My father was in church leadership as were all the males in my family dating back to Joseph Smith himself and are direct descendants of him. My maternal grandfather was a stake president, the first in the stake where I now live. He had a large family and every one of his children as well as his wife, were abused in horrible ways. Beaten, raped, tortured to the extent they had to have corrective surgeries as adults, etc. Local authorities both in the church and in law enforcement were well aware but to this day they call it a “family matter”. He is dead but his children will carry physical and emotional scars the rest of their lives, yet they remain faithful LDS members. My paternal grandfather was a serial adulterer, yet always a temple recommend holder. He is dead now too. I do not know the origins of my own biological father’s pedophilia but I can guess based on his father’s legacy and behaviors while living. Again, all the male leaders were well aware of my paternal grandfather’s proclivities and abuses.
Now, my father. He was born and raised in a tight knit 98% LDS small Arizona town community. He and his brothers all abused women and little girls. My father was given and alternative sentence at 18 to go to prison for his pedophelia or join the US Army. He Joined the Army. His behaviors attracted men of like proclivities and upon discharge he continued his association with these men, and his behaviors. My mother was my father’s oldest brother’s wife. Through sexual abuse and resultant pregnancy my mother was “counseled” by her bishop to marry her rapist, She did and had three children by him before he abandoned her and cheated on her. Her first husband’s brother (my bio-father) then raped impregnated my mother while she was still married to my biological uncle. My mother and uncle subsequently divorced. My parents married while my mother was pregnant with his child. The newly formed family bought a home and moved into a stable ward in Arizona in a much larger city. My mother continued to have children with my biological father and they married in the temple.
Never at any time did my father stop molesting children or cheating on my mother with both women, children, and men. He molested almost every child he came into contact with. Recently I was told by a male cousin of mine that my father molested him when he was about six years old. Also, I had a friend who was a boy in my neighborhood who used to come over regularly when we were about 7-10 years old. Recently I contacted him and then discovered he killed himself after going through horrible trials due to my father’s abuse of him when we were children. From the time I can remember at about three years old, I saw my father molest my siblings, friends, and neighbors.
Repeatedly my mother went to bishops and stake presidents for help. These pleas should be in my parent’s church records. Repeatedly she was sent home to be a better wife and mother. She was told we children were to be clean, quiet, and respectful to our father due to his “priesthood authority” in our home. My father from time to time would be called into a bishop or stake president’s office and asked about these allegations and he had plenty of ready-made excuses, mostly that my mother was lying. On one occasion the Bishop in a Mesa, Arizona ward was audience to my mother’s cries for help. She was made out to be the typical hysterical female and liar again. Even though she was the Relief Society president! So, one by one each of us children in the family were brought into the bishop’s office while the other’s waited in the foyer. Our mother was in there with Bishop. We were made to stand in the middle of the room and tell the “forbidden” secrets of our father’s sexual abuse, then summarily dismissed as another sibling was called in for the same testimony. Again… nothing was ever done either about my father’s membership status, with law enforcement, or to protect us children from ongoing abuse. We even had LDS Social Services place foster children in our home with my parent’s protests!
Bishop became our family’s next bishop. He was also told of the exploitations happening. One specific incident I recall well was my father being caught once again by my mother, molesting us kids. A fight between parents ensued. My father left the home and stayed with those army buddies of his who were also molesters of the lowest form. It was a Daddy-Daughter party time for me in Primary. Bishop was counseling my mother and since my father was out of the home for a few days, he was my escort for that important “date”. It was very humiliating for me. But, even at that young age I knew very, very, well that out big family secret of our father’s pedophilia, homosexuality, and adultery were to be kept “sacred” between church leaders and my mother.
After I married in the Mesa AZ. temple and was pregnant with my first child my father would bring his pervert friends to my home and coach them to fondle me and try to seduce me sexually. While growing up in my father’s house there was never any privacy. He was always a voyeur and the house’s wall is/was full of peep holes. Now, after my marriage, he was back and encouraging his friends to continue his abuse. My husband did nothing to stop it, nor my siblings or their spouses.
I later moved out of state. My father would visit. After one visit in my home specifically he insisted my then, four year old daughter, sleep with him. I also caught him peeking in my two young son’s bedroom window as they dressed for bed. I did not allow him to return for any more visits. A few months later over the phone from Mesa, Arizona, he bragged that he had just renewed his temple recommend. My brother in law (sister’s husband) was his bishop. As one may guess… this bragging infuriated me. I did some research and contacted my father’s stake president.
