Two Must-Read Articles on Ravi Zacharias and RZIM, and a Reference Post

The past week, I have been compiling article links and analysis for “Ravi Zacharias and RZIM 2020 Research and Resource Post: Timeline, Links to Articles/Analysis, Nonprofit Reference.” The light for a change of discernment has been dawning for many associates of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), mostly since RZIM released an intermediate report confirming Mr. Zacharias had been sexually abusive to multiple women in spas that he had owned. The horizon is changing, and that compilation may help those who are in the process of understanding and reinterpreting what actually happened–despite earlier denials and deflections about the reported abuses. Continue reading

Update 2020 on Abuse Survivor Communities: Patterns of Progress Amplify Hope

My extended series on Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities took a year to write. I completed it December 31, 2019. Much has happened since then. We’ve seen some leaps forward, some steps backward.

In an August 20th Twitter thread about what’s going on in our various communities and denominations, the issue of abuse solutions that scale came up. This sparked a lot of thoughts for me on where we are at and where we are going. I posted 20 tweets throughout the day.

The way my brain usually works, I don’t necessarily know what I’m thinking until I get it out of my head by either saying it aloud or writing it down. Partway through this bunch of tweets, I surprised myself at a conclusion that was forming: I realized I was relatively hopeful about the progress and trajectory of abuse survivor communities, and that this sense of a constructive pathway forward was based in patterns I could see in concrete actions–not mere “I hope so …” musings attached to imagined concepts.

Here is the Ruth D. Hutchins’ tweet that set up the consideration of scale, and a compilation of my responses. I have edited this slightly for clarity and to change abbreviations back to their full form. Continue reading

A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 8: Coming Full Circle on Issues That Could Divide Us

 

 

PART 8: Conclusion

Coming Full Circle on Issues That Could Divide Us.

In December 2018, I started posting a series on “cultural geography of survivor communities.” As it unfolded, it turned out far longer and more detailed than I’d anticipated. But, it seemed the thing to do at the time, and I’m glad I did. It’s my time capsule that summarizes the past 10 years of trends among abuse survivors and advocate ministries, and attempts to provide a snapshot of where things stand in 2019.

I’d eventually planned to conclude the series with a post analyzing distinctives and conflicts within in the broader Christian #MeToo movement. After all, that is what I began with in Part 1B. However, due to other writing commitments that begin in January 2020, I am not able to invest the time needed to complete that piece the way I’d originally hoped for. But I will wrap up the series with some key points of observation and analysis. It’s a bit rough and random, but it’s the best I can do with the time I have available.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 7B2: Examples of What Survivor Communities Have Actually Been Up Against

PART 7B2

Examples of What Survivor Communities

Have Actually Been Up Against.

This post serves as a “reader’s guide” to what has become a quintessential litmus-test case in the kinds of abuse, cover-up, and deflection that survivors and their communities have had to endure.

In this case of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM; more recently renamed Sovereign Grace Churches) and their celebrity leader, CJ Mahaney, that state of unresolved trauma and ongoing triggering for many victims of child abuse and reported spiritual abuse, has gone on for decades.

I chose this case study because it came into existence long before any form of the #MeToo movement got going, and it has resurfaced annually since then. A protective shell of other well-known evangelical individuals and institutions keep surrounding SGM and CJ Mahaney. This adds to the frustration of survivors, their loved ones, and their advocates who seek justice but have been met with silencing.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 7B1: Understand Community Values for Insights Into Response Patterns

In recent years, we’ve seen an increased number of abuse survivors refuse offers of involvement in investigations or negotiations with reportedly abusive individuals and institutions. Typically, these processes have required private, partial, or internal investigations; and/or arbitration, conciliation, mediation services as a gateway to “reconciliation.” How do we evaluate whether they are trustworthy and the process is just?

Part 7A lays out frameworks for evaluating the inputs and impact of these various approaches to “making things right.” It lists questions to use for analyzing: (1) the ethical environment in which proposed resolutions are offered, (2) the infrastructures for interaction, and (3) resolution arrangements.

Part 7B applies these three frameworks (ethics, infrastructures, and resolutions), plus resonance with core values of abuse survivor communities, to major Christian agencies involved in victim situations. 

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 7A: Frameworks for Evaluating Christian Agencies for Investigation, Public Relations, Crisis Management, Legal Aid, Arbitration, Conciliation, and/or Mediation

PART 7A

Evaluating Christian Agencies for Investigation,

Public Relations, Crisis Management, Legal Aid,

Arbitration, Conciliation, and/or Mediation

In recent years, we’ve seen an increased number of abuse survivors refuse offers of involvement in investigations or negotiations with reportedly abusive individuals and institutions. Typically, these processes have required private, partial, or internal investigations; and/or arbitration, conciliation, mediation services as a gateway to “reconciliation.” How do we evaluate whether they are trustworthy and the process is just?

Part 7A lays out frameworks for evaluating the inputs and impact of these various approaches to “making things right.” It lists questions to use for analyzing: (1) the ethical environment in which proposed resolutions are offered, (2) the infrastructures for interaction, and (3) resolution arrangements. Part 7B applies these three frameworks (ethics, infrastructures, and resolutions), plus resonance with core values of abuse survivor communities, to major Christian agencies involved in victim situations.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 6F: Why is “Restorative Justice” a Better Way Out of Systemic Abuse and Historical Oppression Than are Retaliation or Misused Alternative Dispute Resolution?

PART 6F

Why is “Restorative Justice” a Better Way Out of

Systemic Abuse and Historical Oppression Than

are Retaliation or Misused Alternative Dispute Resolution?

 

Part 6F. In this final segment for Part 6, we look at the better way of resolution to situations involving systemic abuse and historical/societal oppression, through truth-finding before reconciliation. This last element sets up the basis for Part 7, comparing and contrasting agencies that promote independent investigations and restorative justice versus those that promote internal or partial investigations and dispute resolution processes that fail to dismantle systemic abuse.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 6E: What Makes Systemic Abuse and Historic Oppression Different from Isolated Incidents of Abuse?

PART 6E.

What Makes Systemic Abuse and

Historic Oppression Different from

Isolated Incidents of Abuse?

Part 6E. This post on systems-related terms sets up the final segment in Part 6, where we will look at better ways of “restorative justice” for situations to situations involving systemic abuse and historical/societal oppression, through truth-finding before reconciliation.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 6D: Analyzing Misused Tools and Processes: What are Key Problems and Their System Impact?

PART 6D.

Analyzing Misused Tools and Processes:

What are Key Problems and Their System Impact?

Part 6D. Overview of key problems in misuse of these legal tools and resolution processes; some ways their impact has affected (and disaffected) survivor communities; and some resources on pastoral care, survivor recovery, and building better perspective.

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A Cultural Geography of Survivor Communities – Part 6C: Processes That Promise Resolution, But Instead Can Promote Silence

PART 6C

Processes That Promise Resolution,

But Instead Can Promote Silence

Part 6C. Initial exploration into three investigation/negotiation/resolution processes (arbitration, conciliation, and mediation), plus a case study from Willow Creek Community Church leaders hiring Crossroads Resolution Group and the women victims refusing to play by those rules, and why.

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