**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********

At age five, 1954, "The Bishop" (Card. Stritch) stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what Father Horne did to you." It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Now, I babble. - ke
In 2009 our ongoing coverage of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church will be at http://cityofangels5.blogspot.com/ .

Read more stories by Kay Ebeling, LA city buzz Examiner at http://www.examiner.com/x-1960-LA-City-Buzz-Examiner

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

You can support City of Angels Network and our trips around the country uprooting pedophile priest networks, by clicking on the PayPal button above, or you can send Cash Western Union. Contact me by email for more information on that at cityofangelslady@yahoo.com (city of angels lady (All one word) @ yahoo dot com.

Meanwhile, there will be a post here probly next week. A lot of people are on vacation and I am halfway as well. . .

Cheerio

Friday, July 25, 2008

I called out, Pray for Those Raped by Pedophile Priests. Damaged. Still trying to live. Response at my perpetrator church was silence.

*****

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels


As we drove to morning mass at my perpetrator church Wednesday, we joked we were a vocal act, me in the lead, the three women from Geneva my backup singers. Inside the church, they got to the part where people call out, pray for this, pray for that, and the people say, "Lord hear our prayer." I thought, why not, and bellowed: “For all of us who were raped by pedophile priests as children and as a result live with damaged lives, but we still keep living.”

Silence. I saw bodies in front of me tighten. Silence continued. Finally one of my backup singers cantered, “Lord Hear our prayer” and the people in the church came back to life, responded with her, and they all then went on with their requests. No one looked at me, no one was curious. I know if I’d been in an evangelical church and said that, I’d be surrounded by more women than I'd want to be, wanting to comfort me. Instead, I went outside and talked to God through a tree.

Half hour later I was able to say to the pastor: “There are residual effects. The pedophile epidemic did not just damage the direct victims. Every one of us took our warped sexuality from being raped by priests as children and went out into the world. So there are a lot more victims. Every wife whose husband I went after, every person who I convinced to do something sexually that they otherwise wouldn't have done.”

Father Tom Hoffman came to St. Peter Damian in 2003, he’s been there five years. Father Tom Horne raped my sister and me there from 1949 to 1955, that many years ago, and even though I'm pretty sure my father got a settlement from the Chicago Archdiocese and I know the archdiocese knew what Father Tom Horne did to my sister and me, Father Horne did not leave that parish for another 20 years.

Yet today Father Tom Hoffman, who’s been at the church five years, could say to me in a, “get over it” voice that he’s certain there have been no reports about Father Horne, other than this one now, he’s hearing this for the first time right now as we're talking in the parking lot.

And the Geneva Pietras sang out Dip doo wah, dippy dip doo wah

How I Ended Up Talking To the Pastor in the Parking Lot

I'm still looking for the door to the rectory or something to help me remember it. As Mass continued, I went around the back of the building, and kind of climbed through some bushes so I could peer in a window of this structure that is standing right where the entrance to the old rectory used to be.

“Is there something I can help you with?” Busted. The voice was someone busting me.

This guy walks up in shorts and a fishing hat, looking very civilian so my first thought was oh no here comes a deacon. I shake up and step out of the bushes. “I used to go to this church in the 1950s.” Small talk leads to me saying, “You mean the chapel is the same size as the original church? Isn’t that strange? Usually when a person comes back to a place from their childhood, the place looks so much smaller, but for me, that chapel looks so much bigger.”

The Chapel looks bigger than the original church

Since I used to go there as a kid it should seem smaller

Ah yes, a little pinch from God reminding me that, yes, my life did get turned upside down in that structure


Dip do wah, dippy dip doo wah

As we talk I realize the deacon in Bermuda shorts is Father Tom, the current pastor of St. Peter Damian, who delivered that warped version of Scripture last Sunday (see July 22 post).

Creepy.

He looks a lot like our perpetrator Fr. Horne, Father Thomas Barry Horne, same coloring, same self presentation.

Father Tom as we would have called him in a more informal era. . . .


Dip do wah, dippy dip doo wah

Sometimes when someone who I know truly hates me is in my face, I just channel my father. I become articulate and sharp, think quick on my feet, like he did.

Father Tom came to St. Peter Damian parish in 2003 when things were “in turmoil” because, well Father Lupo had just left thanks to zero tolerance. There were a lot of angry parishioners, said the current Father Tom.

What bothers me is his resemblance to Father Horne. Father Tom Horne.

Before I know it I'm standing behind him, close beside him, and I whisper, "I used to pound on Father Horne’s door. I liked what Father Horne did to me."

Father Tom tensed up and his eyes cast down askance at me.

Shit what am I doing,

I was on the other side of the group quick.

Unintentionally, without hesitation, I was trying to seduce this priest. I was the little girl rubbing up against Father Horne, or I would have been in five more seconds.


Scary.

Creepy.

The damage is so cellular.


Dip doo wah, dippy dip doo wah

Luckily I had my backup singers with me. The Geneva Pietras. We haven’t written our first song yet, but these three middle class Republican moms from Geneva, Illinois, were with me. And since they stayed through the mass and took communion, they staple gunned the two priests into a corner of the parking lot with me.

They tell me today, it was a good communication, "we made history," that Father Tom Hoffman of St. Peter Damian Church at least was willing to listen.

I felt I had to work too hard to make him listen to me.

So I sing the lead:

Is there a pedophile priest here in this crowd tonight?

And the Pietras sing:

Dip do wah, dippy dip doo wah.

I'm amazed at what a rock of emotional balance I’ve become, or maybe a better word is “control” as in the way an alcoholic in denial “controls” their drinking. Oddly, or serendipitously as life goes, I left this extremely weird and should be earth shaking event in my life, talking to the current pastor of my perpetrator church, and instead of going to a therapy session, or even home to moan and cry and throw things --

I went to lunch.

Then came home and did two more hours work on a video from LA, a really hard one, for marketing software that creates ecosystems and virtual machines, a really complicated tape for my job.

I came home and did my job.

Then when it was done and the document sent, I closed the computer

Then started moaning and throwing things.

I was able to hold onto it for hours and continue to act like a normal human being, even do a really complicated job, with this tumultuos upheaval just underneath wanting to come out.

I controlled it.


Still, I left that Wednesday morning encounter with a lead weight strapped on me, holding me down. Father Tom managed to project enough guilt onto me that for a while in my hotel room, I was seriously wondering why I’m doing this.

So I stuck my head down in between my two stereo speakers,

really wondering at the time why I was choosing that particular position, and

blasted music in my head.

John Lennon, Because the world is round, it turns me on. Because the world is round. Ah.

Then called someone from Linkup in Chicago and asked, are you sure what I'm doing is worthwhile? Heck yeah it is, he said. So I'm still here.


Towards the end of the conversation in the parking lot, the dear priest was ready to write the whole thing off with a so long, and “I’ll pray for you. I’ll pray for you.” like that would change something. Like I'm not praying every day myself and his prayers will somehow have more influence with the big guy than mine will.

I jumped in and said, Praying is not enough. We need action.

Father Tom stepped back, put the palm of his hand over his heart and said, “Now see that, that offends me, because I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm a priest.” My backup singers, the Geneva Pietras jumped in.

Dip doo wah, Dippy doo wah

The Geneva Pietras told Father Tom Hoffman

You better listen to survivors oh, no, no, no,

you can’t just jump in with a judgment sir, no-no-no.


The Geneva Pietras had credibility with the pastor as they had sat through the mass and then walked up with Father Walter, the other priest at the church, a little pixie from Poland who is so new to all this.

The Geneva Pietras talked to Father Walter after mass and now he is very enthusiastic about opening a dialogue between the church and survivors.

He's so young. He's so new at all this.

The Geneva Pietras walked up and joined Father Tom and City of Angels Lady and suddenly I had more creds. He had to listen to all of us.

So when he put his hand on his t-shirt over his heart and said to me, "Now that offends me,"

The Pietras jumped in with:

“No, no, no, no"--

You gotta listen Father Tom, you gotta listen. . .


Their conversation continued.

One comment by Rev. Thomas Hoffman made gave him away.

He was trying to make me feel guilty, instead he gave himself away.


"Everyone has a tell" -- James Bond.

As I sat waiting for a Metra the next day it hit me. Father Tom gave it away that he knew who I was and he had read this blog even though he acted like it was all new to him.

In the conversation with the Geneva Pietras, the priests and me, I said,

“Another thing is the imagery, like that statue where is it on the grounds here, with the kids are”-

“That is a statue of Jesus,” exclaimed Father Tom, interjecting, jumping on top of my words like he knew what I was talking about.

Because the world is round it turns me on. Because the world is round. Ah.

Yesterday sitting at Bartlett Station it hit me right out of the blue, He jumped in too fast. He already knew what I was talking about, the statue in front of the church, what I thought was an anonymous saint with kids climbing all over his lap. He said to me, “That's a statue of Jesus,” and he let his real contempt show through.

He was too angry, when he said that.

Yes from the beginning, he claimed he had no idea who I was, or anything that had been written by me about Father Horne and St. Peter Damian Church.

Because the sky is blue it makes me cry, because the sky is blu-u-u-u-u-uuuuue, Ah.

I took him off guard, Father Tom, when I held out my hand and introduced myself.

