Do you think that abuse is the worst thing that can happen to
anyone? "No Way!" say most survivors!!
Collusion is far worse, in most cases, especially when
the perpetrators are members of the clergy. Yet, unless you've lived
through such horrors, chances are this comes as a surprise to you. I
can painfully offer testimony.
It may be difficult to understand why collusion could possibly
be greater in the faith community than in the larger society. Yet it
is. You see, the very tools that should be used for good are, instead,
used to spiritually abuse and oppress those who are already trodden
The site stands as a source of enlightenment, dispelling the
darkness so often cruelly created when victims or advocates dare to
speak truth about sexual and domestic violence to people of faith. It
is unique because it primarily offers insights into collusion, rather
than the primary abuses of perpetrators.
This October, 2007 model is the third edition. Made possible
by my volunteer virtual assistant, Renae. This young mother and student
is not only a survivor of abuse as an adolescent and young adult. She
is a thriver who remains a person of faith and hope. Despite the many
demands of her busy life, she has already invested many hours of devotion
to enhance the site, patiently guiding me through maneuvers that I could
never have undertaken without her! She's done it with tremendous zeal,
and I am forever indebted.
Since it's inception in 1998, the site has served as a beacon,
showing those wounded by this form of secondary abuse that people who
cannot hear and respond wisely to the truth are not really people of
faith at all. Nor are they acting as Christians. They are actually people
of fear and self-protection who are quite dangerous to the faith development
By turning the darkness into knowledge and enlightenment, the
knowledge becomes power to the speaker who has the courage to speak.
Even when the outcome is a poor reception.
For Light comes when we are able to translate what we see into
truths that have been clouded by those who are afraid to see. Only then
can we make wiser choices that can lead us into a fuller and more meaningful
life, no matter what the others decide to do about waking up.
That's when the faith breaks through!
|About the Author
I am, first and foremost a mental health nurse. Nursing was my
career of choice because I felt it would be especially useful
in mission work overseas. It was. Never did I realize, however,
that it would also be useful in a mission work that reaches out
across the globe from this now-common gadget we call a computer!
What a fun and effective way to do ministry!
Like lots of people today, I've had more than one career. In
fact, the horrible, personal experience of encountering collusion
while serving as a missionary in Africa forced me to develop several
professional skills to make this new "mission" of mine
the mission of making a difference,
while reaching out, through various avenues, to people who are
struggling. As you read more, you will see that this was happening long before the website started. In fact, long before this topic became a major passion.
I see the problems of collusion with sexual and domestic violence,
whether in the church or elsewhere, through the spectrum of community
mental health nursing. Not only am I an RN. I also obtained certification
as a generalist in psychiatric nursing from the American Nurses
Association in 1990 and hold a B.S. in Behavioral Science with
Community Mental Health Emphasis from New York Institute of Technology.
Though a published writer since 1970, I was unprepared for the
degree of collusion and fear, even in the publishing industry,
on subjects that create a tremendous amount of cognitive
dissonance. For a long time, I thought that the resistance
to seeing my work in print on this topic was somehow because of
my failure as a writer. In a state of denial about the degree
of denial itself, I failed to realize what a small percentage
of people were able and willing to read something as threatening
as what I now write.
In fact, only in recent years have I been able to comfortably
introduce myself to librarians as a "dissident writer."
Writing about topics that people want to read pays a lot more,
but I've never found it half as rewarding as the work I've put
into my books and the articles on this site.
The greatest hero in my life is the one who insisted in the very
beginning that money in this work cannot be my primary concern.
I'm quite a frugal person, by nature. And I know how to get a
lot done with few monetary resources. Yet, without
my husband Ron
Miller, who often stands in the shadows in this work, I know
that the impact of what I do would have been greatly diminished.
We are blessed with two wonderful adult children, married to
two fine people themselves. The happiest days of our lives are
spent with them and our five beautiful grandchildren.
Writing is an art. Fortunately, for me, I have been blessed with
gifts in another form of art that allows me to financially survive
as I pursue my passion for writing. That gift is music. Back in
1995, when the demands of survivor advocacy stirred my soul to
the degree that I needed to find a more flexible way to make a
living, I exchanged my beloved career in nursing for a part-time
profession that I'd enjoyed periodically for decades. Today being
a fulltime piano teacher occupies the greatest chunk of my professional
time and provides an outlet from the intensely fulfilling, but
often demanding, work of responding to my readers, even as I continue
About the Visitors
Visitors to the site include:
- victims of sexual or domestic violence. Many of the sexual abuse
victims were abused by clergy or church leaders. Some of the perpetrators,
of course, were their fathers, who may have had the dual role of also
being a church leader or pastor. Yet there are many who were abused
by perpetrators in the general population. Almost all visitors have
experienced collusion when they turned to their church communities
to report or to ask for support. The higher the status of the perpetrator
in the church community, the higher the degree of collusion and secondary
injury as leaders attempted to keep the victim and her/his family
Some of the victims experienced the primary abuse as children or adolescents.
Many were young adults or older. The older the victim, the more likely
the victim was to experience collusion and secondary injury.
- MK's (as children of missionaries) abused on foreign mission fields,
either by missionary co-workers. nationals, parents, or by boarding
- advocates--either church leaders or family members, including
pastors who have lost career positions in the process. Some of these clergy
members have experienced a devastation of faith, as strong as any
I've seen in survivors! Some have left the ministry.
- therapists who are struggling with knowing how to counsel people,
especially those of fundamentalist faiths who are wanting very concrete
guidance "based on the Bible."
- "after-pastors"--ministers who have followed a perpetrator,
a ministry which is almost always stormy
- Members of the press, students seeking insight for a thesis, other
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