A Child Abuse Victim Responds to Reader’s Comments Defending Avi Hack

A reader of my blog was infuriated by comments made by a woman named “Dawn.”  Dawn attacked me for my blog on Avi Hack.  This reader was a victim of child abuse himself and wrote a long email to me expressing his views.  I respect this readers wish to remain anonymous and will not disclose his name.  Here are the uncut, unedited comments of this reader:

“Readers such as Dawn might not have noticed that Avi, through his attorney’s filing, acknowledged having a homosexual relationship as an adult with Rabbi Greer (an apparent violation of Halacha) and acknowledged knowing but failing to report to authorities Rabbi Greer’s liaisons with a minor, Eli Mirlis. In addition, in a non-redacted portion of Avi’s deposition, Avi admitted nibbling on a minor’s ear.

.In opposition to your article on Avi Hack, Dawn advanced three arguments:

 (1) That you might be damaging Avi’s wife and children as much or more than Avi himself.
This argument is similar in its flaws to the arguments from “big tobacco” that derailing the tobacco industry will hurt tobacco farmers and their families (Cf.: http://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/78(7)902.pdf
Philip Morris’s Vice President summed it up: ‘‘Economic contribution arguments form the cornerstone of tobacco industry public affairs. Data from farm incomes, jobs, taxes, balance of trade data, etc., form the catechism of industry lobbyists’’). By turning a blind eye to a child molester just because she has a husband and family to feed, we allow the risk that she may continue to perpetuate sexual attacks on minor children.
(2) That Avi may have significantly reformed himself since allegedly engaging in patterns of ignoring and/or engaging in child sexual abuse.
This argument opposes your noble efforts to address an admitted problem (Avi’s direct and indirect admissions regarding ignoring and/or engaging in child sexual abuse and violations of halacha) on the basis that the problem “might” be solved. According to Dawn’s line of reasoning, if you see a burglar run into your house, you shouldn’t call the police on her because she might have already left the house!! Such a weak argument also flies in the face of twelve-step programs that always require a sex abuser or addict to publicly admit her addictions and aveirot as a path to recovery. There is no suggestion that Avi has made any sort of public admissions or attempts to make amends with the boy whose ear he admits nibbling on.
(3) That Dawn would find your attempts to expose Avi and Rabbi Greer’s alleged activities more tolerable if you were an organization rather than individual, as such reports by individuals have the appearance of being a mere “vendetta”
This argument has the tendency to silence individuals from making reports and otherwise discouraging sex abuse on the basis that their voices will be ignored (or, even worse, criticized as being a “vendetta”).
In summary:
(1) It can legitimately be said that it is because of people such as Dawn that free-flow of information regarding sex abusers is limited. Dawn’s comments are particularly deplorable given that, in this instance, Avi, whether by himself or through his attorneys, has actually admitted to ignoring and/or engaging in child sexual abuse and violations of halacha.
(2) Minors and parents at Avi’s congregation and the school where he allegedly teaches should have access to your information, and indeed it is because of posts such as Dawn’s that I admire and encourage your efforts on your blog.”

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