I said, "I’m here just as a courtesy. You have a right to know that I'm going to be here, and I'm coming back, and I’ll be talking to people, and I’ll be writing some nasty things about your church and crimes that were committed here.”

I asked if I could go through their archives and look for pictures of my father.

He said, “I’ll think about it."

I said “Oh, is that statue supposed to be Jesus?”

For a good 24 hours I hankered over whether I should take down the picture from that July 22nd post.

No.

Jesus isn’t in the statue. In fact, I put a call out here right now to my readers.

Is there any passage in the New Testament that brings to mind the image of Jesus sitting somewhere with children climbing all over him?

I’m in my hotel room with my speakers up against each ear, John Lennon full blast, “Here comes the sun, and I know, it’s alright.” I have the volume at max and still had to stick my head right up in between the speakers and still it wasn’t really loud enough.

Now I'm in the what I should have said stage of the conversation, which started a few hours later.

I should have said,

“Well now you have gotten a report about two people who were sexually assaulted as children by Father Horne, my sister and me.

Write it down.”


I should have said:

“You're offended? I’m talking about rape of two little girls when they were at the age you study for First Confession."

What I should have said:

The church empowered pedophiles everywhere by protecting its own.

So now:


There is an epidemic of pedophilia in the USA today, because pedophiles saw Catholic priests getting away with it.

The church today is directly responsible for children being taken out of their homes, raped, and then murdered today.

The church empowered pedophiles across the world, by pampering and protecting the pedophiles in its own seminaries and parishes.

Because the wind is high it blows my mind. Because the wind is high. Ah. . .

You're offended?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A mutilated reading from the Book of Matthew at my perpetrator church where I have to run out of the building grasping for air. . .

*****
By Kay Ebeling

City of Angels
Bartlett, IL

“One of the worst faculty offenders was Fr. Donal Collins, teacher and then principal,” writes Joe Rigert about St. Peter’s College Seminary in Ireland. “In a bizarre manifestation of his perversion, Collins would visit a dormitory at night to measure the penises of the boys under the pretext of ascertaining whether they were growing normally.”

The image of a little Irish priest in his night vestment with a nightcap on, maybe shaped like a leprechaun, approaching the boys’ dorm beds with his fingertips dancing, a Dr. Seuss villain grin on his face as he sings, “I'm coming to measure your penis tonight” -- that image kept bouncing into my head making me sit upright and laugh, brought me back to life Monday night.

I went to Mass, or tried to go to Mass, at the church my perpetrator priest founded last Sunday. I ended up having to run out of the church doubled up in pain. I sat in the back, knowing I might need to make a fast exit. Every five minutes one of the ushers would come up to me, “Do you want me to deliver to you the Holy Eucharist?” They kept saying that to me like Communion was this mystical magical almost scary thing. I sat through a sermon where the guy twisted the meaning of a Bible passage, I listened to a reading from The Book of Wisdom thinking wha-? Now they even make up their own books of the bible?

All that was fine, I was even daydreaming I could become part of this church, maybe sing in the choir. Then they started the murmuring. It’s right after the collection, or during it, the whole mass of people start reciting the act of contrition, but it wasn’t the words, it was the sound. The voices together murmuring, whispering, speaking in low dark voices, repeating words of a prayer -- I started squirming and soon pain shot all over me, everywhere. I had to get out. I said to the two crippled ladies next to me there in the handicap section, “Some days are worse than others,” and tried to hobble out the door. But the ushers, the greeters, all the way through the lobby were following me, “Wait, wait, you have not yet partaken of the Holy Eucharist.”

Let me outta here I screamed inside as I burst out into the fresh air. I walked to Bartlett Tavern and convinced the bartender make a pot of coffee, so I could sit outside and finish reading Irish Tragedy by Joe Rigert, thinking I would meet other survivors of pedophile priests at St. Peter Damian Church there. I didn't. I have to come back and spend more time in Bartlett to do this right. Those little old ladies who may have also known Father Horne were not here at Bartlett Tavern. How am I going to find the money to come back here for six months and will that even be enough time?

I stayed in my hotel room all the next day with the curtains drawn.

All day yesterday I didn't even pick up the phone to set up appointments I need to make before I leave Saturday. I just took Tylenol PM and slept.

Luckily there was a Linkup meeting that night, they meet here monthly and support each other and listen to each other, in a way that just doesn't seem to happen in LA. In LA support groups don't work even AA doesn't work in LA. So Monday night I sat in a room with survivors and advocates, less than ten of us, we all got to talk, no one shut anyone up and told you to stop breathing out loud.

Good Thing There Was A Meeting as I Was Beginning to Think I Should Quit this Project -

Good thing there was that Linkup support meeting too, because I spent a good part of Monday thinking I should quit pursuing a story about my own perpetrator’s parish, St. Peter Damian Church in Bartlett, Illinois.

There appears to be so many happy families with lots of little kids going there. . . .

The church was packed, both masses I got to Sunday. St. Peter Damian in Bartlett is a breathtaking church, designed and architected with quality right up there with the best from home and garden TV shows I’ve worked on in the past years.

As the Mass went on, I couldn't stop the fantasies from returning.


I start thinking I could be part of this church. A soprano began to sing a solo and her voice was shaky and aging. I couldn't help but think, I used to sing professionally, maybe someday I could sing here in this church. It came time for the “people” to respond and I belted out my “Allelujah” in full Hair 1969 Chorus holler, causing heads to turn.

Just once. They got to hear the voice just once.

The pastor then gave a sermon, “Calling to mind a parable from the Book of Matthew.” He glared at me, knew who I was as he freely reworded and relayed a part of the New Testament to the parish, didn't even say what chapter in the Book of Matthew he was reading. Catholic priests often assume lay people don't want to read for themselves.

The pastor glared right at me while he sermonized, and I got that feeling again, they knew I was coming. He prepared this sermon knowing City of Angels Lady might be in the audience.

"An enemy has done this," he warbled reminding me of a used car salesman, sleeeezy delivery, "Someone has come in during the night and sowed weeds among the wheat.” Then the pastor gave his interpretation, “God will throw them in to the fiery furnace.”

I nodded, ah yes, the current Catholic Deny Wrongdoing By Pedophile Priests Talking Point. I get it in my email a lot as well:

“God will judge them. It’s not our place. Yes, there were a few bad priests among us, but God will take care of them. meantime get on with your life.

However in Matthew Chapter 13 the Parable of the Weeds, it doesn't say God will judge them.

It says the harvesters working in the field will make the decision, or in a different translation, it’s the reapers working for the landowners.

Either way, the pastor giving a sermon to throngs of parents and children at St. Peter Damian Church got it wrong.

As to the pedophile priest epidemic, a true interpretation of the parable of the seeds would be:

Survivors and advocates could not root out the criminals as soon as we found them. We had to go through a gestation or growth period, what the survivor movement has done for almost 20 years.

Now it’s time to go to harvest -- Congressional hearings, rewriting of SOL laws, prosecution of organized crime in the church -- and plain old folks will be harvesters and reapers, finally getting rid of the weeds, the organized criminals in the Catholic Church.

There They Go Rewriting The Bible Again

So there I was, my first time back in a Catholic Church in years, literally decades maybe, and there was the priest up there in a dress giving a warped interpretation of a bible passage to a packed house, insidiously filling their brains with the idea that nobody’s perfect, of course there were some priests among us who sodomized little boys and girls, but they're just a few weeds among the fine buds like the rest of us.

I made it through half the Mass at least. I saw a lot of ladies with hair and wrinkles about the same as mine, so if they were in Bartlett 50 years ago, they knew Father Horne. I have made up my mind to come back here in the fall so I can to find people here and interview them.

But that pain got to me. It struck me like a knife slice through the soul as soon as those people started the murmuring. I had to get outta there. Then Monday I didn't pick up the phone. No wait, I did.

First someone called and said they’d give me a ride to the Linkup meeting. Then I tried to make an appointment with the woman in Village of Bartlett’s historical museum. But it was already after 6 PM.

Okay, I’m back awake today.

Will run the entire passage from Matthew about the bad seeds among the good, but first

SURVIVORS’ LULLABY is a personal and intimate little book that documents the experience in Boston when the story broke in 2002, in the words of some of the original warriors. I hope editor and producer of the book, Boston's Ruth Moore starts working on a sequel. Moore is one of the Sidewalk VOTF members who have demonstrated outside the cathedral in Boston every Sunday now since 2002. They are not going to quit any time soon. Here is a segment of Ruth Moore's book: Survivors' Lullaby

“Would you believe your child, if she told you that she was held over an open hole at the local cemetery and threatened to be interred there if she revealed her secret? Or would you believe her if she said she had been placed on the altar in the lower church and was badly hurt by a hooded man? Tragically, both of these situations are details from two separate survivor accounts included within the pages of this book.”

So opens the introduction of Survivors’ Lullaby, Giving Witness from Boston to the Clergy Sex Abuse Crimes, a collection of firsthand accounts, writings, poetry, whatever survivors wanted to submit, published in June 2006. Survivors’ Lullaby gives a firsthand view, no agenda, just survivors describing what it’s like to survive sex crimes in the Catholic Church. Longtime Boston survivors’ advocate Ruth Moore gathered the material and wrote the introduction which is so moving and edifying we are running it in entirety here at City of Angels, continued here:

“Even today it is difficult to describe what it was like to be in Boston on the sidewalk in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, as the explosion from the sex abuse crimes rippled around the World. Why this explosion began in Boston, we may never know. We do know that this crisis had been bubbling below the surface for many years.

