Preaching Protect The Children at CHURCH

Sam w-Bertie Name Tag

Great day at my ward meetings today.   Wonderful people.  Warm handshakes and plentiful hugs.  Of course, I wore my Protect LDS Children name tag.  As you can see, I grabbed the wrong one this morning.  I’m not Bertie Criddle.  That’s my mom.  My mistake wasn’t pointed out until I returned home.  I laughed and laughed.

Sacrament Meeting  

One of the speakers on today’s program approached me after the meeting.  He said, “Sam, you made the elephant move.  That almost never happens from the ground up.  I want to understand how you made the elephant move.  Can we go to lunch this week?”

Very cool and very supportive.  Our luncheon is scheduled for this Wednesday.

Sunday School

A sister I’ve known for years approached me and gave me a hug.  Whispering she said, “Thanks for the work that you are doing.”  I had no idea that she was familiar with our cause.

Priesthood

No longer is there a division between high priests and elders.  Twenty-two men were present in our meeting.

The instructor started off with this question, “What are some of the things that are unique in our Church?”

Oh man!  My mind immediately jumped to a statement that I wanted to blurt out.  I held off in order to collect my thoughts and….well, I was nervous.  It had been awhile since I’d made any controversial comments.

“Book of Mormon,” someone called out.  It was written on the chalk board.

“Prophets.” “Revelation.”  “Nature of God.”  Each in turn were recorded.

Finally, my resolve congealed,

“Here’s something unique to only our church.  The bishop taking children behind closed doors and asking them sexually explicit questions.”

The instructor, “Ok.”  The chalk went silent and the subject was changed to the real topic of the day…revelation.

Several points about personal and prophetic revelation were discussed.  The contrast was made between Nephi and his murmuring brothers.  One of the elders made this comment:

“Sometimes I feel like murmuring until I get more information and can see the whole picture.  It helps me understand revelations I’d previously wanted to murmur about.”

Suddenly, a personal revelation burst into my brain.  My hand shot up.

“I really appreciate the comment about having more information.  If I’d known that sexually explicit questions were being posed to 4 of my daughters, all alone behind closed doors, I would have done things much differently.  I know now and have received the revelation that I should have received years ago to protect my daughters when they were children.”  

The instructor responded,

“That’s why I’ve decided to teach my kids about chastity myself.  I don’t want them learning about it in the bishop’s office.”

Wow!!!

Action Call

What an amazing 3 hours.  Validation and awareness-creation in every meeting.

Protect LDS Children has a three pronged TBO strategy.  Top down, Bottom up and Outside In.

Our members can affect great things from the bottom up.  Here are two calls to action.
  1. Send a letter to your bishop to set boundaries.  Three sample letters are shown below.  Then, share your bishop’s response on the Success Stories Page.
  2. Look for opportunities to bring this topic up for discussion…in classes, with friends, with neighbors.  Today, I didn’t go to church with the intention of making the comments that I did.  Two opportunities magically presented themselves.

Regarding sending your bishop a letter or email:  Imagine if 1,000 members across the country did this.  Imagine in 10,000 members did.  This will make a huge impact.

Thousands of letters to bishops will protect tens of thousands of children.

Thousands of conversations in priesthood and relief society will protect tens of thousands more.

We can do this.  We have already made the elephant move.  Now, the elephant just needs to move to the right place and offer full protection to all of our children.

BTW, congratulations on causing the historic baby step that the Church has made.  You are awesome!!!

Sample Letter #1

Dear Bishop,

Our family has decided to set the following boundaries with regards to our children.

  1. Our children are not to participate in any one-on-one interviews with anyone in the stake, including the bishop.
  2. We are to be notified in advance of any interviews with our children.
  3. One of us must to be present in all interviews with our children.
  4. No sexual matters are to be discussed during any meetings involving our children.

These limits have been discussed with our kids.  We and they fully expect that these boundaries will be respected.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

This decision does not diminish our esteem for you as our bishop.  We appreciate and thank you for your dedicated service.

Sincerely,

Sample Letter #2

Hello Bishop,

I wanted to reach out to you regarding my children. You no doubt have heard about the recent campaign to change the way our youth are interviewed.  I assure you, we do not have an inkling of nefarious deeds taking place in our ward.  It is our effort to teach our kids appropriate boundaries and direct topics of conversation.  _______and I have decided to set some boundaries with regards to our children.

*Our children are not to participate in any one-on-one interviews with anyone in the stake, including the bishop and stake presidency. This also extends to counselors. Please be sure that they are aware.

*We are both to be notified in advance of any interviews with our children.  Consent from both parents are to be obtained before an interview is to take place.

*One of us must to be present in all interviews with our children.

