The Mike Kearney Memorial Prize

An Old Boy commented recently on Kearney:

I went to st joes from 1984 to 1991. My experience of mr Kearney was not a good one. He punched me in the face once in chemistry as a third year. My dad went to the school and he apologised.

This is not a historic crime that can be conveniently lost in the mists of time. It’s relatively recent and it was clearly serious.

Yet today’s regime at St J’s still have a Chemistry prize in this scum’s memory

Any teacher who punches a thirteen year old boy in the face is scum.

By the 1980s it would also be a criminal offence.  

Kearney had obviously not evolved as a human being from the 1960s when he was equally vile.

Or does this somehow come under the heading of necessary tough discipline? That’s what one female apologist and admirer of Kearney claimed when she wrote into this site about a year ago.

 A trawl through my site will show other examples of Kearney’s physically abusive behaviour, to which I will add my own experiences at some stage.  I’m still researching Kearney and his past.

Today’s St Joseph’s College knows that the College’s past teachers were physically and sexually abusive and they have remained silent on the subject.  It’s impossible not to know – the evidence is overwhelming and is added to every day.

But here it would seem it’s absolutely okay because of Kearney’s scholastic achievements.

So why not have a Brother James Memorial Mathematics prize. Because he was a truly brilliant maths teacher – I was terrible at maths until James taught me. His teaching made a huge difference to my life.

Or a Brother Solomon Memorial Music prize.

I owe my deep passion and love of classical music directly to him.  And I’m sure many other pupils feel the same way.

Or a Brother Kevin Memorial Latin prize.

I was hopeless at Spanish, but Brother Kevin taught me Latin and I quickly excelled at it.

But of course all these three teachers are also now proven physical and sexual abusers.   There are so many devastating testimonies against them, it’s no longer a matter for debate.

So why the exception with Kearney? Is it because he’s only known for his physical abuse, so that’s sort of okay?

St Joseph’s :  Do we have to wait for something really shocking that Kearney did before you change the name of your prize?

Punching a boy in the face isn’t shocking enough for you?

How bad does it have to be? I’m curious.

Or is it that the ‘greater good’ is Kearney’s teaching  which trumps any crimes he committed. 

In this respect, your regime is definitely following in the La Sallian Tradition, a tradition you’re clearly proud of.

You might want to reflect on all this the next time you give out your Kearney Memorial Prize. 

And so might the recipient of the Prize. It’s not a Prize that is worth accepting when it’s associated with a proven abuser.

Meanwhile:

Shame on you.

BROTHERS KEVIN, JAMES AND SOLOMON

Broken Rites in Australia are a potential role model for us here in the UK on whether and how survivors could go forward in the case of the three abusers above.

If you’re not familiar with Broken Rites, here’s their summary page

Our Catholic background

Broken Rites Australia is not connected with any religious denomination. However, each member of the Broken Rites executive team had a Catholic background and each of us has been hurt by Catholic Church sex-abuse – and by the church’s habit of cover-up. We are therefore motivated to do research on this problem.

The first Broken Rites cases, which we began researching in 1993, resulted in a number of Catholic priests and religious Brothers being convicted in the criminal courts. This news prompted more Catholic survivors to send information to Broken Rites about other cases.

The Broken Rites executive team are semi-retired professionals, with experience in research and advocacy. We donate our time to do this research.

Our articles are written in a professional, non-sensational manner.

Our articles expose the perpetrator (and the cover-up) but we protect the privacy of victims.

http://www.brokenrites.org.au/drupal/node/246

If you look at their case studies, you will be awed by their diligence, restraint and pursuit of abusers. Their evidence was the basis of the Dark Network academic study clearly showing that  there were – and perhaps still are –  a significant number of organised Catholic paedophile rings within the Catholic Church in Oz.

The studies can be a little overwhelming to read. There are so many. And, if that’s true for Oz, it’s surely also true for the UK.

In the UK, we don’t, alas, have any organisation like Broken Rites that collates and pursues these cases. Maybe  because Australia has a larger Catholic population?  

And what happened to us at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich has never locked into a wider group of UK Catholic survivors, with more expertise to draw on, so we’re at somewhat of a disadvantage. 

Even so, Broken Rites are an encouraging and valuable role model and a possible source of advice on ways to go forward.

From looking at past correspondence, I have the strong feeling many of us would like to pursue this further, but are aware of our lack of time and expertise and also how the various organisations of the Catholic Church are expert at blocking, delaying and generally obstructing the path of a survivor seeking acknowledgement or compensation.

Whilst there are many  clerical abusers detailed on my site, there are three who stand out above the others: Kevin, James and Solomon.  I don’t think anyone could doubt the validity of these cases, based on the numerous testimonies on this site. 

One thing that has  held us back is the fact that these cases are ‘historic’. James and Solomon are dead. Kevin has dementia and may well be dead by now.

So I think it’s useful to quote from a Broken Rites case where the abuse was similarly ‘historic’ and the survivor still received compensation.

It concerns Father John Byrne, a Jesuit priest.

http://www.brokenrites.org.au/archives/nletter/page239-jesuit-john-byrne.html

Byrne died in Melbourne on 23 December 1974 aged 62.

