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George Morris on the SS list

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  • In other related news... the ISWG Facebook group now has caught on that many have joined the group to observe the reactions, and what sort of statements many professionals are making in the wake of this ban.

    They are are now requiring people who want to join to answer questions, and anyone who expresses dissent on key issues is getting identified and booted out of the group. More than one friend who is in it (I’m not) asked me to remind others on this thread and following this issue to try and remember that not everyone who is in that group is actually a GM supporter, or anti Safe Sport.

    Additionally though, the public comment on Kristin Hardin’s page has been removed. And the public comments Sarah Naslin Mir made on her own Facebook page have also been removed.

    The public post on Susan Hutchison’s page indicting that it is interesting to see who does and doesn’t stand with George has over 120 comments. And noticeable people who have been publicly silent about “standing” with GM are specifically called out as possibly being directly responsible for the SS ban, and are “hoping no one notices.”

    Hopefully folks who are on the inside of the ISWG group will report to Safe Sport any particularly egregious comments that amount to a concerted effort to bully or harass known or suspected victims, or folks who are suspected of cooperating with the investigation. This is all a bit insane.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post

      Really? You think I am I underemployed? Lolololol. You repeatedly have declined to ask me about my credentials, as I offered, as you didn’t think I was an attorney at all until several people who know me IRL assured you I was, and then you didn’t care to follow up.

      If you want to arrange a conference call between me with you and your mysterious friends who do criminal and antitrust appeals to discuss this case, I would be happy to do that, just out of the principle of the matter. Please PM, my schedule is pretty open Friday.

      Still I know you won’t, because who cares about being accurate when you can spend your time attacking people for trying to help others, instead of jumping on the outrage and attack at all costs bandwagon. Neutral posts have to be against you, I guess. I am glad to say others have PMed me in support of my efforts to inform neutrally, people who you have made afraid to post openly.
      A general response to this..

      I (and others it would appear) find the law angle re SafeSport interesting and relevant, despite having no background in the law myself. I said so pages back in the thread. It never dawned on me at the time that perhaps I should have been pm-ing my support for these contributions. Maybe I'm just clueless but dang! That's discouraging.

      Regardless, I've been following along and I'm glad of the opportunity to explore one more side of the SafeSport conversation, even if it sometimes clobbers my brain : )
      Last edited by ohmyheck; Aug. 13, 2019, 02:02 AM.
      One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
      William Shakespeare

      Comment


      • Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post
        ohmyheck , thank you so much for your story and my condolences to you for the loss of your brother. Your story really struck a nerve. When a family's options are financially limited, you do tend to sweep things under the rug. Unfortunately you are left with unresolved questions that will never be answered.
        Thanks, and you're right, I've had to make peace with the fact that like many families, ours kept secrets that sadly went to the grave. I'm so sorry for your own harrowing story.

        Thank you Coreene for your kind words
        One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
        William Shakespeare

        Comment


        • ohmyheck I haven't the words, just thinking of you and how terrible this has been for you and how it was for your brother... Sending my best (albeit internet) hugs to you.

          It is time to put a stop to the abuse of children. Come on people, someone has to be the adult, that children who are being hurt and frightened, can look to for protection.
          Last edited by skydy; Aug. 13, 2019, 03:42 AM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post

            They are are now requiring people who want to join to answer questions, and anyone who expresses dissent on key issues is getting identified and booted out of the group.....

            And noticeable people who have been publicly silent about “standing” with GM are specifically called out as possibly being directly responsible for the SS ban, and are “hoping no one notices.”.....
            Oh my word. Yeah, there’s no irony at ALL in a group screaming “McCarthyism!!” and “WITCH-HUNT” now turning its efforts to rooting out heretics in their ranks. (Just a reminder — heretical in this case means daring to think that maybe GHM shouldn’t have molested all
            those boys for all those years...). Jesus wept. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad and disappointing.

