For there are MANY yet on the earth among ALL sects, parties, and denominations,

who are BLINDED by the subtle craftiness of men,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive,

and who are only KEPT FROM THE TRUTH because they know not where to find it—

Therefore… WE should waste and wear out our lives
in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness,
wherein we know them…

D&C 123:12-13

This post is somewhat of a post-script to my last post, Review: Pamela, Or Virtue Rewarded. So if you want more context, read that first.

However, if you want the whole enchilada, please read my first version (written to an LDS audience), and my second version (written to a public audience) specifically for the Protect LDS Children effort.

Yesterday, I began reading a 24-year-old book called Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995 which was compiled and edited by Lavina Fielding Anderson and Janice Merrill Allred. I heard somewhere that this book was all about the child sexual abuse problem within the Church. I chose to seek out a used hard copy of this book because I really wanted to study it, and have it on hand to reference.

The more I read, the angrier I became. Nothing has changed. Absolutely nothing has changed. In 24 long years, not a damn thing has changed. Anderson and Allred could have written this thing last year.

Furthermore, I am angered by learning more of the details and background story of the Church culture, attitudes and teachings of those times which for me were the very worst years of my life. I’m only on page 100, near the end of Chapter 4, but I’m so livid, I had to take to my keyboard.

1992

Utah “governor Norman Bangerter responded to double-digit leaps in reported cases of child sexual abuse by appointing a blue-ribbon committee in 1992 to report on the problem and suggest possible action for the Utah legislature. To represent a broad spectrum of community interests, the governor’s office asked for a representative from the LDS Church. B Lloyd Poelman, then a named partner in the law firm of Kirton, McConkie and Poelman that represents the Church in many legal cases, was appointed. Ronald E Poelman, Lloyd’s brother, [was] . . . a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy [until his death in 1998].

Nichoalas G Smith, who attended meetings of the task force over the next several months, stated, ‘[B Lloyd] Poelman always seemed to have his own agenda. He definitely was not an advocate for abused children. Rather, he manifested particular solicitude for the interests of large organizations whose agents might be perpetrating against children.’

Source: Case Reports of The Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995. Chapter 1, page 33.
monopoly02

NOVEMBER 1992, THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

A college sophomore, a few months into my 19th year of age, I go to Stake President Charles Joseph “Chuck” Remund for his help, as I have been indoctrinated all my life to do. I came seeking help with a relationship I knew was increasingly becoming overwhelming. I knew everything was going wrong, and that I was out of control.  I had gone in for me, and initially refused to disclose who the other party was.

Leaning across the desk, with a look of pain in his eyes, President Remund asked me in a soft, strained and sorrowful voice, “It’s Wes, isn’t it?”

In that moment of surprise and shock, I believed it was The Spirit of Discernment at work. Well, he knew now, so I told him yes, it was Howard Wesley Goodwin, Jr, a counselor in a bishopric in our stake. I explained how helpless and afraid I was feeling. I didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I loved him. (Or thought I did. Wes had been constantly telling me what this was was love)

I told President Remund that I just wanted the inappropriate advances to stop. To me, Wes had gone from being an authority figure at Church, to brother-like playmate, to a father figure, and now… to something that was getting scary. I told President Remund that I didn’t want to have sex with him. I didn’t want to break up his marriage. I didn’t want to ruin my own future. Our conversation was lengthy.

I included other details, like how I had no car and no driver’s license. How my parents claimed my college expenses on their tax returns but actually provided no real financial support. I had been too ashamed to tell them what was happening. I was too ashamed to tell anyone. President Remund was the first I’d dared to tell. I didn’t want to quit college and frankly, the last place I wanted to return was back to the oppression I knew would await me back at my parents’ home.

President Remund called Wes Goodwin into his office, too. I could tell by his eyes that Wes was furious with me. He had told me not to go to the Church, they would only misjudge us. He had told me we could handle it. He had told me he would never let things go to far.

At the end of that conversation, in an action which protected the perpetrator, Howard Wesley “Wes” Goodwin Jr., I was instructed by President Remund to stay in the home of my abuser, lest his wife Liz find out and suspect anything if I left. I could tell how relieved Wes was, because he’d been begging President Remund not to tell Liz.  Our case  was then referred back to the “care” of our bishop, Laurence Alan Erickson.