*No sexual matters are to be discussed during any meetings involving our children.

These limits have been discussed with our kids. We and they fully expect that these boundaries will be respected. Please make this known that this is our family policy and this is to be followed by future leaders as well.

With love and appreciation,

Sample Letter #3

Dear Bishop,

You may have read in the news that there are a growing number of people both inside and outside of the church who are voicing concern about the policy which allows private one-on-one worthiness interviews between children and bishops. These interviews include explicit questions about sexual themes and there is concern that this arrangement is a setup for two major kinds of abuses. The largest movement, under the heading of ProtectLDSChildren.org, recently delivered over 50,000 signatures of support to the brethren at the Church office building calling for policies to be updated to safeguard our kids.

Changes to policy can take time, but I would like to discuss what we can do now to protect our children in keeping with our parental charge to love and care for our children.  I would preface this with a brief synopsis of the sort of harm we are wanting to avoid.

The first and most obvious sort of abuse which has been facilitated by the private and isolated nature of these interviews is sexual assault, pedophilia and rape. This is called overt abuse. It is understood that most Bishops are not predators, just as most scout leaders and most Catholic priests are not predators.  However, in Scouting and in the Catholic church, they learned by hard experience that predators exploit permissive policies to prey upon the vulnerable. In our church, the same is true of those Bishops who have been discovered to have abused children in this manner – the existing policies facilitated their abuse.  Just as Scouts and Catholics revised their policies to safeguard against predators, LDS church policies require revision.

The second form of abuse which results from these interviews is harder to identify, however is much more prevalent.  This is called covert abuse.

Imagine a parent chastising a toddler every-time she stumbles while learning to walk – telling the child that they are wicked, weak and worthless at every misstep. We could see this as a form of verbal and emotional abuse – even though the parents may be well meaning in their attempts to help the child get command of their ability to walk. The child would internalize the message of failure and worthlessness and it would shape how the child viewed herself and her worth. It is a fact that everyone who ever learned to walk stumbled along the way, and those stumbles were part of the normal development of the child – but the child would not understand that reality. They would imagine that they were the only ones who kept stumbling as they developed and it would cause a form of dissociation which results in a hatred of themselves and a sense of worthlessness which is harmful.  

This is the reality faced by many youth who are navigating puberty and are faced with leaders who demonize aspects of normal human sexual development under the heading of sexual purity. These leaders may be well meaning but they are untrained and ignorant of normal human sexual development or the traumatic psychological effects of inappropriate shaming.  

Just as the obvious sort of verbal and emotional abuse may lead to a life of self-loathing, insecurity, depression, self harm or anxiety and dysfunction – covert sexual abuse resulting from these interviews can be just as destructive.

My wife or I will be present in all interviews, whether with you or one of your counselors. Even if an interview is to be brief, one of us must be present. This includes formal interviews (such as at birthdays) or informal (such as a quick pulling in from the hall for a class presidency re-arrangement).

If in the event one of my children requests a meeting with you and also requests that someone other than me or my wife be present, we will allow them to choose who should be present (such as a counselor, or YW president or advisor, etc.)

Explicit questions about moral worthiness will not be asked to my children. The very nature of determining “worthiness” insinuates that a child may be unworthy. My children are good kids and I know that God loves them. Even if they do make mistakes, as we all do in life, I do not want them to ever feel that they are unworthy before God. They are always worthy of his love, no matter what. My wife and I, as parents, can help them with the repentance process and to accompany them to visit with you if that is needed.

I am requesting that you do not ask explicit questions about masturbation, sexual orientation, or any other intimate sexual activity. These are items that we will discuss with our children in our home, as their parents. I do not think it is appropriate for a young boy or girl to be in a room alone with a man, any man, and be asked these types of questions.

Children are not under covenant to obey the Law of Chastity. That is a temple covenant. We will discuss chastity in our home with our children. What it means, and how it relates to them. However, I do not want them being asked by an adult man if they are sexually pure. I believe that this type of questioning could possibly play a role in a child at some future point being groomed by other adults (whose intentions are evil) if the child feels that it’s OK to discuss sexual topics with an adult man. Now, maybe you never would ask these explicit questions. But there are plenty of Bishops out there who do. And it is damaging. It is damaging to a child’s sense of worth, and it could be damaging to their sexual development that could cause relationship and mental health issues both in the present and later in life. It is damaging that a child may develop a sense that they are not worthy of God’s love, as was the case for me during my teenage years.

With love and appreciation,

 

Pompous, Petty and Infantile

First Pres

Dear Stake President,

I hope this missive finds you well as our beautiful spring weather is about to fade into summer’s heat.

