It’s been a long time since I’ve written. A lot has happened in 7 months. My wife and I had our 3rd child in May and nine days after his birth my oldest brother died very unexpectedly. Two days later I preached for my church then we packed our family in the car, 11 day old baby in tow, and made our 12 hour drive down south. The next day I preached my brother’s funeral. The past 6 months or so have been a complete grief-induced blur. Our family has been rocked on so many levels, but we lean on God and we’ll prevail! Church Protect is growing stronger each day, and we are blessed by the partnerships that are forming nation-wide.
There has been a lot going on in the news lately, and it’s been interesting to quietly watch people’s reactions. From Bill Cosby’s 50 accusers, to Jared Fogle’s 14 known child victims, and the double whammy in the case of Joshua Duggar, many people are starting to get the picture that abusers can be anyone. None of these men are bumbling buffoons. To the contrary, they are highly charismatic, intelligent, and socially skilled productive members of society. But they each carry very dark secrets and all are highly skilled at deception. And many people wonder how they can produce so many victims for so long without getting caught.
“Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds“ (2 Cor. 11:14-15 ESV)
As I travel to and interact with churches, I see just how strong the influence of denial is. Almost always, suspicions of abuse are explained away. In fact, quite often, children are being abused directly in front of adults. I hear it too often, “If abuse was going on here, I’d be the first to know about it. . . ” Or, “We’ve had abuse training so we know what to look for.” Take it from someone who has firsthand experience living with an abuser–those statements assume way too much. I could write volumes on the complexity of this subject. Instead, I choose to demonstrate just how easy it is for all of these abusers to do what they want, when they want, and to whom they want, all without your catching on to them:
Here’s the catch, and it’s an important catch–once you know how the “magic” works, it becomes nearly impossible for someone to fool you anymore. This, in essence, is the technique we at Church Protect have developed. It’s what sets our training apart from any other training that’s out there. If you want don’t want to be fooled by Apollo Robbins, you have to know how to pickpocket successfully. Now you don’t have to be able to pickpocket yourself, you just have to know every last intricate detail of how pickpockets operate. You must be able to see the world as they see it, to see people in the audience from their perspective. The same rule applies for pedophiles. Every training on child abuse I’ve seen to date lists “red flag” behaviors for sex offenders. Heck, I used to teach it. Let me demonstrate how I now know that this method is grossly ineffective. Suppose I told you, prior to watching the above video, that master pickpockets exhibit the following “red flag” behaviors:
Are friendly but manipulative
Will likely walk among an audience and target one individual
Use misdirection to distract their victim
Touch their victim often as a method of distraction
Ask a lot of questions
Be honest, would you have still been fooled by his routine? How many of you, even after watching the video several times, were able to identify when and how he ditched the tie and vest and switched shirts? It’s not until you know how he did it that you are able to identify when he did it. And once you learn these techniques, your observational skills become keen and crisp. Our training spoils the magic for pedophiles who regularly gain access to children by teaching people how to spot their techniques, not simply their behaviors. We essentially show people how the magic is performed. This is done through a very powerful assessment tool that lets our audience get behind the eyes of a pedophile. More will be published on this in the future, but we just wanted to introduce the concept of what we believe will revolutionize abuse prevention in the home and the church!
And as an aside, we are selling shirts for a limited time as a fundraiser. It has our theme verse, “Love always protects,” as well as our name and cool logo. Every dollar is going to produce powerful resources to help keep children safe from abuse. If you’re interested, you can order a shirt right here!