Death of Tom Kimball

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Kishkumen
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Death of Tom Kimball

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I am very sorry to report that Tom Kimball, guide at the Kirtland Temple, and formerly of Signature Books, took his own life yesterday. His family asks for breathing space to plan his funeral. This is devastating news, and from what I can gather there will probably be a lot of mixed feelings about Tom's passing. Evidently, there are accusations of criminal activity of some kind, and there are perhaps multiple victims involved. Please do not ask me about this because I do not know any details. I had limited interaction with Tom. I knew him to be a sometimes gruff, sometimes charming fellow. He definitely had a gift in his ability to express himself through the written word. I will miss him as a familiar face on the Mormon Studies scene, and I know many in the Mormon Studies community, who knew him much better, will miss him even more. To any victims out there, if the allegations are true, I only offer my sadness and regret for what you had to endure and my hope that you will find healing. To his family and friends, I offer my sincerest condolences.

ETA: It has now come out that Tom Kimball abused girls numbering in the double digits. This is uncontested by anyone in possession of the facts. My heart goes out to his victims and family.
Last edited by Kishkumen on Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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My condolences to all who are mourning and especially to all who have been hurt. His adult children have posted publicly, acknowledging that he took his own life to avoid facing the harm he had done. This is tragic all around.

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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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If practicing criminal law for thirty years has taught me anything, it is that there is good in the worst of us and evil in the best.

Rest In Peace, Tom.
You prove yourself of the devil and anti-mormon every word you utter, because only the devil perverts facts to make their case.--ldsfaqs (6-24-13)

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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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I am sincerely sorry to hear this. I didn't know Tom at all, but tragedy happens, and I do hope healing is on the way...
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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This is terribly sad news. I got to know Tom at Signature and on a road trip through Utah. I was fortunate to only experience goodness.

Lindsay Hanson Park has posted more details on her Facebook page.

https://www.Facebook.com/lindsay.park.7
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Simon Southerton wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:14 pm
This is terribly sad news. I got to know Tom at Signature and on a road trip through Utah. I was fortunate to only experience goodness.

Lindsay Hanson Park has posted more details on her Facebook page.

https://www.Facebook.com/lindsay.park.7
The magnitude of the harm he inflicted on others is difficult to take in. My heart breaks for his victims and his family. Evidently he was terrified of facing the consequences of his actions when his victims started to come forward. The staggering amount of pain that he caused and endured were overwhelming. His victims and family are left to carry that great burden. My heart goes out to them.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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I never knew the guy so it isn't hard for me to process this. The guy sounds like so many perps that may do good things in one part of their lives yet commit heinous acts that make so many suffer. It is never acceptable regardless of what he may have done in his public life.

I hope the victims can recover, realizing it is the perp's fault and not theirs. Too many times the victim feels guilt for what the predator does and that is simply not true. Kudos to Lindsey Hansen Park for telling the truth.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Dr Exiled wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:34 am
I never knew the guy so it isn't hard for me to process this. The guy sounds like so many perps that may do good things in one part of their lives yet commit heinous acts that make so many suffer. It is never acceptable regardless of what he may have done in his public life.

I hope the victims can recover, realizing it is the perp's fault and not theirs. Too many times the victim feels guilt for what the predator does and that is simply not true. Kudos to Lindsey Hansen Park for telling the truth.
I agree on all accounts, Dr Exiled. His acts of abuse were never acceptable. Lindsay did the right thing. I join you in hoping Tom's victims can find healing.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Some days you're just humming along nicely enjoying all around you and then some story like this smacks you in the face bringing you back to the knowledge of how cruel things are.

God and religion seem to make no sense when we know violent and mean psychopaths exist. I don't know if Tom would have fit that billing, but one has to wonder how someone can hurt others going to desperate measures to keep it hidden, only to find relief in the hiding and then turn around to hurt another. I hate taking precautions with people, but some people, men in particular, are ravenous wolves. We need to be better at identifying problems growing in people and helping them onto a better course.

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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Stem wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:36 am
Some days you're just humming along nicely enjoying all around you and then some story like this smacks you in the face bringing you back to the knowledge of how cruel things are.

