Chapter 16
Home Up

VOLUME 1, 1995









In early June 1994, Merradyth and Jack moved to Cedar Lake, Oklahoma, a quiet country town where they could put some distance between themselves and events unrolling in Silver Ward. They received an answer to their March letter to the First Presidency, not from the First Presidency but from Elder W. Mack Lawrence, president of the North America Southwest Area, with copies to the First Presidency and President Fulton. The letter, dated 29 June 1994 read:

The First Presidency has referred your letter of March 23, 1994, to us for response.

We have on file one item of prior correspondence from you dated August 31, 1993, listing allegations against a Brother Stan Powell with respect to your son, Scott. Contrary to your suggestion that the Church made no response to that letter, we remind you that Elder Gerald Putnam, Regional Representative, was commissioned to investigate these allegations. Elder Putnam produced a thorough report of his interviews and fact-gathering in December [1993], including his interviews with you and others you recommended. Further information came to the attention of Stake President Leon M. Fulton earlier this year, and based on that information, together with Elder Putnam’s report and his own research, President Fulton last March convened a stake disciplinary council which took appropriate action with respect to Brother Powell. We believe [that] your concerns expressed to the First Presidency have been deliberately and carefully handled by local priesthood leaders. We are also advised that the proper government authorities are handling those aspects of the matter within their jurisdiction.

Separately, you requested that the First Presidency appoint a presiding officer in the place of President Fulton to conduct a stake disciplinary council that had been scheduled with respect to Sister McCallister. We are advised that President Fulton has referred that matter to Bishop Neal P. Hancock so that any future disciplinary council will be conducted by Bishop Hancock. Since that action effectively honors your request, no action by the First Presidency is deemed necessary.

Having endured the pain of the offense you alleged, we would hope that you would refrain from publishing unsubstantiated claims of wrongdoing that may cause similar anguish to other individuals and families. We hope that you will now go forward with your lives, and with the help of your bishops, work to bring about a spiritual healing for Scott and all of your family. We refer you to the wise counsel of Elder Richard G. Scott of the Council of the Twelve in his April 1994 General Conference address entitled "To Be Healed," a copy of which is enclosed.

This letter was far from satisfactory. Elder Lawrence’s vague sentence left the impression that someone else had brought the other evidence about Powell to Fulton’s attention, that the "anguish" of mistaken accusation was the equivalent of being sexually abused, and that Putnam’s report, which they had not been allowed to review, was complete and accurate. Nor did Elder Scott’s talk (see Chapter 1) provide the desired comfort.

On the same day, 29 June 1994, Elder Lawrence also dictated a letter to Mary in response to her appeal for a new judge:

The First Presidency has referred your letter dated April 28, 1994, to us for response.

You requested that the First Presidency appoint a presiding officer in the place of President Leon M. Fulton, Oklahoma City Park Stake, to conduct a stake disciplinary council to which you had been summoned. We are advised that President Fulton has referred the matter to Bishop Neal P. Hancock so that any future disciplinary council will be conducted by Bishop Hancock. Since that action effectively honors your request, no action by the First Presidency is deemed necessary.

At about this time, the McCallisters and Mary Plourde were invited to participate on a panel at the Sunstone Symposium, scheduled for the second week in August in Salt Lake City. Although only Jack’s name appeared in the initial publicity, the McCallisters and Mary feel that it drew President Fulton’s angry attention to them again.


On 20 July 1994, Merradyth received a letter from Bishop Hancock informing her that a disciplinary council was scheduled for Sunday, 31 July.

... because you were reported to be guilty of conduct contrary to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, i.e., apostasy and unChristlike conduct.

... You are invited to attend this disciplinary council to give your response and, if you wish, provide witnesses or other evidence in your behalf. If you desire to provide witnesses, a list of such witnesses and a brief statement of their expected testimony should be provided to me through my executive secretary, Gordon Bell, no later than July 28, 1994. All nonmember witnesses that you might want to testify must be cleared by me before they are allowed to testify.

If there is any good reason why you cannot be present, please notify me in due time. In the event of your absence, without such prior notice, action must be taken in accordance with the evidence and established procedures of the Church in such matters. If you need to reach me for any reason, contact Brother Bell... or my personal secretary..., during working hours. Please provide information as to how I can contact you both during the daytime and evening. I will thereafter call you as soon as possible.

On Thursday, 28 July 1994, Floyd W. Taylor, wrote to Bishop Hancock, explaining that he legally represented Jack, Merradyth, and Scott McCallister and that they were responding to the July 10 letter informing Merradyth of her pending disciplinary council for "apostasy and unChristlike conduct."

I realize that your Church does not concern itself with affording due process in such cases [Taylor continued]; however, as an attorney I believe you would agree with me that one should be given at least a rudimentary idea of the factual basis of the accusations which occasion a hearing in which penalties of any kind can be imposed. Your letter does not inform Mrs. McAllister as to the alleged facts upon which accusations of apostasy and unChristlike conduct are based. This is fundamentally wrong and unfair.

He hypothesizes that the charges resulted from Merradyth’s

going public with allegations of abuse against minors having been perpetrated by Latter-day Saint clergy. The Church apparently found that her allegations were not entirely imaginary, since one of those against whom her allegations were made has been excommunicated after investigation. Furthermore, mental health professionals as eminent as Richard Sternlof, Ph.D., and others, have opined that there is proper basis for Mrs. McCallister’s belief that Mormon children have been abused. I am enclosing a copy of my March 14, 1994, letter to President Fulton. I believe the content of that letter to be relevant to the present inquiry.

As far back as July 1990, LDS Bishop Glenn L. Pace authored what was intended to be an internal memo documenting serious concern about possible ritualistic child abuse practices by Latter-day Saint members. Bishop Pace claimed to have interviewed 60 victims. ... Was Bishop Pace subjected to a disciplinary council? Was he threatened with disfellowshipment or excommunication?

It is my belief that your Church is making a serious mistake by taking punitive action against the mother of a victim of child abuse, whose only crime is attempting to get her Church to address an issue which has already been documented, in order to get something done to protect children. Mrs. McCallister’s behavior is Christ-like in this regard. I would also suggest that your Church’s behavior toward Mrs. McCallister is reminiscent of something which occurred within my own Church 400 years ago: the Star Chamber. Subjecting this brave woman to a disciplinary council is simply shameful.


Floyd W. Taylor

On the Friday night before the court, 29 July, Bishop Hancock called Merradyth and began a conversation that Jack, who had been hoping that he would "at least be neutral," described as "hacking at Merradyth." Merradyth was not thrown off balance. Instead, she remained steadfastly focused on her main goal of protecting the children. She asked him, "What about Stan Powell? Does he still have access to youth through the Church? What kind of man would masturbate in front of another man in a bathroom on a college campus?"

