The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

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Mormorrisey
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The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by Mormorrisey » Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:01 am

I only commented briefly on one of the posts here about the breaking abuse story, but it was only this morning that I saw the church's statement on the whole sordid tale. And today I am absolutely seeing red. Absolutely f@#$ing enraged. Here's the quote that got me seething:

The help line is instrumental in ensuring that all legal requirements for reporting are met. It provides a place for local leaders, who serve voluntarily, to receive direction from experts to determine who should make a report and whether they (local leaders) should play a role in that reporting.

“When a leader calls the help line, the conversation is about how to stop the abuse, care for the victim and ensure compliance with reporting obligations, even in cases when the law provides clergy-penitent privilege or restricts what can be shared from private ecclesiastical conversations.


No, no, no. I may dox myself, so I'll try to be careful, but this is nonsense, garbage and horses#$t. It's simply not true.

Because I called the hotline over an issue. That is absolutely not what happened when I called.

Long story short, dude came in to confess to abuse that occurred years previous. He was an abuse victim himself, and it was a really tough story. He was sure he was about to be charged, and wanted to unburden himself to somebody. Fine. So like a dutiful bishop, I called the help line. I kid you not, the most important thing on the mind of the Kirton McConkie shill I talked to, was to make sure I kept clergy-penitent privilege. That was THE most important thing. Even then, I knew that was such a problem; that as much as I actually felt sorry for this guy, he clearly felt terrible, the justice system needed to be involved.

Now granted, and in fairness to the story, the victim was not in my ward so I wasn't told anything about that, and I can't say if the KM drone would have told me how to handle the abused person, so I can't comment on any of that. But clearly my role was to keep my trap shut.

So when the investigating detective called me a few months later, I told him that I had been instructed not to say anything to him BY THE CHURCH'S LAWYERS, and that I needed to protect clergy privilege. The cop was completely aghast at this. "You mean to tell me, you're not going to say anything?" And so I said to him, not here with you, not now on the phone, BUT IT PROBABLY WOULD BE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO SUBPOENA ME. He quickly changed his tune, said that's fine, and that's exactly what happened. He was satisfied, I was pleased that I could offer some help, and the church would never know I offered to do that (well, they do now, I guess) and frankly, justice would be done.

Now the guy pled guilty, I didn't have to testify, and that's the end of the story.

Maybe, just maybe, that was the early years of the hotline and things have changed since then, it was several years ago. Sure, that's a possibility. But to say that they are all worried about the abuse survivor and not their own hides is simply not true, and certainly not the experience I had with the hotline.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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AdmiralHoldo
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by AdmiralHoldo » Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:21 am

I'm surprised that the church didn't pitch a bigger snit fit over the AP using the word 'Mormon.'

Because we all know that's the REAL victory for Satan. S*xual abuse of children isn't even so much as a blip on Lucifer's radar.

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nibbler
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by nibbler » Sat Aug 06, 2022 9:50 am

Based on your experience it sounds like the real purpose of the hotline is:
The help line is instrumental in ensuring that bishops do no more than the absolute minimum that is required by law for reporting.
Last edited by nibbler on Sun Aug 07, 2022 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Angel
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by Angel » Sat Aug 06, 2022 11:08 am

Mormorrisey wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:01 am

to say that they are all worried about the abuse survivor and not their own hides is simply not true, and certainly not the experience I had with the hotline.
One need only look at the number of support groups for addicts compared to the number of support groups for victims to know the magnitude of the problem, and see who is supported.

I was TBM going into it, I requested support group and needed a support group. Zero. The abuser had their choice of groups. You could see who was in the group together - they would all hug one another and stand together - pat one another on the backs.... the group members and leaders, they gave us the cold shoulder, would not look at us or talk to us - I felt excommunicated - kids and I were shunned. No support group for us.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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alas
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by alas » Sat Aug 06, 2022 1:17 pm

Angel wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 11:08 am
Mormorrisey wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:01 am

to say that they are all worried about the abuse survivor and not their own hides is simply not true, and certainly not the experience I had with the hotline.
One need only look at the number of support groups for addicts compared to the number of support groups for victims to know the magnitude of the problem, and see who is supported.

