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.

Children of the Rape Culture Revolution Voices of Awareness

Soma Sara, EveryonesInvited, Highgate, Dulwich College, Latymer and Jess Philips.
  1. Children of the Rape Culture Revolution
  2. The Dredd-ful Violence of The De La Salle Brothers (UK) part 1
  3. Ampleforth: A crisis of faith part 1
  4. The UK is a sex offender friendly society
  5. The Dredd-ful Violence of The De La Salle Brothers (UK) part2

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]

                                                ………………..

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.

BROTHER ELWIN, BROTHER HUGH, BROTHER JAMES

I thought it was important to make a separate post of this new statement below from an Old Boy.  This now makes four accounts of sexual abuse by Brother James at St Joseph’s. (As well as endless accounts of his extreme violence.)  The implications of Brother James’s comment, ‘I can see you’re not ready,’ is  troubling and confirms his role as a serial sex offender as well as a violent psychopath.

If I had confirming evidence in my own case against James,  e.g. a witness, I would have already taken legal action against the De La Salle Order.  Unfortunately, it’s a solo crime, but sooner or later the right case will come along as it does with other schools, and action can be taken.

I was reflecting today that I wish there were other sites or places where the crimes of the De La Salle Brothers and the Catholic Church in Ipswich could be recorded. I’m very happy to list them here because I know one day soon they will have to be acted upon, especially as the testimonies grow in numbers.  But some Old Boys may prefer sharing with a different body.

For the record, I’m only aware of three options. But do say if you know of more.

1)The police. By far the best option if the De La Salle brother or lay teacher is still alive and compos mentis.   Many of them are still alive, so if you’re a survivor and you can handle it, please don’t leave it too long.  I can assure you from personal experience the police will take your statement seriously.

2) Diocese Catholic Safeguard Officer. In my opinion and personal experience, they are there to safeguard the Church, not survivors. I tried them some years ago and found the Officer was a complete waste of time and full of b.s. They might argue that the DLS brothers fall outside their jurisdiction. The Church’s ability to buck pass is impressive.  But I would be very happy to be proved wrong.

3)The De La Salle Order. Its current head is Brother Laurence Hughes who has stated publicly how concerned he is for the well-being of children.  See a past post. I’ve just read three harrowing accounts of his extreme physical violence against children when he was a teacher at St J’s.  One account, where Laurence takes a bowler’s run up to beat a child, is identical to the violence the psychopath Brother James used on a boy.  A man like this is a disgrace and should clearly resign, but until he does I don’t see how the DLS can take complaints of abuse seriously.

It goes without saying that the current  St J’s  would go into Pontius Pilate mode and say any complaints against the school are nothing to do with them. They’re very happy to draw on the great achievements of the school’s past but not its serious crimes against children.

It’s surprising how many famous and influential Old Boys who were at St J’s at the same time as myself but have nothing to say about the appalling abuse which we all know was endemic at the time. It may not have happened to them personally, but they’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to have seen what going on.  At the time, with gallows humor, we’d all make jokes about Brother Solomon being sent to the DLS Jersey ‘reformatory’. Shipwrecked sailors arrived on the island, saw Brother Solomon, and ran from him in terror.

Now is the time to speak out, even if it duplicates what’s already been noted. It helps to confirm the truth beyond any reasonable doubt.

I’m reminded of the phrase: If you are able to speak up and you don’t, then you are implicitly condoning it.

THE LATEST ACCOUNT:

I’m coming to this very late. I had a fair bit of contact with Brother Elwin as I was Head Choirboy in the year or so leading up to his death, and I lived a long way from Ipswich so spent half term holidays at the college. During half term he would sometimes set up practice sessions with me and get me to sing music outside the usual Catholic repertoire. I was obviously lucky or just unattractive to him as even in those 1:1 situations he was never other than appropriate. I wish I could say the same of Brother Hugh. Actually I am slightly worried that I might be misremembering events because I have seen no reference to him as an abuser but when I was in the 3rd or 4th form he was in charge of our dormitory, and at night regularly positioned himself in a chair next to one particular bed after lights out and abused it’s occupant. One of the boys with a quick wit came up with a re-working of the tune to Dad’s Army which parodied this activity. Was Brother Hugh’s surname Leyland? I was groomed for a time in my first year by I think Brother James (I have buried the memory very deep) and ended up naked (him still dressed) in the laundry room off our dormitory, but bizarrely he then said “I can see you’re not ready” and told me to get dressed and didn’t touch me. That was my one and only near-miss although I was on the receiving end of much brutality during my years (1967 to 1973).

