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-

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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“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

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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 DARKEST KNIGHTS

Below are images of Jimmy Savile’s funeral.

You may be wondering why am I writing about Savile when this site primarily focuses on the teachers at my school St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, and clerical abusers in Ipswich from the 1960s through to the 1980s.

But regular readers  will know that the Ipswich Knights of St Columba  were part of the Catholic ring of paedophiles in the 1960s and, quite possibly, later decades. They were also intimately associated with St Joseph’s.

And it seems likely that Savile was a Knight of St Columba. So bear with me while I go over the background here.

If you’re a regular reader you will know there is an independent testimony – see an earlier post –  that identifies at least one sexual abuser who was listed as an Ipswich Knight of St Columba.  Namely Father Jolly, the school chaplain, who liked to tape record children’s confessions so he could listen to their ‘impure thoughts’.

Plus there’s my own testimony.

In the independent testimony, by another St Joseph’s pupil, he makes it clear he was the subject of a complex cover up, following Brother James’s violent and very serious sexual assault on him.  Furthermore there are clear indications  in his testimony that there was a sophisticated system by the Knights already in place to deal with problems of this kind.  From his testimony it would seem that  such assaults had happened before, not just in Ipswich and had been covered up.

There’s also a private testimony sent to me by a St Joseph’s Old Boy which explains in great detail how the Knights were operators behind the scenes, the good that they did, just how much power they still have, and he warns me not to ‘piss them off too much or they could bring me much pain.’

I don’t think it can be any worse than the considerable pain they brought me as a child so bring it on, Knights.

I also related in an earlier post how one Knight of St Columba in Colchester had, just a few years ago, used his position to abuse children and received a very stiff prison sentence.  Yet it was barely mentioned in the local press and never made the national media!

So that’s the relevance to Savile, because you can see, officiating at his funeral in Leeds and surrounding the pall bearers, are what appears to be members of the Knights of St Columba.

I say ‘appears’ to be, because there is no official confirmation from the Knights that they are the individuals with the Masonic badges around their necks.   Furthermore, there appears to be a media black-out on the subject, which begs the question:

Why?

After all, no one cares that the marines who carried Savile’s coffin once held him in high regard. It’s reasonable to assume that they were duped just like everyone else.

Savile was, of course, a devoted Catholic and papal knight and it’s also reasonable to assume that, with such a large turn-out of Knights of St Columba officiating at his funeral, he himself was a member.

I know some researchers have explored the possibility that Savile was also a ritual abuser. This is usually reported as ‘wild Satanic rituals’ and I personally have no point of view on it, either way.  But, with Savile, anything is possible.

However, the Knights of St Columba, in my era, definitely had secret rituals which are detailed, colourful, Masonic and even a matter of record on Wikipedia.  The Ipswich Knights rituals at which I was present  were not wild, they were not Satanic and, in fact, these  gentlemen, so full of their own smug self-worth – solicitors, teachers, barristers, surveyors, merchants etc, the cream of  1960s Ipswich society, pillars of the establishment, ended up singing the National Anthem.  It’s why I dislike the Anthem even to this day because it presses old buttons.

More about the Ipswich Knights later, but first – back to Savile.

The photos raises the question: were his associates also Knights? I’m thinking of devout Catholic and ice cream parlour king, Peter Jaconelli, and games arcade boss, Jimmy Corrigan. The Knights of St Columba, traditionally, recruited their members from Catholic businessmen.

According to the North Yorks Enquirer, a source I’ve always found to be authoritative:

Like SAVILE and JACONELLI, (Cardinal) HUME was a Freemason, of high degree, and with infinite loyalty to fellow brothers.

It is now conceded that Jaconelli was a child-abuser and a serial rapist and that he offended openly in Scarborough in joint enterprise with Jimmy Savile.

This particular offence was dealt with by the DPP in 1972, the same year that Savile trafficked patients from Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital to Scarborough to meet Mayor Peter Jaconelli and Jimmy Corrigan – another Scarborough character who is known to have enjoyed group sessions with Savile – where they were given money and moved into one of Jaconelli’s ice-cream parlours from which all members of the public had been excluded.

I understand it’s possible to be a Freemason and a Catholic Knight. 

When I first started researching for validation of my memories that confused me for a while. Because there was an overlap between the Ipswich Masons and the Ipswich Knights.  They shared resources, facilities (sport and social clubs) and victims.  At first I thought I must be imagining it, but further time consuming research confirmed it. More on that another time.

Meanwhile, do note – Cardinal Hume, Britain’s one time top Catholic was a Freemason.

 As I’ve related previously, the Knights and the Masons rituals are/were remarkably similar, no matter how far the Knights try to play that down these days.

The facts speak otherwise – and not just the Knights of St Columba, but also the Knights of  St Columbanus (Ireland)  and Columbus (USA).  

I have acres of research on all these gentlemen which bears this out.

 Indeed several commentators and the source of one of the photo links  thinks the individuals officiating at Savile’s funeral are Freemasons.  I’m pretty certain they’re Knights.  I base this assumption on looking at photos of the Leeds KOSC who have the same yellow and cream insignia.

People involved with Savile fall roughly into four camps:

1.Organisations where children and vulnerable people were at risk. Savile’s links to such organisations– we are assured – have been thoroughly investigated. E.G.The BBC.  And that would seem like the right thing to do.  

Although the new mainstream media reporters  revealing the truth on youtube etc (not the prehistoric, censored, mainstream media of yestercentury)  might disagree about the BBC. I’m thinking of the brilliant and courageous journalism of reporters like Anna Brees, for instance.

2. Links to irrelevant organisations were – rightly – not investigated.  E.G.The marines carrying his coffin.  As I’ve said, it’s hardly their fault they got suckered by this creep.

3. Links to Mrs Thatcher, the Royal Family and other important people in government  and the establishment in the UK and abroad who Savile was closely connected with. 

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, ‘Britain’s top cleric’ , for example.  Here’s a photo of him with Savile. The Cardinal resigned ‘amid accusations of inappropriate acts towards his fellow priests.’

Although these individuals have been mentioned and discussed on various sites, they’re mainly  ‘off limits’.  Certainly there is no investigation of their connection with Savile, even though this is a matter of legitimate public concern. After all, why on Earth did Mrs Thatcher and Prince Charles  spend so much time with someone like Savile?

Other researchers have asked these questions and I doubt they’ll ever get the truth although we can all guess. Especially in the post-Epstein era.

But there’s a fourth category that I would say is even more ‘off limits’ than the Royals.

