BOUNDARY BREAKING

As you’ll see from the page below Durham University are keen to talk to survivors and other informed people about abuse in the Catholic Church and its various organizations.



There’s also a link with further information.



I talked to the organizers this week and recounted some of my experiences as an Old Boy of St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, and also the central role of the Catholic laity, specifically the Knights of St Columba.



I found it a valuable and cathartic experience. Valuable firstly because it was useful to interact and explain some of my childhood history to researchers connected to but independent of the Church. But secondly because it means this website has been noticed and is finally being taken seriously. It needs to be. It’s a unique platform and resource with a considerable body of important evidence about abuse and abusers.



So thank you to everyone who has contributed their recollections of Catholic abuse so far, some of which must have been quite tough to relate.



The project is funded by a charitable foundation with further contributions from other Catholic institutional funders, but as the organizers made clear to me, the University is a public secular institution, and the Centre for Catholic Studies which is behind the research is part of the University and independent of the Church.

All research is conducted in line with the University’s expectations of integrity and impartiality and is subject to ethical review; confidentiality and anonymity is maintained.  

If you are interested, please contact Marcus Pound on m.j.pound@durham.ac.uk or Pat Jones at patricia.jones@durham.ac.uk.  

Please see the University’s web page for more information: https://www.durham.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/catholic-studies/research/boundary-breaking-/ 

Durham University’s Boundary Breaking Project is looking for research participants.

Boundary Breaking: Ecclesial-cultural Implications of the Sex Abuse Crisis within the Catholic Church in England and Wales

Boundary Breaking is a project of the Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) within the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. It is a three-year research project, working in collaboration with survivors and organisations in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Our task is to explore the role of Catholic culture and theology in contributing to the creation of an environment in which abuse by clergy and brothers, and its subsequent denial and mishandling, was and is possible. The project is led by Dr Marcus Pound as Principal Investigator, working with Dr Catherine Sexton, Dr Pat Jones and Prof. Paul D. Murray.

Our aim is to examine the possible relationship between the abuse crisis and weaknesses or distortions in the culture, organizational realities, and ecclesial self-understanding of Catholicism in England and Wales. We hope to produce theologically informed reflections and recommendations on aspects of safeguarding and culture within the Catholic Church, to help the whole Church to respond proactively to the sexual abuse crisis. We will host an international conference (planned for January 2023) to present our research findings and generate discussion and action.

We are engaging with people from across the Catholic community and beyond: survivors, secondary victims including affected families, and individual lay members; parish groups (particularly in parishes where abuse has occurred) and key voices in both secular and Catholic safeguarding agencies; clergy and members of religious orders. We know that those who have been sexually abused experience devastating and lifelong effects, with clerical sexual abuse having a particular impact. The voices of victim-survivors, along with secondary victims, are potentially prophetic for the Church, and are essential to our study. Their testimonies directly inform the research.

If you are a victim or survivor of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy or a religious brother (member of a religious order) then we would like to invite you to participate in our research. We can reassure you that everything you say is regarded as confidential. We pay careful attention to ethical issues, and work within Durham University’s ethics frameworks which ensure that strict confidentiality and anonymity protocols are in place in all aspects of our work.

We are working within the limitations imposed by COVID-19, which means currently working online, through Zoom and other digital platforms.

If you are interested, please contact Marcus Pound on m.j.pound@durham.ac.uk or Pat Jones at patricia.jones@durham.ac.uk.

Please see the University’s web page for more information: https://www.durham.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/catholic-studies/research/boundary-breaking-/

SCOTTISH CHILD ABUSE INQUIRY – DE LA SALLE BROTHERS

The institutions highlighted in bold were announced as being added to the Inquiry’s investigations in March 2020

  1. Roman Catholic orders
  • De La Salle Brothers
    • St Joseph’s, Tranent
    • St Ninians, Gartmore, Stirlingshire
    • Kenmure St Mary’s Boys’ School, Bishopbriggs
    • St Mungo’s, Mauchline, Ayrshire
    • St John’s Boys’ School, Shettleston

There are numerous Catholic orders of ‘holy’ monks and nuns listed, but I’m only mentioning the DLS here.

