Shortly after my Mormon family moved to La Grande, Oregon in 1971, my father told me that I had a meeting with the bishop. I was just fourteen, and I had never met the man. My father ushered me into his office. I had had an interview with a Mormon bishop in Pennsylvania, and it was unmemorable. The guy had talked briefly with me and approved me for the position of deacon, which is mandatory for a twelve-year-old Mormon boy. Strictly a procedural thing, I guess. I couldn’t remember what that bishop and I had talked about. So I went into this eastern Oregon bishop’s office without worry. He had me sit in a chair facing his desk and closed the door behind me. He took his seat behind the desk and leaned at me. “Do you abuse yourself?” he asked. “Why would I hurt myself?” I said in response. He looked irritated and waved a hand at me. It wasn’t a greeting. “No,” he said, “your penis. I’m talking about your penis. Do you manipulate it for pleasure?” Now I grasped it, and my face must have gone several shades of red. I felt hot and humiliated. “No!” I said, meaning no, don’t you ask me that! Don’t you fucking ask me that, you perverted son of a bitch. I was really angry, and my father blamed me for not taking it well. But he never warned me. He was never on my side. The trauma that I suffered led to plenty of therapy. It made me a burden on the state. That’s what Mormonism does to the innocent.