Uneasily, Bishop Hancock said, "I don’t know anything about that."

Jack "gave up" at that point. "He was lying to say he didn’t know about it because we’d told him ourselves and given him copies of the police report. I’m sure he thought it was for a good cause, but how could he have the Spirit of the Lord with him when he was lying? It seemed really clear to me at that point—the children are expendable, because if they acknowledge that Powell is a perpetrator, then people will start to ask how God can call perverts."

The McCallisters had heard reports that the missionaries were telling people that the McCallisters "made all this up." They were sympathetic with people’s discomfort over the issue. "I wouldn’t have wanted to know either," said Jack. Merradyth had had people refuse the packets she handed out summarizing Scott’s and Jack’s abuse and quoting from the court documents because, they would say, "We don’t want to take sides. We don’t want to read it" Merradyth’s response was always the same: "I’d say, what sides are you talking about? The issue here is child abuse. Are you for it or against it?"

Merradyth declined to appear at the disciplinary council when Bishop Hancock refused to allow any nonmember witnesses or experts on child abuse to testify. She took issue with his claim that "they wouldn’t understand how the Lord’s Church works or the way we do things here in the Church." Merradyth had wanted Roseanne and Maxine Hales to testify about the abuse to the Campbell children, but Bishop Hancock "scoffed" that they would have nothing germane to say. Merradyth, after thinking and praying about her options, sent Bishop Hancock a terse letter via her son Scott and daughter Tara McCallister Godwin. In a taped description of the proceedings, Tara described how she, carrying her baby, Skyler, was met at the door and escorted to a room by Gordon Bell, the executive secretary.

When Tara’s husband, Ted, came in and told her that Scott was in the office with the bishopric, Tara wondered if they were deliberately trying to keep her separated from Scott, since Merradyth had made it clear to Bishop Hancock that she wanted both children to be present She went to the bishop’s office, where a hall monitor was standing by the door, opened it without knocking, and then used her shoulder to drive it open. Scott was alone with the three members of the bishopric and a clerk who was taking minutes.

The bishop jumped to his feet and exclaimed, "You’re not invited."

Tara announced calmly, "Yes, I am. My mom invited me. I’m on the list" She seated herself next to Scott. She had been meditating and praying that she would be calm and unafraid. "I didn’t want my voice to be shaky," said this diminutive dark-haired young woman.

The bishop said, "We don’t want any contention or angry feelings." Tara replied, "Well, I guess it’s a little late for that, isn’t it?"

"Why are you here?" he asked.

"Scott and I are on the list," she reminded him. "My mom wanted us here."

"Well," said the bishop doubtfully, "we really wanted her in here but Scott’s here on her behalf."

"No, he’s not," contradicted Tara. "Scott is here to say what he has to say, but Scott is not here speaking for her. She has written her statement and that’s what she wants to say.

Her entrance had interrupted the discussion Scott was having with them, and they agreed to continue it, but the feeling in the room was very heavy and oppressive. When Scott’s pager beeped, all three members of the bishopric "jumped to seize Scott’s mobile phone, exclaiming, ‘He’s wired!"’

Despite the bishopric’s obvious nervousness and discomfort, Scott remained focused. He had prepared carefully and thoughtfully, "almost like a missionary discussion," Tara said admiringly, with three pictures of Jesus in various scenes and stories by which he hoped to make his point Scott showed the bishop a picture of Jesus cleansing the temple and asked, "What is Jesus doing here?"

The bishop turned the question back, "Well, what do you think he’s doing, Scott?"

Scott started to tell him how sexual abuse defiled the temple of the body and how it needed to be cleaned. Tara interrupted, "I think he asked you that question, Bishop." Both men ignored her, so she listened quietly to their interchange.

Tara felt that Scott’s issue, though worthwhile, was a separate issue from the disciplinary proceeding against her mother, so she refocused the discussion by asking, "How do you feel she’s an apostate?"

Bishop Hancock read the definition from the General Handbook of Instructions about "unChristlike behavior" and "open defiance of the Church and its leaders." When Tara asked him how Merradyth had defied the Church, he answered, "Because she’s gone to the press."

"This isn’t a Church thing," said Tara. "It’s an organizational problem. If she were in the Army, the Baptist Church, or a school, she has a right and a duty to protect her family and the children. This organization needs to clean up its act. She’s not trying to defy you and be rebellious. She’s not an apostate. She’s not saying, ‘Oh, I’m going to tear the Church down and those leaders can’t tell me what to do and I’m going to ruin their reputation."’

"Did she think about the repercussions?" asked Neal Hancock. "There’s been a bomb in the church. People have lost their jobs. You’ve made missionary work go down in the whole state. Members’ faith has wavered."

Tara responded, "Anyone could have planted that bomb, including you. My mom didn’t cause that. And she hasn’t caused any of those things. The perpetrator has caused those things to happen. Apostates try to hurt people. She’s not trying to hurt people."

She pressed him for evidence of unChristlike behavior. Basically, he repeated the same list as evidence that Merradyth had "damaged people."

Tara responded vigorously, "She hasn’t hurt people. She’s been Christlike. She’s acting to protect the children. She has the best intentions for her children and the other children in the Church. She’s acting in their interests, to stop the abuse. She loves this church. She loves the gospel. But she wants to heal and protect the children. If that means sacrificing her membership, she’s willing to do this, but she’s not an apostate."

Bishop Hancock asked, "What if Scott were the perpetrator and he got kicked out. Would you kick him while they’re down? What should a Christlike person do?"

Tara refused to be led off by this red herring. "What does this question have to do with the issue?"

"Should we forgive that person?" asked Bishop Hancock.

"Forgiveness plays a big role in healing," acknowledged Tara, "but that’s a separate issue from being sure the perpetrator can’t continue to injure children. Besides that, forgiveness takes place on the victim’s schedule and involves a long process. Nobody can dictate that. And what does that have to do with my mother?"

The bishop dropped that tack and started reading quotations from Merradyth from a pile of newspaper clippings. "This is why I want your mom in here," he announced. "I want to know if she said these things." With a shocked look on his face, he read the paragraph about Scott being drugged and having burns on his arms. "Could she have possibly said that?"

Scott quietly held out his arms, showing the scars.

The bishop hastily turned to the next clipping. "Here’s an estimate that fifty children have been ritually abused. Who are they? How could they possibly have been abused?"

Scott was not willing to let Bishop Hancock change the subject so quickly. He reminded him, "I was molested in this office—right here in this room, How could that have happened?"

