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Are you sure you heard what you thought you heard?

By Sandy . . . Those in the know have always said that eye-witness testimony is the least reliable of all evidence. The same is true, I am convinced, of ear-witness testimony.

That was apparent recently when following the Kavanaugh hearings on Twitter. In regard to the testimony of Christine Ford, one person Tweeted that she was either telling the truth or was the most accomplished actress he had ever seen.

This was soon followed by another Tweeter commenting what a horrible liar she was and that every word out of her mouth sounded fake and rehearsed.

They had both listened to the same exact words, but they each HEARD the exact opposite of what the other heard.

Even more recently this lesson was brought home to me again in a much more personal way.

The “Registry Matters” podcast – which, incidentally, is not a NARSOL project but an independent venue owned and co-hosted by Andy, who happens to be one our technical volunteers, and the other host is Larry, who is also a NARSOL volunteer – is regularly posted on NARSOL’s website. One of its recent discussion points was about a statement that President Trump has made, saying, “It’s a very scary time for young men in America…” He was alluding to the possibility of false accusations of sexual misconduct being made, and since this clearly intersects with the issues frequently discussed on the podcast, Andy and Larry devoted a few minutes of discussion to it.

I have listened to that segment of the podcast. President Trump is mentioned ONLY in context of having made the statement. The dialogue immediately segued into the need for evidence to support claims, the burden of proof being on the accuser, and the need for due process to be preserved. After no more than five minutes the discussion had evolved into one of “doxing,” and both Andy and Larry spoke vehemently against those who sink to such a level as well as against those who deliberately incite violence, regardless of which side is doing it. The total segment took ten minutes out of the almost two hours of the podcast.

The next day NARSOL received a terse email referencing the podcast and that specific segment and then saying, “I see you’re anti-Trump, anti-Kavanaugh, anti-Republican,” went on to place blame for sex offender registries totally on the “left,” and ended with saying if we couldn’t see the truth, he would end his association with us.

We sent him two emails explaining that the podcast was not part of NARSOL, that NARSOL was politically non-partisan – and that those from both political parties share the blame for onerous sex offender legislation.

The next day NARSOL received another email from another individual. This one also referenced the podcast, although it is doubtful that she had actually listened to it. She quoted the podcast topics and their partial descriptions from the website and then said, “I was dismayed in your latest communication to see you turn this to seeming political endorsements of Trump or the GOP.” After she finished admonishing us for being pro-Trump and pro-Republican, blaming that party for all the ills that plague us, she too threatened to cease her association with NARSOL unless we changed our stance. She too was sent a reply.

As far as I know, neither one has responded to us.

How could two people, in regard to the same thing, interpret it so differently, one as proof of being anti-Republican and the other as proof of being pro-Republican?

The only answer is that people hear what they already believe; they hear what supports the beliefs they already hold.

Those who did not favor Kavanaugh’s nomination heard truth from Christine Ford. Those who did support Kavanaugh heard her speak lies.

Those who believe that the Republican party will be the solution to ending the registry heard nothing but criticism of them in the podcast because the podcast’s hosts did not offer support of their party but discussed the issues objectively. Those who believe that the Republican party is responsible for all of the ills that those on the registry suffer heard praise for them because what President Trump had said was discussed neutrally without criticism of the party.

I heard it, and I heard neither pro nor anti; I heard facts, and I heard opinions that surely transcend all politics: Due process as guaranteed by our Constitution is essential; people deserve to be treated with respect; people who participate in actively harming others, whether through “doxing” or by encouraging violence, are cowards.

At least I think that is what I heard.

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

This topic contains 9 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Sandy Rozek Sandy Rozek 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #47804 Reply

    Glen

    Very true. Most of us go in, honestly, with preconceptions and biases. I know I have. It’s a very passionate subject, and while I do try to be open minded, I have failed at times. About all we can do is try and recognize it when we do and apologize for it, and try to do better. Having said that, I apologize anyone that my jumping the gun affected.

    I am grateful to the existance of NARSOL and all their efforts. In the end, we are on the same side even if we don’t always see/hear things the same.

  • #47818 Reply

    Tim

    Each exploit the issues. Just us, rather than justice. The FIRST was errected where? The obvious USES for political security in Administrative conservatism disguised as national security. Take a view of Kirsten Gillibrand NSA CHEIF in subcommittee testimony broadcasted by cspan Oct 15.

    I doubt the sex sadist is related to national security in any way.

    I’m sad to say another amber alert Issued in Wisconsin today. Only time will tell if a registered person is involved. My guess is not. She may have killed her parents herself. The press seems to leave out that possibility and so far only post it as an alert.

