Married to a Pedophile: A Personal Encounter With Survivors of Sexual Abuse

I’m back after a three month break while finishing up writing my book on finding hope after child loss.  If you know of anyone who has experienced the loss of a child, please  give them a copy of the book.  Part of our mission is to help people who are suffering, and this book will help any parent who is suffering the pain of child loss.

This weekend I had the blessing of attending a conference on child sexual abuse.  I wish I could say that it was enjoyable, but quite the contrary.  While at this conference, I had the opportunity to hear two survivors of child sexual abuse speak out and I must say that upon hearing what they endured as children, and what they are enduring now as adults, I could feel my heart literally breaking.

Child sexual abuse is a pain that no child deserves! To turn a deaf ear and do nothing is, in my opinion, a very grave sin!  The young woman and young man who spoke out in front of the audience spoke words that were hard to hear.  A step-dad and a father were the molesters.  The molesting went on for years.  In the case of the young woman, she was finally able to get the courage to tell her mother when she was fourteen-years-old.  Thankfully her mother believed her and took her daughter away.  What followed was a story of heartache and pain.  I’ll not go into details, but it isn’t easy to speak out, and that’s why so many victims of abuse remain quiet.

When the young man spoke, his voice was trembling.  He began with a prayer asking God to embrace him, to empower him, to give him the strength to speak out.  What followed will remain with me for the rest of my days on this earth.

I heard how the father, a preacher, molested this young man and his brothers from little up.  Details were given of grooming.  The young man broke down and sobbed.  He fell to his knees calling out, “Where was God when this was going on?  Where was God?”

Tears fell from my face soaking the papers in front of me.  These papers were so meaningless.  This was a young man speaking of his shattered life.

He explained that his father would molest him, then tell him to come with him and hand out food to the poor of the community.  People of the community loved and adored his father.  He was exemplary in every way of what a Christian should be.  Every way except — he was abusing his four sons every day!

The young man talked about his depression and wanting to end his life.  He spoke of sleepless nights when nightmares visited him frequently.  He knew of no way out.  Nobody would believe this about his father.  Not his father — the man of God so loved and adored by the church and community.

And, so his pain continued.  He battled severe anxiety, chronic depression, fits of anger, addiction.  He was alone and didn’t know what to do so he lay in his bed curled up in a ball wearing socks on his hands to hide his feelings of being dirty.  So dirty because of the way he was used by his own father, the preacher, the so-called man of God.

He left home and about three years ago met a lovely young lady, they married and had a son of their own, by the grace of God.  He told her of his past — not an easy thing for anyone to do.  But, he said it was liberating to finally talk about it and to know that someone could love him — someone could care.

His family was expected to come together for family gatherings, and although he didn’t want to ever see his father again, he attended to see his mother and his brothers.  He vowed never to take his eyes off of his father when his little son was in the room.

And, then the unthinkable happened.  He turned to reach to get something out of the oven and when he turned back around the father had his hands fondling this young man’s eighteen month old son’s genitals!

The young man fell to his knees weeping.  “I failed my son and I vowed at that moment to turn my father in.” 

He did turn his father in to the authorities six months ago and a thorough investigation is being conducted.  But, it’s not as you would think…………………

This young man called his father and mother together and he confronted his father.  He wanted to tell him of all of the agony and pain he has been through and continues to suffer every single day of his life.  He wanted his father to know of the nightmares, the anxiety, the depression, the desire to end his life because of the years of abuse.

He wanted his father to care.  He wanted his father to say he was sorry.

Instead, he received another jab to his heart.

His father looked at him emotionless.  His mother admitted that she suspected this abuse was going on.  But, she also made it clear that she would stand by the molester husband and do all she could to make it look like the son was crazy when this case goes to court.  She has already begun to drum up support from the local church where her husband preaches.  She’s helping to build a case against the son saying his accusations are wild and from the mouth of a crazy person.

This young man wept loud.  He cried out in pain and agony again, “Where is God in this?   God, where are you?  I need you now more than every before!”

His father will probably get off with only a slap on the wrist.  His father will not stop molesting.  His father will continue to hurt children and cause irreparable pain in the lives of the young and innocent unless we become a united voice to stop this!

I left that conference more broken than ever before.  I left knowing that I must do more.  I left knowing that WE must do more.

And, so I am asking you for suggestions on where and how to begin.  I know we have to get word out to our legislators to change and enforce more strict laws.  I know we must work on a local level to bring awareness.  I know that we must do something to  protect children in churches such as is  being done with Church Protect.

How can we become a stronger voice?  Please give me your opinions.  If you know someone working with our laws, please refer them to this blog.  Please give them my email:  clarahintonspeaker@gmail.com or refer them to Jimmy Hinton.

We cannot remain silent.  We must do something NOW to protect our innocent children and to give comfort to those who have been victimized.

Thank you for any suggestions you can give me.

