Marion Smith in 1982 was first director of ISAT, (Intermountain Sexual Abuse Treatment Center) which at the time was the only agency in Utah devoted exclusively to the treatment of child sexual abuse.
Some of Marion’s other achievements are listed at the end in the links.
This is a report that Marion wrote quite a few years later about the abuse of her grandchildren and wider abuse in Bountiful.
The following text is a machine transcription which unfortunately picked up the Library stamps on the copy and spurted out some jibberish. I have tried to delete these and correct some transcript but please ensure to use the pdf if you wish to quote the original 32 page text – 2004 Mar Marion B Smith A Report of Child Sexual Abuse in LDS Neighbourhoods [UT105]
A REPORT OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE IN LDS NEIGHBORHOODS By MARION B. SMITH MARCH, 2004
In order to protect those who were child victims at the time of the events in the following narrative, all children’s names are pseudonyms except those already identified in court records. The names of alleged teen-age perpetrators and of our daughters are also pseudonyms. Otherwise, all names, locations and dates are as accurate as our recollection and records permit.
The President of the LDS church, Gordon B. Hinckley, was asked by Mike Wallace in a national television interview in April, 1996 if abuse was a critical issue in the LDS community and if the patriarchal system discriminated against women and child victims. President Hinckley’s response was that there was “a blip here and a blip there” but nothing of major consequence. The following account is of one of these “blips” which occurred in our family and in our Mormon neighborhood and ward.
Since our experience, we have become aware of many cases of child abuse involving priesthood holders of responsible positions in the LDS church. In 2004, the Catholic church in the United States acknowledged 10,667 claims of abuse perpetrated by clergy since 1950 which has cost the church $533,400,000 in settlement fees. Will the LDS church ever acknowledge the number of child abuse allegations that have been made against its leaders or how much has been paid to settle such claims or to provide therapy for victims? Members are not told how many daily calls are made to the twenty-four hour sexual abuse hotline which all bishops and stake presidents are instructed to contact prior to reporting abuse.
Personnel on the hotline (depending on the particular state’s laws) advise whether these allegations must be reported to legal authorities. It seems apparent that there must be many of President Hinkley’s “blips” to require a twenty-four hour church hotline for child sexual abuse. My husband, Nicholas G. Smith Junior, came of “goodly parentage.” His lineage is from the Prophet Joseph Smith’s uncle, John Smith, and includes his great-grandfather George A. Smith (counselor to Brigham Young), grandfather John Henry Smith (counselor to Joseph F. Smith) and father Nicholas G. Smith,( assistant apostle to Heber J. Grant at the time of his death in 1945). President of the church, George Albert Smith, was Nick’s uncle. The Mormon church and culture were of primary importance in Nick’s family of origin. For them, the church was the scale against which all aspects of life were measured. While Nick rebelled somewhat against the overwhelming “churchiness” of his family during his adolescence and through a short enlistment in the US navy in the second world war , after his LDS mission to South Africa in the late 1940’s, he returned with a strong testimony and desire to build his life around church practice and community.
My family of origin was also from pioneer stock, but my parents were involved in the LDS church only minimally. I attended church pretty regularly however and my friends were almost all Mormon, but in my teenage and college years I had something of a crisis offaith. I was engaged to Nick while he was on his mission but didn’t know if a temple marriage to him would be a betrayal of my inner integrity. Interestingly, a private dialogue I had with Sterling MeMurrin, in whose philosophy class I was enrolled, gave me the permission I wanted to marry Nick. “Do you want to live the LDS lifestyle?” he asked me. “Do you want to raise your kids in the church and serve in the Mormon community?” I did indeed. ‘Then don’t let how many angels are on top of a pin stop you from what you want so much. Just be honest with your fiance.”
Nick and I were married in 1950 in the Salt Lake LDS temple. Subsequently, Nick became a successful investment banker specializing in municipal bond finance while I specialized in the bearing and raising of seven children. Our family’s life was centered around the church. Although we both had many intellectual questions regarding the history and workings of the institution and had many friends, contacts and interests outside the church, we raised our children in orthodox fashion. Nick and I were ‘ I mavericks to some degree, but we believed in the basic doctrines and raised our children J to believe, Nick served as Elders Quorum president, as Sunday school teacher for at I least twenty years, was a guide on Temple Square for eleven years, and was a High Councilman in the Salt Lake Stake, while 1 held most positions available to women on the ward and stake level and was on several General Board Relief Society committees. Ours was a rich and full life, if also frantic and challenging in our attempt to meet business and family needs.
In 1982 I became the first director of ISAT, (Intermountain Sexual Abuse Treatment Center) which at the time was the only agency in Utah devoted exclusively to the treatment of child sexual abuse. I had returned to graduate school at the University of Utah when our youngest daughter was five and was a board member for Utah Girls Village when they decided to expand their program to include the treatment and prevention of child sexual abuse. Along with the other therapists at ISAT, I trained around the country under most of the national experts then practicing in this brand new field in psychotherapy. Child sexual abuse emerged as an area of social and psychological imperative interest only in the late seventies and early eighties and we were on the cutting edge of national debate and research. It is ironic how the experience I gained was to play out in our own family’s life.
In 1985 we resided with our two youngest daughters, ages nineteen and sixteen, in Bountiful, Utah. Our other children were married or away at graduate school. Two of our daughters with small children lived close to us in Maple Hills. Their families were very involved in the life of our ward.
In July, 1985 I was asked to give a lesson to my ward Relief Society on the symptoms and treatment of child sexual abuse. Immediately afterward, a sister told me of her five year-old son’s behavior as he tried to insert small objects into his baby brother’s rectum and engaged in other inappropriate sexual behaviors. On my recommendation, this mother took her child to our agency. A chain of child abuse subsequently unfolded leading to several children, to allegedly abusive teen age baby sitters and finally to the daughter of Brett Bullock and to Bret himself who was a prominent architect at the time. Ten children made allegations of abuse against adolescent baby tenders of both genders and against several men in the ward. Eventually Bret was convicted of abusing his own and other children and imprisoned, largely because of the help Davis County prosecutors received from high-powered attorneys engaged by the victims’ families. Two of the prominent victim families were those of Nick Rose, president of Mountain Fuel, and Richie Smith of Smith’s Food King. The little boys in these families were seven years old, the age of our oldest grandchild. I taught them all in Primary.
