Re: Crisis management
First of all, let me just say how pleased I am that you've retained me as a consultant on this child... this alleged child
abuse scandal. To the superficial observer, it looks as though you're
dealing with a long-standing pattern of heinous, cynical, repeated
wrongdoing covered up by a coordinated smokescreen of stonewalling and
dissimulation, and I can help you out with that. In this memo I'm going
to outline my plan, and I think you'll agree that it's a winner -- of
hearts and minds!
The first thing you need to do is deflect criticism to buy some time.
You were on the right track claiming that the accusations about your
own role in some kind of cover-up were fabricated by your enemies as
part of a personal smear campaign. The partisan popery card -- good
move. But don't overlook the elephant in the presbytery: anti-pedophile
media bias! Let anyone who denies it exists file the first class-action
Now -- over the next few months you're going to get a lot of pressure
to release documents. Don't give them a thing. When someone asks for a
look at the church archives covering your time as cardinal in charge of
child abuse cases, you say that you're not accountable for that
because, as the head of state of Vatican City, you're not a member of
the clergy. With no records for them to look at you can safely assert
that no such case ever came to your attention -- to the best of your recollection. Get it? To purgatory with executive privilege -- you've got infallibility! Use it.
Then, after essentially denying that any abuse ever took place, you
explain how actually it was a good thing. Here's how to spin it: Those
kids were young Catholics in training, right? And they needed to become
familiar with the rites and rituals, and sometimes, in some exceptional
cases, maybe they needed some exceptional treatment to get them to
confess their sins. If I were an altar boy and anything like that
happened to me I bet afterwards I'd be babbling away like crazy with
the Hail Mary's and Glory Be's and whatnot. So this was doing them
good, helping them learn the rosary. You can call it an "enhanced
catechism program." Keeping the Church safe from heresy!
Next, you take advantage of your position to draw this thing out and
wait for the heat to die down. Take off for a few weeks to an
undisclosed diocese, somewhere where no one can harass you. Then you
can try a few tactics to draw attention to other issues. A couple of
suggestions: Have a Swiss Guard leak the identity of one of your
bankers. Or set up a system of color-coded "Apocalypse Alerts" and then
keep it alternating between "red" and "orange." Or -- and this is a
great one if you can pull it off -- arrange to have the Sistine Chapel
reduced to rubble by some kind of "terrorist" action. I know what
you're thinking: risky, costly, lots of dust. True, but it's the
quickest, easiest way to consolidate your power base, and can you put a
price on that?
Lastly, and this is the most important point of all, you absolutely
must cut tithes for the wealthy. There might not seem to be a direct
connection between this and the problem at hand, but, believe me, it's
what you really need to do most urgently. I'm thinking three and a
quarter, maybe three and a half percent tops.
have my staff set up some meetings over the next few weeks to walk you
through the process, but that's it in a nutshell. Meanwhile, I've
converted to Catholicism, and you'll find attached a preliminary
schedule of the things I'll need dispensations for in lieu of payment,
as per our agreement. Please keep in mind that this is just a first
draft, the "skeleton" if you will. I'll flesh it out with my lawyers
for the final version, but for now these 53 pages should give you an
idea of what we're talking about. Pretty good deal, huh? You save my
soul, I save your ass. Pardon my Aramaic.
me, Your Holiness, follow my instructions and you'll have the faithful
lining up with their mouths open, ready to eat out of your hand.
They'll literally be on their knees. Of course, there will always be a
few hard-core freedom of religion haters who will continue to badmouth
you no matter what. Just tell them to go genuflect themselves.
Copyright 2010 by David Jaggard.
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