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George Morris on the SS list

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  • Originally posted by Cat Tap View Post

    I attended an instructor's clinic 40 years ago that was most educational and without any verbal abuse.
    I wonder if we were at the same one? Connecticut. He fell off of a lesson horse that stopped at a pole on the ground.

    *****
    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

    Comment


    • i keep seeing people talking about whether the victims were willing or not, or whether or not they were at or above the age of consent. i won't say none of that matters, but the bigger point is that regardless of whether or not they were willing or "of age", it was abuse of power.

      edit: i'm not saying that abuse of power is worse than sexually abusing a minor, but even if those minors were of consenting age and were willing partners, it's STILL abuse of power

      Comment


      • Well it finally happened, I had to unfriend someone on fb for being on the ISWG side. It was my instructor from when I was a teen. I’m absolutely disgusted, and more than a little bit heartbroken.

        Comment


        • Some of these comments are interesting. No one is obligated to speak to the public about any involvement in the investigation. I’m shocked people feel they have a right to know every little detail and the person is either lying if they don’t share or not living up to some moral obligation that people think they should have.

          Safe Sport closely follows civil procedures not criminal. Because of this I do not understand why attorneys on here are trying argue these investigations using the same measuring stick for criminal trials. One can be acquitted murder and still lose the civil suit brought forth by the families.

          We have long read on here about how there are many in the horse world who are unprofessional. I am fascinated by the rejection of the MAAP policies that are forcing the industry professionals to be more professional.

          I don’t think Safe Sport is perfect but I do think they are doing a good job tweaking their process and procedures on their own. It’s not having blind faith in the system. It is trusting the system and realizing no one cares if it’s not a BNT or someone outside the H/J. It’s realizing so many people are so outraged by putting in place guidelines to protect minors that they will work with convicted child molesters to “overhaul Safe Sport” because it’s unfair that even people with convictions should be allowed to participate.

          I am amazed at the lengths people are going to make their point that this is a bad thing, all while being shocked and lamenting how unprofessional the horse industry can be at times. I am also amazed at the lack of moral compass people have that they need to be told and have rules that say sex with minors is against the rules. That they need to be told abusing one’s positional authority is against the rules. I am shocked that people belong to professional organizations that can and do exactly what Safe Sport can and does, yet because horses, it’s the worst thing in the world.

          The outrage on moral grounds because of criminal laws at the time, the perceived social norms of the times, and the insistence that civil rulings are unfair and unconstitutional make me a staunch supporter of Safe Sport. People clearly need it in their lives.

          Comment


          • McGurk I do not need a history lesson but maybe someone else will benefit from your effort.
            You misunderstood my post.

            Comment


            • sixteenhands

              My apologies. I went back and reread; and your post can be read two ways - one supporting the idea that Conrad somehow has a obligation to talk about his time with George, and another critiquing a poster who simultaneously named Conrad and shamed another poster for naming him.

              You clearly meant the latter, I read it as the former.

              Sorry for the unnecessary history, it shouldn't have been directed at you.

              I stand by my position that Conrad doesn't owe anyone a public statement; it's his choice and his alone to speak in favor of or against his old mentor or to speak about his experiences.

              Based on my own experience of revealing abuse; these demands for details are highly suspicious - the requester then gets to poke and prod and examine and critique the story, and invariably some victim shaming and "it wasn't that bad' creeps in. Or the story is that bad and the requester's prurient interest is satisfied and they get to do some pearl clutching. Neither scenario is helpful to the victim.
              Last edited by McGurk; Aug. 23, 2019, 11:58 AM.
              The plural of anecdote is not data.

              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.
                A great question!

                Full disclosure: I can't see how anyone standing in the same room as a girl getting "done to" as these girls were with the doctor's back blocking their view had no clue whatsoever. And I'm not claiming to assume that there were other signs and bits of context that would have made these parents able to believe what they were seeing. But I am incredulous.

                That said, I do think that people's life experience, ambition for themselves or their kid, their sense that one should trust authority, their idea that "it might be weird... but this is a small price to pay for a kid who would have a shot at a professional athlete career" can color vision.

                And none of this goes to the fact that there *were* people who spoke up with varying degrees of vigor or evidence or whatever, and yet a critical mass of people with power continued to do little enough as to allow Nasser to continue. If I'm incredulous (but open-minded) about the experiences of the parent in the room while their children were molested, than I'm even more intensely sad and outraged for the people who "bucked the system" (that kept a pedophile in place!) and said what they saw and went against the tide to say that is was not right.

                My wish is for no one who stands up for those who are being exploited to have to battle a tidal wave of denial. And, to be clear, that comes from near people (say, other teammates' parents) to cultural ideas (the Lolita abbreviation for, really, a girl that cannot exist since she doesn't or be accorded the power to "seduce" an adult at all), to a justice system that has done a very bad job of putting the brakes on what clearly is criminal behavior.

