Monday, March 13, 2017

OnceFallen.com's 2016 Annual Report

Apparently, some folks still don't know what it is that I do with my time and the donations that trickle in to OnceFallen.com. I do many things-- travel to testify against bad legislation or engage in other hands-on projects, run my website and an inmate newsletter (ICoN), and answer hundreds of letters, calls and emails. All of this stuff costs money, of course, and thus, donations help offset the costs. I am a one-man operation with no staff, Board of Directors or tax forms to deal with, which frees me to try many projects other groups can't (or won't) do. The fact that support for OnceFallen.com has grown exponentially over the past two years has encouraged me to increase my efforts.

It isn't exactly bragging to mention all I have done in the past year, because people who support OnceFallen.com should be able to see where their support goes. Thus, for all who are curious, here is my Annual Report of OnceFallen's work in 2016.

Individual Inquiries: 

From 291 different individuals (135 by mail, 103 phone, 40 by letter, 13 by phone text, and some from private messages on various websites). Many of these inquiries were of multiple responses.

Individuals corresponded from 37 states plus DC, Puerto Rico and 3 nations (US, UK, and Australia). The states with the largest number of inquiries were New York (29), Florida (27), Ohio (22), Alabama (21), Texas (TX) and California (17). 35 inquiries did not identify their place of residence. States represented: AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, Fl, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY. As standard procedure I direct them to state affiliate groups where one exists as well as directing them to national groups like SOSEN and NARSOL for support and further info.

Most inquiries are from registrants or loved ones of registrants; however, I received roughly 40 or so inquiries from college students, journalists, and others who are not registrants. OnceFallen.com made 14 Media Appearances, including two episodes of HLN's Dr Drew show. Not all my media inquiries lead to an appearance. Some ask for specific types of registrants or simply want some information.

In total, I received 121 letters in the mail in 2016. Many were inmate inquiries, and many asked for ACSOL's 50 state registration/ residency restriction chart of the relief from the registry fact guide from the CCRC, which are up to 20 printed pages each. I request inmates who can do so offset the costs by sending a SASE with 2 stamps for these spreadsheets, but not all can afford them. A few letters came from those not incarcerated but who were either unable to use computers or were not computer savvy.

The Corrlinks newsletter has 156 subscribers at the end of 2016. Corrlinks readers share newsletters with those who are unable to use the inmate email system, thus increasing exposure to our efforts to abolish the registry.

OnceFallen.com individual visitor counter: 133,491 visitors in 2016, up from 110,762 in 2015

Fundraisers and Expenses:

OnceFallen engaged in numerous projects last year. Granted, not every project was as successful as we had hoped, but supporters kept us going for another year.

Trip expenses:

NY ARM protest against Parents For Megan's Law: $1000, which included travel for multiple folks, hotel, and supplies, including costs of sending out letters to 260 registered citizens in Suffolk Co NY.

Oakland Protest: $490, bus/ hotel (shared room with fellow protester) plus sign materials.

Two trips to Columbus Ohio @ $30 each to testify against legislation.

Ft Lauderdale: First visit to the homeless camp, $215 (hotel costs were split with fellow activist)

Atlanta; It only cost me $200 to go to Atlanta and spend two nights; Janice from ACSOL paid my RSOL conference fee (I had only planned to attend the roundtable meeting, and I bought a cheap hotel room under renovation to cut costs by 50%.)

Miami: Christmas at the camp: $934 raised to bring socks, underwear, and other needed goods to the homeless registrant camp, As promised, every dime I raised between October and December went to the camp. OnceFallen's end of the year balance was $0.

OnceFallen website annual fee: $120
New Modem to offset costs of cable company rental modem: $65
Stamps, envelopes, paper and other needed supplies: $335

These trips were only possible through the donations of those who support OnceFallen. Without their donations, I couldn't engage in these projects myself. My personal policy for travel is I find the cheapest form of travel possible and try to find the cheapest hotels, and I will share my room with a fellow activist to offset costs. I only include direct, unique costs related to the event (transportation, hotel, supplies, and even help compensate others who attend when possible.). I do NOT count personal purchases, such as food, clothes or souvenirs as expenses.

