May 13, 2021
The word “grooming” was first introduced into this matter when an adult who was a victim of child sexual abuse, including grooming, came to have knowledge of what transpired between me and John. This survivor used the word “grooming” because this survivor recognized a familiar predator behavior pattern.
I do not disagree with this survivor’s assessment.
And, since I was an adult when John seduced me, I personally prefer to say that John targeted me for vulnerability, involved my husband (by both interviewing him and inviting our family to come to John’s home), and then began a very slow and calculated seduction that ultimately led me into a very dangerous situation because once I gave into John, I found that his pattern was to blatantly lie to the public and his priesthood leaders about his “temple worthiness.” And then, ultimately, as you saw on Mormonism Live, to lie and make himself appear to be the victim of me.
I understand that people don’t like to use the word “grooming” for adults. I happen to agree. I don’t like it either. In fact, I hate the world altogether. I definitely prefer to say that I was a victim of a predator intentionally using a “slow and calculated seduction” rather than to say that I was a victim of “grooming.” But, mostly I think I prefer the seduction language because of my pride. It’s ugly and embarrassing to admit that I was vulnerable to those common predator strategies in my mid-to-late thirties.
But I was.
And while I dislike the word “grooming,” I respect the assessment of the grooming and child sexual abuse survivor who first brought the word into this conversation. That survivor was right because regardless of the age of the victim, the predator’s strategy is the same. And, from a predator’s perspective, the results are the same.
I believe a positive outcome of any discussion about this matter would be to define and discuss particular predator strategies so that it is easier for people to discern abuse and, consequently, more difficult for abusers to get away with their actions.