Note: This addendum updates the March 24, 2018 essay The Joseph Bishop Scandal: Renewed Dissembling and Obfuscation at LDS Church Headquarters, elsewhere on this website.
April 4, 2018 UPDATE: New information has now emerged demonstrating that the LDS Church has mishandled this scandal to a greater extent than contemplated even in the above essay. You can read about it here. It’s now known that the outside attorney hired by the Church responded to the existence of the taped conversation with Joseph Bishop by compiling a voluminous dossier against the victim, which not only included criminal charges brought against her, her LDS church discipline history and the occasions when employers fired her, but the name of the illegitimate child whom she gave up for adoption. The lawyer then sent a letter to Greg Bishop, who is Joseph Bishop’s son and attorney, in which all such information was contained. Not surprisingly, the younger Bishop released much of said information to the media in his own letter, in which he urged the media to consider the source of the allegations against his father, but redacted the name of the victim’s female child. However, the daughter’s name was somehow thereafter leaked to the media as well. Said child, who is now a 35-year old adult, was shocked to read her name in the newspaper identified as the victim’s daughter, together with her whereabouts.
Said daughter had not been told about her birth mother because the record of the adoption had been sealed by the LDS Church’s adoption agency when the adoption took place. Through considerable effort on the daughter’s part, she was able to find out on her own who her biological mother was, despite the Church’s sealed agency records. Apparently, what the Church originally sealed in the interest of protecting the privacy of the victim, her daughter and the adoptive parents, it freely divulged to its outside attorney, despite the complete irrelevance of said information to the case. In fact, the victim’s criminal history, whatever it consists of, her church membership history and her job terminations were all completely irrelevant to the matter, since the LDS church had Joseph Bishop’s own admissions on audiotape demonstrating that the allegations against him were true in every way material to church action against him. To compile a dossier against the victim for the purpose of discrediting her, when it knew she was being truthful, was evil, and it was compounded by the initial press release detailed above wherein the church dishonestly pretended not to know who was telling the truth.
Moreover, said Church action, as many have now pointed out, will have a pronounced chilling effect on other victims who might be considering telling their own sexual abuse stories. Recent events seem to indicate a tendency on the part of the Church to say, “Air our dirty laundry and we will drag your name through the mud, truth be damned.”
One thought on “The Joseph Bishop Scandal: Update”
Truth be damned….oh how far the mighty have fallen.
Now the question is whether other victims of Mission President Joseph Bishop are also going to file suit against the Church (and presumably Joseph Bishop himself). Information already available has identified (not by name) at least one other victim associated with this initial accuser. The press conference held by the initial accuser also strongly suggests there are more than this. With the taped confession and additional witnesses, how far will the Brethren go to defend the indefensible?? Seems to me that the most honorable way to proceed from here is to issue an abject apology for the dossier compiled against the initial accuser, not repeat that mistake on any subsequent accusers, and open its checkbook to provide what I would guess could be a monetary settlement to the tune of seven figures.
Makes me proud to know that for decades, I’ve paid a full tithe to this organization that plays games with the lives of its members in such a cavalier manner…thus making those tithes to form the deep pockets from which settlements for this type of stupidity can be paid.