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prisonchaplain

A child called it? Is it fact or fiction?

Is the story fact or fiction?  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the story fact or fiction?

    • Fiction
      4
    • Fact
      5


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I'm not talking about it as a net good, PC:

I wouldn't buy a book about a boy being molested one way or the other, so he's not making bank from me. I also wouldn't demonize his mother. The way I see it: If he's lying about his own mother, they're both adults now and everyone should stay out of it and they should deal with it. If he's not lying about his own mother, they're both adults now and everyone should stay out of it and they should deal with it.

Whether it's true or not is irrelevant to me. Acting one way or the other simply allows me to victimize someone who may or may not be guilty. Since it doesn't affect me personally, and it's long past the time I can do anything constructive about it, I choose to let the people involved deal with it.

FunkyTown...your comments are what many are saying. It may or may not be true, but the story is so powerful, and I was so moved by it, that it's a net good.

Yet, others are saying that if the story is a lie, this guy is making bank by telling disgusting untruths about his own mother. He's also playing with our emotions, and selling a "true story" book that's really just fiction.

The blurring of fact and fiction, "stylized non-fiction"--this all feeds into the post modern notion that there is no ultimate truth, so it's "Whatever works."

Sigh...I'm rambling...but if this guy's story is signficantly not true, then, imho it does matter, and he deserves to be humiliated. If it is, kudos to him for overcoming and setting such a positive example.

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The mother died in 1992 or 1993 I think. I don't know if that matters to your point funky or not? And why wouldn't we want to demonize her if it's true? The same as any other person who tortures and tries to kill another human being. She SHOULD have been charged and taken to jail. Just a thought.

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I think Funky's point is that for most of us, there's not much we can do with the story. We're not involved, and have no means of getting involved. If David wanted to charge his mother with a crime he could have. If he's lying through his teeth, or holding back the worst elements, there is little most of us can do. Many people's lives have too much "drama," and it probably does little good to take on that of others, unrelated to us.

Funky, you likely know that these types of stories are called "human interest" for a reason. Perhaps there is a dark voyeurism to it. Also, we get to be righteously indignant. Then the skeptics among us get to investigate, and look for holes. And, of course, we get to spend copious amounts of time on strings like this.

Also, for those who have suffered abuse, there is a relating to that goes on. Some find it helpful.

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I have had a thought, amazing I know, reading through here this morning. If a person is a skeptic when a man says he was abused as a child, are they skeptics when they hear about someone being abused now? Even if someone is being abused will they just say its none of my business.

I have seen this so many times and I mean not 50 years ago. Kids are still being obviously abused and no one will 'see' it. If you do report it what happens? I know I reported one once. A man was attempting to rape his step daughter in the middle of the night. The wife was yelling at him. It woke everyone up in the neighborhood. So what happened? The wife convinced the police I was hot for the husband, who was a squirrely faced freak, and he walked away. The girl, who by the way locked herself and her sister in their car every night, attacked my daughter physically at school. Yep it seemed like everyone could see the obvious truth when they looked.

No one knows but the kid and the mom in this book but sometimes it looks like people spend more time denying than helping. Same as in real life.

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If a person is a skeptic when a man says he was abused as a child, are they skeptics when they hear about someone being abused now?

When a random person you do not know makes a claim some level of skepticism is not only understandable but called for, else one would believe anything a stranger told them. Generally the more significant the claim the more evidence people need to see to be convinced, which is why one is more likely to just accept, "Kroger has their milk on sale for 2 for $4." but if someone claims, "A heinous crime was committed!" they'll generally seek for some sort of evidence or confirmation because the consequences of being mistaken are more serious.

Now some people do like to weight the evidence in favor of no abuse, one reason is a certain optimism about human nature (abuse is worse than lying for attention or overreacting). And that's something to be looked out for, but a certain level of base skepticism isn't uncalled for.

Edited by Dravin

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they'll generally seek for some sort of evidence or confirmation because the consequences of being mistaken are more serious.

The consequences of abuse taking place are much more serious and its more serious to children, who cant defend themselves.

