Just this week news broke of five men who were arrested for creating a pedophile ring with a young boy, now 14, who was repeatedly raped by them while they dressed up in animal costumes. Here is a blurb from the article:
Beginning in 2009, Parker would transport the boy to a house, where, as the victim described, men donned full-body animal costumes. The boy, now 14, noted that Fenske’s fox costume consisted of “full long sleeves and pants, a zipper in the back, paw gloves, and a fox head with pointy ears,” the Associated Press reported. Fenske told others to call him by the name “Lupine” while he was in the fox suit. The child, meanwhile, was made to dress in a Tony the Tiger outfit.
The costumes were fitting for these animals. This boy was raped by them from the time he was 2 or 3. I don’t even want to imagine what hellish nightmares this boy will have for the rest of his life. The more we consult with churches who have child rapists in their pews, the more we are fully convinced that the level of depravity is so deeply rooted that they will never change. Ever. There is a point of certain sexual deviance where there is no coming back. And make no mistake–this plunge into wickedness does not happen accidentally. When you read reports like this one about the pedophile ring, you realize how calculated the plans were to traffic this boy across state lines, set up these “parties,” invite other pedophiles, order the costumes, order a costume for the boy, come up with aliases for the men in costumes, come up with the “games” they would force this child to participate in, and pass the terrified boy around like he was a piece of meat. Keep in mind that it takes a tremendous amount of collaboration and planning to cover this crime up and keep it quiet for as long as they did.
Here’s the catch that we really want you to get–every child rapist we have encountered in churches is just as deviant and committed to their cause as the men in this story. Sure, they may not wear animal costumes, but the amount of creativity and persistence they exercise is right in line with these animals. We hear it all. Lego “parties,” body painting, eating cool whip off the child’s body, drugging kids with alcohol, whipping “games,” locking kids in dog cages with leashes, forcing siblings to perform sex acts on one another, and on it goes. There literally is nothing surprising about this news story. The reason it catches the public’s attention, though, is because (1) there were several abusers and (2) they were wearing costumes. But mark my words, the level of depravity is really no worse than the average pedophile we routinely deal with. And here’s another catch–the vast majority of the abusers in the churches we consult with are either pastors, youth pastors, elders, deacons, or Sunday School teachers.
I will be writing a series of blog posts on how we can identify abusers in our homes and churches, but before I launch that series, I really want our readers to realize how routine stories like this really are. And, more importantly, we want people to realize that pedophiles never abuse children by accident. We cannot compare pedophilia to an addiction. People who are addicted to substances will all say something similar–I kept taking the substance until the urge took over and I felt like I was being controlled by the substance. The reality is, all substances create physical dependency. Ask any addict who has stopped about withdrawal. Now pedophiles will use the same language to garner sympathy, but don’t fall for it. Fist, the children are not brain-altering substances. They are children. They are innocent. They have souls. And, they are terrified. Alcohol doesn’t sob and beg for mercy. It doesn’t quake with fear when the lips approach the bottle. But children do quake with fear. And the tears don’t stop these animals from raping children over and over and over again. Furthermore, pedophilia is not like addiction because each time a child is molested a real victim is produced. It is not a victimless crime. And finally, Dr. Gene Abel estimates that a child molester has less than a 3% chance of getting caught for each actual instance of hands-on abuse. What does this tell us? Either pedophiles are the luckiest people on the planet or they are incredibly skilled at covering their tacks. Trust me when I say that they rarely make mistakes. Abuse is not accidental, else abusers would get caught at at much higher rate.
I end with some words of the apostle Peter who dropped some truth on a group of false teachers who were sexually exploiting groups of new female converts: “Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones. . . But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!” (2 Peter 2:10-14). If you read the text, Peter is just getting warmed up. And here’s the catch–he’s not even talking about child rapists. These strong words are for guys who take sexual advantage of “unsteady souls.”