This is a one-man operation with an extremely small budget. I do not pay myself a salary with the donations, either. I receive not personal compensation other than the satisfaction of destroying bad legislation and helping those on the registry in need of guidance. This operation has been blessed enough to somehow raise just enough funds to serve its purpose, and I never ask for more than necessary. So to those questioning what it is I do, I'm very transparent. If you want to know what I do with the money, then ask. I also have folks who can verify that I am very low-maintenance and I am very good at trimming expenses.





Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reasons NOT to support a tiered registry, or ANY registry period

Despite what some of you may think, I haven't had much of a problem with Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL). I'm not exactly a great fan of certain people in it, just as some of you are not great fans of mine, but  we all have opinions. My opinions are my own. I joined their Oakland protest, obviously, have their conference up on my main website as requested, and I refer anyone who contacts me in California to go check them out. No one can claim I haven't offered my support in the past. But I certainly won't offer support to their latest harebrained scheme. 

In light of one of ACSOL's most recent posts, I have to speak up because I feel this approach is compromising the Anti-Registry Movement. Some of you are already aware of my criticism of ACSOL. In fact, I've posted it in the comment boards, and it seems that quite a few people share my sentiment. I am wary of the idea of our movement supporting the registry in ANY form. Allow me to say this as clearly and boldly as possible, so that there is no misunderstanding as to my take on this silly idea of backing a tiered registry scheme:

If you are advocating for a tiered registry, YOU ARE ADVOCATING FOR THE REGISTRY!!!!!

It seems ACSOL is still advocating this Sophie's Choice approach to the issue, so may be best if I make my counterpoints to the points ACSOL posted on their site as reasons to support a tiered registry. [NOTE: The numbering system is mine for the sake of reference.]


REASONS TO SUPPORT A TIERED REGISTRY

1. Tiered registry bill (Senate Bill 695) introduced on Feb. 17; Senators Ricardo Lara and Holly Mitchell authors; Bill supported by CA Sex Offender Management Board

Counterpoint: Why should the fact that CASOMB approves of a tiered registry be a valid reason to support it? Other things CASOMB approves of are polygraphs, the "containment model" of registrant management, and a "victim-centered" approach. The CASOMB sure loves their junk science. Maybe someday they'll support witch dunking and tea leaf gazing as acceptable methods for predicting recidivism too. 

Guess what else they advocate? The SARATSO committee. They chose the Static-99R as their preferred test and that's a really big deal.

The old Static 99 and Static 2002 categorized risk like this: "Based on total scores, Static-99 had four named risk categories (0 –1  low; 2–3  low-moderate; 4 – 5 moderate-high; and 6  high) and Static-2002 had five (0 –2  low; 3– 4  low-moderate; 5– 6 moderate; 7– 8  moderate-high; and 9  high). When the scales were revised, we did not alter the risk category labels or their associated cutoff scores, with the exception that it was now possible to have scores less than zero." [p.3]

But this same scale was revised under the Static 99-R: "New names have been announced for the risk categories on the Static-99R: 
Very Low Risk, Category I, scores -3, -2; 
Below Average Risk, Category II, scores -1, 0; 
Average Risk, Category III, scores 1, 2, 3; 
Above Average Risk, Category IV-a, scores 4,5; 
Well Above Average Risk, Category IV-b, scores 6 and above."

A person could be classified higher risk under this convoluted scheme. But hey, lets support it just because CASOMB says so. 

2. "Current registry provides public with 'False Sense of Security'"

I could say the same thing about the 45 states with a tiered registry (Oregon hasn't transitioned to three tiers yet so they don't count.). 

3. "More than 90 percent of those who assault a child are family members, teachers, coaches, clergy and are NOT on sex offender registry."

The inefficacy of the registry just as valid of an argument for not having a registry of any kind. 

4. "Less than 1 percent of sex offenders on parole commit another sex offense – CA Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation; Only 5.3 percent of all sex offenders commit another sex offense – U.S. DOJ"

Again, the same argument can be used to argue abolition of the registry. Also, the DoJ numbers are misused. The exact number is 5.3% rearrest rate after 3 years, but only 3.5% were reconvicted after three years. That's quite a discrepancy. BTW, the DoJ released more recent numbers that found a 5.6% rearrest rate after 5 years, so you could mention the fact that the overall number of arrests only increased 0.3% in years 4 and 5. 