God and religion seem to make no sense when we know violent and mean psychopaths exist. I don't know if Tom would have fit that billing, but one has to wonder how someone can hurt others going to desperate measures to keep it hidden, only to find relief in the hiding and then turn around to hurt another. I hate taking precautions with people, but some people, men in particular, are ravenous wolves. We need to be better at identifying problems growing in people and helping them onto a better course.
There are no winners here for sure. I am deeply saddened by this revelation. I agree with you that we all need to take stock of where we are at and commit ourselves to doing better in listening to victims and finding ways to deter the harm in the first place. It is very complicated for all people involved. These crimes destroy lives, whether they remain hidden or come out into the light. As someone said elsewhere, it is better to tear the bandaid off quickly, but it is also difficult to judge others, especially victims, when they balk at tearing off the bandaid quickly. They understand better than we do the enigmatic combination of power and vulnerability attached to these crimes. A revelation can destroy lives in different ways from secrecy. At the same time, secrecy insures the great multiplication of harm.

My refusal to continue activity in the LDS Church is due in no small part to its very broken way of dealing with sexuality and the more disturbing way that it weaponizes sex as an instrument of control. (I could not in good conscience expose my own children to that system.) That begins with interviewing children about their intimate lives. Sam Young was right. The LDS Church was and continues to be an unsafe environment for children and adults. All Mormons are, to one extent or another, victims of that broken and manipulative system. Tom was a product of it. His victims were a product of it. I am not saying that Tom would only have been an offender as a Mormon. I don't know that. It is, however, a real possibility. We do not know whether he was abused by someone else. He very well could have been. We don't know whether that person was a fellow Latter-day Saint, a priesthood holder, someone who victimized many other children.

It is very possible that Tom is both an offender and a victim in the wider network of broken sexuality, secrecy, and control in Mormonism. He has passed that horrible burden on to his own victims. It remains to be seen how they will deal with the harm done to them. I dearly hope that they find healing. But it will not be easy. These harms can mar lives for generations.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Lindsay Hansen Park posted the following on Facebook, and I think it is important to share widely. Lindsay has many followers in addition to her friends, so this is not a private post.
Today has been a weird day. I'm hesitant to keep talking because I am tired and I don't need to keep making this about me. I need to find a way to let those who are grieving a father, brother, son, etc, to do that without all this noise.

But because I'm tired, I am irritated. I haven't had a lot of sleep in the last three weeks. When I found out the news about Tom, I was sick. I had to sit on it quietly for a week until I began to verify and talk to victims. Once I knew what they wanted, I felt comfortable telling people for the sake of safety.

I told the people in my purview, people who I thought would be impacted by this coming out, as the victims moved forward with their plans. I wanted to tell some of those who loved Tom like I did, in person. I know some thought me as... I'm not even sure- gossipy? Yeah, I'm a chatterbox. Get over it. If I found out my friend who has hurt many women and lied to me about lots of things is dangerous, I'm going to say something about it. I wish I had known earlier. I was in danger because I didn't know.

It felt right and honest to me to tell our friends. It felt like a kindness to Tom because I told myself that he needed someone to stand for him long ago, like I was standing for his victims today. Knowing what I know about the situation, I believe Tom was victimized as a child.

I say this not to diminish his responsibility, but perhaps to amplify it. I know victims sometimes perpetrate, but not all of them do. Many break the cycle. They do the work and they break it. I have seen it. There are few brave enough to do it, but they exist.

The ones that do perpetrate can choose to change at any time. I know some strong people who have done this. I don't care how compulsive or inherent this feels. You can victimize and you can stop. You can do things to prevent yourself from hurting others. That often involves turning yourself in. That is what bravery is.

I know I'm making that sound simple. What I mean is, if you are hurting people like this, it's wrong. That's why it's so secretive. And if you know it's wrong, that's excellent news. That means you have a conscious and that also means you can take responsibility. It won't be pretty or easy. But rooting out poison is a painful purge. It will cost and hurt. You will pay the debt of many years of generational trauma. The last hope I had for Tom was that he would be brave.

