Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Mackenzie Phillips, Roman Polanski, and how America really views child abuse.
Hasn't this been a wild week for child abuse headlines? First, Mackenzie Phillips gets the ball rolling with the bombshell that her father, John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, drugged and sexually molested her when she was a teen.
The relationship continued for ten years, although she concedes 'the Stockholm syndrome' might have been at work in her head. She pleaded with people not to hate her father, which even disturbed shock radio host, Howard Stern.
There was mention about others who might have known, like fellow band member, Denny Doherty, but Mackenzie does not want to exact revenge.
Roman Polanski was arrested in Switzerland for drugging and sexually molesting a 13 year old girl.
This stems from an old case from the early seventies, but, then again, so were some of the incidents brought up in the Bob Gray saga. Click here if you are not familiar with Bob Gray saga, the central figure who inspired the blog you now read.
Gray was not alleged to have drugged his victims, but maybe didn't have to. The King James Version of the Bible, in the hands of a man already claiming power and absolute authority, can be the most addictive drug of them all.
How many victims have been deluded into giving a pastor unbridled authority over their lives because of a few well chosen words from scripture, with a 'gotcha' attitude to match?
Let's get back to Hollywood scandals.
Here's where things get screwy:
Most, outside of Hollywood producers, writers, and directors, agree Polanksi needs to answer for his crime. Even if the victim forgave him.
Things are different when it comes to Mackenzie!
Half of America seems to be filled with hate and anger toward her for even bringing it up. Those who would otherwise want Polanksi in jail, or the death sentence against fundamentalist preachers who molested children, have now become turncoats when it comes to accusations against John Phillips.
Excuses are made.
"She was a drug addict!
. . .has a book coming out!
. . .career's on the skids!"
What's conveniently left out of the anger is the fact it was her father, who introduced her to drugs, which helped put her career on the skids! Let's face it, if you had been raped by your father, don't you'd think you'd want some drugs to just get the thoughts out of your mind?
The Fighting Fundamentalist Forum, the primo place to discuss abuses by fundamentalist preachers, is filled with amazing posts by people ragging on Mackenzie for being on drugs in the first place!
What's weird is the people trashing Mackenzie on the FFF are also critical of abuses at places like Hephzibah House, as well as other fundamentalist predator/pastors.
If her book alleged abuse by a fundamentalist minister, would her motives even be questioned?
Why the double standard?
Take, for instance, the women accusing Ron Williams, the founder of Hephzibah House, of physical abuse. When supporters of Williams try to use the past of the HH victims against them, the critics of HH are front and center declaring how unfair it is to bring up the victim's past.
Yet, when it's Mackenzie, even the critics of HH seem to not care about bringing up the drug issue, even if it was her father who introduced her to it. How dare Mackenzie tread on our precious memories of Mamas and Papa tunes!
I'm not posting the links of these comments because I'm very disappointed in these people. For awhile, I thought they really cared about child abuse! Silly me! Concern about child abuse ALWAYS takes a backseat to whoever we happen to be scapegoating at the time.
You can sift through the posts by clicking here. Those who would otherwise defend victims of child abuse by religious figures are suddenly turning on Mackenzie Phillips, victim of a once popular musician. It's just sickening.
I think a lot of these people spent their formidable years defending rock music against the wild accusations of fundamentalist preachers. Now that we see that some accusations against popular musicians (no matter how 'out of date' they are) actually had validity, those who once defended victims (of religious abuse) suddenly lapse into an unexpected 'blame the victim' mode.
I don't see them blaming the victim when it comes to accusations against fundamentalist preachers, but when it's against their precious musical memories, somehow it becomes okay to blame a victim.
I'm sure John Phillips and Roman Polanski felt exactly like Bob Gray, Eddie Dunagan, Daryl Gilyard, and other alleged evangelical preacher/predators.
"Nobody's going to turn me in! I'm known as a great artist!"
Or, "I'm practically a 'Christian rock star'!"
Nobody will touch them. There's too much 'respect' in the waters for that. Too many people dependent on them for their financial income.
And their victims? Like Mackenzie Phillips, they have 'questionable backgrounds', according to those who defend the preachers.
Indeed, one of the first accusations I heard against a victim of Bob Gray concerned the use of marijuana by one of the accusers. How is that any different from those accusing Mackenzie of being unreliable because she had a 'needle stuck up her arm for 35 years'?
It's not just the FFF, though. Nor is child sexual abuse being mishandled only by fundamentalists, Catholics, rock stars, and film directors. Read through the comments at this Huffington Post article.
America, and the world, is still out to lunch when it comes to the issue of child sexual abuse.
There's also a lot of people spouting the ridiculous idea about John Phillips needing to be around to 'defend himself'.
How dare she wait until he's dead!
Mackenzie displayed great compassion by waiting until he was dead.
Let's face it, there's nothing more fun than a celebrity trial. Why would she want to put herself through that? You think Mackenzie is being dragged through the dirt now? Imagine how she would fare having to face her father on the witness stand!
Her background would be totally used against her.
Imagine how terrible her father would feel!
Ha! I know, you're thinking, "Why should we care?"
Those who seemingly care about John Phillips not being around to defend himself somehow miss that Mackenzie did John a great favor by not addressing the issue while he was alive. She spared him from further embarrassment, not to mention her family when the inevitable 'who knew' questions would be asked in court.
A victim's first responsibility is to herself, not the entertainment of the masses. If she had brought this up while he was alive, the issue of child abuse would most likely have been swept under the rug. She would have probably settled for an 'undisclosed amount', and that, most certainly, would have guaranteed her silence.
By not going through that fiasco, she's made it possible to shine a light on a problem that's affecting millions of people throughout the world.
NOTE: ABC News reports that since Phillips’ public admission on the Oprah Winfrey show this week, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) has seen a 26 percent jump in its hotline calls and an 83 percent increase in traffic on its Web site.
Posted by Mr6 at 2:04 PM