What’s Old Is New Again: PBS Airs 90 Minutes of 21st Century Know-Nothingism, Sex Abuse Story Rehashed Once Again

Jeff Anderson : Fr. Tom Doyle : PBS : Sarah Childress : Jason Berry

Together in mission: Contingency lawyer Jeff Anderson, Church crank Fr. Tom Doyle,
Frontline writer Sarah Childress, and producer Jason Berry

It is an ugly American bigotry as old as the hills.

Know-Nothingism was a widespread bias against Catholicism in this country, stemming from the suspicion that Catholics were not sufficiently patriotic or trustworthy, as they were controlled by the Pope and a secret Vatican cabal.

Now courtesy of your tax dollars, Know-Nothingism has made a 21st century comeback on PBS's flagship Frontline investigative program.

Last week, in a documentary entitled "Secrets of the Vatican," Frontline managed a remarkable feat: to haul out every old anti-Catholic canard that would make a Klansman beam. It was a 90-minute orgy of bigotry indulging every stereotype about the Church: criminal cover-ups, monetary corruption, gay clergy, and, of course, the ever-favorite and never-ending sex abuse storyline.

Confusing the Church with its members

As one sharp criticism has already pointed out, PBS employed the old strategy of targeting the individual sins of specific members of the Church as a way to launch a broadside attack on the entire institution of the Catholic Church.

And in a Church of 1.2 billion members, it is not very hard to find a lot of individual sinners committing every imaginable type of sin, including sex abuse. And PBS has already beaten the sex abuse horse aplenty. By one estimate, PBS has addressed the issue of sex abuse in the Catholic Church a whopping 48 times.

And as we have repeatedly pointed out, child sex abuse has been committed in all organizations that deal with children. Yet only with respect to the Catholic Church does PBS use such acts to disparage an institution as a whole.

But one would never would one read a media report or editorial concluding that because sex abuse and cover-ups occur in public schools that public education itself must be called into question.

A new face at the party

And as if we haven't heard the same criticism many times before, Frontline trots out the usual rogues gallery of Church cranks, bigots, and tort lawyers to parrot the usual sex abuse attacks on the Church: malcontent Fr. Thomas Doyle; Church-suing contingency lawyer Jeff Anderson (aka "Stuntsuit Anderson"); supporter-of-a-child-pornography-collector Jason Berry; and the hysterical Peter Isely of the anti-Catholic group SNAP.

However, Frontline did introduce to the dialogue Harvard psychiatry professor Martin Kafka, who actually spoke at a 2003 conference in Vatican City about sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

While Kafka was far from missing the mark completely in his Frontline appearance, you knew where it was eventually going. For instance, the purported expert claimed that Catholic priests abuse at a rate far higher than that of Protestant clergy stating:

"The number of Catholic clergy who are accused of or prosecuted for child and adolescent sexual abuse vastly outnumber the number of Protestant clergy."

Martin Kafka

Martin Kafka

However, as we have repeatedly shown, there has never been any reliable data to support such an assertion.

(We emailed Dr. Kafka and asked him the sources for his claim. He kindly replied, but none of the studies which Kafka supplied to support his assertion actually set out to determine the rates of abuse among different denominations. In other words, Kafka's claim might make a nice sound bite for those at Frontline, but it is nonetheless simply untrue.)

And as if Frontline's rambling broadside against the Church were not enough, the PBS website also posted an article by writer Sarah Childress that included a graph claiming that hundreds of Catholic priests are accused of abuse every year in the United States. But Childress makes no mention of the fact that almost all of the accusations themselves allege abuse from many decades ago and that a significant half of all accused priests nowadays are long dead.

No other institution

While sex abuse is a grave societal problem, millions of our tax dollars are used to fund reporting about the issue almost exclusively about one single institution: the Catholic Church.

No other group, whether it be the Jewish community or the African-American community, would tolerate such relentless and one-sided reporting from a taxpayer-funded network.

But, rest assured, whether it is airing 90-minute Da Vinci Code-like specials about the "secret" Vatican or playing the sex abuse card yet again, the mainstream media have one standard for Catholics and another for all other groups.


  1. Jim Robertson says:

    One sided? You mean the protestant jewish cabal that's invented all the false claims? The false claims that you never manage to produce?

    A major piece of the history of murdering priest John B. Fieth, shown on CBS 48hours Sat.  was left out. After leaving the trappists fr.Fieth joined the paracletes and rose in that order.( his nick name was Himler, I believe).( Not kidding) and here's the story that was buried: he helped fr. Porter leave his treatment with the paracletes to molest again. and other perps as well. CBS buried the lead.

  2. Jim Robertson says:

    What you left out was the priests who appeared including a cardinal who apologized for the church's crimes against it's own children.

    And on 48 hours for CBS; How about the murderer and rapist fr. Feith? Who when sent to the paracletes rose in that order and helped decide the return of fr. Porter, one of many, to rape again?

  3. Publion says:

    In regard to JR’s modestly intelligible comments of the 6th:


    At 1233AM: We have ‘produced’ very substantial elements and factors that would strongly indicate the possibility for false-claims on this site. And – yet again – the burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused. Nor have we seen much in terms of stories and claims that we have actually been able to examine here that would indicate a substantial probability of credibility.


    But what other options do the Abuseniks have here, really? The entire Stampede has been based on the shell-game whereby these claims and allegations can be lodged without any evidence, and we have even seen (in the Michigan Manual for prosecutors) that proponents have actually tried to construct a ‘scientific’ theory that justifies the lack of evidence and a legal theory ditto. Now questions are starting to be asked and the Abuseniks have nothing; all they can do is pull out every play in the Playbook to try and distract everybody from the questions.


