He was distracted….I couldn’t get his attention as he looked over my shoulder at something that had caught his eye. ‘What are you doing?’ I said. ’Spotting’ he said. ’Spotting what?’ I said. ’Potential paedophiles’ he said.
This was a conversation I had with a church member who was designated to report suspicious activity in my local church. In particular he was part of a weekly roster system that secretly mingled with church members during Sabbath mornings and social activities looking for men who may be behaving inappropriately with children. Even with the introduction of the compulsory government Working With Children Check (WWCC), this hyper activity is still going on in our churches.
This year (2017) will mark a negative change for the worse in the Adventist church in Australia. Adsafe (formerly Safe Place Services), will now be a centralised reporting hotline at Division level with a large number of office staff. Adsafe is designed to speed up the process and send a resounding “gong” throughout the church in Australia that men are not welcome in our church unless cuckold to feminism.
Like the girl who always ran to the headmasters office when boys did something naughty in the playground, Adsafe has set itself up to encourage snitching, bypassing scriptural and church manual instruction on how to deal with offenders. And as we shall see, you don’t have to be an offender to come under the scrutiny from Adsafe. Suspicion is now deemed a legitimate reason to report a person. I would like therefore to expose this dangerous new development for men in the church, but first let’s look at the worldly roots of this contraption designed to further alienate men from the church.
The new focus on child sexual abuse grew particularly out of the feminist women’s rights movement and its advocacy for adult victims of rape and other sexual and physical assaults. Feminist groups contradicted popular understandings of child sexual abuse as infrequent acts and said that it was indicative of patriarchal attitudes towards women and children and the unequal distribution of power. Women’s rights advocates established a number of sexual assault and domestic violence services in Australia targeting women and children. Although these services were initially volunteer-run, by the late 1980s they had become increasingly professional and subsidised by the government.
Mandatory reporting of offenses towards children in Australia has evolved since South Australia introduced it in 1969. Mandatory reporting is where any person who believes on reasonable grounds that a child is suffering maltreatment (defined as physical, emotional and sexual abuse), to report it to the authorities. Since then, mandatory reporting has been introduced to all states in Australia with the Commonwealth coming on board nationalising the requirements under the 1995 Family Law Reform Act. But it was not until the new millennium (2005) that the Commonwealth introduced its own laws that legislated criminal acts relating to sexual and other types of abuse of children.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, a spate of allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia surfaced in a number of religious institutions including the Seventh Day-Adventist church. Some of these allegations led to convictions going as far back as the 1950s with others more recent. Commissions began to be conducted by states and Territories as far back as 1985 but in 2013 the most extensive and far-reaching inquiry in Australia’s history into institutional child abuse was orchestrated. Governor-General Quentin Bryce appointed six commissioners who were directed to inquire into institutional responses to allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse and related matters.
Going Into Overdrive
As the Adventist church began to adopt government recommendations spurred on by an already effeminate environment, leaders introduced the 1997 Child Sex Abuse document. In Australia we followed government law by making it mandatory for all church volunteers and staff who worked with children to carry a WWCC card.
Into this environment came a few high profile criminal convictions against Adventist men in Australia causing the church to knee jerk and go into over-drive. In early 2000 the Adventist Support office was established, a forerunner of Safe Place Services (SPS). Subsequent booklets casting men as dangerous and the main perpetrators came out of the SPS office. Recommendations and positions were feverishly taken up by conferences into which the “spotter” culture was born.
Unfortunately the dye has now been cast. The excitement around defending women and children has reached fever pitch and has brought white knights out in force. Letters congratulating the Australian government for its witch-hunt on white male perpetrators came flying off the desks of the church beta brigade. Following the world and over-reaching, the church hamstrung itself by creating harem-like conditions where alpha males are driven out weakening church growth and overall health. While we should renounce sexual abuse of any kind, the church I feel has gone beyond this, following popular feminist man-hate-culture, emasculating our churches.
Men Being Punished
SPS documentation introduced to the churches is now having an adverse effect on its male population. One conference branch we are told receives around 30 complaints a week but where are the corresponding convictions? The hotline to Adsafe will only exacerbate our current male exodus as Adventists will be able to fully indulge their favourite pastime - snitching without consequences. If there are no corresponding convictions with the amount of calls received, then all we have is a hotline of accusation and suspicion.
This is highlighted by the data available from SPS covering 2000 to 2011. There were 72 accusations in total from SPS reported to police but around 2/3rd’s of the reports were dropped or not acted on by police. Only 25 charges were laid out of 72 accusations - that’s charges not convictions! Out of those 25 charges only 68% ended in convictions.
If one conference is receiving over 30 calls a week, then what are the numbers of calls to Australian Adventist conferences annually? The math is frightening. How many false accusations and incriminations occur against males whose characters are brought into question through the ease of this system of misandry? Everyone knows the nature of accusation, even when the person is innocent, can negatively affect their emotional well-being. Just one easy click on the SPS website can destroy a person’s life.