I told this President about my father and his history. He returned my call two successive nights for a total of three calls. He explained to me my father’s usual excuses and I asked him to look into the records the church keeps. On the third and final call he told me it is all “confidential” but my father would not hold a recommend as long as this man is Stake President. He said he had caught my father in a lie but was not specific. One short year later I discovered my father had been re-baptized and made a high priest by my/ his brother/son in law, the Bishop. To top it off, my brother in law… my father’s bishop… gave my father a calling to teach Primary children!
During the time my family and I lived in Provo, a recommended young woman babysat for my husband and I while we went to our weekly temple visit. She molested our two young sons while we were gone. We immediately went to our bishop. He shook his head in sadness and told us that her family had so many problems that he could not even tell her parents. Later, that girl’s father went to prison for fathering to children with her sister (his own daughter).
Fast forward a few years: We moved even further away from AZ. and to another state. I had to go through a divorce. My husband was jealous of me pursuing my education after our children were all in school and he refused to work. He was physically abusive as well as habitually abandoned the family. We finally had to divorce. My bishop told me to return to the abuse and I refused. I finally left the church over, mostly, these wrong “inspired” leader’s counsel. The lack of support for the many women, like myself, who were not believed is sickening.
During my divorce trial for custody of my children my now X-husband, procured a typed and signed declaration from my father and one sister (whose husband is the bishop to my father) saying I am a liar, unfit parent, etc. It was 100% in retaliation for my testimony concerning my father’s pedophilia. At that point I had not seen or spoken to my father nor siblings in at least 15 years due to my father’s pedophilia and their denial. My sister typed this dirty letter and she and my father were the only signers yet put my other siblings, their spouses, and their demographic information typed on the letter for the court. I have not spoken to any of these family members since. In fact, with the exception of one sister who is now recently deceased, I have not spoken to any of them in about 25 years or so. All due to the enabling of the pedophilia and cover ups.
During my divorce a child of fellow ward members came forward. He is an adult now. He told law enforcement authorities about my husband wrestling him to the ground when he was 8-10 years old (during two years) and pulling his genitals and kicking him while calling him sexist slurs. He told law enforcement of my X isolating him away from others and sexually abusing him. He also went with his mother and told the same consistent story to our bishop. Due to the divorce my X’s lawyer was able to snuff out those very credible accusations. At one point my X stalked this young boy during his scout meeting at the church and that this man's mother and that this man had to take my X to court and get a protection order against my X. Nothing happened as far as my X’s church membership was concerned. Not even after he beat me with his belt leaving welts and the bishop was provided by my Dr. with photos of my welts. Nothing! On another occasion my daughter was molested my a family friend who was an elder. My daughter told the Bishop and the bishop “called” a local Mormon lawyer (stake high council member) to represent the molester pro-bono. Again, after law enforcement was involved, the Mormon lawyer got that man’s charged dismissed.
After my divorce was finalized my children had visitation with their father. When his parenting time was over I went to his residence to pick up my minor children (the two oldest had aged out of the system) and my X had abducted and secreted the children. Mormon families my X was home teacher to, had purchased our community property from my X illegally. The church leaders with the monies illegally obtained from the sales, helped secret them for two years at a rural location in Utah. I had to hire a private detective agency, have my X found, legally served, and taken to court…then found in contempt on SIX counts, He was then court ordered to return my children to me! He was ordered to pay fines of which are still outstanding. And after years, has yet to pay me any court-ordered child support. And of course, he is still a member in good standing. He is remarried to another Mormon woman. She is another foolish victim of Mormonism’s “sacred-secrets”.
Upon closing, and in retrospect… I really wonder something… When my father was a mere bishop it was discovered his counselor in the bishopric was abusing his daughters and the children in his wife’s daycare. My father counselled him to turn himself in to law enforcement. The man did, a part of the “repentance process”. Priesthood men showed up in force to court on behalf of that man. They gave him glowing references. The judge knew the demands of justice and he is in prison to this day. Yet his crimes were much less than my grandfathers’, my father’s, and even my X’s. Since the LDS is “true” and these men have been called, set apart, and are inspired to be the Lord’s representatives, what is the church’s next round of excuses? Are their corporate assets really this valuable? These pedophilia cover ups and harboring of perpetrators are enhanced and enabled by one on one “worthiness interviews” of children and vulnerable women. When, if ever, will there be accountability? Stop them!