    In regard to this former-priest Feith (readers who wish to do some further research need to be aware that his name if also spelled ‘Feit’ in some reports and your search-engine may respond to either spelling): the case is 50-plus years old, the police have suspected him of murder for much of that time but no progress has been made in the case. In 2002, another then-80 year old former priest (who, like Feith, also left the priesthood 40 or more years ago and is now deceased) claims that Feith confessed the murder to him back then (which would seem to also raise some questions about the seal of confession). This second priest also claims that he told police this back 50 years ago although the police say at this point that he did not report it. Feith denies committing the murder.


    A Grand Jury refused to return an indictment against Feith.


    I would also point out that all of this took place over half-a-century ago in Texas, not a venue known for strongly Catholic sympathies (we recall some of the objections raised to JFK going to Dallas precisely because it was not a notably pro-Catholic stronghold). So the usual trope that the local police covered for the Church wouldn’t seem to have much traction in this case.


    So this is a rather complex story that requires a lot of official sorting-out that has not happened.


    And JR – as so very very often – reports all of this as if the fact of Feith’s guilt is established.


    The mainstream media have not done much with it over the years (possibly because there has really been nothing factual they can report – which is somewhat uncharacteristic for the MSM in the Abuse Matter; although such complexities don’t often deter Abuseniks, as we have so often seen).


    Also, the material I saw said that Feith’s nickname among priests was “little Goebbels”, not “Himler” – so even when JR is “not kidding” we have to be careful with his veracity and accuracy.


    And on the 6th at 1259PM: As I have said before, various prelates have (rightly) apologized for the damage that was done, although that does not at all establish that they admit that every story in the Stampede was true and accurate. And nobody I can recall on this site has ever denied that any abuse ever took place at all.


    Then we are treated to a repetition of the Feith material from 12 hours before. Is there a memory issue here?

    • Jim Robertson says:

      I did that name change on purpose. You are obsessed with minutia and constantly overlook the larger picture. You've proved it again. Congrats. You may return your head to the sand now.

  4. Jim Robertson says:


  5. Delphin says:

    A big, fat so what? Bad men did bad things, in the Church, and everywhere else. Police investigated and filed no charges, no indictment occured. What was anybody supposed to do after Fiet(h) was cleared by law enforcement?

    Then, 40-50 years later people regain memories, cold cases are dusted off, media outlets hop on a now-old and worn-out bandwagon, what a shock! I wonder why? Maybe there's a few bucks in it and a midterm election coming up?

    Bunch of typical bigoted BS.

  6. Delphin says:
  7. Jim Robertson says:

    Nazi criminals are still brought to justice 60 years later but child raping priests should be excempt from their murders and rapes? You so called "religious people" aren't.

    Again you never show any substantial amount, number,or examples of false claims. You say they exist but have no examples to shows. (You also say that about god, the saints and after lives and show no evidence for any of those things but refer to them as if they exist) You believe in more unprovable things than anyone. Yet victims are not believed by you.

    The problem seems to be with your credability not your victims', per usual. We have evidence you have none.

    • Delphin says:

      Why don't you start your own religion, one that worships victim-claimants upon which your belief system is also totally faith-based?

      It won't be able to offer any observable or measurable evidence, it will have its saints (Anderson, Doyle, Sarmina, Williams, Goodstein, Maher, the majority of the msm) and martyrs (you can be the queen of all martyrs in your very own church), it can identify Catholic clergy as your demons with which to battle daily and you can conduct mass at your media outlets.

      Your final payday won't be salvation and eternal life in the Kingdom of God, but, that isn't what your types seek, anyway. You can promise yourselves monetary rewards 'acquired' from your eternal enemy, the Catholics (…and maybe, mercifully, a dictionary, please?)

      There ya go, now, go forth and kick the dust of this 'world' from your feet and proselytize-


  8. mark says:

    Delphin has it right. And here is where the bigots at PBS, the UN, the White House, and the lamestream media (NYT, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC etc) run into a dilemma: each time they take a gratuitous swipe at the Church, they effectively announce that active homosexuality is a cancer in the Church. How do you feel about that, gay lobby?

    The Frontline program on the Vatican was about the most puerile and pitiful "documentary" I have seen on a major TV channel. But then I did grow up in England, benefiting from exposure to quality documentary making that makes Frontline's farce look like a children's cartoon.

  9. Jim Robertson says:

    Insult after insult it never ends. I aqain ask the readership where is jesus in either of these two? Anybody?

  10. Publion says:

    On the 7th at 1021AM JR now tells us that he gave us wrong information “on purpose” since – waittttt for ittttt – I am “obsessed with minutia and constantly overlook the larger picture”.


    I want to point out here and now what a vitally fundamental illustration of the Abusenik and Stampede governing strategy that statement reveals: i) actual and factual accuracy and truth are not of primary (if any) importance; ii) individuals who consider themselves in possession of (somebody’s version of) “the larger picture” may put up whatever information they wish as they wish.


    We see this so often in media material about the Abuse Matter and the reader may contemplate the role that this self-serving ‘philosophy’ of things has played in allegations and claims and stories over the years.


    Actual facts are “minutia” and needn’t and mustn’t be allowed to detain “the larger picture”; persons who feel themselves thus authorized may deal with such “minutia” as they see fit. And not just ‘smaller’ facts but ‘larger’ actual facts as well. Because at the end of the day, it’s all in a good cause.


    Persons who allow themselves to be hindered by actual facts merely live with their “head in the sand”.


    This approach is a tortie’s dream, combining an elasticity toward factuality with a self-serving justification for whatever elasticity in stories and claims and allegations any allegant so-inclined might wish to indulge.


    And before long we can easily wind up with a Stampede based only tenuously on actual facts, creating a toxic feedback-loop where each such elastic story or claim or allegation then feeds-back into the overall impression (or illusion) that “the larger picture” is even worse than anybody had imagined, which then justifies even more such elasticity – which is now increasingly necessary in the light of the increasingly horrific follow-on claims and stories and allegations. And thus the Ball Keeps Rolling.