A church investigation confirms abuse

A former student, Mark, says that he was sexually abused by Fr John Byrne at Xavier College’s preparatory school (Burke Hall) in Melbourne in 1971 when Mark was aged 11. Mark says it was sadistic violent abuse. Mark says that this abuse, plus the church’s cover-up, disrupted his teenage development and his later life.

In 2005, Mark lodged a complaint with the Catholic Church’s Professional Standards Office (the PSO) in Sydney. On 23 December 2005 a senior Jesuit, Fr Geoffrey King, who was in charge of professional-standards matters for the Australian Jesuits, wrote to Mark, stating:

“I must say that your account of events at Burke Hall bears very much the ring of truth . . . It is certainly true that John Byrne was moved from Burke Hall during 1972, and there seems good reason to suspect that it was as a result of some problematic behaviour on his part.”

In May 2006 the PSO appointed a solicitor/mediator to investigate Mark’s complaint and to interview priests who were colleagues of Father Byrne. The Jesuits could not assist with the investigation but when Mark referred the solicitor/mediator to some of the pupils who were in his class, significant corroborative evidence was found. On 30 October 2006, the solicitor/mediator reported that Mark’s allegations “are justified”. The PSO then wrote to Mark, confirming that Mark’s allegations had been substantiated to the “adequate evidentiary standard”.

The PSO arranged a facilitation meeting with Mark at which the Jesuits offered Mark a “financial gesture”, provided that Mark signed away his rights to seek a more appropriate figure. Mark declined this “gesture” as it was an amount that he considered not to be commensurate with the damage done to his life.

However, eventually Mark and the Jesuits reached agreement about an amount of settlement, and the Jesuits then sent their compensation cheque to Mark.

The key points that jumped out at me were that Byrne died in 1974 and the case was pursued in 2005 and the survivor received compensation in 2006.

That’s encouraging.  There may well be other cases on the Broken Rites site that are historic where the Church has acknowledged its crimes.

Of course the De La Salle Brothers and the structure in Oz are different, but it suggests there are similar ways forward.

From my point of view, I would dearly love to pursue this, but – for now – I have to keep my energies and researches focussed on the congregational and lay aspects of Catholic abuse.

But, if anyone wants to pursue the cases of one or all of these Brothers, or other Catholic abusers,  because you seek acknowledgement, apology or compensation, I’ll happily help in any way I can.

And – of course – all the testimonies on this site are available to you. I can forward any requests you may have of them so their names and details remain strictly confidential.

That said, the evidence against these three criminal Brothers is so vast, I’m not sure it would be necessary.  

I think the De La Salle organisation will already be very  aware of their crimes. Brother Kevin, for instance, seems to have been driven out of his Suffolk village by local youths who knew of his behaviour.

If I was pursuing this myself, my primary objective would be an acknowledgement from the De La Salle Brothers that these three Brothers were abusers and to make a general apology on behalf of the order.

I would write to Broken Rites for advice in case they can steer me away from obvious pitfalls and then write to the DLSB at Oxford. Either quoting all three cases for a collective response. Or a case that affected me personally. namely Brother James

But other survivors will have different objectives and strategies, dependant on their circumstances, and I’m happy to assist them if I can.

What also prompted me to write this post was looking back at the case of Brother James Carragher, who I thought at first was our St Joseph’s Brother James Ryan. Carragher was a similar monster. He’s currently in prison.

Here’s some excerpts from a BBC report.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-humber-37750887

More than 200 men claim they were abused at St William’s residential school in Market Weighton between 1970 and 1991, run by the De La Salle order.

The order has apologised “unreservedly” to those affected by the abuse and for the actions of its former principal.

James Carragher is in jail for sex offences against children at the home.

If the compensation claim succeeds, the eventual payout could run into millions of pounds.

The school, which closed in 1992, provided residential care and education for boys aged 10 to 16 with emotional and behavioural problems.

It was run by the De La Salle brothers on behalf of Middlesbrough Diocese.

The order said it “deeply regrets what happened at St William’s”.

James Carragher, of Cearns Road, Merseyside, who was principal from 1976-1990, is serving his third prison sentence for physically and sexually abusing boys there.

Allegations of abuse continued into the 1980s. The BBC has seen written testimony from a boy at the home describing how Carragher hit him on the head “with his fist”, “dragged” him onto the landing and “kicked” and “pulled” him down the stairs.

Documents show Carragher was subjected to an internal disciplinary hearing following the assault and was given a warning.

According to a letter sent to Humberside County Council in 1992, complaints at the home were deal with by the principal, meaning that for 14 years allegations were dealt with by the man – Carragher – who was carrying out the abuse.

A spokesman for the De La Salle Order said: “We repeat our total condemnation of the serious criminal behaviour of James Carragher, a former member of the De La Salle Brothers, during his time on the staff at St William’s.

“We condemn, without reservation, any action or behaviour which harms young people.

“We deeply regret what happened at St William’s and the harm that was done there through the behaviour of James Carragher. We unreservedly apologise to all who have been affected by his behaviour. Our hearts go out to all victims of abuse and their families.”

A spokesman for the Diocese said: “Abusive behaviour has absolutely no place in the Catholic Church, or anywhere in society, and is against everything we stand for.”

The compensation case is expected to last three weeks at the High Court in Leeds.