                That people "Stand with George" or hate SafeSport doesn't mean much, except that it's never smooth and elegant when those who used to have power (translated in the case of sexual predators into freedom from accountability), have some taken back from them. I think this is akin to how racial- and sexual discrimination have been very slowly and arduously exposed for what they are: bases for subjugating classes of people in one fell swoop.

                And now, in some parts of the "civilized world" we have the "Joe Biden phenomenon"-- a guy who honestly doesn't see himself as sexist or racist (heck, he served under a black man who was his equal or, more likely, his better). And here this nice guy is commenting in public, from a position of power on the smell of a woman's hair or calling a black Senator "boy," with naivete and assumed impunity. Meh, he's getting schooled now in an unfortunately way because his privileged position never did that education before.

                So that's why I'm writing to and about the by-standers to this who find want to be historically sensitive to changing morés. To them, I point out that there is no such thing as a disinterested account of history, no matter how well one adheres to only the documentable facts. What is at stake is deciding which side of history you want to be on. You can "Joe Biden" it-- be a really decent person who "stands with" a sexual predator. But I advise against it, and I for one will name that when I see it.

                I'm also writing to point out to those who dislike the blunt instrument of SafeSport that they also probably would not have liked being there for, say, the end of school segregation as dictated by the Supreme Court. But so what? Had those with power who were misusing it been more gracious and contrite about giving some of that back, it would not have come to these large, imperfect institutions to get the job done. But, lacking a critical mass of local adults who actively put a stop to exploitation when and where they saw it, this was what is was going to take. And another "meh"-- when, in history, did a group that had enjoyed privilege ever just hand any of that back? Nah, they usually leave claw marks. I think that's just what we are seeing now.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post

                  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.
                  And here's the thing: When we stop punishing victims for having been victimized in this particular way (being a victim of a sex crime as opposed to, say, embezzlement), they will come forward with greater regularity. But they didn't get to this spot of wanting to stay silent by themselves. All of the on-looking witnesses who did nothing or worse were complicit in making victims somehow participants or deserving of their misfortune, all of those "decent but did nothing" people were complicit.
                  Last edited by mvp; Aug. 10, 2019, 08:59 AM.
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Midge View Post

                    I wonder if we were at the same one? Connecticut. He fell off of a lesson horse that stopped at a pole on the ground.
                    No, Toronto, no drama of any kind that day.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by vagabondrider View Post

                      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.
                      I would call Michael Hart, Sr. "groomed" by George Morris and, I'd say, the rest of the horsing industry to be willing to send his kid off to live and ride with this King-Maker of a trainer. I can't imagine the guilt this guy has felt for sending his son into harm's way when, as a father, his one job was *not* to do that, and to advocate for his son... as he thought he was doing. It would be great if the guilt-- and even better the reining in of pedophiles-- were more widely distributed. I don't think we should tolerate an industry where the crimes of some are "open secrets" that no one pays for, save the handful of victims and their parents who get directly hurt.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat

                      Comment


                      • There is so much secrecy in this business. Drugging of horses, selling of horses, buying of horses, lack of disclosure of so much - it is supportive of don't tell or... Everyone feels it eventually. So then you're a young person treated wrongly/secretly- what do you do?

                        Comment


                        • Homfeld is mentioned and praised in Unrelenting. Homfeld is described in a particularly complimentary fashion, but not directly quoted as an interview subject or solicited for a written blurb.

                          Holmfeld has his own legacy and sanity to protect, and given the current public conversation, silence is certainly understandable.

                          I admit when I purchased the book when it came out, I enjoyed the superficial discussion of riding culture, the Maclay when it was still held in Madison Square Garden, and a few other bits and pieces of early 20th century horse culture, but looking over it now, so much of it seems very disturbing, not just the bits that shook me when I first read it. It has a very self-justifying tone, reading between the lines.
                          Check out the latest Fortune's Fool novel, Courage to the Sticking Place!

