“SGMnot’s” Story

[Kris says:  The following was submitted by "SGMnot":]

In 1993 our daughter was sexually molested by the fourteen year old son of a close family friend from CLC, while he was babysitting for us. It was a week before her 3rd birthday. [This was about 6 years after exCLCer’s case]  I thank God I had taught our daughter what “good touch, bad touch” is, so she could tell us and possibly protect herself or others from sex abuse. The morning after this happened she came into our bedroom and told us. We were in shock, but for her sake remained calm, and asked her a few questions to verify. [Excuse my bluntness] He had taken off both of their pants and underwear, laid on top of her, fondled her, and French-kissed her. He stopped at this point and did not penetrate her. Her reaction at the time of the attack was to not move or cry out–she was in complete terror. We immediately called the police. We knew it was the law to report any sexual abuse committed against a minor. 

The first thing out of the pastor’s mouth, when we called him was, “Don’t call the police.” When we told him we already had, he communicated that these “things” should be handled in the church, and definitely made us to feel that he was displeased with us going outside the church to the secular authorities for this crime! The pastor called the father and the boy did confess that morning, after denying it repeatedly. The pastor immediately got on the phone with the police trying to arrange for the family to be able to turn the boy into police, rather than a police car to come to their house and embarrass them. From that point on, we felt that to the pastors, this crisis was all about the perpetrator and his family, to keep his identity secret and rally around him and his family, caring for THEM and counseling them as they navigated through the secular legal system and the crisis WE had caused by turning him in. 

We did have one meeting, within a couple of days of the abuse, with the pastor and his wife. They commiserated with us. We felt the gist of the meeting was “yes, this is terrible, it is OK for us to be angry and hurt for a few days or weeks, but after that you need to forgive and forget”! We were told not to tell our care group or anyone. And not talk to the boy and his family. Besides a brief phone call or two after all of this and the eventual “reconciliation” meeting, 6 months later, with that family and the pastor, we had NO counseling or follow-up care for us or our daughter. We had several close family members in CLC and we had close friends who LIVED with us at this time and we couldn’t even tell them! Essentially, we were on our own with all the deep grief, anger, and feelings of violation. We walked through this horrible crisis completely alone, with close family and friends and our care group all around us, having NO idea what we were going through!! God alone was our refuge and we had each other. 

A week or so after the molestation, one of the other pastors called and shared how sorry he was for what we were going through and then asked me to write a letter of leniency, so that this boy would not go to jail and just get counseling [exactly what happened to exCLCer’s mom]. I agreed, mostly because he was only 14 and it was a first offense. At the time, I was extremely vulnerable with the grief of what had happened to our daughter and what this pastor said meant a lot to me, but looking back now I feel manipulated by his words to make sure that I wrote that letter. What if I had refused? [like exCLCer’s mom] Would we have been excommunicated? 

We did not know and could not find out any details from the perpetrator on the molestation, even through the pastor, until the meeting 6 months later. In other words, we did not know if there had been any penetration or how much fondling there had been—it was torture for me as mom and as a woman to not know. I feel that my emotional needs were given “backseat” status to the other family’s privacy and care. We were not equipped by appropriate psychological counseling or advice on how to parent a victim of sexual abuse. Our daughter struggled as a little 3 year old to forgive this teenager’s crime against her. She had nightmares for months afterwards. Many months later, we went for prayer to this pastor and another, and they did pray for her, but they said the nightmares “might” not be from the sexual molestation, directly minimizing my concerns, even though nightmares are a known effect of sexual abuse! 

This is not over. She is now 21 and is a committed Christian, by God’s grace.  BUT she STILL has trouble sleeping alone. She STILL has had seasons of night terrors. She also has other EMOTIONAL SCARS directly related to the molestation and has pursued psychological counseling, now as an adult. Although, we have forgiven and prayed for this boy, now an adult member of CLC, last I heard, the results of his crime on our daughter may be a lifelong struggle for her to overcome!  

I share this with my heart breaking: for her, for us, and for all those others who have been traumatized by the sex abuse cases mishandled by SGM. And I wanted to share our story so that NO ONE from SGM could use our “case” as a supposed “well-handled” pastoral victory, since we mostly cooperated with their advice. AND I wanted everyone to know that the serious effects of any sexual molestation at any age are devastating to the victim and their family for many years. It doesn’t just “go away” after forgiving!  

We were in CLC for over 20 years and served as CGLs for over 5 years and only left a few years ago. We feel that “going public” with this story, that has been a secret sex abuse case in CLC, will perhaps help others to come forward with any other cases. We have not personally confronted the pastors about this, but after hearing exCLCer family’s HORRIFIC treatment by CLC, we felt that they do not deserve that respect. 

374 comments

  1. Sidney says:

    Thank you, SGMnot, for telling your sad sad story. The covering of sex abuse to minors in SGM churches seems to be a humongous and pervasive problem. How many more stories are there? HOW MANY???? And CJ is perfectly fit for leadership. Okey doke.

    I STILL want to know about this:

    John Loftness wanted to encourage us. I asked whether CLC had ever delt with such a problem. A fair question if he was supposed to help us. He said yes, a worship leader’s family had a problem (perps not vic)

    From Noel’s Story found here http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=276&cp=all#comments

  2. katie says:

    Wow.
    Thanks for sharing your story sgmnot. Words can’t express how sorry I am that this happened to you. And how freaked out I am that these types of things have been hitting so close to home. I’m so sorry you had to walk through this. And that your daughter had to walk the halls of church with her perp for years, in a place where she should’ve felt safe. People shouldn’t have to fear being molested by hidden sex offenders at church of all places.

