ATLANTA – Earlier today, Bishop Eddie Long finally emerged from four days of near seclusion, declaring that he would “fight” allegations against him [AP source]. Long emphasized twice that he wasn’t “perfect”. Reactions have been varied, but many have said it was an “expected” speech, But on yesterday, developments took a stunning turn. Don Lemon, a CNN news anchor interviewing three young adult members of New Birth admitted that he was the victim of a homosexual pedophile. More after you watch this video.
A personal surprise for me. One of the young people interviewed, John Campbell III is my cousin. Campbell’s grandfather, Texas Bishop A. LaDell Thomas is the former vice president of the Church of God in Christ’s powerful Board of Bishops.
Bishop Thomas was himself involved in COGIC’s most infamous case of homosexual molestation as a member of the investigating board in the case of Bishop John D. Husband. He was the person Gwen Fox said told her to sue the church because he was convinced of Husband’s guilt.
Don Lemon’s admission was personally painful for me to watch and I understand intuitively how he felt having been a victim in my youth of a predator who “groomed” me to like him, then threatened me with exposure if I told about our “relationship”.
Its also another signal marker in this developing story, as Lemon noted, that the stories of these young men cannot be summarily dismissed without serious comprehensive consideration as to their veracity. Any person who has been in the grip of a predator with authority instantly recognizes the signs, the words, the traps and the deception you are led into. And the long and brutal road to recovery in the face of many who immediately revictimize you because they cannot picture the predator as someone like this. Long did say that he was “not the man portrayed on television”.
For some victims, a consistent and knowledgeable support system can mean the difference between a healthy, productive life and perpetual dysfunction going forward.
The panel of young people reflect the type of deep denial among African American Christians about certain leaders and their propensity to commit such detestable acts. Confronted with the attorney’s description of Long’s alleged pattern of predatory activities, they all struggled to explain it rationally.
The evolving situations with Bishop Long hopefully will help to open up much needed dialogue and solution finding as well as educate the black community on the mountains of broken youth and adults in our midst who have been silent victims of predators in authority.
- Visit Report COGIC Abuse
- The devastating long term effects of sexual abuse/molestation on males
- How the predator’s “grooming process” works. Information here and here.