How do I even begin to try and explain the damage being abused as a child has caused me? I was 6, we had been friends with this family for a few years, our families did a preschool co-op together. My friend was the same age as me. We had play dates, saw each other at school, at church, eventually we had sleep overs as well.
The problem was her father. He went to church, he had been a visiting teacher at our home, he played basketball with my dad. He was also a monster. He had a game he played with his daughter, where he would pick her up and swing her high in the air. I can still remember being in the foyer of their two story home, at the bottom of the stairs, where this happened. He was molesting her, and then myself. Then there’s the time I was sleeping on my friends bedroom floor, and woke up to him on the floor next to me. This is probably the same night that my parents got a call close to midnight to come pick me up from this friends house, because I was hysterical and they couldn’t get me to calm down. My dad came to pick me up. I ran away and hid from him. I wouldn’t calm down until I had returned home to my mom. The monster had called my dad, told him I had been fine until after “bath time” then I started acting very strange.
I know I have blocked some of the details of these incidents, I’m sure in a six or seven year olds way to try and cope. His daughter used to tell me stories when we had sleepovers. Stories about a mans car, going into a woman’s garage, and scenes of rain, and being in the shower. I never told anyone what happened. This still makes me sick to think about today, the abuse my friend was suffering.
I sit here today, as a 36 year old woman, my eyes still filing with tears trying to share this. I now know more details of what happened in my life, because almost two years ago, I called his now ex-wife. I needed to know what else had happened in my own life. I had too many blanks that I and my family couldn’t fill in. So she told me. Her then husband had molested her nieces as well. They came forward and told what happened. They divorced, she re-married, but the monster stayed. She had gone to my parents and told them something had happened, and she couldn’t be sure if I was involved.
My dad had gone to the bishop. He was told NOT to go to the police, it would be too hard on me, and “who would believe a 7 years old anyway”. She told me she had gone to the bishop, she had sought help from the time her daughter was 18 months old. They didn’t believe her. Counselors, bishops, nobody helped her. I feel bad for her, but I feel worse for the children she let into their home, and her daughter. The monster had to serve house arrest, and probation. The bishop and his cronies, threw the monster a party after he served his “time”. Throughout this time, the bishop and others continued to pressure my dad to baptize me. I was terrified of my own father. I wouldn’t go near him. I refused to be baptized, and I never was. I was terrified of water. I had attended that same friends baptism, where the monster baptized her. He was welcomed back at church though. He then attended the singles ward, where he met the mom of another one of his victims. That child came forward as a young teen, a trial was held for her abuse, and he was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
I buried this secret for as long as I could. I always felt like something was wrong with me, why did I feel the way I felt, ashamed of the way I felt, maybe I had done something wrong. Why did I have so many stomach aches, and so much anxiety. Why did I feel sick every time I saw that house, or a car like theirs, or someone who looked like him. I was 33 when I finally couldn’t cope anymore. Kill myself or try and get some kind of help. My panic attacks were keeping me from leaving the house for a good part of 2 years. I couldn’t do that to my husband anymore. I found a therapist, and she helped save my life. I was finally, after so many years, able to even begin talking about this with my parents. It has taken years from me, taken my childhood from me, taken a relationship with my father from me, taken my trust in people from me.
I am working constantly to try and rebuild myself, but it is not an easy task. I have tried to contact the current bishop about getting help paying for the cost of all the therapy I’ve paid for. He wouldn’t return my calls. NOBODY has said a word to me about any of this. People who were around at the time, just claim they didn’t know anything. I was invisible. I contacted a lawyer and tried to pursue a case against the church for covering up for this monster. The statute of limitations may have come into play in my case, so I accepted a small settlement. It covers the cost of therapy for the last 3 years, and not much more.
I am dedicated to trying to spread the truth about what happens, even in small towns, with “good people” who you think you can trust. Many days are still a battle. Depression and anxiety are hard to deal with, and I feel I will deal with it for a long time to come. Something has to change.
We have a Mormon neighbor who lives a few houses down from us in Virginia. Her son recently went on a mission. We were talking to her one day around the time he was getting ready to come home. What I heard was very troubling and very strange.