  3. Lucy says:

    SGMnot — Your story rips my heart out. Thank you for sharing it. You’re very brave and so is your daughter.

    Honestly, the church I want would be full only of the church rejects and the church broken and the church forgotten. People like you. And too many others on this blog. And too many others we may never even know about.

    Sharing your story is like planting little seeds of courage in those voiceless and fearful people. It’s a gift.

    And who knows what it may grow into?

  4. Dan says:

    This just really breaks my heart. I grew up in a similar church environment to CLC here in the UK and was sexually abused by someone in the church school system (position of trust) and I know too well what happens with church cover up and how the victim is made to feel.

    I’m 33 and still on antidepressants for it.

    Praying so so much for you and your daughter.

  5. Matt says:

    SGMnot, My blood pressure is through the roof. this stuff makes me down right furious.

    I have a question that might sound a bit crude but I think it needs to be asked. What is the deal with the teen boys at SGM? This is not the first teen molests little kid story coming out of sgm.

    Is this a product of the teaching concerning strict gender roles and the worth of females? Do they think themselves entitled? I know of some of the ‘women are there to serve men’ stuff coming out of there. Teen boys are going to interpret that their way.

    Seriously, why work to lessen the consequences of something so vile unless they think it was no big deal.

    Why do they not want to call the police?

    Are they also not worried about the souls of these teens? Do they actually think lessening the consequences is going to help them? You don’t do something this vile with the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. Are they not concerned that with lessened consequences these guys will try it again. What about future victims? Sorry, but I know a lot of teen boys who would never do such a thing to a little kid. They might try something with someone their own age but an innocent kid who can’t fight back? This is vile and heinous and those pastors have blood on their hands. This is predator stuff.

    There is somethig dark and evil running through SGM. This is not your normal teen sin.

    Sgm defenders. How can you support such a system? Get your kids out of there. How the pastors handle this stuff sends a huge message to both victims and predators. The predators love it.

  6. Breeezey says:

    Please forgive me for not making my comment on the current thread. Fried Fish asked a question that deserves an answer: “But I have a really hard time especially with the “L” in the TULIP anagram. How do you tell someone who is broken, hurting, cast aside, marginalized, abused and even in despair of life itself, that Jesus loves them and MAY have died for their sins, depending on whether or not they are one of the elect……?”

    Fried Fish the answer is scripture itself, NOT DOCTRINE!!

    Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 1:12 But to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

    Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    We have free will to reject or receive Him. Jesus did the hard part. He loved us when wee were unloveable. He died for us. We have to respond to Him. He made the offer to reason with us. He put it on the table to cleanse us as white as snow. We have to believe, open the door, and receive.

    Words like “whosoever” or phrases like “to as many as receieved Him” show what we do. This is not what God does. This is what we do. God makes the offer. we can accept or reject it. Before Augustine there was no teaching in the church about the elect being chosen by God. On the contrary Acts 17:30 says: And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent…

    If men could not reject the “command” of God then we would not have free will. All men eveywhere are called and commanded to repent by God. Most on this side of the rapture will not.

    I could go on but you get the idea.

  7. Keith Grewell says:

    sooo sorry for your pain, and the ongoing repercussions from this great tragedy! I am soo angry that i almost forgot to think about you folks and your daughter, i really want to keep you in my prayers and thoughts foremost…

    NOW… can we all agree that this pastor and the perp should be put in Jail, even all these years later???!!! GOOD LORD WHAT IS GOING ON HERE !!?? How many more stories are like these that we do not even know yet?

    If a man commits murder, and yet confesses to God that Jesus is Lord, and seeks forgiveness, and believes in his heart, YES, he will dine with the Lord in heaven… BUT… he still must pay his debt on earth – if not with his life (depending on which state he lives in) at least w/ life in prison…

    Sex abuse is a felony, a crime, a serious one!!! Any pastor who covers it up, well… you better pray i never find out.. I will turn you the freak in lickity-splt! I don’t care how cool you are, how great you preach, or even if we are friends… you are worse than the perp in my opinion…

  8. Yellow is a Happy Color says:

    @SGMnot, Thank you so much for having the *courage* to share this story!!! This needs to be told.

    @Exclcer, see what good you have done by sharing your story? Thank you as well.

    Question for SGMnot–is this guy still at the church? My kids are in CLC’s Discovery Land every week.

    Is it just me, or are there so many similarities in SGM’s way of handling sex abuse, that it makes me wonder if they are all given a script in the Pastor’s College on what to do? The common themes seem to be
    –focus on the perp and his ‘repentence’
    –minimize the victim and family
    –advocate for the perp
    –try to keep police out of it
    It really does seem pastors are following a manual.

  9. Yellow is a Happy Color says:

    Forgive me, but this was from the previous article that was closed………

    “My question to you guys is….. What would make you guys happy. What do want the end result to be.”
    Why, thank you for asking! I could only hope that lots of CLC pastors are reading this….