"Oh, yes," said Bishop Hancock, "I shudder to think of that. I’d scrub it out if I could. You can see that the office is completely redone since then." Tara and Scott looked around. The furniture had been rearranged but not changed. The pictures on the wall were different. This comment, while sympathetic, seemed "totally lame," thought Tara.

Scott looked squarely at the bishop. "Did Powell confess what he did to me? I have a right to know that."

Neal Hancock said, "I can’t answer that."

Scott looked at the other three men and asked each in turn, "Do you believe I was abused?" Two said they did. The third shrugged.

Then Bishop Hancock complained that Merradyth "hadn’t gone through channels, that he would have been able to do something if she had come to him." Later, Merradyth, who had been listening quietly as Tara and Scott taped their recollections, broke in to protest, "I often called to talk to Bishop Hancock, but he was ‘letting the stake president handle it"’

Bishop Hancock followed Leon Fulton’s line of defense in insisting that Brother Putnam had conducted "a complete investigation." Like Leon Fulton he had not read the court records because "my priesthood leaders have already read them." (By their own admission, they had not.) He had not even read Merradyth’s statement, so Tara handed him a copy and read it out loud to him:

29 July 1994

Bishop Neal P. Hancock:

This letter is in reference to my defense to be presented before you on Sunday, July 31, 1994, at 5:00 PM in Surrey Hills. You and Leon Fulton have charged me to be guilty of: "Conduct contrary to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, i.e., apostasy and unChristlike conduct" and "adversely affecting the good name of the Church, the testimonies and lives of its members."

I plead guilty to the following:

1. I am guilty of believing [that] my husband, Jack, was sexually abused by his bishop, Wallace Leonard Simpson, as a teenager.

2. I am guilty of believing [that] my son, Scott was sexually abused by his bishop, Stanley Dennis Powell, as a teenager.

3. I am guilty of believing [that] my friend, Roseanne Hales, testified under oath, subject to perjury, that she and her children were sexually and ritually abused by then-Bishop Stanley Dennis Powell, her former husband, Peter Campbell, and other leaders and members of the Mormon Church.

4. I am guilty of believing [that] the Church priesthood leaders have shown more concern about protecting the reputation of the Church than the harm done to the children from being sexually abused in secret by men claiming to be true servants of God in the name of his son Jesus Christ.

5. I am guilty of believing [that] I have a moral obligation to warn all of God’s children equally of the signs of sexual and ritual abuse, perpetrated by those in authority with the threat of being infected by the AIDS virus, by whatever means is available to me, guaranteed under my First Amendment right of free speech.

This issue is not about vengeance or forgiveness. I love my Church. It is because of my love for Jesus Christ and his love for the children [that] I have decided, if I can’t warn the parents within the system, the only other choice is to warn them from sources outside the Church’s information network. I am willing to sacrifice my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rather than be bound by silence from spiritual intimidation.

God’s will be done.

(Signed) Merradyth A. McCallister

Bishop Hancock protested, "We tried everything with your parents. They’ve abused the church."

Tara was exasperated. She told him coolly, "If you really want to reach my parents, take off that white shirt and tie to talk to my dad, read my mom’s statement, sit down and listen to them talk, learn something about sexual abuse. I’ve said what I came to say," and left. The counselor ushering her out shoved the door shut after her so quickly that it brushed her fingers.

Scott remained to make one more effort. When Bishop Hancock continued to complain that the McCallisters were at fault, that they had abused the Church, and that they should be more Christlike, Scott became emotional. "My dad was being Christlike in standing up for his wife and children, like Mormon raising the tide of liberty. My dad has worked for years with the teenagers of the ward. He’s served twice in the nursery and taught Primary because he thinks children are so important. If you decide to excommunicate them, their blood will be on your garments."

The disciplinary council excommunicated Merradyth. Bishop Hancock informed her of this decision in a letter written two days after the disciplinary council.

2 August 1994

Dear Sister McCallister:

… At the hearing you did not appear but rather sent your son, Scott McCallister, and your daughter, Tara Godwin, to present a letter from you, which was done, as well as receiving other information that they desired to present.

It was the decision of the council that you, Merradyth McCallister, are hereby excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint for conduct contrary to the laws and order of the Church. As a result of your excommunication, your name is hereby removed from the membership records of the Church. As with any individual who is a non-member of the Church, you cannot enjoy any membership privileges, including but not limited to payment of tithes and offerings, partaking of the sacrament, offering public prayer at any Church meeting, or voting and sustaining of officers. You are, however, encouraged to attend public meetings of the Church in an orderly manner.

You have the right to appeal this decision within thirty days from the date of this letter to the Oklahoma Stake President, Leon M. Fulton. An appeal should be in writing and should specify the errors or unfairness you claim in the procedure or decision and be presented to the undersigned within said thirty days. Such [an] appeal would then be forwarded to President Fulton.

Please contact me in person, so that an appointment may be set to discuss with you how you may regain your membership. It is my hope and prayer that you will allow us to fellowship you and that you will desire to return to the Church.


Neal P. Hancock

A news report on Channel 4 of Merradyth’s excommunication summarized President Fulton’s defense: there was no cover-up; there was just no proof for the McCallister story, and it was time for the McCallisters to be held responsible for their accusations. The on-camera quotation from President Fulton was, "There is a tremendous responsibility, we feel, that we don’t involve ourselves in the tragedy of innocent people being accused and their lives and their families destroyed." Wryly, the McCallisters wondered: Who was innocent? Whose lives were being destroyed?


The next development was that Mary received a letter informing her that she was being summoned to a bishop’s disciplinary council scheduled for Sunday, 7 August. Bishop Hancock told her that she could not summon as witnesses the other young men Scott’s age who were now attending Brigham Young University on the grounds that "they would only be able to testify about the sexual abuse and not about your apostasy." Mary therefore refused to attend the court but stood outside the bishop’s office with her husband and presented a statement of her position to the awkwardly clustered bishopric.

She announced that if the court wouldn’t recognize her witnesses, she wouldn’t recognize the court. "I won’t be part of the curtain being drawn over sexual abuse," she said. "I won’t abandon my First Amendment rights."

She was startled to hear Bishop Hancock repeat the exact statement Leon Fulton had made earlier, "You don’t understand that the laws out there don’t apply in here."

She laughed shortly. "You don’t understand. I don’t step my foot anywhere that my Constitutional rights can’t accompany me."

The letter, informing her that she had been excommunicated, dated 9 August 1994, was identical in wording to the letter Hancock had written to Merradyth only five days earlier.

