Monday, July 25, 2016

An opinion regarding Yehuda Pogrow's direct involvement in offering help to survivors of abuse

This represents the views of one of the readers of this blog. Yehuda Pogrow is welcome to comment or write his own guest post on his vision and qualifictions

Guest post by commenter KwikEMart

Thank you Rabbi Eidensohn for posting my guest post on your site.

I have been following the writings and comments of Yehuda Pogrow, both on this site, his facebook page, as well as other blogs. Ordinarily one needs to hear both sides of the story before sharing an opinion, but there is an exception to that rule, that exception is when the one side you've heard disqualified themselves by the way they argue for themselves. I've only heard what Yehuda writes and he is highly UNQUALIFIED to be working with victims.

Yehuda's facebook posts and comments clearly indicate that he is a man that is not ready to be working with victims. He is broadcasting anything negative written about him, and then calling upon that author's employer to break their connection with him. He is constantly using the phrase "has lost all credibility". At different points, Rabbi Yosef Blau, Benny Forer, Meyer Seewald and Yerachmiel Lopin have all "lost credibility". Is there anyone he does admire besides himself? Does he admire Manny Waks, Dr. Michael Salamon, or Magen? How about Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz, or the blogger UOJ who exposed the Kolko story in Yeshiva Torah Temimah? Does he admire anyone besides himself? Does he at least give them some credit even if has some disagreements with them? Is there not a single activist/advocate he respects and that he can get to support his efforts and mentor him in his new role? Sorry Yehuda, credibility is earned, they've earned it through their tireless efforts and their success in the field, you have yet to earn it. And the one without credibility isn't the one who decides that the credible one is no longer credible.

What also disturbs me is how quickly Yehuda switches from the advocate to the victim. When some of the above mentioned people criticized Yehuda, he responded that their agencies should part ways with them because of "the way they are treating a victim" (might not have been an exact quote). Sorry, but if you are playing the advocate, and being criticized for your advocacy, you can't switch hats and then cry about how you are being treated as a victim. All this indicates is how much Yehuda cares about his own ego, and how far he goes to protect it. Unfortunately, some of his posts indicate that he willing to go as far as harming the victim he is supposed to help, in order to protect his own ego.

Let me give everyone a tip, if the therapist you are seeing has their own ego as their top priority, go get help elsewhere. Don't pay a therapist to use you as a means for stroking their own ego. And when it comes to activists, don’t trust someone who comes from nowhere, attacks everyone else, says "Let me be your leader", and has no plan except everyone following him. That is not advocacy. It is simple ego.

What qualifications does this person have? That they were abused? Being abused doesn't make you qualified to help the abused any more than being a basketball player helps you be a basketball coach. Sure there IS common ground and there ARE people who can and do succeed at both, but it is hardly a given. Magic Johnson is an NBA hall-of-famer, he was listed as one of the 50 best players of all time, but as a coach he had a record of 5-11 before quitting (and to all you Knicks fans, I'll spare you the harshness of bringing up the Isiah Thomas era)

Yehuda claims that he is behind an agency called "Survivors for Change". Is this anything more than a Facebook page? Is there a board? Is it recognized as a non-profit? Are they insured? It is also VERY interesting that Yehuda keeps plugging his organization, all while asking why there is even a need for such organizations.

To close, I'd like to remind the public that this was a completely one sided investigation. I did not hear from the other side, just from Yehuda. Some of the things that were said by Yehuda are no longer available to be viewed, but they were still said, deleting them does not mean they weren't said. I feel for Yehuda, he is suffering tremendously from the shocking revelations about his brother, and his own admission of being an abuse victim. He needs help and I believe he is looking for it. But victims are real people who need competent help. It would be malpractice to let Yehuda (at this stage) work with a victim simply cause it will help Yehuda.