“Spontaneously, strangers, both survivors and their supporters, gathered at the Cathedral in a desperate search for answers, truth and justice. We soon became friends and our friendships developed into several caring and loving communities. People from around the US and Canada connected with us through the Internet and survivor conferences.

“Several of our Internet friends made the trip to Boston to meet with us personally and to take part in regional demonstrations. Joe came in from Colorado and joined the Solidarity march in Manchester New Hampshire, calling for Bishop McCormack’s and Bishop Christian’s resignations. He held a huge poster with his childhood picture for the first time and proclaimed publicly that he had been sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a child. Elizabeth made the trip from Toronto, Canada, and Linda and Jeanne came from Truro, Nova Scotia to stand with us on a rainy April morning calling for Cardinal Law’s resignation. Their accounts are among those included within the chapters (of Survivors’ Lullaby).

From early on in the clergy sex abuse crisis we were concerned that a record of the turmoil and conversation that occurred on the sidewalk in front of the Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston would be lost. We were certain that over time the Catholic Church would reshape this historical information to minimize the true extent and scope of the crimes that were committed by too many priests and their enabling bishops.

Some of us talked of writing a book, and at first this project seemed to be a matter of collecting life accounts and other written recollections, and then find a publisher. I didn't realize how difficult this project would be until I sat down to write my own story. Immediately my mind flooded with 18 months worth of heart wrenching conversations with courageous survivors. Visual snapshots of contentious encounters with clergy and laity and hundreds of posters decrying our anguish flashed across my mind. This picture was too big to capture with words. No one could put their arms around it and describe accurately what had happened. I did not comprehend how difficult it was for survivors to even begin to record their traumatic accounts.

We slowly collected accounts, formatted email entries, and listed tentative chapters.

Several of the survivor accounts included within the book are shocking and difficult to read. Some details of the sexual, ritual, and childhood abuse are graphic and not intended for younger readers or for those who are sensitive and emotionally fragile.

Many of us will be unable to comprehend the phrase “ritual abuse,” understand the scope of this evil or the devastation it causes, especially when performed within the church.

Following are some compelling quotes by local (Boston) survivors:

“Our biggest issue is one of trust.”
Bill Gately

“Look at me, listen to our stories, and let yourself be horrified.”
Ann Webb

“You need the truth before you can heal.”
Susan Renehan

“Your silence is deafening.”
John Harris

“I am here personally for those dead victims.”
Steve Lewis

“They do not believe in their own God.”
Phil Cogswell

“Those of you who have endured, speak truth to power.”
Steve Lynch

“Trusting doesn't mean you can’t ask questions.”
Kathy Dwyer.

Ruth Moore continued:

These truths can be told, and must be told. They must be recorded for all generations to know of the silent terror so many children and innocent adults endured at the hands of the Catholic Church.

ME: Is Survivors’ Lullaby still available to buy?

RUTH MOORE: “Yes the book can be ordered on line at Authorhouse, Amazon, or can be ordered at any book story. I believe we are up to about three hundred copies in circulation.”

Recommended reading, the beginning of our short history. And I am convinced again, to keep on going ONWARD with my own pursuits.

***********

The The Parable of the Seeds, Matthew 13:24-30, reads:

“The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

‘An enemy did this,' he replied.
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

“'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

Where does it say there, leave the weeds for God to find them later and throw them into the fiery furnace, and where the heck is the fiery furnace anyway?

When I left St. Peter Damian I tried to be polite. I even stopped to sign the guest book, “Illegible” was here from Los Angeles. A woman who looked like a nun in street clothes followed me to the door, still repeating, “The Holy Eucharist, you haven’t had your Holy Eucharist.”

Onward . . .

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Trying to dig my story up from under 55 years of bulldozing, I accidentally video a teenage boy running in the back door of the rectory. . .

*****
By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels


Considering the subject matter, Catholic priests who rape children, I often think there's a spiritual force pointing me in the next direction I should go to pursue these stories. So when I looked out my hotel window and saw just past the pond full of geese, the beige fa├žade and proud cross of Evangel Church, I thought it was a sign, the next step to take. I made an appointment with Pastor Ron, introduced myself and said, I always do what God puts in front of me and so I'm contacting you. Pastor Ron towered over me, but wilted as I spoke of my mission to write about pedophile priests. “I have a wife and three children,” he interjected into the conversation in what was to me a non sequitur. I said, "There have been three pedophile priests in the Catholic Church in Bartlett and I'm here to write that story. I contacted you to try to find other victims like me, uh, you see, because I’m always attracted to fundamentalist evangelical churches like yours, I mean like this church, um, so I thought there might be, you know, other pedophile priest victims here". . .we weren’t connecting.

“I want my secretary to be in here taking notes to document everything you say,” Pastor Ron spewed. “If you contact other pastors the way you've contacted me, they're going to wonder what your real motives are.” He was looking down at me like he was wondering himself, just what is your motivation, ma’am. So I made a fast exit. Curiously the sidewalk surrounding Evangel Church in Hanover Park is covered with little turds, probably from the geese. Okay maybe every sign isn’t from God, sometimes it’s just a sign painted on the side of a building.

Downtown Bartlett, after several hours wandering around town, I was hot tired and thirsty. Walked into Bartlett Tavern and ordered both an ice tea and a beer and a couple patrons made a joke about me as a two-fisted drinker. That opened a conversation. I said I'm a journalist in town working on a story. After talking to a woman in the group I purred, you're one of the lucky ones, able to be a housewife and stay home with your kids. Yeah, she said, although you can find me here most afternoons. “My kids are in the children’s program at St. Peter Damian Church,” she giggled. I gulped. Later she asked me, what are you writing about? I said St. Peter Damian Church. Both of us darted our eyes away from each other.

You can’t just bellow out in a bar, anyone in here a victim of a pedophile priest. Or, lady, get your kids outta the program, they're probably in danger. A lot of regulars at this neighborhood tavern are also regulars at St. Peter Damian Church. They tell me as they nod reverently over their third or fourth drink of the day, “Yes I go to St. Peter Damian, when I go to church that is.” Fridays are big at Bartlett Tavern because of the all you can eat fish fry, a tradition that dates back to the days of meatless Fridays for Catholics.

I'm learning you can’t do a story like this in two weeks. I need to come back, spend time, stay six months, or longer. By my third cab ride into Bartlett I got a little more aggressive. I told the cab driver as he dropped me off, “My sister and I were raped in that church from 1949 to 1955 and there have been two other pedophile priests in that church since then.” As I gave him a generous tip I added, “I’ll be at the Extended Stay for another week if you know of anyone I should talk to.” Went back to Bartlett Tavern and one person with a pensive intelligent looking face joined me at an outdoor table. He nodded that he went to St. Peter Damian when he went to church and stared into his drink. After we’d talked a good hour I said, “I’m a journalist writing about pedophile priests. My sister and I are victims, I'm looking for other victims.” He leaned against the wall, “You know now that you mention it, I remember hearing about that. About 20 years ago they had to take one of those guys outta there.” But Pensive Intelligent then made a fast exit back into the bar.

I sipped my tea and beer and realized the buzz would have to slowly make its way into the population. I'm like a virus newly arrived in town. The message of what I'm here for will go from one cab driver to another passenger, from one bar patron to another. A lot of people won’t want me around, but that's okay, I'm used to that. Others will want to talk to me. I sat there at Bartlett Tavern alternately sipping ice tea and beer, sitting outside where you can smoke, just waiting for the buzz to spread, thinking about the cab driver across town, dropping me into a conversation with another rider. I have to learn when to drop the topic into conversation, only where it seems strategic, and then wait for reverberations. This story is going to take longer than two weeks.

I Want to Report a Crime to The Barlett Police Please

A Pedophlie Priest Raped Me 55 Years Ago

I did go to the Bartlett Police. A very perky very friendly lady there said call back and I’ll connect you with the Chief of Detectives. I did, and a guy called me back, talked to me like he’d never heard of any pedophile priest crimes around here, but he’s only been a patrolman in Bartlett for less than a year. He’s not a chief of detectives, he’s a newly hired patrolman. Have to find another way to approach the police other than walking in the front door.

As I wait for cabs I'm reading Joe Rigert’s book, The Irish Tragedy. I can see as he crafts the stories of Irish priests in America, brilliantly tying in information from personal interviews with crime files he’s gotten from attorneys and plaintiffs, I have a lot to learn.

Everyone I Had Arranged To See Is On Vacation. . .

Curiously the two people who could help me most, two people who I spoke to a few weeks back on the phone and I thought knew I was coming, both are on vacation this week. The woman who runs the historical museum and the woman who takes requests for police records are both out of town now that I'm here. Of course I'm paranoid that they're gone because they knew I was coming.

I got that feeling at the police station as well, they knew I was coming. Since the Records Administrator was gone, I just spoke out loud. I'm here about crimes committed at St. Peter Damian church by pedophile priests. The clerk didn't seem surprised. She seemed like she’d heard it before. But then when I called back they connected me with a newly hired squad car driver.