Over the past few years, I have sent you several letters that I hoped would be passed up the chain of priesthood authority.  So far, I have not heard any word in response.  I’d like to know to whom you forwarded my communications.

Below you will find a new letter that I’ve written to the apostles.

This is actually my 4th letter to them.  The first one was entrusted to your care several months ago.  The next 2 were printed as full page spreads in the Salt Lake Tribune and the Ogden Standard Examiner.  The ads in the paper cost me a total of $25,000.  Hopefully, this one will only cost me time.  Please forward it to them.

BTW, I’d love to sit down with you and reopen discussions on changes we should make in our stake.

All my best,

Sam

Dear Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

Although, I don’t believe that you are pompous, petty and infantile, it appears that some highly respected members do.  At least, that’s the way I interpret what they are saying. 

Listen to this quote from a prominent and renowned member:

“If you want to change the church, it’s possible to do that at the grass roots level.   That’s what I call trickle up revelation.  It’s an important force, maybe one of the most important forces in the church.  The one thing that you can absolutely guarantee is that a frontal assault on the brethren or even the perception of that will cause them to dig in.  You have to be politically savvy.”

No matter how something is brought to a person’s attention, if it’s the right thing to do, we do it.  To dig in and stall if the other party is not “politically savvy” reflects a pompous, petty and infantile attitude. 

I believe that you have the opposite approach, the one described by Elder David A. Bednar in the recent General Conference.

He instructed us in the Christ-like quality of meekness.

“A distinguishing characteristic of meekness is a particular spiritual receptivity to learning both from the Holy Ghost and from people who may seem less capable, experienced, or educated, who may not hold important positions.

Meekness is the principal protection from the prideful blindness that often arises from prominence, position, power, wealth, and adulation.”

What a great quote.  Of all people, certainly the apostles must have the quality of meekness in spades. 

Elder Bednar described me perfectly:  less experienced and holds no important position.  And he goes on to say that the meek have the spiritual receptivity to learn from politically inept people like me.

And who needs the personal protection that comes from possessing meekness?  Those of prominence, position, wealth and adulation.  That fits you, my friends, to a tee.  According to this potent conference talk, you are susceptible to the blindness that often arises from prominence, position, wealth and adulation.

I am cheered by the insightful teachings of Elder Bednar.  It’s encouraging that you are meek and willing to listen and do what’s right no matter how severe my ineptness is.  The meek learn from the incompetent and do what’s right because it’s the right thing to do.

The pompous, petty and infantile dig in to protect their prominence, position and adulation.  Fortunately, that can’t possibly describe you.

By now, you should know that I represent the 56,000 people who signed the petition that was delivered to you on March 30th.  I, along with 1,000 other members and former members, also presented a book for each and every one of you.  Irene Caso accepted them on your behalf.  The books contain “Sacred Stories of Sacred Children.”  They detail the egregious damage that our current interview policies are causing. 

I trust that you have read many of the stories and are horrified at what we are doing to our kids.  Let’s make the changes now before any more children are hurt. 

This is an urgent matter.  Every week more and more of our children are harmed.

It’s high time that we put into place state-of-the-art protections.  Every other church and youth serving organization already has. 

It’s high time that we protect our bishops.  Our policy puts them in the cross hairs of temptation and false accusations.  Their liability grows everyday.

It’s also high time that we protect the good name of the church.  Certainly, you must know that everybody outside of the church views our practice with disgust.  Our growth in the U.S. has slowed to a crawl.  Continuing our outdated protocol will drag it down even further.  And what about the Church’s liability?  In today’s environment, you have to realize how vulnerable our church has become.

Here are the 2 changes that tens of thousands of us support you in making.

1)  Eliminate one-on-one interviews.
2) Forbid sexually explicit questions from being asked of our children.

These simple changes will protect our children, protect our leaders and protect the good name of our church.

Love and best wishes,

Sam Young and 56,475 concerned friends of our children

What Can You Do Now?

Help bolster our army of thundering lions.  Our petition currently has 20,161 signatures.   Our next goal is 30,000.  Care2 also has a petition that has garnered over 36,000 signatories.  Between them both our total is over 56,000 strong.

If you haven’t already, Sign the Petition.

If you can, Share the Petition….again.

Every week that goes by, children continue to be egregiously harmed behind bishop’s closed doors in Mormon churches all around the world.

IT’S.TIME.TO.PULVERIZE.THIS.POLICY.

Links

Sign the Petition

 

 

Great Grass Roots News

March Don't Make me grow up

Today, I received 3 encouraging reports.

  1. Several active families in Tucson are working in their stake to implement petition style interviews.
  2. Several active families in Scotland are working on the same thing.  They have promised to return & report.
  3. Then, the following letter.  Amazing letter.  Sent by a father of 3 daughters to his good bishop.  He attended the march and was disappointed that not one word was uttered at general conference about protecting our children.

