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Why Am I Such a Jerk? February 2, 2012

Posted by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus in Uncategorized.
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A lot of readers probably wonder why I’m such a jerk.  Why is it that, instead of automatically believing the “Hephzibah Haters” and engaging in the daily ritual two minute hate against Hephzibah House, I actually defend them against unproven accusations?  How can I be such a meanie?  Don’t I realise how unpopular this makes me in some circles?  Wouldn’t it be so much easier for me to get on board the bandwagon and join in the chorus of cacophony against them?

Well, as I’ve intimated before, believing in the scriptural principle of requiring evidence before a witness is believed has a lot to do with it.  So does a commitment to the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”  Ultimately, the latter derives from the former.

It strikes me, though, that there’s another reason why I don’t accept accusations without evidence.  It goes back to my training as a scientist and my employment in the pharmaceutical industry.

The reader may or may not be aware, but the pharmaceutical industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in America.   Once you reach the stages in bringing a new drug through the pipeline where you are operating under the full cGMP regimen, pretty much everything done by anybody in the process – manufacturing personnel, contract analysts, support personnel, maintenance crews, and everyone else – is recorded, verified, confirmed, and committed to records for at least a decade.  Unlike most government regulation, I tend to not have a problem with the cGMP requirements enforced on the industry.  While there will always be mistakes that make it through, FDA regulation has actually helped to force the pharmaceutical industry to establish procedures that avoid the shoddiness and dangerous practices that existed far too often in the manufacture of drugs prior to the 1960s. 

Implicit in the cGMP process is the honesty of those involved.  When an analyst or manufacturing tech records a reading, writes down what they did in a labbook, fills in a batch record, or otherwise makes a written observation about something at some point in the myriad of steps involved in the process of preparing drugs for human consumption from start to finish, the expectation is there that they are providing accurate and truthful information.  The FDA takes a very dim view of people who purposefully obscure or invent data for any reason (laziness, pressure to cover up bad results, or whatever else).  The FDA even has a list of people debarred from participating in the industry, most of them permanently so.  Yet, the reason why there is so much regulation in the process is that this helps to buttress the demand for honest, as well as providing a way for innocent errors, accidental entries, etc, to be caught and corrected before they contribute to worse problems down the line.  In short, the pharmaceutical industry is very much a “trust, but verify” sort of environment.  The people who are employed in it are professionals and are assumed to be honest, faithful participants until proven otherwise, but controls are in place to catch errors, either accidental or purposeful.

This sort of regimen, when you operate under it day by day for years on end, helps to share your mindset.  This is, I think, part of why I do not accept the accusations against Hephzibah House without evidence or proof.

Let’s take an example – in the industry, every entry into a batch record has to be verified by another operator, either at the time of the operation being performed, or shortly thereafter (for less critical operations).  So, if an operator is instructed by a batch record to take a pH reading of a sample, then the operator records this pH, and another worker in the area verifies the reading and the entry.  There has to be visual confirmation of the reading. 

Likewise, there should be some sort of evidentiary proof that abuse has actually taken place before the accusation is accepted.  It should not be enough to simply take the word of the one making the accusation.  Indeed, in this case, there is none.  At the times where outside investigators have come in to check on HH, often at the instigation of a former student, nothing has been found. 

When an analytical chemist performs an experiment using some instrument, the chemist not only simply says that they have done so, but also has to provide graphical raw data in the form of chromatograms, electropherograms, spectra, or whatever other type of output the instrument provides.  This data is going to be timestamped, a record of where on the computer’s hard drive or network the data is located, and will typically be what is called “Part 11 compliant,” referring to a section in the FDA regulations governing the ineradicability of computerized records and electronic signatures (i.e. you can’t alter the data).   This data is then confirmed by a co-signer in the analyst’s notebook who verifies that the data meets all the standards and is legitimate.

Similarly, when an accusations are made, such as the ones against Hephzibah House, there should be an investigation made into the validity of the claims, and if they are to be accepted, then they should meet standards of factuality that can be proven.  To quote the old saw in the pharma industry, “If it isn’t recorded, it didn’t happen.”  It may well have, but if you don’t have the means to show that it did, then you can make no case for it. 