All these are new names to me. There have been others mentioned elsewhere – DLS approved schools for example

It seems the crimes of the De La Salle order are truly endless.  If this was any other group, other than Catholic, it would be banned as a criminal organisation.

Yet St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, today,  is proud to be IN THE LA SALLIAN TRADITION

That’s like saying IN THE GARY GLITTER TRADITION

You really have no sense of shame to be PROUD to be associated with paedophiles

I’m amazed that your current pupils have not protested at this vile connection that you are so proud of.

DE LA SALLE SCHOOL LIVERPOOL – MISSING BOY

This was a post from a Survivor of a De La School in Liverpool in the 1980s.

Presumably it’s now the DLS Academy in Carr Lane East, Liverpool which is still being run by the DLS.

I felt it should have a separate post for two reasons. Firstly, in case it helps to highlight or explain the disappearance of a missing boy the author mentions: Mark Garvey.

Secondly, because it highlights how there is so much more to come out yet where Catholic abuse is concerned. Thus there were two missing children from my era connected with the Catholic community. (Not the De La Salles) I don’t have enough hard information (yet) to go into details and I don’t want to distract from this important post.

But my premise is that ‘brutal sadistic paedophiles’ of whom there were plenty at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, don’t necessarily know when or how to stop at ‘just’ abuse. So there are some potentially awful implications.

For this reason, the De La Salle Order when in Ipswich, the Knights of St Columba in Ipswich who backed the DLS,  St Joseph’s lay teachers from the 60s to the 80s (one of whom used a cat o’ nine whip on a child – see my summary) all need properly investigating.

It’s all on my SUMMARY THREE PAGES ready for investigators to look at.

Hello, i just want to mention i too went to a De La Salle school in Liverpool although it was not a boarding school their were Brothers, of worst sort you could imagine. They were brutal sadistic pedophiles in which One of them was convicted twice of sexual assault named brother Paul. In no way im i exaggerating when i say i was strapped easily Fifty times for the slightest infractions, they would get off on it. There was also a brother who would try to proposition you by sidling up next to you an sing under his breath the Pet Shop Boys i got the brains you got the looks lets make lots of money ?. This took place for me in the 1980s. One thing all ways comes to my mind and that is the disappearance of a young man called Mark Garvey who apparently would frequent the brothers house that was attached to the school i dont know if that was looked into it should be.

Part 3 of my podcast about the De La Salle Brothers

ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE IPSWICH SUMMARY. MAY 26 2021

There are now so many testimonials, threads and comments on this site about De La Salle Brothers in Ipswich, Beulah Hill and elsewhere it could be confusing for newcomers and for INVESTIGATORS to make sense of it. So I’ve done a quick SUMMARY which I can add to and improve as time goes on.  The testimonials can all be found on this site.

I believe this Summary makes a strong case for the De La Salle (DLS) Order to be investigated, not only for the historic harm it’s done, but also because it is still in charge of many schools today. The transgenerational nature of some of these crimes means they are relevant today and children could still be at risk. Plus there’s the endless shocking cases against DLS schools elsewhere in Britain and Ireland.  

Old Boys feel free to add anyone I’ve missed or add to this List.

MR TONY HARDY. Lay teacher St J’s Ipswich. Era 1986 – 1990. Sexual and physical violence.  One testimony. To quote from it: ‘Took a cat-o-nine tails out of his drawer. He lashed me about 10 – 12 times with it till I was bleeding.’ This crime was covered up by St J’s, Ipswich with no reporting to the police.

JO HOMAN. De La Salle Brother, Ipswich, who then left DLS to establish BOYS’ TOWN in India. Maintaining links with DLS.  While still a DLS Brother at Oak Hill (St J’s prep school) he committed a shocking sexual assault on a child. Full testimony. There are other testimonies of his physical violence.  Possible connection with Brother Solomon who, from my researches, probably visited Boys Town as a sex tourist. Homan successfully sued media who made extensive allegations about his abuse and exploitation of children at Boys Town. Reported in Times, Mail and elsewhere. These media accounts have now been removed from the web. Glowing obituary by St J’s Old Boy MP and author Chris Mullin in Guardian does not refer to Homan’s crimes at St J’s or to his alleged crimes at Boys Town.

