Has anyone heard any rumblings of a recent exposure of sex abuse in Livingston? At least one of the victims have recently come forward and told the story of being raped by a teenage boy in Livingston years ago.
The rapist now lives in Othello Washington as a member of the Church of God in Christ Mennonite.
The ministers have been somewhat involved but I have yet to hear of the rapist even being expelled for his acts.
Has anyone heard anything of this yet?
Well, Marilyn, you really give us the willys with this post. I've been watching for some response to this because we have a daughter that was teaching at Othello, WA. This has her mother and I wondering WTF...
If there is anything to it, we would like to know so we can caution our daughter.
I am very close to the story- although not the victim. Abuse is like a rock being thrown into a pond. The worst of the impact is right where the rock hits, but there are also ripples from that rock that disturb the water. Although not the victim of the rape, I am a ripple.
I found out the enormity of the rape just recently as my marriage began to crumble from an unseen force. I had wondered for some time what was causing the destruction of my marriage.Through therapy the horrific story of the rape of an 8 year old boy came out.
This was not merely childhood experimentation, but a teenage boy taking an 8 year old boy out to a hidden place and raping him. The victim remembers every detail as if this happened yesterday.
I decided to find this person who had created so many ripples in my life. Lo and behold, I found him in Othello, Washington still as a member of the Church of God in Christ Mennonite. My entire life has been torn to pieces and yet his life continues on.
What happened, as you describe it, should have clear statutory penalties. I will be praying for you guys, just get good advice both from people who can help the two of you heal and from those who can advise you legally. You can email us if you choose.
What an imperfect and unfair world we live in. It's good you're talking, it's good for you that you're talking.
How's the eight year old boy? Likely he's still about eight. Emotional development usually stops at whatever the age something traumatic like that happens.
I had my own different type of thing happen at seven and I was 56 when the thing was dislodged [worked out of me] and I could finally become more than a seven year old emotionally, on certain levels.
What's important it seems to me is that people sincerely love and stick together through the thick and the thin, but that doesn't always happen. When this doesn't happen we ought not place blame when relationships fail.
Where do we go from here? How are you doing Marilyn?
Has the Washington man been arrested? There's no statute of limitations on something like that to my knowledge. For something as hurtful as that he ought to freely turn himself in and just maybe plead for the mercy of the courts. I am sure it's been revealed for a reason. My my!
When will this all end? The percentages of abuse per populace in this group seems to be very high. Perhaps if the leadership would stand up for what is right instead of trying to "deal with the sin" there would be some real progress. By progress, I mean getting help to both victim and perpetrator.
It seems that the more opression there is (regarding sexuality and related education/understanding) the more depravity has room to grow.
Ms Carpenter, if you have enough facts to go to the authorities (legal not church) I would encourage you to go. These victims need our support in any way we can.
Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.
I am unsure of the statute of limitations and the victim is not in any position to pursue this at this time.
The rapist was in his very early teens at the time and from hearing the level of planning and thought that went into this, it seems highly unlikely that the rape I am speaking of was his first. He even planned ahead to bring something to clean up the blood.
The saddest of all was that the victim did not even know the words to begin to tell his parents what was happening. Only knew that he was not allowed to talk about anything of a sexual nature and so kept it hidden for 22 years.
When he finally told his parents (very recently) his dad cried and said he had "no idea things like this even happened in "The Church"". His dad had already been contacted by the ministers in Othello. However, that is the extent of what I heard. I have no idea if this rapist was expelled, told to turn himself in, etc. It seems once again the Church of God in Christ Mennonite has circled their wagons.
I am sure that you're aware of the revelations in the Roman C. domain and how it was hidden at different times. Many other places in christendom the perverse has been occurring as well. Hiding does not stop the revelations. Judgment begins at the house of God, it says. Everywhere in all things, things are coming to the surface.
Nothing will be hidden that has been hidden in these the last days of this age, the Word says. I think that is a word of Jesus!