4. The Knights of St Columba.

They seem to be in a unique class of their own.

You won’t find any reference to the Knights and Savile anywhere on the web.

These photos at his funeral are not commented on anywhere.

You won’t find anything negative about the Knights anywhere (apart from one newspaper account of a possible financial fraud case that’s quite old now).

Except on my site.

Which is why you may want to download this post just in case it mysteriously disappears.

Someone has very methodically cleaned the web of anything negative about the KOSC or ensured it was never posted in the first place.  That Colchester case about a Knight of St Columba  I mentioned, for instance.

But the Knights are involved with  children and vulnerable people and, I understand, do lots of charitable work to this day.  Just as they did in my era. Given that papal knight Savile was an indefatigable charity worker, it would be reasonable to assume that he must have helped his local Knights of St Columba at some stage in his career.

Why not acknowledge the fact? It’s unfortunate, but hardly damning. Why be so secretive about the connection? If the whole country was fooled by Savile, why would the Knights be any exception?  No one would hold it against them.  

I certainly wouldn’t, despite what the KOSC Ipswich did to me and other children as a kid. I’ll happily tell myself that was a long time ago and they’ve cleaned up their act and, anyway, it was just the local province.  

There’s a kind of damage limitation exercise I use to try and put it out of my mind.  It goes something like this: ‘It was awful, but it was all a long time ago and St Joseph’s and the Knights must have changed their ways since. And probably the Knights have nothing more to do with the College now. Children are no longer at risk, so does it matter? Why not let it go?’

But I can’t. Damn it.

Because such strange secrecy is a cause for concern today.

And because I know what an earlier generation of Knights of St Columba did to me and to other children.

So I’ll describe some of it just now. I’ll keep it brief because this is already a long blog and I don’t want to get too graphic.  

The Ipswich Knights – in the 1960s anyway – went after the poor and the vulnerable.  We were prey. So my mother was a widow with mental health issues and poor as a church mouse and yet – miraculously – she paid for my brother and I to go to St Joseph’s when neither of us passed the eleven plus.  How? As my mother’s sister told me in recent years, very carefully, aware that she needed to keep the lid on it,  ‘the Church would help’.  E.G. The Knights.  But why? And there’s more which bears it out.  Some of which I’ve related before.

But there’s no such thing as a free lunch and my school fees had to be paid one way or another. That’s certainly how my mother put it to me.

So was I the only victim? Of course not. It’s an elaborate system they must have used on several occasions, at least.  At our church, and also living on the council estate was  a Polish Catholic widow whose daughter was the same age as me, twelve. She was a pupil at the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Woodbridge Rd, Ipswich. I think she had passed her eleven-plus.

I’ve no idea what they promised the mother or daughter. If you’re poor, and they certainly were, it’s not hard to find a way. And when those cowardly Knights of St Columba are dealing with widows, and there’s no man to rightly knock the shit out of them, you can see just how it worked.

I remember there was some preliminary meeting between the two widows with suitable euphemisms and cover-stories employed.  It was also designed as an opportunity for us twelve-years old to be ‘introduced’.  It’s sick, but there it is.

That’s what real poverty can do, when there are predators waiting to pounce.

And the Knights had a woman involved – a wife of one of the top Knights. A very important legal eagle. So she acted as a facilitator and fake chaperone to provide some phoney reassurance, although I think everyone knew what was really going on. If you’re a Catholic, it’s all okay as long as you don’t actually spell it all out.

Basically this woman must have been a 1960s version of Ghislaine Maxwell. I think I mentioned her before in an earlier post. I’ve looked at her background – she was a refugee from Nazi Vienna in the 1930s, roughly the same decadent era as the original novel for Eyes Wide Shut, which was clearly based on real-life.  That’s supposition, of course, but comments in her obituary about her eccentric character bear out my own recollections of her.

So we’re both around 12, it’s 1961, and we’re taken to this big, very old, detached house, right on the edge of Chantry council estate. It had recently changed its original business purpose as the firm had moved elsewhere in Ipswich. It may even have been half empty at that time. And I assume the Knights rented part of it out for the night. With their business connections that would be easy.

Father Jolly drove me there because I had a habit of getting the hell out when it was time to ‘pay my school fees’. And cycling off and hiding until it was safe to return.

I called it the Gingerbread House partly because it had Dutch gables. I’ve just googled Gingerbread Houses and several of the bigger ones look absolutely identical to it.  So if you’re an Ipswich local from my era, and you can be bothered, you can probably figure out where it is.  But I also called it the Gingerbread House because I saw the two of us as Innocents, Hansel and Gretel, Babes in the Wood.  And that wife of the Knight as the Wicked Abusive Witch.  Drawing on that archetypal fairy story helped me to come through the odious experience.

I have a partial memory block on what exactly happened inside. I recall enough to understand and that’s it. And thank God. I don’t really want to remember the details and I don’t think it’s appropriate to write about them anyway. It was the kind of thing these pervert Catholic Knights got off on. It almost certainly had a pseudo-religious ritual element which I’d really rather not dwell on, and that’s all we need to know.

I wish I could say it was a one-off, but I fear it was not. I believe I stopped it after a second visit, but that may or may not be wish fulfilment on my part, because I just wanted the whole damn thing to stop.

Afterwards, Father Jolly drove me just part of the way home and left me to walk the rest. He wanted to get home and I’d served my purpose.

But my strongest memory is the following Sunday. I was an altar boy  at St Marks – the Catholic church on Chantry Estate.  As I’ve mentioned before, all the middle class Catholics  (with the exception of one wealthy family) congregated at the back of the Church. Some of them were Knights. One of them was a teacher at St Joseph’s. There was a definite ‘them and us’, a very noticeable apartheid system, they pointedly kept their distance from the poor on whom some of them, at least, were preying.  It was clearly a case of droit de seigneur and I felt that strongly at the time.

In recent times Epstein behaved in a similar way, preying on the poor, and I’m sure there are many others. .

Anyway, I recall checking out the congregation as Father Jolly gave his sermon.  I looked at the convent girl and I just couldn’t stop staring at her.  Anyone who knows me today will know I’m lousy at hiding how I feel. My face is a total give away – I’d make a lousy conman –  and I imagine I was even worse when I was 12 years old.

God knows what the congregation made of it; doubtless they found a way to dismiss it as ‘that wretched gingerheaded altar boy is ogling that poor girl.’

But I can assure you there was nothing dubious about the look I gave her.  It was a look of absolute shock. I can still feel it right now as I relive that moment.

