In 2011 CofA is at CofA11

... 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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Re Missing Link collection below: Email editor Jay Nelson of Albuquerque at jay@sarabite.info CLICK IMAGES to enlarge

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Murmur She Wrote 1, or The City of Angels Is Everywhere

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City of Angels will make a move next month that will take the blog to a whole new level. We are going to New Mexico as the first stop on a long term project, investigative reporting on pedophile priest crimes all over the country. Next few years we'll be publishing stories on perpetrators, victims, lawsuits, criminal cases, and collateral damage, from cities across the United States.

Because these are true crime stories about which people don’t like to speak loudly, the working title for this project is “Murmur She Wrote.” The author is a little old lady, me, and the crimes to be documented follow similar patterns in every region; but unlike the 1984-96TV show "Murder She Wrote," these are dirty little crimes about which people Murmur rather than Shout.… Okay it’s a working title.

City of Angels will continue to cover the crimes of pedophile Catholic priests and how the victims survive. But the location will change as the CofA motto has become:

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

How this started: In 2008, someone connected to the Clergy Cases in L.A. handed me a stack about 4-inches thick of documents found in Discovery about Servantsof the Paraclete (pictured), but at the time I was still so unschooled and new to this subject that the pile of photocopied pages overwhelmed me. I came home from that meeting with my head swirling and wrote a slew of confused posts at City of Angels 4. Then I put the documents in a closet and in the true PTSD affected “faster than the speed of life” pattern I've lived most my life, I forgot about them.

When the person handed me the stack of discovered documents, they made a kind of presentation and explained what several of the pages meant. I nodded, “Sure I understand,” when I was really in way over my head. The posts I ended up writing repeated what the my source had said to me. I scanned in some docs for people to click enlarge and read. After the rest of the stack went into a cabinet, the chaos of my survivor life included my post-adolescent daughter moving back in and piling her stuff on top of the package that I’d gotten from the source, as she threw her stuff in the hall closet.

The stack of docs was forgotten.

Still, Servants of the Paraclete play such a major role in the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church, this religious order has fascinated me since I first heard about them in the 1990s, these priests who help priests and seem to have had a handle on the scope of the pedophile problem back in the 1950s, but the Vatican ignored their expert pleas for action. The Boston-rooted Servants of the Paraclete started a recovery center for priests in New Mexico in 1949 and by the mid-fifties, men with “psycho-sexual problems” such as “homosexuality with youngsters” became a high percentage of the patients.

They had grounds in Jemez Springs, New Mexico…a spa…

Writing CofA last four years, I've learned these crime stories are global, there are hundreds of victims in every city in America, all of us have similar stories to tell, and the existence of treatment centers like Servants of the Paraclete proves the Catholic Church was well aware of its problem with sexually anomalous priests at least as far back as the 1950s.

I've been emailing my friends for a good two years, I want to go to New Mexico and do research on Servants of the Paraclete.

Now I'm going to do it.

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PayPal clicks are seriously needed to help finance this investigative journalism venture of taking City of Angels to Albuquerque and points beyond. All PayPal donations to City of Angels are reported by Kay Ebeling to the IRS as freelance writing income.
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Here is some of what Jay Nelson wrote about Servants of the Paraclete in his book Sons of Perdition:

“What Fitzgerald established in Jemez Canyon would be an abbey unlike any other. It would become a covert laboratory of the spirit. In a way, the holy monastery in the valley was like a strange reflection of the unholy atomic workshop on the hill cross the mountains. For just as in Los Alamos, though of a different form entirely, dangerous clandestine experiments would take place. Little thought would be given of their widespread toxic and irrevocable consequences. Powerful forces would be unleashed that would change the world.”

City of Angels will be spending time with Jay Nelson while we are in Albuquerque.

From Sacrilege By Leon Podles About Servants Of The Paraclete

“Father Gerald Fitzgerald did not intend to establish a center for treating priests with sexual disorders, but that is what Via Coeli at Jemez springs became. In 1966, Father John Murphy, pastor of the church in Jemez springs, complained in a letter to some U.S. bishops that the clients were making homosexual passes at local residents.

“The Servants were careless about where they sent their patients. In 1967, when his bishop sent James Porter to the Servants, the bishop warned them that ‘his trouble was boys’ and said, ‘I think he should be shielded from anyone, old or young, troubled with his weakness.’ But the Servants sent him to parishes, where he molested children.