Boys Town charity is now under new management, new systems, new safety protocols, and a likely new name.

BROTHER JAMES RYAN. 1950s to 1980s approx. Endless testimonies of pathological violence. Strongly indicating this man was a dangerous psychopath. Four testimonies of sexual abuse. Teacher at St J’s Ipswich and later at Beulah Hill. Connected to St J’s DLS paedophile ring -see Knights of St Columba, survivor’s testimony. And author’s testimony.

MR KEARNEY. Lay teacher. Irish, spent time in South Africa. At St J’s Ipswich, 1950s – 1980s. Several testimonies of sadistic physical abuse. One describes how he punched a boy in face and was forced to apologise. Also described as a racist, burning a black or mixed race pupil, a claim disputed by a (white) Old Boy.  Work still in progress by the author. Further allegations against Kearney likely to follow.

This man is commemorated with a ‘Mike Kearney Memorial Chemistry Prize’ by the current St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, proving they have not cut links with their school’s criminal past.

BROTHER KEVIN 1960s onwards. Several testimonies of physical abuse. More testimonies of sexual abuse. At Oakhill (St J’s prep school). St J’s Ipswich. St Peter’s Bournemouth.  At least one Old Boy took police action against him. Kevin initially admitted, then denied charges.  Other Old Boys were considering police action when we heard that he had been driven out of his village by local youths for abusing children. He went into an Ipswich home, suffering from dementia, and may now be dead. The Oakhill MATRON wrote to this site to strongly defend him. She herself has been accused of questionable behaviour by an Old Boy.

KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA. IPSWICH PROVINCE. The Knights appear to have funded the establishment of St J’s Ipswich in the 1940s and maintained a close connection with the school ever since. The main allegation against them is in ‘The Shocking Truth about St Joseph’s.’ There is more information on this case available from the author. In summary, they covered up a violent physical and sexual assault by Brother James and provided London private hospital care. They paid for the boys’ school fees as compensation and for his silence.  (They paid for my school fees and my brother’s for reasons I am still investigating.) The testimony indicates their ‘troubleshooting’ is not limited to Ipswich and dealing with such crimes has happened on more than one previous occasion. Possibly nationwide. The author has been informed that another province – today – has oversight on the lives of parishioners without proper safety protocols. I also have evidence that any negative report about them – e.g. a Colchester Knight sexual abuser given a long prison sentence – is either not reported or has been removed from the web.  The Knights were provably connected with Jimmy Savile and that has not been investigated.

There is no evidence when the Knights stopped their connection with St J’s Ipswich. Theoretically they may still be involved today – e.g. governors, ‘troubleshooters’ etc.

BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES. Teacher at St J’s Ipswich in 1980s.  He is currently HEAD of the DLS Order in UK and Ireland. Three testimonies of physical abuse against children.

One testimony where Hughes attacks a boy with a cricket bowler’s ‘run up’ is identical to Brother James’s attack on a boy witnessed and testified by the author.

Such extreme violence is often associated with other forms of abuse. Therefore this man should not be head of the DLS and should be removed as a matter of urgency.

In view of its importance, I’ll quote one of the survivor’s account here. He is referring to BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES

James Hammett

Does anybody remember the night of my beating by the C**t?

1980 2nd year boarder.

There were double doors into the TV room, he set up a chair on one side of the doorway, told me to bend over it & walked off holding a plimsole, he got to the back of his office and began his run. As he passed me he hit me with all his might and put his hands in front of him to cushion himself against the wall of the TV room – rather like those indoor 60m runners after they’ve crossed the line.

He did this to me 6 times. My colleagues, in bed, way down the corridor heard it all.

I could not sleep on my back for a week.

Now I feel sick and am shaking. I’m a 50 year old man… I was 13 when he did this – he was 32.

BROTHER LEO. Headmaster St J’s Ipswich. 1960s. Three testimonies sexual abuse. Known as a ‘nocturnal groper’.