The De La Salle order pointedly call him James Carragher, not Brother James as he’s now left the order.

They apologise without reservation for his crimes.

It’s worth repeating the words of the spokesman for the Catholic diocese.

“Abusive behaviour has absolutely no place in the Catholic Church, or anywhere in society, and is against everything we stand for.”

Let’s see if they mean it.  

BROTHER KEVIN: THE END?

I thought this information was so important, it warranted a separate post. Because I know of so many Old Boys who were still looking for him and might miss this information otherwise.

It’s always sad to read of someone’s decline, but I do know that Kevin was physically and sexually abusive and could have scarred many Survivors in other, perhaps equally devastating ways. Certainly two Survivors I’ve been in close communication with were very angry about him.

It’s interesting that the DLS etc distanced themselves from him. I guess he was no member of a Dark Network, although he was called in by the Knights of St Columba at St Mary’s Catholic Youth Club, near Woodbridge Rd., when I was seen snogging a girl, after being lined up for the priesthood. It was a big deal, I kid you not. I remember him crossing town and turning up at the Youth Club especially to discuss the shocking truth about what I may or may not have done with the girl.  So perhaps I’m wrong and he was once part of a Network.

Whereas when I read of Brother James’s decline and death, it seems he was being looked after by his fellow DLS brothers. They nurtured this evil viper to the end of his days.  A man they described as timid and shy in their Eulogy.

I think you summed up it very well, Conor . Thank you.

 Conor Pagett commented on ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE AND BROTHER KEVIN – AGAIN! This is another account of abuse at St Joseph’s sent to me by someone who would prefer to remain anonymous so that the … Hi again Zach! Bro Kevin (or just plain Kevin Dillon) was suffering in an advanced state of dementia in an Ipswich nursing home the last time I heard of him (2017). There was video on the nursing home website of him singing (trying) Christmas carols but the shell of a human being was hard to recognise as the Bro Kevin of our youth. He was a broken man before the dementia set in. Over the last 20 years he lost everything. When the first rumours about allegations of perversion reached the village in Suffolk in which he lived it brought with it abuse and intimidation from the local youths. His house was attacked and windows broken occasionally and after a couple of years he was compelled to sell up and move to Ipswich. The DLS and other powers-that-be distanced themselves from him and this pushed him over the edge. He may be dead now but if he is still alive the natural course of Kevins’ dementia will have inflicted all the suffering which some might think he merits. I remember Bro Kevins favourite instrument of discipline in 1986 was a flexible leather case for a steel ruler. He was decent enough to take the steel ruler out of it before he beat us though. 
  
  

BROTHER SOLOMON AND HARRY ROBERTS

Another couple of old posts by St Joseph’s Beulah Hill Old Boys that I think are of interest because of the way their school magazine was, perhaps understandably, pulped.  Roberts – a ‘successful pupil’ – has now been released from prison:

Went to St Joe’s in the 50/60

My first p.t (yes p.t) teacher was George Smith who left the school to become manager of Crystal Palace F.C for 2 years.

I was expelled in 1964 for saying that Brother Solomon (stage name Sidney De Mecardo) was a homosexual paedophile (i did not use that word in 1964).

Famous old boys. Remember Harry Roberts who murdered 3 policemen in 1966. He was a successful pupil in the 1950’s and every copy of Beaulahland which contained his name was destroyed.Roberts is still alive at 70+ and still in prison. Solomon’s stage name was Mike Mercado.

Listen to THIS (http://www.ewhurst.com/mike/mike.mp3).

Harry Roberts as an old boy was sold to me during my first term after Brother Sean Sellars was telling 1.2 about famous ex pupils….

Went home and asked Dad who is Dicky Valentine, apparently he is our most famous old boy… Dad said forget him, its Harry Roberts…. miles more famous..

BROTHER SOLOMON: DARK NETWORKER

The real purpose of this post is the mechanics of a  Catholic Dark Network.

How they operate.

 And how this can sometimes mean a Catholic paedophile  ‘taking one for the team’. I believe  Brother Solomon had to ‘take one for the team’.

 I’ll come back to that a bit later. But first to set the scene:

In case the tag ‘Brother Solomon’ has drawn you to this site for the first time, let me explain that a Dark Network is an academic term for a paedophile ring. 

An academic study (see my past post ‘Dark Networks’) shows a primary example in Victoria, Oz. Muytjens, Sally (2019) An exploration of the existence of clergy child sexual abuse dark networks within the Victorian catholic church. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Muytjens identified 16 Catholic child sex abuse rings in Victoria, Oz.

This, for me at least, validates my own recollections that there was a similar paedophile  ring at St Joseph’s College Ipswich in the 1960s.

There was also a separate investigation by the Age newspaper which covers further criminal Catholic networks in Oz, some of which may overlap with the academic study. If you just want a quick read, here it is: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/revealed-how-paedophile-priests-in-victoria-worked-together-to-share-victims-20190916-p52rtz.html

The evidence for Brother Solomon being in a similar paedophile ring is more circumstantial than Brother James where  two testimonies specifically show the involvement of the Knights of St Columba  who covered up his crimes . This resulted in more of James’s perverted behaviour being inflicted on pupils in the 1970s when he should have been in jail.

To briefly reprise on the evidence about Brother Solomon.

