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Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Grace,
You say "false rape claims are not uncommon." No, they ARE uncommon. Acc to Stanford University and the FBI:
"Only about 2% of all rape and related sex charges are determined to be false, the same percentage as for other felonies (FBI). So while they do happen, and they are very problematic when they do, people dismiss rape allegations as false far more frequently than they are and far more frequently than for other crimes. Put another way, we are much more likely to disbelieve a woman if she says she was raped than if she says she was robbed, but for no good reason."
No good reason - what are your bad reasons here?

Posted by Chris Perrius on 12/15/2017 at 6:45 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Grace, I had a similar thought to be honest. I'm guessing one or two of the accusers in the lawsuit jumped on the bandwagon for the reasons you mentioned. The fact they all started finding out that they were just another notch on the belt might add to their desire to take Steve Bearman down. None went to the police immediately afterward. Most never even complained to anyone Interchange it seems and only told their story when asked. But one or two of the cases sounded like the victim was totally incapacitated by the drugs, and that's rape pure and simple. In the end, as a therapist, you have to be on the look out for something called Erotic Transference. This is when a patient/client starts being attracted to you. Part of your job is to not be swayed by this, and stay focussed on the healing of the client. Steve may not have been a licensed therapist, but he was basically acting as one, and not only did he not follow the rules of avoiding Erotic Transference, he encouraged it. Using hallucinogens no less. Not cool.

Posted by Truth seeker on 12/15/2017 at 2:17 AM

Re: “Plan to Ship Coal Through Oakland Was Years in the Making

A wealthy businessman wants to ship COAL?! to Oakland? WTF. Seriously, this is one of the most progressive areas in the U.S., has he no shame? Is the almighty dollar worth more to him than the health of our city, our kids, HIS kids? wow. What is wrong with the wealthy elite these days? oh right.

Posted by Yaelisa Caminos Flamencos on 12/15/2017 at 1:20 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

No, Grace, actually we don't. Because we all have instincts, and we know Steve is not healthy. Steve might not have intended to hurt people when he got off sexually, but that's what happened, with 6 women who are suing him... He made money, close to $1M / year, off of his behavior. My best friend repeatedly tried to get me to have scheduled hang outs with Steve, and because I was raised by mostly good parents and mostly good family, I knew something was wrong, and I chose not to engage with him. If you so dare use this comment thread as a way to gain more sympathy for Steve, you too will be found out.

Posted by Margaret1738 on 12/15/2017 at 1:04 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

I speak up now on behalf of Steve Bearman. This story does not reflect his side of things and paints him out to be an evildoer wanting to hurt innocent people. I am skeptical that is how it actually is. The Steve Bearman I know is a loving and caring human being and would have no need or desire to hurt anyone just to get off sexually. He has many people willing to have sex with him and it makes absolutely no sense that he would need to drug anybody. Also, he is a conscious person and he would not want someone to do anything against their will.

Since this is so contradicting to his nature that most of us know as gentle and kind, maybe it would be helpful to ask ourselves what other motives would these women have? Money and jealousy and rejection are often reasons why someone might make false claims or only remember something the way they want to in order to feel better.

False rape claims are not uncommon. Given the amount of money these women may have believed they could get by suing Bearman, we cannot ignore the possibility of Steve even being set up. It happens to the best people. Steve is clever about some things and naive about some others. He wants to see the best in people and has given his life to serving others and creating intentionally loving community.

He may be gulty of trusting too easily and taking drugs and throwing sex parties. But he is not the sinister narcissist and rapist this article paints him to be and it falls on these women to prove their allegations. And I question that they are allowed to remain anonymous while Steve must bear the weight of all this hatred and all we have are the words of these people. We need to hear the whole story and refrain from lynching this man and making him a scapegoat for all the pain and suffering in the world. He is a human being not a monster.

Posted by Grace Love on 12/15/2017 at 12:23 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

With all due respect, Florie Wild, Steve's care and compassion to you personally is not what we should be looking at right now. I learned some valuable lessons at Interchange also. So what? How does that in any way modulate the repugnant nature of Steve's actions in so many instances? Or are you doubting the testimony of six women who have risked re-traumatizing themselves to speak out? What kind of a psychologist are you, anyway?

