Misrepresentation of “Best Practices”

The CRT Claim of “Best Practices”

When justifying how this investigation has been conducted, the CRT states in their FAQ that they are following “Best Practices”. Unfortunately, they are conflating best practices for controlling damage to an organization facing reputational harm with best practices for conducting an investigation.  From the way this investigation has actually been conducted, the CRT is clearly following best practices for controlling damage to an organization, and they are NOT following best practices for investigating specific allegations against an individual.

What follows from this confusion is the CRT is going right to repairing damage to our organizations before they have done a fair investigation of the allegations.

Example of a Proper Investigation

When looking online for an example of a proper investigation, we found an example of a process involving AOB that was properly done. In that investigation, the organization, Shambhala, stated clearly that you cannot have a fair investigation without having someone representing the accused.

Shambhala hired AOB to perform a “Listening Post” report, but first they hired a law firm (Wickwire Holm) to perform the actual investigation.

Here is a link to the AOB Listening Post Report

Here is a link to the Investigative Report performed by the law firm

In the cover letter, which was added to the Investigative Report, the Shambhala Board said this to their Sangat:

“One of the most important principles we expressed to Ms. Bath (investigator) was that all Claimants’ and Witnesses’ identities would be kept confidential. However, for an individual’s report to become a claim, the individual had to be willing to identify themselves to Wickwire Holm and to have Wickwire Holm identify them to the respondent. Otherwise, there would be no way for Wickwire Holm to investigate and to interview the respondent and any witnesses to the claim.”

In the Shambhala Investigative Report that was done by a law firm that was very experienced in doing investigations, when describing the process that was used, they stated in part :

“Similarly, the investigator meets with the (accused) about the allegation. Prior to this interview, the investigator provides the (accused) with sufficient information and detail to allow the (accused) to know the names and extent of  the Claim against them. The interview is (the accused’s) opportunity to provide a full response to the allegation.”

This process is commonly referred to as investigative Best Practices.

This can be fixed

If a representative of the SSS was included in the investigation process, with the information needed to determine whether the allegations are true, investigative Best Practices would actually be used.