Subject: Mormon church's response to Tasmania government's mandate for background checks for children's volunteers.
Date: Aug 16, 2007
Author: Punky's Dilemma

Apparently, the church leadership felt that it was too inconvenient and expensive to check backgrounds of volunteers that work with children.

Some choice quotes from the Mormon's legal representative:

"While we respect the observation that there are many child abusers in the public domain who have never been convicted of crime, reasonable objective and measurable rules need to be formed so that the reputation and, in some cases, the livelihoods of innocent people are preserved. The needs of children must be balanced against the needs of innocent volunteers.
While the maxims of our criminal justice systems - that people accused of crime are innocent until proven guilty - is unsatisfying in the child abuse arena, a defined and transparent naturally just standard must be established in the interests of on-going social justice.
Repentance/Annulment of Criminal Records:
We do not know the right answer here, but believe that our society does believe in repentance. Your paper references (p.23) the Annulled Convictions Act 2003. Does the Commissioner accept the conventional stereotype that one can never reform a child abuser?"

And, *how much* is too much for the Mormon church to pay to protect children? Apparently $15,000.

"We are also concerned at the implication in your consultation paper, that volunteer applicants or their sponsoring organization should pay the cost in each case. Since we expect our organization would submit a minimum of 300 applications a year, the Church would incur an additional expense of at least $15,000 in direct compliance costs which would adversely impact its ability to provide for members of society through existing programmes."

"...the cost of such protection for our children can be enormous..."

Of course, Dh and I had to pay half of the cost of our background checks in order to work with children at our church. Dh and I already have passed the exact same check in order to do our jobs. We also had to attend training about abuse reporting and policies to protect children from abuse. Even though we already have even more extensive training related to our jobs. And most churches follow this proceedure these days.

But, apparently the mormon church is disturbed by cost and inconvenient to *members*.

Never mind the dozens of make-work hours requested of members for VT and HT, endless meetings, temple attendence, and various callings and assignments. Never mind that the mormon church demands a minimun 10% of its members income which eventually goes to fund homophobic legislation and billion dollar malls (all the while cutting local budgets, missionary living expenses, funds for custodial staff, etc.).

The mormon church doesn't want to inconvenience itself, or pay a pittance in order to add a much needed layer of protection for it's children. It does not want to meet what most other major volunteer organizations consider to be *minimal* standards for maintaining a program for children.

And I find myself wondering how much they paid that legal representative to avoid doing so.

Makes me sick.

Subject: Also, contrast that to the response by the Anglican Church
Date: Aug 16 16:42
Author: Lothar

Which one sounds more like a "charitable" organization.

Subject: THANK YOU!! The contrasting response aptly illustrates that...
Date: Aug 16 16:53
Author: Punky's Dilemma

The mormon church's attitudes and practices related to protecting children are clearly abberant to other organizations.

The mormon church has a long track record of procedural laziness when it comes to protecting children. The only thing it apparently puts effort into is *avoiding* what most other organizations consider standard or minimal requirements for working with children.

SHAME ON THEM! (intentional shouting as I am angry about this)

Subject: The Mormon Church will never adequately deal with sexual abuse . . .
Date: Aug 16 18:15
Author: robertb

or issues of sexuality until it can honestly discuss polygamy. I was impressed by the nuanced discussion and the sense of partnership and interest the Anglican Church conveys. The Mormons are arrogant idiots about this. I really hope they get nailed publicly some day for how they handle child abuse.

Subject: Lack of concern about sexual abuse of children the morg's achilles heel??
Date: Aug 16 21:08
Author: Deborah

Sexual abuse of children in particular has brought the Catholic church a huge amount of shame, ridicule and legal expense. But it's a huge church that can absorb this and still keep going.

There are already so MANY morg sexual abuse victim/survivors that, if they ever had the opportunity to safely sue the morg ... could they bring the morg to it's knees because of not only the crimes committed against them, but because of the morg's horribly calloused attitude concerning sexual abuse of women and children entrusted to the morg's "care"??

Subject: Do they not read their own schtick? (edited)
Date: Aug 16 18:33
Author: Nightingale

Once you see something in black and white you can tell how jarring it is. That should give them a clue, no? Really, aside from what other organizations are doing, can't they see how bad this sounds and the potential implications for all the innocent kids who could be targets?

The Mormon said:
>"The needs of children must be balanced against the needs of innocent volunteers."

Uh, NO.

The needs of children are the needs of children. Period. "Balanced against" nothing else.

Volunteers in any situation do not have "needs" that are as important or more important than the people they are supposedly helping. (Except safety and any other rational issue).

He is saying that the "need" for children to be kept safe is not, after all, the most important issue. SHEESH.

The Mormon said"
>"...the cost of such protection for our children can be enormous..."

And so your point is?!!

He is saying that protecting children comes secondary to financial considerations. Ohmy.

PD said:
>"The mormon church has a long track record of procedural laziness..."

I like that - procedural laziness.

What is amazing to me is how they can be so completely blind to how off what they say and do can be, especially as compared to the norm elsewhere (not even counting dogma).

I mean, that is just OFF.

It costs extra to install sprinkler systems. It disrupts classrooms to have fire drills. A school police liaison is needed out on patrol. The hospital keeps the pharmacy well stocked. Firefighters show up at work even though the alarms are silent for the moment. Police officers carry their guns even on routine calls.

This all costs money - to plan ahead, to be prepared, to ward off danger, to meet people's needs, to protect the public. Rational and compassionate beings do not seek to save money by compromising safety, education, health or disaster prevention.

The Mormon Church could save money by building a smaller mall - or no mall.

The Mormon Church could save money by not coercing its young adults to "serve" a pointless "mission" away from home.

The Mormon Church could save money by not revamping their damn steeple thingies.


