The following memo was written by Bishop Glenn L. Pace, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, to the Strengthening Church Members Committee on July 19, 1990.
M E M O R A N D U M
|Date:||July 19, 1990|
|To:||Strengthening Church Members Committee|
|From:||Bishop Glenn L. Pace|
|Subject:||Ritualistic Child Abuse|
Pursuant to the Committee’s request, I am writing this memorandum to pass along what I have learned about ritualistic child abuse. Hopefully, it will be of some value to you as you continue to monitor the problem. You have already received the LDS Social Services report on satanism dated May 24, 1989, a report from Brent Ward, and a memorandum from myself dated October 20, 1989 in response to Brother Ward’s report. Therefore, I will limit this writing to information not contained in those papers.
I have met with sixty victims. That number could be twice or three times as many if I did not discipline myself to only one meeting per week. I have not wanted my involvement with this issue to become a handicap in fulfilling my assigned responsibilities. On the other hand, I felt someone needed to pay the price to obtain an intellectual and spiritual conviction as to the seriousness of this problem within the Church.
Of the sixty victims with whom I have met, fifty-three are female and seven are male. Eight are children. The abuse occurred in the following places: Utah (37), Idaho (3), California (4), Mexico (2), and other places (14). Fifty-three victims are currently living in the State of Utah. All sixty individuals are members of the Church. Forty-five victims allege witnessing and/or participating in human sacrifice. The majority were abused by relatives, often their parents. All have developed psychological problems and most have been diagnosed as having multiple personality disorder or some other form of dissociative disorder.
Ritualistic child abuse is the most hideous of all child abuse. The basic objective is premeditated–to systematically and methodically torture and terrorize children until they are forced to dissociate. The torture is not a consequence of the loss of temper, but the execution of well-planned, well-thought out rituals often performed by close relatives. The only escape for the children is to dissociate. They will develop a new personality to enable them to endure various forms of abuse. When the episode is over, the core personality is again in control and the individual is not conscious of what happened. Dissociation also serves the purposes of the occult because the children have no day-to-day memory of the atrocities. They go through adolescence and early adulthood with no active memory of what is taking place. Oftentimes they continue in rituals through their teens and early twenties, unaware of their involvement. Many individuals with whom I have spoken have served missions and it has not been until later that they begin to remember. One individual has memories of participating in rituals while serving as a full-time missionary.
The victims lead relatively normal lives, but the memories are locked up in a compartment in their minds and surface in various ways. They don’t know how to cope with the emotions because they can’t find the source. As they become adults and move into another environment, something triggers the memories and, consequently, flashbacks and/or nightmares occur. One day they will have been living a normal life and the next they will be in a mental hospital in a fetal position. The memories of their early childhood are recalled in so much detail that they once again feel the pain that caused the dissociation in the first place.
There are two reasons why adults can remember with such detail events that happened in their past: First, the terror they experienced was so stark that it was indelibly placed in their mind. Second, the memory was compartmentalized in a certain portion of the mind and was not subjected to the dilution of experiences of ensuing years. When it is tapped, it is as fresh as if it happened yesterday.
The memories seem to come in layers. For example, the first memory might be of incest; then they remember robes and candles; next they realize that their father or mother or both were present when they were being abused. Another layer will be the memory of seeing other people hurt and even killed. Then they remember having seen babies killed. Another layer is realizing that they participated in the sacrifices. One of the most painful memories may be that they even sacrificed their own baby. With each layer of memory comes another set of problems with which they must deal.
Some have said that the witnesses to this type of treatment cannot be trusted because of the victim’s unstable condition and because practically all of them have some kind of dissociative disorder; in fact, the stories are so bizarre as to raise serious credibility questions. The irony is that one of the objectives of the occult is to create multiple personalities within the children in order to keep the “secrets.” They live in society without society having any idea that something is wrong since the children and teenagers don’t even realize there is another life occurring in darkness and in secret. However, when sixty witnesses testify to the same type of torture and murder, it becomes impossible for me, personally, not to believe them.
I mention multiple personalities because the spiritual healing which must take place in the lives of these victims cannot happen without their priesthood leaders understanding something about it.
The spiritual indoctrination which takes place during the physical abuse is one of the most difficult to overcome. In addition to experiencing stark terror and pain, the children are also instructed in satanic doctrine. Everything is completely reversed: white is black, black is white, good is bad, bad is good, Satan is going to rule during the Millennium.