One day I rode another cab into Bartlett this time just with my camera.

I walked up and down the street looking for the tree with the treehouse where I had shown the neighborhood kids what the priest had showed me, my first act as a seven year old sexual predator. I was looking for the scene of the crime, walking up and down Hickory Street looking for the tree.

But trees really change over 55 years.

Nothing is the same.


After 55 years nothing is similar enough to even bring up geographic triggers.

I was hoping by coming here I’d remember more, but the triangular shape of the old church is not even a glimmer in the design of the new church buildings. That place where I used to run up and pound on Father Horne’s rectory door is not even available through archaeology. It’s bulldozed. It’s buried. It’s like a whole new topography.

A Teenage Boy Running Into the Rectory, what? A teenage Boy Running Into the Rectory!

Just for the heck of it I was videoing the empty parking lot at St. Peter Damian church yesterday, the new buildings, the rectory. I panned over by the garage and there was a teenage boy taking things out of a trunk and very quickly running into the rectory. I'm even sort of narrating as I do the boring stupid video, there’s the building, there’s all this asphalt, and there’s a teenage boy running into the rectory.

THERE'S A TEENAGE BOY running into the rectory.

Call me Scoop. You can’t see it on the video which is in a post below this one here at City of Angels. Maybe if there is a way to zoom way in and enhance, you can see it. A teenage boy was unloading something from the trunk of a car in the garage and taking it into the rectory just when I happened to be there.

THERE WAS NOBODY else around. One other car in the parking lot. So maybe one other person was in the rectory.

It was a business day. The parking lot at Evangel Church had a sprinkling of staff cars. The parking lot at St. Peter Damian’s was empty but for one car, and this teenage boy unloading something from a car in the garage into the area where the priests live. . .

I wandered around to the other side of the rectory and found a yellow ladder leaning against the building, leading up to a window, probably a bedroom window. There's a picture of that below.

Okay. It all probably has perfectly innocent explanations. Teenage boys always rush in the back entrances of rectories on days when no one else is around.

There’s plenty of reasons for a ladder up against a rectory bedroom window.

Just call me Scoop, or maybe Half-Scoop. The videos and pictures are here at City of Angels network.

I have to come back and stay here for at least six months to do this right. I’ll spend the next week continuing to try to find people.

Monday is free day at Chicago History Museum so City of Angels Network will go there to view and report on

Chicago Catholic

which is still a featured exhibit there. It should be very . . . telling.

Tomorrow I’m even going to St. Peter Damian Church for Mass. Then back to Bartlett Tavern to alternately sip on a beer and an iced tea and continue to try to find people.

Just keep trying to find people.

Meanwhile there’s a duck pond right outside my window and all the greenery and water is wiping through my nerves. I don't twitch here the way I do in Los Angeles.

I need to come back. It will take a good six months here to do this story right. How am I going to arrange that?

Onward. . .

A statue like the one pictured at right, children pawing all over the lap of a priestly looking saint, really needs to be removed from the grounds of St. Peter Damian church, considering there have been three pedophile priests in this one small town parish in Barlett, Illinois. Three that we know of so far. Three pedophile priests in the one church with this statue out front. Imagery of children climbing on priests is all over Catholic Church properties and they are a blatant display of church hierarchy's true sentiments. I mean, look at it. The statue pays homage to the priests' dirty little secrets, right out front on the rectory lawn.

Strangest thing. Went by St. Peter Damian yesterday and found everything empty, though it was office hours. One car in the parking lot and one in the garage where a teenage boy ran in after taking in something from the trunk of the car. Then around the side there was this curious ladder outside a rectory window. I thought I caught the teenage boy running into the rectory from the garage on video, but apparently I just missed it. Other churches in town had lots of cars around them, but the Catholic Church in Bartlett, Illinois, had an empty parking lot. One teenage boy running in from the garage and a ladder outside a rectory window. All just a coincidence I'm sure.

Does this man look sorry? Here is the Pope in a photo from July 19, 2008, in Australia, the day he made yet another "apology" for sex crimes in the Catholic Church. Does this man look like he's even thinking about priests selecting boys from Catechism class for weekly sodomy sessions in the rooms nearby?

Well maybe he does, at that.

But does the Pope look like a person who feels remorse for any of the crimes committed in the Catholic Church? NO. He looks like a man who is eating too much pastry.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tom Doyle can turn sex crimes in the Catholic Church into comedy, and deliver the facts to the mainstream. But it is not really funny. . .

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By Kay Ebeling
The City of Angels is Everywhere

CHICAGO: Patrick Wall was talking about the bishops' “seditious conspiracy to prevent the execution of the country’s laws” when I walked in late for his talk and I hope I can get copies of the slides he used with his speech. They prove the church in America dealt with pedophile priests at least as far back as 1808. When Barbara Blaine said, “They go by the same script, it’s the same script in every city” we were both talking at the same time, in unison. However, for me most surprising at the SNAP conference last weekend was hearing Tom Doyle speak live, because I felt like I was at a comedy club.

As he got one huge laugh after another, I kept writing in my notes things like, think how many more people he could reach with this message if he was on Letterman, or Leno, instead of talking in closed depositions and hearings. The more I guffawed with the crowd, the more I realized the surprise element is part of what makes Tom Doyle's delivery so funny. Imagine: This ex-priest, after testifying a gazillion times, decides to chuck everything and start doing standup. Doyle physically is this tiny bundle of dynamism, you could see him standing up in front of the Goliath church, you could do cartoons of him standing up in front of the Goliath church, and since in America most of the real news is reported by comedians anyway. . .

Doyle opened with an off color joke, not the kind of joke your perpetrator priest probably used to wend his way into your family, but a downright Showtime Comedy Special snarling joke. The burst of laughter has a double impact because the joke is coming from this diminutive giant behind the podium, with words coming out of his mouth that make you think more of Robin Williams than Father Doyle.

He says, “Sex abuse in the catholic church goes back at least pre fourth century. Somewhere off in the mist are the people who are harmed.” He talked about finally breaking free from Catholic “Magical thinking and superstition about our religious practices. All we need do to see something just as weird if not weirder is look at voodoo and medicine men in Africa.”

“I had to laugh when they closed purgatory last year,” he said.

Like Angela Shelton showed us the first night, we can use comedy in order to get close enough to look at this stuff. But when you get down to it, it’s not funny.

Here are highlights from Tom Doyle’s speech that closed SNAP 2008. It’s funnier when he delivers the lines, I'm serious that he could effect a lot more change throughout the country and the world in people’s knowledge about sex crimes in the Catholic Church if he took his act on the road and worked his way up the comedy circuit.

DOYLE’S SPEECH
Highlights from my notes:


Sex abuse in the catholic church goes back at least pre fourth century. Somewhere off in the mist are the people who are harmed.

There’s not a word in the English language that can describe the enmity about something as hellish and evil as raping children by the most trusted people in our community, the clergymen.

Now because the bishops are pressed to the wall, they have to respond.

Since the beginning, victims have been ignored, they haven’t been part of the equation for centuries. We've found absolutely no evidence of anybody in the authority every saying, find out how much damage is done, see what the damage was to the children and families.

All the victims have one or more of:

PTSD
Substance abuse
Sexual identity questions
Massive amount of isolation, depression.


I’ve seen entire parishes, Catholic communities, respond as if driven by an evil force in defense of the perpetrator parish priest.

I wasn’t abused sexually, but I knew something was wrong.

I was flying and saw a priest with a collar on and I had a feeling in my gut of revulsion. Something said, Doyle, you've got something in there going on. And I realized I was being traumatized by the life that I was so much a part of.

In our case we de-mythologize.

Catholics are taught:

God is watching us and sees everything we do
The priest takes the place of god
The church is the only way to salvation
All this magic, all this symbolism


The church galvanized these beliefs and trivialized your trauma by saying these things are more important.

How often have the crime victims asked the bishops not to dress up in the black outfits when they meet with you. They never listen to you, they always wear it.

Toxic beliefs based on magical thinking.

They say everything about sex is evil. So if you feel involuntary pleasure, they can make you feel guilty

Since the priest molesting the child is supposedly beyond sin, the child being sexually molested by the priest thinks, I must be a double sinner. Why am I being punished, maybe I did something wrong.

And you go nuts with the guilt.

I can’t tell you how many times I experience profound guilt even today as I leave court or a public event where I’ve said something negative about the church.

This toxicity is so deep in me it will take a lot to get it out.

I realize, I’ve got to do some work on myself.

Their healing attempts end up being for the clerics so they can feel better

I was taught this is Christ coming from the altar in a piece of bread and a glass of wine.

What does it mean to be spiritual?

ME IN MY NOTES: I JUST GOT AN IDEA: TOM DOYLE SHOULD START DOING STANDUP COMEDY

DOYLE HIGHLIGHTS CONT’D:

If they're lying about one thing, it’s likely they're lying about a lot of other things.

What I was worshiping was some other human being’s concept of God. I was being told I gotta believe this.

But let me tell you, God or a higher power, or whoever, gave us a brain to think to use, not to be atrophied when we go into church. The winos on South State Street have just as much insight as the Pope.

BURST OF APPLAUSE

DOYLE, CONT’D.


I had to laugh when they closed purgatory last year.

Don’t be told by anybody else how we communicate with whatever that higher power is.

