ST PANCRAS CHURCH, IPSWICH, REMEMBERED

I have many happy memories of Saint Pancras (the patron saint of children). It was my local church until I was ten (1959) when we moved to Chantry Estate and Saint Marks.

I was an altar boy, a proud member of the Guild of St Stephen and was thrilled  when my red lanyard was replaced with a black one. And my red cassock replaced with a black cassock. Even if older altar boys called themselves ‘The Rhubarb Club’ (after the Goon Show), I had no such cynicism, nothing could match the excitement of carrying a lit torch or the incense ‘boat’ or swinging the thurifer.

The old Georgian presbytery next to the church was a most enthralling building. In the cellars it had a smuggler’s tunnel leading to the nearby River Orwell. The first tunnel section could still be explored, but then it was blocked off, to my great disappointment. It was such a shame the presbytery was knocked down and replaced with a faux Georgian building.

The priests Canon Burrows and his curate Father Wace were very warm and friendly. Canon Burrows was always round our house in Stoke, dressed in his boiler suit, doing handyman jobs for my mother.  Father Wace presented me with a copy of ‘A Little Hero’ by Mrs Musgrave which had a cover of a boy wearing a school uniform remarkably like a St Joseph’s College blazer. He told me I would go there one day and he was right.

Father Wace was the Akela in charge of the cubs and I was always baffled why I was a cub for just one week. Then I stopped going and no-one would talk about the reason why. It seemed to be because I had told a friend of my mother’s about ‘something that happened at cubs’ and this friend had stern words with Father Wace.

The Catholic laity – the Legion of Mary; the Knights of St Columba and the Catholic Women’s League – were also an important part of my life. My mother was a vulnerable, devout Irish Catholic widow and these organisations did their best to help her. They introduced her to another Catholic widow, Mrs Czech, and her two daughters and we went on a pilgrimage to Walsingham together.

But writing about the laity at St Pancras is still difficult for me and this short article below by Doctor Philippa Martyr for The Catholic Weekly explains the reason why.

Doctor Martyr concludes:

‘This is the ugly underside of our local vibrant Catholic community. Covering-up goes on all the time, for all sorts of things – and yes, lay people enable it. We just haven’t been brave enough to face this about ourselves yet.’

But before coming back to the laity, I have to say there was also another side to both Canon Burrows and Father Wace which was a real shock to me when the memories came flooding back to me in mid-life.

THE PRIESTS

My mother worked as a housekeeper at St Pancras presbytery. Her vulnerability meant her children were prime targets for clerical abusers.  

Canon Burrows – a listed Knight of St Columba – was a sexual abuser. It took a lot of therapy for me to get my recollections of his behaviour out of my system. His particular technique was magic and conjuring tricks. ‘Now you see it, now you don’t.’ At age six, I wanted to be a magician like the Canon and spent all my pocket money on jokes.

Father Wace is not listed as a Knight, but, given his wealthy background, it seems likely he, too, was a member.

He also was a sexual abuser. My mother smiled at my thrilled expression when I saw Wace’s pyjamas casually thrown across his bed. Because his pyjama jacket was weighed down with maybe twenty fantastic metal collectors’ badges – which would make it impossible for him to sleep in. But they were really cool badges that any eight-year-old boy would do anything for.

And did.

MALE CATHOLIC LAITY AT ST PANCRAS

I’ve previously covered the Knights of St Columba on this site. There are statements from myself and other survivors  that prove there was a ring of sexual abusers in the Ipswich Knights.

The Knights were also the Eminence Gris for the Church, which meant they controlled my school fees and they exacted a price in return. The similar Knights of Columbus describe themselves as ‘The strong right arm of the Catholic Church.’

The only thing relevant here is their use of psycho-coercive ‘double bind’ techniques. These are recorded in their theatrical ceremonies which I have previously featured on this site. Such ceremonies stopped – supposedly – in the late 60’s. Too late for me, unfortunately.

 It’s relevant because female laity abusers used similar ‘double binds’.

double bind is a dilemma in communication in which an individual receives two or more reciprocally conflicting messages. It’s a mind-twister and shows a deep knowledge of psychology and how to manipulate people.

Especially children.

When – or if – the Knights stopped abusing children I have no way of knowing and no one today cares. Catholic Safeguarding ignored a recent newspaper report of a Knight of St. Columba sentenced to a long prison sentence for child abuse. The Knight was provably not given a police check, which would have shown he had a previous conviction for child abuse.

FEMALE CATHOLIC LAITY AT ST PANCRAS

When I looked at all my bills for therapy, I was startled to see that a good 50% of my recent therapy – over the last three years – related to female Catholic laity at St Pancras.

And that it took emotional priority over male clerical abuse. You might conclude it’s because female abuse is a far greater betrayal to a child, but, actually, I think it’s because of the bizarre but very effective nature of the abuse.

I believe the women were members of the Catholic Women’s League: the female equivalent of the Knights of St Columba, and it’s acknowledged they work closely together to this day.

The CWL doesn’t list deceased members, but I’ll happily supply the five names of the female parishioners concerned for the CWL to check against their records. I would, of course, also need sight of those records. I’d say ‘Deceased Ipswich members 1956 through to the millennium.’

If I’m wrong, I will write a retraction.

If I’m correct, their names will be listed here as child abusers, alongside Burrows and Wace.

Some may have also been members of the Legion of Mary at St Pancras. My eight-year-old self didn’t fully understand the difference between the two organisations.

But I have focused on the CWL because the five women concerned were all middle-class high achievers, which seems to be the hallmark of this organisation. Two of them were spinsters. There is also the CWL’s close connection to the Knights who were provably abusers. But principally because one of the key female abusers was a close friend of the famous Barbara Ward, Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth – Wikipedia.

Barbara Ward went to St Mary’s Convent Grammar school in Ipswich (I went to the adjacent St Mary’s primary school). She then went on to be President of the Catholic Women’s League in the 1940s and introduced my abuser to her husband who was almost certainly a Knight. This was long before my time. And I’ve absolutely no reason to think Ward was an abuser. 

But Ward shows just how intellectual, well-connected and powerful the Catholic Women’s League were when I had the misfortune to come across some of their members, including her close friend.

Exactly like the powerful Catholic laity described in the link above.

Although their abuse was as perverted as any abuse, it had a certain ‘logic’, which perhaps helped them with their justification for their obscene gratification.

I won’t go into graphic details here, but it was a physical form of aversion therapy (not like today’s conversion therapy as fair as I know), an attempt to thwart puberty using psycho-coercive double binds.

It would have had different names in the past, but various forms of aversion therapy – some quite barbaric – were commonplace from Victorian times through to the 1950s. It was still very scary.

Why did they do it?

Because of the abuse I suffered at the hands of Burrows and Wace, I was definitely ‘acting out’ as so many children do.  For instance, I recall drawing and talking openly about what the priests did to me. So it may have been an attempt to physically put a stop to a child’s ‘play’.

But it actually feels rather more ambitious and organised. There were several of them involved, for instance. Even though I was earmarked for the priesthood from an early age (I was signed up for the seminary at age thirteen) I don’t believe that fully explains their behaviour.

It was certainly a ‘procedure’ they were used to.

However, it’s not my responsibility to understand their sick mindset. Or explain how it all worked in detail. I bear the psychological scars and that’s enough.

If your cognitive dissonance is kicking in at this point, and you find it hard to believe that respectable, middle-class Catholic women could behave in such a manner, let me tell you that in the same decade, a number of Dutch boys were castrated on the orders of the Catholic Church because they had shown gay tendencies. In the 1970s, on the orders of his British Catholic school, a young teenager was given hospital electric-shock treatment to similarly erase his gay character. There are other examples.

Aversion therapy seems designed to suppress, reduce or redirect a child’s sexuality. In practical terms, it limits your power over your own body. Instead, these women had control over my body. I’m pretty certain they saw their abuse as ‘holy work’. I’d love to tell you they failed miserably, but, annoyingly, its effects actually lasted until I was aged sixteen.

These fanatical women knew what they were doing.

If you’re a Catholic Safeguarder, or a member of the priesthood, the Knights or the CWL, you may well be thinking, with some relief, as you read this, ‘Ah. But it’s impossible for him to prove.’

Well, it’s true it’s hard to prove. Most survivors must have either accepted their programming, maybe they even thought it was good for them, or are too embarrassed or ashamed to talk about it.   

I’m not.

The best proof I have is the fortune I spent on recent weekly therapy, over the last three years, deprogramming the abusive program these women had instilled into my psyche.

And also the evidence of my therapist who has previously given evidence to the Ipswich police. This resulted in an abusive Ipswich Catholic teacher recently being arrested.

So I wouldn’t be too relieved if I were you.

Needless to say, I would be delighted if the CWL decide to challenge my account.

I know Catholics practice secrecy from the Pope downwards, but this really needs to be brought out into the open.

SAFEGUARDING

You might suggest that Catholic Safeguarding could help me with this matter.

Not a chance, I’m afraid, so I should explain why.

You may believe Catholic Safeguarding are there to help past survivors and investigate past clerical and laity abuse

They’re not.

Catholic Safeguarding is actually in a terrible state today, the worst it’s ever been. And, in case you think that’s just my negative opinion, there is already media concern and research on this aspect.

Furthermore.

The CEO of the CSSA (Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency) admitted the following to me:

‘IICSA was obviously put in place with the intention of dealing with this but quite honestly I think they were overwhelmed and in the end they presented their final report and it is difficult to know what it all achieved.’

All IICSA’S recommendations (The Elliott report etc) have been ignored by the Church, even though the Bishops claimed otherwise.

