Tom White, Executive Director of the Christian Right organization Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), has committed suicide the day after police began investigating charges he molested a 10-year old girl. After being reported missing on Tuesday, police found his body the following day.
According to Christianity Today, here is the Voice of the Martyrs statement concerning the death of Tom White: The events of the last week are tragic. On Wednesday we learned that Tom White, VOM's executive director, had died. Allegations were made to authorities this week that Tom had inappropriate contact with a young girl. Rather than face those allegations, and all of the resulting fallout for his family and this ministry and himself, Tom appears to have chosen to take his own life. None of those in leadership at VOM, including our board of directors, were aware of these allegations at the time of Tom's death. There is no doubt that Tom cared about his wife, his children and his grandchildren. And there's no doubt that he cared about VOM. We are deeply saddened by these events. Our hearts are broken. However, the work that God has called VOM to do is bigger than any one of us. There are persecuted Christians who need our help. The legal process will go forward, and we will continue serving with our persecuted brothers and sisters. We appreciate the many who are praying for our work, and we encourage you to join us in praying for Tom's family during this difficult time. A letter from VOM's president will be posted on our web site, www.Persecution.com, next week.”
Bartlesville Police Capt. Jay Hastings is quoted by mailonline as saying, “Employees discovered a letter in White's vehicle indicating he was 'suicidal or possibly fleeing to avoid investigation' and turned it over to police. You can take it either way, it was kind of a goodbye letter. You don't know if he was talking about himself.”
Accusations of child molestation are very serious and impact families worldwide. Accusations against religious leaders seem to have a more traumatic effect. It seems that no one is beyond reproach, but it really draws attention when a religious leader who is trusted is accused of such atrocities. This is just a reminder that you cannot trust anyone with your children and you must always keep a watchful eye. Children are defenseless against a person of power. They are taught to respect their elders and not talk back. It may be time to teach them to say no! Tell them to never keep secrets, and most of all tell them that they are never responsible if someone does something that hurts them.