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Post Mormon reaction to child abusers from their own community


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11 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

The LDS emphasis on modesty being part of a female's responsibility to help men resist sexual temptation.

The LDS emphasis on male spiritual leadership diminishing a female's ability to consent.

The LDS emphasis on sexual purity being paramount and linking being raped to being unclean.

 

First, I disagree with your conclusions.  There is no diminishing a females consent to sex.  Making sexual purity paramount is the same as influencing rape culture and enabling sexual abuse?  Ok? 

What does this have to do with rampant rape culture and a culture which enables sexual abuse?  What does this have to do with spiritual coercion to engage in inappropriate sexual activities?

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32 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

The LDS emphasis on modesty being part of a female's responsibility to help men resist sexual temptation.

The LDS emphasis on male spiritual leadership diminishing a female's ability to consent.

The LDS emphasis on sexual purity being paramount and linking being raped to being unclean.

 

What the heck does this have to do with pedophilia?   Or do you only consider this another sexual choice? 

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Churches provide places where predators can seek out and groom victims.

Isn't that potentially true of, well, pretty much every type of community, organization, group, etc.?

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

A high degree of personal trust in leaders and church members like in the LDS church increases vulnerability to predation.

It does?

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

This is logical.

Not really.

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

And it is very logical that the nature of LDS polygamy has a whole lot to do with the nature of church culture today.

It is?  We are 130 years removed from polygamy.  My dad, who is pushing 80, knew some very elderly polygamous widows in the 1940s.

So if we are 100+ years out from the practice of polygamy, it becomes quite tenuous to declare that "the nature of LDS polygamy has a whole lot to do" with us today.  This is particularly so since you are merely asserting it, without providing a scintilla of evidence.

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

It's not nonsense at all.

Seems pretty farfetched.

2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

You can ask about it and do your own research if you really want to know if it is a viable theory, instead of being dismissive.

You're the one presenting this "theory."  On this board, the person making the assertion has the obligation to back it up with references and such.

So...

Thanks,

-Smac

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7 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

One circulating idea is that "polygamy culture is rape culture:" the culture of the church that enabled spiritually-coercive polygamy enables rape and other forms of sexual abuse. It is worth contemplation, in my opinion.

Let’s take a second to contemplate that.........ok. Thanks. 

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2 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Let’s take a second to contemplate that.........ok. Thanks. 

Looks like you were gave it all the consideration it merits. And then some. 

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11 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

The LDS emphasis on modesty being part of a female's responsibility to help men resist sexual temptation.

The LDS emphasis on male spiritual leadership diminishing a female's ability to consent.

The LDS emphasis on sexual purity being paramount and linking being raped to being unclean.

I think these are are better categorized as the attitudes and behaviors of some individuals within our faith community rather than representative of the Church culture, and sometimes become pathological or enabling. They exist in any community across the globe but seem to have more to do with how women and girls are treated than with pedophilia, though granted there could be some overlap.

Do you have some pedophilia-specific observations?

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25 minutes ago, CV75 said:

women and girls

I think you mean older girls, as in 12 and older.

Edited by Calm
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18 hours ago, juliann said:

Tom Kimball committed suicide yesterday. He was active in Mormon Studies. I had very brief interaction with him in my Claremont days.  It sounds bad, Lindsay Hansen Park says he was "prolific." (Almost all available information is on her FB page which seems to be public.) Apparently, there are victim statements and he was about to pay the price. Of interest is that he had participated in a podcast about....child abuse in the church.

I am not interested in details, what I am interested in is the difference in reactions to the same behavior when it occurs with practicing Mormons as opposed to critics of Mormonism. I have seen the same 'ol song, it is the upbringing in the church that invites sexual impropriety. I have seen a lot of apologetic responses as to what a good guy he was, a shocking number. It wasn't that long ago that Exponent II finally broke the silence about the surprising number of sexually predatory men in the exmo community preying on those leaving the church, they even named some..... with the same blaming of their Mormon past. 

I do not see practicing Mormons getting any careful treatment from the critics. And to be honest, I find it hard to believe that after all of this time no one had any awareness, thus responsibility, at all. It seems it should be just another story about how sexual abusers get away with it for so long rather than the walking on eggshells treatment I am seeing so far. 

 

I don't follow Exponent II so I'm not sure what you're talking about.  I did see comments from Lindsay and find them the most revealing, very honest and difficult to read.  Perhaps one of the tougher pills to swallow is when you learn that a friend was acting a monster behind closed doors.  Its so much easier to condemn abusers when you don't know them.  To be clear, I never knew him.

Then again, to be fair, I see a ton of Mormon defenders who see things like the Mountain Meadows and are quick to point out things like, these murderers were good people and there are reasons why seemingly good people do bad things.  I think there's truth to that.  What is really happening inside people we may never really know.  But our choices, if you will, pile up leading us as life and circumstance hit us.  There, of course, is no excuse, but I think it's true we all need to be better with each other.  We need to recognize those who develop monstrous habits are led there by life's circumstance.  Perhaps Tom was abused and hence abuse was an effect.  I don't say that to sympathize with the abuser, but in hopes we can actually find ways to lessen these abuses as we move forward in our conversation.  