            “NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!!”
            https://youtu.be/sAn7baRbhx4

            Comment


            • Originally posted by ohmyheck View Post

              A general response to this..

              I (and others it would appear) find the law angle re SafeSport interesting and relevant, despite having no background in the law myself. I said so pages back in the thread. It never dawned on me at the time that perhaps I should have been pm-ing my support for these contributions. Maybe I'm just clueless but dang! That's discouraging.

              Regardless, I've been following along and I'm glad of the opportunity to explore one more side of the SafeSport conversation, even if it sometimes clobbers my brain : )
              I think it's discouraging when someone offers a neutral legal perspective and suggestions to improve Safesport to make it more legally firm (when people ask for that), that people call them a supporter of child molesters. You can't ask for a lawyer's view and then get pissed because you don't think they are one sided enough and declare you don't care about the legal view. Or spend copious amounts of time posting on COTH and talking to your "scotus friends" but when someone takes you up on your direct conversation rant you are suddenly booked solid.

              I really understand how difficult it is to be neutral, but if we don't improve Safesport from that perspective then it will be full of holes that can be picked at, and instead of improving it, it becomes so weak and riddled with faults that it isn't effective. We want there to be no doubt. We want people to not argue and rant that it's a witch hunt because the system works so well.
              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • Originally posted by mvp View Post
                This is a wee little legal issue eddy; you all might want to scroll on by.

                fordtraktor




                So one of my original questions still remains-- why consider the USEF to be an organization devoted to fairly promoting "commerce" at all? In other words, if it were seen as something different, would the Sherman Act seem applicable at all? In fact, would any area of Antitrust law be applicable.

                I do understand that the argument behind my question would have to be convincingly made. And that's where I think the "heavy lifting" might come in-- you'd have to revise an old and established way of looking at an organization as it already been incorporated into the law.

                IMO, some parts of intellectual property law (e.g. patenting lengths of DNA and deciding what kind of thing DNA is) has the same problem... but weirder. All of intellectually property law is metaphysical and excellently weird.

                Allrightythen.
                Another good question. The Supreme Court uses the Necessary and Proper clause to interpret the breadth of how the Commerce Clause is applied, such that it includes things that have a “substantial effect” on Interstate commerce. No question under that precedent that a national organization regulating US equestrian sports would be engaging in activities with a “substantial effect on Interstate Commerce.”

                For more on the Commerce Clause and its history, look here:
                https://constitutioncenter.org/inter...tion8-commerce. Keep in mind that while Randy Barnett is a good scholar he is an originalist and conservative, and would prefer a narrower reading of the clauses than currently is done.

                you are right about IP law. The funny thing is that we always used to joke that every patent case ends up with an antitrust counterclaim!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post

                  I think it's discouraging when someone offers a neutral legal perspective and suggestions to improve Safesport to make it more legally firm (when people ask for that), that people call them a supporter of child molesters. You can't ask for a lawyer's view and then get pissed because you don't think they are one sided enough and declare you don't care about the legal view. Or spend copious amounts of time posting on COTH and talking to your "scotus friends" but when someone takes you up on your direct conversation rant you are suddenly booked solid.

                  I really understand how difficult it is to be neutral, but if we don't improve Safesport from that perspective then it will be full of holes that can be picked at, and instead of improving it, it becomes so weak and riddled with faults that it isn't effective. We want there to be no doubt. We want people to not argue and rant that it's a witch hunt because the system works so well.
                  Hundo P...!!!!!
                  (My adult kid's version of 100% lol I'm finally getting to use it : )

                  Your second paragraph precisely lays out that crucial part of the discussion so much better than me - outstanding! I got excited reading it.

                  Another point being that barring misinformation, don't we all have an equal voice around here? I guess I'll figure out the dynamic eventually.
                  Last edited by ohmyheck; Aug. 13, 2019, 10:45 AM. Reason: wordy
                  One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                  William Shakespeare

                  Comment


                  • It's strange as well that it has been said that exploring the other side's perspective (playing devil's advocate) makes you a terrible person or a sympathizer.