I was TBM going into it, I requested support group and needed a support group. Zero. The abuser had their choice of groups. You could see who was in the group together - they would all hug one another and stand together - pat one another on the backs.... the group members and leaders, they gave us the cold shoulder, would not look at us or talk to us - I felt excommunicated - kids and I were shunned. No support group for us.
There have been attempts to have support groups for victims. This is another traumatic experience that I just can’t talk about right now. Right now I just hate this church so much.

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deacon blues
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by deacon blues » Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:12 pm

Thanks so much for the posts on this. I probably will never be able to understand the pain that has been caused in these tragic situations, but shedding light on the process is good for everybody.
I reminded of John Taylor lying about polygamy in France in 1851. He needed to be made responsible for his lies. So does the Church. But they never will be able to until they can repent. Take note Elder Oaks.
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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moksha
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by moksha » Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:32 pm

nibbler wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 9:50 am
Based on your experience it sounds like the real purpose of the hotline is:
The helpline is instrumental in ensuring that bishops do more than the absolute minimum that is required by law for reporting.
Pretty sure you meant to bishops not do more than the absolute minimum that is required by law for reporting. Leaving out the word not changed the sentence's entire meaning.

For those who have been following similar stories in the news for the last three decades, This stonewalling of the justice system at the expense of the victim has been the Church law firm's method. Thus when you hear the Church's excuse, you know it is BS. They care about publicity and not being sued. The victim's welfare does not enter into their legal schemes.

A case could be made that the Church practices depraved indifference.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Cnsl1
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by Cnsl1 » Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:55 am

I've known about this case for a long time and it has been rough to think about.

The Wash Post article was very accurate as to the basics of the story, but fortunately did not go into detail about how horrific the crimes actually were. I feel for the 2 bishops involved as they were clearly told not to report, but at some point human decency and common sense should prevail. Only those bishops know how much detail was disclosed, but after some time it should have been very clear to them that the abuse was still continuing and the mother was allowing it, and that there was no end in sight. At some point the needs and welfare of a child MUST trump any fear of getting sued or desire to do what the church tells you to do. This is where following Jesus and following the church become incongruous. You cannot do both and unfortunately those men both chose to follow the church. Jesus wept.

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nibbler
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by nibbler » Sun Aug 07, 2022 5:48 am

moksha wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 5:32 pm
Pretty sure you meant to bishops not do more than the absolute minimum that is required by law for reporting. Leaving out the word not changed the sentence's entire meaning.
Holy cannoli, yes I meant to include the word not. That's what happens when you're proofreading and you read it back to yourself in your mind and not read what's actually written.

I'll edit the post.
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
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blazerb
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by blazerb » Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:56 am

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:55 am
I've known about this case for a long time and it has been rough to think about.

The Wash Post article was very accurate as to the basics of the story, but fortunately did not go into detail about how horrific the crimes actually were. I feel for the 2 bishops involved as they were clearly told not to report, but at some point human decency and common sense should prevail. Only those bishops know how much detail was disclosed, but after some time it should have been very clear to them that the abuse was still continuing and the mother was allowing it, and that there was no end in sight. At some point the needs and welfare of a child MUST trump any fear of getting sued or desire to do what the church tells you to do. This is where following Jesus and following the church become incongruous. You cannot do both and unfortunately those men both chose to follow the church. Jesus wept.
It seems to me that this is the problem with having an unprofessional and untrained clergy who do not include a wide array of persons with different experiences. These bishops were threatened with hypothetical legal action by the church's lawyers that is actually prohibited by the state laws that the church's lawyers are supposed to understand. I'll be honest that I can see myself doing exactly what they did. If I had, I'd be throwing myself on the mercy of the court for such a huge lapse in judgement.

Something that every church member needs to understand is that the church's lawyers work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Given that, those lawyers are required to have the interests of the corporation uppermost in their priorities. These guys are not looking out for the interests of the lay clergy, or the members, or certainly the victims of abuse.

The bishops need to be held accountable. Somehow the lawyers and the upper leadership who hired them need to be held accountable, but that is a vain hope, it seems to me.

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MoPag
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by MoPag » Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:43 am

Just when you think the church can't get any worse... they somehow find a way to do it.
alas wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 1:17 pm
Angel wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 11:08 am
Mormorrisey wrote:
Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:01 am

to say that they are all worried about the abuse survivor and not their own hides is simply not true, and certainly not the experience I had with the hotline.
One need only look at the number of support groups for addicts compared to the number of support groups for victims to know the magnitude of the problem, and see who is supported.