5. "Tiered registry for sex offenders would increase public safety and save $115 million annually for state and local governments."

I love these rather arbitrary numbers but it seems Oregon, the state currently transitioning to a tiered system and whose sex offender management folks share similar beliefs, is having some growing pains trying to make that transition. They're already having to scale it back two years, and already lawmakers are exploiting this opportunity to increase the number of folks who land on the public registry. I can't imagine those reevaluations are saving money in Oregon. 

If you are going to discuss money, perhaps someone in Cali will bring up all that money they missed out not adopting the Adam Walsh Act, and if they're going three tiers, why not just adopt the AWA and screw all those risk assessments? On the other hand, at least those witch doctors pushing polys and peter meters will be out of a job. 

6. "The registry includes many individuals who pose little threat to society such as those convicted of the non-violent crimes of “sexting” on a cell phone, urinating in public, and engaging in consensual teen sex."

Yup, and most of them live in those 45 states with a tiered system. Just saying...

7. The registry also includes individuals who pose significant threat to society such as those convicted of multiple sexual assaults against children and adults.

See above. Also, do you know why I made the type bigger, underlined it and italicized it? Because the victim cult will zero in on this for future reference. You know, for when they want to strengthen the registry. I'm sure nothing satisfies our adversaries more than quoting us acknowledging their claims. Tust me, this will be the only thing they hear. 

8. "Tiered registries exist in 46 of the nation’s 50 states and successfully protect the citizens of those states. California is only 1 of 4 states with lifetime registries along with Alabama, South Carolina and Florida."

For any serious registry reformist to utter the words, "successfully protect the citizens of those states," in regards to the effects of the registry is pure blasphemy. Is California that desperate to "potentially" remove a few folks off the registry that they are willing to spew the same rhetoric that we've spent years debunking? It has been a central theme of anti-registry reformists to expose the fallacies of the registry, particularly efficacy, and ACSOL comes along and says, "tiered registries are effective at protecting children." WTF? 

No, the registry in every state is a complete disaster. Ohio has had a Tiered system since 1997 and it is an even bigger wreck because of the AWA. 

9. "Tiered registry would end a life-time sentence for registrants who do NOT pose current harm to society." 

That is merely an assumption. Risk assessments are far from perfect as they are prone to overestimate risk. Consider that even under the simplistic Static-99 your traditional R&J offender scores a 2 off the top. (Coincidentally, I also scored a two.) In Ohio pre-AWA, risk assessment evaluations could still be disregarded through judicial discretion. (Trust me, I've experienced this travesty of justice firsthand.) Of course, when the AWA was adopted, the number of folks who were classified high risk skyrocketed from about 18% to about 54%. Nothing changed but the method of classification. 

The very definitions of offenses are problematic. An R&J "sexually assaulted" his willing participant because she was below the age of consent, and therefore a "violent" offense. 

I'm also willing to bet some high risk individuals "slip through the cracks" and reoffend and then there will be a push for more 

10. Registrants often lose their jobs and/or housing solely because they are registrants.  Section 8 housing not available to individuals listed on a lifetime registry (like California).

Those Tier 3s that remain will still have the same problem with Section 8. Registrants will continue to suffer regardless of tier level. Criminal records remain after you drop off the registry. Background checks will pick it up. 

I had some interesting results from last year's Job and Welfare Survey in regards to tier levels. I do have my concerns because the survey results indicated an increased probability of negative effects of being classified as a "high risk." 

Tier Levels: While there is surprisingly little parity between the Tiers (or for states with no tier system), those considered “High Risk” or Tier 3s were most likely to report being unemployed/ not in the labor force, living in a rural area, making over $50,000 last year, being denied a job, being on welfare at some point, and identifying as an anti-registrant activist, but least likely to report being homeless, having a full time job, living in poverty, and being harassed on the job.

11. Some registrants are physically harmed, even murdered, by vigilantes.

Gary Blanton, the man from Port Angeles murdered by vigilante Patrick Drum in 2012, was classified as a Tier 2 registrant in Washington state. The 2005 double murders in Washington state, the 2006 double murders in Maine and hundreds of other reported acts of vigilantism were in tiered registry states. 

