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George Morris on the SS list

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  • This is a "just sayin'" post, so you can scroll by if it's not of interest.

    But the remarks made by Micheal Hart, Sr, in the _New York Times_ article were heartbreaking to me, and, as a professional historian, worth a closer look.

    Mr. Hart is the father to one of the underage students that Morris had "imported" to his farm while a junior from Minnesota and proceeded to sleep with. Michael Hart, Jr. is dead; you can read about what a friend of Michael Hart, Jr. though the younger Mr. Hart had to say about it. But his dad was quoted this way:

    "'Michael was dazzled by him [Morris].' his father said, 'and to us, we thought 'This is an opportunity.' We had no idea. It's late and it's feeble justice."

    My remarks are directed at all the people who say "It was a different time" with any implication that that view of history should provide anyone with closure. Or rather, anyone who finds it necessary to go back and consider such old injustices is an unreasonable person. That point of view, I argue, is intellectually and ethically bullsh!t.

    Google "whig history" and see what that means in terms of justice and history. It is from a position of privilege that one doesn't have to care about the injustices done to other people, then or now. But it is not historiographically credible to foreclose subjects or points of view who had little power. It's not a credible use of historical investigation to produce "history of the winners" where any inspection of the past endorses the point of view of those in power in the present.

    To be clear, for all of the fun that the swingers had, it was not merely "a different time" for those who were not consenting to the kinds of sexual activity that was "accepted." I'd say that there is no sense in which one with little power "accepts" being sexually exploited or being coerced. Heck, if you are a minor (and the most flaming version of Lolita at that), you cannot legally give your own consent. For those victims, then, it was still harassment or molestation or abuse or rape or a life-changing event. That point of view was/is as real and as legitimate as any other. Those just not the one held by a "winner" in that moment or in this one. So anyone defending George Morris via whig history ought to be called out for what they are and what they are doing.

    And consider the other forms that this privileged, dismissal can take. A friend of mine has this remark or explanation (not sure which) to offer. "The parents were in on it. Anything for winning a ribbon. Some of them knew and didn't care." That's an easy, pat answer. (Though it does not describe what Micheal Hart Sr felt, so there is at least one parent out there who did not knowingly sign up for his son to sleep with the kid's mentor). What that kind of excusing explanation says to me is that, if true, kids need more adults that they can turn to if, it turns out, their parents are co-signing their sexual exploitation. I'll say that again for clarity: Parents being complicit in any way (moms in the room with Larry Nassar and their daughters while he was molesting them), doesn't actually exonerate the pedophile.

    And another point for clarity: All of this exploitation-- sexual in nature-- was also about a power differential between perp and victim. I cannot think of any reason that a credible historian ought be exploring the past in a way that serves to screw over that same disenfranchised group in the present, can you?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

    Comment


    • mvp that was a beautiful post. I was heartbroken by the father’s comment but hadn’t been able to process the feeling. Thanks for putting it into words.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by neigh View Post

        You have no right to mention someone's name who may or may not have been a victim. You have no sense of propriety!
        Shame on you.
        But you quoted the post containing his name. Shame on you.

        Comment


        • sixteenhands and neigh,

          Conrad and George had a professional and personal relationship. Their professional relationship was well known and mutually beneficial.

          I have no idea if their personal relationship went beyond friendship or mutual admiration and I don't particularly care.

          If Conrad chooses not to talk about it, that is absolutely his business and no one should criticize.

          However, claiming that somehow mentioning both of their names in the same sentence or acknowledging their professional relationship is "outing" is just silly.
          The plural of anecdote is not data.

          Comment


          • I don't see a problem with mentioning anyone's name who was at Hunterdon. It's no secret that Conrad was there. So was Michael Sasso, Francesca Mazzella, for that matter, and many others - see the names of many of the Eq winners of that era for a list. George names many of them in his book.

            Where the problem comes in is presuming to ask why they haven't made a statement and certainly it's improper to speculate if any one of them felt they were a "victim" or to imply that maybe any one of them was kinda, maybe, sorta not a victim at all. That's just vile. THEY WERE ALL JUNIORS and thus underage and unable to give consent if there was any consent needed.
            ETA the last clause. I was so annoyed, I hit enter too early.

            Comment


            • mvp Your post required some deep breaths on my part. You peeled the onion back and exposed the rot.

              Masterfully written
              One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
              William Shakespeare

              Comment


              • The thing that I find most heartbreaking is that people are literally foaming at the bit to take down the victims and to take down Sarah Nir, meanwhile one of the (now deceased) victim’s family members is thanking her. Shining a light on darkness is so important, yet it apparently brings out the worst in people. Horribly sad.

                On another note, am reading “Unrelenting”, which I purchased before this whole mess, and some of the things he has admittedly done are downright abhorrent. And I am not even 80 pages in. And he doesn’t express one bit of remorse for the things that he has done that are awful. Shocking.
                Last edited by erinmeri; Aug. 9, 2019, 09:06 PM. Reason: Grammar

                Comment


                • PS, in just the first 70-some-odd pages, the infractions range from drugging to polling with nails so big as to be remarkable (at the time) and hiding said pole so as not to be caught, to literally stealing a horse and then insulting it. There are myriad other infractions that would be ethically questionable as well. I am shocked that anyone would allow this to be published and be on record.

