Hal Pepinsky, firstname.lastname@example.org, pepinsky.blogspot.com
February 7, 2011
I just received a cordially written confirmation of a “request that you leave” the child advocacy program I was training in until late last week. The notice reminded me of the phone telling me not to show up for swearing in, when I had been told it was my position on the drug war AND my stance on confidentiality that were unacceptable.
Confidentiality. I had said that I planned to regard myself as a child’s advocate who owed the child all I knew that pertained to him or her, and to consider my unique role in court like that of attorney to client, to help the child gain the control s/he desired, which I regard prima facie as in the best interest of any child (pardon my legalese).
There are two standards for keeping secrets: secrets powerholders keep among themselves (as in joining a team of drug enforcers), or standards of letting subjects of power know as safely and openly as possible what is being done to them and why. I choose wikileaks and I would have put a duty to children to let them know what was being said about them and asking them to guide my recommendations to the court over drug enforcement.
My relations rest on the notion we gain control when we tell our subjects precisely what we are doing to them and why, and retain privacy with what we do to our own bodies from public campaigns. My thanks go to writers of the letter I got this morning for doing exactly what I would wish them to do. In the event, I am reminded me what a fundamentalist I am that keeping secrets from children, voters and other subjects for their own good is inherently violent, inherently socially destructive. I thank my recent training experience for clarifying my own basic feelings and beliefs, and for letting me remain unsworn to set them aside. Love and peace--hal