If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Friday, March 9, 2012

Red Flags In Hindsight

I have to remind myself regularly everything is easier to see in hindsight. I understand that a good pedophile goes undetected because they groom the entire family and are usually patient. Knowing that doesn't ease the pain or the guilt I feel. I was sensitive to this issue and even I was fooled. THAT IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO GET.

With that said, it would seem we are all so vulnerable. Our children especially.

The church we were attending was almost exclusively all homeschooling families. It promoted the inter-generational interaction which homeschooling promotes, so the fact that Patrick interacted well with children made perfect sense. The fact that being a mentor and an example is expected of the young adults, so the tutoring and interaction with our one child seemed ideal. Patrick came from a family that did things as a whole family as much as possible. That is also how the church liked to plan most church gatherings.

The fact that Patrick was at our home regularly during this time period made sense as well. We had moved. We were overwhelmed with a newborn, 5 other children, and all that needed to be done in this new home which needed a lot of attention. Our church promoted (as all should) knowing the needs and helping those in need in the congregation. Patrick had time and was happy to help. He called regularly. He helped Eric set up our computer (Patrick is a whiz on the computer.) During this time, Patrick learned our password to our computer by watching Eric over his shoulder (unbeknownst to us.) He would bring us kindling because we were heating strictly with a wood stove. He was tutoring one of our children. He was leaving seemingly innocent notes to another child that said things like, "Smile Jesus Loves You." He was either bringing candy to all the children or sometimes only to one of them. At Christmas time, Patrick knew our family was financially struggling, so he hid presents under our tree for all the children. He rallied his family to gift us money to buy a Christmas tree.

Can you see how the Christian community and values are a playground for a pedophile? If this type of behavior was from a non-Christian, I like to believe I would have been suspicious. Instead, I saw the behavior as selfless, which our church strongly believed was central to living out the gospel of Christ.

Another thing to look for is if an adult prefers to be around children over adults in gatherings  or doesn't have peer relationships with the opposite sex. The problem with the ladder one in our case was the belief that "worldly dating" was wrong. Young adults in the Rojas family in particular were not allowed to casually date. They followed a "courtship" like belief. All aspects of their lives were very controlled by Eddie all in the name of biblical living.

Where Patrick doesn't fit the stereo-typical profile of a pedophile is that Patrick stated in his evaluation that he himself was not molested. It is more common for boys who are molested as children to grow up and have pedophilia behavior, if left untreated and monitored. This leaves me to wonder if the behavior was learned. Or was Patrick just born evil?

*Patrick's Profile" Post.

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