(I wrote this in the comments for the last post but I figured it really deserved its own post)
There is a proven four-step method to spinning any scandal that arises in fundamentalism. Observe these well and no scandal is too large, no outrage to unbearable, no offense is too great to be withstood.
1. Admit the problem in terms that make it seem trivial. Concede that “everything wasn’t perfect” or that “yes, we have a few problems.” That problem may be anything from grand larceny to a double homicide but hey nobody’s perfect, right? We all have our little mistakes. AND YOU’RE NOT PERFECT EITHER!
2. Defend the man involved. He’s a good man. He’s God’s man. He’s a great man. He’s our man. Quote his years in the ministry and the personal impact he’s had on your life as you’ve spent your whole life knowing him. (If the man in question happens to be a woman you won’t be defending her anyway so the point is moot.)
3. Claim that there is more hidden information yet to be learned that will cast this situation in a totally different light. “There are facts about this that have yet to be made know, and once they are that child porn found on our pastor’s computer will have a perfectly reasonable explanation.” Do this even if the rock solid evidence so far is completely damning. Even if this alleged information never surfaces assure everyone that you know someone who knows someone who knows there’s more to the story.
4. Circle the wagons. Invoke a defense of the faith, God, Liberty, and the American way. Make defending your man an issue of defending against liberalism, Communism, and everything evil. Insinuate that everyone who doesn’t defend him is 1)bitter 2)jealous or 3)a member of the Illuminati.
Note these steps well. These arguments happen the same way every single time.
75 thoughts on “Spinning Scandals”
“My method is honest and straightforward confrontation of a proven, defiant error. Their method is backroom deals and a righteous facade in public, as they re-tell an event and leave out the core of the truth of the matter.”
You and Camille have a more studied understanding of the methods of fundies in general. I just know the methods that were used against those I know. The method in their case was: stopping actual discussion of ideas with the person involved and taking what had already been said and publicizing it with a preface that skews people’s interpretation of that conversation – and publicizing it so far and fast that the people involved never had any hope of picking up the pieces, even if they had tried. In their case, the end result was good. They got out.
So it’s anecdotal. You’re definitely informed about the movement on a much larger scale than I am.
I did not skew perception. I presented what he actually said, in context with my replies.
It was Phelps and Trinity who skewed perception when they presented Willis as having had a consensual affair, and then presented his victim as having been a willing participant in sex, never saying she’d been raped or that he had raped her, and then kept him at the church and sent her away.
Matzko came onto my Facebook page, a public arena, and brazenly planted his flag. This was NOT a private discussion we had. He came into a PUBLIC internet page, the most public place of all: a Facebook public discussion, and just had to spout his contempt for the point of view of demanding accountability in the church’s leadership. What I am doing is ensuring that he cannot skulk away. He can apologize. But his contempt for human decency and compassion on a child is not going to be covered up.
The Bible is never wrong—Be SURE your sin will find you out.
In light of this story, and a few others like it, I suggest the following article. It is long but worth it. Sorry, I don’t know how to hyperlink.
Actually, it seems I do know how. 😉
“…just had to spout his contempt for the point of view of demanding accountability in the churchâ€™s leadership” This is where our perceptions differ, and the whole reason I even brought it up in the first place, which I probably shouldn’t have. He’s not saying the church isn’t morally accountable. His comments appear to be solely addressing the court issues from a detached perspective. They’re offhand and poorly researched, but they don’t sound contemptuous or defensive of Phelps at all.
But I seem to be in the minority in my interpretation. I feel like I did when I was trying to learn to see those magic eye posters. Everyone says “It’s a dolphin” but I just keep seeing static.
“It was Phelps and Trinity who skewed perception when they presented Willis as having had a consensual affair, and then presented his victim as having been a willing participant in sex, never saying sheâ€™d been raped or that he had raped her, and then kept him at the church and sent her away.”
This is irrefutable, and is the real point. I wasn’t trying to distract from that, and I’m sorry that I did. I’ll stop here now.
You do know, yes, that this is a legit perspective? I mean, we don’t all have to see the same way. And I don’t think you need to apologize either. ::shrug::
It’s cool. 🙂
Well, Matzko just apologized.
WOW! So happy to hear that. I can’t see your wall, btw. Don’t know if your settings are intended to be public or not…?
And….he just put his foot in his mouth AGAIN. Unbelievable!
It’s on my blog page in text:
And I have screen shots here:
Bassenco, the ‘see more’ on FB is still hidden and we’re only seeing part of the conversation.
This is why I get upset: The following is true and I deleted the names because I wanted to. I’m sure the more curious can find the story easily. Thankfully, the judge threw the book at this guy and he’s still in prison.
Baptist minister sentenced to 60-120 years for child sex abuse. : A Baptist minister was sentenced Wednesday to 60 to 120 years in prison for sexually abusing two younger, female relatives, prosecutors said. ______________, 47, formerly of 21 ___________, pleaded guilty to 46 felony sexual assault charges from _________ and __________ counties, Deputy _______ County Attorney __________ said Thursday. _________ never headed any church, but he worked as a minister running special programs, sometimes including youth programs. He formerly served at the ________ Baptist Church in ________and _________ Baptist in ________. He also served at various Baptist churches ______, _______ and ______. ________ kept moving his family every time suspicious of his sexual abuse surfaced. Church officials were made aware of the abuse and hushed it up at least three times, he said. “Over the years there were numerous occasions where the defendant was caught and confronted by others for his acts. He would engage in a routine of crying, apologizing, engaging in prayer … and of course promising never to do it again. And of course, each time, he did it again,”. —
Actually, this is one of the man “techniques of neutralization” employed by those who are defending criminal/abusive conduct by clergy, and has been well-documented in Anson Shupe’s “Rogue Clerics”
This is almost an exact copy of Deming’s Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle:
Plan – Head the problem off at the pass by minimizing it
Do – Provide a defense of said MOg
Study – Gather (or fabricate) evidence exonerating the target, or condemning the accuser
Act – Circle the wagons and go on the offensive
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Deming (a very Godly man by all accounts) would be impressed at the perversity of it all.
This is all that you are seeing on Facebook right now!!!