Sunday, October 18, 2009

In-House Agudah Memo About Containing the Scandal

A new kid on the block needs a break...

By Yerachmiel Lopin

Editors Note- The following came to me from an unknown source and I cannot verify its authenticity.


FROM: Mr. Allium

TO: MR Geltman

RE: Future direction of Finances

The unrelenting torrent of criticism of our failure to reformulate our approach is taking its toll. We are putting a brave face on it and we could probably continue in this way for a while. But if it persists long enough the damage will intensify and it may be too late to recover.

Accordingly I am writing this memo to you as a first step toward revising our approach before it is too late. Knowing how sensitive this issue is I used a typewriter and there are a limited number of copies in existence. Please burn yours after you finish reading it.

At the core of our problems is the Internet, especially the blogs such UOJ and FM as well as Polin’s Awareness Center. For a long time it was a “he said, he said” kind of situation. But now some of the old charges have been substantiated. As you and I know, more of those charges will be substantiated. Alas, Charles Hynes, Brookly DA, will be much less willing to take our word on dropping charges. Now some of the victimized girls are also talking. And some of them like little sheffele have stories that are so heartbreaking and yet so full of emunah. That sort of thing may be even more dangerous than UOJ which we try to discredit because of nivul peh.

Blogs (many anonymous) keep on opening. More of them are by individuals who are careful to make it appear like they are definitely frum. It is very hard to discredit them unless we have verifiable dirt on them. If we accuse them falsely they can choose to throw off their cloak of anonymity and then we are really up the creek. Moreover the anonymous one are less likely to be OTD. We know Shmarya is OTD but I suspect UOJ is not. Stripping UOJ of his anonymity it would be risky. Then he will be a real face and name, and that would be even worse for us because he clearly knows where many of the bodies are buried and I am afraid he has more dirt than he has dished out.

This is hurting us with contributors. Of course publicly, we are blaming the recession. Publicly I blame the drop in contributions on the economy. But serveral big givers have told me why they have stopped giving to us. I have confirmed that some of these people are giving the same or more to other groups. One fellow has dropped us and instead gives the money to SFJ.

Survivors for Justice is out there and it is hard to find any dirt on them. I am still looking. I wont give up, but I have to tell you I am pessimistic. Between you and me, we are just stuck with too many ehrliche yidn.

As if Rabbi Blau at YU was not bad enough now we are faced with Rabbi Eisenman at Ahavas Israel in Passaic. He got his smichah at YU but he is morphing into a hassid. If he has a specific Rebbe and we can identify him we might be able to pressure him. But he may be like Mr Mendlowitz, whose Rebbe was the Ribono shel olam. He clearly has a congregation which adores him and he commands great respect in his community.

Here are some of the dangerous ideas he is promoting”

Go to the Police

Listen to the victims even if they are OTD because they didn’t leave us, we left them by ignoring their pleas.

Listen to complaints even if you can’t prove the truthfulness because it may be the truth. Usually when someone complains there is some real problem.

That al chet for giluy arayos applies to the community’s response to the problem and that ubiartem es harah mikirbechah (you shall eradicate the evil among us) applies to this problem in our community.

That the biggest invokers of lashon hurah are the molesters themselves
That the Gerer rebbe “isn’t God” and he is protecting a molester (Mondrowitz) and congregants should refuse to support them. (He was saying this before the latest Litzman scandal.

Eisenman has just gotten started and a few others like him may emerge. It is true that most congregational rabbis are clueless or easily intimidated. However, the frum world is one big network and as congregants in other shuls speak to his congregants they will start pressuring their rabbis to do more. This will only lead to uncovering more and more cases and stoking congregational anger. We will lose more ground with our olam once they start hearing these stories from kids in their own community.

I think we can anticipate what happens next by looking at the Catholic Church. It is like Watergate, at some point the question became, who knew and who was involved in the cover-up. Unfortunately for the catholics there is a large written trail. Whereas in our community it will be more complicated and ambiguous and people will start blaming each other for either misrepresenting the facts presented to rabbonim, or blaming rabbonim for forbidding mesirah, even when it should have been allow because of the danger to the children. Of course we will keep using the business of not knowing all this data about recividism among pedophiles. But this excuse is double edged, even as it dilutes responsibility it also reduces our credibility as competent leaders.

