Monday, June 27, 2016

Mesira XV: Victim-Turned-Predator

It looks like my blogsite is starting to get a bit of attention. And, for a change, I am even getting some comments and feedback. At present, I am in the course of writing another full length post about all the wonderful things that I am learning from these comments and what you can learn from them, too. It is not ready yet but I do want to post this in the meantime.

As I said, I have gotten a minimal but revealing amount of feedback. Aside from the key points that I will make in the upcoming(?) post, right now I need to report that there is definitely one thing that we ought to be very concerned about:
Many, many people who comment do not read the material properly if at all.
And this indicates that probably a good percentage of those who do not comment have this same problem.

To be fair, I considered that perhaps I am the problem. Maybe I do not write my posts clearly. Yet, when I show my posts to people I know and they read all of the words (and/or all related posts) they don’t seem to have any trouble getting it. So what kind of conclusion should I draw from this?

Another thing I have learned is that if there are some preliminary posts to understanding the one I am currently posting, I need to present them in big bold letters. For this post, this is the most important post to read up front:

At the end of this post, I will present a list of other related posts, most of which will be linked to where applicable.

Now, I want this post to be relatively short. So I will only make note of one commenter from my previous post. Her name is Genendy Eisgrau (or Radoff). I did a bit of research about her and discovered that she claims to be a survivor of incestuous sexual abuse. The reason I say “she claims” is not that I don’t believe her but because the one she has been accusing has apparently denied it and, what do I know?

I discovered that she has a blog of her own and that she is very active in Child Abuse prevention organizations. Her blog page says:
Genendy is the founder of Mitzvah L’sapper, and a founding member and former board member of Magen – the Beit Shemesh Child Protection Agency

Genendy was brave enough to comment on my blog post. What she wrote is not so important except for the fact that she obviously does not agree with me. Though she did not say it openly she obviously thinks like the cowboys of The Ox Bow Incident posse. To H*** with law and order – Torahdig or otherwise – and let’s just get on with the hanging extradition.

Also important, is that the comment she wrote inspired this post. Because with this comment, Genendy is telling us that currently she is not a victim. She has become a predator.

It’s common knowledge that victims of sexual abuse often become abusers themselves. But many people do not really understand what this means. A lot of people think that the abuse cycle involves the exact same type of abuse being played over and over again. So if one has been sexually abused, we will not be surprised to learn he or she may start sexually abusing other people.

This is a big mistake in short-sightedness. Abuse can come in many forms and the emotional trauma of one being subjected to abuse in Form A may cause him or her to become another form of abuser. An easy way to understand this is suppose somebody comes from a warm and loving home with two parents who had excellent shalom bayis. He or she is abused sexually by some manipulative cousin. The pain and scars and emotional mistrust may make this person unstable so that they become an abusive spouse to their kind and loving significant other. Overcritical, distrustful, frigid or whatever.

The person came from a fine home but was a victim of some kind of non-domestic abuse and, as a result, has turned into an abuser in a different department – domestic abuse. Now, the good-hearted spouse is faced with a choice. He or she can promptly write off the marriage, or they can try to invest in getting their spouse the help they require (obviously this requires the cooperation of the abusive spouse). Which path to take depends on what one hopes to accomplish by that path as opposed to the other.

After we know this, we can examine what types of predators a person can become, and to understand that we also may have several options.

Victim-Turned-Predator (VTP) – Type A – Sexual

This is the typical situation that we all know and love hate. A person was sexually molested as a child and subsequently resorts to sexually abuse others.

There seems to be a bit of controversy as to how much rachmanus the community should give to such a person. The overwhelming consensus is: none at all. Who cares what kind of background he had? This that he preys on other children is his choice. He deserves to hang as much as anybody. And let’s do it quick.