    1. Josh doing a new sermon series on true repentance and making ammends. To highlight his points, he could explain how CJ and Racoochi (?) and Lofthouse humbly tracked down Exclcer and offered a real apology that she accepted. He’d share how the apology was done in private, and did not draw attention to their crocodile tears. He’s share how CJ apologized for leading the pastors to take the side of a child molester, even enabling the perp to continue unchecked/unregisterd in ministry to this day at CLC. ( I think I know who he is–he’s still there!) Also, give other examples from sex abuse coverups in Fairfax, and SGMnot’s family, and how ammends were made.

    2. Get elders who aren’t paid, and nominated by the congregation. Pastors who have 5 kids aren’t free to disagree with ‘the man’ unless they have a real degree and tranferable skills. Reform polity, get real polity.

    3. Put distance between CJ and CLC/SGM. He’s been a shining mentor and church founder, but his credibility is shot. He’s only a liability to CLC’s/SGM’s future. Please don’t have him preach again, because I think I’d have to walk out! To my husband and I, he’s clearly is not fit to lead.

    3. Be transparent about money. How much do these pastors get paid? It must be a lot b/c they have all these kids and I don’t see their wives bringing a paycheck home….

    4. Focus on how believers–CLC members–are a holy priesthood, a holy nation, and how we already have everything we need for life and godliness. Our sins are all forgiven and we are positionally clean in God’s eyes!!!

    5. How about another sermon series on the freedom we have in Christ. Freedom to dialogue, freedom to disagree. Freedom to talk. Freedom to blog, even! Christ has set us free from the law, so don’t be enslaved again by foolish teachings.

    Bring it AWN, pastors! Give this CLC member something to feel good about in her church, please!

  10. Ellie says:

    Yellow –
    you asked if the perp was still at CLC, this is from sgmnot’s story:

    Although, we have forgiven and prayed for this boy, now an adult member of CLC, last I heard, the results of his crime on our daughter may be a lifelong struggle for her to overcome!

  11. Ellie says:

    SGMnot,

    thank you for telling your family’s story.

  12. A Kindred Spirit says:

    SGMnot,

    I’m sitting here at a loss for words – another case of child molestation within SGM that was handled like all the others! My heart is aching for you and your daughter right now. I’m so very sorry. I agree with Lucy, “Sharing your story is like planting little seeds of courage in those voiceless and fearful people. It’s a gift.” (And Lucy, let me know if you start a church for the church rejects, church forgotten, and church broken – I’d like to be a part of a church like that myself.)

    I’m with Matt, what’s up with these teenage boys in SGM molesting young children?!! There’s something terribly unhealthy going on in SGM. I remember someone commenting once that some of the kids they knew at CLS experimented making out with the same sex because it was taboo to date the opposite sex! 8O

    Girls from the local college complain that the guys from the SGM college ministry act weird around them and stare at them inappropriately.

    I’ll tell you what’s going on. If someone asked you not to think about pink elephants, what would immediately pop into your mind? What else? Pink elephants!

  13. Stunned says:

    SGMnot, I am so so so sorry to hear what happened to your daughter. I wish I could sit with her and cry and listen and let her rage and weep and share. I wish this thing NEVER happened to her. I wish I could go back in time and protect her. I wish she had gotten tons of psychological help after the matter. I wish she saw her pastors rush to protect her and see to it that she NEVER had to interact with that boy again. I wish she had been allowed to tell her story whereever and whenever she wanted to. I wish that her identity could be the girl who was so loved by her church that every person who knew her rallied to her side, not hating the boy, but loving her. I wish she so many things for her.

    I pray that she views herself as having GREAT WORTH. Precious. Loved. Cared for. Powerful enough to protect herself from now on so that one day she can feel safe.

    I’m so sorry for what you and your husband went through, as well. I’m sorry you had such grief and that you had to carry it alone. I am sorry you didn’t have care and love along the way. I just woke up and I am already too weary, thinking about what your family went through, to even finish describing how I feel for your entire family. I wish that none of this would have happened to any of you.

    In him and with many hugs,
    Stunned

  14. DB says:

    I woke up this morning and, as is my custom, spent some time surfing the net before going to school and I saw this and my heart and stomach sank, “Not another child,” Please, how many times has this happened? Is this the extent of it or is this the tip of the iceburg?

    I am starting to believe that this environment and the culture that it has created is unhealthy in this way. These teenaged males are coming into their own and taking a look at what their future is going to look like and they see themselves falling into the Alpha Male position that has been created as a result of the nepatism (sp) and the notion of rigid gender roles that allows a subclass of incredibly priviliged males.

    Thank God you taught your daughter the difference between good and bad touch, how many girls in this system have not been taught to defend themselves because the leadership teaches parenting classes that emphasize first time obedience and things like forcing a shy toddler to look a stranger in the eye and greet him/her.

    One would hope aginst hope that the first time something like this happened they would do what it took to keep it from happening again.

    Nope, our dear Alpha Male leaders at SGM developed stonewalling and coverup techniques.

    Remember what Jesus said about millstones?

  15. Jayson says:

    I am so very sad to hear what happened to your daughter. I seems to me SGM pastors are far more concerned about the social status of SGM than people. They do anything to protect that preceived ‘Mr Clean” image. They are nothing more that a bunch of narsistics.

    To any SGM boy that wants to try somethig on my daughter, I say “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

  16. Fried Fish says:

    @Breezey #6 – that’s my understanding too, thanks. Enough on that for now.

