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Curtis Institute hires Cozen O’Connor to investigate sexual abuse claims

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On 11/13/2019 at 3:46 PM, A432 said:

And Groupthink is the touchstone of value? Seems so.

Just because people are unified in their opposition to your poorly constructed arguments doesn't make it groupthink.  We are a pretty loosely affiliated bunch of diverse beliefs, ages, and life experiences.

Just because you read 1984 doesn't mean you understood it.  Please, keep quoting it at us like we are Big Brother keeping a brave freedom fighter like you down. Who will stand up for the influential men in powerful positions if not you?

Just because someone dead who never went on trial is "Not Proven" guilty in "Scottish jurisprudence" doesn't mean they're factually innocent.  What the hell does Scottish jurisprudence have to do with anything anyway?  Are you Scottish?  Seriously though... why are we discussing Good Samaritan Laws in the EU and the USSR and East Germany.

This topic is about the Curtis Institute of Music, an organization in Philadelphia that attracts very young, often very sheltered music students from all over the world.  One of my former students who attended was from Taiwan.  He didn't have parents with him in the country, Curtis was very much acting in loco parentis.

 

PS-  Lara St. John's allegations were just allegations until the Philadelphia Inquirer independently corroborated her story with other former students.  At that point, her story went from being credible to very credible.  Ever since the Rolling Stone story, I have been more careful about blindly believing stories like this.

Do you know what else makes it even more credible?  The fact that Roberto Díaz acceded to Lara St. John's demands.  She's a major figure in the violin world, but I don't think she has the pull to force Curtis to do anything.  The fact that Díaz hired a law firm for an independent, transparent investigation is quite telling.

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Talented, vulnerable children: How the Curtis Institute of Music may have been ripe for abuse | Analysis

To begin to understand the unusual power equation at play between teacher and student at the Curtis Institute of Music, consider something one former student said: When she was studying there, her music professor told her that if she didn’t follow his philosophy of teaching and playing, he would have her sent back to her home country.

It’s not tough to see how this lopsided power dynamic might lead to the kinds of abuses now being investigated at the famed music conservatory on Rittenhouse Square. In the wake of an Inquirer report in July detailing allegations of rape and other forms of sexual misconduct,the school said last week it has hired Cozen O’Connor to investigate any claims of sexual misconduct past or present.

Talented, vulnerable children: How the Curtis Institute of Music may have been ripe for abuse | Analysis

https://www.inquirer.com/arts/curtis-institute-sexual-assault-allegations-power-dynamic-20191114.html

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Some real lowlifes posting to this thread. Most likely people who have been accused of and committed sexual misconduct themselves. If you think I’m taking about you, ask yourself why.

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4 hours ago, A432 said:

Gustave Le Bon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crowd:_A_Study_of_the_Popular_Mind

Classic study of mob psychology.

Recommended reading/pondering.

Too funny - if you had been here longer you would know that we find it almost impossible to actually agree on anything. This is a group of people who can spend 20 pages disagreeing about whether you should use string angle or overstand as a starting point for organizing the trigonometry of a violin. And don't get us started on how soundpost position affects sound, a war will break out!

So the notion that your wombat-like understanding of 21st century sexual politics is being rejected because of "groupthink" is as naive as it it self-serving.

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47 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Too funny - if you had been here longer you would know that we find it almost impossible to actually agree on anything. This is a group of people who can spend 20 pages disagreeing about whether you should use string angle or overstand as a starting point for organizing the trigonometry of a violin. And don't get us started on how soundpost position affects sound, a war will break out!

So the notion that your wombat-like understanding of 21st century sexual politics is being rejected because of "groupthink" is as naive as it it self-serving.

Mr. Swan :  all good but what is YOUR ( constructive ) opinion ? Basically asking why are YOU here ? How many children do YOU have ? How do you think such a matter can be handled better ?

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My constructive opinion ....

