Hello, and welcome back to the Marcus Williams Training Academy podcast where we talk about all things misconduct: behavior, response to that behavior, and how it impacts all of us. Today we are going to have another episode of our segment, Misconduct Myths, where we talk about things that people say and that people believe regarding misconduct that simply are not true. So, before we get started please subscribe, hit the notification button whether you're watching this video or you're listening in your favorite podcast app, please subscribe. And if you're listening on Apple Podcasts, leave me a review. I would appreciate it very much. Share with your friends. Okay, so the myth that we are talking about today is the myth that good people can't do bad things, that everything is black and white, that there are good people that do good things, and there are bad people that do bad things and nothing in between. Now I think we can all agree that someone who is say, a serial killer, is a bad person. They are living their life doing bad things constantly. And there are people who are good people who do their very best to make good decisions every day. Hopefully we all are that way; we all are trying to make good decisions every day as we go through life, but the truth of the matter is, we are all human beings. We are all imperfect. We all make mistakes. Good people in fact do bad things. So let's talk about some stories, some things that have happened over the last couple of years that have tried to punch through this myth to get people to understand that human beings are a lot more complicated than black and white good and good versus evil, that people make choices some days that are good and other days that are bad. And it doesn't change-we can't give a title or a label to that person as good or bad based on one day's decision or one behavior. What about the sexual abuse scandal in the catholic church? We have priests who have dedicated their lives to helping people, to preaching, to teaching, to comforting and instead abused children. Sometimes over the course of years a lot of those people you would say are simply evil, they did it for so long and was so-have so many victims that they are evil. Yet, their public persona, the persona that people saw every day was of a good person. They had members of their congregation that went to them for help, for support. They were there mourning with people who lost loved ones. They were presiding over christenings, over baptisms. They were standing up and giving mass and sermons, things that really helped people in their congregation. Yet, behind closed doors they were doing evil, wicked things. They were engaging in sexual abuse. There are a lot of other organizations that are like that as well. The Boy Scouts of America faced a scandal. They're currently going through lawsuits. There are class action suits against the Boy Scouts for abuse that scout masters committed. These are men and women who volunteered their own time to go in and teach young men and women skills, to help them learn how to live a good life, to teach them the Scout Oath and the Scout Motto. And those are principles that are good, yet they use that position to do evil. Teachers. I remember-this isn't a new thing where we hear about teachers who engaged in sexual abuse of students or of minors. And this isn't a new thing. I remember when I was in high school one of my teachers was accused of having a sexual relationship with a student, and that teacher was married to another teacher. And back then what happened is the student, the female student, whom he was abusing, had-was mercilessly mocked and harassed, and she is the one who had to leave the school and go somewhere else. But it was the teacher who was actually engaging in the bad behavior. Coaches. What about the story at Penn State? Joe Paterno, Joe Pa, a coach who was famous worldwide. People looked up to him in his program, and the way he mentored his players and his coaches. And yet he had a coach engaging in and abusing players, and it came out that he (Paterno) knew about it and did nothing. He made bad decisions while at the same time he was doing good things. It can go on and on. So, the-a lot of times when those come out, people suddenly go oh good person, switch, suddenly bad person. It's more complicated than that. We do dumb things. We make bad decisions. We also make good decisions. We all do it. So, I did a quick search kind of looking at the results what is this attitude, this myth that good people can't do bad things. How does it impact sentencing? How does it impact the discipline or the punishment? So, we can look to the criminal courts and see how it has played out there, and we can take that also into the private sector. Those same attitudes, those same beliefs, the same things happen in companies in corporations as do the courts, because it's-it's the same people making these, making these decisions. A jury is made up of the jury of our peers. So, I did a quick search and pages and pages came up of instances where someone got a light sentence because they're, they were a good person. So, there's a good example of a pastor in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pastor David Lynn Richards Jr. So, he was a someone who helped his community, who served his community in the church and he was abusing his, I believe it was his, adopted daughter at home. Serving the community doing good in public, abusing his daughter at home. And he got what many believed to be a light sentence. He was sentenced to just 12 years in prison. The prosecutors