Utah Ritualized Sexual Abuse Investigation: The Mormon Church And Child Sexual Abuse from Health Impact News
As the public waits for updates on the Utah County Sheriff’s Office investigation into “ritualized child sexual abuse”, we take a deep dive into the history of the allegations which involve The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
by Derrick Broze
The Last American Vagabond
An investigation into ritualized child sexual abuse was first announced by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office on May 31st. The USCO released a statement detailing how “multiple county and federal agencies are investigating reports of ritualistic child sexual abuse from as far back as 1990”. I have been following the investigation since the initial announcement and reporting on various angles of the story. I encourage readers to spend time with the previous four parts of this series, particularly the third report on the history of similar allegations in the state of Utah.
For this report I will be looking at the historical record, including lawsuits, church records, and previous reporting from other outlets to document the history of allegations involving members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon Church. I have spoken with current and former members of the Church who hold varying views regarding allegations of ritualized child sexual abuse.
Some former members of the Church of Mormon believe the church itself is corrupted at its root which allows for these types of activities to happen in the first place. I have also spoken with members of the Church of Mormon who acknowledge that the church has a pedophile problem, but do not believe the core structures of the church are infected by pedophiles.
I want to make it clear that this investigation is not intended to be an attack on anyone’s religious beliefs, or individual Mormons. Nor is this piece intended to paint the picture that the entire Church of Mormon is aware of the reports of child sexual abuse. Although some former members of the church have gone so far as accusing the Church of Mormon of being a front for Masonic and/or Satanic activity, I am not ready to make such a judgement. However, I do believe these controversial claims warrant further investigation.
For part 5 of our series we will be examining 4 different examples of sexual abuse involving members of the Church of Mormon over the last 40 plus years.
The Pace Memo
In 1990, Glenn L. Pace, a general authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote a memo to church leadership describing claims of widespread ritualistic abuse within the church. The memo, dated July 19, 1990, was based on the complaints of sixty members of the church who claimed they were forced to participate in various rituals, sometimes referred to as “satanic.”
“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,” Pace wrote. “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.”