As the Daily Telegraph reported: ‘Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse had previously concluded Cardinal Nichols was more concerned with protecting Church’s reputation.’

Today, the CSSA only deals with current issues up to two years old.

‘This of course leaves those that have been subject of abuse over two years ago have very little redress.’

The CEO confirmed my own experience that the police (Operation Hydrant) will only deal with cases where the abusers are still alive.

And:

‘Our remit does not include an investigative branch. The process is that the diocese or religious life group (through the Religious Life Safeguarding Service (RLSS) investigate concerns when raised.’

So where St Pancras is concerned this means that the diocese will investigate.

I’ve been here before during Eileen Shearer’s COPCA era when I first raised Canon Burrows with the diocese. I learnt that Catholic Safeguarding diocese members are unpaid, they do nothing (e.g. they didn’t even look up records) they simply dump complaints onto the police, who can do nothing (see above). The diocese Safeguarders know this and – under the  convenient excuse of ‘we have a mandatory reporting duty’ – they are wilfully and knowingly wasting valuable police time.

The diocese Safeguarding officer also reassured me personally everything would be ‘so much better’ with Shearer’s recent appointment because she was a protestant. So nothing would be covered up anymore.

I was briefly impressed.

Shearer resigned shortly afterwards.

But it’s worse. The investigating officer is from the diocese where the crime took place, so he or she is still part of that Catholic community: they will certainly know the organisations concerned at the very least, they may even be members of it, and they are thus not independent.

This has put off many survivors from reporting abuse and that’s no accident. It’s exactly what the Church intended.

Returning to the laity.

The CEO of the CSSA said to me:

‘I agree with you over this issue around abuse by the laity does seem to be largely ignored and certainly has given me some pause for thought.’

Most of my claims against the Catholic laity can be deemed historic (over two years old) and therefore will be ignored, which is, of course, outrageous as we survivors have to live our entire lives with the results of their crimes committed against us in childhood. But two cases are actually current and one relates to the East Anglian diocese. The other to an adjoining diocese.

In both cases there was a lack of police checks and thus vulnerable people and children may be in danger.

Today.

There was no response from the CSSA and Police Operation Hydrant when I raised this with them both.

THE LIKELY RESPONSE FROM ST PANCRAS, THE CWL AND THE KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA

From past experience with the Knights and the evidence presented about them on this site, I fully expect the parish priest of St Pancras today, the Catholic Women’s League and the Knights of St Columba to do nothing.

They don’t seem to see it as their duty to children past and present to look into this most serious matter.

They will prefer to keep their heads down and hope it will all go away.

Or at best, to write back to me with some dismissive hand-wringing, ‘We’re sorry what happened to you, but there’s nothing we can do. We have no records and thus no way of looking at your allegations.’

But in 2023 silence – or such a dismissive lack of interest – is not a good look.

Even if the Catholic insurance company has advised or even ordered them, ‘Say nothing. Admit nothing.’  

(It’s sad when a Christian religion is controlled by an insurance company.)

Today, not responding to hard evidence of abuse means only one thing.

Collusion.

If you have been made aware of crimes past and current, and you choose to respond with silence or in some Pontius Pilate manner, it means you are colluding with the original child abusers to keep these crimes hidden from public view.

SO WHAT CAN BE DONE?

If you’re a Survivor you might feel nothing can be done. That – post IICSA – the Church has managed, with its own admitted poor Safeguarding (see above) to still successfully silence its critics. 

That’s not the case.

‘Naming and Shaming’ abusers at my Catholic school on this site has worked very well in the past and has led to positive results which I’ve described in previous posts. With both local media (EADT) and national media (Sunday Times and the Tablet) covering and investigating the accounts I have brought to light.

It’s only now that I’ve been able to focus on the parish I grew up in, and the clerical and laity abusers, male and female, who harmed me as a child.

So I would hope for similar results here. I’m sure it will be of equal interest to the media.

Particularly local media.

And if you are a survivor of abuse by any of these people I’ve described here, and would like to share your experience, please get in touch. As always, your anonymity is guaranteed.

However, if you are a member of the congregation at St Pancras and are rightly shocked by what you have read, I would appeal to you to raise some or all of these issues with your parish priest.

It is clearly his personal duty to act.

Diocesan Safeguarding is not an alternative. It is provably flawed for the reasons I’ve given and I strongly believe is deliberately designed to waste everyone’s time.

Even if you discount some of the allegations I’ve made, there is still a great deal left that should be looked at, discussed, and which you would hope would be of great concern to your parish priest.

Based on the past, I fear your parish priest will not take responsibility, but I would love to be proved wrong.

Furthermore, my experience is that – even today, despite the Church being called out for its crimes at IICSA – Catholic congregations will not respond to allegations of child abuse within the Church. They will look the other way at clerical and laity crimes.

This is because of the Oath of Allegiance they took and similar ties that bind.

However, I would hope that there are some exceptions who are not sheep and have the courage to challenge their shepherds.

In any event, at some point in the near future, there will be further investigations into the Catholic Church and this post and others will be useful in providing evidence.

Meantime, no one in the parish of St. Pancras can now say ‘We didn’t know. We had absolutely no idea these terrible things went on.’

You’ve been told.

And anyone curiously searching the web for nostalgic memories of St Pancras will come across this post.

They will be appalled to see the Church’s dark history in which the crimes of priests such as Canon Burrows and Father Wace and Ipswich female and male Catholic laity are laid bare for all to read.   

That is the legacy of shame for all the world to now see that St Pancras, its current parish priest, as the representative of the Church, the CWL and the Knights of St Columba will have to live with from now on.

Unless they choose to take a path of light and look at the truth.

Otherwise, it’s a dark cross all of them rightly have to bear.

ST JOSEPH’S IPSWICH TEACHER REMEMBERED & THE OPUS DEI CONNECTION

Francis Carolan has died just before facing four charges of abuse in April.

Below are some recollections from one Old Boy about this teacher from the early 1990s.

The Opus Dei recollection I find interesting.  So a few thoughts on that organisation first.

In my own and other’s experience, St Joseph’s teachers had (have?) connections with neo-masonic Catholic organisations. In my era, the St Joseph’s teacher abusers  I encountered were members of, or connected with, the Knights of St Columba whose crimes I have featured on this site and are currently being looked at by Operation Hydrant. In another notorious case (late 1950s), an ex-St Joseph’s teacher, known from his violence, ran away with a young boy, promising that he would become the youthful leader of an exciting new order of Catholic Knights.

It would be almost reassuring if one was to conclude they’re just patriarchal organisations and Catholic women were never involved. But, of course, it’s well known that women can be members of Opus Dei, too. There was Ruth Kelly who was a practising member of Opus Dei and a minister for education. Given their warped ‘mortification of the flesh’ practises, I find that singularly unhealthy. In my era, leading Catholic women in Ipswich were members of or connected with the Catholic Women’s League, which is closely associated with the Knights of St Columba.  My experience of these ladies and their practises was very unpleasant.

Beyond St Joseph’s, there are other unhealthy stories of Catholic Knights that I’ve come across: Papal Knight, and probable member of the Knights of St Columba, Jimmy Savile being the prime example which no one has ever investigated.  I doubt it will be featured in the forthcoming Netflix drama.

The inescapable conclusion is that if you’re a member of these various secretive Catholic organisations, there’s a good chance you’ll get away with your abusive crimes. As an academic study has shown (previously featured on this site), there is a strong transgenerational element which suggests it’s still going on today. 

 RECOLLECTIONS OF CAROLAN

Carolan boasted to us that he’d sign off letters to parents with the letters FOAD. If questioned he would say it was “for our almighty deity”, but it was actually fuck off and die. He was apparently a member of Opus Dei, and had met the Pope.

Frank Carolan was a scary man. Hitting us on the back of the head with bibles, but mostly he was a psychological bully. Incredibly nice on one hand (I had a band in the 4th/5th year and he allowed us to rehearse in his classroom after school, and store our instruments), and then he’d turn on you and reduce you to nothing. 

He was my housemaster in birkfield before he disappeared one night in spring 1993. Never did anything physical to me, but we were all terrified of him and there were allegations at the time. 

DE LA SALLES – POSITIVE NEWS

I’m always a little wary of being optimistic where bringing Catholic child abusers to justice is concerned.  Even so, I think this is encouraging news and is certainly a big step forward, following the DLS not-so-public public apology.

Catholic Safeguarding have written back to me. As I’ve previously related, the allegations on this site are with Hydrant and Safeguarding confirmed this is the case.

But the key NEW information they gave me is as follows:

Firstly, they informed me:

“De La Salle have now written to the police asking them to investigate all allegations and concerns made about the order and any members of it.”

I have to say I read this sentence several times before fully absorbing it. I really couldn’t believe it. This, surely, is progress, although I know we’re not at the end of the road yet.

Catholic Safeguarding also responded to my raising concerns about the Scottish DLS St Ninian’s case.

Here’s what they had to say:

“Thank you for bringing the latest court case to my attention, the concerns raised will be placed before DLS and communicated to Hydrant and I will bring it to the attention of the SCOE Commission at our next meeting.

In respect of SCOE, although the victim testimony is powerful, safeguarding matters pertaining to Scotland are not under our remit for any member religious orders within SCOE, only those pertaining to England and Wales, so this case or others that may exist, outside of England and Wales, are not considered by us.

Safeguarding matters in Scotland are overseen by the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service.”

So special thanks to the two survivors of St Ninians who wrote and told me what happened to them.  You are super stars!

I would hope there will be some traction as the English Safeguarding and the DLS and Hydrant presumably bring the Scottish Safeguarding into the loop.  If you don’t hear anything in a couple of months, do let me know.