It was saying ‘What the hell happened to us?’ Or maybe ‘What did they do to us?’

I can’t be precise. Only the shock is there.

I have shed copious tears every time I focus on that moment. It’s why I have to write this blog post.

After a while, as  the sermon ended and she put her hands together in prayer, she very discreetly touched the side of her nose with one finger in the classic ‘don’t be nosey’ gesture.

But it meant rather more to me.

It meant: ‘Let it go’.

And I did.

For a lifetime.

But now it’s time the light of truth was shone on these filth.  

And if today’s Ipswich Knights of St Columba think it’s nothing to do with them, because, hey, lucky for them, there’s no records and no proof, and yadda, yadda, yadda – the usual defensive crap, as recommended by their ungodly, money-orientated insurers – and remain, as always, silent on the subject – not to mention today’s St Joseph’s regime –well…

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

St Joseph’s and the Knights of St Columba

I’ve written about the Knights on recent posts, but there’s now been some valuable feedback from St Joseph’s Old Boys which I’ll summarise below. They have asked to remain anonymous for reasons which I understand and respect.

But first, a reprise on what I’ve written previously, indicating confirming sources where they are available, and filling in the gaps where they are important.  And explaining more about who these Knights really were. So I can present a complete picture of what happened and how this post should bring me closure.

The Ipswich Knights played an important, acknowledged and valuable financial role in establishing St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, back in the 1940s and are referred to frequently with the school in the decades that followed.  

In the early 1960s I was sexually abused by two Knights of St Columba: Canon Burrows and Father Jolly, Chaplain to St Joseph’s, both of whom are listed as Knights of the Ipswich Province. It’s likely that another abuser, Father Wace, was also an Ipswich Knight, although he’s not on the list, which is far from complete. 

Other Knights were involved, too, in particular two Knights – who are on the list – and who had a close connection to my family. They’re not named because I need to check details on their death certificates to ensure I am 100% correct they are the right people. The current virus emergency has delayed me there.

Regarding Father Jolly: One Old Boy has already related how this school Chaplain was a sexual abuser. When boys confessed to impure thoughts, he would drill down, wanting intimate details. 

A source has also described to me how Jolly broke the seal of the confessional, revealing what he had heard from schoolboy penitents. This source found a tape recorder in the priest’s side of the confessional and it became clear – from subsequent events – that Jolly was taping boys’ confessions and why. It was an attempt to keep tabs on boys’ allegations of sexual abuse and who intended to go to the authorities. 

This shocks but doesn’t surprise me. Other Old Boys will, I’m sure, remember how this Knight of St Columba was notorious for gabbling his way through the Mass at record high speed. That always disturbed me as an altar boy at St Marks where he was also the parish priest. It felt like he didn’t believe a word of what he was saying. So how could we believe?

How this relates to the religious fanaticism of Jolly’s own father (police were called to one religious meeting by his dad’s violent behaviour), Jolly’s role as a Knight of St Columba, and his hard drinking, described to me by another Old Boy, I have no idea. But a picture emerges of a very unpleasant individual. This was the man who would take me sailing on his yacht – where he began grooming me – and later drove me to Knights of St Columba private events.

There I witnessed their secret rituals, which are a matter of record during my era, acknowledged by the Knights themselves. See Wikipedia. There are also transcripts available of these rituals by similar Catholic Knights. They are clearly psychologically abusive. I also witnessed an unrecorded ritual, which denigrated women, focussing on Mary Magdalene and her role as a prostitute. There was a real life stand-in.  And there were other ‘social’ activities, too, which I became a part of.

I remember, in particular, these private events concluded with the Loyal Toast and the National Anthem. Or rather I remember the rage I felt at what had been done to me.  So much so that – when I was 18 – I organised a sit down protest during the National Anthem at the premiere of Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle at Ipswich theatre. One of my friends was in the cast and a  group of us had front row seats.

I did this because I was forced to suppress my overwhelming rage, not allowed to direct it where it truly belonged: at the Knights. And so I had to find a rather ridiculous outlet for it.  For the same reason. I’m a card-carrying member of the anti-monarchy organisation, Republic, today. Everything the Knights stood for, I needed – and still need – to oppose. That’s how powerful the anger is. It doesn’t go away, as perhaps the Knights hoped, it just becomes diverted in other directions. The alternative is you drink or drug yourself to block it out, as I’ve seen several Old Boys do.  Those have never been options for me. The anger actually gives me energy. I’ve used it to turn lead into gold as you’ll see.

But, as I’ve described in an earlier post, when I was returning with Father Jolly from such an event, I was consumed with such anger that I wanted to take a sledge-hammer and smash the dashboard of his Hillman Minx car. Because I couldn’t attack a Man of God, a Knight of St Columba.

I was being prepared for the priesthood, which would give me a free education until I was 18 when I would go to a seminary. This was funded directly or indirectly by the Knights. My widowed mother was a relatively passive figure in all this, content to leave matters of discipline to the Knights who would know better how to deal with a rebellious teenager. Around the age of 14, the Knights decided I was in ‘moral danger’ because I was caught kissing a girl at the Catholic youth club run by the Knights. And because I was mixing with adult bad company. It was a classic teenager delinquent reaction to the Knights and what was happening to me. They were bad – so I got involved with another organisation that was even worse. The Knights therefore decided to send me to a junior seminary at the age of 15 where I would be safe – except from yet more predatory priests, of course.

I had the medical to enter, but then, aware of what was waiting for me, I panicked and said I wasn’t going.

The Knights then put pressure on me to go, in particular through a Knight who was lined up to be my new full-time Stepdad. Perhaps because he had his own private agenda and just wanted to get rid of me.

I’d had previous experience of a Knight who was my unofficial part-time Stepdad (he was married) and was still an ongoing part of my life, trying to control me.  For my own good, of course. As that part-time Stepdad was psychologically and sexually abusive, I was unhappy at the prospect of yet another damn Knight – cut from the same cloth – adding to, not replacing him. Becoming an intimate member of my family. He was a stern disciplinarian with a sadistic edge and – although he showed a kinder, gentler side to me at this preliminary stage, before he got his feet under the table – I could see right through him. 

I decided it was never, ever going to happen. 

This was the era before Childline existed.  I remember wondering what to do and looking through the telephone directory under ‘Youth’ – to see if there was any organisation I could turn to, but I couldn’t find one. I recall my brother saying it was too dangerous and the Knights were too powerful.  He said it would be wise to drop the whole thing.  But that’s not in my nature.  I’d put up with enough shit.

