Sunday, April 21, 2013


There's a lot of good quotes from Sex and the Spiritual Teacher by Scott Edelstein, but here is one where a teacher has committed a breach:

"If the spiritual community chooses to hire a lawyer, the lawyer may initially advise leaders to close ranks, withhold information, or further victimize the teacher's accuser(s) by challenging their claims and/or their motives. The lawyer may even urge community leaders to try to eject the accuser(s) from the community. Any of these actions will of course make matters worse. Yet the lawyer is simply doing their job, as they see it: protecting their client from liability. To prevent such a pernicious turn of events, community leaders need to tell their lawyer from the beginning, "Our goal is not to minimize the organization's liability. It's to heal the community's wounds, keep or make it healthy, resolve whatever legal issues arise, and keep people safe. We will not harm or disrespect any human being in order to protect this organization. The interest of community members comes before the interest of this nonprofit entity." Because attorneys are rarely asked to think this way, leaders may need to remind their lawyers this again and again. At times they may need to remind themselves as well."

This is an interesting book that I recommend to anyone in administration of a spiritual community.

Here is a video of an interview of the author.

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