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Post Mormon reaction to child abusers from their own community


juliann

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9 hours ago, Calm said:

Or it is more accurately a American or human problem if it hasn’t been demonstrated that there are higher rates within the subgroups than the more global ones if you are speaking of the community being one of the causes of the problem as opposed to something people in the community need to deal with in their lives. 
 

There may be aspects in our faith community that have been found to contribute to abuse, but they don’t exist in a vacuum. There may be other factors that help protect against abuse that counterbalance the negatives, so without actual data, accusations are inappropriate imo and only serve to waste resources on dealing with what has actually been established as problematic. 

As I said previously, the church not not release statistics about sexual abuse reports, which makes it difficult to understand if there are characteristics of the system mitigating abuse.

That said, we do know that abuse happens in the church and through church-member relationships. We can also identify ways that the church is systemically vulnerable to tactics by predators. People who study how predation works have offered ways that the LDS church (as well as other churches and organisations) can make itself less vulnerable to abuse. Many churches have adopted the changes to make church relationships and church environment safer. The LDS Church still has overall practices that are known to make its members more vulnerable to predation.

So I am not talking about wasting resources. I am talking about practices which have actually been established as problematic. You are speculating that maybe the church has some special characteristics which might counter those negatives, but you have not identified them specifically. And again, we don't have anonymized incidence data when the church does not share it.

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8 hours ago, juliann said:

Oh for heaven's sakes. If you want to talk about active Mormons, start a new thread. I'm in enough prog groups to know that this is a pervasive complaint by women in that group. And they actually get upset when people (usually men) try to deflect with the "not all men!" tropes. 

In short, it's almost exclusively a male problem. Glad we got that straightened out. Now back to the topic.

Prog/ex/postMormon groups or whatever you want to label them.  Do they not claim that their lives are better, freer, richer, tolerant, etc. etc.? That they left the church to drop all that bad stuff? Why is it that they can drop all the bad stuff except for the misogyny and abusiveness? At some point there will have to be a reckoning that is a little more introspective than "the church I have flown beyond made me go back and do that one thing."

Systemic accountability is also about personal accountability. We agree on that point. 

I have also identified concepts of Mormonism which contribute to rape culture, and I have also pointed out that those who leave can still carry toxic ideas with them. Specifically, I talk about modesty rules, male authority, unhealthy sexual attitudes, and excessive trust. And I have not said that it stops there. If you are in ProgMo spaces then you may see others talking about personal responsibility. We have a personal responsibility to root out the toxins in ourselves, but we must also stop the flow at their sources.

Juliann, you cannot expect to have a productive conversation about ex-Mormon dysfunctionality if you refuse to talk about Mormonism.

That said, there are many no-longer-practicing Mormons who are addressing predation and how to fight it. A relatively new but formal example is the What We Know Podcast, by Anne McMullin and Matt Long. She has a Masters in clinical psychology and he has years of experience prosecuting cases of child abuse. They start very early on by talking about the human pathologies of narcissism and predation and they emphasize the importance of personal responsibility. And, although they do talk about their personal histories, the podcast is not Mormon-centric. They also talk about their respect for their Mormon identities and love for their Mormon kin and express a desire to for all good people to commit to making their communities safer.

 

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I don’t buy it. Most sexual fetishes such as pedophilia manifest pretty young before the average person in the church hears about plural marriage. The idea that the church is stoking this somehow is silly. The impact on the church culture is very minimal. I am not young anymore and as a child my great-grandfather talked about growing up in a plural marriage family (though not to me, my parents and grandparents told me when I was older). I don’t think anyone growing up today has even that close of an experience. Where is this legacy?

First, we can talk about ways the church can reduce vulnerability to predators without talking about polygamy. Personally, I think it is helpful to talk about the connection, but we do not have to do so.

Anyways, what I said was that the same culture that enables spiritually coercive polygamy also enables sexual abuse. You can be unaware that polygamy existed in the church, and yet still be impacted by the structures which held it up and protected it for so many decades.

The key features in that structure are in my opinion, 1)imbalance of power favoring men and weakening individual autonomy, 2)excessive trust in community members, 3)policing of female bodies as tempters of men through modesty rules, and 4)unhealthy attitudes about sex. 

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On 10/15/2020 at 3:06 PM, jkwilliams said:

I was shocked by the revelation that Tom was a sexual predator. Yes, I considered him a friend, but what I realize now is that I did not know Tom Kimball. I knew a facade, a fantasy that he projected. The real Tom was a predator and master manipulator, not the charming and knowledgeable person I knew. I don’t apologize for not having guessed who he really was. I’m just sad to learn that the Tom I thought I knew never existed. 

