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Just_A_Guy

More BSA misery

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We’ve talked about the potential that BEA would file for bankruptcy.  Turns out they went ahead with a Chapter 11 filing back in February, and today was the deadline for all potential claimants to file their “proofs of claim” with the bankruptcy court.

Apparently, over 92,000 proofs of claim have been received as of this afternoon; the vast majority, apparently, from self-reported sex abuse victims.

Let’s assume that only half of these are accepted by the court, and that each victim receives the absurdly low figure of $100K (a recent verdict in Oregon granted the victim $20 million).  Forty-six thousand claims at $100,000 per claim is $4.6 billion.  BSA National apparently has $1.4 billion in assets (many already mortgaged) with the councils holding $3.3 billion more (assuming council resources can be tapped, which is debatable).  That means in a best case scenario they have $4.7 billion to pay off at least $4.6 billion in sex abuse claims, plus whatever other debts the BSA has racked up.

The bankruptcy is nominally a “reorganization”, but it’s looking an awful lot like the BSA’s corporate existence itself is in existential danger.

Random thoughts:

—The LDS/BSA divorce didn’t come a moment too soon;

—A $120 billion “rainy day” fund doesn’t seem as extravagant as it used to.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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As an Eagle Scout, I am overall grateful for what I got out of BSA. I am sad to see them struggle, I will be sad if BSA substantially disappears. I wish things could have been different. I wish that BSA leadership would have had the foresight to take youth protection more seriously sooner to try to prevent this outcome. It is what it is -- I cannot say that the outcome ought to be different. But I am still saddened, and will be saddened by the outcome.

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17 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

We’ve talked about the potential that BEA would file for bankruptcy.  Turns out they went ahead with a Chapter 11 filing back in February, and today was the deadline for all potential claimants to file their “proofs of claim” with the bankruptcy court.

Apparently, over 92,000 proofs of claim have been received as of this afternoon; the vast majority, apparently, from self-reported sex abuse victims.

Let’s assume that only half of these are accepted by the court, and that each victim receives the absurdly low figure of $100K (a recent verdict in Oregon granted the victim $20 million).  Forty-six thousand claims at $100,000 per claim is $4.6 billion.  BSA National apparently has $1.4 billion in assets (many already mortgaged) with the councils holding $3.3 billion more (assuming council resources can be tapped, which is debatable).  That means in a best case scenario they have $4.7 billion to pay off at least $4.6 billion in sex abuse claims, plus whatever other debts the BSA has racked up.

The bankruptcy is nominally a “reorganization”, but it’s looking an awful lot like the BSA’s corporate existence itself is in existential danger.

Random thoughts:

—The LDS/BSA divorce didn’t come a moment too soon;

—A $120 billion “rainy day” fund doesn’t seem as extravagant as it used to.

Grim thought to think about.

Many of these Claims came from Utah, Arizona, and Idaho.  Guess which organization was the sponsor for these BSA units.  IF BSA ceases to exist as the front...guess who gets the lawsuits next?

Even Grimmer thought, the BSA in the past 20 years had stronger restrictions (admittedly, many claims are prior to that where they had almost NO way of protecting the youth from these individuals) and sifting to try to make it harder for predators to be leaders (which the Church rarely enforced or did anything about, in many instances, actually did the exact opposite).  The church has put a token training up, but hasn't done anything close to the BSA in it's restrictions on leaders.  They don't have the BSA to blame anymore, and angry people do drastic things. 

I'd put the Church up front and center in the next decade or two for lawsuits that could (key word...COULD...not will or anything that predictive) make the BSA lawsuits seem trivial in comparison.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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16 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

Grim thought to think about.

Many of these Claims came from Utah, Arizona, and Idaho.  Guess which organization was the sponsor for these BSA units.  IF BSA ceases to exist as the front...guess who gets the lawsuits next?

Even Grimmer thought, the BSA in the past 20 years had stronger restrictions (admittedly, many claims are prior to that where they had almost NO way of protecting the youth from these individuals) and sifting to try to make it harder for predators to be leaders (which the Church rarely enforced or did anything about, in many instances, actually did the exact opposite).  The church has put a token training up, but hasn't done anything close to the BSA in it's restrictions on leaders.  They don't have the BSA to blame anymore, and angry people do drastic things. 