Washington state doesn't list registrants publicly, but private citizens like Donna Zink fought to post the names anyways. Then you have private online registries like Family Watchdog and Homefacts, mugshot magazines and websites, extortion websites like Chuck Rodrick's Offendex/ SOR ARchives/ BarComplaint/ SexOffenderNewswire and affiliated websites, and the like. 

12. "All individuals required to register under Penal Code Section 290 would remain on the registry for at least 10 years; Those convicted of low level offenses could leave registry in 10 years; Those convicted of moderate level offenses could leave registry in 20 years." 

That's not to say they can't be reclassified. One way would simply be adopting the Adam Walsh Act. Another way would be to do what NY has done-- move the goalposts. In 2006, NY increased registration period of tier 2s to life with a petition process available after 30 years and tier 1s increased registration from 10 years to 20. Now the state is looking to do it again, raising tier 1 registration from 20 year to 30 years, an effort spearheaded by Parents For Megan's Law. As I previously stated in point #5, Oregon is already seeking ways to increase 

13. A tiered registry would continue life-time registration for those who pose a current significant harm to society.

This is similar to point #9. This line of thinking requires us to assume that the state will somehow get it right and reserve Tier 3 status for repeat offenders with multiple victims; however, the state will err on the side of caution lest they have any bad PR like the state of Florida had after the Sun-Sentinel accused the state of missing too many "sex predators" in the months following the Cherish Perrywinkle case

In ACSOL's push to POTENTIALLY get off the registry, (no guarantee even one is removed), they're willing to throw tens of thousands of people under the bus! It is already having a detrimental effect on morale in the movement, and already the attitude is spreading. Here is one comment posted on the ACSOL comment section:

Aero1
February 19, 2017
A lot of people are not going to like this comment but I don’t care all the people who know they’re going to be labeled a tier 3 registered citizen if this Bill were to pass your the type of registered citizens I’m trying to keep from being labeled with no offense but tier 3 registrant are the ones that make it hard for everybody else with there multiple convictions and God knows what else I’m a father and I have three kids and I wouldn’t feel safe with them not being publicly displayed Megan’s Law website and if and eighteen-year-old guy hooks up with a fifteen-year-old girlfriend in high school I don’t think he should be on there for the rest of his life maybe 10 20 years okay for Life that’s insane

This idiot already assumes that Tier 3 equals multiple convictions; he sounds just like a shill for the victim cult. I am happy someone pointed out his flaws in thinking:

judgmental much?
February 19, 2017
To correct you, it will still be very much possible to fall into Tier 3 as a first time offender w/ no other criminal history. All you would need is a high enough Static 99 score. Things like being young at the time of a crime and release, being homosexual and having a male victim, having a non violent offense (oddly enough) and not having lived w/ a significant other for a minimum of 2 yrs. are enough to get someone enough points to fall into Tier 3 regardless of crime. The Static doesn’t take into account offense free years after conviction, therapy, remorse, etc.

I don't have multiple victims and I have the most petty of contact offenses, yet I landed as a Tier 3 because the judge believed all registrants have a high risk. I scored a 2 on the Static-99 (should've been a 1) but the judge ignored it and made an assumption that I came to Ohio just to shirk registration duties (a belief as absurd as anything else I criticized here). The bottom line is I got labelled a Tier 3 because a judge with prejudices against registered citizens had the discretion to be the final authority on my fate, and he chose to ruin my live. So Judge Steve Martin can go to hell. If you don't believe Tier 3s get it rough, come talk to me some time. My life has been ruined. 

In summary, I find the strategy of ACSOL to be repugnant to the core beliefs of the Anti-Registry Movement. We aren't here to advocate for any registry. Sadly, some folks have allowed defeatism to get in the way of our mission. What if slavery abolitionists took this "incremental" approach to abolishing slavery? "Okay we'll never abolish slavery outright so lets devise a system by which a select few can earn their freedom while the rest have to work harder." There are times where incrementalism just doesn't work. The real solution is abolishing the registry, but defeatism has forced those in Cali to choose who will be sacrificed to save a precious few to get off the registry. Those people sacrificed will suffer MORE. 

