From Jared Spurbeck's shocking and illuminating piece posted on Yahoo!'s Contributor Network, about a little-known, very private, and totally effed-up practice within the Mormon Church:

I sat in my Mormon bishop's office, red-faced and silent. I was humiliated and scared; humiliated that I'd told this strange adult such personal things, and scared that he would follow through with his threat of church discipline. Scared that I wouldn't be able to go on a mission and that everyone would know what a failure I was. My crime? As an 18-year-old adult, I had just confessed that I masturbated. A few years later, after being publicly shamed for my sins, I was still unable to break my "addiction" and came very close to killing myself.

I wasn't alone

In 1982, Mormon Kip Eliason killed himself at the age of 16 because of "the immense feeling of self-hatred" he had, as a result of not being able to comply with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' teachings regarding masturbation. Mormon youth of both genders are taught that it is a sin, and told to confess their sexual sins to their adult male bishops, in one-on-one interviews behind closed doors. Church discipline is not usually prescribed for the sin of masturbation, but bishops are given wide latitude to act as they feel the Spirit dictates.

About those adult male bishops conducting the sexual interrogations behind closed doors: Bishop sounds fancy, but Mormon bishops are, for the most part, married male church members. (Any male church member is eligible to be a bishop—even black males, after 1978!—but typically only married men are selected, Jake tells me.) So, these interviews involve a private interview on sexual habits with, say, your friend's dad, or the old guy down the street.

Read Spurbeck's whole piece here. (And thanks to Slog tipper my father-in-law.)