To all of you who still say that Yehuda should work with victims, after-all, he himself is a victim, whilst turning a blind eye to all my points above, I have one thing left to say to you: "Hi, I've been circumcised, please let me do milah on your son"


  1. I love your punchline!

  2. the public disclosure of the real name of a criminal,

    Lopin a criminal? How so?

  3. As someone exposed to certain mental illnesses, Yehuda Pogrow's thought processes as represented by his writings are reminicent of a particular conditon.

  4. I will not interfere with ongoing investigations. However, I will share with you a comment made by Benny Forer, who sits on the Board of Advisors of JWC. Mr Forer -- who called me a sociopath in a public comment on my Facebook page in response to my disclosure of Lopin's real name -- told me that the Brooklyn District Attorney has been looking for the real Yerachmiel Lopin for 7 years. That is something that I actually have not confirmed. I am only reporting what Mr. Forer told me.

  5. I will further share that when I asked Lopin in a phone conversation whether he had heard any allegations similar to those I had heard from multiple sources about Meyer Seewald, namely that Mr. Seewald has engaged in physically sexual relationships and shared illegal drugs with multiple young women who came to JCW for support, Lopin confirmed that he had, on multiple occassions, and from multiple sources. He also shared that he never investigated it. Is there a reason why the morning after this conversation with Lopin, he published a piece advising victims to avoid me rather than investing all of his resources in investigating multiple-sourced allegations that the founder of JCW is -- essentially -- a predator? This furthered my conviction that the "advocacy world" is tied together in some sort of relationship that is most definitely not focused exclusively on protecting victims. And yes, this is part of why I don't "trust" nor "respect" established advocates merely because their public records are so bright.

  6. Yehuda, you switch "sides" of your train of thought according to your convenience.

    It's like reading those High Holiday fight-posts where people curse someone else to death and the end, close their post with a "may you be inscribed in the book of life, I wish you'll find a yeshua, Shalom"... give me a break.

    If you have always thought a 'healthy-constructive-debate is good for the soul', why did you exposed people who did not want to be exposed???? Was that good for your soul?

    You have no idea of who you truly are. A victim? A messiah? A egomaniac? A simple guy without any comcept of what the word 'limit' means?

    Regarding Lopin and his problem with the brooklyn district, I'd guess they're after him because Mr. Lopin criticizes them in a hardcore level for years... if I was the brooklyin attorney (who is aaaaalways exposed as lazy and obssessed with leaks while letting all sort of abusers go free) I'd be after Lopin too.

  7. I feel for those who had you as a debate coach, I really do. They deserved better.

    Mr. Pogrow, in addition to Mr. Forer calling you a sociopath, he also said you don't have half the brains of your brother.
    If Mr. Forer is indeed correct, then you cannot be believed when you say what he told you about Mr. Lopin.
    If Mr. Forer is a bold faced liar who has no limits to the extent to which he would lie, then I can't believe neither what he said, nor what he is quoted to have said. Afterall, he is a liar.

  8. Meir Pogrow caused untold suffering and shame for Jews. His brother, announcing himself abused and victimized, starts by purporting support for those hurt by his brother, then alleges against his mother in a completely self-serving way (let's face it: being hit by a sexual predator does not make you a victim of sexual abuse, so it is quite convenient to let the 30 year old secret out of the bag about his mom, and pretend that he "did not have the luxury to withhold the story" from the public - what stopped him from talking about it for 30 years?).

    So a month after the Meir story broke, Yehuda has been a bull in a china shop - damaging and rampaging against people who have spent years putting themselves on the line. He "calls for" this, he "calls for" that - he demands the firing of people he never knew from organizations of which I imagine he was never really aware.

    Does he not see his aggressively manipulative behavior is so similar to what people saw about Meir years ago? Does he not recognize the larger picture at all? Really: is Yehuda a practical benefit, or damage, to the Jewish community, and victims of abuse?

  9. yehuda's claim about the Brooklyn D.A. is absurd.