    Then at 1034AM on the 7th we are treated to a not-unfamiliar equating of abusive priests and former Nazis. But while there has never been doubt that the Nazi regime intended-to and actually did perpetrate actual horrors on a huge scale and as a matter of well-documented government policy, what we have in the Stampede is much less certain and may well be ‘enhanced’ by the elastic approach to facts that I noted immediately above in this comment.


    And we see here once again a problem I have discussed before: even in the Nazi cases, while we can be reasonably sure that various actual individual perpetrations of the regime’s horrific programs were indeed carried out, yet in any individual instances it is much more difficult to determine guilt – especially seven decades and more later.


    The solution in the Nazi problem has been to develop a legal-theory that all Nazis and soldiers, civil servants, or various types of government functionaries simply share in the general guilt of the Nazi regime, even if it is not possible to definitively establish their specific individual guilt for this and that perpetration.


    The similar solution of Victimism and the Abusenik Stampede approach has been to a) simply assume that such wide-spread and policy-based organizational strategies also exist and that thus b) it is perfectly legitimate to presume the guilt of both the organization (the Church) and any individual priests who are made the subject (or target) of claims, stories, and allegations.


    And I point out again that actual “child-raping” constitutes the smallest percentage of actual formal allegations. (And the solution to that problem has been, as we have seen here, to treat the definition of ‘rape’ like play-dough and expand it to include just about anything at all.


    And – we are getting to the bottom of JR’s box of 3x5s here – we are again presented with the sly whine that we have demonstrated “any substantial amount, number, or examples of false claims” (nice mimicry of comprehensive assessment language usage here).


    But as has been pointed out here numerous times: i) the vast majority of those formal claims are now under some form of restriction (including, I am going to imagine, the material from the 2006 500-Plaintiff AOLA case) such that it is impossible to examine them; ii) the probability of false claims is ineradicably established by the various operational factors and dynamics we have examined (including right here with this theory of “the larger picture”); and iii) the burden of proof is on the allegant, not the accused – to demonstrate that the stories and claims and allegations put forward (under oath) are accurate and true.


    I have said that the probability of false-claims existing is now demonstrably very high (nor has any Abusenik material we have seen on this site done anything to counter that reality – and indeed has done, and continues to do, just the opposite).


    As for the theological bit about God not being proven to exist, that bit of eructation can be left just where it was put. It is irrelevant because the question of God’s existence is not in the legal-forum, whereas the stories and claims and allegations are in the legal-forum.


    Then – in that now-typical I’m Not/You Are effort at mimicry by the Abuseniks – JR draws himself up to deliver the pronunciamento that “the problem seems to be with your credibility” [correction supplied]. And as I have said, a) the problem is primarily one of probability, for which credibility (demonstrated by rational and coherent and factually-grounded claims and assertions) is vital, especially in ‘spectral evidence’ cases where there is almost no reliable corroborating evidence whatsoever.


    And ii) it becomes crystal-clear that persons who have already demonstrated that they subscribe to such an elastic and dismissive approach to factuality and accuracy as JR has now revealed here, cannot soberly and reasonably be presumed to be paragons of credibility.


    And lastly, we see again the concomitant elastic expansion of the term “evidence” to include, apparently, whatever ‘memories’ this or that allegant chooses to claim – which is, again, precisely the dynamic beneath the long-discredited theory of ‘spectral evidence’.

  11. Jim Robertson says:

    Nice? Show me the jesus! You want nice? Buy a puppy.

    D is a religious, a clergy "person". I trust D like I do any other lying cleric. Not one bit.

    Mark I agree the Frontline show was weak; all over the place; and flawed as a documentary but it was honest(.Save for the use of the false flag "heros" for victims Doyle Anderson Berry SNAP  [they should be one name] For 30 odd years now they've been the face and voice of victims. And you don't think they and SNAP are black ops? You're just being stupid, per usual at TMR)

    The entire virtueous catholic world is represented by Doyle; Anderson; Berry, and SNAP? (I say virtueous because the raped are who they purport to represent)

    That's 1 and a quarter billion human beings and they are the only catholics you see "saying" the right things?. Instead of getting more leaders with time (30 years) we get less? Doyle's the voice for victims in Australia too. Are you nuts?

    And in those 30 years no other new faces have come forward out of the millions of victims? The ones who were there at the beginning of the abuse revelations, are the only ones there 30 years later? You must think everyone is as stupid as you.

  12. Jim Robertson says:

    Half of my money settlement was aquired from the insurors. I don't see them attacking victims like you "loving catholics" do. I don't see those insurance companies whining about "evil; anti insurance company; media manufactured  campaigns." against them. No they , when forced through the justice and civil systems, just compensated the injured.

  13. Ken Horne says:

    In September 1950, yes that long ago, I started at a prestigous catholic college in Manchester, England. I was just ten years old.My first teacher, a Father Rylands, used to come into the changing rooms at the swimming pool and watch me dress after swimming. I was very uncomfortable and turned my back on him as much as possible. A few weeks later he sent me up to see the Principal, Father, later Monsignor Tommy Duggan. I was there for punishment for talking in class. Duggan had me pull down my trousers and bent me over his knee. He fiddled a bit with my bottom and penis and then slapped me hard with his bare hand. Two or three weeks later I was sent up again. This time he tried to enter me and I struggled and fought to no avail. When I got home that night I told my father what had happened to me. My father was a devout catholic and did not believe me. He, my father actually beat me, twice, once for lying about Duggan and then lying to him. So at 10 years old I was left to the devices and abuse of Duggan. I was abused on a regular basis from then on. In September 1952 I was told to report to Duggan next morning first thing. On the way home I run in front of a bus thinking being killed was the easiest solution. The bus made a right mess of me and I have the horrible scars showing to this day. I almost had one leg ripped off and one foot turned into mince meat. Somehow death didn't take me and after many months in hospital I went back to school in early 1953. More abuse followed and then one day Duggan violently rape me and left me a wreck. When my father got home that night he took one look at me and called me into his study. The whole sorry saga came out and he was shattered. My father was never the same and died a broken man at 50 years old in 1958. My father went to the local bishop and had a confrontation with Duggan and the bishop at the school, in the very room wherer all my rape had occured. Result? I was expelled from the school for briinging the school into disrupute. Duggan carried on raping boys like me until 1966 when he was retired to a small country church. Duggan died in 1968.