    SGMnot and all the others whose children who have been sexually abused by the product of SGM theology, teaching and example (and I really think that’s a big part of the cause) – I am sorry for what you have gone through. I have three grown daughters myself and I can’t imagine my response would be anywhere near as gracious should this have happened to any of them.

    When will SGM as a whole realize that the authoritarian, complementarian, passive aggessive misogyinistic self-despising sociopath that their culture breeds, is an absolute insult to the God who made man (and woman) in His image.

    I realize that not all SGM’ers have had the same experience, and I think a couple of them have mentioned here that they don’t teach some of the more strange and controversial practices anymore, but it also doesn’t sound as if everyone got the memo. The leadership who introduced the practices that led to this result need to be held responsible.

  17. old timer says:

    SMGnot, I will pray for your daughter to continue healing emotionally.

    Dan, Did you ever google Tyler Perry? He was on the Oprah show talking about when he was sexually molested and the entire audience was filled with men who had been molested just like he was. Dan I will pray for you.

    This INFURIATES me, as a mother and a grandmother, that the perps get a pass while the victims are minimalized by SGM.

  18. PhillyInDC says:

    Longtime lurker, very rarely post. Has anyone ever contacted the media about this? (the cover ups, not SGMnot’s specific story) The only way this will change is if truly unbiased outsiders (media, law enforcement) step in.

    This is so disheartening. I was molested by a family member at a young age (over 25 years ago) and a lot of the closure for me was to sit through the trial and see him go to jail. As much as I consulted with counselors, the best medicine was to see justice.

  19. FSGP says:

    SGMnot –

    I am so sorry that you experienced this. SGM has pretty much drained the tears from me. But when I read accounts like yours I mist up and genuinely ache for you and yours.

    God forgive us all,
    Former SG Pastor

  20. SGMNot, I am so grieved to hear your story. At first I thought it was one of the previous ones, but it is fresh pain to see a new one. When will this end? And these men call themselves shepherds?

    I have set up a new blog to address abuse in churches, organizations and families. I am trying to add links to sites that cover this in-depth. Can anyone send me a link to the sites that have lists of signs of spiritual abuse, recovery help, etc.? My new site, which now consists of articles from my other blogs, is at http://www.watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com. My current links page is here: http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/p/links-on-spiritual-abuse.html

    The title “Watch the Shepherd” does have a double meaning. We are to watch Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to see how he cared for people and how he wants to care for us. And we are to keep a discerning eye on those who claim to be shepherds of God’s people. Please come visit and let me know what you think.

  21. NLR says:

    I’m standing in line at Starbucks waiting for my morning fix and I read this much…

    My heart sank… I read a little more And now I can’t stop crying… Im so grieved by this. I’m afraid to open my eyes and see the rest.

    I’m so sorry, SGMnot. There are simply no words.

  22. EMSoliDeoGloria says:

    I’m so sorry, sister…. You should never have been put through this categorically wrong response from those who were supposed to Shepherd you. Can anyone think that this is how Jesus would have responded?

    I’m in a different SGM church and these repeated mis-handlings of sexual abuse situations by SGM pastors (at least on the East coast – don’t know about the West) make me so angry. I am going to be mega-vigilant if I ever have children in any church (my DH grew up in a very different church environment where a sex offender / sex abuse situation was mis-handled by leaders) and will be asking A LOT of very direct questions ahead of time about pre-cautions the church takes to protect children and what is / is not done to protect children in the church if a minor or adult commits an offense against a child and the leaders know about it. It’s inexcusable that more concern would be shown for the perp and family than the victim and family. That isn’t loving and it is contrary to the biblical principle of the strong protecting the weak. Also, the reflex to avoid involving the civil authorities is just wrong in these instances. Paul clearly states that those authorities exist as a terror to evil doers and they do not bear the sword (a metaphor for the power of civil punishment) in vain. If it isn’t evil to sexually abuse a little 3 year old or 11 year old, I don’t know what is! Just because the evil doer is a minor or in a church-going family should not protect them from the civil consequences of their evil deeds.

  23. NLR says:

    Sorry, jacked up my block quote…

    “In 1993 our daughter was sexually molested by the fourteen year old son of a close family friend from CLC, while he was babysitting for us. It was a week before her 3rd birthday”…

  24. Gracie says:

    SGMnot and ExCLCer and Dan,
    Like FSGP, more tears for you guys. I’m so sorry for your pain and for the long-term effects of these crimes. So very sorry.

  25. NLR says:

    Matt–

    It has to do with sexual repression and unhealthy suppression and unhealthy attitudes towards modesty and women due to the culture and religious views. I’ll expand more later but think on the same lines as why Muslim men gang rape and assault women who show a forearm or a wrist–the women are merely sexual objects but also objects of submission and control. My head is cloudy after reading this and my heart wobbly. It won’t sit up straight right now. :(

  26. acme says:

    Ellie, I think Yellow was saying that the perp in exCLCer’s story is still at CLC. Yes, he is. ExCLCer posted that he’s working with kids in a band — my heart sank when I saw this post, because I was pretty sure I knew which band this was. I then confirmed it — contacted my friend who plays in the band and asked what precautions were in place (because my daughter has gone to parties at the friend’s house where the perp was — I was sick.)

    SGMNot, I am so very very sorry. I’m so grateful your daughter was able to tell you right away — and that you called the police first. Praying for your daughter — and your family.