She stated her son would be home from his mission soon. But when he got back, he had to go to the leaders and do a ritual in order to be complete and fulfilled. This would signify the end of his mission as a capstone. She went into how he was not allowed to take off his underwear (she called them garments) until he came home to see his leader and do this. She also stated that it involved the bishop kissing his underwear or garments.
It was weird to hear of her speak of this as though it was nothing of any concern. It has really troubled me since having this conversation with her.
So it isn’t a topic I reflect on too much these days because it doesn’t bring with it anything much more than sadness. It becomes even more difficult to share to a Mormon-centric audience where one is almost constantly being assessed and judged in different forms whether internal and/or more commonly external ways within the church structure.
But I think this is a helpful forum where we can all get vulnerable and share our collective voices on spiritual abuse and unrighteousness dominion. I hope someday enough voices will matter to leadership so that those still within can have a much healthier experience within Mormonism.
As a young 18 year old who converted on my own, I came into the church a shy, naive and trusting person but who was already rather fragile and struggling in my own ways, especially in Mormon terms, but sincerely felt I had found my spiritual and religious home. Once within the church I had hoped God would provide me with strength in areas I felt I needed to overcome but it didn’t quite work that way.
Soon after my baptism, literally within a couple months, my Bishop called me in and told me he felt I was to be called on a mission. I now faced the prospect of serving a mission even as it felt like I had just joined. It felt over-whelming but I had a hint of confidence from the fact that the Bishop and his spirit of discernment had deemed me worthy enough to go out and teach the gospel. So within 15 months of my baptism I left for the MTC and then it was on to Southern California for my mission.
I really thought God would strengthen me and I’d overcome my continued weaknesses by giving sincere diligent service to the Lord. Once again it didn’t quite work out that way and it was devastating to me. I saw it as more confirmation of how broken I was. So around a year into my mission I went to my Mission President in agony and confided in him. And although he tried to offer options to stay, I was convinced I was not worthy to be out there teaching people especially if I ruin the chance of an investigator feeling the spirit because of my shortcomings. I knew I had already in multiple instances tried to rely on the Lord for strength to overcome and didn’t want to continue on that same cycle.
So after confessing, in extremely exact detail, to my Mission President and going home I then learned I had to now re-confess to my Bishop and after that I was sent to my Stake President who was the third to want every detail. And after that my Stake President sent me to a church therapist for multiple visits rehashing again the same things. It became completely demoralizing and I felt no forgiveness or relief or spirit involved but rather even worse self image, shame and depression even while following their every instruction.
Having grown up outside Mormonism but within the Christian faith I was always taught that working out sin is between an individual and their God and no one else. That always felt hard enough as a kid. So for me interviews in the Mormon church from day one felt extremely uncomfortable on even rather benign inquiries. So when I finally did pour it all out to the Mission President, without any knowledge or frame of reference as a convert of how invasive and layered and specific the repentance process would be it devastated me. In this same time frame my dad passed away unexpectedly at 53 years old which was devastating on its own but it was exacerbated because I immediately felt like it was a direct consequence of my unworthiness and having dishonorably come home from my mission. The stakes were raised and I felt doomed to more tragedy if I didn’t become the perfect Mormon.
The spiritual abuse I received ultimately got so ingrained in me and created a dark cloud of sexual and personal shame that had effects on so many proceeding events in my life including the eventual demise of my marriage.
I was never able to turn that switch on once I was married that tells someone, “Ok, sex and sexuality is now permitted and no longer dirty and shameful”. I was never able to connect on that physically intimate level that is such an important component in a committed relationship. Eventually it made for a sad and unhappy marriage for both of us which ended in divorce even though we were best friends.
This cloud of shame and inability to connect with a partner has lived on past the end of my marriage. I am still unable to engage in sexually intimate connection that isn’t immediately and consistently damaging to myself or a partner due to my complicated relationship with sexual shame. I’ve since decided that at least for now I’m going to forgo pursuing relationships for the protection of myself and others. I’ll be 41 soon and that decision to not pursue any romantic relationships was made almost 7 years ago at 34 years old. I don’t see an end to that in sight. Even though I’ve done so much work over those 7 years with therapists, psychologists, DBT, mindfulness, medications and also discontinuing any religious affiliations there’s been no substantial progression in my subconscious and conscious reactions when it comes to having a healthy sexual outlook or connection.
I stopped participating in church generally by the time I was about 26 but sadly like a kicked puppy always still thought I’d return once I got my life together all the way until just a few years ago. I finally had my name removed from the church in March of this year.
