Amy Berg’s new documentary “An Open Secret” recently had its first (and probably only) public screening. Roger Freedman, writing for Showbiz411 had an honest and evocative review. But it was this paragraph that caught my eye:
Ryan’s parents are devastated, as are all the parents. But none of them explain how their sons could be lured into these messes. I am not saying it’s their fault. They were preyed upon. But Berg avoids examining what was going on at home that created so many gullible, naive and needy kids, and why they fell for the manipulation of evil people.
The answer is pretty easy: the parents were carefully groomed, enticed by promised of wealth and fame for their children, and led to believe that nothing bad could possibly happen. Their kids weren’t any more gullible or naive than any other kids—they were vulnerable to these rich, powerful adults who used fame, money, threats, and manipulation (or drugs, or alcohol, or grooming, or porn, or whatever) to get these children to do whatever they wanted.
Where were the parents? They were probably doing their rotten best, putting their trust in cunning predators. Parents of victims of clergy, coaches, doctors, scout leaders, and community figures will tell you the same.
The one thing all of these parents were missing were TOOLS to understand grooming, TOOLS to empower their children, and the ability and knowledge to STOP, REPORT, and PREVENT abuse.
I know a great book coming out that can be the first step.