    Anne
    CLC 1986-2007

  27. A Friend says:

    @SGMNot, I am very sorry that you went through what you went through and I will pray for you, your daughter, and your family. My guess is that we know each other since you mentioned being in CLC for a long time, though I am not personally aware of your situation. Having children, including a daughter, I know such a situation would be difficult for me as well. It is very important to protect our children, so your story is a reminder to be vigilant to that end.

  28. happymom says:

    SGMnot,

    I am so very sorry for what your family has gone through. I think I can understand the ongoing effects this has on a family.
    Thank you for sharing your story. My prayers are with you and your daughter and I hope you have close friends that have been there for you, although I realize this is something that can be difficult for even well-meaning friends to understand. If there is any thing we can do, please feel free to get my email from Kris.

  29. jedi says:

    SGMnot: Thank you for speaking out. I personally believe it is a lifelong struggle, but for myself, it keeps God very close. I struggle more with how wondering how I would have been if those things had not happend to me, than anything else. I was changed forever because of abuse, but I know from experience that keeping quiet about any abuse, will often just increase the shame in the victim.
    I often wonder too considering the size of clc how many people have been molested, beaten, abused and have had no counseling afterward. Those who are depressed, suicidal, cut themselves, and have no pastor to go to for help. When they have tried to go to a pastor, they are often told they are the sinner, they are calling attention to themselves and they are to blame. They are told to repent. They are not helped by pastors, they are told to keep quiet about abuse, and are not given any information about going to seek a professional counselor. Perhaps the pastors do not want outside counseling ~ that would call attention to themselves and their organization. If people do go for outside help, they go in secret.
    If this “changes” too. If they now start “allowing” outside counseling from professional mental health experts, I would hope that people will speak out and ask questions like: Why is this changing now? What was it that was wrong/sinful about counseling before? I have not heard anything at all regarding professional counseling on the books for the new Changes being made in clc.
    keepinstep. Sorry, I will try to do that, I am not always sure how to but I am trying… Let me know if I do better ok? Thanks.

  30. NLR says:

    Dan–

    I am equally grieved at what you are going through. I know this haooens to men too and is equally horrible. I’m so sorry.

    Matt–

    I wrote down your email but misplaced it. You mind giving it again? Sorry :/

  31. AER says:

    It is so sad to hear about these molestation reports. Has anyone who have read these reports thought about reporting these to the authorities? Has anyone taken any action on this? I have. I just don’t know how to go about it. I think the most important thing would be for the victoms to share their stories with the police. The pastors and members of the SGM board who have participated in hiding these events should be held accountable. They are guilty by association. Any thougts on this????

  32. Willie says:

    Matt and NLR,

    Are you both serious? Someone who molests a 3 year old girl has serious psychological problems or there is a good chance that they have been molested in the past. This is not the product of sexist teaching in anyway.
    Matt stated, “Is this a product of the teaching concerning strict gender roles and the worth of females? Do they think themselves entitled? I know of some of the ‘women are there to serve men’ stuff coming out of there. Teen boys are going to interpret that their way.”

    What you said is glaringly deficient in so many ways. I was a member of CLC 18 years ago. There was no strict teaching on gender roles with a focus on woman being subservient to men. Teen boys do not think the way you are describing at all. Normal 14 years old don’t hear a message on gender roles and draw a logical conclusion that you should molest a 3 year old. Seriously? You actually think that? Why don’t you take some time to read a few case studies on people who molest and those who have been molested before you make a sweeping ignorant statement. Inform yourself before you try to reform anyone else.

  33. Stunned says:

    Dan, I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. I had no idea. Was the abuse at the same church that later shunned you? I wish there was some way for people to be more open and honest so others knew that they were not alone. I wish you had had others to talk to when you were a kid.

    Btw, I sometimes have a hard time speaking about my abuse. But at least there are more of us women who talk about it. Thank you for letting men know they are not the only ones! Conservative numbers show that one out of 5 or 7 men are sexually abused. Thank you for using your voice. I hope it works to give courage to more men.

    Stunned

  34. golden says:

    Grieved reading this. Simply Grieved. I am cut to the bone that your daughter had to walk through this. I am so sorrowful and without words that your family was not cared for!!!
    Praying…

  35. A Kindred Spirit says:

    Book excerpt from “Protecting Your Church Against Sexual Predators” by Kregel Publications.

    In church after church around the world, reports have come to light about children being molested by someone in the place where they should feel safest. The Roman Catholic Church is reeling from staggering financial judgments in lawsuits filed by molestation victims. Most of these cases have come into the spotlight many years after the alleged sexual crimes occurred.

    For decades, the Catholic Church quietly settled abuse cases out of court and shuffled pedophile priests to different parishes. Not until the early 1980s did the news media start digging into allegations that had surfaced in places such as New Orleans, Louisiana.1 In 1992, the Boston scandals began a nightmare of litigation for Roman Catholic diocese administrators in the United States. After more than a decade, the end of litigation is not yet in sight.

    But the Roman Catholic Church is only the most visible defendant. Lawyers also have other church organizations in their sights. In some of the targeted churches, leaders have made the same mistakes that got the Roman Catholic bishops into so much trouble. Incidents were concealed. Law enforcement agencies were stonewalled. Safeguards were lacking. Misconduct was not subjected to church discipline.

