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... Not Just L.A., The City of Angels Is Everywhere...

I was age five when the bishop stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what the priest did to you." Then, forty years later... I started babbling.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Why I am not going to the SNAP conference

By Kay Ebeling

From personal experience I feel most nonprofits really do little more than provide their staff with income, as well as pay the overhead it takes just to be a legal nonprofit. So in the end the people in need are still sitting there in the waiting room not getting any help, but the social workers all drive nice cars. Conferences seem to me to be nonprofit leaders handing each other business cards.

With SNAP there is the added element of wonderment I am left with every time I ineteract with this "survivors network for those abused by priests." The mistakes SNAP continues to make exactly the same way in city after city leave adult victims feeling alienated and more isolated than before they made contact with the group, and many survivors after their experience with SNAP go away and never come back.

The Pope's last U.S. visit is a good example of how SNAP misses opportunities. With almost a year to prepare, SNAP showed up in a frenzy with ideas for events that apparently just popped up days before the Pope's arrival. Then SNAP followed the guy around and held disorganized demonstrations, from what I hear wasted mounds of cash even paid for 4-star hotel rooms full price then left them empty.

And the survivors, some of them newcomers, were left as always in a state of wonderment. And alienation. The end result is almost always survivor alienation.

Plus David Clohessy SNAP spokeman has a brother who is a pedophile priest and SNAP kept that fact about their director secret. Today information about Kevin Clohessy at Bishop Accountability is contradictory. From phone conversations I've had, it appears SNAP leaders around the country do not even know that Clohessy's own brother is one of the perpetrators. Why wasn't that information made public from the start?

(UPDATE: People who've been around since 1993 say everyone knew back then about David's brother, in many emails. I do stand corrected in that. Cover-up may be too strong a word, and I edited this to put let emphasis on Kevin. This article is still about how that information is handled today. There still is contradictory information at Bishop Accountability about Kevin C, and there are still myriad problems in SNAP.

As to hurting David's feelings or the response I'm getting that we shouldn't point out things that are wrong with SNAP because it's run by vulnerable survivors? Neither one of these points gets to me. Sorry, guess I'm missing those brain synapses. I write what I see, I write what I experience.)

You can’t help but wonder about an organization that after 21 years still sends out press releases, announcements, and other notices with incorrect addresses, typos in links, incorrect contact information, the wrong time, the wrong day.

After 21 years of this confusion, SNAP now has a reputation for showing up at the wrong place at a different time than was announced, or just not showing up at all and leaving the new survivor who just came forward for that event standing on a sidewalk all alone.

In L.A. the press has just stopped showing up for SNAP events.

Wonderment. For survivors so often our experience with SNAP leaves us in wonderment

Me, after three years watching this from my perch at City of Angels, I am now suspicious of SNAP. To make the same mistake over and over is understandable in a fledgeling group grasping to create something from the ground up. But SNAP even states in almost every press statement that it's been around for twenty-one years, yet it still can't figure out how to hold a press event? It still forgets to return emails? It still gets the names and dates wrong and addresses go out with typos and no one shows up for the press event.

To continue to make the same mistakes over and over for 21 years makes it look more like they are making the mistakes on purpose, because the real results of these "events" when SNAP breezes through a town is Survivors are turned off, get frustrated and hurt, take it personal, go home, and say they never want to have anything to do with the "movement" again.

SNAP does a great job in city after city of bringing the Movement to a stop.

SNAP spokesman David Clohessy criticizes the church all the time about the whereabouts of defrocked pedophile priests, saying the public has a right to know where sexual predators live, yet no one knows and people have barely heard of his brother pedophile priest Kevin Clohessy.

David became director of SNAP within weeks of his brother entering therapy and disappearing into the Paracletes. Doesn't that seem questionable to other people besides me?

Especially when SNAP kept that information secret?

No one at SNAP ever mentioned Kevin Clohessy until the New York Times and other reporters started to ask questions.

Now at Bishop Accountability there is conflicting information about Kevin Clohessy. The director of SNAP handles his own brother's case with such secrecy? That to me creates more questions than if Clohessy had just been public with information about his brother from the start.

Then the way Clohessy runs SNAP as a series of mistakes leaves a person, again, wondering.

SNAP managed to bring the movement to a stop in L.A., now they are doing it in Texas, the Virginias, the Carolinas, and from what I can see, trying to do it in New York, but people there are, I hope, savvy enough to prevent it.

There is no excuse for a national organization with at least a $500,000 a year budget and five full time paid staff members to be so inept, especially after 21 years, unless ineptness has been its goal from the very start.