I will continue to chip away at this from as many angles as I can until hopefully I find a meaningful bit of healing in this area. I remind myself of the friends I made, the many different meaningful service opportunities I was able to give and receive benefits from and even miss and still long for a decent amount of the Mormon culture, but I will always regret joining the church. I stayed too long, believed too hard, put trust in the wrong institution and leaders and almost like an abused spouse I felt like I had to go back to it after each instance of abuse long enough for it to have severely warped my perceptions on some key components of relationships.
Thanks for letting me share.
I received one of the PNG, no trespassing letters you have linked to. It bans me from church property forever. To this day, I am still very confused as to why this happened to me and disturbed by the use of legal intimidation to coerce and threaten me.
I was a sunbeam teacher for the last few years. I had children of my own who had special needs and really tried as their mother to advocate for them within the church and their youth programs. I had heard some ward members did not care for some of my opinions and took their complaints to the Stake President. They had relations with him that went back years and years and some were related to him.
The Stake President immediately called a new bishop and within a week, the new bishop had call the church hotline to instigate the process to ban me from church. No one had discussed with me what the problems were, and I've come to find out, there are several erroneous and false stories and accusations involving me from people who had issues with me one way or another.
I was teaching sunbeams one Sunday, and the next I was banned from church property for no reason. The bishop told my husband he needed to keep me in line and that he had the power to fix me if my husband brought me to him. It was all very disturbing and traumatizing.
I have come to learn that the hotline is used for other purposes to investigate members without even telling them or talking to them. They gather intel and then have the church attorneys write a PNG letter, banning the member from church if the bishop wants this to happen. The local leaders are given a lot of freedom and power that is unchecked. I had no one to turn to when this happened to me. I was lost and thought it must have been a mistake. But I have learned, this is a process they use to silence members and intimidate them into leaving, especially if the local leaders want you gone.
I have missed several funerals, baptisms, wedding receptions, and baby blessings because of this abuse. I have reached out to the church headquarters in order to explain this mistake and exonerate myself, but they cover and protect the local leaders at all costs. My life has changed dramatically because of the ecclesiastical abuse I went through. My bishop made me feel that I had no right to be who I am and there was something wrong with me. It was traumatizing for our whole family.
At BYU, I decided to take a Mission Prep course from the most popular Mission Prep teacher at BYU. He was extremely popular, and I believe he had tenure....not sure.
Anyway, While taking the course, I was dating a guy who I then got engaged to.
I don't enjoy drawing attention to myself...it makes me feel really awkward and overly self-aware, and at this point in time I didn't have the highest self esteem.
Well, when someone got engaged, pregnant, their mission call, they were encouraged to stand up at the beginning of class and express their bit of exciting news.
So, out of excitement (I guess), I decided to do it, too. I stood up at the same time another girl did, so I allowed her to go before me.
Girl: "Hi! Yes I got engaged!"
Professor: Oh congratulations! When did it happen?
Girl: "Friday night!" (Same as me)
Professor: When's the wedding?
Girl: "Six weeks!!"
::Big gasps and sounds from the class::
Professor: Well, sounds like you have your hands full til then! Wonderful!
She sits down and the professor looks at me:
Professor: Stand up! Tell us your news!
Me: "Oh, well I got engaged." ::Sits back down::
Professor: Stand up! What else? Who's the guy? (This professor doesn't know me. I felt really weird and DUMB to answer that question considering no one in the room knew me, so why would he care who the guy was?)
Me: "He's alright."
::snickering or other weird sounds from the class:: (I guess I was supposed to say I'm so madly in love with him...)
Professor: Alrighty. When's the wedding?
Me: "We are thinking the first week of July!" - This whole scenario took place the last week of November, meaning 7-8 months until the wedding
-And the professor continued to speak, for a literal FIVE MINUTES about how what my fiance and I were doing was wrong. How us waiting "so long" to get married was a mistake and that we would mess up and have sex before getting married and most likely not have a temple marriage. Perhaps not in those exact terms, but the words "do not do this" and "you will mess up" were used. Tthe message was clear: Do not wait so long to get married because as young little Mormons, we can't control our hormonal impulses and will have sex, even if we never had before in our 20 some years of life.
I was also STANDING throughout the entire 5 minutes...so I was basically the poster on the wall for his lecture.
I eventually slid down into my seat and felt the awkwardness of the two kids sitting beside me. The girl to my left usually talked to me during class, and she didn't say a word the entire time.