I reported the Knights to the police. 

Subsequent memories of what happened are still a little hazy. As you can imagine, these events are complex with lots of people becoming involved and lots of to-ing and fro-ing, However, my reporting them to the police is 100% accurate. Given the era, the police did nothing and the Knights, inevitably, found out. Possibly through a Masonic connection. 

The Knights retaliated by withdrawing my funding and I had to leave St Joseph’s at 15, before taking my O Levels, and became an errand boy, delivering letters for R and W Paul, riding a trade bike around the docks.

But as a consequence, plans for me to have Stepdad Number Two didn’t happen. So that was some satisfaction.

The Knights also insisted on my future silence or ‘I would rue the day I was born’. I took the threat seriously and they finally shut me up.

Until now.

But my adolescent anger with them was so intense it couldn’t always be successfully buried, as I’ve previously related. It was diverted into all kinds of strange places.  So it would be released if I encountered people who even dressed the same way as a typical Knight. Thus if I had dealings with people who were dressed in the traditional Dunn and Co., gentlemen’s outfitter’s style (cavalry twill trousers, brown brogues and sports jacket), it would immediately stir up that buried fury.

And it was not over. Part-time Stepdad Number One hadn’t finished with me yet. He was still around and, remarkably, attempted to continue what he mistakenly saw as a benign influence on my young life.

The Knights had a Masonic role in finding people work. So my brother, when he left St Joseph’s after passing his O Levels, got a job as a conveyancing clerk at a local solicitors. His future in the legal profession – had he chosen to pursue it – was assured. At my brother’s job interview the solicitor confirmed as much.

The ‘prodigal son’ was not so lucky.

Instead, Stepdad– using his similar Masonic connections – found me a series of humiliating, lowly and even dubious jobs. I deliberately screwed up on all four jobs. I say  ‘dubious’ because one office job had another sexual role in an area ‘upstairs’. 

Stepdad’s idea was ‘bring me to my senses’.  That was his ‘paternal’ technique. Normally he would go to Grimwade’s refined tea-rooms with my mother; but he took me to the roughest café in Ipswich – the Milk Bar in the Cattle Market . He warned me, ‘This is all you’ll be good for, this is where you’ll end up, Patrick, if you don’t pull your socks up.’ (My socks are still down around my ankles.)

His plan was to make that junior seminary seem so much more attractive. The seminary’s door was still open for me and I could still change my mind, even at the eleventh hour.

Instead, I went through his jobs in fairly rapid succession. I posted R and W Paul’s letters down a drain. I cut lettuces on a farm and was sacked after two weeks for being completely useless. Then I declined to be part of the ‘extra’ office services on offer ‘upstairs’. And finally I told a factory foreman that cleaning the works toilet was not part of my job description – and what he could do with it.

Afterwards, I found my own job, left home at 16 and – finally free from Stepdad’s influence – I began to blossom and haven’t looked back since. No Masonic influence was needed. My various books and comic series are successful, many translated into all European languages, with two made into films (Judge Dredd and Accident Man).  Anyone familiar with my fiercely counterculture stories will see that it was the Knights that inspired me. Even the anti-war saga Charley’s War, featuring a supposedly stupid, ‘useless’ boy soldier was based on how my Stepdad saw me. 

My work includes at least six full-blown sagas about science fiction Knights. One of them is a best-selling series in France – Requiem, Vampire Knight.  Another features an evil Grand Master Space Knight called Torquemada. He was so popular with readers, he was regularly voted ‘Britain’s most evil comic villain’. His catchphrase was ‘There is much good work to be done’ (usually slaughtering aliens). His infamous slogan ‘Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!’ even ended up daubed on the Berlin Wall. You can appreciate why I coined that mocking slogan. (It’s also the title of my autobiography).

That boy’s anger had to go somewhere. And it seems only just and right that what the Knights did should come back to them. With compound interest.

For years I had thought my experience of the Knights was a strange one-off and I was reluctant to share my story for this reason.  Who would believe such a bizarre story that comes close to rivalling the science fiction I write for a living?

Confirmation was vital before I could relate what had happened in this comprehensive detail.

So I’m delighted that I’ve now got that confirmation from more than one other Old Boy. In particular, one source has described to me in incontrovertible and considerable detail just how the Knights operated. It’s very briefly summarised below, but I have his full account. That means a lot to me and, I’m sure, to other survivors reading this.  We need to be believed. And our experiences can hardly be unique. Whilst the Knights have helped many, especially if they ‘Behaved’, there were also casualties like myself.

It also took time to make sense of my experience with the Knights because of its complexity. And to find other evidence that supported my recollections.  Even now there are further elements I haven’t included, thus far, because it is so involved.

The role of the wives of the Knights, for example. They were never passive wallpaper and simply dutiful spouses in this otherwise all-male scenario. They did so much more than cleaning the church and organizing the flowers rota. And the Knights private events required some female arrangements in those male-dominated times.  Certain things – like cooking, for instance, the Knights were hardly going to do themselves. At least one woman was very kind and helpful to me. Others played a different role, which I’ll return to another time.

The woman in question was a teacher and wife of Stepfather Number One. Presumably at his request, she coached both my brother and I to pass the relevant exams to get into St Joseph’s. So I’ll always be grateful for her assistance. 

I’m sure there were many other acts of kindness the Knights individually and collectively carried out. I understand they did – and continue to do – a lot of good in the Catholic community.  I once asked my elderly aunt about them and she recalled them as ‘local businessmen who do so much good work for charity.’ In her 1950s/1960s era, the businessmen had to have a certain financial status to join the Knights, she said. It’s a pity that my experience of them was far from ‘good work’.

So now comes the corroboration.

One Old Boy wrote to me last week about the Knights: ‘They were bad blokes. I had a crossing point with them. It may have been one of dad’s drinking friends. He was a doctor who used to beat his wife and keep her constantly pregnant. They lived not far from Oak Hill.’ (St Joseph’s preparatory school).

About five Old Boys have said to me previously that they recalled, via their dads’ experiences or possible enlistment, that the Knights were strange, dangerous and not to be messed with.  I have their quotes.

These were Old Boys were all St Joseph’s boarders, so – when they were telling me about their fathers’ opinions – I assumed they are referring to Knights from other provinces rather than the Ipswich province.

Another St. Joseph’s Old Boy related to me how – in the same era as myself – the Knights saved him from very serious abuse by the De La Salle Brothers. So he sees them as a force for good and speaks highly of them and their great kindness to him. 

My thanks to him for his time and his honesty in sharing his experiences. It cannot have been easy.

