My Employees Feel the Threat

NervousTonight, I sent this email to the police.

Hi Officer_____,

I really appreciate your attention to this matter.  Thanks a million.

One of my long-time employees recently got wind of the threats.  He’s ex-military.  This is how he responded:

I saw the re-post of an email you received.  It was a straight out threat of violence.   The person made comment about you being an “Ex Owner”  and questioned your security at the office and even stated to upgrade the security.  He stated “repent of lose”. 

 That dude threats the security of the office it’s no longer just a direct threat to you it is a direct threat to anyone that works here.    Sam, I need to know why you didn’t inform me/us about this threat.   I have a license to carry and I feel as though I need to be prepared and have it concealed.   Please let me know of your thoughts.  It only takes one person to feel bold enough to charge this office with a firearm.   I don’t want to be unarmed if that day comes.

Monday, I’ll let all my employees know the full details of the threats we’ve received.
 
All my best, Sam

Four weeks ago, I met with the entire company to discuss what I am doing with the Protect-The-Children cause.  The major article in the Houston Chronicle had just come out and the Houston news conference was around the corner.

We discussed the child interview protocol in the Mormon church.  Except for my LDS employees, all were shocked at what we do to our kids.  Everyone, including the LDS contingent, were supportive of my efforts towards change.

The purpose of the discussion was to inform them of the possible risk of losing customers.  There may be Mormon purchasing agents who would look dimly on the cause I have undertaken.  In general, we don’t know the religion of our clients or that of their superiors.  Of course, I think the vast majority of my fellow Mormons wouldn’t punish me for speaking up for protecting kids.  But, it is a possibility.

However, no discussion was had regarding physical and anonymous threats to the business.  Frequently, I’m about as naive as you can get.  The possibility of threats had never entered my mind.  When “The Avenger” sent his ominous emails, I was caught off guard and wasn’t sure what to do.  I neglected to let my employees know.  That will be corrected this coming Monday.

I want to thank all my friends who reached out with comfort suggestions, and sleuthing.  Thanks a million.

Now…..come March For The Children.  Register HERE today.

And, get this…a Salt Lake City restaurant has donated 1,000 sandwiches to feed our 1,000 marchers.

This event is going to BIG…HISTORIC…and…it will SAVE LIVES.

 

Child Successfully Groomed for a Pedophile–By the Bishop–Today

Boy Crying.jpgThis message came in last night.

Just left church and had to give a young man from the ward a ride home. I waited for him while he went in for a Bishop’s interview after mutual for a good hour. He came out of the room in tears. He was very clearly shaken up as we got into my car.

We sat in silence for a minute while he collected himself and I let him know that I am always available to talk and I’m happy to help if I can.  He poured out his thoughts saying he needs to really focus on chastity.  I knew immediately what it meant.

He isn’t my kid.  So I don’t want to push boundaries, so I just let him know that I don’t think he is a bad kid and he is really still just a kid.  A normal teenager.  I told him to not get hung up on little things and that everything would be okay.

He opened up a little more and said he didn’t even know what masturbation was until he went in for this interview.  (I didn’t pry for this information, mind you, he just started pouring out his heart to me.)

It’s terrible that the bishop made this kid think he committed a sin next to murder.

As I dropped him off, he thanked me and asked if he could hug me because he really just needed to hear everything would be okay.

By the time I got home, I was in tears.

One more child…

…..closer to self-loathing

…..closer to suicide ideation

…..closer to decades of adult self-loathing.

…..closer to being groomed for a pedophile?  Nope.  He’s already there.  Evidenced by the fact that he would bring up masturbation alone in a car with a trusted adult.  The bishop groomed him to think that’s okay.  I don’t believe that either the bishop or my friend who gave this child a ride home are pedophiles.  But, our culture grooms our children for the pedophiles that are in our midst.

We are the ONLY institutional church in America who permits it’s children to be routinely groomed behind closed doors by its congregation’s leaders.

Parents, DO NOT allow your child to be taken behind closed doors, all alone, and discuss sexual matters with an untrained man.  The damage that this bishop is doing is likely unintended….but the child is damaged none-the-less.

Join the March to Stop this from Happening to any more Boys

We are going to assure that the children of the future don’t repeat the dreadful experiences of the children in our past.

On March 30, 2018 we will gather at the Salt Lake City/County Building.  Then march 5 blocks to the LDS Church Office Building.  Upon arrival, we will present 2 items to church officials:

  • The signatories on the Petition to Protect The Children–Stop Sexually Explicit Interviews of Mormon Youth
  • Sacred Stories of Sacred Children.  A record of childhoods destroyed behind closed doors.