I repeatedly told our Bishop, Walt Gasser, that ward parents needed to be aware of the situation with baby tenders in the ward and that all the children involved needed therapy. Bishop Gasser did nothing until his own son was named by other children as another child victim. This little boy then told a therapist how Bullock had abused him. Bishop Gasser called a meeting with parents of about fifteen families and some church authorities. The parents were given names of therapists and agencies where their children could receive help. Many of them took their children for an interview but in all cases for one appointment only. None of these children revealed abuse. It would have been unusual for them to do so in one interview. Bishop Gasser decided to get to the bottom of the affair by grilling his own son. He told me that he kept the eight-year old up all night urging him to tell the truth through statements like, “You won’t go to bed until you tell all you know about this. If it did happen and you don’t tell me, Bret Bullock might not go to jail and he could come and get you.” The little boy completely recanted and the neighborhood seized on this denial to insist the whole episode was a blown up witch hunt and only Brett was guilty.
A few months later in January of 1986, Janice, a baby tender used by both our daughters, was implicated by a child victim in the Bullock case. Our daughter Eileen and her husband Bill Carstensea were told by me about the allegations regarding Janice. Bill insisted his children be interviewed and made an appointment at ISAT with Dr. Barbara Snow. He told Barbara, “Ask Tricia (then age five). She’ll tell.” Barbara found no problems with Susan (Eileen’s oldest child, recently turned eight) or Tricia. Susan had completed psychological tests with a school psychologist two months earlier in connection with consideration of skipping a school grade. The psychologist found Susan to be, “a very healthy child with no significant problems.” Barbara told Eileen the kids seemed fine, but on hearing more about the baby tender, she re-interviewed the children for another two hours, Susan finally volunteered, “Sometimes when we’re asleep Janice comes in and puts crayons up us.” All the children in both families had appeared to be very fond of Janice. Our other daughter’s little girls corroborated their cousins’ stories about things put up their bottoms.
After many appointments, the children had revealed that Janice sometimes brought two teenage boys to join in her sex play with them. They told of terrible acts. After about two months of therapy, we had a “hero’s” party for our grandchildren. At the party they drew pictures of bad baby sitters hurting children. They tore these up or burned them in the fireplace. The children received medals for saving other children by telling of their abuse. Bill kicked a pillow around pretending it was Janice. The party finished off with lots of ice cream and hugs for the brave heroes.
The night Janice was named by the grandchildren, Eileen, Bill and I met with her parents to tell them of the allegations. We pled with them to get help for their sixteen 5 year-old and promised not to initiate criminal proceedings against her. The parents broke down crying and accepted the possibility that something happened to Janice when they lived in California. The father muttered. “It’s got to be drugs.” Later, the parents denied their daughter was involved in improper actions and became very antagonistic to all of us. I don’t believe Janice ever received any help.
As our grandchildren’s therapy continued, the circle of perpetrators widened to include Dick and Brenda Miles. Dick was a counselor to Bishop Gasser and our son-inlaw Bill was the financial clerk. Brenda was the daughter of Apostle Russell Nelson. Two of the grandchildren independently of each other picked out from the high school yearbook photos of the same two teenage boys who abused them. Susan and Tricia named them Mustardfaee and Tinklemouth. The boys’ friendship with Janice was confirmed. The Bountiful police, after interviewing Susan and Tricia, showed no interest in pursuing the allegations. We suspected this was because of Brenda’s relationship to Apostle Nelson.
On February 13,1986, Eileen was driving six year-old Tricia home from therapy when Tricia asked, “What’s the difference between what Janice and Dick Miles do to us and Daddy’s marriage lessons’?” Eileen nearly drove off the road but managed to get home where she confronted Bill. He told her she was crazy and stormed off, locking himself in a bedroom. Eileen called me hysterically sobbing and I raced to her house. She phoned psychiatrist Dr. Ian Stout who had provided marital counseling to the Carstensens the previous fall. Dr Stout talked Eileen down and expressed his opinion that he didn’t think it was possible Bill was a child molester. Eileen called Barbara Snow who made appointments for all the children for the next day.
On February 14, Dr. Snow began her appointment with Tricia as Eileen and her children and her sister with her children sat in the waiting room. Barbara insisted I be present in the interview with Tricia. The session started with Tricia singing “Two little Speckled Frogs” and dancing around. Barbara asked if she could record the session and Tricia agreed after she hid played with the tape recorder, (In 1986 no one was videotaping children’s interviews as is now routinely done). Finally the interview moved toward what Tricia had said to her mother. Tricia explained, “Daddy says you have to have the marriage lesson so you can be a good wife and mommy. So you can have babies. So Heavenly Father will think you’re good.” As the interview went on, she continued, “We leant how our bodies are made. Where babies come from and stufflike that.” Then Tricia reported she’d seen Daddy kissing Janice in the entry hall when she was upstairs looking over the banister, and she hated seeing them. For two hours the session continued until finally Tricia became too agitated and tired. She had told how you had to take your clothes off and learn all the parts “down there.” Dr. Snow finally asked if Daddy had ever showed her things with parts of his body? Tricia went crazy yelling she hated Dr. Snow, kicking over the dollhouse, stamping on the dolls and sobbing uncontrollably as I held her.
Barbara Snow ended the interview and called the police while I phoned Nick and asked him to find Bill and bring him to the office. Barbara had a short interview with Susan. She told Susan that Tricia had bravely told “important secrets.” Then Susan voluntarily reported much of what Tricia had said. The children in the waiting room had been going crazy, almost as if they knew what Tricia was saying. Eileen’s baby had broken the fishbowl and the children were all out of control, so our other daughter took them all to her home. Her children never saw Bill again. Nick, Eileen, Bill and I then met with Dr. Snow. Bill said, “I don’t remember anything. 1 don’t know what they’re talking about but my kids don’t lie”. I told Bill for that good therapeutic help was available if he could just acknowledge his actions.
