The day is drawing nigh for the report of the Sex Abuse Task Force, the Guidepost Solutions, LLC report that forms the basis and body of the SATF report and “suggestions” for convention action in June.
[An important note: I have no complaint about the SATF, their work, their public statements, or anything else on the matter. I was wary of the whole process and wrote about it here and here. It’s fair to say that among the SBC Voices team I am the most concerned about where this will lead us as a convention; nonetheless, I remain optimistic about the SATF suggestions, that they will be workable in our autonomous system and will contribute to a healthier convention in regard to sex abuse.]
From the latest update, Sex Abuse Task Force update, May 6. 2022
Pursuant to the Messenger’s Motion, Guidepost must submit its report to the Task Force no later than 30-days prior to the SBC Convention in Anaheim, which begins on June 14, 2022. Thus, the report is due to the Task Force on May 15, 2022. A copy of the factual portion of the report must be provided to the Committee on Cooperation (“CoC”) for a factual review five days prior to submission to the Task Force – May 10, 2022. Guidepost will not provide its observations or conclusions to the CoC, but strictly the factual portion so that any inadvertent errors (e.g., titles, dates) can be corrected.
One note about this paragraph, and I expect that this will be noticed and trumpeted loudly by the takeover group: The early release of the report to five members of the Executive Committee was NOT pursuant to the messenger motion (blame grammar and syntax, surely the SATF members know what is in the Motion). It may be well and good, proper and necessary to follow this protocol but it wasn’t what the messengers voted. The motion reads, in part:
A written report on the factual findings of this review shall be presented to the task force 30 days prior to the SBC Annual meeting in 2022, and made public in full form within one week of the Task Force’s receipt of the report along with suggestions from the task force for actions to be taken by our convention.
For those who complain about following messenger action to the letter, that the EC was bound to waive ACP and other measures, just note that the SATF presumed to have some leeway in handling the matter; thus, these five members of the EC get a preview on Tuesday which is not “30 days prior to the SBC Annual meeting in 2022″: Ed Litton, Mike Keahbone, John Batts, Nancy Spalding, and Chris Dupree. It is not stated that the two SATF consultants get to preview the report, so I assume they will have to wait.
For their decision on this the SATF states that
Guidepost, the Task Force, and the CoC have agreed upon the following protocol to maintain the integrity of the report until its release by the Task Force:
The CoC or its designated delegates will only be able to review the factual portion of the report in a designated room with either a Task Force member or a Guidepost representative (“Monitor”) present at all times.
No photocopies or photographs of the factual portion of the report will be permitted. All copies of the factual portion of the report will be collected whenever the Monitor is not present in the room or whenever a break is taken.
Each CoC member or delegate will agree (in writing) not to disclose any portion of the report to anyone, in any form, including on social media. This prohibition includes disclosure to other SBC EC Trustees, current or former.
If notes are taken by the CoC or delegate, the notes must be hand-written and will be collected by the Monitor at the end of each review date. The notes will be destroyed at the conclusion of the review.
Guidepost personnel will meet with the CoC at the conclusion of their review to discuss any factual issues where the CoC believes that a correction is necessary. Though Guidepost will discuss suggested language or changes with the CoC, Guidepost will not commit to any language changes during this meeting and the final language is in the sole discretion of Guidepost.
Once the CoC review is concluded and factual changes, if any, are made by Guidepost, the report will be finalized and submitted to the Task Force on May 15, 2022.
Sounds like a sensible protocol to me even if it is like an “eyes only” nuclear secrets matter. If we lived in a era of trust, this wouldn’t be worth mentioning. But we don’t. It will be mentioned by strident critics.
Beyond that the latest update lists individuals who declined to be interviewed. Notable in the list are: Paige Patterson, Jack Graham, and Paul Pressler. Pressler declined through his wife due to health issues. Graham offered full access to his [SBC] Presidential Papers, which Guidepost already had, and that was the extent of his response. Patterson declined through his attorney “and stated he had no recollection of the subject of sexual abuse coming up during the last six months of his Presidency that falls under the scope of the investigation.”
Notable EC people (Ronnie Floyd, Mike Stone, and others) did apparently submit for interviews.
The full list is in the SATF May 6 update.
The ordinary SBC public, the ones who are paying millions of dollars for all this, get the full report (redacted or changed to correct errors, that’s the purpose of the EC preview) on Monday, May 22nd. The SATF doesn’t actually put this date in their May 6 update but it’s the timeline voted on by the messengers.
I am mildly concerned that there is wiggle room on the final report release date but the SATF has been the most open, most thorough, and most responsive Grand SBC Task Force we’ve ever had. I trust that they will maintain that trust through the timely release called for.
It’s plainly obvious that the takeover group will attempt to use the SATF and the Guidpost work as a campaign issue. We’ve already seen that. Let the chips fall where they may. Undoubtedly, some people will be embarrassed in the final report because of their words and behavior.
The news coming on the SATF report and suggestions will certainly be a campaign issue. Bart Barber will handle it with aplomb. Tom Ascol will revert to the 19th century angry Calvinist contrarian that he is, and Robin Hattaway’s reaction is irrelevant. He has no chance.
The SATF write that the May 6 Update is their final one., Maybe the body will be sunsetted by their final report but I’d offer the wild conjecture that some new expensive body will replace it.