Joseph Bishop Redux: Lawsuit Filed


Just_A_Guy
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9 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

Winnable yes but you can be right and still end up writing a check. The Church does not want or need this kind of negative attention.  They will settle as they have in the past, Bishop will be excommunicated and he can be the poster boy for how serious they take these allegations. 

Exactly. It happens all the time. 

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11 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

be the poster boy for how serious they take these allegations. 

I feel uncomfortable with this phrasing ... and yet at the same time I’m holding in a laugh as I pictures temple square covered in propaganda posters with his face plastered on them.

maybe something like this

 

D37A9A9C-981F-4EC4-9D23-4CD757934E1A.jpeg

Edited by Fether
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Settling when you don't have to, to have something just go away, is a thing.

Seems like mormonleaks kind of shot that opportunity in the head.  It's seems possible, even likely, that neither the woman nor the church wanted this thing to leak.  But leak it did.

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4 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Settling when you don't have to, to have something just go away, is a thing.

Seems like mormonleaks kind of shot that opportunity in the head.  It's seems possible, even likely, that neither the woman nor the church wanted this thing to leak.  But leak it did.

I ran across a compilation of legal complaints, news articles and documents that someone had spent a lot of time putting together that detailed alleged sexual abuse by leaders and other people in positions to supervise youth think, scout leaders, etc. I didn't read the who thing as there were hundreds of instances dating from 1959 to about 2014.  In some cases the perpetrators went to jail but in many cases there was a complaint and then it went n owhere.  My interpretation is that monies were paid and a NDA was signed.

INSTANCES_OF_CHILD_SEXUAL_ABUSE_ALLEGEDLY_PERPETRATED_BY_MEMBERS_OF_THE_CHURCH_OF_JESUS_CHRIST_OF_LATTER-DAY_SAINTS-2017-06.pdf

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That's an interesting file.  I'm not sure it supports any such interpretation, because it seems to be just a hodge-podge cut-and-paste of half a century of court cases, with varying degrees of data.  I see the word "damages" happens a handful of times, sometimes it's talking about damages requested, sometimes granted.  It's entirely possible for a record that shows granted, further court action happened and a higher court reversed something.    

It's a good eye opener for everyone to read.  There have been, what, hundreds of millions of living mormons across 50 years, and you can find this many stories of allegations of abuse mishandling.  Again, two things that are true at the same time:

- The total is so small that it is statistically pretty much indistinguishable from zero.  Our churches and bishops offices and boy scout troops are pretty much always safe, pretty much everywhere, pretty much across the decades.
- More than one is too many.  It happens.  You do humanity a disservice if you assume it doesn't. 

 

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32 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

That's an interesting file.  I'm not sure it supports any such interpretation.

Maybe not.

32 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

It's a good eye opener for everyone to read.  There have been, what, hundreds of millions of living mormons across 50 years, and you can find this many stories of allegations of abuse mishandling.  Again, two things that are true at the same time:

- The total is so small that it is statistically pretty much indistinguishable from zero.  Our churches and bishops offices and boy scout troops are pretty much always safe, pretty much everywhere, pretty much across the decades.
- More than one is too many.  It happens.  You do humanity a disservice if you assume it doesn't. 

 

I agree statistically the number is very small, and as a whole our children are very safe at church.  One thing I noticed is that all but a couple of complaints are from the US or westernized countries. The church is now bigger outside the US I suspect that there may be many more of these cases that are just plain unreported.

Several of the cases as you move to the later years specifically name bishops for mishandling information that they were given.  While in many cases these are good men doing the best they can I think it points to the limited training of our lay clergy. An issue that to my mind needs to be addressed. 

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2 hours ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

Winnable yes but you can be right and still end up writing a check. The Church does not want or need this kind of negative attention.  They will settle as they have in the past, Bishop will be excommunicated and he can be the poster boy for how serious they take these allegations. 

Perhaps.  On the other hand, the PR damage has largely been done; and this case is distinguishable from child sex abuse cases because Denson was well into her twenties at the time of the incident.  There’s something to be said for not becoming the “poster boy” for organizations that pay out millions of dollars every time some known liar throws around the “r” word.