A couple of examples reported to Mashup give an indication of the calibre of the vengeful nature SPS has on offer. A recent anonymous article by a concerned father who’s’ son was the victim of a SPS bungle is a case in point. Overzealous feminist spotters (more often men), eager to be Adsafe heroes, look for suspicious behaviour to boost their “white knight” status. The consequences of this “dobbing” culture can be destructive to the spiritual and mental health of innocent victims of feminist man-hating. The boy in question was put through a process that didn’t need to happen and was made to feel like a perpetrator of a crime. There was no inappropriate tickling, touching or sitting on knees - just two kids talking - a 10 year old girl and a visiting teenage boy. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
A teenage male being dragged through a punitive process, questioning his sexual intentions, might as well be a guilty verdict that can scar and shame him for the rest of his church life (if there is one). Where is the redemptive process to make this kid feel he is valued and not in trouble? Too late! He has already had to attend the conference office with his father over the confusing incident. Did SPS just create a paedophile? If the convictions don’t correspond in some way to the massive amount of calls then how much damage is being done to members whose only crime is being a male (or being masculine)?
Another devastating story is from Bob (not real name) who has agreed to share how SPS and the church female leadership were culpable in his separation and ongoing access to his daughters. Bob is reluctant to publicly shame the church but when you read what happened to this man then you will agree that it’s a story that needs to be told.
Bob was basically threatened by SPS and a female pastor not to attend his home church to see his daughters anymore. The church became too involved in Bob’s marriage separation and withheld the whereabouts of his kidnapped daughters. He has not seen them in over 10 years and was threatened not to go near his home church by SPS. Part of Bob’s story goes like this:
I heard on the “grapevine” from a friend that my daughter was being baptised and decided to go and give her some support or at least say hello. I arrived at the church feeling excited to see some old friends to chat to; we were chatting away when this woman I knew who was friendly with my sister in law and former wife immediately attacked me with “don’t you dare spoil your daughter’s day”…..
After the service was over those who were baptised went with the minister to the door to greet the people, I was heading that way when I was ambushed by my sister in law and taken outside by another door, once outside she verbally attacked me about not paying Child Support for the kids. I was, but the agency collecting the money had no new bank account and were holding the money – there was some $2000 dollars being held in escrow. After this altercation, I came back to see my daughter but she had gone . . . .
Early in 2014 I received a phone call from this woman who identified herself from Safe Place Services at the Victorian Conference. She asked if I could go to Ararat to meet up with her the following Sabbath which I did. This woman confronted me with a subject which she said was “historical” about a person in Bendigo Church complaining to her that they felt uncomfortable with me attending there. I was asked not to attend there again if I did I would be removed.
She had the new female minister with her at the time. I was told that I would receive pastoral counselling if I wanted it. I was not given any information, but I did ask if I could approach the complainant as is outlined in Matthew 18 to give a biblical apology or sort out the problem. Going to the Bendigo Church was not my intention to insult or hurt anyone, it was to make contact with my kids. The Safe Place Services lady was not interested in that. I have no court order against me of any kind. If they heard anything at all it was gossip and I was never asked or told anything about this. I received no visit from anyone involved at Bendigo to inform me of the issue and nobody came for any spiritual support – Bob’s story.
We have many other stories coming in since we have exposed SPS through Mashup. There is a pattern developing with SPS, which is another artificially inseminated program aimed at men. This poisonous system is set to divide and hurt the church. All you need is a young male to form a friendship with a small girl…….then you ring the Adsafe hotline straight away for all your emotional fears and needs to be met. Don’t bother approaching the kid yourself, you don’t have to (tee hee) - you can safely and anonymously ruin someone’s life without any blowback on your reputation in the church.
In fact, if Adsafe wishes for us to take their charter seriously – that they are a reporting agency for ALL kinds of abuse - then sexual crimes against children make up only 12% of the overall national data. The overwhelming abuse of children in family settings is emotional and physical abuse perpetrated mainly by mothers not fathers.
Mothers More Dangerous
The rate at which children are abused or killed at the hands of their parents isn't slanted the way the media would have us think. The data on distribution of parents who killed their children by gender in Australia found mothers pose more lethal risk. America is probably similar. Mothers account for about 35% of all filicides, while biological fathers are 29%. The Western Australian figures shed light on who is likely to abuse children in families and are in line with overseas findings. The data shows there were 1505 substantiations of child abuse in WA during the period 2007-8. Natural parents were responsible for 37% of total cases. Of these, mothers are identified as the perpetrator of neglect and abuse in a total of 73% of verified cases.*
The church, in its blind pursuit upholding women as paragons of virtue, while breeding out masculinity in our boys sets up a dangerous precedent. By focusing on sexual abuse alone, we fail to recognise that the larger portion of abuse committed towards children heavily involves females, particularly mothers. Adsafe/SPS marketing media shows a heavy bias towards women being the safer gender when it comes to overall data on child abuse – this misconstruction is to be challenged.