PAEDOPHILE RING @ ST JOSEPH’S, IPSWICH.  The evidence for this is primarily the Survivor’s post: ‘The Shocking Truth about St Joseph’s’. On this blog. 1960s era. There are private follow ups to this post available to investigators from the author. This is clear evidence of ORGANISED CRIME and CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY.  A physical and sexual assault by BROTHER JAMES. Sexual abuse by the HEADMASTER. Cover up by THE KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA and FATHER JOLLY, School Chaplain. There are two seperate testimonies of sexual abuse by Father Jolly. 

Extensive academic research  proves such school paedophile rings are TRANS-GENERATIONAL and therefore this cannot be ignored as ‘historic’. The era when it stopped at St J’s  must be identified for safety reasons.  See my post the Dark Network and https://eprints.qut.edu.au/132822/2/Sally_Muytjens_Thesis.pdf

ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE IPSWICH TODAY. The school has made it clear that it has no connection with the criminal DLS era. Yet it continues to ‘have its cake and eat it’ with prizes and  proud references to its past and proclaiming on an external sign it is ‘IN THE LA SALLIAN TRADITION.’  Harvey Weinstein made some successful films and the DLS were successful teachers , so to survivors, like myself, that is like proudly saying ‘IN THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN TRADITION’.

That sign should be removed and all connections with the school’s criminal past confirmed as severed. Today’s school doubtless has records from the criminal era which ended late 1980s, possibly early 1990s, that should be available to investigators.

BROTHER SOLOMON aka MIKE MERCADO aka SWINGING MONK.   1950s – 1980s. Endless testimonies of extreme physical and sexual abuse at Ipswich and St J’s Beulah Hill.  Started off as Brother Solomon in Ipswich.  After abuse charges transferred to Beulah Hill.  Had to leave after more abuse charges. Had short pop career in 1960s. May have been a ‘sex tourist’ to Joe Homan’s Boys Town in India. Returned to St J’s Ipswich as Mike Mercado lay teacher. More abuse followed. Left under questionable circumstances 1980s.His resignation letter threatens to ‘spill the beans’ and tell all about the DLS. He appears to have been paid off by St J’s College, Ipswich.

BROTHER LAWRENCE HUGHES – NEW THOUGHTS & NAZIR AFZAL

Here’s a new post from Old Boy Michael, who I would assume went to Beulah Hill.

‘I went to a De La Salle school in London and experienced violent behaviour throughout my time at the school. In Northern Ireland they are having a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as part of letting go of the troubles and they asked that we report any violence or other misdemeanour. I emailed the Diocese Office in London and was put in contact with the current head of the De La Salle order in England, a brother named Lawrence Hughes. I then saw that your article named a Brother Lawrence Hughes as a violent teacher. Needless to say I have had a less than satisfactory dialogue with him and I wondered if the current head of the order is the same man that you mentioned.

I cannot remember any teacher who did not cane, strap, beat or punish me. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Regards’

As I’ve replied to Michael, it is indeed the same man: Hughes.

Here’s my current thoughts on the De La Salle order which Hughes is head of.

The problem many survivors face is similar to Michael’s: the Catholic Church and the De La Salle Order passes the buck endlessly and this is what’s happened here.

However, there is a small ray of hope.  A very small ray.

There’s the NEW Catholic Safeguarding Organisation now known as The Catholic Standards Safeguarding Agency CSSA which replaces two earlier systems. 

It happened just this month.

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/14149/nazir-afzal-pledges-hostile-church-for-abusers

Its head is Nazir Afzal who is an excellent choice – a Muslim who pursued the Rochdale paedophile rings and he is clearly an honourable and genuine man.

I’m sure the Church’s reason for appointing him is pure window dressing to make them look good and they must have factored in that they can still carry on as before: sweeping everything under the carpet.

I think it may be different with Nazir, even though there is no current mandatory reporting of abuse.

I’ve listened to an excellent audio podcast of Cardinal Nichols’ safeguarding officer a few weeks ago and whilst the lady concerned is clearly genuine it was so obvious her hands were tied.

