CASE REPORTS OF THE MORMON ALLIANCE
STATEMENTS BY PARENTS AND OTHERS ABOUT ECCLESIASTICAL RELUCTANCE TO ACT ON REPORTED ABUSE
Although denial about sexual abuse in the Church operates on many levels, one of the most difficult aspects of the dynamic for most active Latter-day Saints to believe is that an ecclesiastical leader will fail to respond appropriately when he receives a report of child sexual abuse. President Hinckley appeared to take this position when Mike Wallace asked his response to the statement: "The sociologists tell us, at the root of the problem is the fact that men in effect in your church have authority over women, so that your clergymen tend to sympathize with the men, the abusers, instead of the abused." President Hinckley countered, "That’s one person’s opinion. I don’t think there’s any substance to it. Now, there’ll be a blip here, a blip there, a mistake here, a mistake there. But by and large the welfare of women and children is as seriously considered as is the welfare of the men, in this church, if not more so."1(See Chapter 3 for a discussion of this point.)
Although reliable generalizable data does not exist to confirm or deny his claim, this chapter provides anecdotal information to indicate that some bishops and stake presidents disbelieve and even punish victims, cover up for perpetrators, and, in extreme cases, harass and intimidate victims to prevent disclosures that they feel are embarrassing to the Church.
The chapter contains the following material:
This study is an important source of information on the topic of child sexual abuse among Mormon women conducted by four sociologists: Karen E. Gerdes, Martha N. Beck, Sylvia Cowan-Hancock, and Tracey Wilkinson-Sparks. They published their findings, "Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Case of Mormon Women," in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work 11 (Spring 1996): 39-60.2
The authors, two of whom were LDS and two of whom were not, are careful to put Mormonism in context for non-Mormon readers. They describe it as a culture with positive associations for the term patriarchy, one in which every worthy male over age twelve is ordained to the priesthood but in which "unworthiness" is punished by restrictions on priesthood. The orderly progression through Mormon priesthood hierarchy is determined by regular and periodic worthiness interviews which require "more and more stringent adherence to Mormonism’s code of conduct" (43). Mormon priesthood is defined as an obligation to serve others, particularly those who lack priesthood such as women and children, and others who are "below them in the chain of authority" (44). Coupled with explicit denunciations of abuse from the pulpit,
In contrast, the researchers found that only twelve (17 percent) of the women had positive interactions with their Church leaders when they disclosed their abuse. Forty-nine (69 percent) had negative experiences, and ten (14 percent) had not talked to church leaders, because they "had no confidence in their leaders’ ability to help them." (50).3 Although there is no way of knowing if these numbers represent the larger cross-section of abused Mormon women, the figures are startling. They mean that almost five out of six Mormon women who went to an ecclesiastical leader after being sexually abused as a child had a negative experience while another fraction stayed away out of fear of such a reaction. These women described their leaders as
…Ten women felt "threatened" because they believed they would be punished or silenced if they came forward with allegations of abuse. One woman went to her bishop in an effort to gain control over life choices that she felt were destructive. She explained that she had been sexually abused as a child and believed that the abuse was a primary factor in her compulsive behavior. As a result of her revelations to the bishop, she was excommunicated, which, she said, "emphasized that I was no good and not worthy of anything."
The minority of helpful priesthood leader’s had personal experience (someone in his family had been abused), had received training "or was open to learning about [abuse] from the victim’s therapist," or recognized his lack of expertise and referred the woman to a therapist, in some cases paying for the therapy from Church funds. Their attitudes were "nonjudgmental" and "affirming" (49-50).
A particularly painful lack of understanding on the part of priesthood leaders for the women who had had negative experiences was their insisting that the woman "forgive" her perpetrator. Fifty women (70 percent) expressed "frustration or guilt" over these messages. The leaders seemed to believe that forgiveness resulted in healing. In contrast, the women felt that forgiveness was "a gift" that God bestowed near the end of the healing process. One leader promised an abused woman that if she forgave the perpetrator, she "would forget that the abuse had ever occurred." Others were told that remembering the abuse was "evidence [that] they had not ‘forgiven’ sufficiently."
Thirty-seven (52 percent) of the women felt they had forgiven their perpetrators but commented:
The thirty-four women (48 percent) who had not yet forgiven their perpetrators said things like this:
The authors comment:
The researchers also found that forty women "identified ways in which the Mormon religious organization or leadership failed to support, hindered, or frustrated their spiritual development," forty "believed that patriarchy interfered with their spiritual growth ("It’s like being abused again because we are under a patriarchal system.... Why do they have to learn at our expense?"), twenty-five felt anger at God, and five who associated their abuse with "fatherhood" expressed frustration at being cut off from an open relationship with Heavenly Mother (54-55).