Hello [Bishop],

You may have heard about the rally that was held last Friday in support of asking the Church to update its policies regarding Bishops interviewing children one on one and to also stop asking children sexually explicit questions. A petition was also presented to the Church leaders with over 56,000 signatures requesting these changes be made. I want you to know that I signed the petition and I participated in the rally as well. I want you to understand that this is in no way an indication that I do not trust you as a person. I think you are a good man and I’m glad you’re the Bishop of the ward. 

That being said, I think that it would better serve our children if the church worldwide updated its policy to require two adults in the room when children are being interviewed. This would be similar to the scouting program, where two deep leadership is a requirement at all times. Both for the safety of the child and for the protection of the adult from possible false accusations.

I realize that the church last week updated its policy to allow the child to request another adult be present in interviews if they wish, but I don’t think this goes far enough. This places the burden of protection on the child, who may not even know that it’s an option for another adult to be present. Considering my support for this cause, I felt I would be lacking if I didn’t communicate with you concerning my wishes for my children.

I am respectfully requesting the following with regard to my children:

  • My wife or I will be present in all interviews, whether with you or one of your counselors. Even if an interview is to be brief, one of us must be present. This includes formal interviews (such as at birthdays) or informal (such as a quick pulling in from the hall for a class presidency re-arrangement).
  • If in the event one of my children requests that someone other than me or my wife be present, we will allow them to choose who should be present (such as a counselor, or YW president or advisor, etc.)
  • Explicit questions about moral worthiness will not be asked to my children. The very nature of determining “worthiness” insinuates that a child may be unworthy. My children are good kids and I know that God loves them. Even if they do make mistakes, as we all do in life, I do not want them to ever feel that they are unworthy before God. They are always worthy of his love, no matter what. My wife and I, as parents, can help them with the repentance process and to accompany them to visit with you if that is needed. I am requesting that you do not ask explicit questions about masturbation, sexual orientation, or any other intimate sexual activity. These are items that My wife and I will discuss with our children in our home, as their parents. I do not think it is appropriate for a young girl to be in a room alone with a man, any man, and be asked these types of questions.
  • Children are not under covenant to obey the Law of Chastity. That is a temple covenant. We will discuss chastity in our home with our children. What it means, and how it relates to them. However, I do not want them being asked by an adult man if they are sexually pure. I believe that this type of questioning could possibly play a role in a child at some future point being groomed by other adults (whose intentions are evil) if the child feels that it’s OK to discuss sexual topics with an adult man. Now, maybe you never would ask these explicit questions. But there are plenty of Bishops out there who do. And it is damaging. It is damaging to a child’s sense of worth, and it could be damaging to their sexual development that could cause relationship and mental health issues both in the present and later in life. It is damaging that a child may develop a sense that they are not worthy of God’s love, as was the case for me during my teenage years.

If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions, I’m happy to have a conversation with you. However, as the father of my daughters, I respectfully request that you consider and adhere to my requests above. Thank you.

“My bishop replied that he would respect my wishes. Now, if more people would do this, we could force change! And bishops may make this their own policy even if they are not mandated by SLC.”

Good Point

My friend has a good point.  20,000 people have now signed the Protect-the-Children petition.  What would happen if only 1,000 of us sent a letter to our bishop?  We CAN make this change in the trenches before SLC eventually decides to do the right thing.

If you send a letter or talk directly to your bishop, please share it on the Success Stories page.  Today, we have 12.  Tomorrow there will be hundreds…as we each take individual action.

What Can You Do Now?

Help bolster our army of thundering lions.  Our petition currently has 20,138 signatures.   My next goal is 30,000.

If you haven’t already, Sign the Petition.

If you can, Share the Petition….again.

Every week that goes by, children continue to be egregiously harmed behind bishop’s closed doors in Mormon churches all around the world.

IT’S.TIME.TO.PULVERIZE.THIS.POLICY.

Links

Sign the Petition

 

 

Something New to Evoke Tears

March 30 MarchTonight I cried anew.  Pretty hard.  This time, it’s not because of the stories.

What an amazing rally!!!  Great local and national publicity.  Awareness is starting to gallop.  The advocacy team performed beyond my wildest expectations.  I’m not crying about the march.  I’m relishing in its afterglow.

Here’s what happened:

We Just got back from a family outing.  I turned on my computer.  Checked email.  One popped up from Paypal.  I was stunned…$15,175 in new donations.  One for $75.  One for $100!  One for $5,000!!  One for $10,000!!!  That made me cry.