Lara St. John should not be victim-shamed for an album cover that has absolutely nothing to do with a previous alleged assault.

Lara St. John's allegations should not be more or less credible depending on one's personal opinion of her worth as a violinist.

Curtis seem to be finally taking the many allegations seriously - better late than never. I have to say I'm not very interested in the particular case, but the same process of institutional self-examination is being carried out pretty much everywhere, with broadly similar levels of clumsiness.

We should encourage each and every attempt to take responsibility for past actions where power relationships were exploited for a single individual's gratification. Of course it's difficult to draw the line, and opening up to this process can give a voice to bad people, but such is life.

There are some tawdry individuals here on Maestonet whose views are not civilized. I suggest we stop the planet, let them get off, and then we can continue with our proper business.

I have one teenage daughter - fortunately she hasn't had to deal with these issues in any serious way. She was mildly stalked for a while. Does that invalidate my position?

I was subjected to some behaviours while at private school which would now be regarded as beyond the pale (and in retrospect seem kinky and sadistic). At the age of 14/15 I just took these to be normal - my adult self knows better, and I could get people into trouble if I so desired. But I don't - no-one is at risk from these people now, and I am very glad the world has moved on.

But now that you mention it, why AM I here? It's absolutely the wrong place to discuss any of this. Good point.

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Actually no. This is a much needed discussion. We need to stay civil of course. It's when the  brawling begins and talk shuts down, that unexpressed opinions may turn into festering wounds perpetuating the issue.

Open discourse is the best education.

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Wombats are too cute for comparisons like that.:wub: And some ought to learn respecting private spheres and intimacy. That's more or less all what one has to know.

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3 hours ago, martin swan said:

Too funny - if you had been here longer you would know that we find it almost impossible to actually agree on anything. This is a group of people who can spend 20 pages disagreeing about whether you should use string angle or overstand as a starting point for organizing the trigonometry of a violin.

Neither. Fingerboard angle.

But that aside, arguing with A432 who plays devil's advocate just to get attention could be considered pointless or constructive. Either way, it's very creepy of that poster to do that on this thread.

 

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15 hours ago, BassClef said:

Some real lowlifes posting to this thread. Most likely people who have been accused of and committed sexual misconduct themselves. If you think I’m taking about you, ask yourself why.

Posts like this are pretty regressive, in a time when we need progress. Calling people names on an internet forum typically makes people balk and double down. That's not what we want on this issue. 

Rue is right. Hard discussions need to be had, in a civil manner. There is always common ground to be found, and if you can find it, discussions like this can shed some actual light on the issue, and people can grow because of it. 

All this name calling only makes people more certain they are right, and the name caller wrong. 

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2 hours ago, martin swan said:

My constructive opinion ....

Lara St. John should not be victim-shamed for an album cover that has absolutely nothing to do with a previous alleged assault.

Lara St. John's allegations should not be more or less credible depending on one's personal opinion of her worth as a violinist.

Curtis seem to be finally taking the many allegations seriously - better late than never. I have to say I'm not very interested in the particular case, but the same process of institutional self-examination is being carried out pretty much everywhere, with broadly similar levels of clumsiness.

We should encourage each and every attempt to take responsibility for past actions where power relationships were exploited for a single individual's gratification. Of course it's difficult to draw the line, and opening up to this process can give a voice to bad people, but such is life.

There are some tawdry individuals here on Maestonet whose views are not civilized. I suggest we stop the planet, let them get off, and then we can continue with our proper business.

I have one teenage daughter - fortunately she hasn't had to deal with these issues in any serious way. She was mildly stalked for a while. Does that invalidate my position?

I was subjected to some behaviours while at private school which would now be regarded as beyond the pale (and in retrospect seem kinky and sadistic). At the age of 14/15 I just took these to be normal - my adult self knows better, and I could get people into trouble if I so desired. But I don't - no-one is at risk from these people now, and I am very glad the world has moved on.