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Perhaps.  On the other hand, the PR damage has largely been done;

Has it? Because as long as her team of lawyers are trying to depose people who knew her, or Bishops area authority while he was mission president in Argentina, or subpoena documents they have exposure. If I was on the church legal team I would call her lawyer and ask for a number that would make this go away. I would also talk to Mr. Bishop and ask if there is anyone else who might come forward. Maybe there isn't which is fine. I would also go to all leading authorities and point blank ask if there are skeletons in the closet so that I can get in front of any future issues and write checks as needed

Edited by omegaseamaster75
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Omega, I suspect that you and I agree far more than we disagree on such things.  I'm often found on the rooftops yellin' at the top of my lungs about this subject.  That said,

1 hour ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

While in many cases these are good men doing the best they can I think it points to the limited training of our lay clergy. An issue that to my mind needs to be addressed. 

Do you believe the church is not addressing this?  Because I see stuff like this:

Church Statement About Alleged Sexual Assault by Former Mission President - Newsroom - March 2018

Quote

Sexual abuse cannot be tolerated in the Church. We continue to urge our leaders to take reports of abuse very seriously. Leaders should call the Church's abuse helpline, which has been established to assure that victims are cared for and that abuse reporting laws are strictly obeyed.

 

And this:
How the Church Approaches Abuse - Newsroom - Take a look at what the church says about these headings:

Quote

- Our First Priority: Help the Victim, Stop Abuse
- Victims Are Innocent
- Children Are a Gift from God
- Zero-Tolerance Policy
- A Societal Plague
- The Church’s Comprehensive Efforts to Prevent Abuse and Protect Children
- Congregations can provide great protection:
- Facilities and programs designed to protect against abuse:
- Process for calling leaders:
- Membership record annotations:
- Professional help line:
- Counseling available:
- Continuing Vigilance
- Convicted Abusers Not Permitted to Work with Children
- Responsibility to Educate, Be Watchful
- Our Duty to Safeguard Children

 

Must be new you say?  How about President Hinckley's General Conference talk from 2002, where he talks about spousal, elderly, and child abuse:

Quote

Now I wish to mention another form of abuse that has been much publicized in the media. It is the sordid and evil abuse of children by adults, usually men. Such abuse is not new. There is evidence to indicate that it goes back through the ages. It is a most despicable and tragic and terrible thing. I regret to say that there has been some very limited expression of this monstrous evil among us. It is something that cannot be countenanced or tolerated. The Lord Himself said, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6).

That’s very strong language from the Prince of Peace, the Son of God.

I quote from our Handbook of Instructions: "The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form. Those who abuse ... are subject to Church discipline. They should not be given Church callings and may not have a temple recommend. Even if a person who abused a child sexually or physically receives Church discipline and is later restored to full fellowship or readmitted by baptism, leaders should not call the person to any position working with children or youth unless the First Presidency authorizes removal of the annotation of the person’s membership record.

"In instances of abuse, the first responsibility of the Church is to help those who have been abused and to protect those who may be vulnerable to future abuse" (Church Handbook of Instruction, p. 157-158).

For a long period now we have worked on this problem. We have urged bishops, stake presidents, and others to reach out to victims, to comfort them, to strengthen them, to let them know that what happened was wrong, that the experience was not their fault, and that it need never happen again.

We have issued publications, established a telephone line where Church officers may receive counsel in handling cases and offered professional help through LDS Family Services.

These acts are often criminal in their nature. They are punishable under the law. Professional counselors, including lawyers and social workers, are available on this help line to advise bishops and stake presidents concerning their obligations in these circumstances. Those in other nations should call their respective area presidents.

 

Maybe we're not doing enough in our communities?  How about this news story from 2016: Church Marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Quote

Sister Oscarson presented a $100,000 donation to Teresa Huizar, executive director of the National Children’s Alliance, the national association and accrediting body for children’s advocacy centers, and a $25,000 check from the Church to Susanne Mitchell, director of the Children’s Justice Centers in Salt Lake County.

 

No really, omegamaster75, what exactly do you mean when you say "An issue that to my mind needs to be addressed"?  

