The following is further information regarding the four “experts” panel members chosen by St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo to conduct an inquiry into “allegations of sexual misconduct” at the school. The school is run by a Canadian branch of the Brothers of Christian Instruction which is head-quartered in La Prairie, Quebec (just outside Montreal Quebec). Most of the information was posted previously – I decided to merge that information onto one page for ease of access.
Is the Jack Byrd in this link the the same Jack Byrd on the panel? The same Jack Byrd who is a partner in 360 Risk Management Group Ltd. who stated stated in the interview: “What clients are really interested in is making a problem go away after they have encountered it. Once the crisis hits, they call us”? I am quite certain that it is. Look further down the Kagei letter. Note the channels for reporting – mailing address: “360 Risk Management Group…” So, yes, this is the Jack Byrd who has been retained as a panel member to conduct an inquiry of some sort.
Mr. Byrd is referenced on one website as John “Jack” Byrd – previously Senior Director at Kroll International, Asia Region (Japan office) .
While with Kroll Byrd was involved in the firm’s “Kidnap & Ransom program.” Please take a second to scan the following info regarding Mr. Byrd’s areas of expertise.: Who we are « 360 Risk Management Group
How in heaven’s name will all of Mr. Byrd’s vast expertise aid in any kind of inquiry related to the sex abuse of boys by staff at a school in Japan run by a branch of a religious order head-quartered in Canada? I just don;t understand.
Bear Mr. Byrd’s quote in mind both now and in the future: “What clients are really interested in is making a problem go away after they have encountered it. Once the crisis hits, they call us”
I have some information and links on the SMIS panel member Keiko Ohara.
I see nothing which indicates that Ohara has expertise in child sexual abuse be it abuse of boys or girls, either in or out of the Roman Catholic Church.
Here is a link to her online CV:http://www.kamlaw.com/en/profile_oharakeiko.html
And here is a link to Kamiyacho International Law Office, the lawfirm where Ms. Ohara is a partner http://www.kamlaw.com/en/practiceareas.html
I could perhaps see Ohara providing advice on the thorny issue of providing compensation for victims from country A molested in country B by a man from country C. BUT, …the thing is that the Brothers of Christian Instruction could provide compensation on its own initiative, could it not? To my knowledge there is no law anywhere which prohibits a school or religious order from compensating whomever they wish to compensate. If there is a sense of moral accountability and responsibility for the damage done by members/staff/employees to vulnerable and innocent young boys they are free to do as they wish, are they not?
Further to that, the Kagei letter provides an email for reporting information to the panel as: firstname.lastname@example.org.
kamlaw.com is the url for Ohara’s lawfirm Kamiyacho International Law Office. When one clicks on email@example.com the email directs to firstname.lastname@example.org, Ms. Ohara’s email. (plus, hover the mouse over email@example.com and up comes “mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
So, Keiko Ohara, a lawyer whose expertise seems to lie in the realm of international law, is the email contact for all victims who wish to come forward to report abuse to the SMIS panel, and the email point of contact for all who believe they have information which would be of interest to the “inquiry.”
I don’t understand. I really and truly don’t understand.
Ms. Ohara is no doubt a lovely lady and skilled lawyer, but why did SMIS choose her (1) as a panel member and to conduct an inquiry, and (2) as the first point of email contact contact for men who, as children, enured sexual abuse at the hands of brothers or staff at the school?
For those who opt to make contact by mail, Mr. Kagei gives the contact mailing address for the 360 Risk Management Group.
That’s where Jack Byrd, another panel member works. The same Jack Byrd who is quoted as saying: “What clients are really interested in is making a problem go away after they have encountered it. Once the crisis hits, they call us”?
How pray tell will does that sentiment help a victim? I can see it helping the school, but, how will it help the victims? Not only that, how pray tell does that sentiment help those who wish to report cover-up? Again, I can see it helping the school, but how will it help whistleblowers?
What am I missing here? Can anyone out there help me to make sense out of this panel. Please.
I will add here a comment which was posted on Sylvia’s Site:
Mr. Angus B. Llewellyn
First, there are a number of articles related to Mr. Llewellyn’s years with the FBI. I decided not to link to any since none seemed relevant. We know that he is a 25-year veteran of the FBI.
We also known (from Mr. Kagei’s 15 November 2014 letter ) that Mr. Llewellyn “
has led 60+ compliance reviews in response to sexual abuse allegations involving children.“
What exactly does that mean?
Well, it seems that Llewellyn worked with an agency/organization which conducted audits for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Here we go…
In this 2004 article there is reference to an audit conducted by the Gavin Group of Boston.
The audit found that the Diocese of Kansas City–St Joseph was in full compliance with Charter for Protection of Children and Young People.
