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Old 2022-05-23, 16:58   #188
Dr Sardonicus
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Top Southern Baptists stonewalled and denigrated sex abuse victims, report says
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant denomination, stonewalled and denigrated survivors of clergy sex abuse over almost two decades while seeking to protect their own reputations, according to a scathing 288-page investigative report issued Sunday.

These survivors, and other concerned Southern Baptists, repeatedly shared allegations with the SBC's Executive Committee, "only to be met, time and time again, with resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility from some within the EC," said the report.

The seven-month investigation was conducted by Guidepost Solutions, an independent firm contracted by the Executive Committee after delegates to last year's national meeting pressed for a probe by outsiders.

"Our investigation revealed that, for many years, a few senior EC leaders, along with outside counsel, largely controlled the EC's response to these reports of abuse ... and were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC," the report said.

"In service of this goal, survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action due to its polity regarding church autonomy - even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry with no notice or warning to their current church or congregation," the report added.
Among those reacting strongly to the Guidepost report was Russell Moore, who formerly headed the SBC's public policy wing but left the denomination after accusing top Executive Committee leaders of stalling efforts to address the sex abuse crisis.

"Crisis is too small a word. It is an apocalypse," Moore wrote for Christianity Today after reading the report. "As dark a view as I had of the SBC Executive Committee, the investigation uncovers a reality far more evil and systemic than I imagined it could be."
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Old 2022-08-04, 01:57   #189
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Here is a followup to this 2020 post about the Texas lawsuit against Alex Jones filed by parents of victims of the Sandy Hook massacre.

In the intervening two and a half years plus, things have happened. The Court did eventually issue a default judgement against Jones, ruling that his many abuses of the judicial process during the trial to decide liability, made him liable by default. This meant he had to pay damages. The question then became, how much.

There was a new trial to decide this. Jones appeared as Defendants' only witness. He did not fare well under cross-examination.

Plaintiff's counsel had recently obtained two years' worth of Jones's texts, which included texts about Sandy Hook. This was bad, because during discovery, Jones had claimed he had searched his cell phone, found no such texts, and denied having texted about Sandy Hook. Faced with the proof he had, he denied ever having seen those texts, and said he had not lied.

And on the stand, Jones denied having defamed the judge at this trial, Maya Guerra Gamble, by claiming she was connected to pedophilia and human trafficking. However, Plaintiff's counsel had the video to prove he had done just that.

Plaintiff's counsel has now also asked the Court to impose sanctions against Jones for telling fairy tales under oath.

Plaintiffs in the case are asking for $150 million in damages, plus punitive damages. Defense counsel requested that he be asked to pay one dollar in damages.

This is not the only Sandy Hook lawsuit against Jones which has resulted in a default judgement that he is liable.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2022-08-04 at 02:03 Reason: Insert omitted word
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Old 2022-08-05, 02:46   #190
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I made a mistake in my previous post. Jones's defense lawyer requested that the jury award not $1.00, but $1.00 for each of the eight counts in the suit, for a grand total of $8.00.

The jury has awarded the Plaintiffs 4.11 million dollars in compensatory, or "actual" damages. This is far less than the $150 million Plaintiffs asked for, but is more than twice the $2 million Jones said would sink him and his business empire.

The jury's next task is to decide the amount of "punitive" damages.

I note that in the 1954 case Reynolds v. Pegler, Quentin Reynolds sued columnist Westbrook Pegler, Hearst Consolidated Publications, and the Hearst Corporation for libel. The jury awarded Reynolds the minimum $1.00 in compensatory ("actual") damages, but awarded him $175,000.00 in punitive damages.

Reynold's lawyer Louis Nizer included an account of the case in his book My Life in Court. I first heard about the case because there was also a movie about it entitled A Case of Libel.

For those not familiar, punitive damages are intended to punish the Defendant for especially egregious or outrageous conduct, and to deter similar conduct by others in future. They are also called "exemplary damages."

I hope the punitive damages award against Jones and any other Defendants is enormous. IMO Jones has been egregiously understating how much he and his businesses have been raking in.

EDIT: (Update, August 5) The jury has awarded the Plaintiffs $45.2 million in punitive damages, in addition to the $4.1 million in "actual" or compensatory damages.

IMO this is far from enough, but there are two more cases pending.

If I had my druthers, the punitive damages would send Jones's business holdings into Chapter 7 bankruptcy (he has already filed for Chapter 11 protection), and would force him to live the rest of his life as a pauper. Of course, that is not goung to happen, because there are many sheep willing to be fleeced.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2022-08-06 at 02:38 Reason: As indicated
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