Thanks also to all the survivors of all the De La Salles schools for writing into this site with your testimonies.  Hey – we finally got somewhere!

I think there is cause for a little cautious celebration all round.

How survivors feel about IICSA

There’s a forthcoming Webinar planned about the considerable shortcomings of IICSA. And a planned book THE UNTURNED STONES OF IICSA where survivors can write a chapter about issues they feel were neglected by IICSA. Currently I’m writing a chapter about the DE LA SALLE BROTHERS, but if anyone else wants to cover the same or similar ground, I’m fine with giving them a voice instead and I’ll take a back seat.

There are so many other areas of the Catholic Church that I want to look at.

Here’s the link to a brief podcast explaining in more detail.  And there’s an email address included for you to write to.

Episode Description

TRIGGER WARNING: STRONG FEELINGS EXPRESSED. Listening to the Pioneers of Authentic Change express their formidable concerns about the integrity of the independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Lisa Nandy MP, Raymond Stephenson from Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, (www.shirleyoakssurvivorsassociation.co.uk) Ian Mc Fayden, Andy from Newcastle, Malcolm Mansfield QC & Lloyd Evans from JWatch (see Youtube video IICSA:Part of the Problem

AMPLEFORTH: THE IMPLICATIONS

There is still a damage limitation exercise on the media’s coverage of Ampleforth. At the time of writing, no newspapers have covered the latest important development revealed by Channel 4 yesterday:

Channel 4 has seen a letter to the government from a solicitor for victims of historic abuse at Ampleforth College, alleging it has not fully separated itself from the Abbey as it had been told to. The school denies the claims.

https://www.channel4.com/news/ampleforth-college-faces-questions-over-pupil-safeguarding

Yet, despite this media partial blackout, it’s the biggest Catholic story of 2020 and 2021:Catholic Eton may be about to close down! The one exception to this media censorship is the Catholic Tablet, which, to its credit, has followed the Ampleforth case closely and shown honesty in its reporting and true diligence. Unlike the Catholic Herald, for example, who barely covered it.

What I take away from the Channel 4 story is that the Benedictine monks must still (still!) represent a threat to the safety of children.

And it reminds me that the De La Salle brothers may also still be a similar threat to children. Today.

In the case of St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, the De La Salle brothers have long gone and I’m sure the current regime would use the classic ‘get out of responsibilities for the past’ card. Namely: ‘The college is now an entirely different legal, financial and governance entity’.

Lawyers have tried challenging the adroit use of this card elsewhere – at Sherborne, for instance – but I doubt they’ll succeed.   

So St Joseph’s can endlessly draw on the school’s proud heritage as a selling feature for today’s prospective parents. But have nothing to say about horrendous crimes which exceed the crimes of the Ampleforth monks. Any glance through past posts on this site will bear this out.

They see no need to acknowledge them and neither do the De La Salle brothers who still run many schools in the UK. I’ve read two testimonies from St Joseph’s old boys about the DLS current head, Brother Lawrence Hughes, which allege he inflicted serious physical abuse on children. One of these testimonies is featured in a past post on this site.

The crimes this order have committed outside St Joseph’s are  endless. There are the approved schools in Scotland.

http://www.irishsalem.com/religious-congregations/de-la-salle-brothers/jimmyboyle-06may01.php

Boyle states, ‘We all knew instantly who’d been inside a De La Salle school because we all carried the same deep emotional and psychological scars. In our darkest moments we’d talk about our horrific experiences there. All of us agreed, no matter how tough any prison regime, none was as brutal as De La Salle.

‘The stories were the same from all the De La Salle schools.’

There are similar accounts about the DLS schools in N. Ireland.

And there’s the infamous Brother James Carragher, head of St Williams, who ran a ‘paedophile sweet shop’ making children available for the rich laity.

And there’s further revelations about the order now coming from Australia. And so on.

But we’re led to believe that the order is totally different today.  That they really care about children and would never harm them.  That’s like saying there were once bad S.S., but now there are good, reformed S.S. No, there is only S.S. and – by definition – they are the embodiment of evil. In my view, it’s impossible to reform organizations with proven track records of organized evil.

The role of the rich Catholic laity is certainly the gorilla in the corner where St Joseph’s, Ipswich, is concerned. They were the Eminence Gris that helped create the college and saved it from scandal. See my past posts and a survivor’s testimony in  ‘The shocking truth about St Joseph’s.’

I hope and assume that the Catholic laity in the current St Joseph’s era, who have a role in governing and running the school, have no continuity or connection with these past Catholic laity who were guilty of the most serious crimes against children.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing when or if the latter’s role of Eminence Gris directing the school’s affairs from the shadows ever came to an end.

Today, there is increasing evidence of this sinister role of the Catholic laity in Catholic schools elsewhere. The example of Brother James Carragher above, for instance.

And there’s this account from Germany.

https://nypost.com/2020/12/22/nuns-were-pimps-for-sick-priests-says-sex-abuse-victim/

Five years ago, when I first started writing about my experience of the Ipswich Catholic laity, I was very much a lone voice, which could be easily dismissed. Then others came forward and related similar experiences. Once again, see ‘The shocking truth’.   Five years ago, I doubt this account of what happened in Catholic Germany and the central role of the laity– which is far from unique – could never have found its way into print. So the times are changing.

Returning to Ampleforth: personally, I have my doubts it will close, despite all the predictions. I believe it’s too important to the establishment – hence the media damage limitation exercises and the support of prominent Catholics like Rees-Mogg. But that could be because I’ve seen how the Catholic Diocese, the current St Joseph’s College, the De La Salle Order, and the Ipswich Catholic laity, including the Knights of St Columba, have all ignored the  testimonies from survivors on this site.  And have not been called to account. Yet.

It was also interesting seeing how the children of Ampleforth school have supported the current regime, handing in a letter to Number Ten, asking for the ban to be lifted. I’m sure St Joseph’s, past and present, would command similar loyalty and this may explain the silence of some who know what really went on in the past. But, like Ampleforth, it is misplaced.

These crimes are far too serious to put loyalty to the school and religion above the law of the land.

And inevitably, more  St Joseph’s survivors will come forward and at some point – as it dovetails with the endless new revelations of the crimes of the Catholic Church emerging every day  – there will be a new enquiry and all concerned will be fetched to give an account of themselves, just as happened at Ampleforth.

I watched Father Jamison, Abbot President, give evidence to IICSA and he was very smooth and convincing. But this was marred by what a survivor had told me about Jamison which painted a very different picture of him.

Similarly, I watched Cardinal Nichols – after being given a damning IICSA report – offer a very smooth and convincing apology to survivors. But this, too, was marred by how he reminded me so much of the three clerical abusers I knew as a child: Canon Burrows and Father Wace (St Pancras, Ipswich) and Father Jolly (Chaplain to St Joseph’s).  Nichols reminded me how smooth and convincing these abusers were under very different circumstances. It was also marred by knowing Nichols had covered up the infamous case of Father Quigley which comes under the category of current, not historic abuse.

I’m sure at an enquiry, representatives of the De La Salle order, the Diocese, the laity, and the current St Joseph’s will be equally convincing and wring their hands and plead so convincingly, ‘We never knew’.

I think I’d have more respect for them all if, instead of their pious and heartfelt lamentations, they told the truth, and admitted what they really think and say behind closed doors. Their view of me and fellow survivors, aka ‘troublemakers’, for exposing the truth about them. Namely: ‘Pat – shut the fuck up.’

Or, to put it in their establishment language, ’We all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet.’

No chance, I’m afraid. There’s more to come.

THE CATHOLIC SCANDALS OF 2020

(That you WON’T have read about)

You may well have read that Ampleforth College, ‘the Catholic Eton’, has been banned from taking new pupils and that it intends to appeal. It was banned because of its appalling record on child sexual abuse CSA which was highlighted at the independent enquiry IICSA.

That was almost a month ago with all the media covering it from the same press release yet with no follow up on what is surely the biggest Catholic story of the year.

Soon after, Ampleforth decided NOT to appeal, but rather to try to satisfy the authorities that children were no longer at risk. There is a media blackout on this important development. I suspect this blackout will continue until when or if Ampleforth is back in business.  

Thus the Catholic Herald didn’t report the original ban, never mind what happened next. I tweeted them three times to ask them why? With no response, of course. It’s so obvious why – everyone’s been ordered to keep quiet about the latest events at Ampleforth which involve not just historic CSA, but current CSA.

The only place you are likely to read about any of this is in the Tablet, to its great credit.  Here’s the latest position in a very balanced article by Jonathan West.https://www.thetablet.co.uk/blogs/1/1674/ampleforth-must-get-serious-about-child-protection-or-it-will-deservedly-close-says-this-campaigner

What I take away from this article is there a very real chance that Ampleforth may close its doors forever. 

That the jewel in the Catholic Crown may end its existence and why, you might imagine would already be the subject of opinion pieces, further research and articles in the Guardian, Independent, Times, Mirror, Sun, and Mail, not to mention coverage by the BBC. It’s a huge story. But apart from predictably bilious articles in the Telegraph and Spectator alleging the Church is undergoing religious persecution, there is nothing in the mainstream media.

Why?

In my view, it’s because there is a behind the scenes veto as it brings an important pillar of the establishment into disrepute. So the public must know little or nothing about it. Or if they do, its significance must be seriously downplayed.   

