The alarming truths about SNAP: Barbara Blaine (l) and David Clohessy (r)
Fact 1: A Victims' Support Group Where Support Comes Last
SNAP has claimed that the "organization's primary purpose is to provide support for men & women who have been sexually victimized by members of the clergy," but SNAP's own tax filings tell a radically different story! Read more
Yet here is a snippet from SNAP's 2007 tax papers:
SNAP listed total revenue of $473,232 in 2007, yet the organization listed only a measly$593 going to "survivor support." That paltry number represents a minuscule .0013 (or 0.13%) of its total revenue for that year. (By the way, some years there is no listing for "survivor support" at all!)
It sure seems that SNAP provides very, very little concrete support to abuse victims.
After evaluating the organization in both January 2011 and September 2011, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) determined both times that it would not accredit SNAP, concluding that it did not meet all of the BBB's 20 standards for Charity Accountability.
Fact 2: SNAP's Attacks on Innocent Priests
There are several examples of SNAP brazenly attacking innocent priests. For starters: Read more
A convicted felon came forward in 2004 (from his cell at the notorious Corcoran State Prison in California) to accuse Msgr. Richard Martini of "fondling" him in the early 1990's. A forceful investigation into the allegation – which even included a former FBI investigator – determined that the accuser's flimsy claim was "unsupported even by the accuser's own witnesses." (Msgr. Martini has never had any other allegations in over three decades of ministry.)
Yet when the archdiocese assigned Msgr. Martini to a parish in Santa Clarita, California, in 2010, SNAP summoned the media and duped parishioners into thinking that the archdiocese had recklessly placed a child molester in their midst. A SNAP spokesperson even falsely claimed that Martini had been "found liable" in court of wrongdoing. This caused great confusion, chaos, and hurt among the parishioners and the community.
Confusion, chaos, and hurt: Are these the real goals of SNAP in attacking the Catholic Church?
SNAP members have even attacked Church leaders who have sought to reach out to the group.
When he was a prelate in Milwaukee years ago, Archbishop Timothy Dolan believed that making himself available to the group would be a constructive expression of support to abuse victims.
Dolan soon learned that such an overture would not be welcomed.
When he made a visit to a parish in Milwaukee, a member of SNAP spat in Archbishop Dolan's face. The member then roared that he would not be silent "until there was a 'going out of business' sign in front of every Catholic parish, church, school and outreach center," according to Dolan.
"That's when I knew I should have listened to those who told me that working with [SNAP] would not be helpful," recalled the cleric.
Fact 3: SNAP Leaders Have Failed to Report Molesters
Convincing evidence reveals that David Clohessy, while he was the National Director of SNAP, had the opportunity to report a dangerous child molester to police, but he didn't. Read more
A small number of newspapers reported in April 2002 that David Clohessy knew in the early 1990's of allegations that his brother, Kevin – a Catholic priest – was sexually abusing innocent boys.
David said he had known for years about the allegations and agonized over whether to report his brother to authorities. He even contemplated distributing leaflets outside his brother's church. But in the end, he did not go to the police.
"It will probably be a quandary until the day I die," said David …
For two decades, David Clohessy has been railing against Church leaders for supposedly not calling authorities when hearing of suspected abuse by priests. Meanwhile, he did the very same thing, and he may very well have jeopardized the safety of numerous innocent children by his inaction.
Then … In April 2002, David learned that the Boston Globe was about to publish Kevin's name as a priest that the paper had identified as a child abuser. Rather than having his brother endure the sudden embarrassment, shock, and humiliation that so many priests face when they are unexpectedly thrown into the public spotlight, David called Kevin to warn him of the impeding news. "Thanks for the heads up," replied the abusive priest.
Indeed, this entire episode has surely been an excruciating trial for David and his family, and for that we must be sympathetic. And while it would be quite simple to assign the most sinister and callous motives to David's actions with his brother (TheMediaReport.com most certainly does not), Clohessy himself regularly casts the most heartless motives to Church officials for their past failures in dealing with abusive priests. In fact, Clohessy and SNAP do this all the time.
Fact 4: SNAP Leader Lobbied For Child Porn Convict
SNAP President Barbara Blaine wrote a passionate letter on behalf of a criminal psychologist who was arrested in April 2008 for "possessing more than 100 sexually explicit pictures of children." Read more
Even though SNAP psychologist Dr. Steve Taylor pleaded guilty to possession of sick child pornography, SNAP President Blaine pleaded to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to consider Taylor's "humanitarian work and professional contributions" before deciding whether to lift the guy's medical license. (The child-porn doctor had done extensive work with SNAP over the years.)