The Carstensen children stayed with us that night and Eileen and Bill went to their house where they raged and screamed at each other all night The next morning they came to our home for a ineeting with Nick and me and their children. I told the children that Daddy was sick and needed to go to the hospital to get help. Bill held Tricia on his lap as he told them, “I can’t remember anything. I’m scarry, but I believe you and you’re doing the right thing by telling, I’m going to get help.” This was the last time the Carstensen family was to be together in the same room.
Nick and I were in total shock, but we never doubted the truth of Tricia’s statements. Many in our family always had trouble accepting Bill, He was very bright, very eager to be accepted and very insecure. He appeared to be totally devoted to Eileen and the children. He was eager to fielp us with miscellaneous small tasks. We hoped with time he would be more confident as he became more secure in Eileen’s love. Several of our younger children couldn’t stand him and that had been a source of contention in our home. He was way more “touchy-feely” with all the girls in our family than any of us were comfortable with. We had mentioned this to Eileen and Nick had told Bill directly that his daughters didn’t like it, Eileen’s response was that our family was too hung up on physical touching which was Bill’s way of expressing affection since be felt (and was) awkward verbally, even though he was a practicing attorney depending on words to earn a living. Bill was a returned missionary and his redeeming virtue in our eyes was his dedication to church activity. He and Eileen attended temple sessions nearly weekly and were very active in the ward. Not until long after the abuse was disclosed, did we learn of Eileen’s and Bill’s marital problems, particularly in sexual areas where Bill blamed Eileen for their problems, Eileen assumed he was right and the problems were her fault. Although we knew Bill had a very difficult childhood and that his mother was extremely demanding of him, it never once entered our minds that Bill had been molested or was himself capable of abusing a child. True to the profile, he seemed to adore children and was very involved in thje care of his own.
On February 17, Nick look Eileen and her children to Hawaii where 1 joined them a few days later. We have a condo in Hawaii and thought it would be wonderful to get the ‘ children in the ocean and sunshine ofthat idyllic spot. Bill committed himself to the in¬ patient psychiatric ward at LDS Hospital under the care of Dr. Mason Redd. Dr. Redd decided Bill was so beaten in life, so psychologically downtrodden, that he’d believe anything he was accused of. He saw Bill as helpless and innocent, a victim.
In Hawaii, Eileen was almost psychotic. The kids were afraid they were going to lose their Daddy. One night Eileen was accidentally locked out of the condo when Nick was inside with the kids. She was hysterical, banging on the door screaming, “Let me in to my babies! You can’t keep me away from my babies!” It was a terrible time. The children phoned Bill daily with Eileen, Nick or me on the other extension. He kept telling them they were doing the right thing, to keep up the good work and tell everything. He told Eileen he thought he must be crazy. The children told him to come to Hawaii and play with them. He told them to mind their mother and say their prayers.
Meanwhile, in Salt Lake our other daughter’s children continued seeing Barbara Snow. They both gave vivid details of how Bill abused them and that he was at parties at the Miles. Brenda Miles was one of this daughter’s best friends. The children were often at each other’s homes. Dick Miles had been violent with the children and very threatening. He showed them deer antlers in his garage and said he would push them up them if they told. He twisted a kitten’s neck until it was limp and quiet and told five yearold Heather that’s what he’d do to her little sister if she ever told. Then the children watched him bury the kitten. Brenda told Heather she’d run over her little sister in her big car if either of them ever told about the parties. The children were taken, to see Dr.Ann Tyler who verified abuse by at least two babysitters, Brenda and Dick Miles and Bill Carstensen.
In Hawaii, the children erupted with new information, mostly in the middle of the night when they screamed or sobbed some new horror. They told Eileen or me, sometimes alone, sometimes together. I tried to take accurate notes on all they said. One afternoon Susan was drawing a floor plan of what presumably was their home, but it turned out to be Grandma Carstensen’s. and Tricia then told about the “parties” at Grandma’s house Bill took them to. Some of their cousins on Bill’s side were often there as well as three or four older women. The sexual activity at Grandma’s parties was not as extreme or violent as at the parties in Bountiful. It included sexual acts between Bill and his mother that the children witnessed. In Hawaii, the children made Playdough Grandmas and stuck pins in them or ground them up. Grandma Carstensen was named by them “Germy-sour-throw-np”, They were freer to express rage at her than at their Dad or the Miles.
One late night, Susan remembered something, “1 have to tell you something awful. It’s too awful to tell, it was too bad. But they made me”. Then Susan wrote in her big second grade script what was too painful to tell. “They made us drink kofey” she wrote and sobbed, “They said if we told anyone about the parties, they’d tell how we drank coffee”. When Susan gasped out those words, 1 hated the church and I hated myself for buying into its value system.
The children ran and played wildly on the beach and at night revealed new unsolicited information. They couldn’t be slowed down or paced. They erupted. Even the little barely three year-old who was totally confused told what “bad people’-did and-that it hurt. The nine- month old baby screamed constantly and clung to his mother every moment.
A week later our other daughter and her children joined us in Hawaii. All the children were super-charged. We tried to plan calming activities for them but to little avail. The bottle had been uncorked. At that time, group sexual abuse of children wasjust beginning to be described in America. Therapists were in uncharted territory. Since then the nauseating and violent actions indulged in especially by the adolescent boys in our case have been described by others working with teenage perpetrators involved in group sex with children. Like others, the teenage boys in our case were drawn to object rape and toilet activities. They didn’t bother with trying to make their acts into “games”.
In Salt Lake, Barbara Snow was seeing the Thomas children from the Bountiful neighborhood who told the same stories of abuse by Miles. Bill and the same baby tenders. The Thomas children were also victims of abuse by perpetrators in the Brett Bullock case. One of these children developed a life-threatening case of bone tuberculosis the doctors felt was caused by “severely contaminated water” which the parents were sure was the urine/feces KoolAid drink forced on the children by the adolescent boys according to all of the children’s reports. Several of the Thomas children have developed disabilities as a result of the abuse. Mrs. Thomas attempted for years to receive justice for her children but legal action was never taken. Another family whose children were reportedly at the Miles’ parties believed the allegations and within a month moved from the neighborhood. So did the Brundages whose little boys were victims in the Bullock case and the Richie Smith family moved as well.
