Nearly twenty years ago, a bishop that had been an explorer adviser in a ward I grew up in, had told my parents that I was not good enough and had been giving me and them positive motivation books that he thought I needed to have. This man had always “put me down” in front of others and other leaders at the time.
Later when we found him in the ward we were in, I avoided him until he was put in as bishop. Then the interviews started and became too personal filled with what I now deem as totally inappropriate sexual related questions. That bishop made up stories about me. He asked all kinds of sexual inappropriate questions and made accusations of misconduct to me. At first I denied them, but he persisted and made my life miserable. I had made some small mistakes during my youth, but his constant badgering me led me to ask for excommunication. I went before the high council at the time and explained what I wanted and why, and was granted that. A year later I was re-baptized. Unbeknownst to me, during this time and after, the bishop had been calling my wife into his office in later hours of the day, several times each week, and also spent times at his house. She had made excuses why she was leaving our home and what she was doing. That bishop had also counseled me to see a hypnotherapist outside the church who I was to see and explain that I had problems and to have him do neurolinguist programming on me. Planting suggestions in my head while under hypnosis to give me verbals cues when I heard certain words, that I would do whatever I was programmed to do. I pretended to be under hypnosis and to go through these sessions. I was told that the church was paying for these sessions with this hypnotist.
LIttle did I know that my wife was receiving this neurolinguistic programming directly from the bishop, and when she was under hypnosis, he would fondle her and had an affair with her.
At some point, the bishop decided my marriage should be over, he counseled her to end the marriage. I came home from work one day and she told me to leave, The bishop was there, and she had called a deputy sheriff to also be there to force me to leave. I was told that there was a suitcase on our bed, and that I could fill that suitcase with whatever I could fit into it and nothing else. I was also told that I would not be allowed to take anything else from our home then or later at any time. I lost almost everything including items that my family had given me, as well as tons of church books and everything else that I owned.
The next day I found out from a close friend, that said that his wife had this done to her as well, when she sought the bishop out for “marital counseling”. They told me that because they had heard that my wife had asked me to leave, and they wondered why. I told them my story and they told me theirs. It was exactly what had happened to me.
After being told about this, I called the Stake President and told him what had happened to me and to the other couple. The Stake President immediately released that bishop
The following Friday, my kids called me and told me that the ward was having a “going away/farewell party the next day at the church for the bishop and that he was having a limo pick him up at his home to take him to the party at the church.
The following day, I received a very mad call from my children telling me that the Stake President had shown up at the party,, ended the party, and sent the bishop on his way home without the limo that had picked him up. I was blamed for having shut down the party, and for the bishop being released.
A year or so later, I spoke to another bishop about what had happened and asked about my getting my blessings restored. He interviewed me and again asked questions that I feel now were also inappropriate to ask. At that time I answered them. I then went to the Stake President for an interview. What I found out from that man I was appalled at hearing. My bishop and stake president had forwarded my request to my ex-wife and she bad-mouthed me to him, made up lies, and added a similar letter from the former bishop.
The Stake President told me that he was going to forward this letter and the rest of the information that he had to Salt Lake for the prophet to look at and decide if I could have my blessings restored.
I told him that I did not think that it was an appropriate thing to do to send that horrible letter of lies to Salt Lake and I told him not to do it. I thought that was the end of it. Quite a few years after that, I had another bishop that called me in. I told him my story. He told me that it was his impression that it was time for me to get my blessings restored. I told him the entire story and what had happened all those years earlier. He told me that I would have to have letters from the woman that I was married to at that point and also any other women that I had dated so they could deem my worthiness to have my blessings restored. I told him what I felt was going to happen with that, and told him that I did not think that was such a good idea, but I did give him the names addresses and telephone numbers of my ex wife and all the women that I had dated.
A letter came back just as bad as the first, but now my ex had contacted the ladies that I had dated and they said that if they had known what they now knew, they would have never dated me. So now I had enemies who contacted me and all of this hate ruined my reputation all over.
I have lived with this sexual shaming all these years. My ex-wife has also poisoned my relationship with my siblings and their children. My children were poisoned by their mother, and I have had no contact with them since 2002. 16 years have gone by, and I have not heard from or talked with my children. When I have sent letters to them, they were returned unopened. Emails that I sent them I got replies back telling me that they want nothing to do with me because of what I did to their mother. So bad.
A year and a half ago, my then bishop called me in and told me that he wanted me to have my blessings restored, and set up an interview with the State President.
I went to see him. When I got to his office, we sat and talked. I told him my entire story. On the table in front of us was a large filled file which he referred to frequently. He made some notes and put them in that file. I told him that I did not think it was appropriate to be sexually shamed any longer and that the interview questions were not appropriate. I also told him that I did not think it was appropriate to talk with any ex-wives or former women friends about me either.
He told me that he did not think that would have to be done any longer but that he would speak with a church authority who he was going to call and share a bit of my story with him, and ask if I would have be give them my complete history of relationships and all the information. I let a few months go by, and I had not heard from him, so I sent emails and texts to him requesting a time to speak with him. Last Christmas I finally heard back from him, telling me that he had been released and I would have to speak to the new Stake President about my situation.
Now I have already been shamed enough over this whole thing. I have spoken to now four or five bishops, stake presidents, been shamed at a high council meeting and with the former bishop and stake president. I don’t want to go through this again. How many times does anyone have to do this before enough is enough? Sexual questions do not belong at these interviews. I am tired of being shamed over the number of times that I have been married because of rumors and stories caused by my ex-wife and others. I am tired of the worthiness interviews. This is so wrong! And knowing my own children have had to go through this is just beyond maddening!
My current wife knows the whole story. She was contacted by my own children and they told her horrendous lies before we were even married. When does this shaming ever end???
I am so upset even sharing this story here, but others need to see it and know what happens in the church with some bishops and these interviews that I feel are so wrong!