                    Like... what do you think an attorney is supposed to do in preparation for a defense? Get really good at repeating themselves louder and louder until they're heard, maybe learn to stomp their feet harder? Of course you want to know what the "devil" is going to bring to the table, so you can prepare.

                    Seems like some people are of the "because I am offended, you are WRONG and should be punished or be forced to pipe down" mindset that is a plague at the moment. Looks like some of the groups that made big waves - but with no rudder. "I don't agree with you, so you should stop talking." It's the way of the future!

                    Total aside - can someone who is a member of ISWG message me? I am interested if a local trainer is a member of the group - the individual has made a public statement in support of GM following the ban, so they aren't just a silent watcher. I have asked someone here to check for their name, and was told no (not sure why my request is such a problem, but whatever). I know I will be denied access to the group if I try to join as I have been quite vocal in my disagreements with Dover on FB.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by skydy View Post
                      ohmyheck I haven't the words, just thinking of you and how terrible this has been for you and how it was for your brother... Sending my best (albeit internet) hugs to you.

                      It is time to put a stop to the abuse of children. Come on people, someone has to be the adult, that children who are being hurt and frightened, can look to for protection.
                      Thanks so much skydy. I've never discussed any of these personal things within my real life circle. It would be too awkward and emotional. No way would I bring them up ever (shudder). I'd rather eat nails.

                      Seems weird to think that sharing such a thing here would be so cathartic but the anonymity is liberating. And COTH has provided such a soft, warm landing for everyone's difficult stories. Hats off to this place.

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

                      Comment


                      • The issue of reform for Safe Sport and the issue of George Morris being investigated and set down should be entirely separate and should never be held as one in the same issue; as they are in the facebook group.

                        Those who are posting in support/I Stand with George and hiding behind the claim that they want SS reform need to seriously take a cold, hard look at themselves and what they are claiming to "support".

                        Desiring and striving and working towards a better Safe Sport is 100% fine. There is always room for improvement. Those who honestly want that should get off the "I Support George' facebook page and start putting their time and efforts to the cause instead of posting slurry on a page supporting a child molester.

                        What I fail to understand is how hoards of people believe that George Morris was immune to Safe Sport? Just because he is George Morris means he did no wrong? just because he was a kind soul in passing and took a photo with you or accepted your money and taught you in a clinic suddenly makes him an angel? I am not denying that he is probably a very nice person who is very good at teaching riding and 99% of people's encounters with him were decent. But those factors do not outweigh his wrongs.

                        Friends of GM have posted in this thread. They have stated that they have always had kind dealings with him, great friendships. But they stand with the victims and believe that the lengthy, very lengthy, investigation proved the right result.

                        What I fail to understand is how thousands/hundreds of facebook groupies believe that GM was suddenly wronged by SS, that he had a failed process with SS? Is there proof of that, anywhere? I don't believe so. And they have gone so far as to publicly shame the victims on the page in order to fuel this false agenda.

                        I am fully aware that several of the known victims who played a part in reporting GM are not stellar people themselves in their adult lives. But let's rewind to their childhood years before their personal wrongs and put ourselves in their shoes. These are minors who were gifted in the saddle and had talent and loads of promise. They were not from the wealthiest of families and therefore probably couldn't reach the pinnacle of the sport without some influential people playing a role. GM identified their talent in their travels and invited them to Hunterdon to train. What an opportunity for a young rider! These young riders now had the opportunity to live and train and show with the premier trainer in the sport at the premier facility in the sport. they hit the jackpot. Now imagine wanting your dreams so badly that you would do anything to not risk losing it all. And you were being overseen and managed by a trainer who knew this, knew his power, knew his influence, and had the opportunity to "groom" said minors everyday, overtime. Take away the GM name and the minors name and this same scenario could play out in any barn in the country when parental oversight is non existent. And it has. It has happened in other sports and it happens behind closed door homes. It's just in this scenario one of the biggest names in the business was taken down. Now imagine how something like that could influence your life and wear on you for eternity.