For years, Blaine and SNAP have not shown the least bit of desire to consider the "humanitarian work and professional contributions" of priests who are accused of misdeeds from decades ago. Rather, SNAP's approach to accused Catholic priests is ruthless, relentless, and unforgiving.
Blaine's hypocrisy is shocking … and very true. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported this astonishing episode in August 2011. (By the way, as the article attests, the warped journalist Jason Berry also wrote on behalf of the troubled doctor as well.)
Fact 5: SNAP and ACORN: SNAP's Left-Wing Agenda Exposed
David Clohessy, the National Director of SNAP, worked for nearly a decade with the notorious community organization ACORN. Read more
The notorious activist group ACORN is rooted in the dishonest, in-your-face tactics of Saul Alinsky, the famed radical "community organizer" from the 1950's to the 1970's. Alinsky prefaced his 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, with a dedication to Satan. ("Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: … Lucifer.") Alinsky's book has long been considered the "handbook" of strategies for organizations wishing to extort large institutions.
Alinsky's tactics are inherently spiteful and vehemently anti-Christian. In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky wrote:
The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.
Alinsky also added that it is crucial to "ridicule" your opponent with personal attacks:
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it … [I]solate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
SNAP continues to aggressively implement the mean-spirited tactics instructed by Saul Alinsky and ACORN.
In January 2012, SNAP National Director David Clohessy epitomized the ACORN approach when he publicly accused Philadelphia's Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of faking his painful cancer and dementia to avoid testifying at the city's, high-profile clergy abuse trial which was to begin a couple months later. Less than 36 hours after Clohessy made his heartless remark, the ailing 88-year-old Bevilacqua passed away in his sleep.
SNAP founder and president Barbara Blaine has been an invited guest and featured speaker at the "Women•Money•Power Forum" hosted by Feminist Majority, a powerful, radical, pro-abortion activist group.
The Feminist Majority says it promotes causes including "non-violence," "reproductive health," and "non-discrimination on the basis of sex, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, ethnicity, age, marital status, nation of origin, size or disability."
At the forum, Blaine then invited fellow attendee Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the rickety high-profile president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, to speak at SNAP's annual conference. Lynn then attacked United States bishops' opposition to the Obama administration's healthcare mandate by claiming their objection was a "total fraud" and an "unimaginable distortion of the very idea of freedom."
One might ask what these issues have to do with Catholic Church abuse victims. The answer: Nothing.
SNAP's real anti-Catholic agenda has been exposed.
Fact 6: Even Many Abuse Victims Criticize SNAP
Many self-professed clergy abuse victims have sharply criticized SNAP. Read more
If you think SNAP is popular among all clergy abuse victims, think again. Let the victims speak for themselves.
Fact 7: SNAP's Shifty Alliance With Contingency Lawyers
Research reveals that SNAP has largely been funded by the lawyers with whom it closely collaborates. Read more
Is there an informal quid pro quo between SNAP and lawyers? Are contributions by lawyers favorably returned in the form of referrals? SNAP and the lawyers with whom it collaborates vehemently deny this, but it sure seems like it. St. Louis attorney Ken Chackes openly admitted in 2010 that his firm contributed money to SNAP, and SNAP funneled potential business to his office by giving accusers his phone number. The arrangement is not explicit or in writing, of course. "We don't have any sort of arrangement with SNAP," said Chackes. He only acknowledged that his firm donated money to the group "like we would to any not-for-profit organization." Uh-huh.
Meanwhile, SNAP's annual conference in 2012 revealed that the high-profile, Church-suing attorney Jeff Anderson offered up a whopping check for $43,950 to SNAP as he orchestrated the group's fundraising session. Fellow big-time contingency lawyers also stepped up to the plate, as Chicago's Marc Pearlman (a partner of Anderson) offered up $10,000, Seattle's Tim Kosnoff pledged $5,000, and Boston's Mitchell Garabedian may have offered $2,000.
Lawyers contributed well over half of all of the money raised at SNAP's big event. The intimate partnership between SNAP and its wealthy benefactor lawyers is thus undeniable.