Love,

Clara

PS  If you would like to give some financial support to Church Protect, please buy some of these natural soaps.  A portion of every soap purchased goes to Church Protect and that money is used 100% for protecting our children.  As always, thank you for your help!

 

20 thoughts on “Married to a Pedophile: A Personal Encounter With Survivors of Sexual Abuse

  1. I was literally tortured and sexually abused by my mother as an infant and child.i did not discover this until (yes I know this sounds crazy )…years later when I saw a babalawo who removed a long standing curse. Then I recalled that I used to black out as a child abd young adult. ..during confrontational scenarios. I was told my mother was psychotic and was sent for shock treatment for 6 months and that some knew she would try to kill me…I ran away from home once during bath time as bath water running. It took me about 7 years if hell to recover from the trauma. However it cured me of all the emotional eccentricities. .of shame,self hatred and rage and of course fear.howrverbi am now dealing with illness. I can say life is very rough depending on one’s destiny. I wish all well..prayer can help.
    Michael

    • Michael, This is one of the most terrible testimonies of abuse I’ve heard. When I hear things like this, it makes me want to work harder thank every before to bring awareness to this kind of abuse. I don’t know what has happened to your mother, but I certainly hope that she is not around children. I can’t imagine the hard work you’ve done to move beyond the paralyzing fear of this type of traumatic abuse. I’m so very sorry.

  2. Dear Clara
    I have a problem. Your blog has been helpful for me to get better clarity on my thinking but I’m still agonizing. I want to present my concerns and see if you have any helpful information or guidance.
    Here’s the set-up. I am 63 and half time director of music and worship at my home church. I have been a member in this church and a volunteer musician for 32 years. For my career I have been music and worship director in other denominations and continue to work half time in another church. I am also an elder and active in several other leadership roles. A new pastor (around 52 years old) came 2 ½ years ago and after manipulating a manipulative woman out of the role of director of music and worship he hired me 18 months ago as worship leader (no one else would take it) and I volunteer my time as music director. At my first meeting with him, after being hired, he told me that God didn’t intend for me to be in this position for very long and that I needed to graciously leave when it was time to leave. He started setting me up for failure from that first meeting. 30 years ago he was director of a dynamic music program until his church fired him (at least 20 years ago) and he has never again run a music program in a church but he is now an ordained minister. He was especially known for his 120-voice children’s choir that performed at all the prominent places in Southern California, such as the Crystal Cathedral. I am a lifelong church musician, accomplished organist and choir director, and have directed in major churches. This pastor has left me feeling identical to how you described yourself as feeling in your blog, including your post about the Ivy. He devalues me as a person, I feel inadequate, put down. He is extremely controlling and manipulative. He preaches to me in private about how we are to have a heart for the people of God, then he is hurtful to people in the church that he doesn’t agree with and doesn’t seem to care. He bullies me about how I am to be humble and to do what he says. His emotional abuse has paralyzed me, created self-doubt and threatened to strip me of my self-worth. Both I and my wife have gone to speak with him on several occasions about our concerns about his leadership and he doesn’t hear a single word we say. He looks perfect — his words are perfect — his prayers are perfect — and I come out of his office feeling dirty. Yes, he makes changes – he uses our words spoken to him in private to become more secretive and more deceitful in how he speaks with people. He avoids elder’s meetings, he doesn’t respect his elders as leaders in the church, he works with the people who think like him and avoids others. He’s a perfectionist – he gives excellent sermons – memorized and well-written.
    I went to a counselor/prayer warrior (a long-time friend who now works with sexual predators) to ask if I was going crazy. I told this prayer warrior about your blog and that obviously he isn’t a pedophile because he totally ignores children. He seems oblivious to any children in the church and I have never seen him talk with a child. She cautioned me that with his odd behavior I should not rule out anything, including pedophilia. I see no evidence of any inappropriate behaviors going on, yet all kinds of things are inappropriate about him. Stupid little things — a look here, a comment there. My counselors tell me we can do nothing but pray. Those counselors include a minister and two of the elders at our church who can be trusted. Since my wife leads prayer meeting and her attendees have similar concerns they are all praying specifically for the pastor. Is there anything else we should be doing or is watching and praying all that we can do right now? How do we discern what is going on? Or should we try to discern what is going on? Do we only leave it in God’s hands? What do we watch for? I suspect some other sexual activity than pedophilia going on but it’s only a hunch. There’s nothing concrete. He has the associate pastor and the church secretary in complete unity with him. They seem to have blinders on their eyes. They love him dearly!