I'd put the Church up front and center in the next decade or two for lawsuits that could (key word...COULD...not will or anything that predictive) make the BSA lawsuits seem trivial in comparison.

From what chatter I see online, it looks like BSA was supposed to indemnify the chartering orgs.  Many churches that still participate in Scouting have apparently filed indefinite proofs of claim in the Chapter 11 case, specifically because they’re afraid that otherwise the case will void the BSA’s indemnity.  Our church seems not to be doing that.

I think that if the LDS Church can reasonably be added as co-defendant on any of these cases, it will probably will be added regardless of any bankruptcy by the BSA; simply because it’s one more deep pocket to rope into the suit.  But financially, we’re in much better shape than the BSA is to weather any coming storm.

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5 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

From what chatter I see online, it looks like BSA was supposed to indemnify the chartering orgs.  Many churches that still participate in Scouting have apparently filed indefinite proofs of claim in the Chapter 11 case, specifically because they’re afraid that otherwise the case will void the BSA’s indemnity.  Our church seems not to be doing that.

I think that if the LDS Church can reasonably be added as co-defendant on any of these cases, it will probably will be added regardless of any bankruptcy by the BSA; simply because it’s one more deep pocket to rope into the suit.  But financially, we’re in much better shape than the BSA is to weather any coming storm.

Possibly, but the Church has far more virulent enemies than the BSA that are willing to go to further extremes as well.  The BSA lawsuits have been ongoing for a while, with many of the first cases being leveled against LDS and Catholic Units (one could even say the Catholic scandals of prior years led directly to the BSA lawsuits today).  If the BSA gets out of the way, just like the Catholic lawsuits did not stop them from going after the BSA, I expect the LDS church will be focused on far more.

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Guest Scott
On 11/16/2020 at 9:46 PM, MrShorty said:

 I wish that BSA leadership would have had the foresight to take youth protection more seriously sooner to try to prevent this outcome.

I worked for the BSA in 1990 and 1991.  There were a lot of safeguards and checks to prevent abuse.  I wonder what they could have done differently?  I don't know.

I also wonder if the percentage of those who experienced abuse is greater than it is for any organization or group of people.   Abuse is everywhere.  It is even fairly common in our own church, or so it seems.  Nowhere is immune.

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Assuming that what my local council has told us is accurate*, these claims are not an existential threat to the BSA.  The bankruptcy was filed specifically to restructure in a way that preserved the the ability of BSA to operate.

Previous to the bankruptcy, BSA had no limits or safeguards on any of their money from legal claims. Every asset they had was available.  The bankruptcy was filed to place a firewall between the operational expenses and real estate holdings and legal proceedings. The courts granted this firewall on the conditions that 1) it only applied to cases of abuse that occurred prior to 1982 (I think--that was when BSA implemented its youth protection training), and 2) BSA had to fund and operate an advertising campaign with the goal of reaching at least 95% of males in the USA between the ages of 25 and 50 (I might have those ages a little mixed up).

This means that the court has agreed to a finite pot of money available to victims of abuse prior to 1981. Operational accounts are not available for these settlements, nor can camps or other real estate be liquidated. 

2020 is a larger threat the the BSA than anything else.  Cub Scout retention in our council is about 40%. When my Pack wrapped things up last year, we had about 6 or 7 Webelos.  Currently, we have two participating.  The loss of membership combined with BSA's unwillingness to restructure itself (most notably, reduce staffing) is what will kill it. It either needs to run a massively successful recruiting drive next summer, or prepare for some lay offs. Their current strategy of raising costs on everything isn't sustainable (unless they just want to be a rich kids club)

 

* My council is particularly incompetent. It isn't unheard of for us to get chastised for not showing up to some event they never told us about.  Despite being a registered scoutmaster in their ScoutBook software, they still can't seem to figure out how to send me an e-mail unless I go up to a Roundtable meetings and write it down on a piece of paper.