I do think it problematic to blame Mormonism for abuse.  An abuser can be found in any community from any number of backgrounds.  Most people who suffer from psychosis may not really harm people, other than perhaps in indirect ways.  

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15 hours ago, juliann said:

 

 Oh, yes. That is a common refrain to explain the problems the adult exmo female community has had with sexual predators. They are merely acting out what they learned from their Mormon upbringing and it is unrealistic to think they can leave that along with the church. It is sick and it is enabling.

Ok, after reading more in the thread, I think I'm getting what you are saying more clearly.  Yes, if this is so, then you are right.  And I do think critics and ex-Mormons tend to overstate their criticism particularly as it comes to things like this.  Very fair, although I can't confirm these women, whoever they are, are enabling anything.  I would suggest if they are arguing that Mormonism creates, causes, or teaches abusive behavior then they are really stretching things.  Abusers appear in many places, many circumstances.  The convenience for a critic to get all worked up because a Mormon bishop was caught abusing someone is not much more than confirmation bias.  

The dogma that people rely on to criticize religion can be just as problematic as the dogma that is the religion, if you ask me.  We should in our conversation strive to be anti-dogma.  Of coruse when it comes to religion than simply won't happen, thanks to religion's embrace of that fiend.  

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For decades now, I've born the unfortunate burden of having to deal with an in-law child molester, the family fallout, the court cases, and all that.  Here is how I make it through such times:

1. I try to have my reaction to the news about Tom, supposedly my enemy in the gospel, be a similar reaction to the news about Hugh Nibley's alleged molestation of his daughter.  Or my reaction to the allegations against any political figure I'm either for or against.  Or my reaction to my in-law.

2. The best thing I can come to a healthy, worthy, righteous reaction, has been informed by this 22 yr old talk by Elder Oaks.  I wholeheartedly recommend a read to everyone grappling with how to respond to this issue.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1999/08/judge-not-and-judging?lang=eng

 

15 hours ago, the narrator said:

This is just sadness all around.

I've found this to be universally true at such stories.  Nobody wins here.  Not the victim, or the perpetrator, or their loved ones, or their enemies.  When the dark specter of child abuse rises, Lucifer the only one who laughs.

I take comfort in the example of an understanding perfect Lord, who, even though the prince of peace, spoke quite clearly about how it would be better to have someone chained to a stone and drowned, than to have a child offended.

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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14 hours ago, pogi said:

I see, so it is not that it is not rampant in our culture and is happening all around me. It is not that I am not apart of it, it is that I am simply blind to it because I don't see it that way.  I can't see that it is wrong to use my priesthood to coerce my wife into sex, right?  I can't see that rape culture is wrong because my ancestors were polygamists.  I can't understand that "no" means "no' because of our polygamist past.  Raping is righteousness and a sign of priesthood power to me.   I am blind to what sexual abuse really is and what enabling looks like, because to me it all looks like righteousness, because my ancestors were polygamists, right?    This is my culture.  This is who I am. 

Our culture. You can dispense with this idea that this is all about you. It is not.

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14 hours ago, pogi said:

 

First, I disagree with your conclusions.  There is no diminishing a females consent to sex.  Making sexual purity paramount is the same as influencing rape culture and enabling sexual abuse?  Ok? 

What does this have to do with rampant rape culture and a culture which enables sexual abuse?  What does this have to do with spiritual coercion to engage in inappropriate sexual activities?

It sounds like you are unfamiliar with the meaning of the term rape culture.

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14 hours ago, juliann said:

What the heck does this have to do with pedophilia?   Or do you only consider this another sexual choice? 

FTR I was not talking exclusively about pedophilia, but they still apply. Sexual predators of children look for vulnerable children, groom them, and then manipulate them to keep them silent. All three of these concepts make an environment easier for pedophiles and all sexual predators. Modesty rules, chastity rules, and male authority all make it easier for a predator to manipulate a victim, and prepare one who will be less likely to report out of false guilt, shame, or some other lie.

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

I think you mean older girls, as in 12 and older.

I meant to convey that individuals with these attitudes and behaviors negatively treat and otherwise affect the females in their life of all ages, whether directly or indirectly, and whether intentionally or not. Those such as modesty, chastity and "franchise" are communicated to children from the start.

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15 hours ago, Calm said:

There are plenty of men who are abused as adults as well. Some people don’t understand in my experience that women can rape men.  Rape is forced sex, arousal can occur even when in fear for one’s life, something anyone who has experienced that may feel immense shame about when it is basic biology. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_of_males

Yes, men can also be victims. I think the overriding point there regarding sexism is that misogyny impacts the ability of females to counteract abuse, both as a group and as individuals.

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27 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

It sounds like you are unfamiliar with the meaning of the term rape culture.