Children are put in a situation where they believe they are going to die–such as being buried alive or being placed in a plastic bag and immersed in water. Prior to doing so, the abuser tells the child to pray to Jesus to see if He will save her. Imagine a seven year old girl, having been told she is going to die, praying to Jesus to save her and nothing happens–then at the last moment she is rescued, but the person saving her is a representative of Satan. He uses this experience to convince her that the only person who really cares about her is Satan, she is Satan’s child and she might as well become loyal to him.
Just before or shortly after their baptism into the Church, children are baptized by blood into the satanic order which is meant to cancel out their baptism into the Church. They will be asked if they understand or have ever felt the Holy Ghost. When they reply that they have, they will be reminded of the horrible things they have participated in and will be told that they have become a son (or daughter) of perdition and, therefore, have no chance of being saved or loved by our Father in heaven or Jesus.
All of this indoctrination takes place with whichever personality has immerged to endure the physical, mental, and spiritual pain. Consequently, there develops within each of these individuals the makings of what I call a civil war. As the memories begin to surface, there are personalities who feel they have given themselves to Satan, and there is no hope for forgiveness. The core person is an active member of the Church, often with a temple recommend. As integration takes place, the civil war begins. Sometimes, in an interview, personalities of the dark side have come out. They are petrified or perhaps full of hate for me and what I represent. Eventually those personalities need to be dealt with spiritually and psychologically.
Most victims are suicidal. They have been brainwashed with drugs, hypnosis, and other means to become suicidal as soon as they start to tell the secrets. They have been threatened all of their lives that if they don’t do what they are told their brother or sister will die, their parents will die, their house will be burned, or they themselves will be killed. They have every reason to believe it since they have seen people killed. They believe they might as well kill themselves instead of wait for the occult to do it. Some personalities feel it is the right thing to do.
The purpose of this detail is to stress the complexity of psychological and spiritual therapy for these individuals. Our priesthood leaders, when faced with such cases, are understandably at a loss of how to respond. Orthodox counsel is completely ineffective. For example, some victims have been told that this all happened in their past and that they should put it behind them and get on with their lives. This is just not possible. Part of the spiritual therapy necessary is for priesthood leaders to assist with the conversion process of the personalities who have been indoctrinated into satanism. Victims must integrate their personalities so that they can function as whole persons and be able to deal with their problems and then get on with their lives. Often, some of the parts will begin to act out–perhaps promiscuously–and a good intentioned priesthood leader, following the General Handbook of Instructions, will disfellowship or excommunicate an individual. All this does is reinforce the satanic indoctrination of the victims that they are no good.
I’m sorry to say that many of the victims have had their first flashbacks while attending the temple for the first time. The occult along the Wasatch Front uses the doctrine of the Church to their advantage. For example, the verbiage and gestures are used in a ritualistic ceremony in a very debased and often bloody manner. When the victim goes to the temple and hears the exact words, horrible memories are triggered. We have recently been disturbed with members of the Church who have talked about the temple ceremony. Compared to what is happening in the occult along the Wasatch Front, these are very minor infractions. The perpetrators are also living a dual life. Many are temple recommend holders. This leads to another reason why the Church needs to consider the seriousness of these problems. In affect, the Church is being used.
I go out of my way to not let the victims give me the names of the perpetrators. I have told them that my responsibility is to help them with spiritual healing and that the names of perpetrators should be given to therapists and law enforcement officers. However, they have told me the positions in the Church of members who are perpetrators. Among others, there are Young Women leaders, Young Men leaders, bishops, a patriarch, a stake president, temple workers, and members of the Tabernacle Choir. These accusations are not coming from individuals who think they recognized someone, but from those who have been abused by people they know, in many cases their own family members.
Whatever the form of abuse our main concern is for the victims, but there are legal ramifications. We are disturbed to receive reports that a scoutmaster has abused the boys in his troop. It is not difficult to imagine what would happen if we learn that a bishop or stake president has participated in the abominations of ritualistic child abuse. Not only do some of the perpetrators represent a cross section of the Mormon culture, but sometimes the abuse has taken place in our own meetinghouses.