The child victims in the neighborhood are now mostly in their twenties. I recently spoke with a therapist who currently has several clients from our old Bountiful neighborhood. She says the damage is terrible.
Eileen’s children were taken to Dr. Martin Palmer at Primary Hospital for verification of the abuse and to assess medical harm. Dr, Palmer found no question of their abuse. Even with his expertise and extreme kindness to children, our grandchildren were very angry about the examinations.
The children began to see child psychiatrist Dr. Paul Whitehead and our other grandchildren began therapy with Dr. Joanna McManimen. Bits of information continued to come from them at random times for several years. They’d be making cookies and nonchalantly say, “Remember when.. For months they made “poison” for the “wicked people” to drink. They made playdough people over and over and chopped them up or drew and ripped up pictures of the “bad people.” They wrote stories and drew pictures of “good Daddy and bad Daddy”. Tricia told Eileen she’d be worse than all the bad people if she divorced Daddy. The three-year-old wanted to know if she would catch Bill’s sickness. For many weeks Bill’s niece Heather drew Bill’s heart with a line down the middle, half of it pink and half black. She wanted to know if people were mad that she still loved him. Nightmares, crying bouts, depression, withdrawal and anger continued for months, well, really for years.
One of our imperative concerns when our grandchildren first disclosed Bill’s abuse of them was whether our own younger children could have been abused by him. We asked our youngest children, who were now teenagers but were five, seven and nine when Eileen first met Bill, if this could be possible and received definite “no’s”. They were all devastated about their nieces. Our youngest daughter’s eating disorder was a high indicator of abuse and we remained concerned about her.
After leaving LDS Hospital. Bill saw Jan Stout three times and Dr. Stout told Eileen Bill was not a perpetrator. After he saw my notes and the children’s art made in Hawaii, however, he changed his mind. My notes and the pictures were given to the Bountiful police who interviewed the baby tenders one at a time and declared them all innocent. The police searched the Carstensen home, presumably for videos, and interviewed Eileen about Bill. They called the Miles and obligingly made an appointment to search their house the next day. Afterwards. Miles’ involvement was completely dismissed by the Bountiful police department.
At first Bill claimed only two or three little pictures of memory. Financed by us. he entered the Johns Hopkins sexual perpetrator treatment program, reputedly the best in the country, for six weeks. There he failed the lie detector test when he denied molesting his children. Under sodium amythoi, he stated, “I know I’ve done things to my kids. I know my mother molested me.” In ail his statements and therapy he was careful to go only so far in implicating himself and was always very vague with details. He was, after all, an attorney.
By this time. Bountiful had virtually dismissed the case against Bill especially because our daughters were not going to allow their children to testify. Children in a recent trial in Lehi had suffered a lot in the trial. Protocols to protect children in court had not yet been developed to the degree they now exist. A case in Salt Lake County was filed against Bill and his mother because abuse of our grandchildren had allegedly occurred at his mother’s home, in Salt Lake. Mike George, investigator for Salt Lake County, interviewed Bill at Johns Hopkins when he was in the east interviewing witnesses in connection with the Mark Hoffman forgery and murder case. Mike had no access to Bill’s files at Johns Hopkins and believed Bill to be innocent. He told attorneys in the Salt Lake child protection department that Bill stated the Smiths had plotted to ruin his life and were succeeding. Mike decided if the children were not to testify, there was no case. Leslie Lewis and Karen Knight-Egan of the Salt Lake County Attorney’s office told us they believed Bill was guilty but there was nothing they could do.
In May, the therapists at Johns Hopkins requested that Eileen go there for some joint sessions before Bill’s release. Her baby was still nursing so Eileen had to take him. Nick and I went with her.
Eileen had several interviews and Nick and 1 were allowed one with Bill’s therapist and Bill. Eileen was not there because someone had to tend the baby. We tape recorded this frustrating session. At times Bill denied and then admitted actions the children had reported. Because the children’s accounts were confusing and we felt the need to know exactly who the perpetrators and child victims all were and exactly what had happened to the children, I tried to ask questions Bill would not feel too trapped by and still get information we badly needed. Bill, on the other hand, had to act like he was cooperating and give some answers, but he also had to protect himself legally.
For example, here is a transcript from a section of the recording:
MARION: Did you know that baby tenders were bringing teenage boys to your home and what they were doing?
BILL: In going back.. .and trying to think, at first.. .1 don’t see there being a knowledge, but it somewhat dawned on me what was…goin’ on. ..(long pause) but no we basically, we’d always be home at midnight or shortly thereafter so something like that…no, and I believe that the majority of those went on without my…without my awareness of it..that…(voice trails of)
MARION: Do you know how frequent the parties at Miles’ were?
BILL: I would say…you’re going on probably talkin’one or two times a month.
MARION; How did the parties get organized?
BILL: (long, long pause) I would say the …majority of them were probably through…actually between Janice and Dick…her letting him know who she was tending for and.. .
MARION: Do you recall taking your children to some of the parties?
BILL: The only place 1 can conceive taking them to is Miles’ house. MARION: Do you recall talking to Dick Miles about these things?
BILL: No, I don’t…it was somewhat mobile. The parties could be in three or four houses in our neighborhood when I was there and that…conceivably when 1 wasn’t there and these other people were doing things that involved others. No, I have memories of things taking place at three different houses.
MARION: What three?
BILL: Miles, Carstensens and my mother’s house.
MARION: Parties were mostly in the evening or the day?
BILL: Most of those…were rarely in the evening and mostly in the day. Saturdays is when the times I would have the children. Eileen would be gone shopping or something like that I would be with the kids.
MARION; Do you know what was in the shots the children say they were given?
BILL: No, I don’t …think I was aware of…
MARION: Do you know who the teenagers were?
