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A question for Jules

Posted by Oldtimer on December 09, 2003 at 13:15:43

Below in your letter you say you're surprised by exmembers that say they're sorry for what they did in the COG but don't turn themselves in to the police & by this you're talking about people of my generation who had sex with a minor or fondled or cuddled one. Am I right? I agree these are criminal offenses but I question whether your cut & dry solution of going to the police is the best thing to do or even practical and let me give you an example. Your post spurred me todig out an old copy of the Hieberts NoLongerChildren newsletter March 94 and in it is an article by Joseph Praisemore who admitted, 'I even had some encounters with my own oldest stepdaughter which left me felling "out of control". Then after he left the COG he says 'I fel in love with a beautiful Chinese girl and we lived together for six months. We planned to marry but when I confessed to her some thing that had happened between me and my oldest stepdaughter in The Family, she freaked out.' Then he says, 'It was dawning on me more and more how awful it was what I had done with my stepdaugther. In the eyes of the world, and in my own eyes, I was a criminal. I hated myself and felt very very guilty to the point of suicide. I was plagued with almost constant suicidal thoughts, fantasies an dreams--two years of pure hell.'

I don't know the end of the story of what happened to him but it looks like the man's penance was real and that he wasn't a repeat offender. My advice to him rather than turning himself in to the police would be to find his former stepdaughter and tell her how sorry he was which I think he genuinely was and that that would go a lot further to her healing & his as well than him simply going to the police here in the States or whatever country the crime took place in. Isn't that really what counts? If he apologized and she accepted then isn't healing for the victim number one on the list? Should he still turn himself in to the authorities, and here's where it gets tricky if the abuse happened in another country. Does he turn himself in in another country and what if his former stepdaughter wants to get on with her life and not press charges? Does he do it anyway as some kind of penance? Ok, if she says I want to press charges then yes I agree he's got to go the whole nine yards and submit to it. But if she doesn't want to then what? Jules I'm not trying to make a simple matter difficult here but I'm wondering if I either misunderstand you or you simply said that in passing & need to elaborate? What specifically are you asking of child abusers & by that I mean former child abusers who either touched a child or had sex? Where does reconciliation fit in & where does justice fit in. is this making any sense?