Recently it’s really been driving me mad to read another David Clohessy statement from SNAP about the whereabouts of a defrocked pedophile priest.

Where is his own brother Kevin Clohessy? Is this the transparency Clohessy says SNAP and survivors demand of the church.

How Clohessy even became president of SNAP stymies me.

Although he convinces survivors that he has a great deal of experience in public relations, this series of mishaps: wrong email addresses, showing up at the wrong place, standing up in front of a church saying something that is totally unsubstantiated sometimes outright wrong and ends up making survivors look foolish, sending out press releases two hours before an event that should have been planned days, even weeks in advance.

That is about the worst public relations I've ever seen. Last press event I went to in L.A. reporters came up to me ANGRY saying, why did you say this was going to happen and there would be people here. I, luckily, was able to say, hey, don't ask me, I'm not part of SNAP. (B Blaine told me in 2006 that I could not sign letters to the editor or represent myself as being being a member of SNAP, at the Pershing Square event. Just swiped me out with a slash, wonder how many other people that has happened to).

The end result is that SNAP has little credibility to reporters in L.A. It took years of screwing things up to get to that condition, now SNAP just never comes here anymore.

That is good PR if you are doing Reverse PR.

Someone on the SNAP Message Board told me Clohessy’s brother was a perpetrator priest. Then I read it in a couple books, where the authors evidently interviewed Clohessy about it and eked a few words out of him about his brother, but there was nothing at Bishop Accountability in 2006 except the name Kevin Clohessy and a news story from 2003 the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Oddly, the news story at the BA database (under C for Clohessy) was not linked, there was just a regular listing in normal unlinked type of the Dispatch story in the column where all the news story links usually are at BA.

So I went to the Post Dispatch and purchased the story for something like two dollars, and read it. And thought it was strange, then sent it to a couple people. Never mentioned it at City of Angels until today, except at City of Angels 2 where I started doing a counter espionage thriller fiction story based on my "hallucinations" about a group called SNARL last Christmas break, then realized the posts weren't really fiction or hallucinations.

Now at Bishop Accountability there is a more thorough listing under Kevin Clohessy but now there is conflicting information. In the original Dispatch story David C says he is sorry for the parents of that child who his brother molested. Now the summary of Kevin’s crimes says the priest is accused of having sex with an adult.

This on top of 21 years of blatant mistakes, I think, makes SNAP's credibility extremely questionable.

How can Clohessy lead an organization that puts so much attention on outing the location of pedophile priests, when they are no longer priests but living somewhere in the community, when, well, where is Kevin Clohessy living these days? Does he have passes to wander around whatever city he is in?

Why did SNAP keep this information from the public until reporters started to ask questions, instead of being forthcoming about it from the beginning? I find this strange and it leaves me-

As always-

Befuddled, in a state of wonderment, going huh? That doesn't make sense, as is always my experience in dealings with SNAP.


To all the persons who have spoken to me that you wonder where SNAP gets and spends its money, it says right on their website in the annual report for 2008 these instructions:

Email for copies of financial statements.

They are required by law to send financial docs to taxpayers when they request them, because they are bringing in income and paying no tax.

So to request financial documents here is the link, look under the pie chart, it says email us for the financial statements under the pie chart in the 2008 Annual Report at:
City of Angels has been promised a copy of SNAP’s financial documents for 2007 and 2008 next week, in an email from SNAP Admin last week.

So when we get the financial papers, we will share them with you, because that is what we do at City of Angels. When we get them… Meanwhile-


I had no plans to post this post, it just spurted out of my head. I do all the posts at City of Angels in a response to nudging, I hope it is angelic nudging and not something else. It sure feels like it is the right thing to do.

I am so internally eternally angry at the way SNAP has missed one opportunity after another to release this information to the world, and instead the story has just sort of sizzled and burned out in city after city.

I wake up muttering about SNAP. Something is wrong there, either it's just terrible mismanagement or humongous fraud, but something is definitely wrong there.

I also wonder why we all feel we can't criticize SNAP, like it's some kind of church ...

I am sure this post won't win me any friends, but truth is I already don't have many, except in other cities, not L.A.. Even with 510 plaintiffs in Los Angeles in 2007, I never hear from anyone in L.A.

Not a person.

SNAP had a full time paid "regional director" here for years, and I can't find one survivor in L.A. There's a few still active down around Long Beach where that one Leader lives, but no survivors up in the city of L.A., where I think hundreds still live, are public except me.