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2 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Omega, I suspect that you and I agree far more than we disagree on such things.  I'm often found on the rooftops yellin' at the top of my lungs about this subject.  That said,

Do you believe the church is not addressing this?  Because I see stuff like this:

Church Statement About Alleged Sexual Assault by Former Mission President - Newsroom - March 2018

 

And this:
How the Church Approaches Abuse - Newsroom - Take a look at what the church says about these headings:

 

Must be new you say?  How about President Hinckley's General Conference talk from 2002, where he talks about spousal, elderly, and child abuse:

 

Maybe we're not doing enough in our communities?  How about this news story from 2016: Church Marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month

I think the church is addressing these issues.  I think that over the last 20 years in particular they have done a wonderful protecting the members.  

2 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

No really, omegamaster75, what exactly do you mean when you say "An issue that to my mind needs to be addressed"?  

The issue to me that needs to be addressed is training of local leadership.  I worked for a fortune 500 company before I landed in my current job and I was in management. Every year they shipped us off for training.  All the bases were covered from hiring, to firing, to sexual harassment, to basic leadership skills including how to do presentations, and how to hold effective meetings. 

At the local level the rubber hits the road, not one time have I ever seen a Bishop receive formal training.  People will jump on and say Well the stake president is training the local bishops.  Who is training him? where did he learn it?  It's on the job training for the most part they are flying by the seat of their pants.

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Well, I want to keep arguing with you, but I think I'll join you instead.  I have to take yearly training for my finance clerk gig - how to write checks, proper use of fast offerings funds, etc.  No reason* the church can't produce a few YouTube videos for new bishops.  It makes me wonder if they already exist, just that they're hidden somewhere in some webpage subfolder tree thing and the instructions get lost.

Tell you what - when they make me emperor of the mormons, I'll see that it happens.  Can I count on you when the balloon goes up?

 

* (Well, one reason, is whatever we produce, will get leaked to the web and used against us to the extent humanly possible.)

Edited by NeuroTypical
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5 hours ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

Has it? Because as long as her team of lawyers are trying to depose people who knew her, or Bishops area authority while he was mission president in Argentina, or subpoena documents they have exposure. If I was on the church legal team I would call her lawyer and ask for a number that would make this go away. I would also talk to Mr. Bishop and ask if there is anyone else who might come forward. Maybe there isn't which is fine. I would also go to all leading authorities and point blank ask if there are skeletons in the closet so that I can get in front of any future issues and write checks as needed

1). If the Church settles, just how big is the group of people who will say “you know, I had thought Mormons were quite insensitive and even nefarious; but the fact that they didn’t drag this woman to court proves that they are really a stand-up group of people who really care about victims of sexual assault”?

2). Conversely, how many people who are now favorably disposed towards the Church in spite of the accusations to date; might change their minds if the case goes to trial?

The spin meisters are going to do what they’re going to do regardless of the Church’s legal response.  If Bishop does have other victims, the lawsuit/media cascade won’t be stemmed by news that Denson—a demonstrable liar—has been issued a golden parachute settlement.  If he doesn’t: the lawsuit goes forward, the people who hate us still hate us, the people who like us still like us, Denson’s money grab fails, and a couple of wards somewhere in Nigeria get those meetinghouses they’ve been waiting for.

What can the Church offer Bishop now to get him to come clean, when he has repeatedly refused to do so in the past?  You yourself say they can’t grant him ecclesiastical leniency.  All Hades would break loose if the Church indemnified or paid the guy.  What other carrots or sticks are there?

You talk as though the Church has done something morally wrong here.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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Just now, Just_A_Guy said:

You talk as though the Church has done something morally wrong here.

No I don't I don't think the "church" has done anything even remotely close to an impropriety or immoral.

If they pay Denson or whatever her name is it goes away she signs an NDA and problem solved bad press gone it's over. If I was a lawyer for the church I would want to get all of the skeletons out of the closet.  Bishop supposedly confessed some sin to his area president when he was a mission president in Argentina, shockingly this guy is still alive, now we don't know what Bishop confessed to but you can bet Densons lawyers want to know.  A lot has changed since 1970 something and if similar confessions were made I would want to be in front of it.  Search out potential victims and start writing checks instead of getting blindsided 40 years later. 

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2 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

No I don't I don't think the "church" has done anything even remotely close to an impropriety or immoral.

If they pay Denson or whatever her name is it goes away she signs an NDA and problem solved bad press gone it's over. If I was a lawyer for the church I would want to get all of the skeletons out of the closet.  Bishop supposedly confessed some sin to his area president when he was a mission president in Argentina, shockingly this guy is still alive, now we don't know what Bishop confessed to but you can bet Densons lawyers want to know.  A lot has changed since 1970 something and if similar confessions were made I would want to be in front of it.  Search out potential victims and start writing checks instead of getting blindsided 40 years later. 