Three JEERS for ACSOL's three tiers. 
--Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

Friday, February 24, 2017

STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION TO NE LB 300 (2017)

Below is a statement of opposition to a Nebraska bill that eliminates all statutes of limitations on civil lawsuits against people accused of sex crimes. You may find it useful against similar statutes in other states.

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STATEMENT OF OPPOSITION TO NE LB 300 (2017)
Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com, Anti-Registry Movement Activist

I, Derek Warren Logue, anti-registry activist and founder of the legal information and support site OnceFallen.com, am writing to you this day this statement of opposition to LB 300. 

Current state law has already been expanded to allow charges and civil suits against alleged sex crimes that may or may not have actually happened decades ago, and even these previous extensions of statutes of limitations are problematic. 

I’d like to direct your attention to the fact that we are still recovering from the belief of an entire generation of people of widespread satanic ritual abuse and the now widely debunked hypothesis of “recovered” or “repressed” memories. This belief began largely as the result of a single book published in 1980 called “Michelle Remembers,” and has been thoroughly discredited by a number of experts over the years. 

There are a number of cases we can discuss about this era—McMartin, Fells Acres, Country Walk, even the West Memphis Three—but none of these should strike closer to home than the Franklin child prostitution sex ring allegations right here in Nebraska between 1988 and 1991. As in other cases of the time, there were allegations of satanic ritual sexual abuse and murder of children, and like many of these other allegations were eventually proven false. However, given the climate at the time, I can understand why even this very legislature was led to believe in the truthfulness at the time. The slogan “believe the children always” is sacred dogma in our culture. Already, we’ve forgotten the lessons we had learned from this sad era in our culture. 

It is time that we recover the lessons that we’ve seemingly repressed from this era. I was a child of that era—the era of Satanic abuse stories, made for TV movies, and the formation of the victim industry. Over the years, this industry has become as powerful as any religion, with beliefs and dogmas that few dare question. It was at this time that the myth of “repressed memories” originated. Books like Beverly Engel’s 1989 book “The Right To Innocence” taught, “If you have ever had reason to suspect that you may have been sexually abused, even if you have no explicit memory of it, chances are very high that you were.” [p.2]. Thanks to the belief of recovered or repressed memories, numerous people were led to believe that a myriad of psychological issues or poor personal life choices were the result of sexual abuse. If you’re depressed, you were likely sexually abused, if you drink too much, you were likely abused, if you stink at your job, you were likely sexually abused, and so on. It certainly helps to have a way to deny personal responsibility when your shortcomings in life are the result of your own actions. 

Meredith Maran described her own false belief that she was sexually abused in her 2010 book, “My Lie: A True Story of False Memory.” Maran was a feminist reporter covering sexual abuse and repressed memories. After listening to others who claimed they had experienced “recovered memories” and after reading the book “The Courage to Heal,” Maran led herself to believe she was sexually abused by her father. But as the climate in America changed as we learned that these stories of satanic ritual abuse across America were false, Maran also concluded that our panicked culture had been the reason she believed she was abused. 

By the mid-1990s, we had concluded that repressed memory was a myth and the satanic ritual abuse allegations were false. Even Diana EH Russell, author of “The Secret Trauma,” one of the bibles of the repressed memory myth, had to admit that there was validity to the claims of those who stated they were falsely led to believe in the abuse. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation [http://www.fmsfonline.org/] warns us, “Because of the reconstructive nature of memory, some memories may be distorted through influences such as the incorporation of new information. There are also believed-in imaginings that are not based in historical reality; these have been called false memories, pseudo-memories and memory illusions. They can result from the influence of external factors, such as the opinion of an authority figure or information repeated in the culture.  An individual with an internal desire to please, to get better or to conform can easily be affected by such influences.” 

Memory is far from fallible, and even when we remember significant events, we may not remember things exactly as it happened, which is especially problematic in court trials where eyewitness testimony is utilized [http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/idea-happened-memory-recollection]. Studies have shown that eyewitness testimony can be rather easily manipulated just by how the questions are asked [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB2OegI6wvI]. These leading questions were at the heart of the satanic ritual abuse panics of the 1980s. 