But now that you mention it, why AM I here? It's absolutely the wrong place to discuss any of this. Good point.

Mr. Swan, this was a very good post and I am in complete agreement. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

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3 hours ago, VicM said:

How many children do YOU have ?

1. Does having children make a difference?

2. Does the quantity of children make a difference?

Just curious where you were going with this one.  

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the notion that your wombat-like understanding of 21st century sexual politics is being rejected because of "groupthink" is as naive as it it self-serving.

"O, wad some Poower the giftie gie us, to see oursels as others see us !" -- Robert Burns

There was a cartoon in Mad Magazine back in the 1950s, making fun of Madison Avenue conformity, that I wish I could find, copy and paste, for it nails what the goodthink mob looks like from outside (outside the perspective of their belief system).

Four identical men. Identical suits, identical haircuts, identical briefcases, identical expressions on their faces. Four word balloons -- one from each. To wit,

"I'm a rugged individualist !"

"Same here !"

"Me too !"

"Ditto !"

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arguing with A432 who plays devil's advocate just to get attention

I quite had my fill of attention for its own sake long before I showed up here, Sospiri. "Attention seeking" may be the only motivation for going against the grain you can imagine, but it is the Goodthinkers who are in need of perspective-expansion, and it's unfortunately fallen to my lot to provide it since no one else grown up is venturing to provide this roundly-hated but much-needed thought commodity.

Martin put his finger on it in his autobiographical note (the private school business). That sort of thing has always gone on in such settings (boarding schools, athletic teams, corporate management settings, [the military in spades], college fraternities/sororities, &c. &c. &c.) because it is an expression of an ineradicable aspect of human nature itself. Hate it, revile it, reject it (and properly so, as an individual choice), but there it is, in defiance of you. It always has been and, until the second coming institutes the new order (the authentic one) (i.e., not the current counterfeit of it), it always will be.

People are so immature today (I suspect by "educational" design) that they, in all innocence, believe that what pleases them is what ought to be -- that the world around them exists to express their wishes in tangible form -- and if it doesn't, there is something wrong with it.

This, good peoople, is the myopic perspective.

When goocdthinking myopics learn (probably by accident) that Thomas Aquinas acknowledged and accepted the necessity of brothels in a city as an analogue of the sewage system, channeling away what would otherwise contaminate everything, all they can imagine is that he was a "hypocrite."

This tells you nothing about Aquinas, and everything about the maturity level of the Goodthinkists.

Imagining that human nature can be done away-with provided a big enough stink and noise is raised when some expression of it is discovered (even alleged) somewhere -- that it can be manipulated into conformity with its desires -- and by force if necessary (since it is necessary) -- is pure Stalinism (New Soviet Man).

But all that results from such misguided attempts to play Creator is hypocrisy (very apparent to those not absorbed in playing the Cancel Culture Game, and intrinsically objectionable on that basis alone).

One is reminded of the Nasrudin joke in which he, as a clergyman, is called to the bedside of a dying man who asks him for a prayer suitable to the occasion. Nasrudin provides him with this one : "God help me !  Devil help me !"

The man is beyond irate. "This is no time for your joking, Nasrudin !"

To which he replies, "No one in your condition is in any position to take chances."

 

  •  

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That is exactly what "society" is - a curbing of the more egotistical elements of human nature for the greater good.

Your argument is facile and very unoriginal - it's used by libertarians the world over to defend the indefensible.

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4 minutes ago, A432 said:

Martin put his finger on it in his autobiographical note (the private school business). That sort of thing has always gone on in such settings (boarding schools, athletic teams, corporate management settings, [the military in spades], college fraternities/sororities, &c. &c. &c.) because it is an expression of an ineradicable aspect of human nature itself. Hate it, revile it, reject it (and properly so, as an individual choice), but there it is, in defiance of you. It always has been and, until the second coming institutes the new order (the authentic one) (i.e., not the current counterfeit of it), it always will be.