Nazir is not a Catholic and he has a reputation to uphold, so I’m not sure how far they can restrict him.

Even so, the terms of his remit and the likelihood that endless survivors will come forward means that more buckpassing is likely.  And the Clergy are experts at this. They’ve been doing it for centuries and they’re not stupid. They will have thought about this long and hard before appointing Nazir.

However, I think there’s a case that could be made to the CSSA that the De La Salle Order UK is suspect with a man like Hughes at its head with three testimonies of violence against him. See a past post.

Given that the DLS still run UK schools that does not seem appropriate.

Hughes should resign.

Furthermore, that historic cases against the DLS which have been ignored – such as Michael’s and the endless DLS abuse cases on this blog – should be investigated in order to ensure the DLS is now safe.

It’s no good saying that’s all in the past. It’s still relevant to today.

It’s surely the CSSA’s responsibility to do this, especially given that the DLS have fobbed off survivors as Michael’s post also suggests.

That could be a way forward, Michael. Feel free to use anything on this site, including this post.

Be prepared for the CSSA  to buck pass. To say it’s another department or refer it to the safeguarding at Diocese level. But they just might respond, given that they know their boss is Nazir and they must be scared of more bad publicity.

Nazir is also on Twitter, so if you get screwed around (which I bet you will) you could always approach him direct. Go over their heads.

It’s something I plan to do myself at some point, but my first stage is to do a summary page of the crimes of the DLS for quick reference. Currently there’s far too much for an investigator to read. This includes an example of  DLS serious organized crime which may be transgenerational and thus especially relevant today. (‘The Shocking Truth About St Joseph’s’). In that example, a child nearly died. If he had, it would have been manslaughter. At least.

Summarising will take a while and I need to have the patience to deal with buck passing that will follow.  Plus I’m also pursuing Catholic abusers from a different direction.

But the DLS are still on my radar and I will deal with them soon. Not least because children today in DLS UK schools could still be at risk if a physical abuser like Hughes is still in charge.

Good luck, Michael.

VOICES OF AWARENESS PODCAST PART 2

Andy Taylor recently interviewed me for his Voices of Awareness podcast. Previous guests on his podcast include lawyer Richard Scorer, author of Betrayed, about the English Catholic Church, Jonathan West who presented evidence to IICSA about Ampleforth College, and Carol Lawrence, the Catholic Church’s leading safeguard officer.

My interview is over three parts and is about St Joseph’s College, Ipswich and the De La Salle Brothers and how they – inadvertently – inspired my writing career. Hence the title of the interview: The Dredd-ful violence of the De La Salle Brothers. Judge Dredd is a character I developed and wrote when I created the British science fiction comic 2000AD. The interview also covers the stories of other Survivors from the school.

You can listen to Part One here.

Here is Part Two.

Pat Mills exposes the violence of the De la Salle brothers of St Joseph’s college, Ipswich that inspired the plots & character traits of Judge Dredd and 2000AD. He covers the catholic tumors of shame & guilt, coming out as a survivor, blowing the whistle, trauma memories surfacing in middle age, revenge ideation, the catharsis of lampooning abusers & the testimonies of assault by Brother Lawrence Hughes.   

NB: The Podcast about the De La Salle Brothers is currently listed SECOND in the list below – click on the title to play.

The N word (Narcicism) Voices of Awareness

Stephen Parsons from Survivingchurch.org discusses charisma, narcisism, grooming, deference and the vulnerability of believers to corruption and abuse. 
  1. The N word (Narcicism)
  2. Cardinal Nichols & The Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
  3. The Kindly Ones by Cliff James
  4. How survivors feel about IICSA
  5. Blood Legacy with Alex Renton

VOICES OF AWARENESS PODCAST PART 1

Andy Taylor recently interviewed me for his Voices of Awareness podcast. Previous guests on his podcast include lawyer Richard Scorer, author of Betrayed, about the English Catholic Church, Jonathan West who presented evidence to IICSA about Ampleforth College, and Carol Lawrence, the Catholic Church’s leading safeguard officer.