I knew Tom for a decade. 

He left the church about 2015 in a quarrel with the Bishop about being an Elder's Quorum President who had a long pony tail.

He had black moods and depressions, but they did not indicate what he was in his interior.

Any patriarchy, because humans are fallible, will result in a certain number of Tom Kimballs, and quite a number of women and children will be harmed because of that.

Matriarchies have the same issue.  I was abused by a female school counselor when I was 11, and no one, including my mother, would believe me.  "She would not do that." "You misunderstood that."  

Whatever.

My "friend" was a monster, who used his relationships with all of us to go trawling.

Remember that the predator trawls where the prey resides.

I am sad that I did not see any of this.  I am sad, so sad, for his victims.  I am sad for his community who did not see it and now suffers the result of shock, awareness, anger, and guilt.

Kevin Costner gave great advice at Whitney Houston's funeral and I will expand it.  Guard  yourselves, everyone.  Guard yourselves, community.  Be accountable.  Be aware.

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4 minutes ago, JamesBYoung said:

Any patriarchy, because humans are fallible, will result in a certain number of Tom Kimballs,

More accusations without data. 
 

Kindergarten classes have had some abusive teachers.  Therefore it must be kindergarten that results in the Tom Kimballs of the world. 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

More accusations without data. 
 

Kindergarten classes have had some abusive teachers.  Therefore it must be kindergarten that results in the Tom Kimballs of the world. 

Common knowledge, which you also possess, easily supports my position.

If you don't like it or accept it, Calm, I could care less.  You are not the judge of this mess.

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1 hour ago, JamesBYoung said:

I knew Tom for a decade. 

He left the church about 2015 in a quarrel with the Bishop about being an Elder's Quorum President who had a long pony tail.

He had black moods and depressions, but they did not indicate what he was in his interior.

Any patriarchy, because humans are fallible, will result in a certain number of Tom Kimballs, and quite a number of women and children will be harmed because of that.

Matriarchies have the same issue.  I was abused by a female school counselor when I was 11, and no one, including my mother, would believe me.  "She would not do that." "You misunderstood that."  

Whatever.

My "friend" was a monster, who used his relationships with all of us to go trawling.

Remember that the predator trawls where the prey resides.

I am sad that I did not see any of this.  I am sad, so sad, for his victims.  I am sad for his community who did not see it and now suffers the result of shock, awareness, anger, and guilt.

Kevin Costner gave great advice at Whitney Houston's funeral and I will expand it.  Guard  yourselves, everyone.  Guard yourselves, community.  Be accountable.  Be aware.

Thanks for sharing that, JamesBYoung. I think Kevin Costner's advice is exactly right. Guard yourselves, everyone. And I would add: guard your children. Do not allow them to be in situations that make them more vulnerable to predators.  Be aware. Be accountable. Speak up when you see something wrong.

I would also add: don't use this tragedy to point fingers at others within the larger Mormon community. We all own a little piece of this. Some seem intent on making other people look bad because "they" (thos others) failed. The Mormon community failed, and that community includes all of us who have been molded by the Mormon experience. It is a wonderful community, but every community has its blindspots. The people who deny those issues and problems are not being part of the solution; they are still part of the problem. Let's all do better, no matter where we fall on the spectrum of belief and church membership.

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Calm, I apologize to you for the personal comment.  That was unworthy of me and not earned by you.

Yes, all hierarchies, religious and non-religious, are susceptible to being manipulated, even the LDS community.  We see it all the time.

Frater Lumen has the right of it: guard yourselves, your community, your family, and your children.

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6 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Systemic accountability is also about personal accountability. We agree on that point. 

I have also identified concepts of Mormonism which contribute to rape culture, and I have also pointed out that those who leave can still carry toxic ideas with them. Specifically, I talk about modesty rules, male authority, unhealthy sexual attitudes, and excessive trust. And I have not said that it stops there. If you are in ProgMo spaces then you may see others talking about personal responsibility. We have a personal responsibility to root out the toxins in ourselves, but we must also stop the flow at their sources.

Juliann, you cannot expect to have a productive conversation about ex-Mormon dysfunctionality if you refuse to talk about Mormonism.

That said, there are many no-longer-practicing Mormons who are addressing predation and how to fight it. A relatively new but formal example is the What We Know Podcast, by Anne McMullin and Matt Long. She has a Masters in clinical psychology and he has years of experience prosecuting cases of child abuse. They start very early on by talking about the human pathologies of narcissism and predation and they emphasize the importance of personal responsibility. And, although they do talk about their personal histories, the podcast is not Mormon-centric. They also talk about their respect for their Mormon identities and love for their Mormon kin and express a desire to for all good people to commit to making their communities safer.