Register here so we can get an accurate count ahead of time.  Our goal is 1,000 marchers.  It’s going to be big.

How can you help make this all happen:

  • Share the march info everywhere.
  • Bring your friends & family.
  • Encourage friends & family in Utah and surrounding states to join in

We are making Mormon history.  Come make it with us.  It will be a once in a lifetime event.

***Please Share the March-For-The-Children FAR and WIDE***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Terroristic Threats May be Coming from My Own Church

TempleNight

Today’s letter to my bishop and stake president

Dear President_______ and Bishop_______,

Thanks for stopping by my house last Monday and visiting with my wife and daughter.  That means a lot to all of us.

Sorry, I missed you.  The Protect-The-Children movement is now taking more time than I can handle alone.  The night of your visit, I spent several hours on a conference call with a team spread across the country working out assignments.  These people are sharp and capable.  We are all committed to protecting the good name of the church by implementing policies that will protect our kids.

My wife recounted to me that your main message was one of love.  Multiple times you reiterated how much you love our family.  That’s a good thing to hear.

Your outreach of love causes me to make an outreach in return.  If you love our family, I would think you would be moved to action by the threat that has been made against us. 

Apparently, my wife told you that she isn’t really worried.  Well, she didn’t tell you everything.  Here’s what she told me after your visit.  “Sam, I don’t think that this person will attack me or the kids.  I’m concerned about the risk to the business.  What would happen to our income if he attacked your office and shut it down?”

As for me, my stomach turns with anxiety when I think about all this.  Likely, you cannot empathize unless you, your family and your livelihood have been threatened by an ominous and anonymous person going by the name of The Avenger.

Here’s more information about the person that MAY be behind this threat.  It looks like he may be here in Houston.  That’s scary to me.  It looks like he may work for the Church.  That should be scary to the Church.  

You tell me that you have an obligation to protect the good name of the Church.  I’m glad you told me that.  Because, I’m now totally on board with it. 

How crappy will the Church look if the following plays out?  

  • A person who works for the church threatens me, a high profile member. 
  • I notify the Church of the threat and where it may have come from.
  • The Church ignores me. 
  • It also ignores the threat coming from a person in it’s employ. 
  • The Avenger, who works for the Church, follows through on his threat. 

This poses a huge problem to the Church.  The liability it incurs WILL be prosecuted. 

The Church has billions of dollars in assets.  It has a huge security department.  Huge IT department.  There is no excuse for them not to investigate and call out this threat.

You might be interested in how the possible suspect was located.  I have a friend who used to work at church headquarters.  Get this…part of his job was to……find the identities of anonymous threats to the Church, its leaders and its members.   The Church actually pays people in its employ to do this.

I wish that you had sent this information up the ladder when I first sent it to you.  You really ought to do it at this point.  My friend has gone ahead and alerted the Church’s information security department.  But, I would appreciate it if that notification also came from the men who love my family.

Please let me know what action you take to protect both the Church and my family.

Thanks, Sam

 P.S.  I love you guys.  My heart goes out to you.  Only you two have the task of figuring out how to deal with Sam Young.  We are all in the spotlight now.  None of us has a road map for this journey.  Wherever it leads, it will be historic.  I think we are all just trying to do our best to do good things.  My wish is that as we continue to travel, what seems like different tracks, they will all lead to a better and safer Church for our children.

Previous Letters to my local leaders

The Church Threatens…Member Follows Suit with Mal-Intent

Terroristic Threat

A Believing, Practicing Mormon’s Perspective and Why I Have Signed

Lions-Two

By Tony Peterson

Over the past few weeks, Tony and I have been discussing the petition to Protect The Children.  Recently he posted this essay.

Ever since Mitt Romney ran for President, it seems that there has been a much brighter spotlight on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or the Mormon Church). Some of the news has been very good (Mormon relief efforts in areas stricken by natural disasters), and some of the news has been very bad, “Rob Porter”. My purpose in writing this essay is to show that you can be a believing, active, leader sustaining member of the church, and still be supportive of the petition and cause put together by Sam Young, called “Protect LDS Children.”

This petition has many aspects that align well with my beliefs, and there are a few places that they don’t align. Yet, I have come to the conclusion that signing it is the right thing for me to do, and I would encourage my practicing LDS friends to do the same. This petition and cause seeks to fundamentally change the way that ecclesiastical leaders perform interviews on Mormon Children and Adolescents. It does so in the name of protecting the children.

