The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent. -James T. Walsh link
I am hoping to fill in some background so that people will better understand the seriousness of Jordan Root's support and use of internet child sex abuse. I personally believe that he is at high risk for offending and am concerned that he has already offended. You will see that he is constantly putting himself into situations in which he is around at risk, vulnerable children while at the same time confessing, yet not confessing.
Today, a number of bloggers received the PDF that was sent to 6,000 covenant™ members of TVC. It is purportedly the *real* story of the Roots. However, just remember that TVC is currently scrubbing videos from the internet as discussed in our last post. The question to ask is this. Who do you trust and why do you trust them?
Remember, we are all positionally holy but we are all functional sinners. Pastors and elders sin as well. However, many pastors and elders want to appear godly and authoritative- you know, *good* Christians but they are no different than the rest of us. TWW has documented problem after problem with pastors and leaders.
I will discuss the TVC mailing on another post. For now, I am hoping this post will add some much needed information. I have spoken with Karen on a number of occasions and have tried to construct a chronology of events and concerns. She is one smart woman. I only wish I had been as smart when I was her age. I believe what she has to say.
I am going to be a bit matter of fact as I discuss Jordan's history as told to me by Karen. We also have some historical documentation thanks to our internet sleuth, Christian Janeway. I am going to ask everyone who reads this to ponder the details of Jordan's life and ask yourselves if this is a man who should be trusted and believed.
Prior to college
Jordan confessed to Karen that he repeatedly sexually abused 2 younger children when he was between the ages of 6 and 10 years old. He also spent time babysitting and working in a daycare in Albany NY. This is documented at Watchkeep: She Speaks
Jordan graduated from Cedarville with a degree in psychology. His passion was for kids and human trafficking. Here is a link from the Cedarville student newspaper which featured Jordan Root in an article. Ministry Reaches Modern Outcasts, written by Melanie Frageorgia, has this to say about Jordan.
Pimps? Prostitutes? Most Christians want nothing to do with them. But for junior Jordan Root these “untouchables of our time” are his calling.
Root started the Broken Chains organization “to create a passion for raising awareness of and taking action against child sex trafficking,” according to its official newsletter. The organization was born at the close of the 2005 spring semester, when Root decided to get together with like-minded friends to discuss what could be done about the sex trade.
…Root said that the long term goal of Broken Chains is to help sponsor a safe house for children rescued out of brothels. He hopes the organization will someday send mission teams to the safe house, and that Broken Chains might even become a non-profit organization with a wider reach than Cedarville University.
…Broken Chains recently held a coin drive, and plans to raise more funds for the safe house by selling t-shirts printed with “Save the Pimps.”
…Root first felt the call to missions in eighth grade on a trip to Costa Rica, but it was not until his freshman year of college that he learned about sex trafficking. He read an article on the New York Times’ website about children- involved in the sex trade in Mexico and the United States. Root was devastated.
“It was the first time I’d ever been exposed to it,” he said, “God just really gripped my heart.” His life’s goal became to “be a counselor/ caretaker of children rescued from the sex trade and to help rescue children from the sex trade.” Broken Chains was born out of his struggle to find something he could do while still in school.
Since starting the organization, Root has changed his major from education to applied psychology, with an emphasis on family-child studies to better enable him to counsel hurting children.
…Root is also currently in- involved in the Jeremiah Project- , a “street witnessing” ministry mainly targeting prostitutes. Students in this ministry travel to the inner city on Friday nights and simply talk to whoever they meet, whether prostitutes, pimps, homeless people, or people coming out of bars and clubs.
… Root is also a leader for Cedarkids, a ministry that serves local children, and he is thinking of starting a ministry for the children of prostitutes.
From Watchkeep She Speaks, there is documentation on his activities involving children. Note the unpaid babysitting gigs.
… Daycare in Cedarville, OH (Period of time between 2004 and 2007)
…substantial amount of unpaid babysitting over these years Cedarville, OH,
Dallas Theological Seminary/Dallas
Now, take a look his activities involving children during this period of time.
