December 12, 2019
A week or so ago, I listened to Jonas’ interview w/Steven Unthank, this link:
This got me curious, so I started hunting and found BCG’s comments on Reddit regarding Steven and Lara Kaput.
Steven Unthank and Lara Kaput Did Not “Steal” BCG’s Statement
BCG has said that Steven and Lara “stole” her statement to the Royal Commission, “doctored” it, and published it on their SaySorry.org website under the name “Marta,” all “without consent.” Links to her comments:
However, you can visit the Royal Commission website, click “Private Sessions,” then “Narratives.” That page says, in part (bold mine):
“Over 8,000 survivors or people directly impacted by child sexual abuse in institutions attended private sessions at the Royal Commission and shared their experiences and recommendations with Commissioners. Many gave consent for their accounts to be published as short narratives. …
Real names have been changed except the names of public figures mentioned in a public context.”
“Marta’s” story is here:
By my comparison, “Marta’s” story on the SaySorry.org site is WORD-FOR-WORD from the RC site. Steven and Lara did NOT “steal” it from BCG’s statement, they did NOT “doctor” it, and they did NOT do so “without consent.”
While this exonerates Steven and Lara from this accusation, it raises some disturbing questions I need to pose to BCG directly:
A. Did you purposely lie, assuming no one would discover that your narrative was released with your consent through the RC? (As no one bothered to research the RC site or ask Steven’s and Lara’s side of the story before jumping in to vilify them, I can see why you might have made that assumption…)
B. Did you sincerely forget that you had consented to a release of your story as a short narrative?
Given the horrific nature of your abuse, I am sympathetic to any struggles and fragilities you have currently, and I mean that sincerely.
However, you’re a lawyer; you understand more than anyone that a person cannot sign a legal agreement and then make public, demonstrably false allegations against people who are abiding by the provisions in, and entire purpose of, that agreement.
I believe your stories of childhood abuse as those were substantiated by other victims and held up in a court of law but, IMHO, this strongly calls into question your place as an activist. Anyone can point to those statements about Steven and Lara and rightly question your credibility, moving forward.
I must also personally question your place in the exJW community. No one should be subjected to the slander and verbal abuse that Steven and Lara especially have endured over these false statements no matter the struggles of, and other disagreements with, the person abusing them.
Unthank and Kaput Deleting Information From SaySorry.Org
Regarding BCG’s Reddit post, “Why Unthank and Kaput are deleting information from saysorry.org web page,” this link:
In summary, SaySorry published “Andre Floyd’s” statement to the RC regarding a JW abuser named Steven Bullock. “Andre” recounts how elders rebuffed his questions, that Bullock remained a JW even as he was sent to prison, etc.
BCG asserts that this document was removed forcibly from the SaySorry site and that Steven and Lara are “going into damage control and removing information that they know is detrimental to them.”
BCG is asked outright, “Are we to understand then that the Australian Government has stepped in to induce saysorry.org to remove the content from their site?”, and she responds:
“I haven’t got official confirmation as to which Government Agency has forced them to do this. As I have reported Steven and Lara’s activities to the Australian Federal Police, Victorian Police, Federal Attorney Generals Departmental, the Australian Not For Profits Commission, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Department of Social Services.
Based on the fact that the document has now been removed from the saysorry.org page, I gather that one of the above agencies have forced Steven and Lara to the remove the document because I literally took them to the page to show them where it was.”
However, that document was on the SaySorry site when I first started checking BCG’s claims last week, and is still there as I type this.
Obviously I can’t say if the document was ever taken down but this certainly disproves BCG’s assumptions that the government forced its removal (you don’t restore something you were legally obligated to remove), or any such “mea culpa” from Steven and Lara.
Steven Unthank and Lara Kaput Are Not “Advocating” for Rapists
1) BCG refers to Steven and Lara sharing Andre’s story as “providing a platform for rapist’s [sic] to publicly blame their child victims”:
2) BCG contends that Steven and Lara “promoted” that rapist’s words:
3) BCG also asserts that it appears Steven and Lara are “advocating” for that rapist:
Yes, Andre’s story does include one short, disgusting comment Bullock made regarding his victims, but in the context of explaining why one victim was then motivated to come forward. It is very dishonest to say that this quote “promotes” the words of a rapist or gives him a “platform,” in the same way that it would be dishonest to say that BCG “provided a platform for” or “promoted” her abusive father by quoting him, as she did during her testimony at the RC.