were going for life because of how this abuse was ongoing over the course of years. So, he was someone he was charged with “sexual battery by an authority figure.” So, it was his adopted daughter. And people were outraged. People were outraged, not just at what he did but because of the light sentence, what they perceived to be a light sentence. And the judge did that because of all the community service and help that he had done in the community. So, simple abuse. One of the first stories that popped up. There are many other times as well. You may remember the story of Brock Turner. So, he was accused of raping a drunk woman in an alley behind a bar. He went to Stanford. Two other, actually they were international students, went by, saw something happening down the alley, kind of didn't feel that it was right, went down there to investigate to see what was happening and found him, Brock Turner, raping this girl who was passed out drunk. And he got essentially probation. People were outraged. They called for that judge to be fired because he would-and the defense was that he had, this probation would ruin his, ruin his athletic career and it was enough to destroy his life anyway. We don't need to destroy it anymore. He was this promising young man who did a bad thing. “He's a good person.” They lessened the horror of what he did because of who he was. When I was a Special Agent with NCIS, I saw this all of the time. So, in the military you get performance evaluations and ratings just like you do in the private sector. So, on a scale of, it was on a scale up to five, so a 5.0 Sailor or 5.0 Marine was someone who was doing, was exceeding expectations in every aspect. Someone-and you'd get those ratings and those would go to whether or not you would get promoted so they were very important. And many times you would, a case would go before a panel into a court. (So, a panel is the same as a jury in the mil, in the military justice system). And they. the defense attorney would bring out all these ratings. Look, he's a 5.0 Sailor, she's a 5.0 Marine. They get all these great ratings. They do great work. They-and that somehow was a defense against what they did. The defense against the rape that somehow mitigated this bad decision because if he's a good Sailor at work, if he does all his job and he exceeds expectations and he's a good leader and he helps all of his-all the other Sailors in this unit, then there's no way he could have raped someone that Friday night after drinking in the bar or at the party. There's no correlation between those two. Someone can be a great worker and still do something bad. But that was the defense. This person is a 5.0 Sailor so therefore couldn't have done what he is accused of doing. When I was investigating title ix cases, I would get that same thing all the time. Now, I did those investigations for a religious university, and I would constantly, I would get the religious leader to be a witness. The respondent would ask me to, they would name their witnesses and they would ask me to talk to the religious leader who would say, “No, he's-he's a great person. He follows all of the precepts of our religion, therefore could not have done it.” Or, talk to my friends; talk to my parents; talk to my Boy Scout leader from when I, from when I was younger. My high school coach. All of these people who only saw him doing good things but weren't witnesses to the bad thing that he was accused of doing and they would come in and say, this young man is a great young man. He serves other people. He's very nice. He walks old ladies across the street. He helps people carr-he helps carry their groceries to their car. He's always serving others so there's no way, I don't believe it, I don't believe he could have done this thing he's accused of doing. And my question is, “Well, were you there?” “No.” “Do you have any firsthand knowledge of that?” “No.” “Have you ever been on a date with this person?” “No, of course not. I was his religious leader (or his sports coach).” “Okay, so you don't know how he behaved on, how he behaves on a date generally. You don't know how he behaved on this date specifically.” Or they would bring in someone they went out with on a previous date, a person who they didn't assault and that person would say, “No, he was a perfect gentleman. He never did anything to me, so therefore he couldn't have done it to someone else.” All of those witnesses are important to talk to. Building a complete picture of a person and their character and their behavior and their decisions are all very important, but you have to remember that someone who, just because someone is a good person in other aspects of their life or maybe in all aspects of their life, it doesn't really matter. That does not mean that they can't make a bad decision. That doesn't mean that they can't do something bad or even evil. Do you truly believe that there are good people and bad people and nothing in between? I mean look at your own life, your own behavior. There are things in your life that you were probably ashamed of, things that you've done that you don't want anyone else to know about. Maybe they were in the open and you've paid the price and you've dealt with the consequences. Maybe they haven't. But that's your secret, something you don't want other people to know. But you consider yourself a good person, don't you? You try-you try to do your best. You wake up every day with the intention of doing good things, or at the very least not doing bad things. And I think that's how most of us live our life. We don't wake up and