Confidant Session Form
And when I say limited, I mean very limited. I was more trying to find out if something like self harm was widely considered to be a mandatory reportable item, because of all the things the original disclaimer listed, that seemed to be the most likely to be encountered by anyone here. My thought was, if it's something that affects the person seeking a confidant alone, then it would be less likely to be something one of our clergy would be required by their local laws to report to authorities, but I never got around to checking out other areas. Just my own.
Understanding in the place of indifference
Compassion in the place of cruelty
Action in the place of apathy
Peace in the place of violence
Mercy in the place of vengeance
Edan wrote: Please forgive me for this comment because it's not meant to diminish what the clergy do... but in any country would our clergy even be considered as 'clergy' given that in most places Jediism is not even considered a religion and we are not considered a church. Given the ruling from the UK's charity commission I'm not sure I could say that our 'clergy' would have any protection in the UK (from the law or based on respect).. I would probably expect them to held to the same standards as any other person with regards to confidentiality.. i.e. no protections.
I dont think any forgiveness is needed here Edan , i think you make an excellent point here , just one question why would the clergy need protection , is not it the one that confides that needs protection? Or am i misunderstanding?
just one question why would the clergy need protection
In the instance that the confider does something....unpopular, and the clergy is found out to have been aware of it happening or being likely to happen, and not having taken action (determined after the fact....) to have been appropriate to prevent it or inform Higher Powers.
It's reasonably unlikely that unless the Confider, the Clergy member, and the Website are all in Texas at the same time without an alibi that any court would be able to do anything much interesting - but the (PR, possible real in terms of having charity status rescinded) risk is that (Let's say me, for the sake of not offending anyone) does something nutty, and it comes out in the news (be a slow news week if they're covering me, but anyway) that ToTJO (Some Jedi Cult) new about it, and did nothing to stop me (maybe even encouraged? Dangerous Jedi Cultists) - bit of bad press, maybe some backlash, and (depending on how slow the news week is, and how bored various authority groups are) Jedi Cults get investigated for encouraging black magic and the end of virtuous society.
I am speculating here, and the odds are most of the discussions the Clergy would have are not going to include detailed plans of crimes yet to be committed - Just wargaming "worst case scenarios"
Edan's point is good though -
As far as I know, I'm not legally required to report anything I get told to anyone.
I do wonder if it's something like the rule with giving First Aid?
As a citizen, you are not REQUIRED to give First Aid to anyone - You can step over someone having a fit on the footpath and go about your business - but if you DO stop and give aid, you then can't decide it's too hard and quit and then walk off. Once you make the call to be involved, you're involved until better carers take over.
Does something similar apply to a counselling service?
As a passer-by (ie, member on a forum) you're not required to do diddly, but if you invite someone to a counselling session, you take on a responsibility.
Edan wrote: Please forgive me for this comment because it's not meant to diminish what the clergy do... but in any country would our clergy even be considered as 'clergy' given that in most places Jediism is not even considered a religion and we are not considered a church.
Good point. Frankly, I don't know. I've read that there have been issues with keeping secrets during confessions that clearly happened outside of mainstream religions here, though. I mean in my country, there are only two officially recognised religions: the protestant church and the catholic church. I don't know if any kind of recognition is necessary for anyone to be considered "clergy" here.
Do not look for happiness outside yourself. The awakened seek happiness inside.
It's like when I was in the military. If you had a friend (also military) come up to you and tell you that they were raped, you were technically required to report it to the chain of command. If a report was eventually filed and the command found out you knew about it, but didn't report it, you could end up in big trouble. However, if you held a position that the navy calls SAPR Advocate (each branch has their own name, go figure), then you were considered an official confidant and were not required to report it... per se. It depended on what the person wanted to do. That rape victim could also go to a clergy member or a member of medical and retain the right to not have an official open report filed, but if they went to someone other than a SAPR, clergy, or medical, then an official open report would be filed. Sticking with those three options gave the person the right to privacy, while still obtaining treatment, but no criminal charges would be investigated. Similarly if you were found to be in knowledge of someone underage drinking; you could get in serious trouble if you didn't report it.
So such a disclaimer would really serve to protect those in locations where the clergy member's status would be recognized by their local law.
On the other hand though, the disclaimer would also serve to protect the non-clergy member. Again, speaking strictly to my state: clergy members have no mandatory reporting requirements, which means any clergy member within my state who I spoke with, I would be speaking with under the assumption of confidential communication. Y'know in Law and Order how they're always on about Attorney Client Privilege, or Doctor Patient Privilege? Well the same thing exists with Clergy-Layperson relationships in a lot of locations (at least in the US). So say I were to do something illegal, but talk with that clergy member about it. That communication would be inadmissible in court. Were I to talk with someone somewhere else, that may or may not change. Another state might require there to be a report for anything set to happen in the future; another may waive that privilege entirely.
All of this of course is the various levels of extremes that could possibly exist, but it essentially serves as a basic protection for all involved. Do I mean to suggest that this is the sort of thing any of our clergy members would have to deal with? Not in the slightest. But something else to consider is that, in some places, if you serve in a confidential position and the person who is communicating with you expresses a desire to harm themselves, then you're legally required to report it to some sort of emergency services to prevent that from happening, and that is possibly something any one here might run into. I'm fairly certain that the 'regular passerby' scenario has different requirements elsewhere, but I would personally expect that if you're recognized as clergy here, you'll act in accordance with your local laws regarding what clergy members can and cannot, and must and must not, do...