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  1. She needs to publicly name every bishop, stake president, general authority, etc… who she spoke to. Seriously, these men should be known publicly for sweeping this under the rug for DECADES! Please, whoever you are, publicly name every priesthood leader or church leader you spoke with who in turn did NOTHING for you and all the other victims. These men are cowards even if they were just following their higher ups. I don’t care that your stake president cried and felt terrible. He didn’t feel terrible enough to demand answers of his higher ups no matter what. This system has to stop and these men should be held accountable for their actions so that change is made.

      1. McKenna Denson tells Joseph Bishop during her recorded interview that she met with Elder Carlos E. Asay, a seventy over the missionary program for the church, about the sexual assault within a couple years after she returned from her mission, which would’ve been in the late 80’s.

        1. I will say that it sounds like he did not address his actions with his leadership after her. The seriousness of it must be addressed with leadership. He cannot just say he repented of it with the Lord. That is part of the repentance process and he needs to still address that with his leadership too.

      1. This does make me sad. However, the only way that she can heal from all of this is to forgive him as well whether he truly repented or not. It is not for her to decide whether he was punished enough or not. It is not for her to judge anyone on whether it was a cover up or not. All of these actions are up to the Lord to judge and if there was a cover up, those brethren will be held accountable. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes if they did brush it under the rug. What I do know is that her life will never be healed if she doesn’t forgive. It will destroy her life. She is responsible for her relationship with the Lord and he is responsible for his relationship with the Lord. He is not responsible for her and she is not responsible for him. I am sorry that she was hurt. She is only going to get closure through with the Lord’s help. She can’t do it on her own.

  2. This story is so tragic! The pain that these women endured is unimaginable. Of all the places you would send your daughter where she would be safe, the MTC is the last place you’d be concerned about sexual assault, and then from the president of the MTC!

    While riveted by this interview, It was difficult to not listen to. I turned it off a couple of times to gather my emotions and wherewithal so that I could continue. I was trying to not vomit while listening.

  3. PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, PUBLICLY NAME EVERY CHURCH LEADER YOU TOLD. Change has to occur and if these bishops, stake presidents, and GAs refuse to provide help and answers in such abhorrent crimes, they need to be accountable. Publicizing who they are will help the church change their policy of protecting perpetrators and hurting victims. PLEASE CONSIDER RELEASING THEIR NAMES TO THE PUBLIC.

  4. That was HER that was abused by him that interviewed him! I understand now. I would have been shaking like a quaking aspen..doing what she did. I have my own experiences with..leaders..that I didn’t understand ..it was still placed on my shoulders..and no culpability to said men.. Involves illegal immigration ..I’m a casualty of things caused by illegal immigration.

  5. While I was fine with the ethics of airing the Spencer Fluhman discussion, I found this story hard to hear, ethically. The accusations are criminal and I’m not sure it’s wise to publicly air the details like this, and am concerned that there will be some backlash to Mormon Stories, despite the facts against this man, and the wrong in the church. Furthermore, if Bishop commits suicide because of this public humiliation, I don’t see that as a win for Mormon Stories or the victim when his pleas for forgiveness are plainly recorded. I can come to no other conclusion that the victim, though justified in her anguish, has set out to destroy Bishop’s life with forethought and malice. Whatever his crime or sickness, I don’t think he had that kind of forethought against her. Also, I don’t think the victim is fine at all as she professes. I think what you’ve just aired, is the revenge of an emotionally disturbed individual, not a Mormon-Harvey Weinstein story. I think the tape should have gone straight to her lawyer. I think it was a bad idea to post this story, I see a tragic train-wreck in the use of this story, not a triumph of good over evil.