A final finding was that sixty-five (92 percent) of the abuse survivors felt that Mormon culture did not aid in their recovery because it forced them to maintain a public identity at odds with their private selves. It maintained a heavy-handed "code of silence." Abuse was "a taboo topic," said one woman. "I feel like I can never share myself with people. I can’t share my thoughts because sometimes they are not pleasant." One woman said, "I don’t want to be just exactly like everybody else and I want to be accepted for who I am, [but instead] I feel a lot of pressure to be perfect." Another woman was nicknamed "Serenity" by her friends because of her placid demeanor, but inwardly "I was thinking about committing suicide." One woman, who was the president of her Beehive and MLA Maid classes while she was being abused (apparently by her brother, who was the deacons’ quorum president), commented on the "good" facade. "I think that’s why the bishop wouldn’t believe what happened.
No one believes it anyway. So then it feels like you are telling a lie even if you are telling the truth" (55-56).
The researchers commented on the "double bind" for Mormon abuse victims:
Given the fact that sexual abuse by a trusted male shatters the image of a benevolent patriarchal system, how did the researchers explain that fifty-nine (83 percent) of the women were still active? Ironically, it was because these women were able to separate "church leadership structure from their personal spiritual beliefs." They add:
Certainly, the willingness of Mormon abuse survivors to maintain belief and participation in Church activity if leaders refrain from punishment should send a strong message about the enormous amount of good that leaders who are spiritually and intellectually ready to provide positive support.
This study also raises serious doubts about the accuracy of President Hinckley’s statement that unsupportive priesthood leaders are "a blip here, a blip there." Obviously more research needs to be done with random samples and generalizable results. But in this group alone, 69 percent of Mormon women sexually abused as children had negative experiences (including disfellowshipping and excommunication) when they disclosed their abuse to their bishops as adults while another 14 percent (a total of 83 percent) feared to do so lest they be punished. Nor does this study support President Hinckley’s claim that there’s "no substance" to Wallace’s suggestion that "your clergymen tend to sympathize with the men, the abusers, instead of the abused."APRIL DANIELS AND CAROL SCOTT
Writing under the pseudonyms of April Daniels and Carol Scott, two women a generation apart recorded their devastating discovery of the havoc abuse had wreaked in their families. Their story appears in Paperdolls: Healing from Sexual Abuse in Mormon Neighborhoods (Salt Lake City: Palingenesia Press, 1990). All of the names in this account are pseudonyms. Since its publication, there have been additional developments, which are appended to the summary.
The story begins with April, who as a child between the ages of about five and her early teens, was fondled, sodomized, vaginally penetrated with fingers, lighted candles, and other objects, including a loaded pistol. The perpetrators were teenage boys in her Salt Lake City neighborhood, including her older brother, Tom, her father, cousins, and at least two adult men in the neighborhood, at least three college-age men, and neighborhood teenagers. "Counting my brothers and their friends, there are close to twenty. We didn’t count kids my age. The others were about seven years older." (65). They also urinated on her, forced her to clean their penises with her tongue after their ejaculation, locked her naked in a rabbit cage, and posed her for nude pornography drawings with other children. One of them anally raped her just after her baptism, despite her pleas that she didn’t want to be "nasty" any more. He told her, "‘We can do it because I’m a priest."’ Another brother, Byron, witnessed the abuse and was also sodomized; he later married a woman who had been sexually abused as a child and was a rageaholic.
April’s family was, on the surface, impeccably Mormon. The parents were almost compulsively religious, temple-goers, active, and pillars of the ward. Both brothers went on fulltime proselytizing missions and married in the temple. April’s oldest sister also married in the temple. Her parents had an equally solid social position as owners of a financial institution in which she had a responsible position as an adult. But beneath the surface brightness was sickness. April’s parents were secret alcoholics who took pornographic photographs of each other with the family Polaroid. When April was seven, her father, whom she suspects was also abused as a child, orally raped her so hard that her front teeth were loose for six months. Her mother had a nervous breakdown when April was born. She never commented on the smell of urine on April’s clothes, never noticed the blood and semen on her panties, and never heard her when she sobbed for hours at night. She made jokes about how April wasn’t a "morning person" because she was always exhausted in the mornings and couldn’t eat without getting sick. April developed at least one multiple personality, fantasized that she could become a boy, became a compulsive runner, finally went into therapy for her bulimia, and began recovering memories of her abuse when she was in her early thirties.
