Jeffrey Epstein, with his ever present little pædo smile, was a horrible person but his victims were spared one thing: he didn’t abuse, groom and rape them with a Bible in his hand. He considered it though. James Stewart writes in the New York Times that Epstein was seriously considering becoming a minister to earn trust and maintain secrecy in 2018.
There are many like him. But they don’t merely ‘consider’ it. They actually do it. College, seminary, ordination, a ‘calling’, sermons, funerals, Bible studies, praying at deathbeds. They do it all with their motivation carefully hidden: easy access to obedient, brainwashed, intimidated, shame-filled children.
The problem is that it’s terribly hard to tell which clergymen enter the ministry for all the right reasons and which ones have these horrifying ulterior motives. If adults can’t tell, imagine how hard it is for their targeted victims: trusting children. Children who might have an instinctive distrust of certain members of the ministry, but are shamed into submission and obedience.
Although Jeffrey Epstein has allegedly gone to his Eternal judgement for the horrible things he did in life, what about all the ‘Jeffrey Epsteins’ still running around free, leveraging their clerical collar to dominate, their Bible to groom and the privacy of Sunday school classrooms to carry out horrific acts of sexual abuse on children? Who are they? Where are they?
Beyond the physical, sexual and psychological wounds they inflict, they are alienating their victims from God because all the accoutrements of religion bring horrific memories flooding back. What about that? No cash settlement can comfort your soul.
This cuts very close because my husband is a victim of incestuous female-on-male rape and I was groomed for decades by my very religious abuser. Recently I heard through the grapevine that a well-known and respected clergyman who pastored a church where my family worshipped when I was a little girl had killed himself. At the time of his suicide, he was under investigation for sexually abusing several young men in his tiny congregation. This terrible news shook me to the core.
Three weeks ago, Father Michael Higginbottom received an 18-year gaol sentence for ‘regularly, systematically and horrifically’ raping two victims at St Joseph’s College of Upholland, Lancashire during the 1970s and 80s. Above and beyond the position of power in which Higginbottom had aspired to, he also used threats and acts of violence to render his victims submissive.
Not all pædophiles need resort to such crude methodology. Many groomer/groomee relationships begins innocently as a pastor ministers to a lost lamb. Proximity and kindness breed trust and friendship. Friendship breeds affection which segues into the ‘accidental’ inappropriate touch and then…rape. A rape so cleverly initiated that the victim may actually think they consented when, no, they were coerced and never noticed.
All so innocent. All so spontaneous. Or so it seems.
To such a person, the role of clergyman is merely a character he plays in a lifelong role-playing game with his clerical collar as his costume and his Bible as his prop. That pastor can easily claim the act of sexual abuse was a ‘one off’. ‘A mistake in a moment of stress and weakness’ that he blames on his perpetually overworked and pregnant wife refusing to have sex with him. I’ve heard this time and time again.
But in reality the sexual abuse was checkmate in a long, long game of delightful chess. All his sacrifice, the long hours of theological study and discussion, sermons written, deathbeds visited were the price he had to pay for proximity to such easy, easy victims. He didn’t lose. He won when he scored in his secret sick little game.
He’s not sorry. Not in the slightest. And it will happen again and he smiles his perpetual little smile at the thought. Perhaps not in this parish, but in his next parish. And the next. And the next.
Sexual abuse by religious leaders is not limited to any faith, denomination, country or sex. It knows no bounds and respects no ones innocence.
Epstein’s victims were cheated of terrestrial closure and justice by his unexpected and inexplicable demise. Victims of clergy are often cheated of their Eternal faith in God. They thought their abuser spoke for God. But I don’t believe pædophiles are on speaking terms with God. What else can you assume when pædophilia is such an integral part of Satanic Ritual Abuse?
You may wear a collar, fondle a cross, carry a Bible but that doesn’t make you godly. It’s a crying shame and a slap in the face to good-hearted, altruistic religious leaders that those are the perfect props used by pædophiles to have their way with kids. Epstein should know. He considered donning them.