    Duggans victims number in their hundreds!

    Fast forward to March 2011. Through a website called 'paulmalpas.com' I found I was one of the many victims of Duggan. There were other pedophile priests and teachers at the school, by Duggan was the worse.

    Efforts to get my case to court failed because of the Statuate of Limitations.

    The past three years many other victims have come forward, Some are lucky, they will have their day in court.

    Three years ago I met Tom Doyle and found him a tower of strength and he helped carry me through the trauma of reliving the horror as I told my story to him, the lawyers and a number of others.

    I hadn't told another living soul in all the years between, not even my wife of 40 years. She knows now of course as do a few close friends, but it is not something you speak out over dinner with most people.

    I hope this helps those reading this.

  14. Jim Robertson says:

    Since I'm critical of Doyle. I answer you. ( aside: My family came from Hyde, Chesire)

    I am very sorry this happened to you. Mr. Horne. Sorry doesn't cover it at all…. words can't touch your and your family's horror. I feel sorry for your dad's death as well.

    fr. Doyle was in England to speak to you? If he brought you comfort, great. Uncompensated victims only cadge what help they can; where they can. No other priests offered you solace?

    All shame goes to the perpetrators and their enablers. No shame belongs to you; it never has.

    I do tell people over the dinnertable and everywhere else about my abuse. One is only as sick as her/his secrets. Honesty, as you probably allready have learned, at horriffic costs, is always the best policy. imho.

    Mr Horne, i'm so, so, sorry.

  15. Delphin says:

    Absolutely horrible story, one which could be told about occurring in any religion, family, secular organization, school, child care/social services facility and on and on. And, it has been going on, mostly condoned by many cultures since the beginning of time and is still promoted in some present-day cultures, especially where females are involved. Yet, there is little, if any, outcry against these same crimes committed against these 'other' victims in our media, do you know why?

    It is a horrendous experience you suffered, Ken Horne, and your father should have believed you and gone to the proper authorities immediately to stop this predator from hurting you, and prevent other crimes, or taken matters into his own hands with this particular monster to protect his family, as is his duty. Such an action would be justified by civil society, and God.

    The fact that a minority of Catholic clergy committed these crimes decades ago still does not justify the current persecution of the Catholic Church, which has admitted failings and implemented corrective actions, or alleviate any responsibility to the prosecute all other organizations and entities, similarly, in which such crimes are committed today.

    No one ever denied priests committed crimes, they are as human as all other offenders. It is the disproportionate prosecution of the Church (read the recent UN report on child protection if you need proof) and Catholic bashing that accompanies priests crimes that is the issue.

    The issue is that of bigotry and bias. And, your Fr. Doyle is part of that problem.

  16. Jim Robertson says:

    What "persecution"? the fact that you appear in the news at all? You don't rape kids; you don't make the news.

    Your church can whine "persecution" till it rots but where's the proof? You have none per usual.

  17. john vondra says:

    America-Roman Catholic for 300 years-England-Roman Catholic for 1500 years-What the bleep happened?

  18. Jim Robertson says:

    Why is it right-wingers never take responsibility for the consequences of their actions? From carbon destruction of the viablity of the planet to ,you name it, their greed and selfishness precludes all decency, justice and in the end to humanity's existence itself. They whine about them providing jobs: they are the "makers" we the "takers" when the exact oppposite is true. Sociopathy kills everything and everyone. Which side are you on?

    Just look at the lies promulgated here: "Abusenicks" etc., Is Mr. Horne an "abusenick" to you?  Are we to pretend his rapes never happened?  Can't you tell, he's speaking the truth of his life in what he writes?

  19. Publion says:

    I see that my comments are invited by the remark (the 15th, noon) as to “Abuseniks” [correction supplied].


    This is connected to the comment by ‘Ken Horne’ (the 13th, 229AM).


    Taken in the context of all my previous comments on this site, there is not much new here. But I will say – to recap – what I have always said in regard to items such as this, and thus connect this item to the overall Stampede.


    Mr. Horne will, I trust, not take it amiss if I point out that we are left here with precisely an example of the Stampede’s strategy in regard to the internet: the conflation of the personal and the public through the medium of statements-made and stories-told on the internet: we have no way of knowing with any sort of independent certainty or even probability the extent of credibility here; and ii) given the gravitational pull and the distortions and derangements which the Anderson Strategies have (so strategically) introduced, then the asserted numerous other stories referenced in the comment also leave us in the same position (i.e. the fact that the assertions and allegations were made may well be true, but that fact does not of itself establish the stories, assertions, allegations and claims themselves)


    Thus we remain at square-one.


    So, specifically, we are here confronted with a now-so-familiar proposition: almost 65 years ago a priest (himself now presumably long dead) is alleged to have demonstrated some untoward predilections or interests in regard to students in the swimming-pool or changing-room . (The fact that this took place in the UK does introduce a slightly unusual element.)


    And also that when this student was later sent to the principal (a priest, also now long-deceased) for some disciplinary infraction, that priest administered (then-acceptable) corporal punishment in the form of some form of bending the bare-bottom over his knee for some type of whacking, which however then also, we are told, involved fondling of the student’s penis. And that when the student was then sent for a second infraction a couple of weeks later, the priest-Principal actually attempted penetrative-rape (although the phrase “to no avail” seems to delicately imply that this attempt was completed).


    The student’s father was told that very night, we are informed, but – as so often – the father’s being “a devout catholic” resulted in the father’s not-believing the allegation.