YET ANOTHER ST JOSEPH’S TEACHER…

An Old Boy recently sent in this story which I remembered well at the time because it was just before I started at St J’s. The teacher involved, Kevin Tracey, had previously been at St J’s, a year earlier, and it was all over the newspapers. Everyone was talking about it. My mother said it was the eleven year old boy’s fault leading the ‘silly man’ on! A common attitude then and even now, I’m afraid.

This is the story in summary. It happened in 1959 – 1960.

Kidnapped English boy Tony Stephens is found on the continent, where his abductor – his school art teacher- had kept him for fifteen months. Tony was 11 when he was taken. His father, a milkman in Earl Shilton, Leicestershire, left his job and dedicated his life to finding Tony. After a year and half’s search, he was successful.

Here’s the Old Boy’s recollection of the events:

I was at SJC from 53 to 61. Starting at age 7 1/2 I never saw or heard of any sexual abuse but some of the Bros were a bit fond of the cane. Bros Solomon, Kevin and Michael being the main ones. However they seem to employ some religious bigots the main one being Kevin Tracey, who taught Spanish and geography in 57- 59. He would cut bamboo from behind the 55 block and frequently cane the whole class for not learning well enough. He seemed to pick on Chris Prior the most. He spent large part of any lesson telling us how religious the boys of our age were in Spain. When he left SJC he abducted a boy from his next employment and ran away with him for best part of a year. Look on Google under Kevin Tracey.

Bros Solomon and Kevin were, of course, notorious and proven child abusers.

So I Googled the teacher Kevin Tracey.

I found this on line, by another Old Boy. 

I was at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, where Tracey taught Spanish and Geography in the academic year 1957/58. His contract wasn’t renewed. He was considered a religious fanatic, even at this Catholic school, and tried to start his Crusader group there. He said the organisation was strong in Spain. Tracey was an admirer of General Franco, at that time very much in power in Spain and vigorously persecuting former Republican opponents. I think some of his fellow teachers disapproved of Tracey’s enthusiasm for corporal punishment.  Many years later I heard a rumour that he had become a priest. How much credence one can place on this, I can’t say

It’s remarkable to think this man Tracey was too violent and too fanatical for St Joseph’s in the same era as Brother James!  I know James tried to set up his own religious cult.

I guess Tracey just didn’t fit in with the other religious bigots or pervert teachers for some reason. Either because he was competing for the same young boys or he was too blatant and therefore a risk to the  St Joseph’s Paedophile Ring which undoubtedly existed at this time. See past posts.

The full story is here

https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/kidnapped-english-boy-found-abroad-1960/

The nauseating Pathe News report on the link is worth seeing because it demonstrates how easily Tracey got away with it. Just 18 months for kidnap. We are assured the boy was medically examined and showed no signs of abuse. Well, we don’t need to be graphic to know that means absolutely nothing.

Tracey’s eleven year old victim had been promised he’d be Head Crusader in Spain.

There are many disturbing aspects to the case. The boy had written a letter to Tracey which his father found and realized from the adult content that it wasn’t the ‘pure relationship’ he had been led to believe.  So he put a stop to it. That’s why Tracey carried out his abduction plan which was well organized and involved faked passports and an epic train journey to London.  It felt to me like this individual had done something like this before.

But what’s particularly nauseating is the way modern day commentators justify and minimize this crime.

Here’s an example:

I believe that Tony must have loved, or at least thought the world of Kevin to do what he did for him, to leave his home and his family and go abroad with him as he did, with no idea if he would ever return.

We should never make the mistake of believing that no child can feel so strongly about something as Tony did. All children are different. Kevin was very wrong to do what he did and had no hope of getting away with it and was eventually sent to prison for it. However, there was no medical evidence at the time that he had sexually abused Tony and, as unlikely as it seems to our modern way of thinking, it’s quite possible that the relationship between the pair was simply loving in a platonic way.

Here’s another one.

From what I’ve read, Kevin simply wanted to set up a Crusader Christian scout movement with Tony as the head Crusader in the hope of spreading the movement throughout the world. An admirable idea that looked fine on the face of it, but that when he tried to make it work, it fell down flat. At 68 years of age, I’ve lived long enough now to know that sometimes, things can look to be one way and turn out to be another way entirely.

As a survivor, I find it disturbing that Tracey’s crimes can be rationalized in this way. The boy was eleven years old FFS! 