What evidence is needed? If its only a child's word against an adult we just let it go? I know there are false allegations out there. I also know there are kids being abused because there is no evidence. There is NO evidence that I was molested repeatedly at 7 years old. I am quite sure I am not a unique case.

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What evidence is needed?

You're right, lets just lock people up on any suspicion or accusation of abuse, no need for a trial or any kind of evidence/fact gathering. Heck why stop there? Everyone is capable of abuse, why wait for evidence they are actually guilty of it?

I expect you to report yourself for incarceration citizen.

Edit: It occurs to me that I may be misreading the intent of your question. That it is genuine as opposed to rhetorical in nature.

The answer is going to be it depends, beyond saying it needs to be convincing it is going to vary.

Edited by Dravin

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You're right, lets just lock people up on any suspicion or accusation of abuse, no need for a trial or any kind of evidence/fact gathering. Heck why stop there? Everyone is capable of abuse, why wait for evidence they are actually guilty of it?

I expect you to report yourself for incarceration citizen.

Oh I agree that is not right. Still it means that most abuse cases will never be dealt with. Is there an answer? I just dont know. I do know lots of kids are out there not being helped.

Every morning I wake up next to a 70 year old man that is still trying to sleep in the breaks between flashback nightmares of things that happened to him when he was a kid. Not one person ever came to his aid and he was abused horribly. Much worse than the boy in this book. We have been married for 40 years now and believe me I will always be on the side of the kid. The damage done is so beyond imagination to those kids.

How do you think we should help them?

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How do you think we should help them?

By reporting suspicions (predicated on some sort of evidence or reason) or actual knowledge (and making sure to differentiate between the two) to the proper authorities and allowing them and the legal system to do their job. The alternative is to take matters into our own hands, which, while there may be exceptions, are probably going to be extra legal. In extreme cases one may be morally justified in taking extra legal action but I wouldn't recommend it as a policy.

Note my point wasn't that we shouldn't believe people who make accusations of abuse, or try to help them, but that a degree of skepticism is expected and desirable, people who simply believe things people tell them without looking for evidence or a reason why they should (with the standard varying depending on what is being told) end up buying bridges in Brooklyn. Obviously when you know someone trustworthiness can come into play, but keep in mind my comments were made in the context of a stranger, which the author of the book is to us.

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Keep in mind, there are incidents of folks whose lives have been ruined by unfounded abuse accusations. Even if nothing comes of it, once the idea is suggested, it is very difficult to rebuild a reputation.

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Keep in mind, there are incidents of folks whose lives have been ruined by unfounded abuse accusations. Even if nothing comes of it, once the idea is suggested, it is very difficult to rebuild a reputation.

Yes it is. Of course moving to a new town can help them. That is a terrible price.

My husband has moved all over the place but he still has his flashbacks along with all the other problems from being abused. But he was a kid. He maybe should just get over it especially after all this time.

My husband is a stranger to you. You only have my word anything happened him. You only have my word anything ever happened to me. Still its important to realize that the man who molested me, the men and women that abused him have to be considered. There is no evidence that we are not lying is there. We dont want their lives to be touched by this.

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Yes it is. Of course moving to a new town can help them. That is a terrible price.

My husband has moved all over the place but he still has his flashbacks along with all the other problems from being abused. But he was a kid. He maybe should just get over it especially after all this time.

My husband is a stranger to you. You only have my word anything happened him. You only have my word anything ever happened to me. Still its important to realize that the man who molested me, the men and women that abused him have to be considered. There is no evidence that we are not lying is there. We dont want their lives to be touched by this.

That is good of you to think that way. :)

Please be aware I in no way support abusers. But nor do I support those who make up abuse reports for petty revenge against someone. If you were to lie and say that I abused you and it got around town, it could affect my relationships, perhaps even my job. We have a tendency to believe the victim.

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That is good of you to think that way. :)

Please be aware I in no way support abusers. But nor do I support those who make up abuse reports for petty revenge against someone. If you were to lie and say that I abused you and it got around town, it could affect my relationships, perhaps even my job. We have a tendency to believe the victim.