But I cannot agree with his conclusion. Because, thanks to the intervention of these Knights, a De La Salle Brother was not prosecuted for serious sexual assault. He continued teaching and, almost certainly, continued abusing. 

The same Old Boy also related that the Knights then used their behind-the-scenes influence to insist on significant changes being made to discipline at St Joseph’s, so the same thing could never happen again.  So they were, once again, a force for good. 

But it did happen again.  Despite these supposed safeguards, serious sexual abuse continued through the 1970s and 1980s, as can be seen from numerous past posts and comments on my blog.

It could be argued that this was hardly the Knights’ fault. That they did their best. But then you have to also consider their role where I was concerned, and Knight Jolly taping confessions. They were always part of the problem, so I’m not convinced they were ever part of the solution.

Even though they helped the Old Boy in question, it was still a cover-up. 

Furthermore, given the nature of the arrangement that was made with him and his account of the circumstances – which I won’t post on this blog without his permission – it amounted to a criminal conspiracy between the Ipswich Knights and the De La Salle Brothers of St Joseph’s to suppress the truth.

I don’t say that lightly. There is no other possible way to interpret what was described to me.

There are further implications. It indicates that, in an emergency, where things were getting ‘out of hand’, the Knights would come in as experienced troubleshooters to protect the good name of the Church and the College, and save both from scandal. And – from the survivor’s account – this was clearly not a one-off event.

There are indications this had happened before elsewhere in the Catholic community.  His account ties in with my own experience, including the financial aspect.

This is new territory, which deviates from the official media version of the Catholic Abuse scandals. I don’t think any of us were aware that the Knights had (have?) an éminence grise role behind the scenes at St Joseph’s and presumably other Catholic schools and churches.

The media continues to present the scandals as one-offs, one rotten apple in the barrel event, localised and very separate from the Catholic congregation who, supposedly, have no idea what is going on. If you think about it, that is naïve. Priests and monks were intimately involved with the laity, as my own account demonstrates.

Occasionally we hear of several monks at a school being caught, but the suggestion is always that priests – even Cardinal Pell – acted alone and the congregation and his fellow priests had no idea. Really? In this context the priests are almost scapegoats to take the rap for others.

Another St Joseph’s survivor – from more recent times – sums it up well:

‘I don’t think it’s beyond reason to assume there was /still is a co-ordinated effort to keep all this stuff buried in the past. However, having buried my own experiences there without even realising for far too long, I’m convinced now this was not simply “the culture at that time” but that DLS were part of a self-perpetuating system of perversion (unless, like many survivors, we chose not to sign up) that extended to and attracted lay teaching staff with an unhealthy interest in kids. I could name two.’

Lay teaching staff ‘with an unhealthy interest in kids’ – that was my experience, too. One of them was a Knight of St Columba.

And ‘Self-perpetuating’ is also important. I’m aware from two separate sources that abuse can be trans-generational. I’m aware, for instance, that the Knights’ books of ‘unfinished business’ is trans-generational, passed onto descendants. So it raises questions about just what is happening today which I’ll come back to another time.

And how, when and if there was a subsequent cut-off/separation between the Knights and St Joseph’s. I have no idea. Perhaps they’d like to tell us?

The final element I’ve received from an Old Boy recently is the Masonic role of the Knights, past and present. I understand they always deny they are or were Masons, but it’s pretty obvious to everybody and does it really matter? Who cares? Thus a colleague who had a high-ranking position in the Freemasons has sent me details of the Freemasons and the Catholic Knights (in this case the Irish Knights of St Columbanus) and – side by side – their rituals are pretty much identical.

Personally, I’m indifferent – especially if they have truly stopped being a secret society as they claim. As long as they’re helping and not harming people.

The Old Boy related how the Knights helped him in a number of useful ways throughout his life. I’m rather envious. Good luck to him.

However, this source also pointed out – just as other Old Boys have previously done – that it’s really not wise to cross the Knights in the way I have been doing. He described a number of  unpleasant and negative scenarios to bear this out and none of them came as a surprise to me; indeed I’d previously considered them and just how I would deal with them. Where that’s concerned, I’ll keep my powder dry.

He summed it up with: ‘If you piss them off too much they will bring you pain.’

Thank you. I appreciate the warning.

Anger aside, I should now say how I felt about the Knights as human beings. After all, I probably knew them better than most Old Boys because I was observing them at close quarters for over ten years. They were my world.

If you’re surprised by just how many Knights were involved in my life, and how much abuse took place, then you should consider that many Catholic boys lived in a closed society where everyone around them has the same belief system. It was like being in a Scientology cult or being a Mormon. Especially as I had a widowed mother who believed what they were doing was for my own good

Firstly, I know there must have been good Knights who did good deeds and I have endlessly racked my brains to recall them, without success. Yes, they paid directly or indirectly for my education and my brother’s. But the price we paid, as I’ve described, was far too high.  I’d rather have gone to Borstal.

The only good deed I can think of is a family event at the Coop Hall that was organized by the Knights. I can see right now two Knights  smiling as we won the raffle – a ‘giant’ box of delicious groceries which was most welcome. I remember being astonished because my family never won anything, but my mother explained, smiling, that the raffle was fixed so we would win the groceries.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the only thing the Knights would fix in the years ahead. Otherwise, there’s nothing. 

Some Knights were ‘foot soldiers’ : ‘jobsworths’, doing what they were told without question; others aspired to status and position; others already had that status but needed further recognition from the masses. I’ve described them in a previous post – huddled in an elite group at the back of St Marks, noticeably separate to us ‘council house’ Catholics.  But all of these Knights were damaged souls in some way and that doesn’t escape a child’s eagle eyes, even if he doesn’t know at the time quite what it means.

There was the desperate sadness of one Knight who had recently lost his wife. Concealed beneath his harsh exterior, he had that lonely aura of the lone and lost male about him. I seriously challenged him once and I could sense his momentary reluctance to respond to my provocation, but he still had to follow orders and deal with me.

Then there was the inflated ego of another who had the confidence and the Irish Blarney of a used car dealer and believed he could fix everything and everybody. Particularly me.  But you could sense from his washed-out, yet alcohol tinged face and slight, dapper appearance and self-important walk that there was something desperately insecure about him. He may have called himself a Knight, but, inside, he was just a little Corporal.

