed remorse but said that he was unable to control his sexual impulses.

I can't remember the names, but I know I've read about other pedophiles who have been happy to tell the media/authorities "Don't let me out. I'm evil and I can't stop myself from doing these things."

I guess there are examples of pedophiles who see their urges as natural, in the sense of uncontrollable, but there's also quite a few who hate those urges inside themselves and can recognize that they are dangerous and anti-social, but don't feel like they are capable of stopping themselves out in the real world.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
11. Sadly, this shouldn't be teaching us anything at all. That knowledge has been slapping us in the
face for a long, long time.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
12. If they didn't look just like everybody else, they wouldn't be able to engage in
that type of behavior for years and years before being discovered.
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Lint Head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
14. For those that believe in good and evil from a religious perspective this is what evil looks like.
Whether you're an agnostic, atheist or religious person the Penn State situation is the personification of immorality and wrong. The iconic images of a red horned demon or disfigured being is nothing more than an entertainment concept and artistic representation of what evil is throughout time. The real evil beings in our lives look just like us no matter what station of life you are in. Disguise is the best subversion.

I do realize that the concept of evil is a religious idea and that it is actually distilled down to what is good and bad or right and wrong. But bad deeds can reach unimaginable heights, as well as good deeds, know no particular type of clothing fashion, color of skin or condition of the physical body.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Penn State exemplifies Hannah Arendt's 'banality of evil' in ways
she herself probably could not have predicted.

Hope I'm not triggering Godwin's Law in alluding to the sub-title of Arendt's "Eichmann in Jerusalem." If so, please ignore my comment and carry on.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. I think this is a case where a Nazi comparison is totally legit
You have one or several people (Sandusky/the Nazis) committing ultimate acts of evil (raping children/killing Jews) while everyone else (the entire Penn State football program/the German people) actively pretends it's not happening in order to maintain the delusion that their system (the football program/Germany) is all good and all powerful.

And of course afterwards we're all going to be self-congratulatory that WE'RE not that evil and that WE managed to purge said evil without taking an honest look at the ways that WE tolerate these types of deviancy in every day life.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Thank you. I know comparisons to the Holocaust can have a
dampening effect on any discussion.

The thing I find most disgusting about this is that Eichmann was a bureaucrat -- he worked under Heydrich in the RSHA. Just like Athletic Director Curley and VP Schultz, were both bureaucrats working under Spanier. All 3 of them cared more that the trains ran on schedule than on anything resembling morality. Any time I might be tempted to regret having left academia, something like this comes along to ratify and re-validate my decision to leave.
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Mosby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. +1 nt
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Pathwalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
16. Pedophiles are everywhere: they are doctors, teachers, priests,
politicians, dentists, pediatricians, lawyers, janitors, school bus drivers, next door neighbors, Scout leaders, police officers, little league coaches, child welfare workers, foster parents, and your own damn family - from parents and stepparents to uncles, aunts, cousins and brothers and sisters. Everywhere, anywhere there is an adult in a position of authority over children, you will find a pedophile. And don't forget those tourist destinations that cater to these monsters.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #16
31. So true. We had a local Pediatrician
who was THE PEDIATRICIAN in town. Everyone took their children to him. Everyone loved and adored him. The doctor I worked with was one of his best friends and took his own children to this man.

One night his son had a friend sleep over and the Pediatrician crawled in his bed in the middle of the night and tried to molest him. The child got up, started screaming and ran out of the house (he was 8 or 9 years old). The police were called, the bastard was let out on bail and committed suicide the next day in his garage with his car running. PIG.

Needless to say, the entire town REELED from this. How many other kids did he molest? What did he do with his patients if he was ever alone with them? It was the most horrendous ordeal. Just devastating. :(
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
17. To Catch a Predator already taught us that. nt
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
18. What scares me most are those Penn State students who rioted, chanting, "We don't care."
Because I think a lot of people don't care about children outside of their own families and communities, and that riot demonstrates that our society has made no progress on making our citizens and families more empathetic.
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. That was truly a scary moment, as were the reports that PSU
frat rats were joking the next day about 'Sandusky-ing' people. (Anderson Cooper on CNN reported it.)
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
20. What scares me the most, is how many other campuses have something
Edited on Sat Nov-12-11 11:49 AM by Cerridwen
similar going on? On what scale?

On campus, a law enforcement system unto itself

After the body of an Eastern Michigan University freshman was found in her dorm room in December 2006, naked from the waist down with a pillow over her head, the chief of the university police said there was no reason to suspect foul play, and let her parents believe she had died of natural causes.

That silence held for more than two months. In that time, the student who was eventually convicted in her murder had free run of a campus where he was previously caught climbing into a window of a university building.

In recent years Marquette University has been accused of mishandling accusations of sexual assault by four athletes, and Arizona State has been faulted in handling a student's rape, allegedly by a football player with a history of sexual aggression on campus.

<snip>

I think we're just on the cusp of breaking the silence, said Colby Bruno, the managing lawyer at the Boston-based Victim Rights Law Center who specializes in cases of sexual assault on campus. But there are a lot of very invidious ways that a school can go about squelching these reports. This is everyone's problem; it's not just a sports problem or a sports-icon problem.



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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
23. A "normal guy" I went to high school with was caught raping a 12yo girl 2 years ago.
The fucker is in the clink for a long time, thank Dog.
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AmBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-11 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
30. When I was 19 and newly married, a man broke into our townhouse...
Edited on Sat Nov-12-11 10:18 PM by AmBlue
...and he was a sandy-blonde, handsome 30-ish man. We lived in a new development in a remote area, my husband was out with the boys that night, and it was 1:00am. But I could not at first fully comprehend that this man's presence was a very bad thing. My brain was racing-- pushing back the fear-- and thinking, "Surely he's lost.... or maybe he's here from the construction office to bring the window screens we've been waiting for." "Or perhaps the power company, yeah that's it." I just could not believe what my eyes could plainly see-- that this man had no business in my house and likely meant me great harm. His looks were utterly deceiving and made it much more believable to me that some innocuous fluke was the cause of this stranger stepping into my living room at 1:00am through a sliding door that I had just locked.

I waited probably a full five seconds for the simple explanation that I was sure would come. But then, when obviously there was no explanation forthcoming and he proceeded walking in a stealthy gait toward me, I finally snapped out of it and raised the rifle. Through clenched teeth, and with the rifle aimed at his chest, I ordered him to "GET OUT." Amazingly, I had to say it three times before he finally said, "Okay, I give," and ran out the door he came in through.

I was so grateful in that moment that I listened to my instincts and pulled that gun out from under the bed-- feeling simultaneously very sure there was something wrong, yet very silly in my long pink house robe. I had heard a noise about 10 minutes earlier that made me very wary and uncomfortable, so I reluctantly pulled out our old trusty target-shooter, a .22 caliber long rifle, and could barely move the safety because it had been so long since it had been used. It was my husband's father's old rifle, given to him when his dad passed away.

I've always been an advocate of gun control, but I must say that old rifle saved me that night. No doubt about it. His handsome face cost me precious time, and nearly cost me much more. The police never caught that guy and I am very grateful that I never saw him again. I was a completely paranoid wreck for a long time after that.
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