I was TBM going into it, I requested support group and needed a support group. Zero. The abuser had their choice of groups. You could see who was in the group together - they would all hug one another and stand together - pat one another on the backs.... the group members and leaders, they gave us the cold shoulder, would not look at us or talk to us - I felt excommunicated - kids and I were shunned. No support group for us.
There have been attempts to have support groups for victims. This is another traumatic experience that I just can’t talk about right now. Right now I just hate this church so much.
Big hugs Alas! Love you!!!
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believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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Palerider
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by Palerider » Sun Aug 07, 2022 12:18 pm

Biblically or scripturally there isn't any obligation to keep confessed sins private or secret.

I think the clergy-privacy issue is a corrupt holdover from Catholicism.

"The priest-penitent privilege originated with the seal of confession. Under the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church for a "confessor in any way to betray a penitent" was a crime."

In an uncorrupted organization, a church leader might consider that in various cases there is no need to advertise an admission of sin when there is little threat of ongoing sin or of placing an individual or the public in danger. However from a Biblical perspective, to warn the church membership and the public at large of an ongoing threat, would have been seen as the only correct course of action.

Wolves among the flock, so to speak....

Odd that the church has no problem warning members publicly of an individual who has been disciplined for teaching false doctrine or leading members astray. Hmmmm......

A church that had true revelation and the welfare of it's members at heart would never have adopted the Catholic clergy-penitent privilege as a policy. It comes not from God but from man.

However, a church/cult that desired power and authority over it's people for it's own benefit, would actually prefer such a policy.
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"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

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Cnsl1
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by Cnsl1 » Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:07 pm

A confessed sin that is not a crime?

Keep it private.


A confessed sin that is a crime that does not directly harm another person, such as running a red light at midnight with nobody around?

Keep it private.

What about shoplifting?

Encourage them to stop immediately but keep it private.


A confessed sin that is a crime that directly harms another person?

Probably report it, you need to be a little more specific.


A confessed sin that is also a crime that harms another person like physical or sexual abuse?

Report it.

Of a child or minor?

Report it, I already said.

And you think there is a strong chance it will happen again?

REPORT IT TO THE LEGAL AUTHORITIES!

And this is the second or third or fourth time they've confessed to the same sin, which is also a crime?

I can't believe you're still asking. Report it now!!

And the spouse also knows and shows no motivation to help the sinner stop it or make sure the children are safe?

Pause the interview and say you need to use the restroom, call authorities to go to the sinners' home and get the children to a safe place. Go back and keep the sinners there until law enforcement arrives.

But, the help line told me not to report!

Then you're an idiot.

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moksha
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by moksha » Mon Aug 08, 2022 1:47 am

Reminds me of when they argue that the retched child kept in the basement room to be tortured is necessary for Omelas to remain a golden city. Then it is time to just walk away.

https://learning.hccs.edu/faculty/emily ... -guin/view
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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stealthbishop
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Aug 08, 2022 8:59 am

This is such a triggering story for so many who have been abused and traumatized. I'm so sorry. I literally became ill in disgust when I read the story.

The LDS church and other high demand religions see confession as integrally important to the salvation of human beings. The church also has deep pockets and wants to protect itself from lawsuits. It's no wonder that people are leaving organized religion in droves when that is seen as a higher priority than abuse of infants and children.

The golden rule for therapists and doctors is confidentiality because clients and patients need to feel safe and be open. We all understand that. But there are exceptions which are explained to clients/patients especially with regards to abuse of children or a duty to warn if a client wants to literally go kill someone. It's why therapists, health care workers, and teachers are all mandated reporters. This needs to be the same for clergy.

Even after they excommunicated this ... they still did not report him to DCFS or the police. The reality is that abuse is tolerated. The LDS church is not safe. We have to have two people in the room when teaching Sunday School or Primary but we still have Bishops meeting with children alone in a room and asking them if they masturbate or view pornography? The LDS church is not safe.
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

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moksha
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by moksha » Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:40 am

Image
The Church's law firm advocates depraved indifference to the victims in order to hide the crime so that the Church is financially covered.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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moksha
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by moksha » Wed Aug 10, 2022 8:53 pm

Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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moksha
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by moksha » Fri Aug 12, 2022 3:21 am

Episode # 2 of the Mormon Stories on this abuse - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zfIxHWRZzs
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Mormorrisey
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by Mormorrisey » Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:49 am

I never have thought about it before, but thanks to Angel and alas, I now have some clarity of thinking about how much the church does not support victims. At all.

