Sunday, September 25, 2022

Allegations of child sex abuse by its founder rocks anti-LGBTQ Christian college

Don Ogden

While certain people are attacking drag queens and LGBTQ people in general for supposedly 'sexualizing' kids, they are distracting from the actual criminal behavior.

This week, the daughters of a founder at Grace College in Indiana came forward with a shocking revelation: their father had sexually abused an estimated one to two hundred male students over his 40-year career at the school. Don Ogden, who died in 2015, was the founder of the school’s music program. His daughters, Diane and Kathleen, disclosed the abuse in a six-page statement shared with The Christian Post .

.  . . Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana officially bans LGBTQ students from attending. The school’s catalog bans “homosexual behavior” and compares it to other sins like adultery, greed, and drunkenness.

The Christian Post, which known to be a highly conservative publication, went into more detail about the allegations.  And they are stunning. According to his two daughters, Ogden (who died in 2015) may have been taking advantage of male students even he was 80. They also accuse Grace College and the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church of covering it up:

The man who had declared that he "loved being a servant of the Lord" was also a serial sexual predator who had an attraction for sex with young boys, which he once allegedly likened to a “dentist that eats candy.” Ogden’s addiction was so deep that even at the age of 80, eight years before his death, he was still allegedly actively engaged in his predation.

 A six-page statement with supporting evidence recently shared with The Christian Post by Ogden’s adult daughters, Diane and Kathleen, said they discovered in February 2021 that, along with his legacy in music, their father left behind an estimated 100 to 200 male victims of his predation. They also accuse officials at Grace College and the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church of mishandling his abuse out of fear they would disrupt the funding of their operations if a scandal about Ogden’s predation was made public.

Both articles point to 1993 arrest in which Ogden was accused of kidnapping and sexually assault a 16-year-old. The young man later recanted the story, claiming that the sex was consensual With the age of consent in Kansas being 16, the case was closed.

But apparently, there were other kids. The Christian Post said that a whistleblower contacted his daughter in 2021 with more allegations that their father may have been molesting kids in a span of 40 years.

The revelation led the sisters to confront leaders at both Grace College and Winona Lake Grace Brethren church and urged them to get help from the Boz Tchividjian-founded Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment organization, popularly known as GRACE. GRACE, which is based in Lynchburg, Virginia, helps Christian groups confront abuse and has a track record in finding and helping victims.

The investigation by GRACE confirmed the worst:

Grace College said because Ogden’s primary contact was with students in the music program, 900 letters were sent to both members of the music program and alumni of the program with queries about their experience with Ogden. 

 Only 11 individuals responded to say “they experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct by Mr. Ogden, with most of the incidents occurring during choir or music group tours,” the brief stated. The brief further noted that some former members of the school staff were made aware of his misconduct but failed to respond appropriately. 

“The investigation substantiated claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault perpetrated by Mr. Ogden within the course and scope of his employment at Grace College. The reported incidents occurred between 1960 and 1990, with most incidents occurring in the 1980s. The investigation also revealed that some former employees had knowledge of the misconduct and failed to appropriately respond to the information at the time,” the brief said, noting Ogden’s 1993 arrest as well. A total of 140 people responded by email or phone to the investigator’s letter or direct outreach, including 19 former students and 18 current and former employees.

What happens next is anyone's guess, but let's put things in perspective.

There have been child sex abuse scandals in the Mormon, Catholic, and Southern Baptist churches. Meanwhile, drag queens and the LGBTQ community in general are constantly facing allegations that we are "grooming" and "sexualizing" kids even though no one has ever been arrested at any drag venue for anything remotely resembling the 'sexual grooming' of a child.

Certain people are protesting at the wrong venues and it seems to me that kids are safer at drag shows than in church.