Also, Andre begins his statement by saying, “…the story meets the Terms of Reference for the Child Abuse Royal Commission if I only talk about how the religion handled the child abuse. So this is … about how the religion got involved and took control to protect the religion instead of the children.”
Andre himself makes it clear that he was only allowed to share his story if it was in the context of exposing the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses; the RC would never give an audience to someone who even hints at “advocating” for a rapist!
IMHO, BCG’s statements are purposely deceitful and inflammatory. Steven and Lara did not interview the rapist himself so as to give him a “platform.” Certainly a short quote in the context of showing the horrific nature of child abuse in the religion and the disgusting mentality of child abusers is not “promoting” or “advocating” for any such abuser.
Asserting That Steven Unthank and Lara Kaput Are “Under Investigation”
Lastly, I’m concerned for BCG’s statement that Steven and Lara “are currently under investigation,” and subject to “pending investigations by police,” in this comment:
This is a very serious charge that goes beyond everyday opinions and disagreements. BCG does not provide any evidence to back up this claim (something which Steven denied in his interview with Jonas), even telling another Reddit user that she would “never be privy to an actual police report,” in this comment:
Just my opinion but BCG (or anyone) is absolutely obligated to prove an allegation this severe (and no, “I complained to official channels about them” is NOT the same as being “under investigation”). Again, just my opinion, but I feel strongly that BCG should either support this incredibly serious statement with some type of verifiable backing, or retract it.
Also just my opinion, BCG owes Steven and Lara an apology for her contentions that they are “promoting” and “advocating for” a rapist. BCG is certainly allowed her opinion on the merits of anyone’s story, and we are all allowed criticisms and disagreements about the work, approach, and individual actions of other activists, but those words and assertions cross a line.
BCG certainly does owe Steven, Lara, the protest organizers, Jonas, and anyone she attacked or even approached over “Marta’s” story being stolen and posted without consent a retraction and apology (as does everyone else who jumped on that bandwagon).
I also hope, and I mean this very sincerely, that BCG is in a safe place mentally and emotionally and can speak to a professional about regaining some balance before stepping back into this difficult and often painful world of activism.
December 14, 2019
BCG left a comment under Jonas’ video above, in part:
“Your video publicly advocates that Steven has not done this, you are promoting lies and this type of abusive behaviour towards vulnerable people. Not to mention the 4000 people who are now upset because they now believe Stevens allegation – that he was given information about private sessions. Many victims who have given information to the RC in private session would see this as a huge breach of trust, they feel violated all over again.
I spoke to the Attorney Generals Office, they have assured me that private sessions are highly protected and they did not disclose this information to Steven Unthank.”
As I responded on YouTube, there are 3,954 narratives ON THE RC WEBSITE above, released WITH CONSENT.
BCG has no business acting as if she’s speaking for those victims, and I find it odd that she would say they are “now upset” and “feel violated,” (present tense) as if she’s talked to all of them personally to get their reaction.
I can’t say whether or not BCG actually spoke to the Attorney General’s office but obviously she either misrepresented the situation to them or is misrepresenting their response.
Let me answer a few questions up front:
- I finally joined Reddit to upload this post there as BCG’s statements were on Reddit; I assumed that site would allow a post showing the other side of dishonesties on their platform and was hoping to keep things contained to that one spot. Mods took my post down, made some comments about me being new there so I’m parasitic and looking for a soapbox and my intelligence and not contributing to their community and etc. I’m heartbroken over their words. (That’s not true. We all know by now that I don’t have a heart.)
- I don’t know Steven Unthank from anyone and, yes, there are many unsubstantiated rumors circulating right now about him. Lara has also just announced publicly that she is no longer working with him and corrected certain statements he made about their work (and good on her for doing that). If Steven is guilty of any inappropriate behavior, he needs to answer for that, but one has nothing to do with the other. (“Steven may have *** therefore it’s okay that BCG said he and Lara stole her story without her consent and are advocating for rapists.” That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.)
- I’m standing up for Lara because she’s a genuine activist who has worked her fingers to the bone to get attention on the issues of child sex abuse and shunning especially in the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She has always conducted herself honestly, I’ve never even gotten a hint of her doing anything inappropriate in any way, and she certainly didn’t deserve this dogpiling against her. I can count on the fingers of one hand the exJWs I trust implicitly and she and Eddie Puric are two of them. (Although Jonas is quickly becoming my new favorite as well… )