Old me would have pointed to the fact that as bishop of course I helped victims. I met with several, we had good LDS services people when I was there, and the church did "help out." But more than likely not with the kind of support that alas and Angel are talking about. That was absolutely non-existent. And I'm sure that kind of help doesn't include a non-trained, albeit very sympathetic, bishop who hasn't a clue how ANY healing actually works, nor did that naive doofus of twenty years ago know how to handle survivors with ANYTHING they needed.

It's all just so problematic. Feeling a little bad for all the people I could have done more for, had I known that the Church wasn't the place to go for victims of abuse. At least I know more now.
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
"And when you try to break my spirit, it won't work, because there's nothing left to break."

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alas
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Re: The Church's Statement on the AP Arizona Abuse Story

Post by alas » Wed Aug 17, 2022 8:17 pm

Mormorrisey wrote:
Wed Aug 17, 2022 10:49 am
I never have thought about it before, but thanks to Angel and alas, I now have some clarity of thinking about how much the church does not support victims. At all.

Old me would have pointed to the fact that as bishop of course I helped victims. I met with several, we had good LDS services people when I was there, and the church did "help out." But more than likely not with the kind of support that alas and Angel are talking about. That was absolutely non-existent. And I'm sure that kind of help doesn't include a non-trained, albeit very sympathetic, bishop who hasn't a clue how ANY healing actually works, nor did that naive doofus of twenty years ago know how to handle survivors with ANYTHING they needed.

It's all just so problematic. Feeling a little bad for all the people I could have done more for, had I known that the Church wasn't the place to go for victims of abuse. At least I know more now.
I think one thing that people don’t understand is that it takes as much spiritual work to heal as it does to repent. Bishops are trained to think of their job as helping the sinner repent, so their reaction to the victim of sin, is that where there is no need for repentance, that the person is just fine. So, once a bishop assured me that it wasn’t my fault, they thought their job helping should be done.

But there are steps to the forgiveness process just like there are steps to repentance, in fact they run parallel. The sinned against needs to recognize the other guys is at fault. This is as big of a step as the sinner admitting that they screwed up. Because with abuse, there is a huge tendency to blame oneself. And for children, that tendency is even bigger. Children see themselves in a very ego centric way, and they don’t yet know what things they control and what they don’t. It took my years to get through this step. The next is anger. Just like when a person is repenting, they feel remorse, for forgiving the victim has to get angry, really really angry. Others around the victim really cringe and try to shove the sinned against past this stage and make them hurry up and forgive. But that is a last step, not a first step. Then the parallel to restitution is undoing all the damage. This is the professional therapists role. But spiritual leaders can actually help with seeing that it isn’t their fault, if they can have the patience to know this is complicated. In fact, it is more of a spiritual thing, of knowing one is innocent and loved by God. Not hated by God cause God let this happen. And religion really needs to give permission for the anger, just like it would lead the repentant through remorse. One step in healing is repairing the relationship with God. I had a therapist keep referring me to my clergy, and I had to explain that Mormons do not have trained clergy who can counsel abuse survivors, Mormons have plumbers leading a congregation. I really wish I could have gotten a picture of the dumbfounded expression of my professional counselor when I told him that spiritually, I am on my own because our clergy are not really clergy. But I never felt that I was a child of God, and whose job is it to teach me that? So, what victims need is as much love and concern from the church as the church gives to the sinners who injured us.

So, what I am saying is that abuse victims need both the love of their church and the professional help. Now, ideally, you have a bishop working closely with an LDS FS counselor. But I have found only two or three people in either church leadership or LDS FS that get that the victim needs spiritual guidance just as much if not more than the person who sinned against them. Just like if someone takes a hammer and breaks someone’s leg, you don’t just help the person who was mean and ignore the person with the broken leg. The person with the broken leg has questions about why were so mean and they hurt me on purpose, why? They need their questions answered and to learn how to trust again AND they need medical care.

But church leaders from the top down have no clue about the emotional damage abuse does. So, the church keeps screwing things up.

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