Fund raising is uncomfortable for me.  This is the first time I’ve ever done it.  I would prefer to pay every damn bill out of my own pocket.  However, I realize that my friends want to be involved more deeply in our cause.  And…we can achieve our goal faster.

Prior to today, many $100 contributions had come in.  A few at $1,000.  A couple at $2,000.  One at $3,000.

Until now, I had hesitated mentioning the larger numbers, not wanting to diminish the importance of $5 donations.  $5 is huge.  I don’t care what amount you have donated, you are putting your money where your heart is.  Do not apologize that you wish you could have donated more.  Nope.  If you think I have any integrity, then you had better believe me…$5 is gigantic.

As I was greeted with $15,175 tonight, I cried.  I cried at the new confirmation that our cause is not grinding to a halt.  Instead, we are gaining momentum in every possible way.  Even the financial piece.

WE.ARE.GOING.TO.WIN.THIS.WAR!!!!

FYI

Expenses:

Approx.  $126,000.

All the costs for the march are not in yet.  There may be a couple more thousand when all is said and done.  You can find a prior breakdown HERE

Donations:

$66,344.54

Including $614.71 cash donated at the march.

I am NOT posting this to request additional money.  This is my spirit of transparency that eases my fundraising discomfort.

I’m blown away at how much has come in.  Obviously, people care deeply about protecting our children,

THANK YOU for your contributions and for you understanding.

 

Unforgivable. Unpardonable.

Unforgivable. Unpardonable.

Sue Krupa Triplets

**Trigger Warning–Child Sex Abuse**

This story changed the lives of three darling little triplets.  Innocent before God and the world.

This story changed me, too.  The privileged, me.  The tragedy free, me.  The perfect childhood, me.  I have wept long and hard.  And continue to, as I type.

**Trigger Warning–likely this will change you**

Every story hits hard.  This one landed a blow deep into my soul.

Screams from a 10 year old boy, as the unthinkable happened in a tent on a hill.

I have had this story for a few days.  As a nightmare in daylight, it has haunted me.  I’m sure that will pass.  But, oh…how does this tragedy ever pass from the triplets?

**Final Trigger Warning–Turn back now if you have any trepidation**

This letter is from a friend of mine.  A friend that I cherish and love.  Recently, she honored me with her trust by sharing her story.  Thank you Sue.

Brethren,

I am writing to you today with hopes that my story will not fall on deaf ears. My name is Sue Krupa-Gray and I was a member for over 4 decades. I believe my story is a prime example of why the church needs to stop interviewing children behind closed doors, especially in regards to sexuality or anything related.

I was about 12 when I was called into my bishop’s office for an interview I will never forget. I’m sure it had something to do with advancement into the YW program. My bishop began asking me a few simple questions, which I answered. But when the subject matter evolved into personal inquiries about my time spent with boys, kissing, touching, and other sexually based subjects, I froze. It’s not that I had done anything wrong. I froze because of the nature of the questions. I froze because he wanted details and became pushy when I silenced myself. I froze because of something the LDS church played a part in.

Let me give you some of my back story.

When I was 9-10 years old we had a home teacher named Richard Bell placed in our home. He was single, came around far more than the required once a month visit, and he spent a lot of time with my triplet brothers, often excluding me. He never arrived with a partner. (Because my mom was single he should have had red flags placed all over him, but no one questioned anything.) He took the boys swimming a lot, played in the yard with them, brought gifts, prompted tickle fights, and took a liking to them. He was eccentric and creepy and he was grooming them for a moment that would change the lives of three children…forever.

The long and short of a complicated and far more detailed story is that Richard Bell marched my two brothers up a hill, in broad daylight, at a church campout and no one questioned him, even though he had a small tent thrown over his shoulder. What he did to my brothers is unforgivable. The repercussions that followed each of us is unpardonable.

My brother Robert, who had been asked to give him oral sex, recounted the events with me years later after I came out with my own story. After confronting Dave in our teens he also shared some details, but immediately closed down. Eventually, I was able to put the pieces together.

Rob wept as he recalled listening to our brother scream and cry in the tent as Richard molested him. My brothers were 10 years old. 10. Soak that in for a moment, please.

Dave later had a nervous breakdown at age 15 and has spent most of his life in an institution. Many believe the molestation changed the course of his life. I absolutely do too.

The story does not stop there. That same brother, Dave, began to come into my room the next year and I was molested. It changed the course of my life in numerous ways. A counselor assessed that the abuse he endured sparked a rage and unhealthy sexuality in him, hence pushing him to act against me, of all people. There is an eerie frost that still abides in me today when I think of what took place.