President Remund never spoke to me again, and when he saw me in the hallway at Church, he would sadly look at me and turn away in the other direction.

This same Chuck Remund had been the bishop who handled Wes Goodwin’s prior confession of adultury and presided over the church’s disiplinary measure of disfellowshipping Goodwin. When Bishop Erickson chose Goodwin as one of his counselors in the Portage Ward bishopric, President Remund allowed and presided over the organization of this bishopric.

monopoly01

Child Abuse Helps For Ecclesiastical Leaders (1985)

“This booklet, which for 10 years [1985-1995] was the only specific LDS aid on child abuse was available only to leaders . . . The First Presidency letter counsels ecclesiastical officers to ‘refrain from assigning moral guilt to a victim who has been subject to significant force or credible threats, leaving final judgement to the omniscience of the Lord.’

A separate paragraph of the letter is apparently addressed to the victim: ‘Persons threatened . . . should resist to the maximum extent possible or necessary under the circumstances. The extent of resistance required to establish that the victim has not willingly consented is left to the judgement of the victim.

One paragraph deals with ‘young victims.’ It specifies that they are ‘guilty of no sin where they are too young to be accountable for evaluating the significance of the sexual behavior.’ It further specifies that ‘apparent consent . . . may be ignored or qualified for purposes of moral responsibility where the aggressor occupied a position of authority or power.’ 

It is not possible for a child in any way to be responsible for stopping child abuse. By definition, child abuse implies a power differential of such magnitude that, even if the child somehow initiated the abuse, the responsibility rests on the perpetrator, upon the adult. This is the position consistently taken in legal cases, and it is also borne out by research and therapy. Shame and guilt universally accompany the trauma for the child. Always the child asks, ‘Why didn’t I stop it? Why didn’t I tell?’ ”

Source: Case Reports of The Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995. Chapter 1, page 39, 41, 30

lookethonheart

 

JANUARY 1993 Ensign Article

“An article by Maxine Murdock, a former counselor at BYU and member of it’s psychology department” is published. Entitled “Hope and Healing,” it is a workmanlike and helpful overview of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, with the emphasis on the third category. It acknowledges that abuse impacts both boys and girls, that abusers ‘come from all social classes, geographic areas, and racial and religious backgrounds,’ and that abused children frequently act out in teen years by becoming promiscuous, running away, and using drugs, and that they have great difficulty ‘in forming healthy, trusting, loving relationships.’

One section talks about prevention, another about helping the victim. Particularly useful counsel is to ‘trust your feelings as a parent, and encourage your children to trust their feelings.’ Murdock encourages parents to intervene without feeling required to explain when they feel uncomfortable with an interaction between their child and another person, encourages them to allow children to shake hands instead of hugging or kissing a grownup if they are uncomfortable with him or her, and urges them to take seriously a child’s reluctance to be with a babysitter or relative.

Murdock insists that abuse be REPORTED IMMEDIATELY, warns that ‘perpetrators tend to be highly manipulative and [may] deny the abuse or blame the victim for having caused it’, advises that dealing with the consequences of abuse ‘may take years of patient work’ and urges that professional therapy for ‘both victim and offender’ is critical . . .

In the section on treatment for the abuser, Murdock . . . again counsels that ‘long-term therapy is essential’ and warns that abusers may ‘minimize the harm they have done … project blame on their wives and victims,’ or ‘simply refuse to think about the devestation the child suffers . . . Although he may feel true sorrow for his actions and may even confess to Church authorities, the cause of the problem remains to be dealt with. Therapy may help him understand his behavior, turn him from seeking additional victims, and lead him to repentance . . . When incest is involved, the abuser and the victim cannot even live in the same house.’ ” 

Source: Case Reports of The Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995.   Chapter 3, p 49-50

Were Stake President Remund and Bishop Erickson BLIND as well as deaf?! Here they were, dealing with this situation, and there it was, right in front of their faces, this Ensign magazine sitting on their nightstands, their sofa tables, and their church office desks. I offered them the truth. Sister Murdock offered them the truth. But they did not have any eyes to see.

the_little_match_girl__1__by_tanja_gram-d8k9s00

 

 

JANUARY 1993

moreOne of the first things Bishop Erickson tried to do was find the root cause. It seemed that he never seriously looked at Wes for the source of that root cause. He “knew” Wes. No, he looked at me, the new kid on the block. I can remember being asked why I thought these things had happened. Why I’d let them go too far. I can remember trying to explain the abuse I’d endured at home. I remember Bishop Erickson’s facial expressions change like the flickering of light and darkness under a canopy of leaves, from condemnatory hate, to sneering disbelief, to livid rejection during these one-on-one interviews. He must have taken the matter to higher-ups, because next they brought in a male counselor from LDSFS, whose demeanor toward me was exactly the same as Erickson’s. I think his surname was Steed or Steele.

