How this book came to be
How this book came to be
After living with Charlene for four years, appreciating her sense of humor I interviewed her about the events that shaped her life ...such as her stepfather molesting her. That interview finished, I followed up interviewing my friend, Juanita, whose father molested her when she was she was a child. Juanita went on to draft the platform of the Democratic National Caucus. My Catholic friend, Diana, had several kids and was looking for safe Catholic schools her children could go to, had co-founded with friends a Catholic prep school to avoid her children having to encounter predator priests ...so, she followed predator priest scandals, went online to a survivor network, and found a phone number for Jennifer in California for me to interview.
Later, when my internet was turned off between bouts of income, Diana went online for me and found names and phone numbers of Snap leaders, including Barbara and bishopaccountability.org leaders, and of Father Tom Doyle, who helped victims nationally and internationally as an expert witness, featured in a documentary, called, ‘Deliver Us From Evil’, that Diana and I’d seen -- that ended saying there were 10,000 pending cases against predator priests in the U.S. The film focused on Church hierarchy knowingly protecting predator priests by transferring them to other geographical locations.
One of the Snap leaders, Barbara, the founder of Snap then referred me to Mary, the California leader and to several attorneys, including Jeff, who recently was in the attorney team that in 2007 won a 650 million dollar law suit against the Church in southern California, helping 500 victims ...after lobbying for then achieving a bi-partisan legislative ‘window’ that temporarily lifted a State Statute of Limitation law for one year that allowed Californians raped by priests and nuns and other authority figures, including for example, Boy Scout leaders, and psychiatrists -- to file in the year 2003. In 2007, the 500 California victims who filed in one suit, won a settlement for the 650 million. Recently, Colorado approved a two-year window, and ten other States are now enjoying bi-partisan approval to enact similar temporary legislative ‘windows’.
It seems like a moment ago, Jeff was in the international news for deposing the Cardinal of Mexico City for conspiring with a United States Cardinal in a modern ‘ratline’ of smugging predator priests from one Diocese to another and from one country to another to avoid prosecution and imprisonment ... in-so-doing, totally upheaving Mexico, Latin- and South America -- countries 95% Catholic -- which, as a result, for the first time are now looking at the issue of predator priests in the national and international press -- as the United States had to do in the 1990’s when the Boston predator priest child molestation news was in the our national press.
Jeff referred me to Eric Vergnon, a California resident living in Mexico, who had helped him depose the Cardinal of Mexico City, who now, two days later, was living under 24-hour security because of death threats.
Jennifer went into graphic detail in another book where she was interviewed with two other women, and three men, how they were sexually abused. I skimmed a few sample pages on the internet. The crimes were very violent -- not only touching, but physically brutal -- and premeditated ... some priests holding young boys down by the back of the neck and sodomizing them, other priests telling young female victims they were ‘the bride of Christ’ ... then reading bible scriptures to them while they raped them. Often, priests said they’d have God kill the parents of the kids, if they talked.
What struck me most was crimes against the same children occured, perpetuated by the same perpetrator, predator priests ... for years, in a planned, premeditated, violent and serial manner -- premeditated crime ...by sociopathic, serial rapists.
Jennifer mentioned in my interview of her it wasn’t unusual for victims to tell accounts of being passed from one predator priest to another, and another, that in the Oakland Diocese, several predator priests played golf together with their Bishop, and had studied at the same seminary. I couldn’t help but wonder, to what extent one priest, or several priests knew exactly what was going on ...and, in fact, shared information ... and worse, passed victims from one to another, as casually as playing 18 holes of golf together.
I decided to write an article. The premise would be ... some priests worked together in premediated, criminal conspiracy, raping children, passing victims between themselves ... a premise to date, unproven in American media, of catastrophic and horrible proportions.
Diana referred me to SNAP leader Danny McNevin, who kept a database of predator priests in the Oakland Diocese in Northern California, in the East Bay area. Aug. 14, 2007 ... Danny told me his database would be incorporated into bishopaccountability.org, the next month. I was scheduled to phone Barbara Blain, national SNAP leader, that Thursday or Friday, left a message for another national SNAP leader, David Clohessy that day, a message for Anne Barrett Doyle, a national bishopaccountibility.org leader, and a message for Father Tom Doyle, a Roman Catholic priest who helped victims in defiance of Church hierarchy orchestrated denial -- 15th of August, the annual Day of the Feast of the Ascension of Virgin Mary into Heaven. Danny referred me to Joseph Piscatelli, the first person in Contra Costa County to win a case against a predator priest, who successfully sued the entire Selesian Order in San Francisco for criminal conspiracy -- so, my premise was proven even before I wrote the article. David referred me to attorneys in Missouri and Minnesota, who specialized in filing lawsuits against conspiratorial priest crime rings -- again proving my premise.