I knew as a first former in 1960/1961 that Solomon was a paedophile. All the kids joked about it and talked about him being sent to a Brothers’ reformatory on Jersey where shipwrecked sailors would be at risk from them.  Brother James – a confirmed Dark Networker – wrote a glowing farewell to Solomon in the school magazine and I remember at the time thinking how it was simply untrue.  Then Solomon went to Beulah Hill where he committed numerous crimes, had a brief interval as a minor pop star, then probably went to do ‘missionary work’ at Homan’s Boys Town in India,  and came back to St Joseph’s Ipswich as lay teacher Mike Mercado in the mid-1980s. He was dismissed over further allegations of sexual abuse.

The endless shifting him from school to school is suggestive of a Dark Network of organized abusers. Then there’s his involvement with Joe Homan, a proven paedophile (I have the private testimony of one survivor from Oakhill which is heartbreaking to read). Homan may have won a libel case alleging abuse, but there is a great deal about him still left unanswered and strongly suggestive of a Dark Network, despite Old Boy Chris Mullin’s whitewash obituary on him in the Guardian.  

There’s more about Solomon which is potentially relevant.  His co-ownership of a fun pier at Weston Super Mare, for example. According to Mullin, he ended his days playing the piano on a pier. Maybe this was the one.

Before getting onto how Solomon ‘took one for the team’, here’s a reminder from Old Boys at Beulah Hill as to what this sick individual was like.

Bear in mind he’d just been thrown out of St J’s Ipswich because of some serious allegations which resulted in him disappearing literally overnight.  So then he’s allowed to carry on at Beulah Hill doing exactly the same!

(I have a private testimony from an Old Boy from Ipswich describing a sexual assault Solomon made on him and a number of other boarders.)

I was a pupil at St Joseph’s College, Beulah Hill, from 1955 to 1965 – I can confirm that it was an absolutely terrible experience – and in 1961, as if there weren’t enough very strange, totally weird, ‘Christian’ Brothers (all from the ‘De La Salle’ order) – they brought in Brother Solomon (they already had Brother Leo and Brother David, niether have been mentioned in these columns but I can honestly say, both horrendous, merciless, harshly-appalling people). Brother Solomon was allowed total freedom by the school and by the order as ‘Master of Discipline’ – everything that has been said here about this man is true, however it all only just touches on his evil brutality, his mental and sexual perversion; I would say he was at least twenty times worse than anyone has stated here – over a period of four years he became worse and worse and by 1964 he was out of control. Dispite what clearly must have been known by those in authority, he was allowed to continue with his sinful, vicious, atrocious, criminal, immoral, debauched, perverted, abhorrent, detestable, monstrous, foul, vile, discraceful ways for a further full year – it was absolutely scandalous. Finally, during the summer holidays of 1965 Brother Soloman was dismissed from St Joseph’s and at the same time expelled from the De La Salle order. Within a very short time he became known nationally as ‘The Swinging Monk’; he was in the Sunday papers and on Records, TV and Radio being described as pianist ‘Mike Mercado’. Today he would have been in court, subsequently locked up, after just a couple of days in any school; he got away with it for so long by intimidation and because in those days, if you dared to say anything against this “incredible” school (in your Catholic parents view) you were immediatly set-about by your father, as I was on several occasions – including once when I phoned my father (a complete bully) from the phone box at Crown Point and described an incident that had only just occurred in Bro’ Soloman’s locked and curtained office; “Stay right there, it’ll take me an hour to get to you!” shouted my father as he slammed down his phone – some time later, as he pulled up and dived out of his car I thought to myself (I was still in the phone box) this is it, at last, this will be the downfall of this terrible man, Soloman, but alas, my father ripped open the red glass-paned door and totally laid-into ME, beating me almost unconscious; I was lying on the ground as he turned for his car, shouting at me “get back into that school and don’t you ever tell such lies about people again, or I’ll beat you to death”; and then he sped off. I was helped into a nearby sweet shop by a GPO telegram boy who had seen the beating and so was very sympathetic but terrified for me of my father, saying you’d better get cleaned up and back into school in case he comes back…. I would say I was one of probably less than a dozen boys regularly (daily) picked on by Brother Soloman but those awfull times have, on and off, affected my whole life – as a young 13 and 14 year old boy I was completely traumatised on many occasions, and left with absolutely no support from home, and that has returned to haunt me at various different stages of my life….. . Now, more optimistically, can anyone provide me with any actual evidence to confirm Brother Soloman is now deceased (an entry in death records; his place of death/buriel etc); in this respect please refer to this website: http://www.salfordonline.com/waywewere2.php?func=viewdetails&vdetails=239&os= which shows he went back to his home town of Eccles in 1968; it also shows that others seek to know where he is now. With my sincerest thanks, in advance, for any assistance that can be provided.

(Solomon is, of course, dead now)

This next quote may be relevant for indicating the transgenerational nature of Dark Networks:

Re-visiting my copy of St.Joseph’s College 1855-1955 Book, Beulah Hill, by W.J.Battersby [Senior History Master].

This bit of information that may interest you:-

Appendix III [p.92]

Old Boys Who Became Brothers:

extracted from the list……

At College 1941-43:

Brother Patrick Solomon (Michael Mercado)

If you find transgenerational abuse unlikely, let me assure you that it’s a proven characteristic of Dark Networks that they like to recruit a new generation to corrupt.

