“I have lived my entire life loathing myself”


Lions Surround Yourself cropped

I hope you loathe no more, my friend.  This day, you have courageously taken action.  Commendations and congratulations from the entire Protect LDS Children movement.  Thank you for taking a stand to prevent the rising generation from being shamed into self-hatred.

Today, the following letter was sent to this brave man’s entire bishopric and stake presidency.  Every letter like this moves the church closer to grass roots changes.  I highly encourage all to do the same.  You can find additional letter formats HERE.


I am writing on a matter I consider to be of the highest importance and worthy of your attention. Please understand the real concern that has motivated me to write this to you.

Let me preface this by saying I have no issues with bishop **** at all. I consider him a friend and a good person. This is not about the leaders of the ward or the stake specifically.

The Mormon church has a policy to protect its money and those who handle it. Two men are always present.

The church has a policy to protect its members who teach children and those children from harmful and inappropriate situations. Two adults are always present and/or the doors are open.

The church policy won’t let children be alone with adults who are not their parents.

Except when it comes to bishops.

Bishops can call out and interview any kid in the ward at will unless they have otherwise been proscribed from doing so by the parents.

Please do not be dismissive of this concern at this point.

There are predators in all organizations and at all levels.

You often can’t know who they are.

Some will say that discernment is real and will prevent this.

If that were the case there would not be an issue, but history shows that discernment is not real and predators get into positions of ecclesiastical power all the time in this church.

Real children in YOUR stake are being hurt every day YOU fail to act to prevent it.

The good news is that it is easy for you to end the pain of those who are being hurt right now.

NO one on one interviews EVER!

NO sexually explicit question EVER!

Bishop **** and I have discussed this a bit. I sent him a video where these explicit questions (News Article) were laid out in plain English. It has a pornographic and dirty feel to it. The man leading the charge found out his daughters had been asked these questions without his knowledge and it set him off. Bishop **** said he had never been asked, asked them himself, or known someone who was asked these questions. I said to him and I say to you all, I have. It was me. I was asked many of these embarrassing and deeply personal questions before I was old enough to even process what I was hearing. I have been ashamed and resentful of myself my entire life because I have never been worthy.

Let me repeat that for you:

I have lived my entire life since my early adolescence loathing myself for my inability to be good enough. The church’s perfectionist/puritanical culture, namely its hurtful and disgusting interview policies, as well as its policy of public shaming and shunning has left me a 44 year old man with no sense of self worth or confidence in my ability to be better by your standards.

The atonement failed to make any difference in me. I have plead with God since I was a child to be relieved of the burdens of my sins, and it has failed me my entire life.

I believe you will blame me for this.

I moved around a lot as a kid. I had a lot of bishops. Most, if not all of them, went into excruciating detail about my personal habits of masturbation and later other sexual intimacy. Do not be dismissive of this. The church itself has had policies of inquiring about the sexual interactions of its married members in their own bedrooms. It is easy to confirm this online through church resources.

I was never physically touched. I was merely made to hate myself. I have friends who have harmed or killed themselves over this issue. It is real. IT IS GOING ON IN YOUR CHURCH NOW. Children are being raped and molested in YOUR buildings. Adult men and women are being made to feel worthless by YOUR worthiness interviews. Teens in YOUR care are, right now, contemplating suicide because their self worth has been determined to be ZERO by YOUR standards.

You can fix it:

NO one on one interviews EVER!
NO sexually explicit question EVER!

Asking about the law of chastity is one of those questions. It is unnecessary and harmful. Yes, even that one. I made a decision at one point that I was never going to be different despite the public shaming and shunning policy, so I would just lie and hope to eventually become better. You are not helping people be better. You are killing them.

Worthiness is self determined even now. You should only ask one question in an interview: “Are you living up to the standards of the temple?”

If they say no, you should teach them your doctrine of faith and repentance. You should teach them they have worth. You should teach them why your gospel is good. Not shame them. Not humiliate them publicly. Not treat them like a pariah. Not give them a reason to kill themselves or even lie to you.

Children are dying and adults are living hollow lives under your watch as long as you do not make this change. Every day you do nothing, children are sexually assaulted in YOUR buildings. Your bishops and you will find yourselves accused of things you have not done as well. It will happen. Please help.

My children will not be alone with the bishop. He knows this and we are all agreed. The problem with the church’s policy change of late is that it puts the duty of protection of the child on the child. That is not right. I think you can agree that a child faced with the authority of the bishop will not choose to have their parent present. It has been tried. When asked they all refuse. It is not their responsibility. It is YOURS and their parents. But their parents will not look faithless in the face of your authority. They will not ask for this unless they are pushed or you make it OK.