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3 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

* My council is particularly incompetent. It isn't unheard of for us to get chastised for not showing up to some event they never told us about.  Despite being a registered scoutmaster in their ScoutBook software, they still can't seem to figure out how to send me an e-mail unless I go up to a Roundtable meetings and write it down on a piece of paper.

Exact same scenario played out here.
If you missed Roundtable meetings you might as well have had leprosy.*

*no offense to any lepers on the forum.

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7 hours ago, Scott said:

Abuse is everywhere.  It is even fairly common in our own church, or so it seems. 

Abuse can be found everywhere, I don't dispute that.
"It is fairly common in our own church" - Source?

Untitled-2.jpg.2dfaa676fcfed26bf28ee1f6fd0991b3.jpg

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I have been deluged in my Facebook and Twitter feeds, for about a year, with targeted "Were you molested in Boy Scouts? Click here for your slice of the billion dollar settlement pie!" ads.   It'll be interesting to see what percentage of the 92k claims make it through to settlement.  I'm at a loss whether I should wish for a low percentage, or a high one.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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4 hours ago, MarginOfError said:

Assuming that what my local council has told us is accurate*, these claims are not an existential threat to the BSA.  The bankruptcy was filed specifically to restructure in a way that preserved the the ability of BSA to operate.

Previous to the bankruptcy, BSA had no limits or safeguards on any of their money from legal claims. Every asset they had was available.  The bankruptcy was filed to place a firewall between the operational expenses and real estate holdings and legal proceedings. The courts granted this firewall on the conditions that 1) it only applied to cases of abuse that occurred prior to 1982 (I think--that was when BSA implemented its youth protection training), and 2) BSA had to fund and operate an advertising campaign with the goal of reaching at least 95% of males in the USA between the ages of 25 and 50 (I might have those ages a little mixed up).

This means that the court has agreed to a finite pot of money available to victims of abuse prior to 1981. Operational accounts are not available for these settlements, nor can camps or other real estate be liquidated. 

2020 is a larger threat the the BSA than anything else.  Cub Scout retention in our council is about 40%. When my Pack wrapped things up last year, we had about 6 or 7 Webelos.  Currently, we have two participating.  The loss of membership combined with BSA's unwillingness to restructure itself (most notably, reduce staffing) is what will kill it. It either needs to run a massively successful recruiting drive next summer, or prepare for some lay offs. Their current strategy of raising costs on everything isn't sustainable (unless they just want to be a rich kids club)

 

* My council is particularly incompetent. It isn't unheard of for us to get chastised for not showing up to some event they never told us about.  Despite being a registered scoutmaster in their ScoutBook software, they still can't seem to figure out how to send me an e-mail unless I go up to a Roundtable meetings and write it down on a piece of paper.

Perhaps.  The three questions/concerns I have are:

1). My experience with bankruptcy is limited to handling a couple dozen clean Chapter 7s and a couple of relatively simple Chapter 13s, all of which was nearly ten years ago.  But AFAIK, the proof of claim process usually precedes dickering over the size of the bankruptcy estate, the nature of any exempt assets, or the details of the repayment plan.  In fact, the whole point of the proofs of claim process is to identify the people who might have standing to be heard and/or object as these other issues are hashed out.  I find it very unlikely that the bankruptcy judge would have assured the BSA at this early stage of the process that its camps and operational accounts are safe.

2). AFAIK, when this process began most estimates were that the PoC process might ferret out as many as 5,000 more claimants.  The 92,000 figure is absolutely staggering.  I don’t think anyone dreamed it would be that high, and it’s quite possibly a game-changer.

The idea of a chapter 11 bankruptcy is that you get enough breathing room to pay off your “non-dischargeable” debts in full, while “dischargeable debts” may get paid at pennies on the dollar or not get paid at all.  otherwise you’re forced into liquidation.  But debts arising from “intentional torts” (ie cases where conduct was deemed “willful or malicious”) are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  These sex abuse claims (if meritorious) may very probably have to be paid in full by the time the case ends, which I believe is rarely longer than two years; whereas it’s looking like it would take *decades* for the BSA to pay off these claims.  If there are simply aren’t enough assets in the pot to pay them off in full in a timely way, BSA will have no choice but to liquidate.