It really is a hard, probably impossible problem to solve. I really do understand about the false accusations. One of my brothers got a divorce. the mom was afraid she was going to lose custody and got her oldest daughter, very young at the time, to say he had sexually abused her. Years later its hard to know if it was true or not even though the daughter has said it wasnt. I doubt it happened yet its still in the back of my mind.

For me I would rather a grown person had to deal with it than a child.

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Keep in mind, there are incidents of folks whose lives have been ruined by unfounded abuse accusations. Even if nothing comes of it, once the idea is suggested, it is very difficult to rebuild a reputation.

False rape claims are extremely common, far moreso than the feminists would have us believe. Those who are shown to have falsely accused another of a heinous crime should receive the same punishment the accused would have received had he been convicted.

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Vort, I agree... I also think that someone who makes a false claim of rape should be publicly humiliated in the same way the person she acused was. I hate it when the media covers the allegation part of the story, but disappears when the innocent needs their help to clear their name. It is not fair, and when talking about false rape, most of the victims are men, and it is not acceptable.

This such a difficult discussion, because it is so dangerous on either side if we are acting on false information.

Anne... I am SO sorry about the pain you and your honey have experienced. You are NOT alone. We will get thru it, and walk away stronger. I would hate to be in our abusers shoes when judgement day comes! <hugs!>

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The mother died in 1992 or 1993 I think. I don't know if that matters to your point funky or not? And why wouldn't we want to demonize her if it's true? The same as any other person who tortures and tries to kill another human being. She SHOULD have been charged and taken to jail. Just a thought.

If she did it. And I'm glad you asked 'Why wouldn't we want to demonize her if it's true?'

We wouldn't want to demonize her because there is nothing constructive with demonizing another human being. Ever. What constructive thing will come from hate-filled vitriol towards someone we've never met, who may or may not have done something terrible years ago to someone else?

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I don't know if the book is true or not. I don't really care. I'm not going to try to prove that it was fiction (or fact). It's not my place to do so. I know from my education and experience that abuse like that does happen. It's really hard to for me to take especially because it involves kids and it can really mess them up forever. David did a good job telling a story and bringing the issue to light. Hopefully he made some people so uncomfortable that they're moved to do something.

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Meagan...I understand that David did a powerful job of highlighting the pain of abuse. However, if it's not true...and this comes out, might he not end up having done more harm than good? How many other abuse claims are false? Such lies make us jaded and cynical. They harden our hearts, in the long run. Those who believed his stories, either give in to the delusion (Well, I know it really happens, so I thank him anyway), or they feel victimized themselves.

I do not know if David's story is true or not. However, truth does matter, and I will never thank someone for writing fiction, and pumping sales by claiming "Based on a true story--my story."

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If she did it. And I'm glad you asked 'Why wouldn't we want to demonize her if it's true?'

We wouldn't want to demonize her because there is nothing constructive with demonizing another human being. Ever. What constructive thing will come from hate-filled vitriol towards someone we've never met, who may or may not have done something terrible years ago to someone else?

I think I need to clarify my interpretation of the word 'demonize' in this context. I certainly do NOT think we should ascribe any action to someone that they did not do. I mean that we should be honest about the truth of what happened and pin the blame where it belongs. Like I said, she should have been charged with a crime, just as any other child abuser. We get all up in arms over people who are convicted of, or admit to horrible crimes all the time. Why not her (again, IF it's true)? I believe in the innocent until proven guilty line of thought, and like I have said several times, I don't know if it is true or not.

Insofar as there never being anything constructive about 'demonizing' another human being, I think (again, in my understanding of the word in this context) that the victim always has the right to publicly expose their abuser for what occured. Even if that person has died.

I don't think we have any responsibilty to try and keep someone's reputation unsullied just because they have passed away, or even because we can't 'prove beyond a reasonable doubt' in court that they are guilty. (Especially when we are talking about people who were children when they were abused. The abuser usually keeps these things secret and a child is not usually very good at evidence preservation. I know I wasn't!)