(Thus I believe Brother James was a De La Salle schoolboy)

The Network tried it with me, recruiting me to be a priest, and I resisted. 

Here’s the transgenerational confirmation in the Oz academic study.

DN = Dark Network. Actors = abusers

The data chapter discusses clergy perpetrators who were placed in roles of recruiting boys into the priesthood. The importance of recruitment and mentoring to the DN is that the ability to be able to replace DN actors is crucial to DN resilience (Ayling 2009).

Back to Brother Solomon/Mercado.

I’ve been passed his letter of resignation when he was kicked out of St Joseph’s Ipswich as lay teacher Mike Mercado.

He sent this letter out to parents and it’s well written and cleverly worded to make him seem like an injured party. If we didn’t already know he was the Jimmy Saville of the De La Salle Brothers, we might even be convinced by it.

But what I found interesting was the  threats  he makes which he does not follow up on. So why not just keep your mouth shut?  This is not a stupid man. Is he really just ‘mouthing off’ because he’s angry at losing his job? In my opinion, he’s hinting and mentioning certain individuals deliberately to make a point.  There’s a code here which I can only partly decipher.

We already know Solomon is a clever and experienced paedophile. I’d say he weighed every one of his key sentences with care. With great care. Hence why he says he could write a book about it, which he mentions twice.

I’m only going to include relevant excerpts here:

‘Dear Friends,

A year ago I sent a Newsletter to all of the parents of my Boarders wishing the compliments of the season and giving a few hints and tips on the guidance of teenagers through their most difficult years…

It is not possible to explain in detail the events of the past six months. If I did so, I would have to write all of you a book!  …

My problems started with an allegation being made against me by one of my Boarders that I had touched him in an indecent manner on his bottom…I was very hurt and insulted when the Headmaster indicated that he accepted the word of the Pupil and did not give me the opportunity of giving my version of the matter. These hurtful and insulting things were said by those with the Order one would have expected to support rather than condemn.

At this juncture I should point out that I had been a Christian Brother for some thirteen years prior to 1966  AND I AM FULLY AWARE OF WHAT GOES ON WITHIN THE ORDER. (Pat’s caps)’

Mercado then quotes a supportive Brother Damian who writes to Mercado, ‘I hope you will forgive the Community their lack of support.’

Mercado then relates how the Governors – whom he does not name – accepted he was innocent, but sacked him for drunkenness instead which he also denies.  He goes on:

‘I also consider it was significant that the Chairman of the Governors Rev. Bro. Edwin, Mr Kearney  (Senior Lay-Master whom I have known since 1958) and Bro. Cuthman Francis the Clerk to the Governors were not present at the Governors meeting on the 16th September. ‘

He’s making a point here by saying it was significant.  Why was it significant?  There’s a code here which I can only speculate about.  Had they deliberately stayed away, knowing Mercado was going to be sacked?

Mercado continues that he was finally vindicated by the settlement. ‘I am not bitter but rather sad at the treatment I have received from certain Members of the De La Salle Order. 

‘I have every intention of writing my experiences with the Order in a book.  I would recommend the reading of “In God’s Name” by David Yallop which clearly indicates that even in the Vatican things are not always as Holy and as Perfect (Mercado’s capital letters) as one would expect.’

Mercado ends by wishing everyone a Happy New Year for 1986.

AMENDMENT HERE. My thanks to Rob for pointing out I had Edwin originally confused with Elwin. So I’ve removed that piece.

TEXT NOW CONTINUES AS BEFORE

I suggest Mercado’s reminding Kearney of their long association with each other for nearly thirty years. Whilst there could be other explanations why he should stress their connection, I know the explanation that I take away from this.

Mercado’s letter is definitely hinting and threatening that he could say a whole lot more and he’s letting certain individuals know this loud and clear. 

He never wrote that book.

If he had blown the whistle, his own crimes would have been further exposed and he must have known that. His Dark Network of fellow abusers could also make life difficult for him.  Or ‘bring you much pain’ – as one Survivor put it to me. And they would fail to support or rehabilitate him later.

So he had no choice. He shut up and took one for the team.

It could be that, in return, judging by this letter he was partly exonerated (his crime abruptly altered from unacceptable child sexual abuse to acceptable drunkenness) and financially compensated. 

To quote him: ‘An out of Court settlement has been agreed and I have also received a glowing reference from the Headmaster… I believe that the settlement and the reference does vindicate me.’

The whole thing stinks to high heaven. The Dark Network looks after its members.

This is of personal interest to me because  I need to understand just how these Dark Networkers function. Because when I was 15 and went to the police about the Catholic Dark Network  I’d had the misfortune to be ensnared by, the cops did actually interview one Catholic Knight who I focussed most of my fury and accusing attention on.

Although he talked his way out of it, I did later see the fear and the anger in his eyes that he just might be in  trouble and be thrown to the wolves by his fellow perverts. I was a ‘troublemaker’.  (And still am, of course) And I’d singled him out as the pervert I was going after. He subsequently was very careful how he behaved in my presence.

I can still feel that buzz I had as a 15 year old when I had the power and my abuser was the victim for a change. Even if it was short-lived.