Mary always felt that Bishop Hancock was approachable and basically honest. When "I put the court records in front of his face—the page that had ‘Garrett’s daddy’ in it, he said, ‘Wow, I didn’t know about that.’ Neal Hancock is very tender-hearted. He used to get tears in his eyes when the Primary children would give him pictures. I told him, ‘We have to do something about this. You have three men in your ward who have been named as perpetrators of child sexual abuse: Stan Powell, Peter Campbell, and Earl Harrison.’ He answered—and he was not being sarcastic, ‘What can we do? What can we do?’ He asked me to find information on Earl Harrison, who is his ward clerk. I said, ‘I’ve found you information on two out of three. When does your job start?"’ He cried after he excommunicated me, and I hugged him with no hard feelings. But they handed him the hatchet and he used it. He fell for the frat."

The McCallisters sent the documents related to Merradyth’s excommunication and Jack’s resignation to their attorney with a query about whether their First Amendment right of freedom of speech had been infringed. He responded on 9 August 1994, advising them that they must first "exhaust your remedies within the Church ... no matter how pointless that may seem" and promising to investigate relevant precedents.

He then added a personal paragraph:

I am very sorry and share your disappointment in your church’s actions. However, I remain convinced of your courage and determination, and I have nothing but admiration for you and your family. I believe that in time, the LDS Church will recognize you and Jack for the true "saints" that you and he are. To me, it is inconceivable that errors made by men would be permitted by God to interfere with the salvation of one’s soul. It is even more inconceivable that church leaders in any church would use secular religious power to silence people whose only objective is to protect defenseless children from being abused. Such an abuse of power cannot have the sanction of God. There is but One ultimate arbiter of this matter, and it is not LDS officials.


The next week, Mary, Jack, and Merradyth went to the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City where they told their stories to a packed room as part of a panel on "Child Sexual Abuse in the LDS Community," moderated by Marion B. Smith, the founding director of the Intermountain Sexual Abuse Treatment Center in Salt Lake City. Also participating was Andrea Moore Emmett, who had resigned her membership in the Church because of overt support for an alleged sex offender in her ward (see Chapter 5) while the victims and their parents received no support, and Martha Pierce, a guardian ad litem for the state of Utah, who described the statutes. A television crew filmed the session and interviewed Jack, Merradyth, and Mary after the session. Clips of the interview appeared on local television in Salt Lake City that evening.

On 29 August 1994, Merradyth also mailed a letter to Dianna Carroll, chair of Parents’ Alliance Against Sexual Abuse, executive director of Mothers Against Sexual Abuse, and a lay minister in a nondenominational Christian church. She reported that "my husband and three other [friends of Jack] have recently come forward telling of being sexually molested by their bishop over twenty-five years ago in Oklahoma City." She described recent events, including her excommunication.

I was distressed. We turned to our U.S. Congressman, Ernest J. Istook, a personal friend and himself a Mormon. I was shocked to learn: (1) He had never heard of the problems of child ritual abuse; (2) He denied it existed within the Church or his district; (3) He refused to waste his time looking into the matter. Of course, I was disappointed by his response and lack of concern. I know he was busy; but what has higher importance than the safety of our children?

... Church officials remain in total denial [that] the situation exists. They are angry with me for speaking out. I feel they are more concerned about the public image damage done to the Church than the personal damage done to the lives of the children.

She found a sympathetic ally. On 12 September 1994, Dianna Carroll wrote an open letter to ministers of local churches and sent the identical letter to the editor of The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. She offered her services as a speaker or as a clearinghouse for more information. In her letter, she summarized the McCallister/Plourde case briefly, then said:

After caring enough to go public with their own personal pain, they were excommunicated for exercising their first amendment right as Americans.

After extensive investigation into this case, I have found a considerable amount of documentation and evidence to validate the victims’ position.

It is beyond inconceivable that any church would sustain a ... sexual predator for which there are civil court records, medical, and mental health information to support sexual and possible ritual abuse of children. This church chose to shield and protect the perpetrators of child sexual abuse while they castigate, chastise, and banish the victims and victims’ family for coming forward and speaking up against child sexual abuse in the church.

An additional blow came when U.S. Congressman Ernest Istook, a man I personally supported and campaigned for in the last election, spoke to me on April 3, 1994. Ernest is a member of this Mormon Church. I kept notes and I understood him to say that his first priority was the image of this Mormon Church, the financial damage to the Church, etc. I feel his concern is not for the past victims or the high probability of new victims in this church. This response was very disheartening and discouraging. What kind of influence does this Mormon Church and its leaders have in his political decisions? What would someone compromise for our state and country, when they would go to the sad extreme of a moral compromise of children who have been sexually abused? … God help us when it becomes politically correct to look the other way when children are sexually or ritually abused in the name of image or money.

On 17 October 1994, Carroll wrote an open letter to Istook, underscoring his conflict of interests and calling particular attention to his refusal to read the transcript of Campbell v. Campbell. "As a high priest in the Mormon Church you have an obligation to defend its reputation. As a Congressman you have an obligation to uphold the Constitution, with powers to investigate individual and institutional wrongdoing when appropriate. How do you balance your loyalty with the Mormon Church and your loyalty to the people in Oklahoma 5th District who are not members of the Mormon Church? Who are you accountable to for your role in this matter?" The next month, this group took out an ad in the Yukon Review (Saturday, 5 November 1994, p. 8), after picketing Istook’s office two days before. The ad, about a quarter page size read: "Istook protects Mormon Image, NOT our children! Child ritual abuse is Real. Ask State Attorney General: 521-3921 ." There was no response.


July 24th came four days after Merradyth received notification of her disciplinary council. This holiday that resonates in Mormon consciousness was also Jack’s birthday. He used it to write to Bishop Hancock:


I hereby immediately TERMINATE my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For three years as a youth, I was sexually molested by my bishop, Wallace Leonard Mercer. I kept the secret safe for thirty years. By my own investigation, I now know of three other victims my age who had the same perpetrator. ... I suspect many other victims are yet to be discovered.

My silence sacrificed my son Scott to the same fate. Child sexual abuse is generational. Twenty-five years later, Scott’s trust was also betrayed. He was sexually molested by his bishop, Stanley Dennis Powell, for three years, as a youth.

Today, this problem is even more serious than just the emotional scars. AIDS is often transmitted as a result of sexual abuse. I sincerely feel the Church is shamefully failing to warn the parents of the real danger in an effort to protect its own image. This is WRONG. As a serious consequence, parents are failing to warn their children. Children are silently suffering sexual victimization by priesthood leaders [who violate] their trust with contempt.