                        I support those who want changes within safe sport on the basis that they are making their opinion based on the truths of safe sport and its processes. I do not support those who make judgement on hearsay and assumptions. I do not support those who shame the victims who finally opened their mouths to investigators and saved others from potential sexual misconduct and verbal abuse within the sport. I also do not support or condone those who are supporting a person who groomed children for sexual pleasure based on hearsay and assumptions. Newsflash: Sexual predators do not operate in the open. They keep their crimes hidden behind closed doors and have various tactics to keep their victims silenced. Just because you had a positive experience with a person does not mean they do not have a secret life behind the scenes.


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post

                          Sometimes that feels as bad as the abuse. I'm sorry that happened to you both. I remember telling my mother finally when I was in my 40's and she still stuck up for her brother. I stewed on that for a few years and haven't spoken to my mother in 8-9 years. Her response exponentially was worse.
                          To disbelieve a victim of sexual abuse is a form of betrayal. It's exceptionally painful when it's a parent trading in his/her comfort at not having to confront that the atrocity happened to their beloved child and that, now, some kind of messy, contentious, potentially shame-inducing and losing action is required.

                          To me, that is why SafeSport, as well as the whole #MeToo movement is necessary. It helps survivors of sexual abuse. It also helps those confronted with it figure out that is it possible for them to take ethical action rather than de facto siding with the abuser to cover it up and leave the victim isolated.

                          This is a correction needed by "perfectly decent people" who find themselves doing the wrong thing in the face of having to stand up for a victim. That position needs to be made a more feasible one.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Figment View Post
                            It's self-control, right? A simple understanding of that, how you can get yourself in trouble, and appropriateness. But still circles back to SELF- CONTROL. Male, female, and on and on.
                            I'm not sure folks who study or live pedophilia will concur that it can merely be controlled via more self-discipline.

                            But that is a popular and pat suggestion made by people who are not pedophiles. With all due respect, I don't think you are qualified to say.

                            The same opinion regarding alcoholism has changed over time.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • I'm not in the H/J scene. To anyone's knowledge have any of GHM s sponsors dropped him or distanced themselves from him?

                              Usually, if there is any hint of scandal or impropriety, sponsors are quick to withdraw even when allegations have proved to be false.

                              "They'll be no butter in hell."

                              Comment


                              • snaffle1987 There are definitely some people whose own careers and professional relationships are so intertwined with his, even assuming they had no idea what was going on, there's clearly a personal motivation behind their support.

                                But for others, I agree there is this irrational notion that Morris is somehow the embodiment of a golden age of American riding and horse showing, at least among riders of a certain age, and if he is threatened, riding culture is threatened.

                                I am in no way equating this with what he is accused of, btw, but somewhat ironically, before he was placed on the banned list, I was having a conversation about training methods with another rider, and I brought up the the fact Morris once put thumbtacks on a rider's saddle (this is on video, and relatively recent, so there is no dispute he did this). "Well, he shouldn't have done that," I said, and I was told that he was just "being George," came from a different generation, and without him U.S. showjumping wouldn't be where it was.

                                I'm not a lawyer, so I can't speak to appropriate legal procedures, but one thing we can all do in our own lives is speak up when we believe something is wrong. Do research if we're not sure about a training method or practice, of course, but also trust our guts if something just seems fundamentally wrong.
                                Check out the latest Fortune's Fool novel, Courage to the Sticking Place!

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Impractical Horsewoman View Post
                                  snaffle1987 There are definitely some people whose own careers and professional relationships are so intertwined with his, even assuming they had no idea what was going on, there's clearly a personal motivation behind their support.

                                  But for others, I agree there is this irrational notion that Morris is somehow the embodiment of a golden age of American riding and horse showing, at least among riders of a certain age, and if he is threatened, riding culture is threatened.

