Gags, muzzles, and a hole in my boat

 

she died_because she trusted us

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NOTE: PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED CONTENT ADDED BELOW MAIN BLOG.

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The facts and the evidence should speak for themselves. But often they are muzzled or gagged into silence, while another narrative is written.

Sometimes a cry for help escapes from behind the gag… But it’s nothing a healthy smack in the face or a gun to the head cannot fix.

And the movie continues….

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Since I don’t feel free to publicly post evidence, for various reasons, I have created a password protected web page where I am posting what evidence I have been given permission to share. It is not there to serve curiosity and cause destruction, but for pastors, victims (and their families).

Evidence includes parts of audio recording, testimonies of some victims including only those who have given permission to share it, screenshots of conversations, among other things.

  1. Your full name and address, and what church/ministry you are part of.
  2. Include a written promise that you will not download, print, leave on your computer screen or store in any format, or share with another person, or give any other individual access to this information. And promise that only your eyes will view it. Each individual must ask for his or her own permission to access.
  3. Explain the reason for your interest and concern, what your connection is to D and S, and what influence you believe you have for creating accountability for S.
  4. If you’re just curious, at least be honest and say so.

EVIDENCE TRIGGER WARNING: Should you choose to request access, be warned that the content – just quoting what D said to these individuals – is highly pornographic in nature and deeply disturbing. The risk for traumatization is significant for those who experienced these kinds of phone calls and messages. Those who took time to write out their experiences frequently shared it nauseated them.

I have been immersed in this now for four days and am completely burned out emotionally, spiritually and psychologically.  And I’m left to wonder how the church so blithely overlooks this abuse. Shame on us all.

If S and ASAA leadership can really turn a blind eye to this…  I don’t even know what to say. …

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This has been exhausting – no doubt for others as much as for me – and the grief of what has been lost in the months since January is completely overwhelming. So kindly don’t spit on the grave before the dirt has even settled. I still care deeply for S, his wife and his ministry. If you comment, please be respectful. I won’t tolerate hate or attack against S (or his ministry). My heart is not and never has held hate. I am concerned about the wellbeing of vulnerable and victims, therefore I have spoken out publicly because the private conversation was much akin to spinning in the mud, and all the while public risk continued.

I urge you… if you, or your wife, or your daughter, or your friend were impacted by the grooming, the sexualized talk and questions by D…. Speak out.

And to those of you who have been through this, I’m sorry.

I am sorry no one told you what you should have been told many months ago. I do not regret telling you now. And I’m sorry that I can do no more at this time. The rest is now up to each of you who were impacted. You now choose whether you let it fall through the cracks, and let this kind of thing continue, or to rise up and let your voice be heard. There is nothing more I can do without you rising up with me.

I am here to support as I am able. I have audio files, paper trails and messages, but without those of you speaking out who were intimately impacted by D and the silence of S, things will go on as they were. If you have been muzzled or silenced, no matter what the excuse to not speak, speak out anyway. There are whistleblowers in many organizations, and they survive. On the outside, I can do my itty bit, but true accountability must rise up from the inside and those closest. That is the only way.

I urge you to speak out and let your voices be heard. Contact leaders of the Anabaptist Sexual Abuse Symposium with the stories you sent me. Contact church leaders. Contact the board. Let them hear your stories and your voices. Expose the abuse, the perversion, the affairs that wreaked havoc in your marriages. Be the voice for your sons and daughters who live with the aftermath you shared with me, and teach them to be the voice for the next generation.

And, if D spent time with your sons and daughters, ask them questions… And then do something. Don’t let others be victimized. Every time I speak out, new stories spill out, now reaching an alarming number, and yet I have never mentioned D’s name even one time. (I am creating a spreadsheet, but I am guessing the number who have been negatively impacted is over 100, or at least very close to it. Given I have never used his name, and that many people wrote, not to ask me the name but to tell me… that should trouble you. And those who feel anger toward me for speaking out, though I expected it, is badly misplaced.)

And to the leaders (whether the board of S’s ministry, the Symposium, or other affiliated leaders who have not heard or seen the evidence) I urge you to at least take a moment and contemplate looking into this thoroughly…

This silence cannot go on. And Symposiums change nothing if the patterns are happening, unchallenged and unchecked, in those who lead addressing them. I am all for this to be addressed, and I am absolutely for the Symposium, ( I planned to attend the event), but I have grave concerns when one of the lead people behind it is blatantly mishandling an extreme situation and refuses to hear people who bring it to his attention. It is every kind of wrong.

I do not believe this is beyond redemption. Yes, I am disheartened and weary of this battle. Tired in ministry… feeling like every bucket of water out of the boat (with church being the boat, and the water being all sexual abuse in church) is met with two buckets poured in on the other side from someone inside this boat, as yet another trusted leader looks the other way, or engages in abuse…

All the while the rain falls….

 

Yes, I’m tired…

But there is still hope…

There must always be hope…

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And with that, I confess that all that can be said by me, publicly, has been said.  So I offer a curtsy, and bow out…

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Proverbs 31:8  
“Open your mouth for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all who are destitute.”

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018