The Church assures us specifically that all of our leaders are called directly by God. They speak for God. We are commanded to obey them without question or else face the penalty of excommunication for "apostasy." If that is true, one of these statements must be the true explanation:

... God is calling perverts to become leaders because the laborers are few.
Leaders are becoming perverts faster than God can locate and assign new ones.
God has lowered his standards. He doesn’t care anymore about what happens to the children. He makes mistakes.
Or there are "wolves in sheep’s clothing that have entered into the flock" using the name of Jesus Christ to quietly prey upon his little lambs to satisfy their perverted sexual appetites while the Good Shepherd is absent.

The Church has done nothing to prevent, detect, or correct "priesthood leaders" from performing secret acts of vile sexual perversion upon our defenseless children. Denying the existence of this problem is not the solution. It is the perpetuation. A victim’s fear of not being believed and losing his or her soul for eternity via excommunication is adequate intimidation enough to keep the secret safe within the system.

I refuse to bow down before this false image. I refuse to be intimidated into silent consent. I refuse to place the reputation of the Church ahead of the safety of our children. I refuse to protect child sexual molesters in high places.

I am angry. I have a right to be angry. I give you back your membership until such time [that] you accept accountability and responsibility for this moral crisis. If I am condemned by Church leaders and regarded by its members to be an "enemy to God and the Church" for shouting out the secrets to the media, so be it. There is no other way. I’d rather be damned through all generations of time and throughout all eternity, if it’s God’s will, than retreat from the fight against child sexual abuse because my actions are a source of embarrassment to the Church.

Sincerely, Jack C. McCallister, Jr.
Child Sexual Abuse Survivor advocate

Two days after the disciplinary council that excommunicated Merradyth, on 31 July 1994, Bishop Hancock finally responded to Jack’s request to have his name removed:

Pursuant to your request, your name is being removed from the Church records and your Church membership is being terminated. As a result, your baptism, priesthood ordinations, temple ordinances, and all blessings that you may be entitled therefrom shall be nullified.

This action shall be completed unless you make a written request to rescind and withdraw your said request within thirty days from the date of this letter directly to Stake President Leon M. Fulton. President Fulton’s address is ... .

I sincerely hope you will reconsider your request and write to President Fulton. We love you and pray that you will change your mind and come back to the Lord.

It was a straight from-the-handbook response.

Jack listened to his hopes one more time. "I knew it wouldn’t do any good, but on some level there was still hope," he remembers. "I wanted to take every chance. I wanted to give them every chance." So on Thursday, 1 September 1994, he faxed a more conciliatory memo to Leon Fulton asking him to drop the request to have his name removed from Church records:


I accept Neal’s sincere "thirty-day offer" to rescind my resignation of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Regardless of that fact, however, I will continue to publicly speak out, as I feel appropriate, in a sincere effort to expose child sexual molesters and their overt and covert conspirators within the general body of the priesthood and leadership hierarchy of the Church.

I am in total agreement with my wife’s actions to openly reveal the "secrets" kept within a system which enables perpetrators and disadvantages victims.

The highest priority within the Church at this time is not salvation for the dead or missionary activity. The urgency is to purge the priesthood of perverts who are entrenched and protected by layers of collective denial. This can only be accomplished by warning every parent through duly authorized and responsible leaders of the danger. The Church is guilty of gross negligence of duty to do less.

Parents must be made aware of the importance of protecting their children from those most trusted and therefore least suspected.

Specific changes need to be made within the system. I sincerely urge you to act immediately and stop ignoring or minimizing this serious problem.

I am not here to destroy the law and order of the Church but to defend the children.

Jack also signed this letter, "child sexual abuse survivor and advocate." Six days later on 7 September 1994, Leon Fulton replied to Jack:

Dear Brother McCallister:

On Sunday, September 4th, I found the fax which you apparently sent the afternoon of [Friday], September 2nd rescinding your request that your name be removed from the rolls of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints [sic]. Unfortunately the thirty-day response period, to which you refer from Bishop Neal Hancock’s letter, had expired on August 30th and the paperwork [was] forwarded to Church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

If you sincerely desire to reaffiliate yourself with the Church, that opportunity can be available to you, as with any other nonmember, conditioned upon the principles of faith, repentance, and a commitment to live all the gospel covenants (D&C 20:37). Should this be your desire, I would recommend that you contact Bishop Hancock and meet with him to discuss the necessary steps to bring you to the point where readmission to the Church would be possible.

On 20 September 1994, Jack, hurt and indignant, wrote to the area president, W. Mack Lawrence of the Seventy, with copies to the First Presidency and with Leon Fulton:

I’m forwarding a copy of Leon Fulton’s terse response to rescind my Church membership resignation. To me, this is evidence of Fulton’s malice and bitter contempt toward me. I feel the spirit of his letter was insulting and demeaning.

I don’t believe the papers were sent to Salt Lake before he received my fax. … I feel it is just a technicality to enforce the thirty-day option exclusively according to his interpretation of the rule. Neal Hancock’s letter to me offered a thirty-day reconsideration period from 2 August 1994; I interpreted that to mean a complete month from that date, [to] 2 September 1994.

I believe it is obvious that Fulton was so eager to dispose of my membership that he selected the earlier date to disqualify my option to rescind. To reaffiliate myself to the Church he recommends that I contact Hancock and "meet with him to discuss the necessary steps to bring [me] to the point where readmission to the Church is possible." I feel [that] this action is punitive in nature and is in effect the same as being excommunicated without the benefit of due process under the rules outlined in the General Handbook.

I totally disagree with how this matter is being handled locally. I ask for some direct intervention by general leadership authority. If Fulton is truly called of God, representing Jesus Christ, where is the compassion to leave the ninety and nine to search for and retrieve the one lost sheep rather than cast them outside the fold?

On 4 October 1994, a letter from the entire area presidency, Elders W. Mack Lawrence, Gene R. Cook, and F. Enzio Busche, came back to Jack and Merradyth with copies to Bishop Hancock and President Fulton:

We acknowledge your 20 September 1994 letter to Elder W. Mack Lawrence wherein you make reference to your standing in the Church.

Since you had indeed previously resigned your membership, it will be necessary for you to be rebaptized in the appropriate way. We invite you to meet with Bishop Neal Hancock if you truly want to participate with the Church and to live by its teachings, precepts, and principles.

Brother McCallister, we in the Church work ever so diligently to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen. We can’t see how you would feel we are trying to cut anyone off from participation and from the blessings of the gospel.

Lest we, too, be misunderstood, we want to say plainly to you: We welcome you to affiliate with us. Come back! Know that you are welcome. Know that you can be rebaptized as you reaffirm your desire to endorse and live the principles of the gospel and your willingness to sustain the leaders of the Church—from your local leaders, including your bishop, to the President of the Church. We will welcome you with open arms.

Our counsel and invitation is to come back and join us in our efforts to perfect each other.