Have you read Denson’s prayer for relief?  Have you read her statement to MormonLeaks?  She won’t sign an NDA.  She wants the situation (or her perception thereof) to be made very, very public.

As for depositions:  unless Bishop disclosed actual crimes to his area president (not just general randy behavior with consenting adults), the whole point of clergy confessional privilege is that people can’t go subpoenaing your church leaders to learn lurid details of your sex life.  I doubt the deposition of the area president will be nearly as entertaining as Denson hopes.  

Settlement is great when it works; but you’ve got to not be afraid to try cases.

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1 minute ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Have you read Denson’s prayer for relief?  Have you read her statement to MormonLeaks?  She won’t sign an NDA.  She wants the situation (or her perception thereof) to be made very, very public.

If they throw enough money at her she will go away, it's always about the money. 5-6 Million should do it. Then we will see if she stays on her moral high horse....

2 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

As for depositions:  unless Bishop disclosed actual crimes to his area president (not just general randy behavior with consenting adults), the whole point of clergy confessional privilege is that people can’t go subpoenaing your church leaders to learn lurid details of your sex life.  I doubt the deposition of the area president will be nearly as entertaining as Denson hopes.  

Settlement is great when it works; but you’ve got to not be afraid to try cases.

I agree they are going to have a very difficult time trying to depose his area president. That does not mean they won't try and that just drags the whole thing out.

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24 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

If they throw enough money at her she will go away, it's always about the money. 5-6 Million should do it. Then we will see if she stays on her moral high horse....

I agree they are going to have a very difficult time trying to depose his area president. That does not mean they won't try and that just drags the whole thing out.

Five or six million?  

First, Utah’s SB 54 lawsuit has been under way for three or four years and the state GOP’s legal fees to date in that case are about $410K.  You just let your terror of litigation lead you to pay millions of dollars more than the true worth of the settlement.

Second, you’ve done it for a promise of silence from a known liar who has admitted that publicity is a primary goal for her lawsuit.  At a certain point in negotiations, you have to allow for the “duh” factor (aka the “what could possibly go wrong here, Sherlock?” factor).

Third, have you considered the PR effect of having it be generally known that the Church tries to buy the silence of its “victims”?

Fourth:  If Denston is telling the truth, why *SHOULD* she be silenced by an NDA?  Wouldn’t muzzling her be morally and ethically wrong?

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3 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Five or six million?  

First, Utah’s SB 54 lawsuit has been under way for three years and the state GOP’s legal fees to date are about $410K.  You just let your terror of litigation lead you to pay millions of dollars more than the true worth of the settlement.

Maybe 3 million will get it done, I'd lowball her and see where it goes

5 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Second, you’ve done it for a promise of silence from a known liar who has admitted she *wants* the case to be publicized.  At a certain point in negotiations, you have to allow for the “duh” factor.

Hence the NDA she talks they take back the money

5 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Third, have you considered the PR effect of having it be generally known that the Church tries to buy the silence of its “victims”?

So you think the church has never settled a lawsuit?

6 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Fourth:  If Denston is telling the truth, why *SHOULD* she be silenced by an NDA?  Wouldn’t muzzling her be morally and ethically wrong?

They cannot criminally prosecute it is a civil case the only thing that can come out of it is money.  If it is true the church should deal with it, Bishop should be excommunicated and anyone who knew of or participated in any sort of cover up for Bishop should also  be punished accordingly.

 

Lastly I am not an attorney I just play one on TV

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20 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

[1]Maybe 3 million will get it done, I'd lowball her and see where it goes

[2]Hence the NDA she talks they take back the money

[3]So you think the church has never settled a lawsuit?

[4]They cannot criminally prosecute it is a civil case the only thing that can come out of it is money.  If it is true the church should deal with it, Bishop should be excommunicated and anyone who knew of or participated in any sort of cover up for Bishop should also  be punished accordingly.

1.  So you’d overpay her eightfold rather than tenfold?

2.  It’s funny how quickly you’ve gone dark about the topic of PR.  How do you think it would go over to have the Church sue her to get the money back?  And PR aside, collecting a judgment is a full-time job in itself—just ask the Brown-Goldman families.

