Enough is Enough–Protect Every Child!!

PEC BackgroundOver the past 18 months, the cause of Protect LDS Children (PLDSC) has been dedicated to protecting kids in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Also known as the Mormons.  In 2019, we will take up the noble cause to protect EVERY child, regardless of religious affiliation.

Last year, we documented the dangers facing children in the Mormon church.  Survivors shared thousands of stories of sexual abuse, both physical & psychological, overt and covert.  Many of their narratives can be seen HERE and read HERE.  Over and over, survivors also shared that our movement brought with it a great healing effect.

Background

In the summer of 2017, I organized an initiative called Protect LDS Children.  That’s the year I found out that my daughter was regularly subjected to sexually explicit interrogations  from age 12 to 17.  I raised her and my other 5 daughters in the Mormon Church.  This happened to my sweet child behind closed doors, all alone with the bishop of my congregation.

I wish I could go back in time and protect my innocent 12 year old daughter.  I can’t.  But I can stand up and speak out for the protection of today’s children.  Through PLDSC, I called on the Mormon Church to end the practice of one-on-one interviews and to eliminate sexual questions.

During 2018, Protect LDS Children carried out the following actions.  Tens of thousands of supporters joined the cause.

All of this generated much needed awareness of the dangers that the Mormon interview practices pose to children.  The Church responded with a minor, yet significant, policy change.  Unfortunately, Mormon children are still at great risk.

Protect Every Child (PEC)

Our original goal was to protect Mormon children.  During 2018 and early 2019, as scandal after scandal after scandal of child abuse continuously erupted, I realized the EVERY CHILD is at risk.  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Adults need to stand up and shout from the mountain tops that abuse of children must stop.  No longer will we take it sitting down. 

Rather than reading the horrors perpetrated on children and simply shaking our heads, it’s time that the whole of society flex its powerful muscles.  We can’t prevent what happened in the past.  We WILL protect our precious kids going forward.

Protect LDS Children has expanded its cause to Protect Every Child, regardless of religious affiliation.  We will reach out and join forces with other organizations which also seek to safeguard our little ones.  Child abuse is not just among the Mormons or the Catholics or the Baptists.  It is everywhere. 

In 2019, Protect Every Child will launch a series of actions to raise awareness to mountainous levels.  Here is our four point plan.

Action 1:  Petition

Last year’s petition was directed at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This year’s petition will call for all parents as well as all religions, denominations and youth serving organizations to Protect Every Child.  The goal is to gather 50,000 signatures.

Action 2:  Climb a Mountain, Save a Child

  • Summit a mountain, a hill, a driveway or any point of prominence.  Whether big or small.
  • Unfurl a banner on that driveway or mountain top.  Take a picture.  Then share it everywhere.
  • This year, hundreds of banners will be planted on pinnacles all around the world.  The flags are not to be left behind.  Rather, they are to be brought home for a subsequent action.
  • A lovely carol is sung during the Christmas season–Go Tell It On A Mountain.  If ever there was a message to shout from the mountain tops, this is it.  PROTECT EVERY CHILD.

Action 3:  12 Days of Ascension–July 24 to August 4, 2019

Last summer, a 23 day hunger strike was conducted in the shadow of the Salt Lake Temple.  This summer, we’ll return to Utah for 12 days,    Not to fast…to climb.  Peaks will be summitted around the valley.  Others will climb mountains across the country.  Banners will be unfurled for the entire world to see.

  • Each evening, a temple-side-chat will be broadcast.  Flags carried down from the mountain tops will be on display.  Discussions will be held with survivors and supporters.  Religious leaders will be invited to share their child safety practices.
  • On the final day, a large gathering will be held, similar to last year’s amazing Samaritan’s party.  Many described it as the most spiritual meeting they had ever attended.
  • During last summer’s hunger strike, over 500,000 social media views were registered.  This year we will raise that awareness to millions.

Action 4:  The Children’s March!!  Oct 5, 2019

Last spring, PLDSC held a rally and march in Salt Lake City.  Its culmination was the delivery of the petition to the top Mormon leadership.  Books were also presented that contained hundreds of stories of harm done behind closed doors.

It was a magical experience.  Healing of childhood wounds.  Awareness raised.  A thousand people joined together in a common and noble cause. Giving voice to the voiceless.  Standing up to protect the vulnerable.  Recognizing, validating and soothing the deep hurt still lodged in the broken hearts of adults who were abused as kids.

October 5, 2019, a second march will be held in the streets of Salt Lake City.  The banners that have been planted at the tops of the world and at the end of driveways will be publicly unfurled and proudly waved.  Huge awareness will be spread of the abuse our children have endured and what MUST be done to prevent it in the future.