Our brains are not computers; neuroscientists have shown that each time we remember something, we are reconstructing the event, reassembling it from traces throughout the brain. In other words, memory is malleable. “We could say that, as a result, memory is unreliable. We could also say it is adaptive, reshaping itself to accommodate the new situations we find ourselves facing. Either way, we have to face the fact that it is “flexible.”  For most of us that usually means we recall a rosier past than we actually had, though some of us are tormented by memories of a painful past we can’t shake and that seems to get worse every time we revisit them. But for all of us that means an incomplete past. Nothing brings this home better than the memories of witnesses in trials, one of the cornerstones of our legal system. All too many people have been put behind bars on the testimony of witnesses, who when challenged by more objective data have been later proved to be misremembering. An extreme form of this is the unsettling phenomenon of those who confess to crimes they did not commit. According to a recent article in The New York Times, “False confessions have figured in 24 percent of the approximately 289 convictions reversed by DNA evidence.” (See, “Why Do Innocent People Confess?”) Obviously these are not just simple matters of misremembering. False confessions can be motivated by a desire to avoid painful interrogations, to curry favor with jailors, or the false hope of getting the nightmare over with. But, then, all memories are motivated. It is just a matter of degree.” 
[https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201203/unreliable-memory]

“Human memory is notoriously unreliable, especially when it comes to details. Scientists have found that prompting an eyewitness to remember more can generate details that are outright false but that feel just as correct to the witness as actual memories. “A key rule about memory change over time is what we call fade-to-gist,” explained Dr. Charles Brainerd, a professor of human development at Cornell University, in an interview with Healthline. “That is, we lose the details of experience rapidly but retain our understanding of its gist much longer. After attending a baseball game, we may quickly forget what the score was, who pitched, and what we had to eat, but not that our team won and we had a fun evening.” According to the American Bar Association, of the 21 wrongful convictions overturned by the Innocence Project in 2011, 19 involved eyewitness testimony. More than three-quarters of wrongful convictions that are later overturned by DNA evidence were based on eyewitness reports. The legal system finally acknowledged this problem last year, when the New Jersey Supreme Court instructed judges to tell jurors that “human memory is not foolproof” when considering eyewitness testimony in a case. [http://www.healthline.com/health-news/mental-memory-is-unreliable-and-it-could-be-worse-091313]

Yet, despite the lessons we’ve learned memories are far from infallible and that people can be led to believe things that weren’t true, we have been led to believe the same exact accusations once the attention was turned to the Catholic Church. Diane Vera reported in 2006 that even in 2005, a Catholic priest was convicted in 2005 on the basis of “recovered memories” alone. She also points out, “Among the people still pushing the SRA scare are some conservative and traditionalist Catholics, as a way to explain the recent clergy pedophilia scandals…Some of the more extreme traditionalist Catholics blame an alleged conspiracy of "Satanists" not only for clergy pedophilia, but also for all the changes to the Catholic Church since Vatican II, including changes to the liturgy and more tolerant attitudes toward Protestants.” (Of course, Vera assumes a celibate priesthood is the problem, which is also a matter of opinion.)

Famed historian Phillip Jenkins writes, “We have often heard the phrase "pedophile priest" in recent weeks. Such individuals can exist: Father Geoghan was one, as was the notorious Father James Porter a decade or so back. But as a description of a social problem, the term is wildly misleading. Crucially, Catholic priests and other clergy have nothing like a monopoly on sexual misconduct with minors. My research of cases over the past 20 years indicates no evidence whatever that Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination -- or indeed, than nonclergy. However determined news media may be to see this affair as a crisis of celibacy, the charge is just unsupported…Just to find some solid numbers, how many Catholic clergy are involved in misconduct? We actually have some good information on this issue, since in the early 1990s, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago undertook a bold and thorough self-study. The survey examined every priest who had served in the archdiocese over the previous 40 years, some 2,200 individuals, and reopened every internal complaint ever made against these men. The standard of evidence applied was not legal proof that would stand up in a court of law, but just the consensus that a particular charge was probably justified.