And these observers really believe it was all innocent, despite the evidence of the father; not to mention Tracey never wrote to the dad saying his son was alive and well.

So when, in the same era, I reported a lay teacher and his female associate (twice) to the cops, you can imagine the police response had a similar Pathe News tone and included the suggestion, roughly as follows, ‘Just keep away from them. Find someone your own age to play with, sonny.’

Good advice but not realistic if the scum have a financial hold over you, through ‘the Church’ paying my school fees (a matter of record).

But what I take away from this is how Tracey’s Scout Crusaders were disturbingly similar to the Squires of the Knights of St Columba. Now defunct. Although the Squires of the Knights of Columbus (complete with oaths of secrecy) still exist today with the inevitable numerous child abuse cases resulting.

Secondly, how there was something clearly unwholesome going on at St Joseph’s in this era when I had the misfortune to be enrolled (in 1960).

And it shows how lay teachers were just as likely to be paedophiles as the more notorious DLS Brothers.  In the 1960s that was certainly my experience,  and, I gather, subsequently, right through to at least the 1980s, as a search of this site will show.

Whether from me, or from others, there is clearly far more to come about the serious crimes of St Joseph’s College and its associated organisations.  SJC ostriches should continue  burying their heads.

CATHOLIC PAEDOPHILE RING IN IPSWICH

This study in Australia shows how Catholic Paedophile Rings worked in Oz.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/study-identifies-16-child-sex-abuse-rings-in-victorian-catholic-church-20200215-p54158.html

It describes 16 Catholic child sex abuse Rings.

Here is an account of a similar Catholic child sex abuse Ring in the USA.

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/grand-jury-report-about-catholic-priest-abuse-pennsylvania-shows-church-ncna900906

I found this headline – in 2018 – particularly disturbing.

THE GRAND JURY REPORT ABOUT CATHOLIC PRIEST ABUSE IN PENNSYLVANIA SHOWS THE CHURCH IS A CRIMINAL SYNDICATE.

The Catholic Church Hierarchy systematically covered up the abuse of at least 1,000 kids by 300 priests over 70 years.

The  article goes on to say:

Sexual abuse has been institutionalized, routinized and tolerated by the church hierarchy for decades. If you think this statement is hyperbole, consider that the grand jury report includes, but is by no means limited to, the case of a ring of pedophile priests in Pittsburgh, who raped their male victims, took pornographic pictures of them and marked them by giving them gold crosses to wear so that they could be easily recognized by other abusers.

The article is written by Anthea Butler, an Associate Professor of Religious Studies.

There’s more on this story below.

Grand jury report describes a ‘ring of predatory priests’ in Pittsburgh in the 1970s

Included among 99 abusive Pittsburgh diocese priests identified in the grand jury report was a ring of them, operating in the 1970s and 1980s, who shared intelligence about their victims and sometimes even shared the victims themselves.

That “ring of predatory priests” made their own child pornography in church rectories, the grand jury said, and used “whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims.”

They also marked their victims, the grand jury said, by giving their favorite boys gold cross necklaces to wear.

“The grand jury observed that these crosses served another purpose beyond the grooming of the victims: They were a visible designation that these children were victims of sexual abuse,” the report said  “They were a signal to other predators that the children had been desensitized to sexual abuse and were optimal targets for further victimization.”

Let me repeat that last sentence.

“They were a signal to other predators that the children had been desensitized to sexual abuse and were optimal targets for further victimization.”

It shows that a Ring is much more than a number of perverts sharing notes and kids.

It involves a lot of planning, sharing intelligence and thought. That’s relevant to my own experience.

And perhaps to others.

For example, making sure the Parents are neutralised or on-side, I’d have thought was crucial to Abusers.  In my case, my Mother, a widow with mental health issues, would have been an easy target for them. Over the years a number of promises were made to her. Financial and probably personal. Then, knowing it’s safe, the Abusers can turn on the kid…

The general relevance to Catholic survivors in the UK  is that these reports are firm evidence of actual Clerical Paedophile Rings in Oz and the USA.

They are not the usual ‘lone wolf’/’one rotten apple’  which is how Catholic abuse is presented in the UK, unless I’ve missed some reports.

Yes, organised Catholic cover-ups in the UK are well known and reports of several abusers who just happened to be at one school at the same time are well known, but this is very different.

It’s far worse.

These articles are spelling out Catholic crimes that have NEVER been reported in the UK mainstream media to my knowledge.