After being forced to undergo a series of very hostile, attacking and condemnatory interviews about my youth and childhood, to which I responded in kind; enduring interviews which were either one-on-one, in the presence of the bishop, or in front of the bishop, his counselor and a member of the stake high council, the male LDSFS therapist informed the Bishop that in his opinion, I am not at all a victim of abuse in my home of origin. It’s all a manipulative bullshit story from a cunning, conniving homewrecker. 

The only thing I remember Steed saying, specifically, is that it was “not possible” for me to have been abused “considering the positions of authority and trust” which had been given to both of my parents. I think I remember that because it was so shocking, so appalling. I felt violated, as if my brain, my emotions, my personal history had all been raped and then stomped on for good measure. I felt totally unseen and completely misjudged and very alone in my gender and age. I remember the claustrophobic, terrifying feeling of being trapped in a room as the only and very young woman in a sea of angry, white, hostile older ecclesiastical men.

lamanchamirrors

 

CONFRONTING ABUSE: AN LDS PERSPECTIVE (1993)

“The first . . . substantive professional effort to explain and mitigate the efforts of abuse designed for Mormons is Confronting Abuse: An LDS Perspective on Understanding and Healing Emotional, Physical, Sexual, Psychological and Spiritual Abuse, edited by Anne L. Horton, B. Kent Harrison, and Barry L. Johnson and published by Deseret Book in 1993. All three editors teach at BYU and both men are bishops; thus, the book has the halo of authority provided by the Church’s publishing company and the Church’s university . . .

Another area where ecclesiastical leaders clearly have a role is when the trauma of untreated childhood sexual abuse which results in a free-floating ‘pervasive sense of badness’ erupts later into such behavior as drinking, taking drugs, becoming promiscuous, running away, or acting out in other ways. [Although two of the authors] discuss this situation cogently and helpfully from the survivor’s perspective, they do not take the next step of counseling ecclesiastical leaders to look beneath the surface for underlying causes of such dysfunctional behavior, and to refrain from moving swiftly to punish the offending behavior. More helpful is Edward Gardiner’s recommendation:

‘Bishops and stake presidents must sometimes render judgement on sexual transgressions. . . Such a judge will necessarily take into consideration the degree to which an abused person is accountable for sinful behavior.When an abused person has been an innocent victim of another’s treachery and perversion and has subsequently adopted a promiscuous lifestyle, surely the priesthood leader will need to carefully assess the sinful behavior against the background of the experiences . . . which may have contributed to the victim’s distorted view of sexuality. In situations where accountability is a concern, it is best to deal kindly and sensitively with the person, avoiding harshness. Treatment that is either too severe or too lenient may not serve the need . . . ‘

Still [Gardiner] fails to offer any suggestions for an abuse survivor whose bishop sees only a need to punish.”

Source: Case Reports of The Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995.   Chapter 3, p 55-56

lookethonheart

 


FEBRUARY 1993

For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.
– D&C 21:5

Distraught after Bishop Erickson told me I was not a virgin: “If you’ve thought it you’ve done it”, I returned back to the Goodwin residence where I had obediently stayed by order of my stake president while still fighting to fend Wes off every single day… and just  gave up . . .

ophelia

 

 

EARLY SPRING, 1993

“The secrecy with which we shroud the victim is nothing to the secrecy with which we shroud the perpetrator.”

– Sister Chieko N Okazaki of the Relief Society Presidency

in her audiotaped speech, Healing from Sexual Abuse: Eight Messages For Survivors, Family, and Leaders, released by Deseret Book in the early spring of 1993. Here’s a written transcript of a repeat delivery of that address.