  • #47848 Reply

    d

    Anyone who is passionate about their beliefs will occasionally cross this line. It is the human emotion that sometimes gets in our ears and eyes and keeps us from the truth. I catch myself doing this occasionally as well. I am as passionate about politics as I am about ending this hell. Good point Sandy!

  • #47865 Reply

    WC_TN

    Sorry to go off-topic, but this needs attention.

    Here is a perfect example of how the registry fails to protect children. A man who IS NOT a registrant was caught fondling a little girl in a hurricane shelter during Hurricane Micheal!. This is proof-positive the registry is a TOTAL waste and failure.

    Of course this can be used against us. Someone will surely point and say “See! Being in a crowd will not deter a child molester from acting on his predatory urges!” What they will conveniently ignore is that this man didn’t raise any of the flags the presence of a registrant would. If registrants were allowed into shelters they’d be supervised very closely. They might be kept in one area of the shelter.

  • #47882 Reply

    Saddles

    The good and bad of everything is a conception of the mind and how the ear or eye justifies the input. I could say the polygraph test I took today was bad when they ask me a question do I masterbate. So whats good about government today than. Are they just a bunch of tricky dicky aregont snobs.

    We all have our good days and bad, While NARSOL present good articles and is separate from registry matters one should listen to the podcast with open “EARS” and understand that this is not about politics but it seems that when one is caught up in this sexual type abuse scandle that that are some issues that borderline on a bit of the political arena. This whole thing is about Justice and fair and true justice for all. Maybe we should talk about polygraph tests and soe of the crazy things they can bring up with a yes or no answer or does everyone lie today.

    So whats good and what’s bad can only be precieved by the hearer. Is it good to drink alcohol before taking such a test or popping pills. Authorities are not sensible, about the only sinsible thing is the money and they couldn’t care one less about trying to mess with someones mind to trap one up. I believe I commented to that podcast and and I couldn’t believe that some said it seems NARSOL is getting a bit into political matters. Hey whatever it takes to wake up some of these politicians I’m all for it. As far as the podcast goes it is seperate from NARSOL but it does have its points I’m sure.

    • #48076 Reply

      Ed from Mars

      My polygragher always asks how I felt about how I did on the test I learned that it’s his most important question. If I express doubt, he follows that trail even if I do ok. Now, I just say that felt I did ok. This questioning at the end always makes me doubt myself . I think this is the intent.

  • #48019 Reply

    james

    how about this: the registries are made by white people, FOR white people, and it’s the white people who consider their children most precious and check the registry the most often. I never heard of a black or hispanic person spearheading a vigilante campaign to oust a sex offender from their neighborhood. An angry white woman who is well off with money and kids are my worst nightmare, and I’m a white man saying this.

    • #48027 Reply

      Seth Hodges

      I don’t completely disagree with you. The current S.O. and registry laws were made for white people as a means to keep the prison industry going strong. Such measures aren’t necessary to keep those of color locked up. A simple marijuana possession charge will get a Black man 10 years in some states. People of color already make up 65% percent of the prison population, yet they are less than 20% of the national population when we combine both Black and Latino. Every time someone goes prison, someone else gets richer, and that is why the registry laws are designed to be very difficult to stay in compliance with.

      Now where I disagree with you. I assure you that most people of color consider their children most precious too, and would do anything for them. And, I am well aware of plenty of white people who are abusive and neglectful parents. Please don’t buy into the false narratives and stereotypes about people of color. They are completely false.

      • #48040 Reply

        bill

        I’m saying they THINK their kids are more important. I couldn’t see a black child being the face of the registry such as little Meghan Khanka(who was raped and murdered by Jesse Temendequas…a repeat molester) How about little Jessica Lunsford, or precious rich girl, Pamela Smart…. Oh JonBenet? yea, and how about good ole Lauren Book?

  • #48022 Reply

    bill

    With the exception of #8, these are all things that I have heard from FDLE. During the Lunsford case, Mark Lunsford stated #8, which caught on in Florida, even though child porn was found on his computer

    1. If it saves just 1 child it is ALL worth it
    2.it is a matter of public record
    3.The public has a right to know.
    4.What if YOU had a kid?
    5.Children are our most precious resources.
    6.I would want to know if a sex offender lived next to me
    7.It’s only a matter of time before they reoffend
    8.The only good sex offender is a dead sex offender
    9.No lawmaker wants to appear soft on sex offenders(even though they know it’s b.s.)
    10.Our office has no sympathy for sex offenders.

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