To fight passivity, we must know what to be aware of what to look out for. Child molesters are master manipulators. Often they also have a group of advocates that surround them as well. These advocates are often very good people who are extremely gullible and are likely too trusting as they won’t verify what they have been told by one who would harm a child. These individuals are the “useful idiots” of a child predator. In order to know what to look for, we need to look for the tactics that the molesters and their advocates use.
One very common tactic used is gaslighting. This tactic gets its name from a 1944 movie “Gaslight” starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. In this movie Boyer’s character attempts to drive Bergman’s character insane. The tactic involves modifying evidence or falsifying information to cause one to doubt his or her own recollection of the story.
Compartmentalization of data
Does this sound like something common? Patrick J Kennedy in his book “A Common Struggle” shared some insight to what the late Senator Ted Kennedy, his father and arguably the patriarch of the Kennedy family at that time, had to say when Patrick’s addictions were out of control by his own admission.
“I saw a picture of the car, and I don’t know why they’re making such a a big deal of this. It looked to me like it was only a little fendah bendah.” Patrick Kennedy went on to state, ‘Very old-school. No ‘How are you doing?’ Just “a little fendah bendah” (or, for those not raised in New England, “fender bender”). In fact, that’s pretty much how he suggested I play it with the press and the public.’
Do you see how Ted Kennedy began to frame an event that happened to his adult son? Within a few sentences one can find, denial, minimization, and domination. A narrative was being formulated to put the family as a whole in a good light, but not his son, Patrick’s health. Powerful political families and families down any street in America are professionals at saying nothing.
Saying nothing is passivity in disguise and it is making a mess out of a lot of things including the statistics on child abuse in America today. We must become aware of the tactics that those who would harm our children use or those who would advocate for them. By learning these tactics we become better watchmen.
Any normal parent would not plan on providing opportunity for a child predator. However when the tools of a molester are put into play it is very possible that a parent could be deceived, or let their guard down and become apathetic because of familiarity. Don’t believe that you are not capable of providing opportunity, the statistics show that you do.
Opportunity: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.
As parents we must be aware that there are those who are seeking opportunities to do a child harm. As the watchmen of our families, we must not provide the opportunity for the children in our care to be harmed.
I Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Opportunity is something that a predator will create. Almost everything in their world is built to create deniability or sympathy. A predator will often be the person that many often feel sorry for. This is a state that is manufactured to be a defense mechanism by playing on others sympathy. Or, if the person genuinely does have a difficult life for whatever reason, they will use their situation as a way to escape prosecution. This technique is especially effective when the predator knows the victim, thus the predator knows or is family with the parents of the victim. We have all seen the news stories with neighbors, co-workers, and family members in disbelief when being interviewed on the arrest of a “pillar of the community”, “patriarch of the family”, or “anchor within the congregation”. This is by design. This is exactly how the average predator has had anywhere from fifty to one hundred fifty victims before being caught depending on the offenders preferences.
As watchmen we must be like the Men of Issachar found in I Chronicles 12:32. The men of Issachar were ‘aware of the times’. We must be aware of the threats to our families and take the appropriate action to eliminate opportunities for our children to be harmed. As parents we must examine the reason why some might have access to our children. Then there should be a very small list of individuals that are allowed access to your children unsupervised. Any individual who is able to have access to your child either supervised or unsupervised must always display integrity and transparency.
Opportunity is something that a predator will create through dishonesty. Has anyone in your circle of friends or family been caught in a lie yet continued to try to convince you that the lie was truth? Has anyone in that same group ever kept anything from you that as a parent you wish you would have known and thought that they would have known to tell you? These types of situations can end up being character flaws. At the very least you should consider the level of access that they have to your children. If they get a significant amount of access, perhaps the level of access that they have should be reduced. Just because someone is known to be less than truthful does not mean that they will molest or allow the molestation of your child. It does however bring into question if you will get the truth regarding what happened with your child while in their care. Since deception is one of the tools in the molester’s toolbox, and deception can create opportunity, every person with access to your child must display incredible integrity.