“The staff at the Paraclete center was itself sometimes questionable. John B. Feit arrived at the center for troubled priests in the early 1960s, after his criminal problems in South Texas prompted his bosses to remove him from parish work.

“Within a few years Feit had joined Servants of the Paraclete and had become a top administrator, supervising priests sent there for counseling.”

Interestingly another pedophile priest, Gordon MacRae, also came to Via Coeli as a patient, and about a year later became an administrator, and now blogs about his experience from New Hampshire at: These Stone Walls Blog while he serves time in state prison.

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In the last year my East Hollywood neighborhood has become more and more scary. I've been pleading, Lord, get me outta here, away from the debris of L.A. streets.

Then things started to work out for me to leave and take this trip starting with Albuquerque.

The companies I work for freelance started putting more and more work online, to the point where now I no longer have to be in L.A. to do my job. Plus I reached the age where I can take early retirement from Social Security, and continue self employment. Now if I just get out of L.A., I can possibly stay afloat.
So the trip to New Mexico to investigate Servants of the Paraclete and then on to Chicago for my own story is finally able to happen.

The stars lined up, or the ducks lined up, whatever higher power heard my prayers.

Funniest thing is, as I started packing for Albuquerque, THEN I found the stack of documents the source had passed me in 2008 (not Tony DeMarco). I sat down and started to read the Paraclete docs, and now the pages don't overwhelm me. After writing City of Angels almost four years, I'm able now to walk around in the material, I'm not trying to figure it out, as much as I was in 2008.

So in November City of Angels starts this adventure, going on the road to do investigative journalism, including photos and videos, plus document diving in cities across the country, uncovering the truth about crimes of pedophile priests in the Catholic Church.

First stop Albuquerque, and Servants of the Paraclete, who once ran a pedophile priest rehab in Jemez Springs, and as a result the region has an inordinately large number of victims. To me, the story starts there.

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Since starting City of Angels blog, I've realized, I am just one of about a hundred thousand crime victims in these stories. In fact, putting my focus on other people’s experiences has helped me get out of the nightmare of my own true crime story.

As I do this traveling blogger project next few years- north in the summer, south in the winter, hopefully not the other way around- City of Angels Blog will hopefully develop into an online series of stories, videos, and photos covering sex crimes of pedophile Catholic priests from one end of the country to the other.

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City of Angels starts the project, Murmur She Wrote next month, when we move City of Angels to its first temporary platform, Albuquerque, New Mexico, proving our motto is true, “Not Just L.A., The City of Angels Is Everywhere.”

Thanks must be given to that source, someone close to an attorney in the L.A. Clergy Cases, who handed me the four-inch file, thickly crammed with information found in the Discovery stage of lawsuits that went through Southern California courts in 2006-7. Those lawsuits produced the infamous $660 million settlement for 510 individuals with lawsuits in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

For safe keeping I won’t mention the source’s name.

I will say that a quick perusal of the docs in my package shows me there’s a ton of information in there. Names, parishes, therapists, employees who are now likely retired and living in Albuquerque and surrounding mountain towns.

And victims, hundreds of victims, of the Servants of Paraclete priest patients who often stayed on at Jemez Springs to serve in surrounding parishes, after they were “cured” of their pedophilia….

City of Angels plans to spend the winter in Albuquerque, and if need be, come back years later to write more.

Stay tuned.

POST NOTE

Of course the American economy plays a role in me taking City of Angels Blog on the road. I'm also making lemonade out of the lemon of me being just a hair away from homelessness. Taking City of Angels to Albuquerque means I should be able to keep a roof over my head, or not. It’s an adventure, it’s scary, but it’s what is in front of me, so I'm putting one foot in front of the other and doing it.

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PayPal clicks are seriously needed to help finance this venture. All PayPal donations to City of Angels are reported to the IRS as freelance writing income.
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POST NOTE 2

Since Albuquerque is a good five thousand feet higher elevation than L.A., maybe when I'm there I won’t need medical marijuana anymore. If not, at least it’s been legal there since 2007…. I am not stupid enough to break laws while I'm doing this adventure, same reason I report all PayPal income to the IRS, I won’t use medical marijuana when I'm in states where it is not legal, so any noodnicks planning to arrest me, just forget about it.