Cost Of Such Nonsense
Estimations are that the new Adsafe department with all of its expenditure and wages will cost the tithe payer around a million a year to run. With the Unions and conferences coming on board, costs of travel, meetings, summits, office and other expenses - not to mention lawyers - could easily blow out to 2 million annually........are we insane?
The government has already provided adequate provision for the protection of children with the WWCC and criminal history checks for anyone working with juveniles. We don’t know of any other organisation that has gone this over the top like the Adventist church in Australia. The WWCC's are sufficient to rule out offenders and awareness created by the local church is plenty. What a complete waste of tithe when the church in Australia is having a growth crisis. Children are safer now than ever before in the church……why are we ramping up the process creating more bureaucracy? Targeting males with this insidious program will only further feminise the church driving alpha men out (who are least likely to sexually abuse children), and allowing dangerous effeminate types to slip under the radar.
Focusing On The Wrong Guys
Our own church history has shown that men who sexually abuse children are not masculine types but usually effeminate “nice men.” Obedient well-dressed compliant lady’s men who slip through the undergarments of church radar while nobody is looking are to be watched more than their macho rivals. The church in this regard is inadvertently causing its own demise. Apart from the well-known fact that the church is feminised and creating an environment that fosters the effeminate, we are now in danger of reproducing emotionally castrated boys.
Effeminate men are more likely to commit crimes against children than heterosexual men and amazingly Adsafes own data shows Clergy and elders committing the majority of the crimes against kids in our system. Clergy have among the lowest levels of testosterone in the world and this may be a significant factor as environment can directly affect testosterone levels. Is it not surprising that the main “kiddy fiddlers” at the top of the infant food chain in our churches are men who are respected, loved and compliant in an estrogen-laden culture?
Couple all this with the fact that women trust effeminate men more than heterosexual men and you have a recipe for disaster. Adsafe and its anti-masculine overtones takes the focus off womanish males and onto normal men who are the least likely to harm children. Let’s not hold our breath but don’t be surprised if down the track we see WWCC certified “tender” males committing crimes that Adsafe seeks to stamp out. As if we are not already raising too many pansies.
Breeding beta males is taking away the very element that will safeguard our children from unwanted sexual advances. The church has over-reacted and is following the dictates of macho-hating feminism by setting up a system which will see more boys isolated in the church for just being male.
When Does Matthew 18 Not Apply? …..When It's Adsafe
Matthew 18 is a biblical redemptive system where everyone gets the benefit of the doubt before it escalates to the authorities and the damage is done. We already have examples where SPS has caused immense damage by usurping the biblical blueprint in an environment of man-suspicion. Adsafe in 2017 will enjoy a privilege that no other Adventist institution has ever had when it skirts the biblical mandate under the guise that it has to report suspicions. Adsafe does not have to do this because it’s not mandatory for clergy and church organisations to report suspicions except in SA. Even then, Matt. 18 can still be used as part of the process instructed by Jesus.
What happened to the Christian idea that we obey government law until it violates a biblical principle? We don’t have to blindly do as the government says on all things. Many denominations do not completely comply with government recommendations, drawing a distinct line between theological implications and what the law says. Surely as Adventists with our understanding of the apocalypse, we need to tread very carefully here lest we are found violating human rights. Ellen White warns:
May the Lord open the eyes and soften the hearts of those who have a harsh, unforgiving, unrelenting spirit toward those whom they think in error. Such men [women] dishonor their office and dishonor God. They grieve the hearts of his children, and compel them to cry unto God in their distress. The Lord will surely hear their cry, and will judge for these things.—R&H, May 14, 1895.
The church in its desperate attempt to appear “safe” is not following the charter of the early church. The NT church was a dangerous place to be but now we have padding on all the walls and corner bumpers on all the furniture. Is it any wonder our boys are leaving in droves and men won’t step within a mile of the place?
If the church becomes a woman’s rights-only space, real men will vacate, and those left will be pale- faced reflections of the biblical heroes of Christian past. The emasculating culture of colouring-in books, soft Sabbath toys and cuddly images of Jesus goes hand in hand with the devastating losses of our young male population. You don’t join the army and get told it’s a “safe place” and that you need to try hard not to upset anyone.
The church is an army; we need to stop this nonsense and make it robust again as it was in New Testament times. Adsafe wants a warm and cuddly church, where male sooky types do the bidding of feminism, but bold lionhearted men will look elsewhere to serve the truth they love if nothing changes. We need these real men to protect our women and children from abuse.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor EFFEMINATE, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (1 Corinthians 6:9).
If you have any information about Adsafe and its unbiblical practices or stories about men being unjustly punished by the feminised system of the church then we would like to hear from you. You and those involved can remain anonymous.
* Special thanks goes to Reuben Cortez for his support and research in this area.
Danny Bell writes from Tasmania, Australia.