The Church Bought My Silence – Chelsea Goodrich | Ep. 1846

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In this interview, Chelsea Goodrich details years of sexual abuse by her father, former Mormon bishop John Goodrich, beginning when she was a young child. When confronted in 2015, John admitted the abuse to both Chelsea’s mother and their Mormon leaders. However, the church failed to act to protect Chelsea, support victims, or warn others. John faced excommunication but no criminal charges due to statute of limitations. In 2017, another victim came forward alleging John drugged and raped her. Despite evidence, prosecutors eventually only tried John for illegal drugging. Meanwhile, John remarried and had access to grandchildren, prompting safety concerns for Chelsea. Desperate, Chelsea and her mother sought help from church representative Paul Rytting only to be offered settlement money and asked to sign nondisclosure agreements.

Ultimately, Chelsea decides to go public to protect other potential victims from a predator still left free. Her story exposes the patterns of coverups, victim blaming, inaction, and secrecy in the Mormon church around abuse.

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  1. Barbara Feliciano

    What an awful thing to go through. I guess CTR only applies to lay people and not LDS leaders. Excommunicating someone isn’t enough. Bishops and other leaders should be mandated reporters when someone is committing sexual abuse, especially against children. Goodrich is a predator and everyone should know about it. Everyone who laid down for him (including the AG, prosecutors, church leaders) should be prosecuted as well.

  2. Absolute shame. Horrific. Heartbreaking once again.
    Reason I am no longer a member.
    Abuse Rape Predator are protected by the church.

  3. Thank you Chelsea Goodrich. Words can’t adequately express my appreciation for your publicly speaking out. Clergy privilege has got to go. The acceptance and cover up of sexual abuse of children in the Mormon church began with its founder. While I fled the Mormon church and family in my late teens it took the church’s treatment of Sam Young’s presentation of clergy sexual abuse survivors’ stories for me to fully understand that the LDS church IS NOT a Godly or a Christ-like organization. My parents and my ancestors sacrificed their families to this evil corporation.

  4. My heart goes out to Chelsea. She is a powerful witness to so many injustices… in addition to her experiences within the Mormon Church, she clearly reports the experience of numerous survivors of rape, incest, sexual abuse, and injustice delivered up by the legal system that we depend on to represent us in enforcing laws and dispensing justice.

    I’m seething with anger at all the missteps by those who had the power and authority TO DO SOMETHING!!!!! When you do nothing, when you cover up incest and sexual abuse, YOU ARE COMPLICIT. You may not welcome the responsibility, but information that lands on your doorstep is your responsibility, like it or not.

    One concern I have is the way we “clean up” our discussion of sexual abuse. Yes, talking about anal or vaginal penetration of a child by a grown man’s penis is uncomfortable, but “abuse” softens the conversation and allows those who are covering their eyes, ears, and mouths are then empowered. I am not suggesting that I know what exactly happened to Chelsea, but I was reminded that the way we talk about the acts and the damage done minimizes the brutality of these acts.

    I hope the laws in Utah and other states that protect religious organizations change. What is the real danger of allowing MORE safeguards for children? Current reporting requirements are ONLY meant to protect the guilty and the institutions that conspire with the guilty. I don’t think ANY religious organization should be held in higher esteem than any secular organization. Still, it does seem odd that religious organizations do not HOLD THEMSELVES to a higher standard. They certainly like to brag about how much better they are at every opportunity.

    Phenomenal love and support flow from my heart and mind to Chelsea. She is a well-spoken representative of herself, her family, and other victims and survivors.

  5. Can you explain the thumbnail title? Chelsea says that the church told her that she is free to tell her story. She states that there was an NDA, but is there a way for us listeners to know if that prevented her from giving necessary details about what happened? Can we know in broad terms what she can’t speak on?

  6. Really disappointed in Chelsea Goodrich being given this platform to portray a story that has been debunked. The church has
    issues with cover up but that is a whole other story and they are guilty of trying to hide abuse. But Chelsea Goodrich is a repeat liar and even has a gag order against her that does not allow here to defame John Goodrich. There is a reason for that. Really wish John Dehlin and mormon stories would look deeper into this case before doing a podcast on this. I get the goal is to make the church look bad, which they deserve and I can support. But let’s make sure these podcasts are based on facts when going after individuals and trying to destroy their lives.

    1. Hello Noah,

      Can you point out where this case has been “debunked”? Do you have information not publicly available?

      1. I do have credible information available which is too sensitive to share at this point but will be willing to provide in near future. As mentioned before, Chelsea is prohibited from defaming John Goodrich.
        Some additional questions:
        When will part 2 with recordings come out (referenced by Dehlin at beginning of part 1) where John Goodrich allegedly admits to abuse?

  7. Hi mormonstories, you have the wrong link for resilient wellness — it should be (not .org). You have linked to another person’s website, not that of Chelsea Goodrich.

  8. Were the audio recordings posted somewhere? It was said a couple of times in the episode that they would be available, but I can’t fold them a where.

  9. Wow! Just wow. Felt this. Deeply. Not that what I think matters, but I am just so proud of Chelsea and her story… so powerful. Such horrific abuse told with such a palatable gentleness and truth. We all can and have to do better. Thank you for giving this very sensitive and thoughtful platform.

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