I don’t think there’s anymore to be said about Father Jolly. What I’ve described is revolting enough.  And I feel similarly about the esteemed Knight Canon Burrows who called me his little ‘Sheriff’ and liked to show me conjuring tricks. ‘Now you see it, now you don’t.’ Let’s just say at primary school, around age 6,  what happened when I saw another kid’s open mouth and her lips firmly wrapped around the mouth of a bottle of school milk. As it jogged up and down, I wanted to vomit. I called it ‘Boggy’s milk.’

And finally there were a few Knights who were ‘Other’. They were never damaged. They always had dark souls. Dark Knights. I remember them at the ceremony about Mary Magdalene, sneering at the stand-in.  I’ll only focus on one here.

As a bored altar boy, endlessly scanning the congregation during the sermon and communion, I could  see how this Dark Knight’s two gentle, lightly-built sons – with their unusually severe, short back and sides haircuts – were scared shitless by their sturdily built, similarly short back and sides, ultra-conservative dad.  Why, I don’t know, but they were so afraid of him.  I remember thinking – ‘Things are bad, but at least he’s not my dad.’

When he read me the riot act, he did it in that forceful way that men sometimes use to talk to women. ‘Mansplaining’. I had to shut up and listen and he would explain to me just how it was.

I can still see him getting out his large cheque book and a beautiful, marbled, classic, gold-nibbed Parker pen. He told me meaningfully how he could change my future with just a stroke of his pen. It was up to me. Maybe he was the treasurer. But his words were a blur. All I can recall was that huge pen I saw as his symbol of office, his magician’s wand, that he could wave and make everything all right again.  I don’t remember any more. I was disassociating, focusing on an inanimate object as he Mansplained to me.

There was more where he’s concerned. But that’s enough for now. He was a Dark Knight, all right.

So where do I go from here? Today?

First, if as a 15 year-old-boy, I was brave and/or stupid enough to go to the police about the Knights, I’m hardly likely to keep my mouth shut now.  But my motive is not revenge, it’s answering that angry boy’s demand for Justice. It’s no good saying, as one distinguished Old Boy said to me, that St Joseph’s is very different today. I know it is. But the Truth about its terrible past has yet to come out.  And it has to.

Secondly, I will continue to post and support the testimonies of other survivors of St Joseph’s and the Knights. That should be valuable for them and for me. Not least where perpetrators are still alive and where action can be taken.

This blog and this post is also a record that will be useful for a researcher should these dark areas of the Catholic Church ever be investigated now or in the future. You may say that’s unlikely. After reading the survivor’s account of the Knights’ awesome, behind-the-scenes Masonic power back in the 1960s  (which I’ve only briefly covered here), I’d be inclined to agree with you. But consider this. Back in the 1970s and 1980s it was unthinkable for priests to be called out as abusers. No one would have believed they were capable of such things. Then, in the 1990s, suddenly everything changed. Not even the Knights here or in the States, not even Bill Donahue himself, could stop the truth coming out.   

But it’s only part of  the truth.  There is still a long, long way to go. So it’s not impossible that the complete truth  – the organized, endemic abuse, involving Priests, Brothers, Monks, the Knights and other key members of the Congregation –  will one day be exposed in a similar way.

Finally, this is a journey of healing for me. I’ve found time and time again that revealing the Truth really gives me closure. Where the Knights are concerned, I’m hoping that I’m finally approaching journey’s end. Currently, I’ve two or three more posts  on them and then it’s over as far as I’m concerned. And those posts are very much an ‘epilogue’ to this account.

I also have a further post to do on my own awful experience with the serial sexual abuser Brother James, which didn’t directly involve the Knights, although they played a lesser role in sweeping what happened under the carpet. As always, it was to protect the good name of St Joseph’s and the Church at the expense of  young children. I was 12 at the time.

That’s all I have currently outstanding. Fingers crossed that’s it. I hope so – because I’ve far better things to do with my time than wade through this sewer of disgusting memories

So that boy’s anger now needs to return to where it rightfully belongs: to the Knights. It’s their turn to silently swallow it, just as they made him silently swallow it all those years ago.

Or maybe not so silently. That’s up to them.

My writing about this publicly is a direct message to St Joseph’s College, the De La Salle Brothers, the Catholic Church and the Knights of St Columba. Because it’s impossible to know where one’s responsibility ends and another begins. They all were – and possibly still are – so closely enmeshed. Today, they still bear the same names and continue in the same spiritual traditions of my childhood. I’m aware there’s a trans-generational continuum as they celebrate the positive achievements of their pasts, and thus they must bear some responsibility, or at the very least acknowledgement, for the negative behavior of their now deceased predecessors.  A negative past they continually try to distance themselves from or deny, despite all the overwhelming evidence.

By addressing them collectively I’m bypassing the Catholic Church’s usual, well-rehearsed, time-wasting, Pontius Pilate routine of passing the buck when it’s accused of abuse.  My message to them is:

‘Here: This is your shit. You own it. You sort it out.  It’s disgusting and you should all be ashamed. Including those who hid the shit. Or deny the shit even exists. Or ignore it and claim it’s nothing to do with them. Shame on every single one of you. I’m not carrying your shit any longer. You have it back now. You deal with it. It’s not mine.’

Anyway who is spiritual– as the parties above believe they are – will know very well that such a publically witnessed statement has a powerful spiritual as well as psychological impact on everyone concerned. It has the same power and energy that Catholics usually refer to as ‘the power of prayer’. I recommend other survivors try it. It works.

And that’s it. I’m done.

I’ll leave them to their manure.

EVIDENCE OF ORGANISED CATHOLIC ABUSE

A reader wrote back in response to my post THE IMPORTANCE OF FIGHTING BACK. He asked for his reply to be kept private so I will respect that and call him Lee (not his real name).

Lee asked about evidence for organised abuse and the ‘Hidden Theology’ of the Church so I thought I’d share my thoughts and limited knowledge on the subject here.

The evidence that convinces me abuse is/was organised is still extensive but is a work in progress. If I cross-reference everything and quote sources and provide web links it will take me at least a day.

In the unlikely event that anyone is seriously interested in following this up, I will do so.

Anywhere, here is my summary of the evidence:

1) My own personal experience. IMHO it’s astonishing that the only three priests I knew during my Catholic upbringing were all abusers. That’s a helluva co-incidence. I’ve given outline details of the three priests in Fighting Back and could provide comprehensive accounts on all three should it ever become necessary. 

2) I think the ‘one rotten apple in the barrel theory’ is therefore unlikely and most people have surely realised by now it’s so much bigger. The staggering clerical abuse figures bear this out.

But this also begs a question – what about the congregation? That’s the elephant in the room that’s never talked about – yet.