    Sexual misconduct toward children in the church is not new, but attitudes and perspectives about child molesters have changed and absolutely must change. Otherwise we will continue to cope with devastated lives, financial disaster, and member disillusionment. Church leaders had better take a long, hard look at this issue.

    To begin with, let us look at some facts about these crimes:

    1. The vast majority of child molesters are male.2
    2. Victims may be male or female.
    3. Child molesters tend to work hard to win positions of trust. Authority, trust, and respect enable molesters to manipulate children, parents, and other leaders.
    4. A child molester will create fear in the child, so that the child is afraid to tell anyone.
    5. There are no “typical” child molesters. They may be of any age.
    6. A child molester in the church looks for and tries to create opportunities to be alone with a child or children.
    7. Prior to being caught, the typical child molester attacks thirteen children.
    8. Child molesters often are married, may show evidence of
    a strong Christian witness, and may be in positions of responsibility.3
    9. Child molesters often do not recognize that any harm has come to their victims. Frequently, there is more remorse from being caught than for injuries inflicted by the crime.
    10. A child molester is very likely to return to criminal sexual behavior after release from prison.4

    FAQ: Why should I expect a child molester to come into my congregation?

    ANSWER: Churches provide one of the best sources for children to be found. An atmosphere of trust and acceptance makes the church one of the easiest places for predators to find opportunities to attack victims.

    Child Abuse Statistics on the Rise

    Since the 1970s, child abuse is far more likely to be reported than it was before. In California, for example, the number of reports investigated rose from about 119,000 in 1976 to about 475,000 in 1988.5 A similar statistical increase occurred throughout the United States and Canada. In 1976, fewer than 6,000 incidents of a sexual nature involving children were reported to law enforcement and child welfare workers.

    Once sexual abuse became more widely recognized and reporting was encouraged, the number of reports increased to 130,000 in 1986. The number tripled between 1980 and 1986 alone. Today, more than 300,000 child sexual abuse reports are investigated annually in the United States.6

    So, whereas the church might have been forgiven for being caught unawares by pedophiles in the 1970s, there is no excuse today. Ample warning has been given. The church is a natural magnet for children. Pedophiles hunt children. Thus, it would be foolish to think that pedophile child molesters wouldn’t regard the church as a hunting ground. However, in an interview with Christianity Today, attorney Richard Hammar, an author and expert in legal aspects of church life, said, “Our research indicates that 70 percent of churches are doing absolutely nothing to screen volunteer youth workers.”7

    Molesters May Assault Many

    There are no “absolute” statistics on the number of children molested every day in the United States, Canada, or any other country. Despite the increased awareness of the problem, and the likelihood that a sexual incident will be reported, many still go unreported. In some nations, molestation is not discussed as freely as it is in North America. We can only trace numbers of complaints, investigations, arrests, convictions, and releases.8 Research on adults who were sexually abused as children suggests that the large majority of victims do not report their abuse at the time it occurs. Children often keep their history of abuse a secret because they fear their parents’ rejection, punishment, and blame.9

    In a typical church environment, guilt and the potential stigma associated with abuse, coupled with the understanding of how homosexual acts are viewed by the church, often will silence an abused child, particularly if he or she is in or near the teenage years. Younger children are often sworn to secrecy with threats of violence or some vague, undefined “doom” that will occur. The real tragedy is that, while their little lips are sealed, so are their hearts.

    Remember, the typical child molester does not wear a sign. And the victims are not clamoring to tell their stories of molestation. They are sitting in church with sad eyes, quiet, confused, and hurting.

    The typical child molester has a string of prior victims and may or may not have been detected yet. He is calculating and cunning, waiting for opportunity. The only question is whether the particular church he has chosen (or that chose him) will afford him the opportunity he needs.

    One attempt to estimate the number of victims in 1998 was published in the 2001 Annual Review of Sociology. For all kinds of violent crime in 1998, including sexual attacks, 87.9 of every thousand U.S. adolescents between the ages of twelve to fifteen became victims. A slightly higher rate of 96.2 of every thousand teens between the ages of sixteen and nineteen became victims.

    For people in their twenties, the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime drops rapidly. At age sixty-five, only 4.4 of every thousand persons are victims. Ross Macmillan, who wrote the report, observed that the age variables apply to all the kinds of violent crime studied. Robberies and sexual assaults were ten times as likely among adolescents. Other assaults were twenty-three times more likely.10

    Sixty-seven percent of all victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were under the age of eighteen; 34 percent of all victims were under the age of twelve. One of every seven victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies was under the age of six.11

    Population and Pornography Increase Sex Crimes

    Several reasons might be suggested for actual increases in crime numbers, as opposed to increases due to better reporting and a greater willingness to talk about behavior that might be identified as sexual. Natural increases in population certainly play a part in crime statistics. Another factor that is increasingly being blamed is the easier availability of child and adult pornography on the Internet, which may come to the attention of people who have sexual proclivities that they might not have acted upon in the past. Assuming that Internet pornography will not become more controlled and less available, we can expect that the rate of sexual assaults, including child molestation, will continue to outpace population growth. This increases the chances that our communities and our churches have pedophiles or people with pedophiliac tendencies. In short, pedophiles are all around, and some are church members.

    FAQ: What does a child molester look like?

    ANSWER: He looks like you, especially if you are a man.