 

 

MAY 1993

The one who finally removed me from the Goodwin residence was my diabolically narcissistic abuser, Wes Goodwin. It was done swiftly, just the two of us. Ashamed, unhappy and believing myself to be ruined, I found an on-campus apartment. I didn’t go to Church or have any contact with Church members. Nobody knew where I was. It was as if I’d disappeared off the face of the earth. I was following Wes’s instructions. I didn’t contact my family, just like he said, except for one sister who knew where I was and supported my relationship with Wes. I think she did so because she had received no support from my parents for her marriage to a non-member. Ostensibly, the reason for the separation was twofold. One of them was to get the heat off of Wes with the Church. (Stupidly, despite leaving me with this perpetrator, Church leaders somehow still didn’t seem know or even seem to suspect that we’d had sex?)

The second reason was to save the Goodwin’s marriage. I wanted this. I did NOT want to marry Wes. I never wanted to marry Wes. This separation was supposed to give us time alone, to really think about things. Yet, he came over to my apartment multiple times a week, always for a quickie and never for much else. I was confused. Again, I felt utterly alone. I just went to class and to work and came home. Nobody sought me out. I knew I’d been thrown away. I could even see President and Sister Remund’s house from my turreted room at S——- Hall. But why bother to cross the street to get any more “help” from this shepherd whose advice was unsound and whose cowardly character had shown him to be an hireling.

Believing myself to longer be worthy, and having been accepted under what I felt was the worst of personal hypocrisies – Liz Goodwin having written one of my recommendation letters – I also cancelled my Fall 1993 acceptance and partial scholarship to Brigham Young University. I knew that BYU might have been a way to escape Wes, but I also knew about the BYU Honor Code. My gut said that if I tried to repent out there, not only did I jeopardize my membership, I would very possibly jeopardize my degree. So I chose to finish my degree where I’d started it. I attend classes and work throughout that summer.

There was an older graduate student who developed an interest in me. He worked the front desk at S—— Hall. I wasn’t interested in him. I don’t remember his name, but I remember that he was able to find me a twin mattress for my room, and that he stunk because he was a heavy smoker. He invited me often to his room for drinks or to watch a movie, but I always refused him.

spindler

OCTOBER 1993

I’m in my dorm room. I get a phone call from the downstairs lobby. It’s Wes. He says, “We’re here. We’ll be right upstairs.” Wait, what?! WE?! Immediately sensing what that meant, I scrambled around the room, hiding any evidence of my relationship with Wes. I barely get things under wraps by the time the knock at the door comes. I open it to find them both, Wes and his wife, Liz. She walks into my room and inspects things carefully, while I’m dying inside. How did I get in this situation? Why can’t I seem to escape it?

I don’t remember now how everyone ended up back on the main floor and looking out over the yard from an open balcony, but that’s the next memory. Liz began to cry, announcing to me that Wes has filed for divorce and it will be finalized in a few weeks, on her 51st birthday.  My reaction? Total and complete shock, and panic, and fear… but what comes out is this hysterical laughter which I managed to squeeze into a sound which I hoped sounded like crying? I was, at that point, totally freaking out at the same time I was struggling desperately not to show it. She tells me she believes he’s having an affair. She looks at me, and asks me point blank if I know who this person might be. I’m mute, still in shock, trying not to hyperventilate. Feeling BETRAYED, and TERRIFIED and SO ANGRY at Wes for lying to me, yet again.

I regret that I did not have the courage to speak the truth to Liz, at that moment and at every time before then. I regret that I was SO afraid of her wrath and rejection at my betrayal that I didn’t try the path of going to her with the secret instead of to the Church. I regret that I believed all Wes’s self-serving trash talk about her and about their relationship. I regret that I judged her. I regret that I never had the chance to make amends because I obeyed my Church leaders counsel to avoid her.

I had honestly thought that the Goodwins would get back together. I honestly did not want to marry Wes.

I count this as one of the worst moments of my entire life.

I later found out that Liz had learned of Wes’s visits to my dormitory. I think the smoking guy tipped her off, out of selfish hopes of his own. However,  it may have been my boss, Pam, who also lived at the dormitory. I don’t know.