(The Charter/Dallas Charter is the procedures/guidelines set by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 to address the burgeoning accounts of clerical sex abuse in the country. The Charter is applicable in the USA only. Annual audits for compliance have been mandated by the USCCB, however the bishops conference does not have the authority canonically to compel bishops to do comply. Several diocese do not comply and audits in several dioceses have therefore not been conducted. )
As you can see, Gavin Group of Boston conducted the audit. And, as you can see, Angus B. Llewellyn is identified as one of two former FBI agents who spent several days in the Diocese of Kansas City–St Joseph who “poured over hundreds of pages of diocesan documents relating to sexual abuse cases, and interviewed priests, response team and independent review board members and victims of clerical sexual abuse to judge how effective the diocese has been in implementing the 2002 U.S. bishops’ Charter.”
According to this 2004 article The Gavin Group was hired to conduct 191 of the 195 audits of Catholic dioceses in USA that year. According to other sources the group is hired by the UCSSB.
The head of the agency, like Mr. Llewellyn and many if not all investigators with the agency are FBI veterans. The Gavin Group investigators are often referred to in articles as “independent investigators.|”
In the 2007 the Gavin Group audit found the Diocese of Kansas City–St Joseph in full compliance. The Bishop of the day was by then Robert W. Finn.
As most probably know, as of 2012 Bishop Finn became the highest ranking American Church official to enjoy the dubious distinction of being convicted for failing to report suspicions of child sex abuse.
I have hunted for the 2011 and 2012 audits of the Diocese of Kansas City–St Joseph to see if the diocese was found to be in full compliance in those years. I am sure the audits can be accessed online somewhere – I just reached a point that I decided I should, at least for now, give up.
I did however come across this blog from 2009 wherein serious reservations are expressed regarding the accuracy of the audit of the Diocese of Portland Maine
“…neither Mr. Gavin nor the bishops will admit that the financial success of Mr. Gavin’s company is dependent upon the goodwill of Catholic bishops across the country. If enough bishops become dissatisfied with the results of their child protection compliance audits, then Mr. Gavin will be shown the door …”
If you read the blog you will see that, according to the blog, despite the fact that a known clerical molester was living in a community “full of kids” and that “no one knows about the priest’s past history of abusing children” the bishop of the day, Richard Joseph Malone, received full marks for “ensuring the safety of children.”
In other words, the Diocese of Portland Maine was deemed to be fully compliant.
I could spend forever checking out compliance records alongside the cover-ups in various dioceses. I will leave that to others. I can tell you however that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was also deemed to be in full compliance, and that in that regard .questions have been raised as to how the Archdiocese has consistently been graded fully compliant with news from canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger that auditors were not given access to certain clerical records
Indeed, many will recall that this same archdiocese has recently been rocked by allegations of cover-up
I will leave it at that. Those who opt to research further please pass on your findings
How long Mr. Llewyllen worked with the group is unknown, but we do know that, according to the Kagei letter of 18 November, he conducted “60+” compliance reviews. Were all 60+ compliance reviews conducted by the Gavin Group for the UCSSB? I have no idea.
Do these 60+ compliance reviews put Mr. Llewellyn in good stead to serve on the SMIS panel and conduct an inquiry into whatever the inquiry is going to investigate? I truly have no idea. Does he have the best interests of victims in mind? That’s the question, is it not?
Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD
Mr. Saburo Kagei announced in his second letter (18 March 2015) that Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn (scroll down) had asked to step down “due to other commitments,” and that panel leader Ms. Ohara “has been able to find an equally distinguished expert” Dr. Arthur Becker-Weidman. is a forensic psychologist who has, among other things, it seems, a special interest in treatment and evaluation of families with adopted and foster children I made a few comments on Dr. Weidman’s credentials here.
Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D
Announced in Mr. Kagei’s letter of 18 November 2014 as member of the panel. Announced in Kagei’s second letter of 18 March 2015 as gone (“due to other commitments”) and replaced by Arthur Becker-Weidman, PhD (see above)
According to the CV provided by Mr. Kagei
Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn, a graduate of Harvard Medical School and Princeton University and a forensic psychiatrist with a long-standing special interest in the prevention of sexual harassment and abuse in educational institutions. Dr. Bursztajn consults regularly with health and law professionals regarding victim witness interview methods and analyses.
I was puzzled at the inclusion of a forensic psychiatrist on the SMIS panel. Granted I have no idea as yet what the terms of reference of the inquiry are, but it just struck me as odd that SMIS has decided to include not only a psychiatrist, but a forensic psychiatrist at that, on its panel.
For what purpose?
Why a forensic psychiatrist?
I admit I am skeptical. Red flags.
I would say with just cause. I am, however, always happy to learn that my skepticism was or is ill-founded.
My last ‘direct’ exposure to a forensic psychiatrist was at the child porn trial of Canada’s now disgraced, convicted and since defrocked Bishop Raymond Lahey.