This is the positon of a lady neighbor in Har Nof (involved in abuse issues) who I consulted with along with many notable people such as Harav Dovid Cohen Shlita, Rabbi Yechiel Perr, Rabbi Shmuel Feurst and 105 other prominent Rabbanim, Reb Dovid Lichtenstein, Rav Y.Y. Rubinstein and many many others.

The lady neighbor was adamant that the predator deserves no rachmanus because he had the option of seeking help instead of becoming a predator.


My other professional psychologist neighbor, R. Yom Tov feels differently, as do I. As I reported in my essay R. Yom Tov told me the following:

·         Most offenders are not psychopaths and have no malicious intent. They are driven by urges that they cannot control.

·         As such, most offenders will continue doing their deeds even after being exposed as long as they are not thwarted from doing so.

·         However, upon being exposed, most offenders from the Orthodox community are exceedingly cooperative to preventative and/or rehabilitative measures.

·         Most offenders are victims of sexual abuse themselves.

·         Of the above, many never received any professional help or offers of professional help and in some cases, they were even thwarted when they sought out help.

That last point is a stopper. It means it cannot always be said that they had the option to get help. And perhaps, the sordid activities that they have been engaging in, is their only way of getting attention so they can finally get some help.

As I have written incessantly, there is no question that if one is an active danger, the danger must be neutralized to protect other people. But if there is no active danger or there are several options on how to neutralize the danger, then our priority must be the option most likely to help the predator as well. In a sense, we owe it to him (or her). The community may be guilty of not protecting them initially and now that they have gone down the dusty trail the community shafts them again by sending them to jail and extraditing them to Australia (essentially killing them all over again) instead of giving them the help that could solve the situation at nobody’s expense.

This is the Torah way but it is not Genendy’s way or Lia Veffer’s way or Manny Waks' way or of anybody that does not think like a Jew.

Victim-Turned-Predator (VTP) – Type B – Judicial

This is a victim who has become another type of abuser, not a sexual one. What does he/she abuse?

They abuse the rights of a suspected or potential offender who has not admitted guilt and where there is no physical evidence or objective witnesses or Halachic ne'emanus to support the accusers. They abuse the fact that they cannot succeed in prosecuting the suspect using due process of law.

These victims would not think of molesting another person. This is not in their make-up. They're good folks. The Yetzer Hara gets them from the other side. Quite to the contrary, instead of becoming arch-villains they become superheroes. They become crusaders for the benefit of current victims and join or start child abuse advocacy groups. This alone is more than okay and should be encouraged. Just as long as they "play fair”.

But what happens is that as a result of their abuse, they tend to become over-zealous. They know for certain that they were abused – and they really were – and nobody was able to help them because the offender was too “slick” and he got away scot-free. So in their frustration and in the name of protecting children, they take extreme measures to deny from people who have not yet been proven guilty, the means of defending themselves.

Admittedly, they are fighting an uphill battle because, as I have said in several posts, molesters do not invite spectators. There are usually never any objective eye-witnesses. Often there is no physical evidence. Yet the circumstances make the case believable and, in truth, more often than not, the accused is guilty.

But not often enough. Sometimes the reason that there is not enough evidence is because there is not enough guilt.

Regardless, every suspected molester is entitled to their day in court. No matter what.

But once the advocates have determined that the allegations are true, the Yetzer Hara tells them there is no need to follow the rules. Actually, they ought not follow the rules. The accused is a slick guy who doesn’t leave a trail so we need to find a way to get him (or her)! Halachic and even legal rules become “technicalities”...and obstacles.

They need to level the playing field and so, they “cheat”. They announce in public that this person is a confirmed offender simply because a victim has said so. Usually the accused is not confronted or allowed to speak up – or he is on the run, not because he is a beastie, but because the boy savages are chasing him anyway. Thus begins a slippery slope of accusations and rumors that are unreservedly accepted and the person’s presumption of innocence is destroyed. Nobody is willing to listen to his “side” because, after all, if he is an abuser (which he is denying), he must be a pathological liar so nothing he says should be believed and his denial is not counted. Yet, there is nobody else in positon to deny it besides him. Hence, even if it is a my-word-against-hers situation, the victim is automatically “believable” and the suspected offender is automatically a “liar”.