First off, I would like to say, I support, sustain, love, and appreciate every leader I have in the church. This goes from the quorum presidencies, all the way up to the first presidency. I believe that for the most part, God has selected absolutely amazing people, who are willing to put in the equivalent of a second full time job in order to serve those under their watch. I believe that a majority of leaders in the church are wonderful, worthy, men, who are doing their best to serve God, and agree that if anyone were to hurt a child, it would be better for them, had a millstone been hung by their neck and they had been drowned in the depths of the sea.

Additionally, I believe that there has only been one perfect being on earth, and that would be Jesus Christ. This means that everyone, from the lowliest person, to the prophets of god, have all been given flaws and faults that can be used to take away from the message they are sharing with the world. While many in the church will profess that they don’t believe their leaders must be infallible, they are also not willing to deal with the consequences of what that means.

Personal Revelation is a key component to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is evident from many sources such as Nephi in the Book of Mormon. He was directly commanded by God to kill Laban, and steal his property, with the saying “It’s better that one man should perish, than that an entire nation would suffer in unbelief.” Nephi was given a prompting by the spirit to do something that was directly contradictory to the teachings of the church, yet it was necessary for him to fulfill his personal path as directed by the Holy Ghost. At the time, the commandments of the church were not changed to remove killing and stealing from the list of commandments, rather Nephi was commended for following his personal revelation.

We also have a history of bottom up revelation. The most glaring example would be the Word of Wisdom, which was famously proposed to Joseph by Emma, after she grew tired of cleaning up the mess from spitting tobacco in the rooms where the leaders of the church would meet. Emma was an amazing woman, but she was not the prophet called of god. Yet one of the most defining teachings of our religion started as an idea presented by someone who did not have the authority, to those who did have the authority.

Last, and certainly not least, I believe that the church absolutely needs policy changes like this in order to navigate the rough waters ahead of them. I have heard numerous stories of heartbreak from both leaders, and those whom they interview. Children and young people, traumatized by the experience of being alone in a room with a middle-aged man, being asked very intimate questions. That can be scary, overwhelming, and harmful. Additionally, I have met leaders who have had their entire lives ruined by accusations that later proved to be false. They spent their life’s savings, and countless amounts of personal emotional capital in resolving the issue.

The church has a big target on its back now that people perceive a weakness to exist in this area. A very influential ex-Mormon has offered to pay children (and adults) if they were to record their interviews with their bishops and send them to him. He will then comb the submissions finding the worst and most shocking recordings possible, and publicly release and promote them with the intent to harm the church. He has done this in other areas, and has every intention of expanding into areas such as this. These policy changes would significantly reduce the danger from such recordings.

The Boy Scouts of America have set an example that would be very easy to follow. They regularly put all leaders through a training session that teaches that if a youth or any youth are in the room or on an activity, there must be 2 deep leadership at all times. This policy benefits the children, the leaders, and the Boy Scouts of America. Most LDS men are familiar with the program, so instituting it would not be difficult.
Our Bishops act as Judges in Israel. I believe they are blessed with discernment that helps them do the best they can. However, this is not a perfect process.

If I were to write the petition myself to change the policy, it would be rather simple. I would ask for the following points:

  • All interviews between a priesthood leader and any child or youth under the age of 18 must include an adult (usually, but not always a parent) who has been selected by the youth/child to act as their advocate before the bishop. This would ensure that in every circumstance, a second adult would be present. This would protect the church and the leaders from false accusations. It would also make most of the heartbreaking stories listed on protectldschildren.org impossible, due to the presence of another adult. All sides are protected.
  • Bishops should continue to ask basic questions about whether the law of chastity is being followed. If the child does not know what that means, they should be referred to the parents or guardians, who would have access to a pamphlet that very clearly defines the church definition of chastity. Any line of questioning that goes into any moderately to extremely graphic detail would be strictly prohibited.

While Sam’s petition has a few things more than this, and some things that I don’t completely agree with, I believe that his petition is one of the best efforts I have seen to try to change something in the church that truly has potential to benefit all parties involved.

The world needs people who disagree in some fundamental ways to find places where their interests overlap, and where true collaboration can result in a system that benefits all involved.

