8557 Diamond Oak Way
Elk Grove CA 95624-1749
July 6, 2006
Included in this envelope, you will find the letter intended for the use of our staff concerning Ruben Mata and also the guidelines document which we hope can be of some assistance when future reports involving the molestation of minors are brought to us. A number of you have contributed to the content and wording of both the letter and the guidelines document and I want to thank each of you who have helped in the developing of both of these papers to their present form.
You will find enclosed one letter concerning Ruben for each field. The workers in the field will use the letter according to their own discretion. The letter can be shown to any of our friends who are questioning or are troubled concerning events which have involved Ruben or anything pertaining to the handling of his case in the past or present. The friends should read the letter in the presence of the workers in the field. We would rather that the letter not be left with friends over any period of time. It is hard to say who all might read the letter if that was done. If it is read in the presence of the workers, there can be further discussion and further questions can be asked. There may be rare cases in which it may be useful to show the letter to someone who is not professing – possibly to a victim. It may be well to check with us before using it in this way. Of course, the guidelines just mentioned which apply to showing the letter to our friends would also apply if it was shown to someone who is not professing. We will ask you not to make any copies of this letter. To have one letter available in each field is certainly adequate. If we are not particularly careful with letters such as this, they can end of on an internet site for all the world to read. Also, to show this letter to people who do not need to see it may arouse concerns that they had not previously entertained. The purpose of the letter is to help those who have concerns, not to advertise a kingdom problem to those who either do not know about it or are not having a problem with it
There is a copy of the “guidelines” for each worker. It will be useful for all of you to have a copy for reference now and in the future. Over time, there may be changes to the suggestions that are made in this document. That is because legislation does change from time to time and also the available agencies to which reports can be made and the resources available to help victims and violators may also alter over time. It is good to remember that the legal framework in these guidelines is in the context of California law and that there may be variations to what is outlined here in other states and countries.
We have made a significant effort to ensure that the information provided both in the letter and the guidelines document is accurate and current. We hope that you will find both useful.
Yours in Him
8557 Diamond Oak Way
Elk Grove CA 95624-1749
June 29, 2006
To Whom It May Concern:
Based on the information that we now have, we know that Ruben Mata sexually molested young boys during a period of at least 20 years prior to 2000. Ruben was in the work during this time. We have been informed of a half dozen cases for which Ruben is responsible and we wouldn’t know how many other cases there might be of which we have no knowledge. He inflicted this damage without his companions being aware of what was happening. One case came to the attention of a brother worker through a third party as early as 1996. This worker was inexperienced in handling this kind of problem and didn’t fully realize its seriousness and magnitude. No follow up action took place. Word of another case was conveyed to sister workers but, again, they didn’t follow through with any definite action that would have brought the problem out into the open. A third case carne to the attention of another sister worker, apparently in November or December of 1999. During preps, in April of 2000, this sister told a brother worker about the report that had come to her. This brother passed the information on to Dick Middleton and Ruben was faced up with his problem at convention time. Ruben voluntarily relinquished his place in the ministry at Buttonwillow convention in May of 2000.
In June of 2000, Steve Peirson and Ray Bullick accompanied Ruben to the District Attorney’s Office in Tulare County where Ruben admitted to the offences that had come to light up until that time. The Assistant District Attorney interviewed Ruben. Dick Middleton asked Ray Bullick to help Ruben find professional help for his problem. A little start was made with counseling in June of 2000, but Ruben withdrew from any treatment program after a few months. Ruben was restricted initially to attending only designated meetings and was asked not to attend any meetings of our people sometime in 2002. Ruben was given to understand that he would need to further pursue a treatment program in order to facilitate any consideration of him attending meetings of our people in the future.
Another case surfaced within the past few months (this abuse occurred in 1999) which resulted in Ruben’s behavior again being reported to the authorities. This time, the authorities chose to investigate further and Ruben was arrested on Thursday, May 18. He is being held without bail. At a hearing in mid-June, an attorney was appointed to handle Ruben’s defense. We understand that his “guilty” or “not guilty” plea will be submitted at the next hearing which may take place sometime in July. Following this, the date of the actual trial will be set.
We feel very sorry that one of our fellow servants has caused so much harm to so many with its ensuing suffering, confusion and pain. This type of inappropriate behavior represents a very serious betrayal of trust and we feel keenly for the victims and their families who have experienced this betrayal first hand. We are also sorry that the ministry’s response to the problem was not as quick, definite and adequate as it should have been – especially with respect to what happened and didn’t happen prior to May of 2000. This was not due to deliberate irresponsibility on anyone’s part but can be attributed largely to the fact that those involved did not comprehend the seriousness and magnitude of what was taking place at the time and were inexperienced and uninformed regarding procedure. Nevertheless, we do wish to express our regret and offer our apology that such incidents ever happened and that the ministry’s response was not as quick, definite and adequate as we know it should have been as we look back over the situation now.
We have discussed this issue in our staff meeting at Mountain Ranch on Monday, May 22. We also discussed the appropriate course of action if any case involving the sexual molestation of a minor (17 years of age or younger) comes to the attention of a worker in the future.
A copy of this letter will be in the hands of each pair of active workers on the California workers list. It is to be used by the workers in their fields at their own discretion but primarily to help any who may have questions or are disturbed regarding this matter. We don’t want any further copies of this letter made and we want the initial copies to remain in the hands of the workers in their fields.
[signed Dale Shultz]
Dale Shultz and the California staff