By this low standard, the survey found that about 40 priests, about 1.8 percent of the whole, were probably guilty of misconduct with minors at some point in their careers. Put another way, no evidence existed against about 98 percent of parish clergy, the overwhelming majority of the group. Since other organizations dealing with children have not undertaken such comprehensive studies, we have no idea whether the Catholic figure is better or worse than the rate for schoolteachers, residential home counselors, social workers or scout masters. The Chicago study also found that of the 2,200 priests, just one was a pedophile. Now, many people are confused about the distinction between a pedophile and a person guilty of sex with a minor. The difference is very significant. The phrase "pedophile priests" conjures up images of the worst violation of innocence, callous molesters like Father Porter who assault children 7 years old. "Pedophilia" is a psychiatric term meaning sexual interest in children below the age of puberty. But the vast majority of clergy misconduct cases are nothing like this. The vast majority of instances involve priests who have been sexually active with a person below the age of sexual consent, often 16 or 17 years old, or even older. An act of this sort is wrong on multiple counts: It is probably criminal, and by common consent it is immoral and sinful; yet it does not have the utterly ruthless, exploitative character of child molestation. In almost all cases too, with the older teen-agers, there is an element of consent.” [http://old.post-gazette.com/forum/comm/20020303edjenk03p6.asp]

The point of discussing the issue of faulty memories is that people could easily be misled into using LB 300; even worse is the possibility of individuals taking improper use of this system. After all, accusations of abuse from 20 years, 30 years, 40 years ago or longer could not be substantiated. Recently, it was reported that Barbara Blaine, founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, had stepped down amidst allegations that SNAP leaders referred potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-snap-barbara-blaine-resignation-20170204-story.html] We don’t like to admit that the victim groups have a vested interest but they do. 

These dubious allegations form the justification for LB 300. In passing this legislation, you open the door to abuse of the law by manipulative individuals and victim advocates. Imagine someone decided to accuse YOU of an alleged sex crime from 30 years ago and decided to sue you in a court of law. Consider the fact that the number of false allegations is significant [http://www.oncefallen.com/falseallegations.html] even in a court where the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” LB 300’ standards are the lower civil standard. If we were willing to believe the most outrageous allegations of satanic sacrifices, flying children across the globe for Illuminati pedo rings, or non-existent underground bunkers either under a daycare or under some pizza joint in Washington DC without any tangible evidence of truth, what hope does the accused have to prove his or her innocence In a court where the burden of proof is far lower? 

LB 300 will merely be a tool to destroy the lives of numerous citizens by those who are convinced of events that may never have occurred, and will be fueled by victim groups like SNAP who are willing to engage in their own dubious practices to promote their personal agendas. We are too willing as a society to side with the accusers, no matter how dubious the claims, and those who falsely accuse are rarely punished for fear of “silencing victims.” LB 300 is bad public policy better left in Reagan-era satanic panic. 

--Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Competition is (mostly) good: The benefits (and drawbacks) of competition within our cause

The past few months have proven to be quite a time of transition for the sex offender reformist cause. California RSOL broke away from the National RSOL and repackaged itself as the "Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws" (ACSOL). Even Reform Sex Offender Laws repackaged itself as NARSOL, or "National Association for Rational Sex Offense Laws." Now, ACSOL did state that they were "working cooperatively" with NARSOL but we all know that theory and practice are two different things. They're even having their respective annual conferences just a couple weeks apart from each other. (Apparently, WAR is having their open conference now, too.)

This isn't anything new. In fact, there was a major rift in late 2007 that helped mold our movement into the state it became now. Back then, SOHopeful International was the top dog. SOSEN was only a Yahoo Group, and RSOL was little more than an online petition. However, the top brass at SOHopeful were ultra-conservative and became too afraid to do anything to damage their fragile reputations. There were a number of people who felt that SOHopedul wasn't doing enough. 

In 2007, members of this movement decided that we needed to be more public. There was a hommeless camp in Miami under some place called the Julia Tuttle Causeway. We had heard the Department of Corrections had placed some people there to live. Thus, the first public protest was devised. However, the police blocked the demonstration from happening, so it was moved to the JTC campsite. Not deterred, the masterminds behind the protest formed a new protest against a new law in Oho called SB 10, which would make Ohio the first state to adopt a new federal mandate known as the "Adam Walsh Act." The protest/rally would take place in December of 2007. 