On 29 August 1994, Merradyth sent her appeal to President Fulton:

I hereby exercise my right of appeal of excommunication and "specify the errors or unfairness … in the procedure and decision" for the accusation of "conduct contrary to the law and order of the Church."

My objections to the procedure:

  1. Hancock assigned by Fulton as my common judge. Fulton has threatened to excommunicate me for months if I refused to be silent. As bishop, Hancock reports directly to Fulton in the priesthood line of authority. Hancock is under Fulton’s dominant influence and control. Fulton approves Hancock’s worthiness to hold a current temple recommend. Since Fulton was not in a position to execute his threat personally, he assigned Hancock to be his enforcer. Hancock was easily intimidated by the priesthood leadership hierarchy, his ward peer group, and Stan Powell. They collectively sought for vindictive revenge because I participated in exposing sexual perversion to the media. This downgrading by delegation is an insult to fair and impartial justice without prejudice.
  2. Hancock disallowed all of my material witnesses the opportunity to testify, relevant to my defense, to determine if my conduct was contrary to the law and order of the Church. I felt his manner over the phone was both condescending and manipulative. I refused to personally attend the "court of love" since it was apparent to me [that] he was motivated for the love of something else other than the love of truth.

My objections to the decision:

  1. Hancock had no supporting evidence to prove any of my statements in the Yukon Review "adversely affected the good name of the Church and the lives and testimonies of its members":
  2. No proof identifying my statements in the Yukon Review (with small community circulation), created a whirlwind of metro-wide negative public opinion.
    No evidence demonstrating that because of my statements in the Yukon Review there was a perceivable decrease in either the quantity or quality of new converts.
    No proof indicating that because of my statements in the Yukon Review specific Church members had suffered damaged testimonies of Jesus Christ
    No evidence establishing the claim that because of my statements in the Yukon Review Mormon businessmen lost customers, others lost jobs, school children were harassed, and the chapel was fire-bombed.
  3. Hancock had no sound logic to make his decision, based on the facts, that I was guilty of "unChristlike conduct" justifying the penalty of excommunication (with its attached spiritual and social stigma). It should be obvious to any objective person [that] there is absolutely no justification for any disciplinary action to be inflicted upon me for exercising my First Amendment right of free speech to warn the parents to protect their children from being sexually molested by undetected offending leaders and members.

I deserve and expect an immediate, written, point-by-point response to my appeal of excommunication. In regard to this matter, I am not deceived into believing self-serving "secret" acts done in the name of God should be disguised as "sacred" ones.

On 7 September 1994, Mary also wrote an eloquent letter to Leon Fulton appealing her excommunication by Neal Hancock:

I ... hereby exercise my right to appeal the excommunication decision on the basis of unfairness in procedure. All of my available witnesses were completely excluded by Neal Hancock. He justified his denial based upon the statement [that] "your" witnesses would only be able to testify to the sexual molestation problem and not to your apostasy issue. When I asked him if I had any right as an American citizen to voice my concerns about children being sexually molested, he said, "those laws out there do not apply to us here inside the Church."

I am a Mormon and intended to remain a Mormon. However, my excommunication has not allowed me to stay with the Church and at the same time exercise my freedom of speech by warning other members about this serious problem. Until I discovered the information regarding child ritual abuse in the Canadian County court records I was totally unaware [that] there was a problem. You choose to conceal the information and label it "a crazy woman’s desperate attempt to gain custody of her children."

I would have preferred [that], as parents, we were allowed the opportunity to decide for ourselves without censorship the facts of the matter. Without this knowledge, my children were likewise vulnerable because you refused to believe the children. Therapists and medical records were evidence enough of wrongdoing or at least strong suspicion. You placed the outward reputation of the Church and the offenders named of more value than the safety of our children. As a result I was unable to protect my children or other children within my care and concern as a mother and a Primary teacher.

I oppose being excommunicated for "apostasy." Is it apostate to stand up for the rights of innocent children? This country was founded upon the rights of its citizens. Are not children citizens of this country, too? This Church was founded upon true and correct principles, was it not? Is it a true and correct principle to cover-up the actions of offenders to preserve the image of the Church? Are not all children God’s children?

Leon, it appears to me that you have violated God’s law to protect the children. You have instead protected the offenders and punished the children with intimidation, disbelief, and further victimization. You have ignored the sincere cries of the mothers on behalf of those children. You and the other priesthood co-conspirators are as guilty of disobeying moral, spiritual, and criminal law as the original offenders.

Who shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better that a millstone were hanged around his neck and he were cast into the sea. (Mark 9:42).


Mary Snow Plourde

Merradyth received the expected negative response to her appeal in a letter dated 20 September 1994:

The stake presidency and the high council have carefully and prayerfully considered your appeal, dated 29 August 1994, in which you object to both the procedure and the decision of the bishop’s council held in your behalf on 31 July 1994. As a result of that consideration of your appeal and a complete review of the bishop’s council proceedings, the decision of the stake presidency and the high council is that the bishop’s council decision—that you be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—stands as issued.

Sister McCallister, in your objections you make strong accusations against Bishop Hancock’s integrity as a presiding officer in your council. You need to understand that Bishop Hancock was assigned that responsibility after extensive counseling and communication with the Area Presidency, who had responsibility to address your appeal to the First Presidency. We personally know that no pressure, or influence, was directed toward Bishop Hancock and his handling of the bishop’s council. In addition, Bishop Hancock is a man of impeccable character, integrity, and understanding and would not have submitted to, nor been involved in the things you allege.

You also allege that Bishop Hancock had no proof, evidence or logic to support the council’s decision. Our review of the council proceedings and the accompanying documents seems to show substantial support for the decision. It is unfortunate that you chose not to attend the council, where you could have reviewed and addressed that evidence.

If you feel that you still have not received fairness in the handling of this matter, you have the right to appeal the stake presidency’s and high council’s decision to the First Presidency of the Church.

Should you choose to appeal that decision, you have thirty (30) days from the date of this letter to provide to President Leon M. Fulton [home address] a written appeal, addressed to the First Presidency and specifying the unfairness or errors which you feel have occurred within the council or review. That appeal will then be forwarded to the First Presidency.

Sister McCallister, we sincerely encourage you to accept Bishop Hancock’s invitation to meet with him and let him help you understand the steps necessary to work toward regaining your membership in the Church and once again (to] enjoy all of the blessings of the Gospel.