April’s and Carol’s families were linked by friendship. Carol Scott, April’s co-author, whose children grew up in April’s neighborhood, commented that of the children in April’s peer group, six are dead, three by suicide. "Three in and out of institutions. Five with eating disorders or drug abuse. Every single one of those kids was involved in the atrocity April is remembering" (52).
Carol Scott was close to the age of April’s mother. April was good friends with Carol’s younger daughters. An older daughter, Loraine, married Tom’s best friend, Hank, a returned missionary, in the temple. They had four children: Timothy, age eight, Isabel, five, Courtney, three, and a new baby. Carol’s son Jake and his wife, Sara, lived in the same ward as Loraine and Hank. Jake and Sara had two children: five-year-old Cynthia and three-year-old Claire.
The abuse had no Satanic elements, Carol believes, but the "touching parties" followed a ritualized format: first they would show pornographic videos of children, the children would undress, masturbate each other, have oral sex and anal sex with everyone by turns
Hank would "dance" wearing only the top half of his garments. Geraldine would hold the girls’ vaginas open while "‘the boys put something tickly up there."’ The children were forced to drink urine mixed with feces. "Treats" would be taped to the baby’s penis "so the kids would like to suck them off." (108)
The abuse took other forms as well. They put ice cubes in three-year-old Courtney’s vagina, told Isabel they were going to put an ice pick in her vagina "to see how far it could go without bleeding." (88)
At Hank’s mother’s house
Once these horrors had spilled out, Timothy came sobbing into Carol’s room in the middle of the same night. Something else had happened, something too awful to tell, something they had made him do. Carol had to promise not to tell his mother. Finally he could write it down in his second-grade printing: "‘They made us drink kofey."’
All this information was immediately given to the police, the bishop, and the stake president. The children also alleged that two teenaged boys performed sexual acts on the children in their own homes, as girlfriends of these boys were tending them. Although these boys did not live in the ward and the children did not know their names, Timothy and Courtney identified the same boys when the police showed them yearbook pictures. Each of these identifications occurred in two isolated interviews.
Five-year-old Cynthia also identified the two teenage boys from a high school yearbook. "Sure enough they were friends of Geraldine. The police apparently were not impressed" (107). Cynthia said the apostle’s son-in-law strangled a kitten and made the children help bury it. "We can do this to [three-year-old] Claire," they told Cynthia. "We’ll bury her right here by the kitty if you ever tell." The apostle’s daughter threatened to drop Claire in the road so she’d be run over.
The bishop told Loraine that she should believe Hank, not her children, because he was a "worthy priesthood holder." The stake president said he believed the children and he would try to initiate Church action. He later told the family that he could not get approval from higher Church authorities.
Meanwhile, in 1986, Hank voluntarily entered the sexual offenders’ treatment program at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He acknowledged to medical personnel there that he remembered abusing his children, his nieces, and other neighborhood children, reported details of the "sex parties" at the home of the apostle’s daughter and son-in-law, and remembered his mother sexually abusing him during his own childhood. His intent was to plea bargain upon release from Johns Hopkins. When he learned that his former wife would not let the children appear in court,4 he recanted on all of these admissions but he relinquished all visitation rights when the divorce became final in the summer of 1986. Loraine applied to the First Presidency for a cancellation of sealing. It was granted.
The reaction of Church officials ranged from noncommittal to cold. In early spring 1987, at the stake president’s invitation, Loraine wrote:
Dear President ____:
You have asked me to advise you of my current circumstances surrounding my divorce...
As Loraine’s letter indicates, Hank’s remarriage was another blow. Elaine (pseudonym), his new wife, had two small daughters. When Hank sued for visitation rights with his children, Elaine attended the hearing at which the children’s therapists gave detailed reports and at which Hank’s records from Johns Hopkins were reviewed. The court denied all visitation. Elaine heard all of the testimony but told Carol that she did not believe these "lies" and that her place was with her husband.
