Conscience Keeps the Abuse of Loyalty In Check: Find Lauren Spierer

"When put to the test, loyalty operates on the benefit of trust. It allows for lack of proof only on that basis – the worthiness of trust.  The only thing that keeps the abuse of loyalty in check is conscience or a crisis of conscience." – M.S.L., October, 1999

Earlier — Lauren Spierer's friends stay silent as case grows cold (Indy Star 6/25)

Three weeks after Lauren Spierer went missing from Indiana University, the lack of information from the sophomore's college friends has been frustrating her family and stalling local police.

Five of those who've been involved in the investigation — Jesse Wolff, Lauren's boyfriend; and friends Corey Rossman, Mike Beth, Jay Rosenbaum and David Rohn, who all saw her during the last few hours before she disappeared — have retained lawyers.

But the closing of the ranks among these young men and women might be more than just simply following legal advice.

Experts say there's a psychological condition that often kicks in during these types of crises, which prevent people — typically those of college or high- school age — from doing the right thing.

"My guess is a lot of those kids are a bit confused and afraid at this point," said Jeff Cohen, program director of the Mercy College School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in Dobbs Ferry.

Lauren Spierer's mother, Charlene, has said she's "extremely frustrated" only one of her daughter's friends has so far come forward to police with information.

Spierer, 20, a resident of Edgemont, N.Y., vanished June 3 after visiting a bar and spending time with her friends in Bloomington, Ind.

Often when teens or young adults close ranks they do it out of loyalty to someone who might be in trouble if the truth comes out, said Cohen, who's a former school psychologist at Ardsley middle and high schools.

"That part that says 'I have to protect my friend' kind of kicks in," he said. "It's a sense of loyalty."

Social retaliation is another possible motivating factor if there is a group coverup at play in Indiana.

Lauren Spierer, 20, was last seen around 4:30 a.m., 6/3 near the intersection of College Avenue & 11th St. Info to Bloomington police: 812-339-4477 

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