Serious Catholic crimes abroad may be written about, yes, but never such crimes in the UK. So two days ago the Mail covered a case of Catholic organised crime, a clerical, laity, and female (nuns) paedophile ring operating in Germany in the 1970s.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9078857/Nuns-pimped-boys-German-childrens-home-priests-politicians-rape-them.html

It’s the first time, as far as I know, that the British media has acknowledged ORGANISED CSA crime exists in the Catholic Church, albeit in Germany. And with a focus on the laity. So that, at least, is progress,

Regular readers of this blog will see the similarities to organised crime that I’ve written about as a survivor myself. These events took place in the 1960s involving the Catholic Church, St Joseph’s College Ipswich, the De La Salle brothers and  the laity, cantered around a Catholic elite who were Knights of St Columba, Ipswich province.

I’ve cited similar Catholic organised CSA crime in Australia and the USA, including an Oz academic study which proves the existence of organized Catholic paedophile rings beyond reasonable doubt.

Thus far, no academic or media or survivors organisations or the IICSA itself has shown any interest in UK Catholic organised crime because it either steps out of the safe tramlines of the ‘just one rotten apple in the barrel’ theory or because they’re aware of the veto. And they want to keep their jobs.

In case you’re thinking, ‘Well it was just Ipswich in the 1960s that had a few Catholic wrong uns, but they’re all dead now, so what does it matter, get over it,’ let me disquiet your mind.

This year another important Catholic CSA scandal emerged that was barely reported on. Once again it involved the kind of players who featured in Ipswich in the 1960s. Specifically a Catholic school, a De La Salle brother, and a Catholic elite laity in a paedophile ring.  

The DLS brother was the notorious school principal Brother James Carragher now on his third jail term. He’s been sentenced to a total of THIRTY years for CSA and physical brutality. He’s at the centre of the survivor’s allegations, so there’s no reason to doubt the veracity of the account.

The Sun mentioned the paedophile ring in passing and I followed it up in the survivor’s book they were reporting on: The Boy In The Cellar by Stephen Smith. In Chapter 24 Stephen describes the Catholic school he attended as a paedophile’s sweetshop. He relates how the friends of Brother James ‘all wore suits, drove Jaguars and spoke with a posh accent’…. ‘I’d often see men – visitors to the school – sitting on the bench choosing (I presume) who they wanted to rape or abuse… St Williams, it seemed, had become a sweetie shop for visiting paedophiles – a shop that Brother James held the key to.’

Although Brother James is now in jail, AFAIK the DLS order has not followed up this serious account of  Catholic crime, a paedophile ring involving the laity. It’s just been treated as yet another rotten apple case. James is serving 30 years, case closed.

So the laity involved have got away with it.  As they always appear to do. It seems it’s the priests or brothers who have to ‘take one for the team.’

The IICSA also seem to settle for the rotten apple theory. Nothing about the laity here. https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents/16715/view/ERY000015.pdf.   

The similarities to organised Catholic crime in Ipswich in the 1960s is remarkable. The Catholic elite laity I knew certainly drove expensive cars and were professionals. I remember them as doctors, magistrates, engineers and so on. As a kid, I always thought they were ‘posh’ because they all seemed to wear sock suspenders and have different, ‘expensive’ blue and white striped underwear.

There are four organisations that need to be held to account as detailed in my past posts:

1)The De La Salle Order who still teach children today. And whose current head made a serious physical assault on a child, according to an old boy’s account.  

2)The Catholic Church through the Ipswich parishes of St Pancras and St Marks run in my era by three paedophile priests , two or whom are listed as Knights of St Columba.

3)St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, today, which has no connection with these historic crimes in Ipswich.  It has cut itself free of the DLS order, just as Ampleforth is cutting itself free from its Benedictine monk founders. But  today’s St Joseph’s still draws constantly on its proud past and achievements and proclaims its school is ‘in the La Sallian Tradition’. It has never acknowledged  the endless CSA crimes that were committed at St Joseph’s at least until the end of the 1980s. Crimes the college is fully aware of. That has to be put right.

4)The elite Laity in the shape of the Knights of St Columba, Ipswich province. Today’s Knights, who presumably include similar professionals such as doctors and magistrates, would surely repudiate the crimes of their predecessors. Once again those crimes must be acknowledged.

And the question – when did these likely transgenerational crimes stop? –  needs to be addressed by all of them.

The ‘sit tight and say nothing’ or respond with studied passive aggression is the usual approach used by the Catholic Church and it was remarked upon and criticised at the IICSA by lawyers for survivors. It goes almost without saying that this is the most likely response by the four organisations above. It’s served them well so far.

But consider this, gentlemen, If the bell can toll for Ampleforth, it can toll for you. If the greatest Catholic school in the land can be laid low by survivors, then you could be next.

If Ampleforth can go down, then there is hope for all Catholic survivors.

THE LAY ROLE IN COVERING UP ABUSE

For several years now I’ve been highlighting the dubious role of the Knights of St Columba in Ipswich (and elsewhere) and the Catholic Laity in general in the 1950s, 1960s and possibly beyond.

Validation for some of my recollections of the Catholic Laity comes from a surprising and authoritative source that is hard to dismiss:  The Catholic Weekly May 7 2020!

More details below with a link.

It’s an Australian newspaper, of course.  

By comparison, Catholics in the UK  will probably deny the truth even if an enquiry found beyond any reasonable doubt that the Laity not only covered up abuse but actually played a key role in it, which is my own recollection.

 But when priests, monks and brothers were provably abusing children on an organised and ‘industrial scale’, why on earth would perverts in the Laity not only cover up these crimes but also want ‘their share’?  Of course they would.  

That was certainly my experience and with Catholic women, too.  1950s Catholic women were never the Ladybird book submissive characters we are led to believe. Many were strong, ballsy, truly admirable women. And some were every bit as perverted as their male counterparts.  The myth that abuse is primarily a male vice and that women are only rarely perpetrators, usually as a result of male coercion, is pretty much debunked these days.

One abusive Catholic woman I had the misfortune to meet as a child was strongly associated with the influential Catholic Women’s League. That’s a matter of record.  I suspect the other women I encountered were CWL, too.  But they didn’t wear sashes like the Knights so they’re harder to identify beyond any reasonable doubt.  The CWL is very roughly the female equivalent of the Knights of  St Columba, but without the Masonic secrecy, and there were connections between members of the two organisations in Ipswich in my day. The CWL also seems to have had a more radical and reforming role which I can genuinely admire, even if that was not the case for all its Ipswich members in the 1950s who seemed to have used it as a cover for other activities.

If you look up the CWL on Wikipedia you will see a single photo of them showing their good works today in … St Pancras Church, Ipswich. This church was the hub of child abuse in my era as I’ve previously related. It’s surely just co-incidence that of all the hundreds of possible churches the Wikipedia entry should pick, they chose St Pancras, Ipswich.

And I’m sure the CWL are very different today and completely above reproach, just like all the other relevant organisations I mention, who endlessly congratulate themselves today on their entitlement and worthiness, with never a word of self-criticism. But none of them ever want to look at their past where a rather different story unfolds.

Anyway, back to this article from Catholic Oz. I’m so impressed the author had the courage to speak out. It doesn’t go as far as I’m going, but it’s a helluva good start. Especially in a Catholic newspaper. Bravo!

Let’s hope other Catholics have the courage to speak out and put their house in order.  It seems to be a unique Australian Catholic phenomena to tell the truth. After all, their academics and national reporters first highlighted that there were transgenerational Catholic Paedophile Rings in Oz. Including the Laity. Other Catholic Paedophile Rings have also been revealed in the States.  It would seem unlikely that the UK is different and my testimony and another survivor on this site show clear evidence of a ring.

My concern – and everyone’s concern – about such transgenerational rings is that they didn’t fade away with stricter protocols from the 1990s, but just went deeper underground.

I think that’s a valid concern which is ignored by the various organisations.

I fear in Catholic Britain the relevant Catholic organisations, schools and the Church will ignore, deny and lie until the very end. Then, when they are finally fetched, wring their hands with hypocritical horror and say ‘we never knew’.

This is specifically relevant to St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, The De La Salle Brothers, the Knights of St Columba, Ipswich and the East Anglian Catholic diocese. See my past posts.

Here are some highlights from the article by Doctor Philippa Martyr:

A difficult conversation – but necessary

If we are going to do real soul-searching about clergy sexual abuse, it’s time we turned the spotlight on to the laity and their role in enabling abusers.

This is a difficult conversation to begin. We are used to seeing ourselves as the good guys, and the solution, not the problem: that if we had lay-led parishes or diocesan offices, this would rid us of clergy abuse for good.

Unfortunately, history is not on our side. Cases of clergy sexual abuse in the English-speaking world reveal any number of compromised lay people who have helped with covering up and explaining away, either directly or indirectly.

The ‘lay clericalism’ of the insiders

They are usually wealthy and influential, or employed by the Church, or in useful professions.

There are longstanding networks of Catholic old boys and women everywhere: those who know each other from their private Catholic school, Catholic community social and welfare organisations, and countless other Catholic networks.

They all do good work – but the people in these organisations are human like everyone else. Sometimes networks can build up where people have information on each other that will never see the light of day for various reasons.

….

Time to face the truth

This is the ugly underside of our local vibrant Catholic community. Covering-up goes on all the time, for all sorts of things – and yes, lay people enable it. We just haven’t been brave enough to face this about ourselves yet.

LINK: http://www.catholicweekly.com.au/the-lay-role-in-covering-up-abuse/

I doubt Catholics in the UK will ever face the truth about themselves in this way and I doubt we will ever see a similar brave and honest article in the UK’s Catholic Herald.

But there are other ways of discovering the truth.  The dark past of the Catholic Laity in Ipswich – and I would imagine elsewhere –  will not remain hidden forever.