The Mormon Church saves money by "balancing the needs of volunteers" against the safety concerns regarding children.

How seriously disgusting is that?


Lacking in vision.


Potentially criminal.

I'M YELLING TOO PD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Subject: Federal Gov't should step in & penalize organizations who fail to support volunteer checks
Date: Aug 16 21:06
Author: Kate


I work as a volunteer in 3 areas. One with children on the beach, one with primary school children and the other with adults with phone counselling. ALL require police clearance. A simple procedure of filling out a form, showing 100 points of ID & if you're a volunteer, no payment. Even if you aren't a volunteer & need to pay for it yourself, it's only $40.00. Any volunteer organisation that values protection of the vulnerable should have no problem paying up.

Certainly seems worth the money to me!

I've written about this before, but when I was TBM in a country South Australian ward..just near the Victorian border..with a very blue lake..there was a sick bastard who had been molesting boys for years. 2 branch presidents had ignored it, it was finally dealt with after 2 boys in one family decided to take criminal action. Suddenly the Bishop felt inspired to hold disciplinary council. SB, the bastard pedophile was exed BUT told to continue attending church so he could repent properly. Picture it, even the morning he was exed, he sat in sacrament. 5 of the young boys who had been molested were in the congregation crying & the perpetrator is sitting with his blockhead wife at the back. It was horrific. As a ward, we were told to not be judgemental, that this was the time to show christ like love..WTF?? To the pedophile?? Yes! Our bishop wanted him to know that he was always welcome in the church of the lord!

So there he was each week..until legal procedures began & he ended up in jail for 11months. TBM blockhead wife, who KNEW BEFORE she got married to him that he had a "had a little problem with boys" became pregnant within weeks of his release. She had a son. They have since had another child & this guy was re-baptised & they're all a happy eternal family now.

The ONLY thing the church did to protect kids was say SB couldn't hold a calling in Primary or YM's. Excellent! But his wife continued on with her primary & youth callings with activities at their home.

We were told numerous times it was up to us as good standing members to protect SB's name in the community & not disclose information to the local schools where SB would become involved with his own kids.

It absolutely sickened me. Still does!

It's about time the Australian government cracked down on any organisation that doesn't enforce police checks..

Subject: I had a background check, interview, and had to submit references in order to work ("S" swear word )
Date: Aug 16 22:28
Author: Sandie

with children and teens in the RLDS church.

The LDS church needs to get their balls in gear! Gears in a ball?

To dispense with background checks in order to protect the "innocent" at the expense of children? Their statement doesn't even make sense!

Are they concerned that they will uncover an abuser who has a spouse whom doesn't know about it? Children? Neighbors?

Let me guess, one of the 70's kids abused a child and the rest of the membership is now held captive by the shit heads so no one finds out about it?

Are they protecting someone's right to anonymity who has the propensity to commit acts against children?

Why does this just make me want to barf?

Subject: Re: I had a background check, interview, and had to submit references in order to work ("S" swear word )
Date: Aug 16 22:50
Author: bona dea

Why do the innocent need protection? It would be nice if we could trust everyone, especially with kids, but the world isn't that way. What little privacy a teacher, etc. loses by being checked is minimal when compared to the damage done by child abuse.

Subject: Fascinating...
Date: Aug 20 19:02
Author: Dinah

Sandie wrote in her title:

> Re: I had a background check, interview, and had to submit references in order to work ("S" swear word)

This is fascinating, because I had an interview, background check, fingerprint check, drug screening, reference check, and then had to get special government certification in order TO WORK IN A RESTAURANT a few years ago.

So here's my question. What if I hadn't passed the checks and tests required to slap a burger on a bun? Would I have then been able to get a job working with children? Nannies, child care workers, teachers... these people are co-parents of a sort. They help raise your children, help keep them healthy, and they teach them ideas whether or not that's part of the job description.

Plus, unless the child is older and never falls down and scrapes its knee, or gets scared or sad, you'll occasionally be picking up the child, hugging it, kissing its cheek to dry a tear, bandaging a cut or scrape, tucking it in for a nap, holding its hand while crossing the street... It's a physical job, handling kids in any capacity. Surely someone should care just how that manifests.

Subject: It's all about the money
Date: Aug 16 23:04
Author: NumLock

Careful reading of "Thompson's" submission proves that it is ALL about the money which would have to be expended by the Church.

$15,000 to the smallest state in the Australian Federation! Queensland is far better equipped to provide the background checks for free, they are a huge and rich state.

This was from 2005. Does anybody have an update?

Subject: Re: Mormon church's response to Tasmania gov'ts mandate for background checks for children's volunteers.
Date: Aug 17 12:42
Author: Smart-Leo

You would think that they would have learned from the Catholic's experience in that area. Again, it is all about money. The 3rd world members 10% will never meet the needs of the church to build malls and buy land. Especially as the Western membership is dropping and the cost of building is going up.

Subject: Background checks
Date: Aug 17 13:59
Author: looking in

All new hires to the school division I work for are required to have a criminal records check done. I was hired before this went into effect, so had not had one done.

A couple of years ago, my community hosted the Alberta Winter Games, and my school was designated as an "athletes village" - the classrooms were set up as dorms.

I, and many of my colleagues volunteered to work at the school during the games. Even though I am a teacher of long standing, and this was my own work place, I was required to have a background check done - and rightly so, the organizers of the games didn't know me or my past.

It just makes sense, even if only from the standpoint of an organization covering its collective butt. If the LDS church in Tasmania doesn't care enough about the safety of children to require background checks, surely they must care about the potential for future liability?

Subject: "We're Mormons - you know, the family-friendly church." 

Subject: Better that a whole nation of children be abused than to go without a room in God's SLC mall

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

Listing of additional short Topics  |  Main Page