At the next opportunity I had to speak to him alone, I told Wes that I didn’t want to marry him. Just like I’d told him I didn’t want to have sex. Just like I’d told him everything else but never been listened to and always kept giving in. I reminded him that I never wanted him to divorce, that was part of the deal of my moving out for the summer, remember?! They were supposed to be getting back together and I was supposed to be going on with my life! He’d said he’d let me go! Wes immediately began working on me, of course. He reminded me of all he’d given up for me. His membership, “his” priesthood, his position in the Bishopric (the highest office of authority he’d ever had), his reputation, his honor, his marriage, etc. etc. It was all for me. Which I internalized, with great guilt, shame and despair as this fiasco being all my fault. Sometime in late 1993, I moved back into the Goodwin residence at his request.

To this day, every time I come across the fairy tale of Rapunzel, I can’t help but be reminded of my own days alone and trapped, constantly monitored by that self-serving evil one, up in that high tower that I couldn’t seem to escape. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair!

cant

 

 

JANUARY 1994

I receive my official notice of excommunication letter. I hadn’t attended my Bishop’s court, according to the counsel and desire of Wes Goodwin. He attended his stake court, and individuals later informed me that much of his explanation for blame was put upon me in the capacity of a seductress, and accepted by the stake high council as the truth.

monopoly03

MARCH 1994

We are married in a church building by President Remund. The only person in attendance is my sister, Lori, who provided the music. I think her husband Max and a niece or two may also have been there, but maybe not. I don’t remember a great deal about that day. Just the sick-to-my- stomach feeling walking down the aisle, knowing with every step that it was wrong, but I was trapped. Just seeing the tears back in the corner of President Remund’s sad eyes, just like they’d been when I’d first sat across the desk from him 16 months prior. How dare you pity me when I went to you to save me! Chiding myself for my ingratitude and pride, I stuffed down that surge of rage and concentrated on making it through the ceremony without throwing up or running away screaming.

babyelephant

AUGUST 1994

“On 2 August 1994, the Salt Lake Tribune’s police column reported,

Salt Lake City attorney Bryan Lloyd Poelman plead guilty Monday to patronizing a prostitute, a class C misdemeanor. Poelman, 60, is an LDS stake president and a partner in the law firm Kirton, McConkie and Poelman. He was arrested at 12:30 pm on July 16 at 2100 S. State. An undercover officer saw Poelman pick up a woman who appeared to be a prostitute, according to a police report. When Poelman’s car stopped, the officer sneaked up and observed Poelman and the woman engaging in oral sex.

. . . At a special conference of Monument Park North Stake on 14 August, Lloyd Poelman was released. He bore his testimony . . .  Elder Boyd K Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, presided over the conference, cautioned members of the stake not to talk about the stake’s ‘family’ matters and assured the stake members, ‘I felt relieved about President and Sister Poelman. Whatever else will take place, there will be no eternal consequences.’ . . . Poelman was excommunicated later that day. Although his name has been removed as a partner in the law firm, (now Kirton & McConkie), he is still employed in this firm which still transacts much of the Church’s legal business.”

Case Reports of The Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995. Chapter 1, page 34.


SEPTEMBER 1994

Marion Burrows Smith wrote an investigative article, “Blame the Victim: Hushing Mormon Sexual Abuse” published on 28 March 1996 in Event (Salt Lake City). Her “article included a report that President Hinckley, addressing a regional priesthood leadership meeting in Calgary, Alberta, in September 1994, while he was first counselor to the ailing Howard W Hunter, responded to questions from the floor. One concerned child sexual abuse.

President Hinckley reportedly warned leaders that if they had “the least inkling that people have a problem with this . . . then they should be left out of Church positions . . . [These cases are] costing the Church millions of dollars in lawyers’ fees and settlements . . . . The Church is being sued for millions . . . We have more lawyers than we know what to do with.”

Source: Case Reports of The Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995. Chapter 4, page 99.

Left out of Church positions, huh? Here we see demonstrated, in it’s unvarnished glory, the real truth of what is most important to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: not the members, not even the Rising Generation, but rather its own pocketbook.

Blood Money

 

AGAIN, IN SEPTEMBER 1994

elephantroomDon LeFevre, of the Church’s Salt Lake City Public Affairs Office downplayed both the extent of the abuse and the obligation to report when he talked to Lisa Davis, an Arizona reporter, in 1994:

“If you put it in perspective, out of that many members, it doesn’t sound like the problem is rampant in the church. We would hope that it’s more rare in the Church than it is in society in general because of our emphasis on the family and moral living and that sort of thing…”

Source: Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995, Chapter 3, page 61.