3). The BSA leadership lies.  Sad to say, but it’s true.  They told the Church they wouldn’t do certain things, and then did them; which I suspect was a big part of why the Church got out.  They told the Girl Scouts they wouldn’t do certain other things, and then they did those things; triggering a lawsuit.  I would take any assurances they offer to their stakeholders with a *huge* grain of salt at this point.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Guest Scott
1 hour ago, NeedleinA said:

Abuse can be found everywhere, I don't dispute that.
"It is fairly common in our own church" - Source?

Untitled-2.jpg.2dfaa676fcfed26bf28ee1f6fd0991b3.jpg

At least 3/5 of the children in the family I grew up in were molested by a church member.   At least 3/5 of my wife's family were as well.  Of course that's only two families and can't be claimed to be the norm. 

So what is the norm?  In Utah 1/5 children are known to be sexually abused, but the real numbers are probably higher.   Utah is #8 in sexual abuse among the states.

https://www.ksl.com/article/46355391/startling-facts-people-dont-know-about-utahs-children

While only 62% of Utah is LDS, you can't say that all the perpetrators are non-members.

And yes, unfortunately it is fairly common in our church, as it is in almost every (or perhaps every) large group of people.

Being a church member does not mean that you are immune from abuse, nor does it mean that church members are somehow immune to being perpetrators.

If sexual abuse wasn't a problem in the Church, then the Church leaders wouldn't need to constantly remind members of it.  Just plug in the word "abuse" into the Church website and see:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/search?lang=eng&query=abuse&highlight=true&page=1

There are literally hundreds of talks, articles, counsel, etc. on the topic.  There is a long section about it in the new Church Handbook.   Why do you think this is?  Do you think it is because it isn't a big problem?

It is good that the church is talking about abuse and trying to prevent it.  Don't turn a blind eye to it.  It exist and is a problem, even in the church.

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While both your family's experience and that of 'Utah' are saddening, neither point proves a blanket claim that it is "fairly common in our own church".
You would have justifiable grounds to claim that it was fairly common in your family - 3/5.
You would have justifiable grounds to claim that Utah as a state has a problem 1/5.
Unfortunately neither point directly translates over to "the Church" itself.

2 hours ago, Scott said:

While only 62% of Utah is LDS, you can't say that all the perpetrators are non-members.

Correct. Nor can you accurately attribute any % to the members. You have no way of identifying if the percent is a small or large amount, thus you can't successfully claim a "fairly common" position. Statistically speaking, you can claim that abuse occurs in the Church, but neither of those two arguments prove that it is "fairly common".

As for your third point:

2 hours ago, Scott said:

If sexual abuse wasn't a problem in the Church, then the Church leaders wouldn't need to constantly remind members of it. 

We are reminded of a myriad of issues, abuse being one of them.
I'm sure their are a variety of survivors of sexual abuse inside the Church. Some may have experienced it inside the Church while others prior to joining the Church.
I think the Church is wise to remind members of it both from a:
1. Genuine deep concern and love for all of God's children.
2. CYB - Cover your butt aspect of legal protection.

The fact that the Church talks about it still fails to demonstrate that the problem is "fairly common". At a minimum "fairly common" would need to be 51% at the very least. If you hope others will believe that more than half the members of the Church are involved with sexual abuse as either the survivor or abuser, you need to produce something more concrete directly linked to the actual "Church" itself.

I have both close and extended family that are survivors of sexual abuse, no one has their head in the sand here.
When something is near and dear to us, we often can project that issue/concern into a bigger problem than it is.

Edited by NeedleinA

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About 15 years ago, we had a special 5th Sunday adult meeting. It was about sexual abuse.

  • One thing they pointed out was that "sexual abuse" can be a wide array of abuses.  On the lower end, it would include things harassment.
  • Another thing they pointed out was that the Church population is no better -- and no worse -- than the population at large.  Whatever differences there are by state, the state-by-state rate vs. the rate of Saints in each of those states -- the numbers were statistically identical whether you were LDS or not.