What I am crying about today is, I wanted so much for Tom to face it. It was so important to me for him to do this. It was important because the man that I loved with such an open heart- I couldn't bear to believe he was anything other but redemptive and good. Because that's how he made me feel. I wanted to return the favor. I wanted him to have the courage to fix this. He had a chance to make some of his victims feel better. He had a way to help turn this around.

I know some of you will not understand this. I know you believe I am doing this for attention, or out of misguided rage or whatever. I know there are people who do not believe me and will not. That's about you, not me. Tom was guilty. He was guilty.

I do not think it is fair, that people will applaud my work when I'm sitting next to the victims of Warren Jeffs, but not when I'm putting my own house in order. Tom was part of my heart. It isn't right that he did this.

Warren Jeffs is the father to many people I love and care about. How are we any better or different than them? Why do we need those outside of us to face the facts about someone like Warren but we won't do it with our own? That's not right.

This isn't fun for me. I'm not having a good time. I don't get paid enough for this nonsense. And it's nonsense, it really is, to not be believed, over and over. I don't want to keep wasting my precious energy on the shame of our men. They need to help carry this too. To have this problem be so systemic and we all just keep adding our fear and shame to feed it. You know what's not working? Pretending it's not all around all of us, all the time.

If you loved Tom, then I will say this: Tom deserved better. We should have helped him. If he was indeed victimized, he needed help. I know our punishments are punitive. I believe in restorative justice. But this is the best we have right now. If you care about that, then work to improve it. Because this whole thing, the way this whole thing played out is just the failure of so many things. So many that Tom is not responsible for. I am mourning that today.

But he does need to be responsible for the things within the nexus of his control. He had multiple times to correct this. He hurt so many women. My brain is still trying to understand how anyone could do these things that Tom has. I've got some mourning to do around this still.

Most victims were not asking for criminal repercussions. They wanted to be believed. But I stand with those who wanted him on the registry or in prison. I stand with however the victims feel about this. It is the right they earned when he perpetrated against them. When he took pictures of them, terrified them, confused them. When he made his own children feel shame for being brave enough to break this cycle. I have been mourning that one for three weeks.

To me, they and the victims are heroes in the Kimball legacy. I hope someone writes good things about them someday. Heber C. has brought some pain into this world, but he's got descendants who are stopping it.

As the news has settled in over his death, I am gutted. I know there are others that are angry or confused that we would still feel love for a man who hurt so much. I understand this feeling. I don't think it's a coincidence many in my community are on very opposites of this. Black and white, fight or flight thinking are trauma responses. And Mormonism, unfortunately is so full of it.

So of course people can't hold space for the complexity this is going to require. We are all walking wounded. I mourn with all of those feelings.

If you loved Tom, do this one last service. Don't fail him in this. Be his friend. One of the things I loved about Tom was his frontier spirit. I think we can honor a similar pioneering narrative where we have a chance here, to model a complex discourse. In mourning someone who we only experienced the good side, we can let others mourn their relationships they had to Tom too. Many of those were not good experiences and they were as real as your love for him is. Some are absolutely, heartbreakingly tragic. Tom hurt people. Don't ask those he hurt to be erased to make you feel better.

Mourning and grief is very individual. As we do it collectively, we can model some healing for others in the community, who will inevitably face similar circumstances. I feel like we have to.

I mean it. We have to stop the patterns we inherited. We lost Tom to this. It didn't have to be this way. We can't just keep doing the same old things. We need change. Hold Tom as accountable as you'd hold the church, or the FLDS.

Maybe I am a busybody. A little Mormon woman in the business of others. But this is nasty business and I didn't invent his sins. I don't want any of this. It was the last nice thing I could do for him to try to help him face this, although I do not think he appreciated it. I would have held his hand as he talked to the officer. To honor the victim in him.

I know that Tom found out I told some orgs that I felt would be impacted this news. It is possible he threatened to hurt me, so an Unified officer called me and there I verified more of the details and learned there were other cases outside of the 9 victims I knew about. I'm not sure if I was in danger. I'd like to believe Tom wouldn't hurt me. Like I told others, I find it a kindness he didn't take me with him as he threatened to do.

I will say his victims are likely making a statement soon. They want to be heard and I hope that when they do, we can honor their grief in all of this as well.