I say “direct” only in the sense that I had the misfortune to sit in the courtroom while Dr. John Bradford testified at the Lahey sentencing hearing. On 21 December 2014 I blogged “The Bishop’s porn.” http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/2011/12/21/the-bishops-porn/
Those who are interested in pursuing details further can follow the link. If you want to know the mindset of at least one forensic psychiatrist, follow the link.
I will tell you that what distressed me most was the fact that Dr Bradford seemed to have no problem at all with Bishop Lahey’s behaviour. None. Bishop Lahey had 35 videos, a number of which depicted boys of various ages – some as young as six – performing various sex acts . Bishop Lahey had stories which constituted child porn. And Bishop Lahey had pictures of teenage boys involved in bondage or torture.
It didn’t fizz Bradford. Not one little bit.
I know the fact that Lahey was at that time a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church was inconsequential to Dr. Bradford. Perhaps that is fair enough? But should any decent man be viewing such smut?
I think not.
According to Bradford, Lahey denied having sex with children when he, Lahey, travelled to places such, as Thailand, – places known for the sex tourist trade. Lahey denied. That was it. Lahey denied having sex with children on his travels, therefore Lahey did not have sex with children on his travels, therefore Lahey is not a paedophile.
Not only did Bradford conclude that Lahey is not a paedophile, under cross-examination the forensic psychaitrist flatly refused to categorize Lahey as a paedophile, hebophile or ephebohile – and he thus concluded that there was no need of treatment of any kind!
With that in mind I set off to find out what I could about the SMIS inquire forensic psychiatrist.
Here is what I have found:
1. The son of a Holocaust survivor Dr. Harold J Bursztan is listed as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at both Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Cambridge, Mass and at Harvard Medical School
2. Dr. Bursztajn not only has special interest in prevention of sexual harassment and abuse multiple areas of special interest, he has multiple special interests. He has According to his online profile, the doctors special areas of interest include (and I will spell them all out as listed for the sake of those who prefer not to click in the link):
“… medical and psychiatric malpractice, psychiatric diagnosis, suicide prevention, sexual boundary violation claim evaluations, risk management consultation, boundary training, detection of malingering, pain impairment evaluations, informed consent, medication management standards, managed health care, psychiatric and forensic neuropsychiatric autopsies, testamentary capacity, diminished capacity, death penalty mitigation, and employment related issues such as ADA, disability, workers’ compensation, and sexual harassment.”
And further to that
Dr. Bursztajn’s litigation prevention services include both continuing education workshops and individual consultations. He has taught clinicians, judges, and attorneys on a variety of forensic topics, including evaluation of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and detection of medical and psychiatric malingering and misattribution, as well as a variety of clinical topics, including informed consent, assessment of suicide, pain management, psychopharmacology, the addictions, and the treatment of acutely and chronically mentally ill patients. He also consults widely to both public and private organizations including state and federal agencies, the courts, law firms, health care providers, educational institutions, and corporations.
A litigation prevention service? I realize that doesn’t offer much for those poor boys who were molested at SMIS before the statute of limitations ran out in Japan. And it is of no aid to those who can not legally attain justice because of the geographical dilemmas posed when a boy from country A, is molested by a religious brother from country B, and the sexual abuse transpired in country C tweny, thirty or more years ago.
But what if a religious brother from country B molested a boy from country C in country C, and country C has a statute of limitations and the abuse is recent? There are all sorts of what ifs here, are there not?
And what I wonder constitutes “medical and psychiatric malingering and misattribution”?
And what of of “evaluation of Post-traumatic Stress”?
3. Dr. Bursztajn is listed as an expert witness on numerous sites, and so, for example, the doctor has added his name to the SEAK Expert Witness Directory and has identified his specialties and experience as follows:
Independent Medical Psych. Evaluations, Forensic Psychiatry, Expert Opinion Formulation, Managed Health Care, Malpractice, Clinical Trials, Employment Issues, Organizational Consulting, Family & Custodial Issues. Harvard Medical School Sr. Faculty
4. For those who like me are trying to sort out what exactly a forensic psychiatrist is, according to the Accredited Psychiatry and Medicine Medical and Psychiatric Experts website on a page committed to Bursztajn
“A medical expert is a physician who has the requisite clinical experience and academic achievement to form an objective medical opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty. A forensic psychiatrist is a physician who integrates clinical experience, knowledge of medicine, mental health, and the neurosciences to form an independent, objective opinion. Relevant data are gathered and analyzed as part of a process of alternative hypothesis testing to formulate an expert medical/psychiatric opinion. This expert opinion can be effectively communicated by written report, deposition, or courtroom testimony. The applications of forensic psychiatry are widespread in settings ranging from health care and the workplace to criminal justice and public safety questions.”
