News Conference Report–1/18/18


The first news conference for Protect LDS Children.  And my first one, too.  Natasha Helfer Parker and Joelle Casteix were amazing, as you’ll see.


Attendance:  75.  YAY!!!

Media:  4 TV stations, the 2 major Salt Lake City papers, several other significant local publications.   The Church’s media arms were there:  Deseret News and KSL TV.

Media Coverage:  Several articles in print, TV, & radio.  Major coup.

New Petition Signatures:  At least 700 so far.  They continue to roll in.  Awareness is on the rise.

Setting Boundaries:  A handful of members have reported that they plan to use the new template to set boundaries in order to protect their children.  This is huge.  It means that real children have actually been extended a new level of safety within the church.

The News Conference Video


My Remarks in Text

Last night I received this message:

“In 2014, l lost my 14 year old son to suicide.  His chat logs before his death hint he was struggling with feeling worthy.   I have no doubts that these Bishop’s interviews played a role in my son’s end of life decision.

After 3 1/2 years of intense research and pondering of his decision, I place these interviews as third on the list for why he made the decision.  My haunting regrets tell me he might still be alive if I had not required that he participate in these interviews.”

I don’t know how a parent ever heals from this.  This dad is watching the news conference as we speak from his home in Las Vegas.

My dear friend at your home, I and 11,000 others apologize from the bottom of our hearts that this happened to your son on our watch.  I was complicit by not paying attention to the practices of my own church.  I won’t make that mistake again.

These 11,000, which now includes you, are committed to warning all Mormon parents to the horrid dangers of these interviews.  It’s still our watch.  Now we are informed.   We will not be haunted by our own silence.

When it comes to protecting our children, I have no tolerance whatsoever for political correctness.  What I say next may offend every person I know.  But, I want to express the empathetic passion that I now feel after having read 1,000 stories of what we have done to our children.

So here goes.  We are killing our children.  This child is not the first to have committed suicide.  I know dozens who have attempted it.  Hundreds who have considered it.

We are raping our children.  Seven year old Sandy on the bishop’s desk.  Twelve year old Amy at the bishop’s knees.   Yeah, you can read their stories.  But, they are so hard to read.  Courageous Sandy and brave Amy,  thank you for making it safe for others to come forward.

We are shaming our beautiful children into loathing themselves.   We ruin their childhood.  We torment  their adulthood.  I have read hundreds and hundreds of these heart-breaking stories.

We are grooming our precious children to be unsuspecting targets of the pedophiles among us.

This has to stop.  And WE are not going to stop until it does.

Now, for the update that I promised in the news release.

  1. On October 31, 2017 we launched the petition: Protect The Children–Stop Sexually Explicit Interviews of Mormon Youth.  Our goal was 10,000 signatures.  That benchmark was reached on Christmas Eve.  Over 5,000 signatories are from Utah.  Currently, there are 11,475 thundering voices calling for the immediate stop of one-on-one interviews and probing questions about masturbation and other sexually explicit matters.
  2. The website has been created to provide an easily accessible location to share and read the stories of the damages that we are doing to our kids.
  3. 173 stories have now been recorded on the site.  Eight of them have been converted to video format.
  4. Some parents are waking up to the risk of their children and have asked for a letter that can be sent to their bishop.  One is now available on the website under “Set Boundaries.”  Click the button and up pops a simple template.
  5. So, what’s our next step? We are announcing that right now.  It’s The March for the Children.  On March 30th, 2018, 1,000 of us will gather at City Hall.  Then march 5 blocks to the Church Office Building.  There, we will deliver our petition directly to the Church.

But, our actions will not cease today, only to resume on March 30th.  Nope.  Our children are too precious to just keep sending them behind closed doors.

We are calling for this practice to stop immediately, today.  How can we accomplish that?

First, we call on the good parents of the church.  Starting today, do not permit your child to be interviewed alone.  Do not permit sexual question to be asked of your child.  A sample letter to set interview boundaries can be found on the website.

Second, we call on the good bishops of the church to cease this practice immediately.  Always invite a parent into every interview, to be inside the room, in support of their child.  Going forward, never ask about masturbation or any other sexually probing questions.  Do.Not.Shame.Our.Children.  Protect our children from all harm.  This will protect you, too.

Third, we call on the good leaders at the top of the church to give instructions to immediately stop this practice.  Protect our children.  Now.  Not in 3 months.  Not in 3 years.  Protect our children now.

Of course, I recognize that the church may not act quickly.  Parents…they are your children.  You CAN act immediately….for your children’s sake.

Finally, I believe the vast majority of bishops are good men.  Most did not intend to harm our children.  Until this past year, I did not understand exactly how we are traumatizing our kids.

But, now we know.  We are informed.  From this day forward, I will no longer give bishops a break for committing the blunders of the past.  They are no longer unintended errors of ignorance.  The next time a bishop takes a child behind closed doors…the harm is intentional.  The next time a bishop shames our children about masturbation…you have damaged our children intentionally.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I love the teachings and example of Jesus, especially this one:

 “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Today we call for the immediate stop of offending our little ones.

Other Resources

8 thoughts on “News Conference Report–1/18/18

  1. Hi, Sam,

    I just saw your blog post News Conference Report. Superbly executed … as usual!

    Media: 4 TV stations, the 2 major Salt Lake City papers, several other significant local publications. The Church’s media arms were there: Deseret News and KSL TV.

    I read the article in the SLTrib, including most of the 242 reader comments to catch the vibe . . . There was the usual assortment of commentary intellect ranging from “I’m gonna start a petition to prohibit petitions . . . ” to those who “get it” and totally agree the interviews must stop . . . including active TBMs.

    I have searched a couple times looking for other coverage and have found nothing other than the SLTrib article. Sam, do you have a list of other coverage that has eluded me?