 

McMullin is one of the rare ones criticizing the woman who let all the news out. Interesting you think I'm not aware of the podcast as you continue to change the topic of MY thread. I'm going to ask you formally to stop it. This is the OP:

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.

That is the topic of this thread. That was when I was only reading the good man with demons stuff. (I received push back for objecting to that by some in this thread.) It was quickly halted elsewhere. Meadowchick, I agree with you much of the time. Maybe most of the time. But this time, I'm disgusted with the hypocrisy and double standards of the critic group that always, always wants to section out their bad stuff and lay it at the feet of Mormonism even as they claim to be different people after discarding Mormonism. The leeway given this predator, the love, the excuses made would never, ever be seen if it was a practicing Mormon. Want to use the "but Mormons preach righteousness and have more responsibility" stuff? Well, this predator was on a podcast preaching that. I have yet to see that addressed at all. 

I have been open about my acknowledgment of the needed changes that critics have been a part of in the church. There is much that still needs to be done for women and girls. But pretending that predatory behavior...without a shred of data.... somehow has more of a place within the church than out of it is disgusting when this is a universal male problem in all cultures. I'm sick of it after watching all this unfold within the very community that considers itself the watchdog of all that is good and right.  Especially after more and more stories from women in that community emerge as to how they weren't believed when they complained about this guy.

So here is my question to you and the others, Meadowchick. We have had an extended period where there is no church for all practical purposes. Certainly no opportunities for all that institutional grooming. Has child sexual abuse decreased, Meadowchick?  

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7 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

The key features in that structure are in my opinion, 1)imbalance of power favoring men and weakening individual autonomy, 2)excessive trust in community members, 3)policing of female bodies as tempters of men through modesty rules, and 4)unhealthy attitudes about sex. 

1) I disagree with your assessment of autonomy, especially in regards to sex (which is what we are talking about).

2) I wouldn’t call our trust any more excessive then letting our kids participate in sports, school, baby sitters, sleep overs, etc.  I feel like we are all more cautious and careful in this day and age, but some level of trust is required for society to work and for children to receive outside influence.

3) while there might be valid complaints with this, what does it have to do with rape culture and sexual abuse of children?

4) I think our attitudes about sex are healthier then we see in popular culture and media. 
 

Edited by pogi
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9 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Systemic accountability is also about personal accountability. We agree on that point. 

I have also identified concepts of Mormonism which contribute to rape culture, and I have also pointed out that those who leave can still carry toxic ideas with them. Specifically, I talk about modesty rules, male authority, unhealthy sexual attitudes, and excessive trust. And I have not said that it stops there. If you are in ProgMo spaces then you may see others talking about personal responsibility. We have a personal responsibility to root out the toxins in ourselves, but we must also stop the flow at their sources.

Juliann, you cannot expect to have a productive conversation about ex-Mormon dysfunctionality if you refuse to talk about Mormonism.

That said, there are many no-longer-practicing Mormons who are addressing predation and how to fight it. A relatively new but formal example is the What We Know Podcast, by Anne McMullin and Matt Long. She has a Masters in clinical psychology and he has years of experience prosecuting cases of child abuse. They start very early on by talking about the human pathologies of narcissism and predation and they emphasize the importance of personal responsibility. And, although they do talk about their personal histories, the podcast is not Mormon-centric. They also talk about their respect for their Mormon identities and love for their Mormon kin and express a desire to for all good people to commit to making their communities safer.

 

I am glad that Anne has taken up the cause, but I will note that her attack on Lindsay Hansen Park was pretty obviously motivated partly by a personal grudge. And that seems to be par for the course. People are using this to single out other individuals and groups within the community they don't identify with and to lambaste them. The sad thing is, Tom Kimball perpetrated his crimes when he was active LDS and when he was Post-Mormon. It looks like he was pretty good at hoodwinking many people. And I am not sure that the LDS members who are using his Post-Mormon status to make this a Post-Mormon thing, where only Post-Mormon reactions to the situation are up for judgment, is not really just a dodge.

If he had been caught when he was active LDS, as he could (should?) have been those many years he was committing crimes within the LDS Church, then I am sure the same people pointing fingers at the Post-Mormon community now on account of its reaction to Tom would, if the shoe were on the other foot, so to speak, cry foul when Post-Mormons pointed their fingers at the LDS Church and its members for their reaction, or lack thereof. The truth is that we are all in the same Mormon community, even if we may not like that. Our similar experiences shape how we deal with things. If anything I would say that members of the Post-Mormon community have reacted too softly to this partly because they actively practice avoiding the rejection of others on the basis of sin, which is something that they--rightly or wrongly--associate with their experience as members of the LDS Church.