Norton, the children’s grandfather, became deeply depressed in the fall of 1986 and took his pistol to the safety deposit box to eliminate one means of committing suicide. As a businessman, as someone with Church connections,
When April, visiting a friend, attended the Young Women’s class she co-taught, she walked out during the other teacher’s lesson on chastity and demanded of her friend, "‘What about the incest victims?… There were over twenty girls in that class. I’m certain that a couple of them just had their hearts wrung through a wringer.’ Laurel just stared at me. She commented that she had never thought of it that way before" (79). At Carol’s request, April talked to Hank’s stake president. He arranged for her to meet with two General Authorities:
April was never called as a witness. There were no disciplinary councils.
The story continued after the publication of Paperdolls. In the summer of 1992, Carol’s two youngest daughters and one of their husbands met with Hank’s current bishop and his stake president. They sought this meeting with these ecclesiastical leaders as part of their own healing. They pled with Hank’s priesthood leaders to take action to right the wrong that had been done and to protect children to whom Hank still had access. Carol reports: "These authorities told us they were worried Hank might kill himself if they took action against him, but they said they believed us. They said they would have to check with their legal department and get back to us. We heard no further response from them." Carol’s son-in-law wrote to the stake president later:
A copy went to Elder Loren C. Dunn, then area president. Two of the women initiated a civil suit against Hank for damages from his abuse when they were children. Criminal action was not possible because the statute of limitation had run out. Even though Hank was an attorney and a member of the Utah Bar, he did not contest the suit, and the women were awarded a default judgment for $5 million. Their "damages" consisted of a token $100 a month, as Hank had sought protection from previous creditors by declaring bankruptcy. He also had never paid any child support for his four children.
In 1992 an adult woman who had read Paperdolls called Carol and said, "I know who Hank is. I lived in that same East Bench neighborhood in Salt Lake. He abused me for four years when I was a child, right up until he left on his mission." She had gone to Hank’s current bishop and stake president and told her own story of Hank’s abuse of her, hoping they might warn families in his present ward. But nothing ever happened.
In fall 1993, Hank was fired from his position with the State Tax Commission, allegedly for sexually harassing a teenage female employee. Carol and her daughters were amazed to be told later that Hank’s mortgage was paid from ward welfare funds for many months, a payment authorized by Hank’s bishop, who apparently felt that Hank’s financial needs took precedence over his victims’ claims.
After the agony of years, Carol, reported to me in the spring of 1996 the ending of this story for Hank—though not the end of his bitter legacy for his victims. She had learned these details when Hank’s second wife, Elaine, called her. A year before in the spring of 1995, Hank and Elaine separated, due to a number of stresses on their marriage. Hank left the state for another job. When Elaine told her two daughters by her first marriage and the son she had borne to Hank that she planned to divorce him, the three children told their mother of their years of sexual and physical abuse at his hands. "He did it to us when we were bad," they said. "He wasn’t always mean, just sometimes. He said he was teaching us to mind and be good." Elaine called Hank, told him that the children were in therapy, and that she was going to see him "rot in jail for what he’d done."
Hank disappeared from his job. Elaine later learned that he had returned to his mother’s home in Salt Lake City. The morning after his return, his mother found him dead from an overdose of prescription and nonprescription drugs. A suicide note addressed to his stepdaughters said he loved them and would never do anything to hurt them but also said that he knew God would forgive and understand his death because he could not continue the destruction of more lives. Carol comments, "Like the rest of his life, it was a double and confusing message." The ultimate irony for Carol is that he died in a bed in his mother’s house, where his own abuse had begun.
Although Elaine had earlier rejected attempts to warn her that her children would be in danger if she married Hank, she now told Carol, "I know I never listened to all of you," she said. "But if a church leader had told me what they knew about him, I would have listened. And if he had been excommunicated when his other children first told, I never would have married him." She added, "The bishop and others in the ward have helped me a lot, but I wish I could have been directly warned."
Carol summarizes bleakly, "I know of at least thirty people Hank molested when they were children. There were many adults along his path who knew of his behavior. One of us should have been able to stop him and maybe to help him. Hank was never called to a disciplinary council, and we have never been given an explanation for this lack of Church action against him. We believe that Church officers shielded Hank from ecclesiastical action and even paid his bills because of his connection to an apostle’s family."6
Margaret Fuller, a Mormon mother, appeared on the 28 June 1993 CNN talk show of Dr. Sonya Friedman with Deborah Laake, author of the controversial memoir Secret Ceremonies: A Mormon Woman’s Intimate Diary of Marriage and Beyond (New York: Morrow, 1993), in which she described the temple endowment. Other participants were Sharlene Wells Hawkes, Miss America 1985 and, at that point, a football reporter for ESPN, and Beverly Campbell, Washington, D.C.-based spokesperson for the Church.
