In this video, Jillian talks about the abuse of power she suffered at the hands of a priest she had turned to for help, and how abusive priests manipulate those who have placed trust in them.
"Hi guys, it's Jillian Edwards Coburn again today and I am going to talk about the role of faith community and how people in these positions are held at a higher standard, and we as clergymen or people of the community are brought into thinking that they are some type of God when there's only one God. So I would like to just talk about how my vulnerability and me submitting and being submissive to my perpetrator landed me at me where it landed me and it began with, you know, just the beginning of grooming and just actually no, it didn't begin with that, it began with my love of Mary. I love the Virgin Mary. I've always been very close to her as a little girl, when my dad had his massive heart attack at five, we always would pray together. She's just always been just my mom. I love her dearly, and so when I knew that this man, this priest had this seeings and he killed all these people and apparently the Virgin Mary cried on one of the statues, which every time I went there the Virgin Mary was never crying so that should have been a red flag, but he utilized my vulnerability for her love, right? And it hurt me because I let down this barrier, this wall that I created to not allow others to abuse me, right? I opened it up because he was known in the community to heal so many others and I believed it, and I continued to believe it, others still to this day even during deposition they continue to believe this dead man was some type of healer.
It just goes to show the whole creation of the cycle of abuse if it's not in a domestic violence relationship, right? The abuser tells maybe the woman, ‘oh sure go ahead and leave’ but she's vulnerable enough that she can't leave because she doesn't have a job, she doesn't have that plan, an executed plans, so then he is just holding that cycle of abuse in, right? Maybe he apologizes, buys her something nice, glamorizes her. It's just the whole continuation of the cycle of abuse. And the same thing goes within the faith community. They use this shame, this guilt, and those - and I'm not saying all of them are bad, but in my experience it kind of just the abuse of the power of him thinking that I had to go eight times to see him in order to be healed because I honestly believe this, that if I was touched by him eight times that my back and my cervical cancer would never appear, but he was exploiting me. He knew how to get to me. He exploited my goodness, the goodness of Mary, and exploited me to abuse me and it's guilt and shame and it's sad. And I'm not here to say people of faith are wrong because people of faith are amazing. I'm still a faithful person, but the people that abuse their power to little kids, to vulnerable adults, it's not right. That's not what God gave them. I understand at some point they knew that this would be their vocation, but it doesn't give you the authority to abuse somebody. It’s kind of worse when it's done within the church because it's then now spiritual abuse, but again, it's a repeated cycle because if we say we're going to do something about it and we don't do something about it and we don't shine light on it, I just want people to be more mindful of their churches and to know that just because it may be a bishop, just because they may be an exorcist priest, just because they've healed thousands of people, just be careful. Know those gut feelings, the consciousness that we're given in our spirit, that feeling of this may not be okay. Really tap into that and I think that's what I've learned through this process, that just because someone may be seeing Virgin Mary’s cry or have books about them doesn't necessarily mean that they're accurate, and I just once again shine light on the fact that they utilize people in power in the faith communities. I have seen and I have experienced that they utilize their power to get and manipulate what they want and I don't want that to happen anymore. I want people to feel safe and feel cognitive when they're speaking to the Lord or having whatever method they're using to reach out to God. I don't want that to be tainted. That is a special relationship that each one of us have and desire, and it should not be just tainted. And I hope that this message and understanding of what I went through helps you understand and rethink before you dive real in."