    Which resulted in the student’s being “abused on a regular basis from then on”. And, two years later, that resulted in the student’s apparently deliberately walking in front of a bus “thinking being killed was the easiest solution”, for which the student has “horrible scars showing to this very day” and incurred some very serious injuries.


    When the student recovered and returned to school (after a hospitalization of “many months”) “more abuse followed”, including a “violent[ly[ rape”.


    At which point – for whatever reason – the father suddenly reversed himself and was “shattered” by the story. [Yet this parent apparently took no further legal action and simply went on to die “a broken man at 50 years old in 1958”.)


    But while not going to the police – for whatever reasons – the father, we are told, “went to the local bishop” with the result, we are told, that a remarkable scene ensued where the student, the bishop himself and the priest/Principal/alleged-perpetrator met “in the very room” where the rape had taken place. (The bishop did not conduct the interview in his office but actually betook himself to the school’s athletic facility – which indicates a somewhat confounding amount of interest on the part of the bishop.)


    The result of which (rather remarkable) encounter was that the student was “expelled from the school”, ostensibly, we are told, for “bringing the school into disrepute” [corrections supplied].


    The alleged rapist “carried on raping boys like me until 1966, when he was retired to a small country church” and he died 46 years ago, in 1968.


    We are told – with exclamation point – that this priest had “victims” numbering “in their hundreds”. (And yet apparently none of those parents or students took any action, numbering “in their hundreds”.)


    And yet in 2011 – thus half a century and a decade and a year later – with the Stampede and its scenarios and dynamics well-established in the US, a website appeared on the internet and this individual found out that he was only one of the “many victims” of the priest (dead, by then, for 43 years).


    And we are also informed that “there were other pedophile priests and teachers at the school” – although this particular priest was the worst.


    And we are further informed that while attempts were then made – in 2011 or subsequently – to bring the matter to court the Statutes of Limitations precluded criminal or civil action. (Thus: of all these hundreds of alleged victims, not one, nor any of their parents, had taken any action legally or in regard to the police in any of the ensuing 60 or so years, even as regards reporting the matter to the police back in the days when the Statutes would have permitted legal action.)


    I sincerely trust that Mr. Horne will not consider it excessive in me for noting that this tale is shot-through with elements that surpass the ‘remarkable’ and reach the level of the ‘extraordinary’ (using the term here in the mode of best Brit polite understatement).


    We are then informed that the still-Father himself, Tom Doyle, enters the “saga” at this point (thus in 2011) and performed his now-usual marvelous ministrations.


    And had none of the other of those “hundreds” told their spouses or anyone else during this substantial period of time?


    At any rate, surely now Mr. Horne has revealed his “saga” to the world (of the internet, anyway). And that is his right.


    But as to whether this “saga” – “sorry” as it indeed is – in and of itself constitutes an undeniable demand on our belief is another question altogether. And that is for each reader to decide.


    Were any reader to – say – encounter this gentleman on a plane or train and be told this “saga” it would still remain somewhat problematic as to whether to credit it. For persons on the internet, deprived as they are of even the modest assistance afforded by gaining some in-person intuitive sense of the story-teller’s credibility, the material would constitute a question of judgment for the hearer. And this difficulty is merely amplified acutely by the nature of the internet and its non-personal modality.


    It truly becomes a judgment call as to whether to ‘believe’ it – and that judgment is for each reader to make for him/herself.


    But this is precisely where the conflation of the personal and the public (i.e. the internet) forums so neatly serves the purposes of the Anderson Strategies and the Stampede.


    And – I will also note – we see precisely this same confounding dynamic now introduced into the forum American law and jurispraxis: as readers who follow the Big Trial site might have been recently reminded, it is now erected into law in many (if not all) States that juries simply have to find the accuser’s story ‘credible’ in order to legally convict an accused, even in the absence of any corroborating evidence. That is to say: if they choose to ‘believe’ the accuser’s story, then no further evidence is required to deliver a legally-acceptable conviction.


    We see here how very much this trope of ‘belief’ has been (slyly) made to replace the necessity for evidence in this type of case, no matter how remarkable the story is or how far back the allegation reaches in time.


    I have taken the time with this “saga” to demonstrate just what level of analysis has to be conducted when confronted with such material. Readers may contemplate the possibilities or probabilities of average jurors conducting such an analysis, or even of average defense counsel walking them through it in the course of trial.


    My own thought – unhappy as it is – would be that such a level of analysis of the story or “saga” is not to be expected. And this is not simply because a) many jurors are not prepared for such a level of assessment but even more so because b) so many jurors now come to this type of trial ‘pre-loaded’ with the media-amplified Stampede presumptions that i) there indeed has been a decades’ (if not centuries’) long  record of genuine abuse and rapine in the Church and that ii) it would in any case be therefore ‘insensitive’ (or worse) to question or assess any story with any degree of objectivity (let alone skepticism) whatsoever.


    In such a situation, and provided so very helpfully with the Stampede-dogma that one can never  be wrong by merely ‘believing the victim’ regardless of any dissonant elements in the story, jurors may well take the less strenuous path out of the morass and simply convict faute de mieux (i.e., for lack of any better option).


    Indeed, as readers who read the Michigan prosecution Manual may have noticed, Stampede-dogma has actually (and neatly) provided for the numerous doubt-inducing possibilities of such stories: part of the utter uniqueness of sex-crime stories and allegations is that they may very well not be coherent and may very well change over time and may very well fail to meet any reasonable person’s intuitive expectations of truthfulness … but this is merely because the awfulness of the sex-crime itself (however defined) has the (demonic or vampiric) power to so confuse the allegant/’victim’ that s/he may well not be able to relate the truth coherently and may even be untruthful in some elements of the claim. But – the dogma assures us – that is no reason to doubt the story.


