Analyzing Jerry Sandusky’s Final Words (Guest Post)

A lie can be easily found if you take a look at the words that are chosen by the liar.  A lie is a form of controlling people to get what you want or to avoid conflict.   Certainly, Jerry Sandusky is employing every psychological mechanism to minimize or deny his actions.  Let’s take a look.

Below is the core part of his statement taken directly from an audio transcript:

Sandusky..

“I’m responding to the worst loss of my life. First, I looked at myself. Over and over, I asked why? Why didn’t we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What’s the purpose? Maybe it will help others; some vulnerable children who could be abused, might not be because of all the publicity. That would be nice, but I’m not sure about it. “

Response..Really?  No time to prepare for trial? Sandusky is taking the victim stance here. This is a problem for “others” ..them.. not himself. These are attempts to distance himself from the allegations.

Sandusky..

“I would cherish the opportunity to become a candle for others, as they have been a light for me. They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can’t take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.”

Response..“In my heart…I know… Interesting choice of words.  Sandusky might know in his heart one thing but his head knows another.   Knowing is not acknowledging the actions or conduct. “These disgusting acts..”  This is a form of distancing. Bill Clinton used the same diversion with Monica Lewinsky (..with that woman).

Sandusky..

A young man who was dramatic a veteran accuser, and always sought attention, started everything. He was joined by a well-orchestrated effort of the media, investigators, the system, Penn State, psychologists, civil attorneys and other accusers. They won. I’ve wondered what they really won: Attention, financial gain, prestige& will all be temporary.  Before you blame me, as others have, look at everything and everybody. Look at the preparation for the trial and the trial. Compare it to others. Think about what happened. Why, and who made it happen? Evaluate the accusers and their families. Realize they didn’t come out of isolation. The accusers were products of many more people and experiences than me. Look at their confidants and their honesty. Think about how easy it was for them to turn on me given the information, attention and potential perks. I never labeled or put down them or their families.

Response..Sandusky again tries to avert the truth by blaming a conspiracy.  He is vilifying victims, calling them “accusers” and suggesting that they are making allegations for their own personal gain. Again, this is a common criminal thinking error used by millions of criminally minded individuals to free their minds of guilt, shame or taking responsibility for their actions.

What Sandusky has not said..

“I am sorry.” We have not yet heard these words from Sandusky to the young men he sexually abused when they were young boys.  He has not said these words to each of the families who sent their sons to him as a trusted mentor.  He has not addressed the damage he has done to the institutions that he represented to the community and the world around him.  We don’t often think of the harm he caused his own family and friends.  He broke their trust, caused them pain and brought shame to himself and to them as well.  It is hard to imagine and so very painful to even think that someone you know and love can do this kind of harm to a child in his trust.

As a society, we can begin the healing process by saying, “I am sorry.”  We need to acknowledge the pain experienced by everyone involved in this story.

We have a choice and responsibility.  We can choose to have the story end with the sentencing of Sandusky.  We can say that justice has been served. We can also, however, say that this case needs to be a new beginning.  We can demand that every youth-serving organization is obligated to create policies that ensure that every adult understands what sexual abuse is, knows what to look for and what to ask, and knows how to report when any member of the organization sees sexual abuse or hears an allegation of sexual abuse.

We also have an unprecedented opening to use this case’s stunning lessons about ignorance, self-interest and responsibility to closely examine widespread, false assumptions about the dynamics of child sexual abuse and how to prevent it. These assumptions make us all susceptible to becoming silent bystanders who, like many in Sandusky’s midst, fail to protect vulnerable children due to self-protective confusion, fear or misunderstanding.

As satisfying as Sandusky’s long sentence may feel and/or be, preventing abuse will always have a much greater positive impact on our children, families and communities, than his punishment ever will.

In a previous article, I was struck and haunted by hearing Sandusky’s voice in the Costas interview.  In middle America, listening to his voice, it was like John Wayne explain his actions, but I knew I was listening more to a John Wayne Gacy. In conclusion, post-trial, I was looking for a similar comparison, and guess what, there’s not one.  He is his own monster, and made history doing it. You know what they say about history, this cannot repeat itself.

In this audio transcript, the line that got me the most, Sandusky said, ”People need to be portrayed for who they really are.”

Well sir,..you have been.  In my humble opinion, I feel you should think carefully before asking for more justice. At this stage, mercy might be safer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Since 1990, Bruce Cameron has worked as a therapist, administrator, and Treatment  Oversight  Specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice/Federal Bureau of Prisons. His professional credentials include Licensed Professional Counselor/Supervisor, Licensed Sex Offender Treatment Provider, and Certified Addiction Specialist.  He is also a Diplomate of Clinical Forensic Counseling.

Mr. Cameron received his graduate training in clinical psychology at the University of Wyoming,  and completed his American Psychological Association internship in clinical forensic psychology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This was followed by a fellowship in clinical forensic psychology with the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina, where he opened  the Pilot Residential Drug Abuse and Sex Offender treatment units. He was promoted to Director of psychology services at the Federal Medical Center in Carville, Louisiana.  He then opened the female Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, focusing on addiction treatment. Presently, his duty station is in the Bureau’s South Central Regional Office/Transitional Services section in Dallas, Texas, which procures and provides technical oversight of drug abuse, mental health and sex offender treatment services for releasing federal inmates in a five-state region. Mr. Cameron also maintains a private counseling/consulting practice in  Southlake, Texas, and an adjunct faculty appointment for Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Tina Steele Says:

    This tells it like ti is. Prevention from this behavior would be the best action. But the ones who covered for this guy and ignored what was going on are just as guilty. Thanks, Bruce

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