Opportunity can also be created through a parent’s apathy. A parent that is not diligent when their family is incapable of telling the truth creates opportunity. There are many ways that a parent can inadvertently create opportunity for a predator. Parents can be too loyal to their own parents, in-laws or siblings. Parents can also be too loyal to their church thus being apathetic towards their children. This is not an anti church or anti Christian statement, but rather a call for parents to use their own brain rather than the collective thinking of others who are not responsible for your children. (I Tim 5:8) Opportunity is access. Opportunity is time and place with your child. Opportunity is a situation that does not “sound” bad or compromising. Opportunity is a parent not doing their homework, not asking the difficult questions. Opportunity is what is used by those who would want to do your children harm. Be the good watchman.
When we look at the abuse of children and the use of deception to manipulate the child and then the abuser or the abusers advocate will then encourage deception. Deception in fact is the number one tool in the toolbox of a child molester. Molesters will deceive the adults responsible for the child to gain access, deceive the child, and then deceive other adults to have them stand up for the molester. What does the Bible say about deception? When a family member, even a parent asks us to cover the abuse of any child up no matter how insignificant it seemed, we have examples in the Bible regarding deception and why we should avoid it.
In order to deceive at least one lie must be told, but often in the case of child molestation there is a web of lies created to create a scenario of trust. That web of lies is used to create disbelief should the molester be caught. To begin lets define what a lie is. Webster defines a lie as 1) to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive or 2) to create a false or misleading impression.
Cain and Abel
Gen 4:8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[d] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.
Cain implemented definition one listed above in the definition of a lie. God himself then called him on his lie.
Joshua 7:1 But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.
Joshua 7:22-23 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath. 23 And they took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the people of Israel. And they laid them down before the Lord.
Achan implemented definition two of the definition of a lie. He took what he was not to take and then hid it in his tent. The casual observer would have had no idea what was in the tent from the outside it probably looked very normal. When the messengers that Joshua sent to the tent went in they found what was hidden inside and underneath.
David, Bathsheba and Uriah
We know about David and Bathsheba and how that was wrong, let’s look at what was done by David to attempt to cover up his sin.
2 Samuel 11: 6 So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David.
2 Samulel 11:9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,”
2 Samuel 11:14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.”
David tried to use definition two. He attempted to have Uriah be with his wife to cover the pregnancy. Uriah’s faithfulness caused him to deliver the orders that were David’s second more direct way of covering his sin and cost Uriah his life.
Ananias and Sapphira
Acts 5:1 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Ananias and Sapphira used both definitions of a lie. Ananias laid part of the proceeds of the sale of his land at the apostles feet to make it appear as if it was the entire sum of money from the transaction. Therefore appearing as if he had done something that he had not. Sapphira came in three hours later and was asked directly if the offering that was made was the sum of the transaction and stated that the sum of money was the entire amount from the sale of their land.
Amnon and Tamar
2 Samuel 13
2 Samuel 13: 20 And her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry.
Absolom told Tamar to keep quiet, and “not to take this to heart”, and David although angry did nothing and almost lost his kingdom as a result. Both David and Absolom thought it best to implement Webster’s definition two regarding Tamar. Although David had already done plenty to cause issues in his family, not directly dealing with the issue which likely caused Absolom to take matters in his own hands. Absolom’s reaction to his sister which was to “hold your peace” and “not take this to heart”, or act as if nothing happened, no big deal. In today’s terms, “let’s keep this between us”, or “your *insert family relation here* can’t handle this we need to keep this quiet.” Or “they’ve had a hard time of it, let’s not make it more difficult for them.” 
When we look at the two ways to handle the abuse of a child in your care, the old way and the new way, there is an obvious compare and contrast between those who deceived and how God viewed the deception based on the outcome of the situations. When the old way is employed, deception continues and the value of the victim is diminished, when the new way is employed, the actions one would take are the opposite of the examples that we have in scripture who deceived. We are called to expose unfruitful works in Ephesians 5:11-13, covering up the abuse of any child especially your own is certainly taking part in an unfruitful work. Exposing the evil that was done removes the forced silence, which is a barrier to healing. This is where Ezekiel 33:1-6 comes in to play. We are to be the good watchmen; if we are not, then what happens is on our hands. As leaders of our home we are to provide physically (shelter, monetarily, and security), and spiritually to those under our roof. I Tim 5:8. Decide which watchman you will be.
 Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, Rid of My Disgrace