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Are we doing enough? Major story outlining abuse with the Southern Baptists

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So between this, the Temple movie guy, and Berchtold recently - Do we need to vet our bishops and leaders?

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56 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

So between this, the Temple movie guy, and Berchtold recently - Do we need to vet our bishops and leaders?

I'm not sure who Berchtold or the temple movie guy are but do we know if vetting them would have made a difference?  I think we probably are at the point where we will need to start vetting leaders but it seems like, with most of the these horrible wolves in sheep's clothing, their sins were the kind that don't show up on background checks.

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I really cannot imagine having to be an undercover police woman. 😕

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

I'm not sure who Berchtold or the temple movie guy are but do we know if vetting them would have made a difference?  I think we probably are at the point where we will need to start vetting leaders but it seems like, with most of the these horrible wolves in sheep's clothing, their sins were the kind that don't show up on background checks.

I think that the Bishop in Lehi would have had to explain why he resigned from the police force (if church leaders did a background check on him that would have shown up most likely)......he'd had an extramarital affair with another police officer.

And regarding Berchtold, a background check would most definitely have shown the rape and kidnapping charges and also the year he spent in prison for raping another child.

As far as Sterling Van Wagenen (the "temple movie guy"), I don't know what may have shown up.

Edited by ALarson

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3 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I think that the Bishop in Lehi would have had to explain why he resigned from the police force (if church leaders did a background check on him that would have shown up most likely)......he'd had an extramarital affair with another police officer.

And regarding Berchtold, a background check would most definitely have shown the rape and kidnapping charges and also the year he spent in prison for raping another child.

As far as Sterling Van Wagenen (the "temple movie guy"), I don't know what may have shown up.

I didn't think that adultery showed up on background checks, especially when he resigned instead of being fired?  I agree about Berchtold.  It's hard to image how no one knew about his history.  

With Van Wagenen, he wasn't serving as a bishop when he groped a 13 year old boy while he was asleep at his house during a sleepover (the boy immediately reported the incident to his parents and Van Wagenen confessed to police after confessing to his stake president and being told that's what he needed to do) and there is no evidence he ever offended before of after that one time event so I'm not sure how the idea of background checks for leaders is applicable in his case.  

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

I didn't think that adultery showed up on background checks, especially when he resigned instead of being fired?

I meant that church leaders would most likely ask him to explain why he resigned from the police force (which would have shown up on a background check).  I'm not sure how well know his affair was within the department or if any info on that would have shown up.  But if asked about it, he of course could have chosen to not tell the truth.

Here's this from the article:

Quote

Moss resigned his employment with the St. George Police Department in 2012. Utah County Sheriff's office said he would have had contact with "vulnerable individuals who could easily be exploited" because of his police work. It also said his church service "also allowed him to contact with vulnerable individuals who could be exploited."

 

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8 minutes ago, bluebell said:

With Van Wagenen, he wasn't serving as a bishop when he groped a 13 year old boy while he was asleep at his house during a sleepover (the boy immediately reported the incident to his parents and Van Wagenen confessed to police after confessing to his stake president and being told that's what he needed to do) and there is no evidence he ever offended before of after that one time event so I'm not sure how the idea of background checks for leaders is applicable in his case.  

I'm not aware of any other cases of child abuse, but he has confessed to numerous affairs with both men and women.  I don't really know the chronology though and I have no idea what might have shown up on a background check.

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3 minutes ago, ALarson said:

I'm not aware of any other cases of child abuse, but he has confessed to numerous affairs with both men and women.  I don't really know the chronology though and I have no idea what might have shown up on a background check.

He was never arrested or convicted of any crimes so his background check would have been clean  Affairs don't show up on anything.  As far as a criminal check, they only show: 

  • Arrests
  • Convictions of felonies and misdemeanors
  • Court records (e.g. dockets, orders, decrees, judgement, etc.)
  • Warrants
  • Sex offenses
  • Incarceration records

There are other types of background checks but they are for things like credit, driving, and employment history, nothing that would make a difference for a bishop.  

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5 minutes ago, bluebell said:

He was never arrested or convicted of any crimes so his background check would have been clean  Affairs don't show up on anything.  As far as a criminal check, they only show: 

  • Arrests
  • Convictions of felonies and misdemeanors
  • Court records (e.g. dockets, orders, decrees, judgement, etc.)
  • Warrants
  • Sex offenses
  • Incarceration records

There are other types of background checks but they are for things like credit, driving, and employment history, nothing that would make a difference for a bishop.  

Like I said, I have no idea what the circumstances of all those affairs were, who knew, if his employers knew or reported anything, or any legal charges were made against him by anyone in his past and so on.  I just don't know that much about his case other than what he's now confessed to.  

And yes, I know what a criminal background check entails.  I think employment history would make a difference for a bishop (just my opinion).  It would have brought up questions with this current Bishop in Lehi, IMO.

Edited by ALarson

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8 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

I continue to be confused by the pushback at the suggestion there be better training.  