                          Comment


                          • At ages 13-18, in some ways I was pretty mature and capable of stepping up and doing an outstanding job at some things. But at the same time, I was self conscious, felt a bit socially awkward and had some self-esteem issues. Peer pressure absolutely guided some of my decisions. I think I was pretty normal. I worked on the racetrack from my mid teens into my early 20s, and totally had a few cases of hero-worship of people who were just outstanding with horses, mostly riders and trainers. Never mind they did drugs, or were raging alcoholics, or were a bit (or a lot) on the mean side. No one took advantage of me, but I can see how an aspiring junior rider would be susceptible to a predator. And as a parent who raised 3 kids into adulthood, I see how they also went through similar personal issues in the transition from child to adult. As a late teen, you want to be free of parental supervison, you want to say, "I got this" and accomplish things on your own. A kid that is not getting into trouble, not doing drugs or drinking, appears to be working hard, what's not to trust? Unfortunately, it's the adult who is tasked with supervision who was not to be trusted. That can blindside many people.
                            "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Figment View Post
                              There is so much secrecy in this business. Drugging of horses, selling of horses, buying of horses, lack of disclosure of so much - it is supportive of don't tell or... Everyone feels it eventually. So then you're a young person treated wrongly/secretly- what do you do?
                              Time for the "See something, say something" rule to come into play. And it ought to start with the old and the rich so that the young'ns who are more vulnerable aren't asked to shoulder the burden of having to buck an entire system of denial just to keep themselves safe. And you are right, and we see this all the time: Buyers/sellers getting ripped off in horse deals and not using all means to nail the dishonest horse traders; people justifying the use of drugs that "won't test" as though those did not actually violate part of the USEF's D&M rules (if anything is used with the intention of "enhancing performance" it's illegal); to COTHers advising one another to "just pay the 30 days and leave now" rather than holding the BO to his/her contractual obligation to provide agreed-upon care for the horse.

                              Not cool. Or, perhaps, cool if you can afford all that and can make your peace with knowing you were paying to be cheated in your optional hobby. I think that's a joy-sucking proposition, so I really do my best to avoid anyone who would do business in a way that means I might have to bend over and take cheating AND keep their secret for them.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                              • Yes MVP. So Susie or Johnny at age 11 is starting to learn about what you describe and may ask why doesn't someone say or do something to the trainer that misrepresented my new pony who is naughty and lame in the right hind. Answer to child is well, there isn't anything we can do or say about it, so we'll figure out what we can use to make pony not naughty and not lame. Child says well same thing happened to my friend who just bought a pony, or my older friend that bought a jr. horse - well parents/trainer say- nothing can be said or done about it. We would be ostracized. No one would want to do business with us. Then child's trainer becomes inappropriate while at barn and shows unattended by parent. It is so obvious to me how chidren/juniors come up in the sport with warped principles, or inability to implement right practices. Disclosure seems impossible.

                                Comment


                                • It is not just our sport. We need SafeSport.
                                  please take the time to listen to this victims video and read the story. I’m struck by the similarities to of “position of power” th the George Morris case



                                  http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/sto...ormer-olympian

                                  Comment


                                  • Commenting in the DISTINCT minority on a friend’s page.....with discussion on the Dover post. Lots of the usual It was different then. My simple response was that for many commenting “It was 50 years ago..” I said that 50 years ago I was assaulted and for me it feels like yesterday. I’m going to OUT the person who argued with me, blocked me and commented GFY. Nice play, Susan Steeves from Aiken. Edited to again give my real name. I am Sarah Hochschwender and I don’t hide anymore. iIt”s only fair to give my name, which is better than Steeves gave me.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Woodsperson View Post
                                      Yes, he is on the Safe Sport list, but USEF has not updated its records yet. He has also put out a statement denying all accusations and stating that he will fight it.
                                      BTW, USEF, why did George Morris get to use your e-mail list of all members for the purposes of spin control?

                                      Anyone know how that happened? That does not look to me like even-handed behavior from an organization that works for it's membership, not one guy, and an organization that should really stay out of the business of aiding or hindering SafeSport's mission at all.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                        Time for the "See something, say something" rule to come into play. And it ought to start with the old and the rich so that the young'ns who are more vulnerable aren't asked to shoulder the burden of having to buck an entire system of denial just to keep themselves safe. And you are right, and we see this all the time: Buyers/sellers getting ripped off in horse deals and not using all means to nail the dishonest horse traders; people justifying the use of drugs that "won't test" as though those did not actually violate part of the USEF's D&M rules (if anything is used with the intention of "enhancing performance" it's illegal); to COTHers advising one another to "just pay the 30 days and leave now" rather than holding the BO to his/her contractual obligation to provide agreed-upon care for the horse.

                                        Not cool. Or, perhaps, cool if you can afford all that and can make your peace with knowing you were paying to be cheated in your optional hobby. I think that's a joy-sucking proposition, so I really do my best to avoid anyone who would do business in a way that means I might have to bend over and take cheating AND keep their secret for them.
                                        Sadly, the horse world has long been “see something, whisper something”.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                          BTW, USEF, why did George Morris get to use your e-mail list of all members for the purposes of spin control?

                                          Anyone know how that happened? That does not look to me like even-handed behavior from an organization that works for it's membership, not one guy, and an organization that should really stay out of the business of aiding or hindering SafeSport's mission at all.
                                          From what I understand, he used Phelps’ email list and other purchased horse-related lists, not USEFs. Many USEF members didn’t receive it.

                                          Comment

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