    1. I understand your concerns. She is angry due to no fault of her own though. This has been shoved under the rug for decades by people who should have protected her. If she is “emotionally disturbed” as you stated, she came by those feelings honestly. If Mr. Bishop commits suicide, that is on him. It would certainly show him to be an exponentially selfish man and unrepentant. If he is truly repentant, he’ll accept his guilt and try to make things right by his victims. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant…” This issue of the rape of the vulnerable by Priesthood leaders isn’t isolated to just Mr. Bishop in the LDS church. Many will come forward. This is what the church legal department is afraid of. We need to cut this cancer out of the church rather than pretend like it doesn’t exist. In many respects, it’s worse than Harvey Weinstein situation. Weinstein was not a trusted man of God. Everyone knew he was a perv or at least everyone knows the word “The Casting Couch” in Hollywood. It had been a joke for decades in Hollywood. Please remember that this happened at the MTC and it was perpetrated against a believer by the highest priesthood leader at the MTC! When I was in the MTC, I would not have been able to process this had this happened to me and it would have taken the rest of my life to get over this.
      Let’s just be honest about this and let’s not be so concerned about protecting the powerful. Let’s be concerned about protecting the truth and the most vulnerable of LDS members first. I do not envy the church right now. This is a nuclear scale disaster cleanup.

      I know people who left the Catholic church over the pedophilic priest scandal and coverup. They wanted their donations to go to schools and public works projects and hospitals, not $300/hr lawyers who were protecting child rapists. Not to mention, when it was mostly over, they no longer saw the clergy as moral authorities on any level. They actually saw them as morally inferior to the average person on the street.

    2. The victim didn’t make this public, Mormonleaks did. If she had wanted to go public with the story, she could have done so. All these years she chose not to go public. She just wanted the church to believer her, and deal with it. They apparently never did.

    3. You are quick to judge this lady as if she released the recording. According to Deseret News, she claims she did not release the recording. A lot of “leaks” have been coming out of the COB so it is quite possible this was leaked through someone other than her. Regardless, when you commit the heinous crimes this man committed, I’m surprised someone has so much sympathy and concern that it might “destroy” his life. His actions destroyed his life and that of many others as well. God bless your soul Mike H.

      1. You are quick to Judge me Ryan, and gave me a hypocritical self-rightous God bless too! I didn’t know the tape was aired without her consent, why would I think Mormon Stories would air it without consent? They didn’t say that! As for my poorly worded remark about Destroying his life, what I was trying to say is that it’s not up to us to give her or Bishop justice. If valid, this should be perused by the law, which I see now that it has been for a couple of months. Yes Ryan, it disturbs me to see the rabid public go after someone when we have a justice system in place to do that. He has a right to a trial. He has a right to be found guilty, and be punished, according to our laws. And he also has the right to privacy, which means that the tape was publicly aired without his consent also. Of course, what do his rights mean, we’ve already found him guilty, right? You’re apparently just chomping at the bit to throw out our rights at the first sign of guilt, and that kind of thinking frightens me, indeed! We don’t know if we have all the facts, and this tape is very inflammatory. It seems to me that the tape is plenty evidence to lawfully convict him of something, but a conviction should be her goal, if that’s what she wants, it’s her right. Being under the false assumption that she released the tape I criticized her motives. I apologize if I was mistaken. I still do not believe that she is as emotionally fine as she says, and (again) that’s expected, but I don’t want to be a party to a revenge, and that is what I also hurried to say. And I don’t think that Mormon Stories should either because I don’t think it serves the show’s best interest, ethically, or legally. Now.. talk about the tape, discuss the the events, pressure the church to change, all for it. Finally, I don’t think that airing the tape is in the ultimate best interests of the victim either. Again, if he were to commit suicide because the tape was released, especially if she did not consent to it, then she’ll have to carry that water too. You or others might be fine with carrying that kind water, but I don’t think it serves her best interests in life. What’s in her psychological best interests would be having her abuser convicted, and so I am all in favor of her finding peace in all of this, not everyone else finding their peace.

    4. You don’t think it was premeditated when he created a basement room and took her through more than one locked door to get to it.? You don’t think he gave lots of thought to having the room equipped with a bed and porn films?

      If the accusing woman is “emotionally disturbed” might not being victimized by a person entrusted with her care and invested by the church with special spiritual status and gifts be part of what has “disturbed” her?

      You aren’t concerned that, absent this tape, Joseph Bishop would have gone unpunished? Wouldn’t’ that be the triumph of evil?