Sincerely, Leon M. Fulton, L. Arnold Clinton
Calvin C. Fleming

In an undated memo, Merradyth took issue with five of the stake presidency’s rebukes in this letter:

  1. When they stated "You make strong accusations against Bishop Hancock’s integrity as presiding officer in your council," she responded: "The Fulton-Hancock connection obligated Hancock to ‘sustain’ his priesthood leader. Hancock’s failure to satisfy his senior leaders’ threat to excommunicate me could have meant he was traveling the high road to apostasy. Fulton in his response to my appeal did not deny his intention to excommunicate me himself if he had the opportunity. Could Hancock have been totally unaware of Fulton’s intention?"
  2. The stake presidency’s letter stated: "Hancock was assigned that responsibility after extensive counseling and communication with the Area Presidency, who had responsibility to address your appeal to the First Presidency." Merradyth responded:"The issue is not who had the authority to assign the duty to preside. Why didn’t it seem relevant to the Area Presidency ‘after extensive counseling and communication’ that Fulton had the potential of exerting improper influence overtly or covertly, over Hancock’s decision?"
  3. "We personally know that no pressure, or influence, was directed toward Bishop Hancock and his handling of the bishop’s council." Merradyth’s response was: "Is Fulton implying he never discussed the matter with Hancock prior to the announcement of Hancock’s decision? If there was discussion, is Fulton without the ability to influence Hancock? Why is he [Hancock?] so totally beyond influence? How much more obvious could the pressure be without voluntary admission, except on the basis of appearance?"
  4. "Bishop Hancock is a man of impeccable character, integrity, and understanding and would not have submitted to, nor been involved in the things you allege." Merradyth’s response was a crisp "So what? Everyone is ‘of impeccable character, integrity, and understanding’ until they have been exposed otherwise. Ninety-seven percent of all child molesters have that facade. For that very reason I have learned to be suspicious of the motives of those in priesthood authority with flawless images who are vouched for by yet others in priesthood authority."
  5. "Our review of the council proceedings and the accompanying documents seems to show substantial support for the decision. It is unfortunate that you chose not to attend the council, where you could have reviewed and addressed that evidence." Merradyth replied: "Hancock disallowed my material witnesses the opportunity to give testimony on my behalf. I haven’t been given a satisfactory explanation of why all of my witnesses were denied the opportunity to testify on my behalf. Who made that decision? When do I have the opportunity to challenge it? Regarding the ‘review,’ is there a written record of the proceedings? What are the supporting documents? Why don’t I have an equal right to examine the record like Fulton? I waived only my right to attend the council, not review the file. What evidence is in the file to prove the direct cause-and-effect relationship between my statements and all the adverse effects alleged by Fulton? Where are the specific facts to show how the conclusion was arrived at? Why am I denied access to the file? It is a collection of secret interpretations used to flog the intimidated into spiritual submission."

On 13 October 1994, Merradyth prepared her letter of appeal to the First Presidency:

I am appealing my excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t agree [that] I have done anything to justify condemning and severing my eternal soul from my loving Heavenly Father.

I know there are priesthood leaders and members in this area that are sexually perverted. They abuse children and women. I will not be silent It has been covered up for years by individuals in leadership positions. I believe Bishop Glenn L Pace was telling the truth. ... This is another cry for help. You knew about this awful condition and remained silent Why weren’t we warned?

I feel it is the priesthood leaders who have adversely affected the lives and testimonies of the members of the Church and are guilty of unChristlike conduct. The leaders are not properly educated in sexual abuse matters. They are unaware of the typical characteristics of a pedophile. Therefore, the lives of the children in the stake and throughout the Church are in danger. Leaders have failed to report suspected cases of child abuse. It is not only a moral obligation to protect innocent children, but it is a crime not to report such cases to legal authorities.

As a result … The children are still in danger. Stanley D. Powell and Peter Campbell are known pedophiles. They are still involved in various Church activities, with no attempt being made to stop them. How many other pedophiles have secretly "repented" in the eyes of the Church and are still molesting children in this stake? I know of others.

I state further that Leon Marshall Fulton, Curtis James McLean, and Gerald Putnam as stake presidents knew of Stan Powell’s sexual perversion and continued to allow him to function as a bishop and active high priest. For years he has been a danger. Arnie Clinton, first counselor to Fulton, said to us, "Well, we put him back in the high council where we could watch him." Leon Fulton also said, "Powell has struggled with homosexual tendencies his whole life." Where is the protective care involving our children?

Some of the names that have been reported to me to be involved by the victims are Stan and Sylvia Powell, Peter Campbell, Earl Harrison, Carter and Nancy Green. Maybe Leon Fulton is involved too, I don’t know to what extent. Others have also been named. My list is growing of other victims in the Church around the country with the same problem. Why aren’t we warned?

I am also aware that our U.S. Congressman, Ernest J. Istook, was aware of the suspicion of ritual abuse taking place within the Church. We informed him personally and asked for his help as a fellow Church member, parent, and friend. Rather than investigate the allegations for the sake of the children, he was commissioned by Church officials to use his political influence to suppress the investigation and report by KFOR Channel 4 [that] Brad Edwards [produced called], "Are the Children Lying?" in early April of this year.

Sexual perversion should not exist within the Church to harm the lives of its children. I will raise a warning voice. I wish to be a resource within the Church to help educate the members regarding danger to our children. I told the stake presidency I wanted to work together [with them].

As a mother in Zion, I condemn those who have committed horrible atrocities upon our children. I condemn those who have concealed the true facts. I condemn those who have attempted to silence me with excommunication. The blood and devastated lives of the children are on their hands. Many other mothers and children have been praying for help.

I am not guilty of apostasy. I do not deserve to lose my membership in the Church. If I am right in this matter, the Oklahoma City priesthood leaders’ authority is null and void before God and ceases to exist. Therefore, my membership remains intact. Out of their own mouths, they have condemned themselves!

Merradyth signed herself, "Mother in Zion and true follower of Jesus Christ."

On 29 December 1994, Leon Fulton told the McCallisters that he had the response from the First Presidency to Merradyth’s appeal. Merradyth and Scott attended this meeting, which began with Fulton asking them if they were taping it—he’d "heard rumors" that they would. He let them read the letter, signed by all three members of the First Presidency: Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson. It "affirmed" the decision of the high council and asked President Fulton to extend their "best wishes" to her and their encouragement that she would "qualify to return to the Church in the prescribed way." The letter ended with instructions to read the letter to Merradyth but not give it to her or let her have a copy.

Merradyth asked for a copy anyway. Fulton refused. When Scott asked why they couldn’t have a copy, Fulton said that he assumed that "the Brethren have been through all of this and they’d be aware that all of the correspondence has become public documents and see no value in making one more piece of paper into a public document." President Fulton apparently did not know (this may have been his first disciplinary council appeal that had gone to the First Presidency) or had overlooked the fact that these instructions are standard on similar letters. He also refused to write a letter of his own confirming the decision.