    • Pedophiliac child molesters are invariably male. Although there are some female molesters, they are few and their victims are typically males in their teens. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children reports: “In both clinical and nonclinical samples, the vast majority of offenders are male.”12
    • A significant percentage of victims are males. A study undertaken by the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, of 457 male sex offenders who had committed crimes against children, found that about one-third of these sexual offenders targeted male victims.13
    • Child molesters can be preteens or grandfathers. A U.S. Department of Justice report, titled “Criminal Offender Statistics,” found that criminal offenders who had victimized a child were on average five years older than violent offenders who had committed crimes against adults. Nearly 25 percent of child victimizers were age forty or older.14 Forty percent of the offenders who victimized children under the age of six were juveniles under the age of eighteen—one reason to keep male teens out of the nursery.15

    A Child Molester May Have Been a Victim

    It is not uncommon for molesters to have been victimized in their own childhood. There is also evidence that the greater number of male child molesters are homosexual. Quoting Journal of Sex Research statistics, David Wagner, an associate law professor at Regent University School of Law, said that heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by a ratio of at least twenty to one (in other words, homosexuals comprise about 5 percent of the population), yet homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of all child sex offenses.16

    FAQ: Christ forgives sinners. So if a repentant child molester comes into my church, shouldn’t I treat him just as I would any other sinner?

    ANSWER: No! If you do that, you may one day be called to account for your failure to recognize the danger posed by such an individual. Ignorance may not be a valid defense.

  36. A Kindred Spirit says:

    Let me emphasize the last “question and answer” of that excerpt again…

    FAQ: Christ forgives sinners. So if a repentant child molester comes into my church, shouldn’t I treat him just as I would any other sinner?

    ANSWER: No! If you do that, you may one day be called to account for your failure to recognize the danger posed by such an individual. Ignorance may not be a valid defense.

    DID YOU READ THAT, SGM?!!! :x

    Some of you SGM guys aren’t stupid. If I can find this kind of information on the web, you’re aware of it, too. You know the statistics. Your precious image and protecting pet families is more important to you. God have mercy on your souls!!

  37. 80sSGM says:

    In 1985, the church we had previously been members of joined with PDI. (We had left the church in 1984.) At the time I thought it was a good idea. Brent was the contact person and I knew him from college.

    At some point (later or ’85 or early ’86), a family friend, who was still a member of that church, acknowledged homosexual pedophilia (because he got caught) to the leaders of that church. The only thing ever told to us was that the man was forbidden to be friends with us — giving the indication that this was because we left the church; we were never told of the man’s sins.

    After we moved to another area, the man left that church and reconnected with us — even leading the youth group at one point with us having no knowledge of the sins he had confessed years earlier to the “elite” group of men called elders in our previous church.

    Eventually I found out AFTER having allowed this man to live in our home, that my son was among those this man confessed to abusing. How could this have been kept from us???? This man was later publicly disciplined by a national ministry (1993) in one of our church services (and here is something ridiculous — we were told to allow him to continue to live in our home as a demonstration of God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness — we ended up throwing him out after a few more months). At least everyone in the church was put on notice as to what his now-very-evidently ongoing and not-truly-repented-of sin was.

    But even at this point the police were never notified. Finally, years later (2006 I think) when we found out about more molestations, we took this man to the police ourselves (the heck with dealing with church authorities) and we had to listen to part of his detailed 30-year accounting (the part that involved our son) of this man’s abuse of boys. He recalled names, date ranges, and places as if he treasured those memories. It was truly sickening. And to think it could have been stopped in the ’80s if the eldership hadn’t decided to keep it amongst themselves.

    This man recently showed up at the church my daughter attends and she and her husband immediately notified the pastor about him. The pastor told him that they were going to give notice to the congregation about him and that he was not allowed in the children’s wing of the church nor to walk anywhere else on church property without an escort. Hooray! Finally a church that was willing to do it right. But this man felt this wasn’t fair to him, so he left that church. Who knows where he is attending now.

    And as for the extensive police report filed in 2006 — well, that ball seems to have been totally dropped by the police. My son never even got a follow up phone call to see if he was willing to press charges. This man left a string of victims (and may still be victimizing) in at least four states, working some of that time in state juvenile correctional facilities. And yet, he is still a free man. Very sad.

    :new

  38. Lauren says:

    I second what Matt said: “You don’t do something this vile with the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. Are they not concerned that with lessened consequences these guys will try it again. What about future victims? ….This is vile and heinous and those pastors have blood on their hands. This is predator stuff.”

    I have a question: Have any of the parents with sexually abused children contacted a therapist specializing in this type of thing? And if so, did the therapist advise you on how to handle this?

    Fact: “Pedophiles have a strong, almost irresistible, desire to have sex with children. The average pedophile molests 260 victims during their lifetime. Over 90% of convicted pedophiles are arrested again for the same offense after their release from prison.”

    http://www.yellodyno.com/Statistics/statistics_child_molester.html

    My statement will infuriate some SGM pastors and groupies reading this blog, but it would not surprise me a bit if some of the pastors themselves are involved in some sort of sexual abuse given their “cover-up mentality”. God and any victims only know at this point. Time will tell. Be sure, your sin will find you out.

  39. sgmnot says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind words and care. I do hope that our willingness to come forward will help any others to speak out, as well. We are a body and when one of us suffers in secret, it is like a hidden cancer! The victims of crimes and abuse deserve MORE care than the perps. (The perps do deserve some) but it definitely should NOT be the other way around!!

