We realize that the main post of the blog (with over a 1,000 comments from Bangladesh missionaries and MKs and many others) can be very daunting read for newcomers. With that in mind, we wanted to share this important comment from Diana Durrill which recaps a lot of the vital information that has been shared here. We’ve titled it Part 1, as we hope to publish more of these excerpts over the next few months.
Somebody HAD to know …
… and we do ourselves no favors by denying that truth. I am weary of the “we didn’t know” or “it was a different era” conversations because this type of sin (adultery, pedophilia, deceit, etc.) is an age-old problem. They are only fooling themselves. So we didn’t call it “pedophilia” … we know that God has always hated all forms of sexual sin. I am not buying the excuses any more.
There are missionaries who have testified on this blog that they KNEW as far back as the 70′s and some before that. Maybe they didn’t know about the pedophilia but they KNEW Donn Ketcham had compromised his reputation and marriage to one degree or another.
GOD HATES SEXUAL SIN. We should, too. We should not turn a blind eye or make excuses.
You can re-read many of the missionaries posts and realize that they admit to knowing more and not doing or saying something. Or you will see the regret at not objecting to the code of silence placed upon them. I have taken the last 2 hours to peruse the comments on the blog. My heart is broken again as I read through the comments and relive the pain of many of them. Yes, hindsight is 20/20 but there is a lot to be said for having a discerning spirit. Had the missionaries been alert to the Holy Spirit’s prompting that something was amiss all those years ago (in the suspicions raised with every inappropriate act agains missionary women in early years, the highly questionable medical exam procedures, or the code of silence placed upon them) there could have been much heartache avoided. I don’t believe the Holy Spirit was not alive and well, providing warning signs and waving big, red flags along the way. Rather, there is no doubt in my mind that some made conscious decisions to look the other way.
Here is a sampling of comments I found in a not-so-quick review of the main thread:
“What is there about truth, that when people don’t like it, they call it gossip? This is not gossip. This should have been talked about 20+ years ago. It would have been had we not been told to ‘not talk about it’. Which at the time did not settle well with me. Now we face the reality that you can not cover up the truth forever, it must come out for those who have been hurt….so they can heal.” – Aunt Lynn, March 27
“It is kind of amazing that we were never asked by the mission if we had any knowledge or observations about Donn’s behavior or any incidents to report.” – Aunt Barb B., March 18
“Facts: The girl’s parents were away. I had responsibility for her. The girl was sick that day. I went out for a time. The doctor came and examined her with no other person present in the room or in the back half of the house. The doctor left. I returned. The girl was distraught immediately after the doctor left. She cried for some time, being difficult to calm down.” – Aunt Barb B., March 20
“The facts are facts and they are stubborn ones. A serial womanizer engaged in serial immoral affairs became active in serial sexual abuse of minor girls. ABWE knew of the former, but allowed him to remain on the field. When the tip of the iceberg showed on the latter situation, they finally removed him, but failed to follow expulsion with a thorough investigation to see if there were other abuses. They also failed to advise him to report himself to the legal authorities and did not report him themselves.” – William D. Barrick, March 23
“…with all due respect, 20-30 years ago something DID happen. And in 1989 something happened. And throughout years BEFORE that ‘things’ happened.” – Cheryl P., March 30
“I don’t remember any specific abuse to myself by him except the fact that I have recurring nightmares that have been going on for decades. We all saw the flirtatious way he was with women and the rides on the back of his motorcycle. I remember the ‘physicals’ that we had and they usually required us to remove our underwear . I have 6 kids and have never gone to a pediatrician where the kids had to remove their underwear, have an interal exam or breast exam when they were under the age of 13. Alot of this is documented in the hospital charts which were written by himself.” – Diane Walsh Ford, March 26
“I know it was a generation thing for us to keep quiet; not to hurt someone’s reputation; not to harm the ministry. We didn’t want anyone thinking bad of our daughters. If you didn’t say anything, it would go away……..Maybe that’s why we tried to ignore this ugly thing going on in our midst! I don’t know. What a mess! I’m trying to understand it. Of course, we didn’t know how many were affected. DK had a way of pulling off his abuse almost in front of your eyes, which somehow took away some of his guilt perhaps-after all, you saw what he was doing and didn’t say anything. Example: examining the girls in presence of the mother like Sue James mentioned. That also happened with our oldest daughter. He was already preparing to give her physical when I came into the exam room-no nurse present. I also remember the breast exam, he says, ‘it’s never too young to learn to self-exam for lumps, etc.’ – I think she was 15 or 16. There were other things, too. She was part of the 2002 group. I just want to ask forgiveness from you girls for not pursuing, investigating, or whatever was necessary. We knew there was a problem with his relationship with some of the missionary women.” – Aunt Barb & Uncle Bob Adolph, March 29
“I truly am sorry anyone would think it was in anyway a defense of Donn Ketchum because I am not a defender of him, his actions or of the missteps that have occurred in handling this over the entire time from the first reports in the 70’s to now.” – Tony Beckett, March 29
“However, your aunts and uncles were wary of the doctor’s defrauding ways with adult women, especially the single ladies. We know of several times the doctor was confronted about his flirtatious ways. Midway through our 14 years I personally addressed this issue with Donn while he was recovering from his heart attack in the USA (1974). But, alas, we only suspected ‘inappropriate behavior’ for a Christian gentleman at that time.” – Uncle Jess & Aunt Joyce Eaton, March 29
“We wanted to scream but the chain of ‘SILENCE’ (don’t talk about it) tightened around our throats and mouths. The chain of ‘NOT YOUR BUSINESS’ handcuffed us, and the chain of ‘FEARS’ (of being guilty of gossip and of damaging the name of Christ) was the final gag.” – Jack and Margaret Archibald, March 30
“Concerns regarding Donn Ketcham’s repeated inappropriate behavior with the opposite sex on the field could have resulted in his termination as early as 1975, but continued indiscretions should have resulted in dismissal no later than 1985. Regrettably, we did not terminate him as a missionary but rather gave repeated opportunities for counseling and remediation which allowed him time and opportunity to sin against you. Please, please forgive us.” – ABWE Board, March 31
“We could have known more if we hadn’t been put under—and abided by—the insistence on silence that Russ Lloyd imposed on us. If only one of us had stood in that SGR 1 living room on that July 23, 1989 afternoon, and said, ‘We will NOT be silent. We must get to the truth in all of this.’ But no one did, and for that I apologize and ask your forgiveness.” – Jeannie Lockerbie Stephenson, April 2
So you see, I find it indefensible that NO ONE knew: SOMEBODY HAD TO KNOW.
— Diana Durrill