That Catholic Abusers acted in unison as an organised Ring to abuse children.

As a Survivor, the Oz and USA Rings strike an unpleasant chord with me.

If it happened in Oz and the USA, then it bears out my claim that it happened in the UK, too.

Specifically, I’m a Survivor of a Catholic Paedophile Ring in the 1960s associated with the Catholic Church, notably St Marks RC Church, a school chaplain, teachers at St Joseph’s College and members of the Knights of St Columba, Ipswich.

The Ring’s prime targets, I believe, were Catholic children on Chantry Council Estate, poor kids like myself, rather than boarders at St Joseph’s.  But I could well be wrong here – any vulnerable Catholic child could have been a target. I would hardly be in a position to know.

And there seems to have been ‘overlaps’ with other sexual abuse at St J’s, based on past testimonies on this site by other Survivors than myself.

Only the deaths of everyone concerned prevents the Ring being formally investigated.

But that could change if the Ring was shown to be in existence in later years and some Abusers are still alive.

The evidence is accumulating.  Some I’ve already posted, which proves the Ring’s existence beyond any reasonable doubt, and there’s more to come.

The key question that is certainly on my mind is… When did this Catholic Paedophile Ring in Ipswich stop?

Or did it stop?

Perhaps it just changed its modus operandi and its personnel in recent years or even in our own times.  

I’d prefer to think it stopped in the 1980s, that would be such a relief, but that could be wishful thinking on my part. 

As the Oz study shows, these Rings are ALWAYS transgenerational, with younger members taking over.

It’s a primary reason why I can’t let this subject drop.

All of us, I’m sure, want to be sure that it stopped.

The silence from the relevant parties is noted.

I imagine I’m not the only one who finds their silence a matter of concern.

RECOVERED MEMORIES

The issue of False and Recovered memories came up on another St Joseph’s Survivor’s site. https://birkfieldstory.blogspot.com/2020/07/beginning.html?m=1

I know it’s caused a lot of people anguish, so if you need to know more, drop me a line. I’ve had to become an expert on the subject – not something I wanted to be, but there was so much propaganda in favour of the completely bogus False Memory Syndrome I had to investigate it and I’ve read every damn thing on the subject, for and against.

There’s a summary below, but let me just add to it that the originating American False Memory society had a leading paedophile on its board. It was formed out of a family feud and is now defunct.

The reason people hold onto False Memory Syndrome is because they have been misled by the British press, almost certainly because journalists have been ordered to lie by their bosses. The American founding FMS organization is now defunct as are others. Only the UK FMS org continues. To understand them, I attended two of their meetings and they are founded by people with money, power and important media connections. The truth has been provably withheld by the press, especially by the Guardian. So none of the proven info in these links below has appeared in the UK press. This is more than a sin of omission.  Deliberately deceiving the British public  about FMS has had tragic consequences because survivors think they must be insane or evil for their memories. This, of course, suits Catholic Paedophiles very well and it has been used in their defence. The British press should be held responsible for their actions. Anyway, here are the links which prove recovered memory beyond any reasonable doubt.https://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/case-archive/legal-cases/  And https://www.newswise.com//articles/recovered-memories-true-or-false 

ANOTHER ST JOSEPH’S COLLEGE SURVIVOR’S WEBSITE

So pleased to see this site go up!

https://birkfieldstory.blogspot.com/2020/07/my-story-here-we-go-then.html?m=1

The more of us who come forward and highlight the serious crimes that took place at St Joseph’s in the past, the sooner we can all have closure.  And then we can celebrate the considerable achievements of the College.

I’m reminded of the famous quote:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’

And I’m as guilty of this as anyone.  Here’s a recent example:

In our gated community there is an oldish exhibitionist who regularly goes out onto his second floor balcony in the nude.  He’s been doing this for the last couple of years.

At first I thought he was a nudist or something, but recently he’s been doing rather more than just standing naked in an area where children could clearly see him.

My initial reactions – when he first began his relatively discreet exhibitionism – are interesting and I’m sure mirror what many of us Old Boys think where abuse at St Js is concerned

‘Someone needs to complain about him. But not me.  Someone else will do it. It’s not my problem. Because what if he’s connected to the management of the community. He could make trouble for us.’

Now it’s becoming rather more serious and so it can’t be ignored,

My wife filmed him because – as she said – supposing ‘he’s doing worse elsewhere? There needs to be a record. He has to be reported.’

She’s just reported it, with the film evidence, and I wholeheartedly agree with and support her decision.