I, like you, thought the whole furor was over ‘inappropriate touching’ by Priests. But, as I kept speaking to more survivors, my heart kept breaking, and as the premises born out of my interviews with survivors began to cover several pages, the book began to change and grow, and take on a life and direction of its own. Everyone knew someone else who had more information, about subjects I’d never heard about. Steve Thiesen and Mary Dunford told me what it was like, as kids to try to recover from sexual abuse by nuns. Gabrielle ‘Gabe’ Azzaro was a young nun of 18, who was sexually abused by her Mother Superior for two years. Barbara Blaine and Barbara Dorris knew more about those things we don’t want to know about, but that really happened ... kids who got AIDS from priests, kids whose parents and friends claimed that after the kids were sexually assaulted, the priests killed them, teens who were impregnated by priests, who had abortions paid for by the priests, the abortion files each Diocese keeps, girls that were raped and impregnated and gave birth and raised their children, associations of children of Catholic priests, the differences between Catholic ritual abuse and Catholic priest Satanic ritual abuse. But, the story had changed, and I had changed.
All that was to have remained was to contact my sources, interview them, then write the article, The alledged Oakland Diocese Priests’ Child Raping Club.
However, since the Selesian Order was based in nearby San Francisco, the San Francisco Diocese decided to join with the Selesian Order in denial and legal battle. As my interviewing continued, it became apparent to me, as an oral historian and investigative reporter, I was into the uncovering of a much larger story, one in which I would run full force into current mythology, magical thinking, social engineering, and calculated denial, ignorance, and premediated evil of individuals, clergy, and countries.
Yet, fighting the same apparent and overwhelming odds against them, it is the individual survivor of predatory priests that shines out as the hero among us.
You will, as have I, be humbled by the horror and pain the survivors felt, not only by the physical, psychological and spiritual abuse ... but also, by their repeated wounding by not being believed ...contributing to their struggles to live lives that never would have been so difficult had they not been so viciously attacked as children by people who were walking nightmares. I have been humbled by the monstrous response of the Vatican in Holy See denial, arrogance, spite and vengence. The vices manifest in the very flesh by the very people teaching us against those vices, the very people keeping kids from God, who Jesus said should have millstones tied around their necks, then throw them into the river to drown. That is my Jesus, a God of justice.
I have learned there are two Vaticans, the religion and the State government. That the Vatican is a split personality, a multiple personality, a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde werewolf vampire manifestation ... the church Vatican vs. the corporate, Vatican government. It is a functional Church. It is a dysfunctional government. And it’s a utilitarian, practical political belief system based on myth, brainwashing, intimidation, ignorance, exploitation, usury, cover-ups and fear.
While the good twin is the goodness and love Catholic religion manifests, the evil twin ... the Vatican government, is arrogant and warlike, and perverted, and hides predator priests and allows them to fool people into thinking predator priests are God, and priests and nuns are God -- anti-Christs. They mess with the minds of children like a virus. While Catholics, claiming they are the original and true religion of Christ are by definition universally bigoted, self-righteous and arrogant, the religion itself is brilliant in its love of God and mankind and has produced many people who follow their human nature to serve mankind ... yet, in the way a storybook for a child encapsulates and clothes childlike fear, it is ironic that the Catholic saints and good Catholics around the world can practise love of God and love of humanity at all, given their teachers who would usurp our human nature and try to make us slaves to their own will & desire, and is a testament to the true God -- of which we known nothing but love, power, and destruction. All the rest is conjectured mind games, projected shortcomings and power cravings. Because God is a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddlist and at the same time, none of those. God is a mother’s love for her child, growing a child within her, giving birth, nurturing that child, protecting it, sheltering it, nourishing it, teaching it right from wrong, that wrong hurts people, that right makes makes people feel better, happy, confident, helpful. God is love. Fairness. Equality. Sharing the entire wealth of the world equally between everyone on the Earth. No one closer to God than anyone else. No special lines of communication for anyone. No favorites or material myths of ownership. Food and health and wealth for all, equally.
The institution of organized religion may just be a manifestation of testosterone gone amuck. In fact, estrogen seems to be the savior of us all -- except of course, predator nuns.