The next year my brothers decided to move out of our unstable mom’s home. I wanted to go too, but couldn’t because I did not want to be near my brother, my abuser. It was one of the hardest and most gut-wrenching choices I have ever made. I lost being a triplet. I lost having siblings that were all now living with my dad. I went from being one of 7 children and a triplet with built-in comrades to being alone. I survived for 6 more years with a mom that suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. 

I left home at 17 and never returned. I lost more than I can describe in words. My family never knew the true reason for my departure until I was almost 39, though I shared fragments with my dad.

The last birthday we triplets celebrated together was when we were 11 years old. We were born together….meant to be together. And one heinous act destroyed that.

Ask yourself this? What if the church had asked more questions about Richard Bell? Why sit and harass me, a 12-year-old girl about petting and kissing? I sat in the office of that bishop feeling humiliated and shamed and had done nothing wrong. That same bishop already had it out for our broken family because we did not fit the perfect Mormon mold. We all knew it.

I spoke up a year later when I was once again called in to talk about things he had not been trained to talk about and were unnecessary. I asked him “why are you allowing Richard to hurt boys? Why not care about what he is doing to people? And I blurted out what happened to my brothers and others in the ward. (By this time rumors were flying.) Steve Underdown was his name. And the only reply he had was: “I think people are blowing Richard’s weirdness out of proportion and misreading him.” He had closed the case without one question! Yet, he had a ton of questions for me about sex, touching, and things that were none of his business. I sat mortified.

These bishops are not prepared for the trauma people deal with. These bishops do not have degrees or knowledge to help people. I realize there are many good men in the role of the bishop, but, there are also many uninspired, predatorial, sexist, and misogynistic men wearing suits and playing God that are doing more harm than good.

Richard Bell married a blind woman in our ward who had at least 2 sons. They eventually had a son together. All of those boys were molested, the baby was 6 months old. There are court documents, though he got off because of a legal technicality. He also was arrested for a molestation of a crippled girl in Colorado. He went to a different congregation and groomed her before he hurt her. I am enclosing a picture of him in his prison jumpsuit. He is a prodigy of Mormonism in so many ways.

Another church went after him. How sad I was to see that the Mormon church did nothing!

So let me strongly state my opinion.

1) You have no right to question youth about sexuality, sex, or other natural things. That is a parents job. If there’s no parent, then that is the job of another adult that cares for them or someone they trust. These interviews are damaging, inappropriate, and wrong.

2) Sexuality is God-given and need not be shamed. The LDS church perpetuates such ugly notions of sex to youth. And then you have the gall to ask bishops to close a door, make a child feel intimidated, and ask them if they have touched themselves or participated in sexual acts. Do you understand how wrong that is? What about the kids like me that endured sitting in an office, weeping inside because I felt so bad and wrong for what had taken place with my own brother? Do you not have any idea how shaming that felt? Do you know how confused it made me?? My bishop had no skills or training to talk about such a loaded subject. And my bishop clearly had no promised gifts of discernment or inspiration. He never even reported Richard to the authorities. He instead protected the church and a priesthood holder.

3) Isn’t it time for the church to stop repressing people, shaming them, and making them feel awful for having sexual feelings? When will the church focus on helping people find feel joy, despite mistakes and being human? Christ did not walk around guilting and bullying people. In fact, I’d imagine He was the opposite. He probably took time to talk, to understand, and to grant empathy and compassion. I’m pretty sure he would ask the youth “what can I do to help you? How are you? What do you need to become more?” He would not be prying into their sexual actions or sending hopeless messages about sin.

4) When will LDS Inc., look at LGBTQ members and people and see just people? Your brutish Nov 5th policy walked me out of the church doors forever, along with a dishonest version of history. Love is love. Stay out of people’s bedrooms, please. There are plenty of homeless, hungry, naked, and suffering that deserve attention.

STOP. Stop closing doors on youth visits. Stop asking them about things your bishops and other leaders really have no right to be involved in. Stop avoiding the real problems in the church. How about you devote some time to this latest sexual predator and all that you allowed him to get away with before you pressure or shame another young child about their sexuality or feelings?

There are many apologies owed. You can feel free, to begin with the one my brothers, family, and I are owed.

Someday, I hope the church can practice what it preaches instead of bullying members, labeling people you know nothing about, and shaming youth in order to manipulate and control them.

I didn’t lose my faith; I simply found my truth.

Sincerely,

Sue Krupa-Gray

The priesthood pedophile in his prison jumpsuit:

RonBell

_______________________________________________

Dear Sue,

Your letter is addressed to the “Brethren.”  I hope they read it.  Unfortuantely, that’s not in your or my control.

However, I view your letter as also directed at me.  I’ve read it.  I bawled my eyes out over it.  And….I AM GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Unforgivable?  Unpardonable?  Those are the very words that I would apply to myself if I sat silent and did nothing.