The hundreds who used to show up at demonstrations in L.A. in 2003 or so are, from what I gather talking to people, so burnt out and angry, including feeling used and forgotten by SNAP, they just don't want anything to do with this whole issue anymore

Go figure

I learned in those years my daughter and I were homeless 2003-2005 that nonprofiteering is one of many new quasi criminal activities that have become ordinary in post-Bush America, where no one knows what anyone is doing if it requires Federal oversight.

So that's why I don't go to conferences, even the SNAP conference.

In reality SNAP is the work of three or four people in St. Louis and Barbara in Chicago doing other stuff, with no interest in entertaining ideas from the grass roots. It’s all very strange to me, and continually, things don't add up.

SNARL Fiction piece at City of Angels 2

Maybe I am a little bitter because I'm doing City of Angels with very little financial support, just a few clicks a month, so I have to do two part time jobs to make City of Angels happen. It seems like if SNAP were a network, I would have been embraced and made part of it and given backing or at least a way to raise money through them, which I asked them to do and they ignored my emails. They ignore City of Angels entirely, act like it's not even here. That to me is not being a network at all.


Part 2 tells the most important part, the lies SNAP told me that as a journalist I found out the truth on my own. There is no explanation for it. This whole story is like my own version of self destruction though. It's Monday now and it's too late...

Also Read more here:

The Whole SNAP Story, from City of Angels perspective... All based on true experience

.I remember the moment, in Pershing Square, a vigil while the bishops held their national meeting in the L.A. Biltmore across the street. I was disheveled, bloated and fat and self esteem? None. This was my second time finding SNAP. First time I'd been a warrior, moved a hundred miles to be closer to a SNAP meeting in Oakland, started a second daytime meeting in San Francisco. Wrote letters, started printing things out that I found on this new thing the Internet.Mid 1990s.Now it was 2006, there had been a murder in my family so I hadn't done SNAP for several years, now I could come back, all the chaos and insanity in that part of my life was finally ending and I could start paying attention to this priest thing again.Barbara Blaine who sat next to Mary Grant and I finally got a chance to talk to them. I was in awe of them, gazing up at them, probably looked pretty pathetic.I said, "It feels so good to be able to send out a letter to the editor and sign it Kay Ebeling, SNAP Los Angeles."Blaine and Grant looked at each other then looked at me, and said simultaneously:"You can't."


Anonymous said...

Kay, You missed the boat completely - "Pity Pot" is tied up at the other dock.

Thanks for kicking me in the nuts, for biting the hands that feed you, and for stabbing so many in the back.

PS: Those of us that have been around since the survivor buckboard was empty know about the Clohessy family pain and injuries and damages. Bob Schwiderski

city of angels lady said...

So no matter how bad things are, we are not allowed to criticize? sounds very church like to me. I'm sorry all you see is pity pot there, and am happy for you that you have a good relationship with SNAP, good for you, enjoy it. It's not what a lot of other people have experienced.

I don't know why this is the case. Some people get treated okay by SNAP leaders, the rest of us get slapped down.

I am just reporting my experience. It is not a pity pot, it is exactly what has happened here in L.A. to me.

There are other places besides Minnesota, Bob. And other people are not having the same experience as you. Maybe you should listen more and make fast judgements less.

city of angels lady said...

Plus, as I showed above, SNAP is not the hand that feeds me. I don't know what it really is. It would be great if SNAP would be forthcoming and straight and hold elections and act like a real network.

They don't.

city of angels lady said...

In fact now that you mention it, City of Angels started in spite of SNAP. They were telling me nothing was going on, when there were hundreds of pretrial hearings just blocks away that I found myself, in spite of misdirection I was given by SNAP, that was early 2007, thanks for reminding me

city of angels lady said...

If you want to engage in legitimate discussion and show me where I am wrong, your comment will be posted. If all you can do is tell me I am full of shit, I can see you have reading comprehension problems and your mind is closed. Consider everything City of Angels has done up to now, this is perspective. Calling me full of shit will not get your comment posted.

city of angels lady said...

I mean, this is what I see from my perspective. I don't like it either.

Anonymous said...

It has been my expierence with SNAP that no matter how many times I reached out I felt LEFT OUT . I asked for help many times to find a therapist to get connected and SNAP people of all people have not even called me to c how I am doing I got more support from AA when I was there at least they call and check up on you. I felt used SNAP an did not recive recipicattion at all really . The whispers behind the back . When I went to SanDiego to be there for the Media My Hotel was shared and than Knowing I was nearly broke only 20 in my pocket Had to buy my food . Now that I have money they ask me to donate! I feel they have Shut me down more than anything . I got more Press on the Subject contacting Media on my own then ever from them. Kay has been the Only Real person to Check on me to see if I am ok and Kay is the only Survivor aside from Paul Livingston Who has Reached out and offered me anything at all in the way of support. I realize we are all teaked by the CHild Rape thing still I feel SNAP is Lacking and treated me just like the Catholics with thier Clicks ! I am one of the L A surviors ! Oh BOB sounds like your the one feeling sorry for yourself this isnt about us its about the Support Hello

city of angels lady said...