One last thing, right now I really need to thank my friends. They've been with me through this mess. To Bob for answering messages. For the amazing Mormon feminists that will always have my back on this. For the men who are mourning Tom as I am, in all the complexities.

And again, stand back. I'm grieving. I don't need you to hate Tom or love him or believe or not. I just needed to tell the truth so my friend wouldn't hurt more people.

I think also that I want to apologize to Kelly and Tom's children and victims, especially if my involvement has compounded your grief. I have tried to act within the permissions of the victims and I recognize that is still hurtful to those who have complicated feelings right now. I also want to say, "I believe you" to all his victims and his children and I think you are all the bravest and honorable parts of the Kimball legacy.

I want our Tom to have been able to rest and have peace here, but Tom opted out of that. Tonight I feel manipulated by that, but I too get time to have complicated feelings on the matter.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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I had a pretty restless night's sleep. This really has rocked me, as I am sure it has many of you. I knew Tom pretty well from the time he worked at Signature Books. He was my publicist and took me on a road trip through Utah. He served his mission in Australia so we had more of a connection than exmormonism. We both enjoyed the outdoors and went on several hikes, including one up Timpanogos. Just months ago, Tom and I were reminiscing about those hikes and hoping to do another hike one day. I thought I had a very attuned radar for sensing “something is just not right here”, but it failed me utterly.

What is so troubling is that Tom came across as so emotionally wise and caring, because that’s what we all saw. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, that raised any alarm bells for anyone who knew him. There were no rumours circulating or anything to suggest there was foul play. Tom was extremely intelligent. He knew the damage he was doing. He had a conscience. He knew lives would be destroyed. Yet he continued for decades.

The only other report of abuse on this scale in Australia over the last few decades was a Mormon filmmaker from Melbourne named Darren Page (changed to Scott). https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALe ... 88&bih=745 Active Mormons make up less than 0.1% of Australia’s population. As a religion it is insignificant, yet our worst recent paedophile case was a Mormon. We've had a lot of sexual abuse in religious institutions, but that was 40 to 50 years ago and most of the perpetrators have died of old age. What we do hear a lot more of in Australia are reports of people being exposed earlier in their criminal career. Kids just seem to be more willing to tell authorities. Maybe that’s because in Australia we don’t trust religious authority figures. Kids trust their teachers more than their priest.

There is something seriously wrong with Mormon culture. How did he get so much access? I shudder to recall the access I had to young women in the church. I chaperoned young women on camps countless times. I interviewed them as a bishop or counsellor many times. Countless parents trusted me completely.

There is also something wrong with a culture if women are still so reluctant to report. Are they protecting the church and their parents or family from embarrassment? Does the bloody ridiculous "porn shoulder culture" make these women feel so much shame they would rather stay silent? Do women not feel empowered enough to raise their voices?

Mormon culture is either giving greater access or inhibiting reporting or both. From my experience it’s both.

Lindsay Park did the right thing. Both of her posts were bang on. None of this can be hidden.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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I think it needs to be said: I have always assumed that the poster "Tom" here on MormonDiscussions.com was Tom Kimball. If that's true, I always thought he was one of the more eloquent and interesting posters here. To say that I'm bothered by what I've read here would be an understatement.

That being said, since I specialize in Mopologetics, that's where I feel I'm best able to comment. I share the confusion with others who've posted on this thread. I share the disappointment, and the horror. But I also understand the various ways that this will be "put to use." Dr. Peterson's remark on "Sic et Non," it seems to me--for example--was just right in that respect. But then there is Midgley:
Louis Midgley wrote:I had no exactly no idea of the troubles that Tom Kimball seems to have inflicted on others and hence also brought upon himself. And I was deeply saddened when I learned this morning of the way he chose to deal with his problems by ending his own life.

Tom Kimball once did a nice favor for me. When he worked for Signature Books, he urged Grant Palmer to provide an account of his employment in two places in California as a Seminary coordinator, and also his stint teaching released time Seminary in two high schools in Salt Lake County. Tom then had this account posted on the Signature Books website, which was very helpful in providing me with some useful and even necessary additional supporting evidence for my essay entitled "Prying into Palmer," FARMS Review 15/2 (2003): 365-410.
Someone posted a link to the Jana Riess op-ed, and Midgley goes so far as to offer up his own phone number in order to control the narrative:
Louis Midgley wrote:Lane: I will not comment further on Tom Kimball in public. Please phone me at 801-310-7272, and I will say just a few things about Tom Kimball that Jana Reiss skirted.