    • Robert, I’d say you and your church have a real problem child on your hands. You’ve mentioned several descriptive words — manipulative, bully, devalues, deceitful. Step back and look at this situation. Look at it very, very clearly. Look what you’re dealing with. Is this man a pedophile? I don’t know the answer to that, but he is a narcissist. He is obviously bullying and controlling you. And, he’s smart when it comes to putting on the persona of a great and wonderful person to others. He’s lining up his supporters. Back him into a corner. TELL as many people as you can about his devious actions. Document what he says, when he says it, how he says it. This type of person will try to make you feel crazy. He might even call you crazy as John has done to me. Thank God I was stronger than what I thought!!!!! I don’t take the stand of “pray and play nice” with this type of person. That only enables them to do more. Not everyone will agree with me, but I can tell you that playing nice doesn’t work. Trip him up with his own words. Call him out on what he says in secret to you. That’s why it’s so important to document those conversations. You say he has no interest in children, yet he was well-known for his 120-voice children’s choir. I’d say he had lots and lots of access to children! If I were you, I’d schedule a consultation with my son Jimmy who is an expert in this field. He has an assessment tool that is more valuable than what is currently being used in our prison systems and you’ll be hearing lots more about this in the months to come. Jimmy can be reached at Church Protect, Inc. I really encourage you to contact him! http://www.churchprotect.org/contact/ The situation with this man isn’t going to get nicer. It will get worse. And, the more he can see your fear of him, the more control he holds over you. Thank you so much for writing and for sharing your concerns. I know I have done nothing more than validate what you’ve already said. But, I know Jimmy can give you more information and arm you with educational tools that will help.

      • Tape your next discussion. The Bible is quite clear that this man is unqualified to be in a position of leadership. Get it out of your head that he is your leader. I’d get up in front of the whole church and call him a wolf to his face just before the sermon and start playing the incriminating tape. But that is just me. He might try and sue you for it, but that would end him if he did and God isn’t going to abandon you.

  3. I have read through your entire blog about what you and countless others endured and I am heartbroken for you and them. While I have not experienced by any means what you have, I do see certain patterns in my marriage that are unfortunately very, very similar to those of at minimum a narcissist. I am curious about a couple of things, and I realize that this past year has been even more challenging. I hope not to be insensitive, and it may have been asked here already and I missed it, but did your husband abuse your own children? You say he was basically a great dad, but I wondered. Also, the second year of your blogs the timelines really got skewed in my head and I found it more difficult to follow, but I am curious as to why nobody seemed to think what your husband did to all those elderly people was no big deal and why he continued to be a pillar of the community. You would think that would have been a big concern to a lot of people. And again, maybe I missed it, but when/how did he leave the church he had been pastoring for 30 years? God bless you as you seek to educate and prevent further child abuse, and as you help people give voice to their experiences.

    • Nina, First of all, I would never reveal any victims of abuse — none — without consent. I hope you are understanding of the position I take on that. I have limited most of my writing to my interactions with John — this is a very painful subject for my children to have public, so I’m especially sensitive to what I say that might in any way hurt them even more than they’ve been hurt by his arrest and conviction of multiple counts of sexual abuse to children. The father of four of the victims did speak out — that was his decision for a very specific purpose and that was to get the message out as to how convincing, how manipulating, and how evil the actions of John were. Other than this father, I’ve had no reason and certainly no desire to victimize again those who he molested. That’s a closed topic with me, and will remain a closed topic. I’m sure you can understand my position.

      When John was part of a scheme that took millions of dollars from elderly people, I feel like I took the brunt of that pain. I wept endlessly. And, I still have days where I cry about this knowing that so many people lost their life savings due to his actions. The point you missed is probably the most important reason I write this blog. Pedophiles are very, very controlling. They are world’s best liars and deceivers. And, they are very charismatic. John is the best of the best in every one of these categories. He told a story that he was cajoled into the business scheme and was made to believe that he wasn’t doing anything wrong. The court system proved him wrong. He’s on tape saying things like, “I landed another mooch. Tomorrow I know who we’ll get.” Then he would laugh. I was privy to that information, but the public was not. They only got to see the very distraught John Hinton who said he was innocent. Even on the day of sentencing he would not say he was guilty. He was very convincing and because he was so well loved within the church, he had church members writing letters of support and character letters in favor of him to the District Attorney. There were probably over a hundred letters stating what a wonderful man he was, how he could never be responsible for knowingly doing anything like that, etc. He played the crowd well. He knew exactly what he was doing.

      It was a this time that I began seeing John in a different light. I knew he was guilty. I heard him on the phone. I saw him mocking people who bought the false securities. He did not have a Securities License. I’m not a smart business person, but even I knew that he was wrong about that. Keep in mind John is not a dumb person. He’s quite intelligent. Again, he presented himself in such a way to the church that made him very believable. He presented himself as a victim, and the church stood behind him.

      He never left the church completely. He “retired” because he said he was getting burned out and he wanted to do preaching on a part-time basis. The church needed a full-time minister, of course, so John continued to teach Bible classes and he did do some traveling on weekends to fill in for churches who had preachers on sabbatical or who had preacher vacancies.

      John was always involved in ministry. However, the last four years of his ministry were part-time because he was now working as a “male nanny.” He persued that with a vengeance and once again, the church never questioned him. He had everyone in the palm of his hand.

      I hope this answers your questions. This is not just a story. This is about a real man who manipulated and controlled everyone close to him. I shudder now when I think about it.

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