Dear mom and dad,
I have some sad news for you and I understand that this will be a very difficult letter for you to read. I have decided not to attend the meetings anymore. I’m sorry to create a grievous situation for you and will regret deeply that my decision will cause you great sadness.
Because I’m a therapist, I am sometimes sought out for my opinion on things. Because these things are told to me in confidence, and because I have an ethical obligation to keep them confidential, I will never be able to prove to you the truth of what I say. But the bottom line is that I am now aware of so many incidents of childhood sexual abuse by the workers, homosexual activity amongst the workers, and inappropriate sexual behavior by the workers that I can no longer consider them my shepherds.
In almost every case I know about, I have been told that the companions or overseers of these individuals knew about the activity, and a concerted effort was made to keep the information a secret. People amongst the friends who have spoken out about these things have been treated poorly and asked not to take part. In the proverbial case that ‘broke the camel’s back’, I found out that a worker on our staff who has been in my field and in my home with my children has in the past molested a child. I am told – and believe – that Dale knows about the incident – yet the worker is still in the work, and still staying in homes with children almost every night.
I understand that there will always be some people not getting God’s victory in their lives. But when the overseers do nothing to monitor such behavior, we have a problem. I cannot entrust my soul to a group of men who have a condition of heart that allows them to think that this behavior is not reprehensible. There are probably 4 or 5 workers in prison today for this behavior, and from what I can tell, not one of them was turned in by an overseer or fellow worker. I can only imagine zero tolerance for this kind of behavior, and we are nowhere near that.
This has nothing to do with my relationship with Christ. I believe in God’s Word, and I love Christ and the sacrifice he made for me. I intend to serve Him until my dying day, but I can’t serve him in this way any longer. I know you won’t understand that, so it will have to be between me and God.
It’s not that I am averse to talking with you about this, but I ask you not to beg me to change my mind. I have loved this way all my life – and if you are searching for a way in which I can know what I know and still go to meeting, believe me, I’ve thought of it. But none of it adds up; I cannot make wrong equal right no matter how I slice it. I have no disrespect for you or any others who can find a way to square this with their faith.
I’m sorry for the grief this will cause you and hope that you will always love me the same. I have not changed, either in heart or behavior. I am not offended; I do not have a hard heart; I am not bitter. But this behavior I can’t tolerate. Please don’t ask me to.
In much love,
By Lisa (Hazelrigg) Gray
Livermore, CA US
January 1, 2010
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