- Summer Camp at First Baptist Dallas, Dallas, TX (May-August 2008)
- Dolfin Swim School, Dallas, TX (September 2008-July 2010)
- In Class Learning Differences Aid, Dallas, TX (September-December 2010)
- Practicum Counselor at Dallas Life, Dallas, TX (worked with families and children; January-August 2011)
- Private Children's Swim Instructor, Dallas, TX (June-September 2011)
- Mental Health Technician at Timberlawn Mental Health Services, Dallas, TX (November 2011-March 2012)
- Therapist on the Child and Adolescent Unit at Timberlawn Mental Health Services, Dallas, TX (March 2012-May 2014)
- A substantial amount of paid babysitting over these years in Albany, NY, Cedarville, OH, and Dallas, TX
- Informal Children's Ministry to Refugee Children in Vickery Meadows, Dallas, TX (2008-2011)
- Lived in Santa Fe Trails Apartment Complex, Dallas, TX; spent a lot of time alone with children (2008-2012)
- Volunteered in children’s and youth ministries at various churches in Dallas, TX
- A substantial amount of unpaid babysitting over these years in Dallas, TX
- He enrolls in DTS with the intent to get a counseling degree with a specialty in children.
Manipulation of thought observed in hindsight
Karen makes an important observation about his work with children. He was confronted about spending time alone with children and, on one occasion, was told by an adult that she was uncomfortable with the way he was sitting with and touching a child. He acted shocked and remorseful that his behavior would come off that way. He often would speak out against stereotyping by gender. He believed that people were biased against men spending time with children.
She said that people thought he was unusual in the nicest of ways because he seemed so concerned about children. The children and parents put him on a pedestal or as Karen said "he was like Jesus to them." He was well versed in child safety and emphasized this with the adults and children with whom he worked. He even warned people about the prevalence of child sexual abuse, particularly the grooming process.
Jordan lived alone
He seemed to want to leave his schedule *open* so that he was flexible and had a lot fo free time to himself. He had arranged to live alone for about 2-3 years in Vickery Meadows where he had consistent access to the children of refugees. He apparently enjoyed entertaining children alone in his apartment during this time period. He also kept pictures of many of the individual children that he had worked with in a box.
Questions you should ask
Here is where astute people should start asking questions. This is unusual behavior if all he was interested in was internet child sex abuse sites.
- Why all of the push to be alone with children?
- And, in hindsight, knowing that he was sexually stimulated by little children (starting at 4 years old to prepubescent), why would he put himself in a situation in which to be alone with them?
- Wouldn't he want time off so he could go do his evil deeds on the internet?
- Don't you think we could possibly be dealing with a molester in this situation?
- Would you let your little girl spend the day with him?
Jordan meets Karen
He meets Karen in 2009 and they began to date in the spring of 2011. Karen was a hard worker who held a number of jobs to support herself. Although both were seminary students, they met at the Dolfin Swim School where they both worked. They were engaged in October 2011. Jordan had graduated with his counseling degree but was quite slow to find a job. They were married in April 2012.
Karen had served as a summer missionary in Ethiopia and wanted to become a full time missionary. So did Jordan. Jordan did not want to go to Ethiopia and instead the couple decided to find an area that they both would like to serve. They agreed to minister to an unreached people group.
The beginning of the fraud or what Karen calls "pseudoconfession"
Prior to the marriage, Jordan *confessed* (there is a reason I put this in asterisks as you will see) to Karen that he had a struggle with pornography. Karen quizzed him in depth and his answers confirmed that it was an issue with adult pornography of various kinds. For years, he claimed that night became a turning point and repeatedly told Karen and others that he had not used pornography throughout the rest of their engagement and marriage. Karen believed his confession, including the reassurance that it was in the past.