Children are interviewed by professionals who present leading questions while remaining totally immune from any cross-examination. Usually this is without any representative of the accused present at all. The accused is not shown all or any of the “evidence” and does not know what charges to fight against. Even teenagers or adults are “excused” from testifying in the presence of the accused due to their “trauma” which has still not yet been proven. And we are back to the 1980s witch-hunts.

Of course they may get a fair trial or hearing in Beis din but they have already been branded. Child abuse becomes such a horrific battle cry which creates such a din that no other voice can be heard. When a person is immediately called an "alleged rapist" or "alleged pedophile" nobody ever seems to hear the "alleged" part. 

This is Midas Ha-Din. And I have seen it all!

In a large way, this activity is perpetrated by the altruistic child abuse advocates – people like Manny Waks, Michelle Meyer, Meyer Seewald, Shana Aaronson, Genendy Eisgrau-Radoff, Fiona Sweet-Formiatti, and Lia Veffer (I am assuming that all of them were molested). They actually are truly victims. They know how it feels to see a predator get away. They honestly mean well. BUT… the minute they step out of bounds and push for unsanctioned methods, they have crossed the line from victim to predator.

But this isn’t the half of it.

You may be thinking that this only relates to the “white” zone – the truly innocent suspects which we all agree will be a relatively small group. Not quite.

This relates much more to the “grey zone” – those suspects that may be guilty of some inappropriate behavior but nothing close to what they are being accused of or prosecuted for. This relates to what I wrote in this post about “degrees of abuse” and it was repeated in this one (Conditions 5 and 6).

At one end of the spectrum is the very light grey, whereas a person did a touch or grasp (“blew in her ear”) with absolutely no vile intent and yet it is misconstrued as something sexual. People have been raked over the coals in such cases for absolutely nothing!

Then the spectrum moves to the much darker shades of grey (50 of them?) where someone may have done something even with a lewd intent but it wasn’t anything particularly invasive. Or perhaps something even a bit more serious, but ultimately, even this is portrayed as something that exceeds beyond what they actually did. Thus, while the predator is often truly “guilty” of something, it is not necessarily of what they are accused.

In the Leifer case, assuming that what she did, despite being traumatic and destructive (if true), was nothing Halachically criminal – then she did nothing Halachically criminal. This may be quite unfair to the victim but the honest person must stay within the rules. The predator violates them. To be portrayed as a Lesbian, pedophile, child rapist, and to press for charges along those lines when none of these things actually apply is not a “technicality”. It is slander. The Chofetz Chaim says this expressly. He does not consider one letter of his work a technicality.

Finally, we enter the black zone. Yes, of course, many if not most suspected offenders are truly guilty as charged and have done horrific damage. But, no man (or woman) is an island. Every person is somebody’s son or daughter and may be somebody’s mother or father, wife or husband, sister or brother. Even if the offender is definitely guilty and has it all coming to him, his friends and relatives are not quite as guilty.

Thus, even when they deserve no mercy, their parents or children do. Here again, I am with everybody that protecting potential victims is priority one. However, if it can be carried out in quieter, subtler ways that leave potential victims protected and do not inflict the collateral damage to other innocents, it is incumbent upon us to take that route. This is even if it is more complicated than just calling in the cops and locking them up. I wrote about it at length in this post.

Thus, especially in situations of incest, we hear stories of abused wives and children who are actual victims, begging the rabbanim and powers that be to keep things quiet and not to take extreme measures because taking the high-end prosecution route will do a lot more damage than it will fix. Yet, quite often these do-gooder advocates push for “the maximum” for altruistic reasons and they wind up doing the maximum damage. Atzat Hayetzer!