    This link provides the backgroud of Lopin and the D.A.

  10. why did you expose people who did not want to be exposed???? Was that good for your soul?

    If the ones exposed are bad people, I'd say yes, like chicken soup for his soul.

  11. The link is from Lopin, so not exactly proof of anything at all. Surely you don't expect him to admit to whatever Pogrow is alluding to.

  12. Hmm, lemme guess. X is Forer and Y is Yerachmiel Lopin?

  13. A portion of my conversation with Mr. Forer.

  14. R' Eidensohn I think it is time to put this to an end and let everyone go back to their lives.

  15. Pogrow is again attempting to manipulate by carefully choosing what messages he prefers to expose, making it seem as if people agreed and have heard similar stories. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Pogrow is spreading false rumors and then, when he confronts one with these rumors, inevitably they respond with, "yes, I've heard it too..." I.e., not confirming it is in any way true, just saying i have heard this falsity.

    I attempted to locate the source of Pogrow's false info, and believe I have located it to a single person. No one has a single iota of firsthand information, rather, its the continuation of the same persistent lie. Its simply untrue.

    So, here is how Pogrow manipulates: he tells one advocate his lie, then that advocate asks another. Then Pogrow tells another advocate. That second advocate also asks another. All of a sudden, everyone has heard the information from multiple sources. But, in reality, none of its true and its all Pogrow's manipulation.

    Pogrow is truly a disturbed person. It is about time that Rav Eidensohn stopped giving him a platform to spew his filth.

  16. it definitely is getting there soon

  17. soon. It has to be clearly established in the public mind his competence to deal with abuse issues

  18. This is a despicable lie. The conversation includes me absolutely doubting the veracity of this info. Further, i was simply attempting to locate your "supposed" source, which there isnt any...its simply a lie and made up.

  19. And you think this proves that the DA was investigating him for criminal charges?

    Again, I stand by my above comments. And, again, Pogrow is a lunatic.

  20. He exposed Lopin. So what? What's wrong with Lopin being held accountable for the very serious allegations he makes about people?

  21. No. But DE won't let me publish the names. Perhaps he will let me share that Forer is neither X nor Y.

  22. I don't think it proves anything. And neither does Lopin's post.

  23. I don't know whether DE will postake what I submitted a moment ago, but I got lost in his Xs and Ys....You are incorrect about both X and Y. Unfortunately, DE has deemed Seewald credible enough to publish his allegations against me without first asking me for my take. However, when I make very-well substantiaged allegations, DE consults with the people who are implicated, and when they deny the allegations, he deems them unfit to print. I guess it's all about that whole chezkas kashrus thing...

  24. DE: You mean this is all a setup and I'm falling for it? And here I was, thinking you were just about journalistic integrity. Oy vei iz mir.

  25. By the way, if this is all about trying to protect Jewish survivors from the great danger that is Yehuda Pogrow, relax. Seewald and Rivka Joseph have already done a great job. I'm become more inclined to take my efforts to the non-Jewish world. I enter with the hopes there is less corruption there.

  26. I have been very balanced in what I have put on this blog. The problem is that all the evidence goes one way. It would be a major failure in integrity to indicate that the whole world is wrong about Yehuda Pogrow

  27. Yehuda we have gone way passed the issue of chezkas kashrus. You are making more and more extreme allegations that no one at this point believes except you. You have made no well-substantiated allegations and yes I have talked to a good number of people and they all say the same thing - there is no factual basis for your claims.

  28. Time will tell as Survivors come forward publicly.

  29. As explained, these are completely unfounded lies manufactured by a lunatic. Pogrow has zero corroborating evidence of his claims, and his attempts to draw others in to "prove" his point, are the misinterpretations of a highly delusional person.

    Again, giving him continued coverage allows him to continue in his delusions and is compounding his illness. He needs medical help, not exposure help.

    Please stop posing his comments, his delusions, or his other attempts at posting other random thoughts.