POST NOTE 3

I’ll be a blogging granny riding buses around Albuquerque so I can write about child sex crimes the most powerful and wealthy corrupt organization in the world is trying to keep secret. That fact adds bit of a twist to the story, don't you think.

I hope taking City of Angels Everywhere first stop Albuquerque will help me to slow down, as even though I don't have to, I keep falling for the speed of mainstream media’s 24-hour news cycle. Biggest thing wrong with posts here at City of Angels now is I tend to rush-in and rush-out, do the story as fast as I can so I can go on to the next one. Posting blogs on AlterNet and Examiner as well as CofA last 4 years fed that speed inside me.

Frenzy.

Going faster than the speed of life, a survival technique with PTSD.

As we set out to show that the City of Angels is Everywhere, I really hope that going to New Mexico first has an effect on me so I can slow down and maybe finally be able and get a real night’s sleep.

I mean, why can’t I spend a month on a post, then put it up? Hopefully the nature of New Mexico, with its wide skies and high altitudes, will help me slow down enough to go really in depth, spend months developing a story, let it be long and in depth, let it stay up on the blog for years before people find it.

The frenzied pace will undoubtedly continue, I won’t be able to resist posting 2-3 times a day some days, and emailing notices that a new post is up 2-3 times a week.

But hopefully as we take City of Angels national, there will be more full length feature stories as well.

Stay tuned

And please send high fives to help fund this project. All money we get through PayPal is reported to the IRS as free lance writing income, as in the City of Angels it’s safest to keep everything legal.

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Taking CofA on the road does have a lot to do with the economy right now, true.

But most of all it is another Nudge, the same Nudges that have guided City of Angels since this blog started in January 2007.

So it’s not just that all around my neighborhood there are apartments going empty then not being re-rented. Now the apartment I live in is going to go vacant.
My job recently went digital so I’ll be able to do most of the work I do from Hollywood wherever City of Angels goes in the next few years.

It’s risky.

In each city, I plan to live in extended stay hotels until I can track down a room to rent. From New Mexico I want to take City of Angels, of course, to the outskirts of Chicago Archdiocese territory, Bartlett, where my own sexualization by a Catholic priest took place when I was five years old. Once again on that move City of Angels will be following up on leads. When I was in Illinois summer 2008, I found this one clue. It requires several months to follow it up, and it is taking this long for me to get back there, hopefully next spring I’ll take that next step.

This is the birth of Murmur She Wrote Part One, aka The City of Angels is Everywhere

First stop is New Mexico.

I really look forward to doing this research, and to be honest, I think Father Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of Servants of the Paraclete, and expert on treatment for “psycho-sexual” priests, may be a hero in this saga, a good guy. Because he wanted to put pedophiles who were priests out on an island, where they had no access to civilization at all.

Like I said, a hero.

Keep reading, keep writing comments, The City of Angels truly is Everywhere... ke

POST NOTE on October 17, 2010.
Re use of medical marijuana.


In California cannabis is a prescription drug and people who are sick get a lot of relief from it. FYI, I'm quitting all prescription drugs for this trip, weed as well as muscle relaxants and sleep aides, as don't want to be dependent on anything while on the road.

But for those who think I am a "pot head" for using medMJ, I say, please take a tour into reality. Not everyone who uses a substance is an addict.

And walk a mile in my body before you tell me what medicine I should use.

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Here is what mainstream media has gotten so far about Servants of the Paraclete