 

9 JANUARY 1995, Salt Lake Tribune

“The recidivism rate… for adult sex offenders who receive treatment in ‘secure facilities’ is between 50 and 75 percent.”

Source: Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995,page 32.

Howard Wesley Goodwin Jr. has never been legally identified as a sex offender, but clearly by as late as 1992 he was certainly known in that stake and by that stake president, Charles Remund, as a man with a clear and obvious history of chastity problems and domestic abuse issues.  Goodwin has never received professional counseling or psychological treatment for what I personally know, from things he told me, has been a lifelong sexual addiction that began before he was even a kindergartner.

repentance

 

DECEMBER 1995

Marion Burrows Smith “reported that, in December 1995, the Church joined eight other churches in filing an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief with the Texas Supreme Court to support the petition of the Catholic Church that it be held immune from any civil suit involving the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, ‘even if the abuse has been reported to church hierarchy and continues to occur.’ The Catholic church and the eight supporting petitioners ‘claim that the First Amendment right to religious freedom exempts them from liability even though case law holds them and their agents responsible for criminal acts.’ Summarized Smith, ‘Churches which preach family values send a highly contradictory message when they spend long hours and big bucks to hide a danger that destroys children.”

Source: Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, Volume 1, 1995, Chapter 4, pages 99-100.

nobody

So, let’s get this straight. It’s not the perpetrator’s fault. It’s not bishop or stake president’s fault who were told about the perpetrator’s actions. It’s not the Church’s fault, even though 1960’s era Correlation centralized power in the Church into it’s current top-down pyramid structure of Good Mormons Always Follow the Prophet and The Twelve In All Things. It’s not the fault of the Prophets or Apostles, since they are neither the local church representatives or the perpetrator. I see. Then, despite all the lip service they pay this topic from pulpit and Public Relations podium, they all must really believe it’s the victim’s fault. Meet the institutional ecclesiastical version of the self-serving and abusive National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA).

hinckleylaughs

We’ll blip you coming, and we’ll blip you going.

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 1996

Transcript of a portion of the “60 Minutes” program on the LDS Church which was broadcast on CBS network. Mike Wallace interviewed then-President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley.
(Transcription Credit: Robert J Wooley.)

Mike Wallace [voiceover, footage of people in church]: Now that blacks can be priests, the current issue is whether Mormon women will ever be priests.

Gordon B. Hinckley: Men hold the priesthood in this church.

Mike Wallace: Why?

Gordon B. Hinckley: Because God stated that it should be so. That was the revelation to the church. That was the way it was set forth.

Mike Wallace [voiceover; footage of people in church]: Fact is, most Mormon women don’t want to be priests. They accept that men control the church and dominate Mormon society. And this has triggered complaints about how the church handles child sexual abuse. Child abuse among Mormons is surely no greater than among non-Mormons. But a study has found that many Mormon women who went to their clergymen for help believe the clergy were just not sympathetic.

Mike Wallace: The sociologist tells us, at the root of the problem is the fact that men in effect in your church have authority over women, so that your clergymen tend to sympathize with the men, the abusers, instead of the abused.

Gordon B. Hinckley: That’s one person’s opinion. I, I don’t think there’s any substance to it. Now, there’ll be a blip here, a blip there, a mistake here, a mistake there. But by and large the welfare of women and children is as seriously considered as is the welfare of the men, in this church, if not more so.

Mike Wallace [voiceover; shot of cover of new manual on dealing with abuse]: President Hinckley says the church has been teaching its clergy how to handle abuse more effectively.

Gordon B. Hinckley: We’re working very hard at it. There are cases. They’re everywhere. They’re all over this world. It is a disease, it’s an illness, it’s a sickness, it’s a reprehensible and evil thing. We recognize it as such.”

WAIT, WHAT ????!!!!!

Recall that in September 1994, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, two years before the CBS “60 Minutes” interview,

“President Hinckley reportedly warned leaders that if they had “the least inkling that people have a problem with this . . . then they should be left out of Church positions . . . [These cases are] costing the Church millions of dollars in lawyers’ fees and settlements . . . . The Church is being sued for millions . . . We have more lawyers than we know what to do with.”