BILL: As far as any of the time that 1 can… I can only have memories of two or three times and seems there was only, you know, adults and children, there was never…
MARION: Do you know who the adults were?
BILL: The only ones that I can…specifically picture is being there, I know there were others there, myself and Miles, there is my friend Dan and…my mother on that side but that’s all…
MARION: How did it all get started? BILL:I can’t. .I haven’t been able to come up with those things and I expend an inordinate time trying to put things together…and have come with hypothesis from the beginning…(stops)
MARION: But not memories?
MARION: What did you do to keep your kids quiet?
BILL: (heavy sigh) Basically, there was never any.. .never any physical threat any.. .it was through ultimate manipulative love and devotion. And, ugh, ya, the…kids love me and I love them and told them Eileen was so self-conscious that she really didn’t feel she could participate and kept telling them if you told Mom about it she’ll be so sad…she didn’t have fun…wouldn’t have, at the next party, they couldn’t have refreshments or…and, ugh,…
MARION: What did you tell your nieces to keep them quiet?
BILL: Uh, the only thing I can recall on, knowing them, how I knew they would, probably something like, you know, that we would tell… their Mommy and Daddy would be really mad at them and think they were bad but… never,. .any.., violence towards them, just they would get in trouble.
MARION: What was Brenda Miles’role at the parties?
She was basically a cheerleader and took the videos. The interview continued for an hour covering topics such as what the abuse consisted of, the video taking and other child victims. Perhaps Bill had little memory of many of his actions as he apparently was highly dissociative. No new information was really received by us. Occasionally the therapist would interrupt. She had no idea there had been group sex parties with multiple perpetrators, of the extent of the abuse, of videos or the amount of violence and damage. She had never heard of Bill’s nieces or of Miles or Janice. She thought she was dealing only with incest of Bill’s children. We found it appalling that Johns Hopkins responded as they did. We had sent a summary of the children’s reports and it seemed like it had never been read by Bill’s primary therapist.
They had worked on Bill’s own abuse by his mother and on his lack of confidence, inability to trust, sexual preferences, etc. Yet in the file Johns Hopkins gave to Bill (which Eileen managed to get from him) it stated that under drugs Bill said he had performed sexual acts with his children, he knew his mother had sexually abused him for his entire life, and he knew he had participated in group sexual activity with his children. In their final report they stated, “Bill is a fairly egocentric individual and finds it difficult at times to tune into others and meet their needs in an empathic manner…he views himself as victimized…and feels inadequate in many areas and his self-esteem is fairly low. He carries deep-seated resentment of many individuals which he typically hides. His childhood apparently holds more negative than positive feelings.. .on two tests he manifested a willingness to violate social and/or legal sanctions to further his own needs…He feels he has a “sex problem” and ‘hasn’t been able to control my sexual behavior’. He seems appropriately concerned and remorseful…it is doubtful that he; £ presents much risk to the community at large and he docs not appear in need of a secure ‘ environment in order to protect himself or others…” . They gave his diagnosis as pedophilia.
The original report prepared by Dr. Carlos Roby who tested Bill at ISAT was far superior to anything at Johns Hopkins. After Bill’s release, when he found he wasn’t going to be legally prosecuted, he recanted on everything he’d admitted.
The abuse of our grandchildren, including even the two babies, was horrendous. The older grandchildren’s stories were consistent in detail with each other. 1 have narrated some of these same events and what they said in two books I’ve written, Paperdolls and Riptide, We finally identified as perpetrators four teenagers, Brenda and Dick Miles, Bill, a friend of Bill’s who lived in Salt Lake, his mother and several of her unnamed women friends. The parties at Miles’ lasted about an hour and included showing pornographic videos of children, “touching games,” sometimes video filming and refreshments. Sometimes there were costumes and props and apparently the children sometimes .received injections of what we’re not sure. The children said, “The shots were to make it not hurt”.
Bill’s absence from home was very hard on his children. Susan destroyed everything given to her by perpetrators like Janice but not gifts from her dad. A watch he’d given her became her most precious possession. She called Bill “pooh-pooh brain,” “pervert.” “non-Mormon” and “liar.” At various times she said. “I want to tell him how angry I am he tricked us. Then I want to go somewhere fun with him. I wish Daddy had never been | born. 1 wish he was up in Heaven. 1 wish he’d never done this. It’s all his fault things”/’ are bad at home and Mommy’s so breakable. I want to cut his penis off. Am I bad td love him after what he’s done? I love him more than my head. God’s going to help us. I don’t know if he’ll help Daddy. Can 1 be baptized again instead of the one by Daddy. A few months later Nick did re-baptize her.
Tricia looked at the picture of Jesus with little children hanging in her room and said she had prayed and prayed that the abuse would end or at least that Heavenly Father would make it not hurt so bad but He never stopped it. She called herself the “Telling Mouse.” She was afraid her cousin would tell kids at school. She wondered if she’d have a baby right away. Some of her statements were, “1 want to say to Grandma, you big brat. You get off this entire whole world. I want to say to Janice, you bulgy brat. Scallywag. Out of this town. You’re a big pooh. You’re gross. You’re awful wicked. meaner than anyone in the world. I want to say to Daddy, i hate you Daddy, bad Daddy. Inside the good Daddy. You bug me. You hurt very bad. What you’ve done is as sharp as a thumb tack.” Like Susan, she was angry, withdrawn, regressed in school and in play, had nightmares every night, got mad when driving past perpetrators’ homes and destroyed clothes and toys perpetrators had given her.
The three year-old said, “They haven’t killed me yet Mommy, but Heavenly Father wants me killed for telling.” She asked the cleaning lady if she was going to hurt her witls the sharp plant water meter. She was frightened of many things including water. According to her siblings. Dick Miles nearly drowned her once. About a year later she was terribly depressed. Nick and 1 took her one Saturday for fun time but there was nothing she wanted to do—not the zoo, the park, the pet store or toy store, not ice cream or a treat. She was totally flat and unresponsive. It was probably the most heartbreaking time we’ve had with a little child.