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25 minutes ago, Frater Lumen said:

I am glad that Anne has taken up the cause, but I will note that her attack on Lindsay Hansen Park was pretty obviously motivated partly by a personal grudge. And that seems to be par for the course. People are using this to single out other individuals and groups within the community they don't identify with and to lambaste them. The sad thing is, Tom Kimball perpetrated his crimes when he was active LDS and when he was Post-Mormon. It looks like he was pretty good at hoodwinking many people. And I am not sure that the LDS members who are using his Post-Mormon status to make this a Post-Mormon thing, where only Post-Mormon reactions to the situation are up for judgment, is not really just a dodge.

If he had been caught when he was active LDS, as he could (should?) have been those many years he was committing crimes within the LDS Church, then I am sure the same people pointing fingers at the Post-Mormon community now on account of its reaction to Tom would, if the shoe were on the other foot, so to speak, cry foul when Post-Mormons pointed their fingers at the LDS Church and its members for their reaction, or lack thereof. The truth is that we are all in the same Mormon community, even if we may not like that. Our similar experiences shape how we deal with things. If anything I would say that members of the Post-Mormon community have reacted too softly to this partly because they actively practice avoiding the rejection of others on the basis of sin, which is something that they--rightly or wrongly--associate with their experience as members of the LDS Church.

This only works if practicing Mormons hadn't been the topic of derision for decades. It is of note that I am seeing more conciliatory acknowledgment now that this doesn't only go one way. But each and every admission always ends with more jabs at active members. Meanwhile, the church itself has acknowledged the problem by the changes they have made. It can be argued it wasn't soon enough and it isn't enough, but one cannot say there hasn't been an acknowledgment of the problem within Mormonism. Where is this attempt at change in the community of critics who seem to exist to point fingers at everybody else, even to the ludicrous point of making it all a problem of Mormon upbringing as if child abuse exists nowhere else (certainly not amongst their community, apparently.)

So stop the preaching and clean up your own house. It's a bit late to suddenly start claiming, oh hey, we are really one big group when it comes to THIS topic so don't single us out like we do you! We are all the same! Um, no. You don't get to change the narrative when it gets too close to home. 

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And still the unanswered question for the child abuse apologists who continue to make this a Mormon thing, is pedophilia something that a person decides to do one day after being around too many Mormons or a disorder? Make up your minds.

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5 hours ago, JamesBYoung said:
5 hours ago, Calm said:

 

Common knowledge, which you also possess, easily supports my position

“Common knowledge” is not always accurate, it is just what is accepted. I prefer data. 
 

This requirement by me in no way implies I see these accusations as inherently false. I see them solely as unestablished.  It is possible they are valid, it is possible they have no solid founding, more likely in my view there is a complicated balance between protective for the child (for example, church teachings that is it not appropriate for dating until older extends the idea of a childhood where sexual activity is inappropriate, therefore adults treating children as sexual objects is taught as very wrong) action and action that possibly creates vulnerability (using lay bishops who may not take the time to find out from parents or the church’s guidelines on how to talk about sex with various age groups, both as individuals and groups, thus exposing some children to sexual ideas they were not prepared for).  
 

What I see as important is instead of solely focusing on actions that increase vulnerability and doing so in relatively vague ways and demand suspected actions be removed without examining these behaviours and their consequences in detail, it is as important to find behaviours that are protective and increase them. The Church has done quite a lot in this area. They can likely do more.

And while it is true the Church does not do the data gathering for us in most cases, that doesn’t give carte blanche for making unverified accusations.  Looking at similar situations with their findings is an option while remembering any variables that may affect the data (such as bishops do not choose to be bishops, but are chosen...a predator may choose to be a teacher or pastor in another faith in order to have more opportunities, it is much harder for a predator to maneuver into a clergy position, though very easy for teaching—just volunteering usually works in my experience—— in the Church).  For instance, in what situations are children most likely to confide in an adult that they are abused?  Should we not promote opportunities of such within the Church community?

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, juliann said:

This only works if practicing Mormons hadn't been the topic of derision for decades. It is of note that I am seeing more conciliatory acknowledgment now that this doesn't only go one way. But each and every admission always ends with more jabs at active members. Meanwhile, the church itself has acknowledged the problem by the changes they have made. It can be argued it wasn't soon enough and it isn't enough, but one cannot say there hasn't been an acknowledgment of the problem within Mormonism. Where is this attempt at change in the community of critics who seem to exist to point fingers at everybody else, even to the ludicrous point of making it all a problem of Mormon upbringing as if child abuse exists nowhere else (certainly not amongst their community, apparently.)