I know that you are not asking for advise but I feel to say this, rest in Christ and take good care of your family. We will pray, we already are moved with compassion!
I sense that it is already too much out in the open to shut it down. Let justice prevail and as a teen, and even a late teen I am not even sure what that is. I feel for his wife and family if he is married.
Several things need to be addressed in this situation.
1. Such things do not have the statute of limitations that they used to, due to the nature of the crime committed and also due to the type of dealing that has been done in various church groups across the nation.
2. The perpetrator needs to be made fully accountable for his actions and also the staff in Othello need to recognise that this man's own children are at risk in his presence and remove his family from his care and make sure that he is never alone with any child. EVER AGAIN
3. they are also required by law to report it, if they know about it and are at risk of being jailed for failure to report depending on the state laws there.
His wife can also have the children removed from her care by the state if she does not comply with the recommendations given and can also recieve a jail term if it is found out that she knew children were in danger and did not protect them.
4. they need to find out if there are more victims of him in the area that he came from and also where he lives now.
5. He needs to be made responsible to pay for the help that his victims need to recover from the crime he has committed against them.
6. The H staff needs to recognise that this man needs help that they are not capable or trained to give him and either go and get some training so they can help him and his family deal with this or send him where he can be helped.
7. I would also advise a session where they deal with the demons that obviously possess him. Unfortunately that will most likely never happen as most of them have no idea of how to do that nor really believe that people are possessed like that, and need help from other people. the general course of action they have is to tell them they have a problem and cast them out to deal with it themselves. The worst part is that they cast the victims out first and reject the very people that need them the most, that could be helped first and foremost. and cater to the guy that does the damage and thereby damage even more people and cause more hurts to go on unhealed.
I think they need to warn all children in any cong where he is, that he is a danger to them and that they need to be on guard and stay away from him.
some may think I am rather hard hearted and out of line here, but having dealt with abusers for nearly 40 yrs now. I know this much. They have a mindset that justifies their actions to themselves, blames their victims for being tempting even when the victim did nothing at all to be guilty of and they also, even if if they recognise their actions as wrong, seem to find a way to justify it to themselves and think that if they can just explain it to you 20 yrs later, that they had a justifyable reason, then you would just understand. They are also of the mindset that every one else would do the same thing if given the same chances or circumstances.
I do know of 2 that seem to have had a true change of ways. One is paying his dues in a jail cell, the other nearly paid with his life.
I would also have to wonder, if this guy started doing this in his younger teen years, what was his trigger point and Who was his own personal abuser?
The holdeman system is an extremely, and maybe the most extreme "legal" system in the "Christian" claiming body of "believers".
Legalism is in and of itself a spiritual deviancy that is akin to a sexual deviancy.
God intended one man to marry one woman, and remain so and to procreate life, living in peace, harmony and love, and to love and protect the children, or fruit of that marriage.
In the spiritual realms, God never intended men to call another man our father, except of course our father.
Mt 23:9* And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Of course the Holdie preachers don't want to be called "father" but they do want the privileges associated with that authority, and so in effect do expect the authority that comes from that natural position.
So the true protector of the family, the "real father" is put into the position of giving up his own head to the headship of the beast of the conference, the preachers in there. Because he has in times past been spiritually abused by them in his youth, which is protocol, and since he didn't like how it "felt" he doesn't look for or protect his young from abuse. It's exposure is too uncomfortable and will cause a "probing" by the ministry.
So the sexual abuse grows in there since there is spiritual sin.
Not that most men aren't at least a little "perverted" at least in the quiet place of their chambers of imagery, but holdemanism perverts natural affection, and screws with the natural mechanism that God gave a man to protect his own offspring changing it into a fear of the preacher that exposes itself in a refusal to judge the obvious until the preacher says it is okay.