My ultimate fear is that several Moetzes leaders will break ranks and go public with some very serious charges and facts. It is just bound to happen once the Moetzes realizes that there are no more intermediate scapegoats left. It is the old sinking ship problem. Unfortunately that will probably be the end our influence. Because it is hard to argue for the clear demands of Daas Torah when there are seventy faces to Daas Torah.

I don’t see a solution, but I do see a way to buy time by serving up a few scapegoats from within the Moetzes. Ideally we will actually find a pedophile and find a way to claim he was our point person and he misled us. I know of no one who fits the bill, but it is quite possible we will discover someone with all the victims coming forward.

Unless we get lucky in finding our scapegoat our next best strategy is finding out which members of the Moetzes are most likely to come forward and find a way to scapegoat them and thus discredit them. The problem if figuring out who is most likely to suffer from a troubled conscience and who has the most dirt. Unfortunately we have a culture of conformity that makes it hard to know who on the inside is disgusted enough to come forward.

I have only one practical solution for the short term. It is similar to Mao’s thousand flowers shtick. He was one smart goy. Here is how he worked it. After a period where everyone was cowed into conformity, he announced, let a thousand flowers bloom. He encouraged all sorts of public expressions and practices. Then he stopped a thousand flowers but he knew who the troublemakers were and he pushed them out of power or and in many cases, out of the window.

I would suggest something along those lines called elef prachim, or pirchei for short in all of our future communications. B It borrows from what we did with the Spinka Rebbe over tax fraud. It was truly impressive. We had him saying chatassi for causing a big chillul hashem, without ever saying “I lied” His reference to lawyers and accountants was ambiguous enough so at sentencing he could imply that he was advocating compliance while others could read it as use lawyers and accountants so you don’t get caught. Finally the Yekkes could think, true it isn’t enough but it shows us that the Agudah is moving in the right direction.

For the problem we are talking about, we could arrange a big public event. Find someone to say chatassi, only admitting he should have gone to even more meetings. He could point out that we now have frum therapists at Ohel, and make some strong statements of sympathy for those who have been hurt. He might even announce a plan for an accelerated learning program to culminate in a siyum with a special kavannah for those who suffered. The beauty of this program is that we can canvass broadly for all sorts of support for this effort and seek advice on what to raise and how far to go. Those inside who have been fooling us by not showing their disloyalty will come out of the woodwork. We will give them just enough hope that we can change even if they don’t come forward. Then we can go to work on a gradual campaign to discredit them. They will try to complain that rumors are spread about them because of their concerns about child abuse. But if they havent yet come out strongly on the issue, no one will believe that argument. Naturally, the rabbonim themselves will never explicitly know about the true pirchei project and agenda. But quite a few of them are very smart. If my past experience is any guide that will give me free hand and stay above it all. Like the goy detective said during the Watergate hearings. “I knew something wasn’t kosher.” Our rabbonim can see an aphid on a broccoli from 2000 ammos so of course they will suspect something. But if they were the kind of people who insisted on acting on their suspicions we wouldn’t be in this matzav.

I expect to be working on this project for a while. I will let you know how it progresses.

I think this approach may just buy us enough time to come up with something better for the long haul. But between us, I am hedging my bets and beginning to build a private lobbying and consulting practice.


Mr. Allium


1. The good news is that I don’t yet see any decline in our external political influence. I think your real estate project is good to go. But I would advise you to try and clinch the deal sooner rather than bargain for the last dollar.

2. I was hoping to include a review of the notes from the meetings at the NR’s house. I am guessing they are just misplaced. Dealing with them being leaked would just be one problem too many.

That Rabbis “aren’t necessarily God” and that we need to refuse funding to Ger until it stops blocking the extradition from Israel of osso ha-ish.



Click on image to enlarge --- Please distribute these as flyers in your neighborhood shuls!