I must also add that any attempt to picture Tom Kimball as a student of the faith of Latter-day Saints is absurd, even or especially if he was interviewed by others in an attempt to see have him set out his own opinions about the wonders of apostasy.
Feel free to give him a call.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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I wanted so much for Tom to face it. It was so important to me for him to do this. I wanted him to have the courage to fix this. He had a chance to make some of his victims feel better. He had a way to help turn this around.
I assume she is suggesting jail time rather than blood atonement. Either way the man is dead and you are left with your own means of resolution. There was no ideal pound of flesh to be rendered.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Lindsay Hansen Park said:
I know that Tom found out I told some orgs that I felt would be impacted this news. It is possible he threatened to hurt me, so an Unified officer called me and there I verified more of the details and learned there were other cases outside of the 9 victims I knew about. I'm not sure if I was in danger. I'd like to believe Tom wouldn't hurt me. Like I told others, I find it a kindness he didn't take me with him as he threatened to do.
This guy was a predator to the end. I'm kind of shocked this was the same Tom who posted here from time to time. One never knows who is behind the online personas or what people are capable of doing.
Last edited by Dr Exiled on Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Simon Southerton wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:17 pm
I had a pretty restless night's sleep. This really has rocked me, as I am sure it has many of you. I knew Tom pretty well from the time he worked at Signature Books. He was my publicist and took me on a road trip through Utah. He served his mission in Australia so we had more of a connection than exmormonism. We both enjoyed the outdoors and went on several hikes, including one up Timpanogos. Just months ago, Tom and I were reminiscing about those hikes and hoping to do another hike one day. I thought I had a very attuned radar for sensing “something is just not right here”, but it failed me utterly.
I sympathize with you, Simon. I did not know Tom as well as you did. I talked to him perhaps three times in my life, but the news is so awful that I can't help but ruminate on this. I felt I knew him through the Mormon Studies Community. On Facebook I certainly felt I had a sense of him through his lovely posts about the Kirtland Temple and other experiences in his life. This knowledge of him is so starkly different, and so much worse, than what I thought I knew that I am reeling. This is a deadly serious issue, and it has struck us all closely here. This is not the Bishop Joe Bloggs story in the newspaper. This is Tom.
Simon Southerton wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:17 pm
What is so troubling is that Tom came across as so emotionally wise and caring, because that’s what we all saw. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, that raised any alarm bells for anyone who knew him. There were no rumours circulating or anything to suggest there was foul play. Tom was extremely intelligent. He knew the damage he was doing. He had a conscience. He knew lives would be destroyed. Yet he continued for decades.
Tom was ill. I am sorry to have to repair to a medical metaphor here, but I don't know how else to think through the inconsistencies in this picture. The Tom we knew was the Tom he wanted to be, and the Tom he was to his victims was the monster he could not control. Both were Tom, and that is the enigma we are stuck with. I will never think of Tom in the same way again. I cannot excuse one iota of what he did to those girls and women. Now the names of victims are coming out on Facebook. We can see the faces and names of his victims. We know a little more about what he was doing to them. These are the awful acts that we encounter in news stories about underground pedophile rings.
There is something seriously wrong with Mormon culture. How did he get so much access? I shudder to recall the access I had to young women in the church. I chaperoned young women on camps countless times. I interviewed them as a bishop or counsellor many times. Countless parents trusted me completely.

There is also something wrong with a culture if women are still so reluctant to report. Are they protecting the church and their parents or family from embarrassment? Does the bloody ridiculous "porn shoulder culture" make these women feel so much shame they would rather stay silent? Do women not feel empowered enough to raise their voices?

Mormon culture is either giving greater access or inhibiting reporting or both. From my experience it’s both.
You are right. There is something wrong with Mormon culture. I am sorry to say it. I think there is also a lot that is worthwhile and good in Mormon culture, but this is a real problem, or, perhaps more accurately, part of a complex of problems that are interrelated. It is a toxic combination of power, authority, secrecy, control, and the sacred that facilitates abusers in carrying out their crimes. That's my opinion, anyway.