My first Mission President once taught a Zone Conference on how to differentiate between Gospel Principles, Church Practices, and Personal Preferences. We learned that focusing on Gospel Principles would bring people closer to Christ than would be achieved by focusing on Church Practices or personal preferences. The requests in this petition and call to action reflect well the gospel principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and simply ask that some of the current practices or preferences be changed, without affecting doctrine.

For these reasons, I have signed the Petition to Protect LDS Children,  including my unhidden information.

I may not agree with all of it, but that’s OK. There are many times I don’t agree with my wife, yet we find ways to work together for the betterment of the family. I would like to thank my new friend Sam Young for helping me see ways that we can make the church a safer place to worship for the members and leaders who worship there.

And…I would like to thank my new friend, Tony Peterson, for his loving patience with me.  It enabled us to converse without fear and long enough to climb the hill of common ground.

Join the March for The Children

Help Tony & I assure that the children of the future don’t repeat the dreadful experiences of the children in our past.

Make plans for this historic event.  On March 30, 2018 we will gather at the Salt Lake City/County Building.  Then march 5 blocks to the LDS Church Office Building.  Upon arrival, we will present 2 items to church officials:

  • The signatories on the Petition to Protect The Children–Stop Sexually Explicit Interviews of Mormon Youth
  • Sacred Stories of Sacred Children.  A record of childhoods destroyed behind closed doors.

Register here so we can get an accurate count ahead of time.  Our goal is 1,000 marchers.   It’s going to be big.

How can you help make this all happen:

  • Share the march info everywhere.
  • Bring your friends & family.
  • Encourage friends & family in Utah and surrounding states to join in

We are making Mormon history.  Come make it with us.  It’s a once in a lifetime event.

***Please Share the March-For-The-Children FAR and WIDE***

Terroristic Threat

Police Sugar Land

Email sent today to my stake president and bishop

Dear President______ and Bishop_________,

Today I met with the Sugar Land Police.  I described the cause that I’m involved with and how I’m now speaking out in public.

Then I shared the two emails sent by ‘The Avenger.’

SamWhat do you think?

OfficerThat falls under the general category of ‘terroristic threat.’ 

SamWhat can I do here?

OfficerYou have two options.  Either file charges or file an information report.

SamIf you were in my shoes, what would you recommend?

OfficerFile charges.

SamOK, I want to file charges.

Brothers, I take these ominous and threatening messages seriously.  When I think of what ‘The Avenger’ has intimated, it turns my stomach with anxiety.   My wife was nervous enough that she asked me not to tell the kids.  She doesn’t want to spook them when they really can’t do much about it.  I’ve decided to let them all know so they can be a bit more wary.

Four of my six adult daughters live in this stake.  Four of my five sons-in-law live here.  Eleven of my thirteen grandchildren are also in the area of your ecclesiastical stewardship.

I’m disappointed that I have not heard a peep from either of you.  Yesterday, my wife went to church.  I was hoping that an outreach of comfort would have been made to her.  Not a word.

It’s understandable that my leaders are showing no interest in the fact that I have been threatened.  But, neglecting threats to 21 other members of my family who reside in this stake?  I know you are better men than this.

All I can imagine is that the inside information passed along to me is correct.  You have been instructed from above to ignore me.  That’s fine.  Did they also instruct you to ignore the safety of my extended family?  Either way, I expect YOU to take action.  Let ‘The Avenger’ know that his threats are out of line, illegal and could very well lead to church discipline.  I also expect the Corporate Church to take action.  God forbid that ‘The Avenger’ actually strikes.  If he does, I will lay a large share of the blame on the Church if it does nothing.

You have expressed a desire to protect the good name of the Church.  ‘The Avenger’ is threatening not only me, but also the entire Church’s good name.  I call on you and Church headquarters to speak up and defend our organization’s good name against members who would besmirch it by issuing threats to other members.

-Sam

P.S. The case number at the Sugar Land Police Department is #18-0945

 

Prevent Another Lost Generation–Come March with Us

Lion PrideThis is story #359.  I’ve redacted the location.  Our current policy facilitates grooming and sexual assault of our children.  The following would never have happened if parents had been in the room.

