Monday, February 10, 2014

Bob Jones University cancels sexual abuse investigation--why?

As we reported on Friday's radio show, Bob Jones University has canceled the sexual abuse investigation being conducted by the organization GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). According to our radio show-guest Christopher Peterman, there have been over 80 interviews conducted by GRACE, and their final report was due next month. BJU decided to cancel at the very last minute, maybe hoping no one would notice?

My deepest apologies for not posting this sooner.... I have been too angry at the ultra-careful, kid-gloves treatment of BJU, to settle down and post properly. (I initially wrote two other posts that degenerated into rather mindless cussing/fussing, so I decided to start over.) I got so upset on Friday, I heard myself YELLING (what? me?!?) on the air... and I didn't even realize I was doing it.

Although Peterman was very supportive and respectful of GRACE (and I am sure they are nice folks and all that), some of us thought this should be a matter for law enforcement, from the git-go.

But of course, BJU-tentacles reach everywhere in upstate South Carolina (actually, all over the state), and I have heard that this includes law enforcement.

So, what next? Do they get a free pass to ignore multiple-sexual-assaults on their campus and at their institution? Apparently, they are counting on just that. There is no other follow-up pending. Like the Catholic Church before 2000, BJU is permitted to do whatever they please and destroying the lives of the youngest, most vulnerable faithful? No biggie. Around here, they ARE as powerful as the Catholic Church is in Boston... and you remember how many years THAT took.

Perhaps it's time for lawsuits. Money talks, bullshit walks.

That's probably the only thing they will truly understand, being hit in the pocketbook.

From their website:
Greenville, S.C. (February 6, 2014) – In the fall of 2011, the national news was filled with a steady stream of heart-breaking revelations of sexual abuse on college campuses. These events prompted Bob Jones University to evaluate its processes and procedures for responding to reports of sexual abuse and specifically to ensure the University maintained best practices for a legally compliant and loving, scripturally based response to such reports.
Let's translate.

In these parts, these 'heartbreaking revelations' came PRIMARILY from BJU, who had the highest number of sexual assaults of any school in the area. As battle-weary Catholics can tell you, this makes sense: these freaks go where they know they can get by with it. THEY HAVE A NETWORK. The more there are, the more there are. They are ATTRACTED to cloistered, safe environments where nobody talks about sex, since it is much easier to get away with.

Obviously, there is even a track record proving it.

Either deal with the freaks, BJU, or accept that you will attract MORE AND MORE of them. You simply can't ignore this now.

But hey, watch em try:
To accomplish this, the Board of Trustees appointed a committee external to BJU to review our policies and procedures. The committee recommended some policy revisions and also that the University appoint an independent ombudsman to review past instances in which it was alleged that the University may have underserved a student who reported they had been abused at some point in their lives.
Sounds like just ONE student, doesn't it? Nice spin. In fact, as stated above, there were over 80 interviews conducted by GRACE.

And finally:
Over the last several months, we grew concerned about how GRACE was pursuing our objectives, and on Jan. 27, 2014, BJU terminated its contract with GRACE. It is BJU’s intention to resolve its differences with GRACE, and we are disappointed a resolution could not be reached before our differences were made public. Both BJU and GRACE desire to raise sexual abuse awareness and minister to victims whose lives have been ravaged by abuse. GRACE has been helpful in assisting us in focusing our efforts in this area.
Did GRACE threaten to go to law enforcement or what? WHAT are these "differences" they are describing here? Hm?

GRACE gives their version HERE (pdf). The investigation started 13 months ago, and GRACE was given no notice or indication of any kind, that BJU was getting ready to terminate their investigation-agreement. They claim not to know why the investigation was terminated, but I bet they do.

Who was named? How far up the organizational-ladder do the perps go? Were personnel shuffled around, school to school, department to department, Catholic church-style, rather than outright fired, defrocked and/or dealt with?

And why?

Does the name CARDINAL LAW mean anything to you?

This story is so hot, even Wonkette and the mainstream big blogs are getting in on the act. AND I AM SO PLEASED that our little corner of the Bible Belt is at last getting some much-needed national attention. (Now, if we can successfully shame Senator Tim Scott for planning to speak at Bob Jones University in April, that will be excellent.)

Please folks, keep the heat on.


EDIT 2/12/2014: THE NEW YORK TIMES! The freaking NEW. YORK. TIMES. has covered this story. Woo hooo! (high-fives to every lefty in the upstate) And my friend, BJU-survivor and former faculty member Camille Lewis got her photo in the Times!

I hope this means the place is down for the count... but of course, I have believed that many times before. (eternal optimist) Again, we just have to keep the heat on. If you have a blog, consider linking to one of these stories. Spread the word and kill the enrollment.


bryce said...

r u surprised? not me

jovan said...

I am also doing a piece about this right now as part of the News Briefs.

I was on hiatus in 2011 when the story first broke.

About time some of the bigger blogs are writing about this.

Gorgeous Gregg said...

There is no bigger blog than Daisy's Dead Air.

I am not sure I have any heat to bring on but I'll be happy to stand on a sidewalk with ya! You know I'm a loud mouth.

The Salvation Army has apologized in Australia and it sounds like the men in charge of the boy's school were not only sexually abusing the kids but physically beating them too.

I don't understand.

Anonymous said...

re: "school to school"

are you implying this includes the K-12 as well as the college?

Daisy Deadhead said...

Hey, you guys are good! I was hoping someone would catch that.

Yes, I am indeed implying that. I am told the investigation went back decades, and that is one reason the BJU admin nearly stroked out. (As well as the specific names named.)
Just evil gossip, of course.

But BJU could clear up all gossip with full disclosure at any time. Since they won't, we have to come to our own conclusions, don't we?


I don't understand it either, Gregg.

Daisy Deadhead said...

This fiasco now has earned its own blog, just like in fandom:


jovan said...

I am adding the BJU Sex Abuse Coverup blog to my follow list, just like I added Daisy's Dead Air and The Frisky to the following list last week.

Do Right said...

Please sign this petition to demand that Bob Jones University honor the terms of their original agreement with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.) by rehiring G.R.A.C.E. and allowing them to complete the investigation of sexual abuse at BJU.

jovan said...

Another high profile blog has posted about Bob Jones. This comes from Jessica Wakeman of The Frisky.

Blue Heron said...

excellent reporting - will link.