You said in effect; spiritual sin sets the stage [i.e. is seed for] sexual perversions. That was insightful and very accurate. You're seeing the extreme problem with a christian body or person mixing the Spirit of grace with legalism. God hates this mixture. This is sin, this is perverse, this misses the mark, and it affects men and women at deep internal levels. Many times this manifests sexually, either hidden or openly. There are other perversions than sexual ones and these as well may manifest. Doctrine itself can easily get perverted and men will take to themselves extra-biblical doctrines which become very central and exclusive to them. This is a perverse thing. Let's remember; perverse things will always hurt and destroy.
Legalism mixed with the Spirit of grace is self-abuse at deep levels of the mind and heart. No person is meant to mix a binding precept with the Spirit of grace and freedom! In so doing we actually create leanings within us toward perverseness. We can artificially and easily open up the energies of perversion within our being. It is like saying that there was no unbelief or doubt until there first came belief and this is true. Once the well is primed that we can be accepted of God by our good behavior there must then come an internal purging.
The New Covenant believer may easily plant legal seeds! Then we fight the crop these seeds produce. To make an ordinance that a certain thing is prideful for example, creates an actual leaning toward pride where there was no pride in those things initially. We violate and abuse ourselves and then wonder about our perversions and our struggles against them?
Fred, this is why we must [purge out the old leaven] in all of us and you're aware of this. The old covenant scriptures do [not] urge us to do this. This is uniquely New Covenant truth speaking of old covenant energies and a false approach to God's acceptance and approval. Romans chapter one is another clear example of this.
Above and beyond the mix and [perversion] of law injected into one's premise of Grace, the letter or law causes repression and then out pops something in excess. God does not repress us, He restores us! There is no repression in Christ, not by Christ! His goodness and righteousness is spontaneous in that it is birthed or implanted in the believer! The New Covenant believer is a new creation!
If the whole lump is leavened there are alas no effective and acceptable checks and balances; therefore the process of purging out the old leaven cannot occur. The perfect example of this is how in 70 A.D. the society of the scribes and pharisees came to judgment, for Christ had come!
It seems that the more I tell this story, the more people are coming out the woodwork telling me the story of their abuse during childhood, both in and out of the Holdeman church. Although abuse seems to be equal across the board, the shame and supression of abuse in the Holdeman church is what sickens me. These children are thought to be safe in the warm arms of the Church when the danger is inside, not outside.
It brings to mind the book Princess, Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean Sasson (it's been years,don't quote me on name or author) where the women are forced to cover their entire bodies from head to toe in thick black clothing. Some are allowed a small slit to see out, others are forced to squint through the fabric. In this book the sexual perversion runs deep. It tells stories of men catching a glimpse of a forbidden ankle and being overwhelmed by lust. In this society what is normal (a woman's face, feet, ankles, etc) has been turned into the taboo so when men see normalcy they react in uncontrollable lust.
Is this something that is motivating the sexual abuse in the Holdeman church? Has the legalism bred sexual perversion?
I am not so stupid as to think that the rapist of my husband just came up with that idea on his own. I am sure his demons and his abuse are horrific as well. What is scary to me is that he continued that abuse with such thought, planning and violence. I shudder in fear for the young boys in Othello. I have cried myself to sleep thinking of the life his own children have.
My God have Mercy on his soul, because at this point, I cannot.
There've been many good comments made on this thread and I don't have much to add apart from agreeing that legalism, repression and ignorance are likely all factors to some extent in most cases.
Like you said, Marilyn, the perp, at age 13, is unlikely to have come up with the idea himself, but he is likely a victim as well. (Not that I am trying to excuse him for what he did). What would be interesting to know is how far back this goes. As the Bible says, the sins of the fathers are visited upon their children for generations. What I mean is that the cycle has not been broken in many cases, but rather swept under the rug. I think this is at play in the Holdeman culture as a result of the various factors already discussed previously on this thread.
This is not to say that the Holdemans are unique in this - they are like most legalistic, closed communities.
