Tag Archives: predator pedophiles in church leadership clergy

A Grand Deception: The Successful Response of Sex Offenders

Liar liar pants on fire

Religion News Service

By Boz Tchividjian

“I’m ready to be put this all behind me and to continue reaching for my dreams of filmmaking and in music.”

Those were the recent words of Brandon Milburn, a former youth minister, as he pleaded with a judge for a lenient sentence after being convicted of seven counts of child sexual abuse involving two eleven year old boys.   His pleas were echoed by supporters who came to court to proclaim his innocence. One even remarked, “I do not believe he is a predator. I love Brandon; my children love Brandon. If Brandon was released today, he would be welcome to come and live in my home.”

Ultimately, the judge decided that Brandon Milburn should spend the next 25 years reaching for his dreams inside the walls of a prison.

Sexual offenders have perfected a grand deception that sadly seems to work all too well inside faith communities. This deception twists truth, minimizes abuse, and exploits guilt in order to create a fictional narrative that paints the offender as the victim and those who accuse and confront as perpetrators of injustice. Unfortunately, too many fail to realize that this deceptive narrative is fiction.

Finish reading 4 steps offenders use as narrative when caught: A Grand Deception: The Successful Response of Sex Offenders

Toxic Tuesday: Pedophile or Molester?

Today’s Toxic Tuesday post will discuss child predators/pedophiles/molesters. Not all toxic people are pedophiles but all pedophiles are toxic. Pedophiles prey upon children simply because they can.TOXIC TUESDAY warning

What does a pedophile look like? They don’t necessarily look like a creepy, dirty or unkempt person; in fact, they usually dress nicely to attract children to themselves. Examples we have heard of in the news over the last two years are: athletic coaches/personnel, teachers both male and female, pastors and priests, a bus driver, Sunday School teachers, babysitters, neighbors, friends, day care workers, mothers, fathers, siblings, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, a spouse, a shopper in Wal-Mart, swimmers at water parks…are you understanding how far-reaching abuse goes? It could be anyone anywhere at any time.

Why do pedophiles molest?

They have an unnatural sinful desire which could stem from their own childhood trauma, from viewing pornography and/or from mental illness. I am in no way saying that all mentally ill people molest; they do not, the thought never enters their mind. But mental illness can be a contributing factor for some pedophiles.

They are hurting flawed individuals who do not have the courage to seek help and healing; or if they do seek it—the dark memories are so overwhelming they choose to leave them where they are instead of bringing them into the light.

Many pedophiles in a position of authority often know a child’s mental state and family conditions because a parent confides in them; believing that the teacher, pastor, neighbor, friend, or (you fill in the ___________) will have the child’s best interest at heart.

They love the trill of not being caught. For many; they want to be caught and even leave clues yet are exhilarated when they are not discovered.

The most alarming reason, to me, that predators prey on children is society’s silence. People decide to cover it up, not report it or not believe it. Always believe the child. Do not confront the abuser. Report the abuser and allow the law to investigate. “Easy Lie = “No, it didn’t happen” / Most Difficult Lie = Detailed report of a traumatic event. False allegations of child abuse are rare.” netgrace.org.  Many people want no involvement in the process of bringing an offender to justice. Why? It is emotionally draining, judicially slow and financially difficult. There is rarely an eyewitness who saw what happened to the child. By the time the child tells what happened to them, if ever they tell what happened to them; the DNA evidence is usually washed away.  97% of rape cases are never reported. According to dosomething.org; 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. This statistic holds true for the Christian community. 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way. 68 percent are abused by a family member. Many adults believe the pedophile/molester over the victim; telling the victim to shut up and stop causing problems. Silence is breaking children.

You may be asking, “Is there a difference between pedophiles and molesters?” The answer: Yes.

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 Pedophiles and Child Molesters: The Differences (calcasa.org)

Although virtually all pedophiles are child molesters, not all child molesters are pedophiles. Pedophiles have a clear sexual attraction for children. The focus of a pedophile is a child or children generally under the age of 13. Pedophiles often report they are attracted to children in a particular age range (DSM-IV). Child molesters are sexual offenders who have committed either intra-familial sexual offense (incest) against a child victim or extra-familial sexual offenses against a child victim or both.