But from the sex abuse there’s a toxic guilt: What do we do with the rage, that goes with the emptiness because of what's been stolen from us.

At the same time it’s a painful and curing process.

You have to confront the fear.

Now I’ve been accused of being a dissenter. I had to deal with that fear.

We have to remember, the church is a structure and it’s okay to think of it with enmity and anger. But real church is people connecting with a bond of love, not a bond of a dollar bill.

That's people, that's us. People of God, the Christian community, call it whatever you want. In my language we call it a meeting.

We learn to forgive and hope, and not live with intense guilt.

Find a healthy spirituality. Not acting weird and self denial, but a way to be comfortable in your own skin. That's who we are. Whoever created us, who cares, that's who we are.

I was very broken, and on this odyssey I began to question, I questioned the sacraments. Do I believe bread and wine that's Jesus, no. Do I believe when we get together and talk about our lives in Christ and share bread and wine, that's a Higher Power, yes I believe in that.

I'm just sharing my examples.

When I stopped all that magical thinking, I began to feel the real feeling of love.

The church is what the people make it to be.

It may be painful, it is scary, to accept responsibility for your own spirituality. Examine the toxic beliefs one by one, with others, with a friend, but do not be afraid.

I want to be as far away from that toxic structure as I possibly can and I want to take as many people with me as possible. We can share that wonderful gift, serenity. Thank you.

AFTER STANDING OVATION:

The national review board do they have any practical purpose, do they do anything for us?

They as an institution cannot respond or make amends because they are afflicted with narcissism which is a pathological worshipping of oneself.

One of the healthier things we can do is look at them realistically and lower our expectations. The only way they will respond is to a power higher than themselves.

Catholic hierarchy is a monarchy and as such it cannot treat you and I as equals and it never will.

It should treat you as equals, as that's what Christ would want, but the nature of the beast is they are a self perpetuating monarchy

ON THE CHALLENGE OF TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR OWN SPIRITUALITY

I grew up believing the church and the people of god were the same. A god who lived somewhere out there and knew everything I did at all time and that in order to experience salvation it was necessary to be a Catholic.

I believed that we as clergy were different and we did have special powers. You were lay people and didn't have the fullness of truth.

I realize now spirituality is intensely personal and how we experience it is different from man to woman to man to woman,

Describes people flagellating, pouring salt in coffee, making themselves feel pain,
In ordinary society called psychosis in religion it’s spirituality

I WOKE UP

The waking process was long and painful
But the end result I can tell you now is unbelievable peace and serenity

APPLAUSE

Most of us have been taught to believe without question.

Magical thinking and superstition about our religious practices

All we need do to see something just as weird if not weirder is look at voodoo and medicine men in Africa

Magical thinking, and I believed in it.

Forgiveness doesn't mean you put it aside and act as if it didn't happen and treat the guy as your friend, that is absolute idiocy.

The way to forgive is to forgive ourselves for allowing it to happen and allowing it to eat us alive.

You no longer obsess on what he did to me.

If he gets punished, fine, but he doesn't own me anymore.

Going back over my notes from Doyle's speech now I realize a lot of it is in the delivery and the timing. Doyle has a real gift and I wish he’d develop it, get out from under cross examination from church attorneys and start spewing all this out on national television. He could easily fill an HBO Comedy Special.

Next Post, Into The Woods to Uproot the Pedophile Priests, continued.

Onward. . .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

PLEASE DON'T expect more of me than I can do. I'm just one person with two other part time jobs besides this blog. I'm not the New York Times. I don't have fact checkers or editors, or attorneys.

I don't have the resources to conduct a forensics investigation like some of my readers emailing me seem to expect. I'm just me, writing what I see and feel, and then posting it.

Anyone else can post a comment here or send me a guest editorial, if it is cogent and well written, I will post it. But please don't expect me to be a PR arm for the "movement" and to avoid critical statements about any one group, as if I see something that deserves criticism or comment, I'm going to write it, whether it upsets someone I love or not.

That's how this blog works. It's my opinions, my reactions, nothing more. I don't represent SNAP or any other organization. I'm just me trying to figure things out. . . .

Monday, July 14, 2008

Theme at SNAP 2008 was our need to work together, among ourselves, with other groups, in order to counter organized crime tactics of Catholic Church

**
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By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels


CHICAGO: In intimate conversations, in groups, in the bar, we continued to reference Angela Shelton and her analogy when she spoke the first night of SNAP 2008: Your trauma is a sword pierced through your body. You have to pull out the sword, as painful as it is, or it will hurt forever, maybe kill you. After you pull it out, you have this sword in your hand and you can turn it into an instrument. Literally an instrument if you're a musician, my instrument is this blog. Continuously at the conference in Chicago last weekend, people said things to each other like, My sword is still in me or, I really am in the process of pulling out my sword.

There were a lot of whoops and hollers and standing ovations. Kathy Shaw got a standing ovation for her work keeping up Abuse Tracker. The Survivors’ Support Working Group got whoops and hollers, a lot more applause than VOTF did. Throughout the conference the theme seemed to be coalition, work together, get past petty stuff and focus on our common goal. We need to get laws passed, hearings convened, and the only way to be effective at decision making levels in America is to be as big as your opponent.

Marci Hamilton got a standing ovation before she even got to the microphone to speak. “The major barrier is the statute of limitations,” she said. “It will take collaboration and coordination of all the groups to get laws passed.” She includes the insurance industry. “They are supposed to exist to reduce risk, that is how they make money,” she said. “We need to convince the insurance industry that siding with us results in better enforcement and deterrence.”

Hamilton recounted blatant law breaking by Catholic Conference lobbyists, how they bulldozed away everything advocates had done legally to pass a new SOL law in Ohio in 2006. In her speech Hamilton called it “Midnight machinations of lobbyists, in some ways brilliant on the part of the Catholic Conference."

Hamilton's book Justice Denied reveals more of the story, plus numerous arguments we all can use to lobby for change in statute of limitations laws locally. With elections approaching, Hamilton urged us to find out where candidates stand on prosecuting sex crimes in the Catholic Church.

After her speech I needed to know more. She told me that professional lobbyists for the Catholic Conference went into the meeting of the Republican caucus, behind closed doors with the legislators, the night before final vote, after weeks of testimony, the work of advocates working within the laws of the democratic process. The Republicans appeared next day with an entirely different bill, nothing that had been hammered out in the past weeks through legal efforts. At the behest of Lobbyists for the Catholic conference, Ohio legislators replaced the bill on the floor with the Catholic Church heirarchy's useless version.

Yes, that's illegal Marci Hamilton told me, in fact one family of a victim who had testified before the legislature actually sued or tried to get a criminal investigation. No judge or DA would touch it, she said.

In a speech another day, Patrick Wall said, “That's how the Mafia works,” describing the scene of bishops flying into Oakland airport from all over the country, meeting for the day with lawyers, and flying back to their archdioceses. Then “Before any investigation can get going, they pay off the cases,” Wall said.

I apologize, readers, I did not make it to every speech, and got there late for Patrick Wall. In fact, by the second half of Saturday at the conference, I had Spontaneous Onset Attention Deficit Disorder. I did not shoot any videos either. Every time I tried to interview someone, about seven other people would interact with me as I was trying to set it up. Not that I minded. As many of you know, my life in LA is horribly isolated. I can’t get past all the gunk in my third world neighborhood to get out of it, so I almost hide in my apartment all the time. All of a sudden at the conference I was surrounded by people who knew me and spoke my language.

CONGRATULATING ME!!!

Adoring me


Coming up to me, or happening to see my name and City of Angels Network on the blue thing dangling from my lanyard and say, “You're KAY!!!” or “You're the one who does City of Angels” and then they would shower me with compliments and all kinds of affirmations, so I was walking around the conference with waves of endorphins going all through my body all the time, happy as a sinner dying and finding out they don’t have to go to hell after all.

But I didn't make it to all the speeches, and didn't even realize that the book they gave us when we registered has the schedule of speakers and other activities in it until late on Saturday. So I didn't really make it to any breakout sessions to speak of. The good ones were too crowded. I think anyone who saw me there now knows about the way I twitch and squirm and evoke noises from my mouth at sometimes inappropriate times. It gets worse if I have to sit still in a crowded place. I may never fly agagin. It's all tied to this weird central nervous system disease which doctors tell me is due to the Prolooooooooonged PTSD. In other words PTSD that was never treated, but instead festered in me so I lived 40 years of my life Running Away from the Trauma, hiding it, never slowing down long enough to face it.

So I’ve taken the sword out and made it an instrument. Now I'm running forward and since a side effect of all this seems to be I Can’t Stop or Even Slow Down, it’s best for me to work on something that never stops or never slows down, and that's the outpouring of information about how far flung, how immersed in the culture of secrecy and intimidation, is the pedophile priest epidemic in the Catholic Church.

Going to the conference confirmed one thing for me, my story is just one of thousands and thousands. There have been little pedophile priest networks in every community in America, every single one, and in each case the circumstances are almost identical.

“The script is the same,” Barbara Blaine said. "When we first got together in 1988 just a few people, we thought it would last maybe three months. But then we started hearing about other cities and began to see that they were all going by the same script."