On a related note, I am aware of a recent case of abuse in a Holdeman congregation and from my well-placed sources, it sounds to me like the clergy there has taken the appropriate steps and the victim and the victim's parents have been given appropriate support and encouraged to seek professional help, unlike has been the case many times in the past. I'm not convinced that this one incident represents a wholesale change on the part of the church, but I remain (very, very) cautiously optimistic.
Marilyn, if you would be so kind as to email me, I will send you information on places where you can get help and a list of excellent books that will help you address and both of you to heal. Healing is a process, and for many of us, it is not an immediate solution but a healing of the pain. It is the same as physical damage, there are scars that remain, those are part of who we are thru what we have endured. But they can, do and will heal, just like our physical bodies do. but it also leaves scars and handicaps sometimes just like physical illness, damage and surgery do.
we do have a God that is greater than those that commit evils against us and the Satan that perpetuates those evils. I had a conversation just last nite with an H friend that said to me," Some people live such sheltered,idylic, ignorant lives that they simply do not understand nor can relate to the kind of life you have survived both physically , emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Not many surive those kind of things and still come in smiling."
I can tell you of a certainty that it is not me that has allowed me to survive what I have, but a God that is greater than anything I can imagine that has given me an endurance beyond what some endure. but I have not endured what many others have. But God has given me a heart that reaches out to others pain. Without having endured< I would be a real inconsiderate jerk and probably still am a lot. But I keep working on it. Yet not me working but Christ, Alone I am probably at least taken as a condecending idiot.
Encouraging post Steve, at least one preacher saw what needed to be done for the victum. -- (Not that I am trying to excuse him for what he did). What would be interesting to know is how far back this goes. As the Bible says, the sins of the fathers are visited upon their children for generations. What I mean is that the cycle has not been broken in many cases, but rather swept under the rug. -- Now I'm wondering how you think the cycle could be broken? Seems like counseling for the rapist doesn't work. calledoutPTL
>Is this something that is motivating the sexual abuse in the Holdeman church? Has the legalism bred sexual perversion? <
Marilyn, being holdeman most of my life, I have seen a definite trend where the children raised by strict, legalistic parents have the most trouble in all things sexual. Once they get to the age where can break free from the repression and control, they pull out all the stops in their quest to learn and experience everything that was denied them. Many of them leave the church. This especially true where the parents come from an Amish/Old Order background.
Seems like counseling for the rapist doesn't work. calledoutPTL
It does and can if the person really understands the enormity of what they have done and the damage that it has done to their victims. If they do not get that thru their heads it will never change. It is no different from any other sin in that respect. Murderers keep on murdering, angry men keep on hitting people and fighting, molestors keep on molesting, liers keep lying, sinners keep sinning. there is only one remedy for any of it and that is the blood of our Lord and Saviour and his forgiveness of our sins.
We both grew up in angry abusive homes and we both on our own decided and made ourselves a commitment that our home would not contain those elements. We are both human and we have failed in many things but we did our best to not have that kind of home and God answered our prayers. One day our sons in frustration at things they did not understand and our situation with the H church, decided to take out their frustration on each other in a very small house with company in it. 2 more than 6 footers in a room that was only 8x10 in a major fight was not a pretty sight. The very next day, I found the mennonite phsycologist that was quoted on that video someone posted last yr about abuse among the amish. and the next day we were on our way there and I told my sons," This is where the buck stops. We grew up with this kind of anger in our homes and we have made a decision that it does not follow us and our children and we are making sure that you do not carry it on in your life from here because of your frustration in our circumstances."
It is a 60 mile trip for me one way. I managed to get my boys there just a couple of times,because of their age over 18,they refused to go more than a couple times. but it made an immediate improvement in our home, because they knew that I meant business. But I continued to go myself, for myself. It has been one of the best things I have ever done for me, but it has also helped our whole family to recognise that I was not telling the children there is something wrong with you and you are causing a problem, but I was saying, we together have a problem and I am going to deal with my part in it.