While I was thankful for finding out that we were no worse.  I was grieved over the fact that we were no better.  We really should be.

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30 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

Correct. Nor can you accurately attribute any % to the members. You have no way of identifying if the percent is a small or large amount, thus you can't successfully claim a "fairly common" position. Statistically speaking, you can claim that abuse occurs in the Church, but neither of those two arguments prove that it is "fairly common".

I do not know the exact percentage of the pepetrators of LDS in abusers in Utah, but you can't reasonable claim that they are mostly outside the church.

 

Quote

I think the Church is wise to remind members of it both from a:
1. Genuine deep concern and love for all of God's children.
2. CYB - Cover your butt aspect of legal protection.

The Church does more than remind us of it.  The Church has a crisis line where it can be reported.  It also offers counseling and help for both abusers and the abused.

The Church has rules and guidelines about how to report abuse and what to do in the situation.

It is even a guideline in the handbook that those teaching children should teach in pairs whenever possible.  It is a requirement for all church activities.   There are reasons for this.

Quote

At a minimum "fairly common" would need to be 51% at the very least.

No it does not.

Here are some of the examples in the dictionaries of the words fairly common used in a sentence:

Passwords of six or seven word long phrases are fairly common.

You know, Kim is a fairly common Korean name.

ADD is fairly common in kids today

It does not mean at least 51%.

Edited by Scott

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10 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Another thing they pointed out was that the Church population is no better -- and no worse -- than the population at large.  Whatever differences there are by state, the state-by-state rate vs. the rate of Saints in each of those states -- the numbers were statistically identical whether you were LDS or not.

While I was thankful for finding out that we were no worse.  I was grieved over the fact that we were no better.  We really should be.

Thank you for sharing this Carborendum.  I agree.

Sexual abuse exist both inside and outside the Church and should be addressed.  From what I can see, it is being addressed in the Church.  
 

Edited by Scott

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49 minutes ago, Carborendum said:
  • Another thing they pointed out was that the Church population is no better -- and no worse -- than the population at large.  Whatever differences there are by state, the state-by-state rate vs. the rate of Saints in each of those states -- the numbers were statistically identical whether you were LDS or not.

While I was thankful for finding out that we were no worse.  I was grieved over the fact that we were no better.  We really should be.

There are those who take umbrage at the idea that Latter-day Saints might be morally "better" than other groups. My rejoinder is: If membership in the kingdom of God does not, on average, help people to be significantly morally better than they otherwise would be, what is the point of joining the Restored Church?

Rates of sexual abuse are only one measure of moral turpitude. Furthermore, not everything under the umbrella of "sexual abuse" is equally damaging to the victims (or the perpetrators). But if there is literally no statistical difference in rates of sexual abuse between Latter-day Saints and everyone else, and this is not actually an artifact of political convenience or a poorly (or dishonestly) designed metric, then I very seriously question our devotion as a people. There should be a measurably large difference.

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2 hours ago, Scott said:

you can't reasonable claim that they are mostly outside the church.

Who claimed this was the case?

2 hours ago, Scott said:

It does not mean at least 51%.

Fine, I can play the vague "fairly common" game too.
If you weren't originally referring to a "high degree", at what point do we cross from a less common to a fairly common problem?
If you would have us believe "the Church" has a problem, what does "fairly common" even mean? 1%, 25%, 50%? 

I'm happy to be on board where the actual proof leads, once it is established.

If the Church knows that we are no better on this subject than the general populous, great, where is the report saying so?
Again, I'm happy to follow the proof where ever it leads but for now the only proof given is:

3 hours ago, Scott said:

Church leaders...constantly remind members of it. 

One source I would find extremely helpful is if LDS Family Services produced a record... you know something verifiable.
Another source would be if the Church’s ecclesiastical help line produced a report. 

@Carborendum any source from the 5th Sunday discussion that you can recall?
I've heard a similar statement as you, but nothing that could be followed to an official church source.

I agree with @Vort, if we are no better than the rest of world on this subject:

1 hour ago, Vort said:

then I very seriously question our devotion as a people. There should be a measurably large difference.

