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THE SEDUCTION OF GLORIA GRADY. When she sought counseling for a weight problem, it began a seven-year nightmare for her parents. Influenced by a .
Table of contents
Late that night, after not hearing from her all day. I just tried to hurt myself. On July 24, after Gloria had been in the hospital almost two months, the Gradys received the letter that sent them reeling. What memories was Gloria talking about? Flour-noy never discussed the charges with the Gradys. Gloria had a ready answer.
Did they believe her? Gloria cut her off. But while Gloria was telling her friends all about what her family allegedly had done to her. Bill Caffey, the senior pastor at Central Park Church, was concerned. Caffey recognized that Gloria was depressed, that she felt hopeless and helpless. In many ways, he believes, she was struggling to grow up. She seemed extremely compliant, suggestible, insecure. Caffey knew Gloria had isolated herself from her family; church secretary Bobbie Schmidt and Ginger had acted as go-betweens, delivering messages and cards to Gloria from her family.
Though Gloria had severed the ties to her family.
Salvador Pancorbo (Author of The Seduction of Gloria)
Caffey believes she had merely transferred her dependence on her parents to Flournoy. Gloria told Caffey that Flournoy was helping her remember her childhood. At first, she said only that she had been sexually abused by her father. Caffey had no reason to doubt her claim. He knew from his own experience as a counselor that even pastors could be guilty of incest. After a few more sessions with Flournoy. Gloria told Caffey that her brother Jim had also sexually abused her. Gloria claimed that her father had an altar to Satan in their home, where the family wore black robes and practiced satanic rituals.
After each therapy session, the allegations grew more and more bizarre. Gloria added her grandfather to the list of abusers; she told Caffey that at age 13 or 14 she had conceived a child through an incestuous relationship and that the baby had been sacrificed. She had been forced, she said, to eat its flesh. He knew the life of a Baptist preacher at small churches-a life led by Lee Grady since his graduation from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in How could they have hidden a satanic altar?
And what about the gossip? Nobody lives under a more intense spotlight than a pastor and his family. Caffey made a few calls to churches where the Gradys had served. Surely, if Gloria had given birth to a child at age He could find no one who could remember seeing the teenager pregnant. She was chubby, but not obese enough to disguise a pregnancy. There were no months unaccounted for when she might have been at a home for unwed mothers.
In all those years. Nobody interviewed remembers a single complaint from Gloria, prior to Friends do paint a picture of a naive, gullible child and teenager. But she attended classes only two and a half years before dropping out. When it came to sex. During a December 3, Caffey offered his help in working with Gloria. On January 2, , Flournoy finally wrote back, dismissing the letter from Jean as a pathetic attempt to whitewash a troubled family. Now, he heard she was accusing them of sexual abuse and cultic activity. In April, mired in financial difficulty, the Gradys sold their five-bedroom home in Garland and bought a smaller home in Mes-quite.
Meadowcreek Baptist, the Garland church they had started in , had closed in when the building began deteriorating and there was no money to replace it. It seemed their world was falling apart. Lee worked from to as a corporate chaplain for area companies such as Cornerstone Bank and Sysco Food Systems. In , he signed on as pastor at Lake June Baptist in Pleasant Grove and took a job supervising troubled students in a school district. Jean began working as an administrative secretary at a social services agency.
Jim, a residential and commercial real estate agent, was also undergoing difficulties. In , when the real estate market collapsed, Jim and Kathy began struggling to meet their financial obligations. At the end of May Lee and Jean again met with Minirth and told him what their daughter was saying. Jean says that the psychiatrist seemed to think there was little they could do. As they were unloading their trays, Gloria walked up behind them, a glazed look in her eyes. It was the first time they had seen her in more than a year. Jean tentatively asked if she could hug Gloria. But it was clear to them that, if she had wanted to, Gloria could have left the cafeteria without speaking to them.
This time she would spend three weeks at Terrell State Hospital. Ginger had spent long hours commiserating with Gloria. But in late , Gloria abruptly cut Ginger, too, out of her life. Flour-noy will let me know what I need to know. A man at the office told them they had five minutes to get out before he called the police.
THE SEDUCTION OF GLORIA GRADY
They left in tears. They wanted to let Gloria know, but no one seemed to be in contact with her. A telephone operator would not give them her unlisted number, but agreed to call Gloria herself. She tried for two days and nights, but got no answer. There was little in the room except a single bed, an old couch, and a black-and-white TV. Their fears mounting, the Gradys contacted a laboratory where they were told Gloria was working.