One of those boys moved out 2 days before he turned 18 because he was still so angry about us being exed and what he thought we owed him, A beautiful house, give him a car, don't make him pay money home or work around the house........... he now lives in another state and is required to live in with another family by the H. he is doing better. this past summer he was home for a day and my brother took him for a walk and they discussed the situation and his anger. My brother told him that he needed to recognise that his behavior needed some rather extreme changes and that he needed to recognise that one of the reasons that his father did not do some of the things he thought he should was because if his father had acted in the manner he was acting, that his grandfather would have nearly killed him in his anger. He said " you need to recognise that your dad walks away so he does not respond to you like his father would have."
We can change the history in our families by the Grace of God. And we can stop the cycle of abuse by stopping just one abuser at a time, and helping his victims deal with their past one abuse at a time.
LL. --there is only one remedy for any of it and that is the blood of our Lord and Saviour and his forgiveness of our sins.-- That is the ultimate remedy. Now when I say counseling doesn't seem to work for rapists it is because rarely do they rape once and quit; they have a history of repeating their actions. Counseling does work occ, when the rapist actually wants to change, but most don't want to even though the law forces them go to counseling; because they think they aren't to blame like you said. But when God (not religion) gets ahold of them, they change.
In your case, you were the victims, and counseling does help. 2)Your spouse and yourself were in agreement that certain elements were not going to be in your home and you-all did the best you knew at the time. #2, when you recognized there was something more to be done and what needed to be done, you did it. You made the sacrifice. A lot of people don't. Your children are victims as well and they will have to take responsibility of their emotions as well. You are to be applauded for taking responsibility of your emotions, even though you were a victim and your children have a good role model in you. calleodutPTL
I am interested to hear what the minister in California says. The rapist sent a letter to his victim. However, he did not acknowledge a rape, rather referenced some inappropriate contact between them as children. Ugh, I want to throw up.
He raped a young boy and now years later calls it inappropriate contact as children as if they experimented together. He led this child away from the last day of school, took him out into an overgrown field, forced his jeans off and made him lay facedown on a piece of cardboard he had already placed there and raped him. Inappropriate contact??? No, rape- plain and simple. Sodomy.
It would seem to me that learning of a rape in your community would be something that would warrant attention over and above revival meetings. To use the parable of the lost sheep, should he be spending his efforts on the proverbial 99 that are safely in the fold of the Holy Mother Church and leaving the proverbial lost ones out in the cold? Or, should he rather focus on the ones who are truly hurting?
Yes, I know it has been 20+ years since this specific case happened. But, more than likely it was not an isolated incident. Thirteen year old boys don't normally go around raping younger boys. My suspicion is that there was/is someone else, in the Livingston area (or could be elsewhere) who was/is doing the same thing. (The possibility even exists that the church could know about it, a la the Abbotsford/Duncalfe case. I am not alleging that it does - just pointing out that I think this situation has the potential to be more widespread than this one rape, as horrifying as it is).
Might be time to get out on the cold mountainsides and find out if there are other sheep out there - and maybe wolves, too. Then again, maybe the wolves are inside the sheepfold?...
"It would seem to me that learning of a rape in your community would be something that would warrant attention over and above revival meetings."
I do not know that he is a even a member of this conregation...nor community just that he is in CA...and I know he will do something as soon as he can.
He may let me know something...sooner
We do not know...that positive steps have NOT already been taken
I do not want to bother him for all the above reasons...
I firmly believe that if the entire truth were known about the rapist that there would be compassion. However, this person CHOSE to commit that act upon an innocent child. That child then grew up to become a very gentle man (who you have met and shared an afternoon talking non-stop with) who never repeated that pattern of abuse. His demons were no less active though and have led to upheavals in life.
This is a choice. Even for a 13 year old, it was a choice. Possibly made easier by his own demons, but a choice nontheless.
When do we finally say "the buck stops here"? Do we not prosecute this rapist and instead look to the monster who did this to him, maybe not stopping there... at some point we must stop and realize that every single person, in spite of what happened to them has the CHOICE to continue a pattern or move forward.