This will be an historic event.  In 2018, one thousand marchers peacefully walked the streets of Salt Lake.  Our goal for 2019 is 5,000 participants.  Join us for this experience of a lifetime.  Come…march…and Protect Every Child.

Desired Changes

Some institutions have already implemented child protection policies.  Some of those policies are robust and well thought out.  We commend those institutions.

Many churches and other organizations have constructed bare-bone policies or none at all.  That is no longer tolerable.  Our children must be priority number one!  Not the good name of the institution or the reputation of  its leaders.  In fact, the repute of an institute should be directly tied to the quality of its safeguards and its diligence in enforcing them.

As a minimum, Protect Every Child calls for the following standards.  The term ‘children’ refers to minors up to and including the age of 17.

  1. No one-on-one interaction between adults and children.  That includes ecclesiastical leaders.  Children should never be taken behind closed doors without at least 2 adults present.
  2. No one-on-one communication via technology between unrelated adults and children.
  3. No private discussions initiated by adults relating to sex or sexual activity.
  4. For all adults who work with children:  a) Criminal background checks.  b) Re-verify criminal background checks at least every 3 years.  c) Professional training on youth protection.  d) Renew youth protection training at least every 2 years.
  5. Child protection policies are to be posted publicly and given to all parents.  Parents and leaders/volunteers working with children are to be trained annually on these policies.
  6. Establish a complaint process for reporting policies not being observed or leaders acting in ways that are not consistent with child protection responsibilities.  This process should be independent of the organization’s leadership.
  7. All institutions must act in accordance with government laws of reporting child abuse or suspicion of child abuse.
  8. Institutions are to have an independent process to evaluate how well the institution is following the policies.

Now…

Let’s join arm-in-arm to Protect Every Child.

You can start by signing the new PETITION.

Then share it with everybody.   Every human being has a huge stake in this.

About Me

I am a Houston small business owner and father of six daughters.  Over my 66 year lifetime, I have dedicated decades of volunteer service to the Mormon Church is various roles including bishop, bishopric counselor, ward mission leader, ward young men president, stake young men president, stake public affairs director, stake activities director, high councilor, high priest group leader, seminary teacher, institute teacher and several special assignments.  From 1972 to 1974, I served a full time proselyting mission in Guatemala and El Salvador.

 

“What the Church is doing is nothing short of evil!”

 

Flag Mary S. Currie

(Mary S. Currie at the summit of Mither Tap near Aberdeen, Scotland)

Mormons—DON’T ALLOW THE CHURCH TO GET AWAY WITH PROTECTING PREDATORS.

The next time it could be your child or your grandchild,  your friend’s daughter or your neighbor’s son.

Shared with permission.

Roughly 10-12 years ago, a sibling of mine came forward with a terrible story. He gathered the family together and informed us that when he was younger he had been groomed and repeatedly fondled and raped by a former Bishop (Mormon). He approximated that he had been about 10 years old when it had started. It continued for several years. He had decided to inform the current Stake Presidency of said Bishop. And he wanted us all to know what had happened before he did because shit might get crazy. I was shocked, but I was extremely impressed and proud of my brother’s bravery that day.

My parents were both present as our former bishop was read a letter composed by my brother detailing the events of their highly inappropriate relationship. The former bishop confessed to it all. At this point my brother and family naively expected The Church to take action both within The Church and also with law enforcement. The Church would do the right thing…we thought.

After several months of silence, an anonymous person informed my parents that the Stake Presidency had been instructed by their superiors to say nothing about the crimes of the bishop, not even to their own families. In disbelief we realized that The Church was protecting a pedophile in their ranks. Discouraged, my brother decided that if the Church would not go to the law he would. At the very least, my brother expected an apology from The Church. Maybe some counseling. He had hoped that informing them might make them reconsider some of their policies. He didn’t want this to happen to anyone else. But The Church made no contact with my brother. The silence was deafening on all sides.

My brother went to the police with his story and the bishop was arrested. He was released on bail shortly afterwards. The press picked up on this story and it was reported widely locally. After the story broke the District Attorney started receiving calls from other victims of our ex-bishop. Apparently my brother was not the only victim. This District Attorney would not give exact numbers but he did say that the number was “substantial.” Unfortunately all other victims decided to remain anonymous.

Then a funny thing happened. After months, perhaps a year, The Church came forth with a statement that read: “The Church was shocked to learn recently of these allegations, particularly considering the relationship of trust that must exist between a bishop and the members of his congregation. We express our deepest sympathy for the victim and his family. The Church has cooperated fully with law enforcement officers in their investigation of this matter.”

