Rutabaga Posted January 8, 2022 Report Share Posted January 8, 2022 Inspired by @Nigel Gordon, I pose the following: I have been struggling to remember where I read a story that had the following elements (as best I recall): The story involves a church where a new pastor has come in recently after the previous one (of many years) left/died/retired. It is run by a tight-knit group of church elders who have been in such positions for quite a number of years. The church has a public image of being very strict and conservative. I can't remember if the main character is a police officer, a journalist, or what, but I believe he is now an adult. Somehow it comes to his attention that adolescent boys are being molested on the church premises, and they are being photographed to produce child porn. The main character himself has some faint memories related to many years earlier when he was a youngster attending this church, which would substantiate this, but the memories have been suppressed. Somehow the main character persuades the local constabulary to take this all seriously, and they confront the new pastor (who apparently is now participating in these same activities). They persuade him, on the promise of better treatment in his inevitable prosecution, to help round up the other church elders. They invent some kind of phony church gathering or dinner where these elders (and their families) will be invited, at which the police will arrest the bad guys when they are assembled. Rather than do a lot of cooking in the church kitchens, one or two of the police officers bring in a bunch of take-out fried chicken. The idea is to get them all in one place so they can't warn each other that they have been busted. At another point (not sure if it is before or after the fake dinner, but probably before) the main character keeps insisting that there is a room where all of this took place, but the initial search of the premises does not disclose this room. Later, it is discovered that moving the file cabinets in a church office reveals a door to a set of steps leading to a basement that exactly matches the description of the main character. Moreover, the police discover other file cabinets (probably in the basement . . . I can't remember) that have a complete record of all the molestations, photographs, etc. In other words, there is pretty much incontrovertible evidence of the wrongdoing, going back maybe 20 years. Does any of this ring a bell? R Quote Link to comment
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