 

Edited by NeedleinA

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2 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

If you weren't originally referring to a "high degree", at what point do we cross from a less common to fairly common problem?
If you would have us believe "the Church" has a problem, what does "fairly common" even mean? 1%, 25%, 50%? 

By fairly common, I simply meant that it isn't rare.   

I don't know the percentage.  I would assume that it's similar to the rest of Utah in that 1/5 children have seen abuse at one time or another.  Even if were half of the rest of the population, that would mean it still isn't rare.

The Church itself says that it is a serious issue.
 

Quote

If you would have us believe "the Church" has a problem

It's not "the Church" that is the problem.  It is people that are the problem.  Members of the Church still have their freeagency and can use it for good or evil, just like everyone else.

As far as the Church itself goes, I think the leaders have done a commendable job of addressing the issue.

There are however areas where members can do better.  I don't have any percentage, but I do know that a lot of members do have a problem with talking to their kids (or anyone else) about sex.  I mentioned that my wife's siblings and some of mine (and me) had some sexual abuse.  I and my siblings didn't understand what was going on at the time so we didn't tell anyone until it was too late.  We didn't know anything about sex or sexual abuse at the time it happened.  We only knew that if we didn't go along with it, our babysitter (the abuser) threatened to tell our mom that we were bad.  So we said nothing until it was too late.

Unfortunately, my mom really didn't do anything about it (a point of contention among my siblings and mom to this day), other than didn't let the babysitter babysit us anymore.  In her defense, I don't think we explained enough to her what happened (mostly because we didn't understand it).  The abuse of me and my brother was only minor sexual abuse, but not that of my sister.

I do know that the perpetrator abused others because he's on the sexual predator list.  He got caught.

My wife tried to tell her mom, but she (my wife) didn't know how.  She told her mom that the son of my wife's babysitter "peed" in her (my wife's) pants.  Why my wife's mom didn't seem to recognize this as possible abuse is something neither me or my wife understand.  My wife's mom still sent my wife to the babysitter over and over again.  The abuse did stop, so my wife assumes that her mom did talk to the babysitter, but it is assumed that she might have taken "peeing" as literal and a prank rather than semen and sexual abuse.

I think their is an unintentional way of thinking in that the kids of good church members must also be good.  Of course this isn't always the case.

I think a lot of members can do better in the education department, as well as being not afraid to talk about or report abuse.

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4 minutes ago, Scott said:

1. By fairly common, I simply meant that it isn't rare.
2. I think a lot of members can do better in the education department, as well as being not afraid to talk about or report abuse.

1. I can agree with that definition.
2. I also agree on both points.

I am sorry for your past experiences, no one should have to pass through that trial. I hope that when you need it most, you can feel an extra dose of the Saviors love headed your way.
Because of the circumstances which occurred in our close/extended family, we have absolutely talked with our children about this subject as a preventative measure.

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

But if there is literally no statistical difference in rates of sexual abuse between Latter-day Saints and everyone else, and this is not actually an artifact of political convenience or a poorly (or dishonestly) designed metric, then I very seriously question our devotion as a people. There should be a measurably large difference.

Yes, there should be a large difference.  People in the Church still have their freeagency and some will still use it to do bad things.  We have to accept this as true.
 

Quote

There are those who take umbrage at the idea that Latter-day Saints might be morally "better" than other groups. My rejoinder is: If membership in the kingdom of God does not, on average, help people to be significantly morally better than they otherwise would be, what is the point of joining the Restored Church?

Overall, maybe Church members are morally better in a lot of ways.

While that is good, it can also unintentionally make us more trusting of others (especially other members) or less inclined to talk about abuse or sexual issues.

We as church members also tend to be busier than a lot of others and to have more children.  Overall, we have more babysitters and more people working with, spending time with our youth, etc.  

Also keep in mind that a lot of abusers of children are youth themselves.

I don't think us as Church members are less moral or even equal morally to the rest of the world, but we are more (unintentionally) vulnerable in a lot of ways.
 