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.

KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA – THE SECRET RITUALS

The Knights of Columbus KOC  came first  (American)…. Then the Knights of St Columba KOSC (UK)… and the Knights of  St  Columbanus  KOSCL (Ireland)

All three have or had similar rituals. 

Detailed below are some of the KOC rituals. The KOSC would have been similar, but with American elements changed, like the secret serviceman.  I would assume they had a different role-playing character, maybe a police officer.

I haven’t included the preliminary material because it’s not directly relevant except for background.

Sorry if it’s a bit of a pain to read below but you’ll get the idea.

If you find it of interest, the FULL transcript is here.

 Full text of “Knights of Columbus: A complete ritual and history of the first three degrees, including all secret “work.” By a former member of the order.”

https://archive.org/stream/knightscolumbus/knightscolumbus_djvu.txt

I also have a KOSCL ritual which bears out the premise that these Knights are all drawing on each other. So it can’t be dismissed as ‘weird Americans’, much as I would love it to be!

The similarities between the three organizations is comprehensive. It’s far more than just the names.

Bear in mind the Knights are ‘covering themselves’ in this transcript by not doing anything actually illegal. Although it’s borderline. Even so, they are clearly messing with a candidate’s head.

Here’s this quote from the ritual

‘Break the spirit of all, if possible’,

Their skill at doing this has serious implications, particularly for grooming children.

And it is a VERY unhealthy ritual that warrants detailed analysis by someone better qualified than myself.

To me, it’s just sick games by arrogant rich Catholic businessmen and a precursor to other far worse rituals that, understandably, have never been written down.

Note the masks and robes. And the organ playing. It’s like something out of Eyes Wide Shut.  But the Ipswich KOSC  were after children. Imagine the effect on kids of even an adapted form of this nonsense. They were scary, truly evil bastards! I still find it hard to understand how I and others survived.  I guess kids have survived a lot worse.

One St J’s Old Boy has presented a strong case and evidence to me that the KOSC actually go back much earlier than their supposed origins date and I’d say he was probably right.

Some points I would add.

A similar ritual to this would have been used across Britain, linked to Catholic churches and to the Knights at least up to the mid-60s.

It’s obviously Masonic. According to Wikipedia the KOSC stopped these Masonic rituals when they modernized in the late 60s. I’m pretty certain I saw the masks and robes etc, but I very much doubt that I would have witnessed these exact rituals. These are for new members and I don’t think I was even considered as a Squire who would have had their own initiation rituals.   

Why wasn’t I a Squire?

 Because I was just another victim of their organization hunting for children in St Marks, Chantry Estate.  Currently I’ve counted up one Catholic girl (see the Darkest Knights) and six Catholic boys including myself who were ‘harvested’ by the Ipswich Knights of St Columba for paedophilia purposes on our council estate in the early 1960s.

I firmly believe that I and the other children on the Council Estate were seen as nothing more than ‘trailer trash’ to be used and abused.

That’s how these vile people saw the poor who they were supposedly helping with their charitable work.

Just like their fellow Knight of St Columba Savile who did so much for charity.

So there was no reason to make me a Squire.

I’m sure that was the primary purpose of the Knights’ presence, lurking at the back of the church – to check the children out and see who they could target next. When they were old enough. One or two children would clearly not be enough for them.  My figures are probably on the low side. The use of the large building on the border of of the council estate I’ve previously described – what I used to call the ‘Gingerbread House’ – would suggest this was quite a big operation.

I find this deeply upsetting and this post is dedicated to those children and their memory.

I hope they survived the disgusting and arrogant crimes of the Knights of St Columba.

If you are one of them and you’re reading this, do get in touch. I guarantee your anonymity. Or do tell someone in authority who may be able to help or advise you further. It was a long time ago, but I know just how triggering it can be. These scum still need exposing, despite the passage of time. The truth sets us free.

Finally:

Please don’t forget the Ipswich KOSC were intimately connected with St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, from its very conception, see earlier posts, which raises another whole raft of questions that need answering.

Someone, today, should answer for the crimes of their forefathers on whose traditions and organizations they have built and prospered.

Don’t either of these organizations today have anyone in them who has a conscience?

 It would seem not.

The secrecy – and the vows of silence – described in detail in these rituals continues to this day.

THIRD DEGREE — PREPARATION.

THE TEAM.

The personnel of the team which gives

this degree is as follows :

A Captain of the Guard in command

of the team.

A Decoy Priest. He wears the ordin

ary street dress of the priest, with Roman

collar and rabbi.

A Secret Service man incognito.

Enough initiated members to scatter

through the candidates and urge them to

action.

HOW ROBED.

Several robed assistants. The robe is

made of any black cloth, fitted with a

peaked cowl like a monk’s habit.

Several doctors attired as for the

operating room.

THE MEMBERS.

All members will wear black robes,

entirely covering their regular habit, and

will be masked.

The Grand Knight will appear as usual

his ribbon of office his only adornment.

In the center of the Council Chamber

will be a table with surgical instruments

and bandages.

A small room leading from the Cham-

ber will be made as warm as possible.

This room is known as the Hot Box or

the H. B.

When all is in readiness, the Grand

Knight will direct the Captain of the

Guard to send his men to their work.

The assistants go to the ante-room,

where the candidates are gathered.

Their work is to stir up the candidates

to anger if possible, using the decoy priest

as a last recourse.

THIRD DEGREE — FIRST SECTION

Line up the candidates in such a surly

manner that they will take offense and re-

fuse to go into line.

The line-up may be made according to

seniority or in any fashion the team may

judge efficient.

Often an old priest, if any priests are

to be initiated, may be called to head the

line. The assistants may try to confuse

and anger him by mispronouncing his

name or calling attention to his position.

Generally, it is not wise to push the priest

too-far. Laymen are better subjects, and

the dignity of the priesthood must be

preserved.

The best method to obtain results is

to treat the candidates as though they

were a crowd of school-boys, who needed

a severe censure for every move made. If

a candidate does not obey any order given

to him, such as to stand for a certain posi-

tion behind his fellow in line, to look

straight ahead, etc., it is good to send him

to the rear and hint that he may not be

allowed to go on.

Break the spirit of all, if possible, and

make all obey timidly the smallest com-

mand of the team members.

If the candidates rebel and refuse to go

on, the Captain of the Guard will be

called. He will enter, wearing any seem-

ingly disreputable robe, such as a bath

robe, which has been soaked in whiskey,

and giving the candidates the impression

that he is drunk. The decoy members

will artfully stimulate this suggestion.

The Captain of the Guard will brutally

inquire the cause of the trouble and when

he has listened to the charges of the can-

didates and the answers of his assistants,

he will deliver his judgment.

This is left to his ingenuity and histri-

onic skill. He will invite the candidates

As a last recourse to stir up the candi-

dates, the decoy priest will leave the line

and walk away.

The Captain of the Guard will angrily

question him :

“Why are you leaving your place?”

D. P. “I am sick. I want a glass of

water.”

C. G. “Go back to your place. No

one may leave his place for any considera-

tion.”

D. P. “But I am sick and I must have

a glass of water or I shall faint.”

C. G. “Faint then.”

He orders his assistants to take the de-

coy priest back by force if necessary.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service man

slips away and comes back with a glass

of water, which he hands to the decoy

priest. As the decoy priest takes it, the

Captain of the Guards leaps forward,

angrily, and knocks the glass from his

hand.

f the candidates have not yet gone be-

yond control, this always stirs them to

fury, and they break ranks in angry con-

fusion, struggling and shouting against

the insult to the priest.

The decoy members of the team skill-

fully urge the stronger-willed candidates

to shout defiance against the Captain of

the Guard and his assistants.

They suggest that he is drunk and that

it is an outrage — it is an insult to the

priesthood.

Many refuse to go on, and threaten to

break down the door and leave for good,

if they are not released. Some try to

catch the Captain of the Guard, but are

skillfully kept away by the decoys.

The candidates are to be aroused to the

last extreme of fury, but are to be handled

so that they cannot do anything.

He will see that the man is punished if

he is guilty. If they will be patient and

allow the work to go on, the case will be

taken care of in due time.

Then he goes back into the Council

Chamber. The decoy priest helps to calm

the candidates, by excusing the Captain

of the Guard on account of his condition.

He is not so much to be blamed because

he is drunk. Gradually the candidates

are calmed and go back into line.

THIRD DEGREE — SECOND SECTION.

They are all blindfolded. They put

their hands on shoulders. The guards

give the signal, the doors are opened, and

the candidates march into the Council

Chamber. The organ is playing. They

are marched around the room several

times and halted in a hollow square fac-

ing the center. The blinds arc removed.

The doctors are seated around the table

covered with surgical instruments and

writing paper. The Grand Knight sits

near the table.

The members of the Order, all covered

with black robes, stand behind the candi-

dates.

The chief surgeon stands up and calls

several of the candidates and decoys. The

guards lead them to the table.

Chief Surgeon — Before you may go

further, you must show that you are

worthy. You must submit to a test of

your strength that will satisfy the Order

that you are in earnest.

He calls on one of the decoys to take

the first test.

Chief Surgeon — I have here a copy of

the pledge which you must take to this

Order. I have also a dagger (picking up

from the table a dagger) . You will take

this dagger, bare your arm, prick your

veins and sign this pledge with your own

blood. Are you willing to take the test?

Decoy feigns reluctance, and plays that

he is afraid to take the test.

Chief Surgeon — You must take the test

or you cannot go on. Are you afraid of

a little blood? There are doctors here

who will see that you do not injure your-

self. Do you call yourself a man — afraid

of pricking a little vein?

