The Status Quo Has Been a Haven for Predators


Over the past few weeks scores of people in the highest positions have been exposed as sexual predators, and that’s not likely to be the end of it. Most of their victims remained silent for years, largely because they thought that

  1. people wouldn’t believe them, or
  2. the status quo (people with power using media and law) would destroy them.

And the victims were right. People didn’t want to hear their stories, and the system very likely would have ruined them. If the enforced silence is cracking (as it seems to be), we should be grateful, but we should also take a step back and make some sense of it all. Outrage is a fully appropriate response to such crimes, but its useful life is short. Remaining outraged is a prescription for poor understanding and ineffective response. We need to see the situation clearly before we respond.

So, let’s try to do that.

What We Know

I’ll start with a depersonalized list of what we’ve learned so far. I’m not removing names to protect the predators, but because names bring us right back to outrage, and outrage isn’t useful when reasoning. So, take a deep breath and read this list, considering what it says about the power structures we’ve been living with.

  • Over the past 20 years, the US Congress has quietly paid $17 million to 264 victims for a variety of abuses, including sexual abuse. And this through a program that is deeply abusive by itself.

  • A US senator has not only abused a growing list of women, but was degenerate and arrogant enough to pose for a photo while proudly groping a woman’s breasts. And at least six other major politicians (including two former presidents) join him on the list.

  • A major movie producer with deep political connections has been exposed as a serial sexual abuser on a grand scale.

  • At least 20 actors, directors, comedians, TV stars, and other Hollywood figures have been exposed as sexual abusers.

  • A household name media figure has been exposed by at least eight women as a long-time sexual abuser.

  • A dozen major figures in publishing and media have been exposed as sexual predators, including the senior White House reporter for a top US newspaper.

  • A number of major corporate leaders have been forced to step down over sexual abuse allegations.

  • The Pentagon’s own survey showed 26,000 cases of sexual assault among their ranks in 2012. Punishments were very few.

  • A cabinet-level official has gone public about a US president and his coterie, saying that they “doubled down on not only bad behavior but abusive behavior. And then people attacked the victims.”

Now let’s stop and consider what this means. This list is sordid, long, and certainly far from complete. And bear in mind that in many of these cases there were other people who saw it happening. These people were either complicit or, like the victims, afraid of the status quo. This being so, I see no way around this conclusion:

The most powerful institutions in the West have been havens for predators.

Consider for a moment the state of the American legal system. If you look into these cases you see predators using the legal system as a bludgeon to silence their victims… and it worked!

The US legal system has protected sexual predators and not just occasionally; it protected them almost perfectly and over many years.

It think that’s worthy of some consideration. Something is very, very wrong.

The Depth of the Problem

Something produced this; there was an infrastructure that supported it. Sexual predators have always existed, but in times past they were careful to limit their crimes. Over recent years they haven’t much bothered.

And, we must admit, they had every reason to believe they were protected. Consider Bill Clinton, certainly a serial abuser and almost certainly a rapist. Not only was he president of the United States for two terms, but he was protected the whole time, even by the most prominent “feminists.” And then, once out of office, it became publicly known that he had flown 26 times on “The Lolita Express,” the private jet of a convicted sexual predator.

And still nothing happened.

Consider Jimmy Savile, who abused some 450 children over 50 years, all the while remaining a “beloved figure” in British media and especially at the vaunted BBC. He was knighted. When he finally died he was given a hero’s funeral.

If you were a predator who could afford lawyers, what would you think? You’d think you were immune of course. And you would not have been wrong.

What Now?

Given everything we now know, our first and primary job is simply to face it:

The status quo – government, Hollywood, media, law, the military, big corporate, and more – has protected sexual predators – knowingly protected them – over a considerable period of years.

This cracks the world view of many decent people, I know, but reality matters. And this is, very clearly, the state of things in the West.

I have thoughts on what we should do next and others have theirs, but at this point we should simply encourage people to digest what they’ve learned. Whatever steps they take should come after they’ve accepted the essential rottenness of the status quo.

So, tell the truth in love, but tell it.

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* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

5 thoughts on “The Status Quo Has Been a Haven for Predators”

  1. ‘The US legal system has protected sexual predators and not just occasionally; it protected them almost perfectly and over many years.’
    That comes with a price (I think): blackmail
    Maybe the reason why the US political system has so many sexual predators, is because they can easily be blackmailed to for instance voting for war, cutting back social security, making education more and more expensive, lower taxes for corporations, etc.

  2. The Church, the State, the Media, the Moguls!
    Who’s missing?
    Exactly what generates this standard of perversion?
    The Banks! Goddess Moneta. The mint.
    Greed and lust while billions starve.
    Bum fuckers, mother fuckers, prostitutes and whores.
    It is all run from Rome.
    The Capitoline Hill is duplicated in every state.
    Time is short till it burns to the ground, again.
    Does Western Civilization Still Have a Purpose?
    When Western Civilization began to form in 500 AD, it was full of purpose. In particular, it was devoted…to?

  3. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The current revelations should (but won’t) debunk, once and for all, the concept of “the noble savage” and make humanity’s depraved nature “settled science.” It’s so easy (and appropriate) to condemn those who are revealed as corrupt – but we must remember in our anger that “there, but for the grace of God, go I.” This doesn’t mean they should not be held accountable for their crimes, they definitely should – it just means that we need to make sure that our personal outrage doesn’t have any breath of self-righteousness.
    I’m not pointing this at you, Paul – I’m pointing it directly at myself, and sharing the need with others. I’ve never been rich or powerful. I don’t KNOW that I would remain virtuous if I had either of those “gifts,” let alone both, even as a follower of Christ. I do know that only an external compass could keep me from the same depravity for I have that same fallen nature. This doesn’t excuse any of their behavior – it just emphasizes that Christians cannot abandon politics and expect any other result than what we are seeing today. Accountability and transparency are NECESSARY at EVERY level of governing and leadership, and virtuous men and women are needed for that, not as condemning do-gooders, but because WHO ELSE WILL ACTUALLY DO IT?
    The present situation is a harsh condemnation of Christians like myself who have avoided politics and government BECAUSE it is corrupt and we don’t like the depraved folks calling us mean names and making fun of our virtues (do you hear the sneer in that word?). Abdication is cowardly and I’m more ashamed of myself than I am of those lewd folks. They, at least, acted on their beliefs.

    1. Hi Mellie,
      Power does corrupt, but it also draws the corrupt, which may be the bigger issue these days.
      As for abandoning politics, I think that is what we MUST do. You know what the first Christians said (over and over): “We are not of this world.” Politics is, very clearly, “the world.” I have ceased wasting my time and energy on politics, and as time goes on I am happier and happier with that choice. You can see further thoughts here:

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