I have a hunch that this can explain Genendy. Why did Genendy’s family shun her? I am speculating that it was not because nobody else thinks there was an abuser in the family. I think it is because the family felt that it was not in their best interest for this to be brought out into the open. For the sake of the family, let things stay as they are even if we are at risk. But Genendy insisted on doing it anyway.

This is Genendy … and her friends.

Victim-Turned-Predator (VTP) – Type C – Financial

I am sure nobody wants to hear this and perhaps everyone saw it coming. This is a victim who turns around and abuses an organization or individual who is not responsible for their ordeal and sues for compensation.

There is not much to elaborate upon here. Obviously, a victim feels hurt and betrayed and has a natural feeling that, “Somebody needs to pay for this.” There is no question that if the offender inflicted damage, be it physical or emotional or whatever, there are grounds to sue him or her for the damages or restitution in a Beis din or perhaps even in a secular court (I am not advocating this – just sayin’). But – gezel and arayos are a person’s lusts. For the first offender it may be arayos but for the second (the victim), it may be gezel.

The victim tends to feel if they can’t get compensation from the true offender they will find someone else. But they must get their due. Ess kimpt mir – I am entitled to it.  

The Yetzer Hara is telling the victim, “Go on. You deserve it. Get some revenge and cash in this world... [so you will get nothing in the next]". And, as such, he transforms the victim into a financial predator.

Do not listen to him. Please. He is the worst molester that there is. And he is looking for vulnerable people to be his next victim. Don't be a victim twice.

Watch out! Listen to me. You probably do not think so but I am your friend. I am the voice of Torah (or so I claim). The Torah is your friend. More than you think. Stay within the Halachic boundaries. Without the Torah, you are one of "them". Don’t play with mesira. Don’t play with gonev ish and lo tasgir. The Chofetz Chaim is your friend. He wants you to live good long days. Listen to him. If you can sue in E”Y go ahead. But don’t cross any big red lines. It won’t be worthwhile. You will lose far more than you gain.

Don’t listen to Manny and Genendy and Fiona and Michelle and Lia. They are not your friends. They are victims turned predators. Don’t become one as well.

סור מרע ועשה טוב, בקש שלום ורדפהו.


So, at the end of the day (and it really is the end of the day), we have learned about three types of victims-turned-predators. Type A, Type B, And Type C.

Which of these deserves the most rachmanus?

The overwhelming consensus is that a Type A VTP (Sexual) deserves no rachmanus at all. For sure, the Type B (Judicial) and Type C (Financial) VTPs believe that the Type A deserves no rachmanus at all.

Likewise, the masses have an outpouring of rachmanus for the Type B and Type C VTP.

I am a very strange creature. I see the world upside down. I believe that the Type A VTP deserves as much rachmanus as is possible under the circumstances. The Type B and Type C VTPs much less so.

Anybody else in my corner? Anyone??

Genendy wrote:

    Some of you see us as victims.

    Some see us as perpetrators.

    We are neither. –

Genendy, I beg to differ. You are both!



Someone said...

And your to'eles for sippur lashon hara here is?

Yechezkel said...

And your toeles for malshinus/mesira to goyim is?

Anonymous said...

You may want to speak with RabbiAron Feldman, Rabbi Moshe Heinaman,or just about anyone else in the baltimore community. Genendy is a liar. None of her eleven siblings or dozens of her adult first cousins or thousands of adult students of her acused have ever believed her. She claims to have been raped by a gang of bochurim, her father, and grandfather. The one who did probably abuse her, Rabbi Barry Freundel (her Misader Kidushin) is in jail. She never wrote about him. So you are more correct then you thought. She is a preditor.

Renee said...

You dont convince me at all. Unlike yourself i have no need for wordy barely believable monologues claiming to originate in a legal religion -or religious law.
I question deeply your need for this stance. I feel you harbour latent predatory leanings yourself. Clearly.