                  One other thing that stood out to me, and is more relavent to the topic at hand, is that he apparently had multiple relationships with “older” riders as a junior (both male and female). So that could point towards the cycle that has been alluded to here previously. Sad all around.
                  Last edited by erinmeri; Aug. 9, 2019, 10:20 PM. Reason: clarification, typos and added anecdote.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by mvp View Post
                    I'll say that again for clarity: Parents being complicit in any way (moms in the room with Larry Nassar and their daughters while he was molesting them), doesn't actually exonerate the pedophile.
                    Tangent.

                    Are you saying that the moms in the Nassar case were aware that he was molesting their daughters while they were in the room? It was my impression that a big reason he got away with it for so long was that he also had the parents fooled about his motives.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by neigh View Post

                      You have no right to mention someone's name who may or may not have been a victim. You have no sense of propriety!
                      Shame on you.
                      I think you’re being overly sensitive. It’s common knowledge that Conrad is perhaps George’s most famous and successful protege, an Olympic medalist, and one of the talented kids from modest means who went to live with George. It’s only logical that his opinion would be sought and deemed relevant to this issue. As they used to say in the 60’s, “ inaction IS an action.” If he knows something, he should speak up as a matter of principle. Perhaps he has to investigators. With great power comes great responsibility, Spider-Man.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by MHM View Post
                        Tangent.

                        Are you saying that the moms in the Nassar case were aware that he was molesting their daughters while they were in the room? It was my impression that a big reason he got away with it for so long was that he also had the parents fooled about his motives.
                        Right. He did a vaginal “adjustment.” Parents in the room would have no clue.
                        A helmet saved my life.

                        2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                        Comment


                        • I'm sure he did speak to investigators. No one has an obligation to speak publicly to satisfy the mob. It is as wrong to bully people to step forward as it is to bully them to remain silent.
                          Let me apologize in advance.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post

                            Right. He did a vaginal “adjustment.” Parents in the room would have no clue.
                            Thanks.

                            And also. Ugh.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                              I'm sure he did speak to investigators. No one has an obligation to speak publicly to satisfy the mob. It is as wrong to bully people to step forward as it is to bully them to remain silent.
                              I disagree. I think one has a moral obligation to tell the truth and take a stand. With his performance record, he’s hardly a shrinking violet, and I highly doubt he feels bullied.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by MHM View Post

                                Thanks.

                                And also. Ugh.
                                I just finished Believed, NPR’s EXCELLENT in-depth podcast on the Nassar case. I highly recommend it if you can stomach it. They did a great job of illustrating how beloved he was, and how hard it was for even some of the survivors to come around to the idea that he was a predator. A lot of it rang very familiar.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by flofleming View Post

                                  I disagree. I think one has a moral obligation to tell the truth and take a stand. With his performance record, he’s hardly a shrinking violet, and I highly doubt he feels bullied.
                                  You do not know that he has not spoken to the appropriate people charged with investigating.

                                  No one is obligated to speak publicly. As I said much earlier it is not a testament to our community that several of Rob Gage's victims felt the need to step forward and publicly out themselves and their role in the investigation in an effort to stem the tide of insanity.

                                  It didn't work anyway.

                                  Let me apologize in advance.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by 541hunter View Post

                                    I just finished Believed, NPR’s EXCELLENT in-depth podcast on the Nassar case. I highly recommend it if you can stomach it. They did a great job of illustrating how beloved he was, and how hard it was for even some of the survivors to come around to the idea that he was a predator. A lot of it rang very familiar.
                                    I may have listened to it. Was it linked on a previous thread? And they talked to several different people, including one of his earliest victims?

                                    I do think his case shows one of the flaws in the MAAP guidelines. If the parents can grant permission for exceptions to the rules, wouldn’t they have done so without a second thought in Nassar’s case? Parents can be fooled, too.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post

                                      Right. He did a vaginal “adjustment.” Parents in the room would have no clue.
                                      digital manipulation of the internal pelvic muscles (via the vagina) is a legitimate modality of pelvic floor dysfunction. I have just gone through this and it took me from being barely able to set my core muscles to breaking a state record in my sport in two months. Nassar exploited a legitimate PT modality for his own jollies. Having a parent present ( particularly a woman, who would understand the justification of her presence) added legitimacy to his perversion and they would be none the wiser.
                                      _\\]
                                      -- * > hoopoe
                                      Procrastinate NOW
                                      Introverted Since 1957

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by MHM View Post

                                        I do think his case shows one of the flaws in the MAAP guidelines. If the parents can grant permission for exceptions to the rules, wouldn’t they have done so without a second thought in Nassar’s case? Parents can be fooled, too.
                                        That was my greatest concern about MAAP too. A lot of what Nassar did still could have happened while following MAAP (eg parents present in the room, giving permission for exceptions to the rules). Watching Leaving Neverland on HBO, it is clear that the parents were aware of and allowed their sons to stay in Michael Jackson’s hotel rooms & be alone with him at Neverland. As many people have pointed out earlier in the thread, parents are groomed too, not just minors.

                                        Comment


                                        • I guess my thinking is that the situation Nassar exploited (respected medical professional perverting a technique) is relatively rare. MAAP isn’t going to prevent every abuse situation ever, but it certainly gives some guidelines for boundaries a responsible, well-intended adult would respect in interactions with minors, especially those they have power over. If it’s not considered normal for a coach to stay overnight in a hotel with a minor, or to communicate with them privately like a friend might, etc., it makes it easier to put up a red flag when grooming behavior occurs.

                                          Abusers rely on those kinds of situations seeming normal to hide their true intentions. Nassar just had an extra layer of “normal” to hide behind where the girls were used to acquiescing to whatever a doctor does or says.

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