I don’t pretend to know how prevalent the problem is. All I know is that I have met with 60 victims. Assuming each one comes from a coven of 13, we are talking about the involvement of 800 or so right here on the Wasatch Front. Obviously, I have only seen those coming forth to get help. They are in their twenties and thirties for the most part. I can only assume that it is expanding geometrically and am horrified the numbers represented by the generation who are now children and teenagers.
Another reason for concern is that there are several doctrinal issues that need to be resolved. The Church and society in general are very skeptical as to whether the occult and its activities do exist. There is no First Presidency statement relative to some of the doctrinal issues: What does a priesthood leader tell individuals who come forward and say that they have participated in these rituals–which may include human sacrifice? Should they have a temple recommend? Will they ever be forgiven? There are questions regarding free agency and accountability. Is a person who has been raised in an occult from infancy accountable for things that take place in a dissociated state, even though those acts were committed after the age of eight? I have formed my own opinions to these questions and have done the best I can. However, I don’t have the mantle to make these doctrinal and policy decisions. I have relied on the mantle of a bishop regarding discernment and being a common judge.
The few priesthood leaders who have had to face these issues are crying out for help because they don’t want to give their own opinions and yet there is no place to go for an answer. A bishop will go to his stake president who says he doesn’t believe it is happening and that the member is just crazy. The stake president might go to an Area Presidency who will react in a similar way. Most people are afraid to surface it to the First Presidency for fear of getting the same reaction and don’t want to appear crazy themselves for asking the question.
I hope you will excuse me if I am being presumptuous, but I am concluding this paper with scriptures I feel support my belief that these activities are real and cannot be ignored.
The things I have been writing about go back to Cain and Abel:
And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands.
And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret.
And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness. (Moses 5:29-31.)
All of the experiences I have heard about have to do with secrecy, swearing not to tell, murdering to get gain and power:
Wherefore Lamech, being angry, slew him, not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake.
For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother. (Moses 5:50-51.)
And then in Moses 6:15 we learn that as people began to fill the earth, so did these secret works:
And the children of men were numerous upon all the face of the land. And in those days Satan had great dominion among men, and raged in their hearts; and from thenceforth came wars and bloodshed; and a man’s hand was against his own brother, in administering death, because of secret works, seeking for power.
The Book of Mormon is replete with descriptions of these secret murderous combinations as well as prophecies that they will always be with us:
And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled out first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness. (2 Nephi 9:9.)
Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations. (2 Nephi 10:15.)
And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever. (2 Nephi 26:22.)
In Alma, we find that the Lord commanded some of the prophets not to write any of the secret works, especially of the secret oaths, so that they would not become known by generations to follow, but that they might be warned that they do exist:
And now, I will speak unto you concerning those twenty-four plates, that ye keep them, that the mysteries and the works of darkness, and their secret works, or the secret works of those people who have been destroyed, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, all their murders, and robbings, and their plunderings, and all their wickedness and abominations, may be made manifest unto this people; yea, and that ye preserve these interpreters. . . .
I will bring forth out of darkness unto light all their secret works and their abominations; and except they repent I will destroy them from off the face of the earth; and I will bring to light all their secrets and abominations, unto every nation that shall hereafter possess the land.
And now, my son, we see that they did not repent; therefore they have been destroyed, and thus far the word of God has been fulfilled; yea, their secret abominations have been brought out of darkness and made known unto us.
And now, my son, I command you that ye retain all their oaths,, and their covenants, and their agreements in their secret abominations; yea, and all their signs and their wonders ye shall keep from this people, that they know them not, lest peradventure they should fall into darkness also and be destroyed.
For behold, there is a curse upon all this land, that destruction shall come upon all those workers of darkness, according to the power of God, when they are fully ripe; therefore I desire that this people might be destroyed. (Alma 37:21, 25-28.)
In Helaman, the name of Gadianton is introduced and becomes descriptive throughout the Book of Mormon relative to the secret combinations.
But behold, Kishkumen, who had murdered Pahoran, did lay wait to destroy Helaman also; and he was upheld by his band, who had entered into a covenant that no one should know his wickedness.
For there was one Gadianton, who was exceedingly expert in many words, and also in his craft, to carry on the secret work of murder and of robbery; therefore he became the leader of the band of Kishkumen. . . .
And when the servant of Helaman had known all the heart of Kishkumen, and how that it was his object to murder, and also that it was the object of all those who belonged to his band to murder, and to rob, and to gain power, (and this was their secret plan, and their combination) the servant of Helaman said unto Kishkumen: Let us go forth unto the judgment-seat. (Helaman 2:3-4, 8.)