John B in Australia asked me to post this as his comment:

I have been writing to Tim as editor of Salem news - amongst a myriad of points (hope I did not flood him with too much in too much of a hurry) I made the point about victims being used as weapons in some peoples personal campaigns and then along comes your story. There are similarities here in Australia - of the 3 prime victims groups here in Australia one is holding up with some credibility - they are currently taking a severe beating by the churchs legal team with much of the focus being personal.

I think you hit the nail on the head in regards personal campaigns and a lack of coordination (absolutely impossible to achieve here - its all about personal loyalties and excuses some of which I have debunked here however they continue to put out the same spiel regardless of the facts and regardless of how many times and how many people point these things out to them - we are a good source of income for many - start me on victim chasing lawyers - if you need a quick 10/15K then do a church victim settlement - they are done quickly (the church is keen to settle at the lowest possible figure) - a victim who has become desperate and is simply on their last legs of survival feels forced top take this route and then they get screwed - settlements go for about 50K - confidentiality agreements still exists - then the lawyers fees kick in - they range from 30% to 70% - a lifetime of horror, loss of family - many tried to run their own business, bankruptcy and then a church settlement to help them re-establish - here is your check after expenses $6 to $8K. Everybody (except the victim) is eternally happy.

Your news on David Clohessy brother has its counterpart here in one survivor group, my conversation with Clohessy have never been satisfactory - the thing I keep hearing from most of them is that they are "waiting" for the church to act responsibly - they need to get into the cue as that has not yet and will not happen.

I am glad you brought this out into the open - it needs discussion as yes the co-ordination is horrible and the planning is non-existent as well these people turn down offers of assistance whenever there is the "risk" of bringing survivors together. Some of these groups eat up victims faster than the church ever did - as for healing they have no concept and no desire to include understandings from recent research and from victims experiences.

A timely article - no doubt you will be attacked by some, however reality and truth are far more important as that is the stuff that counts and that is the stuff which helps survivors get through another day - it helps keep them off the ever rising suicide list - Ireland is experiencing the same issues at the moment with survivors attacking their so-called support groups and demanding that they take responsible actions which are beneficial to victims - there is blood on the pavements over there in regards this aspect - your article is timely (let me know if you need an Irish contact) important and essential if we are going to turn the suicide count downwards and then hopefully get them proper compensation so that they at least have a chance of getting things back together.

I forwarded a copy of your latest story which was very timely. I will also forward him a copy of this.

Well done once again to CofA Lady.


Anonymous said...

I read your post and I can understand you are angry. For the record, I held over 100 press conferences and/or events in the San Francisco Bay area, and elswhere in California,since 2002, all on my own time and money, and I always showed up, and I never botched the press releases for schedules or events. Not even once. I never disappointed the press or TV.
I also was responsible for the removal of many accused clergy from their posts,and from the internet, and some from ministry altogether.
I have also advocated for victims of abuse at PROTECT, and other venues, again on my own time and money. I was told about David Clohessys brother years ago.
I volunteered at SNAP specifically to be a loud and noticable advocate to take the perps down as much as possible, and I succeeded in many cases.
I personally took on Cardinal Levada on his own turf, and fed information to many magazines and TV, and newspapers. I never stood them up.
I am not gifted at healing people, because I am not a therapist or shrink, but I have done more than my share of getting in the front lines of the groups in my area taking bullits from the church hierarchy.
In addition to that, I gave and posted the whearabouts of many accused clergy, to the press,
and I tracked many of them down to their personal residences.
I held press conferences at the personal homes of pedophiles I tracked down, such as serial pedophile Monsignor Patrick O'Shea of San Francisco, at his hideaway home in Oroville.
It's unfortunate you feel the anger you feel, but many of us at SNAP have been forthright and
direct concerning our mission.
I know I have.

-Joey Piscitelli

Anonymous said...

I'm glad we were able to support you from Minnesota Anonymous. How you say ? Well let me tell you something you do not know -- the 1st "window" for civil SOL was accomplished in Minnesota in 1989 AND the 2nd "window" was in 1991. Gee, how was that for silent support a decade before your media day.

