“In these pages, David Samarzia has shared a deeply personal story that was challenging to write. It was a story that was also challenging to read, for a different reason. Here is a reminder of the depths, the depravity, and the wounding power of sin. I became a part of David’s story when I moved from Indiana, and became a Pastor in a nearby congregation in northern Minnesota in the late 1980’s. I had first gotten to know David’s parents, who were a wonderful Christian couple. They were thankful that David was coming forward with events that had taken place in his life some 25 years earlier—of being sexually abused by his pastor. Both David and his parents desired to prevent further victims.
“But it also became clear that telling such events would not be easy. This would require some courage on David’s part. Clearly, it would not be easy for David, who would see his personal life and graphic details of his story become public. It would be hard on David’s parents and David’s family. It would cause soul-searching for truth on the part of people who had known both David and the abusing Pastor . . . Sin so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1). Does it ever! It is my prayer that these pages will help all of us to serve the David Samarzias of this world in a more Christ-like manner.”
Reverend John Lehenbauer, pastor, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
“David, I am thrilled to hear that you are finding some time to write the book that should be written by you. The pain you have suffered and the trials that you have endured give you knowledge. This knowledge can be useful and advise future generations. You have already made a difference with your advocacy in bringing the truth out regarding child molestation.”
Becky Lourey, MN State Senator (retired)
Thoroughly documented with transcripts, legal
documents, letters, and medical/counseling records.
From a man who isolated himself behind sunglasses and high walls to having one of the best-recognized names in Minnesota — David Samarzia tells for the first time the story behind the headlines of John W. Doe v. Redeemer Lutheran Church et al, one of the most highly-publicized clergy sex-abuse cases ever . . .
In 1991, David blew the lid off the secretive life of a charismatic, popular minister . . . and today, twenty-eight years later, victims of the predatory pastor are still coming out of hiding. At least the ones who survived.
A topic no one wants to hear about, but everyone’s talking about.
Here is a cautionary tale — a deeply personal story of lost innocence, addiction, shame,
and betrayal — a story of an amoral church bureaucracy and its unfettered legal team that together launched a counterattack to silence the truth. Yet it's also a story of courage, love, and the unlikely allies one may find along the way.
David invites readers to walk alongside him on his life journey that's about so much more than childhood sexual assault. It’s about what happens
when a person steps up to do the right thing,
when an institution defends the indefensible,
when those who know or suspect turn a blind eye.
Because there’s hardly a person on the planet who hasn’t somehow had their trust violated.
“Because David Samarzia stood up
and told his story, maybe one other person who suffered sexual abuse in silence will come forward and
seek help. Maybe someone else will hear about the case and find courage to leave the situation.”
Leslee LeRoux, The Budgeteer News
Everything to Lose
A Memoir by David Samarzia
“This book clearly shows the painful legal process and how it can create a secondary victimization. I’m sure it will be very helpful to readers, victims, their families, lawyers, the media, clergy, and therapists.”
Dr. Mic Hunter, specialist in male sexual abuse
and author of Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims of Sexual Abuse and Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse in America’s Military