LETTERS

After a generation of genuine remorse at the slaughter that occurred in Eastern Europe and Nazi Germany, our well-tended next generation has lost touch with the realities of history. Twenty-five million people were destroyed in Europe during the World War II era. Millions of people were displaced, and over 6 million were penned up like animals, subjected to forced labor, starved, tortured and massacred in concentration camps. And yet I have heard my contemporaries employed in business administration state a respect for the leadership skills of Hitler (while "naturally" abhorring the actions of the greatest mass murderer in the history of mankind). It is as if it were a fashionable point of view that there were admirable qualities to the management organization overseeing the systemic brutality in Nazi Germany. This position, as with Dexheimer's article, trivializes the anti-Semitism and racial hatred that fueled this "respectable" leadership.

The Anti-Defamation League is an organization that would have no purpose for existence if not for people like the Quigleys. The organization is funded to disarm racism of all types by making Americans aware that ethnic and racial bias infects all classes of society like a parasite. The infestation can only be contained if it is exposed. In using the judiciary system rather than violence to make a point, the ADL should be commended, not condemned, for its approach to problem-solving. The only way to defeat racism is to confront it; otherwise, it grows silently, like a cancer.

Gerald Katz, M.D.
Englewood

For me, the most shocking part of Eric Dexheimer's story was not the admittedly horrifying language used by the Quigleys but the fact that the Jefferson County DA's office charged a woman who had been "misidentified" and was completely innocent! I remember reading about the charges being filed against Joy Mudd; until this story, I don't remember reading about the charges being dropped. That is a travesty.

Cheryl Smith
Denver

Okay, 6 million Jews died in a Holocaust that was started by people in Germany snickering on their telephones about Jews in their neighborhoods. The Jews did not stand up for themselves against their neighbors. This time they (the Aronsons) did. Why on earth should we feel sorry for the Quigleys, obvious racists, and blame the Jewish victims? Your article was yet another example of anti-Semitism.

M. Black
Denver

I admire your newspaper's courage, interest and effort in taking up issues in which some powerful lobbying organization might be involved. To report even impartially about an issue in which a forceful organization with many influential ethnic links, such as the ADL, is involved takes a great degree of independence which your newspaper has demonstrated to me numerous times. I live in a small town in Idaho, and I wish that my local newspaper would learn (and would be willing) to display some of your journalistic independence. Please keep up your excellent work.

M. Straka
Idaho Falls, ID

Center of the Storm
Thank you for Michelle Dally Johnston's superb report on Clare Haynes-Seman and the Kempe Center ("Do You See What I See?" August 2). Her extensive, transcontinental, thorough, devastating research and precise writing may add up to 1) the finest piece in 1995 for Westword among dozens of splendid reports; 2) a major award for Westword and her; 3) lots of threats and whining from Haynes-Seman; and maybe even 4) overdue action from Dr. Richard Krugman and others who have condoned her work all these shameful years.

Bless you, bless Ms. Johnston.
Pat Bourgeron
Denver

While Michelle Dally Johnston's article certainly brought to light the point of view of a few accused child molesters, a more balanced understanding of Dr. Clare Haynes-Seman's important work at the Kempe Center can be achieved by informing your readers of the following:

1. In the article, Dr. Haynes-Seman is criticized for observing the child and accused together as part of her assessment process. However, the guidelines for child-abuse evaluations promulgated by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry include observing the child with the alleged perpetrator because meaningful nonverbal behavior between the two can often be detected.

2. The above guideline is scoffed at by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, whose ideologues are liberally quoted in the Westword article.

3. A number of child-protective services throughout the Rocky Mountain area, including departments of Social Services, police agencies and courts, have historically referred their most difficult cases to Dr. Haynes-Seman because she is recognized as one of the region's most objective and qualified experts in the field.

4. An impressive number of people in child protection have written glowingly about Dr. Haynes-Seman's expertise and contributions in the area of child-abuse assessments.

5. The foreword to Dr. Haynes-Seman's book is written by the eminent Dr. Brandt Steele, one of the nation's earliest pioneers and foremost experts in child-abuse work.

6. If the data so shows, Dr. Haynes-Seman often finds that "no" abuse has occurred or that the suspected perpetrator is not the actual miscreant, thereby sparing someone the moniker of "child abuser."

7. Dr. Haynes-Seman does not receive a dime from the fees paid in any case; all of the money goes to the Kempe Center.

8. Nearly all of Dr. Haynes-Seman's Westword critics are persons who have been hired by the accused, or other self-serving individuals, to testify in court against the doctor's findings. Contrarily, none of the persons who have been assessed by the doctor are her clients. She represents no special interest except that of objectivity.

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