                                  I am in no way equating this with what he is accused of, btw, but somewhat ironically, before he was placed on the banned list, I was having a conversation about training methods with another rider, and I brought up the the fact Morris once put thumbtacks on a rider's saddle (this is on video, and relatively recent, so there is no dispute he did this). "Well, he shouldn't have done that," I said, and I was told that he was just "being George," came from a different generation, and without him U.S. showjumping wouldn't be where it was.

                                  I'm not a lawyer, so I can't speak to appropriate legal procedures, but one thing we can all do in our own lives is speak up when we believe something is wrong. Do research if we're not sure about a training method or practice, of course, but also trust our guts if something just seems fundamentally wrong.
                                  I think most of the people standing with George think the whole ugly issue of sexual predation Is Not Their Problem.

                                  Honest to God, I think that's the pre-condition to all the other stated reasons they have. Either they don't know any people who have had their lives screwed up by being the victim of a sex crime (and, as we have seen in this thread, there's a whole cadre of people from victims to parents to business associates who help keep the secret); or they just don't want to have to open the whole can of worms about What To Do if we all finally did admit to *knowing* (to some extent) that things ranging from unethical to plainly illegal were happening around us.

                                  I don't think the cognitive dissonance is quite so bad as "Yeah, the guy rapes 13 year olds, but not my 13 year old and I made a lot of money selling his clients horses last year, so let's keep going with that." Rather, I think the relationship between those two thoughts is a bit less direct. And I'm not sure that anyone really thinks that the Golden Age of American riding hinges on keeping Morris enthroned in 2019 when the man is 81 years old. In fact, It think there are plenty of horsemen who, at the time, or belatedly, decided that Morris wasn't right about all points of horse- and rider-making. But that's not something to vilify someone over and there is the power differential between that BNT and a lesser-known pro, so everyone just went on their way if they disagreed. And I think there have been some talented, successful, well-respected horsemen who have been fixtures on the clinic circuit and active at the top of American show jumping who were seen as capable of carrying the torch. Of course this would happen when Morris retired or died, so I don't see how it can be argued that there is too, too much at stake for American Riding Culture At Large.

                                  If I am write, and the mass of people standing with George start with, "Meh, someone else can worry about kids getting victimized. I will find a way not to bother or get my hands dirty" then that's bad enough for me.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                    I'm not sure folks who study or live pedophilia will concur that it can merely be controlled via more self-discipline.

                                    But that is a popular and pat suggestion made by people who are not pedophiles. With all due respect, I don't think you are qualified to say.

                                    The same opinion regarding alcoholism has changed over time.
                                    There is one proven way to prevent the urge and action, and that is castration. Some pedophiles who dislike themselves, voluntarily become chemically castrated or completed castrated to remove the urge, and it has been proven in research to stop it completely. Of course, many pedophiles would rather risk a life in jail and ruining others lives, than losing their balls.
                                    Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post

                                      Another good question. The Supreme Court uses the Necessary and Proper clause to interpret the breadth of how the Commerce Clause is applied, such that it includes things that have a “substantial effect” on Interstate commerce. No question under that precedent that a national organization regulating US equestrian sports would be engaging in activities with a “substantial effect on Interstate Commerce.”

                                      For more on the Commerce Clause and its history, look here:
                                      https://constitutioncenter.org/inter...tion8-commerce. Keep in mind that while Randy Barnett is a good scholar he is an originalist and conservative, and would prefer a narrower reading of the clauses than currently is done.

                                      you are right about IP law. The funny thing is that we always used to joke that every patent case ends up with an antitrust counterclaim!
                                      Hey now...my area of law is not that weird. And yes, it conveys perfectly legal monopolies under a system we originally borrowed from the Crown.