Most of the meeting was an attempt to reach an understanding on some issues, but Fulton’s approach was basically defensive and soon veered to the accusatory. He acknowledged that the McCallisters felt they had been dealt with unfairly and hoped that the passage of time would soothe some of the wounds. Then he explained why, from his perspective, he thought the right action had been taken. Basically, it was that the Church leaders agreed with him, not the McCallisters. Merradyth recalled, "He said, ‘I gave all of your material to the First Presidency and the man that we sustain as prophet has weighed what should be done. And this is his decision. The bishopric, the stake presidency, the high council, two regional representatives, the area presidency, and the presidency of the Church are all in agreement that this is a correct decision. Whether that means anything to you or not, I don’t know, but why don’t you stand back and look at it a little bit."’

He also complained that Merradyth had consistently said that the reason she had been excommunicated was because she had gone public about Scott’s abuse. She had a right to go to the police about Jack’s case or about Scott’s, said Fulton. The real cause of her excommunication was that she had said things outside of her personal knowledge. (This statement contradicted his own earlier statements, statements by his counselors, and those of Bishop Hancock that she had "embarassed" the Church by talking to the media.) He quoted from her appeal to the First Presidency, in which she had written that "perhaps Leon Fulton was involved in sexual abuse." He ignored the fact that Merradyth had not made this statement until after she had been excommunicated and that it therefore could not be an example of moving beyond her knowledge in a way that the court found her guilty of. Fulton claimed that the statement didn’t bother him "because I know the truth, but it plants a seed."

Merradyth said that she did know about the Campbell case from reading the court transcripts, which Fulton admitted he had only "skimmed" and then passed on to "higher authorities." Fulton insisted, "You keep saying that the Church has come down on you because you reported the abuse. That’s not the case.

Fulton further complained that their letters, both to him and to the First Presidency, had been "very demanding and very accusatory," that they had tried to put the Church "on trial," and that they had made many statements that went beyond their personal knowledge. A third complaint was that she had involved nonmembers and that some of these nonmembers held dangerous "feminist" opinions and that some of Merradyth’s supporters in Utah believed that women should have the priesthood.

When Scott tried to explain that one reason for going outside the Church had been the comparative lack of belief within the Church for him, "speaking as a victim," Fulton interrupted him: "You keep making that statement, Scott, and you seem to think that no one in the Church cares. Elder Faust of the Quorum of the Twelve finds that the most disturbing part of this whole affair—the Church absolutely does care. It’s doing what it finds appropriate. Elder Faust finds it so absurd that anyone would make a statement that the Church doesn’t care.

Merradyth protested, "I don’t know how they can say they care when they don’t know what the facts are. I know what the court documents say, I know what the divorce proceedings say, I know what I think, what I felt, what I watched."

Fulton interrupted her to say there was no point in playing "ring around the rosies." The meeting was over. They have not seen Fulton or talked with him since.

Mary’s appeals followed a similar path. After Leon Fulton rejected her appeal, she wrote to the First Presidency on 23 October 1994, with copies to Neal Hancock, Leon Fulton, the Boy Scouts of America, the state attorney general, and Ernest J. Istook, U.S. Congressman, District 5, Oklahoma. Addressing it sardonically to "Dear Priesthood Leaders (or anyone with a pulse)," she wrote a strongly worded appeal:

Does anyone out there care anything about young children and the growing problem of sexual molestation by perverted priesthood leaders? Various Mormon leader/advisors assigned to our youth have access to our children through Scouting and other Church-sponsored activities, not one of [whom] have had a criminal background check as required by other organizations in many states as a means of identifying past offenders and as a serious reminder to potential offenders of the consequence of discovery of child sexual abuse.

The "unfairness in procedure" begins with your preventing me from working directly with Bishop Neal Hancock to stop known pedophiles operating in Oklahoma City Silver Ward. Instead he was appointed to strike down my affiliation with the Church with the "excommunication hatchet" to keep the Church "safe" from a mother crying out in desperate alarm.

We had agreed not to create any unnecessary publicity. In [turn], you agreed to spend many heart-searching hours prayerfully interviewing other suspected offenders and victims. This was to be accomplished, no matter how horrifying the outcome: no sugar-coated cover-up and no inappropriate action to be taken without sound evidence.

I have provided evidence as requested by Bishop Hancock. His verbal response to me was: "I know Campbell is dangerous to children. Powell is definitely dangerous to children. Now go and find any evidence you can about Earl Harrison being an offender." Let’s try to stick to the real issue here. Bishop Hancock was delegated the responsibility by Stake President Leon Marshall Fulton to excommunicate me for apostasy. There never was an apostasy problem, was there? The problem stems from failure to protect our children from deviant behavior perpetrated by priesthood leaders.

Now the "system," including Bishop Hancock, has turned against me so [that] we can no longer work together for a common good. You have further removed my freedom of speech via excommunication. You have violated federal and civil laws. You make sure no other member parents are warned of the problem. You sustain offending leaders by allowing them to function in their assignments. Mean[while], our children are sexually victimized and mothers are ordered by presiding priesthood leaders to remain silent and allow God’s anointed and appointed to mangle the truth in an orchestrated effort to protect the Church image.

There was nothing wrong with the witnesses I requested to be at the proceedings. Bishop Hancock disallowed each and every one, simply stating that, "Your witnesses would only know about the molestation issue and not about your apostasy. Their testimony would be irrelevant." No one knows about my apostasy because there was none. There were no witnesses to the contrary. But Bishop Hancock along with his entourage of accomplices, knowingly or unknowingly are freely able to continue lining up children for the disgusting convenience of the offenders.

You who are the enablers think [that] because you toss me out of the Church you’re free to allow Stanley Dennis Powell, Peter Vaughn Campbell, and Earl V. Harrison to have free rein to make contacts with our children. The leaders who are involved in this diabolical behavior are either direct participants or are their accomplices to the crime.

Melvin Knott, Powell’s former bishop, knew about Powell’s homosexual appetite and previous activity. Others who knew there was a serious problem with Powell’s character are Carter Green, high priest group leader; Henry Butler, another former bishop, Gordon Bell, executive secretary, Leon Marshall Fulton, stake president, Curtis James McLean and Gerald Putnam, former stake presidents. I’m sure there were others as well.

Oklahoma City Silver Ward leaders slandered me on a television news interview by referring to me and discounting the truth with the remark, "Consider the source." You who are guilty will be exposed and held accountable to the community, the Church, and our family. And you will most assuredly answer to God, but that will be after you’ve answered to the children who have been victimized.

Like Merradyth, Mary signed herself, "Mother in Zion and true follower of Jesus Christ." Like Merradyth’s, her appeal was rejected.