3.  With an NDA?  I don’t know.  Why don’t you go ask the ex-Mormon forums?

4.  That doesn’t really answer my question.

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2 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

1.  So you’d overpay her eightfold rather than tenfold?

2.  It’s funny how quickly you’ve gone dark about the topic of PR.  How do you think it would go over to have the Church sue her to get the money back?  And PR aside, collecting a judgment is a full-time job in itself—just ask the Brown-Goldman families.

3.  With an NDA?  I don’t know.  Why don’t you go ask the ex-Mormon forums?

4.  That doesn’t really answer my question.

1. I have no Idea what this case is worth I'm just throwing out numbers

2. I haven't gone dark but this is a case where PR is only bad for the church, they don't need it and should pay to make it go away

3. maybe you can recommend a forum? I don't frequent so I wouldn't even know where to start

4. What's the question? that muzzling her would be morally and ethically wrong? (assuming she is correct on all counts) I don't know I'm not the morality police. 

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9 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

You all realize of course that there is likely insurance to cover the Church’s costs, right?

Why this has gone on this long os a mystery to me.

They likely have a set amount they have to pay no matter--- like a deductible. Beyond that, they will have a couple insurance companies to cover various expenses with ceilings of course. Lloyds of London is a company that covers these types of things. 

https://www.lloyds.com/lloyds-around-the-world/Americas/US-homepage

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46 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:

1. I have no Idea what this case is worth I'm just throwing out numbers

2. I haven't gone dark but this is a case where PR is only bad for the church, they don't need it and should pay to make it go away

3. maybe you can recommend a forum? I don't frequent so I wouldn't even know where to start

4. What's the question? that muzzling her would be morally and ethically wrong? (assuming she is correct on all counts) I don't know I'm not the morality police. 

With all due respect, you’re the one who suggested the Church should pay five or six million dollars to make this away and permanently muzzle Denson.  If you can’t argue why this is a fair number, or make a case as to how it’s actually likely to preserve/improve the Church’s reputation, or address the ethical implications of forcing a (supposedly) bona fide rape victim to remain silent about her ordeal; then maybe you shouldn’t be so loose with other people’s money.

36 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

You all realize of course that there is likely insurance to cover the Church’s costs, right?

Why this has gone on this long os a mystery to me.

I could easily be wrong; but my recollection is that the Church self-insures its real estate holdings.  I would be mildly surprised to hear that it held a “sexual-predators-in-the-clergy” policy written by an outside company.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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37 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I could easily be wrong; but my recollection is that the Church self-insures its real estate holdings.  I would be mildly surprised to hear that it held a “sexual-predators-in-the-clergy” policy written by an outside company.

Im sure they do. Most any organization has a policy to cover all kinds of stuff....to include perverts. Just something that cant be controlled fully. It happens and depending on how the organization handles it generally determined how much you pay. If the guilty party is on the company clock, the company is on the hook. The more asleep at the switch the company appears, the greater their responsibility for failure to act...negligent retention, policy failure, lack of policy, etc.
 

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The fact that she is now suing the Church over this matter tells me a great deal about her. These things happened decades ago. The man is now 85 years old. Here is the Church's full statement on the matter:

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/statement-former-mission-president-alleged-abuse-joseph-l-bishop-march-2018

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On 4/6/2018 at 12:26 PM, NeuroTypical said:

I would just like to make sure I'm on record here.

- A few years back, I had information regarding a Mormon in another state sexually abusing a child.  I knew the child.

- I sent my information to that person's bishop and stake president, and asked them to tell me the results.

- The church held a disciplinary counsel and the person was excommunicated.  The stake president called me back to tell me that result.  He asked me to let him know if he could do anything else to help the child heal.

- I am a real person.  This is not a rumor, or a thirdhand account of something.  I still have all the court documents and emails and transcripts and stuff.  

 

I'm only guessing here, but when horrible stuff like this happens, I'm guessing my experience is more of the norm than everything we're reading about with the Joseph Bishop incident.

And this is the problem in my view.  That information should have been sent to the local legal authorities, not the local ecclesiastic authorities.  We see the same issue across many organizations, who keep it all internal when it should be handled outside the organization.  How many occurrences have happened just like this, where the local church authority covered it up?  Hopefully very few, but I am not too optimistic about that.

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