Me, when I first found SNAP in 1994, there just happened to be a copy of St. Joseph Messenger on the table in the therapy place where MediCal sent me, which was run by Catholic Charities coincidentally. That one issue of the magazine just happened to have an article about priest sex crime survivors and this organization that had formed called SNAP.

That's when I first began to realize there is angelic intervention going on in every step I take on this journey. As I’ve shared with some people, stuff pops up in front of me when I'm not looking for it, people appear in my life when I need them, in ways it’s hard to describe, but it’s all about pushing me forward with my task of uprooting the pedophile priests.

ANGELIC INTERVENTION

(By the way, someone is f---ing with me again. Google has canceled my ads because of something someone did, and I don't even know what it is. That's why the ads are all Red with "ERROR" written all over them. I hope it gets resolved soon, as I like my ads. It wasn't angels who did that.)

I’ve never written this here, I’ve shared it with a few people. There have been times working on this blog where I felt the presence and saw the work of an angel. One time when I was doing a story about the clergy cases in LA, the hearings last year where LA Archdiocese attorneys were doing all those tap dances and channeling Alice in Wonderland characters (all covered at City of Angels 3) -- I was putting together insert quotes to put in one of the Layout Elements.

I went to select something and my hand got picked up, my fingers selected a piece of copy, made it bold, and then hit publish. I wasn’t doing it, something was moving my hand. Then when I read the layout element, it was correct, those were the words that should have been bolded to emphasize the point. But I wasn’t aware of that when my hand selected, bolded, and published the element. Not until I read it on the blog, published by the angel. . .

Oh sure, it could have been my subconscious, or even happenstance the way I twitch all the time. And a lot of ex-Catholics survivors don’t even like references to the “magic” stuff.

But I spend a lot of time immersed in black spiritual gospel music and anyone who knows me knows I am really a believer. So I think it was part of the same plan that had me end up standing next to Barbara Blaine as she poured out some pretty intimate details about her life and dealings with the archdioceses and her case and how SNAP formed, including a great quote about Terrie Light who ran the first support meeting I ever went to in the mid-nineties in the California Bay Area.

And I didn't have my laptop out, or a camera or a recorder, so I can’t give you any quotes from Barbara Blaine except the one about the same script.

However, when Blaine opened the conference she said, “Maybe someone else would have started SNAP. I was working for 20 dollars a week at a homeless shelter for women and children in Chicago,” Blaine said of when she started SNAP. She got the first standing ovation of the conference, and David Clohessy was really crying when he introduced her.

Blaine said that 73 percent of Catholics disapprove of the way the church handles the pedophile priest epidemic, compared to 53 percent in 2004 in the same poll

Blaine said, “We wouldn't be here if it weren’t for everybody.”

I believe when Clohessy spoke he projected the word “Together” on a screen and said it was the theme word. If not, I just made it my theme word. I know I'm going to have to talk to some reverent Catholics and even Republicans as I do the research I do in the coming months, years.

So focus on the positive.

Tom Doyle’s Speech was so good, I'm going to devote a whole post to it next. Doyle could be a standup comic and reach a whole lot more people with his message. I'm serious. Read the next post.

I didn't even realize that was Patrick Wall speaking before Tom Doyle on the last day or I would have gotten there earlier. Like I said spontaneous onset attention deficit disorder. One thing SNAP really does well is this conference. Remember what SNAP does is about 10 percent of what this movement needs and other groups could be doing all the rest. City of Angels Network can and will be doing more. . .

So even with my ongoing paranoid musings about the structure of SNAP and Who Is Really Pulling The Strings, I can’t help but love Barbara Blaine and say, forget about the stuff we don’t like about each other in different groups and focus on the common goal we share, or we will never get anything accomplished.

Meanwhile City of Angels Network will pursue the Ohio Debacle story further in the future, maybe before the summer runs out.

Man, it was nice for me to realize I’m so much more progressed in recovery than I thought I was. I’ve removed the sword, and am already using it as an instrument with this blog. I'm still amazed at how empowered I got from hearing Angela Shelton the first night of the conference. She helped kick start and set my plan in action. I’ll go back to LA at the end of the month, give 30 days’ notice to my slumlord, and then become a roving reporter uprooting the pedophile priest epidemic.

I should be safe, as if anything unusual happens to me, with all I've written here, it will be obvious who is guilty. They can't touch me, I can walk into the Valley of Death and fear no evil. Try it.

Onward. . .

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Quick Report on SNAP Conference, more to come

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels

Theme word of the SNAP 2008 conference was Together. Many speakers emphasized the need to form a coalition with other groups in the child abuse prevention world if we want to get legislation changed. More to come in a few hours.

I meanwhile am in a furnished studio apartment somewhere in the city of angels, about to go into the woods looking for the wolves.

Onward.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Live From SNAP: When a room full of priest sex crime survivors laugh, the walls of Jericho can fall

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Kay Ebeling

I'm in an auditorium full of priest sex crime victims and the wise ones who support us, and our faces are so similar. There’s that expression, it might be a “smirk,” where one side of your mouth squeezes into the form of a smile while the other half of the mouth stays straight. It’s the expression people get on their faces when they're feeling a humor, disgust, resignedness, and anger all at once, the expression the you have before uttering something sarcastic. Look around the room the first night of SNAP 2008 and almost every person has that smirk.

And spontaneous laughter. We even surprised comedian Angela Shelton last night. She was talking about removing the sword of trauma. “You don’t need your perpetrator anymore. He’s gone,” she said and then for this audience added the line, “moved onto the next parish.” Eruption. The shout of laughter was so abrupt it made the comedian on stage step back and say, whoa. . . . It’s like we spend so much time with our heads in horror, when someone cracks a joke that hits our issue right on the head, we let go and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

I got SO MUCH out of what Angela Shelton said last night. Because the past few weeks I've had this idea germinating, and much like this blog and the idea to cover LA Clergy Cases 2007, as soon as I took the first few steps, a hundred more doors opened and the right thing to do seemed to be keep on going. I even took baby steps first to get here to Chicago. Now I'm going to be here two more weeks doing research.

And more doors are opening. I used to think the area around Bartlett was unique. I was so excited because I thought for sure I’d found it, the root of the pedophile network. It’s in a town called Bartlett 20 miles west of Chicago. But as I talk to people here, I'm finding out this country is a cesspool full of networks of pedophile priests. Almost every region can now claim several predators. And it’s almost always the same. The neglect, the incompetent handling by the church, the altar boys, the confessional used as a venue for sex crimes.

So now I want to take trips to St. Louis, Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington DC, and Indiana and that's just from the conversations I had last night. I could travel from one city to the next and write one story after another. No, let me put that thought into a different form now.

I am going to travel from one city to the next and write one story after another.

Last night Angela Shelton convinced me that I can do it, I'm going to go it, I'm already doing it.

It started right from the beginning of her talk. In 2001 during a period of unemployment she took off from LA to do a documentary where she’d interview women around the country with the name Angela Shelton, and it turned our “70 percent of the Angels Shelton's were victims of child sex abuse rape or violence.”

Seven years later advocacy against child sex crimes is a major part of her career.

“I fell into this well of hell really accidentally,” Shelton jokes. “I thought it was going to be funny. It’s not funny.”

I feel the same way. It’s a well of hell and I'm in it now. Last week I took off from LA to start writing my story, and it’s turning out I'm writing about 180,000 stories, because you can’t stop at just one. So my dream is becoming a “visualization” or a “possibility’ or a “mandate” as in how could I do anything else.

By the time Angela Shelton finished her talk last night, I’d made up my mind. I'm just going to do it.

She said, Be a warrior.

Well not as in Onward Christian Soldiers. Shelton projected a cartoon where people were saying words such as STUPID UGLY WORTHLESS to describe themselves. She then asked, “How many of you have said that?” Almost all of us made affirmative sounds, squirms. I spent most of the 1990s and the first half of this decade saying that.

But I also realized I’ve made a lot of progress as Angela Shelton said:

"Experiencing trauma is like being pierced with a sword."

She then talks us through the process of removing the sword of trauma and using it instead as an instrument.

“When you go to remove the sword, guess what's going to happen. Pain. Blood. You have to make a plan, have safe people, a support system.

“You have to remove the sword.

“And it is going to hurt.

“In order to heal it you have to feel it.”

She said after removing her own sword she went through a period of pain and rage at home and

So did I! It just stopped about a week ago in fact.

More from Angela Shelton and then I gotta go.

It’s really cool to come to a conference like this and make these connections.

But it still should be in a less expensive hotel. It even says in the SNAP 2008 program, we should be sure to eat as one of the ways to take care of ourselves, but man, a banana costs two dollars here and it goes up from there.

Shelton says she travels and speaks, plus proceeds from her movie go to donations. “They play it in churches,” she said, “I have a cursing version and a non-cursing version.”

“You don’t get rich and it’s hard to get a date when you're making an incest movie.

“It’s good to wait until your neighbors are gone when you do your primal scream therapy.

“My Speech to them is short," Shelton said. "Stop Raping Children. Go Fuck Yourselves.”

Even the nuns at my table laughed at that one.

Onward. . .