We lost a generation of young men in my ward in the 80’s due to grooming and molestation by a bishop facilitated by one on one bishop interviews. He convinced several young men that there was a secret priesthood initiation involving oral sex. One young man spoke out and his parents took it to church court. The bishop brought in many character witnesses. The accusation was kept secret so no other witnesses came forward and no investigation (e.g. interviews of other youth) took place at that time. So the decision by church court was apparently to remove him from his calling and make it so he “never was bishop again.” He then moved to Pennsylvania, became bishop, and did it again. This time the accusations were proved true, and a serious investigation in our ward youth commenced. All the young men were interviewed. The extent of his depredation was widespread and his family, who I love, was devastated. So the system fails the youth. There is no window on the door to the bishop’s office. No youth should be interviewed without a parent present. Period.

By eliminating one-on-one, behind-closed-door access to our kids, where all kinds of sexual practices can be discussed, we will:

  1. Protect our children
  2. Protect our bishops
  3. Protect the good name of the church.

Join the March for The Children

Help us assure that the children of the future don’t repeat the dreadful experiences of the children in our past.

Make plans to join us for this historic event.  On March 30, 2018 we will gather at the Salt Lake City/County Building.  Then march 5 blocks to the LDS Church Office Building.  Upon arrival, we will present 2 items to church officials:

  • The signatories on the Petition to Protect The Children–Stop Sexually Explicit Interviews of Mormon Youth
  • Sacred Stories of Sacred Children.  A record of childhoods destroyed behind closed doors.

Register here so we can get an accurate count ahead of time.  Our goal is 1,000 marchers.   It’s going to be big.

How can you help make this all happen:

  • Share the march info everywhere.
  • Bring your friends & family.
  • Encourage friends & family in Utah and surrounding states to join in

We are making Mormon history.  Come make it with us.  It’s a once in a lifetime event.

***Please Share the March-For-The-Children FAR and WIDE***

Links

Sign the Petition

Share Your Story

See the Stories

Read the Stories

Other Resources

 

 

The Church Threatens…Member Follows Suit with Mal-Intent.

Arson

Today’s letter to my stake president and bishop.

Subject:  Me, my family and my livelihood have been threatened

Dear President______ and Bishop______,

Thanks for taking so much time to meet with me recently.

During our meeting you referred to me as an apostate multiple times.  I hope you have rethought your charges.  If not, Handbook 1 specifies that a church court is mandatory and excommunication required…if I don’t “repent.”  I took that as a threat to my church membership, the loss of my priesthood and all the blessings associated with the gospel ordinances, including entering heaven with my family.  That’s a very serious threat.

Apparently, your actions have inspired others to follow suit and offer up their own threats.  I frequently receive nasty messages from the ‘saints.’  Yesterday, a menacing email arrived that I expect you to address.  After all, you both are my pastors and should be concerned about my family’s safety.

The messages came from this email address:  thejustavenger@gmail.com.  The anonymous name, “The Just Avenger,” sets an ominous tone to what follows:

I hope you don’t get excommunicated. I think Jezebel’s fate would be better. You’ll never hold a temple recommend ever again. And no, you are not helping children. You’re probably a child molester and are covering your ass.

The great thing about being a business owner is being an ex-business owner. How’s your security system at work? Sounds like an upgrade is in order.
Repent or lose.

Jezebel’s fate?  Look it up and see what he’s threatening.  Lashing out to call me a child molester?  Threatening my business?

 He followed his initial threats with this:

You should be worried about the storm you created for your family and yourself.

This makes me more than uncomfortable.  It has shaken my wife.  She asked me not to share any of this with our kids to avoid them being frightened.
I don’t know if this man is in the ward or in the stake.  I have received very negative messages from former friends in our ward and stake.   Last summer, I was told, “Don’t expect to be welcomed back with open arms.”  This, by a ward member.

No matter where this message comes from, here’s what I’m expecting from my Christ-like leaders.

  1. Send this man an email.  Let him know that making threats against a person’s life, livelihood or the well being of his family is not acceptable.  It has no place in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It’s illegal.
  2. Copy me on your communication.
  3. Notify the 70’s that you serve under.  I expect the Church to officially respond to these threats and to copy me on their communications with the man making them.

You are good men.  I fully anticipate that you and the Church will comply with my expectations.  If not, and my family, my livelihood or my property are harmed, I will view your silence as complicit.

Thank you in advance for taking swift action,

Sam

P.S.  I will be taking the threats made by ‘The Avenger’ to the Sugar Land police.  You ought to send it to the Church’s legal department, too.

P.P.S  Again, I invite you to join the cause to Protect Our Children.  The changes are going to be made.  It’s just a matter of time.  The Church’s good name will be enhanced by making them sooner rather than later.  Yesterday, another serving bishop messaged me that he has embraced the protocol that the petition is calling for.