Thank you my friend.  I’m sorry for what happened to you.  Sorry enough to stay the course of Protecting The Children.

Note

Sue plans to participate in the rally on March 30th.  Her role will be one of 15 ambassadors who will deliver the books “Sacred Stories of Sacred Children.”  A personalized volume will be printed for each apostle.  She will be an ambassador representing the thousands of children who were egregiously wronged by our Church policies.

Please join her and 1,100 others as we March To Protect The Children.

Local Rallies are Taking Shape

Lion March Local RallySalt Lake City, March 30, 2018

History is about to be made, as we march to protect our children.

For the Salt Lake City event, 738 participants registered.  Soon we expect to eclipse our goal of 1,000.  Sign up HERE for the march in Salt Lake.

Local Rallies

Yeeehawwwww!  Our local rallies are now taking shape.  138 have registered to participate.  See the locations below.

These local rallies in will coincide with the Utah march.  Same date, same time…different place.

Every place we have a gathering, local media will be invited.  The local rallies will illustrate in a big way that our cause is a country-wide movement and deserves national attention.

This will be a big step in bringing awareness to good Mormon parents and bishops everywhere.

Below are the locations where people already have signed up.

Notes:

  1. If you have not registered and are near a place on the list, feel free to sign-up.
  2. Please invite others in your area to join in.
  3. If only 1 or 2 register, the rally may not be terribly effective.
  4. If no city close to you is listed, you can still register and recruit others in your area.
  5. We are now in the process of reaching out to all registrants to get organized and put you in contact with each other.
  6. We plan to Facebook live each event.
  7. New releases will be sent to media in all cities.  Names of those of you willing  to be interviewed will be given to the news outlets .
  8. The groups in each city can decide the location of the rally.  Most will likely be at temples.  Some at stake centers.  Wherever, it needs to be kept on the public sidewalks.
  9. Signage.  Examples will be provided.  Feel free to make your own.  The messaging should not be negative to the church.  We are not against the church or its leadership.  We are calling out ONE policy…interviewing children behind closed doors and asking sexually explicit questions.If you are interested in participating in a local rally, please register here.  A volunteer coordinator will reach out to you soon.
Location Signed Up
Sacramento 21
Phoenix 13
Seattle 13
Paris, France 12
Denver 7
Los Angeles 7
Idaho Falls 6
Houston 5
Palmyra 5
Saint Louis 5
San Antonio 5
Las Vegas 4
Quebec, Canada 4
Chicago 3
DC 3
New York 3
Albuquerque 2
Boston 2
Dallas 2
Orlando 2
Portland 2
Saint Paul 2
Cincinnati 1
Grand Rapids 1
Indianapolis 1
Kansas City 1
Philadelphia 1
Hawaii 1
***Tanzania***  Go David! 1

BTW…a dozen people in Paris, France?  I think I’ll fly there for the march rather than SLC. (I wish)

Please share this with friends in your local area.  March 30, 2017 is going to be quite a day.  Don’t miss out.

Thank you, my friends, for speaking up for our children. 

We are going to protect generations upon generations of kids.

Funding

In case you missed it, Protect The Children is now accepting donations.  You can find all the gory details HERE.

Or you can simply click HERE to make a contribution.

Our ‘Donate’ button was launched last Saturday.  We’ve had a pretty good response.  A big THANK YOU to all my friends who have joined in to help with our finances.   I plan to send a thank you email soon.  At the moment, things are pretty crazy busy.

A few people offered apologies for what they thought was a small donation or for not being able to donate at all.  Let me just say this, I’m not accepting any apologies.  A $5 donation is huge.  It may not be the biggest amount that came in.  Never-the-less, every dollar enables us to do more.  Those who told me they are not in a position to contribute…good for you.  As in all things, I trust and respect my friend’s ability to make the right decisions.  Besides that, you have already helped in so many ways, whether it was a signature, a share, a comment, an encouraging message…they all have brought us to where we are today….poised to make a major difference in our children’s lives.

My Hardest Post to Publish…So Far

Lion RunningI’ve been anguishing about this article for the last 4 days.  If I wait any longer, it will be moot.  So here goes…..damn it.

Warning From Friends

What I’m going to share required some help to get set up.  A few close friends were consulted.  I mentioned that I planned on laying everything out in the open.  They were cautiously supportive.  Their concerns centered on how people would perceive what I’ve done.  Here are some of their speculations.

People will say, “What a fool.  He spent all this money and accomplished nothing.”

Some will turn it around and make a joke out of you.

Nobody’s going to believe this.  They’ll use it as confirmation that you’re lying about everything.

Fine.  This post might make me look like a dishonest fool, fit for making fun of.  But, I’ve risked everything else.  You might as well know this, too.