Friday, July 11, 2008

Correction to yesterday's post below. They did not eradicate her memory, they TRIED to eradicate her memory. Instead what's left of her memory is fragmented, so not good enough for court, but good enough to give me leads. . . ke

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Off to The Woods to find the pedophile priests, with a stop at a Hyatt for a SNAP conference first

*****

By Kay Ebeling

In order to pursue my story, I had to stop and call my sister Patrisha in San Francisco as Father Horne got to her before he got to me. In all these years I’ve never asked her any details about what Father Horne did to her. However, one conversation we did have in 1994 changed the direction of my life:

“Do you remember if Father Horne did, did he ever, you know?” I asked back then, and Patrisha’s voice on the phone got breathy. She said, “Oh, he got to you too,” and that's when I knew, it was confirmed, what I’d been remembering was true, that I had some kind of sexual interaction with the parish priest when I was about five years old. I thought I heard concern in Patrisha’s voice but then she almost growled out, “No wonder I’ve been so hostile to you all these years. You took away my first lover.”

You Took Away My First Lover

When she said that I actually screamed into the phone, “Don’t say that.” Then we went into another 6 month to 6 year period where we didn't talk to each other at all. In fact, most of our adult lives have been spent in silent agreement just to not call for a while. For the past 6 years or so we had been in one of those mutual silences. Then because of this blog in fact, I had to call her a few months back, so now we're talking again. I had to call her before I left for Chicago.

“I'm leaving tomorrow night,” I said, “going to spend two weeks out by Bartlett and interview people, dig in historical records. And I need to ask you, what do you remember about Father Horne and St. Peter Damian Church?”

Patricia said, “Well when we first moved to the country, at first there wasn’t even a church, and so while the church was being built, we met in a room above the screw factory” she was laughing “and everybody always joked about that later.”

Me: Hmm.

I said, tell me about the incidents with Father Horne. She thought a minute then went into the thought:

“I have, have flashes of memory, but I have, I remember when it started, because it was right before First Communion and I was doing first Confession.”

I’m shivering as she says this, as that's when he got to me, she goes on.

“And I confessed I had committed adultery because I knew that had to do with sex and I’d been masturbating.”

I want to jump in here and scream, “Trish, six-seven year olds don’t know that much about sex unless they're molested.” She went on.

“I remember him laughing at that and that gave him a notion, probably. It was very soon after that he took me back to his little place. It was this really austere situation, just a mattress on the floor, and really primitive. But I can’t remember how many times or details.”

I shivered, as that’s the most clear memory I have, being on that sparse mattress, on a hard wooden floor. Today I joke: Father Horne took a vow of poverty. So he only had a thin mattress on a hard wood floor to rape us on.”

Patrisha told me more about Barlett in 1949.

“Right after the church was built, it got struck by lightning and burned down. Then it was almost like an Amish thing, people gathered to rebuild it.” I asked her to try to remember more.

“They didn't have school but they had a kindergarten,’ she said. I couldn't get the nun’s attention and I peed in my pants,” Patrisha said, “and I think that was why mom and dad transferred me to St. Mary’s in Elgin.”

I wanted to say, “No, Patrisha, it was probably a sign of sex molest,” but I wanted her to keep talking.

Why my sister is not able to testify about being raped by a pedophile priest

25 shock treatments in 2 weeks


The weeks up to this trip, I’ve been going to Google satellite maps at the closest vantage point and gazing at Bartlett and our old house in the woods. I told Trish you can still see our old lo-o-o-o-o-n-g driveway, but not the old house, if it’s still there it’s covered by trees from a satellite view. (My sister refuses to buy or even touch a computer.)

“A lot of stuff is still there. You can see Villa Olivia, it’s still there.”

Trish said, “Villa Olivia?” she was straining, struggling.

I didn't push it. I know why she can’t remember Villa Olivia even though the name was spoken often around our house on Route 20. Villa Olivia is a country club right down the road, from our old house, in fact our oldest sister Peggy got her first job there. Father Horne used to take the Ladies’ Sodality there for lunch and drinks on weekdays when their husbands left them all bored and alone at home, ah the 1950s, but I digress. Our parents would go there for drinks almost nightly, if I remember right.

Patrisha does not remember Villa Olivia. In the mid-1960s Patrisha was put in a suburban LA mental hospital where they gave her 25 shock treatments in a matter of two or three weeks. To be honest, Patrisha has never been the same since.

I asked my dad, why are they giving Patricia so many shock treatments.

He answered, “She has a lot of bad memories in her head, bad-bad memories, and we thought it best if we just shocked them out of her. You see they apply electricity to her brain and it just erases the memories. And that's better, that's what we want. After this she won’t remember any of it.”


They eradicated her memory. . .

I was a freshman or sophomore in high school and thought it strange, but my dad would not say any more. When Trish came home from having all those shock treatments, her hair was all frizzed. Honest. She had long hair and it was soft and wavy before the shock treatments, frizzy and fried afterwards. For several weeks she could barely open her mouth to speak. Now what she says often makes little sense.

So Patrisha’s memories are not real reliable. That's why I had to come here to Chicago and Bartlett to find some other triable issues of fact so to speak. Or just to write an incredible story.

I AM IN CHICAGO. . . AT A SNAP CONFERENCE

I’ve been trying to get to Chicago since 1994, because there are things that I’m sure once I'm standing on the geography of the Chicago suburb, Bartlett, the memories will come back more clearly.

I have been trying to get to a SNAP conference since 2006. Okay, I have to say this, for two years I criticized SNAP for holding its annual conference in chi-chi hotels and places that are hard to get to, and yes, once again the SNAP conference is in a chi-chi hotel that's hard to get to. Even the airport van driver kind of squinted and said, “That's way south of downtown,” like why would you want to go there.

I used to bitch and moan on the SNAP message board:

“Why don’t they make the conference more accessible, set up video cameras in meeting rooms across the country, and we could all participate, use free meeting rooms in libraries. We could hook up the cities over the internet and more survivors could take part, without having to spend a couple thousand dollars.”

Which I still think is a good idea. It took a thousand dollars for me to get here, for the plane, the hotel, ancillary expenses.

The miracle is that I raised the money and then some here on this very blog with that PayPal button up at the top of the left-hand column. In February or so I said, every dime raised here will go to send me to Chicago for the SNAP conference and to research my story. It worked. I bought my plane ticket way last March, then slowly put together enough for me to stay in hotel rooms from now through July 26th.

LIVE FROM THE SNAP CONFERENCE

So I’ll be reporting live from the SNAP conference, well sort of live, I'll go up to my room to write the posts and publish them here at City of Angels, through Sunday.

Then live from Bartlett, the next two weeks. In a few minutes after I post this, I’ll go wander around the hotel looking for good locations to use for interviewing people on camera and posting those video interviews here at City of Angels as well.

This is actually a lifelong dream. I'm a freelance journalist, working on a story. It’s real. I'm really doing this.

So not only am I at a SNAP conference but I’m staying an extra two weeks out in Bartlett to do the research I’ve been wanting to do since 1994.

What happened in 1994

I’d been clean and sober for two years, was living in the woods, strangely enough, in the redwoods in Northern California. Spring 1994 over a period of weeks, the whole memory of Father Horne and his mat on the floor just flooded in. It took me and my body by such surprise that at one point I literally got thrown against the wall. My daughter might even remember that. Oh, yeah, the other part. In 1994 my daughter had just turned five as well, the same age I was when Father Horne put his fingers on me and aroused me. I stayed that way for 40 years.

I have to admit, I criticized SNAP for holding its conference in swank places, but last night as I floated off to sleep with the 17 or so pillows they have on the beds here, I changed my mind. Now I think survivors should find ways to raise the money to get here, and then pamper yourself when you do. . . that's how I feel this morning.

I also have to say this. I criticize SNAP a lot, but in the past few weeks I think I’d rather say, what SNAP does is fine, we need it.

BUT

SNAP only does about one-tenth of what we as a survivor community need to do. Yes, SNAP should keep doing everything it’s doing, but

we need a healing and recovery center,

we need grants for investigations and digging by journalists like me,

we need a foundation that survivors who are struggling can apply to for grants.

We need a lot of other stuff I can't think of.

And if SNAP isn’t going to do it, then somebody else has to.

Too bad the Catholic Church is run by a bunch of criminals. They're the ones who should be providing all the resources we need. Instead we the crime victims have to find a way to do it for ourselves.

And that's what we have to do, do it for ourselves.

So I'm here at the Hyatt McCormick hotel luxuriating the day before the conference. From my room you can see the projects looming on the South Side.

If Barack Obama had anything to do with how much the black population in this city has its act together, providing for itself, opening cultural and financial doors for themselves, then this whole country is going to be doing fine when Barack Obama is President.

This city is SO CLEAN!!!!

I may never go back to LA. I don't even want to wear the clothes I brought from LA. Stepping onto the clean sidewalks of Chicago makes you want to step up your wardrobe. I'm looking now at the clothes I brought and thinking, what was I thinking?

I may never go back. I always say that, and I always go back to LA.

I could pay my daughter to go pack my stuff up and put it in storage.

I could just become a traveling journalist for a while, living in Extended Stay Hotels.

Oh wait, I’d have to be a lot more successful as a traveling journalist to do that. Don’t forget the PayPal button in the top left corner.

That's how I paid for this whole trip. With the PayPal button. Thank you so much all of you who made this possible. It would be great if SNAP showed the same financial accountability.

Wonder where we'll go from here.