    Yellow: Yes, he is still in CLC, although now they have a policy in effect that perps are not allowed to do Children’s Ministry. Hopefully, this is retroactive, since he was a minor during this crime.

    And I say crime, because often people think this is just teenage experimentation. It is not. And the term “teenage experimentation” as a possibility was mentioned in our 1 “counseling” session with the pastor and his wife.

    I still deal with feelings of regret that I followed the advice of these men for so long.

  40. Stunned says:

    Lauren, I appreciate yellowdyno’s attempt to protect children, however the stat that you quoted from them is off. Normally not a big deal, but as truth is so important in this situation, I just wanted to encourage those who want to know the stats to search further than that site.

  41. Roadwork says:

    I posted this back in April but I think it will benefit the newer viewers:

    I don’t know what SGM Inc.’s translation says but the one I have here says:

    1 Peter 2:13-14
    Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.

    Romans 13:1-5
    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer

    So…. “Be subject…to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors…” Sounds to me like it’s talking about government, and law enforcement in particular.

    “…as sent by him (emperor or governors) to punish those who do evil.” Sounds like government is put in place by God (those that exist have been instituted by God) to punish crime (evil).

    “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.” If you do evil, you should be afraid of rulers. Again, government and law enforcement.

    “He is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

    Governmental laws are in place for your good – as a restraint so that, for example, you don’t drive 70 MPH in a School Zone. When a crime is committed, law enforcement should be brought in as they are God’s servants to carry out His wrath (punishment) for crime.

    This is pretty straight forward. Crimes are to be immediately reported to law enforcement so that those committing the crime (the evildoers) can be punished.

    Apparently SGM, Inc. doesn’t have enough discernment to distinguish between sin and crime. Sin is sin and it should be dealt with as sin. When sin leads to crime, it is to be reported to the governmental authorities so that they can administer the appropriate punishment.

    Maybe in some inflated, twisted way, SGM leadership believes they are the “rulers” spoken of here. Or maybe they didn’t cover this topic in the PC.

    As a friend of mine once said, “Jesus came to forgive you of your sin, not your crime.”

    ~ Roadwork

  42. Stunned says:

    sgmNOT said, ” We are a body and when one of us suffers in secret, it is like a hidden cancer!”

    AMEN!!

    And I say crime, because often people think this is just teenage experimentation. It is not.
    And the term “teenage experimentation” as a possibility was mentioned in our 1 “counseling” session with the pastor and his wife.

    Teenage experimentation?!?!?!? How ignorant, foolish and stupid are these pastors?!?!?!?!?! Whatever “leaders” believe such foolishness don’t even have the business of leading a fly to flypaper (though I dare say the fly would be safer around these foolish leaders than children are).

    If teenagers are going to experiment, do you know who they want to experiment with? Other teenagers!!!!!!!!!! Not a BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    F%$^#*^ a^&***&(&(*

    Final question. How perverse is this supposed leader if he would consider sex with a baby as experimenting? Honestly, makes me question the leaders sexual thoughts, as well.

  43. Michelle says:

    I think the general use of them term “teenage experimentation” is two teenagers “experimenting”. Most kids/teenagers know and adults definitely know what the perp did in SGM’s case was wrong. A pastor should definitely know this. It reminds of a girl who was raped at a frat party back in college. The frat claimed she was “asking for it” because of her choice of clothing. What SGM is doing (forcing the victim to take responsibility) is no different!

  44. CLCerNow says:

    SGMnot – I know you said the perp is still at CLC, but what about the pastor? Is he still there, too?

  45. A Kindred Spirit says:

    There’s something “bad wrong” with pastors that call that kind of a violent crime against a child “experimentation.” BAD WRONG!!

    Such pastors are SERIOUSLY jacked up!!

    That goes WAY BEYOND “experimentation.” That’s a seriously messed up individual, and SGM works harder at getting the incident hushed up and the perp “forgiven” than getting the perp the proper help he needs.

  46. sgmnot says:

    CLCerNow: I don’t feel comfortable giving away who he is, suffice to say, he still is a pastor in SGM.

  47. Lauren says:

    Stunned, that site offers a variety of sources with differing figures. If you have other sites to offer, I welcome those too.

    Here’s a site on stopping Baptist predators that gives more figures:
    http://www.stopbaptistpredators.org/alarmingnumbers.html

  48. Ummm says:

    80sSGM–This is horrifying! That leaders of that church should be held accountable for every child molested by this man after they found out and did nothing. Sickening!

  49. sgmnot says:

    Yellow in #8 hit the nail on the head, so to speak, with this:

    “Is it just me, or are there so many similarities in SGM’s way of handling sex abuse, that it makes me wonder if they are all given a script in the Pastor’s College on what to do? The common themes seem to be
    –focus on the perp and his ‘repentence’
    –minimize the victim and family
    –advocate for the perp
    –try to keep police out of it
    It really does seem pastors are following a manual.”

    And this is not a problem from “long ago” like Josh implied about the people who post “hurts” on this blog, this “policy” is probably still going on today in ANY other sex abuse cases, etc. that come up now.

  50. A Kindred Spirit says:

    I’m so angered by this!! Grrrr!!!

    I’d like to round up every pastor that’s been negligent in such cases and take them to a prison for some of the inmates to “experiment” on!! :evil: