Guest Post: Nothing to See Here #MormonMeToo

By Caroline Crockett Brock

I find myself staggering through today, feeling a panoply of sharp-edged emotions, the depth of which surprises me. I’m incredulous. Indignant. Incensed. More than anything, I feel a bone-deep frustration at my old tribe. I stand at the edges and see the dance of smoke and mirrors their leaders engage in, as they carefully circle the fire of public opinion. They take the hands of lawyers and PR managers, and cunningly direct the tribe’s attention off the thousands of us who’ve been shamed, abused, offended, falsely taught, disbelieved, and shattered.

Of course, I see it now. They had to dance around the fire before the countless wounded were marched in front of them.

They could not allow the fire to spread.

“We’ve changed the policy,” they say. “We’re listening!”
“You can all go back to your everyday lives now. Nothing to see here!”

You’re right. Nothing to see here. No godliness or emotional maturity exhibited. Nothing to emulate. Nothing to model. Nothing more than another egotistical organization trying to placate their base and evade all responsibility.

I find it depressingly ironic that a church so focused on assessing individual accountability can be so blind to their own.

Where’s the Church’s worthiness interview? Can we all attend?

I have never been more offended. Insult my politics. Attack my beliefs. But please, don’t pawn off this petty meaningless drivel as an enlightened solution. Don’t you dare insult my intelligence.

I am a mother who already knew her rights, thank you. I am a mother of four girls who already sits in the interview room with her daughters. I’m a “mother who knows.”

Nothing to see here.

They’re right, you know. My daughters will never be abused by a bishop in an interview room. Priesthood predators will not groom my daughters. A bishop will not penetrate them at age eight while talking about repentance and Jesus. He will never teach them about masturbation or lead them into a secret basement room. These evil men target the weak. The “least of these,” as Christ would say. They pick off the stragglers at the back, the ones whose parents are too trusting, or absent altogether.

Is there nothing to see here?

I was once a daughter of goodly parents. While my own father was a bishop back at home, I was emotionally abused by my bishop at BYU. Much like the MTC, these church-run institutions are places where goodly parents think their kids are safe from the shepherds called to preside over them. Places where the suffering will now continue for future decades, and on and on and on.

Is there nothing to see there?

In my heart of hearts, I’d like to be proud of my tribe, even though I don’t believe in their truth claims.

I’d like to say that at the very least, my religious alma mater exhibits humility and grace as they navigate the issues of modern-day management of a religion.

I’d like to say they aren’t doing exactly what they preach against.

They’re not only leaning on the arm of flesh, they’ve mated with it. At this point, I don’t know how to separate the comingling flesh of Kirton McConkie from the Q15. Can you tell me where one ends and the other begins? Does anyone know?

I wish I could say there was “something to see” in the LDS church today.
Something resembling organizational accountability and humility.
Something resembling enlightened leadership.
Something vaguely resembling anything Christ stood for.

Alas, I stand at the edge of the tribe and watch them dance.
There’s nothing to see here, yet my family is captivated.

Nothing to see.
And the dance continues.
=====================

“[T]he powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. . . . When we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition [such as protecting the “good name of the church” by ignoring, doubting, or squelching the cries of abused people—i.e. pride, ambition], or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.” (D&C 121:36-37)

Caroline is a mother, wife, writer, and fellow goddess in embryo.
One of the tens of thousands with stories of LDS abuse to share. #notablip #notevenclose

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9 Responses

  1. Karen Kershaw says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t understand this reference.
    “At this point, I don’t know how to separate the comingling flesh of Kirton McConkie from the Q15. Can you tell me where one ends and the other begins? Does anyone know?”
    Please explain. Thank you.

    • Eliza says:

      Kirton McConkie is the Church’s law firm. Many policy changes, justifications and PR statements from “The Church” reflect the influence of legal advice, rather than actual revelation and institutional accountability.

      • Thank you for the clarification. That helps.

      • SB says:

        ie, the great and spacious building (literally. Google it; the grand and fancy tower #4 at the City Creek Center in SLC). Also professional persecutors of us victims, making sure our stories aren’t heard and we never, ever receive the help, compensation, justice, or assistance we need, nor that future potential victims receive the prevention that they need. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I speak from very painful experience.

  2. Chris1 says:

    I find it depressingly ironic that a church so focused on assessing individual accountability can be so blind to their own. Yes!

  3. Chairoscuro says:

    Amen to institutional accountability

  4. Liz says:

    This is powerful, Caroline. It was also painfully relevant to this weekend, as General Conference went by with barely a blip about how the church continues to enable and protect predators.

  5. Ziff says:

    Well said, Caroline.

  6. Adam B says:

    This is poetic, and beautiful. I love this line…

    “Where’s the Church’s worthiness interview? Can we all attend?”

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