      I can’t say that I understand your objections in the least.

    5. I couldn’t agree more with you Mike. She continues to sah she forgave him a long time ago, but if she had, she wouldn’t have confronted him. Repentance is for everyone and it is personal. Mormon Stories is not helping anyone to heal in this matter. They show no compassion or concern for the pain the victim or Bishop are going through. They are merely trying to slander the church probably because they were excommunicated and want revenge on church leaders. They clearly shouldn’t have posted this.

  6. We seriously need to start a #metoosister movement! I know I’ve got my priesthood-leader-in-a-position-of-power sexual misconduct story and hundreds of thousands of sisters do as well.

    My perv leader (that was old enough to be my dad, or possibly my grandfather) was first shocked his actions had been reported to his leader. Then he attempted to guess who the victim was… wrong! He guessed someone else, so at mininim two victims under his current mantle of authority. Finally he was “sorry” and showed “remorse” to his leader…[insert: corner of rug lifted and issue swept under]. I did not have the time, energy or emotional strength to fight it any further. #metoosister

  7. This is the first Mormon Stories podcast I’ve ever been uncomfortable with, although I’m not sure there was another way to do it. The woman in the recording, and all other victims, definitely need a voice and redress, apologies and validation. And this is way too long in coming.

    Perhaps I would have preferred that the church and Bishop were forced or shamed into being the ones to publicly release the tape, with full disclosure, and with no chance to deny or minimize.

    Perhaps it’s wanting to have him fully and 100% and even publicly accountable, but have it coming from him and the church rather than this way, where the hurt and shame to his family will be brutal and magnified. And where the church may knee-jerk into a hyper-defensive mode and attack it’s “enemies.”

    I’ve an uncomfortable feeling this might come back to tarnish Mormon Stories and Mormon Leaks. . Hopefully not, and probably not.

    The Mormon church very definitely should take full responsibility for it’s failures and be held accountable, especially for whatever coverups, but one suspects there could be denial and circling of the wagons, even if short of a weasely, slimey attempt to deflect or blame the victim.

    . But as Dallin Oaks says, the Mormon church doesn’t apologize.

    The story has apparently already hit the Deseret News. It’ll be interesting.

    The Mormon claim of inspiration in it’s callings is an utter joke, most of all the recent general conference when the GA (Eyring?) claimed the callings in the Mormon church come from God and he doesn’t make mistakes. Combined with the constant refrain from Mormon leaders for the members to “follow your leaders,” the game is rigged. And not just in terms of vulnerability to sexual harassment, abuse or manipulation.

    The arrogance and self-assurance of the Mormon church and the Top Mormon Leaders is almost breathtaking.

  8. Her questions were obviously prepared by an attorney. She attempts to persuade him to say the words, “attempted rape” so many times I couldn’t keep count. I was waiting to hear more details concerning the alleged rape attempt such as her skirt was raised *and* her underwear was removed. I was waiting to hear that his penis was exposed and that is why she knows he couldn’t gain a full erection. I couldn’t escape the feeling that she was wanting him to fill in those blanks or at least leave them open for her attorney to fill in. My take was that he was guilty of sexual impropriety but attempted rape? I am withholding judgement on that account.

    One could also not deny the consistent echoes of her desires to have an apology…nothing more. But, he needs a good criminal attorney. Then, again all she needs is a true apology….nothing else. But, she needs compensation. Then, she needs an apology….nothing more. But, she insists in order to be forgiven, he needs to give a full confession supporting her account of the events. Then, all she needs is an apology….nothing more. But, she leaves with a threat of criminal and monetary retribution. This isn’t taking sides. I think it’s a fair assessment. God bless them. I don’t have any answers and I hope everyone who reads this comment knows that I have no agenda. Only a desire to share information as I understood it.

    Finally, I would like to say that when a church excommunicates 19-year-old kids for having sex outside of marriage or for masturbating in their bathtub, they don’t deserve a free pass just because someone higher up in the church is more noticeable and may harm their reputation.