In the industry, when using a piece of equipment, it is important to first verify that the equipment is “within calibration,”  meaning that the equipment is within the period of time since its last calibration during which it can be presumed, barring some sort of unforeseen mechanical breakdown or other adverse circumstance, to be operating within the parameters set by the manufacturer, and therefore provides “correct” data.  There isn’t a known malfunction that is causing it to “skew” its output. 

Likewise, if we are to accept accusations from those attacking Hephzibah House, then it first has to be established that the accusers themselves are honest, that they are “calibrated” to give good data, so to speak.  In my article earlier this year about Hephzibah House, I demonstrated a number of reasons why the accusers against HH could NOT be taken seriously as credible, honest accusers.  There are simply too many holes in their stories, too many questions that they refuse to answer, too much of an unwillingness to have their claims be put to the test, too few evidences to support their assertions, too many reasons and motives that they would have to lie about HH and to try to destroy that ministry.  No fair-minded person can simply accept what they say at face value. 

All of these reasons – scriptural, America’s legal tradition, rigid standards imposed by my professional field – work together to demand evidence before accepting accusations.  Barring that evidence, I simply can’t in good faith accept them.  And until the accusers can see fit to bring forth evidence to back up their accusations, I see no reason to believe a word they say.

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Comments»

1. Stephen Nissley - February 2, 2012

Yes but, mailman said he heard T-bone say that mad dog on the Fighting the Fundamenalist forum said……….. :<)) Who needs more proof than that?

2. tabitha - February 2, 2012

Great explanation. Ive recently emailed some questions to a susan grotte about some things i wondered about. Like not letting girls use their inhalers. I was never once denied my inhaler or questioned if i really needed it. She said she has an asthmatic child as do i then she should know that without an inhaler there is a very high possibility that child could die. I told her i cannot see the hh taking a chance with someones life like that. If that child died hh would def be shut down. But then there was a girl refused her eppipen as well told she was being dramatic. I can see one instance of someone with asthma surviving if it wasnt a severe attack but a couple of girls they did this to and the girl with the eppipen and they all survived the attacks???? Then im assuming hh was correct in saying they were being dramatic. It just doesnt make sense and there is an answer for everything. They have no proof they were abused but i have proof i wasnt. I live a very very happy and fulfilled life with my family and friends. I have dreams but not like theirs. I dreamt last night i went to hh as an adult and ron williams face looked like he lost all hope. The girls were wearing jeans and it was all adults no children.. he had basically lost his faith in god and kept the place open to give women shelter and that was it. We all need to keep ron in ourr prayers that god never lets him forget why he started hh in the first place. To help girls find their place in this world and to find jesus. The average person may have given up at this point after all that is being said but he keeps going strong and keep him and hh in your prayers that he will not give up. That was a scary strange dream. I believe it may have gods way of telling me i need to pray harder and stand stronger for what i believe in and the truth;) good job with what you are doing tim dunkin!! Not everyone would take the ridicule you have taken for defending a man and a place that you have never met or been to. God will bless you;)

3. Lucinda - February 2, 2012

Love your article! keep on doing right! God is in control. They now love to not just attack HH but anyone who questions them or says they are liars! It does not matter that there are witnesses who can say they are wrong who also were students when they were.

4. Darcy Madry - February 2, 2012

I don’t even see why I’m even commenting because you’re so close minded it’s pretty much useless to try with you. Based on your own words any allegations without proof means it didn’t happen right? I know a woman who was raped and felt so ashamed she never told anyone right away. Any evidence was gone by the time she told anyone so I guess since the evidence was gone and she couldn’t show anyone it didn’t happen. How is anyone supposed to show emotional, mental or verbal abuse since there is no physical evidence? How are any of the girls supposed to show you or anyone there bloody or bruised butts. You’re a complete moron if you really believe you have to see evidence to believe. Hello faith in itself cannot be seen physically so that must mean there is no such thing

5. Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus - February 3, 2012

Hi Darcy,

Thanks for coming by. I think the reason you’re commenting here is because you know, deep down inside, that those defending Hephzibah House are right. You know that the accusers are largely full of hot air, and are doing what they’re doing more out of an animus towards fundamentalism and fundamental ministries than anything else.