My interview is over three parts and is about St Joseph’s College, Ipswich and the De La Salle Brothers and how they – inadvertently – inspired my writing career. Hence the title of the interview: The Dredd-ful violence of the De La Salle Brothers. Judge Dredd is a character I developed and wrote when I created the British science fiction comic 2000AD. The interview also covers the stories of other Survivors from the school.

Below is Part One.

Part Two is here.

Pat Mills exposes the violence of the De la Salle brothers of St Joseph’s college, Ipswich that inspired the plots & character traits of Judge Dredd and 2000AD. He covers the catholic tumors of shame & guilt, coming out as a survivor, blowing the whistle, trauma memories surfacing in middle age, revenge ideation, the catharsis of lampooning abusers & the testimonies of assault by Brother Lawrence Hughes.   

NB: The Podcast about the De La Salle Brothers is currently listed second in the list below – click on the title to play.

The UK is a Sex Offender Friendly Society Voices of Awareness's Podcast

A *Sex Offender friendly* United Kingdom (part 1) Richard Scorer discusses rape culture, EveryonesInvited.uk, Javid’s new CSA wider implications report, The Ampleforth Debacle & the contempt of the establishment exemplified by Boris Johnson’s spaff comment!
  1. The UK is a Sex Offender Friendly Society
  2. The Dredd-ful Violence of the De La Salle Brothers (UK) part 1/3
  3. Children of the *Rape Culture* Revolution
  4. Ampleforth: A crisis of faith (part 3)
  5. The Roman Catholic Safeguarding Project

DE LA SALLE COVER-UPS

I think all of us are aware that there were cover-ups amongst the De La Salle Brothers. I remember how Brother Solomon suddenly – according to the playground grapevine at the time – went to Jersey, then onto Beulah Hill which he was thrown out from, subsequently possibly spending some time at Homan’s Boy Town (a disturbing location for this ‘Jimmy Savile of the De La Salle Order’) before returning to St Joseph’s as lay teacher Mike Mercado and then being thrown out again for sexual abuse.

I recall, as a boy, Brother James writing in the school magazine what a great asset Solomon was to the college and what a spiritual person he was. He clearly knew otherwise. It never rang true to me at the time.

Later, James himself got moved to Beulah Hill where his behavior was equally criminal. His obituary described him as a shy and timid man, not the violent rapist he really was. Once again, whoever wrote that obituary – almost certainly a DLS brother – must have known the truth and was lying through his teeth.

Similarly, when a startled Knight of St Columba (the Eminence Gris of St J’s) discovered the shocking evidence of violent abuse by James, he proclaimed ‘Oxford shall hear of this!’ I understand Oxford was and is the DLS centre of operations.

All these and many other references on this blog and elsewhere indicate a high level of collusion and cover-ups within the De La Salle Order. But it’s never been as clear cut and revealing a central control as the account below just in from Guy Lavender, an Old Boy of DLS school St Peter’s.

He refers to “an administrative organization” being responsible.

It could therefore be valuable in the days to come. Many thanks to Guy for this account and for allowing me to use his name.

                                       …………………………………

FROM GUY LAVENDER

Just read your latest post regarding the abuse at St J’s. It is a reminder to me and a stark jolt to put pen to paper and add my account. As you quite rightly quote “If you are able to speak up, but remain silent then we are implicitly condoning the wrongdoing of others” something along those lines.

As I mentioned before, I did not attend St Joseph’s school. I was a boarder at St Peter’s school, Bournemouth (1975-1982) This was also a Catholic School run by the De La Salle teaching order as you know. After reading all the blogs, accounts i draw striking similarities to what happened at St Peter’s during my time as a border there.

But there is more than that. Before I attended St. Peter’s, I had 2 older brothers who attended another school, St John’s college, Southsea, also run by the De La Salle order. They were borders from 1970 to 1977. Their accounts of going’s on and wrongful abuse of boys during that time is equally harrowing.