Pedophiles:

* True pedophiles may abuse family members, but the majority of their offenses is extra-familial and is directed toward vulnerable children whom they court or groom for the purpose of victimization. Their relationships with children are based on exploitation of the children for sexual gratification.

* Offenders, who seek out children to victimize by placing themselves in positions of trust, authority, and easy access to youngsters, can have hundreds of victims over the course of their lifetimes.

* Pedophiles, especially those who molest boys, or both boys and girls, are the sex offenders who have the highest recidivism (relapse) rates after incarceration and/or treatment.

* Pedophiles frequently are uncomfortable with adult intimacy and may spend their lives maneuvering to be near children. They may be extremely charming and skilled at manipulating adults, and they may use adult relationships to gain access to children.

* The pedophile may spend years working up to a position of authority and trust within a church, school, or youth organization in order to have access to children. Of course, most such individuals (clergy, teachers, youth leaders) in these types of authoritative positions have no sexual interest in children.

Child Molesters:

* The non-pedophilic molester is someone whose primary sexual orientation includes adults, but who may molest children in a maladaptive attempt to meet emotional needs.

* Research has found that many men who molest their own children or related female children have sexual interests that are indistinguishable from those of non-offending males.

* Data suggest incestuous offenders, regardless of the gender of the victim, have lower numbers of victims and are less likely to be rearrested for new sex crimes after they have been convicted.

* A child molester may turn to a child for sex out of a perceived inability to be close with an adult partner, out of poor self-esteem, or to escape feelings of powerlessness and loneliness. This type of offender usually has had appropriate (but often dysfunctional) relationships with peers and may be married.

* Outcome studies have demonstrated consistently low rates of recidivism (relapse) for incestuous offenders.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

New studies are showing many pedophiles, mostly male but some female, choose their field of study/career path according to which profession will give them authority over children and easy access to children.

The continual increase in the use of internet pornography is alarming. Males, females; children and adults, have instant access to it. Hearts will continue to harden, brain chemistry will continue to change since addiction always requires—more— requires different. One view of porn can lead to another; can lead to more wrong choices which lead to a seared conscience. Victims become no more than objects in an abuser’s life because emotional relationships have been replaced with images and fantasy. Because of the seared conscience the victimizer does not believe they are doing anything wrong; and may even believe the child deserves it.

If the perpetrator has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and/or is a sociopath they have no other point of reference than themselves. They believe the world and everything/everyone in it exists for their needs and wants. They live their life on stage acting according to how they believe their audience, at the moment, wants to see them. They often are charming, have terrific personalities, ooze compassion, can be dynamic speakers/preachers and are Academy Award worthy actors. When backed in a corner or caught; they have the ability to talk their way out of everything. Here me: They could violate you, violate your child, burn down your house in front of your very eyes and then; with a few hours and persuasive words, convince you they did not do it, someone else did it, and they were set up to look guilty. The worst part: You would believe them. That is how good they are with words and acting.

Next week’s Toxic Tuesday will address: What child predators look for when choosing a victim, ways you can protect your child, and symptoms of child sexual abuse.

If you are in danger or you have a child being abused, please leave immediately and seek help. Instances of children making up stories of child abuse are rare. Always believe the child. In the right margin of my blog you will find links to articles on abusive relationships, resources for counseling services and referrals, a link for those who are victims of domestic abuse, and a link for Christian survivors.

Church Tackles Child Abuse – US – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com

child abuse myth

Pornography has rocked my world more than once and if there were one issue, one black stain on the fabric of humanity, one tool of the enemy I could rid our world of; porn is it.

We do not need statistics to remind us pornography knows no boundaries; race, nationality, sex, religion, profession or age. I know it is a sad statement but it is true. Pornography being  instantly available on the internet to everyone leaves me gravely concerned about the magnitude of sexual crimes yet to be reported.

