WINGS has always been focused on support and guidance on every aspect of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and to support victims of CSA. We have been aware of adult-adult abuse but have not posted details of those cases. However we have decided to post the letter below, even though it is out of scope, as it illustrates the victim blaming and abuser shifting that has occurred in CSA cases.
The letter is being shared with permission given from the authors, Bob and Stacy Bainbridge, who own convention grounds in New Brunswick. The letter is in regards to their daughter, Morgan, who was in the work.
It is with Morgan’s permission that we send this email.
The absence of information and lack of acknowledgment of recent abuses and how its been or being handled has put and continues to put innocent people in harms way. So this is the reason for our letter. We would like to make clear the reason that Morgan is out of the work and in NZ.
In March of 2021 Morgan brought information forward to the overseer about emotional/psychological/narcissistic abuse and sexual misconduct by two of her older companions. After hearing her experience he agreed that this behavior was abuse. When Morgan then informed him who the abusers were, he changed the subject. In the following weeks and months he made efforts to slander, discredit, undermine and portray her as a liar to cover up and dismiss the abuse.
With the support and similar stories from others the overseer was forced to acknowledge the abuse yet again, the acknowledgement however, was short lived. With the continued support from staff other overseers were brought in from the USA. Many hours were spent in visits with the staff during their time here. It was at this time that one of these overseers suggested to Morgan that if she was just inventing trouble as an excuse to leave the work there was no need she could just leave.
During Nov. 2021 Special meetings (on line) the staff workers along with visitors were together in NS. At this time a visiting worker inappropriately touched Morgan on two separate occasions. Morgan realized at this point the behaviors of abuse were far greater and more wide spread then she could have imagined.
The eventual solution for all of this abuse was to move the abusers, one to Ontario, one temporarily to the USA and our overseer to Alberta.
Morgan’s only request at the time of reporting was for the abusers to step aside from the work and get the appropriate help/therapy needed. Instead we have made a safe haven for continued abuse. Some overseers in parts of Canada and the USA have sent letters to the elders in their fields to be read to their meetings, but many places still have have not.
These things we all know are unpleasant and awkward to talk about but we cannot ignore the hurt and damage being done to the innocent. Going forward we need to know that these abusers are not just being shuffled to a different state or province to continue their abuse. These people need to be reported to the proper legal authorities.
Think about the many, many, victims that have had their lives damaged and are spending months and years in therapy from the harm these abusers have caused. The lack of acknowledgement, action and dismissiveness exacerbates the feelings for the victims of abuse. These scars are with them forever, and the hurt goes far beyond the victims, it affects all of their family and friend.
Please encourage our overseers that have influence in directing our workers to take the right course of action, be transparent in dealing with these abusers, report abuse.
Victims need to be able to speak up and be taken seriously.
Ps: In case you wonder or are hopeful that things are maybe moving in the right direction as far as recognition of harm done and the need for change and action, Within the last two weeks, Bob had a conversation with an overseer who dismissed Morgan’s examples of abuse as “silly little things”. He also in this conversation was victim blaming. However it is encouraging to read a letter written by Darryl Doland who has acknowledged the part that he has played in being complicit in trivializing, silencing and censoring these reports of abuses. We can only pray that these sentiments are contagious.
Please feel free to share as we don’t have everyone’s contact details.
Bob and Stacy
It just never ends. I’m sickened by this news. What have we become? The overseer’s have become Eldonites. Deny all claims. My sincere apologies to Morgan and her folks.
A sad and disappointed friend.
To Morgan, Stacy, and Bob:
I honor and respect your brave disclosure.
As a counselor for approximately 40 years, I have treated many victims of child sexual abuse and specialized in sex offender treatment.
Your statement regarding protecting the abusers is absolutely accurate. To the degree that a victim is not believed and the abuser is protected is to the degree the perpetrating behavior is perpetuated, period. Anyone who chooses to protect an offender is an accomplice.
Often, additional trauma is sustained by the victim when the perpetrator is not held accountable. A lack of accountability sends the message that the victim is expendable and thus reduced to an object. (Definition of expendable: “of little significance when compared to an overall purpose, and therefore able to be abandoned.”)
Clearly, thankfully, not all overseers/workers are aligned with supporting these behaviors or decisions. However, evidently enough are because it continues to have a life of its own, as demonstrated by everything that has come to light thus far.
Professionally and personally, I find it staggering that this is continuing to happen in the year 2023. I know it is a human dysfunction, but for those who know God’s will and way, they themselves are living a life of denial if they cover it up. And sadly, they wield the power to harm the lambs. A wolf in sheep’s clothing can decimate a flock.
I pray God’s will be done for all involved, and that righteousness will eventually overcome this battle.
Darryl Doland’s letter touches upon what needs to be done, but someone must spearhead the change.
I’m very sorry for all who have had poor experiences with workers. I’ve had a lot. It is abuse. Abuse of power, place; physical, mental, spiritual. Because of the abuse from workers and ‘friends’ for years, I have physical reactions to being in meetings, conventions, and having folks in my home. This leads to more abuse since clearly if I’m not in every gathering, or don’t have an open home, then I must be the problem.
I’ve been criticized IN the meeting, and had someone reporting their version of what my testimony was, to an elder who wasn’t present. Few people in places of power believe any of it happened. I’ve been yelled at by workers in my own home, as well as in other places. I’ve been verbally abused by ‘friends’ and professing relatives. I’ve been told, after 7 years of professing, I MIGHT actually be professing.
I was required to go to a Sunday morning meeting with a drunk elder, for 7 years. The alternate elder was a convicted drug addict. The elders wife did NOT want meeting in their home. She was openly hostile and awful to me particularly and to others as well. We told every worker but no one did anything. Finally, I, a woman, told my husband that physically, I could no longer go there. Not one man stood up for me.
I attended the only other meeting in the area and the meeting we had gone to before fell apart. The couple separated, and completely left the truth. I was blamed for it all because I left. Workers had told me before that I had to continue going there because they were concerned about the couple. No one ever expressed concern for me.
I know way too much about the evil darkness lurking underneath. I think of Eli. He did nothing while his sons abused the people and disrespected God. He did nothing when God told him to act. He did nothing when Samuel told him what was going to happen. That is what I’ve experienced. While women and children are being abused In every way possible, the men, in places of power, do nothing.
I’m sorry for Morgan. And all the others.
Nevertheless, God is still God, his way is still the only way, and while men have betrayed, dismissed, abused and ignored the evil going on, God has watched it all. Sin is as common as dirt. It’s not a surprise that some evil exists among us. But it is a completely irresponsible and horrible thing for those in power to ignore us, to blame us, to allow the evil to continue. Even from a legal standpoint, one is complicit if they knew and did nothing. Or worse, knew and still supported the perpetrator.
The loss to the Kingdom is immeasurable and heartbreaking. My own children may lose out because of it. I would not want to answer to God on judgment day because I said or did nothing.
I’ve been speaking up for 35+ years. I’m thankful some are finally listening. It is way overdue.
My love for and support of Gods way and his true ministry and ministers has not wavered. I am heartbroken at the damage that’s being brought to light and the fallout from it. I hope and pray that all will make it through this.
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