Their cousin Heather also wondered ifshe’d have a baby soon. She kept asking if she was bad to still love Bill. Longer than the other children, she continued to believe in his good as well as bad nature. She drew a picture of “my heart and the bad guys’ hearts and the sun’s over them for a test. This test is to see ifthey can feel the sun. Rowers are under my heart ‘cause 1 can see the flowers and they can’t. The black heart is Tinkleface boy and Dick Miles. The blue heart is Bill. The black heart is cruder than the blue heart.” She said, ‘it felt worst when it felt good. It felt good sometimes on the outside but bad on the inside.” Heather could space out a lot. She told me she could go to her “safe place” at the cabin whenever she wanted.
Her little sister said, “They hurt us with a nail and their fingers.” Perhaps this referred to the injections. She painted an alligator on an elephant’s back, “it’s going to look for the bad guys. They’re friends who help each other. The alligator has sharp teeth to get them. The alligator Is all hurt inside—inside and outside. Now they’re going to the doctor to get all better.” She drew a picture ofspiders eating the bad people and told a story about it. In many of her disclosures, she’d end with a sentence about her mother coming to the parties and making everyone stop being mean to the children.
These are a few examples from dozens we have. All the children expressed their rage with drawings of black crayon violently scribbled across the page. In retrospect, it would have been difficult to get credible testimony from these little children whose ages ranged from three to eight They had to express their feelings any way they could. A great deal of time, effort, money, therapy and care has gone into their healing over the years.
When Eileen divorced Bill, he agreed to a legal order of no contact with his children. About two years later he sent the children a wedding invitation and enclosed a note that he wanted them to “meet their new mother”, i called and pled with his wife to be to at least listen to the children’s therapists’ opinion of the threat Bill might pose to her children, but she was very hostile. We and our children’s families moved from Bountiful as did several other families. In the process of moving, Eileen found Bill’s journal which indicated some of his conflicted feelings.
Shortly after we moved, Bishop Gasser was replaced as bishop by Dr. Donald Doty, a thoracic surgeon and partner of Russell Nelson’s. Nick and I went to his home and laid out the entire story suggesting that there were many at-risk children in his ward who required protection and therapy. He heard us out sympathetically. Nick asked ifhe. believed our story. He replied, “1 think you believe it” We asked what he was going to do about the baby tenders in his ward who allegedly were child abusers and he answered, “That’s the stake president’s problem.” We left and haven’t seen him since.
The Bountiful stake president was Nick’s nephew, Craig Smith. He spoke with us and with the parents in our family of the abused children as well as with Bill. Craig told Nick he repeatedly interviewed Bill as well as Dick and Brenda Miles and they denied all charges. He asked if he could interview the children. Eileen said he could talk to Susan and Trick but he never did. He consulted Dr. Paul Whitehead, the children’s psychiatrist, who told him “In my opinion these children have been sexually abused by the perpetrators they’ve named.” Craig read the Johns Hopkins report on Bill identifying him as a pedophile and stating that under drugs he admitted abusing his children. He talked to his church superiors and to the area president and told us he believed Apostle-; Packer favored holding a church court for the Miles and Bill. We have no idea what really went on in the church hierarchy except that they wanted the problem to go away. Craig said he would push the matter with the church leaders because “1 don’t have any ambitions for higher church position anyway,” if he did push hard, nothing happened. He did remove Brenda and Dick Miles from their church positions by changing the entire bishopric. A church court was never held for Bill.
Immediately after the abuse was first revealed, our daughters took their children to Apostle Neal Maxwell for blessings. He was very caring and concerned about them. Bill also sought counsel from Apostle Maxwell, We don’t know what passed between them, but Neal gave him a blessing. For many years the Maxwell’s were among our closest friends. Nick and Neal often lunched together. They had been overnight to our cabin three or four times and used our Hawaiian condo on several occasions. Neal had performed the marriage of Eileen and Bill and of Heather’s parents as well as another of our children’s. He had given a special blessing to one of our children for a health problem. When Eileen was exposed to German measles while pregnant with Tricia, it was to Neal she had turned for advice. After Eileen had waited a year for a temple divorce, it was granted post-haste when Nick brought the matter up with Neal. We weren’t sure what we expected Neal to do about the alleged abuse. He was in an impossible situation with Russell Nelson in the Quorum of the Twelve, but we expected some reaction or follow-up inquiries from Neal. Neal and Colleen invited us to dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building a few months after the abuse disclosure. In extending the invitation, Neal said to Nick, “Colleen doesn’t know anything about your problems. Let’s keep the whole evening light and not bring them up.” That dinner was the last time we have seen the Maxwell’s socially. Nick, appalled at the lack of church investigation, invited Neal to lunch at our home a couple of years later. Nick wanted to clear the air between them. He asked Apostle Maxwell why nothing had happened in the case of the Miles and Bill. Maxwell appeared not to remember that the Miles were involved in the abuse and quickly changed the subject.
About two years ago, Neal again invited us to dinner saying he hoped to keep the evening light Nick declined, feeling a social affair would feel like a charade. I wrote Neal a letter then, part of which follows. After recalling the good times of our friendship and concern for his illness of the past several years, I went on, “Neal, my feeling of betrayal by Church leaders including our bishop, stake president and yes, you when the child sex abuse erupted in our Bountiful ward was not only about our grandchildren…I have tracked some of the other children’s lives who were alleged victims in this ward/neighborhood sex ring. There is wreckage of drug abase, dysfunction and severe mental illness. There were at least twelve children involved besides ours and how many others were victimized after we moved I have no idea. Although we tried to warn the bishop and stake president in the ward into which our ex son-in-law Bill Carstensen eventually moved with a new wife and step-daughters, these priesthood leaders did nothing until Bill’s further abuse of his new children (and who knows who else?) led to his exposure and eventual suicide,…”
Our son-in-law. Heather’s father, met Hartman Rector at a dinner at our home one evening a year after the disclosure of the abuse of his children. Hartman was a member of the First Quorum of Seventy at the time. He was incredulous at the church response to our family’s abuse and invited our son-in-law to his office for full disclosure. Brother Rector promised to take action, but our son-in-law never heard from him again. Heather’s dad had previously reported the abuse story to James Paramore of the First Council of Seventy which concluded with the same result as the meeting with Rector. I’m sure when a high church official is associated even indirectly in a case of child abuse in the church, there is a reaction immediately to protect the image of the church. But we have continued to ask ourselves what might have resulted had the church pursued an investigative line of action with respect to the perpetrators in our case? How many child victims might have been saved? What kind of positive message might have been sent to the membership? How might future instances of child abuse within tine church have benefited from such a model?