So stop the preaching and clean up your own house. It's a bit late to suddenly start claiming, oh hey, we are really one big group when it comes to THIS topic so don't single us out like we do you! We are all the same! Um, no. You don't get to change the narrative when it gets too close to home. 

Well, first of all, I do not identify as Post-Mormon. Or Ex-Mormon. I am a Mormon. It is not really my responsibility to tell Post-Mormons and Ex-Mormons what to do. I say we really are all sufficiently similar to come to terms with our shared problems and responsibilities, if the people who are amenable to acting adult and responsible will only make the effort to do so and cast aside their perceived divisions. Find the people who are willing to work in an adult and productive way, and then work with them. That is the charge that all of us who are concerned about this problem, including I, have.

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5 hours ago, juliann said:

question to you and the others, Meadowchick. We have had an extended period where there is no church for all practical purposes. Certainly no opportunities for all that institutional grooming. Has child sexual abuse decreased, Meadowchick?  

As a lawyer who practices in the area of childhood sexual abuse, I can assure you there aren't studies of abuse like this.

Groomers rely upon "affinity crimes" to obtain access to children.  A priest, a youth pastor, a bishop, a young men's president, a soccer coach, a Boy's and Girl's leader, a teacher, a track coach, a basketball coach, a guy who has daughters who has sleepovers.  A person who drives by an elementary school is a very desperate and rare individual. 

The Church will necessarily have higher numbers because the Church provides access to youth, and not because of historic doctrine.  

Groomers rely on the same tried-and-true methods of getting access to kids.  They are naturally attracted to become soccer coaches, teachers, and the like.  

Edited by Bob Crockett
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On 10/18/2020 at 4:03 PM, Bob Crockett said:

Groomers rely on the same tried-and-true methods of getting access to kids.  They are naturally attracted to become soccer coaches, teachers, and the like.

Which suggests that our Church’s process of mostly requesting people to fill callings rather than just asking for volunteers may be a protective measure that may dramatically decrease access.

Trying to think of a similar organization to use for comparison in this aspect, but not aware of any other churches that operate this way and ‘drafting’ into military (the only nonvolunteer organization I can think of) does not provide the family/child context....plus no saying ‘no’ with that. 

Edited by Calm
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9 minutes ago, juliann said:

Here is the difference. This wasn't even a topic of discussion here before I put this up. When a practicing Mormon commits a crime, it is all over the critics' blogs and forums. They write newspaper articles. They picket. They protest. Every problem, every possible crack of opportunity is examined endlessly as something the church promoted.

imagine for a moment what the Mormon themed internet would look like right now if a prominent member of the Mormon community who gave temple tours, wrote for the community, did podcasts criticizing child abuse in "the world" was caught as a perpetrator himself? It would go on for weeks. Everyone within his circle would be blamed, bishops would be excoriated.  But this? Crickets

And yet...it is clear that many knew. The worst I read was about Sunstone after a female worker had been harrassed and attacked. What did they do? Why, they warned the other women. Pretty much the kinda stuff that is way too common. Is Sunstone going to be given the same treatment as the church? Crickets. But wait, surely they will be more empathetic to those who have been in the same unwinnable situations and also failed. They will understand now, right? They will turn this into a compaign to protect all children rather that get that evil church. Right? Crickets. All we get is...demons. 

 

 

Is Sunstone a place where kids congregate and are put in the path of predatory pedophiles? Not that I've seen. I don't see kids at Sunstone.

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10 minutes ago, Frater Lumen said:

Is Sunstone a place where kids congregate and are put in the path of predatory pedophiles? Not that I've seen. I don't see kids at Sunstone.

This discussion bothers you so much that you resort to verbal shell games? What comes next? Neener neener? 

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2 hours ago, Frater Lumen said:

Is Sunstone a place where kids congregate and are put in the path of predatory pedophiles? Not that I've seen. I don't see kids at Sunstone.

You apparently don’t believe these is a need for organizations  to help protect women then, correct?  Does that mean you are also letting the Church off for any future adult victims of abusers leaders have been warned about?

——


Kimball sexually harassed an adult woman who took over his job when he knew she would be alone in the building for over an hour. She describes herself as traumatized.  She stated Signature Books acted to protect her in the future at work.  But given how major players have said there weren’t even rumors, it seems pretty clear they did nothing further or more would have known.  I am not condemning them for not acting on a wider basis, I just think the same standard of judgment should be applied to church leaders who are likely at a loss of what to do as well at times and do the best they know how.

PS: it was Signature Books, not Sunstone

Edited by Calm
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