Decoy — I cannot take such a pledge;

you have no right to ask it.

THIRD DEGREE— THIRD SECTION.

The organ plays, and the guards lead

the candidates to the Hot Box. When

they are all in, the door is fastened, and

masked guards are stationed inside and

outside of the door.

The Hot Box must be small enough to

make it difficult to move about easily

without jostling. The Captain of the

Guard is found inside and mingles with

the candidates. He is as surly as he was

in the ante-room, and the candidates feel

their anger rising against him.

The decoy priest soon complains of the

heat and asks to be let outside. The Cap-

tain of the Guard refuses to let him go.

They quarrel, and the decoy priest says

he is going to go out whether the Captain

of the Guard likes it or not.

The guards and decoys keep between

the decoy priest, the Captain and the can-

69

dictates. As the decoy priest starts to push

the Captain aside, the Captain slaps him

over the mouth.

The decoy priest reels from the blow

and blood seems to flow from his mouth.

He has had some red gum in his mouth,

which gives his sputum the appearance

of blood.

At once there is an uproar. Some of

the decoys shout to be let out, others

pound upon the door, and the candidates

are roused to fury, and try to reach the

Captain of the Guard. The inside and

outside guards and decoys must protect

him and see that the door is opened be-

fore it is broken down.

Then all rush out into the Council

Chamber, shouting and gesticulating.

They rush to the table, where the Grand

Knight and the doctors are sitting.

THIRD DEGREE — FOURTH SECTION.

If necessary, a decoy starts the part.

He stands on a chair and bitterly de-

nounces the whole procedure. They came

as gentlemen, as Catholics, to enter an

Order that has been approved by the

Church, and they are subjected to the in-

dignities of drunken brutes. Even the

sacred character of the priest himself is

not respected. God’s holy anointed is

brutally insulted and even struck by a

drunken wretch.

He demands that the Captain of the

Guard be summarily punished and

thrown out of the meeting and the Order,

and that the real work of the Order be

taken up.

As many as wish may make speeches.

The most hotheaded and devout generally

make the best talks. Some of the priests

make especially eloquent pleas against the

whole procedure, and many of the lay-

men are discovered to be eloquent plead-

ers, who never before had dared to speak

in public.

When all have finished, the Grand

Knight stands upon the chair and begs

them to be patient. He deprecates the

unfortunate occurrence. The man will

be tried at once. Seven men will be

picked from their number as a jury. The

charges will be made in due order, and

the verdict of the jury will be received as

final. Are they willing to abide by such

a procedure?

They answer yes.

The candidates are then told to sit

down in the chairs around the wall and

the jury is selected.

The secret service man is one of the

jurors.

The seven are called to the middle of

the chamber and lined up before the

table. Grand Knight — Gentlemen, you must

give up all your valuables, and have your

pockets entirely empty so that you may

hand nothing to one another during the

trial.

I must ask the Captain of the Guard to

go among you and receive all that you

have on your person.

The Captain, amidst wild glares and

murmurs, begins to take the things that

the jurors hand over to him. Some gen-

erally are very angry at him and show it

by their manner; some do not care to

hand him anything.

The secret service man, especially,

shows resentment, and at first refuses to

give up anything. He objects to the pro-

cedure. One of the guards comes up to

him and runs his hands over his clothes.

He resists, and the guard calls out that

he has a revolver in his pocket.

The Grand Knight asks him if it is

true that he has a concealed weapon. He

says that it is true. He is a secret service

man and always carries a revolver.

75

The Grand Knight — You must give

it up.

Secret Service Man — I will not give it

up. 1 am under orders to carry it and

never to allow it to pass from my posses-

sion.

The Grand Knight — Captain of the

Guard, you will see that this gentleman

gives up his weapon.

The Captain steps up to the secret serv-

ice man and asks him for the weapon.

Secret Service Man — You dirty brute,

I would not give it to you in any case.

The Captain catches hold of him and

76

tries to drag the gun from his pocket.

They struggle, and the guards close

around them.

Suddenly the revolver comes out in the

secret service man’s hand. Captain

catches the hand and pulls it down, and

then there is a flash and the sharp report

of the weapon. The Captain reels back-

ward, and blood pours out over his chest.

He falls into the arms of the guards.

77

The Captain of the Guard has a rubber

bag full of red fluid under his robe. This

is pierced by a knife just before the shot,

and gives the delusion of blood flowing

from his breast.

Confusion reigns in the chamber. The

priests rush to give the man absolution,

some of the guards hurry away the secret

service man, and the wounded Captain is

carried out into the ante-room and the

crowd is closed in the chamber.

Experience has shown that the body of

the candidates is always in a strange con-

dition of mind during this period of wait-

ing. The members go about and whisper

of the terrible accident, and hint of the

scandal if the newspapers find out about

the affair. If the secret service man dies,

it will be the end of the Knights of Co-

lumbus.

The dramatic climax is worked up nat-

urally until all the candidates are con-

sumed with anxiety to know the worst.

After ten or fifteen minutes the door of

the ante-room is opened, and the Grand

79

Knight walks into the chamber, followed

by the doctors, the secret service man, and

a well-dressed, clean looking man, whom

all recognize as the Captain of the Guard,

and the decoy priest.

The Grand Knight takes the middle of

the floor, with the others around him, and

begins to speak:

Grand Knight — Gentlemen and Broth-

ers : When I have given the solution of

the strange adventures which you have

gone through this day, you will learn the

most telling lesson ever devised to teach

you that things are not always what they

seem.

He turns to the decoy priest, and pulls

off his collar and rabbi, saying:

Grand Knight — Our good friend and

brother here is not a priest at all. He

bore all the outward marks, but the inner

seal of the sacrament of Orders has never

been imprinted upon his soul. He was

playing a part, and that he played it well,

I know. For I can see upon the faces of

all of you, the expression of relief which

comes to those who awake from a terrible

dream and find that it was only a dream.

And this good brother (turning to the

secret service man and taking him by the

hand) is not a desperate criminal, with

the blood of his fellow upon his head.

Our old friend, the Captain of the Guard,

stands here beaming upon us. A short

time past, you wished almost to tear him

to pieces. You thought him a brute; you

believed him a sacrilegious wretch who

dared to raise his hand against the Lord’s

anointed. It was a delusion. The good

Captain and the good pseudo-father had

conspired together to deceive you. See

how they love each other! (The two

shake hands heartily.)

Brothers, take this lesson to heart, and

bear it with you in all your activities of

life. Judge not by appearances. Things

may not be what they seem. Suspend your

judgment until there can be no mistake.

Then act. Remember this lesson. Cherish

it in your hearts.

You have seen that men are led. Un-

der certain conditions men will do things

that they never would do if they were

alone or stopped to realize what their acts

may lead to.

We asked you to take this dagger and

let your own blood and write with your

own blood your acceptance of our Order.

We had no right to ask you to do such a

thing. If you had insisted upon taking

the pledge, you would have discovered

that this dagger is a trick also. You could

not have hurt yourselves. It is filled with

red fluid, and when you pushed it against

your arm, the red fluid would have flowed

out and looked like blood (demonstrates

with dagger). But it would have been

wrong in intention anyway. If it had

been a real dagger, some zealous brother

would be sure to cut himself badly.

Learn the lesson of your rights as an

individual. You are responsible before

your conscience to God alone. No one

has any right to ask you to do an act which

is evil, no matter for what purpose. Re-

member this lesson.

n dramatic form for you on this occasion.

You were many. The guards were few.

Yet they were able to control you from

the ante-room to the climax you have just

witnessed. Why? They were an organ-

ized unit and knew what they were doing.

You were unorganized and did not know

what to do. If at any moment, one or

two of you had taken the lead and had

gathered the forces of your body about

you, you would have controlled and

beaten the guards. Without leaders you

were simply a mob, expending a great

deal of energy, but accomplishing noth-

ing.

Extend this lesson to your daily life.

Study and work to be leaders of men.

The world is sick because there are not

enough in the active life of today who

can visualize the meaning of life for man-

kind. As Knights of Columbus, you must

be leaders. You are sons of the old

Mother Church, who is the divinely ap-

pointed mother of men.

Study her; learn her ideals, her God-

given means of saving the world, and as

laymen be missionaries in every walk of

life. We must assist our clergy in their

laborious work of saving souls. They are

our spiritual guides and leaders. We

must become leaders of the world, under

their direction, and bring to this sad earth

the kingdom of God and the brotherhood

of man. All must be united in one grand,

glorious band of humanity under the one

mother church.

” ‘I now solemnly pledge myself to

keep sacred the secrets of this Order; to

be a loyal and true son of the Church, and

a faithful member of the Knights of Co-

lumbus. I will always be ruled by

knightly courtesy in my relations with

my fellow men. I pledge myself to God,

to His Holy Church, to my country, to

mankind, to be always a true Knight.

Amen.’

“It is well, brothers. I shall now de-

clare this Council adjourned.”

The secret work is made a part of the

regular council meeting for the benefit of

new members, usually at the first meeting

following the initiation.

It is generally demonstrated by the

Grand Knight, under the head of New

Business.

The new members are led by the Cap-

tain of the Guard to the Grand Knight’s

chair.

The Grand Knight addresses them:

“Brothers, as duly accredited members

of the Knights of Columbus, it is your

right and your duty to become acquainted

with the secret work of the Order.

“The password is important. It ad-

mits you to the Council Chamber. It

must be kept a secret from all outsiders.