According to that same site ,
“Employment issues, including worker’s compensation and disability law, supervisory negligence, workplace discrimination, and wrongful termination can benefit from a forensic neuropsychiatric evaluation. Such an evaluation begins with a review and analysis of medical records, depositions and supporting documents. Initial working hypotheses may be supplemented by a forensic psychiatric examination of the plaintiff or the insured. This process can result in the formulation of an expert opinion as to the validity, nature, and extent of the claims at issue. Areas of interest include risk factors for misdiagnosis, misattribution, malingering, or motivation for secondary gain.”
The question of course is, which is it? Will Dr.Bursztajn conduct a forensic examination of the plaintiff or the insured?
And, yes, of course, the other question is: will the inquiry process entail entail the doctors “expert opinion” of the validity of the victims’ claims and in that context the “risk factors for misdiagnosis, misattribution, malingering, or motivation for secondary gain”?
Further to that we learn that Dr. Bursztajn has been retained by both plaintiffs and defence:
“Forensic neuropsychiatric evaluation regarding reasonable accommodation claims and causation of emotional harm is among Dr. Bursztajn’s areas of special forensic interest. In this regard he has been retained by both plaintiff’s and defense counsel, and has advised the judiciary and psychiatrists in training.”
And, also of interest
“Both true and false allegations of sexual harassment are made in the workplace. The presence or absence of psychological trauma is not enough to prove sexual harassment. False memories, desire for attention or revenge, and later reconsideration of consent can all lead to false allegations. At the same time, true allegations may not initially be considered credible. While a treating psychiatrist’s goal is to help alleviate the presenting emotional and psychological pain and trauma without necessarily determining the facts of the incident, a forensic psychiatrist is trained to objectively evaluate claims such as that of sexual harassment. Such an evaluation yields more accurate testimony regarding the grounds on which the claim of sexual harassment is made, and potential emotional and physical damages.”
Does the process for sexual harrasment relate to child sexual abuse? I think it may?
Does this then mean that a forensic psychiatrist considers him/herself the only one qualified to determine the truth?
5. In 1993 Dr. Bursztajn co-authored The Rebirth of Forensic Psychiatry in Light of Recent Historical Trends in Criminal Responsibility
For at the heart of the conundrum of forensic psychiatry is the tension between the legal system’s — and people’s — wish for simple answers, a wish the psychiatrist (like any other expert) must inevitably disappoint, and a more realistic appreciation of science as offering merely the deepest understanding possible under the circumstances. Once the naive belief in “exact” science is replaced by a more contextual notion of what scientific knowledge is, it becomes possible to appreciate the numerous ways in which forensic psychiatrists deploy this scientific and human understanding in both criminal and civil law.
And now, scroll down to “The Changing Landscape of Forensic Practise” for the following comment on Sexual Harassment”:
Sexual harassment. The forensic psychiatrist contributes to the disposition of sexual harassment claims in two ways. The first is by assessing the credibility of witnesses, which may be impugned by a preexisting psychiatric condition or enhanced by prior success in treatment. When a possible false claim is at issue, the forensic expert can confront both parties with alternate scenarios and evaluate their responses.  The second stage is the determination of damages, which may be affected by the effects of prior emotional vulnerability or hypersensitivity.
Is this what Dr. Bursztajn will be doing for SMIS? I truly don’t know.
6. Dr. Bursztajn was a co-author of the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics 2008 publication Psychiatric Ethics and the Rights of Persons With Mental Disabilities in Institutions and the Community
Scroll down to page 20 to read Case 3. It’s only four pages.
True, the case deals with committing a convicted paedophile to a psychiatric facility because he is deemed a risk, however what I found of interest is the fact that the authors question why those who have committed sex crimes are treated differently than other convicted criminals, and in relation to the rest of the article I get the sense that perhaps the authors are slightly offended that paedophiles are discriminated against in such cruel fashion?
I wouldn’t say that such a scenario (into a Psych hospital from incarceration) is at all true here in Canada, but it may be so elsewhere? Actually, when it comes to Canada I believe that paedophiles and all other classes of molesters are treated with remarkable leniency, tolerance and kid gloves, and I truly do have trouble imagining any paedophile in Canada being forced into a psychiatric institution to ensure that children are not placed at risk. It may have happened, but I don’t believe it is the norm? It may happen elsewhere in the world, and if indeed such is the case I for one applaud those who place the safety and security of children above the “rights” of a convicted paedophile.
I will leave it at that.
Oh yes, there is the 03 April 2013 letter which Dr. Bursztajn co-authored regarding sex abuse at the prestigious the prestigious college preparatory Horace Mann School in New York.
I can find no indication that Dr. Bursztajn became involved in an inquiry at the school.
At the end of the day the burning questions for me are:
- What role will Dr. Bursztajn play at the up-coming SMIS inquiry?
- Who decided that a forensic psychiatrist should be part of the SMIS inquiry team, and why?