It was true then as it is now that these things were not known by the general populace or by the government:
And it came to pass in the forty and ninth year of the reign of the judges, there was continual peace established in the land, all save it were the secret combinations which Gadianton the robber had established in the more settled parts of the land, which at that time were not known unto those who were at the head of government; therefore they were not destroyed out of the land. (Helaman 3:23.)
In chapter 6, we learn that in spite of the Lord’s command to the prophets not to write these things, Satan is capable, and always has been, of revealing his secrets to his followers just as the Lord has revealed His will to the prophets.
And now behold, those murderers and plunderers were a band who had been formed by Kishkumen and Gadianton. And now it had come to pass that there were many, even among the Nephites, of Gadianton’s band. But behold, they were more numerous among the more wicked part of the Lamanites. And they were called Gadianton’s robbers and murderers.
But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would protect and preserve one another in whatsoever difficult circumstances they should be placed, that they should not suffer for their murders, and their plunderings, and their stealings.
And it came to pass that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, that whatsoever wickedness his brother should do he should not be injured by his brother, nor by those who did belong to his band, who had taken this covenant.
And thus they might murder and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God.
And whosoever of those who belonged to their band should reveal unto the world of their wickedness and their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws of their wickedness, which had been given by Gadianton and Kishkumen.
Now behold, it is these secret oaths and covenants which Alma commanded his son should not go forth unto the world, lest they should be a means of bringing down the people unto destruction.
Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit. . . .
Yea, it is that same being who put it into the heart of Gadianton to still carry on the work of darkness, and of secret murder; and he has brought it forth from the beginning of man even down to this time.
And behold, it is he who is the author of all sin. And behold, he doth carry on his works of darkness and secret murder, and doth hand down their plots, and their oaths, and their covenants, and their plans of awful wickedness, from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men. (Helaman 6:18, 21-26, 29-30.)
In light of this scripture, it is naive for us to think these things would not exist in our own generation. We know this is the last dispensation, the dispensation of the fulness of times. Surely Satan would not “pass” on this most important dispensation.
In Helaman 8:1 we learn that people in high places were members of the Gadianton band and secret combinations:
And now it came to pass that when Nephi had said these words, behold, there were men who were judges, who also belonged to the secret band of Gadianton, and they were angry, and they cried out against him, saying unto the people: Why do ye not seize upon this man and bring him forth, that he may be condemned according to the crime which he has done?
We have allegations to indicate that this is true of people in high places today in both the Church and the government who are leading this dual life. The secret combinations were mentioned all through the Book of Mormon. In Mormon 1:18-19 we read that these Gadianton robbers were still alive and well and functioning:
And these Gadianton robbers, who were among the Lamanites, did infest the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth; and they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land, that they could not hold them, nor retain them again.
And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land, even unto the fulfilling of all the words of Abinadi, and also Samuel the Lamanite.
In Mormon 8:27 there is a prophecy that secret combinations will be among us in our time:
And it shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness.
The extent of the evil that mankind will perpetrate on another is told in Moroni 9:10:
And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.
Many of us have read this all of our lives and click our tongues at how awful it would be to live in such a time. Those victims with whom I have spoken testify to these things going on all around us today. In Ether we are told that they will exist amongst us, the gentiles, and we are also warned that we should do something about it:
And now I, Moroni, do not write the manner of their oaths and combinations, for it hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people, and they are had among the Lamanites.
And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.
And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed; for the Lord will not suffer that the blood of his saints, which shall be shed by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance upon them and yet he avenge them not.
Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain–and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.
Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up. (Ether 8:20-24.)
In summary, we live in the last dispensation of the fulness of times and Satan is here with his secret combinations in all of the ugliness that existed in previous dispensations. The scriptures prophesy to that reality. I also believe that the scriptures cited and many others that could be quoted argue against our being passive about the problem. I don’t want to be known as an alarmist or a fanatic on the issue. Now that I have put what I have learned in writing to you, I feel the issue is in the right court. I hope to take a low profile on the subject and get on with the duties which I have been formally assigned. This is not to say I would not be willing to be of service. Over the last eighteen months I have acquired a compassionate love and respect for the victims who are fighting for the safety of their physical lives and, more importantly, their souls.