Mike Moss is now twenty seven years old. He was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario but moved to Cambridge, Ontario when he was 17 to get away from the pain of being in the same community as the man who abused him and the church which he says let him down.
Mike was married for four years, but in 1999 his marriage broke up because of problems related to his abuse as a young teenager. Mike has been trying to put the sexual abuse he suffered in the Jehovah's Witness church behind him. As part of that recovery process, he kept a diary of his thoughts a few years ago. In one entry, May 16, 1999, he wrote:
I feel very lonely lately and I'm sad that I lost my family because of the religion.I am very hurt and feel that I am being punished for things that I do not know. I sit here crying knowing that nothing is real in my life and I'm just existing. I don't want pity. I want a family. I feel betrayed by people who I have been loyal to my whole life; everything is quiet around me except the sound of my own tears. It really hurts because it wasn't supposed to be this way...every time I take two steps forward, I get knocked back three.
Mike is making every attempt to rebuild his life and get some sense of closure. That's why he finally decided to go to the police himself in 1999 to press charges against Peter Gavin. A year later, he cut all ties with the church, although he is still close to his parents who remain Jehovah's Witnesses. Along with his brother, Mike runs his own construction company, A & M Contracting based out of Cambridge. His specialty is office and residential renovations, including modifying homes for the recently disabled. One of his biggest projects last year involved redesigning a home to install a four-floor elevator. Mike enjoys playing hockey and volunteers with a local community group that helps kids.
Mike says he came forward and told the fifth estate his story not because he wants pity, but in hopes of changing the way the church handles cases of child sexual abuse, even if he can't change what happened in his case. He wants to ensure the same thing won't happen to another child. Mike also hopes he will inspire other victims of sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness church to come forward. "The people, the list of names and what happened to these kids...it's like the same story over and over again...I don't feel alone anymore," he told us.