I just recently learned of this interview. My son sustained a broken back that took nearly a year to heal. He often missed church. You could not meet a kinder more innocent child. He was pre-puberty and knew next to nothing about masturbation. During an interview, our bishop told my son that his back was not healing due to his breaking the Lord’s laws through masturbation. When my son told him he didn’t understand, the bishop told him he was speaking an untruth. This heinous act that my son kept secret has scarred him immeasurably. The anger that I feel toward this reptile will not be contained.
There were so many questions about the interview with my son where the bishop claimed his unhealed back was due to masturbation. My children and I left the church 7 years ago. There were two bishops the year my son turned 11. He did not disclose which one it was. I can say without reservation that my son was prepubescent when the interview occurred.
How is he today? Did it have lasting effects? At 11, my son was so very sensitive and a bit socially awkward. It seemed the broken back created isolation and few to no friends. So those school yard sex talks with other boys most likely didn’t happen. There were random events that added to the isolation: A Mormon girl spreading rumors in the ward that he was gay seemed to create a pariah effect. Compound the above with him being taught by his parents – a zealot father, a submissive mother – that church leaders were true mouthpieces of the lord, and you set the stage for the perfect storm.
HERE YOU HAVE A BOY WHO – EVEN WITHOUT THE MASTURBATION ELEMENT – BELIEVED THAT THERE WAS SOME KIND OF INNATE EVIL THAT THE BISHOP WAS RECOGNIZING IN HIM.
This cult cuts and wounds from the inside out. And we as members contribute to the pain and destruction by merely obeying the rules. We need to make it stop.
Some recover well. To date, my son has not. He blames me. He should. I did not keep him safe from the wolves. If I do learn the name of this bishop, I will seek him out and take full responsibility for my actions. My son does not speak to me. If he could hear me I would tell him, I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I am so sorry son. I didn’t know.