I have said it many times, but I think it always bears repeating: LDS culture is not really a safe place for kids. This is not to say that many kids can't go through life in the LDS Church without being abused. Of course they can. The safeguards against abuse are inadequate, however, and worse--there are structural elements of Church practice that simply will help abusers abuse kids. No child should be alone with an adult stranger to talk about private sexual matters. Full stop. There can be no exceptions to that rule.

People will respond by pointing out that Tom was an ex-Mormon and thus did not have the tools of personal priesthood interviews to use in perpetrating his crimes. Yes. Very true. But we need to understand that these interviews are part of a system of practices that goes back to early Mormonism that involves treating young people as adult partners and using one's own children as tools to build salvific family networks. You are considered strange if you DO NOT turn over your kids to the care of ward members.

That was my experience, anyway, and it really came to home to my wife and me when we our own children joined our family. We adopted our kids, and in doing so we learned about the issue of attachment. Adopting families must give attention to the issue of forming strong bonds with their kids, especially if they adopt kids in their toddler years or older. The Church system had no sensitivity to that issue. They expected us to turn our kids over to fellow ward members while we did our church service. We could see they would just not understand. In their eyes, we were wrong for not understanding how the Church worked. There was something deeply ingrained here regarding the thin boundaries between the nuclear family and the ward, and I really believe it was a Mormon phenomenon.

That is dangerous. It provides easy access for perpetrators like Tom. And we must consider the possibility that Tom himself was a victim in this social system. Lindsay Hansen Park strongly suspects this, and she knew him better than most of us did. So, it does not matter that Tom was not abusing kids through personal priesthood interviews. He was in a social system that unfortunately makes it very easy for sick predators to perpetrate crimes against children. Children are molded to be very trusting of fellow ward members. They are molded to trust priesthood holders with their intimate secrets. They are taught to obey and respect their elders. The Church expects members to trust their kids with other ward members and especially priesthood leaders.

Taken individually these may sound like decent values, but put together in this particular mix they set up kids for personal catastrophe. Tom may have been one of those kids, and he then took the damage done to him and thrust it on many, many young girls.

It has to stop. The Church needs to strengthen the boundaries between the institution and the family in this regard. No child should be put in a position where they can easily be victimized by sexual predators. The LDS Church system has failed to catch these perps, hold them accountable, and keep children safe on a large scale. The Church is not to be trusted until it makes the needed changes. This is something a mass of members must demand. Ex-Mormons, too, must feel obliged to take up the cause and keep at it. We were part of this, and we know it is broken. Family and friends are still in it. Kids you know are at risk. We should not rest thinking there is nothing we can do about this.
Lindsay Park did the right thing. Both of her posts were bang on. None of this can be hidden.
Indeed. We are lucky in this community to have brave, hard-working people of integrity like Lindsay. She is a treasure.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Kishkumen
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

Post by Kishkumen »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:22 pm
I think it needs to be said: I have always assumed that the poster "Tom" here on MormonDiscussions.com was Tom Kimball. If that's true, I always thought he was one of the more eloquent and interesting posters here. To say that I'm bothered by what I've read here would be an understatement.
I long thought it was possible that our Tom was Tom Kimball, but I could not be sure. For one thing, I thought it perhaps statistically less likely that he would use his own name. There are also a number of other intelligent and knowledgeable (ex-)Mormon Toms out there. But his particular interests seemed consistent with personalities and interests of maybe one or two Toms, assuming that Tom is the poster's actual name, which I did not think was necessarily safe to assume.

I had other reasons to think our Tom was Kimball. Some years ago, when Tom Kimball was working for Signature Books, I started to receive some free Signature books in the mail at work. This was after he and I had some positive interactions.

Our first two interactions were actually kind of unpleasant. One year I tried chatting with him when he was manning the Signature Books booth at the book sale of the annual AAR/SBL meeting. He was kind of gruff with me at the time, but I chalked it up to me being an unknown quantity approaching him with my characteristic naïve enthusiasm. The second interaction was at Sunstone. I was speaking there for the first time, and I made the mistake of referring to Dan Vogel as an atheist. Tom spoke up very angrily. Evidently that was not a politic thing to do or perhaps inaccurate on some level, but since I never considered atheism controversial myself, I naïvely walked into offending Tom and others.