  30. your first paragraph proves you have little clue about sexual abuse and those who lived thru it. I don't know if you are right or wrong about the rest of your post but that first paragraph is very ignorant and hurtful.

  31. I had only one source for Lopin's name. Then something amazing happened. When I started taking public punches, victims started reaching out to me privately and telling me the stories I've been referring to. Many have questioned my creditibility, I came out of nowhere. That's fine. I don't need creditibilty with the public. But with survivors who have been huddling terrified in their private corners, I am earning creditivility, one email they send me at a time. And I'm earning it because they see me here volunteering to step in to your punches. So keep throwing them.

  32. problem with this argument is that I have heard from survivors who feel the same way as the advocates - that you have no business being involved.

  33. Actually, your attack proves you have little clue about sexual abuse and those who live thru[sic] it.

    1) there is a huge difference between physical and sexual abuse.
    2) What part about his convenient claims about his mother appear to be credible? He made his claim only after he came under fire, and this served to give him credibility. But then he has shown himself to make these types of accusations at so many other people, just as soon as they got into his way. Nope, his claims do not sound credible.

  34. Do you even believe that he got emails? I don't.

    This is not about Lopin, Forer, or anyone else. This is about YP. He should continue towards his path towards becoming a CEO, as he claims that he was on. Once he is a CEO, I'm sure he'll have more people taking him seriously. Until then, adios, l'hitraot, goodbye.

  35. Well Boo-Hoo, someone exposed Lopin. The biggest Baal Lashon Hara and Motzi Shem Ra in the past ten years, and we're supposed to feel bad that he's exposed?
    I don't know how frum Yehuda is or isn't, but exposing Lopin/Steinmetz was one big Mitzvah.
    For extra Hiddur Mitzvah, please tell us where he lives, so those that need to sue him for slander can get right on it.
    I'm willing to donate $1800 to the class-action lawsuit against him.

  36. I have no sympathy towards Lopin and all the damage he's done over the years hiding behind a pseudonym. If Pogrow, or anyone else for that matter, outed his identity all the better. Let "Lopin" be accountable to the public for his public claims and writings.

  37. @Yehuda Pogrow Am I understanding that you're saying that survivors told you that Lopin took sexual advantage of them when they were in contact with him?

  38. You questioned behaviors and comments that are typical of abuse survivors. What part of my comment contradicts my past experiences?

  39. Thats a totally separate issue. The issue isnt about Lopin, whether his name should be public, whether he should be investigated. The issue pertains to Pogrows actions and his manipulations.

    Pogrow was undoubtedly aware I made no comments on these post. Thus, he felt secure to present an absolute untruth, by claiming I agreed that Lopin was being criminally investigated. Thats a lie. As is, his manipulations of the truth and his potential to harm anyone that comes in contact with him, including victims of abuse.

    That is the issue.

  40. Post the emails (details redacted) on your facebook page.

  41. No. Lopin declined to investigate changes he had heard that a significant figure in the anti-abuse advocacy community took sexual advantage of Survivors. And I know this because Lopin told me this afternoon I relayed to him such allegations I had heard. He said, "I hear stuff about people all the time. I can't investigate everything." DE won't let me post the name of the person about whom the allegations were made.

  42. I will not. I do not have permission from the complainants to do so, and to fully safeguard anonymity, I would have to redact to the point of meaninglesness.

  43. You questioned behaviors and comments that are typical of abuse survivors.

    Are you suggesting that survivors of abuse concoct false accusations against advocates and people who they dislike???! This slander is extremely harmful to victims, as who will believe them now??? The reality is that they do not concoct stories! The exception being where they are paid off and divorce cases...

  44. Interesting. If true, it would mean that Lopin is guilty of doing exactly what he accuses others of doing -- covering up for a colleague.