Let’s face it – without evidence, it’s very easy for anyone to claim anything happened to them. That’s why our court systems even have rules of evidence to begin with – specifically to keep people like yourself from generating unsubstantiated accusations and getting people punished without proof.

Oh, and concerning faith – I have faith in the Lord because He is always truthful. In the same vein, I *don’t* have faith in the HH accusers specifically because there’s so much to say that they’re NOT truthful.

Darcie - February 3, 2012

I have seen cases in court where the person was found guilty alone on circumstantial evidence along with absolutely no physical evidence. Like I said before I am not going to try to convince you to change your mind becasue you are entitled to your opinion. If one of my teenage kids came home and told me that they had premarital sex but had taken showered themselves or if they had smoked weed and gotten high and then spent the night at a friends house..just becasue I couldn’t prove they did something against my rules doesnt mean it didn’t happen. Just like when you know that your kids is lying to you but you cannot prove it. Lack of physical evidence does not mean it didnt happen. There is such a thing as instinct and sometimes a person just knows but like I said I am not gonna try to change your mind because you are entitled to your opinion and God knows the truth and that is all that ultimately matters

tabitha - February 3, 2012

It just seems kind of ironic that every single girl that claims they were abused at hh never came out intil some 15 to 20 years later. I completely understand that when you are abused you may feel so ashamed and not open up and talk about it for a long time sometimes never. But every single one waited this long?? Although i do remember reading one of the survivor stories and she said as soon as she left she went and fild child abuse charges but they said the place closed down and their was. nothing they could do. That is a lie… When you file abuse especially child abuse charges it doesnt matter if you move,change jobs, or as they stated hh was closed they investigate the person not the organization or the building. They say ron williams and patty williams abused them then reguardless of whether they closed hh or not they had to investigate those people accused. This is why it appears that these girls are lying. And another factor is the girls that are accussing were there with some of us girls that are not accussing at the same time. And never once did i or the others see even a small part of what these girls are saying. Hormones in the milk? Then we would have all been getting the hormones because we all drank from the same containers of milk. Its alot of stuff that keeps getting added to all the time and im sure your response will be like others “their memories were suppressed and they are remembering little by little” WHATEVER!!Alot of these girls that are accussing also wrote statements to ron williams saying good things about hh and how they were never abused. That alone discredits their honesty and ability to tell the truth. We all k.ow if you go in a courtroom and lie and then go back and make another statement opposite of what you said before they will discredit you and tear yoy apart and it will be hard for anyone in the court to believe you. But we have heard it before…they were just so brainwashed…Hogwash!! And if i sound harsh to you i apologize its not you it is ontended. Maybe you like some others are really interested in finding the truth instead of just believing the awful horrible things because they are more interesting than us some of us saying…hey yea it was a strict place they had some strange rules and even tho i was stubborn as a mule whe i was there when i grew up and accepted jesus in my heart i could see what they did for me and how to this day the lessons i learned there still help me;)
Thanks for listening

tabitha - February 3, 2012

Sorry one more thing.. yes after years you may not find evidence of sexual abuse but these girls claim to have been beaten so bad they had open wounds and lacerations oozing with blood. I dont think those scars would ever go away and amazingly nowadays they are able to look at every detail of your body inside and out and they are even able to determine how scars may possilby have happened. Thats it…. If it were me i would be going to every dr in the world to be checked and post the information,pictures whatever the dr could give me all over the internet tv anywhere i had too. I would want to pursue charges and whatever i could do and im not quite sure there is a statue of limitations on child abuse but idont know. Reguardless if there is i would at least get some type of prrof out there and not just words. All these girls and not one shread of proof?? Some of the newest girls claiming were just there in like 2005 i think. Their scars should be alot easier to detect dont you think?

6. Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus - February 3, 2012

Hi Darcy,

Pretty much any and all supporting evidence is circumstantial, so it stands to reason that most court cases are decided on that basis. But that’s not what we’re talking about.

Further, I’m kind of thinking that the standards of evidence ought to be a little higher when we’re talking about accusations that can potentially destroy somebody’s life and reputation and send them to jail. That’s a little more important than your kid breaking one of your rules.

Cheers,
Tim


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