I am ahead of my story with mention of Bill’s suicide. Two years after we moved from Bountiful, I was approached by April Daniels (pseudonym in her authorship of a book on her abuse) who told us of her childhood abuse by Bill and others in the Mount Olympus neighborhood where she had grown up. I met two other women friends of April’s who suffered similar abuse front Bill. Apparently Bill had abused children he was a child himself. We now know of twenty-six children he abused. Several of thesewe have spoken with. April and I met with three General Authorities to discuss her abuse by her father. Bill and others. April’s father was subsequently disfeliowshipped by his bishop. Bill remained invulnerable to church discipline. April and I together wrote Paperdolls describing our personal experiences of abuse.
About eighteen months after Eileen’s divorce. Bill filed an action in the Third District Court seeking visitation rights with his children. We engaged Dan Bushnellto defend the children against Bill. Dan included the Johns Hopkins diagnosis of pedophile and verbal testimony from Dr. Whitehead as well as the children’s art in his protestation of Bill’s claim. Bill’s second wife heard all the evidence presented that day. Bill was denied any visitation. Several years later, in connection with a civil suit against Bill filed by our two youngest children, Dan requested the court records and was told the file was missing. Later attempts to locate the file also failed. Our assumption is that Bill had a connection in the Third District Court, but we have never been able to determine what happened to that file.
The years following our move from Bountiful were difficult and busy ones for our family. Some wonderful events occurred: two of our children finished graduate school, three were married and three babies were added to the family. I quit my job at ISAT to devote full time to helping our grandchildren, Nick retired after a few years. He suffered from severe depression for about two years caused not only by the abuse in our family but by his gradual alienation from the church to which he had devoted a lifetime of service and activity. Loss of faith in the church due to several causes remains the great sadness of his life.
When our next to youngest daughter had been married about six months, she began to have severe panic attacks, attimes requiring hospitalization. She was twenty-one at this time. After several months oftherapy, she and her husband came to our home one Sunday afternoon and told ns of her newly emerging memories of Bill’s abuse of her and her little sister beginning from the time Bill first dated Eileen and continuing for about three years. Her therapist believed she hadn’t remembered until she felt safe enough in her marriage to allow the memories to surface. This daughter worked as hard and consistently on healing as anyone I’ve known. Her recovery has been heartwarming to observe.
The anorexia and bulimia her little sister, our youngest daughter, endured all through her teenage years were a red flag for abuse. The correlation between eating disorders and sexual abuse is very high. She was hospitalized several times for eating disorders and severe depression. Several trips to hospital emergency rooms aborted her suicide attempts. When she was in graduate school at the University of Utah, she took a semester off to go to an inpatienttreatment center in Washington D.C. for adults molested as children. Like her sister, this child has had a remarkable,recovery and is now married with a baby and is very happy.
Another of our daughters, married and living in Washington with two young children, had also been struggling for many years with the abuse perpetrated on her by Bill, She was ten when she first met Bill. This meant in our family alone Bill had abused his own four children, three of his nephews and nieces, and three of his sisters-in-law, our youngest daughters who ranged in age from five to ten when Eileen first dated Bill. This reality was hard for us to grasp, but there was no way to doubt it. Each child had plenty of symptoms and credible memories. They have all fought valiantly to recover.
In about 1993 our two youngest daughters decided to sue Bill civilly for their abuse. Their attorney was Rocky Anderson, now mayor of Salt Lake, Bill never defended himself or answered the complaint. The girls were awarded a no-contest judgment of two and a half million dollars but it was hard to collect the hundred twenty five dollars a month each girl was allotted by the judge who thought this was all Bill’s financial condition enabled him to spare. Before the judgment. Bill called and asked Nick what they wanted since they knew he had no money. Our youngest daughter called him back and informed him that if he would admit what he had done and get in therapy with a qualified therapist who would send progress reports to them, they would drop all charges. Bill said nothing.
In 1993 the husband of our next to youngest daughter arranged a meeting with Bill’s bishop and stake president, Brian Sellers. Our daughter’s husband, our daughter, her little sister, Nick and I attended the meeting. We told these church leaders the complete story of Bill’s abuse of our grandchildren, of other children in Bountiful who’d accused him, of molestations committed during his adolescence in the Mount Olympus area, of the women who’d made their abuse by him known and of his abuse of our three youngest daughters. They already knew of his recent firing from the State Tax Commission for sexually harassing a teenage employee because the bishop was helping him with his house payments due to his unemployment. The stake president and bishop seemed to believe our story but said they would have to consult the church legal department before J; any action could be taken, an unusual procedure in church courts. Our son-in-law wrote a masterful letter to the regional representative protesting the church inaction but never received an answer. The bishop asked us how he should protect Bill’s stepdaughters. He said, “Bill’s wife is a very devout wife.” Nothing ever happened. No one got back to us. We have wondered over the years if the lack of response was due to Bill’s connection to Apostle Nelson’s daughter and son-in-law.
Following is an excerpt from the letter written by our son-in law to the stake president “I can’t begin to tell you how crushed i felt to look you, a fellow priesthood holder, in the eye and tell you that a diagnosed pedophile who’d returned from a mission and married in the temple bad raped and sodomized my wife and so many others when they were small, innocent children—only to have you tell me that you’d check with your legal department and get back to me, which you’ve never bothered to do…I’m grateful I’m not a stake president but I shall pray for you along with the children Bill has damaged.”