You may ask “How will we know if they have . . . ?” The answer is: “You don’t need to know.”

Save lives. Do what is right.

Thanks for your time,

Russell A.

Awareness is building!

Keep the momentum growing!!

Please Share!!!


99% of LDS Bishops Act Like Sexual Predators

Temple Super Moon

On occasion, members of the church have fussed at the petition.  They have said that it paints all bishops as if they are pedophiles.  Let me straighten that out:  I assume that the number of pedophile bishops is pretty small.  The vast majority of Mormon leaders are good upstanding men.

The supreme head of the Catholic Church estimates that 2% of his priests are pedophiles.  Some estimates run as high as 7%.  Is it possible that the population of sexual predators in LDS leadership is smaller?  I hope so.  We simply have no scientific data to support any estimate.

However, plenty of evidence exists which proves that there ARE sexual predators in every rank of our Mormon hierarchy.  From Sunday school presidents, to bishops, to stake presidents, to mission presidents and seventies.  With the advent of the #metoo movement, more and more Mormon victims are coming forward.  Over the past 12 months, at least 8 leaders, mostly bishops, have been arrested, convicted or sentenced for sexual assault of minors.  So far in 2018, two men who served in high leadership positions have been revealed as sexual predators, Joseph Bishop and Philander Smartt.

So no, not all bishops are sexual predators…but some are.  Like every other institutional church on the planet have already done, we should implement protections against the dangerous men in our leadership.

Almost All Bishops ACT Like Sexual Predators!!!

Whatever percentage of our leadership might be evil, almost all of our bishops are ACTING just like sexual predators behave!!!

Taking minors behind closed doors, beyond the earshot and eyesight of everyone, IS predatory grooming behavior.

Asking a minor sexual questions is totally predatory behavior.

Almost every bishop is grooming our children for the sexual predators in our leadership ranks, in the neighborhood and anywhere else in society.  The bishops groom kids for those serving above and around them.  Bishops are grooming our youngsters for the predator who might replace him as the next bishop.

Fortunately, there are some leaders who refuse to take a child behind closed doors without a parent being present and also refuse to ask sexual questions.  Good on them.  Unfortunately, these bishops are in the vast minority.  They are the ones who are proactively protecting our children.

What a horrid indictment on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that the vast majority of our bishops continue to act like sexual predators.  They are preparing our most vulnerable children for the monsters lying in wait.  Some of those monsters are other bishops, stake presidents and mission presidents.

And remember…this ONLY happens in the LDS Church.  In all other churches that I’m aware of, this behavior would result in the the pastor being disciplined or defrocked.  Our friends the Catholics set a laudable example by not tolerating sexual questions being posed to minors.

Protect Your Children—NOW!      Send your Bishop a Letter

Set firm boundaries with your children.  Let them know that it is not appropriate to have one-on-one meetings with church leadership….or anyone else.  Inform them that they are to let you know if anyone attempts to take them behind closed doors, including the bishop and stake president.

Then set the same boundaries with the bishop.  Put it in writing.  Send your bishop a letter or email.  Three sample templates can be found HERE.

I regret that my children were exposed to sexually explicit questions, all alone, behind closed doors.  Please take action so your children won’t be victims.  Otherwise, you can see and read the horrid consequences that may be in your children’s future.

What Else Can You Do to Help Protect The Children?

  1. Like Protect LDS Children Facebook page.
  2. After you send a letter to the bishop, share your experience on the Success Stories page.
  3. Sign or share the petition.
  4. If you have experienced inappropriate bishop interviews, share your story….if you feel ready.  Victims of either overt or covert sexual abuse are the only ones who can determine when or if sharing their story is appropriate.  We support you in whatever decision you make.
  5. If you are unfamiliar with the damages the LDS Church is causing to our children, educate yourself.  See the stories.  Read the stories.
  6. I have chosen to invest a ton of my own money into this campaign.  If you want to help, feel free to donate.  And thank you to all those who have already helped out to the tune of $80,000 over the past 6 weeks.  Your commitment to save our children is stunning.


To make a donation, go to our website ProtectLDSChildren.org.

On a laptop, the donation button is in the upper left hand corner.

On a tablet, the button may be on the left or right side, depending on the size of the device.

On a phone, click the three line menu.  The Donate button will be at the bottom of the menu.

All funds will go to a new organization named “Protect The Children Association.”  A 501C3 application has been filed.  All donations made 27 months before the application is approved by the IRS will be tax deductible.  I’m expecting everything donated at this point will fall in that category.

Caveat:  DO NOT feel any obligation to donate.  DO NOT feel one whit of regret if you can’t or choose not to donate.

Thank you for traveling this journey at my side in whatever methods you choose.

Great Grass Roots News

March Don't Make me grow up

Today, I received 3 encouraging reports.

  1. Several active families in Tucson are working in their stake to implement petition style interviews.
  2. Several active families in Scotland are working on the same thing.  They have promised to return & report.
  3. Then, the following letter.  Amazing letter.  Sent by a father of 3 daughters to his good bishop.  He attended the march and was disappointed that not one word was uttered at general conference about protecting our children.

Hello [Bishop],

You may have heard about the rally that was held last Friday in support of asking the Church to update its policies regarding Bishops interviewing children one on one and to also stop asking children sexually explicit questions. A petition was also presented to the Church leaders with over 56,000 signatures requesting these changes be made. I want you to know that I signed the petition and I participated in the rally as well. I want you to understand that this is in no way an indication that I do not trust you as a person. I think you are a good man and I’m glad you’re the Bishop of the ward. 

That being said, I think that it would better serve our children if the church worldwide updated its policy to require two adults in the room when children are being interviewed. This would be similar to the scouting program, where two deep leadership is a requirement at all times. Both for the safety of the child and for the protection of the adult from possible false accusations.

I realize that the church last week updated its policy to allow the child to request another adult be present in interviews if they wish, but I don’t think this goes far enough. This places the burden of protection on the child, who may not even know that it’s an option for another adult to be present. Considering my support for this cause, I felt I would be lacking if I didn’t communicate with you concerning my wishes for my children.

I am respectfully requesting the following with regard to my children:

  • My wife or I will be present in all interviews, whether with you or one of your counselors. Even if an interview is to be brief, one of us must be present. This includes formal interviews (such as at birthdays) or informal (such as a quick pulling in from the hall for a class presidency re-arrangement).
  • If in the event one of my children requests that someone other than me or my wife be present, we will allow them to choose who should be present (such as a counselor, or YW president or advisor, etc.)
  • Explicit questions about moral worthiness will not be asked to my children. The very nature of determining “worthiness” insinuates that a child may be unworthy. My children are good kids and I know that God loves them. Even if they do make mistakes, as we all do in life, I do not want them to ever feel that they are unworthy before God. They are always worthy of his love, no matter what. My wife and I, as parents, can help them with the repentance process and to accompany them to visit with you if that is needed. I am requesting that you do not ask explicit questions about masturbation, sexual orientation, or any other intimate sexual activity. These are items that My wife and I will discuss with our children in our home, as their parents. I do not think it is appropriate for a young girl to be in a room alone with a man, any man, and be asked these types of questions.
  • Children are not under covenant to obey the Law of Chastity. That is a temple covenant. We will discuss chastity in our home with our children. What it means, and how it relates to them. However, I do not want them being asked by an adult man if they are sexually pure. I believe that this type of questioning could possibly play a role in a child at some future point being groomed by other adults (whose intentions are evil) if the child feels that it’s OK to discuss sexual topics with an adult man. Now, maybe you never would ask these explicit questions. But there are plenty of Bishops out there who do. And it is damaging. It is damaging to a child’s sense of worth, and it could be damaging to their sexual development that could cause relationship and mental health issues both in the present and later in life. It is damaging that a child may develop a sense that they are not worthy of God’s love, as was the case for me during my teenage years.

If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions, I’m happy to have a conversation with you. However, as the father of my daughters, I respectfully request that you consider and adhere to my requests above. Thank you.

“My bishop replied that he would respect my wishes. Now, if more people would do this, we could force change! And bishops may make this their own policy even if they are not mandated by SLC.”

Good Point

My friend has a good point.  20,000 people have now signed the Protect-the-Children petition.  What would happen if only 1,000 of us sent a letter to our bishop?  We CAN make this change in the trenches before SLC eventually decides to do the right thing.

If you send a letter or talk directly to your bishop, please share it on the Success Stories page.  Today, we have 12.  Tomorrow there will be hundreds…as we each take individual action.

What Can You Do Now?

Help bolster our army of thundering lions.  Our petition currently has 20,138 signatures.   My next goal is 30,000.

If you haven’t already, Sign the Petition.

If you can, Share the Petition….again.

Every week that goes by, children continue to be egregiously harmed behind bishop’s closed doors in Mormon churches all around the world.



Sign the Petition