Some congregations – hopefully the majority – wouldn’t have known. Some would have known and kept quiet. Some would have known and dealt with the priests or reported them. (I’m aware of one such example in my era)

But some members of the congregation would have participated.

Because that’s human nature. Why would it be just the priests and monks? That really doesn’t make sense if you stop and think about it. But I’m only aware of one confirmed account of organised Catholic congregation abuse. It went to court and I have the details. Just one. I did a comprehensive Google search and couldn’t find any more.

3) Now we come to the Knights who are, of course, part of the Congregation. A brief introduction:

There are the British Knights of St Columba (KOSC), the Irish Knights of St Columbanus (KOSCB) and the American Knights of Columbus (KOC). There are variations for each country, but in over-arching terms they can be treated as the same. They all belong to the same ‘parent’ group. They all strongly deny they’re masonic but that’s how most people would describe them then and now. A comparison of masonic and Catholic Knight rituals would convince most of us.

The KOC is still very secretive. Knights and Squires – young men – still have to swear a vow of secrecy about what goes on. Still. (I can quote from their official site)

The KOSC were secretive, masonic and ritualistic when I was growing up. They also had Squires in my era. This stopped towards the end of the 60s. Too late for me, unfortunately. Their original ritual nature is confirmed on Wikipedia.

I have a copy of the KOC rituals and it can be read on line. And I have some confirming similar written details of the KOSCB. So it’s reasonable to conclude all three very roughly used the same rituals.

These rituals are very unhealthy psychologically, they’re colourful, scary and use creepy role play (‘Trick’ blood etc.) They’re also tedious to read. It’s probably why they’ve never been investigated – they’re bloody boring to go through. The Knights enthusiastically admit they’re trying to screw with the heads of new entrants. And that’s utterly wrong! It’s the kind of stuff I would associate with cults like Scientology.

And, of course, that’s just the rituals in print. It’s reasonable to assume with such secretive organisations that there would be more that will always be out of the public gaze.

One of the three priest abusers I’ve mentioned is listed on an incomplete list of dead KOSC members as a Knight. The fanatically religious father of a second priest abuser is also there as a Knight. It’s reasonable to think his son was a Knight, too. Plus there’s my recollections. The third abuser priest is not listed, but given his wealthy and elitist background it’s also fair to assume he, too, was a Knight.

I’m currently researching two other relevant Knights. I have to check the info on their death certificates to ensure I’ve found the right guys before I talk publicly about them. I have their names and the dates of their deaths.  Let’s call them Knight X and Knight Y for now.

There’s also a couple of other relevant Knights, but they don’t seem as important. One of them was a convert, an ex-Anglo-Catholic, and he had long conversations with me about the gay Cardinal Newman, the Oxford Movement etc. Being a bookworm as a kid, I was very impressed. I guess that was his grooming technique: to make me feel important and perhaps to rationalise his crimes. I’m reminded of Evelyn Waugh’s famous quote – ‘Beware of Anglo-Catholics, they’re all sodomites.’ 

4) But ’Follow the money’ is usually the best way to get to the bottom of things. My expensive college fees, and my brother’s, were paid for ‘By the Church’. That’s a total of 8 years school fees (we both failed the eleven plus). Three sources directly or indirectly confirm our fees were paid for ‘By the Church’. Why? The Church doesn’t usually do that. Why did two boys qualify? We were a poor council house family, so there was nowhere else the money could have come from.

My belief is that the Knights were the Church agency that paid the fees. Knight X and Knight Y were close friends of the family. Knight X was a part-time stepdad. And later, Knight Y had ambitions in that direction which did not make me happy. One bullying abusive step dad was more than enough.

The KOSC may have paid all the fees or Knight X may have topped it up. He may have been the KOSC treasurer. He certainly had a lot of clout. A lot of it around my head. So when I started fighting back – as kids do around age 14 or 15, and saying ‘I want this to stop’– that’s when the money mysteriously dried up and I was out on my ear at age 15, my St Joseph’s College days suddenly at an abrupt end.

The KOSC was intimately connected with St Joseph’s. It was the Knights who helped finance the actual purchase of St J’s Birkfield. The news clippings I have state that it was the Knights’ long and difficult financial negotiations that resulted in the school building and grounds being purchased from the R and W Paul family.

Subsequently, the KOSC maintained their close link to St Js, and are mentioned in other news clippings – such as the St J’s School Sports Day.

So you can see how I came to my conclusions: Follow the money.

5) The Knights back in my era have been described to me by four Old Boys as ‘strange’, ‘weird’ and ‘sinister’.

‘They were too weird even for my dad’ was how one St J’s Old Boy put it to me.

It was because of these comments that I finally decided to look into them as my memories of these Knights had been bugging me for at least two decades.

Back then, the Knights were definitely the financial elite of the Congregation. You had to have money to join. As an altar boy, I witnessed this first-hand.

In St Marks, our newly-built council estate church, this elite group was gathered in a special reserved praying, or rather preying, group at the back, and they never mixed with us council estate-Catholics. They included a lawyer, a coroner, a magistrate, and a teacher from St J’s and his missus. With one exception (someone who had sons at St J’s), the elite never mingled amongst the other working-class worshippers.

Why were they exhibiting this very obvious apartheid? And why would the regular Congregation tolerate it? I knew that this elite group had previously attended the established St Pancras church in Ipswich town centre. So why slum it on a council estate? The obvious answer is for power. They got a kick out of lording it over the poor.  They needed people to look up to them.

I’m reminded again of Evelyn Waugh, another elite Catholic who agonised over sharing his upper-class religion with Irish Catholics, and is on record as describing them as ‘Bog Catholics.’ I think the Ipswich elite felt the same way about us ‘Council House Catholics’.

We were prey. Well, I was anyway. A prime example of droit de seigneur.

Back to the Knights. I’m only aware of one ritual that I witnessed. It wasn’t Eyes Wide Shut, but it was still ritualistic, unpleasant and misogynistic. I was around 13, so I doubt I really understood the finer details. But it was certainly anti-women and there was a rationale that was explained to me. It wasn’t an orgy, and I was just an onlooker, thankfully. In fact, I recall it as a kind of pseudo-serious ceremony. It seemed to focus on sneering at a stand-in for Mary Magdalene… You can possibly fill in the dots yourself. 

The rest is a bit vague at this point in time, so I’m not going to speculate or try to reconstruct it. Not least because their successors will deny it. Well, they would, wouldn’t they?