I wanted to burst into tears and run out of the class, but that would make it more dramatic, and I still needed to take notes for finals in 2 or so weeks. I skipped the rest of the day of school and cried off the embarrassment. I actually don't even know how I was able to go back to that class after that.
I'm not an emotional person, nor do I allow my emotions to be seen in public. I'm also not one to blow something out of proportion. My husband wanted to email him, but I said I would do it. I never did.
BTW, I'm still active. I realize this man was very wrong, but I thought he knew so much due to his reputation at the school.
Well he made a bad decision 1-2 years later on behalf of the church when he didn't have the permission, so I believe he was forced into retirement.
I worked for the LDS Church for 4 years. During this time I worked at two temples and in the Temple Department at Church headquarters. I quickly found that I, and many of those people I worked with, were working in a hostile and abusive work environment. Striving to improve the environment for others, first and then for myself, I reported the many abuses to the Provo Utah Temple Recorder. I soon found myself becoming the victim of abuse from this Recorder and the temple engineers. The more I reported abuse, hostilities, retaliation, revenge, illegal acts, safety violations, and threats, the more I was retaliated against.
One evening the Recorder broke into my computer, cracked open my password protected journal, and read it until 3am at my desk. I soon found myself being transferred to the Temple Department in SLC for a "developmental assignment". From this point forward Church leaders sought to vilify me. In SLC, the Temple Department Director was even more abusive than the recorder. Within 9 days he threatened my job (on the same day an OSHA complaint was filed against the Provo Utah Temple for 9 serious violations).
Approximately 4 months later, 11 days after the OSHA complaint was closed, I was suddenly being forced out of LDS employment. The director stated I did excellent work, there was nothing wrong with my performance, but I just wasn't a good fit. However, as I started to appeal the HR Director and Temple Department Managing Directors stated I was being let go for performance reasons, reasons I had never heard or been allowed to correct according to HR policy. This was the second step of vilification. I was in complete shock. Not only did these high executives support the abusers but also worked with them to oust me and destroy my reputation.
I had over 100 pages of journal entries documenting the abuse, recordings, and other documented proof. All of it was completely ignored and leaders refused to even speak to me about the abuse. I recently spoke with an LDS Church attorney from Kirton McKonkie who said to me that, yes, they were bad managers and their actions were bad but he would not answer my questions on why were they allowed to continue their employment while I, the victim of this abuse, was forced out.
Addition vilification then started and he stated I was hostile, went around slamming doors, and was knocking pictures off of walls. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, I had never done those things and told him so. He said, "See, you don't take correction or counsel." I agreed that I would not take accountability for things I had never done. It was astounding!
The attorney from Kirton McKonkie concluded by saying to me, "What does it matter? Nothing can be done for you." [He knew that the statute of limitations had expired and that no one had responded to my requests for review of the abuse]. In my experience and opinion, they don't care about the abuses that occurred. They simply do not care. They do care about protecting the Church at all cost even if that cost is a human being.
Stake Presidents are implicitly believed by the Church and often implicitly believed by the stake. Because of this, they do not have checks and balances when they go a bit or a lot rogue and can lead many people away.
18 months ago a predator accidentally revealed herself and ultimately others in her secret group. This group is supported by the Stake President, as I found out when I sought his help and was subsequently smeared by him. I have tried to reach out to the Church but have found no outlet when the Stake President is part of the secret. It is very dangerous, especially because the predators have targeted youth, young adults (married and single,) missionaries and even some adults.
Because the predators have high callings, it is easy for the vulnerable to fall into their dangerous traps of destruction (this has been going on for a while and the stories are heartbreaking) which is to get others to think they are addicted or immoral. Our Stake President appears to be kind. Due to some prior work of the Area Authority Seventy which is similar to what he is doing her, I think the Area Authority Seventy may be involved in the secret too. The tactics of the Stake President and possibility the Area Authority are to place predatory people in high callings. From what I have observed, these predatory people come to church to prey rather than to pray. There are huge warning signs that they do more in secret with the kids and adults. The predator who accidentally told me the secret, so that I would be complicit, seeks to secretly teach the kids how to get away with doing things, which is bad enough, but I think she does more than she told me. The doings of her and her friends are very dark.
I wish I had a way of letting parents know to ask their children about secrets and to know when they need to call the police.