Currently I’m still gathering information on this individual. I hope to name and shame him in due course as a useful catharsis.

But in broader terms, I think it’s valuable to understand the mechanics of how Catholic Dark Networks operated and may still operate if they are – by definition – transgenerational. 

Which means today’s Catholic children are still at risk from them.

We are deliberately – and endlessly –  conditioned by Catholic influenced or Catholic funded ‘damage limitation’ academics and authors to think it’s just one rogue priest, one rogue Cardinal who acts in a moment of madness, that we find it hard to deprogram that obsolete thinking.  That’s exactly what they want and why these books keep coming out which simply tread water and say nothing new. (See my ‘Sins of Omission’)

But the Dark Network study and the Age newspaper expose have changed that forever. They will lead to other  Catholic Dark Networks, historic or current, being investigated and exposed as other academics and media follow up on the Australian groundbreaking work.   

St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, and the connected Catholic laity in Ipswich would be a good place to start.

BROTHER JAMES: DARK NETWORKER

If you’ve just discovered this site, you may not be aware that organized Catholic sexual abuse networks are now proven beyond any reasonable doubt.  They’re called Dark Networks.  Most of us would call them paedophile rings.  

An academic study (see past post ‘Dark Networks’) shows a primary example in Victoria, Oz.

Muytjens, Sally (2019) An exploration of the existence of clergy child sexual abuse dark networks within the Victorian catholic church. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

She identified 16 Catholic child sex abuse rings in Victoria, Oz!

There was a separate investigation by the Age newspaper which covers further criminal Catholic networks in Oz, some of which may overlap with the academic study.

If you just want a quick read, here it is:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/revealed-how-paedophile-priests-in-victoria-worked-together-to-share-victims-20190916-p52rtz.html

Similarly, Brother James was part of a Catholic Dark Network of De La Salle Brothers at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich.  In his case, the Knights of St Columba Ipswich Province, and almost certainly a London Province, provided the necessary protection for him that is the hallmark of a paedophile ring. 

This is born out by my testimony, the testimony of another St Joseph’s Old Boy on this site, and by a private testimony I was given by a St J’s Old Boy.

You may well be aware of James as a violent psycho, but there are three testimonies on this site which show, beyond any reasonable doubt, that he was also a violent sex criminal.

Some years ago the De La Salle Brothers wrote an eulogy about Brother James after he died. Foolishly, when I discovered it,  8 years ago,  I didn’t download it. Shortly afterwards I started writing about James and it was promptly removed from the DLS site.  Sorry about that. I’m a bit more streetwise these days.

I do remember it said words to the effect that he was a shy, quiet, even timid man, a saintly man, and that he had a peaceful death from some unspecified condition.

Here are the two broken links.

http://www.delasalle.org.uk/James Ryan Eulogy July 2011 – web edition vs3.pdf

 It’s just possible someone out there knows if a Wayback machine can access the original post. If so, I’m sure we’d all love to read exactly what the DLSB wrote about this ‘saintly man’.

In the absence of the DLSB official eulogy, below are some eulogies from Old Boys. They are from St Joseph’s BEULAH HILL.  It sounds like he went there after Ipswich and they seem to be all Beulah Hill memories from the 1970s.

Crucially, if the Knights of St Columba hadn’t covered up his crimes at St Joseph’s Ipswich, in the 1960s and he was reported to the police, his vile acts in the 1970s would never have happened.

INSTEAD, BROTHER JAMES WOULD HAVE BEEN IN PRISON IN THE 1970S.

This is why exposing these Catholic Dark Networks is so important.

 Do not assume they’ve stopped because we now live in different times.  As the academic study makes very clear, Dark Networks are transgenerational. By definition, they always recruit a new generation of abusers.

I believe they are still out there and one police detective has indicated as much to me.

These eulogies are taken from an ongoing Beulah Hill thread on a football site. It’s still current.

https://www.cpfc.org/forums/showthread.php?t=161283

I’ve kept them anonymous here.

I, too, was polluted by this excuse for an educational establishment. Was there 73-78 and, I have to say, I’m shocked no-one has mentioned the monster that was Bro. James.

Brother James gave me the most savage beating I have ever had, five or six times across the face with a clenched fist, because someone had been whistling in class and he decided it was me. The experience, which still haunts me more than sixty years later, was made all the worse by the fact that he began by removing my glasses. Years later I met another pupil who was present at the time and who uttered the chilling words “You obviously didn’t know what he was like”. I also discussed the incident, a year or two ago, with a retired teacher who told me that even in the 1950’s such behaviour was illegal.

I confirm from first hand experience that he was a grade A c*nt.

A truly vicious piece of shit

Agreed. I promised myself I would pee on his grave. I had the opportunity to do so a few years ago and am glad to say I resisted the temptation. One sick evil c*nt is enough.

Brother James (Ryan) was my history teacher for two years around ’77 and we all saw his temper but after reading the above and this harrowing account he was a lot, lot worse in his earlier days

I was attacked by him in a school corridor, fists flailing in what can only be described as a bout of uncontrolled savagery and bloodlust. This was witnessed by two members of staff, neither of whom intervened. I received a black eye and a split lip. It was 1975. I was 13.