The conservative SOHopeful condemned and distanced itself from this rally, but many members of the group bucked the SOHopeful brass and attended the event. The smaller groups who wanted to establish themselves in our movement stepped up to the plate, including RSOL and SOSEN. We braved the cold and a small but hostile crowd that included Bikers Against Child Abuse, Judy Cornett, and an online vigilante group affiliated with Perverted-Justice. About 50 of us attended this rally, some coming from as far away as the west coast. SOSEN and RSOL benefited greatly from this event, as disgruntled folks left SOHopeful to join two groups who wanted to do more. SOHopeful faded away into oblivion.

Ten years later, we are seeing somewhat of a similar situation unfold. There are quite a few people who believe, as I do, that our cause had stagnated over the years due to the conservatism of our movement. It reared its ugly head when I organized the Rally in Tally two years ago. The same arguments and the same conservative hogwash was spewed, and I received no support from RSOL or their affiliates. To their credit, WAR helped some but their leader was too busy trying to appease both sides of the issue and our target and was ineffective on all fronts. Because some of those involved didn't want their organizations outed should things go awry, we created a new label, the Anti-Registry Movement (ARM). 

A funny thing happened along the way to Tallahassee. The California RSOL group, who didn't support our efforts, decided to hold a protest of their own in Carson City. Lets be honest here-- it was little more than an attempt to steal the momentum the Rally in Tally was building-- but in doing so, CaRSOL did something I wanted our movement to be doing all along, namely, public demonstrations. Too bad for them that they chose a date and time that worked against their desire to be seen and heard and not drowned out by a far bigger event. But I give them an A or effort. (Of course, they WERE wrong in proclaiming that they were the first registrant protest in history, as there were three-- Miami, Columbus OH, and Coalinga CA-- before them.) The competition didn't hurt either rally, however. They may not have supported my rally, but the competition proved ahead of the Rally in Tally that there was no fear of being arrested. 

So now we have what many feel as a major rift in this movement with two competing groups, NARSOL and ACSOL (I guess three if you count WAR), and yes, there are drawbacks to the rift. Resources are few among registrants and their loved ones, and thus smaller organizations like Once Fallen get less needed support and thus are less able to complete major projects due to lack of funding. At times, those in need of assistance struggle to find resources because our competing movements don't freely share information, forcing me to send people on wild goose chases at times when doing referrals. It has even hindered projects that are beneficial to our cause, like the two surveys I conducted last year. We have had, and STILL have, a PISS POOR communication network, despite what the folks at the top of these organization claim. To top it off, most of the biggest groups are still hamstrung by ultra-conservatives. These are all major problems that hamper the movement as a whole at times. 

At times, I like to compare our movement to the path of the Cincinnati Bengals football team. For 15 years, the Bengals stunk. No playoffs, not even a winning season. Then they got a new coach and they grew to mediocrity, but compared to 4-12, 8-8 looked great. They got to 8-8 three years in a row, then they broke through with an 11-5 season and reached the playoffs for the first time in forever it seemed. Now, we're no longer content with 8-8 mediocrity. Now the Bengals had six good seasons in a row and made the playoffs 6 years straight, but lost in the first round. Well, now we're no longer content with being good enough for the playoffs. We want MORE. The common ground between the Bengals and our movement is that the same management has been around for years for the most part and that while we've improved our regular season records, we still haven't truly gotten over that hump of mediocrity. 

Out movement is also thirsty for more than what has been offered over the years. I can attest to that fact because over the past two years, support for Once Fallen has grown by leaps and bounds. 

There are benefits to having competition , and I feel that in some respects, these benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Monopolies in real life are never good because they stymie product quality; if you are the only game in town, there is little pressure to better yourself or your products. That is something that I think crept in over the years to this movement. I'm a big wrestling fan, and many wrestling fans will argue that pro wrestling was at the pinnacle during the "Monday Night Wars" of the 1990s. But once the WWE (formerly WWF) won and bought out the competition, the product slowly grown stale. Behind-the-scenes meetings don't generate as much excitement as a hands-on event. We are seeing a renewed interest in the value of demonstrations in recent months with that reality TV host turned president and the backlash from his nonsensical rantings. The support I've received from going after the victim industry over the past two years has shown people support my efforts. 

A little competition will help our cause so long as the existing groups don't try hamstringing each other. maybe it will inspire some people to do a little bit more toward their own salvation.