  9. News reports are saying that the victim did not want this leaked.

    Before you continue to use her as a weapon in your campaign to end confession, especially when she didn’t want it leaked, and clearly it’s important to her that he make a full detailed confession of sexual transgression to his priesthood leadership. This is the opposite of what you are using her story for.

    Please continue to advocate as you see fit, but don’t use this victim without her explicit permission.

    Extremely disingenuous of Ryan if he didn’t tell you that he got it from someone disgruntled at the Church’s inaction/cover-up in the COB (presumably) instead of the victim.

    Disappointed, John. Please respect her wishes.

    1. I completely agree.
      And the statement just released by MormonLeaks confirms that the victim was not consulted regarding the release. Unfortunately she is now being victimized again by not even being given the opportunity to object to the release.

      1. If I put this in perspective, MormonLeaks has a part in the trauma she is continues to face. I think ML may face some fallout from the releasing of the recording. What if she planned on turning this into her story? Working with an author or perhaps a filmmaker? You have turned it into the ML story.

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  10. And the truth shall set them free!! I feel bad for this woman as the church is way more powerful than she is and they will throw her under the bus without thinking twice. She will be made out to be a complete lunatic and crazy lier. When all is said and done, Mr Bishop will go on his merry way. Other women will be afraid to come forward and this woman will have made a fool of herself. Truth or not, she’s toast. That’s how the church empire rolls. Sad but true.

    1. Laura,

      I see your point but…Really? Out of all the comments, your comment makes me so sad. Your reaction is EXACTLY what we are fighting to stop! If The Church believes it can bully people, it will never be forced to stop. We need people to stand up and say “NO MORE”. The Church might be strong but if people stand together and unite against this sexual misconduct by THEIR leaders, the Church cannot sweep it under the rug. It’s like saying that nobody wants to fight the bully on the playground because they will get beaten up. Is it better to let the bullying continue because nobody is brave enough to stand up and stop it from happening?
      This Church is powerful but their power comes from their members. If their members stand up and UNITE against this kind of behavior, they may take notice and actually deal with this kind of sexual misconduct. I’m sure we will see many more sisters come forward from this.

  11. It is interesting to see how some comments pivot from the real issues:
    1. This sexual predator (like many criminals) had a pattern of repeat behavior.
    2. Those who should have protected the organization’s members from this sexual predator repeatedly failed.
    3. The problem is systemic. Sexual predators and criminals thrive in an environment where there is widespread secrecy and a general suppression of negative information, which is exactly what this criminal enjoyed in this situation.
    4. Sexual predators and criminals are often “deeply sorry” when they are caught or confronted. This predator is no different.
    5. This sexual predator has left a trail of deep emotional destruction for his victims. He deserves prison, as do those who aided and abetted him.
    6. This victim – and all of this criminal’s victims – deserve deep sympathy, empathy, and complete support.
    7. The Internet is a game changer. Organizations that once thrived in suppression and secrecy now have a serious problem – and that is good news for society.
    8. Thank you, Ryan McKnight and John Dehlin. This sexual predator – like all criminals, cockroaches, and con artists – hate light and information, so the more the better.
    9. Shame on those who perpetuate the “whistle-blower’s syndrome” or “shoot the messenger” comments.
    10. There is a deep divide between authority and leadership. Authority is a mere position. Authentic leaders would have shut this sexual predator down many years ago.

  12. I wonder if Joseph Bishop received his 2nd anointing which in turn gives the church reason to ignore the sexual abuse stuff.

    1. This is an excellent comment and I take it seriously.

      If you look at the nature of the Second Anointing, and the specific blessings provided by this ordinance, wouldn’t disciplinary action for any transgression be unnecessary if, in fact, Bishop has received it?

  13. Dwayne-

    Either you are part of the solution or part of the problem. Your comment is part of the problem.

    You have shown no compassion for the victims of sexual abuse, indeed you do not even mention her.

    Instead, you have used an old tactic to “blame the messenger.” Accordingly, you have perpetuated a climate where sexual predators can thrive, while people like you try to change the topic. Nice try – but people are getting smarter and are now seeing right through it.