In December, when I talked about getting protective measures in place and notifying parents so they could protect their children to the Stake President, he got a worried look on his face. It wasn't until just recently, this April, when I came to the conclusion that he is likely part of this secret group because he simply refuses to release the predators (and let parents know.) He said I can approach the authorities over him, but I feel that, like I said, the Area Authority Seventy may be also perpetuating the idea of putting predatory people (who prey upon others) in high callings.
Regarding how the Stake President retaliated against me by smearing my name, fortunately, we have lots of educated, faithful and kind people in our ward. Most of our ward doesn't fall for the smearing which he has orchestrated. In fact, in participating in the smearing, one of the predators revealed openly more information about her goals and was released from one of her ward callings by our wonderful bishop.
We have a wonderful bishop who takes a stand against the predators in ward callings, but feels like he cannot stand up to the Stake President. The predators fight against the bishop a lot.
April was my most recent appointment with the Stake President. We have recently made progress. With the support of the bishop, last Sunday in his office, someone else learned of the predatory behaviors and spoke against it, being a strong advocate for the kids. This week, some others learned as well and are also strong advocates. In the past, they have seen the smearing attempts. These predators have even gone after my kids. They are cruel. We have only survived by the grace of God and Jesus. I give them all praise. I am trying to let Jesus fight my battles and feel it is a blessing to learn about your website. I learned about it from "Protect LDS Children."
I am curious, how can we get the word to parents to let their children know that if leaders have told them to keep something scary a secret it is not ok?
This group of predators love Girl's Camp. Some parents have no idea that predators go to girl's camp.....
Personally, as a youth, I was assaulted by a church member and was so shocked I did not tell anyone for a few years and then just told my bishop. I didn't even tell my parents. My good bishop didn't know back then to tell me to call the police.
I know kids can be shocked into silence. I am looking for a way for parents to be able to talk to their children and to know when they need to call the police. Frequently, it seems these cases are kept in-house and this keeps members in danger.
What happened to me was criminal. I wish I could have called the police back then, or my bishop would have called the police when I told him.
Because of the involvement of the Stake President with the predators, I have to be careful with how I approach others.
Thanks for your work. I hope this story helps with your work. God bless us all in this super important work.
I was sexually abused by my father. I was emotionally abused by my mother but at least she led me to the Lord. I loved Jesus so it surprises me that He would let me suffer at a tender age just out of high school under the leadership of some more messed up people.
I was physically and emotionally abused by my first husband. I loved Jesus and was totally naive. Apparently my church leaders were naive to physical abuse patterns as they said to separate them get back together. After the third abuse I was put into the hospital and miscarried a child. The leader told me it wasn’t real abuse he just “roughed me up a bit”. To this day they think they were justified in sending me away and excommunicating me from church for leaving him. They also ex communicated my mother and grandmother who said I should not go back to him. I listened to my family instead of the church who didn’t believe in divorce.
If I had gone back I wonder what would have happened to me or any (more) children we had together. I have many more stories of friends and close associates who went through church abuse in addition to physical or emotional abuse from their husbands. I like a few lines I heard from the movie Chocolat when the abusive husband says “we are still married in the eyes of God” and she quickly retorts “God must be blind”. It is sad to think so many of us have lived through such horror only to face more horror from our own church. No one is good except God it’s true. And more training needs to be done in the church about childhood abuses and what that produces in people (hiding, lying, manipulating etc) as well as abuse from spouses: verbal, physical, spiritual; and the resulting spiritual abuses from the church.
This happened in 1999. I walked away gradually from any and all church starting then until 2010 when I returned to church slowly. I was mad at God and mostly mad at this person as well as my church community for taking such drastic measures to protect an abuser and ostracize the victim. The abuser snowed people into thinking he was a good person taking the “proper steps toward reconciliation” and praying the right prayers. He was a class A antisocial personality and when I said he can’t continue to fool people he said “watch me” and I’d be so surprised that he would do it. I believed God was mad at me and judged me.
I could not understand why as a Christian girl since I was 8 years old, shared my faith in the religion at 15-17 and in church choir, pioneer girls...someone with a real heart for him would put me through this. I was devastated. I went to a Christian college and got some healing for it but I have never been the same since. My legs, heart, and etc have been truly broken and truly alone. We are promised suffering in this life. It is a sad and scary fact that even in our own churches we are not safe not in the world not in our homes. We will never rest this side of eternity.