  45. your claims have been categorically denied. Someone is lying

  46. R' Eidensohn, finally you and I agree. Someone is lying.

  47. Again, Meir's little brother is manipulating and lying. Meir's little brother has zero evidence, has never protected any confidential communications, releases info without any regard and lies about the context of the information.

    Meir's little brother is making false claims, and imputing that Lopin knows these claims are true, but won't do anything about them. This is an absolute and complete lie.

    As I said above --> So, here is how Pogrow manipulates: he tells one advocate his lie, then that advocate asks another. Then Pogrow tells another advocate. That second advocate also asks another. All of a sudden, everyone has heard the information from multiple sources. But, in reality, none of its true and its all Pogrow's manipulation.

    Meir's little brother hasnt produced a single truthful statement since I sadly came to know him. He is a deeply disturbed individual and needs mental help - which JCW offered to pay for.

    Little Meir, the offer remains. We will help you with your therapy.

  48. If you promise that the stories will be entertaining, please send the emails. It's been a stressful few weeks so I need good laughs.

  49. Don't misquote me. It was CFO. I'm not sure how good my chances at landing a CEO spot at a major publicly traded corporation are, and whether I'd want the job even if it was offered.

  50. What is your point in calling him little Meir? If your words and allegations are true, let truth speak for itself. Being nasty simply waters down your credibility and lowers you. People who advocate for truth have no need or business calling names.

  51. I am not speaking of the credibility of the story - I am no prophet. But whether the story is true or false, the timing of his revelation was self-serving - it came when he wanted to be seen as a fellow victim of sexual abuse, and as has been pointed out, his experience with Meir had nothing to do with sexual abuse.

  52. Thank you for support. But I've kind of become a fan of being on the "wrong" end of character attacks, for the reasons you stated about what such attacks do to my opponents. A good friend -- a fellow survivor who contacted me in response to my first article -- challenged me yesterday. She said, "Rise Above, Yehuda. Rise Above." Rising Above is tough -- really, really tough -- but I thanked her for demanding that of me, and insisted that she continue to challenge me. I pray I am up to her challenge.

  53. A note I wrote last night on the Survivors for change Facebook page:

    To be Shamed and Betrayed

    You wrote the story of your deepest wounds.

    You had kept the story inside for 30 years.

    But the pain was too important.

    No longer was it yours to keep.

    You wrote the story. You shared it with the world.

    Railcars fell off your shoulders like flurries off a windshield.
    Then you were attacked.

    Less than 12 hours after you shared, the founder of an institution renowned for protecting survivors publicly shamed you.

    He used his bully pulpit to scare your fellows away from you.

    You, my friend, had been shamed. You had been shushed.

    You heard of your shaming when he tagged you in his Facebook post the evening after you shared.

    You were stunned.

    You thought your molester might sue you for libel, thought your family might disown you.

    You were prepared.

    No, you were not prepared.

    You, my friend, underestimated the Power of the Pen.

    You see, abuse is about power. And your Pen threatened his Power.
    This shaming, this shunning, was preceded by the deepest betrayal of your life.

    You see, after your first article, an amazing fellow survivor reached out to you.

    She shared your vision, your dreams.

    You would partner. Together, you would change the world.

    Before you accepted her commitment to partner with you to dedicate her life’s work, you tell her your deepest secrets. You share with her the confidences you had shared with no one. Ever.

    The secrets you never told your ex-wife, nor your ex-girlfriends.

    You tell her everything.

    You tell her everything because reputation lost can never be regained.
    Marriages, relationships, they come, and they go.

    But this partnership is too important.

    You owe it to your incredible partner-to-be to tell her everything that could ever, ever, possibly be exposed with malice in an effort to harm your lives’ joint venture.
    This incredible partner, she turns on you.

    You do not know why. You may never know why.

    She gives you reasons why she quit the partnership. But none ring true.
    You will never know why she then shared each and every confidence.

    You go to sleep that night devastated. You hurt more than you have after any romantic breakup.