Even lawyers like B Lloyd Poelman whom the Church is happy to keep employed and promise no eternal consequences will harm, despite that lawyer’s obvious sexual impurity and personal moral bankruptcy.

Today would have been my 25th wedding anniversary to the abuser that my own Church and it’s ecclesiastical representatives did not protect me from. For last 24 years and most of my life, for that matter, I have believed the vast majority of what I was taught by my Church, including President Hinckley’s assertion that what happened to me was “just a blip”. As the many posts in this blog so clearly demonstrate, I have used the teachings of the standard works and the prophets and apostles as my trustworthy Gold Standard of Truth. My rod, my staff.

It never occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t heard; not even the 40 page letter – my very verbose version of “NO!!!!!!” – which I sent to the First Presidency when pressured by Wes Goodwin’s Utah leaders to assent to the Full Restoration of Priesthood Blessings. No, it didn’t occur to me when they asked me again what my answer was 2 months later. Was I not clear enough?!

It never occurred to me that unlike the clear, concise baptismal covenant, which is true to the pattern of reciprocity in an If, Then covenant, including being published in scripture, publicly open to review, and available to novices to ponder BEFORE making that covenant… EVERYTHING in the temple endowment is very, very different. Or else please tell me what is the Then promised by the Church to my If? Especially for my consecrated loyalty to this Institution? Certainly, in my 45 years of association with the faith, it has not been as equally constant, consecrated loyalty to me.  That is the crux of my struggle, the undying ember of my rage.

Substitute the F-word for “blip” in Hinckley’s quote, and clearly that’s the impression he wanted to give about the situation: “A victim blipped here and a victim blipped there”, but not a whole slew of them going off so frequently that it sounds like a machine gun.

Not a pattern and a practice of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier named the USS Zion leaving hundreds, maybe even thousands of shattered, ruined lives in it’s unfeeling wake and then trying to legally wriggle itself and its entire cadre of officers away from bearing any accountability or responsibility at all.

Obviously, President Hinckley was lying through his teeth to Mike Wallace and everyone watching that interview. Clearly, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is and long has been boldface lying to the world about the grave seriousness of the cancer of sexual and ecclesiastical abuse within its own ranks that it is adamantly unwilling to permanently cut, burn, rip and tear out. That it is doing a pittance to prevent, and only when publicly embarrassed into it. Their behavior is reprehensible. It is morally criminal. It insults my soul to the core.

Especially the Church’s galling not-so-secret legal combinations with other sexually offending ecclesiastic institutions…. especially it’s apparent twin across the Atlantic.

notsosecretcombinations

But what is being taught through the microphones and teleprompters is a lie and not the truth. Even if a pain-mocking, catastrophe-minimizing apostle attempts to chide, blame and shame me into continuing to believing the Church’s false assertion that it’s still all my fault; that none of its representatives can ever, have ever, or will ever do anything wrong; that the greater sin is always mine; and that the impetus is always on me to hack of my pain and amputate my truth in the name of the Unquestioning Undoubting Unity my abusing Church demands and expects of those on its Covenant Path™.

bitterwoman“But the miracle of reconciliation is always available to [you, the unjustifiably bitter plebian pawn of a sheep of a member on our mutton farm], and out of love for his family and the Church he knew to be true, Morrell Bowen came back into full Church activity… Please, please, after all this time, can you find it in your heart to lay aside that unfortunate incident with that bishop and again lead this family in the gospel as you once did?”

To which I respond by quoting the Joseph Smith Translation of Mark 9:40-48

40 Therefore, if thy hand offend thee, cut it offcut it offor if thy brother offend thee and confess not and forsake not, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell.

41 For it is better for thee to enter into life without thy brother, than for thee and thy brother to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

42 And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it offfor he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off.

43 It is better for thee, to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched.

44 Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting another.

45 Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive.

46 And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.

47 It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

48 For it is better that thyself should be saved, than to be cast into hell with thy brother, where their worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched.

kindness

 

mckenna

pldsc


samyoung

insult

This post is dedicated to Sam Young and McKenna Denson.

And to me.
For learning to trust in the LORD with all my heart,
And lean NOT unto the understanding of the Church and its agents;
In all the ways I have acknowledged GOD FIRST,
HE has directed my paths.

mrsjumbo