Folks, think about it. He covered himself with a plausible lesser sin which, of course, had been overcome. Think manipulation. Remember, through this whole process, he was lying and had been lying for a very long time. What was true then and what is true now? Perhaps we should see what we do know. He loved being around little kids and loved to be alone with them. That is something to focus on. Why?
The Village Church/Covenant
They knew they had to work to pay off their student loans before going on the mission field which would take a few years. They decided to join TVC and were asked to sign the membership covenant. Karen remembers this part of the covenant. (Just to save some folks some time, we have downloaded the whole thing so taking it off the website will be in vain.)
I will seek to preserve the gift of marriage and agree to walk through the steps of marriage reconciliation at The Village Church before pursuing divorce from my spouse (Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11; for the role of the church in the process of divorce, see Paul’s concern for the resolution of legal matters within the assembly of the church in 1 Corinthians 6).
She said to me:
I was so naive. I knew I had married for life. I was going to be a missionary with my husband. I would never pursue a divorce. How could I ever imagine something of this magnitude?
I will be writing a separate post on the TVC Membership Covenant later in the week. She is right. How could someone imagine someone so deceptive would invade her life and change it forever? And how could she envisage how badly the church she loved would treat her?
The Mission Field and Pseudoconfession
At last, their support was raised and they entered the mission field with SIM. TVC supplied less than 10% of their budget although several other TVC folks supported them individually. They arrived ready to serve in August 2014. They served in different capacities, and Karen was often gone from their living quarters. Karen began to sense things were not right, but she couldn't put her finger on it.
On Thanksgiving evening, she caught Jordan in an unassociated lie. But she knew there was more and she began to push him to disclose what was going on. He confessed to masturbation which was quite surprising since he had often spoken out against it and declared his own high standards for sexual purity. After being pressed further, he finally confessed to accessing nude pictures of adults.
Karen was dissatisfied and asked him many times over the next 3 weeks if he was being honest. He absolutely denied that there was anything else. Karen was extremely conflicted because she sensed that things were not right but he was repentant, right?
The Reveal: Was it another incomplete confession?
And then, the shoe dropped. On December 16, as Karen continued to probe, she asked a particular question, and Jordan's reaction revealed that more was going on. She said a calm came over her and she was able to talk with him without being hysterical or angry. He confessed that he had been viewing internet child sex abuse for about 10 years. He then went into graphic detail of the sort of dark and gruesome stuff he remembered watching. Karen says it is hard for her to even describe what he told her. This is when he also admitted to molesting two younger children when he was between the ages of 6 and 10.
Karen went into the bedroom and called her SIM advisor who immediately began to arrange for Jordan's flight back to the United States. Karen would follow 4 weeks later. Oddly, when she came out of the bedroom, Jordan was sleeping soundly, apparently unconcerned.
Karen speaks highly of SIM's response and her fellow missionaries
Karen was impressed at how seriously SIM took this situation. They were also kind to her, offering counsel and support. She was also complimentary of the mission staff with whom she served. To this day, she remains supportive of them and does not want their location disclosed.
Karen returned to the United States broken and hurting. Her life was turned upside down. Little did she know that her trial had not yet ended. We will take up the rest of the story tomorrow.
- Do you believe Jordan's confession?
- The first thing you should ask is "Which confession?" since the first two confessions left out vital information.
- So why should you believe the final confession?
- What details did he leave out?
- Why do you think Jordan liked to hang around little kids and have them in his apartment when he was alone?
- Do you trust him when he claims nothing happened?
- Does his track record suggest that you should trust him?
I believe that Jordan is a pathological liar who has lied for many years in order to cover his pedophile tendencies and internet child sex abuse. Did he molest his two younger children when he was a child or is this just the prelude to a bigger confession? It is obvious that the story gets worse and worse the more he confesses. I believe that there is more to come, given his history.
Tomorrow we will discuss how TVC has handled Jordan's problems.
I am so sorry for the pain that you have experienced at the hands of your former husband and others. You are a hero. I dedicate this song to you.