Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On child abuse, Mormonism, Mitt Romney, the Penn State Scandal and the People of the Lie

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

That Jerry Sanduski loved to play grabass naked with children not much taller than his crotch in the Penn State athletic department showers (he calls it “horsing around) is not in dispute. Nor is the fact that many adults had some awareness of Sanduski’s “problem”, and kept silent or otherwise minimized his criminal conduct in order to protect their own careers and their respective institutions, Penn State mostly, but the web of guilt and the repercussions will not end there.

The combination of power, greed, vast sums of money and valuable perks, an organization that commands and rewards loyalty in a climate of religious fervor, and a culture financially and otherwise dependent upon the public stature of iconic individuals and the continuation of fabricated legends, has led to this end.
Religious fervor and sports zealotry are very similar, and how individuals think and act within institutions that strive to increase levels of fervor and zealotry (and the financial rewards that ensue) within its manufactured belief system exactly alike. Where do people exhibit more raw, emotional zealotry as a group than in church or sports settings?

The behavior of Penn State as an institution and as a collective of individuals in the Sandusky scandal is similar to that exercised by the Mormon Church and its TBMs “True Believer Mormons” as everyday practice, as the norm. This explains in large part why the mock-Christian sect is so secretive, shielding itself from scrutiny concerning the rampant domestic and child abuse so thoroughly ingrained in its white-male-dominant, female-submissive culture.

In his book “People of the Lie”, examining the psychology of evil in everyday life and in how the roles of individuals within groups operate in such situations, Dr. Scott Peck called these persons exactly that, the People of the Lie, describing a mechanism he termed “the fragmentation of conscience.”

“Whenever the roles of individuals within a group become specialized, it becomes both possible and easy for the individual to pass the moral buck to some other part of the group. In this way, not only does the individual forsake his conscience but the conscience of the group as a whole can become so fragmented and diluted as to be nonexistent…The plain fact of the matter is that any group will remain inevitably potentially conscienceless and evil until such time as each and every individual holds himself or herself directly responsible for the behavior of the whole group—the organism—of which he or she is a part.”

The coming legal process will reveal the names of many whose inaction, while not strictly criminal, served to enable the continuation of heinous crimes against defenseless children fallen into the Penn State-Sandusky orbit. We will learn the identities of those who kept a lid on clear evidence of child abuse in order to protect the system and their place in it. The investigation will follow both the money and the amorality and cowardice.

The same processes were at work in the Mormon abduction and long-term abuse of my four children, in the series of crimes that took place beginning in 1995, when the kidnapping was planned, and after February 12, 1996, the day my children vanished into Mormon enclaves in remote areas of Utah.

Mormon officials, bishops and the like, in three states were criminally involved in the abduction, and that fact created powerful incentives to protect themselves, each other, and their institution once the kidnapping had become a fact. Like at Penn State, these were crimes of great shame, and reputations and prison sentences were at stake, and thus the People of the Lie conspired to sustain a kidnapping, and the systematic abuse of four innocent children.

Bob Schaeffer had these words to say on the Penn State scandal, in his commentary on Face the Nation, broadcast November 13:

“It is hard to believe that anyone who had an inkling of what was going on at Penn State did not understand its significance… As the Catholic church learned, when protecting the institution is put ahead of those it is intended to serve, it is eventually the institution that is put at risk. That is unfortunate, but let us remember those the institution forgot, the victims, children who may have been scarred for life (italics added).

“They deserve to know that those who wronged them and those who knew about it are being brought to justice; and, yes, that includes the icons.”

There were Mormons who knew in advance that my children were to be abducted, and there were Mormons who became involved later, that worked to protect the first group, and thus themselves, as the crimes metastasized through the church organizations, all well aware of the significance of their actions, these People of the Lie.

To deliberately cause a child to lose a beloved parent, a beloved grandparent, is an act of child abuse as cruelly destructive as any other form, and has lifelong consequences. Each of the perpetrators understood this fact perfectly well, and would have considered the treatment that they were happy to give the Cruz children as child abuse were it applied in their own families. They were knowingly People of the Lie.

And thus, I will identify them, as I have many times over the years, again in this essay. Lifetime consequences for the victims must be balanced by lifetime consequences for the perpetrators; even if they are never brought to justice, their conduct must be brought out into the open and kept there, as both punishment and deterrent.

The statue of limitations has probably long expired over many of the Sandusky crimes, as it has for the crimes of child abuse perpetrated in the Mormon kidnapping of the Cruz children. The passage of Senate Bill 1041, named after my late son Aaron Cruz, whose death is directly attributable to the abuse and isolation he endured during his years in Mormon captivity, did not pose any threat of justice against his abusers. The law applies only to those cases that originated after its passage in 2005.

These People of the Lie, complicit in the Mormon kidnappings, individually and institutionally, often acting in their official LDS capacity, and bearing a share of responsibility in the death of my son Aaron, include:

Kory and Chris Wright; bishop Donald Taylor; bishop David Holiday, Evelyn Taylor, Tony Micheletti, Cynthia Anderson, Steve Nielson, Ben and Gina Foulk, Barry and Connie Dunford, Edwin Poyfair, James Rulli, and others whose names I do not know or who escape recall at this writing.

The presidential aspirations of Mitt Romney is bringing new attention to Mormonism and how the church operates, how it controls its members, particularly women and children, who have no real power in the organization.

The fragmentation of conscience is far more potent a path and cover for evildoing in the Mormon church than it is in collegiate sports, as would be expected in any secret society.

Although his campaign portrays him very effectively as a businessman and a moderate (despite his crazy talk on the stump), Mitt Romney, a former bishop, is a product of the Mormon institution, and the social values of the church are the only place where he can be counted on to have a core, the loci of his few absolute values.

“As bishop, Romney exercised great power over his congregation. Besides appointing staff members, from the local church librarian to choir master, he interviewed people in the congregation to determine fealty to the church. He decided who could carry a ‘recommend,’ a physical card that serves as proof of a person’s good doctrinal standing and suitability to enter the sacred temples.

“In Boston, Mitt Romney ‘evolved’ in Mormon leadership, some churchwomen say”, By Jason Horowitz, The Washington Post

Mr. Horowitz delved into the “evolution” of Romney’s attitudes toward the place of women (it’s in the home), concluding that he shares the Mormon church’s antipathy towards independent-minded women.

These temple recommends are an effective tool for keeping the people in line, and any Mormon who commits an act of child abuse is sure to lose it and much more, should the crime become known.

Therein lies the incentives and the path for child abuse, Mormonism, Mitt Romney, Penn State, the Cruz kidnappings and the People of the Lie….