  14. Very sad to learn that the victim did not agree to the release of the recording. I am disgusted and sad and furious about what happened to her. The response by the church was pathetic. BUT her recording should not have been discussed or released without her permission!

  15. Will MormonStories be issuing any type of apology to the victim since we now know this recording was leaked against her wishes? This leak and subsequent interview/podcast essentially make John and Ryan complicit in victimizing her again.

    Please read Katie L.’s post at fMh – “A Response to the MormonLeaks Statement Regarding the Release of the Bishop Audio Recording” if you don’t think that this woman wasn’t used by these men to advance their agenda against the church, even if they choose to couch it under the mission of increased transparency.

    1. This is a classic tactic to pivot off topic:

      1. Don’t mention the sexual predator at all.
      2. Ask about an apology from Mormon Stories (Mormon Stories did not leak the tape, either someone in the church or close to the victim leaked it. Nevertheless, this point makes no sense as it was MormonLeaks who first made the tape public.)
      3. Shoot the messenger.
      4. Attempt to reframe the issue and blame the perceived “agenda against the church.” (Mormon Stories simply reported an obviously newsworthy story, which was also reported by Deseret News and is now sweeping the world)

      I’m not going to let you get away with this. These men did not use the victim, MTC President Joseph L. Bishop did, specifically to advance his agenda as a sexual predator.
      Furthermore, your shaming tactics are part of the culture that facilitated a 30+ year cover-up.

    1. After reading both the initial response from the LDS Church and the recent update to response; it seems to me it’s pretty damning that, in the same year, two women reported that the president of the MTC in 1984 had perpetrated sexual misconduct of one or more kinds; yet the ecclesiastical leaders were either unable to discern “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” or were unwilling to take action. Either way, no es bueno.

  16. When she came out of that room in the MTC with her life completely changed from that point on who could she have told? Who would have believed her? The answer is no one. Not even me if she told me at the time. I was in the MTC during President Bishop tenure as the MTC president. I would not have believed her and would have thought she had issues. Just like everyone else would have. She would have been speaking ill of the Lord’s anointed. In her life he was the Lord’s anointed. See how we are conditioned to accept abuse? This man was the most powerful man in her life at that moment. The man she looked up to more than anyone else at that moment. He had the power to send her home. He had the power to make her life absolutely miserable which he did. When she did tell someone years later what happened? It was swept under the rug. This is why victims stay silent, you are seeing it first hand.

    Why does she need money? Because therapy is not cheap. In this culture she is a pariah for even suggesting that the MTC president would do this. She is one tough lady. She has more courage than all of us combined. There are other victims. Most likely sister missionaries in the same situation. Nothing will change until it cost the church lots of money and bad media. Exposure to sunlight. Background checks of all leaders should be mandatory. No one-on-one interviews ever. No interviews of any youth under the age of 18 by a male Authority figure or female authority figure ever.

    Teach your children that they are agents unto themselves. They do not have to answer to any mortal about their moral worthiness. They do not have to submit to anything that causes them uncomfortable feelings. The members of the church could change this in less than a day if they all refused to be subjected to inappropriate behavior. Inappropriate questions. If every member told their leader that what they were doing was inappropriate it would change in an instant. If they were threatened with having their temple recommend revoked or release from their calling if they refused to answer these inappropriate questions then they should stand up in testimony meeting and make it public. Shine the Light of Day. It would stop. All it takes is numbers.

    Parents don’t teach your children to be victims. Make them strong agents unto themselves. Give them the power to protect themselves. Teach them that they have the power to say no to anyone. And to say it loud and again and again if needed.

  17. Stealing private recordings from rape victims is unethical. Do the right thing. Redact this episode until you have the victim’s consent to air her story. Or until Ryan McKnight offers a good explanation for why her consent shouldn’t matter.

    1. Agree ! “Stealing private recordings from rape victims is unethical. Do the right thing. Redact this episode until you have the victim’s consent to air her story. Or until Ryan McKnight offers a good explanation for why her consent shouldn’t matter.”

  18. I’m with Robert, above. Those are the key take-aways from this sad story. So sorry for this lady and the others apparently out there.