Now then. Because of my brothers accounts of the behaviour of certain individuals at St John’s (namely Br Cyril) my experiences at St Peter’s (at the hands of Brother Kevin literally) together with reading all the stories, posts and blogs on your website, I am in a unique position to add an interesting perspective on all this scandalous abuse. This is what I have pieced together.

Let’s start with Brother Kevin. After reading the accounts by borders at St Joseph’s there was quite obviously some woeful wrongdoings involving Brother Kevin during the mid to late 1960’s. Then he was suddenly moved overseas and conveniently out of the way to France for 1 to 2 years. Long enough for the scandal to blow away and all be forgotten about no doubt. After which he was again re-appointed in a position of ultimate trust over young boys as junior housemaster at St Peter’s School, Bournemouth at around 1969-1970. There he was given a free hand to recommence his sinister and evil operations ie the abuse of young boys under the pious illusion and disguise of a religious white dog collar. I, as a border at St Peter’s from September 1975, was witness to much of his immoral behaviour.

Then there was the case of Brother Cyril. The notorious, weird and known homosexual housemaster at St John’s college, Southsea. According to my brothers there were several incidents involving improper conduct involving young boys at the hands of Brother Cyril during his time as housemaster of junior division there at St John’s. This was approximately from 1972 up until his untimely and abrupt transfer to St Peter’s school at around 1978. Now then, I do recall remarking to him that I had 2 brothers who were, at the time, still boarders at St John’s college.  I strongly remember the frosty and uncomfortable response that I received on even mentioning this. With hindsight, it was probably because I had been privy to his previous behaviour at St John’s that he then wanted and thought he could bury.

So it seems like we have a clear pattern of similar events here in just two accounts. Whenever the bubble is about to burst and some unsavoury individual is about to be exposed and held account for his actions, then he is conveniently moved or re assigned somewhere else.

What is abundantly clear to me is that it was not just one individual who was responsible for moving these monsters around to avoid detection, but an administrative organisation. Someone somewhere knew exactly what kind of person Brother Kevin was/is and actively appointed him in a position of trust and authority over young boys, some as young as 6 or 7 years old. Even as 11 year old boys we were very aware of the pedophile nature of Brother Kevin. Indeed, the jokes and sniggering comments transcended through every corridor and classroom in the school. Yet not one teacher knew anything about his despicable tendencies?? Impossible. Of course they knew and were fully aware. Every single one of them. But this was the 1970’s and pedophilia behaviour and activities were a taboo subject. It simply did not exist. Sadly it did.

I hope that my account and perspective on events helps to explain things at the time. Ie coverups. I will later on send you my account at the hands of Brother Kevin. I’m working on it. I’m not shy. I will be in touch again soon

A WAY FORWARD?

I’ve been reflecting on recent communications from Old Boys about the De La Salle Order. Now that I have a comprehensive range of testimonies, I’m starting to think about possible ways forward.

I’m reminded of the BBC documentary about the abuse by the Rosminian Order which has many similarities to the abuse by the De La Salle Order. Here’s how that documentary was introduced:

In 2009 over a hundred former pupils from two Catholic prep schools in England and Tanzania were reunited via the internet. Chatting in cyberspace they discovered they had all suffered  terrible abuse at school: mental, physical and in some cases sexual. Now, as men in their fifties and sixties, and strengthened by the group, they want the truth to come out. Twenty two men have started legal proceedings against the Rosminian Order for compensation. They want justice. But half a century has passed and their abusers are now elderly. What will it take to repair the damage and for the victims to feel able to move on?

The documentary came out in 2011. It was entitled Abused: Breaking the Silence. I remember watching it at the time and it’s very powerful. It’s no longer on Youtube or BBC iplayer and, confusingly, there is at least one documentary with a similar title.

The details of what happened are below, but the short answer is the Survivors won.

Almost certainly that’s why the documentary is no longer available. I suspect it was removed as part of the settlement.

There’s a full account of the BBC documentary here

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-13880444

Here’s an excerpt from it:

Newcastle barrister Donald MacFaul, who attended the Leicestershire school from 1954-59, said: “What was created by what happened at school was a permanent sense of fear and dread.”

He said Father Bernard Collins, who was in charge of discipline at Grace Dieu, “used to shoot at boys using an air pistol and occasionally actually injured them”.