"This is a choice. Even for a 13 year old, it was a choice. Possibly made easier by his own demons, but a choice nontheless"...in spite of what happened to them has the CHOICE to continue a pattern or move forward."
You are absolutely RIGHT.
I see many who do not realize nor accept that their actions and
ways of thinking...are CHOICES. We were given minds to THINK!
We have the right and power to choose how we live, approach, and feel about life!
"No, this man is now 35 I believe. He has a wife and children. I do know the ministers in Othello are aware of it, but know nothing more."
When I confronted the deacon man from Othello,WA about this situaion last night, he said, "I don't know anything about what you're talking of."
Maybe he doesn't at this time, but I have found over the years that this is a common ploy of Holdeman staff members.
Still, its very unsettling for us to see our daughter go to live in a congregation where someone like this is allow to live in the church as a good member and yet when I wanted to make peace with them, they won't have nothing to do with me 'cause I railed at them when I couldn't get answers from them when I asked questions about the inconsistancies in their church.
Fred: You are to be applauded to taking immediate and sensitive action.
Thank you for sharing a positive outcome in the sordidness that Marilyn and family has endured
If someone close to Marlyn's husband had been more aware maybe her husband's pain and her resulting pain maybe it all could have been averted...What a shame...
"We had a relative (9 years old) that came down with "symptoms" of sexual abuse. He was self effacing, depressed, and started speaking of killing himself. I immediately spoke to a second party, the one that brought the symptoms to me, and said he (the boy) needs to be carefully asked if anyone "got to him in a sexual way" .
I had to be careful here because the obvious suspect was the father, but it seemed so unlikely and the accusation is so cruel. The boy was taken to a councilor and the perp turned out to be a teenage relative, the contact was broken, and the counseling helped the boy forgive and mostly understand it was not his idea or fault. Restoring his former happy attitude."
Not having seen you on this site before...maybe because I am new...I will repeat that my large HM family has at least 6-7 ministers in it and NONE of them or the rest of my family are liars! I cannot stand by and see ALL people of a ANY group branded in an extremely negative and un-true way!
It bothers me that all of you have this guy tarred and feathered before a fair hearing. I am sure that Marilyn is in pain. I am also a victum. But gossip gets nobody any where. It only causes pain in very wide circles! I also would like to know names! Why all the secrets? I also know people from Othello and hurt for them because of all the hear-say! If this is all true lets talk and HELP. Not work it into a frenzy! Do you not think of what kind of pain the perp. is in right now? He obviously has issues that he couldn't deal with also. Also who ever is without sin cast the first stone. I pray both families can get through this and go on with happy lives. It won't feel like you can now but I've been there and it will come after the storm.
"It bothers me that all of you have this guy tarred and feathered before a fair hearing. I am sure that Marilyn is in pain. I am also a victum. But gossip gets nobody any where. It only causes pain in very wide circles! I also would like to know names! Why all the secrets? I also know people from Othello and hurt for them because of all the hear-say! If this is all true lets talk and HELP"
Please do not include us "all" in not giving a fair hearing. If you read all of the posts you can see that I offered my hearfelt sympathy...
and was the one who offered to see if I could help by calling a HM minister whom I fully trust to get "fairness" for both the victim and the perpretator.
The secrecy on my part has as ONLY been to protect the minister's name from getting embroiled in any unfairness...and also personal contact from the victim's wife. I respect their desire for privacy.
The minister was as appalled as anyone and contacted the minister in Othello. As I said I will receive an answer soon
There is NO cover up or secrecy here on my part. Only protecting the rights of others.
I just received a call from the minister in Ca about the Livingston/Othello
The minister in Othello stated that he had spoken with the former perpetrator
recently who was very open and felt extremely bad about it.
The perpetrator said he had confessed this at his conversion to the boy involved.
And when the Othello man was spoken to by the minister, "again", in the last three weeks, he said "he had sent a certified letter of apology within the past month to the former victim and received proof of receipt".
PS. My PC crashed last week so I have lost everything!
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