Abuse and Whistleblowing: What to Expect When You Whistle at Church
I am only introducing a subject here and suggesting that we all need to become more familiar with it. That subject is the psychology and dynamics of whistleblowing. When a member of an institution (like the church) comes forward with exposure of some “irregularity” (a person has been abused/molested), certain common dynamics inevitably ignite. That is about all I know concerning this subject, but here is a description (taken from Amazon) of a book called Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power by C. Fred Alford. It sounds to me like all of these dynamics that launch AGAINST the whistleblower are at work in a church setting as well when a victim comes forward. THIS SHOULD NOT BE!
“In a dark departure from our standard picture of whistleblowers, C. Fred Alford offers a chilling account of the world of people who have come forward to protest organizational malfeasance in government agencies and in the private sector. The conventional story-high-minded individual fights soulless organization, is persecuted, yet triumphs in the end-is seductive and pervasive. In speaking with whistleblowers and their families, lawyers, and therapists, Alford discovers that the reality of whistleblowing is grim. Few whistleblowers succeed in effecting change; even fewer are regarded as heroes or martyrs. Alford mixes narrative analysis with political insight to offer a frank picture of whistleblowing and a controversial view of organizations. According to Alford, the organization as an institution is dedicated to the destruction of the moral individualist. Frequently, he claims, the organization succeeds, which means that the whistleblowers are broken, unable to reconcile their actions and beliefs with the responses they receive from others. In addition to being mistreated by organizations, whistleblowers often do not receive support from their families and communities. In order to make sense of their stories, Alford claims, some whistleblowers must set aside the things they have always believed: that loyalty is larger than the herd instinct, that someone in charge will do the right thing, that the family is a haven from a heartless world. Alford argues that few whistleblowers recover from their experience, and that, even then, they live in a world very different from the one they knew before their confrontation with the organization.”
Does that whole sorry mechanism sound familiar to you? If you have reported abuse to your church, I suspect that it does.
The Lord Jesus Christ was the ultimate Whistleblower. The “organization” hated and killed Him. Fortunately for us, in killing Him, the kingdom of darkness struck its own death blow and hangs on its own gallows.
Our local churches, the visible representations of the body of Christ, are called to be places where these kinds of evil dynamics do NOT operate. We are citizens of the kingdom of light. Coverup of evil is not to be the norm among us.