    Here is a sobering realization. You can lemme know how deeply this has penetrated your psyche so far, Sam.

    The Brethren simply DO NOT CARE if Mormon youth commit suicide because of Church teachings and Bishop Interviews.

    No. Upon further consideration . . .

    Actually, The Brethren DO care. The sobering reality is that they APPROVE.

    Another sobering realization . . .

    Although many TBMs, whose hearts (in spite of The Brethren’s influence) are still intact, do completely agree that the Bishop Interviews are abusive and dangerous, there are MANY TBMs who are in alignment with The Brethren and believe that Mormon youth SHOULD be held to the highest standard of sexual purity (including no masturbation), and that Bishop Enforcement via detailed interrogations during interviews is the BEST WAY to enforce sexual purity on all Mormons (not just young members). Members who fall short and transgress SHOULD feel guilt and shame as the just reward of SINNING.

    Nothing here detracts from the EXTREME VALUE of what you have already accomplished, Sam, and will yet accomplish.

    I just thought I would restate the obvious, that The Brethren are not troubled by member suicides. And unfortunately, there is a nontrivial segment of Church membership who are not troubled either.

    More data points on the foundational, underlying problem:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a dangerously toxic institution inflicting egregious harm on ALL of its membership . . . young, old and in between.

    At the end of the day, the only SAFE MORMON is an EX MORMON.

    In the meantime, protecting Mormon kids who cannot protect themselves is a fight worth fighting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janice,

      Thank you for expressing your perspective. I do respect your right to have an opinion and to speak it.

      Let me correct your misstatement. You wrote:

      “The Brethren do care and do love the children.”

      Your misstatement is to use the verb “do” . . . not once, but twice in your sentence.

      I will edit your sentence to make it a factually correct statement:

      “The Brethren SAY they care and they SAY they love the children.”

      Janice, you are providing a very clear example of how the Mind Control Brainwash administered to the membership by the LDS hierarchy can successfully alter your ability to rationally process incoming information.

      Let me add to your sentence to help you understand how your cognitive processing is shorted out and unable to connect-the-dots . . . as an unbrainwashed mind (such as Sam Young’s) is readily able to accomplish.

      “The Brethren do care and do love the children. It is true that the Utah suicide rate for adolescents is four times the national average and the leading cause of DEATH of Utah teens, but those statistics have nothing to do with The Brethren or what they know is happening on their watch, behind closed doors between Bishops and LDS youth, who are informed that if they touch their own bodies ‘down there’ that they are committing a sin almost as evil as murdering another human being.”

      Janice, did you read that paragraph? Everything in that paragraph is known fact. How are you able to connect THOSE dots and come to your conclusion that The Brethren DO love the children? They know this egregious, life-threatening attack on the emotional health and well-being of LDS youth is happening.

      What do The Brethren DO about it, Janice, to demonstrate that they DO love the children who are either already dead . . . as we speak . . . or contemplating what would be the best way to kill themselves to make the shame and guilt stop?

      What do The Brethren DO about it, Janice?

      They DO nothing.

      The Brethren DO nothing.

      They DO nothing to keep LDS children alive who are either already DEAD or planning how to become DEAD.

      Janice. Are you awake? Are you conscious? Are you remotely paying attention?

      You have been programmed and brainwashed to automatically believe The Brethren are good, decent, righteous, inspired, called of God as Apostles of Jesus Christ . . . and as such, they can DO NO WRONG.

      Of course, The Brethren love the children. Not loving children would be unthinkable, so your TBM brain is unable to associate The Brethren with killing children. Your brain cannot connect those two dots, Janice.

      Your brain cannot do what Sam Young’s brain (and powerful heart) has done.

      To be fair, Janice, your cognitive malfunctioning is NOT YOUR FAULT. You have been damaged by the very successful and effective Mind Control Methods employed by The Brethren to do what?

      To own you, Janice.

      The Brethren own you. They have altered your brain function to the point where they can DO NO WRONG in your eyes.

      Were you listening when (now) President Dallin Oaks actually spoke in public, “It is wrong to criticize Church leaders, even if the criticism is true.” (paraphrased)

      Let me help you understand WHAT that means, Janice. It means that even if The Brethren do NOT care about the children, and even if they do NOT love the children, do say so would be criticising The Brethren, and to criticize The Brethren is wrong. Why is it wrong? Because The Brethren said so. And when The Brethren speak, the thinking has been done.

      No need for Janice to think. The only thing Janice needs to do is paint The Brethren in kindly light, regardless of what they actually DO or tolerate Priesthood Leaders to DO on their watch.

      If The Brethren are able to KILL CHILDREN and have it be OK-FINE with Janice, what more evidence do you need to understand that something is seriously wrong here?

      I believe you are a good person, Janice. I believe you have a kind and generous heart. Unfortunately, a lifetime of TBM programming has damaged your information processing capacity and your ability to observe the behavior of The Brethren and come to a logically defensible conclusion.

      A piece of me wants to apologize for being hard on you, Janice, but subtlety is useless against TBM perception filters courtesy of The Brethren.

      “Gary, you are sick for the things you say.”

      Thank you, Janice. Coming from a TBM brain, that is a High Compliment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great job with the news conference. I csught it on YouTube that afternoon. As you know, I’ve had my own experience as a youth with these interviews. It never bothered me, it just opened my eyes to to how thing were. It surprised me and led to me to choose to never confess anything in future interviews, even if it meant lying. Just answer the questions the way they want them answered and get out of there. Due to guilt, I suppose, some issues arose as and adult due to the way I chose to handle things as a youth. I won’t go into the details here, except to say that it has all worked out in a positive way so far. I am lucky. As such, I plan to attend the march. I’m looking forward to it. This nonsense has got to stop. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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