Same here!!

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18 hours ago, JulieM said:

I completely get your point and no answer is 100 percent perfect, but I think many youth would go to a trusted friend or teacher or other youth leader rather than the bishop anyway.  And I still think they could go to them for help if they were in danger or being abused.  I don’t know, it’s an awful thing and there’s no perfect solution.  

Today at the elementary school I sub'd at they had a special guest come and teach the students about child abuse. They had a handout that they colored on after a presentation and on it they had a hand with fingers of people to go/run to if they have been abused or someone approached them and they had the "uh-oh" feeling that something isn't right. And then the students listed trusted adults they could go to and not one of them was a church leader. 

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10 hours ago, bsjkki said:

This is very true. I don’t trust doctors and a good therapist can be very helpful but is hard to find. It’s all very tricky. At least with those, I can walk out of their office and never return or find another. It’s much harder to “fire” your Bishop because they are an idiot. Your post brought all my memories of idiot doctors return. Training is not a magic bullet. 

I think the dual role of a Bishop as a judge in Zion and as a spiritual advisor/healer is especially hard for some to navigate. 

I also read through many of reports of the officers disciplined in Utah and why. No names attached so that was interesting. Should their names be public record? Doesn’t the public have a right to know?

They do publish the names attached to the POST discipline that I saw.

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9 hours ago, JulieM said:

I read he was having a consensual affair with a fellow female officer.  He got caught and was going to have to go before their board and he resigned from the force before it was made public (if I understood correctly).

I will look for that article again and post that part if I can find it (with a link).

That is okay, I trust your memory for something like that additional detail.

Add on, kind of silly for me to say not needed when others might want it.  My brain is really asleep today and it felt like we were having a personal conversation, lol, rather multiple posters involved.

Edited by Calm

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34 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Today at the elementary school I sub'd at they had a special guest come and teach the students about child abuse. They had a handout that they colored on after a presentation and on it they had a hand with fingers of people to go/run to if they have been abused or someone approached them and they had the "uh-oh" feeling that something isn't right. And then the students listed trusted adults they could go to and not one of them was a church leader. 

That's interesting, Tacenda.  Who were the trusted adults they listed (mainly)?

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9 hours ago, Gray said:

Seat belts aren't a magic bullet either. You can still die in a car crash while wearing one. Doesn't mean you shouldn't buckle up though.

I have always pushed for more training.  It is just understandable to me why it is not seen as effective enough for the cost by some and therefore why pushing for it needs to be "repeated".

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9 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

I continue to be confused by the pushback at the suggestion there be better training.  

I am not pushing against better training, if you are thinking that.  I am pushing back on the attitude that I see hinted at that we will be so much safer if it happens.  I think we need to be realistic about what training and background checks can actually accomplish.  We cannot shift responsibility for the safety of ourselves and loved ones by demanding other people take care of this for us ( through stuff like training and checks).

Using a similar to the seat belt analogy, I am concerned people take more chances in driving because they think air bags will protect them enough without themselves not even having to buckle up or taking measures not to speed, keep a safe distance, etc.

 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Today at the elementary school I sub'd at they had a special guest come and teach the students about child abuse. They had a handout that they colored on after a presentation and on it they had a hand with fingers of people to go/run to if they have been abused or someone approached them and they had the "uh-oh" feeling that something isn't right. And then the students listed trusted adults they could go to and not one of them was a church leader. 

How could you know that? I’m not trying to doubt you I’m just wondering how you could see all five names listed by all the children in attendance and then know who each person was to the degree that you knew none of them were church leaders?

I wouldn’t be surprised that elementary aged kids wouldn’t put down church leaders, especially if the presenter listed examples of who could be put down and church leaders weren’t included in that. 

I would imagine that most kids would write down the names of family members. 

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48 minutes ago, Calm said:

They do publish the names attached to the POST discipline that I saw.

Thanks...I must of missed them. It was late and I remember Case 1, 2 etc...

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

How could you know that? I’m not trying to doubt you I’m just wondering how you could see all five names listed by all the children in attendance and then know who each person was to the degree that you knew none of them were church leaders?

I wouldn’t be surprised that elementary aged kids wouldn’t put down church leaders, especially if the presenter listed examples of who could be put down and church leaders weren’t included in that. 

I would imagine that most kids would write down the names of family members. 

The special guest had students raise their hand and state who a trusted adult could be and wrote it down on the board onto a hand with fingers, but the special guest didn't name them first. Thanks for pointing this out bluebell! In fact as I sat there observing, I kept thinking someone might say a teacher at church or bishop or?

Edited by Tacenda

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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

That's interesting, Tacenda.  Who were the trusted adults they listed (mainly)?

There were 26 students in my class and most raised their hand. It was mom, dad, school teacher, aunt, friend, brother, sister, grandparents, neighbor's mom. Several of these repeated. Oh and I failed to say these were 3rd graders. But maybe my post was certainly unnecessary to prove that the bishop isn't at the top or something.

Edited by Tacenda

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