We are hopeful that our letter will encourage elders especially to make a stand against what seems to be a dictatorship within the ministry. Because of that, we have overseers who are not taking any accountability because they don’t have too.
Our child was a victim of CSA. Her abuser took it farther and suffocated our child, leading to brain damage. Our child will never recover from what happened. This has affected our family in ways no one could possibly understand. It’s not just the therapies and counseling that are needed. It has taken a mental and emotional toll on our entire family.
We’ve heard multiple times about those that feel for the workers or even those that feel some abusers have changed so they should be allowed in meetings.
We are here to say that there MUST be a ZERO tolerance policy put in place.
Most of this can be laid at the workers’ feet. Many besides us have come forward over the years about abuse, and they were silenced, ignored or threatened. For those that read this, make no mistake, there are abusers in your meetings. Your overseers know.
We’d like to share the letter that we wrote to Scott Rausher, the overseer of Montana and Wyoming. At the end of the letter, we will list the workers that knew about our situation. You will see which ones responded.
I’m sure you’ll notice that this email is also being sent to Barb [Hofer]. There are a couple of reasons for that. The main reason is so we can be assured that you received this email even if you choose not to respond. We’ve learned that by getting no response from Dean [Bruer].
We are going to say what many are thinking. The truth has become a safe haven for pedophiles and rapists.
We, like many others, have sat on the sidelines and watched the waves of “immoral” behavior come to light in recent weeks. That word should not be used at all when referring to CSA or SA. It’s CRIMINAL what has been happening.
Our child is a victim of CSA. Several years ago, we came forward about the abuse to the workers, Dean Bruer was one of them. It was completely shut down. Now that we all know what Dean truly was, we know why he did what he did.
It will be different this time around. Doing nothing will no longer be an option. Here is why. You did know about our child’s abuse.
Just over a year ago, you came for supper to ———and ———‘s house with Cole Larson. You both wanted to know why ——— was there. ——— told you an abbreviated story of ———’s and ———’s abuse, even mentioning that there was a restraining order against ——— for his children. You asked her again who the restraining order was against, and she clarified: for ——— .
You had a call made to you on May 19 of this year. Your response to it was, “Wow, what a story,” and that you knew nothing of what happened. That response is unacceptable. One thing ——— and ——— aren’t, is liars. You can say you forgot but had you reached out to us when you were first informed, it would’ve been harder to forget.
Our child is not just a victim of CSA but assault as well. Her abuser took a step farther and suffocated her several times. This led to brain damage that caused stroke-like symptoms. One side of her body is weaker than the other. Her speech is also affected. This has been confirmed by an MRI.
Let us explain to you briefly what that has done. Our child has been in trauma-based occupational therapy. She is in physical therapy and counseling. This didn’t just start. This has been since the summer of 2016. She will need continued therapy for several more years. This is not something we can get in ______. One of us (usually ———) drives either to ———, ——— or ——— for these services weekly.
Most children our child’s age are sleeping through the night and have been for many years. That is not the case for our child. She is up multiple times. These aren’t 5 minute wake ups. They last 2-3 hours. This especially takes a toll on our child during the school year.
While other parents are dealing with some fighting here and there, we are dealing with a child who has violent outbursts and takes it out on her younger siblings.
While other parents get to witness their child play sports, our child is unable to do any of them due to her left side being weaker and both sides unable to work together.
This is just a brief bit of what we have gone through for nine years. This started before the abuse was disclosed, and we had no idea why.
In one of your emails that was recently sent out, you said this of Robert. “We sure appreciate him greatly. He has a wonderful humble/contrite spirit.”
There’s not one mention of his victims. He may be those things, but he is a criminal and a pedophile and to suggest anything less is beyond hurtful to his victims. We are here to tell you as a parents of a victim, you minimize what happened to them by saying what you said.
Much of this criminal behavior can be put at the workers’ feet. Many situations have been brought forward to workers such as yourself and many on your staff. How many cries were made and met with silence? We are not the only ones. At least ten workers knew about our child from us, not to mention family, and we were met with silence. Not even a phone call to ask how you could help.
——— spoke with Joy Vandenberg about the situation regarding the ———‘s , about what happened to four of her grandchildren and the abuse that they suffered at the hands of ———.
When Joy tried to talk to Tom Hinkle, he almost immediately shut her down. Because “he knew ——— and his family, and he wasn’t capable of those things”. Has the Dean Bruer situation taught anyone anything? Everyone held Dean in high regard, and he had a completely secret life.
The statistics of child sexual abuse being reported is at an all-time high of 38%. Less than 20% of sexual assaults cases are even reported. Those are facts. The fact that victims are even willing to come forward takes more courage than most of us could even comprehend.
There has been nothing sent out or mentioned to any of the friends in our area about what your plans are to help make meetings a safe place. Nothing.
Here is some more facts. ——— is an abuser. Dean was made fully aware of that. It is in court papers that he cannot be left alone with his own grandchildren. He beat ——— more than once leaving him bruised all over. ——— had a relationship with a minor who was 16 years old at the time. ——— and ———, ——— and ——— helped cover up that relationship when they found out about it. The icing on the cake is that he was still married to ——— at the time.
You cannot continue to ignore the problems in front of you. You cannot continue to undermine the hurt and pain that many victims are going through right now. You cannot continue to make light of what these abusers have done and to suggest that they are anything but criminals is wrong. (Referring back to what you said about Robert. He is a criminal and a pedophile.) We are asking you to address the situation with the ———. If you don’t believe anything about them, there are two boxes of documentation at ———’s house that you may read. If you feel like you are unable to do so, then you need to step down. And someone else that feels like they can, needs to deal with these issues.
One thing that is very evident in the teachings of Jesus was that he held children in high regard. We all should do the same.
Matt 21:12-17, Jesus threw out the money changers that were in the temple. They didn’t belong. They were dealt with. The same thing needs to be done within the truth. In this day and age, when people can call in over the phone, there’s no reason for any sort of predators to be in meeting. You can care for somebody’s soul at a distance and over the phone.
This letter was also forwarded to Loran Coleman and there was no response.
Scott did call after he was informed by Barb Hofer that I sent the email. The call was what was to be expected. Not much said from him, and what was said was not honest with some “sorry’s” thrown in.
Our point in writing this letter is to help others see that without accountability, nothing will change. While we cannot speak to what is happening in other states, MT/WY are not making much progress.
One other we will mention is that man that beat his own grandchild more than once is an elder. That is a despicable testimony for an elder to have.
Julia Brist – We did recently receive a heartfelt apology after she received our letter.
Joy Vandenberg -attempted to help, was shut down by Tom.
Barb Hofer- has been helpful.
Possibly Shawna Major
You’ll notice some were younger workers at the time and were following the example of the older workers.