I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and am writing because of a very disturbing trend, which does not appear to be taken very seriously in the Church. The reason I am writing is because I think this happens a lot more often that we envision and my comments are made in hopes of reaching others in the same boat. I am saddened by the poor image of the Church, as witnessed by many of these horror stories about the Church. My thought is that we will never be able to change other's opinions about us, until we change our attitudes and behaviors.
In the Priesthood session of the April Conference, the First Presidency issued a statement condemning abuse of any kind, yet I have complained to Church leaders, including her Stake President, Wayne Mathis, in June, 2000, about the abusive situation in which my ex-wife, Gretchen, has placed my daughters. She is cohabiting with a married man, Floyd White; a fact, which the Church leaders are well aware. This man has sexually and physically abused his stepdaughter and molested other girls and all indications are my daughters are his current victims. Floyd targets vulnerable women with attractive young daughters. That is his modus operandi and Church leaders know this.
The Church leaders have to know about this problem, yet chose to ignore it. They attend church together and have had outward displays of affection in public since 1997, and Floyd never even filed for divorce. Floyd and my ex-wife paraded into my daughter's graduation in June 2000, arm-in-arm, right past the former Stake President Bruce Slater and his wife.
Additionally, the Church leaders have been active in criminally interfering with my visitation. When I confronted Bishop Mihok about the practice I was threatened with Church Court if I reported them to the authorities. I had also threatened to sue LDS Social Services in Richmond Virginia for insurance fraud and misrepresentation and was warned likewise about taking civil action. LDS Social Services were involved in my marital therapy just before my ex-wife filed for divorce and reported that they accepted CHAMPUS insurance, however, I had to pay all fees up front and they would reimburse me when they were paid. I ended up paying about $900 and was told they failed to get the papers in to qualify them to accept CHAMPUS after they had already told me that had been accomplished
Two Stake Presidents, neither of whom had any ecclesiastical authority over me, involved themselves in my personal matters also. President Brown, who was upset that I had attracted the eye of woman they wanted for their still-married son (just separated two days). This person spoke to my uncle to tell me he thought I was cavorting around with the very woman he was trying to fix his son up with.
Another scoundrel, then Stake President John Thornock (also an attorney) took an interest in me. (I had run into him several years earlier. He accused me of directing murder as part of an intelligence operation. We were both in the Army and he reported this to Congress before checking the facts. It turned out he was wrong and embarrassed. He retired shortly thereafter. I think he had an axe to grind with me from that time forward.)
While at DIA years later, I was involved in a very sensitive assignment abroad. John Thornock, then DIA General Counsel, kept poking his nose around in my operation and was told repeatedly to butt out. Finally, he was questioned about the reason for his insistant involvement, and he told them that he had an ecclesiastical responsibility for me, which was a lie! I was never in his Stake.
Not satisfied, Thornock rifled my drawers at work, which was in a sensitive area, and unlawfully intercepted my private phone conversations. He helped Gretchen launch a two-year espionage investigation at great expense to US taxpayers to destroy my career (I never worked for a foreign power) and then handed my (ex-)wife at least some of the things taken from my desk and reported to her that she should divorce me because he knew that I had a Swiss Bank account and was funneling marital assets there, which was totally false. He even set her up with one of his High Councilors, Jim Tate, as her divorce attorney, with a smokin' deal.
The bottom line is that I have written to the Area President and General Authorities about these problems. I was referred back to the Stake President to resolve the problems. Nothing has been done to help my daughters. I told those Church leaders that since they had abrogated my patriarchal prerogatives, interfered with my visitation and court-ordered counseling sessions with my daughters, they had assumed responsibility for the welfare of my children. They did not take this proclamation seriously, So I wonder about the teeth in the Church's condemnation of abuse.