Margaret Fuller, though much interrupted, told her story of marrying her first husband in the temple. (Apparently she had earlier been endowed, since she says she had been going to the temple for twenty years and that the marriage lasted seventeen years.) She had been a Relief Society president "in two states, and I was at BYU myself as an undergraduate, and I went through the mate selection process very similar" to Deborah Laake’s. She alleges that her husband, a bi-sexual, sexually abused the children; but ecclesiastical leaders provided such support that he retained custody of the two younger (adoptive) children, while the two older (non-adopted) children were granted to Margaret.
When Friedman asked incredulously, "Surely, you don’t believe that the church knew about that [the abuse]," Fuller retorted, "They absolutely did know about it…And the church authorities knew about the sexual abuse of my daughter by my ex-husband’s father for a period of three years. That was known. When I found out about it, I filed for prosecution in Salt Lake City. The next thing I knew, I got a call from Oscar McConkie, the head attorney of the Mormon Church. And two weeks later, the prosecutor said they would not prosecute the grandfather. It made the... Philadelphia Inquirer. It was nation-wide news. He was never prosecuted. Now, when my child wakes up screaming in the night, [I want]…to answer, they did know about it. There [were] at least 20 general authorities and church authorities that knew about her abuse." Fuller sought custody of the two younger children for seven years through the courts of five states. Her younger son, while in the custody of his father, "had been raped by his stepbrother, who is now serving a mission in the Mormon Church."
Fuller, like Laake, tied male dominance and its abuse directly to the Mormon priesthood structure. "Embodied in this temple ceremony are radical ideas about the only true church in the world, and that the men that lead this church are the only true prophets, they’re the only people who speak to God, and that they hold your salvation in their hands. When I could no longer accept those [beliefs] as the basis for religious belief, I made the decision to not only leave my first husband and the church—and I accepted their excommunication [of me]…. No other church commands the civil authority of an entire stake [state] so that they can implement whatever they want and whenever they want. The temple ceremony was the basis, the rationale for hiding the abuse of my children. When I left, they said, ‘The children are sealed to your ex-husband. You will never see your children again.’ Those were the exact words from the stake president and the bishop."7
Andrea Moore Emmett
Note: Andrea gave this presentation in August 1994, as part of a Sunstone Symposium panel, "Child Sexual Abuse in the LDS Community," moderated by Martan B. Smith, Audiotape SL94-273. It is printed here by her permission.
From the statistics available to us concerning child sexual abuse, we all know that it is a crime that can and does happen in all neighborhoods, crossing all social-economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds. None of us is naive enough to think that, "it can’t happen here." We all know that it can, and does. We know that it is rampant within our society and that the repercussions are enormous. We all know these things intellectually, and we click our tongues when we hear the statistics. We shake our heads when a story hits the news, usually one of the more sensational and usually somewhere else.
Statistically speaking, if it hasn’t already, it will happen in your neighborhood. It will happen to someone you know and care about. It may occur right under your nose or down the street. Never mind the faceless statistics that made it "their" problem. Now it’s yours and the human family is never the same again.
To one side of me across the street is a home-run unlicensed daycare center. The typical Mormon mom who operates the daycare center has done so for decades and, more recently, to supplement her income after her husband left her and those of their ten children still living at home. This seems the ideal place for child-care to many parents. A completely fenced yard holds big shade trees and "Li’l’ Tykes" toys. The location is convenient, and no one seems more qualified for child-care than a Mormon mother with extra helping hands from her teenage sons and daughter.
Then in the spring of 1993, one of the sons who had been on his mission for approximately a year was suddenly brought back home on child molestation charges. A detective from the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department began contacting some of the parents. Where parents would allow it, children were also questioned. The evidence of abuse piled up.
Although this pedophile significantly molested numerous children for a number of years, including after his nineteenth birthday, he was considered only a "first time offender." He went to trial and subsequently spent two weeks in the county jail between Thanksgiving and Christmas. His name never appeared in the papers. To this day, his pedophilia is the best kept secret in the ward and neighborhood. If I had not had another neighbor who was also a friend (I will call her Beth), whose child was one of the victims in this case, I would still not know what had happened right next door.
Beth called the bishop and identified herself as the mother of one of the victims. You can only imagine the emotion in her voice as she inquired what measures of ecclesiastical discipline had been taken toward the pedophile. The bishop’s reply was, "The young man has been disfellowshipped." Then he added rather jovially, "And we have gotten him a job so that he’ll be too busy to get into any more trouble." End of conversation.