Upon seeing this when I went home, my mother merely said “well, you must have done something to deserve it”. Such were the times.

My abiding memory of this awful, awful school is the omnipresent threat of violence – not from your usual school bullies (that, I could handle) but from the staff themselves.

I’d love to know where the c*nt’s buried and, believe me, I would have no qualms about pissing on his grave to which I would add a liquid, noxious and maladorous dump.

I remember seeing Brother James assault a boy in the corridor and knock his teeth out. The psychopathic violence wasn’t even hidden.

It wasn’t just the Brothers, though.

Reading them over, these are not normal posts from Old Boys complaining about a cruel teacher.  

They are howls of rage from Survivors about a Monster, a major criminal who St Js Ipswich, St Js Beulah Hill, and the DLSB MUST acknowledge as part of their toxic past.

I’ll add my own eulogy now:

Brother James was a member of a Catholic criminal Dark Network.  In the 1960s, he was a member of an organized St Joseph’s College, Ipswich paedophile ring that included the De  La Salle Brothers and the Knights of St Columba.  

He’s filth.

And they, too, are filth for hiding his endless crimes.

And the relevant three Catholic  successor organisations today who now know about their school, their religious order, and their 1960s Knights’ disgusting past, but choose to remain silent, are little better. 

To which I’m inclined to ask, just how many more of these testimonies can their consciences take before it prompts them into doing something to acknowledge their organisations’ pasts? Or are their moral compasses so dead, so shut down, they can happily continue to look the other way? 

To which I would respond:

Knights, Brothers, and Teachers, I know your time will come, when you will be called upon to explain your  silence, but in the interim…

 Shame on all three of you.  

SINS OF OMISSION

With the testimonies posted on this site and with the empirical evidence of the  Australian Catholic Dark Network study  proving beyond any reasonable doubt  the existence of Organised Catholic Abuse, you would expect it to be covered in recent academic and serious studies of Catholic Sexual Abuse.

So I looked at three important recent studies. One in Australia, one in Ireland, and one in Britain.

They are:

Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church:
An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry ReportsDesmond Cahill Peter Wilkinson

Centre for Global Research

School of Global, Urban and Social Studies RMIT University, Melbourne August 2017

Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: Gender, Power, and Organizational Culture Marie Keenan.

Betrayed: The English Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis  by Richard Scorer  

All three provide valuable insights into the crimes of the Church.

All three have significant omissions.

The Australian book is written by two academic priests, but that doesn’t stop them rightly castigating the Church.  At the same time, it’s a cleverly manicured damage limitation exercise. Here’s a typical example concerning failures in Catholic residential care:

The intentions of the religious orders were generally altruistic and well-intentioned but flawed, although many former residents in all inquiries expressed gratitude for the way they had been cared for.

Sexual, physical and emotional abuse was a feature of almost all residential institutions, although the sexual abuse was much more endemic in boys’ than girls’ institutions.

There’s endless whitewashing in their selection of material. For example:

Winship’s study is more targeted than Keenan’s, focusing on 12 priests and religious who had offended against pre-pubescent children aged 13 or under.

Winship describes her subjects as ‘romantic paedophiles’, because their lives and affections were centred on children. Their minds did not contain conscious sadistic fantasies of children, and none engaged in penile penetration so she describes them as sexual molesters, vilified by society, rather than paedophiles.

I don’t think any of the survivors on this site would agree with her definition of ‘romantic paedophiles’.

Marie Keenan’s work has an Irish background. Academics greatly admire her supposedly ground- breaking book. I don’t share their admiration.

She acknowledges her book was partly funded, at least, by the Irish Bishop’s Conference and two religious orders ‘with no conditions attached.’

Her central premise about lonely priests, the structure of the Church etc, is hardly groundbreaking. I’ve read it countless times before. She says there is no evidence that the Clergy enter religious life in order to abuse children.  She challenges the view that abusers of children are pure evil and makes various excuses for predators. She also quotes an academic study that abuse doesn’t always harm children and may even be character building.

Richard Scorer’s book I admire greatly. He’s a lawyer who has worked with Survivors and he relates how a client told him she had been warned by her local Catholic priest that to ‘rake over the past is a mortal sin.’

But Scorer reaches roughly the same conclusion as the other distinguished authors. ‘The factors which give rise to the abuse crisis – clericalism, authoritarianism, sexual immaturity the priesthood have not gone away.’

All three ignore a wide range of Catholic abuse issues for which there is hard evidence. And yet they must have been tripping over some of this evidence in the course of their investigations.

You may ask why would they ignore the truth?   After all, these are clearly good people.

If you’re familiar with how authors and academics operate, as I am, you’ll already know the answer. You may already know there are subjects in every walk of life that are strictly off limits in a world where there’s now only a handful of key controlling publishers.

Academics cannot and dare not explore certain topics.  Their livelihoods and their contracts are at stake, so they simply keep their mouths shut. I’ve already done a study of how important truths are censored at a lecture I gave at Liverpool university in 2014.

In the area of child abuse – as in other sensitive areas –authors and academics are provably not telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Instead, they are selecting their truths and their omissions are disturbing.

 Consciously or unconsciously, they are acting as damage limitation, distraction (‘don’t look over there – look over here’),  officially approved opposition, call it what you will.