I want the church to be aware they are a haven for pornography addicted sexual predators. As the below article suggests; people in places of leadership can be accused of misconduct. As adults and/or leaders we need to be careful not to put ourselves in a situation where we are alone with a child or youth; for their sake and for ours. We need to be protective of children.

Here is the most alarming aspect of a predator/pedophile gaining a place of leadership in the church. They purposefully seek the place of leadership exactly because they are predators and they know where to find children; there is an ample supply of children in churches, schools and sporting activities. Some of these predators go to college and plan their careers based on their end goal: supply—child victims.

Once an unknown predator establishes themselves in a church there is little possibility anyone would suspect them. Even more, when a parent is having problems with a child at home or at school, who is the first person they may confide in asking for help or prayer support? The pastor/preacher/priest, staff, Sunday school teacher or youth Leader. Yes, this is how they often prey on children (and occasionally adults) in the church. The predator knows the child’s emotional state and carefully picks his victim. I say “His” because most predators are male but in today’s world with internet porn and porn romance books we are beginning to see more female predators. Porn changes your brain chemistry. It is a scientific fact.

We need to believe the children! When we are presented with an allegation we need to report it. Always. No matter how much you love or respect the person. Make the report.

A false allegation will rarely make it very far through an investigation. The story has to hold through multiple interviews with different professionals. If any part of the story changes; the investigation is over.

An easy lie for a victim is:  “No, it didn’t happen.” The most difficult lie for a victim is a  detailed report of a traumatic event. False allegations of child abuse are rare.

We should never be shocked when we find out someone did something we would never believe about them.  We are all sinful. It is the human condition and unfortunately we cannot recognize a child predator based on race, nationality, sex, religion, profession or age.  You never know what goes on in someone else’s home or mind.

You may click on the link below for:

Predator Haven? Church Tackles Child Abuse – US – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com.

Written By: Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Church should be the last place that parents worry about taking their children. But instead of a sanctuary, child sexual abuse experts say it can be dangerous for kids and can provide a friendly environment for predators.

Studies show that one out of four Americans are survivors of child sexual abuse. That poses a daunting challenge for churches trying to help the adult victims while also protecting potential victims.

“We so focus on issues of forgiveness and grace – offenders are drawn to these places. They’re drawn to places where if they get caught, they simply need to cry and say they’re sorry. And the church many times embraces them and places them back where they were,” child sexual abuse expert Boz Tchvidjian said.

“Churches are also in great need of volunteers. I’ve never been to a church that was not in need of a volunteer. And churches are very trusting,” he added.

To help churches in the fight against this trend, Tchvidjian began the Grace Initiative, Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.

In recent years he’s seen progress as believers talk more openly about the problem.

Tchvidjian would like to see more denominations and local churches developing policies that minister to survivors while also protecting kids.

“You have to know how offenders think and act so you can stay one step or two steps ahead of them,” Tchvidjian said.

Often the biggest challenge for churches is learning how to respond to reports of abuse. In many instances abusers have been well-liked and trusted leaders.

Tchividjian described where the breakdown happens.

“When the 13- or 14-year-old kid in the youth group who’s caused a lot of trouble in the youth group, who comes from a broken home, who maybe has had some trouble with the law, when that 13- or 14-year-old comes forward and says ‘this particular person in the church has abused me’ and when that person happens to be an elder or a leader or a well-respected person in the church – how are we going to respond?” he said.

Tchvidjian calls on churches to take sexual abuse reports to the authorities quickly and be prepared to minister to victims, offenders, and their families.

He said his shedding of light on darkness is the best way for the Church to move forward and demonstrate integrity in a fallen world.

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and “like” her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.

Consider praying Psalm 5 over childhood victims and sexual predators.

Psalm 5 (NIV)

1 Listen to my words, Lord,
consider my lament.
2 Hear my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.

3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.
4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand
in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
6     you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, Lord, detest.
7 But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple.

8 Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make your way straight before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.