It was Don Bradley who repaired the misunderstanding. My next couple of contacts with Tom were positive, and the books from Signature started showing up at my office. Based on what we saw of our Tom here on MormonDiscussions.com, I just carried on with the passive assumption, consciously tentative, that Tom was Tom Kimball.

But, our Tom may show up to set us straight. Our Tom messaged me on September 22 about my attempt to find the Gee hit-piece review of Ritner. That was my last personal communication with our Tom, and it may have been my last communication with Tom Kimball. It should be noted that the Kimball family's awareness of the accusations against Tom is several months old. So you can factor that into your speculations on this issue. Our Tom was still posting here in early October. I sensed nothing strange in our Tom's posting or communication with me, but, then, Tom Kimball must have been pretty well practiced in compartmentalizing his life.

We'll see. Our Tom may post before I even finish typing this and settle the question.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Kishkumen
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Dr Exiled wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:24 am
Lindsay Hansen Park said:
I know that Tom found out I told some orgs that I felt would be impacted this news. It is possible he threatened to hurt me, so an Unified officer called me and there I verified more of the details and learned there were other cases outside of the 9 victims I knew about. I'm not sure if I was in danger. I'd like to believe Tom wouldn't hurt me. Like I told others, I find it a kindness he didn't take me with him as he threatened to do.
This guy was a predator to the end. I'm kind of shocked this was the same Tom who posted here from time to time. One never knows who is behind the online personas or what people are capable of doing.
Yes, that news from Lindsay was extremely disturbing, but, unfortunately, not all that surprising. We have to imagine that he was extremely desperate as his life unravelled before his eyes. All of these years he secretly abused kids and took such great pains to hide it while maintaining a respectable façade. Now his life as he had known it was ending. For him it was a kind of death, and he was furious with the world and himself as he desperately looked for a way out. As painful as it would have been, facing up to his crimes was the better way to deal with it, but I can't imagine what it must have been like to be in his shoes. There must have been such great self-loathing. So much pain and guilt.

I doubt he would have gone to the trouble of hunting down Lindsay to harm her. His threat, however, is entirely consistent with other incidents that occurred when Tom was frightened and angry. One of his former Signature Books associates reported that in the past he had accosted her and verbally abused her in a wild and disturbing way when he felt she had been hired into a position that was, according to his view, rightfully his. The man that would do that would certainly threaten Lindsay in a desperate moment. I don't see, however, him actually following through on the threat. We should recall that his acts of physical aggression were carefully planned to maintain secrecy. He did not threaten them openly or talk about them openly. Therefore, an open threat of this kind is not the sort of thing he would likely have actually followed through on.

That said, yes, he was a predator to the end. Bullying of this kind is just another form of predation. It comes from the same place of sickness and fear. We cannot separate Tom the bully from Tom the sexual predator. It may be that Tom had a hole in him that freaked the ____ out of him and that he desperately needed to fill by making himself feel powerful anyway he could without regard for the health and safety of others. Tom died a predator. It is extremely sad. May his victims and family find healing.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Tom the poster has a very clear preference for topics that discuss Mopologetics and it's various personalities. He seems, or if its Kimball, seemed really knowledgeable about the recent history, dating back the past few decades, of the inner-workings of the whole enterprise. If it's not him it's really a despicable thing to put on someone even though we're all by and large anonymous. It feels a little dirty thinking it. I hope it's not, but I suppose if we don't hear from him again, well it may not definitively answer the question for us, but...

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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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For those of us who did not know him, what, if any, was the relationship between him and S.W.?
"Any over-ritualized religion since the dawn of time can make its priests say yes, we know, it is rotten, and hard luck, but just do as we say, keep at the ritual, stick it out, give us your money and you'll end up with the angels in heaven for evermore."

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Kishkumen
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Re: Death of Tom Kimball

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Fence Sitter wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:35 am
For those of us who did not know him, what, if any, was the relationship between him and S.W.?
Both are descendants of Heber C. Kimball?
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist

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