Rebecca (attorney, excerpts)

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REBECCA ~ attorney ~ Here in Kansas City we have a group of priests ... they have a name among themselves, chicken hawks ... that's how they refer to each other. The priests, themselves, refer to each other, as chicken hawks. That's blatantly conspiratorial. The ones I'm aware of, I get that second-hand ...I don't get it directly ... but it sits with what I know from my cases. And that is, that one of the priests we're suing, he'd call new kids that would come into the school, ‘my little chickies' ... and then, he'd pick out little chicks he liked the best.

Some of the other priests that we sued, yes ...they passed the children around to one another. The interesting thing to me was once my client became part of the predator priests' circle, how open they were about looking at and preying on young people. Are there other situations I know of where priests passed kids around between themselves knowingly, for the purposes of molesting the kids? Yes. They shared. We have a group of cases going to trial in January or February, where two priests together would take four kids up to a lake, about an hour from here. Then, both priests would molest the kids.

We had a situation here in Kansas City, where the priest told his victim when the priest said, "I love you, it's the love of God showing through His Divine Representative on Earth. And, "When I hit you, that's the wrath of God," he said.

The boy had a slight mental illness anyway, and those words of the priest and the priest's actions created the boy's reality. His reality was, he had not been abused by a priest, he had been loved by God.

I think you'll find in the psychiatric literature the average age of molestation for a boy is 12 years of age ...the average age of report, is 40 years old. So, you've got about a 28 year ‘disconnect' between the abuse and the time that someone is able to psychologically able to report. Most therapists would tell you, that the brain just ‘stops'. Even if the survivors remember the abuse, it's something that's so painful ...it's ego-distonic, meaning, it's something completely separate and alien to the way they view themselves -- that, if they were to reveal, it would be, gosh, like ‘soul-suicide', in a way. Their orientation to reality, it would create a ‘shift' for them. So, a person has to be able to mature enough, in order for the mind to be able to say, ‘this is what happened, you were raped, and you were truly angry, and you were truly injured,' and that they're still ‘okay' people. It's takes a fair amount of maturity to say, ‘That was really bad. It wasn't my fault. I've been harmed by it. But, I'm an okay person. I'm worthy of continuing existence.' You see a lot of suicides by victims of predator priests.

 [AA] The book segwayed from priests abusing children, to nuns abusing children. According to the survivors I've talked to, they haven't enjoyed the same public recognition or success with legal representation as the men have.

[R] That's true. We've represented two people who've been abused by nuns, that have actually gone through the court process. And, have had calls from about 6-to-8 others, including a couple men who were abused by nuns when they were children. This area has been very quiet. Even abuse of women by priests, hasn't gotten nearly the attention of abuse of boys by priests. I've never quite understood that.  The cases we've represented against nuns we've sued the orders. The orders, in most cases, come across and pay better than the dioceses have.

Ritual abuse is scary stuff. I've had one of those cases. There's a level of evil that goes beyond your ‘garden variety' sexual abuse. Most of the time the ‘garden variety' of sexual abuse, for the perps ... it's sick people, men with issues, or women with issues,  that are perpetrating on kids ...and, they have come to some sort of accommodation in their own mind, about how they're not really hurting someone. But, when you get to the ritualistic abuse, there is no accommodation that one can make for that. It gets to a level of evil that goes way beyond ‘being sick'. There's a definitional question with regard to ritual abuse. Do you mean that the abuse arises out of the rituals of the Catholic Church ... we just settled one of those yesterday ...wherein the priest was telling our client that whenever the priest was abusing our client, this was the love of God ...and, when he smacked him around, when he'd hit him or otherwise punish him, that was the wrath of God. And, since the priest said that since he was the representative of God on Earth, then this abuse gave the child a special way to Heaven. That is one form of ritual abuse.

The other form of ritual abuse is ...we had a guy in the center of the State, one of the priests had actually killed a puppy, and said, if you say anything, this is what will happen to you. That's an evil, beyond being ‘ill'. Interestingly, in the center of the State there's a coordinator, a victims' assistant coordinator, who'd done a really nice job. She'd actually taken this client under her wing, and there was no reason to file a lawsuit, because he was being better taken care of by the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, than if we had filed a lawsuit.

[AA] So, they were terrified of that news coming out, or sincerely concerned, or both.