“He could beat you one minute and then fondle you intimately within a space of hours.”

Mr MacFaul’s father wrote to complain to the school.

Within a few months Father Collins left for the order’s St Michael’s School Soni in Tanganiyka – now Tanzania.

In a letter to one of his victims obtained by the BBC, Father Collins said: “I have left behind a legacy of pain and violence and confusion by my behaviour.”

In secret filming for the BBC documentary, he refused to admit fondling boys and said he was only carrying out inspections for medical reasons.

Here’s how events concluded, according to Wikipedia:

Apology for English abuse by the provincial of English Rosminians[edit]

According to an online news story, issued on 23 June 2011: “Following the U.K. broadcast of a documentary detailing the abuse of some 35 boys by four Rosminian priests in the 1960s, the order’s provincial in England released an apology for the acts of abuse and for our “inadequate response.””[19]

Settlement[edit]

The audited financial statements for the year ending 5 April 2015 report under the heading “Legal and safeguarding related costs” that “Last year’s report referred to legal claims which had been brought against the Charity concerning the welfare of children between approximately 1940 and 1985. A settlement has now been reached in relation to these claims.” The Charity was liable also for the claimants’ legal fees. The matter has had a significant impact on the Charity’s finances with payment of their legal and settlement costs amounting to a total GBP 1,746,523 for the year.[20]

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For me, the next step with the De La Salles  is to summarize key details and key offenders. The testimonies on this site are now numerous and sprawling and need collating. I’ll start doing that shortly and put summary page/s up which will be useful for quick reference.

Then I’m going to talk to a lawyer. He’s recognized as the top lawyer in this field.  I want to see if the Rosminian example is relevant to the De La Salles.

My first thought was : I just want the Order to acknowledge and apologise for the serious crimes they have committed against children, including myself, at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, and their other schools in the south of England. Then I realized they won’t mean a word of it. It needs a more meaningful response and that’s something a lawyer can advise on.

I suspect when the survivors won against the Rosminians, they had no choice but to sign an NDA in exchange for compensation.  If I’m correct, they have my greatest sympathy, but that’s also saying to the Rosminians: ‘You, a group of men that includes dangerous criminals, have the right to dictate that your past crimes will be concealed in exchange for hush money.’  That is really fucked up, even if it is the way of the world, but at least the survivors got their stories out in the form of a major documentary.  I notice there’s now not a word about Rosminian abuse after 2011 on the internet.

I hope there is a better way.

The lawyer may say that action can only apply if the De La Salle brothers are still alive (and compos mentis). Or he may say that action can still be taken against the Order as an entity.  Or he may advise there may be other ways forward to expose their crimes that I’m not aware of. We’ll see.

There’s a lot of unknowns at this point.  It may be that many or all other survivors won’t want to be part of the process and that’s absolutely fine. I’m happy to go solo on it if my own case is viable and if it’s financially feasible.  It may or may not require a kickstarter. But if you do wish to be involved, be assured that, as always, your anonymity will be respected. And if the lawyer lays out a feasible road map and an achievable goal, you may then feel okay about taking part. Whatever he has to say, positive or negative, it will be valuable and informative to know just what’s involved.

If there’s anyone with legal knowledge of this field, I’d welcome your thoughts as it may help me in preparing the ground. Or even deciding it’s a non-starter, in which case I’ll continue with this blog, highlighting the Order’s crimes in preparation for a future Enquiry, like IICSA, which will inevitably happen.  Their crimes are not going to go away. On the contrary, as time passes, the evidence is gathering.

I’m aware from the Ampleforth case with the Benedictines, and informed sources, that abuse crimes are still current in the Catholic Church and its entities, despite safeguarding. So my concern is also for children today who may still be at risk and that also makes this action worth taking.

My email address is patmillswriter@gmail.com if anyone prefers to write to me direct. Your thoughts will be very welcome and, as always, your confidentiality is assured.

My twitter handle, by the way, is @PatrickEMills and I’ve made some valuable contacts and picked up some useful information via this social media.