Anyway, it was an example of the Inner Theology. Sorry I can’t be more precise, it was a very long time ago. However, I do remember them clearly really banging on about the duty of Knights and how they’re all there for each other. Very masonic. And  if I stayed the course,  my golden future would be ensured with them. Which, if you’re a kid on a council estate, is great news. Bring on the funny handshakes!

But if I didn’t stay the course…

I just wanted the bastards to stop – especially as I got older. To hell with the rewards, I didn’t care. I really wanted to smash the bloody Hillman Minx car of that Knight priest. I still do. Because I could never hit a priest. He’s a Man of God. 

Making it stop. That’s all that mattered.

I don’t think there was any formal and ritualistic vow of silence, which is surprising. Maybe they just took my silence for granted. My guess is I was never a formal Squire.

I know I was told in no uncertain terms to be silent on the subject from my mother, one of the priests, and his fellow Knights.

But that’s not me. I have a long and provable history of whistleblowing that continues to this day, and on this blog, of course. I think it was my defence mechanism so I didn’t become a victim. It was the nearest I could get to fighting back.  And at the age of 14, I would have been full of teenage defiance. So their various threats to shut me up got them nowhere.

Finally, one of them – I believe it was the magistrate – looked me sternly in the eye and gravely warned me, ‘If you do not keep silent, you will rue the day you were born.’

For me, that was ‘middle-class code’ for beating the shit out of me. Or worse. That shut me up – for a while anyway. And then I tried to forget the whole vile bunch.

6) So what’s happening today? There’s a lot emerging about the KOC now: a number of disturbing cases of abuse. I have the various links. And the KOCB had their well-known masonic role in Irish government. But you won’t find anything about today’s KOSC, other than the numerous good works they do – which is excellent news.

So they must have turned over a new leaf between the 60s and today. Or maybe it was just the KOSC in Ipswich that had its own strange ‘Inner Theology’? Let’s hope so.

However, about four years ago there was a disturbing local newspaper report about a KOSC member in Colchester who had used his position to abuse children. He was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment. 18 years. That’s a pretty hefty sentence. Serious crimes were clearly involved. But what is even more disturbing is that it was not covered by the national press. Just mentioned briefly by the local papers.

Whether there is a media blackout on certain organisations is hard to prove.  Certainly I’m aware of a media blackout by all the papers on Recovered Memories of abuse. Thus there was the American detective, Frank Fitzpatrick, whose recovered memory led to the legendary Father James Porter case. How Porter, a serial abuser,was caught by Fitzpatrick has never – to my knowledge – been reported by the mainstream British press. And there are 53 more American recovered memory cases where the abusers were banged up, but not covered by the British media. 53 cases. An authoritative academic study has confirmed their authenticity. But you’re not allowed to read about them in the British press, including the woke Guardian. Although they will write about similar American clerical abuse cases not involving recovered memories. Instead our media, including The Guardian, still promote the dubious False Memory theory from the British False Memory society, an organisation that has worrying links with its questionable American counterpart.

I know Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black (ex Daily Telegraph) and Jimmy Savile were/are all Super Knights. Savile was a Knight Commander. These Super Knights are the next level above the KOSC. They are Knights of the powerful and influential Order of St Gregory the Great. At least one KOSC Supreme Knight has become a Knight of St Gregory.

I also have one particularly significant piece of evidence that would strongly suggest there is a media black-out, but I think that’s worth going into another time.

7. Lee asked me how I thought it might all work. ‘The Church’s hidden, Inner Theology.’

The examples above give you some indication, Lee, and may lay the groundwork for others to look at this.

I’m also reminded of an account I read about an abuser priest in Ireland who was sodomising a child. A woman came out of her home and surprised him in the act. He called to her, ‘Get back in the house, woman – this is Church business.’

I see genuine Catholics, many of whom I know and admire hugely, as part of an outer protective ring of truly good people. This echoes Lee’s words that there are ‘genuinely good people’ in the Church. In the UK, Ireland and elsewhere. Of course. I have huge respect for them and I’m currently reading an excellent book about family trees by a practising Irish Catholic priest. So I’m not phobic about the Church per se.

But these good people are inadvertently and unconsciously protecting an inner core of vile individuals whose moral compass is so shot to Hell they actually believe in the ‘virtue’ of their crimes. That was my strong feeling as a boy. 

There’s enough awful cults out there whose similar crimes have been proven, to see how this could have come about.

And if you’re looking for proof, well surely the best place to start is at the top: with the three latest Popes.

I watched a reputable French TV documentary (It’s on Amazon, I have the link.) that looked at recent Catholic abuse. It highlighted – with details and witnesses – how Pope Francis had personally covered up serious abuse in Argentina.  The journalists then confronted him in St Peter’s Square. His shifty denial and the ‘caught out’ expression on his face could probably be angrily explained away by Bill Donahue. But the rest of us would know exactly what the Pope’s response means.

There’s no point in going into Pope Benedict, because surely everyone knows by now about his numerous cover-ups.

And finally there’s Pope John Paul. He has Opus Dei and the Maciel case to answer for. And more. None of which stopped him from becoming a Saint. Maciel was the founder of the Legionaries of Christ. He was a serial sexual abuser whose crimes were covered up during JP’s era.

 The Church does seem fond of Legionaries and Knights, doesn’t it?  Historically, Legionaries and Knights were evil mercenaries. The Crusades were monstrous crimes. The Code of Chivalry is an offensive lie.

The Catholic faithful need to live in an Orwellian cloud cuckoo land and believe in the current, sugary, fantasy version of the Catholic Church. Or turn a blind eye to the alternative. The grim reality is just too awful to think about, so most people – very understandably – don’t.

Alas, I don’t have that luxury. My muse insists I make my research and my recollections public. Or maybe it’s the angry 13-year-old boy inside me that’s still demanding justice.  Or perhaps it’s both of them.

Catharsis is not enough, my muse says. People need to know, she says. And I’m tired of arguing with her that no one gives a damn. ‘You should have published your recollections at least ten years ago,’ she tells me irritably. My excuse, ‘Sod the Knights –it was all a long time ago and they’re all dead now. Let’s just let it go,’ cuts no ice with her. Which is why I’m typing this now, rather than being curled up with my beautiful wife and a glass of wine, and watching telly. But my muse tells me the work must come first. If you’re a writer, you’ll understand. Sigh!

Of course the Vatican always insists: the Popes never knew about their army of sexual abusers. Denial. Denial. Denial. Despite an endless and ongoing avalanche of serious abuse cases. Historical and Current.

I know what my muse would say about that. And so do you.