Not least because I can hardly ask Survivors to write in here about all the truly evil things that went on at St J’s in the 1960s and which seem to have continued through to the 1980s, at least, if I don’t practice what I preach.

So it’s great to see this new blog from another St Joseph’s College survivor. Bravo!

I hope other Old Boys feel the same way and can help with their recollections of the Abuser referred to or the Abusers from my earlier era.

This problem is not going away and St J’s school governors and administration would do well to deal with it now.

By acknowledging the past, what happened, and assisting where they can.

Despite the changes of management, there will be some records and some relevant recollections that some people connected with St Js today will at least be aware of.

Particularly as, in my case at least, there was a Ring which – academic studies show – is transgenerational.  

And which testimonies here have proven existed beyond any reasonable doubt.

So we need to know: when did it stop?

And there needs to be a proper explanation about the role of the Knights of St Columba as previously detailed.

The old religious order excuse of ‘All the records are gone or been destroyed. We know nothing. We know nothing,’ won’t stand up today.

As I’ve said before:  Please don’t wait to be fetched before you belatedly acknowledge the past. Your pious words and hand wringing will come across as phoney and be condemned as such.

Just like Brother Laurence’s in a similar situation where he had to be fetched. (See an earlier post)

Do the right thing.

BROTHER LAURENCE HUGHES

HEAD OF THE DE LA SALLE BROTHERS IN THE UK AND IRELAND

https://www.delasalle.org.au/blog/district-of-ireland—appointment-of-visitor
Bro Laurence Hughes pictured front row, far right, from a photo of St Joseph’s College teaching staff in the 1980s

I recently posted a school photo of St Joseph’s College Ipswich, from the 1980s. As I’ve said previously, three Old Boys (myself and two others) have identified a total of five abusers in the photo above. 

In fact there were six abusers in this era if one includes the infamous Mike Mercado (not present).

This seems a considerable number of abusers for any one group of teachers and has disturbing implications which I have previously written about.

An Old Boy then advised me as follows:

‘Brother Laurence Hughes (on the extreme right of the photo) is now head of the De La Salle Brothers in the UK and has made statements at various abuse enquiries. He must have at the very least been aware of abuse at St Joseph’s.’

So I looked Brother Laurence up and saw that he has spoken out strongly against child abuse.

Here are two examples. The second quote refers to the notorious Brother James Carragher, surely one of the most evil men to have ever joined the De La Salle Order.

EXAMPLE ONE (from The Scotsman)

‘Brother Laurence Hughes, head of the De La Salle Brothers in Great Britain and Ireland, told the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry he would have expected other members of staff to have known what was going on.

‘Br Hughes said he had already met with survivors abused by the congregation in Northern Ireland and was prepared to do so in Scotland.’

EXAMPLE TWO (from an ITV News report)

‘Carragher is a former member of the De La Salle Brotherhood.

The group released the following statement.

“We totally condemn, without reservation, any action or behaviour which harms young people. The behaviour of James Carragher was a deep betrayal of the Order’s mission to the young and of the trust that was placed in him as a De La Salle Brother. He was dismissed from the Order following previous conviction.

Brother Laurence Hughes, De La Salle Brothers

……………………………………….

A different Old Boy from St Joseph’s in the mid-1980s recognised Brother Laurence in the school photo and had this to say:

‘Brother Laurence. An absolute psycho who assaulted a couple of boys in my second form dorm. He asked to see me once after lights out so I combated it by turning into an objectionable little bastard and he then kept away.’

I asked this Old Boy for permission to quote him anonymously which he gave me.

He then added:

‘This is the dude who would invite 11 year olds into his study after lights out. He bandaged my foot once after a rugby injury and was creepy as fuck.’

Other Old Boys from St Joseph’s may wish to share their recollections of Brother Laurence Hughes in the comments here. Or you can email me in the strictest confidence at pat@millsverse.com.

As you can see from the foregoing, anything you wish to say will be kept strictly anonymous and your privacy respected.

It’s also worth adding that the current St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, has had nothing to say on the huge number of testimonies on this site of child abuse at St Joseph’s in past eras.

The crimes took place before their time but the current school still maintains many proud links with its past, whilst ignoring the endless cases of past abuse. This is certainly a cause of pain for me as a survivor and doubtless many other survivors. 

The testimonies prove beyond any reasonable doubt that serious offences took place in the 1960s to 1980s. Often they are related by different Old Boys in different eras yet describing recognizable modus operandi of the same clerical abusers.