Some valuable thoughts, insights, and great advice from Christopher in his account below. Writing a book is feasible for many of us. I have already published a number of commercially successful titles via Amazon and Kindle. To reach an audience, though, you need some marketing skills and a background in editing or publishing helps.
In my case, my book would be more about the Knights of St Columba, how they interacted with the DLS and the sexually abusive role of Catholic laity. It’s the Catholic gorilla in the corner that still needs fully exposing.
And much of my material is already written. So I will get around to it.
But there probably is a case for a collection of De La Salle survivor stories – from the 1950s and 1960s onwards, whether it’s at Ipswich, Beulah Hill, Southsea, Bournemouth, Blackheath, the DLS approved schools and so on. Not to mention accounts of notorious DLS abusers like Brother James Carragher now in prison. (Not Brother James Ryan). And the organised Ratrun where the brothers could escape to France when the police were on their trail. There is probably enough for two books from the accounts on this blog if the relevant survivors gave their permission. Especially if Brother Solomon was included. He would take up 25% at least of any book.
I couldn’t find the time to do it, alas. A single narrative is probably easier and more practical. Hope someone might consider the challenge.
Just been reading your site dealing with sexual abuse at St Joseph’s Ipswich .
In your columns you mention a brother Wilfred and a brother Cuthman.
I was a day pupil at St Johns Southsea. Wilfred had three brothers in the order.The second youngest Leo was the worst. He made us all bleed after a beating.
But then ALL the brothers there were sexual perverts and sadists.
I was fed up of shitting myself wondering what was going to happen during the coming day. So, I played hookey for 90% of the following two and a half years.
When it came to light my abusive stepfather hit the roof. So, I was shipped off to Sweden to be with my mother’s family to see if they could do anything with me there.
It was meant as a punishment but it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
The Swedish teachers all the way through really liked their pupils. I stayed here and became a psychiatrist specialising in young children’s problems.
I had sessions on Harley Street for 30 years, once a month . Many of the young people I saw were DLS pupils and what was common to them was sexual abuse and being terrorised by the brothers.
Looked back, I see the brothers as inadequate homosexuals who punished their pupils to take their revenge on them for the lack of respect that they generally received.
Brother Dennis Robert came for a visit one of the few days that I was there. He was a slimey and hands everywhere inadequate trying to persuade the boys to join them.
No wonder that the RC orders are in crisis in the UK because nobody wants anything to do with them.
The best release that you and your friends can obtain is by talking through your experiences with a compassionate psychiatrist or doctor. Therapy has come a long way since your days at school.
The other way is to write a book specifically about your experiences of the DLS brothers and either publish it for a general audience or for yourselves. Getting it all out there and cleaning
out your inner houses is much the best way of getting rid of the memories.
Prof. Christopher Frey
PS. I found your site while reading several contributions from fellow pupils who like me had been badly sexually abused and beaten at our prep school.