89

“The word is changed once a year. For

the present year it is: (One password

was ‘Knights of Columbus shall rule/)

“When you come to a council meeting,

attract the attention of the Outside Guard.

Whisper in his ear the first half of the

password. He will admit you into the

ante-room. Rap upon the entrance of the

Council Chamber. The Inside Guard

will open the wicket and you will whisper

into his ear the last half of the password.

He will then admit you to the Council

Chamber. You will walk to the center

of the chamber and salute the Captain of

the Guard with the usual military salute.

When he returns the salute, you may take

your place among the members of the

council.

“The Grip : The grip is given by shak-

ing hands in the ordinary way, and giv-

90

ing two distinct pressures with all the fin-

gers. This is answered by one sharp pres-

sure. The question which goes with the

grip is, What council do you belong to?’

“If any brother is in distress or needs

aid to accomplish any work, generally in

a crowd, he will call out, ‘Are there any

good men here?’ If there are any Knights

of Columbus present, they will answer,

{ Yes I 1 and come to his assistance.

“The training in the Third Degree will

make it easy for a few to accomplish won-

ders even in a large crowd.

“Brothers, you are now duly accredited

members of the Knight? of Columbus.

You are initiated into the secvets of the

Order. You may come in and go out as

children of one family. I charge you to

be faithful to the Order; true to your

pledge. Never reveal our secrets to out-

siders.

“As Catholics you have all the sanc-

tions of the Church to keep you faithful.

We have the approval and blessing of the

91

Church. The Pope himself, our Most

Holy Father, has given us his Apostolic

benediction. If then — which may God

forbid! — anyone is tempted to reveal our

secrets, let him think well before he acts.

Such a one would surely incur the curse

of God. His name would become a by-

word and a reproach among all honorable

men. He would be shunned and cursed

by all his former fellows, the conscience

of a guilty wretch who has sold his soul,

would sooner or later come home to him,

to chastise him day and night until he

made his peace with God and did true

penance for his crime.

“It is impossible to imagine a brother

who could be guilty of such an act. He

must first become a renegade and an un-

believer, and join himself to the forces of

the devil, who prowls about the world

seeking whom he may devour.

“He deserves the reception which the

devil himself received from God — to be

cast into eternal torture. Only the Infi-

nite Mercy of God can save him from

such a fate. Think well, then, brothers,

The Dark Network

The Dark Network is a term used by academics to describe organised crime such as sex trafficking, Mafia, drug rings, youth gangs and so forth.

It is also the term used by an authoritative thesis study of organised Catholic abuse in Victoria, Australia.  It is not an isolated or maverick study; it is  further confirmed by other related sources and also independent Australian sources which state clearly that abuse in the  Australian Catholic Church was organised and endemic.

It’s remarkable that such a major study should feature on the internet – it’s only been up there since early 2020.  It has wider and serious implications for the Church in other countries, including Britain and Ireland. Therefore – if you find the study of interest – I recommend you download it, in case it mysteriously disappears.

It is relevant to the whole subject of abuse at St Joseph’s, Ipswich, the Catholic priests in Ipswich, the laity, notably the Knights of St Columba of Ipswich Province, and their wives – as I’ve detailed in past posts.  The Catholic structure in Australia and in Ipswich have enough similarities for this Dark Network to be worth looking at.  Thus I have posted the testimony of a St Joseph’s Old Boy that Father Jolly tape recorded confessions. Here is a similar account in the Australian thesis:

Searson’s sexualised conduct included having children sit on his knee inconfession, having them kneel between his knees during confession, taperecording ‘hot’ confessions, cuddling girls and having girls do handstands in front of him in their dresses.

It has always been my contention that there was organised Catholic abuse in Ipswich when I was growing up in the 1960s. Namely that it was premeditated, planned and highly organised.

It was a way of life.

 Thus all three priests I came in contact with were abusers and two, probably three, were Knights of St Columba. If it was just the odd ‘rogue priest’, as Catholics desperately still like to claim, that would be most unlikely.

Initially, my view was very much a maverick opinion which I voiced with some caution, because the prevailing view is still the ‘rotten apple’ theory of Catholic abuse. I didn’t want my evidence and the evidence of other St Joseph’s  Old Boys to be seen and dismissed as wild conspiracy theories.  But today there are now enough statements on my site to amount to empirical evidence of organised Catholic abuse.  For example,how Brother Solomon was moved around schools, and his disturbing connection with the equally disturbing Joe Homan (ex De La Salle brother) charity.  Homan (previously covered on this site) may have been ex DLS, but – as an Old Boy recently reminded me – there were still appeals in St Pancras, Ipswich, to raise money to buy him a tractor.  Everything was, and probably still is, interconnected.

 In particular, apart from my own testimony, there’s a recent detailed testimony of a survivor relating to Brother James, Father Jolly and how the Catholic authorities covered up a major crime. Plus a further private testimony I have from a survivor which describes in comprehensive and disturbing detail how organised laity cover-ups works in the Catholic Church.

In short, there was a similar Dark Network of organised Catholic crime in  Ipswich in the 1960s.

The Australian report confirms for the first time, as far as I’m aware, that such criminal Networks of organised clerical sexual abuse exist within the Catholic Church.  This should encourage survivors to speak more openly about their experiences without fear of being dismissed as fantasists. Unless family ties, tradition, and fear of the consequences still enforces the rule of omerta?

First, the other evidence from Australia which shows there was ,and probably still, is highly organised Catholic abuse.

There’s Kristina Keneally in The Guardian who highlights the response of the police to what she calls  ‘Catholic extremism’.

I posed this question on Twitter last week: should we call this Catholic extremism? One of the police officers who blew the whistle on the sexual abuse of children in the Australian Catholic church, Peter Fox, responded “I’d call it organised crime.” He’s right. But it is more than that. It is a warped, extreme and deeply flawed interpretation of the Catholic faith that led to such crimes.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/13/lets-call-child-sexual-abuse-in-the-church-what-it-is-catholic-extremism

I discuss this extreme interpretation of Catholicism later in this post and how it endorses and encourages abuse.

Then there’s The Conversation by Michael Salter, Lecturer in Criminology, Western Sydney University.

He asks if it’s rogue priests or a Culture of  abuse? He answers his question as follows:

The report of the South Australian Mullighan Inquiry into children in state care was published in 2008. In the report, former state wards provided detailed accounts of groups of staff sexually abusing children in institutions and taking them to what Commissioner Mullighan described as “paedophile parties”. Priests, nuns and care staff were implicated. Like so many other inquiries of this nature, the report hinted at a degree of sexual abuse that has not received full public recognition.

https://theconversation.com/rogue-priests-or-a-culture-of-abuse-investigating-paedophilia-in-the-catholic-church-10700

There’s also this statement made in Australian parliament.

Here is one person’s story which, I warn senators before I begin, is very disturbing. This particular woman told the inquiry that, as a young child and soon after her mother died, she had been placed in care at a Catholic church-run institution which held around 130 children in the mid to late 1950s. She alleges that a man, who she believes may have been a priest, started to sexually assault her soon after her arrival at the orphanage. She said that a nun took her to a room on the ground floor where the man put her face down on a table, lifted her dress, removed her undergarments and sexually assaulted her. He allegedly told her that she was worthless, that she deserved to be treated in this way and that she should never tell anyone because no-one would ever believe her. She said that she bled badly. The man returned her to the nun, who then put her to bed. This woman told the inquiry that this abuse occurred possibly twice a week over some time and would follow a similar pattern. Sometimes the nun who took her to the man would beat her and she would try to run away only to be taken back again. This woman did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time because she thought that she would not be believed. She recalled that she felt: ‘So lost, so lonely, so sad, so worthless. I cried every day. I cried myself to sleep every night. I used to go off into the toilet any time and I would just sob.’

And finally the thesis itself.  It’s backed up, of course, with further sources.

An exploration of the existence of clergy child sexual abuse Dark Networks within the Catholic Church.

Signed 17th September 2019.

By Sally Muytjens BJus(Hons). Doctor of Philosophy. School of Justice. Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology

It’s an excellent document, much of it concerned with statistics to bear out her premise that there is a Catholic Dark Network and showing its similarities to other ‘traditional’, recognised criminal organisations.

Chapter 5 introduction has a good summary.

The chapter begins by evidencing ties between clergy perpetrators of CSA (child sexual abuse)  to show that rather than committing CSA on an individual level these DN (Dark network) actors (perpetrators) are connected on an organisational level. Furthermore, qualitative data shows these ties being utilised to support and share DN resources with fellow clergy DN actors. The data chapter provides examples of clergy DN resources and how these are shared between clergy DN actors. Clergy DN resources include victims, victim information, shared knowledge for the facilitation of CSA and silencing of victims. The data reveals common patterns for committing CSA and for silencing victims.

As I was recruited for a seminary and there was a very punitive response from the Catholic authorities  when I refused to go, this next piece was significant and confirms my recollections are correct.  As a fourteen year old boy, I was aware of the criminal nature of the Catholic Network and I wanted nothing more to do with it.

Recruitment is an important aspect of maintaining network numbers… 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).

Her thesis cannot possibly cover crimes by the Catholic laity and female Catholic abuse as well. But both are relevant in my view. Namely the Knights of St Columba and their wives whom I’ve previously written about.  Here’s what Ms Muytjens said on this subject:

These crimes were not limited to Victoria and did extend beyond Australia’s borders, but the boundaries for this research were set within Victoria. These crimes, and the crime of CSA particularly, were not limited to clergy and were also committed by nuns and Catholic laity. The scope of this research was limited by the enormity of criminal acts committed within the Catholic church as boundaries had to be set to analyse a manageable data set.