    Readers may contemplate that dogma as they will. And in doing so, they may also contemplate the effects and consequences of adopting it and erecting it into law and jurispraxis.

  20. malcolm harris says:

    Commenting on Ken Horne's story, posted March 13, I would like to say that we are in the same age group. When he was a 10 year old student, attending a Catholic school in the U.K., I was the same in Australia. The two countries are very similar, re education institutions, so hope I can comment fairly.

    I know of a Supreme Court Judge who instructed a jury with these words "You must disregard everything that you have heard… unless it has been supported by evidence"   Significantly, Ken's words are not supported by any evidence all, and an accusation is not proof? Some might say that objective evidence is not possible after all this time and that we should simply believe him, out of pity and sympathy. But a real court would require evidence, and that is the reason he is now appealing to the 'court of public opinion'.  Hoping that the public will not think with their heads but with their emotions. Those who try to think with their heads will know that objective evidence is still possible.. and question why Ken has not obtained it.

    Remember that he alleges that he threw himself in front of a bus, rather that face another day of sexual abuse. Well in my entire life have never heard of a 12 year old attempting suicide in such a way, and the police would have been equally surprised, particularly after interviewing the bus driver. They would have investigated as a matter of priority, talking to parents, family doctor, and his friends. Mental and/or emotional disturbance would have been suspected. The doctors at the hospital would have been equally surprised and compelled to discover the underlying cause. Ken would only have had to give the slightest indication of sexual abuse for the police to mount a thorough investigation. The 1950's were not the dark ages… serious abusers of children were sent to prison. Ken clearly implies that sodomy occurred frequently and such offenders were sent to prison. However minor offences (such as inappropriate touching) may not have been reportable at that time. Both the police and hospitals are legally required to keep written records.. and those records would still be in the respective archives. Similarly the daily newspaper in Manchester would be like all newspapers, always looking for a good human interest story, so a 12 year old being smashed by a huge bus, would have been reported on. Newspapers have archives going right back to their first day of publication. What I am saying is that evidence to support part of his allegations would still exist. The question is why he hasn't bothered to get it?

    He said that he didn't tell anybody in his adult life, not even his wife. And "it's not something you speak out over dinner with most people". I understand that… but it would certainly be something that I would speak of in my doctor's office, particulary when still suffering the emotional and physical scars, as he says he is. Even in my twenties and thirties I would have understood that I needed help, medical and legal, but he did nothing. Why?

    It seems he has waited almost 40 years (after becoming an adult) before acting. Why? Could it be that with the alleged perpetrator now dead, and unable to defend himself, then it is much more likely that such shocking accusations might be believed in the minds of naive people?. Ken's story seems to encapsulate the whole Abuse Matter. Shocking allegations made  without any evidence to support them.


    • Jim Robertson says:

      First of all I don't think it right to play with Mr. Horne's life. This is not a safe place Mr. Horne for truthful people.

      These people are in schock.They blame the messenger, us.

      Do you actually think victims knew we were wrecking our lives? we'd just see our lives wrecked. We thought it controllable. Only we couldn't. It isn't.You don't control life . Life controls us much more than we do it. It's bigger.

      Or else we'd chalk the train wreck of lives up to bad luck. And plow on through. but it got all messed up. It screwed with the software. Not to the point of idiocy but to bad views of one's self.

      That's pretty serious stuff to live your life hating yourself.

      Have either of you ever been raised as a male in the '40s and 50's? In that time period? You told no one.  They might call you a queer.

  21. Publion says:

    On the 16th at 1105PM we are given a rather clear textbook example of the Stampede Playbook’s repertoire of responses to the assessment of the Horne comment.


    First, by pointing out the problematic aspects of the Horne comment questioners are somehow ‘playing with’ “Mr. Horne’s life”. But a) Mr. Horne took it upon himself to put his material up here and b) readers may consider whether simple questioning constitutes ‘playing with’.


    Second, the sly sliding-in of Mr. Horne as “truthful” – which is a) precisely the problem which is under discussion here and b) is an assertion yet to be demonstrated. But as a corollary to the Abusenik insistence that any and all stories must be believed-to-be “truthful” without any further questioning or doubt, we are apparently required – by Abusenik and Stampede protocol – to presume the veracity and accuracy of whatever anybody cares to put forward.


    Third, the (vaguely clinical) epithet that questioners are “in shock” [correction supplied] and then the thus already-undermined conclusion that questioners or doubters “blame the messenger”.  We have precisely not established that we are being given an accurate and veracious ‘message’ in the first place. We are not ‘blaming’ “the messenger”; we are questioning that “messenger” (or, more accurately, we are questioning that messenger’s ‘message’).


    Fourth, the equally sly insertion of that “us”, which – we are meant to infer – means ‘genuine victims’, whose genuineness is – also by Abusenik and Stampede protocol – supposed to be presumed forthwith and without any doubt or question.


    Fifth, the presumption that “we” “victims” had seen “our lives” ‘wrecked’. As I have often said: while it is very possible that persons coming-forward (as they like to say) do indeed demonstrate notable elements of damage to their lives, there is no clear connection between) those very-possibly-real damaged aspects and  ii) any alleged incidents perpetrated by rapine-minded clerics.


    Sixth, the presumption that “victims” are not able to “control life” but rather that “life controls us much more than we do”. This characterization of humans as largely helpless in the face of (in this case: still undemonstrated and unproven) life-events.  This presumption – a vital element in the Abusenik narrative casting of life – fails to account for the fact that a) humans have proven themselves remarkably resilient in general against the various “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and b) specifically that not all persons undergoing even major traumatic events consider their lives to be fundamentally ‘wrecked’. (And I am presuming here for the purposes of the present discussion that the ‘victimization’ is genuine to begin-with.) If sexual-abuse at the hands of any other human being is as rife as it is so often claimed to be, and has been so since the beginning of time, then in this theory the human species should not have survived, let alone as successfully as it has, at all.


