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Letter: I was groomed. Now, who wants to have a serious chat about grooming?

All of the talk of drag queens grooming kids by singing, dancing and reading story books to them, has brought back some memories of my own childhood.

I, too, was groomed — at age 8.

I was happily going about my days as a boy, riding my bike and doing puzzles. I had lots of friends from school. I laughed and kidded around. The only thing that separated me from the other kids was that I spent weekends at my Dad’s house.

One day, my Dad took me to church. Without any preparation, I was given a little stack of white clothes and told to put them on. I had no idea why. They took me into a small room with a big tub. They called my name to get in the tub with a man I did not know. He uttered some words and dunked me under the water. Strange and horrifying, but I always obeyed my parents.

After I had dried off and put my regular clothes on, I remember standing in the parking lot of the church where it was announced that we were all going back to the house for cake and ice cream. Whose birthday was it? Was it a holiday? We got back to the house where people were hugging me, patting me on the head and saying “good job.” I remember one man even joking that I didn’t have any more sins. The only sin I remember was stealing a tangerine from Qualls Market. This was a lot of hoopla just for that!

The next weekend, Dad, his wife and my brothers were sitting in the chapel. Again, without any preparation, my name was called and I was asked to take a seat in front of everyone. I sat in the chair and a few men circled me and put their hands on my head. Some sort of chant was given. This was very creepy to me, but again, I was an obedient kid.

Shortly afterward, I sat in Sunday school where we learned the song, “A Penny in my Pocket.”

Got to do some arithmetic

And I’ve got to do it quick

Before I can use it, my friend.

Take ten percent for tithing first.

That leaves nine whole pennies to spend, to spend.

There’s nine whole pennies to spend.

Now, who wants to have a serious chat about grooming?

Scott Perry, Salt Lake City

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