With the atrocious murder of Drummer Lee Rigby at the forefront of the news, it makes me once again consider the dangers of religion and religious cults and how dangerous religion can be when in the wrong hands or misunderstood. I recently blogged about a particular Christian organisation who assaulted my daughter in law on the streets of Cambodia in the so-called name of religion and you can read it here.
I will never mention their name because that is exactly what Mr Lindsay Clark the CEO of this organisation wants me to do in the hope it will drive more traffic to his site. But I’m happy to publish their photos if that would help.
The organisation recently blogged about their visit to Cambodia where they tried to snatch my daughter in law’s bag and then attempted to video her without consent. Of course they didn’t mention this but what bothered me most was how they termed this trip ‘A military training camp for new recruits.’ What kind of religion has military training? And for what possible reason? They then go on to describe the boot camp. How worrying is all this? I’ve never heard such words used in conjunction with religion. The programme is described as
‘More dynamic, interactive and challenging than ever before. Among other things we have added a ‘sense making day’ to the program where students were regularly required to step out of their comfort zone in order to participate in various team activities and interactive field visits that challenge them to use all their senses to better develop their leadership abilities.
According to Mr Lindsay Clarke it was during Susan Detroy’s first field trip that the incedent (his spelling) supposedly happened and she was just an observer. An observer of a young woman with a child having her bag snatched and videotaped?
Mr Lindsay Clark
Our final correspondence with Lindsay Clarke is as follows.
From: lindsay clarke Sent: 01 May 2013 00:41
Subject: cambodia incedent
Your email was forwarded to me and so I will give you a direct reply. (ORIGINAL EMAIL SENT TO SUSAN DETROY WHICH CAN BE READ AT THE OTHER POST)
I would have great concerns if I were in your position and am personally concerned about anything that could have alarmed —– or for that matter any person whether I or my organisation were involved or not.
However I have emailed your wife and you were copied in, that if you wanted to talk about the matter to let me know and one of our senior team would respond. If the time zones worked that person would probably be me. I am currently in Europe.
However there was no response to this offer.
Instead you sent another email to an intern who is not in a position to reply not just because she has instructions but because she doesn’t have the life experience or background herself, she was an observer on her first day in a cross cultural setting. This literally was Susan’s first day on the field.
By the way I didn’t accidentally include you in an email? (YOU DID MR CLARKE, WHICH IS HOW WE KNEW YOUR TRUE FEELINGS ON THE MATTER)
So let me be very clear.
1. I offered the opportunity for you, your wife or family to speak to a senior member of our team directly – no reply (NO APOLOGY THOUGH)
2. You and you wife have made wrong assumptions about the status of any people involved in this unfortunate incident – do these people really work for me – mistake (THEY THEMSELVES SAID THEY WORKED FOR HIM SO WHAT IS HE ON ABOUT HERE?
3. And then your wife made the biggest mistake in making false allegations and decided to and threatened to defame me personally – that was a big mistake (I ONLY REPEATED WHAT HAPPENED AND THE WORDS OF HIS OWN INTERN!!!)
4. Independently of all of your threats and demands we have processes that are followed regardless and so this matter is under investigation and will be acted on and anyone within our reach that was at fault will be dealt with. (WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION WHY ARE THE PEOPLE STILL WORKING WITH HIM, WHICH THEY ARE!)
All this said I would suggest that it would be prudent of you to make a time to talk with me and it should be a priority from your perspective.
MAYBE AN APOLOGY SHOULD HAVE BEEN A PRIORITY FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE.
Lindsay Clarke CEO & Founder
Subject: RE: cambodia incedent
Dear Mr Clarke
Thank you for your offer to have someone phone. However, after reading your email to ‘the team’, in which I was included, I could see your true feelings about the incident and felt it would be pointless to discuss the matter with any of your team. What we would have liked was a genuine apology for the way my daughter-in-law was treated, which we could in turn pass on to her. That would have been the end of the matter as far as we were concerned. However, your email to your team showed such a lack of grace and honour, which ironically are your words from your email, that I have no desire to discuss the matter with you. It seems, from the email to your team, that you put traffic to your site above the respect for others. I find this motivation abhorrent and contrary to my understanding of Christianity, and my view is shared by a lot of other people.
You say that your intern does not have the life experience to respond to my email. My children learnt to say sorry at the age of three, but if she is that incapable then I question why she is part of your team.
I don’t think we will see eye to eye and so, regrettably, I think further contact would be pointless.
Regards and best wishes for the future,
Dr Andrew Cook
Oh, Mr Lindsay Clark if you are going to respond in this way do you not think you should at least make sense and spell words correctly. How else do you expect to have any credibility?
Avoid this organisation at your peril.
All we wanted was an apology. Nothing more, nothing less.