By: GILLIAN FLACCUS
Associated Press
04/01/10 12:20 AM EDT
LOS ANGELES — The head of a Roman Catholic order that specialized in the treatment of pedophile priests visited with then-Pope Paul VI nearly 50 years ago and followed up with a letter recommending the removal of pedophile priests from ministry, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.
In the Aug. 27, 1963, letter, the head of the New Mexico-based Servants of the Holy Paraclete tells the pope he recommends removing pedophile priests from active ministry and strongly urges defrocking repeat offenders.
The letter shows that the Vatican knew, or should have known, about clergy abuse in the U.S. decades ago, said Anthony DeMarco, a plaintiff attorney in Los Angeles who provided the letter. The accusation comes as plaintiffs in Kentucky are attempting to sue the Vatican for negligence for allegedly failing to alert police or the public about priests who molested children.
Yet the problem was very well-known to Rome well before the 1960s. The 1917 code of canon law criminalized sexual abuse of minors. Five years later, the Vatican penned a document outlining detailed procedures for handling such cases. In 1962, that document was updated and has been used in many of the lawsuits by victims against U.S. diocese and the Vatican itself.
The letter, written by the Rev. Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald, appears to have been drafted at the request of the pope and summarizes Fitzgerald's thoughts on problem priests after his Vatican visit.
The letter echoes other Fitzgerald writings about wayward priests.
Several news organizations, including the AP, reported last year that Fitzgerald was intent on buying an island where priests attracted to men and boys could be segregated, and even made a $5,000 down payment on a Caribbean island for that purpose.
"It is for this class of rattlesnake I have always wished an island retreat, but even an island is too good for these vipers," he wrote an acquaintance in 1957.
In 1960, he sent two priests from the Paracletes to the island of Tortola to investigate the location — but his dream of an island monastery dedicated to trouble priests ended when the new archbishop of Santa Fe overruled him, his successor, Rev. Joseph McNamara, has said in an affidavit.
A message left with the Paraclete order at one of their two existing facilities in Missouri was not returned. A number for the second facility was disconnected. The offices of the Vatican spokesman were closed late Wednesday.
Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, defended the church and said it was unlikely Paul VI ever saw the 1963 letter.
"The fact of the matter is, the prevailing ideas at the time about how to deal with abusive behavior were not adequate," Tamberg said. "Clearly, society and the church have evolved new understandings of what causes sexually abusive behavior and how to deal with it."
Fitzgerald opens the five-page letter by thanking the pope for an audience the day before and says he is summarizing his thoughts at the pope's request on the "problem of the problem priest" after 20 years working to treat them.
He tells Paul VI that treatment for priests who have succumbed to "abnormal, homosexual tendencies" should include psychiatric, as well as spiritual, counseling — but goes on to warn about the dangers of leaving those individuals in ministry.
The letter also touches on priests who have consensual affairs with women.
"Personally, I am not sanguine of the return of priests to active duty who have been addicted to abnormal practices, especially sins with the young," Fitzgerald wrote.
"Where there is indication of incorrigibility, because of the tremendous scandal given, I would most earnestly recommend total laicization," he wrote. "I say 'total' ... because when these men are taken before civil authority, the non-Catholic world definitely blames the discipline of celibacy for the perversion of these men."
The letter proves that Vatican officials knew about clergy abuse decades ago and should have done more to protect children, plaintiff attorney DeMarco said.
The church has come under fire for transferring priests accused of sexual abuse to other parishes, rather than reporting the abuse to civil authorities and removing them from ministry.
The problem of clergy abuse has been known to Rome well before then. The 1917 code of canon law criminalized sexual abuse of minors. Five years later, the Vatican penned a document outlining detailed procedures for handling such cases. In 1962, that document was updated and has been used in many of the lawsuits by victims against U.S. diocese and the Vatican itself.
Fitzgerald's letter shows the pope knew how pervasive and destructive the problem was, DeMarco said.
"He says the solution is to take them out of the priesthood period, not shuffle them around, not pass them from diocese to diocese."
The letter was released in Los Angeles by attorneys who represented more than 500 victims of clergy abuse in their record-breaking $660 million settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2007.
Attorneys working on the Los Angeles cases found it among court papers related to clergy abuse cases filed in New Mexico in the late 1980s and early 1990s and fought to get it unsealed.
Thousands more pages of confidential priest personnel files from the Los Angeles cases were to be released as part of the 2007 settlement after a review by a retired judge overseeing the process. The review, however, has dragged on for nearly three years.
The letter released Wednesday is different from a 1957 letter made public last year in which Fitzgerald seeks help from the Bishop of Manchester, N.H. in finding a placement for a priest leaving the treatment program.
Attorneys also released a 250-page, redacted transcript of the 2007 deposition of the Rev. Joseph McNamara, who took over the Paraclete order after Fitzgerald.

(AP story above from April 2010 ran everywhere, so hopefully no copyright infringement by posting it here copy and pasted from Washington Examiner for posterity.)

1 comment:

city of angels lady said...

I was so glad to see your mention of These Stone Walls on this post. I believe that priest is falsely accused for money, like so many others, and his blog is a wonderful source of grace and hope for many people. Thank you for providing this link.
-Dorothy