Not in that conversation or in any following did this bishop ever offer any expression of sorrow or regret for what had happened to Beth’s child or for them as a family.
Beth and her family soon moved and were living in a new ward in the Salt Lake Valley. They were aware that, through the stipulations of the probation agreement, the pedophile had to undergo therapy. In his case the therapy was being provided free from LDS Social Services. Because of the nature and the enormity of what they were dealing with and because they had no coverage for therapy, Beth asked the former bishop if there would be any therapy from LDS Social Services available to the victims or their families. His answer was an emphatic, "No." She then contacted her new bishop. He declined to believe her story and added that they could not seek any therapy from LDS Social Services without an okay from the former bishop. Beth told me that these men, in every conversation with her, spoke to her in a condescending manner and conveyed to her that they considered her a troublemaker who was wasting their time.
In a conversation I had myself with the bishop over this case, he expounded on how "the young man" was experiencing the miracle of forgiveness. He proudly told me how he and the other members of the bishopric had rallied around "the young man" to help him through his trials. With glistening eyes he said, "I want you to know that." I was supposed to be inspired by the depth of his concern.
My written reply was and continues to be: "This is but one more example of the men in the brotherhood/Church siding with one of their own against the innocent. The Church rides women (and others) out of the Church and state on a rail for stating public opinions which might embarrass the Church and its members, while it gives aid and support to pedophiles. It is repeatedly obvious that women and children, who are considered the extension of men in patriarchy, are expendable chattel and matter only as a body count for the Church. I bear witness that what the men of this Church have done to women they will have to pay for, but they can never atone for what they have done to ‘the least of these,’ the children."
As of this date, the pedophile and his family are pretending to ward members and neighbors that he just recently returned from his mission and that he gave his "coming home talk" in his father’s ward. He has contact with many nephews and nieces while remaining on probation. His mother, along with four other teenage children, continues to operate her unlicensed day care.
Beth and her family seek recovery and spirituality from other sources, not connected in any way with the Church, and so do I and mine. The booklet for ecclesiastical leaders, Child Abuse, states: "If any people ought to shun abusive activities and administer comfort... it should be the Latter-day Saints. Child abuse is defined as any time an adult threatens or causes physical or mental harm. Church members should strive to exemplify Christ like attributes in all their relations and avoid cruelty and other inappropriate behavior toward family members and others."8
Marion Smith’s investigative report, published in the spring of 1996 in Event, a Salt Lake City alternative paper, focused specifically on the instances of betrayal and "blame the victim" behaviors on the part of ecclesiastical leaders. Drawing on her experience as a therapist in child sexual abuse and as founder and first director of the Intermountain Specialized Abuse Treatment Center, she affirmed:
"When support is not given, and victims are disbelieved, blamed, or are counseled not to pursue the matter, the individual is betrayed by his or her extended religious family in whom trust has been invested as freely as [in] protective and nurturing parents.... When children are sexually abused by Church members, then abused again with acts of denial and cover-up by their ecclesiastical leaders, it creates a double betrayal." She reported the following cases from among her own past clients:
Marion also reported another kind of official cover-up, this time by LDS Social Services, who asked a bishop in southern Utah to foster a fifteen-year-old boy who was "troubled" and "needed a good environment." According to the child advocate who reported the case to Marion, LDS personnel "knew that the boy had a history of sexually abusing children, but they did not warn the bishop." The boy molested the bishop’s children, devastating the family.10
Notes: (Click on the Back button to return to the original reference.)
1 Mike Wallace interviewing Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Mormons," a segment of "60 Minutes," CBS, aired 7 April 1996. Videotape and transcript in my possession.
2 This article appeared in March and the producer of this particular segment of "60 Minutes," Robert G. Anderson, received a copy of the article from a friend of one of the authors. Mike Wallace returned to Salt Lake City and did additional taping to discuss the topic of sexual abuse with President Hinckley. The research was supported by an Eccles Foundation Grant, administered by the Women’s Research Institute at Brigham Young University where all four of the authors were then teaching. When the article was published, Gerdes was director of the BSW program at the School of Social Work at Arizona State University, Tempe. Martha N. Beck was a faculty associate at the American Graduate School of International Management at Phoenix. Sylvia Cowan-Hancock was visiting professor in the School of Social Work at Brigham Young University, and Tracey Wilkinson-Sparks had recently received a graduate degree in social work from BYU.