A Help or a Hindrance?

Dr. Phil sits down with Peter Hoover. He begins by asking, "How do you feel about where things are now?"

"The one thing I do say, I've felt very appreciative of the part that you have played in this, and your team," says Peter. "I've felt that of the people we had along, that we couldn't have chosen better companions, and also folk that were more understanding and sensitive to our way of life."

"I've said before that on my staff they believe in what we're doing, they believe in the stories that we tell, and they've been very passionate about helping to start the healing process for this family," agrees Dr. Phil. "However you spin this in terms of Michael and Michelle's differences, this is clearly a case of abduction. Do you feel like you helped him?"

Peter says, "Our communities have historically been welcoming, sheltering communities. Unfortunately, in this case, some of what we're trying to do, what we're trying to be, was perhaps a bit abused."

"It's my profession to read people," says Dr. Phil. "I thought when you were on the show you chose your words very carefully." Dr. Phil explains that he didn't challenge Peter at the time because he appreciated his willingness to help. "By the same token, I felt like you guys got suckered in a little bit by Michael up front. I felt like you didn't tell me the truth on the show. You said, 'Well, you know, he's maybe in a Plain community, but I don't know where.' And I think the truth is that he talked to you, you believed what he said, and you sent him to Chihuahua, Mexico in a community down there, but I felt like you knew where he was when you were on the show, you just didn't tell us. Is that true?"

"No, I actually didn't," Peter objects. "Not specifically. Now, I had some inclinations to think that he probably did go on to Belize."

Dr. Phil asks if Peter feels like he helped Michael, and if he thought he was doing anything wrong by sending him to Mexico.


"It never occurred to me, but in thinking back now over the situation, I suppose if this should happen again that I would feel responsible to look into matters a little bit more," he says.

 

"It just seems really strange to me that such a well-respected religious group would facilitate a kidnapping, particularly on an international basis," Dr. Phil muses.

"Well, for one thing, we would never have looked at it as a kidnapping," says Peter. "The way we would look at these situations is this person is trying to live his faith. He's trying to bring up his children in the right way, and so our response would be, well, to help him do what's right."

"Did y'all ever think, 'You know, we should invite the wife to come and speak with some of the men in the church'? Did you ever think of giving her a chance to weigh in?'

Peter explains that it never occurred to him then, but that in the future he would take that approach. Dr. Phil asks if Peter or anyone in the church is concerned about being indicted as a co-conspirator or an accessory to the kidnapping. Peter says he wouldn't want to see that happen.

"Are you concerned about it?" asks Dr. Phil.

"I don't know that I'm particularly concerned about it because " whatever I did tell him " the guy calls me up and he asks me about where we had lived in Mexico and so forth "

I just plain answered his questions. I suppose I would do that for anybody."

Dr. Phil explains one option for the girls is that they live with a family of faith rather than with their mom. Peter says his community would be open to the idea.

Dr. Phil says, "The girls may not feel compatible with their mother's lifestyle, so a Plain community might be the answer and solution here, and you could be a big help to us in that."

 

Dr. Phil shakes Peter's hand. "Peter, thank you so much. We may be calling on you to help with these girls," he says.