Oh by the way, I have been all over the county on my $ - didn't ask you for a dime [even thought we did everything we could to help get the law established that you benefited from.
Bob Schwiderski

city of angels lady said...

And when has anyone even brought up doing something for people whose states do not have window legislation, they don't get settlements or any dream of getting one, because their states don't have them?

Don't you think there should be some kind of trust for the rest of us set up by people who do get settlements? Who would be the organization to put something like that together. SNAP. Suggest it to them and see how far you get.

I have never heard ANYONE bring up doing anything for the survivors who can't get settlements. We're called pity partiers if we mention that our lives are still a mess.

So great, in the states where you had windows and got some relief for your lives great.

But hello, look around you, a lot of people weren't able to take advantage of windows.
I did not see anyone in Illinois working for window legislation there, and Illinois is the headquarters of SNAP, I think (?)
So where is the trust fund set up for people who don't get settlements to apply for grants? There was plenty of potential the last few years to set one up.

Good for you you got a window, so now what about the rest of us?

city of angels lady said...

Joey, you did great work, on your own, all at your own expense, which kind of also makes my point. In the above story, I added the part that SNAP told me in 2006 I could not write a letter to editor and sign it as a member of SNAP, after you read and commented... So essentially they wouldn't let me do what you did...
I showed up a few years later...

city of angels lady said...

Suggest any of those ideas to SNAP, as I did, and the same pat answer, "We don't do that." Well who is "we" who decides what they do and don't do? Another thing that has left me in wonderment.

city of angels lady said...

Sorry, accidentally hit delete for two comments, only meant to delete one.

Bob, your namecalling is so childish, and you obviously have only read one or two lines of this post, and have been just reacting since without even reading what I've said.

The other comment accidentally got deleted at the same time, sorry, whoever it was, please post it again...

that was accidental, I didn't even get to read the second comment or see who it was from...

still learning

Anonymous said...

Kay, I have not named called anyone ! Pity Pot yes, that is not name calling. You are the one that has thrown venon and shit on those of us across this continent that have dedicated their lives to the recovery from and prevention of sexual abuse.

All you have done is whine and cry about "you" or what other volunteers have not done for "you" !

You lost supporters today Kay. Maybe you continue to "ride" the bus and whine about the driver -- or maybe you can start a "pity pot" group and stay a victim versus a survivor or a victor. Schwiderski

city of angels lady said...

You're a reactionary, Bob, and pity is not what this or three years of reporting at City of Angels has been about.

Pity Pot is about the meanest form of name calling, totally throwing a person's concerns back in their face as false. What is false about this post?

You do good work on your own, but that really proves my point. Why isn't there really a support network in a half million dollar a year budget?

Why is it not okay to ask questions or point out things you see that are wrong?

Is pity pot etc. how you talk to survivors who call you, Bob? Man, you are so reactionary, I'm surprised.

Anyone who I "lose" for expressing how I feel, is not a friend anyway, Bob.

city of angels lady said...

I think Bob's reactions here demonstrate a big part of the problem.

Bob's reaction is how someone will be treated if they criticize SNAP, I knew that, and so kept my mouth shut for two plus years.

The first persons criticizing pedophile priests were treated with about the same respect by others in the church.

Just too many parallels here for a thinking person to not start asking questions.

Anonymous said...

TO those of you whom do not feel the same as Kay and Have done great things for the cause I say my hats off to you . Still I would like you all to remeber We are All Broken people and should support each other no matter what so long as We Are set out to do what is in the best intrest of Children of the future. So get Off Your High Horse's and Get on the Same Page . Realize We are all Related no matter what our emotions are . We are All Heros of sorts. That being said . What exactly is it that SNAP does to Support survivors I belive it is Not Support But A program of Making Clear the Present Danger of Pedophile Priests So Lets just clarify that Is How I see it . And City of Angels Is A Good Thing No Matter what any of you say . SNAP IS NOT THE ONLY CONTRIBUTOR HERE. SNAP . IS LIMITED AND KAY HAS BEEN A GREAT HELP TO MANY OF THOSE WHOM NEED A DIFFERENT VIEW WITH ANOTHER TAKE . TRY BEING OPEN TO THAT. DAVID AND MARY AND BARBRA D AND BARBRA B ARE GREAT BUT THEY ARE NOT SAINTS! ANY MORE THAN I AM I THANK THEM ALL AND NONE OF THEN ANY LESS DO THAN I THANK KAY NO ONE IS BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE!

Anonymous said...

Kay you're doing great.