What DOES need attention is Steve's abuse of power again and again, with a ruthlessness that is chilling at best. And these were women usually at least 15 years his junior, and often women of color from traumatic economic, psychological, and life-threatening illness backgrounds! It is actually appalling to me that you would take this opportunity to speak on his behalf instead of expressing compassion for these poor women, who have put themselves on the line so courageously. In this climate of abuse of sexual power on the part of men the world over, and with six women having the guts to file a lawsuit, one of them a cancer survivor as the article states, how could you say you are "confused"? About what? How much clarity do you need? Is it news to you that nice people can do monstrous things? That Steve displayed remarkable levels of hubris and authoritarian control of his organization? Perhaps time to read a feminist treatise or two. Or learn something about the oppression of women of color to fill out your psychological training. Also check your internalized oppression, and see how much kool-aid you drank. You stun me.

To all you beautiful and strong women who have had the courage to speak up against your exploitation, there are lots of us who care about YOU.

Posted by Aida del Valle, Esq. on 12/14/2017 at 9:40 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Crazy to see this. Didnt know him personally but went to a party up at that house a couple years back, wasnt a sex party but a celebration of freedom for a brotha who just got out from wrongful imprisonment. Puts a weird taint on a memory of what I would say is the best party i ever been to in my life hands down. Weird shadow vibe right now reading this. Gives me a weird taint on such a good memory. In parallel, a close friend of mine just told me a co-worker, a top ranking executive in her company groped her in jest asking her, are these real? My question is: what can we do as conscious men to promote an unconditional culture of consent while still pursuing intimate connections? And can we define a universal method of establishing consent? Obviously consent wasnt his intention, though maybe for some reason he thought he had it because it was something he promoted, but at this point every single man (and woman i guess cuz it can go both ways though rare) needs to be trained on consent formally. Too many stories arise in this grey area of pushed boundaries and miscommunication resulting in trauma. Bottom line is, how the fuck are you gonna chose gratifying yourself over causing someone emotional distress, I really just dont understand. Get some lotion assholes.

Posted by _CaliGoldenBoy on 12/14/2017 at 8:55 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

I read this article a couple nights ago and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. I've never met Steve but I've known about him and Interchange for years. I saw him at a party a few years ago and a female friend of mine told me he would date his students. I was like, REALLY? It seemed so bizarre to me, but she was nonchalant about it. I'm now wondering, how is the sex/drug positive culture we're in here in the SF Bay Area contributing to this kind of a situation happening? Why weren't people in leadership roles calling him out on this earlier? Or his business partner Margo Brockman? I mean, everybody involved in counseling or psychology knows about the dangers of transference. The number of people complicit with all this is probably huge. The sex positive community obviously has some major blindspots.

I remember seeing the "Ending Jealousy" course being offered by Interchange a while back. Think about that for a second. Having that as part of your curriculum, and also being "sex positive" is a perfect set up for abuse to happen. Anytime someone rebuffs your advances, you can just say, "Oh, you're not open enough" or "You have more inner work to do, I can help you" etc, etc. Other sex positive people around Steve probably looked the other way because "Hey, look how awesomely open minded we are about sex. It's no big deal that the lead counselor dates his students. We're sex positive and more evolved than all the shame filled normal people out there, it's all good". Boom, THAT'S A BLIND SPOT PEOPLE. Being sex positive doesn't mean that transference won't happen, that abuse won't happen, and that people won't get hurt.

Steve's use of drugs in these assaults is particularly creepy and gross. It's like the Bill Cosby thing, but he got the women to take the drugs voluntarily. That's some high level manipulation there. Some of the victims' accounts are just plain horrendous, and definitely criminal, but a couple of them seemed a little more murky as far as whether an actual crime happened. I found myself getting a little frustrated, I mean, why do they keep going to his bedroom? And getting naked with him? And partying with him, at sex parties?? Ahhh, this is just a big mess. I'm guessing he settles with all the victims out of court. And hopefully never teaches or counsels again, EVER. I have no idea about prison time. Anyone with knowledge about the justice system have any thoughts about that?

Posted by Truth seeker on 12/14/2017 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

I know Steve Bearman to be a caring and compassionate human who helped me heal and grow a tremendous amount. He helped many people I know do the same. Interchange changed my life for the better. This news is confusing. I am still processing but want to say at this time that nobody deserves to rot in jail. I hope we can talk about this in a way that helps us all move forward and evolve.