 By doing so, although they claim to be part of the solution, they are actually part of the problem.

                        THE CHECKLIST

Here are the areas of clerical abuse they are ignoring for which there is empirical evidence.  Evidence that is worthy of study and analysis. They will have come across some of these areas at least. I’ll try to keep them brief so you can get an over-view.

1.Catholic priests  were – and possibly still are – Knights of St Columba. There are three priests on a KOSC obituary list I have (It’s since been removed from the web, but I have retained a copy).  Two of these priests abused me.  Such membership means the line between laity and the priesthood  is blurred.  That has  worrying implications worthy of study.

2.None of the books I’ve referred to suggest the laity-  the congregation – were ever involved with or supported clerical abuse. Similarly, I only found one account on the web that indicates the laity were involved. Yet it’s highly unlikely that the congregation were always passive and unknowing and never participated.

3. The role of all Catholic Knights is to protect the good name of the Church. What does that mean in practise?  My testimony and the testimony of another survivor, plus a further account I have, would suggest it was used to cover up in the context of Ipswich Province. The Dark Network study indicates something similar.  The Knights worldwide play an important role in the Church. Why isn’t this studied?

3. Finance and control. The Knights controlled and paid my school fees. They paid compensation to Survivors, including me (see my last post about Brother James).  They also in the past helped finance schools like St Joseph’s and possibly the building of new churches.   As they have a tradition of being secret organisations, how is that monitored and why is it never studied?

4. The Knights rituals, a form of psychological brainwashing and for which there are transcripts, stopped in the late 1960s. Why? And did those traditions continue in some truncated form?

5. Papal Knight Jimmy Savile was almost certainly a Knight of St Columba from the photos at his funeral where the KOSC act as ushers.  See Google images. There are no references to this on the web. It’s been ‘combed’.  Are his connections to KOSC  off limits like his connections to Thatcher and Prince Charles.    Given the KOSC’s charitable work, it’s a relevant question.

6. Major studies often refer to the legal situation in clerical abuse. Lawyers are  involved in compensation to victims. The Dark Network study shows such an important role for Catholic  lawyers. A private testimony I have does the same with a KOSC lawyer providing support after a child has been abused.  Why is there never any reference to similar legal interventions which must have occurred elsewhere?

7. All these books I’ve referred to – and all others on the subject –   still present the abuser  as a  lone rogue priest or monk, like a clerical version of Lee Harvey Oswald, the lone gunman.

Yet any anthropological study show humans  like to work or get together in organised groups whether it’s golfers, authors, organised crime, or organised abusers.  Why haven’t academics considered this on an anthropological level alone?  Apart from all the other evidence.

 8. In one recent testimony on my site there is evidence of a private hospital that dealt with a  Catholic victim of abuse. The nurse indicates this has happened before. It’s clearly well organised and yet it would seem the academics know of no such time where it’s happened before.  Is the nurse lying? Are we all lying?

9. The Dark Network study of clerical abuse in Oz  has details which cannot be unique. The academics must have come across the same or similar details.  Why don’t they mention them?  Note the study also refers to abuse amongst leading members of the laity.

10. There is Opus Dei self harming  and also British examples of  Catholic self harming.  For instance,  John Cornwell’s Seminary Boy describes his self- flagellation at his seminary and how it was approved by priests. Surely that has some relevance, not least because  of the danger of clerical abusers flagellating victims.  I was aware of the threat of this, at least.

11. At the heart of the Church is Mother Theresa’s view of the glory of suffering (although she didn’t apply it to herself, having first class palliative care). It’s because it’s the Imitation of Christ’s suffering. Why hasn’t this driving concept been explored in the context of abuse?  As excuses for abuse?  Just how far does the Imitation of Christ’s suffering go? Quite a way, I can assure you.  

As the basis for a twisted theology with an abusive modus operandi, it is highly relevant.

It’s astonishing that academics never even consider or discuss the central premise of the Church in the context of abuse.  I will be shortly.

12. Most survivors accounts that we read are passed through the filter of academics and authors who act as gatekeepers, selecting, censoring and editing.  Is this why we are not seeing more accounts as on my site where there is no censorship?

When that doesn’t happen – as in the excellent survivor site on Oz ‘Broken Rites’ -it supplied much of the hard evidence for the Dark Network study. We surely need the equivalent in the UK .

13.  Why aren’t there more sites like Broken Rites that can finally expose the whole truth? Not a censored version.

There is a very reputable Catholic survivor site, for which I normally have the greatest respect, who invited me to talk at one of their conferences. They even offered to pay for my hotel. So I went into further detail, covering my experience of  the organized nature of Catholic sexual abuse. I told them this would be the basis of my talk.

I never heard from them again.

Where is this self-censorship coming from?

14. There is substantial evidence on this site gathered over some seven years.  And my site is now widely known. Why isn’t the evidence affirmed or repudiated?

 Instead, there’s silence which is the usual response from academics when they’re presented with uncomfortable truths that they dare not consider.  I have overwhelming evidence of academic silence in other areas, such as the real truth about World War One, which is my personal area of expertise. It looks like it’s the same here.

…………………….

In conclusion, let’s hope there’s a serious author or academic out there who is courageous enough  to look at the serious issues I’ve raised in this Check List.

I’m not holding my breath.