No More Molesters

Yesterday was very productive. I wrote and sent a bio. I wrote and sent a book proposal to three different people. I asked another if He might be interested.

Now I wait. Very impatiently.

In the mean time, there is something I want to share…

In the aftermath of Cole’s molestation and multiple rapes, I was beside myself with guilt.

How could I have not known?
How could I have not seen?
Why didn’t I protect my child better?

Did I say guilt? Absolutely. I still find plenty of opportunities to beat myself up over my failures.

And then, after Karen and Cole were murdered, more guilt, more self-recrimination throbbed like a smashed thumbnail throughout my psyche and my soul.

This isn’t, by the way, about having you massage my guilt away or somehow make me feel less like a failure.

The truth is a bitter pill to swallow. When it counted most, I failed.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not wallowing in pity. There were plenty of signs for me to see–there was ample evidence to have helped me grasp what was going on. But, I have since learned that child molesters are very smart and controlling people. They are manipulators who groom both their victims and those around them. They play masterfully on our preconditioned desire to trust–especially when we are needing help.

When we looked at Paul Buckman, we saw a kindly, grandfatherly man who loved us, loved Cole, and wanted to help ease a burden. We were ecstatic. That’s exactly what we were supposed to see and feel.

I will always believe Paul Buckman could have been stopped–should have been stopped. So somehow, someway, we have to find a way to protect our children. Even in churches. Especially in churches. We cannot allow a fear of conflict to hinder us from saying or telling what needs to be said. Especially for our children.

The very place we want to trust the most is an easy playing field for the stalkers among us.

I’d like to introduce you to a couple of blogs–http://jimmyhinton.org and http://www.findingahealingplace.com. These are important. The writers know first hand what it means to live with a predator.

The first blog is written by a preacher (Jimmy Hinton) who was also a preacher’s son.
The second blog is written by a woman who was a preacher’s wife (Clara Hinton).
Was is the operative word.

Together, they lived with a preacher husband/ father who is now in jail for being a child molester. A predator who went undetected for over 40 years.

Can you imagine the horror?
And yet, even having lived through my own hell, I still have trouble imagining how much and how often our children are destroyed by this pervasive evil.

It’s way beyond time to say no more. I am looking forward to hearing more of Jimmy and Clara’s story–not because I revel in ugliness, but because we must wade through it in order to stop it!

Standing up for children is everybody’s business!

Can I get an Amen?

Les Ferguson, Jr.

14 thoughts on “No More Molesters

  1. We need to take our rose colored glasses off and protect our children! You’re right, predators are very smart and crafty and work their way into a need. I could go on and on but I’ll stop for now. Thank you Les for reliving the pain to help others and to make the blind see.

  2. Les, I appreciate your comments. I work with survivors of child abuse almost every week. It is genuinely as difficult to help family members who are tormented by the guilt of feeling they should have know, should have been able to protect, or should be able to do something now. Unfortunately there are no easy answers, nor ways to really abate those nagging questions.
    What we can do is recognize just how vulnerable our churches, camps, Bible class programs are to these master manipulators. There are no places that they cannot infiltrate, so we have to always be aware of our vulnerability.
    I appreciate your honesty and openness. Know my prayers continue for you and all who have been impacted by such wickedness.

  3. I certainly can identify with the guilt. How did we not see the signs? Dad was my mentor and friend. He was a large reason why I went into ministry–he was great at it. Unfortunately, he was just as good at deceit and secrecy. Possibly the worst mistake most of us make is that we don’t entertain the possibility that those closest to us (and so dang nice) could be doing such egregious sexual things with children. God bless you for sharing your story. Thanks for the link-up.

  4. Les, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you said. The guilt…..it’s there everyday yet for me. Why didn’t I see? How did I miss the signs? That’s why I’m telling my story — it’s helping me put into perspective just how deceiving the molesters are. I fell into the trap — hook, line, and sinker. I struggle every day with the guilt of not seeing more, BUT I didn’t know what to look for — just as you didn’t. Now, WE are getting smarter. We are getting educated. And, by the grace of God, we will be advocates and educators and we will help open peoples’ eyes to the way sex molesters work.

    Thank you for the link-up. Greatly appreciated.

  5. Yes, you can get an Amen!

    Makes me sad that the world today seems so much more complicated than when I was a kid. I don’t know if things are worse now, or if it’s just better publicized now.