    You hurt so because this connection was to be of so much more permanence than romance.

    You wake up the morning after unable to get out of bed. You cannot move.

    It was on this day that you had planned to write the story of your mother’s molestation.

    You thought your incredible partner would cheer you on this day.

    You decide there is no longer Reason to Write.

    Without your partner, you cannot achieve your dream.

    You had written your first article because you wanted to connect; you hoped others would call back to you.

    But your partner left.

    She had become your inspiration to move forward.

    You cannot do this alone.

    You will not write the second portion of your story.

    You will never tell of the deeper wounding.
    Yes, I will.

    And yes, I did.

    I wrote. I wrote that same morning. I wrote because I had to.

    What right did I have to shut my mouth?

    Was this story mine to keep under wraps?

    Did I have the right to be afraid?

    No, no I did not.

    What right do I have to call to my fellows if I won’t stand for them?

    If I don’t have the guts to stand for myself, how *dare* I call to my fellows to take the walk through hell to tell their stories?

    I must stand for them by standing for myself.

    No one will stop me.

    No hurt will scare me.

    No betrayal will freeze me.

    My Fellow Survivors:

    After you tell your stories, you will be betrayed again.

    You will be shamed. You will be silenced.

    But you must not stop.

    Trust again. Love again. Speak again. Write again. Sing Again.

    We will not be stopped. We will not be scared. We will not be frozen.

    I love you.

  54. I wouldn't take credit for being supportive. He may have very good reason for making the claims he has made, I have no way of knowing and don't speak to that. But I think it is important for advocates to be careful not to stoop to that type of name calling. Calling you a sociopath- tho not appropriate- is his way of discribing his frustration with the behaviors you are demonstrating. Calling you the little brother of someone known to do what your brother did is, to me, crossing a line in the advocate/abused world.

    Regardless of what Yehuda really knows and how poorly he may have handled his "crusade", hearing comments directed at the claims of abuse, as opposed to the "campaigning", makes the atmosphere feel very unsafe for others who have been through that "it never really happened" experience.

  55. Reposting comment from FB:
    From reading this account it seems that you were not prepared to work with a survivor in the capacity of a business partner. The evidence of that is sharing too much while rationalizing the reasons for doing so. Of course the partner could not continue. It is also concerning that there is a continued attack on anti abuse community activists who (it seems to me) tried to step in and be helpful. As of today way too many insults have been flung back and forth between well meaning people. I hope that everyone learns the lesson from this incident that significant training is required for people to work with victims of abuse. And I hope to read a copy of the forthcoming book. There are very few people who can tell this kind of story in a coherent and unique way. And the community needs to hear these stories.

  56. Calling you the little brother of someone known to do what your brother did

    I suspect he meant the insult to say that he's not half the man his brother is, which is even weirder and more off-base.

  57. Simply meant to demonstrate that they are incredibly similar. They are both manipulators, liars and abusive to everyone around them. In my mind, his absolutely incredible stances, continued lies and malignant behavior, his defamatory and false statements, his misrepresentations and most importantly, the abuse he has heaped on everyone demonstrates what he actually is: Meir's little brother. They are one and the same. At this point, he deserves no better a title.

  58. סוד שאינך מפקיד אותו לאויביך אל תפקידהו אצל אוהביך כי לפעמים יהפך האוהב לאויב

  59. "Professor" Forer, when did I say that you told me the DA was investigating Lopin for criminal behavior?

    Do you get 2+2 = 5 when in the courtroom?

  60. I have no idea what precisely it was for that the DA was investigating him. Would be relatively unusual, though, if the DA sought him out for something that wasn't a criminal matter. No? How much of your time as a DA did you/do you pursue matters that aren't criminal?

  61. Benny, why did it have to be about just one issue? You can't chew gum and walk?


  63. Etsy, I truly believe he is an egomaniac and a psycho. Please read my post.


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.