On October 26, 1995 Bill’s brother called one of our children and said Bill had committed suicide the night before. He said he thought our family should know about it and that he was alienated from his family and knew Bill had serious problems. He said there would be a graveside service as the obituary later confirmed. Bill’s wife appeared at Eileen’s door that very day and told Eileen (with whom she’d never had a conversation before) that in the spring her two oldest daughters told their mother Bill was sexually abusing them. She threatened Bill with divorce and with going to the police and they separated. Bill went to Arizona for the summer to work. His step-children continued their revelations of abuse as did the six-year old son. His wife again threatened Bill by phone with police action. In fall, Bill’s mother went to Arizona and drove Bill back to Salt Lake. On the way home they filled several drug prescriptions for sedatives. Bill also knew where his mother kept prescription drugs.
He went to bed at her home and she found him the next morning dead by overdose of prescription drugs. Nick and I talked to the wife on the phone the next day. She told us she thought Bill’s mother knew Bill was going to kill himself and in a way was an accomplice. She thought his mother was worried she would be incriminated if Bill were arrested. Bill left a note to his stepdaughters (none to Eileen’s kids) saying he’d never hurt them and that Heavenly Father would understand. (He’d once sent Susan a note on her birthday saying the therapists had planted things in her brain and Heavenly Father knew he was innocent).
His wife went on to tell us her kids were terribly upset and had serious problems. Her girls felt guilty for Bill’s death. We told her we would pay for her child’s therapy but she never called us back. She said this oldest girl had been to the bishop and told him Bill was physically abusing her, but the bishop had never told Bill’s wife of her complaint or that other adults had asserted to him that Bill was a pedophile. Nick told her she probably had a case against the church, but the ward was helping her financially and she didn’t want to pursue it We’ve never spoken to her since. As far as we know, nothing ever happened legally or in church action to Bill ’s mother or to the Miles. Bill s death was a cause of both shock and rejoicing in our family. Some of us were able to hate him considerably less. Our daughters who’d been abused by him were not so afraid and their nightmares lessened somewhat. Everyone agreed suicide was the best action he ever chose, even if his decision was motivated by fear of incarceration.
Bill’s death helped bring closure to many in our family and helped our children move on with their lives. I had written Riptide a few months before Bill’s death, a fictionalized account of our story in which the narrator murders the child abuser. Writing it was very cathartic for me.
We are gratified by the way our grandchildren have put the past behind them and moved on. Two of them are in medical school, one is in graduate school and one is performing volunteer work in the third world. The babies at the time of the abuse are now in college. Our daughters, too, have largely healed and lead worthwhile and loving lives as mothers of young children. The healing is a tribute to their strength but was helped considerably by long years oftherapy costing well into six figures. There will always be areas of great pain and difficulty in their lives both physically and emotionally beyond what might normally be expected. No one casually meeting them would ever suspect the parents of the abused children had gone through such an ordeal. Yet the impact ofthe abuse remains on all of us. It has changed the fundamental worldview for each of us and for our sons-in-law. No one in our family is active in the church. Twenty years ago, I did not believe any event could so alter our family’s religious life.
Previous posts in the series are
- UT0 – Utah Mormon Satanic Ritual Abuse Links and Timeline [UT56]
- UT1 – Utah Ritual Abuse [UT45]
- UT2- Rapist Suspect linked to Mormon Ritual Abuse Scandal Still Delaying Extradition from Glasgow to US [UT42]
- UT3 – Satanic Ritual Abuse in the Mormon Church [UT47]
- UT4 – Two accuse Leavitt of being Ritual Abuser [UT59]
- UT5 – Kristy Allen Mormon Ritual Abuse and MKUltra [UT62]
- UT6 – Church of Mormon in Books About Abuse [UT95]
- UT7 – David Hamblin Utah County Mormon Ritual Abuse [UT96]
- UT8 – Satanism in Utah Valley 1988 [UT98]
- UT9 – A Report of Child Sexual ABuse in LDS [UT106]
This post [UT106] 2022 Jul 10 cathyfoxblog UT9 A Report of Child Sexual ABuse in LDS Neighbourhood by Marion B Smith https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2022/07/10/ut9-a-report-of-child-sexual-abuse-in-lds-neighbourhoods-by-marion-b-smith/
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[UT105] 2004 Mar Marion B Smith A Report of Child Sexual Abuse in LDS Neighbourhoods https://ia600105.us.archive.org/10/items/ABlipHereAndABlipThere/A%20Blip%20Here%20and%20A%20Blip%20There_text.pdf
[UT106] Legacy.com Marion B Smith https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/saltlaketribune/name/marion-smith-obituary?id=2086192
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Is this a big problem in the Morman sect?
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Two long threads discussing this from a few years back:
“Nelson Daughter and SIL – Documents, Media Reports and Links”
“Lawsuit Re: Sex Abuse Allegations Against Daughter of Pres. Nelson and Her Husband”
Unverified Timeline doc:
I saw “unverified” because as the authors note in that first thread, it’s essentially a chronological version of the 33 page narrative you have posted here, leaning almost entirely upon Marion Smith’s testimony. I will let you know if I find anything contemporary to corroborate the account.
As a side note, although I often see Barbara Snow referred to as “discredited” and such, and she was indeed placed on probation during a difficult time, it’s understandable that she would have gotten overwhelmed given what she was trying to trace, and the proximity to her own family. That said, doing years of therapy for your own relatives is a breach of professionalism.
Either way, she is still practicing today and cited, mostly approvingly in all I’ve read so far, in current research into organized child abuse, which has grown into a well-documented field of study with very sober textbooks.
Note that most of the “debunking” of Snow’s work is either quoted from, or restatements of, Stephen L. Golding, a University of Utah professor who makes a living as a witness for the defense in trials — including for Brian David Mitchell, who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart. So that’s mercenary work as much as it’s a professional assessment. I do agree that Snow made serious lapses in methodology early on, but she also seems to have learned from them and been more careful in subsequent cases, Teal Snow aside.
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thanks, will check those out
Roman Polanski docs to be unsealed
Reblogged this on Free Peter Hofschroer.
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