    Seventh, I agree that “the train wreck of lives” is not best chalked-up to mere “bad luck”. But that fact does not of itself establish that persons who are thus ‘train-wrecks’ have reached that point because of the still-not established reality of (claimed) sexual-abuse.


    Eighth – and ditto – while it is indeed “pretty serious stuff to live life hating yourself”, yet there is no clear causal connective link between such a condition and any alleged sex-abuse. And that would certainly hold true in the story under consideration in the comments here. But this trope is – again – neatly presumed to be part of the theorized consequences of the ‘unique’ nature of sex-abuse (which, as we recall from the Michigan Manual, is claimed to be even more traumatizing than being shot or knifed).


    Ninth, the two questioners are then asked whether they have “ever been raised as male in the ‘40s and 50s” – which is a question the relevance of which needs to be explained. (And – in my own case – since JR has previously delivered himself of the opinion that I am older than he is, then it is a question that he himself has apparently already answered.)


    Tenth, he then delivers the general pronouncement that in that era “you told no one” – and yet Mr. Horne has said that he told his father and – it has to be assumed from his story – the bishop as well. And in other stories we have been able to examine on this site, other persons – even if only peers – were indeed told, and in one rather relevant case, a peer was told – we have been told – precisely so that the peer would ‘tell’ somebody else.


    And it still remains a rather hard-to-accept inference that in all those “hundreds of” alleged  victims, nobody told anybody else not only then, but not until the second decade of the 21st century, although the fear of being called “queer” no longer bore, certainly by the 1980s or 1990s, the potential for social stigma that it might have decades before. And this theorization of the problem does nothing to address the silence of females who were allegedly victimized by male clerics.


    There is – I think we have seen by this point – no way of coherently covering all the questions with a comprehensive and rational explanatory theory. Like trying to nail down the air-bubbles in a wall-to-wall carpet, attempts to squash-down one problem simply create further problems for the credibility of the narrative and of the theory.


    In the face of which confounding dynamic the Playbook simply calls-for claiming that one is being ‘played-with’ by insensitive nit-pickers who focus on minutiae and don’t ‘get’ “the larger picture”. But a picture is composed of various elements that together work to establish the picture; and if there are problems with any of the composite elements then there are going to be problems with “the larger picture” or with the picture itself.


    Lastly, I would say that the Playbook requires that a ‘story’ only be considered for its usefulness in terms of achieving the Stampede’s objectives, and not for that story’s actual accuracy and veracity (let alone for any assessment-of such claimed accuracy or veracity). Thus when any story is not simply accepted at face value, but rather is assessed for credibility, then the Playbook has no option but to work toward derailing such assessment and returning focus to the (presumed) emotionally-inciting elements of the story and that’s all.


    But that’s not all there is to it. Not at all.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Correct the beam in your own eye rather than the mote in mine.

      Quit correcting my spelling. Like you are doing a great job teaching me. I'm 67 years old.

      If i spel badliy sew what? You spell correctly and still your wrong.

      So I guess spelling correctly is no guarantee, that what you're saying with your well spelt words, has anything to do with the truth.

  22. Julie says:

    I too find some of the very exaggerated accusations somewhat questionable and disturbing. It's like all of a sudden – I kept this in all these years, and lo and behold, torte attorneys come out and bam, I am telling my story. In my experience, I had a breakdown in my Dr.'s office recently because of flashbacks. Of course, nobody, the Jims and Dennis Ecker's, and lawyers, media, etc., cares about my experiences with flashbacks and intrusive, horrible memories because I was not abused by someone in the Catholic Church. No money to go after, nobody cares. But I can tell you, it is not something you can just keep quiet. And it makes to sense to consider jumping in front of a bus rather than tell somebody. Not sure I buy it, but it is my experience, maybe people react differently.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Julie, males (both gay and straight) react very differently. Some people after being raped as children, over eat or self medicate or shut down sexually or oppositely become promiscuous. Therapy, with someone who knows the subject of child abuse, I highly recomend.

      Julie, would you go after financial compensation if you could? Why is seeking compensation so awful to you. If you were hit by a truck wouldn't you seek damages? Or is it wrong to seek money from the catholic church because jesus needs the bread?

  23. Publion says:

    A few further general thoughts about how the Stampede distorts, not necessarily related to any specific bits on this thread.


    Defining ‘pain’ has never been easy, even for the scientifically-minded.


    Pain – as some may know – was once thought to be a specific type of sensation, with its own special (perhaps ‘unique’) pain-causing nature. But early in the last century it was clearly demonstrated that all sensory nerves transmit the same type of electrical impulses to the brain – because ‘sensory stimuli’ are all transformed or encoded into electrical charges that are then forwarded to the brain.


    And then it is up to the brain to handle the impulses when they arrive there. What the brain does with the impulses – how it interprets them, you might say – depends to some extent on context. A sensory-stimuli package reporting a broken bone might not be interpreted (or prioritized) as ‘pain’ if, say, the individual were in the middle of an intensely-involving rugby scrimmage; whereas if one were simply walking along an icy sidewalk and fell and broke that same bone, the brain would do things differently.  But the sensory-impulses encoding the report of the bone-break would be the same in either case.


    And then there’s the fact that in addition to context, there is the even more complicated and iffy matter of how the particular individual will respond to the news of the break conveyed into the consciousness by the brain. Different individuals react in different ways. Some focus on the ‘pain’ and indeed prioritize it. Others focus on other ways of processing or reacting-to the break: the scrimmage-player may realize that the bone is broken but ‘play through it’ or ignore it because of more important personal objectives or because of some larger sense of purpose or meaning by means of which ‘pain’ is either subsumed or given a reduced priority.(An extreme example of this might be any of Bruce Willis’s characters in those movies where he endures tremendous amounts of pain but keeps on going toward his purpose; or soldiers who refuse to yield to the ‘pain’ and get on with the mission.)