Posted by Florie Wild on 12/14/2017 at 8:32 PM

Re: “Where to Buy Legal Weed in the East Bay on Jan. 1

I agree with Mr. Mondy--people serving jail time for selling pot should be released and given jobs in the new, corporate controlled industry that it will soon become

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 12/14/2017 at 2:30 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Hate cannot describe the feelings I have towards Steve Bearman. It makes me sick that he could operate in this world for this long at this level. Even though I realize it is not their fault, I am angry at people I know who were complicit. I'm annoyed at the people who praised and bowed to him despite intuitively knowing these secrets. Get your heads on straight, get them out of the clouds. We need to talk openly about these issues and not laugh them off or pray them away. I am so glad this day has come. I hope you cut off my old best friend you coerced away from her friends, so she can have the decency to move the fuck on. I hope you go to jail for a very, very long time, pay back every penny you took, perform community service alone in a room somewhere where you cannot have contact with people, and have to get so much psychotherapy that you live in severe debt when you're out of jail. I never liked you, you never deserved my best friend.

Posted by Margaret1738 on 12/14/2017 at 9:47 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Please look closely at another group in San Francisco "The Welcomed Consensus" waiting for the day when their secrets are exposed as well... www.WelcomedConsensus.com

Posted by Rebecca 1 on 12/14/2017 at 9:38 AM

Re: “Pending Eviction of Former Black Panther Aunti Frances Highlights Just-Cause 'Loophole'

I used to be a student until it became too expensive, said Natalia Morphy, 25, who dropped out of SF State last spring and became a dog walker. The upper echelons of society are making it harder and harder for people to educate themselves and make it to the 1 per cent.

https://www.ft.com/content/1997ca6a-107c-1…

Natalia, your dream of almost joining the 1% will soon be realized AND you get to contribute to the homeless problem. Don't worry, neoliberal/Randians like Ernest Montague will wave his pom-poms in full support.

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 12/14/2017 at 9:15 AM

Re: “Pending Eviction of Former Black Panther Aunti Frances Highlights Just-Cause 'Loophole'

So someone, please, instruct me on why a landlord has a deep moral obligation to rent their property at minimal rents for the lifespan of the tenant. I'd love to know.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 12/14/2017 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Plan to Ship Coal Through Oakland Was Years in the Making

Thank you for clarifying the City's main argument that it has the legal right to protect the health and safety of Oakland's residents. Asthma rates are high enough in West Oakland without adding coal dust.

Posted by Judy.Belcher on 12/14/2017 at 7:47 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

You want to know what you can do to "make things right," Steven? ROT IN JAIL, where you absolutely belong.

Posted by Floodlight on 12/14/2017 at 12:36 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Steven is related to my oldest friend, so I've encountered him several times over the decades I've known my friend. Rape/molestation survivors can sense a predator, which Steven is. I ALWAYS KNEW. I ALWAYS felt disgust toward this person. And sadly, I have been proven 100% right. I am sickened and disgusted beyond belief with this arrogant, selfish, delusional rapist. I'm nauseated with these accounts, knowing exactly exactly exactly what he looked like and sounded like when he was violating these women's boundaries and bodies. Because all rapists are the same. Steven, you are exactly the piece of shit my intuition always knew you were.

Posted by Floodlight on 12/14/2017 at 12:26 AM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

This is so sad and maddening. I feel for all the women who were violated and feel righteous indignation..may charming creeps in positions of power be held accountable. He deserves life in prison.

Posted by Fairley De Cunha Parson on 12/13/2017 at 11:54 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

I met this man personally and went to his house. I am not all shocked although highly saddened by this news. Very rarely do I meet someone who oozes pure slime and I distrust immediately. He was obviously highly intelligent and manipulative. I can see why people found him appealing but he made my skin crawl. His room was littered with the remnants of a sex party and and copious drugs from the night before. I believe him to be a sociopath who prays on open minded people. Do not trust anything he says he will take your money and your dignity and then try and avoid any responsibility. He is very clever and a schemer. I doubt hell show his face again as his finally been called out and bravo to the brave women who did so. I hope someday he faces reprocussions for abusing the trust of so many women in such a sick way. An absolute cult leader and narcissist who makes my stomach turn.

Posted by Average person on 12/13/2017 at 10:31 PM

Re: “Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

This was a cult. Not a "counseling school."

Posted by Noah Zimmerman on 12/13/2017 at 5:42 PM

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