    When I was a little kid, I played outside – all over the neighborhood and beyond – for hours on-end. Sometimes, I might go half a day without checking in with my parents. I remember riding my bike into town (which was about three or four miles from the house) all alone – when I was between 10 and 12 years old – to buy 45 RPM records at the local record store.

    I don’t want anything bad to happen to any kid! But, there is a part of me that doesn’t want to send a message to kids that they have to be afraid of everything! But, maybe they should be afraid of everything; I don’t know.

    Seriously, was it just lucky that I didn’t get snatched as a kid, or are things actually a whole lot worse these days? And, if things are worse, why?!

    I’m probably too trusting of people, too.

  6. Jimmy’s statistic was shocking: “even though over 90% of pedophiles are active members of churches…” Les, you and others would be proud of what ‘our’ church instituted over the last three years or so. Our insurance agent is a highly involved member of our church. He insures our building, vans, etc. Since child molestations, background checks, etc. have reached heightened levels/awareness, our insurance agent deemed the following necessary: anyone dealing with the youth (in any capacity) must undergo a background check, teachers must keep their doors ajar (we don’t have the luxury of ‘windowed’ doors), we must have two or more students in a classroom (if we have one student, they are shunted to another classroom), and nursery workers cannot be a mother/daughter team (workers must not be related). Perhaps and hopefully, many other churches have such proactive practices in place. Admittedly, these changes seemed very weird and overkill at first. But, we’re all used to the ‘rules’ now, think nothing of it, and are grateful our insurance agent and elders had the vision and wisdom to initiate such practices. 🙂

  7. I want to start off by saying…. no Les you’re not a failure, as others have said we don’t always know the signs,my daughter did not have to endure the things that Cole did,but what she did endure at the hands of a predator was enough to scar her for life.I thank God everyday that she was strong enough to come to me when that incident happened so he did not have a chance to go further with her. Little did I know that this man that I had been dating for 3 years had raped a mentally handicapped child / woman 3 years earlier. As I said I dated him for 3 years and never knew that he had it in him to do anything like that.
    For a very long time after happened I beat myself up on a daily basis because I didn’t see any signs, because I dated this man and live with him for three years and never knew he was capable of doing things that he had done. How could I not have known? How could I have not have been there to protect her? Why did I allow all these things to happen to her?Would she ever be able to forgive me for not protecting her for not being there when she needed me the most? Those are the questions I ask myself on a daily basis and to this day still do.

    I am also very thankful that when the DA called her a week ago and ask her to testify against this very same man who she never wanted to see again that she was strong enough to say yes I’ll do what it takes to put him behind bars. When she got to court the judge would not allow her testimony because he said it would be “to prejudicial” for the jurors to hear this about the predator.
    I don’t know if you saw my post from Friday about the man who got 25 years in jail for sexually abusing the handicapped woman. Even though this man never spent a day in jail for the things he did to my daughter she felt vindicated that he actually got some time.
    Not knowing or recognizing the signs when we have never been around that type of animal doesn’t make us a failure. It took a lot of time and my daughter to help me understand this, how can we recognize something we don’t know? How can we see the signs of something we are not familiar with?
    In the very short amount of time I got to know Karen and Cole, I came to love them and my heart still goes out to you. I love you and miss you and your family.

  8. It has become part of my prayers that God will help all molesters to seek help and stop hurting children. Thank you for your courage.

  9. Yes, you may have an Amen. Yes, it is necessary to wade through the ugliness if we want it stopped. So sorry for your multiple losses and so thankful for your courage.

  10. I’ll also give you an amen, Les.

    I have been reading about the Hannah Anderson case (the girl who was abducted from the San Diego area; her mother and brother were murdered) and in the comments, several people have asked, how could the parents not have known that the abductor–who was a family friend–was up to something? How could they not have been aware of his behavior?

    The reason is just what you have stated: child molesters are very smart and very controlling people.They don’t go around with “child molester” stamped on their forehead.

  11. Oh Les! We dont have x-ray vision! We cant see peoples hearts! Heart breaking!!! We attended a congregation that did back ground checks on anyone that had anything to do w/children! Very good idea in this day&age. Yet,many dont have records. I have a friend that was molested by her own grandpa. He had also molested another granddaughter&a grandson. The grandson later killed himself. It was “amazing”@the lengths the members of that family went to “protect”that man!!! Hes a big deal in some church somewhere to this day. Dont know how we protect our children&grandchildren from people like him &paul buckman. May “peace”be yours. Prayers for you&your dear family.

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