Church Community: I Was Abused by a Church Elder Who is Now Preaching Against Sodomy
There have been rumors as far back as I can remember. People have been talking about this elder. The last time was a young man who was two years older than me talking about what had happened to him. When pressed by the journalist, he began to describe the anatomy of the elder in very great detail. He even described the bedroom arrangements of the elder and how he gets his kicks in bed. You could tell the journalist was really shocked by what he was seeing and hearing. It really was a turn up for the books. This was a fire and brimstone preacher that had opened up a particular campaign against sodomites.
Why, why, why? That is the question that kept running around and rounds my head as I recovered from yet another bout of abuse. Here I was, barely into my teens but being forced to confront the fact that one of the people that my family trusted most was abusing me. Even then I knew it was totally wrong but I did not know who to turn to. My parents liked Blake so much that it was impossible to say a bad word about him. I had seen them defending him over some missing Church funds and the whole thing was hushed up. In the end, the person that was complaining ended being shunned by the community, real social suicide in this part of the world.
Church Community: The Priest That Turned Bad
Now that I am wiser and more cynical, I realize that I was being groomed right from an early age. This man had deliberately tried to ingratiate himself into my good books by talking about how much he liked me and my family. He was super friendly and some who knew better might have noticed that he was way too friendly. One of my most vivid memories was when he offered to let me sit on his lap during a road trip with a Church community. Suddenly I felt something hard underneath me and it was so embarrassing. Remember that I was 11 at the time and confused about so many things. The idea that my Church elder was having a boner below me was just not within my limited orbit of experiences.
Even then the feeling of guilt and shame was overwhelming. I should probably have told my parents but somehow I felt responsible. It is the same guilt that so many abuse victims feel. They think that they somehow enticed the person to feel attracted to them. It can make you feel very dirty and not worthy of being part of your community anymore. These feelings started at a much earlier age than a normal person should ever have. In any case, it made it much worse than the person doing the dirty on me was actually my priest.
When we got to our destination I pushed off angrily and did not wish to speak to the priest. He then cornered me in a secluded area and told me off. He asked why I was avoiding him. I looked at him angrily. He was trying to pretend that nothing happened but I could tell from his eyes that he was worried. Suddenly, the mask was removed. He hissed “don’t you go telling little tales, my boy. You won’t like it”. It was a menacing message and one that I understood perfectly. This was a man that had developed a cult-like following across the Church community. People believed him completely and implicitly. The older members of the congregation did not see that he could do any wrong. He had also infiltrated the younger members with his youth club and choir activities.
The Real Abuse Begins
Once that seed had been planted, Blake seemed to change. Suddenly he was no longer persuasive and manipulative. Instead, he was demanding and violent. He would corner me and force me into some of the most degrading acts. To be honest, my teenage years were a blur of tears, depression, and anger. I wanted to kill him but I knew that would be a priority list ticket to jail. He seemed so God-like and untouchable. At the time in our community, nobody spoke about being gay. It was not something that was ever on our radar because we were actually a bit insulated from the wider world. As our priest used to say so many times “you are in this world but not of this world”.
Then there was some scandal or other involving Catholic priests. Suddenly my elder could not speak enough about the evils of sodomy. Fancy that: I was just realizing that there was a name for what he was doing to me. The term sodomy seemed so old fashioned and I had never bothered to even google it up. Then it was out there. Blake became a campaigner against the sodomites who were “spoiling our kids and corrupting our society”. He joined an ecumenical society for religious leaders to fight against this vice. Suddenly all our summons on Saturday included references to the evil that sodomites do. If only they know what he really was like. I had seen that same priest sweating like a pig as he heaved on top of me. The idea that he was some kind of moral ideal was sickening to me. I could not quite get the hypocrisy and brazenness. He seemed to think that he could get away with it all if he told the lie many times. It was amazing.
Interestingly Blake started getting a band of warriors. I like to call them the sodomite obsessives. They would walk around with pamphlets harassing anyone that would let them in. I now know that there is a gay boy in the community who was kicked out by his parents when they found him in bed with another boy. It was a hushed scandal and Blake was invited to counsel the boy so that he could move away from his “gay ways”. I am not even sure he did not do things to that kid. The man was a sick sociopath and I would not put it past him to rape yet another child. The community seemed impervious to the facts that were before them. This man had every sign of being a bad apple. He was leading a luxurious life and Church funds were missing but people still believed in him. They faithfully gave him a portion of their weekly earnings for “God’s work”. Yeah right…more like his own work.
The Community That Stood By
One of the more bizarre things about the whole set up was the fact that Blake had a wife and three children. She must have known there was something wrong. I can’t believe he would be that good of an actor. Anyway, she seemed to be content to pretend ignorance. I was living in terror and this woman was pretending that butter couldn’t melt in her husband’s mouth. Such people just drive me mad. I think that deep down they know exactly what the deal is but choose to ignore it for a quiet life. Meanwhile, children like me have to bear the consequences. If she had reported him (I am sure he abused others and she knew about it); they might have put him on a list or something.
I have to admit that I am quite disillusioned with my community. At first, I responded by doing harm to myself. I developed a nasty cocaine habit and was hassling at one point to make ends meet. To me, it made perfect sense at the time. My body had been soiled and it was better for me to at least earn something from this soiled body rather than waiting for another life that would never come. I hated the Church and all its silly routines. To me, it seemed that this was a bunch of hypocrites that had come together to cloak their wickedness in some religious mumbo-jumbo. I threw away my Bible and started the process of destroying my life.
New Hope and Recovery
When I was 17 and completely spent, someone at school said something to me that was so profound and so moving that I broke down. He said: “I know what it is like”. Instantly there was recognition. We had a good cry and he told me about his story. This was even more disgusting than mine because it was his own father that had been abusing him. Peter became my closest friend and encouraged me to find therapy. He used to say that the abuser kills you inside but you must have a way to regrow and defeat his purpose. I eventually managed to attend the rescue center that he had been part of since he left home. I graduated from college and now work for an engineering firm. Blake was eventually found out when far too many children started to complain. The Church dismissed him but he was never actually convicted. I find that a bit sad. He deserves to rot in jail.