Wait, what? The Church is extending it’s deepest sympathies? They’re shocked at this news? If that was the case why in the hell hadn’t they apologized to my brother months ago! And why didn’t they alert the public that a pedophile who had victimized many was roaming freely among the unsuspecting. Why did they wait for the issue to become public before saying anything at all?

At this point it was painfully obvious that The Church did not give a shit about my brother and the emotional anguish that had haunted him for years. No. The Church was worried about it’s reputation. It was all about PR for them. And what was even more disturbing is the fact that the highest leaders of The Church were aware of this matter. President Hinckley was in on the sham! The Church doesn’t make a public statement without the leaders knowing, right? It made me sick. I was revolted at the trust I had extended to this institution at one point in my life.

The bishop walked away a free man. Not for lack of evidence. There was plenty of evidence to put him away. But it had been too long and the statute of limitations had passed. The Courts could do nothing. Soon the media attention faded and so did the horrific acts of an evil man. A man that may still be an active pedophile. Who knows how many more since then.

I was so angry at this ex-bishop. I was even more angry with the secrets and deceit of The Church. They played it all so well. They walked away clean. I’m still angry! But it’s not so much concerning the events of a decade ago. I’m still angry because I repeatedly hear the same story, over and over again. Another sexual predator in the Church that I hear about on the news or through acquaintances (I know a lot of people that have had this experience,) who slips away quietly after The Church instructs its leaders to say nothing about the sexual predator next door. Silence is their policy. And it happens again and again and again. People tell me I should let this go. Perhaps I can. But it won’t be until The Church of Jesus Christ and it’s sexual predator epidemic is front page news on The Washington Post or The New York times. There must be a reckoning! What the Church is doing is nothing short of evil!

Speak up!

Fight!

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

Bishop Abuser

April 2004, this bishop was arrested for sexually abusing the 10 year old boy in the story above.

December 2018, a bishop was arrested for sexually abusing young boys in his ward.

February 2019, a bishop was arrested in a human trafficking & prostitution sting.

My blood is boiling.  I hope all who read this feels the boiling indignation that will drive you to action.  It is time that WE bring this to a halt…in the Mormon Church and in every other church on the face of the earth.

Climb a Mountain, Save a Child

This is the year to make a huge difference.  It’s all laid out HERE.  I know, I know…I need to write it out.  It’s on my list to do VERY soon.  The new website for Protect Every Child is about done.  Flags will be available for purchase.  In the meantime, several people have already climbed several mountains and unfurled their own homemade banners.

Petition

A new petition is also in the works calling for parents and churches to Protect Every Child.  In the meantime, if you haven’t signed the last petition which was addressed to the LDS Church, please consider doing it now.

THANK YOU!

 

Mormons & Disgusting Practices

Disgusted Girl

The following happened within the last several months.

My husband is the bishop’s son and I got pregnant before he proposed.  It was no surprise when my father-in-law called me into the bishop’s office to ask if I wanted to repent. I said yes because obviously I wanted to go to heaven and how am I supposed to tell my father-in-law and bishop “no thanks, I’m good with my sins.” I had no idea what the process entailed but I was definitely not prepared for him to ask me to describe what sexual acts I did with his son and how often we did them.

A father-in-law asking his soon to be daughter-in-law what sex acts she engaged in with his son is twisted and disgusting.   Sick on so many levels.  Yet, it is totally condoned by the Mormon Church.  Do you hear my Mormon friends how revolting this sounds?  Unhealthy & wholly unnecessary.  I have already stood up and openly stated how abhorrent this practice is.  The Church’s response was to kick me out.  Foolish men.  And that’s all they are…men.

This women was 18 at the time.  I think she’s 19 now.  One of my daughter’s was also pregnant at 19.  As a teenage married woman, heavy with child, she sat across from her bishop, all alone, as he posed his nasty question, “Do you masturbate?”  It angers me to think that my daughter was subjected to this.

Mormon’s, how do you tolerate this behavior?  How do you put up with prophets, seers and revelators who condone & foster this ugly practice?  They are no friend to children and families while they continue to harbor that which is unwholesome and unsavory.

I hope you are starting to realize that the Church and it’s culture have conditioned you to accept practices as normal that are abhorrent to EVERY SINGLE PERSON OUTSIDE THE CHURCH.

I encourage you to stand up and speak out.  Don’t humiliate yourself by allowing your church to shame children and adults with interrogations about sexual positions, masturbation and all the other pornographic and damaging questions that are permitted by your leadership.  It’s incumbent on you to make your own church better.

I invite you to climb a mountain and save a child.