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I don't know if there are statistics by church/denomination that would tell us one way or another whether we are better as Latter-day Saints or not. An internet search found this recent (Sep. 2019) literature survey (a popular outlet called it "the first comprehensive study exposing patterns of sexual abuse in religious settings.") that contains no statistics of its own, but does have a good sized bibliography and discusses a few specific cases https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335674010_The_grooming_of_children_for_sexual_abuse_in_religious_settings_Unique_characteristics_and_select_case_studies :
Catholic that focuses on the well known controversy they are dealing with
Protestantism where they discuss cases, but note that there is little to no data to pin down how prevalent it is across various Protestant denominations.
A few "cults" (like the Fundamentalist Mormons) are mentioned, but again, there seems to be very little statistical data to pin down prevalence.

Considering that it is hard enough to get people to agree on an overall prevalence (is it 1 in 4? 1 in 3? 1 in 2?) of sexual abuse based on DOJ or whatever source people are using, I am not surprised that it is difficult to impossible to get good numbers on how common it is in specific churches/faith communities. I, like others, want to believe that we are better than others. However, it seems like we would have to be astronomically better than the world to be worth patting ourselves on the back. Something like (pulling numbers out of the air), "We are so much better than the world because only 1 in 6 of our youth are abused where it is 1 in 4 in the rest of the world." seems so unsatisfying. I don't know what kind of improvement to hypothesize without some numbers to back it up, so I'm inclined towards something like Carb wrote -- we are probably similar to the rest of the world even if we might actually be marginally better. At least until some data comes along to change my mind.

If the article gets lost behind a pay wall or something, the reference is Susan Raine and Stephen Kent, "The Grooming of Children for Sexual Abuse in Religious Settings: Unique Characteristics and Select Case Studies" Journal of Aggression and Violent Behavior Sept. 2019.

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It’s worth noting in these types of situations that many sex abuse perpetrators are enormous recidivists.  It’s not at all rare for a single perp to have ten or twenty victims, or more, by the time he is caught.

I could well believe that the traditional close-knit, trusting, hierarchical nature of LDS communities allowed a far smaller-than-average pool of perpetrators to victimize a proportion of the community’s children that is nevertheless comparable to other communities where perpetrators are more prevalent but where they just don’t have as easy access to as many potential victims.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Guest Scott
18 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

I am sorry for your past experiences, no one should have to pass through that trial. I hope that when you need it most, you can feel an extra dose of the Saviors love headed your way.
 

To be honest, the sexual abuse itself that happened to me didn't affect me too much, if at all. At that age, I was more concerned/bothered with the physical abuse.

I'm sorry to say though that it affected me in other ways.  I am the oldest sibling.  Since my brother and I got more physical abuse than sexual abuse, we would tease and harrass my sister about her sexual abuse because she "only" got the sexual abuse rather than the physical abuse, which my brother and I assumed was a lot worse because it "hurt more" (in our eyes as boys).

I still carry around a lot of guilt for giving my sister such a hard time about the abuse.  Instead of helping her, we were terrible to her.  I wish I could take it back. I was probably 7 or 8 years old at the time.  My brother was probably around six and my sister 4 or 5.

I know that the way we treated my sister still hurts her even though it was so long ago.  

We have only met a few times in the last few decades and haven't talked much.  

I don't think any of the siblings have any anger towards each other, but we don't talk much.  I know some of them are still angry at my mom for this and other things.  I was until only a few years ago, even though I should have forgiven it a long time ago.

Anyway, that's enough on that.  I'm rambling.  

Edited by Scott

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4 hours ago, Scott said:

At least 3/5 of the children in the family I grew up in were molested by a church member.   At least 3/5 of my wife's family were as well.  Of course that's only two families and can't be claimed to be the norm. 

So what is the norm?  In Utah 1/5 children are known to be sexually abused, but the real numbers are probably higher.   Utah is #8 in sexual abuse among the states.

I personally know three women that were raped or sexually assaulted.  Only one was molested by a member of the Church who I believe was ex-communicated.  Never heard what happened to him.

I hope this is not common among Latter-Day Saints.

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