Ms Muytjens later gives an example of where  Catholic laity were involved in organised Catholic sexual abuse. It’s from a survivor’s testimony:

I would have been about 16 or 17 years old. We stayed in a hotel and I stayed in the same room as Fr Pickering and he continued to abuse me. I remember one night during this trip, we went to a local hotel for dinner where Fr Pickering met up with someone, who I think was called Fr Gavin, and three other men. I don’t remember Fr Gavin’s last name, but he was quite young, about 30 years old. I don’t know who the three other men were, they were not priests, but my impression was that they were involved in the church in some way. All the men had boys with them around the same age as me. I was made to sit on the kids’ table while the men sat on a different table (RCICA 2015g, 46).

It’s an important quote because thus far the congregation have largely managed to escape scrutiny. It needs more survivors to come forward.  Australia, of course, has its  own equivalent of the Knights of St Columba.

Later in the thesis (Page 166), there’s a record of a clerical death threat made to a survivor. I had several such threats made to me because I would not stay silent. Here’s the quote:

Br Best, the school principal, also teaching Grade 6, called Paul to his office. Paul was aware of Br Best’s fondness for belting the boys, the nervous child entered and was told by Best: “It’s all right. Just want to talk to you” (BRA 2017). Best then sexually penetrated the boy. Soon afterwards, Paul told his own class teacher, Fitzgerald, what Best had done. Fitzgerald responded by hitting him and then asked the boy again what happened and when Paul repeated the claim he was struck again. After being asked a third time, Paul replied: “Nothing happened”. (BRA 2017). Paul could not bring himself to tell his parents, so he approached a Catholic priest who responded with a “backhander” and threatened his life, saying, ‘If you tell anyone what happened I will f***ing kill you’. (BRA 2017) 

The relatively modern, rather than historic, nature of Catholic Dark Network cover-ups is demonstrated by the following incident from 2003.  The Grey Network that she refers to is the Catholic Network that doesn’t commit abuse but supports it.

Br Julian Fox was appointed as the head of the Salesian Order in Australia, supervising Salesian schools in several States (BRA ndn).  The Victorian police wanted to interview Fox, but in 2003 the church gave him a job in Rome as a web-master on the Salesians’ worldwide website (Family and Community Development Committee 2012b, 7). Fox used Rome as his base, but he travelled the world (Family and Community Development Committee 2012b, 7). This transfer of Fox to Rome by the grey network showed the grey network not only protecting this DN actor and obstructing a police investigation but placing Fox in a position which provided significant opportunities to acquire new DN resources such as victims, new DN actors, safe places to hide clergy subject to complaints and connections to other DN actors globally. The promotion of DN interests by the grey network was also apparent in the role promotion of known clergy perpetrators of CSA.

As Cardinal Pell has recently won his appeal, it’s relevant to quote this from the thesis:

I told George (Pell)  I had been abused by Gerald. His first reaction was, “Oh, right”.There was no shock. His tone then became terse relatively quickly and I could sense anger in his voice. I started to get a sense he was insinuating things about my story and I felt like I’d done something wrong. George then began totalk of my growing family and my need to take care of their needs. He mentioned things such as, I may soon have to buy a car or a house for my family. I doremember with clarity the last three lines we spoke together:

Me: ‘Excuse me, George, what the fuck are you talking about?’ George said, ‘Iwant to know what it will take to keep you quiet’. My response was, ‘Fuck youGeorge, and everything you stand for’. I hung up the phone. (RCICA 2015d, 73)

The thesis also details how important judicial members of the Catholic laity are involved in cover-ups. The private testimony I have from a St J’s Old Boy says something very similar.  And there’s my own experience, too. I was warned off by a Catholic magistrate (A Knight) and told to keep my mouth shut as I’ve related previously.  

At Gladstone Park, Fr Baker befriended a local family who had a son. Bakersexually abused this boy on trips away and in the boy’s bedroom. The victim’s father complained about Baker to the chairman of the parish school board,Brian Cosgriff, who was also a magistrate (BRA nda). Cosgriff consulted another Catholic layman, Brendan Murphy, who was a barrister. These two men of law neglected to notify the police and, instead, merely notified ArchbishopFrank Little (BRA nda). Archbishop Little’s secretary, Monsignor Peter Connors, who later became the bishop of Ballarat, visited the victim’s family and convinced them to keep the matter secret (BRA nda).

This evidence highlights the fact that the DN were also protected by certain members of the Catholic laity. It is significant that a magistrate and a barrister considered clergy CSA to be a matter for the Catholic Church to deal with rather than a legal matter.

It would be reasonable to assume the Catholic magistrate and barrister in question were Catholic Knights.  In two similar British incidents (my own and another survivor’s) they were Knights.

That’s as far as I’ve analysed the thesis. I must follow up on her sources where I can. Australians are to be congratulated for their courageous search for truth about the full extent and nature of Catholic abuse in Oz. By comparison, Catholic Britain is a long and shameful way behind and seems to have little interest in the subject.

The Dark Network that this thesis so superbly describes has numerous disturbing implications. The one that springs immediately to mind is – when did it stop?  There is no direct cut-off point in the thesis, but it starts to move out of historic abuse into current times with the example I’ve indicated and others.

Previously with historic abuse, the Catholic Church has been able to say:  the monks, brothers and priests who abused are now all dead or in their 80s, so it’s all in the past and today there are stringent protocols in place to ensure it can never happen again. So can we please just shut up, forget the whole unpleasant business, and look to the future?

But a Catholic Dark Network is different. It’s not dependant on individuals who die or retire as the thesis demonstrates.  It’s transgenerational.

You might assume that with such a spotlight on the Catholic Church today, that Networks would have disbanded in the last decade or so.  But this is not the case with other forms of organised crime, even though the spotlight is equally on them. The Mafia, sex trafficking, drugs rings and so on continue to this day, albeit more secretively, cautiously and cleverly than in previous eras.

So there is no reason to suppose that a Catholic Dark Network is any different. Yes, there are more stringent checks today but that’s never stopped criminals in the past from finding ways around checks.  And the Church’s wilful and provable delaying tactics and attempts to minimise and excuse its past crimes do not inspire me with any confidence. Its various  organisations’ silence about abuse at St Joseph’s College and in Catholic Ipswich is also a matter of concern.   Furthermore, in the current age of austerity, there will be more vulnerable children than ever before. 

They will be new targets for Catholic predators. And they will find new ways of reaching them. Doubtless they already have.

I’ve had one anecdotal confirmation from a police officer, who investigated paedophile crimes, that Catholic clerical abuse is still current rather than historic. I’ve also come across two incidents on the web that are thus already in the public domain. They also relate to the current era and I’ll refer to them in a future post. They’re not empirical evidence of Dark Networking, but they are a matter of concern.

 As several reports have shown, the Church has been riddled with sexual abuse for most of its two thousand years existence.  The underlying reason for this is because, underneath their paedophile and sadistic behaviour, there is also a belief system, a credo. That’s why it’s been tolerated. Priests, monks, brothers and laity do not form part of an organised Dark Network just to find an outlet for their depravity or sexual frustrations. There is an excuse, a rationale, a logic, a reasoning, a twisted theology behind their crimes. This ‘justifies’ their crimes. That’s something I can personally confirm from my own childhood encounters with these perverts.

It’s rather more than a depraved priest excusing his conduct with some pseudo-spiritual nonsense as he abuses a young child. And it’s rather less than some elaborate,  conspiratorial, esoteric,  masonic belief system.  Although it draws on  both and it has elements of both.

In fact it’s more down to earth and actually rather familiar to most of us. It’s a private interpretation and development of the Church’s public teaching on the weakness and evil of the Flesh, how to defeat the Flesh, and how to truly imitate Christ and his suffering. It’s all there, hiding in plain sight. I’ve covered some of the ground already – see ‘The Greatest Betrayal’ – but I’ll return to it in a future post.

The thesis also doesn’t cover what goes on in the criminal minds of Catholic Dark Networkers, it’s outside her terms of reference.

Significantly, few academics who relate and analyse the whole story of Clerical abuse go there either.  It’s like it’s off limits, even though it should be centre stage. It’s an aspect I’ll return to.

What Catholic abusers say, what they think, how they excuse their behaviour, how they explain what they are doing to their victims, is highly pertinent.  And yet, officially, all we have is a few pathetic  ‘rotten apple’ excuses and a few tawdry, pseudo-spiritual excuses which can be quickly dismissed.  Yet all organised criminals have a  sophisticated rationale for their behaviour – and putting Catholic abuse down to the frustrations of celibacy, traumatic childhood, the structure of the Church etc, as some authors claim, is deliberately going down a useful detour, a calculated cul- de-sac to distract us from the truth.  

‘If we can just get the celibacy/screening/structure right, everything will be fine in the Church in the future.’

It’s a classic, questionable academic technique which I’m very familiar with.  It uses that well-tried and successful ploy: ‘Don’t look over here – look over there.’ I need to return to this in a future post.

The authors concerned know it’s a detour, but desperately need to believe the Church can’t be all bad and so blind themselves to or filter out the truth.  That’s a gentle explanation for their conduct. There are other explanations.

Fuelling their work, consciously or unconsciously, is that ongoing premise, ‘The Church’s good name must be protected at all costs.’

These individuals are the loyal opposition whose work gives the fake impression that something is being said and something is being done. At last.

By comparison, Ms Muytjens courageously  ‘tells it like it is’ and exposes the true nature of the Catholic Dark Network.

 It’s a rare and refreshing contrast to and challenge to academia and the establishment’s calculated damage limitation exercises to protect the Catholic Church.