Editor’s Note: As many people in the community of former Jehovah’s Witnesses know, Daniel Walker, who writes under the pseudonym “Covert Fade” on the website JWsurvey.com, announced that he is writing a book about the Australian Royal Commission Inquiry of 2015, of which Jehovah’s Witnesses were a part. One woman who testified at that Inquiry, under the pseudonym “BCG,” objected to his plans, as he had not even spoken to her about this issue, and she was very uncomfortable with having him handle her story of molestation and abuse.
What followed were several days of disgusting and downright horrific behavior on social media, aimed at BCG by Daniel Walker, Lloyd Evans aka John Cedars, and their followers. Lloyd Evans issued an “apology” for the matter; screen captures below. This is my response to that apology.
To learn more about this issue and see screen captures of those attacks yourself, please see the links at the bottom of this page.
When Lloyd published this “apology,” I sent it to a colleague who also works as a freelance writer, and who specializes in PR campaigns, including “damage control” statements. I gave her some background on what was going on and asked if she thought this apology was genuine, and if she thought it was actually written by Lloyd himself, versus being authored by a PR-type writer.
She laughed. Loudly.
There were 4 aspects of this statement that she picked up on immediately, a few of which BCG has already noted in her response to Lloyd (read her statement here). Very briefly, here is what my colleague noted:
The word “controversy.”
She explained that this word is actually on the shortlist of words used by PR writers to address an issue, because the word “controversy” is very benign. Lloyd didn’t drag a child rape victim through the mud by calling her “petty, tedious,” and “irrational and unreasonable”; no, there was just some disagreement, some confusion and concern by both parties. “Controversy” acknowledges that there was conflict, but is suggestive to the reader, putting the thought in their head that the issue wasn’t caused by the person who committed this transgression, but that the two sides just can’t see eye-to-eye.
Lloyd immediately feels a need to remind everyone that BCG’s testimony is “a matter of public record.” As BCG herself said, this negates the entire apology, because he is justifying his actions.
I might also point out, however, that Lloyd is being sure to remind BCG herself that her information is public, so it’s his “right” to do with it as he pleases. By restating this publicly, he’s again putting her in her place, as it were, while making himself feel good about his actions.
Make yourself their friend.
My colleague noted what she called the “make yourself their friend statement,” where Lloyd says how eager he would be to meet BCG in real life and express his gratitude to her. My friend noted how this is often done; for example, if someone were to say something derogatory about Mexicans, their public “apology” might say that they would really love to go and visit Mexico one day to enjoy the fine culture and food, and etc.
My colleague noted how this is actually very emotionally manipulative for the person you’ve transgressed against, and puts them in a purposefully awkward spot; if the person you’ve hurt refuses that wonderful offer to be friends, then suddenly they look like the bad guy.
BCG responded quite adamantly in her statement back to Lloyd that she has no desire whatsoever to meet him, and I don’t blame her. Who would want to meet someone who calls you all sorts of vile, horrible names?
I don’t think BCG looks bad for refusing Lloyd’s fine offer at all. If you have friends who call you these vile, horrific things, you have abusive friends. Drop them. I can’t imagine wanting to even speak to, much less meet in person and have a pint with, someone who calls me irrational and tedious, and etc.
Remind everyone of all your great work and what a great person you are.
The fourth point my colleague noted was also picked up on by BCG, wherein Lloyd endorses his own activism and himself personally in his last paragraph, being sure to turn even this “apology” back to himself.
Apart from what my colleague and BCG noted, I want to emphasize something in this statement, where Lloyd said, “If my comments made her feel re-victimized or attacked…”
Let me ask Lloyd directly; are you saying there is a chance that calling someone petty, tedious, irrational, and unreasonable won’t make them feel victimized and attacked? There’s some “wiggle room” there? You really think someone might actually be okay with those words? Are they terms of endearment in Croatia, or what am I missing here?
The bottom line is, Daniel Walker and Lloyd Evans aka John Cedars just aren’t getting this. They don’t understand what they’ve done to BCG and the community, and don’t understand how they may have scared off other child rape victims who now may be unwilling to come forward and talk, wondering if they’ll get this same thrashing. They don’t understand why their “apologies” are really just another slap in the face to BCG.
If you’re thinking there’s a chance that they might take a step back and reconsider, Lloyd himself made it clear that he’s not interested in even looking at BCG’s response to him:
As for those who might say that Lloyd has apologized so let’s all move on, I would respond by saying that no, he hasn’t apologized at all. This was not an apology to BCG; it was a self-justifying, insulting endorsement of his own work, with the word “apologize” tossed in for good measure.
I might also point out that Lloyd hasn’t apologized to me, for dragging my name into it on Reddit, starting this argument with me personally when all I had told Daniel Walker at that point was to “tread lightly,” calling me “regressive” and therefore somehow damaging to activism, and for accusing me, a child rape victim myself, of “cynically exploiting” another child rape victim.
As with being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and having horrible, awful things said and done to you, the solution that everyone wants is to just drop it, ignore it, bury your feelings, sweep it under the rug, let the abuser get away with it for the sake of “peace.” Well, we’re not in the Kingdom Hall anymore, people asking the question of “why don’t you just drop it” are not elders who get to determine and dictate a person’s feelings; not BCG’s, and certainly not mine.
I’m also not yet satisfied that victims will be safe from these brutal attacks from Lloyd, Daniel, and others who have come out against this woman in particular. As long as victims continue to suffer at the hands of these abusive, selfish, downright disturbing individuals, I’m not going anywhere.
For a further explanation of this entire issue, please see, “Activism Should Never Be at the Expense of the Victims.”
Read BCG’s public statement regarding these social media attacks at, “Public Statement of “BCG” In Response to Recent Manufactured Social Media Attacks.”
Daniel Walker has since offered an “apology” to BCG, who has not accepted it. Please read her statement in response at, “Public Statement of “BCG” In Response to Daniel Walker’s Apology.” Read my personal statement in response at, “My Personal Response to Daniel Walker’s Apology to Victim “BCG””
Please read BCG’s statement on Lloyd Evans’ “apology” at “Public Statement of “BCG” and Response to Lloyd Evans’ Apology.“
Please also note “My Personal Response to Lloyd Evans Calling Me a “Regressive Activist’“