How it’s done: Excising Predators

Today Bill Cosby was found guilty on all three counts associated with his interactions with Andrea Constand.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

The furor over the Cosby situation may explain why the LDS Church released a statement today regarding how they dealt with a predator in 2014: Mission President Misconduct in 2014

Sometimes there’s a predator in our midst. When it is clear cut, as in the 2014 case, reaction is swift and comprehensive.

There are other times when the case is not as clear cut, for any of a number of reasons.

We’ve already commented ad nauseum about the issue of abuse. So comments on this post will be moderated to keep comments down to real gems.

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but that Emma was right to assert she had been Joseph's only true wife.

9 thoughts on “How it’s done: Excising Predators

  1. “When it is clear cut . . . reaction is swift and comprehensive.”

    And when it is promptly reported — or, prompt reporting helps the make it clear cut.

  2. My understanding is that the SLC Trib found out about the incident and started asking questions. Only then did the church release a statement.

  3. The Church did the right thing with this mission president by swiftly and firmly dealing with him and caring for the victims. I can’t help but wonder, though, if there isn’t more they could do to prevent this from happening in the future–some rules about being alone, even in interviews with one sister, etc. I know it would change the dynamics in the interview, but maybe it would be worth it. For those wanting more details of what the Church has said about it, see the SL Trib article.

  4. Prompt reporting to whom? To the Church and to the family? That was done and swift action was taken. To the police? In this case the victims decided not to go that route. Depending on the nature of the offense, which at this time we know only in a very general way, this could have been very difficult for the sister missionaries with no guarantee that legal action would have been successful. We don’t know enough to go beyond speculation here. To the press? Again, the victims made the decision. Publicity and legal action in this case could have prevented the completion of several successful missions by innocent parties. Prompt and severe ecclesiastical action was taken, which I am sure was noticed by the missionaries in the mission and in the home ward and stake of the mission president.

    I have seen no indication in the press of illegal conduct by the perpetrator before or after his excommunication. What is not clear in the press is what prompted this incident to become public now.

    This is a tragic case that was no doubt difficult for all involved. The hero was the missionary who did the right thing by blowing the whistle.

  5. I realize it an assumption, but no one will say this from the pulpit: “If your Church leader should ever do anything agregious, report it immediately to the law enforcement first, to SLC second.”

  6. I think that there are several lessons which most of us have learned through life experiences and examinations of church history.

    One is that our reverence for leadership can be problematic when we allow charismatic charlatans to gain positions of authority in the Church. The adage “whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies” does not mean that every church leader called is qualified and cleared by God. The proper teaching is that worthy holders of any calling can gain heavenly aid. In the 2014 case, the young sister missionary who “violated” mission rules and called home to let her Stake President know what was going on should be held up as an example.

    As Meg would likely point out, the John C. Bennetts of this world have probably not declined in number since the Nauvoo period. I believe that they and certain practices and behaviors still need to be resisted and questioned by people of good faith and good conscience.

  7. I’m glad when predators are stopped. That said, I’m sad that society created them as predators in the first place. If the #metoo society existed back in the 70s, 80s and 90s, it would have discouraged many of these men who are now being excoriated by society from ever doing anything wrong. Instead, it encouraged them.
    Our society created films and magazines that exploited women. It still makes rap music that demeans women. When Bill Cosby falls, we all fall with him, because society created both the good in him and the predator.

  8. “If your Church leader should ever do anything agregious [sic], report it immediately to the law enforcement first, to SLC second.”

    Egregious is not the same as illegal. Lots of egregious things are not illegal or criminal. Depending on the incident, I might resort first to the police or first to a trusted licensed social worker or first to a lawyer with expertise in the matter.

  9. “Society created both the good in him and the predator”. Huh? Since when is society the source of all good and all bad? “All things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually” (Moroni 7:12 ).

    I am very sad to see that Bill Cosby made bad choices. I really hope that he feels remorse and repents. His reputation is very badly damaged, but there is still hope for his soul.

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