  19. The woman has a serious grievance but this podcast is worrisome as a potentially damaging black eye for Mormon Stories, John Dehlin, MormonLeaks and Ryan McNight. And for the woman, herself. Which is all very sad for Mormon Stories, which is otherwise superb and almost always spot-on, excellent and important.

    What happened here and a possible failure of patience and caution? And sensitivity, prudence and judgment? Even after due diligence confirmed important basics and sources? Why the rush? Were McNight and Dehlin setup and trolled, and did they bite?

    Was this story going to break anyway, and give opportunity for a more thoughtful and informed and measured response?

    There now seem to be a number of red-flags and possible pitfalls that would argue caution against doing it this way, at this time. And with such an apparent rush. Is this purely hindsight?

    I’m no fan of the Mormon church and its leaders and power, nor any attempt of theirs to cover, or silence or buy silence.

    Whether in the Mormon church or anyplace else, sexual abuse and exploitation is abhorrent and damaging, and this woman seems clearly to have a heavy and justified grievance, and a right to redress. But has that process and her rightful hope and expectation now been compromised?

    Hoping for vindication, and hoping Dehlin and McNight haven’t permanently damaged themselves.

    Hoping even more for proper validation and justice for the woman. And for proper accountability and responsibility by the Mormon church.

    (March for the children!… and kudos to Sam and Mormon Stories!)

    1. It is reasonable that many were concerned about this victims story being discussed and broadcast without her consent. I am so happy to hear she is okay with it. What if she hadn’t been? The process still appears wrong and dangerous to me. What about interviewing a man who tells his brothers story of being a victim and then brother announces during the live fb episode that his brother doesn’t know he is doing so. Also, not okay. Not thinking about victims.

  20. The one “elephant” standing in the room with this story that someone needs to mention is DON”T BECOME A VICTIM!!! These women could have slapped the living *hit out of him and RUN. I was a missionary at the training center during this time and if he tried to do anything to me, he would be the only “victim” of anything. I would hope parents are teaching children what to do if they are approached by a predator. Self defense courses are a wonderful thing for everyone to participate in.

    As far as the way the Church handles these kinds of situations, they are going to learn the lesson that many other organizations have learned the hard way — The CRIME is in the COVER-UP. I hope members of the Church will gain the strength to fix some of these problems themselves and not wait for the “brethren” to do something. It is time that we govern this church by “common consent”.

    1. Good points. “When the people lead, the “leaders” will follow.”

      Furthermore, I am simply astounded that Joseph L. Bishop is still a member in good standing … this speaks volumes.

  21. They say that “He that represents himself, hath a fool for a client.” The same can be said for attorney Greg Bishop, who now represents his father – an admitted abuser.

    Greg Bishop’s emotions run so high (somewhat understandably) for his father, that he has lost all objectivity and thus has lost all credibility.

  22. This was extremely painful to listen to. Two damaged people attempting to make sense of something senseless.
    It was tragic how he seemed to be almost trying to somehow rectify his wrong doings. Of course he never can put things right. It is damning and devastating.
    This poor lady who is so damaged that she cannot bring herself to form another relationship with a man (although she accepts that her troubled marriage played a significant part).
    Listening was more terrifying than any horror movie. Especially sinister were the people in the background, who were, presumably out of the room, laughing and joking, going about normal business, not knowing of the pivotal life changing moment that these two tragic people were going through.
    Most horrible, is the fact that this church could’ve put safeguards in place whereby this lady could’ve been protected from this predator. But they didn’t. Consequently, two families are destroyed.

  23. I thought the survivor who got this information on tape was nothing short of heroic. I can’t imagine facing down an attacker the way she did. I’m so grateful that she didn’t give up on seeking justice. She struck me as reliable: intelligent, empathic, self-reflective, honest, and strong. She eloquently expressed the consequences of ecclesiastical sexual abuse for its victims. And she miraculously showed (and helped me to feel) compassion for her deeply troubled and self-deluded abuser. I wish I knew who she was so that I could let her know how much I admire her and how deeply I was moved by this very difficult conversation.

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