    But in any case, the damage (and the sensory-message encoding news of the damage) in and of itself does not cause any uniform or predictable emotional response.  To some real extent, pain – sort of like ‘beauty’ – is a consequence of the workings of the mind or of the self, and not of the workings of any mechanistic and deterministic property or power inhering in the experience or the sensory-message reporting the experience. James Thurber, writing in what may now be a lost cultural era, put it pithily by saying that to refer to pain as ‘psychosomatic’ is like referring to a “female wife” (i.e. – in his era – a tautology, although that does not seem to be the cultural case in the present era). All ‘pain’ is, so to speak, ‘in the mind’ in the sense that a) the mind plays a substantial role in focusing-on and classifying and prioritizing an experience as ‘painful’ and b) the individual then plays a substantial role in shaping how the ‘pain’ will or will not play a part in further life-experiences.


    And then there is some distinction to be made between i) the experience of ‘pain’ resulting from a clear physical cause, and ii) that resulting from a life-experience (the response to which is even more dependent upon the individual and not the experience itself).


    And a further distinction to be made between (i) and (ii) above and iii) the ‘pain’ that arises from the simple fact of the frustrations of being a self in a world that does not often seem structured to respect the preferences of any individual self.


    None of the foregoing is intended here to dispositively address any particular instance or issue. But we can see how the Stampede – reflecting, certainly, the interests of any good tort attorney – has capitalized on ‘pain’ as if a) it were almost an actual physical entity with a life of its own (unleashed by, of course, the actions of whatever Party Defendant is named in the lawsuit). And as if b) this noxious and independent entity called ‘pain’ was utterly beyond the control of any human individual or self to deal-with. All of which goes to reduce the role of the individual and engorge the role of the ‘pain’ (and, of course, its perpetrator).


    But the matter is not at all so simple. And yet, as I have said before, you can’t get a good Stampede going and then keep a good Stampede going by focusing on complexities; you want to go for the simplistic, and make it as vivid as you can.


    And a second point: some readers may have read some or all of the Michigan Manual, which, we recall, is by the same ‘researchers’ who also run a for-profit consulting service for law enforcement and various other agencies, whereby they are paid for educating professionals into what they have ‘discovered’ in their ‘research’. One of the primary ‘researchers’ also happens to be the group’s grant-writer, and anyone familiar with the ins-and-outs of writing a catchy and attractive grant proposal for big bucks can start to contemplate the reliability of the ‘science’ and assertions introduced in support of the quest for cash.


    What we have seen in the Michigan Manual and what is also in this Illinois material is, I would say, a clear example of the construction of a theory that (so very neatly) cannot be dis-proved: a) the sex-crime is so utterly ‘unique’ that b) no traditional reliance on rationality or coherence or common-sense or on any of the legal principles derived from such sources can be deployed in assessing sex-crime claims and that c) persons prosecuting or adjudicating such claims must be specially-trained to ignore everything they might have learned from the Western scientific and legal traditions in order to ‘properly’ provide ‘justice’ for this type of claim.


    It is for this reason that readers may recall having come across, for a period of some years now, demands and ‘justifications’ for creating special sex-crime courts where the judges and prosecutors and police are ‘specially trained’ to handle this type of case.


    What is meant by this code ‘specially trained’ is that they have precisely been trained to ignore the usual tenets of rationality and coherence and accuracy and honesty and all the consequent Western legal principles (of thought and law) built upon them, and instead to simply follow the handy ‘scientific’ guidelines provided by these new self-proclaimed ‘experts’: the claimant or ‘victim’ may tell the truth or may not; the story told may be rational and coherent and honest or it may not; the story may remain stolidly the same over time or it may be changed over time, even substantively; there may be actual corroborating evidence or there may be no corroborating evidence … whatever! The bottom line is simply to ‘believe’ the (already-declared) ‘victim’ and not ruin everything by trying to approach the story with the fuddy-duddy (and ‘re-victimizing’) mindset of rationality, coherence, evidence, and so on.


    That if you as a professional start out by already ‘believing’ the ‘victim’ – regardless of any problems or doubts – means that you must also start out already dis-believing any claim by the accused as to innocence … this is a corollary that these ‘experts’ would prefer not to discuss. Although, as I mentioned in the comment discussing the Michigan Manual, they do insert a single pious disclaimer that in all of this ‘training’ they are, or course, not trying to undermine or subvert the fundamental principle of the accused being innocent until proven guilty.


    But we have been recently reminded on the BigTrial site about changes to law by which sex-crime juries simply now need to find the victim ‘credible’ in order to effect a legally-binding conviction. Which for all practical purposes subverts the core constitutional principle and changes it now to ‘the accused is innocent until believed guilty’ – which must be a profoundly ominous and alarming change to any Citizen, since it regresses Law back to the days of witchcraft and ‘spectral evidence’.

  24. Publion says:

    Accepting as just one of those mysterious mysteries of the webverse the remarkable tonal and stylistic difference between the comment of the 19th at 1114AM and others from (ostensibly) the same source, I would simply point out that the issue is not at all a) whether one would be wrong “to seek money from the catholic church because jesus needs the bread” but rather b) whether one would be wrong to seek money from any source (or target) on the basis of non-genuine claims.


    And it is the on-going effort here to get a more solid grasp on just how much genuine ground there is and has-been for such “compensation” claims.


    As always, we are pushed toward starting the play on first rather than with an at-bat at home plate.


    I would also point out that we see an example of that queasy type of science whereby the putatively indubitable symptoms or diagnostic sequelae of a claimed experience can be either ‘A’ or ‘just-the-opposite-of-A’ or – what they hey? – anything whatsoever  in between on a spectrum from A to Z.  This is not actually science.

  25. Jim Robertson says:

    Examples of mass false claims? How about 4 or 5 even?

    Julie's silence about her suing her perp says she would if she could.


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