The Gloves are Off

A few months ago I made a post with the title above.  I had reached the tipping point of frustration.  Stories of hideous damage to our children were flooding in.  At the same time, church leaders were completely ignoring me.

You already know that my heart is committed, my time is committed, my reputation is committed, even my church membership is committed.  What you didn’t know was that my funds were also committed.

When I decided to take the gloves off, that included launching my money into the mix.   I’m 65 years old.  My kids are grown and gone.  I have accumulated savings for retirement.  My retirement funds still need to be bolstered.  But, I view this challenge  as something worthy of my heart, my soul and my savings.

Here’s what I have poured in.

$100:  Magnetic name Tags

$300:  Signs for petition drive

$300:  Miscellaneous printing

$300:  Fast response service for Petition site

$660:  Constant Contact.  $220/mo.  Jan, Feb & Mar

$800:  News conf speaker airfare

$2,000:  For availability of up to 8 news releases to virtually every applicable news outlet in the country.

$2,000:  Expenses related to news conferences in Salt Lake City & Houston

$3,000:  Nov-Feb, 5 trips to Utah for speaking, news and podcast events.  Airfare, car rental and one hotel stay.

$3,400:  Website design and deployment.

$11,000:   Expenses to bring 16 members of my family to the march.  Wife, kids & grandkids.  Airfare, car rental and hotel for 3 days.  This is a personal expense.  I want my Granchildren to “come to remember this day.”  When my oldest daughter described the march to her 3 kids, they asked if it was like what Martin Luther King did.  She answered, “Well, kind of.”  All three of them spontaneously shot their hands in the air and shouted with joy!!!  They love MLK.

$14,400  Facebook advertising.  Three weeks leading up the march.  The goal is to reach an new audience in order to increase awareness of the March 30th event.  So, far it has generated a ton of traffic.

$37,500  PR Firm.  Three months at $12,500/mo.  Contracted for Feb, Mar & Apr.  This is a big expense.  During November and December, I was working with a volunteer to reach out to the media.  He was super helpful and still is.  But, we lacked solid national media contacts.  In January, I realized that I was out of my depth in the PR world.  This march is a one shot deal.  To generate maximum awareness we need significant media coverage, hopefully including national outlets.    I decided to turn to experts who can write a press release on a dime and already have established media contacts.  I consulted with a very close acquaintance who has years of PR experience from his business pursuits.  We talked about costs.  He said that you get what you pay for.  If we hired someone at $5,000/mo, we’d likely see no results.  His experience indicated a range from $10,000 to $15,000/mo.  Initially, I slumped at that kind of commitment.  My hesitance didn’t last long.  How the hell could it with story after story crying with horror from my in-box?  We started a search.  Our first choice quoted a price tag of $12,500/mo, right in the middle of the range.  They have been very helpful so far.  Lots of stuff going on behind the scenes regarding national media.  There are some encouraging talks.  But, we haven’t quite got a bite yet.  I’m hoping the march and other local rallies around the country will draw the national outlets to our cause.  This is a big reason that it’s important to have as many people at the march as we can muster.

Grand total = $75,760.  And I still have a ton of costs ahead with the march!

I hope to have the self-discipline to cap it at $100,000 out of pocket.  Will this affect my retirement?  Probably.  While I’m not a wealthy man, I’ll be just fine.   What I have a wealth of is fire in the belly from having read thousands of children’s horror stories.

Why Would A Foolish Man Share all This Crap?

#1 Transparency.  I have shared about everything possible along the way.

#2 Many of you have asked if you could contribute financially to our cause.  Initially, I was resistant.  It could give the impression that I was in this for the money.  At this point, I hope that any reasonable person can see that would be a ridiculous conclusion.

#3 From the outset, come hell or highwater, I was willing to completely self-fund.  But, if others join in, we can save even more children.

Donations

To make a donation, go to our website ProtectLDSChildren.org.

On a laptop, the donation button is in the upper right hand corner.

On a tablet, the button may move to the left side, depending on the size of the device.

On a phone, click the three line menu.  The Donate button will be at the bottom of the menu.

All funds will go to a new organization named “Protect The Children Association.”  A 501C3 application has been filed.  All donations made 27 months before the application is approved by the IRS will be tax deductible.  I’m expecting everything donated at this point will fall in that category.  BTW, the professional services to get this all set up were graciously provided without charge.

Caveat #1:  None of the donated funds will go towards reimbursing my previous expenditures.

Caveat #2:  DO NOT feel any obligation to donate.  DO NOT feel one whit of regret if you choose not to.

Thank you for traveling this journey at my side in whatever methods you choose.

**We have already made a difference in children’s lives.**