Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend the same Mormon ward as accused rapist/sexual predator Joseph Bishop?

Todd and Sarah Gale attend the same Mormon ward as Joseph Bishop (in Chandler, Arizona). Last year McKenna Denson shared a recording of her confrontation with Joseph Bishop, who was serving as president of the Provo, Utah Mission Training Center at the time he is accused of sexually assaulting McKenna in the 1980s.

Both share their thoughts and feelings of sharing a ward with Joseph Bishop, and discuss precautions and actions they take to protect their family.

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13 Comments

  1. LINCOLN January 8, 2019 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I served in the same mission as Todd. Thanks to both of you for sharing your story.

  2. Timmy January 9, 2019 at 12:19 am - Reply

    It’s blatantly obvious that your bishop and stake president were coached by the church’s legal counsel. Guaranteed that’s the reason for their refusal to comment. This is a terrible situation and caused by the church’s systemic flaws, but you could lend a little more charity to the local leaders. They are between a rock and a hard place on this one, they didn’t ask to have an alleged rapist in their congregation.

  3. Nancy January 9, 2019 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Todd and Sara you are a victim of the Mormon culture of silence. This culture of silence is the main way Mormons are controlled. Kudos to you for finding your voice.

  4. Sandra January 10, 2019 at 7:54 am - Reply

    So you didn’t say anything because of your kids? HELLO!!!!! Predator in your midst? Protect the children…..

  5. Timmy January 10, 2019 at 9:13 am - Reply

    I don’t judge Todd & Sarah for not speaking up in the meeting………I fully understand the risk involved in speaking up. But they are not practicing what they preach in terms of judgment and generosity. They are lambasting their bishop and stake president at every turn, interpreting the leaders’ actions in the least charitable way every time.

    Their description of the meeting are questionable. How do we know the “meeting” was really organized to address the Joseph Bishop issue? Could they be misinterpreting this? Their only evidence was that no other wards had similar meetings, and that the timing was suspect. But the way the meeting was opened didn’t sound like it was ever explicitly communicated that the meeting was intended to address concerns around Joseph Bishop. Perhaps it was really just a meeting about ministering.

  6. Morris January 10, 2019 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Doesn’t it seem likely to you, Sir Kent, that after having been assaulted as a young woman, a mature woman might be sensitized to other unwelcome approaches and physical contact?

    At the same time, IF McKenna Denson is exaggerating whatever contact Joseph Bishop forced on her, why would he take her to a basement room that had been equipped with a bed to do it?

  7. Don Jensen January 10, 2019 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    What Joseph Bishop did to McKenna Denson and others, as well as his own statements of his weaknesses regarding respect for women, is very disturbing to me, but I also find it very disingenuous for the media to label him an accused rapist. (I’ve noticed that many articles label him a rapist.) After listening to Ms. Denson’s recording of her conversation with Mr. Bishop, I didn’t hear any evidence that he raped her or anyone else. In fact, when Ms. Denson first confronted Mr. Bishop, she didn’t say she was raped. He clearly sexually assaulted Ms. Denson and others, but touching someone inappropriately or even tearing someone’s clothes is not rape. I think it does a disservice to those who are raped to lump all sexually assaulted persons into that same category. It is also unfair to accuse someone in the media of something that he wasn’t accused of by his accuser. Keep the story, including the headlines to the facts, not to sensationalism just to increase “hits.”

    • David January 18, 2019 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Don,

      McKenna didn’t feel like it was rape until someone afterwards advised here that she was. .
      It’s unclear if there was penetration, but there was an attempt for partial penetration at the very least.
      Apparently it wasn’t erect enough for penetration and hence the attempt was unsuccessful.

      Sexual assault is the most correct label, but rape seems to attract more morbid minds which is the ultimate goal.
      I suppose we all need love and forgiveness in this world, too bad we make it hard on each other to offer that.

      I suppose that the best thing for Brother Bishop is to give him exempt status and no longer require him as necessary to attend church.
      As a Stake President I would ask him to attend another stake or ward after the Mckenna incident.

  8. Lizbet January 12, 2019 at 10:44 am - Reply

    This was a frustrating interview to listen to. In full disclosure, I do believe that Joseph Bishop raped McKenna Denson. I don’t think she called it rape until later when she understood that problems with functionally being able to insert fully is still rape. My frustration with the interview is the Gales obsess over whether JB was taking the sacrament but never mention the possibility that he was disciplined to the satisfaction of the church in the 80s and had been back in full standing for a long time. I was also frustrated that they seemed upset that the stake leadership provided an open forum to ask questions but the leaders didn’t initiate the JB conversation. I understand why people, including them, wouldn’t want to ask questions in public about JB, but I also understand why the leaders wouldn’t want to bring up the topic without prompting and create awareness and concerns in members who don’t already know about it.

  9. Maggie Rayner January 12, 2019 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Kudos to the Gales for this interview. I find it unfathomable that McKenna Denison was escorted out rather than encircled with loving care and kindness from all present. What was done to her by Bishop, and by Mormon Church authorities over the decades and continues to the present, raises red flags and sets off alarm bells for me.

  10. B-rad January 13, 2019 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Thank you Gales for being brave and willing to do this interview (how I wish others in your ward/stake would also stand up and speak out!) I am especially troubled by the episode involving the Brocks (I recall following this in the news as it was happening), and that the church would give any of the bishops involved increased responsibilities with members, especially with children. As mentioned during the interviews, the detectives on the case recommended that the bishops be prosecuted for not contacting the police regarding the abuse, but presumably because of the heavily Mormon population, and the strength of a multi-billion corporation, the local prosecutors backed off. If I recall correctly, the first person to contact the police regarding the abuse was the mother of the girlfriend of the victim, who saw messages between her daughter and the victim which referenced the abuse. No “priesthood” leader did anything with the authorities until this mom spoke out! She was the wisest, most caring person of this pathetic bunch.

  11. Cory January 20, 2019 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Very good, and upsetting, episode. I actually don’t understand why the police officers were starting coming to the church building armed. What was the perceived threat they were guarding against?

  12. Judy Helm Wright February 2, 2019 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Please help people to quit saying “you know”. If I knew I would not be turning into the podcast. It actually detracts from the testimony.

    Judy Helm Wright
    Author/Blogger/Intuitive Wise Woman

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