"It's not just a recent problem: In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.
About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers."
Read Full article and watch videos footage here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php
Our churches are riddled with pedophiles and abusers from the Catholic Church to Baptist Churches to Jehovah's Witnesses to the little country no-name church in the middle of nowhere. Why is this such an epidemic?
Joe Navarro is an American author, public speaker and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and supervisor. Navarro specializes in the area of nonverbal communication and body language and has authored numerous books, including What Every Body is Saying, Dangerous Personalities, and Louder than Words. Here is a glimpse of what Joe Navarro has to say about Why Predators are Attracted to Careers in the Clergy:
"1. Predators have access to a ready available pool of potential victims. Within a religious order, those potential victims are identified for the predator, who knows how often they will get together and where (Sunday worship service at 11 a.m., at the local chapel, for example)
2. Some religious organizations require members to expose their faults, since or frailties in public. This is "manna from heaven" for predators who then use that information to better access or target their victims. Information like that serves to provide all the exploitable weaknesses a predator needs.
3. People gossip in most organizations, and in religious organizations it is no different. These informal social channels can be very effective in divulging who got promoted and has extra cash; who is going on vacation; whose spouse is overseas for seven months; who is naive and gullible: who needs financial help; or who is having marital problems and is now lonely or vulnerable.
4. Within a religious organization, individuals of different social strata associate with one another with greater ease than in society. This gives the predator of low social status access to people who often live and socialize within restricted or gated communities and who otherwise would be impossible for them to target.
5. Many religious organizations preach forgiveness, even for felonies. For predators this is truly a godsend. This means that if they get caught, they can ask for forgiveness and chances are it will be given.
6. Another advantage for the predator in a religious organization is that if caught, he/she can very conveniently say it was "Satan's" fault.
7. If the predator is in a position of authority within a religious organization, he or she can claim persecution by the "enemies" of the church or the organization. Any outside scrutiny subjecting the predator to the sanitizing rays of light is thus characterized as "them", the unbelievers "against us"..
8. If the predator becomes a leader or the head of a church of religious group, then he or she is immediately cloaked with power and authority (moral power). Keep in mind that most people still have a high respect for their church leaders and are willing to give them greater latitude and the benefit of the doubt.
9. Parents may be more trusting of a religious leader than of the average person. As history has taught us, they may dismiss allegations made by their own children as to sexual abuse by a religious leader or they will remain quiescent so as to not "rock the boat".
10. In most cultures, children pay deference to authority figures, especially religious ones. Knowing this, the predator can almost certainly count on children abiding by their sordid requests and keeping such matters "secret". There is ample evidence of this from history, social psychology, and thousands of lawsuits."
Read more by Joe Navarro on this topic here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/spycatcher/201404/why-predators-are-attracted-careers-in-the-clergy
The F.A.C.T. Team