say I'm only doing good today. We wake up and we go throughout our day with just an intention to not do anything bad. And it's not even a conscious decision. We don't say it in the mirror. We make decisions based on our-our upbringing and our learning and our belief systems and our value systems. And sometimes we screw up and we make mistakes. This can come into play in a misconduct investigation. If you're the investigator and you're-you are talking to these witnesses, you're talking to the manager, to the boss, to the co-workers who says this person is great, I can't believe this could have ever happened? Who-who would ever believe he would have done such a thing or she would have done such a thing? I just don't believe it. Don't take that down. That's all-all of that information is important. It's all a piece, a puzzle piece in your puzzle. But remember you are looking for people who have relevant information, people that can either corroborate, substantiate, or the opposite. Do they actually know about what happened? Did they see? Did they talk to someone? Did they witness something? Did they receive some-do they have some sort of evidence that helps you in your case? In a criminal investigation one of the first things that you do when you have someone who is accused of a crime is you pull their criminal history. That is totally appropriate to do. You want to see their past. You want to see if there are similar arrests or similar behavior in their past. You want to see if they're violent, if you have to take special precautions when you approach them. Information is good, but those previous convictions don't really mean that they did or didn't do what they're accused of right now. So, if you are the investigator, again for misconduct investigations in your company, you may-the first thing you do you might pull their personal personnel records. What kind of disciplinary actions have been taken against them in the past? Have there been any prior complaints? Maybe. And if there isn't don't let that sway you into thinking this one isn't true just because they have never had a complaint before. Maybe they've been doing this all along and just no one has had the courage to complain or to file a complaint or report them. Maybe this is the first time they've done it. You're investigating that incident individually. Another thing you might find is you may look through there and you may see a pattern of complaints that started small. Maybe it's sexual harassment and it started with comments and then it-the next one was some touching, massaging shoulders or something like that, all little things that alone there wasn't much you could do about. But when you look back at this pattern of behavior that all led up to what you're investigating right now, which could be maybe a sexual assault, now you can go back and maybe revisit those behaviors because you saw that pattern moving up. You can put those things together. The bottom line is that you can't judge what, you can't make a decision based on what you know about a person's past or what you know about a person's character. Just because they were accused, just because you have only seen them in a good light doesn't mean that the accusation isn't true or that it is true. That is not good evidence. That happened in the-in the Catholic Church scandal for years. No one would believe them because a catholic priest is a good person. He wouldn't do such a thing. Yeah, we now know that that is not the way that we should think of this. And you would think that because of these big organizations that have gone through these shocking revelations, that that would have changed the attitudes of society, but this still exists today. People still don't want to believe that someone who serves their community or does good things or is well known or well liked could do something so bad or dark or evil. Take the allegation on its face and investigate it for what it is. Don't make up your mind beforehand. That will influence and impact your investigation. If you're not the investigator, and if you're not the investigator, you’re just a co-worker, there is a strong pull to take sides. You want to be on the side of the complainant or the respondent. She's my friend. He's my friend. I know this person. I don't know that person. People start to take sides without any knowledge of what actually happened. That can destroy a team. It can divide a company. It can divide a community or a neighborhood. You can't take sides. You have to allow all of the facts, all of the evidence to come out. Don't make up your mind based on this myth that good people can't do bad things, that we are good or bad. We are complicated. Human beings are complicated. We do good things; we do bad things. And I hope in my life that I'm doing a lot more good than I'm doing bad, and that the bad is not serious. But we all do bad things. We all make poor decisions. Thank you for listening or watching this episode of the Marcus Williams Training Academy podcast and Misconduct Myths. Think about what we talked about and if there are any instances in your life where maybe you've jumped to a conclusion based on this belief system or this myth because of what you knew about a person. Subscribe to my podcast. Hit the notification bell on whatever platform you're using, however that works, so that you are notified of all of my future episodes. Please share. Let other people know about this podcast. If you're a human being and you work with other human beings, the things that I talk about are applicable to you. Thank you and we will see you next time.