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This string has forced me to do some digging. I've actually had a turn around in my position. I still say truth is crucial...but I am inclined to think Dave's account is largely factual. The critics point out Richard (older brother's) conflicting story...and yet, it seems he largely agrees. Additionally, although the rest of the family believe that David made up some, and exaggerated, nobody denies that the mother was an alcoholic who did a poor job of parenting.

See: Memories of a family at war - World - www.smh.com.au

So...mea culpa...barring any new revelations, David seems to deserve the benefit of the doubt. As for his success...it appears a sweet justice for his childhood suffering.

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The damage done is so beyond imagination to those kids.

Absolutely. These children have lived through their own private war, day in and day out of wondering when and where the next attack will come. Walking through land mines always wondering whether or not the next step will result in an explosion. Wondering when they're going to be forced to defend themselves from the autrocities being told and/or done to them. Wondering when the reinforcements will come to rescue them, but they seldom do. Unfortunately, even long after they're removed from the danger, they still relive it day in and day out, there is no escape from the pain.

I know. My husband suffers ptsd from childhood abuse and has been away from it for over 30 years, but still suffers everyday from it. Somedays he says he feels almost normal, but they are far and few between the days he's in indescribable pain. My husband is careful to always treat me with love and respect, and has never laid a hand on me in anger, and does not turn his anger toward me; but I can see that through it all he's hurting, and when he hurts I hurt. Not that he hurts me, but I sympathize and wish I could make it all right. Sometimes a spouse just feels so helpless.

FWIW, my mother-in-law always believed that she was a good mother (my husband differs with her on this point), and had the best interest of my husband in mind. She never denied that my husband's father was violent, but always tried to justify her reasons for staying with him despite the goings on. I will always side with the child until given concrete evidence to the contrary.

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FWIW, my mother-in-law always believed that she was a good mother (my husband differs with her on this point), and had the best interest of my husband in mind. She never denied that my husband's father was violent, but always tried to justify her reasons for staying with him despite the goings on. I will always side with the child until given concrete evidence to the contrary.

My mother still believes that she was an excellent mother. Far better than the average mother. Even when confronted with undisputed facts and events, she shrugs it off saying that any 'mistake' she may have made is 'evened out' by the rest of her wonderful parenting. I think it is typical for abusive parents to deny their abuse. :(

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I know. My husband suffers ptsd from childhood abuse and has been away from it for over 30 years, but still suffers everyday from it. Somedays he says he feels almost normal, but they are far and few between the days he's in indescribable pain. My husband is careful to always treat me with love and respect, and has never laid a hand on me in anger, and does not turn his anger toward me; but I can see that through it all he's hurting, and when he hurts I hurt. Not that he hurts me, but I sympathize and wish I could make it all right. Sometimes a spouse just feels so helpless.

Mamas Girl, like Sister in Faith said earlier. You are not alone. Neither is your husband. You have said, better than me, how my husband feels. Every day is filled with memories no matter what happens. It just tears me apart, as I know it does you.

My husband has dedicated his life to blocking passing that generational abuse on to our kids. He figures, and so do I, that if he departs this life doing nothing more than that he will have lived a successful life.

I think the author of this book feels kinda the same way. If he can help keep it from destroying someone elses life then its worth it to him. I may be way wrong but it seems that was why he wrote the books.

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This thread made me curious if I had missed something, or didn't remember the book correctly, since i read it so long ago...

Last night I went and bought the book. This afternoon I read it. Took me about 2 1/2 hours, its a very quick read. AGAIN, I DON'T ADVISE ANYONE TO GO OUT AND READ IT if you haven't already. It is very horrific.

I read it with the goal of TRYING to find holes in the story, or contradictions. I found none. On the contrary, to make this up would take an ENORMOUS amount of effort and research. There are tons of instances in the book where the descriptions of his thoughts and things she does to him are SO detailed. I don't think anyone who hasn't gone thru stuff like this could make it up. I was going to quote some of the book, but honestly opening it again makes me sick.

I may end up burning it or throwing it out because it is such a horrific story, but I'm glad my $11.95 went to support Dave Pelzer.

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