A supervisor said that she had stopped coming to work two weeks before. He had helped Gloria in the past, buying her a used car when hers was repossessed, paying off her hot checks, taking her out to dinner. He tried to distance himself from his parents, hoping that the therapist would relent and see him.
Minirth had suggested several times that the Gradys try to contact Flournoy themselves, but Flournoy always refused to see them, once writing in response to their letter: The psychologist began attacking him verbally, Jim says. He said they would never see Gloria again. Jean called Minirth again. The psychiatrist expressed alarm. You have to do anything you can to get her out. For one thing, it was illegal.
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But mainly they feared such a move could be dangerous to Gloria, given her fragile mental condition. They decided to try a gentler tactic. They parked and watched as Gloria took her clothes to the laundry room. The five of them prayed, and Lee said he felt they should just try to talk to her. Aunt Gogi and Jean went to the door and knocked. A first she seemed almost glad to see the two women.
Lee saw her coming toward the car and waved. She swerved and ran across the street to a building that they later learned was a halfway house for MHMR. Dejected, the Gradys left, stopping at a pay phone to call the private detective. He recommended that they go back to try to speak to someone in charge. But shortly after Gogi and Jean knocked on the door of the halfway house, two police cars drove up.
An officer got out and told them they had to leave. The directors of the halfway house were requesting a protective order, he said. Lawson believed Gloria was telling the truth. The papers said that she had been sexually and physically abused by her parents and her brother over a period of many years. She believes that she is in danger both because of the history of family violence, and because her father has told her that would be her year of death. But not as astounded as they would be in the courtroom on October 5.
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Mulhern believes they are victims of delusion, not Satan. Mulhern stresses that she is not talking about teenage dabblers, serial killers, and incidents such as the Matamoros murders, in which a drug dealer abducted strangers to sacrifice in Palo Mayombe or Santeria rituals. These patients, many of whom report experiences similar to those Gloria Grady describes, claim to have been victims of large covert groups that span several generations, usually of family members, and that practice human sacrifice, cannibalism, and ritual sex abuse.
But after 10 years of vigorous investigations by various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, no evidence of a massive-or even a small-Satanic conspiracy has ever been found. Where were the stories coming from? Why were they so believable? Her questions might well have been asked of Gloria Grady.
Mulhern interviewed a number of therapists who had dealt with such patients and found four reasons why these professionals believed their patients were reporting events that had really happened in their childhood. But some of these reports appear to be iatrogenic. Elizabeth Loftus, a professor at Washington State University who is one of the preeminent experts on memory in the country.
Her book, Witness for the Defense, discusses the inaccuracy of memories of eyewitnesses to crimes. Often patients will say no, but later return with reports of dreams, which the therapist urges them not to ignore. Or they will undergo hypnosis or relaxation sessions where they are urged to get in touch with those childhood memories that were supposedly so painful they were blocked off.
The problem, says Loftus, is that there is no good evidence that these so-called memories are in fact true. Even short-term memory is often unreliable. Ganaway says that the sealing off of traumatic memories is often considered the cause of multiple personality disorder, another common diagnosis for SRAs, but that has not been proven.
And what they describe during hypnosis is shaped largely by cues, conscious or unconscious, given them by their interviewer. Gan-away describes Grade 5s as fantasy-prone, with an exaggerated willingness to trust others, especially charismatic authority figures such as therapists. They usually have excellent memories, particularly for visual detail, and often re-experience rather than simply recall past events, both real and imaginary. Most importantly, they are eager to comply with the perceived expectations and suggestions of their therapist, often filling in blanks with elaborate and vivid detail.
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Inconsistencies in their stories are simply explained away. As the memories are rehearsed over and over, they become the new reality, and are often told with more conviction than true memories. Stories about SRAs began to circulate in the therapy community in , after the publication of a book called Michelle Remembers. Survivors began to appear on TV talk shows. But the book was withdrawn from publication in after journalists from Cornerstone, a Christian magazine, printed a story revealing that it was a complete fabrication. The book was later picked up by another publisher. Nonetheless, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Eventually, Stacey realizes that this lifestyle is out of the will of God. As such, she finally repents and experiences the redemptive love that only Jesus Christ can give. Today, she honors her calling as a minister of the Gospel, and she has dedicated her life to restoring wholeness to all who may have found themselves entangled in the bondage of sin. About the Author Gloria M. Milow, PhD , is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and is a multi-talented woman of God who operates under the gifts of teaching, counseling, and pastoring.
Raised in a family of educators, she has 34 years of teaching experience, sixteen of which were spent as a counselor and psychologist. A learned woman, Dr.