Perhaps you can explain it for me in your words so I can show you how wrong you are. 

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2 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I don't follow Exponent II so I'm not sure what you're talking about.  I did see comments from Lindsay and find them the most revealing, very honest and difficult to read.  Perhaps one of the tougher pills to swallow is when you learn that a friend was acting a monster behind closed doors.  Its so much easier to condemn abusers when you don't know them.  To be clear, I never knew him.

Then again, to be fair, I see a ton of Mormon defenders who see things like the Mountain Meadows and are quick to point out things like, these murderers were good people and there are reasons why seemingly good people do bad things.  I think there's truth to that.  What is really happening inside people we may never really know.  But our choices, if you will, pile up leading us as life and circumstance hit us.  There, of course, is no excuse, but I think it's true we all need to be better with each other.  We need to recognize those who develop monstrous habits are led there by life's circumstance.  Perhaps Tom was abused and hence abuse was an effect.  I don't say that to sympathize with the abuser, but in hopes we can actually find ways to lessen these abuses as we move forward in our conversation.  

I do think it problematic to blame Mormonism for abuse.  An abuser can be found in any community from any number of backgrounds.  Most people who suffer from psychosis may not really harm people, other than perhaps in indirect ways.  

Ditto!

And might I add, that I'm hoping we can continue the training, it happened in the schools last year, to have children report right away anything like this happening to them. Hope the schools do this as a yearly thing, since the percentage of abuse is astounding. One in three for girls and I can't remember for the boys, the statistic. This is for Utah, not sure about the other states.

Edited by Tacenda
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46 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Our culture. You can dispense with this idea that this is all about you. It is not.

I am sure you have heard the saying "you mess with one bean, you mess with the whole burrito".   This is kind of the opposite of that.  When you mess with the whole burrito ("our culture"), you mess with each and every bean in the burrito (including me).   We all are products of the culture and together we make the culture - we are the culture. You are implicating us all in rape culture and a culture of sexual/spiritual coercion of children.  If what you claim is true, then we are all culpable.   I agree, it is not "all" about me, but make no mistake - it is about us all.  You are messing with every bean here and likely their heritage and roots back several generations.      

Edited by pogi
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16 hours ago, the narrator said:

I've known Tom for some years now, and all of this news has left me moving between numb, sadness, and anger. I don't think the loving (though quick to anger and burning bridges left and right) person I knew was a facade, but was just one part of a very troubled person who was in combat with his other parts. Though he stopped believing and being an active member years ago, I never considered him (nor do I think he considered himself) a post Mormon. He spent the last few years caring for and repairing the Kirtland Temple, while likely simultaneously trying to hide from his crimes. He loved that building more than probably anyone else has since the Saints were in Kirtland. He would also get really angry when talking about Joseph Smith, and with hindsight I'm guessing that involved a lot of projection of what he thought of himself and his own actions.

I wish the friend that I knew who always came by to chat and straighten out my books didn't leave a legacy of pain and trauma that he inflicted on others. This is just sadness all around.

I don't know this individual and have never heard of him. I guess I live in a small world. Regardless, your comment comes close to how I feel about humanity. Individuals are very complex and often possessing highly conflicting desires and objectives. A pedophile does not sum up the totality of this individual or any other individual. As people talk about him it is obvious that he possessed other characteristics; some have stated he was kind, charming, etc. 

Humans are not one note beings, but each is a cacophony of notes that seldom evolve into a coherent symphony. I think we should value the good in others rather than diminish them into solely their worst, possessed demons.  

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I think pedophilia is a problem throughout society, not just among the LDS.  It is sad that it occurs period and needs to end yesterday.  I grew up LDS, my ancestors were polygamists and there aren't any pedophiles in my family as far as I know.  My second cousin married a convert who turned out to be a pedophile and she immediately turned him in and divorced him.  This Tom Kimball predator is unfortunately a problem that our larger society needs to bear and solve.

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36 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I meant to convey that individuals with these attitudes and behaviors negatively treat and otherwise affect the females in their life of all ages, whether directly or indirectly, and whether intentionally or not. Those such as modesty, chastity and "franchise" are communicated to children from the start.

Got it. Thank you for clarifying. 

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39 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

FTR I was not talking exclusively about pedophilia, but they still apply. Sexual predators of children look for vulnerable children, groom them, and then manipulate them to keep them silent. All three of these concepts make an environment easier for pedophiles and all sexual predators. Modesty rules, chastity rules, and male authority all make it easier for a predator to manipulate a victim, and prepare one who will be less likely to report out of false guilt, shame, or some other lie.

Adult rape is more about power than sexual gratification (and encouraged by a rape culture). Child rape is more about sexual gratification, facilitated by a sexualized culture.

In both cases even checked-and-balanced power differentials (whether the differential is developmentally inherent or socially constructed) are exploited by bad actors. In line with the OP, how do you see the Church and her teachings doing this well in the case of discouraging pedophilia?

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