A Wife and a Survivor tell their story.
Recorded in 2023.
It was a pleasure to have, for the first time, a free and open discussion about the effect of GG Nakayama's sexual abuse on our family and also to share our thoughts on the Kogawa House.
As you know, any mention of GG continues to create anxiety in [my husband]. But now, because of the support given by Judy, Lisa, and yourselves, [he] felt comfortable opening up to you (Peter). To quote Joy's book Obasan “There is a silence that cannot speak … If I could follow the stream down and down to the hidden voice, would I come at last to the freeing word?” [My husband] feels he has an obligation to speak out on behalf of his brothers, who were also molested, and GG’s victims who have already passed. His silence is no longer an option.
Because of GG’s pedophilia, [my husband] and hundreds of boys were robbed of happy childhoods. Their lives were filled with mistrust, fear, anger, and loneliness. You provided us with details on how GG’s sexual abuse was revealed in 1951, that GG molested hundreds of boys since the 1930s, that the Anglican Church covered up his abuse, and that GG finally admitted his guilt and resigned from the Church in 1994. We were unaware of these facts until August 2014, when we learned that GG’s conduct was under investigation and that no survivor had come forward. We communicated with the Working Group immediately.
Because of the information blackout/censorship by the Church and GG’s family, we suffered needlessly for over a half a century. From the 1950s to 2014, [my husband] believed that the public viewed GG as a caring minister. This image caused him unbelievable stress because, in his mind, GG befriended his parents so that he could stay in their home and have easy access to him. It was only after the Anglican Church made their apology in 2015 that he learned his brothers were also abused. As a child, when [my husband] reported GG’s abuse to his mother, she told him to pray for forgiveness for saying bad things about such a good man. He was shamed and silenced! It’s no wonder he preferred to keep that sadness and anger within himself for 60+ years.
We questioned why the Church and GG’s family suppressed their knowledge of GG’s crimes. Today, it’s the law to report child abuse - GG would be in prison and registered as a sex offender. Our family might have been spared years of distress and anger if they revealed the truth earlier. [My husband] and his brothers would have been relieved knowing that GG was identified to the world as the heinous pedophile that he was. If the Church expelled GG in the 1950s, [My husband] might not have been molested! We believe that the truth would have freed GG’s victims from decades of nightmares and might have helped them to heal.
As a family that has been impacted by Nakayama’s abuse, we also tried to explain that the Kogawa House will always be associated with the abuser. How can it be a site of healing and reconciliation? GG abused vulnerable young boys there! Its founders and some of its supporters chose to ignore its dark history for years! To us, it is a symbol of an evil predator and a reminder of the decades of silence of both the Church and the Nakayama family to protect / enhance their own reputations.
We can’t understand how so many social advocates chose not see how their silence would have a negative effect not only on the abused boys but also on thousands of children in the following generations. Were they blinded by their own self-interest? We can’t forget how Joy told [redacted] “to let bygones be bygones”. It’s unforgiveable that [my husband's] brothers and many victims went to their graves never knowing the evil sexual predator was exposed!
We thank you for your empathy and understanding and for listening.
-From a Wife and a Survivor, 2023