Onward. . .

Off to The Woods to find the pedophile priests, with a stop at a Hyatt for a SNAP conference first

*****

By Kay Ebeling

In order to pursue my story, I had to stop and call my sister Patrisha in San Francisco as Father Horne got to her before he got to me. In all these years I’ve never asked her any details about what Father Horne did to her. However, one conversation we did have in 1994 changed the direction of my life:

“Do you remember if Father Horne did, did he ever, you know?” I asked back then, and Patrisha’s voice on the phone got breathy. She said, “Oh, he got to you too,” and that's when I knew, it was confirmed, what I’d been remembering was true, that I had some kind of sexual interaction with the parish priest when I was about five years old. I thought I heard concern in Patrisha’s voice but then she almost growled out, “No wonder I’ve been so hostile to you all these years. You took away my first lover.”

You Took Away My First Lover

When she said that I actually screamed into the phone, “Don’t say that.” Then we went into another 6 month to 6 year period where we didn't talk to each other at all. In fact, most of our adult lives have been spent in silent agreement just to not call for a while. For the past 6 years or so we had been in one of those mutual silences. Then because of this blog in fact, I had to call her a few months back, so now we're talking again. I had to call her before I left for Chicago.

“I'm leaving tomorrow night,” I said, “going to spend two weeks out by Bartlett and interview people, dig in historical records. And I need to ask you, what do you remember about Father Horne and St. Peter Damian Church?”

Patricia said, “Well when we first moved to the country, at first there wasn’t even a church, and so while the church was being built, we met in a room above the screw factory” she was laughing “and everybody always joked about that later.”

Me: Hmm.

I said, tell me about the incidents with Father Horne. She thought a minute then went into the thought:

“I have, have flashes of memory, but I have, I remember when it started, because it was right before First Communion and I was doing first Confession.”

I’m shivering as she says this, as that's when he got to me, she goes on.

“And I confessed I had committed adultery because I knew that had to do with sex and I’d been masturbating.”

I want to jump in here and scream, “Trish, six-seven year olds don’t know that much about sex unless they're molested.” She went on.

“I remember him laughing at that and that gave him a notion, probably. It was very soon after that he took me back to his little place. It was this really austere situation, just a mattress on the floor, and really primitive. But I can’t remember how many times or details.”

I shivered, as that’s the most clear memory I have, being on that sparse mattress, on a hard wooden floor. Today I joke: Father Horne took a vow of poverty. So he only had a thin mattress on a hard wood floor to rape us on.”

Patrisha told me more about Barlett in 1949.

“Right after the church was built, it got struck by lightning and burned down. Then it was almost like an Amish thing, people gathered to rebuild it.” I asked her to try to remember more.

“They didn't have school but they had a kindergarten,’ she said. I couldn't get the nun’s attention and I peed in my pants,” Patrisha said, “and I think that was why mom and dad transferred me to St. Mary’s in Elgin.”

I wanted to say, “No, Patrisha, it was probably a sign of sex molest,” but I wanted her to keep talking.

Why my sister is not able to testify about being raped by a pedophile priest

25 shock treatments in 2 weeks


The weeks up to this trip, I’ve been going to Google satellite maps at the closest vantage point and gazing at Bartlett and our old house in the woods. I told Trish you can still see our old lo-o-o-o-o-n-g driveway, but not the old house, if it’s still there it’s covered by trees from a satellite view. (My sister refuses to buy or even touch a computer.)

“A lot of stuff is still there. You can see Villa Olivia, it’s still there.”

Trish said, “Villa Olivia?” she was straining, struggling.

I didn't push it. I know why she can’t remember Villa Olivia even though the name was spoken often around our house on Route 20. Villa Olivia is a country club right down the road, from our old house, in fact our oldest sister Peggy got her first job there. Father Horne used to take the Ladies’ Sodality there for lunch and drinks on weekdays when their husbands left them all bored and alone at home, ah the 1950s, but I digress. Our parents would go there for drinks almost nightly, if I remember right.

Patrisha does not remember Villa Olivia. In the mid-1960s Patrisha was put in a suburban LA mental hospital where they gave her 25 shock treatments in a matter of two or three weeks. To be honest, Patrisha has never been the same since.

I asked my dad, why are they giving Patricia so many shock treatments.

He answered, “She has a lot of bad memories in her head, bad-bad memories, and we thought it best if we just shocked them out of her. You see they apply electricity to her brain and it just erases the memories. And that's better, that's what we want. After this she won’t remember any of it.”


They eradicated her memory. . .

I was a freshman or sophomore in high school and thought it strange, but my dad would not say any more. When Trish came home from having all those shock treatments, her hair was all frizzed. Honest. She had long hair and it was soft and wavy before the shock treatments, frizzy and fried afterwards. For several weeks she could barely open her mouth to speak. Now what she says often makes little sense.

So Patrisha’s memories are not real reliable. That's why I had to come here to Chicago and Bartlett to find some other triable issues of fact so to speak. Or just to write an incredible story.

I AM IN CHICAGO. . . AT A SNAP CONFERENCE

I’ve been trying to get to Chicago since 1994, because there are things that I’m sure once I'm standing on the geography of the Chicago suburb, Bartlett, the memories will come back more clearly.

I have been trying to get to a SNAP conference since 2006. Okay, I have to say this, for two years I criticized SNAP for holding its annual conference in chi-chi hotels and places that are hard to get to, and yes, once again the SNAP conference is in a chi-chi hotel that's hard to get to. Even the airport van driver kind of squinted and said, “That's way south of downtown,” like why would you want to go there.

I used to bitch and moan on the SNAP message board:

“Why don’t they make the conference more accessible, set up video cameras in meeting rooms across the country, and we could all participate, use free meeting rooms in libraries. We could hook up the cities over the internet and more survivors could take part, without having to spend a couple thousand dollars.”

Which I still think is a good idea. It took a thousand dollars for me to get here, for the plane, the hotel, ancillary expenses.

The miracle is that I raised the money and then some here on this very blog with that PayPal button up at the top of the left-hand column. In February or so I said, every dime raised here will go to send me to Chicago for the SNAP conference and to research my story. It worked. I bought my plane ticket way last March, then slowly put together enough for me to stay in hotel rooms from now through July 26th.

LIVE FROM THE SNAP CONFERENCE

So I’ll be reporting live from the SNAP conference, well sort of live, I'll go up to my room to write the posts and publish them here at City of Angels, through Sunday.

Then live from Bartlett, the next two weeks. In a few minutes after I post this, I’ll go wander around the hotel looking for good locations to use for interviewing people on camera and posting those video interviews here at City of Angels as well.

This is actually a lifelong dream. I'm a freelance journalist, working on a story. It’s real. I'm really doing this.

So not only am I at a SNAP conference but I’m staying an extra two weeks out in Bartlett to do the research I’ve been wanting to do since 1994.

What happened in 1994

I’d been clean and sober for two years, was living in the woods, strangely enough, in the redwoods in Northern California. Spring 1994 over a period of weeks, the whole memory of Father Horne and his mat on the floor just flooded in. It took me and my body by such surprise that at one point I literally got thrown against the wall. My daughter might even remember that. Oh, yeah, the other part. In 1994 my daughter had just turned five as well, the same age I was when Father Horne put his fingers on me and aroused me. I stayed that way for 40 years.

I have to admit, I criticized SNAP for holding its conference in swank places, but last night as I floated off to sleep with the 17 or so pillows they have on the beds here, I changed my mind. Now I think survivors should find ways to raise the money to get here, and then pamper yourself when you do. . . that's how I feel this morning.

I also have to say this. I criticize SNAP a lot, but in the past few weeks I think I’d rather say, what SNAP does is fine, we need it.

BUT

SNAP only does about one-tenth of what we as a survivor community need to do. Yes, SNAP should keep doing everything it’s doing, but

we need a healing and recovery center,

we need grants for investigations and digging by journalists like me,

we need a foundation that survivors who are struggling can apply to for grants.

We need a lot of other stuff I can't think of.

And if SNAP isn’t going to do it, then somebody else has to.

Too bad the Catholic Church is run by a bunch of criminals. They're the ones who should be providing all the resources we need. Instead we the crime victims have to find a way to do it for ourselves.

And that's what we have to do, do it for ourselves.

So I'm here at the Hyatt McCormick hotel luxuriating the day before the conference. From my room you can see the projects looming on the South Side.

If Barack Obama had anything to do with how much the black population in this city has its act together, providing for itself, opening cultural and financial doors for themselves, then this whole country is going to be doing fine when Barack Obama is President.

This city is SO CLEAN!!!!

I may never go back to LA. I don't even want to wear the clothes I brought from LA. Stepping onto the clean sidewalks of Chicago makes you want to step up your wardrobe. I'm looking now at the clothes I brought and thinking, what was I thinking?

I may never go back. I always say that, and I always go back to LA.

I could pay my daughter to go pack my stuff up and put it in storage.

I could just become a traveling journalist for a while, living in Extended Stay Hotels.

Oh wait, I’d have to be a lot more successful as a traveling journalist to do that. Don’t forget the PayPal button in the top left corner.

That's how I paid for this whole trip. With the PayPal button. Thank you so much all of you who made this possible.

Wonder where we'll go from here.

Onward. . .

Kay