                                      We may be getting too far in the weeds now. Sure, a NGB has an impact on commerce. But does it’s ability to ban an individual member who has done something in breach of the rules (and in this case with SS something the public has an interest in stopping) have an unreasonable anticompetitive effect? I don’t think so. Or else we’d have similar issues with reciprocity of sanctions among state bar associations, medical boards, etc.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post

                                        Another good question. The Supreme Court uses the Necessary and Proper clause to interpret the breadth of how the Commerce Clause is applied, such that it includes things that have a “substantial effect” on Interstate commerce. No question under that precedent that a national organization regulating US equestrian sports would be engaging in activities with a “substantial effect on Interstate Commerce.”

                                        For more on the Commerce Clause and its history, look here:
                                        https://constitutioncenter.org/inter...tion8-commerce. Keep in mind that while Randy Barnett is a good scholar he is an originalist and conservative, and would prefer a narrower reading of the clauses than currently is done.

                                        you are right about IP law. The funny thing is that we always used to joke that every patent case ends up with an antitrust counterclaim!
                                        I was going to post last night, but was tired. Anyway - I know the legal analysis is a side issue, but I really appreciate your perspective, and find it interesting. I’m pro Safe Sport... but my mind likes to understand potential challenges thoroughly.

                                        I took a great class eons ago in college - the economics and organization of different industries. It was taught by an economist who actually studied with Milton Friedman. It doesn’t get any more “free market” than that. Anyways, as part of the class we all picked an industry to study in detail (mine was the petroleum industry) and looked at concepts like monoplies, government regulation and antitrust laws, vertical integration, “tying”, etc. The Sherman Act and Interstate Commerce Clause was discussed in detail... especially for me in relation to the petroleum industry and it’s economic history (Standard Oil - and Rockefeller...).

                                        So I actually locked on quite a bit when you brought that up as a possible challenge to Safe Sport, and am glad you did. I loved these discussions in my program of study... it’s really an interesting area of the law and US economic history. I’m a bit of a nerd though. Beyond the basic economics of it though... I’m not educated enough to know how the law has been applied to private clubs, etc, and what sort of precedents might come into play.

                                        I do hope that if there is a way to tighten up language with respect to processes and policy, and prepare for an inevitable legal challenge... Safe Sport does so. Most organizations have room for improvement... there’s nothing wrong with that.

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                                        • IPEsq OTE=IPEsq;n10453418]

                                          Hey now...my area of law is not that weird. And yes, it conveys perfectly legal monopolies under a system we originally borrowed from the Crown.

                                          We may be getting too far in the weeds now. Sure, a NGB has an impact on commerce. But does its ability to ban an individual member who has done something in breach of the rules (and in this case with SS something the public has an interest in stopping) have an unreasonable anticompetitive effect? I don’t think so. Or else we’d have similar issues with reciprocity of sanctions among state bar associations, medical boards, etc. [/QUOTE]

                                          Totally going into the weeds here for a sec.

                                          Love, love, love the metaphysical weirdness of IP law. Love it that it can sometimes be hard to decide weather something is one one metaphysical category (say, an idea or text or pure information) or another (a molecule, a process, one expression of an idea among other (but non-existent) expressions of ideas); specifying just what makes something like a tune or a shape sufficiently different or identical in a non "Well..... I know it when I see it" BS kind of a way; people making analogies ("your brain is like a computer") in ways that are temporally backward at best and tautological at worst. Mmmm.... intellectually yummy issues!

                                          Ok, you old grumps, I'm back on your lawn and your topic.

                                          I can't imagine why it would be in the public interest to have someone found way, way in violation of professional standards in one state be allowed to set up shop in another.

                                          As I think I said way, way back, "Ah... the butt-hurt hue and cry of an industry feeling the hard heel of regulation for the first time." I have been an unregulated toddler, I don't like being reined in, either.

                                          Ours is not the first industry that has let internal badness get so bad that someone above/outside us has taken notice and come into do the policing that we have failed to do. But this is the era (thankfully) when so much exploitation via sexual harassment and worse is finally getting cleaned up.
                                          Last edited by mvp; Aug. 13, 2019, 10:15 AM.
                                          The armchair saddler
                                          Politically Pro-Cat

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