When goocdthinking myopics learn (probably by accident) that Thomas Aquinas acknowledged and accepted the necessity of brothels in a city as an analogue of the sewage system, channeling away what would otherwise contaminate everything, all they can imagine is that he was a "hypocrite."

This tells you nothing about Aquinas, and everything about the maturity level of the Goodthinkists.

The Doctor is talking about the Law vs. Morality which we have talked about here as well.  But, uh, maybe you ought to consider the context of "the State" in the time of Aquinas, in the 13th century.

Once again, you are revealing how shallowly you read.  No, honestly, what the hell is your point in bringing up Aquinas?  I'm fairly certain that Catholic theologians don't have a leg to stand on in this conversation.  You sure do know very little about many many things.  I'm impressed.

But even if we were to accept Aquinas as an authority on the topic, sex work is a separate issue from sexual abuse of a child; while Aquinas argued against the illegality of fornication, the abuse of children would fall squarely under his understanding of what should be illegal.

Your argument seems to be that we don't understand moral relativism.  We get it.

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Imagining that human nature can be done away-with provided a big enough stink and noise is raised when some expression of it is discovered (even alleged) somewhere -- that it can be manipulated into conformity with its desires -- and by force if necessary (since it is necessary) -- is pure Stalinism (New Soviet Man).

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That is exactly what "society" is - a curbing of the more egotistical elements of human nature for the greater good.

If I had called you a Stalinist, you would have been offended.

But you've called yourself one, by implication, by making common cause with them.

And I'm offended. Because the Proof of Concept -- the example of what you're talking about put into actual practice -- was the Gulag Archipelago, with which you should be at least passingly familiar.  On the safe assumption that you are, that is an example of what Orwell termed "Doublethink" --

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To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.

Nobody (except for the True-Believing Goodthinkists) is alleging that everything in human nature is OK in every situation. But I should like to point out that, if every example of it in the past could have been prevented, none of us would be here talking about it.

In the face of which, at least a modicum of humility might be in order.

 

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maybe you ought to consider the context of "the State" in the time of Aquinas, in the 13th century. Once again, you are revealing how shallowly you read.

No, Mr. Fine. It is you revealing how shallowly you think.

At issue is the fact that human nature does not change. It is the same today as it was then.

Your argument seems to be that we don't understand moral relativism.  We get it.

I only wish you did. Because supposing that reality depends on time and place is relativism pure and simple.

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Stalin had the force of the USSR.

We here have the force of Maestronet.

See the difference?

 

In the US, the government cannot regulate free speech.  That's the First Amendment.  But, those of us who aren't the Government, we can regulate free speech as much as we want.  We aren't the government.  When I tell you to shut up because you're so ignorant, it doesn't carry the weight of government.  I can't throw you in jail, I can just mock you repeatedly as a pseudo-intellectual.  A faker.  You can whine about "snowflakes" and "Big Brother" and "Goodthinkists" and the "Gulag", and we can all mock you for the airs you put on.  You're not being "oppressed" by society.  You're being put down in the public square for your foolishness.

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And the Goodthinkists have the Antifa mobs and the Cancel campaigns.

In a way, the world−view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.

 

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Doublethink 101 : We must value and embrace diversity of opinion. But we ensure that our voices are the only ones heard -- by force (physical, economic or social).

Orange Man bad.

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Your argument is facile and very unoriginal - it's used by libertarians the world over to defend the indefensible.

Don't expect this poster to be original, as we noticed this posts are usually sampled from accidentally chosen sources. This time it sounds like pillaged from some fundamentalistic apocalyptical  website. Typical undigested pseudo-ecclesiastical waffle. The term "myopic Goodthinker" is also very familiar from defenders of cynical antimoralism, "until the second coming institutes the new order (the authentic one)". Some might call this blasphemic, but in this special case we don't have to worry.

 

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Noted in passing :

Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.

“He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage
.”  -- George Orwell

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